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Thread: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of identity?

  1. #61
    Senior Member Senior Member Idaho's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Identity is an interesting thing. It's a fabrication, but one based on actual experience. For some, identity is a declaration of how they want the world to be. See for example those Muslims who identify themselves as primarily Muslim and overlook the huge differences within this category. Also see British. It's a declaration that Scottish islanders and residents of Croydon are one united people.

    As well as ambition and intent, identity describes people's feelings of commonality. Who they feel culturally comfortable with. See above for examples.

    Personally I have cultural ambitions that lead me to enthuse about our global commonality. While at the same time I'm suspicious of local macro commonality such as Britain, the German-speaking-people, Eastern European, etc.

    I identify as English, not British. The Scots and Welsh are a little bit different. I'm a southerner too (whose family were northerners... Part of which makes me recognise my southerness).
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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Not humanity at large and not the land of your birth?

    And how do you define "Europe?"

    Culturally? Geographically?
    Culturally, of course. There is only one thing missing to give Europe the identity you ask for - a war, or better a civil war.

    I once attended a presentation of Google and they showed that they had scanned and investigated billions of documents from all time. They showed on result: up to the American Civil War the name UNITED STAES OF AMERICA was used in plural (the USA are ...). After the CW things changed rapidly and soon it was used in singular (the USA is ...). So I hope you see what I am saying.

    Well, the succession of Britain is a wonderful opportunity ...

    Jokes aside, nobody in the EU wants to force the English to stay in the EU.

    The European Unity stands for freedom, independency, wealth and peace. the fundament is (or should be) humanism.
    I work side by side with people from Spain, France and Italy. Some of my neighbours are Poles, Italians, Greek, Turks and so on. It does not matter. We all have a lot in common.

    Regarding independency: The English want to gain independency fro EU as far as I understood. Now the British prime minister was the first one to visit Trump, because the Brits desperately need a good agreement with the US, while Trump has only little ambitions to help them. Only benefit would be to weaken the EU. On the other side, the US government asked Germany to negotiate the "unfair" trade conditions between our countries. The German government had to reply that negotiations about trade can only be made with the EU.

    For me it seems to be better to be an dependent part of the EU as to be as independent as Britain.

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  3. #63
    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    The European Unity stands for freedom, independency, wealth and peace.
    Presumably this is why the EU dictates law from above, pushes for an ever closer union, keeps greece in perpetual debt and tried to avoid having to vet likely terrorists.

    Last edited by Greyblades; 03-15-2017 at 18:42.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyblades View Post
    Presumably this is why the EU dictates law from above
    Lies, your government does the same thing essentially.
    In fact even Merkel isn't elected directly, might as well join Erdogan and call her a dictator.


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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyblades View Post
    Presumably this is why the EU dictates law from above, pushes for an ever closer union, keeps greece in perpetual debt and tried to avoid having to vet likely terrorists.

    Hi Greyblades,

    blame it on my bad English, but I really do not understand what you`re saying.

    The EU has only the power the countries gave her. But I agree that there should be a parliament, directly elected by the people which elects the EU government. Then I would be pleased to get rid of the government in Berlin. But that I something the English want to avoid, right?The problem is not the power or weakness of Europe, the problem lies within the national governments.
    By the way, I know a Scot who would say that London dictates laws from above.

    Regarding Greece I guess the problem is a bit more tricky and although I do not agree with all that Germany or the EU did, I have to admit that they tried a lot to help Greece from ruin. By the way, what did GB do to help Greece?

    Beside that all the EU is still essential for peace. Look what is happening now. GB is still in the EU and the old wounds already begin to ache again. Scotland wants to leave the UK, London vetoes that, there will be a hard border through Ireland which may cause a lot of trouble again. The old issue regarding Gibraltar pops up again. All those little local conflicts, which calmed down in the EU, are back again.

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    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus View Post
    Culturally, of course. There is only one thing missing to give Europe the identity you ask for - a war, or better a civil war.
    War can also break countries, Yugoslavia, Sudan, Austria-Hungary...

    Well, the succession of Britain is a wonderful opportunity ...

    Jokes aside, nobody in the EU wants to force the English to stay in the EU.
    But you'll force the Welsh? If you can't tell the difference then neither of us belong in the EU.

    The European Unity stands for freedom, independency, wealth and peace. the fundament is (or should be) humanism.
    I work side by side with people from Spain, France and Italy. Some of my neighbours are Poles, Italians, Greek, Turks and so on. It does not matter. We all have a lot in common.
    It is supposed to stand for those things but it is not an End in itself, or it should not be. If the EU no longer advances those ideals it should be discarded.
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  7. #67
    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus View Post
    Hi Greyblades,

    blame it on my bad English, but I really do not understand what you`re saying.
    I'm saying that your assertion that the EU stands for freedom, independency, wealth and peace is not consistent with thier recent actions; it has made it's component parts less free, independant, wealthy and peaceful as exhibited in my examples.

    The problem is not the power or weakness of Europe, the problem lies within the national governments.
    Europe clinging to the EU by their own voulition does not invalidate the EU's problems anymore than america's adoption of Obamacare invalidates it's problems.

    The EU is flawed, it's actions the origin of many of it's member's woes and it's operators are obstinant and hostile to attempts at reform.

    By the way, I know a Scot who would say that London dictates laws from above.
    And I know an american who says washington is run by lizardmen.

    Westminster repeatedly devolving power to edinburgh proves your scot's accusations hollow.

    Regarding Greece I guess the problem is a bit more tricky and although I do not agree with all that Germany or the EU did, I have to admit that they tried a lot to help Greece from ruin. By the way, what did GB do to help Greece?
    If by try to help you mean force the greeks into self destruction through austerity. GB isnt the one who turned a greek nationalist party into a mewling lapdog.
    Beside that all the EU is still essential for peace. Look what is happening now. GB is still in the EU and the old wounds already begin to ache again. Scotland wants to leave the UK, London vetoes that, there will be a hard border through Ireland which may cause a lot of trouble again. The old issue regarding Gibraltar pops up again. All those little local conflicts, which calmed down in the EU, are back again.
    The rise of seperatism is nowhere near the violation of the peace the incursion of terrorist networks are, incursions the EU's stubborn clinging to freedom of movement facilitated.
    Lies, your government does the same thing essentially.
    In fact even Merkel isn't elected directly, might as well join Erdogan and call her a dictator.
    Neither is my Prime minister, but my legislative body is elected; the EU's is appointed.

    The EU's laws are leashed by the whims of an unelected and unaccountable beaurocrat; laws dicated from an above.
    Last edited by Greyblades; 03-16-2017 at 18:08.
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  8. #68
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus View Post
    The EU has only the power the countries gave her. But I agree that there should be a parliament, directly elected by the people which elects the EU government. Then I would be pleased to get rid of the government in Berlin. But that I something the English want to avoid, right?The problem is not the power or weakness of Europe, the problem lies within the national governments.
    By the way, I know a Scot who would say that London dictates laws from above.
    The standard British objection is that we did not vote to surrender power to Brussels, only to join the EEC. Our Freedom from the Tyranny of well-meaning zealots was hard-won in several Civil Wars and we are touchy about giving it up. That is why more people voted out than in.

    Regarding Greece I guess the problem is a bit more tricky and although I do not agree with all that Germany or the EU did, I have to admit that they tried a lot to help Greece from ruin. By the way, what did GB do to help Greece?
    The EU allowed Greece to join the Euro despite it not meeting the prerequisite economic conditions, they then imposed regime change as a condition of a bailout when the Greek economy collapsed. When the Greeks later regained a democratically elected government they held a Referendum rejecting the punishing terms of the bailout so that the EU and IMF then imposed even more punishing terms as a condition of continuing Aid monies which were glossed as a loan.

    Many in britain repeatedly argued this was immoral but were told to shut up as we aren't part of the Euro. Whilst we did not give Greece any strings-free Aid we DID give the Irish a "loan" which irrc had such flaccid terms of repayment it might as well have been aid.

    Beside that all the EU is still essential for peace. Look what is happening now. GB is still in the EU and the old wounds already begin to ache again. Scotland wants to leave the UK, London vetoes that, there will be a hard border through Ireland which may cause a lot of trouble again. The old issue regarding Gibraltar pops up again. All those little local conflicts, which calmed down in the EU, are back again.
    The EU is not essential for peace, unless the alternative is Germany enforcing its political and economic hegemony by force.

    As to Scotland - the breakup of the UK is inevitable now, a unified United Kingdom died when the Labour Government of the Day created Devolved Administrations in Wales and Scotland. In the Westminster System devolution has always proceeded Independence and Independence was the ultimate aim of demanding Devolution in Scotland. In fact, the Scottish demand that Scotland remain in the Single Market amounts to a demand for functional Independence from Westminster of the type enjoyed by the Channel Islands and Mann. This is why the demand for a Referendum is being rejected right now - because the SNP is basically threatening to hold a referndum on Independence if they don't get Independence.
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus View Post
    Culturally, of course. There is only one thing missing to give Europe the identity you ask for - a war, or better a civil war.

    I once attended a presentation of Google and they showed that they had scanned and investigated billions of documents from all time. They showed on result: up to the American Civil War the name UNITED STAES OF AMERICA was used in plural (the USA are ...). After the CW things changed rapidly and soon it was used in singular (the USA is ...). So I hope you see what I am saying.

    Well, the succession of Britain is a wonderful opportunity ...

    Jokes aside, nobody in the EU wants to force the English to stay in the EU.

    The European Unity stands for freedom, independency, wealth and peace. the fundament is (or should be) humanism.
    I work side by side with people from Spain, France and Italy. Some of my neighbours are Poles, Italians, Greek, Turks and so on. It does not matter. We all have a lot in common.

    Regarding independency: The English want to gain independency fro EU as far as I understood. Now the British prime minister was the first one to visit Trump, because the Brits desperately need a good agreement with the US, while Trump has only little ambitions to help them. Only benefit would be to weaken the EU. On the other side, the US government asked Germany to negotiate the "unfair" trade conditions between our countries. The German government had to reply that negotiations about trade can only be made with the EU.

    For me it seems to be better to be an dependent part of the EU as to be as independent as Britain.
    Better explication, thanks.

    I'm one of those who misses a bit of our earlier version of federalism, but your point is well taken.
    "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." -- A. de Tocqueville

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  10. #70
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyblades View Post
    Neither is my Prime minister, but my legislative body is elected; the EU's is appointed.

    The EU's laws are leashed by the whims of an unelected and unaccountable beaurocrat; laws dicated from an above.
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutp...slative-powers

    The ordinary legislative procedure gives the same weight to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on a wide range of areas (for example, economic governance, immigration, energy, transport, the environment and consumer protection). The vast majority of European laws are adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Council.
    What's really strange either way though, is that the EU was formed this way by the member countries. It's not like Juncker announced the EU one day and then forced all of Europe to bow to its will. The European Council consists of people sent by the member states, probably chosen in the same way your prime minister or his ministers/secretaries are chosen. Going by how the link above states that the parliament got a bit more power with every new treaty, and by how the people reacted to the lisbon treaty, I would assume the same people who complain about the MEPs not having enough power are also the first to complain if their country wants to ratify a trety giving them more power. The current state of the EU seems like a weird compromise between the desire to centralize and the reluctance to give away national power...
    Take for example the council members, who would appoint them if we scrapped national governments? The simplest replacement would be a direct vote by the people of the former nations.
    Of course we could just scrap the thing or hope it can be more centralized once a few countries have left.


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  11. #71
    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    The EU allowed Greece to join the Euro despite it not meeting the prerequisite economic conditions, they then imposed regime change as a condition of a bailout when the Greek economy collapsed. When the Greeks later regained a democratically elected government they held a Referendum rejecting the punishing terms of the bailout so that the EU and IMF then imposed even more punishing terms as a condition of continuing Aid monies which were glossed as a loan.
    Isn't it funny that the same people who say that the EU has too much control are also blaming the EU for believing the Greek numbers.
    I am not saying that the way the EU or Germany acted was good, but the root of the problems lies within Greece. And it is a simple facts that if your borrow money you give away freedom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    The EU is not essential for peace, unless the alternative is Germany enforcing its political and economic hegemony by force.
    It is.
    Last thing Germany wants is to become leader in Europe. However, it has the biggest population, the strongest economy and lays right in the middle. Germany really hesitated to lead in the financial crisis and was driven by the others. Now it is blamed for everything that is not good.
    One of the reason the EU was founded and still has to be is that the EU is a system of balance between the big countries and the smaller ones. Without the EU that would not work and Germany would dominate - something nobody wishes.

  12. #72
    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyblades View Post
    I'm saying that your assertion that the EU stands for freedom, independency, wealth and peace is not consistent with thier recent actions; it has made it's component parts less free, independant, wealthy and peaceful as exhibited in my examples.

    Europe clinging to the EU by their own voulition does not invalidate the EU's problems anymore than america's adoption of Obamacare invalidates it's problems.

    The EU is flawed, it's actions the origin of many of it's member's woes and it's operators are obstinant and hostile to attempts at reform.

    And I know an american who says washington is run by lizardmen.

    Westminster repeatedly devolving power to edinburgh proves your scot's accusations hollow.


    If by try to help you mean force the greeks into self destruction through austerity. GB isnt the one who turned a greek nationalist party into a mewling lapdog.
    The rise of seperatism is nowhere near the violation of the peace the incursion of terrorist networks are, incursions the EU's stubborn clinging to freedom of movement facilitated.
    Neither is my Prime minister, but my legislative body is elected; the EU's is appointed.

    The EU's laws are leashed by the whims of an unelected and unaccountable beaurocrat; laws dicated from an above.
    I think I understand your point of view, which seems to be shared by many English and I agree with you that BREXIT is something good and should be executed rapidly.

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  13. #73
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus View Post
    Isn't it funny that the same people who say that the EU has too much control are also blaming the EU for believing the Greek numbers.
    I am not saying that the way the EU or Germany acted was good, but the root of the problems lies within Greece. And it is a simple facts that if your borrow money you give away freedom.
    If I sell you a knockoff watch on a street corner, that's my fault - if you go to your wife and tell her it's the real thing, that's your fault.

    Now go take a look a Greece's employment figures for the last decade - ask yourself why it hasn't recovered, then own up to the fact its because Greece is in a currency union with Germany.

    It is.
    Last thing Germany wants is to become leader in Europe. However, it has the biggest population, the strongest economy and lays right in the middle. Germany really hesitated to lead in the financial crisis and was driven by the others. Now it is blamed for everything that is not good.
    One of the reason the EU was founded and still has to be is that the EU is a system of balance between the big countries and the smaller ones. Without the EU that would not work and Germany would dominate - something nobody wishes.
    Germany rules over Europe, by accident or design you have effectively recreated Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire. However, Germany continues to claim it does not want over-lordship and as a result refuses to take responsibility for the EU's structural problems, refuses to lead in fixing them.

    Since the financial crash the structures of the EU have impeded recovery in Southern Europe, leading to the emergence of radical far-Right and far-Left groups in countries such as Greece and Portugal whilst the open borders and slew of terrorist attacks have undermined the EU's claim to promote peace.
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  14. #74
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    If I sell you a knockoff watch on a street corner, that's my fault - if you go to your wife and tell her it's the real thing, that's your fault.

    Now go take a look a Greece's employment figures for the last decade - ask yourself why it hasn't recovered, then own up to the fact its because Greece is in a currency union with Germany.
    And why is that so?
    Were they forced into that union or did they perchance even fix their numbers to get in when they really shouldn't have gotten in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Germany rules over Europe, by accident or design you have effectively recreated Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire. However, Germany continues to claim it does not want over-lordship and as a result refuses to take responsibility for the EU's structural problems, refuses to lead in fixing them.

    Since the financial crash the structures of the EU have impeded recovery in Southern Europe, leading to the emergence of radical far-Right and far-Left groups in countries such as Greece and Portugal whilst the open borders and slew of terrorist attacks have undermined the EU's claim to promote peace.
    Funny how Germany is supposed to lead more, and that's coming from the country that left because it felt like it didn't have enough control... If Germany openly steps up to lead the EU, it will be the only country left in the EU after a few years. Might as well blame the other countries for refusing to go anywhere together. Your demand of quasi German dictatorship is really just funny when "EU dictatorship" is why you left. You can't have both a fairer/more representative EU and one led singlehandedly by Germany's iron fist.


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    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    And why is that so?
    Were they forced into that union or did they perchance even fix their numbers to get in when they really shouldn't have gotten in?
    The ECC knew the numbers were fixed - they were as fictitious as the EU's accounts.

    Funny how Germany is supposed to lead more, and that's coming from the country that left because it felt like it didn't have enough control... If Germany openly steps up to lead the EU, it will be the only country left in the EU after a few years. Might as well blame the other countries for refusing to go anywhere together. Your demand of quasi German dictatorship is really just funny when "EU dictatorship" is why you left. You can't have both a fairer/more representative EU and one led singlehandedly by Germany's iron fist.
    Currently Germany controls the EU by having a bigger economy and more money than anyone else. The only way the EU progresses is if Germany leads instead of rules.

    Or you can let the EU fall apart, as you said - I voted to leave, I don't have a personal stake.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    The ECC knew the numbers were fixed - they were as fictitious as the EU's accounts.
    And? Doesn't change the fact that Greece wanted in really bad. Are they toddlers who aren't responsible for their choices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Currently Germany controls the EU by having a bigger economy and more money than anyone else. The only way the EU progresses is if Germany leads instead of rules.

    Or you can let the EU fall apart, as you said - I voted to leave, I don't have a personal stake.
    Explain how having a bigger economy and more money translates into more control in this case. Are we buying corrupt MEPs? Do we get more seats in the council?


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    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    And? Doesn't change the fact that Greece wanted in really bad. Are they toddlers who aren't responsible for their choices?
    No, it also doesn't change the fact that the rest of the Eurozone were desperate to expand the currency, for ideological reasons, and were willing to overlook the dodgy accounting in the belief there would never be a Bust; because the EU ensures prosperity.

    Explain how having a bigger economy and more money translates into more control in this case. Are we buying corrupt MEPs? Do we get more seats in the council?
    Primarily because Germany is paying for everything. In the current structure of the EU the European Parliament functions as the "revising chamber". Actual decisions are, in the first instance, made by the Council of Ministers and the Commission.

    When Mario Draghi was was appointed head of the ECC more than one commentator said he would "need to discover some German ancestry." By dint of being so much bigger you drag everyone along with you, you don't even realise it because you assume the German perspective is normative and everything else is abhorrent.
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  18. #78
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    No, it also doesn't change the fact that the rest of the Eurozone were desperate to expand the currency, for ideological reasons, and were willing to overlook the dodgy accounting in the belief there would never be a Bust; because the EU ensures prosperity.



    Primarily because Germany is paying for everything. In the current structure of the EU the European Parliament functions as the "revising chamber". Actual decisions are, in the first instance, made by the Council of Ministers and the Commission.

    When Mario Draghi was was appointed head of the ECC more than one commentator said he would "need to discover some German ancestry." By dint of being so much bigger you drag everyone along with you, you don't even realise it because you assume the German perspective is normative and everything else is abhorrent.
    so is Germany too strong for EU, or whats the problem? Britain has a special relationship with US which is mammoth compared to Britain and with Brexit you will become more and more dependant on US compared to your ex EU partner Germany, which is economically only moderately stronger then you.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  19. #79
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    No, it also doesn't change the fact that the rest of the Eurozone were desperate to expand the currency, for ideological reasons, and were willing to overlook the dodgy accounting in the belief there would never be a Bust; because the EU ensures prosperity.
    Yes, but that only means all sides are to blame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Primarily because Germany is paying for everything. In the current structure of the EU the European Parliament functions as the "revising chamber". Actual decisions are, in the first instance, made by the Council of Ministers and the Commission.

    When Mario Draghi was was appointed head of the ECC more than one commentator said he would "need to discover some German ancestry."
    People are projecting a lot due to their own weakness. Juncker is from Luxembourg and is quite powerful within the EU. Then we had plenty of other powerful figures in powerful positions within the EU. I could see how the German position is easiest to get a consensus on because Germany is so successful, but then that wouldn't be a bad thing and not require German leadership either. It would merely be the EU trying to adopt the most successful model for everyone. The Council of Ministers and the Commission are made up by members from all member states and Germany does not have any more votes than the others.
    Again, from a British POV, your country basically complained about paying too much and not having enough say. Now you blame Germany for paying "everything" and having too much say. It doesn't really compute because if that were true, your country would have had a lot of influence in the EU due to its enormous contributions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    By dint of being so much bigger you drag everyone along with you, you don't even realise it because you assume the German perspective is normative and everything else is abhorrent.
    Germany has around 82 million inhabitants, France and the UK have around 60 million each. Poland is almost at 40 million. Germany has 80 million of a total of 500 million and Luxembourg gets as amany council members (and votes) as Germany does. It's a very arbitrary point that you're making where we basically command around several countries the accumulated populations of which outnumber ours and which also have a lot more council seats. If other countries agree with us then maybe our perceived normative position is normative due to the widespread support it gets within the EU?
    What kind of structure would you propose for the EU to make it fairer? IIRC a lot of British people wanted representation according to payments made, that would be exactly the kind of representation where Germany, France, UK and Netherlands would have dominated the entire union.


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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Here in the "UK" we have the insanity of the Scottish, Northern Irish, (less so the Welsh) wanting an equal say with England - and no not have this is "undemocratic". And this is on top of England the only nation in the UK not to have its own parliament.

    Germany is a massive economic powerhouse. Germany desperately tries to not upset everyone by being as powerful as its population and economy would suggest.

    Germany pays a fortune to the EU and in some respects unsurprisingly gets envious glances from everyone else - especially France who is still adjusting to loosing out to Prussia.

    I personally view the EU like the Millennium Dome - a structure that came about due to political demands with reality as an afterthought and unsurprisingly by trying to please everyone, pleased no one. Rather than starting small with a fixed structure that others could join they have added vast numbers of countries and are left in a mess where even the capital isn't in one place.

    In terms of what I identify with, NATO is purely a military construct, the EU is a political gestalt and the UK is undergoing apotosis. England? Perhaps - but is one allowed to identify with that any more?

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    https://www.facebook.com/eucouncil/v...9328251116827/

    edit: fixed that:
    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Here in the "EU" we have the insanity of the English wanting an equal say with Germany - and no not have this is "undemocratic". And this is on top of England being allowed to have its own parliament and vassal states.

    London is a massive economic powerhouse. London desperately tries to not upset everyone by being as powerful as its population and economy would suggest.

    London pays a fortune to the UK and in some respects unsurprisingly gets envious glances from everyone else - especially Nottingham who is still adjusting to loosing out to Robin Hood.
    Last edited by Husar; 03-23-2017 at 13:59.


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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Most amusing:
    1. Trade deals can be undertaken by a simple trade treaty. Well, I say "simple" but with the EU's processes, very long and complicated.
    2. Freedom of movement can be under a treaty. Y'know, how the Irish travelled to the UK? Blocked if the UK leaves the EU.
    3. The EU no more gives aid than the Trump Foundation does - they take money from the countries and then give it.
    4. It is democratic because the decisions are made by democratically elected leaders - in essence the leaders are given carte blanche to do whatever they want behind closed doors without the voters knowing and can blame it on the EU later on.
    5. Biggest trade group - so what?


    But more importantly - just because it does something doesn't stop it being obsolete!!!

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  23. #83
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Most amusing:
    1. Trade deals can be undertaken by a simple trade treaty. Well, I say "simple" but with the EU's processes, very long and complicated.
    2. Freedom of movement can be under a treaty. Y'know, how the Irish travelled to the UK? Blocked if the UK leaves the EU.
    3. The EU no more gives aid than the Trump Foundation does - they take money from the countries and then give it.
    4. It is democratic because the decisions are made by democratically elected leaders - in essence the leaders are given carte blanche to do whatever they want behind closed doors without the voters knowing and can blame it on the EU later on.
    5. Biggest trade group - so what?


    But more importantly - just because it does something doesn't stop it being obsolete!!!

    But the EU, being more socialist in approach than the UK, makes sure regions don't lose out simply because they're of little political importance. I made this point about Cornwall immediately after the referendum, predicting that Westminster will, as is its wont, concentrate funding on London projects whilst neglecting the peripheries. And true to form, a several billion pound project has been approved for London, while Cornwall's post-Brexit replacement for the current 100m pa EU grant will be 10m. The UK won't be sending money to the EU any more to be redistributed as EU grants, but intra-UK spending will be overwhelmingly concentrated in London and the commuter belt.

  24. #84
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    But the EU, being more socialist in approach than the UK, makes sure regions don't lose out simply because they're of little political importance. I made this point about Cornwall immediately after the referendum, predicting that Westminster will, as is its wont, concentrate funding on London projects whilst neglecting the peripheries. And true to form, a several billion pound project has been approved for London, while Cornwall's post-Brexit replacement for the current 100m pa EU grant will be 10m. The UK won't be sending money to the EU any more to be redistributed as EU grants, but intra-UK spending will be overwhelmingly concentrated in London and the commuter belt.
    Political importance, or low population density and very difficult to increase economic productivity? Giving hand outs isn't the answer - it created odd distortions in the market place. And projects do cost more in London and there are a lot of people who live in the South East.

    Crossrail is a sensible idea that helps ship people to where they want to be. HS2 isn't since it mainly ships people to where they have no interest in being - having Manchester 30 minutes closer to London will not suddenly mean everyone wants to move up there.

    There are things that could / should be done to rein in distortions in the South East:

    A council tax as a percentage of the worth of property - would most likely massively reduce prices.
    No council tax relief for empty dwellings; second homes taxed higher, not lower - with the above, investing in london homes by leaving them empty becomes uneconomic.
    Equally, remove council houses from the most expensive areas - sorry, most of us can't live in large swathes of London and have to leave. I don't see why some should be subsidised.

    I'd move a lot / most of the Civil Service to Birmingham to boot.

    But giving grants to areas isn't going to help.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  25. #85
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    By the way, this is a map of Europe with every separatist movement getting what it wants:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	17492477_1415723048487036_4784600943835116422_o.jpg 
Views:	53 
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    Senior Member Senior Member Othello Champion Montmorency's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    A council tax as a percentage of the worth of property - would most likely massively reduce prices.
    When you say prices, do you mean tax payouts or property prices, and how come?

    Equally, remove council houses from the most expensive areas - sorry, most of us can't live in large swathes of London and have to leave. I don't see why some should be subsidised.
    I think one of the reasons public housing is spread throughout a municipality is to prevent ghettoization and loss of access to services.
    Vitiate Man.

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    When you say prices, do you mean tax payouts or property prices, and how come?
    I think one of the reasons public housing is spread throughout a municipality is to prevent ghettoization and loss of access to services.
    Property prices - the more the house is worth, the more to pay.

    That is the theory - but fails abysmally. The "right to buy" means that the lucky few can in short order flip their houses for a large profit, leaving the state having to create more. And there are no wonderful mixed estates where people of different societies are all living in harmony. People like to be with those they view as similar.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  28. #88
    Incorruptible Forest Manager Member Tristuskhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Very nice map...


    Comments (and every country should be checked by a native) about France:

    - Normandy, absolutely never heard about it.
    - Numbers 7 and 9. I live there for thirteen years, those are really non-existant. 9 is more about the Principalty of Montbeliard than Jura. I know some who are autonomists. 7? Maybe it should jump over the frontier and include swiss jura, there were some autonomists forty years ago. But today, none.
    - Savoie and Nice, dunno (dislike either places and people), but anecdotic at best.
    - Occitania is more about poetics than politics (and that's nice)
    - The rest is accurate: Corsice, Basques, Alsace and Brittany. I've not been in Euzkadi for years so I can't say how lively is the nationalist movement. Alsace and Corsica have nationalists, but it's most about full (and horrible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc2zVHGTDww , dare!) folklore in Alsace and about underworld and plain racism in Corsica. Brittany was dormant when I leaved it thirteen years ago but I'll soon find out: going back there once and for all this summer!

    Last thing about France's internal "nationalisms". Some are clearly leaning left (Bretons, Occitans), others really leaning right (Corsica, Alsace). Basques are some other matter.

    Last thing: I'm almost certain there must be some thracian nationalists in european Turkey. At least as "strong" as nationalists in Franche-Comté... And what about Crete?
    "Les Cons ça ose tout, c'est même à ça qu'on les reconnait"

    Kentoc'h Mervel Eget Bezañ Saotret - Death feels better than stain, motto of the Breton People. Emgann!

  29. #89
    Senior Member Senior Member Othello Champion Montmorency's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Property prices - the more the house is worth, the more to pay.

    That is the theory - but fails abysmally. The "right to buy" means that the lucky few can in short order flip their houses for a large profit, leaving the state having to create more. And there are no wonderful mixed estates where people of different societies are all living in harmony. People like to be with those they view as similar.

    But - so is it a hindrance to real estate speculation, or not? If not, then how would the change in tax lower prices, or affect any pricing trend beyond a flat fluctuation during initial adoption? And how does negative gearing come into it?
    Vitiate Man.

  30. #90
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United Kingdom; The European Union; NATO: which is the primary sense of ident

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    By the way, this is a map of Europe with every separatist movement getting what it wants:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	17492477_1415723048487036_4784600943835116422_o.jpg 
Views:	53 
Size:	403.4 KB 
ID:	19550
    Concerning the map in the same sense as Tristuskhan went trough France.Never heard of Kainuu separatism. Concerning the Sapmi. If they wanted to to have an independent state. I would not have anything against it.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

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