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Thread: UK Politics Thread

  1. #451
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    More elaborately, the idea of "why settle for the lesser evil?"



    Of course those results are the rub. Against left-wing dissidents (cf. also French elections) the counter-argument was that effective abstention or defection is contrary to their stated principles in result. With the right that may or may not have been the case, the "not" being the more troubling scenario as we saw that it implies illiberalism. But no citizen is released from the duty to appraise results and interests according to the conduct of government in fact, not according to a high level of philosophical abstraction. "I am X, so I support X party" is not inherently satisfactory.

    Thought you were a classical liberal* though.
    More relevantly, it doesn't make sense to hold the opposition, who do not make the laws, to higher standards than the government, who do make the laws. The point of liberalism, in its original form, was to radically reassess the establishment by asking difficult questions of the establishment. By holding the opposition to higher standards whilst constantly excusing the government, one goes against the fundamental basis of liberalism, by having a tendency against changing the establishment. It is the very definition of conservatism (Toryism even).

    In related news, the government has passed a Bill that gives it power over the previously independent Electoral Commission. So in addition to having a government which disregards the constitution, media which will disseminate and support its lies, and voters who will back it no matter what, the government now has formal control of the electoral system too. One of the proposed measures is to address a problem which the Electoral Commission said does not exist in any meaningful form, by implementing measures that are known to discourage opposition voters, in a manner which would have disqualified me from voting in several previous elections.

  2. #452
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    "I am X, so I support X party" is not inherently satisfactory.

    Thought you were a classical liberal* though.
    You are correct; it is not a satisfactory position.

    You are again correct; i don't find my politics maps in any way neatly onto modern british political parties. This too is unsatisfactory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    More relevantly, it doesn't make sense to hold the opposition, who do not make the laws, to higher standards than the government, who do make the laws.-
    I do not do this. This is not a position I hold. It is not a position I have claimed to hold, nor too is it a reasonable inference from discussion around the topic.
    The worst offence I can be guilty of is in failing to hold the gov't to a higher standard than the opposition - which you clearly would like me to do.
    You persist in misrepresenting what i say, why do you do this?
    Last edited by Furunculus; 04-30-2022 at 23:44.
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

  3. #453
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Was there any reason for revealing military secrets on Ukraine during a visit to India?

    Boris Johnson ‘tempting evil’ by revealing Ukrainian soldiers trained in Poland
    Our previous President had him Trumped on cavalier disdain for operational security -- but for now BoJo can shine forth.
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  4. #454
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Suella Braverman has advised that legislation to override the Northern Ireland protocol would be legal because the EU’s implementation of it is “disproportionate and unreasonable”.
    Thus says the country's top lawyer. Does this mean, in her learned opinion, that individuals in the UK can do the same with the UK's laws too?

  5. #455
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    I mean, that depends on how it is done, doesn't it?

    https://twitter.com/AlexanderHorne1/...35518662754304

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Horner advisor to the @LordsEUCom
    I hope that, when we get to see the detail, the Government is simply proposing to use Article 16 of the Protocol to (legally) disapply some practical aspects which are not working, rather than seeking to resile from the entire deal.
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  6. #456
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    An expert view on what the UK might be aiming to do with the Northern Ireland Protocol:
    https://mostfavourednation.substack....t-does-the?s=w

    Most Favoured Nation: What Does the UK Want Changed?

    With the caveat that this list is mainly based on conversations and me piecing together disparate bits of information that has been briefed to friendly journalists/leaked to unfriendly journalists, these are the changes I think the UK wants to see made:

    Reverse the burden of proof. As it stand, the default for goods entering Northern Ireland is that they are treated as if they are entering the EU’s customs and regulatory territory unless (in the case of customs duties) the importer can prove they will remain in Northern Ireland. The UK wants to flip this, so that all goods entering Northern Ireland are treated as if they will remain in the UK, unless there is a clear and obvious risk of onward movement to the EU. But how to achieve this in practice?

    Expand the remit of the “not at risk” regime. At the moment, goods entering Northern Ireland can, subject to terms and conditions, avoid EU tariffs if they can demonstrate they will remain in Northern Ireland. Given this is acceptable for fiscal purposes, there is no reason, the UK argues, the same approach could not be used for the purpose of avoiding regulatory controls too. Food products entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain could avoid checks so long as they are sold to Northern Irish consumers. Of course the UK wants the remit of the scheme to be as wide as possible, and drastically simplified too. At its most permissive, the UK would also like the EU to actively identify the product types – for example citrus fruit – it is most concerned about from a bio-security point of view, and target checks accordingly.

    And you know what, I’m kinda with the UK on this. In practice, the extension of the not-at-risk process has already happened: the grace period allowing for chilled meat preparations to enter Northern Ireland from Great Britain (yes, sausages) is only available to supermarkets in Northern Ireland, on the basis you have a clear, local, point of sale and heavily monitored supply chains. If you can prove it will stay in Northern Ireland, and it is not something that poses a major threat to EU biosecurity, then what’s the problem?

    General expansion of trusted trader. Trusted firms should face minimal [see: zero] checks and bureaucracy; compliance would be policed via audit.

    Use existing commercial data to identify product movements instead of customs declarations. At the moment, traders moving goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain have to make customs declarations via the Trader Support Service. The UK wants to drastically simplify this process by reducing the amount of information asked for. It also wants to remove and the requirement for firms to work out the product codes (HS codes) of goods (something that is actually quite time consuming and difficult) by allowing them to rely on existing commercial information, which the UK argues already contains the required details (or at least the details can be deduced from what is there). Removing the need for HS codes has symbolic importance from a UK perspective, in that it removes one of the visible representations of the internal border.

    I think this is all theoretically possible. And the EU has engaged with the UK on reducing the amount of information asked for. But I’m not sure the UK and the firms operating across the internal border are quite ready to implement such a scheme. For one it would require linking the disparate internal systems of various companies with, presumably, the TSS. Not at all impossible, but it would require investment, testing, and refining (and for the UK to share live data with the EU). Also a lot of EU-UK trust. But definitely possible in time. [Note: one of the reasons these sorts of innovative approaches are more feasible in this context than other trade borders is because the internal UK border is unique: while some rules might be different on each side, the UK remains the legal authority, allowing it to more effectively police compliance on both sides.]

    Grace periods/easements. The first thing to say is that the protocol as applied in practice is nothing like the protocol as first envisioned. It has already evolved quite dramatically (most notably on medicines). There include a grace period that allow, for example, chilled meat preparations to continue entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain (under set circumstances) despite EU rules not allowing the import of chilled meant preparations and unilateral UK breaches of commitments that exempt small parcels being sold by businesses in Great Britain to consumers in Northern Ireland from customs formalities.

    The UK wants these grace periods and derogations to be made permanent, arguing that, in comparison, some of the EU proposals to improve the protocol would in fact increase the burden on traders. And I’ll let you in on a secret: everyone, including on the EU side, knows that these grace periods and derogation are not going anywhere. The UK is never going to stop [mainly hypothetical] Great British sausages from entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain. This is all kinda a phoney war.

    Fix VAT. Look, this is one of those things I don’t really understand. Export/import VAT is ridiculously complicated, and the Northern Ireland Protocol approach all the more so. If you want detail, go speak to Richard Asquith or someone like that. But the UK wants the UK VAT regime to apply in Northern Ireland.

    UK standards. Northern Ireland is de facto within the EU single market for goods. This means goods placed on the Northern Irish market have to conform with EU regulations and standards. The UK wants businesses in Northern Ireland to have a choice, to either conform with UK regulations and standards (if placing the product solely on the UK market) or EU regulations and standards (if selling into the EU). Brexit hipsters might recognise this as Liechtenstein-style parallel marketability.

    In the UK’s favour, at least for product standards, it is correct to say that such an approach is manageble without needing checks on the land border. Within the EU, compliance with European standards is rarely (not never) enforced at the border, rather legal liability for ensuring conformity is placed on the importer and policed in-market. However, knowing that the UK is 90 per cent of the time going to have the same underlying standards as the EU, given we have retained our membership of the European Standards Organisations and y’know gravity, there is a more obvious solution to ensuring the uniformity of the UK market: the UK could just, as a whole, continue accepting that products produced to EU standards and certified for the EU market are fit to be placed on the whole UK market … as the UK is currently doing anyway. Problem solved.

    TRQ reform. I might be the only person who cares about it, but I’ll mention anyway. Importers of food in Northern Ireland currently cannot use UK tariff-rate quotas (either in free trade agreements or autonomous) because the UK tariff regime can only be used if the difference between the applied UK tariff and EU tariff is less than 3 percentage points. Because the in-quota UK rate (usually zero percent) is compared to the EU out-of-quota rate (usually a bazillion percent) the difference is always greater than 3. I wrote about just how this came to be so complicated last year.

    I’m not quite sure what the new UK proposed fix for this is, but I assume it is along the lines of if you can prove it stays in Northern Ireland then you should be covered by the UK tariff regime (essentially scrapping the 3 percentage points criteria).

    Standstill. The UK does not want any new EU rules coming into force in Northern Ireland. It is already the case, per the Northern Ireland Protocol, that brand new EU rules do not automatically come into force in Northern Ireland and have to be discussed in the joint committee, but updates to the existing rulebook do … and the existing rulebook is quite large. Divergence would then be managed on a case-by-case basis over time.

    I think the UK is pushing its luck a little here. There are clear benefits to the Northern Ireland being in the EU’s single market for goods and I’m not sure why gradually eroding this over time would be helpful or put NI in a strong position to attract investment.

    Replace subsidy rules with TCA rules. Pretty much what it says: the UK wants the EU subsidy rules in the protocol to be replaced with the provisions included in the trade and co-operation agreement.

    Get rid of ECJ. The UK wants to get rid of the ECJ because it doesn’t feel good and it is a bit embarassing (no Northern Irish business group has raised this as an actual issue). Something I think is overlooked in this discussion is that the presence of the ECJ in the protocol actually serves as a safeguard against discrimination for Northern Irish businesses selling into the EU.

    A complete rewrite. And of course all of the above requires the Protocol to be rewritten.

    I’ve probably missed something, but the above is – to my understanding – what the UK is asking for. I’m broadly in favour of anything that improves the life of businesses and a lot more sceptical of the asks that are basically the UK having a retrospective temper tantrum. But the big question is, even if the EU agreed to 75% of the above … would it be enough for the DUP?
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

  7. #457
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Either Northern Ireland is part of the UK and there's a border with Ireland or Northern Ireland isn't part of the UK and should be reunited with Ireland with a border down the Irish Sea.

    These two things are clearly mutually exclusive. The Irish need to make a choice which they want and then live with it. Those who aren't happy can emigrate as has countless other times in Europe when Borders are redrawn.

    I would very much like to see Northern Ireland cease to be our problem - perhaps England would vote if we want to continue transferring money to Northern Ireland?

    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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  8. #458
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Either Northern Ireland is part of the UK and there's a border with Ireland or Northern Ireland isn't part of the UK and should be reunited with Ireland with a border down the Irish Sea.

    These two things are clearly mutually exclusive. The Irish need to make a choice which they want and then live with it. Those who aren't happy can emigrate as has countless other times in Europe when Borders are redrawn.

    I would very much like to see Northern Ireland cease to be our problem - perhaps England would vote if we want to continue transferring money to Northern Ireland?

    Boris Johnson has said there will be a trade border down the Irish Sea "over my dead body" following Brexit.

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Yeah, he's said marriage vows what, five times now?

    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

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  10. #460
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Yeah, he's said marriage vows what, five times now?

    Should a prime minister's promises matter? Or does a majority excuse everything?

    Please do not offer a smart arse answer like a majority means a government can do anything it likes. I'm talking about whether it should matter to voters whether the prime minister breaks his promises.

  11. #461

    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Caring about promises is what the political talking classes do. They are outnumbered by the casual voters, who won't vote for a party unless it espouses the conduct that the Conservative Party does, as is accepted political reality, demonstrated in practice.

    If you disregard Johnson's successes, and demand he offer conduct that is philosophically sound and consistent to you, you're demanding something that most of the population has no interest in.
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  12. #462
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Should a prime minister's promises matter? Or does a majority excuse everything?

    Please do not offer a smart arse answer like a majority means a government can do anything it likes. I'm talking about whether it should matter to voters whether the prime minister breaks his promises.
    Politicians have time and time again stated that the only thing that matters is whether things will get them more or less votes. I have frequently said that I would like more rigour in the whole enterprise, from the party manifesto onwards so that voters have a better grasp of what they're getting and ideally some method of enforcement in cases of deviation. The weekly "punch and judy" show isn't sufficient.

    Currently it seems no one expects politicians in general and Boris in particular to tell the truth with a system where they are 100% going in one direction until suddenly they're 100% going in a different one without any nuance or reason for the action.

    For most voters the only thing that really matters is their quality of life - they loved Sunak when he was showering people with money and now they hate him when he stops and then starts clawing it back as apparently the fact the money was going to come from future taxes was not known at the time. Nor were there many concerns about the amount of money that this might have wasted. Again, this was only an issue when the spigot had been closed.

    There should be a mechanism that the PM is held accountable outside of Parliament - which currently doesn't exist. In many countries the President appoints the PM (and that is almost their main executive role). Such a system is one thing amongst many that the Queen has not had the wit to implement over the last 70 years of her Glorious Stasis.

    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

  13. #463

    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Politicians these days don't lie because they want to persuade or misdirect voters so much as because it is more useful for - some of - them when voters lose the sense that "truth" has any meaning.
    Vitiate Man.

    History repeats the old conceits
    The glib replies, the same defeats


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  14. #464
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Politicians have time and time again stated that the only thing that matters is whether things will get them more or less votes. I have frequently said that I would like more rigour in the whole enterprise, from the party manifesto onwards so that voters have a better grasp of what they're getting and ideally some method of enforcement in cases of deviation. The weekly "punch and judy" show isn't sufficient.

    Currently it seems no one expects politicians in general and Boris in particular to tell the truth with a system where they are 100% going in one direction until suddenly they're 100% going in a different one without any nuance or reason for the action.

    For most voters the only thing that really matters is their quality of life - they loved Sunak when he was showering people with money and now they hate him when he stops and then starts clawing it back as apparently the fact the money was going to come from future taxes was not known at the time. Nor were there many concerns about the amount of money that this might have wasted. Again, this was only an issue when the spigot had been closed.

    There should be a mechanism that the PM is held accountable outside of Parliament - which currently doesn't exist. In many countries the President appoints the PM (and that is almost their main executive role). Such a system is one thing amongst many that the Queen has not had the wit to implement over the last 70 years of her Glorious Stasis.

    PMQs used to mean something because ministers couldn't directly lie in response to a question. Boris Johnson is the first PM to routinely and repeatedly lie, even after being formally reprimanded for specific lies, in PMQs. Yet he faces no sanction, because he disregards all customs and expectations, and all formal action is done at the discretion of the PM, and he won't do anything he's not forced to.

    Given that the main thrust of his electoral campaign was "Get Brexit done", do you think he has satisfied the position of Prime Minister? I'm pretty sure Furunculus will be voting for him again. Will you?

  15. #465
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Caring about promises is what the political talking classes do. They are outnumbered by the casual voters, who won't vote for a party unless it espouses the conduct that the Conservative Party does, as is accepted political reality, demonstrated in practice.

    If you disregard Johnson's successes, and demand he offer conduct that is philosophically sound and consistent to you, you're demanding something that most of the population has no interest in.
    The bulk of Johnson's campaign in 2019 was "Get Brexit done". There was no other substance promised. He declined to be interviewed, and actively hid when journalists pursued him.

    You may get a different impression from the Brexit supporters here who claim that there was a whole raft of policies that people really voted for, as opposed to the singular issue of Brexit. You wouldn't have got that impression if you were here in the UK at the time though. Johnson got his majority through Brexit, and he retains support through Brexit. No matter what form that Brexit takes, the fact that the Tories represent Brexit gives them that support. And they use that support to do all manner of other things, such as give tens of billions worth of contracts to their friends and family. All of the corruption, all of the decline in quality of life, all of the increasing poverty, is justified because they're getting Brexit done.

    NB. the symbol of the Tory/Brexiteer Right, Jacob Rees Mogg, currently Minister for Brexit Opportunities, says that fully implementing Brexit would be an act of national self harm. This wasn't in the Leave campaign.

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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    The bulk of Johnson's campaign in 2019 was "Get Brexit done". There was no other substance promised. He declined to be interviewed, and actively hid when journalists pursued him.

    You may get a different impression from the Brexit supporters here who claim that there was a whole raft of policies that people really voted for, as opposed to the singular issue of Brexit. You wouldn't have got that impression if you were here in the UK at the time though. Johnson got his majority through Brexit, and he retains support through Brexit. No matter what form that Brexit takes, the fact that the Tories represent Brexit gives them that support. And they use that support to do all manner of other things, such as give tens of billions worth of contracts to their friends and family. All of the corruption, all of the decline in quality of life, all of the increasing poverty, is justified because they're getting Brexit done.

    NB. the symbol of the Tory/Brexiteer Right, Jacob Rees Mogg, currently Minister for Brexit Opportunities, says that fully implementing Brexit would be an act of national self harm. This wasn't in the Leave campaign.
    So they wear the blue rosette to reaffirm the party of British sovereignty, and win the votes of the working class. What are the right-minded Opposition going to do about it?

    The liberal left has a reputation for caring more about the rights of Europeans than Britons. The previous Labour leaders have a deserved reputation for siding with other countries in disputes involving Britain.

    To be considered electable, Labour has to stand tough on Europe, those who identify with it, and so on. Those who argue on theoretical standards of honesty and results don't like it, and frequently say that this is a line crossed. But it is accepted political reality, demonstrated in practice, that Labour has to take that stance in order to be considered acceptable by the plurality of voters.
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Given that the main thrust of his electoral campaign was "Get Brexit done", do you think he has satisfied the position of Prime Minister? I'm pretty sure Furunculus will be voting for him again. Will you?
    You do love to personalise this, don't you?

    We don't have a presidential system, so i won't be voting for a person. ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post

    You may get a different impression from the Brexit supporters here who claim that there was a whole raft of policies that people really voted for, as opposed to the singular issue of Brexit.
    Ooh! Me again.

    Maybe the electorate deem it to be a really important matter then? And have little time for political parties that obsess about the shape of their navels on the presumption that voters won't mind if they try to do the exact opposite!

    -----------------------------
    Re: Eurovision result:

    Loved all those 12point/10point scores for the UK from Russia-adjacent nations that.

    Joint win for the UK between our boy and Saint NLAW.
    Last edited by Furunculus; 05-15-2022 at 10:58.
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  18. #468
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    So they wear the blue rosette to reaffirm the party of British sovereignty, and win the votes of the working class. What are the right-minded Opposition going to do about it?

    The liberal left has a reputation for caring more about the rights of Europeans than Britons. The previous Labour leaders have a deserved reputation for siding with other countries in disputes involving Britain.

    To be considered electable, Labour has to stand tough on Europe, those who identify with it, and so on. Those who argue on theoretical standards of honesty and results don't like it, and frequently say that this is a line crossed. But it is accepted political reality, demonstrated in practice, that Labour has to take that stance in order to be considered acceptable by the plurality of voters.
    I'd personally reaffirm an economically left and culturally green agenda and tell the reds to either fall in or live with the Tories forever. Those reds who are ok with perpetual Tory rule are never going to compromise enough to remove the Tories anyway.

    In related news, the rep for Northern Ireland manufacturing says that Brexit, as it is currently implemented, has been beneficial to Northern Ireland business. Mainly because they are practically in the EU, unlike the UK which is outside the EU and which is underperforming compared with Northern Ireland. He also dismisses the IEA, one of Furunculus's favourite sources, as being selective in their studies whilst overlooking the wider picture.

    So the arch-Brexiteer Minister for Brexit Opportunities says that fully implementing Brexit would be an act of national self harm. The rep for Northern Ireland manufacturing says that Northern Ireland is benefiting from the opportunities of being more aligned with the EU that the NI protocol allows it to.

    Did the Leave campaign mention any of this?

  19. #469
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Extract from a Financial Times article

    Quote Originally Posted by Camilla Cavendish
    The government seems to have only two guiding principles: setting political traps for its opponents, and extending the power of the executive. Its Rwanda immigration scheme falls into the first category: a policy known inside Whitehall to be unworkable, but which is popular and makes critics look wet. More sinister still is the stealthy encroachment upon institutions which are supposed to act as checks on government.

    A few weeks ago the government gave ministers new powers to determine the remit of the Electoral Commission, the watchdog which oversees UK elections. Barely noticed was a provision for ministers to draw up a new “strategy and policy statement” for the watchdog. Such interference, the Commission claims, has no precedent(opens a new window) in comparable democracies. Jonathan Evans, chair of the committee on standards in public life, described the reforms(opens a new window) as akin to “giving a toddler a gun . . . it may not immediately lead to disaster but it’s an extremely dangerous thing to do.” Lord Evans knows a thing or two about danger: he used to head M15.

    Not every country has an electoral commission: what matters is whether their regulator is independent. The insurgents who stormed the US Capitol Building last year were unable to overturn the election result because of robust institutions. Weakening such institutions, even in small ways, is reckless. Why would any government do this? Perhaps because of the Commission’s zealous investigation of figures in Vote Leave, or because it oversees party finances. No explanation has been forthcoming. But there is an arrogance in failing to consider how these laws might be used by future governments of a very different political complexion.

    To raise such concerns is to be accused of hysteria. I have already been criticised in those terms for opposing the government’s plans to give the police more powers and to curb the right of protest. Despite being defeated in the House of Lords, the home secretary is bringing these back in a new Public Order Bill, daring civil libertarians to be “soft on crime”. She wins either way, with Conservative party members blissfully unaware that these powers could be deployed against them at a future Countryside Alliance march.

    The proposed bill of rights seems to serve a similar dual purpose. Its vague language about restoring “common sense” in order to “ensure the constitution is defended” from some unnamed assailant sounds Orwellian. Far from being a bill to promote rights, some fear it will reduce them, and limit the citizens’ ability to hold the executive to account. Yet the lawyer David Allen Green believes it is a piece of “vanity legislation” — designed to convince supporters that the government is scrapping the Human Rights Act, when in fact the European Convention on Human Rights is enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement. We won’t know until we see the detail.
    https://www.ft.com/content/10fcd6f3-...b-6ef632291e27

    NB. Lady Cavendish is a former Tory peer, now unaffiliated. The old school Tories think this Tory government is abusing politics like crazy.

  20. #470
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    According to the Financial Times, this new interpretation of the protocol came about after consulting a former Trump appointee.

    So the Tory party takes Russian money and covers up, changes the Electoral Commission that investigates such, and turns to Trump appointees for legal advice.

  21. #471
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    PMQs used to mean something because ministers couldn't directly lie in response to a question. Boris Johnson is the first PM to routinely and repeatedly lie, even after being formally reprimanded for specific lies, in PMQs. Yet he faces no sanction, because he disregards all customs and expectations, and all formal action is done at the discretion of the PM, and he won't do anything he's not forced to.

    Given that the main thrust of his electoral campaign was "Get Brexit done", do you think he has satisfied the position of Prime Minister? I'm pretty sure Furunculus will be voting for him again. Will you?
    For decades, PMQ has had the two sides talking past each other and trying to say zingers that would be picked up by the media. Yes, historically both would be saying what is factually accurate given the different terms of reference the two sides used. But meaingless. Boris has just dropped the pretence. And the system really doesn't care. I'm sure you've noted how the Royal family have been in a tizz over their Caribbean PR debacle rather than the absence of meaningful checks and balances in our democracy.

    Asking how some will vote in the UK is a crime. Nevertheless, I intend to vote for the second biggest party at the last election in my constituency - due to the dreadful FPTP system we have. Brexit has happened. I vote purely on the future rather than the past and frankly we are in a weird position where I prefer Sir Kier but am not thrilled about his party nor his control over it and the Tories have no desire beyond survival it seems.

    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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  22. #472

    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    I'd personally reaffirm an economically left and culturally green agenda and tell the reds to either fall in or live with the Tories forever. Those reds who are ok with perpetual Tory rule are never going to compromise enough to remove the Tories anyway.

    In related news, the rep for Northern Ireland manufacturing says that Brexit, as it is currently implemented, has been beneficial to Northern Ireland business. Mainly because they are practically in the EU, unlike the UK which is outside the EU and which is underperforming compared with Northern Ireland. He also dismisses the IEA, one of Furunculus's favourite sources, as being selective in their studies whilst overlooking the wider picture.

    So the arch-Brexiteer Minister for Brexit Opportunities says that fully implementing Brexit would be an act of national self harm. The rep for Northern Ireland manufacturing says that Northern Ireland is benefiting from the opportunities of being more aligned with the EU that the NI protocol allows it to.

    Did the Leave campaign mention any of this?
    What's "culturally green?" Like, environmentalism?

    General Protip: Voters don't care when politicians accuse each other of lying. You need trusted media to carry that message. Also, it still won't matter, unless the voter is given other reason to dislike that politician or party. Have you tried decodifying select terminology, recodifying it to annex a range of cultural associations that are unpopular among the English, and attaching it to your opponents?
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  23. #473
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    What's "culturally green?" Like, environmentalism?

    General Protip: Voters don't care when politicians accuse each other of lying. You need trusted media to carry that message. Also, it still won't matter, unless the voter is given other reason to dislike that politician or party. Have you tried decodifying select terminology, recodifying it to annex a range of cultural associations that are unpopular among the English, and attaching it to your opponents?
    Local powers. Local funding. Local planning. Greatest ties to those that are closest. Drop globalism as a desirable thing. Build robust networks that don't outsource critical assets just because the numbers sheet shows some minor savings. Closer links with those who are culturally closest to us. Don't rely on countries that are culturally alien to us or who are actively against us.

    I agree with those who look down on liberals for valuing Europe above Britain. I value Britain above Europe. And I value Europe above the US. The US above China. China above Russia. Unfortunately, the Tories and Brexiteers have played on hatred of Europe whilst being funded by Russia. I think there's a report on 600k donated by a Russian businessman when the limit was 500 (500, not 500k) by any foreigner not entitled to vote. There was a report, maybe the same one, maybe another, of another Russian donation of 450k that was laundered through Brazilian banks so as to hide its Russian source.

    You're right about the accusations not mattering unless they come from trusted media. This shouldn't be an issue as long as there are journalistic standards. Unfortunately, most of the right wing media have completely abandoned journalistic integrity and are working with the cabal at 55 Tufton Street (aka the UK branch of Trumpism), pushing nearly the same package as the US branch. One of their favourite attack dogs, testing their messaging on social media before it gets into the mainstream, is Guido Fawkes, who consorts with Russian agents, agents whom the security services deem undesirable to be close to. If you see any political gossip favourable to the right by attacking the left, it's likely to originate from him. The UK's right wing media is almost completely compromised. The one traditionally right of centre paper I trust implicitly is the Financial Times. And meanwhile, the government is doing what it can to shut down independent or left of centre media.

    What makes me despair is that the checks and balances are completely gone. As rory says, there used to be a pretence of customs, and that was how the UK constitution worked. Johnson has completely done away with these pretences. In US terms, it would be as the President has discovered that the constitution has no effective way of penalising him, and thus he completely ignores it and relies on the dual pillars of popular votes and control of the media informing the electorate on how to vote.

  24. #474
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Unfortunately, the Tories and Brexiteers have played on hatred of Europe whilst being funded by Russia.
    Who are 'the Tories and Brexiteers' in this accusation?

    I'm going to represent this on a kind of scale - to see if we can get a reading on where you would pin the tail on the donkey:
    1. Dominic Cummings - himself, as the evil super-villain himself
    2. The Vote Leave masterminds (including LeaveEU because Farage and Diamond man are baddies)
    3. The ERG wing of the Tory pary - because they are 'trumpian' (also inc their 'useful idiots' like Hoey/Field in other parties)
    4. The Tory Party generally - as purveyors of inquity (including activists and commited righties even if not affililiated)
    5. The core Tory electorate - those benighted donkeys who make up about 33% of the total come hell or high water
    6. The wider Tory electorate - including the both above and the swing voting who were tempted by lies and baubles
    7. The Party+Plus electorate - also including other party's and their electors who failed to stick up for the EU due to partisan calculation
    8. Old people generally - which we'll take to mean that element of society too stuck in their ways to regonise enlightenment
    9. British society generally - irretrievably compromised from the generational social pollution of our class and political systems

    If Tories and Brexiteers is 1-4 then i think it fails because such a small group cannot swing wider opinion over such a sustained period of time, i cling to the foolish nation that successful influencers pander to the interests of those they seek to influence, whether we're talking about politics of marketing.
    If Tories and Brexiteers is 6-9 then i think the problem is the electorate, and we might need to revert to the old joke about changing the electorate until they're willing to generate the 'right' result.
    If Tories and Brexiteers is 5, then I think you do have an exquisitly finely balanced argument that an abnormal result fell out from an odd combination of a society with a unjustly glorified past allowing a cabal of the wicked to exploit our out of date constitutional setup.

    But that is an argument that balances on an exceedingly fine point!

    And when you use phrases like the "Tories and Brexiteers" with their "hatred of Europe", i can't help but feel you're talking about me.
    And I find this very strange, because:
    I am not a member of cabal.
    I do not hate europe.
    Never voted for UKIP at General or Local election, or even considered doing so for the tiniest moment.
    I actually grew up in Africa.
    I am married to a Pole.
    And I largely fail to meet any of the other stereotypes of gammony UKIp voters.

    All in all - I am forced to the conclusion that you simply are unable to recognise that a lot of people simply didn't recognise the EU (not europe!), as a legitimate form of governance.

    Why?
    Last edited by Furunculus; 05-16-2022 at 14:05.
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  25. #475
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    More on that Russian money. From the New York Times.

    Quote Originally Posted by New York Times
    One of the biggest donors to Britain’s Conservative Party is suspected of secretly funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to the party from a Russian account, according to a bank alert filed to Britain’s national law enforcement agency.

    The donation, of $630,225, was made in February 2018 in the name of Ehud Sheleg, a wealthy London art dealer who was most recently the Conservative Party’s treasurer. The money was part of a fund-raising blitz that helped propel Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his party to a landslide victory in the 2019 general election.

    But documents filed with the authorities last year and reviewed by The New York Times say that the money originated in a Russian account of Mr. Sheleg’s father-in-law, Sergei Kopytov, who was once a senior politician in the previous pro-Kremlin government of Ukraine. He now owns real estate and hotel businesses in Crimea and Russia.

    “We are able to trace a clear line back from this donation to its ultimate source,” Barclays bank wrote in a January 2021 alert to the National Crime Agency. The bank, which maintained some of the accounts used in the transaction, flagged the donation as both suspected money laundering and a potentially illegal campaign donation.
    The party of British sovereignty is actually the party funded by Russian money.

  26. #476

    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    If Tories and Brexiteers is 1-4 then i think it fails because such a small group cannot swing wider opinion over such a sustained period of time,
    They didn't swing wider opinion, they gained power relying on preexisting opinion suspicious of foreign influence broadly speaking, which is a different thing than persuading cohorts of voters that Britain's status in the EU was unfavorable. But as to opinion tangentially, I've seen research that suggests a minority only needs to exceed 10% of the population for its ideas to have a chance at entering the mainstream. For an American example, see police/prison abolition and, more lethally, racial/epidemiological conspiracism.

    All in all - I am forced to the conclusion that you simply are unable to recognise that a lot of people simply didn't recognise the EU (not europe!), as a legitimate form of governance.
    Maybe I'm wrong, but it's been clear to me that Pann stopped caring about EU membership as such years ago; it's the malgovernance and spread of corrosive political values or practices that he's always complaining about.
    Vitiate Man.

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  27. #477
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    They didn't swing wider opinion, they gained power relying on preexisting opinion suspicious of foreign influence broadly speaking, which is a different thing than persuading cohorts of voters that Britain's status in the EU was unfavorable. But as to opinion tangentially, I've seen research that suggests a minority only needs to exceed 10% of the population for its ideas to have a chance at entering the mainstream. For an American example, see police/prison abolition and, more lethally, racial/epidemiological conspiracism.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but it's been clear to me that Pann stopped caring about EU membership as such years ago; it's the malgovernance and spread of corrosive political values or practices that he's always complaining about.
    We're out of the EU. We won't be back inside the EU within my lifetime. The Tufton Street lot that brought about Brexit are now turning their attention to other matters, funded by Russian money (as Brexit was funded by Russian money).

    Lady Cavendish notes that the substantial policies this Tory government proposes can be split into two groups: the first consist of political traps that are never meant to be implemented, but exist only to make opponents look bad and to gain votes, the second consist of centralisation of power under Downing Street. This cynical observation being made by a formerly Tory peer. The first to get votes as supported by the media network. The second to make use of those votes, to rule the country in whatever way they want, without checks and balances.

  28. #478
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    They didn't swing wider opinion, they gained power relying on preexisting opinion suspicious of foreign influence broadly speaking, which is a different thing than persuading cohorts of voters that Britain's status in the EU was unfavorable. But as to opinion tangentially, I've seen research that suggests a minority only needs to exceed 10% of the population for its ideas to have a chance at entering the mainstream.

    For an American example, see police/prison abolition and, more lethally, racial/epidemiological conspiracism.
    I'd focus here on the "over such a sustained period of time". I would argue that it less a case of the electorate moving than it was the electorate watching the EU moving - in the direction of further integration.
    Support for hard ambitions of a federal EU have always been stunted here, as compared to support for the soft ambition of being part of a collaborative club. This is less typical when you compare with continental nations, where there is a solid constituency for the harder ambitions as well as soft.


    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Maybe I'm wrong, but it's been clear to me that Pann stopped caring about EU membership as such years ago; it's the malgovernance and spread of corrosive political values or practices that he's always complaining about.
    Welcome to the aftermath of the brexit debate. A toxic coauldron created at least in part by the vitriol and loathing of having to address "the swivel-eyed loons" as equals in the debate, rather than a few wierdo's who'll crawl back underneath their rock before too long. Brexit is normal, the hatred will itself become a marginal activity, and normal service will return. People forget we've been through these social turbulences before, and will do again. The important point is for 'the system' to be flexible and adaptable enough to accomodate the pressures, rather than resorting to revolutionary rupture.
    Last edited by Furunculus; 05-17-2022 at 12:58.
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

  29. #479

    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    People forget we've been through these social turbulences before, and will do again. The important point is for 'the system' to be flexible and adaptable enough to accomodate the pressures, rather than resorting to revolutionary rupture.
    Seems unlikely if much of what is posted here is true.
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  30. #480
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK Politics Thread

    explain.
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

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