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_Michael

United Kingdom 2017 General Election (UK Political Happenings)

43 posts in this topic

A thread for the politics happenings in the UK. (I don't think there is already one.)

So David Cameron has just resigned, and Theresa May is currently at the palace. As a fan of Cameron, it's a sad day. 6 years and 62 days in control, both in a coalition and in a majority, but I'm looking forward to seeing what May can bring. What are your opinions?

There are also more issues rising in the Labour Party. Will Jeremy Corbyn go? Who knows. I think it is hard for him to stay.

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A fan of David Cameron? Well obviously you have never had to rely on benefits then? What he's done to ruin the lives of disabled people and some of the worst off in the UK is absolutely monstrous. All whilst telling us the economy is improving, even though the deficit has only increased under Conservative leadership.

Then, look at his election and referendum campaigns, barely a single cohesive argument from his side during any of them. To be fair, it's not like the other parties were any better, but even so, I cringe with disbelief that anyone would allow such cretins to rule a nation.

My only disappointment in seeing him go, is knowing we're just going to get another copycat moron, that isn't qualified to run a newspaper stand, let alone a nation.

Here's what I think we should do. Add a new option to the ballot box, "none of the above". Yes, I know this idea is taken from the plot of a film, but if you think about it, it adds a new choice to the democratic process. In essence, now instead of choosing between a bunch of parties few think are any different from each other. We could collectively have a vote of no confidence in all of them. If people actually went out and took the time to tick such a box, en-masse with a majority, they would have to listen or face the consequences.

What we need right now, especially with Brexit negotiations coming up, is strong leadership with a clear sense of direction for the country. I have no confidence we are going to get it. In the meantime, people are starving, literally relying on people's charitable donation of food to continue to exist. This is not the 1800's, how did we fall so far, so fast? Have you noticed how it's always those people who are the most well off who are telling us it's too expensive to provide for everyone? What will the country do when people like me, with nothing saved, despite a lifetime of working and paying tax, all retire? Presumably we'll all be buggered, because the state won't be there to help us out. I've simply never earnt enough money that I had sufficient spare to put aside, I've lived day-today since I was young. That's what you get when the bulk of the workers are all on temporary contracts, which have evolved into 0 hour contracts. Anyone responsible for employing even a single person on such a contract is morally bankrupt. These leeches on society should all be locked up for everyone elses safety and well being.

I'm sorry to say it, I love England, I am English, but I have lived in the real world, not the romantic view of the empire of our past. When I left 9 years ago, I looked back from the ferry at the White Cliffs of Dover and told the country where it could go. I wish I could return some day, the UK is my true home afterall, but for normal people, it is a dysfunctional hopeless country to live in. Where working is not enough to pay the basic cost of living.

Sadly, these problems are in no way unique to the UK. And whilst the politicians would have you believe it's just how things are today, the reality is that successive generations of them have brought us here by choice or simple mis-management. Before the Euro mess happened, life here in Germany was a little better. But now that everyone has to pay the cost of the Euro mess. i.e a huge gouging of public funds, misappropriated or stolen through fraud on an industrial scale. The net result being in real terms, the price of everything has doubled, meanwhile my salary went the other way because there are plenty slightly more desperate people than I willing to work for less.

Bitter, yeah you bet I am. At least if I had lived through WWII, I could have had the opportunity of a life, assuming I made it out alive. My generation by comparison either has everything or nothing. I just hope I'm dead before I'm old, because the way the world is going, the idea of being broke and old is just so scary to contemplate.

That's Cameron's Britain. Is it all his fault, obviously not, the problem is much bigger. But did he or his party do one single thing to make things better? Not from where I'm sitting, they only continued to make it worse. Meanwhile, he's back off to the Cotswolds to live in his expensive mansion next to Jeremy Clarkson. No doubt before finding some cushy job with a ridiculous salary in an industry he has no prior experience with. Or perhaps just retiring to spend the millions he's already accrued, which is odd, considering I don't think he's ever done a real days work in his life.

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@rsc204Im not even going to comment, Im just going to say, I agree 100% with you. Im not British, but my best friend is and he lives there. We always talk about life and compare our situations, and honestly, his words are reflected on your post 100%!

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@rsc204, you are correct, I have never been in the position to rely on state welfare. I am very fortunate in that respect.

I understand your points and the effect some, of the decisions has had on you and other members of the population, but some things had to be done to cure the economic issues left from Labor. The country couldn't go on spending what it was, with a huge budget deficit. Would you have wanted all taxes to be raised by quite a large percentage to cure the deficit. That wouldn't have been nice?  VAT up to 30%, Income Tax PA down, with rates up, that wouldn't had been well received either. 

Instead, the Conservatives, along with the coalition Liberals, have reduced the deficit by ⅔, raised the personal allowance, meaning the lowest paid don't pay tax, or pay less than they used to. They have also increased the minimum wage, raised to £7.50hr meaning £910 more per annum for a full time worker on NLW. 

These are not good things?

The country has also created more jobs in the past few years than the 27 other EU members states combined, and had the fastest economic recovery among the G7. Meaning more people are able to access jobs in their area, that were previously unable to. This is helping our county to recover after 2008/9. 

Also,

7 hours ago, rsc204 said:

I don't think he's ever done a real days work in his life.

Do you want to try being PM for 6 years and 62 days. I think you'll then realise he has done "real days work" if not even more challenging days that the rest of the country  

The Conservative's objective has always been this:

Quote

The government wants to move from a low wage, high tax, high welfare society to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society.

The conservatives have always been about this, and those goals led to a prosperous economy. Things had to change from the Labor Governement, and in my view DC has mad good progress towards that. It is not finished. 

Finally, you have asked for strong leadership, do you think Jermery Corbyn can provide that? I certainly think not. 

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Well I guess we're not going to agree, but I am happy to discuss it anyway if you are? Firstly, it doesn't affect me what's going on in the UK, I left after realising I had no future there whatsoever. Look at the numbers, I'm one of the hundreds of thousands of British people who leave every year in search of a better life.

3 hours ago, michae95l said:

but some things had to be done to cure the economic issues left from Labor. The country couldn't go on spending what it was, with a huge budget deficit. Would you have wanted all taxes to be raised by quite a large percentage to cure the deficit. That wouldn't have been nice?  VAT up to 30%, Income Tax PA down, with rates up, that wouldn't had been well received either. 

But that's the lie that's being fed to everyone. The fact is, the deficit is not really the important figure. In real terms, government borrowing has increased significantly:

Due to the Government's significant budget deficit, the national debt is increasing by approximately £73.5 billion per annum, or around £1.4 billion each week As a result of its efforts to balance the budget, the Government forecast in 2014 that the structural deficit will be eliminated in the financial year 2017/18. However it changed the year to 2018/19 in March 2015 and to 2019/20 in July 2015.

Source: ONS

Also, blaming the "last lot" is a typical act of misdirection used by successive governments. The problem is much deeper than what Labour did. They inherited this problem too. Instead of fix it, they made it worse, but that's what the Tories have been doing too. There is a problem with the system of government, one that divides most countries between two or three main parties. So if I don't like the Conservatives, I must like Labour or the Liberal Democrats (now unelectable for a generation). The fact is, not one single party in the UK represents my views or has my confidence to make the UK and the world a better place. All of them are stuffed to the brim with greedy power-hungry sycophants, who should be spat at wherever they go until they crawl back under the rocks they came from. Where are the real politicians like Bevan? I'm guessing he is rolling in his grave looking at what the UK has become. We've turned our backs on people, lost our humanity, there can be no excuses here. Do you remember seeing that film Catty Come Home? People were incensed by this at the time, it made them sit up and take notice. Every human being who watched it, knew in their hearts and minds that this was simply unacceptable in a civilised society. Yet, we have in a short space of time, gone back to a country that is allowing it to happen once more. But when that film was released, people could easily relate to how a few things beyond one's control could lead into a spiral of poverty that became an abyss.

People with virtually nothing to begin with, are having to bear the biggest burden of reducing the deficit. Even though, we're borrowing more and more each year. I don't think taxes need to be raised. If those people and businesses with the largest amount of money actually paid their fare share, it probably wouldn't be necessary. Unlike Google though, most people can't just work out with the taxman, how much they should arbitrarily pay them.

People are having to rely on the charity of others so they can eat, in 2016, in Britain, one of the richest nations on earth!!! I know I made that point before, but you didn't respond to it. However it's so fundamental to explaining the failure of the current government. It is under Cameron and the Conservatives that the number of food banks has gone up 10 fold. How can any human being with a soul be OK with that? David Cameron when asked about it by Jeremy Paxman before the last election, decided to blame Labour for fudging the numbers of food banks. I guess the electorate bought that argument, but I bloody well didn't. It's sick, and it makes me sick to think we live in such a world. The problem is, people don't want to think about it, provided it's not happening to them. I'm OK, I have a roof over my head, barely. But I still can't sit there and pretend this terrible injustice is not going on, it's just so wrong it fills me with sadness and rage.

3 hours ago, michae95l said:

Instead, the Conservatives, along with the coalition Liberals, have reduced the deficit by ⅔, raised the personal allowance, meaning the lowest paid don't pay tax, or pay less than they used to. They have also increased the minimum wage, raised to £7.50hr meaning £910 more per annum for a full time worker on NLW. 

Where are you getting your figures? The UK is more in debt now than when the Tories took power. That's a headline grabbing figure that is in no small part serviced by the reality that the government is trying to print its way out of trouble with quantitative easing. Which, if anyone's looking is mostly finding it's way into the pockets of rich individuals, theft on an industrial scale.

Have you ever lived on minimum wage? Please tell me how you pay for rent, council tax, water, electricity, gas, food and the basics needed to live, on less than £1,000 a month? Rents in my home city, Bristol are in the region of £600-£700 alone, add £200 council tax onto that and you already have a serious problem. Yet when we need £500 Billion to bail out the banks, sure no worries.

3 hours ago, michae95l said:

The country has also created more jobs in the past few years than the 27 other EU members states combined, and had the fastest economic recovery among the G7. Meaning more people are able to access jobs in their area, that were previously unable to. This is helping our county to recover after 2008/9. 

But what good are jobs that don't pay enough to live? The mere existence of zero hour contracts is another of the most disgusting abuses of people in recent history. It's practically slavery, yet the employment figures are in no small part due to the fact that 2 million people now have to work this way. That's in a country with about 30 million workers, or around 15% of the working population. Not since we sent children down coal mines has such a shameful practise been commonplace. These people are rarely entitled to holiday pay, sick pay and can loose their jobs (which technically they don't have) for the tiniest little thing. For example not being around one morning on the off chance there was some work for them to do. How is this OK?

There needs to be a social contract, not just a minimum wage. Everybody who decides to take part, follow the laws of the country and work and pay taxes deserves a minimum standard of life. The reality is people doing two or three jobs, just to keep their heads above water. Britain is not a third world country, how is this acceptable?

3 hours ago, michae95l said:

Do you want to try being PM for 6 years and 62 days. I think you'll then realise he has done "real days work" if not even more challenging days that the rest of the country  

I can think of better ways to age 20 years in just five. But the fact remains, Cameron was very rich long before taking office. No job he did before that really justifies his wealth. The point is, that people who've never even seen the standard of living they force-feed others, are so-far detached from it, they just can't understand the realities of it. I personally feel sick knowing these people can live with themselves. Because I would be willing to take part in a civil war, if I thought we could end these injustices by doing so. Sometimes I think that may literally be the only way to make some people see what should be in front of their eyes. It's all too easy to blame and label poor people. I'd love to quote a line from Eddie Murphy in 48 hours, but sadly the rules of the site don't permit me doing so. To paraphrase it, "If excrement was worth something, poor people would be born with no anuses".

3 hours ago, michae95l said:

The government wants to move from a low wage, high tax, high welfare society to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society.

But if that only benefits the people at the top of the scale, is that really such a great thing? Because historically, the Tories only look after the rich, making them richer at the expense of everyone else. Ironically, Labour weren't much better and the Liberals rolled over their core values for a chance at power. The fact is, most of the people who make things work, so everyone else can live a nice life aren't getting their fair share. They are being given the absolute minimum and little to no opportunity to improve their lives and move up in this system. It's not about how smart or educated you are, the opportunities simply aren't there for a large percentage of the populous.

3 hours ago, michae95l said:

Finally, you have asked for strong leadership, do you think Jermery Corbyn can provide that? I certainly think not. 

I don't think Labour would be any better, we saw that under Tony Blair. But the Tories have IMO ushered in a new low in recent years. That's really the crux of the problem, none of these politicians stand for normal people, even when they talk like they do. The system of government is broken at such a fundamental level, it needs complete reform from the ground up. The only way to get power, is with the backing of rich friends to bankroll your campaigns. Is it such a surprise that those who win, then go on to help out the causes of their biggest benefactors, the rich? Why is it companies like Google are so ingrained with our government, doesn't that strike you as odd at best, a conflict of interest? The obvious reality, even if no evidence exists is that we have corruption on a wide scale going on. No one is prepared to stand up to these people, so things never change. If you think you can change these things at the ballot box, then I respectfully disagree. Not to mention the power and influence wielded by a few rich media tycoons. Everyone knows these people have the power to shape the world, one of the best things about the Brexit, is that a majority put two-fingers up to these people for once.

These problems are not small, they will not be fixed tomorrow and the solutions to them will not be easy. But not one politician I have heard speak publically, seems willing to even have a reasoned debate regarding these issues. I don't have to be in dire poverty to know it's not right that others are. Just like I don't need to be shot in the head, to know shooting people in the head is wrong. The real issues are not to do with Scotland staying or leaving the UK. They don't revolve around being or not in the EU. Priority #1 in a morally justifiable Britain would be that all those who live there, can rest assured no one is hungry, homeless or needlessly suffering. #2 is ensuring everyone who makes the country a success, from the toilet cleaners, dustmen,  doctors, teachers, supermarket workers to those at the top are all getting a share of the profits. Right now, it's only very few who are taking almost everything, leaving the crumbs for the rest to fight over.

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I think we will have to agree to disagree on UK politics.

6 hours ago, rsc204 said:

Where are you getting your figures? The UK is more in debt now than when the Tories took power.

Government debt and deficit are very different things. Debt is all of the money the Government owes. No country, as far as I am aware, is without debt. It's inevitable, however some of our debt is decades old. In the last Government for instance, debt from WW1 was only just paid off. Yes the Tories have increased it, but with a deficit, it is hard not to, as I shall explain.

Budget deficit is the difference between what the Government receive in income (taxes etc.) and what they spend (NHS, schools etc.) when spending is higher than income, then a deficit forms. If income is higher than spending, then a surplus forms. While the budget is in a deficit, the debt will go up, because that difference has to be paid. Increased debt is unavoidable while the budget is in deficit, and I will point out, the deficit was hugely increased under Labor. Partly because of the financial crash, and the bailout, and partly because of excessive spending.

7 hours ago, rsc204 said:

People are having to rely on the charity of others so they can eat, in 2016, in Britain, one of the richest nations on earth!!!

I hear your point, and I heard it the first time. It is not good, I understand that and I know it has to change. How? I'm not sure, but I do know that more and more spending is certainly not the answer. Our economy is growing and as more people find and get jobs on a higher wage, then this problem can be decreased. Some things need to be solved with long term strategic planning, and so rather than piling more money at the problem, which would be cut in the next recession, only for the issue to arise again, a long tem plan needs to be created that will combat this issue for a longer term, a plan that doesn't just rely on cash injections.

7 hours ago, rsc204 said:

Please tell me how you pay for rent, council tax, water, electricity, gas, food and the basics needed to live, on less than £1,000 a month?

I'm not saying you can nor am I saying it would be easy. What I will say is, to reiterate the point above, as more people get work in our more prosperous country, this issue will not be as prevalent. However it can only be less prevalent in a growing and prosperous economy, one which the Conservatives have helped to create.

7 hours ago, rsc204 said:

The mere existence of zero hour contracts is another of the most disgusting abuses of people in recent history.

I support the abolition of zero-hour contracts I agree with the points you make. Social contract, no. That, IMO, is a step too far. Yes, maybe there should be restrictions on what can and can't be in a contract, and a contract regulator to ensure contracts are fair etc., but a nationwide social contract, no thanks. Employers need to still have that freedom.

(I may have misinterpreted your concept on SC, let me know if I have. )

7 hours ago, rsc204 said:

No job he did before that really justifies his wealth.

I believe he inherited most of it. And let's face it, in a society there will be the rich and the poor. The haves and the haves not. Yes, that gap needs to be as small as possible, and should certainly not be as large as it is now, but communism didn't work, did it?

7 hours ago, rsc204 said:

But if that only benefits the people at the top of the scale, is that really such a great thing? Because historically, the Tories only look after the rich, making them richer at the expense of everyone else.

I think this vision will benefit everyone. I'm not going to go into why, I think the statement says it all really. "Higher wages" Tell me that that isn't good, with "Lower Welfare" which is better for the economy. I like your use of the word "historically" because now, IMO, the Tories are benefiting more people with their polices that ever before.

7 hours ago, rsc204 said:

Priority #1 in a morally justifiable Britain would be that all those who live there, can rest assured no one is hungry, homeless or needlessly suffering. #2 is ensuring everyone who makes the country a success, from the toilet cleaners, dustmen,  doctors, teachers, supermarket workers to those at the top are all getting a share of the profits.

Two lovely priorities, which would be great to have, but I'm afraid to tell you, neither will ever be fully achieved. Both do not work, IMO, in a capitalist society, which we have undoubtedly become. It would be great for the country and its citizens if these came true, but in a capitalist world, the economy has to be a priority, and a strong economy will allow the citizens to lead the best lives.

(I think I've responded to all of the main points. Let me know if I haven't)

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I think all of this poverty and government debt comes down to something more fundamental: it's either invest or be destitute.

Saving is punished with low interest rates. Debt is encouraged. House prices go up in good times squeezing out ever more people, while rents increase to. Deflation and decreasing asset prices causes recessions and job losses because so many people and businesses have too much debt, too little capital and are stretched too thin.

There are two root causes of this: taxes and the creation of money with interest attached.

I personally believe that no government on this planet needs taxation, unless in times of war and severe crisis/inflation. Why not the government just get the Bank of England to print a sum of money each year to cover expenses for civic services and the welfare state? That money goes into the economy as government workers spend their pay and companies/contractors receive income, which in turn goes to other sections of the economy. No taxes- instant cash which will be spent in the economy and/or more savings.

All that matters is money flow. If it is too hot then simply tax everyone to siphon money off and then literally get rid of it.

The BoE should create money and commercial banks take this money to give out loans. Banks can attach minimal interest rates for a profit and to cover costs, but most of that profit needs to be stored in a separate fund; a fund for interest-free loans and very flexible repayment methods. This fund needs to be directed at the poorest of people and most disadvantaged. In that way banks can still have some of their usury, investment capital can still exist and nearly all created money is recycled and redirected back into the economy. Investing in the stock market, in the government bond market and other asset markets will become extremely dull as there will be small returns and low volatility. But that is to be expected in a zero-to-low inflationary environment where the economy is simply ticking over.

Under this system, all money is created by the government and the BoE. Thus it will truly be said that this is money of the people, by the people, for the people.

It sounds like magic but really it is just a set of inputs and outputs. The fate of nearly all money in today's system is destruction- it goes towards paying a debt and liability- a negative sum. All the value of money which pays debt and liabilities is wiped out. Thus with no value, money is no longer money. It's gone. That's why in recessions the money supply shrinks, money literally disappears because far more of it is being used to repay debts. This has created a dizzying series of booms and busts around the world, the trend is upwards but boy is it a wild roller coaster ride!

Furthermore, nearly all money in existence, at least in the the Western world and most developing countries, is created by commercial banks providing mortgages and business loans. When times are good this system works: businesses grow, asset prices increase, house prices increase and so forth. The downside is that for a good majority of the population things become more expensive and the only way of maintaining a standard of living is more debt, more loans and more credit cards!

Inflation must happen every single year, otherwise the money supply will start shrinking as a tiny portion of it goes towards repaying debt. Thus the solution is the creation of more mortgages and business loans to stave off deflation and a shrinking money supply. That's why economies grow exponentially. The trade off is lower standards of collateral, lower standards of issuance and lower repayments which ensures the bank's liability lasts for longer and is far more dangerous. This reaches its climax at the height of the boom when greed/risk is at a maximum and saving/capital is at a minimum.

///

Sadly, for a lot of people, this system is in its death pangs. Bloated social security budgets and unprecedented banking bailouts have caused governments to trim pension liabilities, under-report inflation and raise taxes. QE and ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) and NIRP (Negative Interest Rate Policy) has caused a massive misallocation of money into assets: stocks, bonds, housing, derivatives... Trickle down economics does work to keep things afloat, but it just creates excessive amounts of hoarding and this is seen everywhere: landlords pushing up rent, savings being converted into assets, companies buying back their own stock... Right now this system of capitalism is horribly inefficient because the best way to make money is to invest in assets and not in the economy. That's why the money velocity is so low and why inflation can't go up like a man with impotence. Well "inflation" as is reported seems out of whack giving what happens with rent and housing. But that's another story.

So much money is in limbo because more and more of it is going towards assets, and good luck with that money going back into the economy because if it did so then there would be a simultaneous housing crash and stock market crash. Considering that the creation of the monetary supply was the NUMBER ONE duty of a government, to see handed over to commercial banks and central banks in cahoots with the banking industry really saddens me. To see governments pay for new money which they could have created in the first place- government bonds! Governments saddle themselves with debt to get more money and then tax citizens to cover costs. If the government created all the money this would no longer happen.

And don't say government is reckless and inefficient. Look at the 2008/2009 financial crisis, look at the various asset bubbles today.

///

And now consider this: student loans are one of the main sources of money creation in the USA and the UK; government loan creation. The loan money goes into university coffers and local shops, which then churns around into other areas of the economy. Do see how this is starting to work now? Tuition fees are a stroke of genius, most students don't reach the income threshold to pay back the money, and the government holds the liability. I somewhat approve of this as it has kept the economy afloat, but the price is more government debt and eventually more taxes for us.

Have you ever wondered why more and more people are getting degrees? Students are supporting the economy big time, especially when house mortgages -- once a former source of money creation in the boom years of 2000-2007 -- have dried up. This is super funny when you consider the Leftish, Marxist and anti-corporate attitudes many students have. They talk about "fighting" and "changing" the system, well they are a big cog of this system. We NEED the system, it just needs some tweaks. There are NO ANSWERS to be found in the current left-right political spectrum which address these fundamental problems.

///

NO ONE in the political system is talking about this. The same tired arguments of "More government spending"/"Less taxes" and so forth get repeated again and again. But nothing changes and the problems keep piling up. The answer is not socialism or capitalism, it's a combination of the two supported by a fair system of monetary creation. Ditch the flirtations with socialism/Marxism, restrain the excesses of usury and oligarchy.

Change the money supply, temper greed with morality, fairness and justice and you may just find that most problems: poverty, inequality, political discontent, apathy, disillusionment, left-right divide, racism, extremism, terrorism, crime, cultural degradation and more will shrink away.

Money IS the measure of a civilization, it bounds the moral with the material, it is the means for existence and it will never go away so long as humans still place value to things. If the measure is wrong then what does it say for civilization as a whole?

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Well, I wont argue with any of the points above as again, I dont live there, but have you ever considered that the biggest problem might be that London actually sucks dry the rest of the country's economy? See, outside the UK its actually hard to recognize important cities in a global scale, except for London, which in my opinion has become something more of a city state rather than being another city in the country. Most of the plans are actually tailored for London and do not work for the country, and yes I understand that London is the access point for the rest of the world, but no party is going to change anything unless the country starts to work as a country again.

The way I see it, cities like Liverpool or Manchester, that used to be important places in the world (specially 100 years ago back in the empire days) are now nothing but a small dot on a map. To me it's all about distribution. I do believe the UK has some great potential, but unfortunately, the best days are behind, so I really think it's time to bring the country as a whole rather than focusing on just one area.

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Yeah, London is one factor. It's funny because in the USA the North is considered more enlightened and prosperous, while the South is seen as poorer and more backward (rednecks). Whereas in the UK it's the other way around. The South is considered wealthier and more cultured, while the North of England is considered poorer and a "wasteland".

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25 minutes ago, LexusInfernus said:

I just love how May made Johnson minister of Foreign Affairs. Not even PM for a week and she already looks stupid...

I disagree with your view.

May has been smart. Very smart. 

Boris may be seen as a bit of an idiot but he is a very experienced politician. He was re-elected London Mayor and bettered the city hugely. 

He will do well at the FCO. I think the problem is you need to give him a chance. If you do, you will see how good a politician he really is. 

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10 hours ago, michae95l said:

I disagree with your view.

May has been smart. Very smart. 

Boris may be seen as a bit of an idiot but he is a very experienced politician. He was re-elected London Mayor and bettered the city hugely. 

He will do well at the FCO. I think the problem is you need to give him a chance. If you do, you will see how good a politician he really is. 

He is generally disliked and not taken seriously by the rest of the world. Him being put there has meant the UK has taken an immediate hit to their reputation and credibility, which is exactly what they need after the Brexit. This in turn immediately weakens the UK's position around the negotiating table, right at a moment they can't afford that. He might be the best politician but it would never matter, Foreign Affairs is as much about how the rest of the world sees him as his competence as a politician. The guy that runs the Foreign Affairs ministry is the guy that is going to be representing the UK in a lot of things and its generally a bad idea to put someone there who has a habit of being openly racist, sexist and insulting to his counterparts. 

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6 minutes ago, LexusInfernus said:

He is generally disliked and not taken seriously by the rest of the world. Him being put there has meant the UK has taken an immediate hit to their reputation and credibility, which is exactly what they need after the Brexit. This in turn immediately weakens the UK's position around the negotiating table, right at a moment they can't afford that. He might be the best politician but it would never matter, Foreign Affairs is as much about how the rest of the world sees him as his competence as a politician. The guy that runs the Foreign Affairs ministry is the guy that is going to be representing the UK in a lot of things and its generally a bad idea to put someone there who has a habit of being openly racist, sexist and insulting to his counterparts. 

BJ being Foreign Secretary won't weaken the negotiation position of the U.K. in Brussels, because I think you are forgetting that David Davis MP is the Secretary of State for leaving the European Union. He, and his new department, will be responsible  for negotiating our exit, not BJ.  

And anyway, what country doesn't have a politician that the rest of the world view as slightly stupid. (*cough* America and Donald Trump *cough*) But let's not dwell on that last mention. There is another thread for that. 

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9 hours ago, michae95l said:

BJ being Foreign Secretary won't weaken the negotiation position of the U.K. in Brussels, because I think you are forgetting that David Davis MP is the Secretary of State for leaving the European Union. He, and his new department, will be responsible  for negotiating our exit, not BJ.  

And anyway, what country doesn't have a politician that the rest of the world view as slightly stupid. (*cough* America and Donald Trump *cough*) But let's not dwell on that last mention. There is another thread for that. 

What, you think the UK only negotiates with the EU? 

Look if anything BJ's job has become even more important now that the UK is leaving the EU. Yeah, hes not in charge of the Brexit, instead hes in charge with making nice to the rest of the world now that the UK is turning its back on Europe. BJ is now in charge of your fall back options, anything that can't or won't happen through the EU anymore, BJ is the guy whos responsible of finding non European partners to do those things with. And frankly he is also in charge of all the things the UK wants to keep doing with Europe. The ministry of Brexit only covers the Brexit, that is the technical details of separating the UK from the EU. It doesn't mean that ministry is in charge of all things Europe. 

And yes, every country has its fair share of idiot politicians, but the difference is that most of those countries are smart enough not to give them any positions of real significance unless they really don't have any other choice. And should the US elect Donald Trump, its gonna be a massive disaster on all fronts. But just because the US has Donald Trump running for president doesn't mean that putting Boris Johnson in charge of the UK's foreign policy is not a decision of spectacular stupidity.

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9 hours ago, LexusInfernus said:

The guy that runs the Foreign Affairs ministry is the guy that is going to be representing the UK in a lot of things and its generally a bad idea to put someone there who has a habit of being openly racist, sexist and insulting to his counterparts. 

Really? We never had any problems when Prince Phillip was running around the world doing exactly that? :rofl: 

6 minutes ago, LexusInfernus said:

BJ is the guy whos responsible of finding non European partners to do those things with.

You know, I can't take anything seriously when the sentence starts BJ ;)... sorry dirty mind and all.

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1 hour ago, LexusInfernus said:

What, you think the UK only negotiates with the EU? 

David Davis is Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Liam Fox the Secretary of State for International Trade. As well, Priti Patel is the Secretary of State for International Development. Then, there's a Minister of State for North America, LatAm, APAC, and South Asia, and an Under Secretary of State for Africa, Caribbean and conflict issues, and another one for MENA, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia; all there to support BoJo. Couple that with the fact that more and more foreign policy is being made in the Cabinet Office, your pity/fear is somewhat misplaced.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is quite obviously chosen as the Foreign Secretary as he will fill that position within the EU institutions. That, and he's James Bond's boss' boss.

Not the worst thing in the world to have a Foreign Secretary taking a firm stance on people like the Caliph of Ankara. And I'm sure Mr Putin is only flattered by how he was characterised. 

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6 minutes ago, krbe said:

David Davis is Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Liam Fox the Secretary of State for International Trade. As well, Priti Patel is the Secretary of State for International Development. Then, there's a Minister of State for North America, LatAm, APAC, and South Asia, and an Under Secretary of State for Africa, Caribbean and conflict issues, and another one for MENA, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia; all there to support BoJo. Couple that with the fact that more and more foreign policy is being made in the Cabinet Office, your pity/fear is somewhat misplaced.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is quite obviously chosen as the Foreign Secretary as he will fill that position within the EU institutions. That, and he's James Bond's boss' boss.

Not the worst thing in the world to have a Foreign Secretary taking a firm stance on people like the Caliph of Ankara. And I'm sure Mr Putin is only flattered by how he was characterised. 

 

Totaly agree.

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13 hours ago, krbe said:

David Davis is Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Liam Fox the Secretary of State for International Trade. As well, Priti Patel is the Secretary of State for International Development. Then, there's a Minister of State for North America, LatAm, APAC, and South Asia, and an Under Secretary of State for Africa, Caribbean and conflict issues, and another one for MENA, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia; all there to support BoJo. Couple that with the fact that more and more foreign policy is being made in the Cabinet Office, your pity/fear is somewhat misplaced.

He can have good people working under him, and undo their hard word with careless behavior. It wouldn't be the first time that some minister messed up all the hard work of his subordinates because he was an idiot. Having good people working for you only works out well if you listen and actually follow their advise, and that are two qualities I seriously doubt Johnson has. Can he play by the rules as laid out by his staff or does he has to have the last word in all matters? We'll see. 

13 hours ago, krbe said:

Not the worst thing in the world to have a Foreign Secretary taking a firm stance on people like the Caliph of Ankara. And I'm sure Mr Putin is only flattered by how he was characterised. 

It is a problem when you have to work with said Caliph on a number of important issues and the balance of power between your side and his side doesn't favor you one bit. Now he has taken a tough stance and then the next day he has to go over there to make a deal. 

And maybe it flatters Putin, or maybe it doesn't. Either way, it doesn't matter, because you have given Putin leverage against you. 

Finally, its just stupid to make racist comments at the president of the United States. Insulting your most important ally on such a personal level in such an ignorant and hateful way...yeah. If you don't have the good sense to understand how stupid that is, you are unqualified for the job. 

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1 hour ago, LexusInfernus said:

Finally, its just stupid to make racist comments at the president of the United States. Insulting your most important ally on such a personal level in such an ignorant and hateful way...yeah. If you don't have the good sense to understand how stupid that is, you are unqualified for the job. 

Perhaps. But it sure beats telling the world that god came to you in a dream and told you to invade Iraq. Also a moot point, given Obama won't be around much longer. I wasn't aware Boris was a racist, given that no politician in the UK could keep their job if this were truly the case. In the UK racism is considered a very serious crime, it's something the police take very seriously, well, unless you are Prince Philip at least.

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It establishes a pattern in regards to how he expresses himself about other leaders, even those of friendly nations. In diplomacy it pays to be respectful to the leaders of other countries, even if you think they are horrible people. 

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On 17/07/2016 at 11:12 AM, LexusInfernus said:

He can have good people working under him ... 

Davis, Fox and Patel are secretaries in their own right -- as such, Mr Johnson's remit does not include Brexit negotiations, international trade negotiations or international development and aid.

Now European politicians are customarily timid characters. 'Out-of-area'-politicians might benefit from dealing with someone like Mr Johnson. Of course, you are wholly correct that it might be a problem with easily offended Europeans.

On 17/07/2016 at 11:12 AM, LexusInfernus said:

Finally, its just stupid to make racist comments at the president of the United States.

'Ancestral dislike of the British Empire'? Considering Mr Obama's ancestry? From what I hear, that's pretty common. Unless you are feeling sorry for the Texas warmonger.

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Quote

Writing in his column on Monday, MacKenzie said he could "hardly believe my eyes" when [Fatima] Manji - who normally wears the traditional Muslim head scarf - appeared on the news bulletin.

She was co-presenting the programme from London while Jon Snow reported from Nice.

Kelvin MacKenzie's hijab remarks in Sun spark 1,400 complaints

But MacKenzie seems to have no problem using a Game of Thrones character stabbed to death and resurrected by witchcraft reporting from the crime scene.

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So today Mrs May has realeased her 12 point plan for Brexit. 

Despite me not wanting Brexit, I am somewhat reassured by this plan and what it promises. Whether it is achievable, however, is another matter...

I have put the 12 point plan below. 

  • Spoiler

     

    • We will provide certainty wherever we can. 
    • Leaving the European Union will mean that our laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. 
    • A stronger Britain demands that we strengthen the precious union between the four nations of the United Kingdom. 
    • We will deliver a practical solution that allows the maintenance of the commons travel area with the Republic of Ireland. 
    • Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe. 
    • We want to guarantee rights of EU citizens living in Britain & rights of British nationals in other member states, as early as we can 
    • Not only will the Government protect the rights of workers set out in European legislation, we will build on them. 
    • We will pursue a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. 
    • It is time for Britain to get out into the world and rediscover its role as a great, global, trading nation. 
    • We will welcome agreement to continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research and technology initiatives. 
    • We will continue to work closely with our European allies in foreign and defence policy even as we leave the EU itself. 
    • We believe a phased process of implementation will be in the interests of Britain, the EU institutions and member states

     

     

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Sounds good on paper. Trump could prove to be a useful ally for post-Brexit UK. But my main two worries are the EU (read Germany) being spiteful and playing hardball with the negotiations and of course the wild card that is Scotland. If Scotland goes through with another independence referendum then all bets are off.

Anyway it's time to trigger Article 50 and get the ball rolling. Let the negotiations begin!

I just hope Theresa May has Thatcher's ruthlessness, otherwise hard Brexit will go soft or hard Brexit becomes spiteful Brexit which ain't good for the UK or for the EU.

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Having listened to excerpts from Radio 2 today, I can say I'm not entirely impressed. Given we're so far from the original vote, about the only thing we've really been told is that we aren't going to allow ourselves to be bullied into acepting the demands of the EU moving forwards. Whilst that's probably a good thing, the reality of Article 50 is simply that as the leaving member, we have absolutely no say whatsoever in the process. It takes just one discenting voice (country) to derail any single point we might have otherwise found general agreement with. Still, that's a typical example of the EU's answer to democracy, which just furthers my resolve to think we should be rid of them (the EU).

I agree that if we are leaving, we need to ensure our soverinity, which ultimately may mean sticking two fingers up at the rest of the EU to get it. In the end, I think the final negotiations will be more harmful for the rest of the EU than it will for the UK. Seeing as the trade surplus was always favourable to the EU, rather than the UK. The fact is there is no way we can remain in the single-market and have control over immigration and many other important aspects of self-governance. Anyone who thinks that's possible simply doesn't understand a thing about how the EU or Article 50 works.

However, that does have consequnences, since that means much of those things we buy day to day (food for example) is only going to be more expensive. Given that we import so much from the EU, that means UK prices becoming more expensive since any additional duties will simply be pilled upon the retail price. This may include goods that are from the rest of the world that get delivered to the UK having originally been offloaded at a EU port.

We're still years away from hammering this all out though, in the meantime, Keep Calm and Carry On and all that.

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the Channel, the readers' interpretations of May's 12-point plan vary from "hardest possible Brexit option" to "first step back into the EU". :lol:

So yeah, it'll be many months before the actual results will even begin to take shape.

It just seems like a farce that the order of the procedure was (A) leave the EU, and (B) present a plan after several months and not vice versa, but that's none of my business and can't be changed now. *shrugs*

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1 hour ago, T Wrecks said:

It just seems like a farce that the order of the procedure was (A) leave the EU, and (B) present a plan after several months and not vice versa, but that's none of my business and can't be changed now. *shrugs*

 

You've hit the nail on the head.

Vote Leave never said what type of Brexit they wanted, the Government were pro-remain: the whole order is messed up.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-38723261

As expected the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament must vote on whether to trigger Article 50.

The Article 50 should still go through and Brexit can start happening.

So, another two months of media hysteria and pundits talking up that Brexit can be somehow stopped or be made "soft" before Article 50 is triggered. March of this year and Article 50 can't come soon enough.

Enjoy the media show folks.

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PM May has said Article 50 will be triggered on the 29th.

I wonder what the next two years will bring...

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