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Britain's Political Poltergeist

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Britain's right-wing conservative movement is making life difficult for Prime Minister David Cameron. The UK Independence Party wants to lead the country out of the EU, and its approval ratings are higher than ever. As the pressure mounts, Cameron has been at pains to outline a clear stance on Europe.

Nigel Farage is the kind of politician who apparently needs an opponent to bring out the best in him. Right now, that role is being played by a cushion. Sitting on a sofa in a London hotel lobby, Farage alternately slaps the cushion with the palm of his hand and punches it with his fist as he talks about how he intends to stir up British politics.

Farage is the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a right-wing conservative movement that aims to lead Britain out of the European Union.

For months now, his proposals have put the government on the back foot -- and this has rapidly increased his party's popularity among voters. Recent surveys show UKIP polling around 15 percent, which would make it the third most important political force in the country, after the Conservatives and the center-left Labour Party, yet ahead of the Liberal Democrats.

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Why take some powers back from Europe?Why not just quit?

Have a referendum Mr Cameron and be done with it....

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I would be very interested if someone could come up with a nice concise list of just what are the advantages & disadvantages of being in the EU. Without being coloured by any political prejudice either way. People say that, for example, "80% of the UK's trade is with Europe", but are they trying to say that that would cease if the UK was not a Member? I mean, surely there's plenty of trade with Europe from China, Japan, the Middle East, even on occasion the US of A. Why should trade with Europe decline if the UK ceased to be a member? What are the other advantages, if any? being able to get bailouts from the EU Central Bank? I think we've seen that there are strings attached to that, such as that it then gives the EU, acting in the interests of Big Powerful countries, the power to quite shamelessly bully smaller countries.

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Posted (edited)

Cameron doesn't want to quit entirely because it wouldn't be "right for Britain". I wonder why. Because quitting one's obligations would be bad politics and might invite others to quit their obligations in kind, maybe? The UK wasn't wholehearted about membership in the EU anyway when they kept their currency independent of the Eurozone.

Bailouts for your own country are one reason to want to be in the EU, Having one's taxpayers on the hook for bailing out a foreign country is a big reason not to.

Nigel Farage is fun to watch, I'll give him that.

[media=]

[/media] Edited by Yamato
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Posted (edited)

I would be very interested if someone could come up with a nice concise list of just what are the advantages & disadvantages of being in the EU. Without being coloured by any political prejudice either way. People say that, for example, "80% of the UK's trade is with Europe", but are they trying to say that that would cease if the UK was not a Member? I mean, surely there's plenty of trade with Europe from China, Japan, the Middle East, even on occasion the US of A. Why should trade with Europe decline if the UK ceased to be a member? What are the other advantages, if any? being able to get bailouts from the EU Central Bank? I think we've seen that there are strings attached to that, such as that it then gives the EU, acting in the interests of Big Powerful countries, the power to quite shamelessly bully smaller countries.

Some of the advantages evaporated with the Euro, others Britain never wanted in favor of a contribution rebate (pretty short sighted as without it most of the North-Eastern industry could have been transformed with EU subsidiesinstead of dismantled). So the fact of the matter is that Britain certainly is not in the same advantageous position it was 15 years ago.

What the Tories think is that they can turn back the clock, a very dumb premiss. The train left the station and has no reverse gear.

The power has shifted in the EU, and not to Germany or France but to the whole of the Euro countries (which is why the Euro politicians are going as far out of their way as they can to keep the zone together),

So, at the end of the day it will be in or out. A little in will lead nowhere.

Edited by questionmark

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Some of the advantages evaporated with the Euro, others Britain never wanted in favor of a contribution rebate (pretty short sighted as without it most of the North-Eastern industry could have been transformed with EU subsidiesinstead of dismantled). So the fact of the matter is that Britain certainly is not in the same advantageous position it was 15 years ago.

What the Tories think is that they can turn back the clock, a very dumb premiss. The train left the station and has no reverse gear.

The power has shifted in the EU, and not to Germany or France but to the whole of the Euro countries (which is why the Euro politicians are going as far out of their way as they can to keep the zone together),

So basically it is just the possibility of handouts (with plenty of strings attached)? .It seems that the main advantage of the EU is to the EU itself, which has ambitions to be a power bloc to replace the Eastern Bloc, and challenge the global dominance of whoever might be currently globally Dominant. So it's all about power politics really then?

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Posted (edited)

So basically it is just the possibility of handouts (with plenty of strings attached)? .It seems that the main advantage of the EU is to the EU itself, which has ambitions to be a power bloc to replace the Eastern Bloc, and challenge the global dominance of whoever might be currently globally Dominant. So it's all about power politics really then?

Trading blocks generally favour all constituent member. Trading tariffs come into play if you are outside of the zone.

The main advantage for the members is that your neighbour cannot undercut your market by offering lower products standards and working conditions (within limits it can - but those limits are very constrained) or dumping toxic wastes on their neighbours rather than treating them at home.

The main advantage though is when large transregional negotionation are happening. A small country has very little barganing power unless it has the dirty on its neigbours (think of Switzerland) - its much easier for a trading block to define the trading arrangements with a country like America than it is for a country like Ireland on its own. Such negotiations are always about an issue, but consist of multiple clauses introduced to favour one party over another, these are generally preditory of the smaller nations assets.

Then there is the intrinsic resistance of a large currency against preditory currency speculation and manipulation.

The main problem with Europe is that it doesn't have a sufficiently well coordinated economic policy which allowed for many of the perifery states to borrow at unsustainable levels and get themselves into dire trouble.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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So basically it is just the possibility of handouts (with plenty of strings attached)? .It seems that the main advantage of the EU is to the EU itself, which has ambitions to be a power bloc to replace the Eastern Bloc, and challenge the global dominance of whoever might be currently globally Dominant. So it's all about power politics really then?

It is more than that. With the EU money Britain could have kept being the industrial power it was until the 40s, it would have had the ready made markets to sell above its own requirements with free access. Yes,it would have come at the price of helping the other European nations to develop, but that just would have broadened the markets making more business.

That was not what Mrs. Thatcher had in mind for the future but she wanted Britain to go the dead end way of becoming a Services Economy. So she insisted on the rebate.The rest is known.

When Britain joined under Wilson the idea was to strengthen the country and compensate for the lost colonies. The Tories had a different idea.

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The Tories were involved in a push back in the class warfare which the unions started under Labour. A product of a class ridden culture which most of the European countries managed to avoid.

Stupid short sighted policies on both sides of the political fence.

Br Cornelius

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Some of the advantages evaporated with the Euro, others Britain never wanted in favor of a contribution rebate (pretty short sighted as without it most of the North-Eastern industry could have been transformed with EU subsidiesinstead of dismantled). So the fact of the matter is that Britain certainly is not in the same advantageous position it was 15 years ago.

What the Tories think is that they can turn back the clock, a very dumb premiss. The train left the station and has no reverse gear.

The power has shifted in the EU, and not to Germany or France but to the whole of the Euro countries (which is why the Euro politicians are going as far out of their way as they can to keep the zone together),

So, at the end of the day it will be in or out. A little in will lead nowhere.

Britain is not in the Eurozone. I'm not sure what the basis is for "the train left the station" is because they're not even on the train.

Farage speaks eloquently about democracy and Greece in particular at 1:08 of the video above. As members of the EU, Brits like Farage can get an audience about Eurozone problems while putting these immature and unelected European elites in their place. The EU has no authority to determine monetary policy in the UK, and thank goodness for the UK once we listen to our share of Nigel Farage.

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Britain is not in the Eurozone. I'm not sure what the basis is for "the train left the station" is because they're not even on the train.

Farage speaks eloquently about democracy and Greece in particular at 1:08 of the video above. As members of the EU, Brits like Farage can get an audience about Eurozone problems while putting these immature and unelected European elites in their place. The EU has no authority to determine monetary policy in the UK, and thank goodness for the UK once we listen to our share of Nigel Farage.

Questionmark is generally accurate in saying that the UK deliberately ran down its industrial base and marginalized itself as a EU member as a matter of Tory policy. The UK has got far less out of the EU than they could have - and it was entirely deliberate on the part of the UK government.

There is absolutely no reason why the UK couldn't have been as powerful an industrial powerhouse of Europe as the Germans - they started out with all the same advantages. They should absolutely never have gone in with the attitude they had - but the ironic thing is that the greatest Tory leader of the last 100yrs (Churchill) was the man who set them on the path to membership.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Questionmark is generally accurate in saying that the UK deliberately ran down its industrial base and marginalized itself as a EU member as a matter of Tory policy. The UK has got far less out of the EU than they could have - and it was entirely deliberate on the part of the UK government.

There is absolutely no reason why the UK couldn't have been as powerful an industrial powerhouse of Europe as the Germans - they started out with all the same advantages. They should absolutely never have gone in with the attitude they had - but the ironic thing is that the greatest Tory leader of the last 100yrs (Churchill) was the man who set them on the path to membership.

Br Cornelius

In fact, much of the German and French industrial power came from taking advantage of the demise of Britain's.

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BI tell you what Great Britain one of the worlds oldest and richest economies still in the top five or six of world economies not bad for a country with such a small landmass. The questions which should be being asked is - why should the United Kingdom be part of the EU? what do they offer us? very little is the answer. and the closer we move towards a federation the less they offer.

Take the Eurozone, its now been proved beyond all doubt it would have been a total disaster if we'd have ditched the £pound and joined the €Euro. this we do now know. no ifs' or buts'

the same pro EU members on here back in the day were vehemently banging their drum saying it would benefit the UK to become a Eurozone member and they were wrong but they wont even acknowledge this, and still to this day they wont admit they were wrong. why should we trust their judgment?

just like now when they continue to bang the drum how remaining a EU member is beneficial - they were wrong before and they are still wrong today. The United Kingdom would be well advised to plot its course setting out our own time frame and to our advantage a political stratergy which will see the UK leave the EU before we are consumed . at this moment in time the eurozone is a disaster. and the political body responsible (EU) is not far behind only saved from total disaster by the national sovereignty which currently remains but is ironically under threat directly from the EU.

at the end of the day, the choice is clear. do you want to remain a independent nation? or become a member state in a larger federation. the goal of the EU is simple, they want a federation, with a single currency, central bank, and in time a single government.

as someone has already quoted Winston Churchill - i will to. 'We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed' 'if Britain must choose between europe and the open sea she must always choose the open sea'

We joined the EU for trade and trade alone, we turned our back on our family and friends the Anglosphere, mainly Australia, New Zealand and Canada and most of the English speaking world, which with hindsight was wrong, and what for well for financial stability its no secret the UK economy weakened due to fighting in world war two, it didnt help when we stood alone against Nazi Germany, taking out loans selling parts of the empire - territories - yet we burdened ourselves with debt fighting the good fight for the benefit of the whole world. but getting out of Victory what Germany got out in defeat.

the EU or common market helped our economy, it brought stability but at a price, we put ourselves at a disadvantage one which we still haven't recovered, but with each passing year and with further EU integration the benefits the EU first brought have been diminishing. the time is fast approaching, - the EU has lost its relevance to the UK. and that is why the people are now wanting out. when the clear majority can see sense the writing is well and truly on the wall.

the UK will leave the EU, and the EU will continue on. we have no reliance on the EU for our future.

Edited by stevewinn

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Great Britain's exit from the Europe is becoming as certain eventuality as Greece's exit.

One can't survive without charity and the other can't afford to give it any longer.

Great financial powerhouse created.

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Questionmark is generally accurate in saying that the UK deliberately ran down its industrial base and marginalized itself as a EU member as a matter of Tory policy. The UK has got far less out of the EU than they could have - and it was entirely deliberate on the part of the UK government.

There is absolutely no reason why the UK couldn't have been as powerful an industrial powerhouse of Europe as the Germans - they started out with all the same advantages. They should absolutely never have gone in with the attitude they had - but the ironic thing is that the greatest Tory leader of the last 100yrs (Churchill) was the man who set them on the path to membership.

Br Cornelius

So going into the EU with the attitude they had was the reason for the UK's industrial decline, then? It couldn't have been anything to do with the postwar Labour govt.'s mania for nationalising everything in sight, and the consequent hopeless uncompetitiveness?

Edited by Lord Vetinari

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So going into the EU with the attitude they had was the reason for the UK's industrial decline, then? It couldn't have been anything to do with the postwar Labour govt.'s mania for nationalising everything in sight, and the consequent hopeless uncompetitiveness?

The industrial base was still intact at the end of that period. There was an active policy of class warfare to undermine the power base of Labour.

The Labour movement created the perfect storm which allowed the Thatcher policy of deindustrialization.

Meanwhile throughout Northern Europe Labour and Management learned how to work together for national strategic objectives and created the wonder economies of Germany and the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Ultimately the country and its people were the losers from the class warfare which raged from the 1950's to the 1990's.

A tragic waste of generations of talented people.

Br Cornelius

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The industrial base was still intact at the end of that period. There was an active policy of class warfare to undermine the power base of Labour.

The Labour movement created the perfect storm which allowed the Thatcher policy of deindustrialization.

Meanwhile throughout Northern Europe Labour and Management learned how to work together for national strategic objectives and created the wonder economies of Germany and the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Ultimately the country and its people were the losers from the class warfare which raged from the 1950's to the 1990's.

A tragic waste of generations of talented people.

Br Cornelius

but that peolitical reading doesn't alter the fact that the products offered by state-owned industries in the 70s were famous for their hopelesness and their uncompetitiveness with those offered by Foreigners; you can't blame Maggie for British Leyland. And while Dr Beeching may have been appointed by a Tory govt., he did so because British Railways, a Labour creation, was hopelessly inefficient and badly managed.

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So going into the EU with the attitude they had was the reason for the UK's industrial decline, then? It couldn't have been anything to do with the postwar Labour govt.'s mania for nationalising everything in sight, and the consequent hopeless uncompetitiveness?

Most probably not as under EU rules they would have had to privatize most of it again, and the privatization is getting even more radical lately and tend to include enterprises that have been the privilege of the government for centuries (the Post comes to mind).

The nationalization wave was a first response to the fact that Britain was producing more than it could consume and that the traditional mass markets (i.e. India, China, Canada, Australia) where the exceeding went broke away with the Empire. Leyland was still producing great trucks (oops, lorries I should say), but the Canadians could buy GM trucks cheaper. Austin was still building good cars but it was cheaper to buy something else in Australia.

When those companies became not-viable, not because of the lack of quality but because of the lack of markets, the government decided to avoid mass layoffs (where we could have foreseen unemployment in the double digit numbers) by nationalizing the ailing companies. And that was worse than closing those factories as, once the government is in, all sound commercial practices get thrown overboard in favor of civil servant methods.

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but that peolitical reading doesn't alter the fact that the products offered by state-owned industries in the 70s were famous for their hopelesness and their uncompetitiveness with those offered by Foreigners; you can't blame Maggie for British Leyland. And while Dr Beeching may have been appointed by a Tory govt., he did so because British Railways, a Labour creation, was hopelessly inefficient and badly managed.

British rail was an efficient and cost effective rail network - crippled by lack of investment in the infrastructure. Prices went through the ceiling after it was privatized and it took over a decade for services to significantly improve.

The Bottom line is, that there were problems with British Industry which descended into class warfare which ended with the Tories actively dismantling the industrial base in order to permanently break the Unions.

If both sides had have approached the situation with sense the problems could have been worked through - but bloody mindedness and political ideology on both sides made that impossible. Tragic.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Britain is not in the Eurozone. I'm not sure what the basis is for "the train left the station" is because they're not even on the train.

Farage speaks eloquently about democracy and Greece in particular at 1:08 of the video above. As members of the EU, Brits like Farage can get an audience about Eurozone problems while putting these immature and unelected European elites in their place. The EU has no authority to determine monetary policy in the UK, and thank goodness for the UK once we listen to our share of Nigel Farage.

yes because british people hate unelected elites so much we have a head of state and a second house full of the idiots.

we have as a nation missed the boat on europe .the quicker we pull out let the people feel the pain it will cause then get back in the better .if you cant see the good our limited membership of europe has done visit any northern city that thatcher decimated .all the regeneration you see was done with european money.because our own politicians didnt give a **** .as for farage hitler spoke quite eloquently about a single issue on europe as well and we all know how that turned out.

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yes because british people hate unelected elites so much we have a head of state and a second house full of the idiots.

we have as a nation missed the boat on europe .the quicker we pull out let the people feel the pain it will cause then get back in the better .if you cant see the good our limited membership of europe has done visit any northern city that thatcher decimated .all the regeneration you see was done with european money.because our own politicians didnt give a **** .as for farage hitler spoke quite eloquently about a single issue on europe as well and we all know how that turned out.

Would you be happy to be extorted by the EU to accept a multi-billion Euro bailout in order to save the Euro, then?

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Would you be happy to be extorted by the EU to accept a multi-billion Euro bailout in order to save the Euro, then?

That question is rather academic since if the Euro goes it will drag the world into a recession and economic catastrophy which will make the Great Depression look like a picnic. The world currencies are all about confidence and confidence is trickling away. The Pound is little more than a basket case of debt liabilities with the single advantage (?) that it can still attempt to devalue its way out of trouble (with all the collateral damage that entails).

The question is - which **** heap offers the softest landing. Last time I looked, overall the Eurozone has stronger economic fundamentals than than Stirling.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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haha, silly Cameron. Trying to feed Euroskepticism to get some more votes but it's coming back to bite him in the ass.

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haha, silly Cameron. Trying to feed Euroskepticism to get some more votes but it's coming back to bite him in the ass.

Why?If a referendum was held tomorrow,then the UK would be quitting the EEC.

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Why?If a referendum was held tomorrow,then the UK would be quitting the EEC.

his problem is he can't really afford to is Britain to remain relevant. While most Britons may be happy with a role like Iceland and Greenland, British politicians are certainly not.

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