OPEN DISCUSSION – JULY 2018

Jul 1, 2018

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363 comments on “OPEN DISCUSSION – JULY 2018

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  • Laurie (and others, but Laurie especially), I think you may like this.

    https://londonist.com/london/news/crowdfunding-for-inflatable-trump-baby-smashes-target

    Less than 2 weeks to go before Britain shows Trump how welcome he is here … From the link:

    What’s the point of Trump Baby exactly? Says the campaign website,
    “Moral outrage is water off a duck’s back to Trump. But he really
    seems to hate it when people make fun of him.

    Big demo planned for the 13th, in London, and another one in Edinburgh on the 14th, which is when he’s due to arrive in Scotland:

    Scotland United Against Trump: National Demonstration

    Edinburgh, Saturday 14 July, 12 noon

    Trump out – end the hostile environment.

    Trump wants to come to Scotland, so from all across Scotland we’re telling him he and his politics aren’t welcome here.

    We will not just be opposing Trump’s racism, but showing solidarity with all the people and group he’s attacking. We need to send a message to Theresa May and politicians across Europe – including here in Scotland – that we won’t stand for their attacks on migrants and Muslims. Trump is bad enough – but we can’t let opportunist and racist politicians here take inspiration from him.

    The march will start at the parliament before marching through the city, past the US Consulate and finishing in the meadows. Here we will hold a Carnival of Resistance against Trump with stalls, talks, music and games (‘Toss the welly at Trump’, Trump’s head coconut shy and, of course, mini golf).

    There will be busses from different cities across Scotland, details of which will be announced shortly.

    Full information about the route and events on the day will be announced soon but until then get the date in your diary and invite all your friends.

    It’s going to be quite a weekend!

  • Marco

    Yes! We’re getting some media coverage of the rally in London and protests there to come. I’m very interested to see how the US media covers the display of disgust that will greet Trump on his arrival there. His PR people will be working overtime to spin this one! I’m figuring on many close ups of Trump with iconic images in the background; him saying, “Cool bridge. Is this where Humpty Dumpty fell off? Har Har. Figures the Brits couldn’t put him back together. American engineers could do it with their eyes closed! Har har!”

    “Look at these crown jewels. I should’ve been wearing these at my inauguration, I had the biggest crowd in history, but Hillary got them first. Deep state corruption as usual.”

    “Nice park right in the middle of London! Should’ve been a golf course though. Good view of the palace. How much for the whole parcel? Come on, give me a number! Art of the deal!”

    Edinburgh castle? Oh! How many condos could we fit in there? As many as possible and add a high rise tower with one hundred units behind it.”

    Got my popcorn ready to go. On with the show!

  • That made me laugh, Laurie. But I actually don’t think he’ll be physically seen at all – or hardly at all. I think he’s going to be flown in and flown out again. In Scotland, for instance, I gather the plan is to helicopter him into his own golf course at Turnberry – and obviously, protesting citizens will be kept far far away from him. I think all the officials on both sides of the Atlantic are keen to protect him from our fury.

    So I don’t think we’ll see him, and I don’t think he’ll see us. But I’m quite sure the protests will be widely reported and shared all over the internet, and at least they will hopefully give Americans like you some heart, Laurie.

  • LaurieB #3
    Jul 2, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Edinburgh castle?
    Oh! How many condos could we fit in there?
    As many as possible and add a high rise tower with one hundred units behind it.”

    The Scots have a different take on “alternative facts”, so I suspect some of their “alternative” comedians will have a field-day at Trump’s expense!

    Got my popcorn ready to go. On with the show!

    https://www.twoscotsabroad.com/how-to-do-the-edinburgh-fringe-like-a-local/

    Quick Edinburgh Festival Fringe Guide

    From burlesque to fancy dress, politics to freaky tricks, laughs to an upside down full grown purple calf.
    What do all of these mean combined?
    It’s the Edinburgh Festival Fringe time!
    Here is your Edinburgh Festival Fringe Guide.

    For three weeks in August (Edinburgh Festival Fringe dates for 2018 are 03 – 27 August), you have never seen Scotland’s capital so alive.
    It is my ultimate favourite time of year in Edinburgh.

  • A bit of good news finally. After 9 days lost, rescuers found the missing 12 Thai school boys and their teacher trapped underground in caves. Praise jesus.

  • Marco #4

    I’m quite sure the protests will be widely reported and shared all
    over the internet, and at least they will hopefully give Americans
    like you some heart

    It’s a guarantee that if there are protest incidents, then Fox “News” will totally ignore them, will not report them, as if they never happened. Concealment works just as well as telling the Lie. Thus the Trump base will continue to be insulated from reality.

  • Arkrid #6

    It is wonderful news. And I was so pleased to hear on the News that “a grandmother of one of the boys involved has expressed her heartfelt thanks to … the authorities for persisting with the search”. Just for a moment there I’d steeled myself for the usual “thanks to God” nonsense – good to see the gratitude directed where it belongs.

    Here’s just hoping they can get the boys out safely now – and soon. Apparently the monsoon season is due to start any time now, which will raise the water levels inside the cave still more – so time is not on their side.

    It’s stories like this (remember the 2010 Chilean mine disaster) that really show what humans can achieve, though. A welcome antidote to the continual horrors coming out of the Trump regime just now.

  • Rogeroney #7

    Yes, Fox News will ignore them.

    But the internet will be full of them. In any case, I’m not going to be protesting in the hope that Trump supporters get to hear about it. I’ll be doing it for Laurie, and for all the millions of decent Americans like her. Solidarity in times of crisis matters.

  • I won’t be the only morose American who feels a glimmer of hope from our friends abroad who take the time and make the effort to make their disapproval apparent.

    Children of the Enlightenment – Solidarity!!

  • About 50,001 in fact.

    There is no single better use of my time.

    Trump was sensible to opt for the holiday season with most away.

  • Hi rogeroney [#7],

    When you say:

    Concealment works just as well as telling the Lie

    You’re bang on.

    This is one of the main reasons that ownership of media is so extraordinarily important. As Lord Beaverbrook (owner of Express Newspapers and known as Britain’s first ‘Press Baron’) told the Royal Commission on the Press (1947): He ran his papers for propaganda purposes, and … he was unwilling to allow his editors to oppose policies that were “dear to his heart”.

    Testifying before the same Inquiry, the former Express employee (and later MP) Michael Foot alleged that Beaverbrook kept a blacklist of public figures who were to be denied any publicity in his papers.

    Beaverbrook is widely regarded to be the architect of modern media as a political centre of power in its own right. Before him media outlets had largely been controlled, even if not owned, by political parties.

    Interestingly Britain’s Hutchins Commission (in the same year) concluded, in unavoidably inflammatory language: “the few who are able to use the machinery of the press as an instrument of mass communication have not provided a service adequate to the needs of society”

    We must surely ask, 70 years later, why has nothing changed?

    However, when you go on to say:

    Thus the Trump base will continue to be insulated from reality

    You’re dead wrong.

    We – by which I mean: those of us apparently fighting a rear-guard action in defence of facts and objectivity as foundation stones of a just and moral society that values equity among its citizens – need to recognise something.

    At the heart of what we need to achieve is political action.

    That means we have to win political arguments.

    At RationalWiki they have an article called Point Refuted a Thousand Times. It’s worth reading because it will tell you everything you need to know about political arguments – political arguments, literally, never end.

    I urge everyone who reads this post to pause at this point and let that sink in: Political arguments never, ever, end.

    Every time you think you’ve won a political argument, or fight, you’re only probably right – and more often than not your victory will only be partial and short-lived.

    The only way to get a Trump elected, or a Brexit vote, therefore, is to work damned hard and never give in.

    That means we need to do the same: Work your socks off and repeat yourself not just a thousand times but every day until it drives you nearly insane with the inanity of repetition. But, please, only nearly – we all love you as sane as you are now.

    Every time you simply have the argument, or state your position out loud, or wear that button, there will be someone – maybe only one person, maybe a silent person, maybe a seemingly disinterested or already-persuaded-against-you person – but that’s enough for you to put in the effort. Because that is the only way to win in politics; one mind and sometimes, perhaps, even half a mind will be persuaded.

    Trumps supporters, Brexit supporters, Le Pen supporters – any of the New Fascists, in fact, only got to where they are today because someone, somewhere, has never stopped arguing their political story.

    When I was born race, gay and green politics were non-existent. Today they’re so big that it still, sometimes, surprises me. I have a T shirt with a picture of a whale on it, composed of plastic waste. It’s so old it’s falling apart but, at last, politicians are discussing plastic waste in the oceans. Someone, somewhere, never gave up. They certainly never said: ‘the people will continue to be insulated from reality’.

    I have had this argument about ‘preaching to the converted never works’ before. And here I am again, answering: You’re wrong.

    To finish here’s a video from Theramin Trees that I’ve posted here before – just like the 1947 Commission, Point Refuted a Thousand Times and “political arguments never, ever, end” – recycled, every one. Because they’re political arguments – to win I have to repeat them, probably until I die.

    I prefer my philosphy to yours, at least I have something to look forward to.

    Peace.

  • Stephen of Wimbledon #13

    However, when you go on to say:

    Thus the Trump base will continue to be insulated from reality

    You’re dead wrong………….

    …………….we have to win political arguments.

    Hi Stephen. I congratulate you on your zeal and in fact I largely agree with you that constant persuasion is the way to win results. It is not my ‘philosophy’ to abandon any prospect of changing minds. However, in the scenario of today’s America it will be a project of decades, of generations, to achieve this, and Trump is here, now, for the next 2 or 6 years. It isn’t just a question of politics, it is one of deep-seated culture, including of course religious delusion, all tied to powerful financial vested interest. I’ve been on a fair few forums where you come up against the hard core Trumpanzees, who got there via the Christain Coalition, via Reaganism, and then the Tea Party, and you get a chilling insight into their mentality. I’m not saying it can’t be overturned, but don’t underestimate the scale of the problem we have to deal with here.

  • Now that Michael Cohen has told ABC that he doesn’t think the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt and his primary loyalty is to his family not Trump it’s fun watching Fox Noise turn on him like a pack of rabid wolves. For ages he was a loyal Trumpkin who’d supposedly take a bullet for Trump and Fox couldn’t get enough of him but now they think he’s going to flip on Trump he’s suddenly persona non grata. Now they’re going to have to try to discredit him in advance so if he does flip on Trump they can tell the base he’s a liar and not reliable. They’re already saying the only thing you can be sure about with Cohen is that he’ll throw anybody under the bus. That’s of course about Hannity being outed as a Cohen client even though a judge forced Cohen to tell and he’d have been in contempt for refusing. Trump has thrown everyone he’s ever known under the bus, except Putin.

    Isn’t it curious that when Fox want to discredit someone they accuse them of being all the things that Trump actually is. A liar, unreliable, no personal loyalty. Trump is the living epitomy of everything Fox thinks is bad about Trump haters. Kind of like how God is actually the epitomy of what Christians think atheists are like. Of course Trumpism is very much a religion, or a cult, and logic and facts play little part in this. You sure as hell need a lot of conitive dissonance though to worship someone who actually manifests everything you think is awful about other people.

  • Meanwhile, in the UK the brexiteer-base, is still as immersed in Utopian fantasy as at the time of the referendum, – and Theresa May is still trying the impossible task of fudging together some brexiteer whimsicality with some working trade agreements which will be acceptable to ALL the other 27 EU States!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44690124

    Firms are running out of patience over the lack of progress in the Brexit talks, a major business organisation has warned Theresa May.

    The British Chambers of Commerce has published a list of 23 “real-world” questions that it says urgently need answers as the UK’s EU exit approaches.

    The list covers subjects including VAT, tariffs, customs and regulations.

    The BCC said companies were no clearer on these critical issues than they were immediately after the referendum.

    The questions include:

    On customs, whether goods will be subject to new procedures
    and delayed at border points
    On regulation, whether checks on goods conducted in the UK
    will be recognised by the EU
    On mobility, whether firms will be able to transfer staff
    between the UK and the EU as they do now

    The last 10 days have seen a number of high-profile businesses, including Airbus and BMW, warn that further investment in the UK was already under review and that leaving the EU without a deal could see production relocated.

    The brexiteers still have NOT got the message that “have your cake and eat it”, is not an available option, – regardless of what fantasies they may agree among themselves!

  • Hi rogeroney [#14],

    It is not my ‘philosophy’ to abandon any prospect of changing minds. However …

    Oh dear, and you got off to such a good start.

    However? But me no buts. The business of changing minds is, at least some of the time, about being bull-headed.

    I appreciate that the above seems to run counter to our core theme of trust and verify – and really verify – just stay with me on this.

    The next stage has to be: Once decided, say so. No one won an argument in silence – except in court, but that’s a special case.

    Well laugh then, I really worked on that one!

    To win a political argument, even in the short term, get the message out.

    No, don’t ask me why – there is no why.

    … it will be a project of decades, of generations …

    Oh boo-hoo.

    The sooner you start the better then.

    Trump is here, now, for the next 2 or 6 years …

    Two darling, keep on message.

    Win the mid-terms and stifle his presidency from the Senate – it worked for Republicans choraling Obama.

    Think outside the box: You raise me one SC Justice, I raise you a Constitutional Amendment.

    It isn’t just a question of politics …

    Evidence please.

    Politics = culture = politics = culture …

    If teaching people critical thinking, the difference between open and closed questions and logic in the 21C United States isn’t a cultural phenomenon … then I’m a horse’s ass.

    … deep-seated culture, including of course religious delusion …

    Did somebody just say something constructive? No? Positive then? Informative maybe? No. Some things, including all the obvious things, are usually better left unsaid.

    Have you ever been rock climbing? I have. I can remember that one of the key things that always happened at the start of any climb, particularly with the best climbers, is that a calm, quiet, mood comes across the company as they start. Nobody jabbered on about how high the mountain was, or how cold it would be when the rain starts, or what they were planning to buy for supper a week next Wednesday. They had a job to do and saved their energy for that intense, long, challenge.

    I don’t care. I don’t care that it’s a big challenge, or a tough gig, or blood, sweat and tears. You want out? Then sweat … and bleed … and weep.

    … powerful financial vested interest …

    {yawn} mountain, where?

    I’ve been on a fair few forums where you come up against the hard core Trumpanzees, who got there via the Christain Coalition, via Reaganism, and then the Tea Party

    Okay, credit where credit is due: You’ve been into the Lion’s Den, for real? Kudos to you. My advice is: Go back to that video link I posted. Notice the people that exist in the middle between the Converted and the Unconverted? The people who are actually persuadable? Look out for them.

    … you get a chilling insight into their mentality

    Whatever. They’re people. Try to work that into your thinking, yeah?

    I’m not saying it can’t be overturned …

    Hallelujah brother! You have seen the light!

    … but don’t underestimate the scale …

    Yada yada yada. You’ve already said this multiple times. Don’t you ever get tired of undermining yourself? Come on, borrow some of my British phlegm: Shoulders back, stand straight, chin up, chest out. Now go and take a fast walk in the fresh air with lots of deep breathes and don’t forget to say a cheery “Hello, lovely day, what!” to everyone that passes by. You’ll feel so much better for it, honest injun.

    … the problem we have to deal with …

    In politics there’s no such thing as problems, only opportunities – it’s all a question of perspectives. Wow that’s actually quite good, I should copyright that.

    Peace.

  • Vicki #18

    Stephen of Wimbledon #17

    Thank you for that, Stephen, I enjoyed it!

    Maybe he’ll share some of what he’s been smoking ;o}

  • @rogeroney #19

    God knows, there is plenty to bitch about when the subject is Donald Trump, and I’m no stranger to venting, too.

    But at the end of the day, it comes down to either grumbling or rolling up your sleeves. Join a march. Canvass your neighborhood to register voters. Get the younger generation to commit to voting, as well as getting them to engage their friends.

    And above all, continue to point out the truth as often as anyone tries to spread lies.

  • rogeroney

    I’m with you, pal. This is shockingly deep and dark. The zombies have us surrounded and they are on the march.

    But no! Of course we’ll have nice civilized conversations and tasteful elegant protests. Some tea and crumpets while we’re at it…

  • I was deeply frustrated by Dan here thinking the US problem is a quick fix. A bunch of people need to come to their senses and we’re back on track.

    Things went off track starting 1980 and even by 1987 stopped me moving to my longed for home on the West Coast. It has got considerably worse since then.

    Obama, it is reasonably suggested, was 20 years too early. But “Drain the Swamp” resonated well with the electorate.

    Democracy is so fucked and soooo needs to be fixed first, this is a project to undertake for your kids and theirs.

  • *

    Democracy is so fucked and soooo needs to be fixed first, this is a
    project to undertake for your kids and theirs.

    I say we need to start with campaign finance reform. If Citizens United cannot be overturned (and the effort would be huge), at the very least it needs to be clear where the money is coming from. Cockroaches hate the light.

    *

  • Vicki

    Of course we need to fix that disaster but when it comes to the Supreme Court, I don’t think we’ve hit rock bottom yet.

    :’-O waaaaa

    On the bright side – Joey Chestnut, reigning champion of Nathan’s Coney Island hotdog eating contest, is holding his own against the challengers. This American institution is objectively much more important than fireworks. Live now on ESPN2. If Joey defends successfully then everything will be just fine.

    Ok, phew! He won with 62 hotdogs. An easy 20 hotdog margin. We’re all gonna be fine.

  • Citizens United is the single greatest moral outrage, though there are half a dozen others, in the area of purchased power and blatant corruption.

    This is nostalgic now but had the right idea. Start at the State level.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/how-to-reverse-citizens-united/471504/

    We could begin a process whilst we wait for enough SC judges to die (sadly ours first. Poland is retiring theirs at 65 as a means to hobble justice…. but its a thought).

  • Hi all

    Haven’t had the time to carry on reading Sapiens for a while but picked it up today whilst on holiday. Have decided to stop reading now after a couple of lines. To many assumptions. Has anyone read it. Should I carry on? Has there been a discussion on it before. Thanks in advance.

  • phil rimmer #25
    Jul 4, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    We could begin a process whilst we wait for enough SC judges to die

    Actually there’s a whole range of things that could be done if the Dems can get control of both houses. The creation of a Supreme Court is enacted by the Article Three of the Constitution but nothing is said in there about how large the court must be. At various times it has had as few as 6 justices and as many as 10. It requires a Bill passed by simple majority in both Houses to change this. Of course while Trump is in office he could veto such a bill unless it also passed with a 2/3’s majority in both Houses. So Dems probably need to wait until they have a President in office again but after that they can undo whatever harm Trump has caused in a number of ways.

    The first way would be to increase the number of justices, appoint left wing justices to fill the new vacancies and hence swing the balance of power back to liberal justices. However an even sneakier way exists. The Constitution says that justices shall hold their offices “during good behaviour”. This has been taken to mean for life unless they’re naughty boys or girls and get impeached which is the only way to remove them. However I can think of two ways of dealing with this. A Constitutional amendment to specify a term limit or an age limit. This would require a 2/3s majority in both Houses which is never going to happen in the Senate. The sneaky way would be to pass a simple majority bill reducing the number of Justices and forcing some to resign. Then put the number back up again with a second Bill and appoint a bunch of young liberals. This would clearly be a ruse but tough. The Repugs set their stall out when they refused to confirm Merrick Garland. It’s too late to start whining if the Dems get back into power and play dirty pool.

    What this whole situation makes clear is how unrepresentative the power of the Senate is. Every state gets 2 senators regardless of how many inhabitants the state has. By land area and number of states, the USA is overwhelmingly Republican but by population, which is concentrated in the big cities and a small number of blue states it’s mainly Democrat. The few millions of people who live in Wyoming and Montana etc get a disproportionate representation in the Senate compared to the hundreds of millions who live in LA, SF, NY and the densely populated blue states. A Constitutional amendment could change this but of course Repugs can always block the necessary 2/3s majority.

    However, as you can see, even if Trump stacks the Supreme Court for a couple of years it’s not the absolute end of the world until his picks start to die off as long as Dems win like gangbusters next time they get in office. Trump is so busy energising Dems with his outrageous behaviour we can only hope the enthusiasm lasts long enough to restore what John McCain might describe as “Regular Order”.

  • Olgun

    I started reading Sapiens when it came out and ended up tossing it to the corner. I had borrowed it from the library and therefore can’t dissect it page by page now. I only remember being put off by some of the guy’s claims and definitely didn’t appreciate his tone. Some snarky remarks made me think it wasn’t a serious book. I feel bad dissing the book in an unsubstantiated way. I could go back to the library and check it out again but I won’t pay for it.

  • Laurie #28

    Thanks Laurie. Thought it was me just being grumpy. Comparing the dexterity of Einstein to the hunter gatherers got me closing it up for good. I suppose you would have to put it into more context than I have but don’t worry. Don’t think I will be picking it up again. Just thought he might bring it all together in the end but went past caring. Some good points in other places but pointless on the whole.

  • Arkrid Sandwich #27
    Jul 5, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Trump is so busy energising Dems with his outrageous behaviour we can only hope the enthusiasm lasts long enough to restore what John McCain might describe as “Regular Order”.

    The reckless destruction by Trump of everything from:- cordial foreign relations with allies and trading partners, destroying national security by appointing foreign financed high-security-risk stooges to government positions, polluting the environment locally and globally, generating divisive inter-racial and religious conflicts, along with the general downgrading and disabling of public services:- should provide even the most unimaginative of Democratic candidates, a long manifesto list of items in urgent need of repair by a new administration!

  • Arkrid

    I read an article in VOX.com about the idea of “court packing” and have to admit that I’d never thought of this strategy. At first I was enthusiastic about the possibility of loading the S. court with a bunch of liberals in this way. Here’s the article and I direct our attention to the end of it where the author discusses the downsides of this idea which are an ultimate weakening of the power of the court and reduction of the court to the level of a banana republic or authoritarian dictatorship.

    https://www.vox.com/2018/7/2/17513520/court-packing-explained-fdr-roosevelt-new-deal-democrats-supreme-court

    Here is the summary paragraph:

    Now maybe, ultimately, weakening the Supreme Court is a good thing. Plenty of legal scholars on both sides of the aisle have, for years, argued that the US goes too far in embracing judicial review; few other countries give their Supreme Courts the power we give ours to strike down democratically enacted laws. Even in Canada, the parliament and the provinces retain the power to reverse Supreme Court decisions with supermajority votes. Perhaps court-packing would set off a spiral that results in a dramatically weakened Court, and power returned to the states and Congress to settle contentious issues like abortion and desegregation and LGBT rights through democratic processes.

    I’m extremely sympathetic to that argument. But it’s also possible that’s not what happens, that court-packing merely leads to more games of constitutional hardball and enables a future president to push through legislation that makes him and his allies basically impossible to dislodge from power, with a packed Supreme Court that is unwilling and unable to stop him. That, roughly, is what has happened in Poland, Hungary, Honduras, Venezuela, and Turkey. It could happen here too.

    Another thing that’s been lurking in the back of my mind for a few years is something that I first heard when I attended a book signing given by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on the publication of his book “Making Our Democracy Work, A Judge’s View* published in 2010.

    This book talk and on reading the entire book surprised me with the idea and history that explains the truly fragile state of the decisions of that high court here in the US. Breyer explains that decisions come down that are very unpopular and that it is by consensus by the American people, agreeing that these interpretations must be respected, that leads to compliance and if this respect is compromised then there isn’t much the court can do about it.

    He describes cases where the court issued a ruling that was so unpopular that the public and some members of the government refused to comply. At that point the national guard can be called out to thrash people into compliance.

    Here’s a paragraph from the introduction:

    Subsequent chapters present historical snapshots of how, in fits and starts, the Supreme Court came to be accepted and trusted as a guardian of the Constitution. The cases presented include an example in which the president and the State of Georgia refused to implement a Court decision protecting the Cherokee Indians; the example of Dred Scott, where the Court itself, misunderstanding the law, its own authority, and the likely public reaction, refused justice to an individual because of his race; and an example in which the president had to send troops to Little Rock, Arkansas because so many people there, including the governor, refused to comply with the Court’s decision, in Brown v. Board of Education holding segregated schools unconstitutional. These examples help us understand the importance and the value, the uncertainty and the pitfalls, that predate today’s widespread acceptance of Court decisions as legitimate. They help demonstrate that public acceptance is not automatic, and that the Court and the public must work together in a partnership of sorts, with mutual respect and understanding.

    From the book cited above, pages 1 and 2.

    I am not recommending that we ignore the decisions that we don’t like and only follow the ones that please us. Also the idea of court packing is worrisome as well. But when I came out of that book signing I couldn’t help but wonder about an event where a Justice of the highest court in the land explained to a large crowd about the delicate nature of legal compliance in this country. Now I imagine various scenarios that could happen if abortion is made illegal and gay marriage overturned. So let’s just send it to the States and ignore the authoritarian S. Court?!

  • Hmm; coming back here after a break of about 4 years is dispiriting.

    With some of you commenters obsessing about Trump as though there were hardly any other issues worth noticing, I feel like a kid who wandered into a sweet-shop/candy-store only to find nothing worth having and getting into argument over which bad option is the worst.

    Just a small suggestion, from my recollection of some wonderful past wide-ranging debates here, usually featuring many of the same names still here; We could still cover American politics, but let’s remember to look further afield as well. There are many parts of the world where a Trumpian leader would be a vast improvement over the available candidates. More important still: natural history, philosophy, archaeology, Islam, soccer, quantum physics, neuroscience, black holes, Jordan Peterson, modern day slavery…

    you name it?

  • Ivor, what’s the point of coming to an Open Discussion thread and complaining that people aren’t talking about what you want to talk about?

    If you want a discussion on something else – this is the place to start one.

    Over to you!

  • There’s an online rule that if you criticize someone else’s spelling or grammar you’ll make a spelling mistake doing so and look like a twat. Apparently if you boast about your own literary abilities the same law applies. President Shit for Brains tweeted this the other day.

    Jul 3, 2018 04:19:04 PM After having written many best selling books, and somewhat priding myself on my ability to write, it should be noted that the Fake News constantly likes to pour [SIC] over my tweets looking for a mistake. I capitalize certain words only for emphasis, not b/c they should be capitalized!

    He does love to call other people “low IQ individuals” but seems to go out of his way to prove he is one too. We all know he’s never written anything longer than a tweet or his ridiculous oversized signature and that ghost writers have been paid to write every book that’s had his name on it. Ignorance oozes out of every pore in your obese body dumabass. I pour scorn on your ability to write.

    It looks like Michael Cohen is getting ready to go full nuclear on Trump rather than spend years in jail. He’s just deleted the bit in his twitter profile that said he was Trump’s lawyer and also said he left the Trump organisation on his LinkedIn page. If anyone knows where the skeletons are buried he’s the guy. He’s smothered under a number of state criminal indictments which Trump can’t pardon him for so he’s going to sing like a canary. Expect Trump to declare war on someone soon to distract from all this.

  • “and that ghost writers have been paid to write every book that’s had
    his name on it…”

    From the New Yorker’s current issue:

    *… Trump, facing a crowd that had gathered in the lobby of Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue, laid out his qualifications, saying, “We need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.’ ” If that was so, Tony Schwartz thought, then he, not Trump, should be running. Schwartz dashed off a tweet: “Many thanks Donald Trump for suggesting I run for President, based on the fact that I wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.’ ”

    Schwartz had ghostwritten Trump’s 1987 breakthrough memoir, earning a joint byline on the cover, half of the book’s five-hundred-thousand-dollar advance, and half of the royalties. The book was a phenomenal success, spending forty-eight weeks on the Times best-seller list, thirteen of them at No. 1. More than a million copies have been bought, generating several million dollars in royalties. The book expanded Trump’s renown far beyond New York City, making him an emblem of the successful tycoon. Edward Kosner, the former editor and publisher of New York, where Schwartz worked as a writer at the time, says, “Tony created Trump. He’s Dr. Frankenstein.”*

  • Hi Ivor,

    … let’s remember to look further afield as well … natural history, philosophy, archaeology, Islam, soccer, quantum physics, neuroscience, black holes, Jordan Peterson, modern day slavery …

    I see no one standing in your way.

    Break a leg.

    Peace.

  • Hi Vicki [#20],

    But at the end of the day, it comes down to either grumbling or rolling up your sleeves. Join a march. Canvass your neighborhood to register voters. Get the younger generation to commit to voting, as well as getting them to engage their friends.
    .
    And above all, continue to point out the truth as often as anyone tries to spread lies.

    I think I’m in love.

    It’s just between you and Phil now.

    Sorry, did I spoil the moment there?

    Anyhow, great stuff. What we need is more fighting talk like this. Fab.

    Peace.

  • Marco, hello and thank you for responding to my silly remarks with your wise and learned rejoinder to me.

    But seriously, fair point, and so here goes.

    Well there’s the small matter of a certain ideology which has been responsible for over 33000 terror attacks globally since 9/11. According to the foundational tenets of this creed, criticism of those tenets should result in the death of those critics. Death also is awarded to any persons who leave the creed or who practice homosexuality. Global dominance is the aim and many are the believers who are striving for just that. Or should I say unjust that?

    We all know what I am on about. We also know that a large %age of these, er, Muslims, are good and peaceful people.
    Also that a significant number of Muslims are inculcated into the fundamentalist version with those extreme intolerant beliefs.

    We are currently trying in the non-Muslim bits left of the world to placate the extreme ones with generous displays of help and hospitality to refugees, also choosing to adhere to sharia laws in all sorts of ways. Sharia courts, halal butchery, hate speech laws applied against truth tellers, etc.

    A small trickle of ex-Muslims are emerging, many of whom are expressing concern that our placatory measures are a mistake. perhaps we have a moral duty to re-educate our moderate friends with truth. As the main victims of this global con, our peaceful moderate friends deserve to be assured of our good intentions towards them and to all but the violent types.

    At present, since the prohibition on so-called ‘hate speech’ and ‘Islamophobia’, in many countries, an embargo on the truth of this matter is in effect. So we are stuck.

    Still the migrant masses keep coming. Are we diverse and enriched enough yet? How diverse will our descendants be if Islam achieves it’s ambition?

    Should we be like Hungary and Poland; or like Germany and Sweden? How long before our western civilization is endangered in the current state of events?

  • Hi LaurieB [#21],

    Of course we’ll have nice civilized conversations and tasteful elegant protests. Some tea and crumpets while we’re at it…

    Now that’s real political organization.

    Are you standing for the Senate?

    Think it over.

    Peace.

  • Hi rogeroney [#19],

    Maybe he’ll share some of what he’s been smoking ;o}

    I am shocked! SHOCKED!!!

    I am also deeply, deeply, offended. How dare you drag my name through the mud in this disgraceful fashion, you monster {sniffs onion} [SOB!]

    Anything I have said on this thread (to be clear: the RDF DISCUSSION thread for July 2018 only, up to and including the date of this post, but no later because it’s nearly Friday) has been composed while stone cold sober and uninfluenced by the benefit effects (includes side-effects) of any pharmaceutical preparation or unfortunate, or mistaken, encounter with naturally occurring – psychology affecting – plant life which can, as the record shows, be accidentaly ingested, or smoked, or imbibed by any innocent person of spotless reputation in the natural course of a blameless life. For details please contact my Publicist.

    That’s the best suit lead I’ve had for ages. You will shortly be hearing from my Layer!

    Have a great weekend, just don’t spend all my money at once.

    p.s. My meds are prescribed.

  • Hi Stephen of Wimbledon [36]
    You said:-

    “You claim:

    There are many parts of the world where a Trumpian leader would be a vast improvement over the available candidates.

    Where?”

    Answer: Germany. And many more, but that’s all I will say.

    and SoW [37]
    You said:-

    “… let’s remember to look further afield as well … natural history, philosophy, archaeology, Islam, soccer, quantum physics, neuroscience, black holes, Jordan Peterson, modern day slavery …

    I see no one standing in your way.

    Break a leg.

    Peace.”

    Thank you. Neither do I see anyone in my way, but I need volunteers like you, yes you, and you, and you to show me the way. I can’t debate just me.
    You are all very kind.
    I look forward to meeting again sometime soon.
    Peace 2u2.

  • Hi Ivor [#42],

    Dude, you own the meaning of life on this thread. Man, that is so cool.

    Anyhow; you appear to be saying that Trump (okay, a German like Trump) would be better than Angela Merkel (just picking a leading german politician at random, as I’m sure you realise)?

    How do you figure?

    Peace.

  • Ivor #42
    Jul 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Stephen of Wimbledon [36]

    You said:-

    “You claim:

    There are many parts of the world where a Trumpian leader would be a vast improvement over the available candidates.

    Where?”

    Answer: Germany. And many more, but that’s all I will say.

    Would that be 1930s Germany?

    Modern Germany is a vastly better and safer place than the gun-infested USA, despite a few political problems. – and its leaders are much more competent than Trump at almost everything – from foreign diplomacy to appointing staff or running government departments!

    .. or were you thinking of the Fox-News fantasy image of Germany?

    There is a refugee problem in Europe, but that is directly attributable to war-mongering states, who incompetently decided to inflict “regime change” and civil wars, on various Middle Eastern and African countries, both by arming dissident groups, and by direct or clandestine military actions!

  • Stephen of Wimbleton @41

    plant life which can, as the record shows, be accidentaly ingested, or smoked, or imbibed by any innocent person of spotless reputation in the natural course of a blameless life.

    Dude. It could really be a good thing. Therapeutic even. Give it a try.

  • Well, Pruitt’s gone. I’d like to be enthused, but he leaves behind a gutted and understaffed department.

  • Hi LaurieB [#46],

    I can’t say too much, sub judice and all that, but I am clearly limiting my claim to July 2 @3:54 p.m. -July 5 @ 3:36 p.m.

    Now, excuse me while I go and plant some seeds my Brother gave me for my birthday. He said he had so many, and he won’t have room in his window box for two years. Odd that he didn’t think to buy another window box … but I digress.

    Chin-chin!

  • Haha!! I’m only human, Stephen!
    Don’t shoot the messenger!

    Just let me get a shot of whiskey in me, I’ll be fine.

  • Hello dear old Stephen of Wimbledon [43]

    The best place to learn about Jordan Peterson is at you-tube. Don’t know if a link might cause a delay so I’ll say search there for ‘Jordan Peterson debate on the gender pay gap, campus protests and postmodernism’ Watch the half hour debate with Cathy Newman on channel 4 news. I did that earlier this year and was quite impressed and surprised by what I saw. Now at about 10.7 million views.

    Oh, and he is a Professor of clinical psychology at Toronto University. Controversial too.

    [44]

    You ask why Merkel?

    Well, I do think that the Merkel open door immigration policy ought to be reviewed. Crime figures are indicating that too many migrants are causing too much suffering for the German people. As we know, Trump would not be one to encourage too many migrants from Islamic countries where terrorists are operating.

    Just my view. Now you can rip me apart as a racist islamophobe if you like!
    Nah, you’re not one of those sort are you?

  • Hi Alan, [45]

    No I wasn’t thinking of 1930s Germany. see [51]

    I should have clarified earlier that I was referring to the open door immigration policy of Chancellor Merkel. Increasingly unpopular there. I take your point about the causes (some of them) of the middle eastern chaos. A whole other discussion there.
    For another day perhaps.
    Take care,

    Peace.

  • Ivor #51
    Jul 5, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Crime figures are indicating that too many migrants are causing too much suffering for the German people.

    Actually they don’t!
    They show a slight increase above the level to which Germans are accustomed, but below the levels to which US citizens have become accustomed!

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-05-09/german-crime-fears-don-t-match-statistics

    Germany is actually extremely safe compared with … Russia or with the US.

    The murder rate, is less than 1 per 100,000 population is much lower than the US’s 2016 rate of about 5.3 per 100,000 . .. but it’s impossible to fight individual perceptions with numbers. Crime figures are so rich and multifaceted that pretty much anyone can dig up figures to support any kind of bias.

    Using sensationalist tabloid trash papers as sources, is a near certain way to thoroughly misinformed, and to get all the proportions of issues wrong!

    Immigrant crime is higher than in the native German population, but levels are WAYYY below crime rates in the USA!

    As we know, Trump would not be one to encourage too many migrants from Islamic countries where terrorists are operating.

    As we know Trump can’t do numbers or statistics, and does not seek or listen to, expert advice, so just copies junk pseudo-news from his pet media outlets!

  • Ivor

    I see that you are very concerned about the immigration situation but wouldn’t it be better to solve these problems with sensible legislation rather than inflict a belligerent tyrant on a country and the world? Trump may get his stupid border wall someday here but at what price? What good is a border wall when the economy comes crashing down not just here in the US but then also drags the European economy right along with it? What good is a border wall if the bloviating ignoramus gets us into an all out war? Trump is trashing our environment, overlooking huge corruption in his administration and modeling racism, sexism and giving the fundamentalist Christians the opportunity to drag us all back to the dark ages.

    Is all of this worth it to block a bunch of immigrants from entering our countries?

    We are currently trying in the non-Muslim bits left of the world to placate the extreme ones with generous displays of help and hospitality to refugees, also choosing to adhere to sharia laws in all sorts of ways. Sharia courts, halal butchery, hate speech laws applied against truth tellers, etc.

    Are we trying to placate extremists? But, who is we?

    Aren’t the generous displays of help done as an act of beneficence? A moral imperative?

    I don’t know of any Western country that has active sharia law. There may be private arbitration “courts” that settle civil disputes but at least in the US those could be Islamic, Jewish or any other type of arbitration and their rights are limited by the law.

    I don’t see anything wrong with halal butcheries if the comply with the same laws that others do. What about kosher butcheries? Get rid of those too?

    A small trickle of ex-Muslims are emerging, many of whom are expressing concern that our placatory measures are a mistake.

    I want to tell you that there are many more of these ex and secular and angry moderates than you might think. You understand that they have been threatened with violence and exile and shunning. Yet we look at what’s going on in the Muslim majority countries and we see substantial resistance to the various fundamentalist revolutionary groups.

    Algeria fought a civil war for more than a decade just to rid themselves of the fundamentalist vermin who wanted to turn the place into a theocracy. The Algerians who now live in exile due to that civil war and others outside for other reasons and many of the Algerians who survived the atrocities in that place are now very fierce critics of moderates who enabled fundamentalists to gain ground and the ones I know who live in UK and France never hesitate to express support to those governments when they act to limit the demands for accommodation there. In fact, they often advocate measures that are more extreme than anything I thought of myself!

    Those immigrants have suffered first hand from the effects of fundamentalists rampaging through their home countries. They have a healthy fear of a theocracy in full effect. Many have lost family members to murder, kidnapping and horrific cruelty. This is why they may express opinions against fundamentalists that are in fact much more severe than anything our Western democracies could ever implement. When in a safe place, they appreciate the opportunity to blow off steam. If they trust you, they will speak honestly about the shitshows they have left behind. They are an important part of any future solution to the problems that you presented in your comment above.

    These immigration challenges have political solutions and based on what I’ve seen in France, I don’t think there would be an uprising. Many Muslims will be relieved to have the government put the squeeze on the fanatics amongst them. I’m watching the situation in Denmark now as they maneuver to make changes within their Muslim “ghettos”. But please don’t wish a dangerous ignorant toad like Trump on the world as a solution to problems that we will all have to solve with rational intelligent competant people at the helm.

    I do commend you for your honest expression of fears and disappointments that you feel on this difficult issue.

  • Ivor #39

    Should we be like Hungary and Poland; or like Germany and Sweden?

    Easy. We should be like Germany and Sweden. Next …

    How long before our western civilization is endangered in the current
    state of events?

    Don’t be silly.

  • Ivor #52
    Jul 5, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I take your point about the causes (some of them) of the middle eastern chaos. A whole other discussion there.
    For another day perhaps.

    Actually we have done this fairly recently.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2017/04/syria-chemical-attack-looks-like-nerve-gas-and-was-no-accident/#li-comment-220500

    It looks like a reversion to the old politics of half-baked attempts at regime change – which opened up the opportunities for ISIS in the first place! Trigger happy US Naval vessels in the Med. at the ready? – Probably not a coincidence!

    Nothing has been learned from military adventures in Iraq, or the Libyan “regime-change” fiasco, which caused on-going civil wars regional instability, and massive refugee crises!

    Other countries do take note of reckless Western military adventures and arms sales to, or sponsorship of, reckless military adventurer states like Saudi Arabia!!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2017/04/syria-war-is-trump-slipping-into-syria-quagmire/#li-comment-220551
    North Korea says a US missile strike on Syria “proves a million times over” that it was right to strengthen its nuclear programme, state media report.

    Perhaps we should remind a few media hyped hypocrites, who are flashing images of a few dead children, to look at the THOUSANDS of dead children killed by foreign air-strikes, by weapons sold or supplied to rebels and terrorists, and they should also look at those children starving in refugee camps after escaping the terrors caused by those wielding those weapons!

  • Hi Ivor [#51],

    I will look up Mr. Peterson, on your recommendation. Obviously, as I don’t know him from Adam, it will take a while for me to get back to you.

    Naturally, when I read your comment:

    … the Merkel open door immigration policy …

    … my first reaction was to look for facts. I didn’t find any.

    The only story I found relates to Angela Merkel setting up ’Transit Camps’ for immigrants. I wasn’t able to find much info. about these but, whatever they are, I can confirm they have nothing to do with a policy that could be described as an open door into Germany.

    What are you talking about?

    Crime figures are indicating that too many migrants are causing too much suffering for the German people

    The latest crime figures that I could find for Germany (May this year) show that the crime rate in Germany is the lowest for 30 years. To be fair Germany is reporting a rise in fear of crime. I wonder who could possibly be responsible for such anti-social behaviour.

    To be fair, again, immigration figures for Germany have risen sharply in the last year. However, the only effects that I could find were that this was holding down wage rates for those already working in Germany and that unemployment in Germany, for germans, has also remained static. In a state which is at close to full employment these effects appear to be holding down consumer spending, which will affect germans eventually – as consistent low spending from a loss of consumer confidence will result in recession.

    But germans are not actually suffering yet. I don’t know where you got that idea?

    As we know, Trump would not be one to encourage too many migrants from Islamic countries where terrorists are operating

    Trump’s policies are not based on religion, they’re based on racism – terrorists are simply offering him an easy cover for his racism by providing an excuse for him to play to the false-news-induced fears of the elderly, the dispossessed and the ignorant. The bigots he already got.

    Just my view

    That’s allowed.

    Now you can rip me apart as a racist islamophobe if you like

    All you’ve done so far is demonstrate an inability to use Google..

    I might be tempted to conclude something or other from that, but I also like to give my interlocutors plenty of time to make that rope.

    Also, what’s an “islamaphobe”? Do tell.

    Peace.

  • Stephen of Wimbledon #58
    Jul 5, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Also, what’s an “islamaphobe”? Do tell.

    While there are SOME people who have irrational fears of Islam, “Islamophobia” would appear to be a faith-head delusion, brought on as a knee-jerk-reaction, by criticism of the actions by Jihadists, Islamic theocracies, or Sharia laws, which could require some (desperately to be avoided), rational thinking on the part of believers!

    I give an example here: –

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2018/07/ex-muslims-a-community-in-protest/#li-comment-232691

  • Yippee!!! Scott Pruitt has finally resigned although whether he jumped or was pushed we might never know. Yet another utterly useless and corrupt Trump appointment although one suspects that in Trump’s eyes both of those attributes are more likely to be features than bugs. However Pruitt’s second in command and possible successor is unlikely to be any better. Andrew Wheeler is a climate change denier who has earned millions lobbying for the coal industry. He’s only going to continue to gut all the protections that the EPA has built up over the years so that the fossil fuel industry can continue to rape the country. Coal is one of Trump’s obsessions so Wheeler probably fits in perfectly with his plans.

    Even for someone as low information and facts averse as Trump is, it’s hard to see what his fascination with bringing back coal is. It’s as obsolete in the modern world as the steam engines it used to power. It’s a filthy fuel to use at the best of times. I remember as a kid in the 60s my grandparent’s house was still coal fired. A coal burning AGA in the kitchen to cook on and coal fires in the two downstairs lounges. Gran spent the first 30 years of her marriage lugging coal in from outside every day. I still remember my uncle fitting the oil burner conversion kit to the AGA and the new oil fired central heating boiler and radiators going in as the modern era found its way to rural Derbyshire.

  • Arkrid #60

    Even for someone as low information and facts averse as Trump is, it’s
    hard to see what his fascination with bringing back coal is.

    It’ll make liberals squeal.

    That’s literally it. That’s the whole motive behind his entire project.

    Well, that and the personal profits, of course.

  • Hi Ivor,

    Part of the problem is that we’ve done a lot of discussions here and covered topics reasonably well. Trump is a fascinating horror show. For myself he is merely a symptom of a deeper malaise in US and other politics, one I could talk about all day.

    Jordan Petersen I could talk about a fair bit. In fact from being an early fan, to now a severe critic, I was preparing material for a take down. Too late as ever, though finding great material already out there.

    Of late I have become very much engaged in neuro-constructivism (and other constructivisms). The growing insight appears to be that nurture is more powerful than nineties and noughties psychology seemed to demonstrate. Our brains are almost entirely wired in a cultural and experiential flux, though the first decade’s experience delivers wiring almost as permanent as any genetically directed. This is a stick in Petersen’s wheels.

    Petersen and his arguments from lobster neurology are farcical. His neurological references tend to be populist and out of date.

    This

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwXAB6cICG0

    is an excellent starter with several follow-ups. I haven’t viewed them all. I only hope there is a little spot left for me…

  • Trump has hired a new communications director after the resignation of Hope Hicks some time ago. Once again we see that what everyone else would consider a serious flaw or bug in a candidate, Trump sees as a feature. His choice Bill Shine was forced to resign from Fox News after multiple allegations that he covered up or refused to take action on sexual harassment and racial discrimination cases there. That surely makes him a perfect fit for the serial sexual harasser and lifelong racist president he now works for. Being a sexual harasser himself, Trump always sides with the accused men in these cases unless the accused man is Bill Clinton or a Democrat. Trump defended Roy Moore during the Alabama campaign despite multiple credible accusations of sexual behavior with underaged girls against him. Trump defended his WH social secretary Rob Porter who was accused of abuse by both his ex wives and eventually forced to resign, although not by Trump who continues to say he doesn’t believe the wive’s allegations.

    What Trump does believe though is any nonsense, no matter how absurd, if it’s against Obama or any of Trump’s other nemeses like Hillary. Last week Fox Noise parrotted a ludicrous claim by a discredited Iranian hardliner that Obama had granted US citizenship to 2,500 Iranians as part of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump was on twitter ranting angrily about this within minutes of seeing it on Fox because although he doesn’t choose to believe multiple credible accusations against white men like Roy Moore he’s quite happy to believe that President Blackenstein “infested” the country with many other similarly dark skinned people based on an unsubstantiated and palpably fake story by Fox. I imagine Trump was equally horrified about the pedophile ring that Hillary was running from the basement of a Pizza restaurant.

    This is the same mindset we see in religous fundamentalists and creationists. Anything which reinforces ones own preconceptions is instantly believed no matter how absurd and anything which contradicts them is rejected no matter how evidential. Now we know that Trump is not religious in any other sense than the one in which he actually believes he’s a god himself but this dangerous and facts averse mindset is why America is now in a trade war with half of the planet and no longer a member of the climate change accord or the Human Rights council of the UN. So in Trump’s case it’s not religion causing it, just immense native stupidity and the refusal to learn anything new.

    I think in the case of Bill Shine, Roy Moore and others, Trump thinks that by siding with and even hiring men accused of sexual misconduct he helps defend or refute the similar numerous accusations against himself. Or maybe it’s just birds of a feather flock together. He was similarly unconcerned with Scott Pruitt’s obvious corruption but then that paled into insignificance compared to his own. No matter how much Pruitt wasted on security, private flights, pens, mattresses, sound proof booths and furniture it could never compare to what Trump squanders every time he visits Mar-a-Lago.

  • Marco #64
    Jul 6, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    donald-trump-to-be-met-by-protests-at-each-stage-of-uk-visit?

    Yep – and with the mockery he really struggles to handle!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-44732754

    Giant ‘Trump Baby’ could fly over London for president’s visit

    Leo Murray, who is behind the crowdfunded idea, said: “[Mr Trump] really seems to hate it when people make fun of him.

    “So when he visits the UK on Friday, we want to make sure he knows that all of Britain is looking down on him and laughing at him.

  • Yet another case of someone being guilty of being black in a public place in the USA. State representative Janelle Bynum was going door to door speaking to her constituents in Oregon when one of them called 911 on her claiming she was behaving suspiciously and “didn’t have a badge”. I’ve noticed that when the police are called about someone being black it’s nearly always a white woman doing it. Hardly ever a white man. A white female student who called police about a black female student dozing in the dorm lounge. A white woman who called the police about an 8 year old black girl selling water and BBQBecky who called police about a black family having a barbeque in public in California. Many other examples.

    The other thing that surprises me as a Brit is that the police always seem to turn straight up over there. If you tried calling 999 in the UK and all you had to say was a black person was in a public place you’d be ignored or told there were no spare cops to deal with it. Looking at some stats on google there is only 1 police officer per approx 520 of the population in the UK and 1 per 295 in the USA. No wonder they have enough spare to deal with nonsense calls like this. We’d have to almost double the size of our police force to have resources like that.

    Of course in the UK the citizens aren’t armed to the teeth which is probably why the murder rate in the USA is 18 times higher than over here and 140 times higher for murders with firearms. In the UK it’s even illegal to be in public with a penknife with a blade longer than 3 inches. Whenever I watch Crocodile Dundee in the bit where he’s in New York and the kids try to mug him and the girl with knives and she says “just give him your money”. He replies “why? It’s only kids having a bit of fun”. She says “but they’ve got knives” and he pulls this foot long machete thing out of the holder on his back and says “nah, this is a knife” and I always think, you’d be locked up over here for carrying that mate. He even had it when the police officer was giving him a ride back to his hotel on his horse.

    No point preaching to the choir in here I guess but the way the USA is run in so many respects is just fucking crazy. You have a love affair with the 2nd amendment so the citizens can be armed so you need a police force twice the size of ours per capita. You have a health care system run for profit so that also costs twice as much per person as ours and a policy of interfering in every other country’s affairs so you have a military massively bigger than anyone else’s. If you didn’t piss all that money away you could have a proper social security system, education system and not have more citizens living in poverty than any other western democracy and now being investigated for that by the UN.

    In the UK the top 1% own about 20% of the nation’s wealth. In the USA it’s 40%. The Republicans would like that to be even higher. A massive redistribution is needed but the rich run the political system so the poor are always going to get fucked. There are banana republics that are better run and less corrupt than the USA.

  • Alan #65

    Yup, I posted about the Trump Baby at #2. It’s a genius idea – sums him up perfectly and will also seriously get under his skin.

  • Marco #67
    Jul 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    I see there are now some details of his visit!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44741671

    Donald Trump will meet the Queen at Windsor and hold talks with the prime minister at Chequers on his two-day visit to the UK next week.

    The itinerary for Thursday and Friday confirms the US president will stay at the US Ambassador’s House in Regent’s Park overnight.

    But he will spend much of his time outside London at formal events.

    Protests in the capital will go ahead as planned, organisers have said, with others set to demonstrate in Scotland.

    BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins said it would be “the most controversial visit ever made by an American president to Britain”.

    The couple will attend a black-tie dinner on Thursday hosted by Theresa May at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire – the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

    It seems Trump will be watching some military parades, whose participants under military discipline, do not have the option of protesting – along with formal invite only events!

    Clearly, an “avoid the people” tour by an unwelcome guest! 🙂

  • I think a campaign of ignoring Trump would be better. Don’t buy papers that report anything about him. Turn off TV that gives him a second of air time and don’t go into central London on the days he is here. Let May answer for lost revenue.

  • 71
    Garrick says:

    Nice to know the Queen will not host a state banquet for the visiting idiot. Hosting him at some sort of important-looking dinner in a historically significant house out in the country can be safely left to the Prime Minister. The idiot himself will not know the difference.

  • On Australian television last Sunday night (1st July 2018) a program “Sunday Night” on 7 promoted a “faith” healer Charlie Goldsmith who claimed to be able to heal or ameliorate symptoms such as CRPS, Arthritis, & other pain-related conditions by the mere process of thought energy transfer without any touching or assistance of any other kind; he has his own website charliegoldsmith.com, claims to operate free of charge (so far), and was the subject of blind studies by NYU Lutheran Hospital in 2015 (no definitive results yet posted); one for the skeptics? Though James Randi might be too old to tackle this one?

  • Sorry not to see you in town, Ollie.

    The demonstration is as much for brexiteer politicians who might snap up a Trump offer of zero tarrifs. This is not a reliable basis to structure trade.

  • Phil #73

    The demonstration is as much for brexiteer politicians who might snap
    up a Trump offer of zero tarrifs.

    Absolutely.

    I am very, very clear that it won’t make the slightest difference to Trump or his supporters however many of us protest against his UK visit this coming weekend.

    But I believe it will make a big difference to decent Americans who are pulling their hair out because of him, and who will be sustained and encouraged and hopefully energised by a huge show of support from elsewhere.

    And it will also send a very clear message to the UK govt that we will absolutely not accept the UK going down the Trumpian route post-Brexit.

    The reasons for massive public protest always go beyond the headline issue, however important that may be.

  • woodytel #72
    Jul 7, 2018 at 2:56 am

    On Australian television last Sunday night (1st July 2018) a program “Sunday Night” on 7 promoted a “faith” healer Charlie Goldsmith

    I just watched it on Youtube. Pretty extraordinary results I have to say. Obviously there is no scientific explanation but the number of positive results seem to be statistically significant. If it’s just placebo then it’s a very powerful version of it. I confess to being impressed.

  • Marco #74

    it will make a big difference to decent Americans

    I hope.

    If we don’t speak up, who is to know what we think?

    If we don’t speak up words will be put in our mouths.

    Trump, particularly, has made silence not an option.

  • @#53 – As we know Trump can’t do numbers or statistics, and does not seek or listen to, expert advice, so just copies junk pseudo-news from his pet media outlets!

    =+=+=+=+=+=

    @#68 Donald Trump will meet the Queen at Windsor
    [and hold talks with the prime minister at Chequers]
    on his two-day visit to the UK next week.

    President Trump will be in Scotland over three days next week, it has been confirmed.

    Apparently Trump will spend 3 days visiting Scotland, during his 2 day visit to the UK! 🙂

  • Marco #67
    Jul 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Yup, I posted about the Trump Baby at #2. It’s a genius idea – sums him up perfectly and will also seriously get under his skin.

    Sadly I’m sure he’ll never get to see the protesters or the balloon as he’s carefully shepherded from safe site to safe site. If I was prime minister he wouldn’t be getting into the country. 1.8 million of us spoke on the petition to stop him making a state visit and those wishes are being ignored. Every time someone doesn’t stand up to him they enable him.

  • I’ve been watching a load of stuff on healer Charlie Goldsmith today and it’s quite extraordinary. I found the first episode of his tv program in America and there are also several hours of filmed live healing sessions on his website. He does this via skype so he’s nowhere near the patients. If we discount that every patient is a stooge paid to pretend they’re being healed then this would appear to be genuine. He doesn’t charge for what he does though so I don’t see the point of using stooges. I am baffled.

  • Phil,

    The last rally I went on in London, all we did was piss off the people in cars. A demonstration is tucked away in a safe place with minimum disruption to everyone else. I suppose what I am advocating is six of one and half a dozen of the other. Just running on what I said about bullies, if you ignore them and are having fun elsewhere, they soon end up looking over your shoulder wanting to be your friend and hating being left out. Don’t know how to stop the “collateral damage” of cost to the ordinary folk but hitting the pockets of rail, news papers etc, makes more impact. As I said six of one……..

  • Hi Ivor [#51],

    I promised to look up Dr. Jordan Peterson and get back to you.

    First of all, thank you for alerting me to a cultural phenomenon, albeit a minor one, that nearly passed me by.

    Secondly, your recommendation of the Cathy Newman / Channel 4 interview was a bad introduction to Peterson. Newman’s interview harangue told me far more about Newman than it did about Peterson. As Newman’s career as a tabloid television presenter [I cannot bring myself to say journalist, based on this sample, to do so would be to debase that word to something meaningless] is not our subject, I’ll move on.

    So what did my study of Peterson reveal? Unless I missed something: Jordan Peterson is a very religious conservative talking head, pretending to be an intellectual. The usual North American religious-conservative ’thinking’ is all here – including the mysogeny, the motivational claptrap that avoids taking on root causes of low self esteem and the fear of sex – hidden behind a veneer of academic presentation and a cultured accent.

    Peterson is a presuppositional theist who quotes philosophers and who often, thereby, demonstrates a lack of joined-up thinking.

    Having seen and heard him in a few debates I cannot understand Peterson’s apparent popularity among a certain demographic – as far as I can tell, mostly young white males with poor educations.

    In all the debates and interviews I’ve found with Peterson so far; he obfuscates continuously – in particular he loves to pretend that dictionaries don’t exist and he takes his interlocutors to task over the meanings of common words while frequently making up words on the fly himself. He is also a repeated user of the false dichotomy as a rhetorical tool. Given that he is clearly intelligent, I am forced into the conclusion that he is, therefore, a cynic of the worst kind.

    Based on the above observations I believe it is possible to reduce Peterson’s rhetoric to one word: disingenuous.

    For anyone who stumbles on this comment and would like to know more about Peterson (a vanishingly small number, I feel sure) I can highly recommend Hugo & Jake. Search for them on YouTube or follow this link which will take you to the start of their review series on Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life

    For those who want more look up Peterson’s discussions with Matt Dilahunty and Sam Harris, also, both available on YouTube.

    Peace.

  • Stephen

    Peterson’s initial attraction came before fame encouraged him to lay out all his wares.

    Being anti Social Justice Zealotry, anti-deplatforming and such at his University encouraged his take up by many. He also asserted his atheism.

    You have though reliably nailed him. His rhetoric is strong, his foundational facts weak. His ideas lack any substantial development.

    I would not be too surprised to see him gaining a Fox News contract in 5 years.

    This series really cracks on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwXAB6cICG0

  • Arkrid Sandwich #78
    Jul 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Sadly I’m sure he’ll never get to see the protesters or the balloon as he’s carefully shepherded from safe site to safe site.
    If I was prime minister he wouldn’t be getting into the country.

    Talking of “Prime Ministers”, we seem to have heard very little in the media from the present Scottish First Minister, or the SNP government assembly in Edinburgh!

    I seem to recall that Trump was not a flavour of the month, with the previous SNP First Minister “Mad” Alex Salmond!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/12/climate-change-skeptic-to-head-epa-mcmorris-rodgers-as-interior-secretary/#li-comment-216230

    On 12 March 2012 he asked Mr Salmond: “Do you want to be known for centuries to come as ‘Mad Alex – the man who destroyed Scotland’?“
    {With renewable energy systems 🙂 }

    Mr Salmond was an outspoken critic of Mr Trump ahead of the US presidential election, calling for him to be banned from the UK after Mr Trump said he wanted to deny Muslims entry to the US.

    He reflected on his dealings with Mr Trump in July of this year, when he said: “Most American presidents don’t send you ‘green ink’ letters, often capital letters. Usually couriered overnight with press articles attached to them, ‘READ THIS!’ Underlined, three times.”

  • . . . and of course in addition to “Mad” Alex “ruining the Scottish economy” with renewable energy systems, . . . . .. . . . .

    There are 21,000 jobs in the low carbon and renewable energy economy in Scotland across 9 renewable energy sectors. The largest single sector was onshore wind, followed by solar PV, and heat pumps.

    Renewables are the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland—higher than both nuclear generation (33%) and fossil fuel generation (28%).

    The Scottish Government has an ambitious but achievable target for renewable energy in Scotland to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of gross annual electricity consumption and 11 per cent of heat consumption by 2020.

    In 2014, the two largest renewable technology generators were wind with 62% and hydro with 29%

    the “brilliant Trump” is saving it with his golfing businesses!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/12/climate-change-skeptic-to-head-epa-mcmorris-rodgers-as-interior-secretary/#li-comment-226938

    Donald Trump’s Scottish golf courses have reported losses of £19m.

    In annual accounts filed with Companies House, the Menie Estate development in Aberdeenshire lost £1.4m, while Turnberry in Ayrshire lost £17.6m.

  • Alan #83

    Talking of “Prime Ministers”, we seem to have heard very little in the
    media from the present Scottish First Minister, or the SNP government
    assembly in Edinburgh!

    For coverage of events in Scotland, I’m afraid you really do need to turn to the Scottish media. The media in rUK just isn’t interested unless it’s something that directly affects England too.

    Nicola Sturgeon has made it very clear that she disagrees with and disapproves of Donald Trump on just about everything, but that if her duties as First Minister require her to have meetings with him, then that’s what she will do. Here’s one example, from January this year:

    https://www.facebook.com/stvnews/videos/scotland%27s-first-minister-nicola-sturgeon/1564440446996556/

    More recently, and specifically in connection with his forthcoming visit, she has said that, while meeting him is maybe one thing, it would be entirely wrong to roll out the red carpet for him:

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/fmqs-nicola-sturgeon-slams-donald-trump-red-carpet-plans-1-4757868

    Just the other day she took a swipe at his stance on renewable energy:

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/nicola-sturgeon-pokes-fun-at-donald-trump-ahead-of-uk-visit-1-4765291

    And just yesterday it emerged that, despite being about to spend 2-3 days in Scotland, Trump hasn’t even had the basic courtesy to make contact with her:

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon-snubbed-by-donald-trump-in-plans-for-uk-trip-1-4765565

    Sturgeon and the Scottish Parliament more generally have been far more direct in their condemnation of Trump and all he stands for than the Tory-dominated House of Commons has been.

  • The media in rUK just isn’t interested unless it’s something that
    directly affects England too.

    Eek, that’s bugging me now. Please mentally delete and replace with:

    The media in rUK just aren’t interested unless it’s something that
    directly affects England too.

    🙂

  • Arkrid #78

    Sadly I’m sure he’ll never get to see the protesters or the balloon as
    he’s carefully shepherded from safe site to safe site.

    Oh, he’ll see them all right. Just not in person. But they’ll be reported. They’ll be tweeted. They’ll be shared over and over again on social media. This is a man who spends his life searching the internet to see what people are saying about him. He’ll see us and before we know it he’ll be tweeting about what low-IQ individuals we are, and how small the turnout for the protests was and how actually 80% of us were waving MAGA banners.

    Already his entire visit has been arranged around his need to avoid the protestors. That’s a result in its own right.

    Besides, as a few of us have been saying (above), in a very real sense Trump and the Trumpeteers are not really the target audience. Or not the main one, in any case. This is primarily about a) solidarity with decent Americans and b) sending a very clear message to the govt in Westminster that any plans they may have to form close alliances with Trump’s American post-Brexit will meet with very, very hefty public opposition indeed.

  • Marco #85
    Jul 8, 2018 at 7:18 am

    I noted that the Scottish Parliament declined to pay for the policing of trump’s visit!

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/westminster-s-5m-for-trump-scotland-visit-jhzlvskvm

    Westminster has promised to cover the costs of policing President Trump’s expected detour to Scotland next weekend in an effort to head off protests.

    Humza Yousaf, the Scottish justice minister, last week expressed anger that Holyrood was expected to pay the estimated £5 million policing costs. He argued that Westminster should cover the cost as it issued the invitations.

    And just yesterday it emerged that, despite being about to spend 2-3 days in Scotland, Trump hasn’t even had the basic courtesy to make contact with her:

    Perhaps he is following up with the tradition of his approach to Alex Salmond! 🙂 – . .. and his usual ignorant lack of basic diplomatic skills when approaching non-Trump worshippers in foreign governments!

  • Alan4discussion #178 {Open Discussion June 2018}
    Jun 25, 2018 at 5:12 am

    The reality is, that these processes will cause around an estimated £27 billion in extra costs, and major companies are threatening to LEAVE the UK if the government does not come up with some credible answers in place of government ministers’ fantasy waffle, prevarication, and casual dismissal of warnings from reputable business organisations!

    Last week, Airbus warned it could leave the UK if Britain were to exit the single market and customs union without a transition deal.

    BMW followed the warning by saying that clarity over Brexit is needed by the end of the summer.

    It has built up an alternative manufacturing base in the Netherlands amid concerns about Britain’s suitability as an export hub after Brexit.

    *In response Mr Hunt said:
    “It’s completely inappropriate for businesses to be making these kinds of threats.

    Airbus, in its Brexit “risk assessment” published on Thursday,
    said if the UK left the EU next year without a deal –
    leaving both the single market and customs union immediately without any agreed transition –
    it would “lead to severe disruption and interruption of UK production”.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44735505

    The chief executive of planemaker Airbus has accused the government of having no idea how to take the UK out of the EU without damaging the country.

    Tom Enders said it “still has no clue, or at least no consensus, on how to execute Brexit without severe harm”.

    He was speaking as ministers prepare to meet at the prime minister’s country residence to agree a blueprint for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

    Airbus is taking steps to mitigate the impact of Brexit, Mr Enders said.

    “Brexit in any form, soft or hard, light or clean – whatever you call it – will be damaging,” he added.

    Theresa May is still spouting piffle to the media, about how her fantasy compromised Tory cabinet brexiteer fudge, is going to be acceptable to the 27 EU member states and beneficial to Britain! – back in the real world of trading and commerce.

  • Alan #88

    Perhaps he is following up with the tradition of his approach to Alex
    Salmond! 🙂 – . .. and his usual ignorant lack of basic diplomatic
    skills when approaching non-Trump worshippers in foreign governments!

    Lack of basic diplomatic skills, certainly.

    But I think even more than that: sheer cowardice in the face of eloquent, direct, no-nonsense, honest opposition. Especially from a woman. No way does he have the balls to deal with that. I reckon he’s just remembered his bone spurs 😉

  • … but he’s absolutely no joke, of course.

    Excellent article here from today’s Observer:

    If Trump’s crude, nationalistic policies and uncouth persona were the
    only problems, the European allies might just cope. But in recent
    months, as he has jettisoned experienced advisers and his belief in
    his own infallibility has grown, Trump has moved from difficult
    partner to potential enemy.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/08/donald-trump-uk-visit-contempt-for-european-allies?CMP=fb_gu

  • Hi Phil [#82],

    I hear you on Peterson’s early fame coming from standing up for some of the right things. I obviously came to the party late on this one (work is soaking up a lot of my time presently – in all of the best possible ways). I wasn’t able to place some of the material I studied in a chronology, but he seems to have started out being quite a nice guy, if a little misguided. Also, to be fair, he has played nicely with people like Sam Harris and Matt Dilahunty.

    Thank you for the kind thoughts on my review of Peterson’s recent career as a Net celebrity. I agree; he clearly obfuscates for a reason. I suspect that the reason is he’s still trying to work out in which direction can he take his narative – coupled with a desire to extend his stay in the limelight. He says that he can do without the fame, but his actions give us a very different story altogether.

    Exactly what Peterson’s motivation is for trying to extend his new career as a public speaker and polemicist I couldn’t say.

    I would not be too surprised to see him gaining a Fox News contract in 5 years

    Unlikely – that Publisher is known to prefer plain speakers.

    I too am a fan of Stephen Woodford (Rationality Rules), he has more philosophy in his little finger than Peterson has probably ever had. In my last post I was trying to steer any Peterson acolytes to commentators they are more likely to connect with easily. I’m not in to college humor but anyone who is will love Hugo and Jake.

    Have you seen Stephen’s excellent collaboration with Alex O’Connor (Cosmic Sceptic) on Free Will? I learned more about the current arguments around the concept of free will, from that, than anywhere else. Also, it is such a pleasure to watch a proper debate between people who understand how to have a polite conversation without any one-upmanship. Stephen has taken this model further and collaborated with others – but for my money without the same success. He and Alex seemed to have a chemistry lacking in Stephen’s other collaborations. Unfortunately Alex has reached that part of his studies that requires long hours and hard work – so not much new coming from him at the moment.

    They say patience is a virtue – I have never really subscribed to that. Patience is the enemy of ambition and, like Christopher Hitchens, I have long viewed ambition as one of the greatest drivers of human society. But I can’t see a way to hurry Alex up, so patience is what I must find.

    Peace.

  • Glad you are busy, Stephen!

    I propose Peterson will end up a Fox Views favourite in five years only half in jest because of his current rate of movement to the right. His skill at discomfiting the ill-prepared left may go over the heads of every current Republican, but might well find a slot within sports.

    You have a Stephen Woodford fan here too, but I can’t recommend quite so much his analysis of Peterson’s Archetypes. He concedes way too much on the embedded nature of archetypes and Jung.

    Young children introduced to snakes without a freaking out adult near them show no fear.

    And this out of date wisdom is the essential flaw to so much of Peterson’s thinking.

    (I want to write about the “New Nurturists” as the antidote to to his and other religious “Natural Law” blather. Over imitation and neuro-constructivism within a cultural flux together give powerful account of the shocking speed of cultural changes. The Weimar Republic, comprehensive gay rights, a Trump Theocracy….)

    Must check out the Alex O’Connor dialogues.

  • Akrid #79

    Please watch link first.

    https://youtu.be/QZ9InzTLNjs

    This parlour game/trick goes like this. Four people are convinced they cannot lift this person with two fingers. They try and fail. They then go into this crap of putting their hands above the sitters head. All the time, their brains have already worked out the real power they need to lift this person up without them thinking about the calculation. They try again and the person is lifted up easily. My family, who think I am a clever dick and a sceptic, asked me how I would explain this miracle. I had not seen it before because I did not do many large family gatherings whereas they got together every weekend. I watched, thought about it, prepared my own experiment and decided I had got it right. Picking up heavy tool boxes in my job always was easier if I had a practice lift first to judge the weight.

    Going on from this to this “healer”. I think, the key lies in him asking his “patients” how they are feeling after a “healing”. What scale are they using. When my back goes into spasm, I can’t bend very far the first try but the second seems to go beyond the first, where I thought I would break if I went further. The third has me almost as subtle as if there was no pain at all. I sit down for a while and it seems my brain has to recalculate what pain I can endure again and how far I can go.

    I don’t believe he is coming anyone but I think people can actually move the pain scale around subconsciously according to what they are doing and the consequences of when they are being asked to describe the pain. When a doctor asks it, I want to hit high levels of pain in order to put my point across. In this “healing” scenario I want it to work so the scale shifts again.

    Hope I explained it as clearly as it is in my head?

    My take on it anyway.

  • @#88 – Westminster has promised to cover the costs of policing President Trump’s expected detour to Scotland next weekend in an effort to head off protests.

    I would have thought some form of armoured display transport – like a pope-mobile, could reduce the need for policing crowds when Trump is on the move!

    I’m guessing that Edinburgh Zoo could provide something suitable to put on the back of a wagon to provide him with secure transport! 🙂

  • Arkrid Sandwich #66
    Jul 6, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    In the UK the top 1% own about 20% of the nation’s wealth. In the USA it’s 40%.

    I’ve been studying this in more detail and there’s something truly alarming going on if you break the figures down further. Where you need to look is not the top 1% but the top 0.1% – the mega rich. If you go right back into the history of the USA or the UK, or probably any other country, then in the 19th century and earlier the wealth was incredibly concentrated in the hands of the super rich. The barons, royalty, huge land owners etc. The poor were very poor and worked for the rich in a feudal or even slave capacity. This improved in the 20th century from the 1920s onwards as wealth got redistributed from the oil barons, newspaper magnates, railroad and coal owners into the hands of the middle classes. In 1928 the top 0.1% owned about 25% of the USA’s total wealth. By 1960 this had fallen to 10% and it bottomed in 1978 at 7%. Between about 1950 and the late 1970s we can see the “golden age” that the MAGA crowd want to go back to when every middle class driveway had a newish Chevy in it, the little lady stayed at home in a frock and the man went out to work to bring in the single wage that they could actually live quite comfortably on.

    Then Reagan came along, religion got into politics, trickle down economics was invented, the Republican party turned into a religious cult that worshipped the mega rich and the process of redistributing that wealth back to the top 0.1% started again. Now that top 0.1% is back to where it was in the 1920s with about 25% of the total wealth. The sector between 0.1% and 1% own another 20% of the total wealth. The top 1% now own nearly 45% of the total wealth but the biggest share of that is in the hands of the top 0.1%.

    Where the bottom 90% really got screwed was since the Bush economic crash with the subprime mortgage collapse in 2006 and the recession that followed. The average family in the bottom 90% has lost over 1/3 of the wealth they had pre 2006. The rich and mega rich have stormed relentlessly upwards with the help of huge tax cuts. The stock market may have boomed but this has only really helped families rich enough to invest in it. The poor need to spend most of their money on food and consumables. They don’t ever get to save and even if they do there are vastly fewer opportunities for good investments for small amounts of money. Mainly savings accounts paying a minimal interest rate. The rich can afford complex savings schemes with professional managers, offshore holdings, trusts etc.

    In terms of wealth inequality the USA is now back to as bad as or an even worse situation than in the early 20th or even 19th centuries. The disparity is particularly noticeable between white and black families with blacks on average only having about 1/3 the wealth of whites.

    The “golden age” for the middle classes of the 1950s really has gone. The Republicans stole it and continue to do so while claiming they’ll make America great again. It’s a massive con job aided and abetted by the Fox News bubble and what seems to be the complete inability of the low information rural electorate to see what is being done to them and vote in their actual best interests.

    Even the Democrat tenures of Clinton and Obama didn’t really help the poor in this process. In the late 1980s the share of the total wealth owned by the bottom 90% peaked at about 37%. It has since collapsed to nearly 20% with the sharpest decline coming between 2006 and 2008. The biggest part of this loss has been the diminution in the value of their houses net of mortages. In the 1950s net house values owned by the bottom 90% accounted for about 15% of the country’s total wealth. That’s now down to 5% and most of that collapse has been since 2006. Also back in the 1950s the bottom 90% could save enough to own a fair amount of stocks and shares. Not a huge amount but about 5% of the country’s total wealth. That has now fallen to zero.

    The USA is almost back to being a feudal economy again. The bottom 90% have no savings left, no stocks, their houses are in negative equity, they are very badly represented by labour unions so they have no economic clout in the workplace and the wealth they once had is being funneled to the rich by the bucket load. Remember we’re not talking about just the poor here but 90% of the population. All they really own now, and of course they don’t see this in daily life, is the discounted value of their pensions.

    As I don’t live over there I can’t really know the day to day feelings of the bulk of the population but as a chartered accountant I can look at these raw numbers and see to some extent what lies beneath them and I can only describe it as a rape. I don’t think it’s too unfair to compare the current situation of the USA with the feudal plutocracy of the Middle Ages in the UK. What was once a reasonably balanced nation to live in post WWII has been dragged back centuries into some sort of Dark Age hell. Only the rich and mega rich own anything of value and the rest have to grind their way through life hoping to eventually get a pension and not fall ill in the process which will probably take away what little wealth they still have.

    Until I started looking at these numbers in detail I had no idea how bad the situation is over there. As a supposed modern democracy this country is no longer fit for purpose. It is not a safe or happy place to live in for most people. Essentially most people are walking precariously on a high wire without any safety net.

    I can see the cures needed but the populace is too stupid to vote for them. Reform the health care system to a universal free one funded by taxes and reduce its cost from 18% of GDP to 9% or 10% like other nations. Stop funding the enormous military. Massive tax increases for the rich especially on estates and use this to fund infrastructure, education and social security. Promote labour unions that can work towards getting the average employee a fair share of the cake. Government savings programs that give a decent return for small savers.

    Until socialism is no longer a dirty word then the USA is doomed to keep repeating the mistakes of the recent past. Oh, and finally, never ever elect a Republican again unless you want the rape to continue.

  • Marco #67
    Jul 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Alan #65

    Yup, I posted about the Trump Baby at #2. It’s a genius idea – sums him up perfectly and will also seriously get under his skin.

    If you want to know how to attack Trump best you need to look at what he prides most about himself, what he boasts about, and how he attacks other people which is on the same things. Top of these is his supposed intelligence. He constantly boasts about how smart he is, “a very stable genius”, and his favourite attack is to call others “a very low IQ individual”. He will be burning inwardly for that tweet I mentioned in #34 where he boasted about his writing abilities and made a spelling mistake doing so.

    His second pride is his imaginary bravery, when his bone spurs aren’t bothering him too much of course. He boasted he wasn’t afraid of the NRA unlike all the members of Congress, until the NRA came to visit and no doubt reminded him of the $70 million they spent getting him elected at which point he suddenly forgot all about gun control under any circumstances. He boasted how he would have run (waddled?) into Parkland School to save all the children. His favourite attack on men in this respect is to accuse them of crying which his great paranoia about showing fear.

    Third is his imagined ability to read people, get on well with them and make deals with them. He thinks he’s so wonderful that no one who actually meets with him could fail to like him, especially if he lavishes them with flattery. That’s why he came back from Singapore boasting about how the nuclear threat from NK was now over. He said he’d know within 1 minute if Kim was serious and honest and after praising him as a great young leader he now thinks Kim loves him. Therefore Kim would no longer do anything to hurt this new friend and hence he’d not attack America. In all truth I have no doubt that Kim detests him with a vengeance. Trump called him little rocket man, ridiculed the size of his nuclear button and Giuliani said Kim got down on his hands and knees and begged for a meeting. Kim has a lot to get back at Trump for but can’t be too overt about doing it. He has to undermine Trump and make him look stupid hence the attack on Pompeo’s recent visit immediately after Pompeo himself said how great it went. Kim has not the slightest intention of giving up his nukes and he knows damn well that if he does it’s regime change time like in Iraq or Libya. He’ll make Trump dance for as long as he can and then just go back to the usual belligerent threats.

    So to really get under Trump’s skin call him a very low IQ individual who can’t spell as well as a small child, who’s a coward who dodged the draft 5 times and never dares sack anyone face to face and who gets on so badly with people who all end up hating him he couldn’t negotiate a piss up in a brewery. That should do the trick. Probably also good to chuck in that he lost the popular vote bigly, got the smallest inauguration crowds in history and has achieved less in office than any other president. Oh, and that Mueller is going to make him cry for his mommy like a little baby and beg to not get sent to jail.

  • Arkrid

    As I don’t live over there I can’t really know the day to day feelings of the bulk of the population

    I do live over here and I do feel the insecurity of the situation as you describe it. What helps me and others to feel that is our middle aged perspective. I am now in a position to observe the financial situation of the middle class generation of the fifties, my parents and compare it with my own and then to compare these two generations with that of my twenty something offspring.

    I handle the finances of my mother and can easily see the benefits that served to make their middle class life possible. A comfortable retirement supported by their pensions from work, social security payments, home ownership, lifetime stock investments, health insurance paid almost entirely by Dad’s corporate employer, two kids who went to university on family trust funds, and all the privileges of belonging to the American WASP culture.

    Contrast that with my kid’s generation who, even the well educated of them can’t find professional jobs that offer a pension and don’t want to pay anything into employee’s health insurance beyond what they’re forced to pay – by Obamacare. Young people have never known what it’s like to accept a job with a feeling of loyalty to the purpose of the company and a trust that the company will take care of them as part of a good faith contract agreement. That is gone. They are now getting screwed over on every financial front. They come out of school with massive debt and face a housing market that they can’t hope to enter without massive gifts of cash from older generations. They face no possibility of retirement at all and I believe they can’t see this coming due to struggling to pay for their current lifestyle and the inability to believe they will ever be old enough for this to be their own problem someday.

    This view of things just isn’t possible for most Americans, I believe. I can only see the dangerous decline because I have the benefit of being in that middle generation in the middle class right now. For the lower economic classes who may never have had the “luxury” of a company retirement pension or any other benefit for that matter, perhaps they don’t have a clear picture of how that very small upper economic class is conniving to keep them and the middle class down and in fact squeeze us forcefully down into the dirt. They are completely and utterly conned into servitude at this point.Trump supporters here appear to be convinced that immigrants are to blame for our economic woes and deny any wrongdoing of the supercapitalist psychopaths. They are ignorant of the degree of integration between Wall street entities and American government. They inevitably vote against their own self and group interests.

    As we approach the feudal state that you describe above, now we have overt attempts by the highest positions in government to restrict the hard won rights of citizens and move us backward toward a more authoritarian, less secular state.

  • Tonight, with all of the drama of a TV reality show, Trump will announce his pick for the second SCOTUS vacancy of his Presidency. Every person on his short list is a fundamentalist fanatic who drools at the thought of at least restricting if not outright eliminating the right of abortion and eliminating gay marriage. One of the short list candidates, Amy Barrett is a fundamentalist Catholic who makes no secret of her hatred of abortion and other rights that are a given in other parts of the West. Her appointment, if it happens, would be the equivalent of appointing an African-American justice who voiced the intention of reinstating slavery here. And yet, we hear Republicans and others pleasantly commenting on how nice it would be to have another female justice on the highest bench in the land. Bullshit! Of course a moderate old white guy would be highly preferable to a woman who intends to undermine every feminist victory we’ve had in the past hundred years!

    Amy Barrett is the equivalent of Serena Joy on Handmaid’s Tale. A highly placed woman who drives the rest of us down into the dirt. An abomination. It’s bad enough when men do this to us but when it’s one of our own it’s a a disgusting evil act that inspires the deepest hatred and radical thoughts to my mind. What person who is a member of any minority group can’t relate to this? LGBT, women, blacks, hispanics, immigrants, the poor, etc. We are all under attack together.

  • Just to try and complete my analysis of wealth inequality I’ve tried to find similar information for the UK. It’s difficult to compare and methodologies differ but I’ve looked at a few sources and done my best. Whereas in the USA the top 1% own about 45% of the nation’s total wealth that figure is only around 20% for the UK. The bottom 90% in the USA now only own about 20% of the wealth and got very badly hit in the subprime collapse and the recession. In the UK the bottom 90% own about 50% of the wealth and although they lost house value in the recession they gained pension fund value. The net change since 2000 has only been a couple of percentage points.

    One report I came across particularly commented that back in the 1950s wealth inequality was actually greater in the UK than the USA but that this has reversed dramatically and the authors thought this could benefit from further investigation, exactly as my analyses have highlighted. In the UK we don’t look back on the 1950s as any sort of golden age. There was still post-war rationing and extreme poverty and wealth inequality which has improved dramatically since. In the USA it really was something of an ideal time for the average family compared with what was to come. There was certainly much jealousy of the USA back then. Your huge gas guzzling V8s, cheap fuel, white picket fences, the arrogance and bombast of rampant consumerism, putting a man on the moon, the American Dream which had a sort of sense of invulnerability. Now I’d say most of us wouldn’t want to live there for all the tea in China.

    The UK is nevertheless still criticised for having high wealth and income inequality but is not that dissimilar to other EU countries. However in the USA the situation is at a crisis point and untenable for a democratic society. I don’t pretend to be an expert in this specific field but the figures are so stark I would surmise that the USA could be on the brink of a complete societal collapse.

    I’m beginning to better understand this sentiment in the USA of “what happened to our country? We want it back like it was” but the sad thing is the people saying this have no idea of the real causes of what they are feeling and they are blaming it on entirely the wrong things like immigration and race. The golden age of the 1950s through 1970s coincided with when blacks knew their place but its not their rise or immigrants that have brought anyone else down. In fact blacks have no better share of the cake than they ever did and are still hugely disadvantaged. What actually happened was rich white religious men smarting from their loss of wealth since the 1920s raped the other 90% but somehow still kept their vote.

    It is ironic that anyone would think that an archetypal rapist in chief both literally and figuratively, a billionaire conman with no empathy or other human emotions would have any intention of helping the very people that his type have crushed underfoot for 50 years now. The squawking low information chickens, not understanding the destruction that has been visited upon them for so long, have elected the head of the foxes to supposedly save them.

  • I see that as brexiteer fantasies are not compatible with any form of coherent rational trade partnerships or agreements, the predictable is happening!

    Brexiteers who were given ministerial posts to hold the Tory Party together while it waffled, fudged and prevaricated its way towards deadlines, have resigned!
    They did not reason their way into their brexiteer “Emperor’s New Clothes”, Utopian fantasies, so all attempts to reason them out of them, have failed!
    Reality had to eventually rudely intrude on their whimsical notions, regardless of their repeated refusal to listen to well informed advice from representatives of expert academic or business organisations, or European negotiators!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44770847

    Boris Johnson has resigned as Foreign Secretary amid a growing political crisis over the UK’s Brexit strategy.

    He is the second senior cabinet minister to quit within hours following Brexit Secretary David Davis’s exit.

    His departure came shortly before Theresa May began addressing Parliament about her new Brexit plan,

    The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, but the two sides have yet to agree how trade will work between the UK and the EU afterwards.

    The other 27 states of the EU can of course carry on trading with each other and with non- EU countries with whom the EU has trade agreements.

    With a No-Deal Brexit, the UK would start from rock bottom to try to negotiate urgent deals all over the world, with directions from a team of incompetent negotiators, who cannot reach agreement with the EU or even with each other!

    After two years+ of prevaricating waffle and “Brexit-means-Brexit”, these self-proclaimed “super world class negotiators”, still cannot agree a coherent or realistic policy among themselves, let alone one which will be acceptable to 27 EU states or anyone else!

    Indulging these brexiteering buffoons, only serves to give them credibility among the poorly educated ignorant, who are fed their regular repetitive propagandist garbage, via the trash tabloid press!

  • Arkrid

    The golden age of the 1950s through 1970s coincided with when blacks knew their place

    Yes, and also when women knew theirs too. After WWII when women came out into the work force in increasingly larger numbers, white men felt the competition for jobs and the inconvenience of having to pitch in around the house with chores and childcare. Without birth control, women can’t get jobs and build financial security for themselves and their children. If we can’t earn money on a basically level playing field with men then we’re relegated to the kitchen and nursery. And here’s where the evangelicals and Catholic church come into the picture.

    These two groups are now in solid alliance to send women back to barefoot and pregnant and in total retreat from their own financial independence. So called “conservatives” -they are actually authoritarian reactionaries, promote “family values” as a strategy that will drive us all straight back to those so called “good old days”.

    White male supercapitalists need a slave labor force and this includes compliant wives and daughters to provide domestic and reproductive services for a pittance.

  • phil rimmer #107
    Jul 9, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I think we are seeing the long-hidden political rifts opening up!

    Boris thinks his fantasy brexit dream is dying, and it IS being torn apart by those inconvenient facts!

    The delusional fantasist brexiteers are breaking ranks – as was predictable once definitive negotiating positions which have even the remotest chance of being accepted in the EU have materialised out of the fog!

    The clueless fudgist compromising brexiteers, are like the believers in theistic evolution! They cling to brexit, but chicken-out in the face of embarrassingly damming evidence of specific areas of damage and harsh criticism from their supporters and sponsors.

    There seem to be four options on the road-map:-

    Turn left into Corbynite loony fringe, 1960’s and 1970’s backwardness and economic incompetence of “unelectable Labour”.

    Turn right with dysfunctional leadership, into the bleak Johnson/Farage/Trump wilderness, full of predators and con-men.

    Close our eyes and follow Theresa May in her compromising, fudgist, “mid-position between the extremes”, headlong charge straight over the cliff.

    Or go back to where the UK made a wrong turn, have the “Remain Campaign” correct the mistakes, and set about making co-operative reforms in the EU.

  • phil rimmer #106
    Jul 9, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    I love this set of graphs,

    Interesting. I went back to the article the graphs were in but couldn’t see much of an explanation for the differing shaped curves. It’s also hard to see how even allowing for the income inequality that the bottom 90% in the USA have lost so much of their total wealth in a few decades.

  • Arkrid 109.

    I think it is stunningly obvious as the anglophones in their differing degrees became afflicted by monetarism, or wealth acquisition for capital owners. Others pursued wealth creation recognising the teamwork it took.

    Its smiling face was Milton Friedman. Its dark heart James Buchanan. The funding came from the Kochs et al. to create its corporate and governmental henchmen.

    https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/meet-the-economist-behind-the-one-percents-stealth-takeover-of-america

    Currently reading

    Dark Money by Jane Meyer and

    Democracy in Chains by Nancy Maclean

    That Germans get that extra seventy minutes in bed every day over the Americans, with the same standard of living, superb security for their personal futures, their wealth mostly invested in their own future and their country trading in surplus with the world and not standing at a several trillion dollar high precipice, is testament enough to the merits of the different approaches.

    The end is nigh and there is still money left in the wrong hands. This is the last trump for the greedy to get “theirs”.

  • Alan,

    The slow education of the public over brexit and the EU has brought an increasing number of people to their senses. The useful, literal, dying off of old folk also better reveals where those with substantial future investments to make wish to make them.

    https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/15372/production/_90089868_eu_ref_uk_regions_leave_remain_gra624_by_age.png

    There is every reason to do a rerun. This practice run actually made people realise what is involved.

    I suspect there are fudgers who are remainers, waiting to announce the impossibility of a rational way forward without huge cost.

  • The age thing isn’t working in our favour over Trump sadly. Millenials in the US have never been so shit-scared. They are not flocking to the DP like they should. Money worries and new responsibilities keep them moral cowards. This is the perfect trap where the right misdirect over the causes of folks woes. Illegal aliens, the mad, spending left…. Choose this safer solution, they worm-tongue. The worse it gets the tighter their grip.

    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/millennials-democrats-poll-economy/

  • Moving on from wealth inequality to jobs I’ve been looking at historic US unemployment rates. At present it is only 4% and it hardly ever drops below that.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/unemployment-rate

    Last time was the 1960s when it went briefly to about 3.5%. Trump keeps boasting about he’s going to bring great jobs back but there are none left to find. This is as low as it gets. Also if you look at the graph trends it’s overdue for a big rise again which happens every 8 to 10 years.

    What this all means is there’s nothing that Trump is going to do for the average American family struggling with income and wealth inequality, negative equity and rising healthcare costs. He’s been left with an economy that’s about as good as it gets so the only thing he can do is fuck that up and he’s certainly trying hard. Obamacare is being deliberately strangled, first with the removal of the individual mandate and now with the removal of the $10 billion “risk adjustment” safety net that pays out to insurers who have had unusually high claims.

    The high stock market, which is overdue a sharp correction, makes no difference to most people who have no savings to put into it anyway, the trade wars are going to put a lot of businesses out of business and the job market is only going to get worse given it’s at a historic optimum anyway.

    On the bright side Trump is at least not wasting any money on trivialities like clean air or water. Pruitt’s destruction of the EPA has seen to that. Betsy DeVil is working towards getting every American child educated in a “proper” religious school and the Supreme Court will soon be in a position to ban abortion, contraception, freedom from religion, LGBT rights and all immigrants.

  • Excellent news, Arkrid. Though tempered with the sad loss of one Navy Seal life. These folk are heroes. The amount of thought and planning for the boys’ care, post rescue, is also admirable.

  • Really wonderful news.

    I hope this means the doctor who bravely stayed with them inside the cave has been brought out safely too.

    And yes, important to remember the man who lost his life trying to rescue them. There’s always something deeply moving about these massive rescue efforts, the way so many disparate people come together, often at great personal risk, in the effort to save lives. A hugely welcome antidote to the selfishness and sadism in the White House.

  • @Phil #111

    From You Gov poll, June 2018:

    When we ask what people think the government should do about leaving the EU, just over half (53%) think that it should go ahead with Brexit, mostly on its current course (42%) though 11% would prefer a softer Brexit. A fifth (21%) think that the government should call a fresh referendum instead, while 13% would prefer them just to halt Brexit altogether.

    Neither is there much support for other means by which the decision to leave the EU could be reversed. By 50% to 29% people think it would be illegitimate for MPs in the House of Commons to vote against Brexit going ahead, and by 45% to 37% people oppose the idea of another referendum once the terms of the withdrawal negotiations are known.

  • Erol #117
    Jul 10, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Unfortunately many people still take their information and opinions from the tabloid trash propagandists, sponsored liars, and their political tools the “useful idiots”, instead of listening to the experts in the various commercial services, manufacturing businesses, and academic establishments involved European co-operation and trade!

    The brexiteer and Tory stories, were always of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” format from their earliest launches – each with its own Utopian fantasies and confident Dunning-Kruger advocates!
    In simple words it’s “people who are too stupid to know how stupid they are”.

  • @Alan #118

    I think you’ll find that most Brits are against the EU because of the dictatorial attitude of the Brussels set and because they don’t wish to be part of a ‘United States of Europe’ with all the baggage that entity would come with (e.g. European army, etc). This island nation state simply wishes to remain independent and not have to contend with an uncontrolled EU immigration policy that could potentially over burden its welfare state!!

    And as far as the doom and gloom scenario is concerned:

    http://www.euronews.com/2018/07/06/the-case-for-a-hard-brexit-why-it-might-not-be-all-doom-and-gloom

  • Erol #117
    Jul 10, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    When we ask what people think the government should do about leaving the EU, just over half (53%) think that it should go ahead with Brexit, mostly on its current course (42%)

    What “current course”? Even the cabinet cannot agree on a “current course” to PUT to the other 27 EU states, let along agree on a “current course” which is likely to be accepted by them!

    This survey is just asking questions about brexiteer hot air and fantasy!

    By 50% to 29% people think it would be illegitimate for MPs in the House of Commons to vote against Brexit going ahead,

    If this is accurate – which it probably isn’t, I think this confirms that many people parrot what they have read in tabloid trash headlines, instead of seeking advice from lawyers!
    Votes in Parliament are the legitimate source of law making, regardless of propagandist drivel or tabloid suggestions that “ask-an-idiot tabloid-writer”, is a means of gaining clear objective information!

  • Erol,

    If you ask the public what they want as opposed to what they think government should do, you see their desires without the filter of what they think government is constrained to do. (Folk think there is an obligation to act per the bald idea of brexit.)

    YouGov June 18

    45% want to stay
    40% want to leave
    8% don’t know
    7% won’t vote.

    The leave contingent dropped a further 2% since April but added themselves to abstain. (They can see a disaster ahead but have too much pride to do the decent thing. They’ll disown blame but not actually prevent it.)

    These are the opinions that matter, not some muddle of what people have been told must happen. The people are in charge. Politicians in office.

    Everyone now is much better informed.

  • @Alan # 120

    The current course would be the one that’s just been decided at Chequers, even though D. Davies and B. Johnson have resigned because of it. I’m curious to see how the the EU reacts towards it once it’s been formally presented.

  • @Phil #121

    I myself am not opposed to a second referendum and whatever result that might bring. However my suspicion is that when it comes to the crunch the British public will still mainly vote for Brexit, because of the reasons I’ve given above.

  • Erol #117

    A Survation poll – also carried out in June of this year – found a different result:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-people-changed-minds-brexit-second-referendum-poll-finds-a7795591.html

    ‘The majority of Britons now want a second referendum on the UK quitting the European Union (EU), according to a new survey.

    ‘Fifty-three per cent of people would back a vote on whether to accept the terms of the final Brexit deal, with 47 per cent opposed, a Survation poll found.

    ‘When the same question was asked in April, a majority of 54 per cent were against a second referendum.

    ‘The survey results suggest there is increasing opposition among the public to a “hard Brexit”.

    ‘Only 35 per cent agreed with Theresa May that “no deal is better than a bad deal” in EU negotiations, the research for The Mail on Sunday found.

    ‘Some 69 per cent of people were against Britain leaving the EU customs union – a key issue in the talks.’

    The simple fact is that there is no way the 52% knew what Leave would actually mean. Even the Cabinet has only just agreed what it should mean (and even that’s crumbling before our very eyes).

    I spoke to thousands of people during the referendum campaign, including many who were planning to vote Leave. No one (including us on the campaign!) seriously thought we’d leave the Single Market. They all thought we could retain all our SM rights and just get rid of the Freedom of Movement. Literally no one – not even us who campaigned for Remain – had any idea that Brexit would mean leaving EURATOM, with all the threats that poses to nuclear safety and the availability of radiation therapies; or EASA, with the threat that poses to flights post-Brexit. Neither of those things was even mentioned during the campaign.

    A very large number of them said they were going to vote Leave just to give David Cameron a kick in the pants, and they felt safe doing so because obviously the country as a whole would vote to stay in.

    Others cited as their reasons for voting Leave a whole range of things that had either nothing to do with the EU (e.g. potholes in their street; the Abu Hamza verdict from the ECHR) or that were just plain false (e.g. the European Parliament isn’t elected).

    They had been told Brexit would be straightforward. That the deal with the EU would be the easiest in history. That we’d hold all the cards. That we could keep all the good bits. That Brexit would mean more money for public services.

    No one can honestly, decently, sensibly claim it’s safe to assume that everyone who voted for something they’d been told would be easy and beneficial must still want it even though it’s since proven to be bloody hard (“like unbaking a cake”, in the memorable phrase) and – by the government’s own assessments – economically devastating.

    And that’s before we even get onto the campaign lying, cheating and corruption that have only been exposed since the referendum.

    There is simply no argument against a people’s vote once we have a clear picture of what Brexit will mean in practice. If Leavers were really confident of getting the same result now, they’d have nothing to fear from it and everything to gain. Their very hostility to the idea, and cries of betrayal, tells us everything we need to know about their own assessment of the likely result.

  • Erol #122
    Jul 10, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    @Alan # 120

    The current course would be the one that’s just been decided at Chequers,

    .. . . and where did the pollsters find a sample of people who had actually read it so soon after publication?
    The new cabinet is only meeting to discuss the latest new version today – with critics probably going to tear it to pieces as unworkable in the very near future! I think describing it as “a navigable course”, is grossly misleading! It’s a heap of political fudge!

    The brexiteer fantasy “no-coherent-plan” bendy-shuffle, just goes on with marginally more focus than in the previous two wasted years!

    That is because – from Cameron onward, brexit has been about holding the Europhobic factions of the Tory party government together, and has nothing to do with the UK National Interest, or constructive international trading relationships!

    The shelf-life of the fantasies has been extended, by Corbyn’s opportunist search for ex-UKIP votes!

  • @Marco #124

    I would think that eventually a second referendum might be held and I’m totally OK with that. Let’s see how the current situation plays out and what the EU response will be.

    @Alan #126

    Your hyper cynical attitude towards anything Brexit is totally unfounded and doesn’t help in this discussion. The Brexit issue has largely arisen because of the egotistical and dictatorial Brussels’ attitude towards member states, that doesn’t care for their people’s wishes regarding, for instance, excess immigration. The result is the current massive backlash from a number of those states including even from Germany where Merkel’s political position is now vulnerable. I can’t understand why you are so enamoured of the failing experiment that is the EU.

  • Erol. In case you forgot…

    From my perspective and just about everyone I work with in the tech and design industries and especially those of us in the circular economy are gutted by the loss of a huge technologically sophisticated market, driven by world-class defining standards, as cheap to access as our own. I can’t tell you how adversely that affects eco-innovation. I can’t tell you how badly local agri-business has been hit, with investment now returning to Spain and the Netherlands. I have found not a single businessperson in a single sector not regretting the brexit decision. For us, for my kids, the EU was a thumping success.

    We’ve sold into the US (even set up there) and the Middle East. The EU was much easier to achieve approvals on and sell into readily, and with products that were better for the planet. I’ve had enough of doing low ethical business.

  • Phil,

    A European common market with tariff-free trade should be entirely possible without the emasculation of an individual nation state’s governing authority and powers! Why should your company’s success depend upon an arbitrary ruling that enables, for example, the free migration of people across Europe? If you are in need of specifically skilled workers from anywhere in Europe there should instead be a mechanism set up for quickly finding and bringing over such persons through proper channels.

    You state that the EU was a thumping success for your company. But my understanding is that only a small percentage of UK companies actually deal with the EU, while the rest who do not are STILL saddled with EU rules and regulations nevertheless.

    If Brexit occurs are you not mindful of the extra business you may be able to generate OUTSIDE of the EU?

  • No not “my company”…. high tech industry, 45% of whose production exports went to the EU.

    What you are saying is nonsense. Listen to what industry spokespeople are saying and know and understand the numbers, before you make such claims in public. Careless talk costs livelihoods.

    99% of fruit and crop pickers in Essex and Kent were temporary Eastern European. The UK was achieving 70% provision of UK salad vegetables from our own farms, and with new technology to go in, to lift this and cut much out of season imports. No longer viable. Thanks. Imports instead of going down will go up. The big growers are the importers also, but the uplift to the local economy is gone.

    Industries have well advanced plans to move value generating sections out of the UK.

    Do you remember any of these conversations?

    What industry do you work in?

  • Please notice details.

    If Brexit occurs are you not mindful of the extra business you may be able to generate OUTSIDE of the EU?

    right after your eyes slipped over this

    We’ve sold into the US (even set up there) and the Middle East. The EU was much easier to achieve approvals on and sell into readily, and with products that were better for the planet. I’ve had enough of doing low ethical business.

  • Erol #127
    Jul 10, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    @Alan #126

    Your hyper cynical attitude towards anything Brexit is totally unfounded and doesn’t help in this discussion.

    Not at all! My (non-hyper) cynical attitude towards brexiteers is based on a well informed view about their actions, their know-it-all ignorance, and their propagandist lying about Europe and trade over the years.

    The Brexit issue has largely arisen because of the egotistical and dictatorial Brussels’ attitude towards member states,

    Nope! While there are problems which need to be reformed in the EU, the brexit issue has almost entirely arisen because of a lying anti-EU propagandist campaign, and devious politicians scapegoating the EU to blame it for their own Westminster government failures to produce effective solutions to home grown problems!

    that doesn’t care for their people’s wishes regarding,

    How many of them even know who their MP in the European parliament is, let alone have made contact to discuss “their wishes”?

    for instance, excess immigration.

    This is a largely trash-tabloid myth!
    Immigration within the EU is largely beneficial in running industry, research, the NHS etc.

    While Tory brexiteers were slanging off the EU about people traffickers and illegal non-EU immigration, their own government was cutting back the funding and staffing of the Borders agency, and trying to police the UK coast with three patrol boats where twelve were needed to do the job.
    . . . . As I commented in this 2017 discussion:-

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2017/06/epas-scott-pruitt-wants-to-set-up-opposing-teams-to-debate-climate-change-science/#li-comment-222727

    It is a feature of those right-wing deregulators, that as a matter of dogma and policy, they under-fund, under-staff, and under-train the operators of public service regulatory mechanisms, to promote the public perception that regulations are cumbersome, ineffective and dysfunctional.

    There was a classic case of this from the UK Tory government, who cut the budget, and the staffing of the UK border control agency, and tried to patrol thousands of miles of coast with navy 3 patrol boats where 12 were needed.
    They then launched a campaign to blame the regulations of the European Union for the UK illegal immigration problem – followed by offering brexit as a “solution”.

    After being challenged and exposed, they ordered the building of 8 more patrol boats! – while the gullibles, directed by the propagandist junk media. voted for brexit!

    Brexiteers are also cynically making a song and dance about UK fishing quotas!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40482660

    Brexit: Ex-Navy chief warns of lack of boats to police waters

    The UK will be a “laughing stock” in Europe if it cannot police its fishing waters after Brexit, former First Sea Lord Admiral Lord West has said.

    He claimed there were few vessels to enforce new regulations for UK inshore fishing waters after it leaves the EU.

    Brexiteer, pie-in-the-sky promises with a laughing-stock basic lack of understanding of practicalities!

    We also need to consider the political record of the brexiteers careers! – Particularly the ones who are heavily into ideological “alternative facts” and like to pose as experts on subjects they know nothing about!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2017/06/epas-scott-pruitt-wants-to-set-up-opposing-teams-to-debate-climate-change-science/#li-comment-222633

  • Erol #129
    Jul 10, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    If Brexit occurs are you not mindful of the extra business you may be able to generate OUTSIDE of the EU?

    This is just another brexiteer fanciful fairy story!

    There is no way that new trade deals will compensate for losses of EU free trade, and no way that a bunch of incompetents who cannot agree a negotiated credible policy among themselves, are going to replace the vast mass of existing arrangements via the EU/Customs Union, which they propose dumping!

  • The latest effort by Trump to kill Obamacare. H’es just slashed the funding for this year for the navigator enrollment program which helps people choose a plan to $10 million down from $36 million last year and $63 million in 2016. As fewer people take coverage the premiums will go up yet again leading to a death spiral.

    Another $200 billion worth of tariffs on China have just been announced because China retaliated to his first $34 billion tariffs with the same amount themselves. He’s already promised a further $200 billion if they retaliate again which would cover almost all of China’s $500 billion exports to the US.

  • Erol #129
    Jul 10, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    A European common market with tariff-free trade should be entirely possible without the emasculation of an individual nation state’s governing authority and powers!

    This is what is known as “Having your cake and eating it”!

    Within a club or trade association, everybody abides by the rules, and those who want to do their own thing leave and do it!

    You can’t stay in and pick and choose which rules you like to accept, and you can’t become an associate member and then demand everyone else changes the system so you can have benefits without paying the membership subscription or respecting the rules of fair dealing between members!

    The rules are that no members take unfair advantage of others by under-cutting the common EU tariffs and standards, with separate agreements on the side with outside countries!

    .. . and before anyone swallows brexiteer fantasy about outside trade agreements, they should have a look at Trump doing his own thing and incurring tariffs from various major world economies and trading groups of countries!
    It is not a wasteland of individual isolated countries around the globe! There are plenty of other groups of countries which have aspirations to follow the EU in setting up common institutions and co-ordinated standards, to facilitate the smooth flow of imports and exports within the groups, and to jointly outlaw disruptive rogue cowboy operators!

    https://www.cfr.org/report/european-union-model-regional-integration#chapter-title-0-3

    There have been several attempts to achieve regional integration outside of Europe—including the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), African Union (AU), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and Mercosur in South America—but they have all failed to achieve anything resembling the progress of the EU.

    It is a similar story elsewhere: no other regional body is anywhere near the EU in terms of political or economic cooperation, let alone integration.

  • Erol #129
    Jul 10, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    But my understanding is that only a small percentage of UK companies actually deal with the EU,

    This is misleading nonsense, in all the items and secondary transactions it excludes!
    I suggest you read the “Country of Origin” labels, on the products or components in products, which you buy!

    In the meantime, there are some official figures on the link below:

    https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7851

    The EU, taken as a whole is the UK’s largest trading partner.
    In 2017, UK exports to the EU were £274 billion (45% of all UK exports).
    UK imports from the EU were £341 billion (55% of all UK imports).

    The share of UK exports accounted for by the EU has fallen over time from 55% in 2006 to 43% in 2016, increasing slightly to 45% in 2017.

    The share of UK imports accounted for by the EU fell from 58% in 2002 to 51% in 2011 before increasing to 53% in 2017.

    Services accounted for 32% of the UK’s exports to the EU in 2017.

    EU tariffs are generally low but are high on some goods, especially agricultural products.

    The notion that a bunch of brexiteers who after 2 years, still cannot even agree a coherent policy among themselves, is going to renegotiate all these agreements covering this vast scale of trade, or negotiate new replacement trade deals and regulations with countries outside the EU, is laughable!

  • Erol

    From a personal point, if the UK had put in force EU health and safety much much sooner and actually kept to them, I wouldn’t have to listen to a doctor telling me that the 70% of my lungs that is left is working at 100% capacity.

  • Tried to ignore but got the Dunning Kruger effect comment remark a while back. Thanks Phil as it answers my original question here.

    Goodbye.

  • Its me that’s in the dark, Ollie. But not an unusual state.

    About Sapiens?

    Meant to agree its pants. But v. forgetful these days. Can’t see a DK reference. Difficult with phone and my eyesight.

  • Olgun #138

    Goodbye

    What? That sounds horribly final!

    Alan wrote about “Dunning-Kruger advocates” at #118, but it was in the context of Brexiteers clearly not understanding the complexities of modern trade. It wasn’t directed at you!

    Maybe I’ve misinterpreted your comment, but it sounded to me as if you’d taken umbrage at something, and there really isn’t anything to take umbrage at!

  • The glibness and insouciance of the Brexiteers is maddening – and, with Brexit rapidly approaching, terrifying. They’re stuck in a world that ceased to exist 50, 60 years ago – probably longer. A world where individual countries (largely thanks to their endlessly ripped-off colonies) produced everything they needed, supplementing the staples with a few imported luxuries that could have been foregone if necessary.

    Meanwhile, you have the National Farmers’ Union warning that, post-Brexit, farms across the UK will be going out of business in vast numbers, since they’re about to lose the EU subsidies that form up to 50% of their incomes AND lose the almost entirely EU workforce upon which their production depends AND see the UK flooded with cheap imports of sub-standard produce from the US – food of such low standards that consumers across the rest of Europe simply cannot buy it.

    You have Health Service managers at their wits’ end, knowing how hugely dependent we are on EU nurses and doctors, and on EURATOM for a dependable, safe supply of radioactive isotopes for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes, and on the EU for our supplies of pharmaceuticals and future medical research.

    You have scientists and innovators despairing over the way Brexit is kicking the research stool (and the future) from under our feet – because research in the modern world is done collaboratively, internationally, and largely with EU funding.

    You have car manufacturers falling over themselves to move their production outside the UK, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of British jobs, because not being in the Single Market and Customs Union will totally bugger up their supply chains, which absolutely depend on speedy, free movement of goods between EU countries (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/03/brexit-uk-car-industry-mini-britain-eu).

    Other manufacturers are in the same rapidly sinking boat, because the deliveries they are totally dependent on will be caught up in massive delays at UK ports, driving a coach and horses through their Just-In-Time production model.

    Supermarkets are warning of empty shelves within days of a Hard Brexit. The government is planning to stockpile food essentials and pharmaceuticals in readiness.

    1.3 million Britons living in other EU countries, their futures entirely in the balance, not knowing whether they’ll be able to stay where they are or not and, even if they are able to stay, whether they’ll still be able to draw their UK private pensions once Brexit has destroyed our financial passporting arrangements.

    Young people who’ve had their futures diminished, their opportunities savagely curtailed. Who will never experience the incredibly enriching, eye-opening, transformative chance to live and work in other EU countries, the sheer life-enhancing adventure of Freedom of Movement.

    UK businesses facing inordinate barriers to trade with the world’s largest trading bloc, right on our doorstep.

    Workers set to lose their EU-guaranteed rights to humane working hours, guaranteed paid holiday, and safe working conditions. Just watch all those protections fall, one by one, in the course of trying to get an FTA with the US.

    The NHS inevitably in serious jeopardy, both because of the direct hit to the tax take as a result of the massive increase in unemployment that will follow from all those businesses going out of business or, at the very least, faring far worse than before, and because, when we go it alone, we will be totally at the mercy of the corporate bullies in the USA. The EU was able to stand up to the USA in the TTIP talks, because those were negotiations between economic equals. The UK will not be. Brexiteers think we had no influence with the EU? Christ. Just wait till the US is wiping the floor with us.

    Airlines unable to guarantee flights after 29 March next year, because aviation is the 2nd-most regulated industry in the world (after nuclear power) and our rights to fly to or over the EU, or to India and the US, come from EU treaties from which we are withdrawing.

    Community projects across the UK – doing invaluable work in remote and deprived areas – facing closure because they were being kept alive by EU funding and the UK is in the grip of austerity ideology.

    Environmental campaigners appalled at the massive damage Brexit will do to our efforts to tackle some of the biggest threats facing the planet – climate change and pollution – because those issues do not stop at borders but, thanks to Brexit, funding and collaboration will.

    Northern Ireland – which voted strongly to Remain – being thrown utterly to the dogs. Its hard-won peace after decades of violence and suffering – a peace that was only made possible by the fact that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland shared the common legal framework of EU membership – casually chucked aside like a chip on a roulette table. And now, we learn, facing the prospect of power outages post-Brexit, necessitating the hasty placing of thousands of emergency power generators (salvaged from military operations in Afghanistan) on ships in the Irish Sea in order to keep its lights on (https://www.ft.com/content/dcd8bb09-d583-3407-9209-942ab7915513).

    The CBI has estimated that every single £1 of our net contribution to the EU generated £10 of wealth for the UK. That’s like putting that money into a savings account with a 1000% interest rate. And it’s about to go – just like that. (Some Brexit ‘dividend’, eh?)

    Europe is caught between an increasingly aggressive Russia and an increasingly volatile, bullying and isolationist America. With China bolstering its power and influence at every turn. The vast majority of the world’s power – whether economic or geopolitical – is in the hands of those 4 powers: America, China, Russia and the EU. Europe can stand up for itself because of the economic might of the EU and the unity of the EU. Now, more than ever, with the world more unstable than at any time since the end of the Cold War, it is sheer madness – madness – to cut ourselves adrift with some grand notion of going it alone, or compensating for our EU losses through increased trade with globally less significant partners far beyond our shores. There is strength in numbers. Arguably, in the modern world, there’s very little strength in anything else.

    Brexit is bad for Europe but hugely, massively, criminally worse for the UK.

    So why? Why are we inflicting this sheer madness on ourselves?

    Erol’s comments supply the answer, though he may not spell it out. It’s because 37% of the British electorate turns into a quivering, raging, incoherent jelly at the thought of foreigners living among us.

    That’s it.

    Never mind that 52% of immigration into the UK is from non-EU countries and is therefore totally under the control of the Home Office already.

    Never mind that EU rules already allow us to remove any EU citizen in the UK who is not either in employment or study, or otherwise financially self-supporting, after 3 months.

    Never mind that arguably the greatest threat to Britain’s future prosperity (before this Brexit madness, anyway) was our ageing population and dwindling numbers of people of working age to generate the wealth and the taxation to keep the country going, and that, with our low birth rate, immigrants are absolutely essential to our economic future (quite apart from the human and cultural contribution they make to our society).

    And never mind the fact that the government’s own figures show quite categorically, that all immigrants – but especially those from the EU – contribute more in taxes than they take out in benefits and other public services.

    Never mind, either, that the strain on UK housing, schools and NHS comes almost entirely from years of deliberate government policy, from austerity politics, and from a Tory government that is ideologically wedded to starving the state in every way it can and selling it off to its money-making cronies and party donors.

    There is a hell of a lot for Brits to be justifiably angry about. But immigration isn’t one of them. And nor is the EU. On the contrary. It is our EU membership that has provided the wealth and the opportunities and the protections that have allowed us to withstand the worst effects of UK austerity politics. The Brexiteers are going to find it’s a cold, cold world out there once it’s gone.

  • Marco #142
    Jul 11, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    But strangely these problems are notable by their absence in that source of brexiteer Whizzdumb!

    The (Ignoramus Trash-writer of the decade winning) Daily Express headlines!! 🙂

  • Phil

    I am so sorry. The incident happened weeks back and I felt it was aimed at me but wasn’t sure. I should have trusted my instinc about you. I have great respect for you but I am in Cyprus, again, and decided to let a friend take me to a museum which showed images of Turkish Cypriots massacred by Greek Cypriots between 1964/67 and told the story of bodies still being dug up and identified. I was only five in 1966 when we escaped and I told the story here of my depression and bad dreamed that haunted me decades later. Today I had panic attack’s and maybe I shouldn’t have gone to see all this but I felt we only escaped by the skin of our teeth. Anyway, I shouldn’t even be saying all this but felt I needed to explain because of my silly outburst. I am embarrassed as well as upset now so not goodbye but I will leave it for a while. I feel weak, stupid and emotionally out of control. My sincerest apologies for making you part of my problems for a while.

    Marco, you have been an inspiration too. My apologies to you too.

    Goodbye ….for now!!

  • Olgun #144

    That all sounds deeply upsetting. Your reaction to it is totally understandable. Please don’t feel embarrassed. I haven’t seen you post anything here that would justify that. There were just a few crossed wires for a while, that’s all – it happens.

    Take care and I, for one, hope you really will be back very soon indeed.

  • Dear, sweet, Ollie,

    Know most days I am only a few miles away. I’ve long wanted to catch up with you, on the Ancestor’s Tale Trail, July the 13th in town, for a proper Turkish coffee or tea most of all.

    You mustn’t mind aspie me. My family find me curiously distracted as often as not. I’m just sporadically attentive. I get caught up in things and I’m away for hours. I don’t flow between things fixating and obsessing while the world passes by.

    Whatever it was, I can assure you, it wasn’t, was never intended, and never would be. Please take the greatest care, while you are away. Come back safe and perhaps a suitable Cafe in Green Lanes? And most particularly if things start to get on top of you from your past or you think I need a smack around the chops.

    Phil

  • A little snippet I picked up from electoralvote dot com the other day. A poll was recently conducted to find out what the average American knows about their Supreme Court. Obviously we can predict that this is going to be as little as they know about anything else in government and so it proved. Most people had no idea how many judges there are and the median guess was 19. They also had no idea judges serve for life and thought they all got replaced with each new president. Which means most people won’t be very worried that Trump is stacking the court to the right even if they are Democrats because they think those judges will all go again when Trump does.

    What it does say though is that when the Dems get in again they can put into place the plan I outlined recently to increase the number of judges and outweigh the conservative ones with new liberal ones and no one will even notice or care. I have also refined my plan for the Bill that Dems could pass to first reduce the size of the court and get rid of the Trump judges. Part of this would be to specify in the legislation that in the event of the size of the court being reduced then the judges are to resign on a LIFO (last in – first out) basis thus dumping Trump’s picks before increasing the size back up again and appointing replacements.

  • The one thing Trump does know which is obviously very little is that if you just attack, attack, attack, never back down, never apologise, never admit to a mistake then eventually most people will just give up because normal people don’t like conflict and Trump relishes it. It’s getting pretty sickening watching Merkel, May et al just kowtow to him as he rants about NATO, Germany and starts trade wars with every ally. Merkel is somewhat politically weakened at home and May is terrified that Brexit will leave the UK out in the cold with the EU and dependent on an increasingly unstable Trump for trade deals with America. So both appear to have lost any spine they might once have had and it’s looking like Blair was with Bush all over again only worse.

    Trump only respects strength and he senses weakness like a pride of lions looking for a sick wildebeest in the herd so they might as well both get the satisfaction of telling him to fuck off like Kim Jong Un does because sucking up to him won’t make a scrap of difference to what he decides to do. About the only thing May had to hold over him was the kudos of a state visit with the Queen and she’s given that away now with nothing to show for it. She’s an idiot. With people like Trump you get what you want from them before you offer them a dime or you’ll never see anything in return. Being nice to them just gives them a chance to shit all over you from an even greater height.

    Stupid little girl May scurried off to the USA to hold Trump’s hand, literally and figuratively, in his very first week in office. From that moment on he knew she’s his poodle.

  • Marco #4
    Jul 2, 2018 at 11:09 am

    That made me laugh, Laurie. But I actually don’t think he’ll be physically seen at all – or hardly at all. I think he’s going to be flown in and flown out again.
    In Scotland, for instance, I gather the plan is to helicopter him into his own golf course at Turnberry – and obviously, protesting citizens will be kept far far away from him.

    Well that’s a “GREAT DEAL”!
    Booking in Trump and all those security staff, should produce some revenue for this loss-making Trump enterprise! 🙂

    @#84 – In annual accounts filed with Companies House,
    the Menie Estate development in Aberdeenshire lost £1.4m,
    while Turnberry in Ayrshire lost £17.6m.

  • Arkrid #148

    It’s getting pretty sickening watching Merkel, May et al just kowtow
    to him as he rants about NATO, Germany and starts trade wars with
    every ally.

    I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of Merkel’s approach to him. Her whole political approach has always been to stay calm and unemotional, and to seek negotiation and compromise. So don’t expect any fireworks from her – but don’t mistake the lack of them for kowtowing either. She hasn’t survived this long at the top of German politics without serious steel in her backbone. Her response to Trump’s attacks on Germany yesterday was very clear, very firm – calm, yes, but putting him firmly back in his box all the same. Same from other senior German ministers. Telling him where to get off in characteristically German terms: sedate, professional, but none the less direct and determined.

    It’s interesting to note that after their very public spat yesterday, the two of them had a one-to-meeting lasting an hour in which, reportedly, they discussed a whole range of other subjects perfectly calmly and in a business-like manner. Merkel is first and foremost a pragmatist. Her top priority is to get the job done. She has no time for theatrics. But all the German news reports I’ve seen have been supporting what they see as her very firm and clear stance against Trump’s attacks yesterday.

  • Marco #142

    Devastating IMO.

    The shallowness of thought and evidence from the other side, the sheer order-of-magnitude-unequal-ness of their case, adds to the wretchedness we find ourselves in.

    A perfect storm of political ineptitude, and old people, having filched the young’s inheritance now prevents any chance of recovery.

  • Marco #150
    Jul 12, 2018 at 6:04 am

    I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of Merkel’s approach to him.

    It’s a very good job I’m not a politician. I detest lying and am awful at it myself. I also can’t hide my feelings about someone I loathe. I would be physically unable to meet Trump or shake his hand. In some ways I’m like him in that I don’t ever back down, unless I’m actually wrong but of course that never happens. I did once think I was wrong but it turned out I was mistaken. Ha ha, old joke. If I were UK PM he would not get to set foot here, I’d be ripping him and his miniscule IQ every chance I got and sod the consequences. If he wanted a trade war then bring it on bitch.

  • Arkrid #152

    I’m with you on all that (except that I’ve trained myself over the years to be more willing to admit when I’m wrong – which isn’t to say it doesn’t hurt!).

    I have a great deal of respect for the pragmatic approach shown by Merkel (and advocated by Nicola Sturgeon, too, though Trump isn’t risking giving her the chance to put it into practice during his sojourn in Scotland this weekend): accepting that leaders have responsibilities to their countries and therefore responsibilities to work hard to maintain businesslike relations, even with Trump – while not kowtowing, and not laying out the red carpet, and not being afraid to speak out against his dangerous excesses. I do think that’s the responsible, grown-up way of dealing with him. And with Trump as POTUS, there are already too many dangerous tantrum-throwers in positions of global influence for comfort (or safety).

    Like you, I know I couldn’t do it myself, though.

  • Ha!! Delusional fat boy announces before his bitterly opposed visit to the UK “I think they like me a lot in the UK; I think they agree with me on immigration…”

    In your dreams child abuser. We detest you over here.

  • Arkrid

    “I think they like me a lot in the UK; I think they agree with me on
    immigration…”

    Yeah, right. That’s why a) he said he didn’t want to visit the UK until he could be sure of a warm welcome and b) this isn’t a full state visit and c) his entire visit has been planned to keep him as far away from us as possible. Poor chap barely dares set foot in central London, other than on American territory at the UK embassy. Then being whisked away as fast as possible to nice, safe, secure places where we can be kept far enough away that he won’t be able to see or hear us expressing how much we like and agree with him …

    I can’t wait. I’m disgusted he’s going to be here, but also really looking forward to what are inevitably going to be huge protests against him.

  • I see from his NATO news conference, Trump also indulges his fantasy that NATO is responsible for the long period of post WW2 “peace in Europe”! Nothing to do with the mutual co-operation of the EU?? 🙂

    Oh – and I see he is horrified by his intelligence reports of suffering in Africa and the Middle East – where he is also promoting “peace” – by providing those “great deals” selling those top-quality “peace-making” high-tech weapons, to Saudi-Arabia and Israel!

    Also – As is typical of Trumponomics, he seems to have included the costs of US military activity in the Pacific in the figures he quotes for comparing US military funding that of NATO allies!

  • “I think they like me a lot in the UK; I think they agree with me on
    immigration…”

    No connection between the asylum-seeking refugee immigrants to Europe, and foreign initiated civil wars or reckless Western military adventures, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria?

  • Arkrid Sandwich #154
    Jul 12, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Ha!! Delusional fat boy announces before his bitterly opposed visit to the UK “I think they like me a lot in the UK; I think they agree with me on immigration…”

    You need to remember where kipper-brained Trump’s prime source of information is found! – and who this “THEY” are!

    https://www.indy100.com/article/nigel-farage-fox-news-london-royalty-royal-wedding-prince-harry-meghan-markle-8358221

    Among those are Donald Trump’s favourite news outlet Fox, who have gone all out in a bid to get the best possible coverage of Harry and Meghan’s big day.

    This includes recruiting Nigel Farage – yes, Nigel Farage – to show them around some rather adequate tourist locations in the capital.

    Not only does that sound like an absolute jamboree (just to clarify, we’re being sarcastic) host Ainsley Yearhardt introduced the former UKIP leader as being “basically royalty”.

    With Farage reporting on Boris, how could Trump possibly misunderstand the majority view in the UK!!! 🙂

  • My apologies for not replying sooner – I have been away from my PC since the last time I posted.

    @Phil #130 and 131

    Your high tech industry should continue to export to the EU if the right agreement is struck between the UK and the EU! If your industry’s products are in so much demand by the EU why should they stop their import??? Just to make the point that the UK is no longer in their precious ‘club’? I don’t believe that will happen.

    In terms of other markets I was thinking about the growing BRICS nations as well as those of the Far East such as Japan.

    My industry background was not in business activities as such, but in pharmaceutical R & D. I am now retired.

    Here is a very recent article confirming that business leaders are generally satisfied with the Chequers proposal for the Brexit arrangement:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-theresa-may-chequers-cabinet-deal-business-leaders-a8435776.html

    Here is another pointing to an alternative scenario if the EU doesn’t wish to play ball:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jun/24/hardline-tories-tell-theresa-may-get-ready-for-no-deal-brexit

    One of the persons mentioned in the Guardian article is the ex-Chancellor, Nigel Lawson. Is he an amateur in all of this? Another mentioned is Sir Rocco Forte. Here is a separate article by him in (shock, horror) the Daily Mail, where he explains his commitment to Brexit. Is he also an amateur?

    And here is an article explaining why Sir James Dyson (another amateur?) is pro Brexit:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-latest-news-james-dyson-optimistic-positive-trading-eu-split-economy-exports-imports-business-a7651801.html

    @Alan #132, 133, 135 and
    @Marco # 142

    There are enough highly responsible and intelligent business people out there that simply don’t accept the doom and gloom scenarios that both of you are painting. I also don’t accept them. No one knows how Brexit is going to play out, but I believe it’s in both the EU’s and UK’s interests to get the best deal possible that will minimise any initial hardship for either side.

  • Erol #159

    I am aware of the existence of a vanishingly small number of businesspeople and economists who actually believe in a successful Brexit.

    I would merely point out that there are also a vanishingly small number of scientists who believe in creationism.

    In both cases, the vast majority of their peers profoundly disagree with them. In fact, in both cases, the vast majority of their peers find them simply preposterous.

    The fact that business leaders have greeted the Chequers proposals with relief merely reflects the fact that they propose a closer ongoing relationship with the EU than the Ultra-Brexiteers have been (and still are) manoeuvring for.

    Given a choice between a relatively soft Brexit and the hard Brexit advocated by Jacob Rees-Mogg & co, businesses will of course welcome the prospect of the softer Brexit. This in no way makes them in favour of Brexit.

    I believe it’s in both the EU’s and UK’s interests to get the best
    deal possible that will minimise any initial hardship for either side.

    I could say so much in response to this, but I will limit myself to this:

    80% of the UK economy is based on services.

    Services are excluded from the Chequers proposals.

  • Erol #159

    In terms of other markets I was thinking about the growing BRICS
    nations as well as those of the Far East such as Japan.

    Check out the “German export market shares’ table via this link, please:

    https://snbchf.com/global-macro/2013-gm/jim-oneills-bullish-brics-outlook-until-2020-and-our-critics/

    The BRIC countries are certainly growing fast. But there’s no need to choose between being in the EU and trading with BRIC. Germany is very happily and successfully doing both – currently exporting 2.3 times as much to BRIC as we are.

    Whatever’s been holding us back – it isn’t the EU.

  • This kisses nothing better, Erol.

    The view of a few rich old men doesn’t impress me even if you add in JC Bamforth. Dyson sells high margin goods. Not so the rest of the us. And certainly not those trying to create new business models, low on manufacturing and high on service provision to greatly reduce our waste stream. This is how business will increasingly go with superb quality maintainable, upgrade-able products owned by banks and managed by service companies. Germany was/is the power house here, the USA its squandering nemesis.

    Investment in the sector is gone. We can raise money for regressive products or software on consumer platforms. The smart money is clearing out.

    The powers that be are desperately trying to mitigate this ill-timed fuck up. Promise Brexit and try to deliver as little of it as possible.

    In the meantime the brief supporting margin for brexit (built on lies) has rolled back 10 percentage points and is hardening still.

    The “mandate” is passed and we are billions down already in capital flight and lost opportunities.

    Yet brexiteers are still determined to take us back 50 years, when they were lads and British armaments at least opened doors for us.

    There is nothing sunny on the horizon, only storm clouds. Lets hope for my kids sake it is not as bad as it could be.

  • Erol #159
    Jul 12, 2018 at 10:48 am

    There are enough highly responsible and intelligent business people out there that simply don’t accept the doom and gloom scenarios that both of you are painting.

    There, but these are the personal opinions of a very small minority of mavericks and opportunists.

    Once we look at warnings from professional bodies and affected industries which actually do research on projected outcomes, there is a pretty solid consensus that brexit is going to cause a long list of serious problems about which the brexiteers have no idea!

    No one knows how Brexit is going to play out,

    Some companies are already moving production and business overseas. The value of the pound dropped as soon as brexit looked likely, and the prospects for the UK economy have been downgraded because of the likely brexit outcomes!

    Many specialist companies and bodies have a VERY good understanding of the effect of the loss of EU / Customs Union membership will have on their work!
    It is a crass assumption, to assume, just because you don’t know how these industries or research bodies work, that those who work in those areas share your lack of perception and vision of the subjects.

    “Nobody else can possibly know, because I have no proper evidence, information, or idea about this”, is not a rational argument!

    but I believe it’s in both the EU’s and UK’s interests to get the best deal possible that will minimise any initial hardship for either side.

    The best deal possible is the EU membership we already have – followed up with a few reforms of the EU which other members already recognise.

    There is no way the 27 other EU members are going to agree to the UK having its cake and eating, it by keeping the benefits of EU membership and also making independent deals with third-parties as a competitor to the EU! . . . and that’s even before we mention the Scots, the Welsh, and the N & S Irish having serious issues with brexit!

    Theresa May or Rees-Mogg or Boris Johnson, can invent as many imaginary “red-lines” as they like, but at the end of the negotiations, the English tail is not going to wag the 27 nation Euro-dog! . . . . and may not even manage to wag the Scottish, Welsh, or N. Irish dogs!

    The ultra-brexiteers have taken on the UKIP mantle, and like UKIP are inflexible ignorant people who challenge any authority or regulatory mechanism they don’t understand or like, and like UKIP are now fighting among themselves and with members of their own political parties!

    These are not people who can negotiate and operate workable policies or trade agreements with anybody!

  • It’s not often we hear anything true on Fox Noise but on Tuesday before Trump had even arrived in Europe their political editor Chris Stirewalt predicted exactly what Trump would do. “You will not stop Trump from undermining NATO. You will not stop him from realigning the US foreign policy to be more favourable towards Russia. He is going to do it. He is going to fly into Brussels like a seagull, he is going to defecate all over everything, squawk and fly away.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQQwOQLErDU

    After attacking European contributions to the NATO budget Trump lashed out at Germany as being “totally controlled” by Russia because it imports natural gas from there and a new Baltic pipeline will increase the supply. He then launched into one of his trademark hyperbolic lies about Germany being dependent on Russia for 60 to 70 percent of its total energy requirements. In fact Germany gets less than 1/4 of its energy from natural gas and only 35% of this 1/4 comes from Russia. Russia does also supply coal and oil but to a combined total of just under 30% of all of Germany’s energy usage.

    I think it’s clear that Russia “totally controls” the White House far more than it controls Germany.

  • Marco #160

    Your analogy with creationism is not valid, since Brexit hasn’t happened yet and no one can predict its consequences. If and when Brexit happens – and it fails – then you can use the results as evidence. Until then you only have opinions.

    The current EU vs UK negotiations are akin to a chess game which hopefully will end in a draw! So no one loses!
    Regarding services, let’s just get past the first stage involving goods, and then dwell on services.

    Marco #161

    Perhaps UK companies are so attracted to the EU that they just haven’t bothered to look outside yet!

  • Phil #162

    “There is nothing sunny on the horizon, only storm clouds.”

    Yet more doom and gloom from yourself! Let’s just see how things pan out….

  • Alan #163

    There is no way the 27 other EU members are going to agree to the UK
    having its cake and eating it, by keeping the benefits of EU
    membership and also making independent deals with third-parties as a
    competitor to the EU!

    That is your opinion! But it’s not mine. The UK is the 6th largest economy in the world – so it’s not going to be easily shunned by the rest of the EU!

  • Erol #165

    no one can predict its consequences

    If you really believe this, then your irresponsibility in advocating it is off the scale.

    You are willing to gamble the whole UK economy, the survival of the UK as an entity at all, peace in Northern Ireland, the NHS, millions of jobs, billions in tax take, our public services, young people’s future, the security of 1.3 million Brits in rEU and 3 million rEU citizens in the UK, our ability to overcome our working-age-population shortage, our international influence, our food supplies, our radioactive isotope supplies, our pharmaceutical supplies, our aviation, our life sciences industry, our scientific research capacity, workers’ rights …

    … on something which you think is unknowable in advance.

    If you have this great urge for high-stakes gambling, may I suggest you please take up poker or roulette, or something else where the only person who’ll have to pay the price of your fix is yourself.

  • Erol #2

    Doom and Gloom.

    This is yours. Your prognosis of sufficient mitigations offers no up side, only a least worst set of possibilities.

    Your claim that UK companies don’t pursue trade outside the EU is specious, and continues to miss the essential virtue of trading with the single largest most technologically advanced market on the planet. It has allowed us to shine developing world class products manufactured in sufficient volumes to then take out to the rest of the world. How is there an upside to risking 5% taken off the bottom line of this huge, ideal, tech, eco, politically leading-edge market? Investment flees until you relocate. Its like you don’t understand business.

    Let’s just see how things pan out….

    You are dangerous.

  • Marco #168

    It’s a tongue in cheek comment! I am not a doom and gloom merchant such as yourself, and neither is May’s Cabinet!!!

    I’m afraid to say that your fatalistic attitude is comparable to those members of parliament at the beginning of WW2 who would have done anything to secure peace with Nazi Germany at any cost, only to have been put in their place by Winston Churchill!

  • Alan #163 There is no way the 27 other EU members are going to agree
    to the UK having its cake and eating it, by keeping the benefits of EU
    membership and also making independent deals with third-parties as a
    competitor to the EU!

    Erol #167 That is your opinion! But it’s not mine!

    Actually, Erol, it is not just opinion, Alan’s or anyone else’s: it is the law. The EU is a treaty-based organisation, and its fundamental rules of operation are set out very clearly in legally binding treaties between itself and its members. Its legal obligations to its members mean it could not – even if it wished to, or it made any sense for it to, neither of which is the case – simply decide to waive its treaty obligations to them by allowing a non-member the benefits of membership without complying with its rules. And literally NO member country is urging them to do so. It is true that Brexit will hurt rEU members too, but they all know that weakening the Single Market and the rules that underpin it would hurt them far, far more. The idea that our departure is going to hurt them more than it hurts us and that they’re therefore ultimately going to cave in to our demands is just a fantasy that has absolutely no counterpart in reality outside the offices of the Express, the Sun and the ERG.

    Honestly, Erol, I’m sorry, but you’re talking out of your hat. You clearly don’t have the first idea of the complexities of modern trade, or the legalities underpinning and constraining it, or any understanding at all of the EU’s own priorities. All you have is your own blind faith that the rest of the world will dance to Britain’s tune.

  • Marco #171

    All you have is your own blind faith that the rest of the world will
    dance to Britain’s tune.

    No, not the rest of the world, just the EU! Your allegiance to EU ‘laws’ are very clear, while not appreciating that that’s one of the main issues why the UK wants to actually leave the EU!

  • I think none of we three are fatalists. In our different ways we are fighting like hell for mitigations of our own. We are not prepared to be sacrificed on the altar of others’ narrow political folly. But the very best mitigation still available is to pull the plug on this whole, damaging, already expensive fiasco, especially now the will has gone out of the people.

    Experts spoke and the majority of them concurred. Brexit was not a good move. The public were lied to and the ignorant (perhaps unwittingly so) urged them on. The public made a wrong choice, but those experts persisted in their views. Steadily the public has learned this. What we need now is knowledge and real understanding, not shoot from the hip opinion.

    Stop being gloomy? This is an essential ingredient to fixing things. Like stop whining about Trump, he’s the president now. Its still wrong and damaging, whatever silver linings are glimpsed.

  • It’s not a question of allegiance, Erol. Nor is it a question of what anyone wants. It’s a question of facts.

    The EU is legally bound by its treaty obligations.

    Consequently your belief that it will do a deal with us that would break those obligations is just fantasy.

    You are simply not arguing from a position of reality.

  • that’s one of the main issues why the UK wants to actually leave the EU!

    Not any more.

    The majority now don’t want to leave the UK and demographics will drive that majority up and up.

  • Erol #165
    Jul 13, 2018 at 4:07 am

    Your analogy with creationism is not valid, since Brexit hasn’t happened yet
    and **no one can predict [ ALL ] its consequences*.

    This sounds EXACTLY like the creationist/climate-change-denier argument!
    “We are too uneducated to make reliable predictions, or understand complex mechanisms, THEREFORE scientific predictions, measurements, and evidence from past records, are wrong”!

    If and when Brexit happens – and it fails – then you can use the results as evidence. Until then you only have opinions.

    There are expert opinions based on evidence with a deep understanding of functional mechanisms, and historical trends, and then there are clueless opinions based on the gossip of the ignorant, doggedly defended simplistic pre-conceptions, and the slush-fund sponsored, lying media propagandists! All opinions are NOT equal!

    The current EU vs UK negotiations are akin to a chess game

    That is how the posturing brexiteers see it – a game for personal political status within their ideological social bubble, – and nothing to do with running businesses and services in the real world!

    which hopefully will end in a draw!

    I think this is what is known as “deadlock”!

    So no one loses!

    If you drive your fleet of delivery vans over a cliff, and have no means or arrangement to replace them, this is not a “no-one loses” situation!

    Similarly if you try to negotiate and extended stay in an hotel, but fail to reach an agreement with the management, this is not “a draw”! It is a recipe for ending up on the street with no accommodation!

    Perhaps UK companies are so attracted to the EU that they just haven’t bothered to look outside yet!

    Roughly half our imports and half out exports are EU. Perhaps you should look at the existing other half of our world trade, and at the UK manufacturing plants run by foreign countries!

    I will explain how the Nissan vehicle production and sales system works:

    Nissan has a fleet of giant car ferries which bring models manufactured in JAPAN to Europe.
    They arrive in SPAIN, where they off-load some vehicles for the European market, and on-load vehicles from their SPANISH factory.
    They then continue their journey to Sunderland in ENGLAND where they off load JAPANESE and SPANISH made vehicles for the UK market.

    They then on-load UK manufactured vehicles from the Sunderland factory, and head back to SPAIN, where they off-load SOME vehicles from ENGLAND to the EUROPEAN MARKET, and on-load SPANISH made vehicles bound for JAPAN in to space made available on the ferry.

    On reaching JAPAN, they off -load all the vehicles from ENGLAND and SPAIN and repeat the operation!

    BUT

    That is only the supply of finished vehicles, side of the business!

    Many of the parts of vehicles are made throughout Europe and the world, and IMPORTED to their factories for assembly.
    For example some Nissan Vehicles have RENAULT engines made in FRANCE.
    Other components in UK manufactured vehicles and engineered products come from all over Europe. eg. BOSCH electrical components come from GERMANY.

    If companies pay tariffs on imported components and on exported vehicles, they will NOT compete with those in free-trade areas which don’t! –
    BUT – Free trade AGREEMENTS involve negotiated rules on level playing-fields, and outlawing of profiteering cowboy operators who cheat on the system!
    Naturally some of these cowboys have sponsored propaganda campaigns in the hope of causing chaos, break-downs of enforcement, and opportunities for rip-offs!

    Some of their bought or conned “useful idiots” in politics, are just too stupid and uncaring, to have any idea of what damaging outcomes they are likely to cause by throwing away working regulatory systems and replacing them with no agreements and NOTHING!

    We would then revert to the weaker World Trade Organisation rules, but Trump is busy flouting and disrupting those, and reneging on Obama free-trade agreements with Mexico, Canada and other countries, so tariff barriers are going up around the world to the detriment of most businesses.

    This only an example of ONE company affected by the potential loss of markets if the UK loses its free-trading agreements within the European Customs Union due to a half-baked brexit leap off a cliff!!

  • phil rimmer #174
    Jul 13, 2018 at 5:20 am

    Experts spoke and the majority of them concurred. Brexit was not a good move.
    The public were lied to and the ignorant (perhaps unwittingly so) urged them on.
    The public made a wrong choice, but those experts persisted in their views.

    The number of Turkeys who are flattered and enthusiastic about being invited to a free, posh, Xmas dinner in the company of rich people, is reducing!

  • Marco, Phil, Alan,

    It seems to me that the main thing that divides us is outlook. I believe that the prospect of a good free trade agreement with the EU is likely because of the strength of the UK economy and the EU’s inherent desire to continue trading with us. You three are instead too negative to believe this, and suggest that the UK is slowly walking towards the edge of an economic cliff.

    There isn’t anything that can be said to come to any sort of agreement, so we will just have to see how things develop over the coming days, weeks, and months. At some point someone will be able to say ‘I told you so’. But, we’re all of us observers only, and so are unable to impact in any way on the negotiations themselves.

  • Erol #180

    It seems to me that the main thing that divides us is outlook.

    I’m afraid not, Erol.

    The main thing that divides us is an understanding of the huge complexities involved, both in our own manufacturing and services processes, and in our economy, and in international trade, and in international law.

    You are quite simply way out of your depth.

    As ever, there is no shame in not knowing things. But with Brexit nine months away, it is simply unforgivable to be continuing to spout your “Oh, it’ll all turn out alright” mantra without having made the slightest effort to actually understand what’s involved. Please don’t bother replying that you do understand – because everything you have written demonstrates not only that you do not, but that you are not interested in finding out.

    Phil was absolutely right. You really are dangerous.

  • Erol #167
    Jul 13, 2018 at 4:10 am

    Alan #163 – There is no way the 27 other EU members are going to agree to the UK having its cake and eating it, by keeping the benefits of EU membership and also making independent deals with third-parties as a competitor to the EU!

    That is your opinion! But it’s not mine.
    The UK is the 6th largest economy in the world –
    so it’s not going to be easily shunned by the rest of the EU!

    As an on-going member of the EU the UK would have had a chance of introducing reforms.
    The best chance was thrown away when brexiteers opted out of taking the UK turn as EU president!

    Britain will gave up its rotating six-month presidency of the EU in 2017 to concentrate on Brexit, Theresa May has announced, [Financial Times]

    As usual, those shouting about “taking back control”, (as with immigration and the cuts to the border agency and the Navy coastal patrol boats), were quick to abandon the control which was offered to them!!

    As an outsider non-member there is no chance of proposing EU reforms!

    As has been pointed out to you by Marco:

    Marco #175
    Jul 13, 2018 at 5:21 am

    It’s a question of facts.

    The EU is legally bound by its treaty obligations.

    Consequently your belief that it will do a deal with us that would break those obligations is just fantasy.

    The UK and the other 27, signed up to a legally binding treaty to share services and pay contributions to running these, and while Trump and Boris glibly talk about “walking away from legal contracts”, and defaulting on agreed payments, any responsible body is not going to make new agreements with people who casually renege or default on existing ones!

  • Marco #181

    Phil was absolutely right. You really are dangerous.

    How ridiculous! How am I supposed to be ‘dangerous’ – and to whom??? Is this an example of your powers of logic? If so, it explains why you cannot understand my views on this issue!

    I myself don’t have a business background, but there many persons who do, and who are also Brexiteers!I have adopted their sentiments on this matter. I absolutely believe that this country should be ruled from within and
    not without. The EU’s patently dictatorial attitude towards member states is what I consider to be potentially dangerous for the UK’s future.

  • Alan #182

    As an on-going member of the EU the UK would have had a chance of
    introducing reforms.

    Sorry, Cameron tried that with Merkel and co. before the referendum, and got nowhere because the latter were too dogma and/or rule driven. Now maybe with the threat of the UK walking away they will change their minds and bring about reforms that will satisfy the many people of Europe who are NOT happy with the way the EU runs its affairs.

  • Erol #183

    How am I supposed to be ‘dangerous’ – and to whom???

    Already answered at #168

    I absolutely believe that this country should be ruled from within and
    not without. The EU’s patently dictatorial attitude towards member
    states is what I consider to be potentially dangerous for the UK’s
    future.

    You clearly have no idea at all how the EU actually operates; or of the division of competences between member states and the EU. If you believe that this country has been ruled from without, you might want to stop and consider why we still have a Parliament with 650+ members – what have they been doing with themselves all this time?

    The reality is that we have been in control of all the things that make the greatest difference to quality of life in the UK: health policy, education, fiscal policy, public expenditure, monetary policy, income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, non-EU immigration, border control and security, pensions, welfare, foreign policy, defence, intelligence, humanitarian aid, local government, national policing, criminal justice, media regulation … All these things have been decided at either Westminster, or the devolved administrations, or local government. NOT the EU.

    What gets decided at EU level is almost entirely to do with the operation of the Single Market: the rules and policies that ensure it really does function as a genuinely Single Market across all member states.

    And the EU is not something separate from its members. It IS its members. When we say “the EU decides” something, what that means is that its MEMBERS have decided it. And on the most significant issues – such as accession and trade agreements – decisions are only made if ALL members agree. Even when decisions have been made on the basis of majority voting, the UK has been in full agreement with them in the vast majority of cases.

    There was a very interesting survey done across the EU a couple of years ago. It measured two things: how well the electorates of each member state understood how the EU actually works; and how satisfied they were with their EU membership. It turned out the two things were almost exactly correlated: with Slovenians having the clearest understanding of the EU and how it worked, and also having the highest satisfaction ratings with it; and – surprise, surprise – the UK at the bottom on both counts.

    But I realise I’m “talking to the hand”. There’s absolutely no point arguing with someone who’s so entirely uninterested in the facts as you clearly are. Good luck in your complacent little bubble – enjoy it while you can, because it’s going to be burst with one hell of a bang before too long – unless the UK govt finally sees sense and commits us to full membership of the EEA, with all that that entails.

  • Erol #183
    Jul 13, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Marco #181

    Phil was absolutely right. You really are dangerous.

    How ridiculous! How am I supposed to be ‘dangerous’ – and to whom???

    Those voters who are so easily conned by propaganda, leave us all vulnerable to slush-fund sponsored charlatan politicians acting against the public interest!

    Is this an example of your powers of logic? If so, it explains why you cannot understand my views on this issue!

    The evidence of this discussion shows that serveral people participating, have an in depth understanding of your views, and of the false-information sources on which you base your views.

    I myself don’t have a business background, but there many persons who do, and who are also Brexiteers!

    That is only according to the trash headline writers. However the mass of EXPERT OPINION, based on studies of actual scenarios, show around £27 billions of damage to the UK economy as a very likely outcome of Brexit!

    This is what the brexiteers laughingly call the “the brexit dividend” which they claim can be used to pay off the government imposed funding deficit in the NHS.
    It’s the equivalent fantasy finance of you claiming to pay off £100,000 mortgage with and existing £130,000 overdraft which is already at its credit limit!!

    I have adopted their sentiments on this matter.

    Nope! You have adopted the false image of business fed to you by junk-media propagandists and whimsical brexiteer politicians!

    I absolutely believe that this country should be ruled from within and
    not without.

    No country which relies on international trade can act with immunity from international laws and do just what it likes.

    If products are substandard, dangerous, or the product of sweat-shops, reputable businesses and countries will ban them. Likewise motor vehicles, aircraft, and high-tech products, are best traded if they meet internationally agreed standards.
    If US companies decide to exploit Trump’s abolition of pollution and safety standards, these cheap-skate products may sell in the US home market, and in a few corrupt third world countries, but their import will be banned in the civilised world unless they are modified to meet first world standards in regard to health, safety, and pollution.

    The EU’s patently dictatorial attitude towards member states is what I consider to be potentially dangerous for the UK’s future.

    Again this a tabloid fiction!
    The EU laws and regulations are agreed by the elected European parliament, just as English laws are agreed by the Westminster parliament, and devolved Scottish laws are decided by the devolved Scottish parliament in Edinburgh.

    If people elect poor quality candidates (like most of the science and economics denying brexiteers), they get corruption, incompetence, lying campaigns, badly drafted laws, and muddled policies!

    Ethical representational democracy is about politicians seeking expert advice to design and provide services for their electors, and should not be about lying sponsored stooges, contradicting and denying expert advice, and conning the public into voting against their own best interests!

    In democracy – Elect monkeys – live in the jungle! The citizens of many countries do!

  • Erol #184
    Jul 13, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Alan #182 As an on-going member of the EU the UK would have had
    a chance of introducing reforms.

    Sorry, Cameron tried that with Merkel and co. before the referendum, and got nowhere because the latter were too dogma and/or rule driven.

    Nope! He got nowhere because he was too impatient to work on the realistic timescale, and when the opportunity came along later Theresa may turned down the offer of EU presidency.

    Now maybe with the threat of the UK walking away they will change their minds and bring about reforms that will satisfy the many people of Europe who are NOT happy with the way the EU runs its affairs.

    The EU is far from perfect, and there almost certainly will be reforms, by then, but if brexit goes ahead, the UK as an outsider, will get no benefit from them. – and in a world moving towards trade wars rather than trade agreements, nobody is going to be queuing up to sign up with the UK, if it has just dumped itself out of the best integrated, co-operative, trade agreement in the world!
    (See #135)

  • Marko #185

    How am I supposed to be ‘dangerous’ – and to whom???

    Already answered at #168

    No it wasn’t! My personal opinions and airing them on this discussion thread will make zero difference to whatever outcome Brexit finally achieves. So penning these sentiments (which are already held by a great many people) will not render me ‘dangerous’ to anyone, and your claim that it will is clearly ludicrous.

    When we say “the EU decides” something, what that means is that its
    MEMBERS have decided it.

    I well remember that before the referendum that every now and then some ruling would emanate from the EU that the British public were clearly unhappy about, and newspapers were critical on the ruling. The various actions taken against Greece with its debt crisis were clearly orchestrated at the time by Merkel and her cohorts which paid little attention to what other EU members thought about the problem. It looked at the time as if the EU elite were very much running the show, as they had done with the migrant problem. Remember Merkel’s egotistical statement that ‘we can do this’. It’s only recently that various European governments have stamped their feet to register disapproval by electing more ‘populist’ leaders (e.g. Italy) and Merkel has finally woken up to the issues that concern the ordinary members of the public.

  • Erol #190
    Jul 13, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I well remember that before the referendum that every now and then some ruling would emanate from the EU that the British public were clearly unhappy about, and newspapers were critical on the ruling.

    When participating in evidence based rational debates, we quote information sources.

    Please specify which “newspapers” you are referring to.

    From your comments I have my suspicions – As there are some propagandist rags which regularly claim to “speak for the British public”, but are only interested in marketing “controversial”, sensationalist wind-up stories (concocted by their writers), rather than honest factual quotes or informative reports!
    Some of them were named earlier in this discussion.

    (There are lies, Damned lies, and SUN exclusives 🙂 )

  • Erol #190
    Jul 13, 2018 at 9:33 am

    It’s only recently that various European governments have stamped their feet to register disapproval by electing more ‘populist’ leaders (e.g. Italy) and Merkel has finally woken up to the issues that concern the ordinary members of the public.

    I think you are referring to the refugee immigration crisis (see #57) which is providing real conflicts between humanitarian ideals and the sharing of costs of practical assistance, because of the sheer weight of refugee numbers.

    This crisis was not CAUSED by the EU, (although some of member governments including the UK, were responsible for starting the civil wars which triggered the crisis!)

    However, the problems for the EU, are trivial in comparison to the problems caused TO the refugees as a result of foreign arms sales, support for rebel groups, and the reckless military adventures, which started the civil wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria!

  • Alan #191

    This example from October 2013:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2458354/3-600-new-laws-3-years-EU-strangles-UK-firms.html

    3,600 new laws in three years as EU strangles UK firms: Brussels’s ‘addiction’ to red tape laid bare as it’s revealed it would take 92 DAYS to read all the regulations
    • Business for Britain said there are 13million words in the laws
    • The campaign group said red tape makes it harder for UK firms to compete
    • David Cameron pledged to hold talks to get powers back from Brussels

    Business for Britain said the avalanche of directives is strangling UK firms and making it harder to compete with corporations in the US and in emerging markets in the Far East and South America.
    David Cameron has pledged to hold talks to get some powers back from Brussels and to reduce the burden of red tape on business, ahead of a 2017 referendum on membership of the EU.
    Matthew Elliott, chief executive of Business for Britain, said: ‘The EU has an addiction to red tape that desperately needs to be tackled.

    ‘The forthcoming renegotiation with Brussels must focus on overhauling its approach to regulation, for the good of jobs and growth in Britain.’

    Last week, inventor Sir James Dyson was forced to lodge a legal challenge to new EU labelling regulations for vacuum cleaners. He claims the new labelling rules make it look as if Dysons are less energy efficient than they actually are.
    Over the past few months, UK companies have had to fight proposed EU legislation such as measures to ban the Union Jack from packs of meat, enforce quotas in boardrooms and prohibit refillable olive oil jugs in restaurants.

    In the past three months alone, the EU has found time to issue regulations on anchovy fishing in the Bay of Biscay, the labelling of spirits and the use of rosemary extracts in certain low-fat meat and fish products.
    Other regulations cover the authorisation of ammonium chloride as a feed additive for ruminants, cats and dogs, and the use of certain additives in seaweed-based fish roe substitutes.

    Another regulation changes the botanical name of the tomato, and another concerns maximum residue levels for ‘clodinafop (a herbicide), clomazone, diuron, ethalfluralin, ioxynil, iprovalicarb, maleic hydrazide, mepanipyrim, metconazole, prosulfocarb and tepraloxydim’ in or on certain products.

    There are also directives forcing television manufacturers to change their ‘ecodesign’ requirements for standby functions, and forcing makers of water heaters to change energy consumption labelling

    Mr Elliott said: ‘No one would argue that a single market needs some regulation to function properly, but the volume and frequency of new directives being generated is a serious restraint to British businesses.
    ‘This is why I welcome the formation of the government’s EU regulation taskforce and its drive to identify the EU’s most pernicious business regulations.’

    Business for Britain is a campaign for a better deal from the EU, backed by more than 750 UK business leaders.

  • Erol #193

    it’s revealed it would take 92 DAYS to read all the regulations

    Literally NO business would need to. The vast majority of these are not regulations as in “Give your employees at least 20 days’ paid holiday per year”, applying to all businesses. They are technical regulations to ensure consistent minimum quality and safety standards across manufacturers/producers of the same kind of product, wherever in the EU it is produced (i.e. the Single Market). Businesses need to be aware of new regulations in their own sector (though there is always extensive consultation before any such regulations are passed in any case), but a clothing manufacturer in the UK certainly doesn’t need to worry about the regulations on pest control in olive groves, to pluck an imaginary example from the air, just as an olive producer doesn’t need to worry about the dyes permitted for use in garments.

    This is classic Brexiteer bamboozle technique and simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    Furthermore, what some businesses term “red tape” is what their employees term “safety standards”, “humane working hours”, “minimum 20 days paid holiday every year”, “right to sick leave” and “maternity leave”, to name just a few. A few, irresponsible employers may well begrudge the regulation that requires them to provide, say, finger guards for chain saw operators, but that doesn’t make that worker protection any less necessary or any less right.

  • Alan #191

    This example of 20 reasons to leave from June 2016 (some of these are now redundant or too trivial):

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/22/20-reasons-you-should-vote-to-leave-the-european-union/

    1) We’d get our money back

    Some of your taxes go the European Union. Some, but not all, of that money comes back to Britain in subsidies to farmers, grants to universities and so on. How much? In 2015, our gross contribution was almost £18 billion, but a budget “rebate” won my Margaret Thatcher in 1984 reduced that to £13 billion, around £200 per person in Britain. The Treasury says around £6 billion comes back to the UK in subsidies and grants, meaning our net EU payments are worth a little over £100 per head. In cash terms, Britain is the second biggest contributor to the EU budget after Germany.

    2) We could decide who comes into our country

    EU members must allow all EU citizens to enter their country and work without restrictions. The “right of free movement” has allowed hundreds of thousands of Europeans to live and work in Britain. In the 12 months ending in September 2015, an estimated 257,000 EU nationals arrived in the UK. The Office for National Statistics estimates that there are more than 2 million EU nationals working in the UK.

    3) We could make our own laws again

    Some British laws are passed and implemented because of decisions made at an EU level. Business For Britain, a pro-Leave group, reckons 65 per cent of new British laws are made in Brussels. The House of Commons Library says that between 1993 and 2014, a total of 231 Acts of Parliament were passed because of EU membership, 24 per cent of the total. In 2010, the UK government estimated that about 50 per cent of UK legislation with “significant economic impact” originates from EU legislation.

    4) Our courts would have the final say over those laws

    When Britain joined the EEC in 1972, Parliament accepted that European law could have primacy over UK law. That law is ultimately overseen by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The court’s power has grown steadily, and the Lisbon Treaty gave it power over 135 areas of criminal justice policy; Britain has opted out of all but 35 of those measures, but participates in the European Arrest Warrant scheme, which gives the court the right to order EU nationals (including Britons) be extradited to face trial elsewhere in the EU.

    5) We wouldn’t have to accept decisions forced on us by other countries

    Many EU decisions are taken under “qualified majority voting” rules, where countries’ voting weights depend on their size. That means countries can be outvoted, forced to accept decisions with which they disagree. Britain is outvoted more often than any other country. Between 2009 and 2015, Britain was on the losing side of 12 per cent of QMV decisions. By contrast, France was on the losing side of less than 1 per cent of votes. The areas where Britain was most often outvoted included the EU budget and EU foreign and security policy.

    6 ) We wouldn’t have to listen to lots of European presidents

    The EU is not a country but it has no fewer than five presidents. Donald Tusk is president of the European Council, the group comprised of EU heads of state and government. Jean Claude Juncker is president of the European Commission. Martin Schulz is president of the European Parliament. Mario Draghi is president of the European Central Bank. Jeroen Dijsselbloem is president of the Eurogroup of countries using the single currency. They wrote a report last year calling for much greater integration of the euro countries, another step on the road to a superstate.

    7) We wouldn’t have to listen to, or fund, the European Commission

    The European Commission is more than the EU’s civil service. It also has the right to propose new laws and regulations. It employs around 23,000 officials. In 2011, a think-tank estimated that more than 10,000 Commission staff were paid more than £70,000.

    8) We could have proper vacuum cleaners

    Under an EU regulation that took effect in 2014, vacuum cleaners with the most powerful motors (1,600 watts and above) are banned. The European Commission says the ban will save energy and encourage more efficient devices. Which? a consumer group, says it prohibits some of the best machines currently being made. Sir James Dyson, the British industrialist, says the efficiency rules were skewed to favour German vacuums over his products.

    9) We wouldn’t have to worry about Turkey

    The EU wants to grow even bigger. There are five official candidate countries: Turkey, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania. To get in, each has to adopt all EU rules and political standards, then “accession” has to be approved by the leaders and parliaments of every EU member. The Commission says there’s no prospect of any new members before 2020; many European politicians believe Turkey will never qualify, though both sides say they are committed to its entry.

    10) We could set our own tax rates

    The EU wants to “harmonise” the rate of VAT and the goods to which it applies. VAT must be at least 15 per cent but can be cut to 5 per cent on certain specified items. EU-wide consent is needed for any changes, which is why George Osborne needs European permission to reduce VAT on tampons and sanitary towels.

    11) We could support British companies in trouble

    EU single market rules discourage governments from giving financial support to private companies, to make sure “national champions” do not have a commercial advantage over rivals. Those rules meant that ministers couldn’t directly bail out Tata Steel’s UK plants.

    12) Fish!

    The EU’s common fisheries policy attempts to manage and share EU fish stocks by giving each nations’ fishermen quotas for what they can catch. Critics say that forces up prices for consumers, forces fishermen to dump millions of dead fish back in the sea, and decimates national fishing fleets.

    13) We could get rid of windfarms

    Wondering where all those wind turbines come from? Brussels, of course. EU members have agreed to increase the share of their electricity generated from “renewable” sources. By 2020, Britain is supposed to get 15 per cent of its power this way and could in theory face legal action if that target is missed.

    14) We could have blue passports again

    Your passport is red because Britain is in the EU, and EU members have standardised their passports, and agreed that “European Union” is the first thing written on the cover. The red passport replaced the old blue document in 1988.

    15) And our own entry lanes at airports

    Remember when you came back from holiday and there was an entry lane marked UK PASSPORT HOLDERS? It’s not there any more because EU rules oblige members to treat all EU nationals in the same way, so Britons have to queue up with their fellow Europeans when they want to come back into their own country.

    16) We wouldn’t have to fund EU foreign aid

    The EU has its own foreign aid programme to give away your money. In 2013, it spent almost €15 billion (£11.8 billion) on foreign aid, almost exactly as much as the UK Government.

    17) It would be easier to get rid of fridges

    The EU has a say in how you dispose of white goods through Directive 2012/19/EU. Before the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive came in, you could dispose of your fridge in your local landfill to be destroyed by a giant metal crusher. But now fridges are deemed hazardrous, so have to be disposed of safely in special closed units (“approved authorised treatment facilities”). This has spawned a new industry disposing of Britain’s old fridges, and irritated a lot of householders.

    18) No more stupid recycling bins

    Local councils’ drive to get you to recycle more of your rubbish is partly driven by the EU. The European Commission wants much less rubbish to go to landfill, and its Landfill Directive sets tough targets for councils. As a result, the UK Government imposes heavy fines on councils for landfill use, adding to council tax bills and encouraging the proliferation of different household bins

    19) British MEPs would be sacked

    Every month, the European Parliament – hundreds of MEPs, their staff, translators and other officials, 10,000 people in all – moves from Brussels to Strasbourg, where it sits for just four days. This “travelling circus” is widely regarded as being hugely wasteful: the Conservative Party has estimated the cost at £130 million a year.

    20) Finally, we could have proper lightbulbs again

    In possibly the most infamous EU instruction in recent years, traditional incandescent lightbulbs are restricted in favour of low-energy alternatives, which many people feel do not offer the same level of illumination.

  • Erol #195

    It’s always a bad sign when people start copying and pasting screeds of stuff from elsewhere rather than making their own arguments. The Telegraph’s claims are, as so often on the subject of the EU, misinformed and/or misleading and/or downright silly. Let’s take them one by one, shall we?

    1) We’d get our money back Some of your taxes go the European Union.
    Some, but not all, of that money comes back to Britain in subsidies to
    farmers, grants to universities and so on. How much? In 2015, our
    gross contribution was almost £18 billion, but a budget “rebate” won
    my Margaret Thatcher in 1984 reduced that to £13 billion, around £200
    per person in Britain. The Treasury says around £6 billion comes back
    to the UK in subsidies and grants, meaning our net EU payments are
    worth a little over £100 per head. In cash terms, Britain is the
    second biggest contributor to the EU budget after Germany.

    Our payments to the EU amount to 0.37% of our taxes.

    The CBI has estimated that every £1 of our net contribution generates £10 of wealth for the UK. That’s the equivalent of putting that money in a savings account with an interest rate of 1000%.

    Cash terms are misleading, because you’re not comparing like with like: obviously a larger, richer country will be paying more in cash terms than a smaller, poorer one.

    Per head of population, our net EU contribution is the 2nd lowest of all the net contributors. Only Italy pays less, and even so, only marginally. In 2014, the UK’s net EU contribution was €76.7 per person. The Netherlands’ was 279.9€ per person. Even the next lowest after us (i.e. the 3rd lowest in total) – France – pays considerably more than we do, at 108.8€ per person.

    Calculated as a percentage of GDP, the UK contribution is the lowest of all the net contributors, at 0.23%. Again, the Netherlands pays the most, at 0.71%.

    2) We could decide who comes into our country EU members must allow
    all EU citizens to enter their country and work without restrictions.
    The “right of free movement” has allowed hundreds of thousands of
    Europeans to live and work in Britain. In the 12 months ending in
    September 2015, an estimated 257,000 EU nationals arrived in the UK.
    The Office for National Statistics estimates that there are more than
    2 million EU nationals working in the UK.

    EU members can remove EU citizens after 3 months if they are not working or studying or otherwise financially self-sufficient. EU citizens’ net contribution to the UK’s coffers is significantly higher than any other sector of the population i.e. they pay considerably more in taxes than they take out in public services.

    3) We could make our own laws again Some British laws are passed and
    implemented because of decisions made at an EU level. Business For
    Britain, a pro-Leave group, reckons 65 per cent of new British laws
    are made in Brussels. The House of Commons Library says that between
    1993 and 2014, a total of 231 Acts of Parliament were passed because
    of EU membership, 24 per cent of the total. In 2010, the UK government
    estimated that about 50 per cent of UK legislation with “significant
    economic impact” originates from EU legislation.

    We already make our own laws. See #186.

    The use of the word “laws” in the context of the EU is almost always misleading, because they are almost all regulations governing the operation of the Single Market and NOT how members arrange their domestic affairs. See #194.

    4) Our courts would have the final say over those laws When Britain
    joined the EEC in 1972, Parliament accepted that European law could
    have primacy over UK law. That law is ultimately overseen by the
    European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The court’s power has grown
    steadily, and the Lisbon Treaty gave it power over 135 areas of
    criminal justice policy; Britain has opted out of all but 35 of those
    measures, but participates in the European Arrest Warrant scheme,
    which gives the court the right to order EU nationals (including
    Britons) be extradited to face trial elsewhere in the EU.

    No. When Britain joined the EEC in 1972, Parliament accepted that European law could have primacy over UK law in competence areas devolved to the EU. These are primarily thing concerning the operation of the Single Market and NOT domestic policy. Again: see #186.

    5) We wouldn’t have to accept decisions forced on us by other
    countries Many EU decisions are taken under “qualified majority
    voting” rules, where countries’ voting weights depend on their size.
    That means countries can be outvoted, forced to accept decisions with
    which they disagree. Britain is outvoted more often than any other
    country. Between 2009 and 2015, Britain was on the losing side of 12
    per cent of QMV decisions. By contrast, France was on the losing side
    of less than 1 per cent of votes. The areas where Britain was most
    often outvoted included the EU budget and EU foreign and security
    policy.

    Major decisions such as accessions and trade agreements require the agreement of all members, in line with their own constitutional arrangements, which in some cases requires those members to hold a referendum before the proposal can be passed.

    Less dramatic decisions are made on the basis of qualified majority voting. Yes, sometimes Britain is outvoted. How could it not be? By your own figures, in 88% of QMV decisions, the vote goes our way. In any collaboration involving 28 partners, no one is going to get their own way all the time.

    And yes, post-Brexit we absolutely will have to accept decisions forced on us by other countries. For one thing, trade agreements will be subject to regulations in place in the countries we trade with.

    And by the way, the very Chequers proposals that you seem to support provide for the UK to conform to EU regulations so as to give us access to the Single Market for our goods. The FTA you are so confident we can agree with the EU will also require us to follow EU Single Market regulations – that’s what a Single Market IS: a market where consumers can be certain that all products have been produced to the same minimum standards.

    There is simply no real life version of the world where we don’t have to compromise, negotiate and sometimes give way to other countries.

    6 ) We wouldn’t have to listen to lots of European presidents The EU
    is not a country but it has no fewer than five presidents. Donald Tusk
    is president of the European Council, the group comprised of EU heads
    of state and government. Jean Claude Juncker is president of the
    European Commission. Martin Schulz is president of the European
    Parliament. Mario Draghi is president of the European Central Bank.
    Jeroen Dijsselbloem is president of the Eurogroup of countries using
    the single currency. They wrote a report last year calling for much
    greater integration of the euro countries, another step on the road to
    a superstate.

    How childish, even by Brexiteer standards. Different bodies have different leaders. Well, colour me shocked.

    7) We wouldn’t have to listen to, or fund, the European Commission The
    European Commission is more than the EU’s civil service. It also has
    the right to propose new laws and regulations. It employs around
    23,000 officials. In 2011, a think-tank estimated that more than
    10,000 Commission staff were paid more than £70,000.

    The wording in this instance is correct: the EC has the right to PROPOSE new laws and regulations. This tends to morph in Brexiteer world to the patently dishonest “the EC MAKES new laws and regulations”.

    In an organisation of 28 members, you need a central facilitation service to promote discussion, negotiation and compromise between those members. While only the EC can put proposed new laws and regs in Council and Parliament, that is not the same as saying only the EC can propose them. The EC is the oil that lubricates communication between members. Ideas for new laws and regs come from members THROUGH the EC. The EC then conducts extensive consultation with members before the ideas are ever drafted into the form of a proposed law or regulation. The aim of the consultation is to give members the chance to express their agreement or dissent or concerns or suggestions early enough to influence the subsequent proposed wording – or to kick it out of court, if appropriate. So members are directly involved and have influence right from the start; and once the stage has been reached where the law/reg is ready to be progressed, then the decisions are entirely in the hands of the members, in the Council and in the Parliament. The amount of consultation that goes on – with the public too, by the way – puts the UK system to shame.

    8) We could have proper vacuum cleaners Under an EU regulation that
    took effect in 2014, vacuum cleaners with the most powerful motors
    (1,600 watts and above) are banned. The European Commission says the
    ban will save energy and encourage more efficient devices. Which? a
    consumer group, says it prohibits some of the best machines currently
    being made. Sir James Dyson, the British industrialist, says the
    efficiency rules were skewed to favour German vacuums over his
    products.

    Sorry, Erol. This is 2018. We have a planet to save.

    9) We wouldn’t have to worry about Turkey The EU wants to grow even
    bigger. There are five official candidate countries: Turkey,
    Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania. To get in, each has to
    adopt all EU rules and political standards, then “accession” has to be
    approved by the leaders and parliaments of every EU member. The
    Commission says there’s no prospect of any new members before 2020;
    many European politicians believe Turkey will never qualify, though
    both sides say they are committed to its entry.

    We already don’t need to worry about Turkey. Turkey is making itself less and less eligible for EU membership by the day.

    10) We could set our own tax rates The EU wants to “harmonise” the
    rate of VAT and the goods to which it applies. VAT must be at least 15
    per cent but can be cut to 5 per cent on certain specified items.
    EU-wide consent is needed for any changes, which is why George Osborne
    needs European permission to reduce VAT on tampons and sanitary
    towels.

    We already set our own tax rates. This is why we were able to change our VAT rate from 17.5% to 20% some years ago, and then move it down to 17.5% again. In some other countries it is lower. What we can’t do is reduce the VAT rate to below the agreed minimum level – again, this is so as to maintain a reasonably level playing field in the Single Market.

    And income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax etc are all controlled 100% by us.

    11) We could support British companies in trouble EU single market
    rules discourage governments from giving financial support to private
    companies, to make sure “national champions” do not have a commercial
    advantage over rivals. Those rules meant that ministers couldn’t
    directly bail out Tata Steel’s UK plants.

    The only reason Tata Steel is in trouble is because of cheap steel imports from China. The EU wanted to support EU steel producers by putting tariffs on those cheap imports, but the UK vetoed it. So no crocodile tears, please.

    12) Fish! The EU’s common fisheries policy attempts to manage and
    share EU fish stocks by giving each nations’ fishermen quotas for what
    they can catch. Critics say that forces up prices for consumers,
    forces fishermen to dump millions of dead fish back in the sea, and
    decimates national fishing fleets.

    And yet the first thing Leave-voting Grimsby did after the referendum was demand an exemption so it could continue to sell to the EU Single Market post-Brexit.

    There is a fundamental problem with fishing and fish consumption, and that is that the majority of the fish we catch in UK waters is not the fish we in the UK like to eat. Fortunately, it’s the fish the rEU likes to eat. Which means we can sell it to them. For as long as we’re in the Single Market. After that … not.

    13) We could get rid of windfarms Wondering where all those wind
    turbines come from? Brussels, of course. EU members have agreed to
    increase the share of their electricity generated from “renewable”
    sources. By 2020, Britain is supposed to get 15 per cent of its power
    this way and could in theory face legal action if that target is
    missed.

    See 8)

    14) We could have blue passports again Your passport is red because
    Britain is in the EU, and EU members have standardised their
    passports, and agreed that “European Union” is the first thing written
    on the cover. The red passport replaced the old blue document in 1988.

    Srsly?

    15) And our own entry lanes at airports Remember when you came back
    from holiday and there was an entry lane marked UK PASSPORT HOLDERS?
    It’s not there any more because EU rules oblige members to treat all
    EU nationals in the same way, so Britons have to queue up with their
    fellow Europeans when they want to come back into their own country.

    See 14)

    16) We wouldn’t have to fund EU foreign aid The EU has its own foreign
    aid programme to give away your money. In 2013, it spent almost €15
    billion (£11.8 billion) on foreign aid, almost exactly as much as the
    UK Government.

    International aid is the best and most effective way of reducing the influx of migrants from underdeveloped countries. Well, other than stopping bombing them, that is. It is deeply ironic – but also entirely typical – that the very people who complain most about migrants are the ones who complain most bitterly about efforts to make their homelands better places to live.

    17) It would be easier to get rid of fridges The EU has a say in how
    you dispose of white goods through Directive 2012/19/EU. Before the
    Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive came in,
    you could dispose of your fridge in your local landfill to be
    destroyed by a giant metal crusher. But now fridges are deemed
    hazardrous, so have to be disposed of safely in special closed units
    (“approved authorised treatment facilities”). This has spawned a new
    industry disposing of Britain’s old fridges, and irritated a lot of
    householders.

    See 8)

    18) No more stupid recycling bins Local councils’ drive to get you to
    recycle more of your rubbish is partly driven by the EU. The European
    Commission wants much less rubbish to go to landfill, and its Landfill
    Directive sets tough targets for councils. As a result, the UK
    Government imposes heavy fines on councils for landfill use, adding to
    council tax bills and encouraging the proliferation of different
    household bins

    See 8)

    19) British MEPs would be sacked Every month, the European Parliament
    – hundreds of MEPs, their staff, translators and other officials,
    10,000 people in all – moves from Brussels to Strasbourg, where it
    sits for just four days. This “travelling circus” is widely regarded
    as being hugely wasteful: the Conservative Party has estimated the
    cost at £130 million a year.

    British MEPs are an important element of our democratic voice in the EU. No MEPs, far less influence. Well done, Brexiteers.

    20) Finally, we could have proper lightbulbs again In possibly the
    most infamous EU instruction in recent years, traditional incandescent
    lightbulbs are restricted in favour of low-energy alternatives, which
    many people feel do not offer the same level of illumination.

    See 8)

    Can we stop this tedious nonsense now, please, Erol?

  • Erol #193
    Jul 13, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Alan #191 – Please specify which “newspapers” you are referring to.

    From your comments I have my suspicions

    This example from October 2013:- dailymail.

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Daily_Mail

    The Daily Mail is a reactionary right-wing tabloid rag masquerading as a “traditional values,” middle-class newspaper that is, in many ways, the second-worst of the British gutter press (only Rupert Murdoch’s Sun is worse).

    Business for Britain said

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_for_Britain#History

    Business for Britain is a eurosceptic campaign group which seeks renegotiation of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

    A dodgy political campaign group – NOT a reputable research organisation or a professional body or trade association!

    That creationist / pseudo-science analogy just keeps coming back!

    In 2014, the group published non-peer reviewed and misleading research on the UK’s voting record in the European Parliament called Measuring Britain’s influence in the Council of Ministers.[2]
    In October 2015, the Business for Britain Board unanimously decided to support the Vote Leave campaign.

    The Telegraph is very right-wing but a more respectable newspaper.

    We’d get our money back

    Some of your taxes go the European Union. Some, but not all, of that money comes back to Britain in subsidies to farmers, grants to universities and so on.

    However this is misleading as it takes no account of the services which the EU provides to member states, (like operating all those international world-wide trade agreements which brexiteers have only just discovered they will need to replace), the cost of running its political institutions, or the contributions towards bringing poorer member states up to standard!

    We could decide who comes into our country

    I and others have already commented on the net benefits of EU immigrants to the UK economy.

    EU members must allow all EU citizens to enter their country and work without restrictions. The “right of free movement” has allowed hundreds of thousands of Europeans to live and work in Britain.

    I know! They keep the health service running, they allow companies to move expert employees to work in different countries to co-ordinate production in the supply chain, and allow seasonal workers to harvest our crops!

    Then there are the thousands of Britons who work in mainland Europe!

    There was a time when building workers from Poland etc. were taking jobs from less competitive UK workers, but the brexiteers fixed that by threatening our economy and bringing down the value of the pound to the point where Polish workers were earning less here than back home!

    If the brexiteers manage to reduce Britain’s economy to the level of a off-shore tax-haven banana republic, wages will be so low and working conditions so poor, that immigrants won’t want to come here any more!
    Problem solved???? 🙂 (No need for border staffing or those expensive Navy patrol boats!)

    20) Finally, we could have proper lightbulbs again

    In possibly the most infamous EU instruction in recent years, traditional incandescent lightbulbs are restricted in favour of low-energy alternatives, which many people feel do not offer the same level of illumination.

    I think this sums up the simplistic obsolete Luddite thinking of the journalists writing this misleading tripe – immediately after moaning about administrative costs!

    While the world is moving on from low energy tube lights, to even more energy efficient LED lights, the backward campaigners want to go back to energy guzzling incandescent lightbulbs, which run up bills for about six times as much electricity to produce the same level of light!

  • Marko #194

    This stuff isn’t tedious or irrelevant for many, so you’ll have to bear with it for the sake of clarifying it for others.

    I shall look over your responses and come back to you tomorrow.

  • It is extremely tedious having to deal with many-times debunked Brexiteer lies posted by someone who has simply swallowed them whole.

    I wouldn’t mind so much if I thought you were the least bit receptive to learning something on the subject, but so far you have shown no sign of it.

    I shall have very little time for responding to further posts over the next few days, so may need to leave it to Alan and Phil to deal with anything arising during that time – if they have the time and inclination.

  • Erol #195
    Jul 13, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Alan #191

    This example of 20 reasons to leave from June 2016 (some of these are now redundant or too trivial):

    Oh! Dear! Oh dear!

    What a list of irresponsible ignoramus moans about behaving like responsible citizens!

    13) We could get rid of windfarms Wondering where all those wind
    turbines come from? Brussels, of course.

    Actually the turbines are profitably manufactured and installed by engineering firms and contractors without going anywhere near Brussels! – and by the way – On-shore wind is the cheapest form of electrical power generation and one of the least polluting!

    EU members have agreed to increase the share of their electricity generated from “renewable”sources.
    By 2020, Britain is supposed to get 15 per cent of its power
    this way

    and could in theory face legal action if that target is
    missed.

    OOO Horrors!!!! 🙂 What are we going to do?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_the_United_Kingdom

    The United Kingdom is one of the best locations for wind power in the world and is considered to be the best in Europe.[1][2]
    Wind power contributed 15% of UK electricity generation in 2017 and 18.5% in the final quarter of 2017.[3]
    Allowing for the costs of pollution, particularly the carbon emissions of other forms of production, onshore wind power is the cheapest form of energy in the United Kingdom.[4] In 2016, the UK generated more electricity from wind power than from coal.

    In 2017 the Financial Times reported that new offshore wind costs had fallen by nearly a third over four years, to an average of £97/MWh, meeting the government’s £100/MWh target four years early.

    Instead of reading and quoting scaremongering tripe in the trash media, why not look up some proper information from reputable sources?

  • Erol #195
    Jul 13, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    13) We could get rid of windfarms Wondering where all those wind
    turbines come from? Brussels, of course.
    By 2020, Britain is supposed to get 15 per cent of its power
    this way

    . . and here’s me thinking the developments were being promoted very successfully, and way ahead of targets, by the SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT!

    https://fraserofallander.org/scottish-economy/energy/scotlands-record-year-for-renewables/

    Back in 2007, the target was for 50% of Scotland’s annual gross electricity consumption to come from renewables by 2020.

    As chart 1 highlights, this target has not just been met but exceeded well in advance.

    In 2017, just over 68% of electricity consumption in Scotland was met by renewables.

    As of the end of 2017, there was just over 10,000 MW of renewables capacity in Scotland – nearly 75% of which is from onshore wind.

    Around 90% of the increase in renewables capacity since the end of 2010 has come from onshore wind.

  • I’ll wait to hear from Erol.

    The quantity of young folk with secondary yellow Anti Brexit stickers at the march today was a delight and underscored what a sad old list of complaints there were from Erol.

    It seems that he is probably intent in halting progress of all sorts and it would distress him none to have wasteful products back on the menu. Policy for standards of goods and services driven by reason and necessity isn’t an imposition. Its how we get to lead the world on these matters. Its how we save the planet. Its what the next generation of caretakers want.

  • This lightbulb. Erol, (I mostly develop them for lighting majors)

    https://www.blumelabs.com/

    has just been upgraded with swappable terminations and optics so it can be used indefinitely in a wide variety of different roles. It drops plastic usage by 90% plus. Even after its 100,000 hours of rated life (its design life is considerably longer) or when bored with it, it has a second life in off grid applications in Africa and India, can be taken apart and used again and again and has a pure (unmixed) waste stream of standard polymers so can be perfectly recycled (no adhesives).

    It uses 6 watts to generate the same light output as a 75W incandescent lamp, has an ideal beam pattern even incadescent lamps can’t manage.

    Germany is the circular economy and plastics recycling powerhouse and why we could find initial backing for it. The Euro market driven by new and necessary standards is the essential stepping stone to volume.

    You are dangerous. You and your blundering ignorance have already cost me dear.

    Don’t pick the experts you fancy. Review them all. Favour the majority opinion if you must be lazy. Or study. Understand, so you can make coherent and evidenced points.

    Good day today in town. I feel a beer coming on.

  • Laurie, everyone primarily carried anti-Trump plackards, but many young folk also sported (yellow) stickers protesting brexit.

  • Erol #195
    Jul 13, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    17)It would be easier to get rid of fridges

    The EU has a say in how you dispose of white goods through Directive 2012/19/EU. Before the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive came in, you could dispose of your fridge in your local landfill to be destroyed by a giant metal crusher.

    Wasting all the metal parts and spilling the toxic and environmentally damaging refrigerant fluid!

    But now fridges are deemed hazardrous, so have to be disposed of safely in special closed units (“approved authorised treatment facilities”).

    Guess what! That’s because breaking open the seals IS DANGEROUS, and the fluid is environmentally dangerous!

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2015/03/150306-why-your-fridge-pollutes-and-how-its-changing/

    Your home’s refrigerator does more than store milk and meat. It also contains chemicals that emit greenhouse gases.

    New fridges will likely be greener. In a switchover that will be largely invisible to consumers, more fridges and air conditioners are entering the U.S. market that will do less harm to the planet.

    This week, the U.S. government took a step to expedite that rollout. As part of President Barack Obama’s climate plan and ahead of global climate talks, the Environmental Protection Agency approved five less-polluting chemicals or refrigerants, one of which is flammable propane.

    “We can turn the challenge of climate change into an opportunity to innovate our way to a better future,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in announcing the final rule, which applies to fridges, freezers, vending machines, and window AC units.

    EPA’s rules often give the industry heartburn—but not this one. Companies are on board, knowing time is running out for refrigerants such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that pose a rapidly growing climate threat. These coolants—used in cars and buildings—emit heat-trapping gases during manufacturing, leakage, or disposal.

    “We know HFCs are going to be phased down, so we want to be prepared,” says Francis Dietz, spokesperson for the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, noting the industry is already making changes.

    This has spawned a new industry disposing of Britain’s old fridges,

    Yep! Collecting, recycling, and reusing the metals, and safely disposing of, or reusing chemical fluids, instead of wasting them and polluting the environment, makes sense.

    and irritated a lot of householders.

    Poor diddums is irritated about being unable to just chuck leaking toxic waste over the neighbour’s fence to dispose of it!

    Sorry – No sympathy on that issue! – Regardless of what irresponsible crap journalists may preach!
    A fridge can be transported to a landfill tip or to a recycling centre!
    Is there any serious difference for householders in the arrangements needed?

    This list of arguments really is pathetic!

  • Put it here please, mods. Its for you, Erol.

    Sorry, Phil, we can’t control where posts go when we retrieve them from the spam bin! But we have retrieved your comment and it’s now at #203.

    The mods

  • Erol.

    Just to finish the argument of LED lamps….. really excellent dimmable “filament” LED lamps have been available for several years now. They produce the same light as a 60W lamp using 9W, with a similar beam pattern and a life of 20,000 hours.

  • Erol @#195

    14) We could have blue passports again

    How pretty . . . and true blue!

    15) And our own entry lanes at airports

    Remember when you came back from holiday and there was an entry lane marked UK PASSPORT HOLDERS? It’s not there any more because EU rules oblige members to treat all EU nationals in the same way, so Britons have to queue up with their fellow Europeans when they want to come back into their own country.

    Oh dear!
    In-bound Britons having to queue with Germans, French, Spanish and Italians in the EU channel at UK airports because of EU passports!

    So “brilliant brexiteers” propose pretty blue passports so Britons can queue with Africans, Afghans, Americans, Arabs, Chinese and Indians, in the Non-EU aliens channel, at ALL European Airports! 🙂

    Of course queueing at airports is determined by the use of the RED or GREEN channel, the staffing and arrangements at customs and passport control, and delayed aircraft, – but hey! That’s a lot of DEEEEEP thinking far beyond the superficial junk story journalists or their readers!

    These gutter-press articles are misleading trash!

  • Erol #195
    Jul 13, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    This example of 20 reasons to leave from June 2016

    6 ) We wouldn’t have to listen to . . . . .

    7) We wouldn’t have to listen to, or fund, the European Commission

    The European Commission is more than the EU’s civil service.

    The European Commission is the EU’s civil service which finds and supplies expert advice to Ministers and MEPs and then operates the legal mechanisms and policies decided upon.

    As is very obvious from the level of utter ignorance in these alleged “20 Reasons”, listening to expert advice, obtaining honest reliable information, and learning about how administrative mechanisms work, and honestly reporting, is not a feature of know-it-all ignorant propagandist “journalists” who write gutter press articles!

    They are in the business of selling simplistic sensationalised garbage from preconceived agendas, to con the public and to sell tabloid rags circulating paid-for advertising!

  • https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/13/trump-fake-news-fox-cnn-theresa-may
    Donald Trump took his war against “fake news” to the UK on Friday, using the term as a means to row back on his criticisms of the British prime minister in an interview with the Sun, and to refuse once again to take a question from CNN at a press conference.

    He refused questions from mainstream media such as CNN and using his regular criteria (choose the worst of the worst) picked out the SUN reporters and Fox!

    He then lied describing the SUN report as “Fake News”!

    Standing next to May, Trump opened the event by saying the interview he had given to the British tabloid newspaper the Sun, in which he criticised May’s handling of Brexit and threatened to kill a prospective US-British trade deal, was “fake news”.

    Trump had done so, and the Sun had audio tape to prove it.
    But for the president, when he uses the term “fake news”, it does not only mean news whose accuracy he questions; it also means any news that is negative for him.

    So anything Trump does not like, which illustrates his blustering incompetence, or which catches him out when lying, is branded “Fake news”!

    Here’s the Sun’s statement:
    “We stand by our reporting and the quotes we used – including those where the president was positive about the prime minister, in both the paper and in our audio – and we’re delighted that the president essentially retracted his original charge against the paper later in the press conference.

    “To say the president called us ‘fake news’ with any serious intent is, well … fake news.”

    Trump is BIG on psychological projection!

    One of the maddening features of Trump’s communications technique is that even as he masquerades as a factchecker, he simultaneously tells towering, easily debunked lies.

    A bare-faced liar and cynical poser!

    “CNN is fake news, I don’t take questions from CNN,” Trump said, calling on Fox News instead.

    To anyone with integrity and and basic reasoning skills – Laughable!

    To those who expect competence, integrity, and fitness for post, in those holding presidential office – very sad!

  • I see disrupter-in-chief, Trump is advocating his standard belligerent confrontational stupidity, as means of “negotiation”with partners!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44838028

    Donald Trump told Theresa May she should “sue” the EU rather than negotiate, she has told the BBC.

    Asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr what it was he had said, she replied: “He told me I should sue the EU – not go into negotiations.”

    I’m not sure in which court he thinks this would have any credibility!

  • With Trump’s record of reneging on trade-deals, treaties, and agreements; along with his historical records of bankruptcies, trade wars, and belligerent court actions when he was demonstrably wrong:-
    Only and utter moron would abandon UK trade agreements **with, and through, the European Union, to negotiate an “America First” trade deal with Trump!**

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44821976

    Donald Trump: US-UK trade deal ‘absolutely possible’

    A US-UK trade deal “will absolutely be possible”, Donald Trump has said, hours after he told The Sun Theresa May’s Brexit plan could kill an agreement.

  • 15) And our own entry lanes at airports Remember when you came back
    from holiday and there was an entry lane marked UK PASSPORT HOLDERS?
    It’s not there any more because EU rules oblige members to treat all
    EU nationals in the same way, so Britons have to queue up with their
    fellow Europeans when they want to come back into their own country.

    It seems to have escaped the Telegraph’s attention that, before Brits return to the UK to face the ignominy of having to queue at passport control with people who aren’t British, they actually have to travel abroad in the first place.

    And as EU members, when we arrive at EU airports (whether on holiday or to do business), we are able to go through the EU lane, where we are pretty much waved through.

    The non-EU lane moves much, much more slowly (and also contains people who aren’t British, shock, horror!).

    Also, as part of its measures to tighten its external borders (as demanded by Eurosceptics), the EU is planning to introduce ETIAS, a new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). Under this system, anyone coming into the Schengen area from outside the EU or EEA will need to fill out an online form ahead of their trip and apply for travel authorisation, as well as pay a fee.

    When you consider that 9 of Britons’ Top Ten most visited holiday destinations are in the EU (the exception being the USA, at number 5), that’s a whole lot of extra delay, inconvenience and expense on their holidays that they simply wouldn’t have had if we were either staying in the EU or switching to the EEA. Not that Erol will care. Erol will tell them to holiday somewhere else, rather than the destination of their choice and – previously – budget. Marie Antoinette lives on in the bosoms of our Brexiteers!

  • Marco #194

    It’s revealed it would take 92 DAYS to read all the regulations

    Literally NO business would need to.

    What is your evidence to support this? This is just an assertion to downplay one of the key drawbacks of all these regulations. And once you’ve downplayed it you then describe the statement as ‘classic Brexiteer bamboozle technique’.

    Who’s bamboozling who, here?

    I refer you to the original document containing two case studies:

    https://fullfact.org/sites/fullfact.org/files/EU%20Business%20Regulation%20-%20Briefing%20Note.pdf

    # 196

    The CBI has estimated that every £1 of our net contribution generates
    £10 of wealth for the UK. That’s the equivalent of putting that money
    in a savings account with an interest rate of 1000%.

    Where is the evidence for this supposed wealth benefit. Simply because the CBI says so?

    We already know that the CBI is an avowedly pro EU organisation receiving funding from it, and that it also previously supported the UK adopting the Euro as its currency! Here’s a reminder:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/remaining-in-the-eu-would-be-a-disaster-for-britain-just-like-the-euro-a7059326.html

    Of course the referendum on Britain’s EU membership is about much more than economics. It is a vote over how Britain wishes to be governed – by either an elected parliament in Britain or an unelected Commission in Brussels. However, with such economic wisdom supposedly on the side of the Remain camp, it is worth recalling the attitude that Euro-enthusiasts in Britain once had for the euro. The continent’s single currency, needless to say, has been an economic disaster. Yet had the pro-EU crowd had their way, Britain too would have been part of this union of monetary mess.

    Among many, it was self-evident that Britain should join the euro. Some of the most influential politicians in the 1990s and 2000s were fervently pro single currency. From Danny Alexander and Paddy Ashdown, to Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, Ken Clarke, alongside Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, and Chris Patten. At the same time, supposed key dispensers of financial and business wisdom in the country such as the Financial Times and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) were also making the case for the euro. In 1998, Adair Turner, then Director General of the CBI told business leaders that “the euro will create a single market of transparent prices, reduced exchange rate risk and a pan-European capital market. Each of these will give a stimulus to competition and productivity growth across Europe.”

    Speaking at a CBI conference in 1999, Turner said that a majority of British businesses were in favour of joining the monetary union, while in the year 2000 Sir Clive Thompson, the CBI’s then president, expressed his disappointment with the Blair government’s wavering on Eurozone membership. “It is a difficult choice to make,” he said “but we have to accept that the euro exists. I believe on balance we should join.”

    In 2001, the Financial Times predicted that Greece in particular was set to draw huge benefits from Eurozone membership. “With Greece now trading in euros, few will mourn the death of the drachma,” it predicted. “Membership of the Eurozone offers the prospect of long-term economic stability.” There are countless reports and columns from the newspaper in the 2000s either advocating Britain’s membership of the Eurozone, or extolling its many positives on the continent. Until the Eurozone crisis first flared up, that is. At the time, it was those opposed to Britain joining the monetary union that were portrayed as lacking any economic sense. Writing in the Independent in 2003, Johann Hari wrote, “the anti-Europeans want to hum Land of Hope and Glory as they nuke the British economy.” Those who wished to keep Britain out of the disastrous single currency were, apparently, sacrificing Britain’s economy for sake of feel-good nationalism. The accusations are the same today. Yet what is clear now – and yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing – it was the pro-single currency set that was prepared to sacrifice Britain’s economy for the sake of a feel-good cosmopolitanism. The referendum itself is much more than economic. Whatever short-term economic and financial shocks we face, it is still a price worth paying for democracy. But at the same time, it is worth remembering that many of the same people that now warn of the economic dangers of Brexit, were also calling for Britain to opt into the single currency experiment. Even as late as 2009, the IMF was urging Eastern European EU members to adopt the euro, as a tool for “removing uncertainty and restoring confidence,” in their economies.”

    Those who were the most fervent European integrationists have now been proven wrong, while those who leaned more to the sceptical side were vindicated as correct. This patchy record on the economy upsets the whole idea that the Remain camp is the side of economic wisdom: had we listened to them ten years ago, Britain’s economy would be in a greater mess than we could imagine. Perhaps we should not be so quick to assume the Remain camp are to be most trusted when it comes to the economic implications of the UK’s EU membership.

    We already make our own laws. See #186. The use of the word “laws” in
    the context of the EU is almost always misleading, because they are
    almost all regulations governing the operation of the Single Market
    and NOT how members arrange their domestic affairs

    See the following:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/22/the-eus-court-is-picking-apart-our-laws/

    The idea at the heart of our democracy is not complicated. At a general election, the voters choose who makes the laws that govern our lives. If governments fail to live up to their promises, the electorate throw them out. This precious right may sound simple, but it took hundreds of years of struggle and sacrifice to secure. It is up to us to keep it intact for future generations – and we must never let our vigilance slip. It has become increasingly clear that we can guarantee that future far better if we leave the European Union. If a government cannot keep its promises because of its membership of an unelected, unaccountable outside organisation, the connection between the people and their laws is broken. The whole basis of our democracy is undermined.

    In the EU, the unelected European Commission creates laws for us and our parliament can only rubber-stamp them. The whole system is overseen by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in Luxembourg, which has ultimate jurisdiction over our parliament and law courts. The ECJ is not merely an arbiter of justice. Its stated role is to advance the cause of European integration. And it has continuously expanded its remit. It now routinely interferes in one of the most fundamental duties of an elected government, protecting the security of its citizens. It overruled a 2005 decision by Charles Clarke, then home secretary, to refuse entry to a French national known to be involved in terrorism. The 2007 Lisbon Treaty gave the ECJ sweeping new powers not just over commercial disputes but over defence, foreign affairs, immigration, justice and home affairs. The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, made legally binding at Lisbon, has given the Court the perfect tool to meet its ambitions. The British government claimed to have won an opt-out from this charter, saying it had no more legal force than the Beano. However, in 2011, the ECJ, ruling on the case of an Afghan asylum seeker, simply brushed aside the opt-out as having no legal force. The charter is now described by the Ministry of Justice as “very much part of our law”.

    In 2013, when the government was trying to refuse entry to a known terrorist with a French passport, the ECJ ruled in his favour after his lawyers argued that under the charter he was entitled to know the grounds for excluding him, potentially compromising sensitive intelligence.

    Now, astonishingly, an Act of Parliament described by the Home Secretary as “crucial to fighting crime, protecting children and combating terrorism” is in jeopardy because of the unaccountable judges in Luxembourg. The ECJ is going to rule soon after the referendum on whether the Data Protection and Regulatory Powers Act, passed in 2014, after long parliamentary debates, is consistent with the charter. As a consequence, parts of the Act may be struck down.

    The ECJ’s judgments can result in multibillion-pound losses for the British government. In the past six years, the Court has ruled against HMRC in £7 billion-worth of cases brought by multinational companies disputing VAT and other tax bills. More claims to a value of £43 billion are currently awaiting judgment.

    Given the disdain with which the ECJ treated the British opt-out from the charter and how freely it interprets its own powers, it is hard to see how Mr Cameron’s renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with Brussels can be safe.
    The ECJ may find that the so-called “emergency brake” on freedom of movement is incompatible with rights under the charter. Or it may decide that provisions intended to prevent discrimination against countries that do not use the euro are contrary to the EU’s treaties. Britain’s exemption from “ever-closer union” may be vulnerable if the ECJ’s definition of the term differs from our Government’s.

    Just a few weeks ago, in the Queen’s Speech, the government claimed it would “uphold the sovereignty of parliament and the primacy of the House of Commons”. That boast rings hollow as long as our ability to determine our own laws is picked apart by the EU and its unaccountable judges. For the future of our democracy, we should vote Leave today.

    (By Lord Howard of Lympne QC is a former Conservative Party leader and home secretary. Sir Richard Aikens was a judge in the Court of Appeal 2008-15)

  • Marco #217
    Jul 15, 2018 at 6:20 am

    And as EU members, when we arrive at EU airports (whether on holiday or to do business), we are able to go through the EU lane, where we are pretty much waved through.

    Unless flagged as a criminal! Then European co-operation kicks in.

    I am reminded of the occasion when my daughter (before her days as a lawyer), worked for a photographic business, and discovered that a crooked deputy manager had disappeared along with the money from the safe!

    She informed the police, and as he had been given to bragging about working in Spanish holiday resorts, suggested they check the airport!

    The police checked the airport, but discovered he had left on a flight to a Spanish resort.

    They contacted the Spanish police and he was apprehended at passport control on landing in Spain – with most of the money recovered.
    After 4 days in a Spanish police cell, he was flown back to UK custody and court.

    He phoned up my daughter to ask about the wages to which he would have been due, if he had remained in employment!

    She asked if he had had a nice “Spanish holiday”, 🙂 and pointed out that the the wages to which he might have been due, would just about replace the stolen money he had spent in bars, on taxis, and on air-tickets, making up the recovered amount to the original sum taken!

    He muttered about suing the company and she told he had been dismissed for gross misconduct, but he was welcome to try.
    Later he produced a sample template legal letter cut and pasted from a web-site, – much to the amusement of those with real legal qualifications!

    Isn’t European co-operation wonderful in fighting crime!!!

  • Erol #218

    Erol: It’s revealed it would take 92 DAYS to read all the regulations

    Me: Literally NO business would need to.

    Erol: What is your evidence to support this? This is just an assertion
    to downplay one of the key drawbacks of all these regulations. And
    once you’ve downplayed it you then describe the statement as ‘classic
    Brexiteer bamboozle technique’. Who’s bamboozling who, here?

    Please name a single UK-based business that would need to read all the following EU regulations:

    The Large Combustion Plant Directive

    The Noise Emission in the Environment for Equipment for Use Outdoors Directive

    The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive

    The Directive on the Legal Protection of Topographies of Semiconductor Products

    The In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Directive

    The Tobacco Advertising Directive

    The Directive on the Coordination of Certain Rules concerning Copyright and Rights related to Copyright applicable to Satellite Broadcasting and Cable Retransmission.

  • Erol

    Of course the referendum on Britain’s EU membership is about much more
    than economics. It is a vote over how Britain wishes to be governed –
    by either an elected parliament in Britain or an unelected Commission
    in Brussels.

    You are making the claim that Britain is governed by an unelected Commission in Brussels, so please tell us exactly how that works. How, according to you, are EU laws made? What is the process? What happens first? Then what? Then what? By whom at each stage? How do those people get those jobs?

    What is the equivalent process in Britain?

  • Erol #218
    Jul 15, 2018 at 9:30 am

    The CBI has estimated that every £1 of our net contribution generates £10 of wealth for the UK. That’s the equivalent of putting that money in a savings account with an interest rate of 1000%.

    Where is the evidence for this supposed wealth benefit. Simply because the CBI says so?

    Once again, you demonstrate an inability to distinguish evidence based information from mainstream reputable organisations, and groundless assertions from trash journalists, or some small tin-pot propagandist campaign group!
    The word “estimated” indicates actual calculations!

    http://www.cbi.org.uk/about/about-us/

    With over 50 years of experience, we are the UK’s most effective and influential business organisation.

    We provide our members with the influence, insight and access they need to plan ahead with confidence and grow. We represent their views as we work with policymakers to deliver a healthy environment for businesses to succeed, create jobs and ultimately, drive economic growth and prosperity.

    The CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors.
    Together they employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of the private sector-employed workforce.

    With 13 offices around the UK as well as representation in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi, the CBI communicates the British business voice around the world.

    We already know that the CBI is an avowedly pro EU organisation receiving funding from it, and that it also previously supported the UK adopting the Euro as its currency!

    So perhaps you should take their membership and expertise seriously, rather than playing blind-man’s “pick-and-choose” with badge politics!

    If CBI leaders make incompetent or damaging statements, they will be held accountable by their 190,000 member businesses!

    If gutter press journalists write misleading drivel, their editors and owners don’t care, as long as it sells newspapers and keeps their sponsors and advertisers happy!

  • Marco,

    The examples I have pointed out above are not my own! They are however supplied by experts in their field and I am merely flagging them up. I have no personal experience or knowledge of any of this, so asking me to supply such is a waste of time. I base my judgments on my readings generally and my own concerns about how the EU experiment is progressing.

  • Erol #218

    The CBI has estimated that every £1 of our net contribution generates
    £10 of wealth for the UK. That’s the equivalent of putting that money
    in a savings account with an interest rate of 1000%.

    Where is the evidence for this supposed wealth benefit. Simply because
    the CBI says so?

    Well, you do the math, Erol, as our American friends say.

    UK’s net contribution to the EU budget 2016: £8.6 billion
    (https://fullfact.org/europe/our-eu-membership-fee-55-million/)

    Value of UK’s trade with the EU in 2016: £240 billion
    (https://fullfact.org/europe/uk-eu-trade/)

    If anything, the CBI’s estimate was decidedly on the cautious side.

  • Erol #218
    Jul 15, 2018 at 9:30 am

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_of_British_Industry

    The Confederation of British Industry is a UK business organisation, which in total speaks for 190,000 businesses ,[1]

    There are 140 trade associations within the confederation who, alongside those direct members of the CBI, employ 7 million people, about one third of the UK private sector-employed workforce.
    The National Farmers’ Union with its 55,000 members is the largest component of the 188,500 indirect members the CBI claims to speak for.
    The Country Land and Business association brings another 30,000 indirect members,
    the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed 20,000 indirect members,
    the Freight Transport Association 13,000,
    the Federation of Master Builders 9,500
    and the Road Haulage Association 8,100.

    To suggest that CBI leaders just make up whimsical personal opinions on the basis of political bias, is laughable!

    Members include companies as well as trade association members, from the perspective of their leadership.[2]
    Described by the Financial Times as “Britain’s biggest business lobby group”.[3]
    Incorporated by Royal Charter[4] its mission is to promote the conditions in which businesses of all sizes and sectors in the UK can compete and prosper for the benefit of all.

    Once again I ask, “Why don’t you look up proper information from reputable expert sources, instead of quoting from ignoramuses and gutter-press propagandists?”

    I really isn’t that difficult to find pages such as Wikipedia which I have linked!

  • Erol #223
    Jul 15, 2018 at 10:41 am

    The examples I have pointed out above are not my own! They are however supplied by experts in their field

    Not the examples you have given here! What you have posted here is posers pretending to be experts, who are contradicting the majority of real experts in those fields!

    and I am merely flagging them up.
    I have no personal experience or knowledge of any of this,

    Which is obvious in the choice of the people and con-artists you are claiming to be experts!

    so asking me to supply such is a waste of time.

    So perhaps you should stop quoting junk information, and learn from those ACTUALLY have the expertise to explain the subjects!

    A follow-up discussion on the Telegraph’s laughable “20 junk reasons to leave the EU”, could be informative about the quality of information presented by tabloid journalism!

    Some of us have already given you an objective analysis of these so-called “reasons”, which appear to be written to the formula:-

    Write a list of your personal pet-hates and misunderstood irritating issues.
    Add a few items suggested by the gutter-press propaganda campaigns.
    Make no attempt to look-up or check any information.
    Learn nothing about how things actually work.
    Attribute all negative feelings to Brussels, and blame the EU.
    Vote for Brexit as a universal magic solution to all problems!

  • Erol’s comments on the number of EU directives is utterly specious.

    The “burden” placed on my industry has only been facilitating in creating products with extraordinary reach. At last we can design just once for sales quantities an order of magnitude larger than before. Utterly brilliant.

    The individual standards which are the “rulers” used for directive compliance are authored from within the respective industries. I was on the technical committee for discharge lighting and wrote sections on testing. Hosted by BSI in Chiswick, the committee had a Swedish chairman and experts from the UK (me) France, Germany and Italy where the major manufacturers were from. These were all old friends and we couldn’t have been keener to work together to make the sector as robust and rational as possible. So standards were based on clear, measurable parameters that were the strong indicators of performance. The new collective standards avoided being prescriptive as the older standards had been (just make it like this) and quite unlike old US standards (configured to act as an import barrier). Compliance was rationalised mixing test house assessments with self certification.

    The new standards, removed burdens, encouraged inventiveness, and were the product (with checks and balances) of the industry and the market it served. The organisations involved made sure all companies who signed up were given plenty of chance over the years of development to look to study each draft and object or comment.

    Never has industry been offered so much involvement in its own regulation. When released not only were the new standards thoroughly understood, existing products had been upgraded already, able to access a market ten times the size.

    Lighting was win win. Other sectors I was involved in appeared to have the same benefits.

    I am intensely angered at this ignorance upon ignorance. Clearly pundits have not done the research, or indolence and a deadline corrupts the analysis, or the bias of the elderly rears its snowy head again (er…).

  • Actually, Erol, what I am asking you to do is to start THINKING about what you’re posting instead of just uncritically regurgitating stuff from the Leave campaign. If you’re going to post screeds of anti-EU propaganda, you need to take responsibility for it and be prepared to be challenged on it, not just run away and hide behind other people’s skirts. Believe me, several of us here have been having these arguments for well over two years now – we KNOW what the Brexiteers claim, and have rebutted those claims countless times already. If you are not willing to do more than regurgitate their claims – if you’re not willing to actually engage in the discussion using your own words and responding to the points made in response to the claims – then you’re just wasting our time.

    My challenges to you are genuine ones and I’m not going to let you off the hook with them. You are the one who asked for evidence that no business would need to read all the EU regulations. The evidence lies in the very specificity of those regulations. Of course it’s a waste of time asking you to supply the name of a single UK business that would need to read even just the handful of regulations I’ve listed above because that would require it to be operational in all those completely disparate sectors.

    THINK, Erol. Say I run a bakery. Or a design agency. Or an airline. Why would I need to know what it says in the Directive on the Legal Protection of Topographies of Semiconductor Products? Or the In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Directive? I wouldn’t. Self-evidently I wouldn’t. Nor would I need to know what it says in any of the other regulations I’ve listed. And they’re just examples. As I said before, the vast majority of EU regulations are highly technical, relating to extremely specific sectors. And now I’ve given you some examples of that. So there you have it. You should now be able to see for yourself that the claim it would take UK businesses 92 days to read all the regulations is completely irrelevant. Maybe it really would take them that long, but unless they’re operating in every single sector, they wouldn’t need to. My bakery business is not the least bit inconvenienced by any of the regulations listed above, nor by the ones governing the patentability of biotechnological inventions, to pick another example.

    Can you see that, at least?

    And as for your claim that Britain is “governed by an unelected Commission in Brussels”, I absolutely do expect you to be able to back it up and not just hide behind what other people say. Please tell me exactly how you think EU laws are made. If you don’t know, please look it up. How can you possibly, with any integrity, attempt to persuade others that we’re “governed by an unelected Commission in Brussels” if you don’t actually know how EU laws are made? How can you even have allowed others to persuade you of it?

    This just won’t do, Erol.

  • Whilst it is the directives that comprise the laws, they are surprisingly hand wavy. The Standards which are used to apply the directives to particular areas of business are the first means of testing compliance to the directive underlying them.

    However, as carefully explained by our BSI support, Non compliance with a specific standard does not mean non compliance with the underlying directive. If you keep a technical file you can argue that your innovative product crashes the standards whilst supporting the spirit of the directive. Next revision your innovation will be incorporated. BSI will provide guidance on this.

    This arrangement keeps us at the innovative cutting edge. Far from a bug its a big-button feature.

    We need high quality standards intelligently applied. BSI have been at the forefront in driving much of this.

  • OK – on the basis that I am clearly an amateur on here regarding the nitty gritty of EU regulations I will cease posting about Brexit and the EU.

    If the advantages of being in the EU were so clear cut, there wouldn’t be all the arguments that are currently being made by experts on BOTH sides of the divide! This isn’t something that’s just a personal issue – the WHOLE country has zealots on both sides, and quite frankly spending my time arguing needlessly about it here is pointless. However, I will NEVER be able to accept a United States of Europe because it is, in my opinion, profoundly anti democratic to the people living in those nation states.

    Having listened to Teresa May on the Marr show this morning, it is my opinion that she has got the most likely policy that might reach an agreement with the EU on Brexit. We shall see what happens in the coming days and weeks. Here endeth my contribution to the discussion AT THIS STAGE of the proceedings.

  • Erol #231
    Jul 15, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    K – on the basis that I am clearly an amateur on here regarding the nitty gritty of EU regulations I will cease posting about Brexit and the EU.

    If the advantages of being in the EU were so clear cut, there wouldn’t be all the arguments that are currently being made by experts on BOTH sides of the divide!

    “Both sides of the argument” is the typical creationist style false dichotomy by those who have no idea of the range of possibilities!

    If there were only TWO sides to the arguments, the brexiteers would not have spent over two years hiding the details, the conflicts within their parties, and the fact that they had no coherent plan (and probably still have no coherent plan) to address all the serious issues which brexit throws up!

    We keep hearing the BIG propagandist LIES, that a whole list of contradictory proposals, will deliver the brexit “the people voted for”!
    Most of “the people”, had absolutely no idea what they were voting for as your lists of fictitious “reasons” illustrate!

    The Customs Union? the European Courts? Euro-Atom? European Arrest Warrants? Co-operation on Intelligence sharing, university research grants? European health Insurance? . . . . . .

    How many had even heard of these?

    This isn’t something that’s just a personal issue – the WHOLE country has zealots on both sides, and quite frankly spending my time arguing needlessly about it here is pointless.

    It is certainly pointless if you still think there are only 2 sides, after all the “hard-brexit”, “soft-brexit”, Norwegian Model, Canadian Model, “no-deal” talk, and the list of topics I have just posted above, and are not prepared to learn or correct the mistakes which have been pointed out to you!

    There are certainly more “sides” than the: “Throw away all the European international agreements, and leap over the cliff into the (allegedly) Utopian, balmy, tropical waters, of brexit” (give or take a few rocks, sharks, and icebergs), or the keep what we have and carry on with business and services as usual!

  • Erol #231
    Jul 15, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    OK – on the basis that I am clearly an amateur on here regarding the nitty gritty of EU regulations I will cease posting about Brexit and the EU.

    @#221 – You are making the claim that Britain is governed by an unelected Commission in Brussels, so please tell us exactly how that works. How, according to you, are EU laws made? What is the process? What happens first? Then what? Then what? By whom at each stage? How do those people get those jobs?

    So having made this ridiculous claim (which I have seen previously in tabloid gutter-press publications), you make no attempt to look up and find out, how the EU governing mechanisms work?

    (I’ll help you get started: – There is a European Parliament and a Council of Ministers, and there is a Westminster Parliament in London.)

  • Alan,

    I would consider both Michael Howard (a QC and former Conservative Party leader) and Lord Lawson (former Chancellor) to be experts in considering the merits of Brexit and who indeed have chosen that course of action. Because these people are Tories you consider their judgments as utterly worthless. I cannot accept your extreme bias in this matter. It simply diminishes your argumentative value to my mind.

  • Marco #229
    Jul 15, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Alan #225

    Or, indeed, the CBI’s own website, which clearly answers all the allegations Erol has regurgitated above, and more:

    @your CBI link:- What do your members think about the UK’s EU membership?

    In February/March this year, a clear majority of CBI member companies – which together employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of private sector employees – informed us that it would be in the best interests of their business and the wider UK economy to remain inside the EU.

    Like most things, our members have different opinions and we never claim there is a uniform view.
    Our survey of our members views revealed that 80% said remaining in the European Union is best for their business, with 15% unsure and 5% wanting to leave.

    I think that clearly sums up the view of those specialists involved in running business!

    Still, I ‘m sure the gutter press will find enough quotes from the 5% to pretend they represent the majority expert view, so that those like Erol can pick the ones they fancy, and quote them back to us to back up the confused views they have picked up from reading incompetent junk! !

  • Erol,

    The last thing I wanted from Europe was a single super-sized country. I’m all for maximising local autonomy over things that matter locally. I want diversity of local solutions and initiatives, of identities and cultures.

    But, we are rapidly running out of road, of resources of energy, even people in places. There is every reason why our macro problems should be addressed in a way not compromised by short term local competitive advantage. Setting large scale standards is how we minimise the accumulating damage of global warming, rare earth scarcity, plastic pollution, and on and on…

    Had we remained a part of the nascent European Circular Economy we would have found a market driven by new business standards that dramatically reduced imports and global manufacturing and replaced it with service industries that re-manufactured locally, modular products with open standards that let far more innovators in to the shrinking suppliers of cars. EVs can last four times as long as ICE cars. Local customising, restyling, reselling of modules, drives an increasing amount. In a few decades expect most tech products to be of superb quality, owned by banks maintained, customised, recycled impeccably, and supplied as a service. Waste will be an asset The EU has the clout to drive global scale change by setting the standards of such a market, but not us. We could have been at the heart of this. If we tag along we won’t be part of standards setting to suit our internal industries….The standards issue was entirely a win for us. No longer. Least of all in a compromised solution.

    By contrast we need smart government in big cities and in the UK’s countries with as much autonomy as we can manage. We need not a single identity (say British, or rather just British) but different identities depending on the nature of the problems to be addressed. It will get there but not with us, and not until more white hairs have died.

    Enjoy your blue passport. I hope you encounter fewer “foreigners”, but they have only lifted my neighbourhood.

  • Alan #233

    (I’ll help you get started: – There is a European Parliament and a
    Council of Ministers, and there is a Westminster Parliament in
    London.)

    That really is just the very start, though, Alan, as I’m quite sure you realise.

    What I want from Erol is a step-by-step description of the process by which EU laws are made – starting from the very beginning. And not just the various EU bodies involved, either, but also how people get places on them. These two things, after all, go to the very heart of his claim that we are “governed by an unelected Commission in Brussels”.

    And my two challenges to him (this and whether he now accepts that no UK business would have to spend 92 days reading EU regulations, as claimed) will still be waiting for him on his return.

  • Laurie #235

    So many good ones there. I think the visceral disgust comes across brilliantly.

    I’d call Trump a c*nt but he lacks depth and warmth….

    In fact a whole thesaurus of vulvas rained down on him north and south of the borders. A true Pussy President, peachy if only by severe staining.

    Go back to Gilead.

    Indeed.

  • LaurieB #235

    I was there (in Edinburgh) and it was fabulous. Huge turnout (estimates vary, but very many thousands), entirely peaceful and good-humoured, and some extremely witty and moving signs. Lots of observers cheering us on, too.

    A number of the speakers made a point of emphasising that the protests were in no way directed at ordinary Americans, but were entirely intended as solidarity with them. Aamer Anwar, a lawyer and human rights activist, spoke particularly powerfully (his speech has been transcribed here: https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2018/07/14/aamer-anwar-message-to-trump/).

    A lot of the signs were very funny, but my personal favourite was very different: an image of Martin Luther King with the words, “This was NOT my dream”. That one went straight to the solar plexus.

  • Erol #234
    Jul 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Alan,

    I would consider both Michael Howard (a QC and former Conservative Party leader) and Lord Lawson (former Chancellor) to be experts in considering the merits of Brexit and who indeed have chosen that course of action.

    . . . and your qualifications and research for reaching that conclusion are? . . . .

    Because these people are Tories you consider their judgments as utterly worthless.

    Nope! I consider them wrong because the vast majority of expert opinions says so (See #236) – and the brexiteer arguments are so lame and full of errors of fact!

    Do you seriously consider that most of the business leaders in the CBI are NOT Tories and are biased because government brexiteers are Tories???

    I cannot accept your extreme bias in this matter.

    I think I should introduce you to the concepts of psychological projection! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

    Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.[1]
    For example, a person who is habitually intolerant may constantly accuse other people of being intolerant.

    It simply diminishes your argumentative value to my mind.

    You seem to need some means to prop up lame unevidenced views, and diminish the mountains of evidence which you are trying to ignore!

    For example, a person who is extremely biased may constantly accuse other people of being extremely biased – regardless of the evidence presented! (Psychological Projection)

    I still don’t see any support for your posted and linked Telegraph claim (which I refuted), that the EU reducing your electricity bill for lighting by over 80%, is a reason for the UK to leave the EU!

    Perhaps you would explain my “bias” on that issue?

  • Erol

    Me? I have a lot of time for tories.

    My favourites are those with actual, practical business and Industry experience. People who actually know the problems of generating wealth.

    Michael Heseltine.

    Ken Clarke.

    Corbyn? Pah! Spit.

    He’d take us back to the eighties. (I want Sanders…)

    Idiocy is signalled far more by the business ignorant.

  • Erol #234
    Jul 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    I would consider . . . . . Lord Lawson (former Chancellor) to be experts

    Lawson is a shifty, stooge politician, who is a salesman for pseudoscience and the coal and oil industries’ propaganda!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Lawson#Expenses_scandal

    During the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal, it was revealed that Lawson managed to claim £16,000 in overnight allowances by registering his farmhouse in Gascony as his main residence.

    Lawson is involved with the climate change denial movement,[3] and believes that man-made global warming has little or no impact.

    In 2004, along with six others, Lawson joined in the global warming controversy when he wrote a letter to The Times criticising the Kyoto Protocol and asserting that there were substantial scientific uncertainties surrounding climate change.[37] In 2005.

    Michael Grubb, Chief Economist of the Carbon Trust, wrote an article in Prospect magazine, defending the Kyoto Protocol and describing the committee’s report as being “strikingly inconsistent”.[39]
    Lawson [speaking either dishonestly, or as a science illiterate] responded to Grubb’s article, describing it as an example of the “intellectual bankruptcy of the […] climate change establishment”. [Classic psycholical projection on Lawson’s part]
    Lawson also said that Kyoto’s approach was “wrong-headed” and called on the IPCC to be “shut down”.

    He is a political-hireling, charlatan science-denier, who has tried for years to muddy the view on the need for urgent action on global warming on behalf of polluters’ vested interests!

    Whatever posts he may have held, he is clearly no reliable source for honest information!

  • @#243 – Lawson is involved with the climate change denial movement

    As I said in 2016:-

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/richard-dawkins-ignoramuses-should-have-no-say-on-our-eu-membership-and-that-includes-me/#li-comment-205311

    The skill is in recognising reputable expert authorities (such as professional science bodies making statements about a concensus of expert opinion, and being able to tell them from paid propagandists and delusional stooges.

    However I am reminded that climate change deniers with media assistance, have been falsely accusing climate scientists and the IPCC of “alarmism” for years, and that many of the same political climate-change deniers, are leading members of the Brexit campaign, as well as being sponsored stooges of the coal, oil, and gas industries!

  • So 2 years on, the 50ish MP Moggy-follower, brexiteer tail, is still wagging the Tory dog!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/richard-dawkins-ignoramuses-should-have-no-say-on-our-eu-membership-and-that-includes-me/#li-comment-206090

    Alan4discussion ~ Jun 25, 2016

    This was always about patching splits in the Tory party to stop their nutty fringes defecting to UKIP!
    The nutty fringe politicians don’t understand or care about causing splits in the country, and will probably sit in denial, trying to blame other people for negative consequences, while the Tory Party will probably split anyway when they have to sort out the details of the mess they have made.

    The real issues of expert warnings which brexiteers dismissed as “a fear campaign” and “scaremongering”, are going to keep on popping up to have negative effects on British citizens, British industries, and UK standards of living.

  • oh, oh tories I like.

    Ruth Davidson. Super intelligent.

    I’m starting to see an outward looking pro-European party of the centre, gently, undogmatic left, made up of clever folks. Leave the loons to left and right,

    But centre parties (always the highest IQ in tests) sublime away each time they are topped up. Their policies are too thoughtful for the needs of newspaper sales….which demands a simple slug-fest…

  • Erol #234
    Jul 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Alan,

    Because these people are Tories you consider their judgments as utterly worthless.
    I cannot accept your extreme bias in this matter.

    I would have to ask you, if you see my criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s utterly worthless judgements in his quest for ex-UKIP votes, as because of “my extreme bias” against Labour Party”? 🙂

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/richard-dawkins-ignoramuses-should-have-no-say-on-our-eu-membership-and-that-includes-me/#li-comment-206144

    I consider Jeremy Corbin’s email to party members appalling!

    He says he will “respect the decision of the people”, when he should be explaining to them, the deceptions and cons which generated the perverse vote!
    Essentially he is asleep on the job, as he has a leadership strategy of “don’t rock the boat, roll over, and surrender without putting up a fight”!

    Having surrendered on the key issues of brexit at the first hurdle, Corbyn is now making a few passing skirmishes on a few minor details, to snipe at the Tories and appear to defend the workers and citizens’ rights! Even as the evidence of massive damage looms, and expert advisors point it out, he still thinks this is some sort of casual political game to be played for clique audience ratings!

    Perhaps I should explain that on this RDFS site we seek and follow the researched evidence using reason to assemble the best basis for objective views!

    Those who want to cherry pick dubious writings to reinforce their preconceived biased existing views – (spoon-fed to them from the gutter-press or preaching ideologists), would be better posting on creationist websites where this sort of thinking is the norm, and facts don’t matter!

  • Seen on Twitter:

    “Brexit is like watching your library being burned down by people who’ve never learned to read.”

  • Marco #249
    Jul 16, 2018 at 3:24 am

    “Brexit is like watching your library being burned down by people who’ve never learned to read.”

    . . . and who are throwing stones and shovelling manure, on to the fire brigade!

  • Marco #249
    Jul 16, 2018 at 3:24 am

    “Brexit is like watching your library being burned down
    by people who’ve never learned to read.”

    . . . . and the chanting about immigration from people who can’t read figures, keeps on damaging the health service by creating staff shortages as skilled EU workers leave the country for a more certain future!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44846002

    Net long-term migration to the UK from the EU was 101,000 last year, the lowest estimate since the year ending March 2013, new figures show.

    But hey, According to Brexiteers, Westminster needs to leave the EU and “take back control”, because the non-EU immigration WHICH IS CONTROLLED BY THE WESTMINSTER GOVERNMENT is rising! 🙂

    But the Office for National Statistics said that net migration from countries outside the EU had risen to 227,000, the highest level since September 2010.

    Westminster is in charge of non-EU immigration, – but blame the EU anyway – and keep electing Brexiteer politicians who can’t get a grip! on THEIR responsibilities 🙂

  • I’ve just been watching Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest hilarious venture “Who is America?” in which in a variety of disguises he punks Trump supporters, gun nuts and an art gallery owner. As an Israeli special forces operative he tries to get Republican current and former congressmen on board with his KinderGuardian Project to introduce weapons to school and pre-school children. After all the only thing that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good kid with a gun. The intensive three week KinderGuardian course introduces specially selected children from 4 to 12 years old to pistols, rifles, semi automatics and a rudimentary knowledge of mortars. In less than a month a first grader can become a first grenader.

    If you fancy a chuckle have a look at this.

  • This has been doing the rounds online over the last few days, but it’s very long and I hadn’t had time to read it. I have just rectified that, and blown my mind in the process.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/trump-putin-russia-collusion.html : What if Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987?

    If it were any less hedged about with caveats and caution, I wouldn’t be sharing it. But it’s well worth reading even just as an overview of all the things we DO now know about the links between Russia and the Trump team – it’s easy to lose track when it’s all coming out in dribs and drabs, so it’s useful to have it all set out this clearly.

    As for the suggestion that there may have been collusion going way back, it fits everything I know about the way the former USSR used to work. If Trump was in the USSR back then (and we know he was), of course they will have spied on him and got dirt on him if they could with a view to trying to get him to work for them in some way. That’s just the way they operated.

    The article takes quite a while to read, but I’ll be interested in your thoughts.

  • Marco #240
    Jul 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    A lot of the signs were very funny, but my personal favourite was very different:
    an image of Martin Luther King with the words,
    “This was NOT my dream”. That one went straight to the solar plexus.

    With the latest statement from the Liar-in-Chief, I think the Trump-image of the day today, is of Putin’s poodle!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44852812

    Trump sides with Russia against FBI at Helsinki summit

    After face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Trump contradicted US intelligence agencies and said there had been no reason for Russia to meddle in the vote.

    At a news conference after the summit, President Trump was asked if he believed his own intelligence agencies or the Russian president when it came to the allegations of meddling in the elections.

    “President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it should be,” he replied.

    US intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an effort to tip the scale of the US election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.

  • Alan #254

    If you get chance, do take a look at the link I posted at #253. There’s absolutely no way Russia didn’t meddle in the vote. There’s also absolutely no way Russia isn’t going to meddle in the November vote or the 2020 one either. Nor is it possible that the sheer extent of the Trump team’s Russia connections is just coincidence.

    I’m sure that’s not news to you or most other people here, but Trump and Putin’s agreement today that Russia didn’t interfere in the election is just the latest example of collusion between them.

    Have you seen that John Brennan, former CIA director, has called Trump’s performance at his press conference with Putin “nothing short of treasonous”?
    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/16/politics/john-brennan-donald-trump-treasonous-vladimir-putin/index.html

  • Hi Erol [#195],

    I have been watching your conversations with others with great interest.

    Cards on the table: I voted Remain on the basis that, as Richard Dawkins so rightly put it [paraphrase]: We don’t know what Brexit means and therefore the precautionary principle should apply. That said, I remained open-minded about the potential outcome.

    In this post you are using talking points that are two years old. Almost everything about Brexit has changed since the referendum, we have far more facts for a start, so I have to wonder why your thinking has not moved with the times?

    Since the Referendum we have learned that leaving the European Union (a.k.a. the Club) will cost us, at minimum, 10s of billions of pounds – in straight cash-on-day-1 terms. This is, quite honestly, the very least of our worries.

    In addition we’ve learned that we cannot, so far, guarantee access to the Club’s markets into the long term. Now, at best, I’m an amatuer economist – albeit one of long standing. Even so, this bear with little brain can see that the Club can far more easily do without us than we can do without them – collectively our biggest trading partner by a significant margin.

    We have also learned that business people, as Marco has detailed, are now planning for worst-case scenarios – because they are almost a certainty. In more practical terms this means that 100s of 1,000s of people will lose their jobs in the two years following Britain’s planned exit – throwing our country into a recession that will, without doubt, put many more people out of work.

    We are already paying a price: Many service businesses have left, or are leaving, Britain because it is no longer a safe base for a European-wide business. Foreign direct investment has fallen and this means there are already fewer jobs and fewer business opportunities, and this problem can only snowball.

    Quite apart from the misery this will throw many working people and their families into – spare a thought for people like me. A recession within two years will impoverish millions of baby-boomer pensioners due to retire in the next few years, because our pensions are tied to the British economy. The recently retired will also see annuities squeezed and the devaluation of the pound, following any Brexit, will be even worse than the current uncertainty has caused it to fall already – meaning many goods will become more expensive at the same time.

    Spare a thought, also, for the young. Our generation, and our parent’s generation, spent money like it was Party 1999. Unless there is a proper, well thought out, plan for the economy in the near future another recession is likely to extend the current national debt so far that our Grandchildren (in my case still unborn) will not be the last paying off our debts for us – our Great Grandchildren will curse us beyond the grave with a certainty.

    It pains me to say so, because you are clearly sincere: Your arguments have become progressively less factual and distinctly less plausable as this thread has developed. In this post [#195] you simply re-post old arguments that have already been comprehensively refuted many times (1, 2, 3 & 4) – yet you merely parrot them again. It’s as if you believe dogmatic repetition makes something true – the exact opposite of what this site is about. Where are your facts? What is your reasoning?

    My challenge to you is to pick one of these four, just one, and provide evidence for its truth. You made the claim, the burden of proof is on you.

    In addition to this apparent lack of critical thinking – and my apology is ready and waiting if you prove me wrong – you use false equivelance the way some people put salt on their chips, for example:

    I simply cannot understand your remarks about Blue Passports. Brexit, according to the experts we employ to tell us about exactly these kinds of things – is an economic disaster waiting to happen, yet you think that the colour of a Government issued document that most of us use twice a year, if we’re lucky, is important in this debate. Why?

    Given that Brexit is likely to cause a giant political upheaval that will devalue the current British Passport to the English Passport, and that we will have to queue with the other 3rd World Citizens to go to anywhere in Europe in the near future – frankly – this seems petty and insignificant to me to the point of irrelevance. My passport could be sky-blue-pink for all I care and I’m a dyed-in-the-wool British nationalist. Why am I wrong?

    I could go on, but let’s just stick to the basics for now – you have a lot of people asking you questions already.

    From a position of barely-Remain your arguments, being as weak as they are compared to the other side, are making me lean further towards Remain.

    My stance, and I remain to be persuaded either way, is that the referendum was a vote based on unknowns. Therefore: Now we know what the deal is likely to look like we should have second referendum.

    That’s just fair.

    Peace.

  • For those who missed it, here’s John McCain on Trump’s visit with Putin in Helsinki. Enjoy:

    “Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout — as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency. That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are — a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”

  • Hi Steven007 [#257],

    US Republicans for democracy and freedom are waking up to the cuckoo in the nest a little late, aren’t they?

    I suppose the obvious rejoinder to that is: That tends to be the way with cuckoos.

    I’m not so easily put off; Moderate Republicans in the US need to take a long, hard, look at themselves. They need to walk up to the mirror, put on the lights, take off the makeup and put on the metaphorical hard hat before they think of their grandchildren asking them the question: “Where were you, Gramps, what did you do during the civil war for America’s leadership in the World – and how come you lost?”

    I had already lost my belief in the USA as the World’s leading country. I belong to an army who’s ranks swell daily, and Trump’s only response is always to just: Get a bigger shovel and dig a bigger hole.

    And the rest of the US lies prone, meek and defencless. Really? That’s the best they got?

    Peace.

  • Steven007 #257
    Jul 16, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    “It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout — as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience.

    We need to remember that Donald had to do some serious and urgent golfing at Turnberry, before his flight to Helsinki! 🙂

  • Well if anyone had any lingering doubts about whether Trump is a Russian agent I hope this weekend answered them. Even his sock puppets on Fox Noise are attacking him. This must have been the most disgraceful visit by a country’s leader to any other country. Trump insulted his host Theresa May, boasted how he’d told her how to deal with Brexit by suing the EU but she ignored him, walked in front of the Queen, said what a good prime minister Boris Johnson would make, shat all over NATO from a great height and then went to Helsinki to suck Putin’s dick.

    Not only does Trump refuse to admit even the possibility that Putin interfered in the 2106 election he now says he can’t even see a reason why that would have happened. That’s kind of like Roosevelt saying he didn’t think Japan had anything to do with Pearl Harbor. Maybe it was some 400 pound guy on a sofa. I mean who really knows.

    Trump clearly has no desire to represent America’s interests if those conflict with Putin’s. Everything he is doing in starting trade wars, attacking traditional friends, declaring the EU a foe and trying to destroy NATO is in Russia’s best interests. I see no other course than to call this treason. I had been vacillating about impeachment but it now seems fully justified. This is a fake president in thrall to an overseas enemy and most likely controlled by kompromat about his money laundering for Russian oligarchs.

  • Erol #261
    Jul 17, 2018 at 4:50 am

    I’m afraid your post is just another example of the doom and gloom types that appear on this thread regarding Brexit.

    You seem to assume for no particular reason, that because you are absolutely clueless about brexit outcomes, and choose to read crap lies and propagandist rubbish-grade opinions in (and again link), the second worst tabloid rag of the UK gutter press, that nobody else understands what is likely to happen!
    Those who read specialist trade and academic publications have VERY clear views on many likely outcomes.

    I’m not willing to discuss any further this topic because there are too many unknowns and we will just be arguing about ‘what if’ scenarios.

    They are “unknown to you”, because you have not studied and understood the links and quotes you have been given.

    For a start we don’t know what the EU’s response will be regarding the UK’s latest proposal for a tariff free agreement.

    Those who have bothered to read them however, do know what the EU treaty rules say, and which of the UK proposals are incompatible with them!

    You seem to take the view:
    “I have no idea where this is going, or what it is going to do to us, so let’s throw away the business arrangements which provide us with a good living, and make a blind rush into the global jungle where life is bound to be wonderful!”

    The main concern for Remainers such as yourself is the potential impact on the UK’s economy.

    Which as the CBI Survey shows, is likely to be damaging to most industries and businesses. There are likely many job losses, industries relocating to other countries, tariffs on imports and exports where there are none at present, and about a £27 billion loss to the British economy.

    What people here don’t understand is that the Brexiteers’ main concern is the blackmailing attitude of the EU

    Or to translate this into English:- the Brexiteer ignoramuses resent laws which make them behave responsibly and reasonably so have a Europhobic hatred of internationally agreed European regulations which set industry quality standards and worker’s rights, to make trading on a level playing-field between members operate smoothly.
    Signed up to legal agreements ARE enforced, and NO! This is not “blackmail” regardless of emotive rhetoric from devious propagandists!

    and its perceived attempt to cede sovereignty from the UK government.

    Or translated from propagandist crap into English:

    They have swallowed the false claims and brexiteer fantasies, and have NO IDEA about which laws are operated by sovereign governments or how a small number of these are modified to make trading work smoothly within Europe!

    For Brexiteers this concern trumps the economic one!

    So we must ignore all the masses of expert advice, and wreck the economy to placate the feelings of a few ignoramuses, rogue traders, and “know-nothing know-it-all” bexiteers, who have take the hump at laws making them behave like reasonable citizens!

    Do you even know what the Word trade Organisation Rules are? or how they differ from the EU rules?

    The Brexiteer fairytales say, “I don’t like the captain and crew on this top-spec cruise ship, so lets all jump overboard, because the next ship passing by, will rescue us and give us much better cabins and first class service for a cheaper price!”

    Their supporters will dream on, and blame anyone but themselves when they are drowning in their own ignorance, and freezing in the cold waters of reality! – But like the sub-prime salesmen of the banking crisis, the millionaire sponsors of the propaganda campaigns to deregulate, will disappear along with the money they make out of the chaos!

    You have once again thrown in a load of pasted misleading propagandist tabloid trash from a known rubbish publication, instead of debating the replies you were given debunking similar false and silly claims in your earlier comments.

    The EU has the the best integrated and smoothest free-trade system in the world. It has been built up and evolved using 40 years of expertise and practical know-how!
    Brexiteers who cannot even agree a coherent policy among themselves, CLAIM they are going to scrap the vehicle, re-invent the wheel and negotiate better free trade deals! – A laughable but sad example of delusional self deception!
    – It is based on what the psychologists call DUNNING-KRUGER false confidence!

    They are like the boy racers with recently acquired L plates, who reject all criticism of their driving, and see absolutely no problem with it – because they scored zero on the hazard-perception test!
    (“Why have all these “silly” driving instructors, test examiners, and traffic cops, with their irritating rules, when I’m already a brilliant driver?”)

  • Britain – for the present – will be included in this free-trade deal, but may have to start over negotiations from scratch with no certainty of outcome, if brexiteers have their way!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44857317

    The European Union and Japan have signed one of the world’s biggest free trade deals, covering nearly a third of the world’s GDP and 600 million people.

    One of the biggest EU exports to Japan is dairy goods, while cars are one of Japan’s biggest exports.

    The move contrasts sharply with actions by the US Trump administration, which has introduced steep import tariffs.

    EU Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said the deal underlined the “win-win” solutions offered by free trade.

    Mr Juncker said: “[The] impact of today’s agreement goes far beyond our shores. Together we are a making, by signing this agreement, a statement about the future of free and fair trade.

    “We are showing that we are stronger and better off when we work together. And we are leading by example, showing that trade is about more than tariffs and barriers. It is about values, principles and finding win-win solutions for all those concerned.”

    Firms in the EU, the world’s biggest free-trade zone, currently export more than $100bn (£75bn) in goods and services to Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy, every year.

    I would expect that there will be more free-trade deals excluding America while Trump trade-wars and policies persist!

  • @#261 – But like the sub-prime salesmen of the banking crisis, the millionaire sponsors of the propaganda campaigns to deregulate, will disappear along with the money they make out of the chaos!

    Meanwhile, in addition to the exposed lies of the “Leave” referendum propaganda campaign, the devious use of slush-funds to bias the vote, is coming to light: –

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44856992

    Brexit campaign group Vote Leave has been fined £61,000 and referred to the police after an Electoral Commission probe said it broke electoral law.

    The watchdog said it exceeded its £7m spending limit by funnelling £675,315 through pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave.

    The founder of BeLeave, Darren Grimes, has been fined £20,000 and reported to the police, along with Vote Leave official David Halsall.

  • Moderator message:

    For info:

    Alan’s comment at #261 is in reply to a comment that we had removed. It can happen – if we remove a comment while someone is replying to it, they won’t see that the comment has gone until they submit their reply and the screen refreshes.

    Erol – we had removed your comment because the first part was yet another repeat of what you have written many times already in this thread, and did not advance your argument in any way at all; and because the second part was simply a re-post of a mass of text from elsewhere. This is not permitted. (See our Terms of Use at https://www.richarddawkins.net/tcp/ , section 14.) You need to do your own arguing, not just keep posting other people’s opinions – especially since, by your own admission, you are not able to back them up them yourself. There is a big difference between linking to something to provide data or other factual support for an argument that you are making; and simply posting someone else’s opinions in their entirety and depending on them to speak for you. You’ve done it several times now, and we let it go at first in the hope you’d stop of your own accord.

    A number of people have been taking a great deal of time and trouble to engage fully with your posts and to respond to them in detail; and it simply isn’t fair to expect them to go on doing so while you just keep responding as in this removed post.

    We’re going to put your comments into pre-moderation for a while, to avoid the replying-to-a-removed-comment issue occurring again. This will mean they won’t appear immediately when you submit them, but will need to be cleared by us. This is not intended to stop you commenting, and we will clear them provided they are compatible with our Terms of Use.

    The mods

  • The President of the United States of America addresses his people.

    “Good morning my people, or dobryy utro as we say here in Russia. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin here, your loving president. This weekend was a great occasion for our nation as I met with vice president Trump in Helsinki to give him his instructions for the next 6 months. I am sorry that our meeting had to be behind closed doors so that we could have private time with no cameras but at least you had the opportunity to watch our joint news conference later where Donald was able to tell you how strong and powerful I am. In our private meeting I motioned Donald to kneel and unzip me. He asked me if I wanted him to swallow as he knows how much I like this and I said “da”. He has some grasp of a few basic Russian words now so we did not need translators for this part. He demonstrated his great love for me and then I let him get back up.

    Then I called the translators back in so that Donald could receive his commands. Of course I really speak perfectly good English but I don’t like anyone to know this. I told him I was satisfied so far at his steps to destroy NATO which is a great thorn in my side and that he must continue this work. Also that he must do more to break trade agreements with China, the EU, Canada, Mexico and Brazil so that Russia can achieve more power in world affairs.

    Russia is a very cold country. Much of it is frozen wasteland but it could become a temperate paradise with sufficient global warming. Of course by then every country south of the Mediterranean will be an arid desert but this is not my concern. I instructed Donald to do his utmost to burn more coal and oil and try and halt any climate change measures such as the regrettable move towards renewable energy by most countries. Once we have created our Siberian paradise we will start to move all of you in the southern USA desert states, as they will be by then, over here to help us create a great new empire.

    Those of you in the tropical northern states of New York, Michigan and Minnesota etc can stay there and grow coffee and bananas for the empire or you can move to the lush farmlands of northern Canada after we invade and take it over when the ice has melted away. When I visit my dacha in Siberia I look fondly across at Alaska and can see great potential there once it is warmer. Did you know I can see Sarah Palin’s house out of my bedroom window with my binoculars?

    I must leave you now. I have reporters and political opponents to assassinate. No peace for the wicked as they say. My love to you all and remember MAGA. Make America Grovel Again. Dos Veydanya.”

  • To the mods:

    That’s fine. I don’t intend to comment any further on this issue. I should add that I am no expert in this area but I understand the arguments made by both sides. It doesn’t mean that I can’t have a personal opinion about it.

  • Erol #266
    Jul 17, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I should add that I am no expert in this area
    but I understand the arguments made by both sides.

    Oh dear! Oh dear!

    Despite all the explanations, you are still claiming there are “two (both) sides” – which indicates that you have no understanding whatever, of the long list of brexit related problems, specific to particular industries, services, joint international ventures, and the trade regulations, grants, border checks, tariff issues and funding, related to each of these!

    It doesn’t mean that I can’t have a personal opinion about it.

    It means, that without further study you can’t have an opinion which has any basis or value in the real world, and that any assertions you make on the basis of a false dichotomy, have no validity!

    You can make up your own opinions, but you can’t make up your own facts!
    Unfortunately, what your are displaying is the false confidence of the Dunning-Kruger effect which I linked and clearly explained @#261.
    It leads people to assert firm opinions on subjects they know little or nothing about!

  • @Alan # 267

    My opinions are framed from the broader issues of Brexit which includes identity-based emotional objections which do not come under economic parameters!

  • After massive backlash against him, even from his beloved Fox Noise, Trump lies himself stupid as usual about Putin, now claiming he does believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and that he’s said that “many times”. Now he tries to claim that when in Helsinki he said he didn’t see why Russia would have interfered he really meant to say “wouldn’t”.

    No you tangerine wankmaggot, you said what you’ve always said and that’s to deny Putin ever did anything wrong. You’ve never once said the reverse and never would have done without so many people criticising you. You’re a coward, an imbecile and a traitor. What you deserve is a long drop off a short rope.

  • One of the worst things about Helsinki is we know for a certainty that the Republican toadies in Congress won’t do a damn thing about it. Oh they’ll splutter mildly for a little while seeing as even Fox Noise is outraged but they won’t do a thing to reign in Trump’s powers of office, they’ll never impeach him and now after miscalculating so badly he’s backtracked on what he first said about Putin they’ll say “ok look, everything’s fine again now. He gets it. He’ll be a good boy from now on.”

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. What about when Trump has fooled his own party’s members of congress hundreds of times and still they don’t realise he’s leading them and the country to hell in a handbasket or do anything about it?

    Get ready for some amazing contortions from Trump over the next few days. He’s finally been forced to back his own intelligence agencies but he still daren’t criticize Putin too much or impose any sanctions with all that money laundering evidence in a file in Putin’s desk drawer. Somehow he’s going to have to pretend that Putin is both good and maybe a little bit bad at the same time so as to try and appease his base of deplorables as well as the media and Congress. Of course he feels braver about Putin now he’s not in the same room as him any longer but you just know he’ll drop to his knees and reach for Putin’s zipper the second they meet again.

  • Arkrid, your second paragraph reminded me of when W conflated the “fool me once” quote with the famous Who song, Won’t Get Fooled Again:

    “There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on…shame on you. Fool me [twice] — you can’t get fooled again.'”– Nashville, Tennessee; September 17, 2002

  • Hi Erol [#266],

    That’s fine. I don’t intend to comment any further on this issue.

    I am disappointed.

    I should add that I am no expert in this area …

    As far as I can see everyone from the Prime Minister down has established that we’re learning this as we go along. The problem is that some – particularly some politicians – clearly have no concept of risk analysis and risk mitigation. Throwing out the baby with the bath water is only the half of it.

    … but I understand the arguments made by both sides

    Do you though? From my perspective I have to say that you have singularly failed to demonstrate that you understand anything about Brexit.

    I gave you the benefit of the doubt and in comment #256 I tried to give you every opportunity to prove my first judgement wrong. Now you’re saying you will not do that. I urge you to look at your comment #266 from the point of view of the confused voter trying to cut through the thicket of propaganda on both sides. Am I persuaded by your action? No. Is anyone who reads your comments, now, in the light of your refusal to back up your arguemnts, liklely to be persuaded? I very much doubt it.

    It doesn’t mean that I can’t have a personal opinion about it.

    As far as I am able to tell no-one here has denied your rights to freedom of expression and freedom of conscience – please feel free to elaborate if you believe that is not true.

    Getting on your high horse, in such a case, will not win you any friends, because we value the free exchange of ideas here, and your opinion – fully detailed, with your own arguments, with verifiable facts, with your logic open to inspection – would be most welcome.

    Your refusal to engage in such a debate only strengthens a conviction that I have tried to deny for some time: That the Brexit camp is, at best, dishonest.

    To be clear: I do not count you, Erol, in that number. It seems to me that the Brexit campaign has many hangers-on who are merely being hoodwinked.

    Peace.

  • Apparently yesterday was the day the teddy bears had their picnic because rancid wankmaggot and world’s most prolific liar Donald Trump wanted you all to go down to the woulds with him to watch them. Once there he needed to explain it actually wasn’t the woulds any more, and there were no bears, except maybe for a few Russian ones. It was really the wouldn’ts because when he’d said by Putin’s side he saw no reason why Russia “would” interfere in our elections what he actually meant to say was he saw no reason why Russia wouldn’t interfere.

    Now Donny doesn’t want you to think he’s got Alzheimers or that he’s really stupid because he’s still a very stable genius. He just has this small problem with saying the exact opposite of what he really means and not noticing until 24 hours later after even Fox Noise becomes apoplectic and starts ragging on him.

    While you’re down in the woulds with him he’d also like you all to know that when he said he could grab women by the pussy he actually meant to say he couldn’t grab women by the pussy, that when he asked Russia to try and find Hillary’s 30,000 emails he really meant for them to not try and find anything, because that would be interfering in our elections, that when he chanted “lock her up” he really meant “don’t lock her up” and that when he said the North Korea nuclear problem was over he really meant to say it wasn’t over. He also intends to take some executive time soon to review and see if there’s anything else that he’s said over the last two years that he’d like to reverse course 180 degrees on.

    Not that he ever made a mistake you understand. He never makes those. He just misspoke. A misspeak is when unfair pressure from the fake news media confuses his mouthbone so much it says the wrong thing before his headbone has time to intercede and correct it but it’s the media’s fault and not his.

    He hopes that clarifies things and that you all believe his non grovelling, non apology, non mistake correcting explanation of why CNN made him say all those exactly opposite things that he never would have said if only it had just been his friend Hannity there with him.

  • @Stephen of Wimbledon #271

    Unfortunately I am constrained by the mods to reply to your post. I did in fact reply to your earlier one (#256) as post 261 but this was removed by the mods and I assume you didn’t see it. Let’s see if the mods allow me this reply.

    It is in both the UK and EU’s interests to strike a good deal to satisfy both, and I am convinced they will do just that, because it’s the logical thing to do! In view of that, I simply do not accept the doom-laden scenarios so accepted as imminent by most posters on this thread (including yourself). Brexit is not simply an economic issue – it is also one that involves a perceived threat to self-government that many ordinary UK voters feel very strongly about. Hence the current heated debate.

  • Those nutty right-wing connections to Russia, just keep turning up, while the Russians just keep on denying the connections!

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/16/russian-woman-charged-washington-dc-spying-behalf-moscow/

    A Russian woman with ties to a US gun lobby has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to act as a spy for Moscow.

    Maria Butina, 29, was arrested on Sunday at her home in Washington DC and appeared in federal court on Monday, before Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson.

    She was charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States, without prior notification to the attorney general. The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years in prison.

    Butina is accused of developing relationships with American politicians and a “gun rights organisation”.

    In the court documents FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson wrote that Butina was attempting to “establish a ‘back channel’ communication for representatives of the Government of Russia.”

    The affidavit also contains apparent communications, by direct message on Twitter, between Butina and the unnamed Russian official.

    They later discussed the “Russia-USA friendship society.”

    In 2017, Butina and the official attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, the affidavit states.

    In February 2017 The Daily Beast reported that Butina had introduced herself as, variously, a Russian central bank staffer, a leading gun rights advocate, a “representative of the Russian Federation,” a Washington, DC, graduate student, a journalist, and a connection between Team Trump and Russia.

    Butina, a former Siberian furniture store owner, founded a Russian gun rights group called the Right to Bear Arms and according to the Washington Post became an assistant to Russian central banker and former senator Alexander Torshin, who is a lifetime member of the NRA.

  • Erol

    Unfortunately I am constrained by the mods to reply to your post. I did in fact reply to your earlier one (#256) as post 261 but this was removed by the mods and I assume you didn’t see it. Let’s see if the mods allow me this reply.

    No, the mods did not remove either of the two comments from you that now appear in this thread (#268, #274). As we had already informed you would happen, your comments had gone into pre-moderation and were awaiting clearance from one of us before they appeared. This does not necessarily happen immediately. We are not on the site 24/7.

    Mods

  • @Akrid Sandwich

    Somehow he’s going to have to pretend that Putin is both good and maybe a little bit bad at the same time

    My guess is say whatever Putin wants him to say when he’s face to face, then when facing his own people tell them he meant the opposite of what he said and that should be obvious to everyone.

  • Erol #268
    Jul 17, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    @Alan # 267

    My opinions are framed from the broader issues of Brexit

    Nope! You ignore or dismiss the vast majority of issues relating to the consequences of various forms of brexit, and concentrate on the narrow fringe issues of fanciful dreaming about “wonderful” brexiteer fairytale scenarios, and ludicrously clueless attacks on the EU!

    which includes identity-based emotional objections which do not come under economic parameters!

    Which translated into English says:

    “I like to choose to believe smug-generating, misleading, emotive rhetoric, in tabloid rags like the Daily Mail, and ignore or dismiss, references to real evidence and real consequences to real people, as identified by subject experts in the real world!”

    “Look at this ‘brilliant’ gutter press journalist”, who tells his followers that uncritically swallowing his fanciful ignorance will empower them to know-better than the world’s leading experts!

    What have you got to say about the CBI (@#224. #225, #229)and their business survey @#236, about the effects on businesses and those that work in them? THESE ARE THE “BROADER ISSUES”!
    Losing a job as a result of brexit damaging businesses of encouraging moving businesses to move out of the UK, is “an emotional experience”!

  • Erol #274
    Jul 18, 2018 at 4:33 am

    It is in both the UK and EU’s interests to strike a good deal to satisfy both,

    Which is why the expert opinion across a whole range of businesses and services, is telling us that the beast deal, is the one we already have, and that ALL versions of brexit are worse than this!

    and I am convinced they will do just that,

    You continue fail to produce any evidence on which that view is based – apart from laughably incompetent assertions and opinions from gutter press journalists, and vacuous repetitive chanting from brexiteers about “great deals”.

    because it’s the logical thing to do!

    Logic is a process of deductive and inductive thought, not an asserted badge which is stuck on preconceived notions.

    If you want to claim to be logical, present some evidence from reputable sources and show your logical deductions based on this!

    So far you have produced nothing credible!

    If you have read #262, you may have noticed that the UK has just obtained a very impressive free-trade deal with a country outside the EU!
    The EU has arranged this for us! it is the sort of deal which will have to be renegotiated by clueless brexiteers if we leave the EU

    There are at least 50 other trade agreements via the EU with outside countries which will be thrown away and lost, or have to be renegotiated, if we leave the EU.

    These are some of the “broader issues” of brexit!

  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44870835

    On Twitter, Mr Trump condemned “haters” who did not want him getting along with Mr Putin, saying they suffered from “Trump Derangement Syndrome”.

    He had sided with Mr Putin over his own intelligence services on claims of Russian election meddling.

    That had sparked outrage from both sides of the political divide.

    I think “Trump Derangement” is well known, but as with everything else in Trump-World, he reads it backwards, and projects it on to others!

  • Erol #274

    It is in both the UK and EU’s interests to strike a good deal to
    satisfy both, and I am convinced they will do just that, because it’s
    the logical thing to do!

    Firstly: the UK government’s OWN ANALYSIS shows that what you call “a good deal to satisfy both” – i.e. a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement – would reduce UK GDP by 5%, i.e. by £99 billion PER YEAR, and result in 1,750,000 fewer jobs.

    Secondly: it is far from clear that the UK is going to be willing to do any deal at all. Extremely influential voices within the UK government are arguing that “No deal is better than a bad deal” and are urging the Prime Minister towards the hardest of Brexits. Those same voices have already destroyed the Chequers plan that you were pinning your hopes on. And will continue to block the only available route to a less damaging Brexit, which is membership of the Single Market and Customs Union – which in turn will only be available to us on our existing terms.

    The government’s OWN ANALYSIS shows that “No Deal” would reduce UK GDP by 8%, i.e. by £158 billion PER YEAR, and result in 2,800,000 fewer jobs.

    Thirdly: it never seems to occur to the people arguing that “No deal is better than a bad deal” for the UK that the same might apply to the EU. When it comes to the EU, they suddenly seem to believe that “ANY deal is better than no deal”.

    The EU will indeed take a hit in the event of a No Deal Brexit. But the UK will take a much bigger one. Why? Simply because the effect of losing frictionless trade with a market of 450 million consumers when your GDP is 2.619 trillion USD is vastly greater than the effect of losing frictionless trade with a market of 60 million consumers when your GDP is 13.872 trillion USD (both figures are for 2016 – the EU’s GDP rose sharply in 2017 – and I have deducted the UK’s GDP from the EU figure, to reflect the post-Brexit situation). Not doom and gloom: just maths.

    BUT a no-deal Brexit is not the only thing that would cause the EU to suffer. Nor does it come close to being the worst possible outcome of all this.

    What would cause far more pain to the EU (and its individual members) would be if it were to weaken the very pillars on which it is built – the very protections of the Single Market and benefits to its members which have created the astonishing success of the EU and turned it into the world’s largest trading bloc. For the EU, a no-deal Brexit would be a flesh wound; weakening the Single Market would be fatal.

    So you can absolutely forget any notion that, post-Brexit, whatever the terms of our deal (or none), we will continue to be able to trade with the EU as freely as we do now without having to comply with all its rules, regulations and standards. It simply isn’t going to happen. Not doom and gloom: just the most elementary reality.

    But none of this will bother – or even interest – you in the least, because:

    My opinions are framed from the broader issues of Brexit which
    includes identity-based emotional objections which do not come under
    economic parameters!

    And there we have it. No wonder you’re not interested in finding out how the EU really works. No wonder you refuse to question the anti-EU propaganda you’ve been filled with. No wonder you have failed to engage with the specifics of all the replies to you on this thread and still keep regurgitating accusations against the EU that have already been addressed and shown to be false. The simple fact is, you have “identity-based emotional objections”. You want the EU to be bad, you want it to be undemocratic, you want us to be able to leave it without decimating our economy and destroying workers’ rights – because that would suit your “identity-based emotional objections”. Your case against the EU has nothing to do with reality, Erol. And everything to do with you and your own attitudes. You have a right to your opinions, of course – but for goodness’ sake, stop trying to dress them up as rational, or even as real arguments at all.

    The fact is you would happily sacrifice millions of UK jobs, millions of UK livelihoods and our ability to fund the NHS and other public services, not to mention have us in thrall to Trump’s US, over which we will have FAR less influence than we did over rEU – because of your “identity” and your “emotions”.

    You would sacrifice our prosperity and our services, just so you can get rid of some immigrants. That is deeply sickening. Not to mention self-defeating, given that all the data shows that immigrants make a far higher per person contribution to the British economy than native Brits do. And you do realise (do you?), that India, for example, has already made it clear that any Free Trade Deal it may be willing to sign with the UK post-Brexit would require …. freedom of movement for Indian citizens? You’re not going to get your immigrant-free UK, Erol. Just a very much poorer one.

    Brexit is not simply an economic issue – it is also one that involves
    a perceived threat to self-government that many ordinary UK voters
    feel very strongly about.

    The key word there being “perceived”. The reality is that the EU poses no threat whatsoever to self-government in the UK.

    As already pointed out – twice – the UK already has full control over all the policies that only affect the UK. All the policies that directly affect our quality of life here in this country are set right here, in this country.

    For issues affecting all members of the EU – issues like the maintenance and protection of the world’s largest Single Market; climate change; environmental protection, etc – governance is shared between us all. What could be fairer than that? The EU isn’t separate from its members, handing down instructions to us. The UK is PART OF the EU. PART OF the European Parliament. PART OF the European Council. PART OF the European Commission. PART OF the European Court of Justice. In none of those bodies have we ever merely been passive receivers of instructions. We have always been fully involved, fully consulted, and had a full voice. Do you know that we are also the ONLY EU member to date to have ever vetoed a proposed policy that all other members were in favour of?If any EU member has ever attempted to impose its will on all the others – it has been us.

    I realise I have just wasted a good hour compiling this reply, because nothing I or anyone else here can write can possibly touch your “identity-based emotional objections”. What’s the old phrase? – You can’t reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into. But it’s time to stop pretending there’s any logic or reason to your position whatsoever, Erol. You’ve blown your cover now. All you have is pure racism combined with notions of British exceptionalism that make the whole idea of collaboration, mutuality and partnership with “foreigners” repugnant to you.

    It’s not a good look and it’s certainly no way to govern a developed, thriving country in the 21st century. And I bitterly resent the chaos and suffering that your sense of “identity” is about to unleash on millions of British families who damn well deserve better.

  • Hi Erol [#274],

    It is in both the UK and EU’s interests to strike a good deal to satisfy both …

    If I were the Leader of any of the Club States, with the interests of my people at heart, why would I need to satisfy the British? This idea flies in the face of logic, the evidence of foreign news stories about Brexit and everything I know about politics and human nature.

    To believe such a thing requires pure faith in the naïvety of foreign politicians – in the face of the evidence of history. Words fail me. Your position here, unsupported as usual, is so far beyond my experience that I need you to really spell out how you could possibly think that.

    To try and give you some insight into my confusion: You seem to me to have become like the Red Queen:

    Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

    I am convinced they will do just that, because it’s the logical thing to do

    For those who remain in the Club: How to deal with someone leaving the Club – particularly when the one leaving has publicly announced their intention of competing with, and undermining, the Club? Your thinking is clearly illogiocal – and not connected with the known facts.

    I simply do not accept the doom-laden scenarios so accepted as imminent by most posters on this thread (including yourself)

    You’re entitled to your opinion Erol. I’m still waiting to hear why you hold that opinion.

    I remain a floating voter: If I’m leaning more towards Remain in recent days then it is because of you, Erol. Other people have provided evidence for a seemingly inescapable economic disaster following Brexit – you have utterly failed to counter those arguments. Facts matter – where are yours?

    Brexit is not simply an economic issue

    I agree and I have already asked: Why do people think those other things are even relevant – given that (as I have done above) it is simplicity itself to demonstrate that those other things have no equivelance to the potential economic damage?

    As I said at the beginning, there are many other things to discuss – but let’s just stick to the basics.

    My ears are open to you Erol. I repeat: Why am I wrong?

    [Brexit] … involves a perceived threat to self-government that many ordinary UK voters feel very strongly about

    As already requested [comment #256], please feel free to detail how any of those fears are based on truth. You have posted 3 times since then – that’s 3 missed opportunities to put your case.

    A continued failure to respond will, of course, mean readers will understand that those headlines you copied from elsewhere are false.

    If these political fears (invented by some well-known liars not present here), are false, and cannot be defended (as you appear so willing to demonstrate), Brexit is exposed as a scam on the Great British Public.

    I remain to be convinced, but your silence is beginning to tell against you.

    Hence the current heated debate

    What heated debate?

    I for one am perfectly calm.

    So far I have seen no reasons from you, and that is why my mind is changing to Remain.

    I think it’s time we thought about preventing a lot more wasted time. Will you join me in supporting a 2nd Referendum?

    Peace.

  • Arkrid Sandwich #270
    Jul 17, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    One of the worst things about Helsinki is we know for a certainty that the Republican toadies in Congress won’t do a damn thing about it.

    Well that came true pretty fast. Yesterday in a session of the House Judiciary Committee, ranking Democrat member Jerrold Nadler called for an executive session to discuss the threat posed to security and democracy by the Mueller indictment of 12 Russian agents followed by the president siding with Putin rather than his own intelligence services. Republican Darryl Issa tried to shout him down saying he wasn’t allowed to call for a session to discuss anything other than scheduled business but the chairman allowed a vote to be held. Every Republican then immediately voted no thus defeating the motion.

    These people are complicit in Trump’s treachery. They have no intention of holding his feet to the fire because they’re terrified of being attacked by him and his base when they come up for re-election. They are all as pussy whipped by Trump as Trump is by Putin.

    So America has one branch of government which is corrupt and prima facie treasonous or at very best utterly self serving – the executive. One branch that is being stacked to support the executive – the Judicial and a third which is so spineless, apathetic and also self serving it will stand idly by putting party before country while Rome burns.

    This is not a democracy. It is already an autocracy and a plutocracy. The majority of the people don’t want this president or this party. They support gun control, LGBT rights, healthcare and fair treatment of immigrants but they aren’t going to get them.

    America faces no real threat from N Korea much as it never faced one from Iraq. The enemy is already inside it. Trump is a cuckoo in the nest. He has already pushed out the weaker chicks, taken control of the nest and is raping the parent birds for every morsel they can bring him. He has no allegiance to the species which is feeding him as he doesn’t belong to them. In fact he prefers and sides with other nest robbers rather than anyone who wants to work cooperatively for the common good.

    In 1941 America was attacked from outside at Pearl Habor but it had a spine, it fought back and it prevailed. It now has an even more dangerous enemy that has entered the gates in a Trojan Horse and is destroying it from within. The spine has long since gone. There is no fight back amongst those who control the reins of power nor from those who are too stupid and too low information to see the threat. The war will be lost without a single shot being fired. Trump has succeeded with MAGA. He has Made America Grovel Again to him while he grovels to Putin.

  • Up shit’s creek without a paddle over here, Arkrid. Election day is 16 weeks away. The damage is getting deeper every single day. What the hell did the psychopath traitor promise away to Putin in their private tete a tete??!!

    Sarah Sanders speaking now in a news conference making a thousand excuses for her disgusting boss, cool as a cucumber and with an antagonistic attitude like the press are a bunch of cockroaches that crawled in from the garbage truck. She has a permanent sneer.

    All we need now is for the bizarre weirdo in N. Korea to start lobbing nukes around. We are in a weak chaotic state here and anything could happen. They say that there are competent people in high gov positions but it’s now obvious that Trump is out of control and nobody has stepped in to stop him in Russia. Please tell me that I’m overreacting. I’d love to be wrong here.

  • Laurie #284

    the bizarre weirdo in N. Korea

    Is he really any more bizarre than the weirdo in Washington? At least there’s no doubt which country the N. Korean weirdo is working for.

  • We’d all love to be wrong Laurie but none of us are. I have said for a long time that Trump is not only evil but insane. I see no reason to change that view. After his pathetic attempt to reverse a “would” into a “wouldn’t” he’s switched again after less than 24 hours. When asked directly in a press conference if he thought Russia was still targetting the US he said “no”. He then claimed to have been tougher on Russia than any president in history. These are not the actions or words of a sane man.

    The WH spin machine led by the Huckabitch is now trying to do damage control by claiming his “no” was answering another question. If he’s too stupid to know which question he’s being asked and too stupid to say yes instead of no then he should be working at a burger bar not in the White House.

    The simple truth is both Trump and the Republicans want Russia to keep influencing elections as long as it’s in their favour. They don’t care how they win as long as they win. Treason doesn’t bother them. The corruption of Democracy doesn’t bother them. Their sole purpose is to win and then keep funnelling the nation’s wealth to the mega rich until there is no middle class left. They want a plutocracy with the rich owning everything and the rest of the population in servitude to them.

    ISIS wanted to drag the Middle East back to a dark ages caliphate of strict islamic morality. The Republicans want to drag the USA back to a mediaeval religious feudal system with no rights for women or LGBT, no blacks unless they’re slaves, no abortion, no wealth in the hands of the middle class or the poor. In fact no middle class – just poor.

    The perfect model of what Trump and the Republicans are trying to achieve is North Korea.

    Ask yourselves some hard questions. Why do the Republicans not care about the healthcare system? Because a lack of one only hurts poor people and you can always breed more of those. Those in power can afford private medicine. A country with a long lived population puts great pressure on social security systems like pensions and healthcare. Ideally you want people to work themselves to death at a young age and be replaced by new members of the slave workforce. With no abortion and no contraception you just keep replacing them as they wear out.

    Trump wants to be His Excellency Emperor Trump of the People’s Democratic Republic of America just as Kim Jong Un is in NK. The people can always be controlled by a police state and kept obedient and in servitude. The free press obviously needs to be destroyed because they ask embarrassing questions. Elections need to be rigged.

    Do not under any circumstances expect the Republicans to “see sense” because Trump is giving them everything that they want. Your country is being destroyed from within. Maybe when Republican voters see their farms going bust and the land being acquired by the rich and their houses becoming worthless they will realise what has happened but it will be too late. It’s always too late. I’ve said before that no one ever sees evil happening until after the event. The Nazis told the Jews they were off for a nice train ride to a safe warm protection area which turned out to be gas chambers. ICE told parents they were just taking their children for a bath which turned out to be metal cages in disused warehouses. Same thing, different regime.

    There are still shreds of a democratic system left in place which might stop this but only if everyone sees what is happening and votes. However I am not sanguine that Dems can get themselves on message without destroying their own chances in internal bickering as they always do. The Republicans just continue to march in jack booted lockstep. There are fewer of them but they are all on the same message and they all do what the leadership tells them like good fascists.

    My recent thesises on wealth distribution should have informed you as to what has been happening. Your country now has less wealth in the hands of the bottom 90% than any countries other than communist dictatorships. For 40 years the general population has been very deliberately disempowered and disenfranchised. I’m also not convinced that mainstream Dems will even try and reverse that. Clinton’s and Obama’s terms did nothing to stop this progress. The problem is that as as soon anyone gets elected they become part of the plutocracy they ought to be dismantling. Only a massive input of socialism over many decades can reverse this process. But socialism is a dirty word over there.

    The farmers and houseowners continue to cling to the belief that they’re the real Americans despite owning nothing that’s of value anymore and that the “poor”, which is what they really are now, and the sick are the scroungers who are dragging things down. They want to be rich again so they vote for rich people they think know how to achieve that. And of course the rich people do know how to achieve that, they just don’t want anyone else to get any of their money.

  • Marco

    Is he really any more bizarre than the weirdo in Washington?

    Ha! Well, now that you mention it, no he’s not. In fact, on the scale of weirdness, relative to each other, they might as well be twins. (fraternal type of course). ~snort~

    At least there’s no doubt which country the N. Korean weirdo is working for.

    True and now I don’t have much doubt about who Trump is working for either.

  • Arkrid

    I can’t argue with any of that.

    We try to point out to Repubs and other Trump supporters that they’re voting directly against their own interests and nothing sinks in. Inevitably we get some nasty ideological defense bullshit thrown in our faces. It’s so discouraging but I know we have no choice but to persist. All of the corruption and incompetence at the top levels has caused massive damage here.

    Right in the beginning of this nightmare, Dan and I were direct in our expression of shock and fear of this complete ignorant asshole Trump and his predatory entourage. I thought then that we were maybe a bit Henny Penny over the whole thing but I now think we were on the conservative side. The power grab has been more extensive than I expected and I (naively) expected decent Repubs to block his worst actions. As you said in 283:

    So America has one branch of government which is corrupt and prima facie treasonous or at very best utterly self serving – the executive. One branch that is being stacked to support the executive – the Judicial and a third which is so spineless, apathetic and also self serving it will stand idly by putting party before country while Rome burns.

    Exit North is a real possibility.

  • Another new low from the Huckabitch. She now claims that when Trump replied “no” to the question of whether Russia is still targetting the USA he was actually saying no he didn’t want to answer that question rather than actually answering it with a “no”. These people are as greasy as a freshly buttered bannister. There seems to be no limit to the gullibility they think the American public has but sadly the weight of evidence would seem to be on their side. It may well be that you can’t fool all the people all of the time but you can fool the stupid ones a hell of a lot.

  • And Trump reverses direction for the third time in 24 hours. After sending the WH spin machine into a frenzy by saying he didn’t think Russia was still targetting the USA he’s just told CBS that he does hold Putin responsible for hacking the 2016 elections. No doubt tomorrow he’ll change his mind for a 4th time. Unfortunately we’re stuck with paying attention to what he says because he’s a vice president but if he was any other person on the planet we’d all just ignore him as crazy and deluded.

  • No matter how suggestive the evidence is I have always denied the possibility of an actual conspiracy theory.

    Brexit? Cock up upon exploitative cock up.

    But thats all changed

    American political parties chasing each other off a right wing cliff.

    Deep simple conspiracy.

    Nancy Maclean, “Democracy in Chains”. I need someone to read it and tell me if it is bonkers, a waking dream, or the deadliest threat to democracy ever advanced.

    The other half of the story, “Dark Money”, Jane Meyer.

    Pinch me.

    Then it really has to be Drain the Swamp, first, last and for the foreseeable future.

    How do we sell this to the rest of America without it looking like the end scene in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, stopping random people on the freeway to tell them.

  • All brave again now he’s back on home soil little Donny boasts how he laid down the law to Putin in Helsinki about the 2016 meddling and the possibility of more this year and in 2020. “I let him know we can’t have this,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with “CBS Evening News.” “We’re not going to have it, and that’s the way it’s going to be.”

    Yes of course little Donny. We’re all sure you were a brave brave boy when you were sucking uncle Vlad’s dick in private and later denying in public that he even had anything to do with 2016 meddling. So why would you face him down in private over something you denied on camera he had anything to do with?

    The absurdity of the lies is what gets me. It’s a constant stream of utterly implausible, incomprehensible, contradictory gibberish that a 4 year old wouldn’t think anyone would swallow. This cartoon character’s continual need to brag about his own greatness and braveness when he’s a snivelling coward who’s never done a brave thing in his life is so utterly repulsive.

  • In statistics the median of a sample is the value mid way between the highest value and the lowest. In terms of wealth or income it’s the very definition of the middle class. It is NOT the same value as the mean which is the average of every value in the sample. The median can be either higher or lower than the mean depending on how the values in the sample are skewed. Having defined all this here is a table of the net wealth owned by the median adult in various democracies. The values are from 2015 in 2015 dollars.

    Belgium $150,000
    UK $126,000
    Norway $120,000
    Japan $96,000
    France $86,000
    Canada $75,000
    Netherlands $75,000
    USA $50,000

    For most people the bulk of their wealth is in their house and the bulk of their wealth increase during their lifetime is the appreciation in value of that house year by year. In the USA house prices hit their all time peak in 2006 and then collapsed. They fell all the way from 2006 to 2012 before starting to recover. Many people, especially if they had bought recently ended up in negative equity. On average prices had still not climbed back to 2006 values in 2016 even in dollar terms and adjusted for inflation were still 20% below 2006 values in 2016. In most other countries there was a blip during the recession and then prices went back to rising year on year as before. Prices are now recovering again through 2017 and 2018 but the ten bad years between 2006 and 2016 represent a huge loss of the potential wealth increase that most house owners were expecting to gain during their lifetime.

    There are a number of reasons why the USA was so badly affected. Partly because it was so exposed to the subprime mortgage crisis. Partly because decades of wealth erosion to the bottom 90% in the USA means that there simply isn’t enough money around to keep ordinary house prices bouyant. There’s no problem with house values for the mega rich. The net wealth of the top 1% has climbed steadily for 40 years so if you have a multi million dollar home you can be assured of finding a buyer at a nice profit when you want to sell.

    What created and then exacerbated the subprime crisis was corporate and Wall Street greed coupled with the Republican insistance that the market always knows best and that legislative protections are big government getting in people’s way and restricting free enterprise. This may be fine for the mega rich but for the average person it is those protections that insulate them to some extent from the devastation that corporate greed can inflict on the little man.

  • Thanks Arkrid.

    The sub-prime theft was hinged on a piece of maths done in the seventies. This showed that you could bias market odds in your favour by betting on them with big enough value poker chips. Bundling large numbers of mixed assets together was not just so that you could disguise the crappy stuff but that you could enhance your own skim. Many large scale financial “instruments” were created for this biasing purpose.

  • phil rimmer #294
    Jul 19, 2018 at 4:47 am

    Bundling large numbers of mixed assets together was not just so that you could disguise the crappy stuff but that you could enhance your own skim. Many large scale financial “instruments” were created for this biasing purpose.

    Not only that, but it could leave the losses and problems with the sub-prime borrowers who had borrowed and spent, and with the mug investors who had trusted the regulators to do a competent job!

    The bubble was stoked up using other people’s money and other people’s risk, with some of these dubious packages being used as security for further loans!

    This was further aggravated by clueless politicians who were in denial, were ignoring warnings, and claiming the bubble was a sign of their successful management in developing the economy!

    This was exemplified in the UK, when the government pretended that the solvent Northern Rock (which had NO sub-prime mortgages on its books), was responsible for the credit crunch, refused it an emergency loan to cover a short-term cash-flow problem due to the credit markets seizing up, and then with the help of leaks and irresponsible reporting at the BBC, caused a £27 billion run on the bank over a request for a £2 billion loan at commercial rates!
    They then “bailed it out” at punitive exorbitant rates of interest, and stole the company with no compensation for the “£100 million+ worth of good mortgages they confiscated (and which have been paid off to the government over their repayment periods), although (as with the original sub-prime con) they were mixed with junk mortgages in a “bad bank”, to hide the rip-off operation!

    This gave the real rogue bankers warning to take up the more effective defensive position of, “We will take you down with us if you don’t bail us out” – with taxpayers taking on the losses!

  • Erol #274
    Jul 18, 2018 at 4:33 am

    It is in both the UK and EU’s interests to strike a good deal to satisfy both,

    Yep! and we already have a good deal, and are very unlikely to get a better one, but could be much worse off!

    I see that yet another specialist trade association has warned of the likely damaging effect of brexit on their businesses!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44874308

    The UK publishing industry has warned that Brexit could damage its record-breaking export business.

    Exports rose by 8% to £3.4bn, to account for 60% of total income, consolidating the UK’s position as the biggest exporter of books in the world.

    The Publishers Association represents book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK, including everything from fiction and non-fiction to academic and educational publishing.

    Last year 36% of its exports were shipped to the European Union, making it the largest market for UK books.

    Publishers Association chief executive Stephen Lotinga, said:
    “It’s not just tariffs that could be a problem [post-Brexit].
    It’s the non-tariff barriers, customs checks and delays.”

  • Meanwhile, brexiteers are spending public money piling up new heaps of bureaucracy, to replace working integrated systems which we already have running smoothly! !

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44881058

    Plans are being drawn up to issue millions of permits so Britons can drive on EU roads after Brexit.

    Up to seven million International Driving Permits could be needed inside a year if the UK and the EU do not agree to mutually recognise licences, the National Audit Office (NAO) says.

    The public spending watchdog warned that “detailed delivery plans” had not yet been completed.

    Currently, UK driving licences are valid in all EU countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    But unless a specific agreement is reached, UK drivers will need “additional documentation” in Europe after Brexit, the report says.

  • Arkrid

    As much as I sincerely appreciate your views on the situation, could you do me a favor and not include sucking dick in our list of Trump’s character flaws? There are plenty of good people who engage in that behavior and don’t want to be lumped in with that hopeless asshole. If Trump really did suck Putin’s dick that would be the least of our problems, actually. In truth, he shows no sign of interest in that direction. He is however, committed to sexual assault of females. I don’t like to associate sucking dick with weakness in any interaction. Is it submission?

    I’m sure we all know people who participate in this behavior who are very nice and admirable in every way, right? 😀 et-hem.

  • The brexiteers really are going to have to reinvent the wheel, and opt for a cosmetic brexit, if they actually expect replacement machinery to work!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-44883603

    Four Stormont parties have released a joint statement saying “significant areas of concern” remain around the impact Brexit could have on Northern Ireland.

    Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Alliance and the Green Party said there was little sign of progress on a number of issues.

    The statement comes as the prime minister is due to arrive in Northern Ireland to visit the border.

    It has been one of the main sticking points in the Brexit negotiations.

    they were concerned about the lack of “tangible” progress on issues including:

    access to third-level study for EU students coming to NI

    continued access to the European Health Insurance Card
    and provision of cross-border services
    including the children's heart centre in the Republic of Ireland

    the North West Cancer Centre

    The parties also reiterated their call for the British government to put guarantees protecting the Good Friday Agreement and the rights of citizens into legally binding text.

  • and the warnings just keep on coming despite brexiteers who are impervious to reason!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44884830

    Ireland’s economy could suffer a 4% hit if the UK and the EU fail to reach a deal following Brexit, the International Monetary Fund has said.

    The IMF said that because of the highly integrated nature of the Irish and UK economies, Ireland could face economic consequences as sharp as the UK’s.

    Across the whole of the EU, the consequences of a “no deal” could be up to 1.5% of economic growth, it says.

    Its report looks at possible fall-out from a “cliff-edge” break with the EU.

    The IMF also says the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium would face harsher negative economic effects compared with countries such as Finland and Italy, which are less close economically to the UK.

    The Fund’s report said a “soft Brexit” scenario – with the UK out of the customs union but retaining access to the single market and agreeing to abide by EU rules – “would imply almost zero cost for the EU as a whole”.

    A “standard” free trade deal of the type agreed between Canada and the EU could cause a hit of around 0.8%.

  • So as the Tory government babbles on about a fictitious “Brexit dividend”, and “respecting the referendum con”, business is looking at probable real-world outcomes!

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44891784

    Thursday’s warning from Brussels to EU businesses to step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit is timely.

    It has gone up – and many UK companies are intensifying and accelerating their contingency plans to mitigate potentially severe disruption.

    Across the board, firms feel the cliff-edge is getting uncomfortably close.

    The British Retail Consortium has repeated its warning about food being left to rot at the docks waiting for the kind of checks that have not been necessary for decades and port authorities are woefully understaffed to complete.

  • Arkrid Sandwich #270 Jul 17, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    One of the worst things about Helsinki is we know for a certainty that the Republican toadies in Congress won’t do a damn thing about it.

    Colbert last night played a montage of half a dozen Trumpkins in Congress including Marco Rubio saying to camera how happy they were that Donny had “explained” and “clarified” his position on Putin by saying he really meant “wouldn’t” not “would”. I could certainly sense their relief. It must have been an awful 24 hours for them poor dears. Trump goes to NATO , sqwawks and shits over everything, then he goes to Britain, insults the PM and the Queen, sqwawks and shits some more and they could cope with all that. But then he goes to Helsinki and makes it clear he’s Putin’s bitch rather than on America’s side. Now they’re getting really uncomfortable but they still daren’t say anything because a single bad word from him and the deplorables will turn on them like wolves. So they hunker down as usual and hope it blows past them until catastrophe!!! Fox Noise actually expresses disgust.

    Now they’re stuck because Fox represents the red line which even Trumpkins have to abide by. If they say nothing they look like they’re anti American too but if they say anything at all they risk Dear Leader’s wrath so they hum and haw and say it’s “regrettable” and “needs clarification” and other mealy mouthed criticisms as they try desperately to stand up for America but not attack Trump. They pray and pray that someone will persuade Donny to walk things back as long as it’s not them having to do anything or speak to him. Then phew…he garbles the most ridiculously worded walk back in human history that not even a three year old would have believed even if he hadn’t messed it up by ad libbing part of it and they find the straw to clutch on to that might save them from drowning.

    Now they can claim that no matter how absurd it might be that someone could say black when he meant white and not notice until Fox News pointed it out they can “take him at his word” that he really means this reversal. They squirm and wriggle and try desperately to excuse themselves from any responsibility to judge his actual original words or actions. Those can be conveniently forgotten now he’s made the feeblest of excuses and paid some pathetic lip service towards believing his own intelligence agencies. Not their job to decide whether those new words have a shred of truth to them. The President’s words speak for themselves as the Huckabitch is so fond of deflecting with when she has no real answer.

    So now they can all scurry back to their burrows to hide away until the next calamity drags them into the spotlight and hope they can dodge another bullet with platitudes and excuses while Trump drags America deeper into the mire.

    What they think and say privately is being leaked on almost a daily basis though. In private they think he’s insane, a disgrace, retarded, unhinged but not a one of them who wants to still have a job after the next election will say a thing. Not that any of these spineless sycophants are good men but we are reminded that for evil to triumph it only requires that good men do nothing. They are certainly very good at doing nothing.

    Dubya said repeatedly after 9/11 when he was banging the drums of war “if you’re not with us you’re against us”. Not remotely true of course. Anyone can be impartial, but now it’s America herself crying out for help “if you’re not with me you’re against me” and these people in Congress are not with her. They’re with Trump, all the way, and they’ll let America scream and drown and not lift a finger to throw her a lifebelt let alone dive in themselves and try and save her.

  • Arkrid Sandwich #286
    Jul 18, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    The simple truth is both Trump and the Republicans want Russia to keep influencing elections as long as it’s in their favour. They don’t care how they win as long as they win. Treason doesn’t bother them. The corruption of Democracy doesn’t bother them. Their sole purpose is to win…

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-wants-putin-to-keep-meddling-to-get-himself-reelected?ref=scroll

    Trump is not so complicated that any scratching of heads is needed to get to why he persists in his protection of Putin. It’s the best way to insure Trump’s reelection. Amid the impulses driving Trump, none is more potent than not being a loser and proving to elites they were wrong about him. His constant denial that Russia meddled is not just to to protect his fragile ego from the suggestion he didn’t win fair and square, or to deny collusion, or stop the witch hunt; it’s to exonerate Putin, whose help dragged him over the finish line in the electoral college in 2016 and which he needs again in 2020.

    Other excuses for Trump’s sinking to a near treasonous level of obsequiousness with Putin are not nearly as convincing as insuring he keeps Putin on board for the 2020 election. Kompromat in the form of a video of Trump’s lascivious conduct with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel, no problem.

    The same goes for owing Russians so much money they own him. He’ll keep stonewalling on the tax returns that would show it and he’ll put on his con man casino owner hat to lecture us on the wisdom of taking on debt. Bad business practices, kinky sex, It’s all factored in.

    But not the final solution of Trump selling out the country to a foreign enemy to perpetrate his reign. He bends over to please Putin: he continued to snub Germany’s Angela Merkel, slammed Britain’s Teresa May in an interview before taking her hand to walk into an elegant dinner at Blenheim Palace, called the European Union the enemy and Putin his friend. That’s the way it goes when you begin paying protection money. The cost keeps going up, before you know it, you’re in bed with a guy who poisons journalists, and you plan a summit about nothing to display on a world stage your homage for the Russian leader.

    With this bowing to Putin, Teflon Trump knows now there’s no taboo he can’t break, no red line he can’t cross, no failure of character too great for his party, more afraid of losing their next race than losing their souls. At this point, Trump, with Putin’s help, may well get re-elected.

  • @#300 – The Fund’s report said a “soft Brexit” scenario – with the UK out of the customs union but retaining access to the single market and agreeing to abide by EU rules – “would imply almost zero cost for the EU as a whole”.

    Of course it is those EU Rules which generate the emotionally-driven pathological anti-regulation hatred in brexiteers, and to which they object to any being included in Theresa May’s compromise fudging of brexiteer fantasy with practical trade agreements which actually work!

    Boris wants “to save his (destructive) hard-brexit dream”, – of leaping off the cliff into no-deal balmy (or was that barmy?) Utopia!

  • Arkrid #286

    The simple truth is both Trump and the Republicans want Russia to keep
    influencing elections as long as it’s in their favour. They don’t care
    how they win as long as they win. Treason doesn’t bother them. The
    corruption of Democracy doesn’t bother them. Their sole purpose is to
    win…

    You were absolutely spot-on with this. They are simply determined to win at any costs. The problem is far bigger than Trump alone.

    What worries me even more is what they are able to do once they have won. I read just yesterday that the Trump administration is going to be ending the federal funding to states that’s intended to help them ensure the integrity of their voting systems. We all know of the various schemes in place in several Republican states to deter voters most likely to vote Democrat. We all also know that Trump is itching to fire Mueller and can barely open his mouth without undermining the very intelligence services whose job is to investigate and prevent the kind of subversion of democracy that got him elected in the first place.

    And having subverted democracy to gain power, why would Trump & co permit democracy to snatch it away from them again? The 2016 election was just the start.

    The same applies to Brexit too, of course. The entanglements weren’t just between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Brexit campaign was in it up to its neck too. And for the same reason: stuff democracy, just win at all costs. Lie, cheat, whatever. And all, too, for the same underlying goal: a society whose sole purpose is to provide rich pickings to the already obscenely rich, and where any and every measure to protect the non-obscenely rich is ripped down. No wonder the Brexiteers see Trump as Brexit-Britain’s most important ally. Two cheeks of the same arse, as the saying goes.

  • Alan #304

    Of course it is those EU Rules which generate the emotionally-driven
    pathological anti-regulation hatred in brexiteers, and to which they
    object to any being included in Theresa May’s compromise fudging of
    brexiteer fantasy with practical trade agreements which actually work!

    Absolutely.

    And the key thing is this: ask any Leave voter how they have been inconvenienced by those EU regulations, and they won’t know how to answer you. At most, a small number might grumble about the eco-lightbulbs, which I admit I disliked too, at first, but which have improved so dramatically over the last few years that those earlier objections simply don’t hold water any more in any case.

    Leave voters have been schooled by the rabidly anti-EU press and media to believe that EU regulations are the bane of their lives. Whereas the reality is that those regulations are either highly technical, affecting manufacturers and operators in specific sectors only – and therefore don’t affect anyone else in the least (actually, they don’t even negatively affect the businesses concerned, since any inconvenience they may cause is vastly outweighed by the far greater benefits of being able to trade freely in the Single Market); or they are actively protecting ordinary citizens’ rights – and should therefore be entirely welcomed by anyone who doesn’t want the UK to return to the days when workers could be sacked on a whim, and had to spend an unlimited number of hours every day working in dangerous, unhealthy environments, and weren’t entitled to paid holiday, or paid maternity leave; or when you couldn’t safely swim from our beaches because the sea was full of raw sewage; or when the air was vastly more polluted than it is now; or when consumers had no right to know what was in their food; and could not be sure whether the toys they bought for their children were safe; or when UK criminals could escape arrest simply by hopping on a flight to the Costa del Sol.

    What exactly is there about rules protecting us from those horrors that is SO objectionable, SO outrageous, that it is worth inflicting enormous damage on our economy, destroying up to 1,850,000 British jobs, decimating our NHS and other public services, jeopardising our food and medication supply, drastically curtailing our children’s opportunities and making ourselves dependent on Donald Trump, of all people, simply to be able to ‘free’ ourselves from them?

    The point about the Brexit cheerleaders and funders – Farage, Johnson, Fox, Davis, Rees-Mogg (of course), Patel, Leadsom, Raab, Lawson, Dyson, Banks, etc – is that there isn’t one of them who doesn’t actively want Brexit Britain to undo or d