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Why do we still fool ourselves?


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#1    Ohelemapit

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:38 AM

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Why do we feel we must behave as a world power? Whenever a crisis blows up — Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria — politicians of whichever party act as though it is our national destiny to intervene.

Much of the media, particularly the BBC, colludes in the fiction that what this country does during these crises is decisive. Britain is mentioned in the same breath as the U.S. Maps are produced signifying British fire-power on which there are almost as many Union Flags as Stars & Stripes.

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#2    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:47 AM

Well, the Daily Mail can talk, since it was their Tory party that was responsible for the dismantling of British military power. So it's all very well mocking the UK as being pygmy in world affairs, but I'm afraid it's the fault of the political party they support.

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:48 AM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 29 August 2013 - 08:47 AM, said:

Well, the Daily Mail can talk, since it was their Tory party that was responsible for the dismantling of British military power. So it's all very well mocking the UK as being pygmy in world affairs, but I'm afraid it's the fault of the political party they support.

Not only. But they had at least 50% of the responsibility.

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#4    spud the mackem

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:58 AM

We used to be a real world power,until we got a load of idiots at the top,and they still live in a dream world of their own making.

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#5    Leonardo

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 09:24 AM

The UK isn't interested in being a world power. The UK only wants to get it's own house in order. It is only those few oiks from the Oxbridge club who purport to represent the UK that wish to be "big players" on the world stage - and that is simply down to ego.

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#6    skookum

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 09:52 AM

UK has the 4th largest military budget in the world only surpassed by USA, China and Russia.

I think thats quite a lot for a small Island.

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#7    Br Cornelius

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:07 AM

View Postskookum, on 29 August 2013 - 09:52 AM, said:

UK has the 4th largest military budget in the world only surpassed by USA, China and Russia.

I think thats quite a lot for a small Island.
To much by my reconning.
You can only make wars profitable if you are the big player and the UK lost that position over 50years ago, since then its been all burden for no gain.

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#8    Ealdwita

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:10 AM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 29 August 2013 - 10:07 AM, said:

To much by my reconning.
You can only make wars profitable if you are the big player and the UK lost that position over 50years ago, since then its been all burden for no gain.

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#9    TSS

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:14 AM

I never understood the constant knocking we like to give ourselves relating to our position in the world. For a tiny insignificant island, that's given up 95% of it's former empire....I think we have positioned ourselves quite well in the modern world.


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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:54 AM

View Postspud the mackem, on 29 August 2013 - 08:58 AM, said:

We used to be a real world power,until we got a load of idiots at the top,and they still live in a dream world of their own making.

A non contiguous colonial power is untenable, a big country (even if some parts of it are treated like colonies, ie, ancient Greece, Rome) can work, thousands of miles of distance will collapse as soon as those further away get wise on your methods.

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#11    Br Cornelius

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:02 AM

View PostSky Scanner, on 29 August 2013 - 10:14 AM, said:

I never understood the constant knocking we like to give ourselves relating to our position in the world. For a tiny insignificant island, that's given up 95% of it's former empire....I think we have positioned ourselves quite well in the modern world.
It seems to me that the British worked out that you don't have to maintain the colonies once you have the "business" ties and financial structures in place to continue milking the former colonies once you have left. This is why the various aspects of the square mile represent such a disproportionate part of the overall economy. A significant proportion of all global trade pays Britain a tithe for using the trading facilities of London.
Unfortunately it all smacks of fraud and robbery to me and is no basis for a secure economy. It also means that much of the area outside of the South East has been left to wither, which has diminished the country overall. Feeding from the scaps of the high table is how it looks to me.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius, 29 August 2013 - 11:02 AM.

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#12    TSS

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:21 AM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 29 August 2013 - 11:02 AM, said:

It seems to me that the British worked out that you don't have to maintain the colonies once you have the "business" ties and financial structures in place to continue milking the former colonies once you have left. This is why the various aspects of the square mile represent such a disproportionate part of the overall economy. A significant proportion of all global trade pays Britain a tithe for using the trading facilities of London.
Unfortunately it all smacks of fraud and robbery to me and is no basis for a secure economy. It also means that much of the area outside of the South East has been left to wither, which has diminished the country overall. Feeding from the scaps of the high table is how it looks to me.

Br Cornelius

Ok, scrap the business ties with the rest of the world which will reduce the money coming through London drastically. So you have a more even footing across the country....i.e much less money to play with. How does that help the rest of the country?


#13    Br Cornelius

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:48 AM

View PostSky Scanner, on 29 August 2013 - 11:21 AM, said:

Ok, scrap the business ties with the rest of the world which will reduce the money coming through London drastically. So you have a more even footing across the country....i.e much less money to play with. How does that help the rest of the country?
The problem is that the system is unbalanced and has an innate bias to remain unbalanced since the square mile has little interest in the health of the real economy - but massive influence on national policy.

If you are happy with the scraps from the table of the square mile propping up the rest of the economy, then I suppose thats fine then. Personally I think we should pursue a national industrial policy to rebalance the economy, which is what the current government proposed doing, but then quietly abandoned the idea when they realized that it would be unpopular with the square mile spivs and wouldn't save their bacon in the upcoming elections.

let it also be said that the UK's approach has resulted in a long series of economy destroying boom and bust cycles, where as the most successful European economy which operates both a wage and industrial policy has managed to steer a much more even and successful path through the same period. I think we have valuable lessons to learn, but not from the spivs and their cronies in Whitehall.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius, 29 August 2013 - 11:59 AM.

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#14    TSS

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:56 AM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 29 August 2013 - 11:48 AM, said:

The problem is that the system is unbalanced and has an innate bias to remain unbalanced since the square mile has little interest in the health of the real economy - but massive influence on national policy.
If you are happy with the scraps from the table of the square mile propping up the rest of the economy, then I suppose thats fine then.

Br Cornelius

The square mile has always propped up the rest of the country, even when we was manufacturing at large levels (take our motor industry for example)...it was still propped up by the square mile because we were unable to do the simple things correctly, you know like balancing the books, making quality products...etc....so they kept needing to be bailed out.

Back to my question though - the square mile takes a back seat, plugs the flow of money into the city. How does that help the wider country?


#15    Br Cornelius

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:07 PM

View PostSky Scanner, on 29 August 2013 - 11:56 AM, said:

The square mile has always propped up the rest of the country, even when we was manufacturing at large levels (take our motor industry for example)...it was still propped up by the square mile because we were unable to do the simple things correctly, you know like balancing the books, making quality products...etc....so they kept needing to be bailed out.

Back to my question though - the square mile takes a back seat, plugs the flow of money into the city. How does that help the wider country?
Chicken and egg situation, solve the problems of national incentives and training and grow a viable economy whilst  bringing the worst criminality of the square mile under control. Most of the financial criminality which has been uncovered in the last 7 years has been traced back to the Square Mile and Wall street. It is the citizens who foot the bill - they are robbing us as well as the ex-colonies, and systematically destroying the real economy for profit. Meanwhile Whitehall does everything in its power to protect its chums in the square mile - making them as criminal as the bankers.
The UK once produced the best and most sought after products in the world - it was a massive exporter of goods that people needed and wanted. the capacity is still there. Germany never abandoned its manufacturing economy and has a far better economy as a result.

This really boils down to selecting our representatives from a tiny cabal of oxbridge toffs who have always been distrustful of industry and the skilled working class. Class warfare is what has destroyed the British economy. I see no change on the horizon.

Br Cornelius

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