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December 07, 2016

Comments

Patrick Kirk

An intersting question is whether this is new or not? In my drinking days, every pub had its contrarians who spent happy evenings smoking and happily playing Devil's advocate on everything from the Kennedy assassination to the Roswell incident.

In the IT world, we believe in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect and I can't help but wonder if the Internet has connected and empowered a lot of contrarians who hitherto were treated as interesting conversationalists but not taken too seriously?

H

The limiting factor on diversity in the Supreme Court is the requirement that judges should be experts in the law. This tends to rule out the young, and makes a large working class contingent unlikely under current conditions. So I suspect that old and posh are built in, although white and male not necessarily so.

Dipper

So, climate science.

I had a good look at this. the problem is that pro AGW scientists say all sorts of things. In particular after the peak in 1998 there were all sorts of predictions about imminent catastrophe, none of which happened. However, I'm sure some people did get some funding out of their shock warnings, so they were alright.

The joke is that the case for AGW is unarguable, and the case is in this chart
https://robertscribbler.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/ice-core-co2-record-800000-years.jpg
CO2 has been in the range 180-270ppm for at least 800,000 years, and now its over 400ppm. The amount of CO2 this corresponds to is about half the human generated CO2 since the dawn of the industrial revolution. And by basic physics, over time, that will heat up the world. If people don't believe that, then they need to explain why CO2 has suddenly shot up without any associated geological reason at the same time as we have been generating that amount of CO2.

The problem is if you keep arguing about the fine detail of temperature you will get dragged into things we don't fully understand, or even half understand, such as ocean currents, and people will hammer the shortcomings of your analysis all day long.

It isn't enough to be on the right side. You have to, first and foremost, be on the right side of logical argument including recognising the limitations in your own position. Otherwise its just an argument about who has the power and in any democratic system it won't be grandstanding experts.

Dipper

Facts and the search for objective truth make up the essence of science

no. Good experiments make up the essence of science.

Jim

"cognitive diversity – the idea that a plurality of viewpoints is wiser than an individual one"

I'll bet there's more cognitive agreement among the sort of people (of any hue/gender) who end up being judges than there is in the population, and that the views of the sort of people who voted for Brexit will be notably absent amongst members of the Supreme Court.

gastro george

"the idea that a plurality of viewpoints is wiser than an individual one"

I'm sure that there is a joke lurking here, related to the other saying about 10 economists in a room having 11 opinions ... and they're all wrong.

Ralph Musgrave

I’m much amused by Chris’s claim that “…the rise of populism represents…..the urge that one’s opinion must over-ride all constraints.” Really?

So where are these "populist" right wing UKIP type parties that advocate by-passing due legal process or abandoning democracy?

I suggest that it’s actually the political LEFT which is quasi fascist and which wants to by-pass the normal constraints. For example it’s the political left and centre ground which threatened to have Le Pen arrested for expressing the “wrong” political views.

And almost daily some member of the Euro elite tells us that the plebs shouldn’t have the right to vote to exit the EU.

David

I do believe that M. Farage, the well known "I holiday in Europe" activist believes that the Supreme Court should bow to the will of the UKIP party, "or there will be violence in the streets".
I understand where you are coming from Ralph, and I don't like it.
Populists believe that they are like "their own", and bow to peer pressure so as to remain part of their club. They are prepared to repeat lies that confirm their membership. They are very often "on" what is described as "the right"... naturally... they are members of an exclusive club, which is of course superior or why would they want to be a member?

People who might be described, or might describe themselves as being on the "left"...... Chris (I think) and myself, believe that we are all the same, that we do not belong to any club, that everyone should be treated fairly and justly, that scapegoating and corruption are the evils of this world..... and until recently we believed that we were not superior. We are beginning to doubt that last premise I think.

Jim

"and until recently we believed that we were not superior."

Lol. This from the Left that has always stood on its high horse and regarded itself as morally superior to its opponents, indeed demonised its opponents as actively evil.

Jim

Oh, and I suppose 'lower than vermin' was just a friendly term of endearment..........as was 'Tory Scum' and 'The Deplorables' no doubt.............

Keith

Badly drafted law is the occasion of much litigation. The courts have no choice but to decide on disputes arising from it. The fact that referenda contradict the idea of Parliamentary Supremacy is some thing that the advocates of referenda always ignore. The question on the ballot was far too simple to give any guidance about what should happen if there was a yes vote; Cameron just assumed his charm would get people to vote No. Forgetting that the people who now run Britain are billonaire tax dodgers, who own the press, and no one can tell them what to do....as the people are duped by them and their propaganda sheets. Camerons charm was no match for the press and their lackeys like Boris Johnson. Producing a legal minefield. Also leaving the EU is not easy as it impacts on so many laws, policies and interests. And requires complex negotiations which will produce most likely an unsatisfactory mess.

ADifferentChris

There's a difference between verbal abuse, and, y'know, killing disabled and unemployed people through intolerable conditions - foistered by the present 'welfare' system.

The problem is the weakness of the left. People actually believe raising the tax-free band is a left-wing, worker's policy. And the urban left may be socially liberal, but suggest lefty politics - redistribution, equality of respect, reducing power imbalances - the pitchforks come out.

ADifferentChris

Put it this way. When right-wing politicians are treated like Gabby Giffords and Jo Cox, I'll consider Jim and Ralph's plea. Until then, "Tory scum" remains tasteful and useful.

Jim

And ADifferentChris proves my point....... :)

jonny bakho

There is no "Populist Paradox".
Many people do not vote for something or someone but against the other.
It is common for economists to make "rational agent" arguments as if everyone has the same information and makes an informed decision.
People are not always rational agents. There is not enough time in the day so decisions are made using shortcuts in thinking.
People vote the bums out when they are anxious or fell unfairly treated. Fairness is the basis of populism.
When economic changes are creating losers through dislocation and no good options to address the dislocation are in place, people will be anxious and feel that others benefit when they themselves are losers. If those in power do not have a solution, they will be voted out whether or not their replacements have a solution (they usually don't).
There is no rational analysis here. The bums in power are not solving the issue fast enough to satisfy so the people vote them out. The opposition does not need to be rational or have a workable solution. They simply need to promise to do things differently than the bums that are not solving the problem or solving it fast enough.
There is no paradox. Populism is all about voting against unfairness.

Stop with the rational agent models. They are fantasy, not reality.

Ralph Musgrave

David,

I'm horrified by your claim that populists tell lies. I mean no other politician or political group does that, does it? Especially B.Liar. As for D.Cameron, we all know he always had a scrupulous regard for the truth (ho ho).

Jim

Incidentally ADifferentChris, ever heard of Airey Neave, Anthony Berry and Ian Gow? All Tory MPs who were assassinated while in office.

Or do they not count, because it was in the past and history is such a right wing Tory Scum concept anyway?

rshiehyan

"This, though, is an argument for ensuring more genuine diversity, not for allowing mob opinion to be unchecked."
No, this is an argument for the need for wide ranging structural change that cannot be achieved through the present institutions and laws and this rational conclusion (or at least plausible)is called "extremism" by the media and other pillars of the establishment.Foucault said that the power always is accompanied by resistance.And it is thoughtless to call spontaneous but legitimate resistance of the oppressed British or American subaltern "mob opinion".

Boursin

Foucault also said elsewhere: "I think to imagine another system is to extend our participation in the present system." So much for resistance.

On the whole, the poor quality of this comment thread demonstrates the validity of Chris's original point more effectively than almost anything could.

Dipper

"We’d therefore expect to see more support for institutions that embody diversity and which check our judgements"

Well that's precisely the point. The institutions have avoided diversity of opinion, in many cases by using "experts" to selectively pick some "facts" to confirm a partial viewpoint.

My current favourite is "experts" saying its obvious we can't have our cake and eat it, that we have to take all four freedoms as a package, despite the fact that Germany (services) and France (Capital) have picked and chosen freedoms as they see fit.

gastro george

@Dipper

Your last comment reminded me of the bafflement I sometimes got when explaining why the UK did quite badly selling abroad - because, despite the supposedly universality of the English language, sales are generally negotiated in the buyer's language, and speaking foreign is not really a UK thing.

"My current favourite is "experts" saying its obvious we can't have our cake and eat it, that we have to take all four freedoms as a package ..."

But it matter when some of these "experts" are the people you are actually negotiating with.

Dipper

@gastro - well its a negotiation. Everything is on the table. There is room for fudging on the Freedom of Movement, but if the EU wants to play hard ball so be it.

As always, what really annoys me is not the behaviour of the EU or European countries, its the behaviour of our own politicians. Why have they let other nations constantly get away with bending the rules? they showed a consistent gutless performance when facing our European counterparts. Representative politicians should stand up for their constituents against vested interests. Our politicians did the opposite.

nickj

I didn't let my kids have MMR because the chief medical officer of health said it was perfectly safe.

see also Salk vaccine and nasty case of narcolepsy resuklting in suicide of young woman.

Once the fuss died down, kids got vaccinated.

rshiehyan

@Boursin
But Foucault was (wrongly or rightly)quite enthusiastic about the Iranian revolution.You cannot censure the 'mob's imagination but you can manipulate it as Trump did.

Blissex

«"our institutions – parliament, government, the courts – must serve a plural society, they must balance interests and protect rights."

The case for doing so lies in large part in cognitive diversity – the idea that a plurality of viewpoints is wiser than an individual one»

Ah the eternal "trickle down" right-wing propaganda that there are "philosopher kings" who can achieve the greater good for everybody, that conflicts of interests, including class interests, can be solved win-win by «wiser» solutions. Where here the "philosopher king" is the wisdom of diverse crowds.

Blissex

«well its a negotiation. Everything is on the table. There is room for fudging on the Freedom of Movement»

Everything is negotiable whe4n a country is *inside* the EU, because everybody have a veto and have to be bought off. Various UK governments got a lot of "opt-outs" because they used the UK veto or the threat of a veto.

The difficulty is that the UK will not have a veto over further EU business, so what's the incentive for the other countries to do a bend-the rules deal?

Also there is one implicit rule that simply cannot be bent: that a country that is outside and does not have a veto gets more rules bent than one that is inside and has a veto to trade.

Blissex

«well its a negotiation. Everything is on the table. There is room for fudging on the Freedom of Movement»

Put another way, the UK government will have to make an offer that *buys* what they want: for example they can offer to make a much larger than currently EU budget contribution, one that can be used to pay good unemployment benefits to the polish and romanian workers that would have otherwise had the right to look for work in the EU, plus pays the cost of health care to UK pensioners in the EU. That's what negotiation means: you want to buy something (e.g. service market access and free healthcare for UK expats without labour market access), pay for that.

What is tiresome is to read the Borisian rantings of the delusional wing of the "Leave" people: those who think that the UK is entitled to get a lot of favours from the EU _for nothing_ "BECAUSE... BRITANNIA RULES THE WAVES!". :-)

I have much more respect for the libertarian/Faragist "Leave" wing where they don't want any favours from or to the EU and think that the UK can thrive in "splendid independence" with just-WTO rules like Taiwan or Dubai.

Blissex

«think that the UK can thrive in "splendid independence"»

That was a deliberate mixup of "splendid isolation" and "UK independence party". Context:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splendid_isolation
«"It is the duty of the Government of this country, placed as it is with regard to geographical position, to keep itself upon terms of goodwill with all surrounding nations, but not to entangle itself with any single or monopolising alliance with any one of them; above all to endeavour not to interfere needlessly and vexatiously with the internal affairs of any foreign country."
The term was coined in January 1896 by a Canadian politician, George Eulas Foster, who indicated his approval for Britain's minimal involvement in European affairs by saying, "In these somewhat troublesome days when the great Mother Empire stands splendidly isolated in Europe."»

The core of the "Britannia Unchained"/Faragist dream of an UK economy made competitive by the unlimited immigration of 3rd world indentured servants and by a much lower exchange rate of the pound to further reduce the real living standards of UK labor.

Dipper

@ Blissex

Firstly, whilst we won't get as "good" a deal with the EU, we should be able to more than compensate with a better deal with non-EU countries.

Secondly, one of our main leverages with the EU was the threat of a referendum. If we had voted to stay in the referendum it would be extremely unlikely we would have another referendum for many years, so there would be no incentive for the EU to give us a good deal. And that veto - well they could just ignore the veto by using the European Parliament or some other device.

Blissex

«one of our main leverages with the EU was the threat of a referendum.»

This is starting to be quite imaginative. Every country in the EU can make that threat, and only morons make it, because as soon as the threat is made the other countries have to discount the possibility of it succeeding and thus the outgoing country becoming irrelevant to internal dealmaking; a credible threat of exit makes a country lose a lot of influence ("they may well not be around for long").

«If we had voted to stay in the referendum it would be extremely unlikely we would have another referendum for many years, so there would be no incentive for the EU to give us a good deal.»

This is based on a Borisian fantasy, that somehow «the EU» can «give us a good deal» to a member. The EU can do precisely nothing for or against members, all the rules and deals are negotiated among member country heads of government by international treaty, and no member country will give another member country (and even less so to a non-member country) a deal that it will not enjoy itself. The EU negotiates as a whole only with non-member countries. If "Remain" had won, the UK would still count as a member country, with a veto to trade for concessions. As it is now the UK has zero influence on EU rules, unless it is willing to pay.

«And that veto - well they could just ignore the veto by using the European Parliament or some other device.»

This kind of paranoid fantasy is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the political setup of EU, where the member veto is the very foundation of EU membership. Only Thatcher fought hard against the veto, because she was afraid that any small country with a leftie government would be willing to veto neoliberal policies agreed among big countries.

Dipper

@ Blissex - I agree with you about the referendum. My personal favourite approach was to push so hard we got kicked out.

"The EU can do precisely nothing for or against members, all the rules and deals are negotiated among member country heads of government by international treaty, and no member country will give another member country (and even less so to a non-member country) a deal that it will not enjoy itself."

This is pretty much the heart of the issue. The EU was founded by a number of countries and the UK joined later, so we were always second-class members. The founding countries made the rules, and we followed them. This has persisted, so Merkel tells us the four freedoms are a package, but Germany has refused to implement Free market in services, and France refused to implement the Free movement of Capital.

We might have been able to make our time in the EU acceptable if we had politicians who fought as hard for the UK as German and French politicians fought for their countries, but unfortunately only Thatcher managed it.

Historians of the future will wonder why, in the last decades of the twentieth century, UK social democratic politicians became so transfixed by Europe that they lost all judgement. They simply failed to do the basic task of representing the interests of their constituents and instead sacrificed the interests of their electorate to slavishly follow a European dream. They are now suffering the electoral consequences.

Bonnemort

Jim - I don't remember the Labour Party allowing the Conservative by-election candidates to run unopposed (as the Tories did post-Jo Cox) after the murders of Airey Neave, Anthony Berry and Ian Gow either.

But I do remember a Labour MP (Chris Mullin) announcing that he knew the identities of the perpetrators of the Birmingham pub bombings, but he wasn't going to tell the police.

"Ethical standards for thee, but not for me"

Dave Hansell

So let's see if I've interpreted this accurately Dipper.

The position which takes the view that UK EU membership arrangements are, shall we say, unsatisfactory holds that the prime responsibility lies not with the EU per se or even the negotiating structures and processes of the EU but British/UK politicians of all administrations. As a result this position seems to see no problem in letting those same politicians and political establishment have unfettered decision making perogative and feudal power over everything from consumer and environmental protection and regulation through to regulation of finance and workers rights without any reference to Parliamentary or any other scrutiny and input..

All of which will be burnt on a bonfire in Year Zero fashion by those same politicians -because we can't have anyone conveniently labelled 'left wing' (which means in practice any alternative to the policies of the past 40 years, which rules out not only most of today's Labour Party, the Greens, PC and the SNP but also at the very least half the population) being involved. Only the failed politicians get to be involved regardless of which Westminster Brand of the same failed politics they belong to.

Already we have members of the current right wing cabal stating openly that many of those regulatory protections should be pitched at the same, and much lower, protection level as India Whilst the new leader of that fake anti establishment Party which championed EU withdrawal, UKIP, openly espousing outright opposition and hatred of the idea of the NHS.

Thanks a bundle for that bag of shit you and your like minded mates have landed us with Dipper. All this guff about wanting us to make our own decisions and taking back control (who for one wonders) was just a total load of steaming horse droppings. Anyone seriously espousing such a position would at the very least have spent the past five and half months arguing and campaigning not only for the maintenance of the same standards of consumer, environmental, worker, financial et al regulatory protection or better but a proper written constitution, an elected rather than heriditary head of state, an elected upper chamber, a fit for purpose electoral system, and greater devolved local/federal decision making.

But no. All we have had during the second half of the year is this simplistic meaningless ' Brexit means Brexit ' nonsense and a constant whingeing like mardy arsed five year olds whenever anyone wants to take the idea of taking control of our decision making seriously by getting involved in that decision making. The so called and self described champions (sic) of taking back control don't even want Parliament to be involved. They would rather those they describe as having "failed to do the basic task of representing the interests of their constituents" use medieval feudal powers make the decisions which impact on the everyday lives of the population.

Indeed, the very principles espoused by these fraudulent so called Democrats, that a majority vote should be binding, only want that to apply when it suits their own case. The attitude of all those campaigning under this so called principled banner to the vote and wishes of the people of the other nation in these islands which make up the current Union, Scotland, is exactly the opposite.

One is left with the reasonable conclusion that even though the the question, when previously asked, was answered by silence, that the EU issue was not one of the membership deal or how it is structured or its processes but the very idea of sharing decision making rather than dominating and monopolising it based not on cooperation for the common good but zero sum competition for narrow minded ideological zeolotry.

All we have had from the so called champions of taking back decision making control since June is a pathetic litany of what adds up to nothing more than school playground level eat our shit. Very democratic.

Dipper

@Dave

thanks for your lengthy reply, and I hope you feel better for writing it.

Referenda are not good ways of deciding policy because of the confusion they throw up. Ultimately the only thing that is clear is that the majority of people who voted voted to leave the EU. There are inevitably a range of opinions on how that is meant to be implemented so some confusion around at the moment.

As to who's fault it is, one of the things that has gone unremarked in the last six months is the role of the EU. They gave nothing. They've been quite clear it is their way or the highway. That is their choice but I wasn't the only one who started the process with an open mind and ended up thinking the deal was unacceptable - I note Matt Ridley did the same. But I cannot control or influence the politicians of the EU or the member states. The only politicians we collectively can influence are UK ones. The responsibility for the current situation lies with them.

My view and that of many others is that the best people to make decisions for the UK are our elected politicians. There have been a number of signs that this process is working. Not just Theresa May specking directly for the JAMs but now Andy Burnham too getting the message.

The response of many Remainers and particularly Lib Dems after the Referendum has been dreadful. Instead of looking to learn the lessons and attempt to engage in sensible conversations they seemed to have suffered some kind of breakdown and simply scream anti-democratic abuse, taking the side of other nations against the people of the UK, and holding their principles higher than any commitment to the nation. they have been awful and are in danger of causing real damage and division.

I and many Leaver friends have been quite happy with the Article 50 court case for reasons given here previously - that if that's the law then the government should follow the law.I am concerned that MPs will vote to retain Freedom of Movement as that will undoubtedly mean carnage at the next election. If that is retained there are communities who will collectively feel they have been completely abandoned despite their vote. that is very bad for the country.

I don't get your point about sharing decision making and the EU. There is no evidence that the Commission or France or Germany intend sharing any decision making with us at all, and quite a lot of evidence of the contrary.

There is lots of argument and posturing in parliament at the moment, and elsewhere. This will always be the case when significant negotiations are in the offing and people are positioning themselves. Most of it can be ignored. My sense is that the Brexiter to keep an eye on is David Davies. He has the man in the hot seat, and has been calm and sensible so far. Everyone else is shouting from the sidelines.

As for your para about decision making there have been discussions about the role of the Lords and devolving powers to regions. No party has so far laid out its stall on standards and environmental issues so nothing has been decided yet. Also your point about parliamentary scrutiny of the terms of leaving has some validity but for parliament to do this requires political parties to accept the vote and get engaged in the issues rather than trying to overturn it by devious means.


Blissex

«My personal favourite approach was to push so hard we got kicked out.»

I have been thinking about this because it is difficult for me to express my opinion of this in suitably euphemistic terms.

Imagine if at cabinet Foreign Office secretary Boris Johnson declared: "the main foreign policy of Her Majesty's government is overt obstruction and undermining of the EU treaties which we have signed and which most of our main allies and export markets regard as their core long term interests, our goal being to make them so hostile to us that they will expel us from their nasty club".

Probably even Boris would not have gone as far as that.

Fortunately he seems to more modestly want the foreign policy of Her Majesty's government to be to demand all of the benefits of the EU without paying any of the costs, because... "Britannia rules the waves!" :-).

Again I have more respect for the "Britannia Unchained"/Faragist position that the UK is so strong and influential in the world that it will prosper without any of the benefits or cost of the EU.

Blissex

«that a majority vote should be binding,»

That is the usually ridiculous "legalistic" position.

"Leave" or "Remain" is a political choice, not a legal one. How the choice is made is ruled by law, but the essence of it is political.

So the question is whether the June referendum was *politically* binding. My answers to that are:

* Nothing is truly politically binding, political choices can be made and unmade.
* As to strategic political mandates, votes have to be primarily counted, but they have also to be weighted.
* A 52% to 48% overall on a lowish yet significant turnout is not politically very strong.
* More importantly, that 48% was concentrated in a small number of constituencies while 75% of constituencies had significant "Leave" majorities.
* Overall I regret to admit that there is a definite political mandate for "Leave", but it is for a "soft" form of "Leave" as there is a large and locally strong minority opposition.

Blissex

«There is no evidence that the Commission or France or Germany intend sharing any decision making with us at all, and quite a lot of evidence of the contrary.»

That seems to me another delusional fantasy: the Commission does not do any significant decision making, because it is a civil service, all significant decisions are made by councils of heads of government, and each has a veto, including the UK prime minister, and it has been admitted that the UK veto has not been abolished yet:

«And that veto - well they could just ignore the veto by using the European Parliament or some other device.»

If the UK veto has not been formally abolished, have the devious frogs or the nasty krauts been putting sleeping pills in the tea of the UK prime ministers attending head of governments councils to prevent them from using that veto? If that has been the case, how comes that the UK got a budget rebate and a lot of opt-outs, or were those clever ruses by «the Commission or France or Germany» to provide the mere illusion of decision sharing with the UK? :-)

The "wisdom of diverse crowds" reading the Daily Express might benefit from answers! :-)

Dipper

@Blissex

my point is that unlike France and Germany we never tested the resolve of the EU to withstand independent action. We were continually requesting and getting "opt-outs" which meant we were publicly identified as the naughty country. Note Germany has never had to get an "opt-out" to reduce to implement free market in services, neither has France got an "opt-out" for its blatantly protectionist refusal to implement Free Movement of Capital. We should simply have acted in our own interests and dared the EU to pick a fight with its second biggest contributor and number one customer.

And if politicians thought that they were acting in the UK's own interests then they were clearly in a minority.

Dave Hansell

Whatever the pro's and con's of referenda we are where we are and need to get on with it.

Unfortunately it's like standing not just in but under a pile of tumbleweed at present because it's not just failed politicians who are doubling down on simplistic binary choices and playing splat the mole when ever anyone raises their head to demand that 'taking control means taking control' and wanting to have a say in maintaining citizenship rights which give us all sorts of protections as workers, consumers, and the environment we exist in, it is also a great many of those who voted to leave who who hurl invective, abuse and demand anyone not following the simplistic undemocratic line that the failed politicians know best should just FO and leave 'their country'. The level of support for taking this seriously on the part of those making the most noise about democratic control is not abysmal its non existent.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. The picture of the EU structures and processes in regard to decision making which you have so far presented are at best misleading. The idea that the UK never gets what it wants is pure delusion and does not fit the factual record and evidence. The fact, for example, that so many East Europeans are taking advantage of the free movement of labour (more on this later) is down to those countries, despite differences between their economies and the larger ones like the UK, France and Germany, being allowed into EU membership.

The question is how did this occur? Did those nasty French and horrible Germans stand at the front of the queue arguing that should be the road we go down? No. It was the UK -or to be more accurate the Westminster and untouchable City of London with its direct input to a veto on policy making through The Remembrancer post- which argued for and ultimately got their (or for the Brexit means Brexit cheerleaders, 'our') way in widening rather than deepening and better integrating existing structures with existing membership which is what those painted as the simplistic pantomime level villains wanted to do. The results were obvious, right up to the continuing denial by hordes of the Brexit is Brexit brigade supporters that poor little UK, a Single Market Superstate in its own right, had no say whatsoever and everything is the fault of those nasty Europeans in Germany and France.

Similarly with the Steel industry, which merely provides one amongst many examples, where those horrible nasty people in Europe were all for adopting the same punitive tariff on cheap Chinese Steel dumping as the US did but got stopped by use of the Veto by one member, the UK. By the same politicians, who would rather see productive steel works in the UK close down for good and wreck more communities in the same way they have for the past 35 years, that around half the population are currently arguing should have executive feudal perogative powers over existing legal regulations and safeguards.

The key point here is that the electorate of the UK, whichever way they voted or not back in June, have had numerous opportunities over decades to 'take back control' of our representatives in the UK who make these decisions and have this input at EC level. No one in the EU has ever stopped us or has had the power to do so. The fact remains that even though we had and have this power regardless of whether or not we are EU members we have not done so. Yet despite this solid evidence people are being not asked but are both actively and passivly demanded by 17 million others to believe that leaving the EU will change this.

This is nonsense. Let's go through the current process. If EU policy gets adopted to be written into law of member States, through the process of negotiation between elected representatives of the constituent States within the agreed structures here is what happens. It comes from the EU level to be debated and written into the various National Legislatures. Pick anything you want and compare the original wording and phrasing of the original with what gets passed in UK Parliament. Then pick at random the guideline processes and procedures on that legislation of any company, firm or organisation. It's like Chinese whispers in reverse. In many subtle ways the original intention and regulations get watered down through each level in the UK in order to make them less effective than intended. And the worse examples of this are protective legislation from the Working Time Directive and the Health and Safety Six Pack through to environmental protection and consumer rights.

The idea that this will change by relying on the same politicians and policies is laughable. Particularly when the majority of those making this spurious and evidence free claim, and I'm not talking about politicians here but the majority of leave voters, are actively and vociferously taking the position that those disagreeing with the perogative power issue should STFU and preferably leave 'their Country.' Sure, it's accepted that not everyone adopts that position and approach but as I hinted previously standing passively by and blaming those who put their heads above the parapet who want to take seriously the idea of having a proper democratic say as wanting to reverse the decision is tacitly running with that agenda.

The same failed policies the UK wide electorate (or to be accurate England) keep continuing to vote for time after time continue to dominate regardless of Eu membership or otherwise. The point made about the devolution of powers, either through more federalism (ask the Scots how they are doing with those promises) or the forced through City Mayors (a prerequisite of devolved powers -hint:devolved powers are powers retained and can be taken away) which only a few short years ago were rejected in City after City by the electorate, is laughable for those who were at the sharp end of those same policies, by the same cloned and failed politicians the UK electorate consistantly insist on being the only option, when those same promises were made in the late 1990's over control of EU Regeneration funding. Genuine democratic independent non party political community involvement, a prerequisite of receiving the funding, was ruthlessly eliminated as control rather than democracy was devolved to the lowest level through the lower echelons of the Westminster cartel. Diverting funding to favoured and lobbied for corporate projects, many of which were white elephants. Which is why between 2000-2010 the GDP of South Yorkshire, as one example, was lower than that of a Greece despite over £1billion of EU regeneration funding. Like I said, if the politicians a lot, like yourself, are complacently hanging your hats on, cannot keep control one way they will find another way.

Now before proceeding further it's worth pointing out that I recollect thirty years back arguing with those who saw Europe and the EU as a lifeboat from the deranged policies of Thatcher, who was the political front via Keith Joseph for the delusional policies of those like Hayak and Rand (and at this point this link is certainly worth a read because it more or less outlines the argument I was making thirty years back to fellow trade unionists)

https://www.socialeurope.eu/2016/11/thatchers-plot-defeat/

Point being that even when Delores was influential there was no guarantee that the EU could not be steered towards the kind of neo liberal right wing policies that dominate the UK since the destruction in the UK of the post war social settlement between capital/rentiers and the mass of the populace. And that's how it turned out due largely to the influence in the EU of the Westminster dominated UK Superstate. An influence which too many seek to deny.

The idea that the EU are playing hardball in exit negotiations really is a whinge too far. If you join a club and pay your dues (having more of an influence than your size determines) it's beyond chutzpah to argue you can leave but should have special membership access rights on a pick and choose a la carte basis whilst contributing nothing because you don't want to be part of the shared decision making of the club. That's not a serious grown up position to take not only for the politicians involved but the millions who are supporting that position and stance.

Besides which the EU insisting on the rule of law should not matter as the claims about being a World player should take care of no longer being a access point to the biggest single market on the planet. Good luck with that one by the way (and cheers again for landing us with the following pile of poo) as every last asset we have from our energy supply and transport infrastructure down to the City library where I live is auctioned off to the Chinese, the Saudi 's, the French et al. Try 'getting back (democratic) control' when you are owned right down to the last blade of grass and the clothes you stand up in by a narrow elite of those pesky foreigners everyone keeps going on about. No doubt it will continue to be the immigrants fault.

And yet, and yet, the look on faces and the tone in written contributions of total shock, surprise, incredulity and incomprehension when not only the 48% who voted against leaving but also many others who did not vote who are adversely affected express concern is priceless. Even if someone is just sat there passively not being part of the shower of crap being thrown at anyone with the temerity to take seriously the rhetoric of taking back control and wanting a say they are tacitly accepting the validity and legitimacy of that shower of crap.

No wonder their are sections of the populace either wanting to take their principled majority vote out of this disfunctional Union (Scotland) or wanting to align themselves with anyone wanting to reverse the vote. Rather than blaming them for wanting to do so those who voted out have the responsibility of walking the walk rather than just spouting the rhetoric about democratic control. Whether active or passive they need to recognise their own responsibility for people being driven to that position by their own behaviour of shouting down anyone who has the temerity to take that obvious rhetoric seriously.

The fact that a majority of leave voters have taken that position is evidence enough that they have an issue and problem with sharing decision making and the message coming across wide and clear is the opposite of that rhetoric. It is one of domination and do as we say as though no one else outside of 17 million has any business being involved, writing everyone else out of the script and the agenda as though they not only don't exist but have no right to exist because they don't go along with the simplistic post truth, fact denying, mob mentality. Taking the position I and many others have witnessed and been the subject of if you don't like what we give you leave (FO out of) 'our country'.

It's also why no one outside this narrow minded self selected group of pseudo Democrats has any confidence in them. Even answering simple questions is too much for this mob.

Like for example the immigration issue.

Firstly, the number of immigrants coming to this country from non EU countries/States has consistently over many years exceeded those coming from the EU. Yet those like yourself, Dipper (either actively or passivly), continue to deny this and blame the EU rather than our own politicians and INSIST are (a) not to blame and (b) not only can but should be trusted to make executive perogative decisions which affect not only immigration but existing protective rights. The same politicians who are currently selling off everything we have to foreign corporate interests; insisting we adopt weaker consumer, worker and environmental protection regulations on a par with Third World societies like India; and will replace cheap EU labour with cheap third world labour.

Secondly, far more communities have been left to rack and ruin in the UK from the free movement of capital transferring whole industries and even sectors abroad outside of the EU than from any free movement of labour, which many ardent and rabid leavers conveniently deny is reciprocal throughout the EU. There are in fact some two million UK citizens working and studying throughout the EC. Using them, as well as EU nationals enjoying reciprocal rights in the UK as bargaining chips does not exactly inspire confidence.

Regardless of my own views on the matter of free trade I have to at least recognise that free trade has to be consistent. Anyone arguing in favour of free trade, regardless of the behaviour of others, has to accept the logic that free movement of goods services and capital is not free trade without the free movement of labour. If someone wants free trade, fine, but it's a package of all four or its not free trade and we cannot pick and choose to have free movement of capital which has done far more damage to the communities who voted for leave than free movement of labour and immigration.

As previously stated, we are where we are. Almost six months have been wasted by those pseudo Democrats who only want their own way and who want exclusivity beyond nationality and ethnic origin to the extent they are clear they would be prepared to see the majority of the population who do not agree with them forcibly removed from 'their country'.

Meanwhile a majority on Scotland, which is not a region of England, and Northern Ireland want the opposite. Those hanging their hat on the principle of taking back control insist this only works one way for them and no one else. Continuing down this road will end a single market superstate. But it will be the UK rather than the EU. When, and not if, that occurs there will be a rebalancing of population between the two separate nations which currently make up the Union and the results of that will be most interesting.

To quote an old proverb people should always be careful what they wish for.

Blissex

«got their (or for the Brexit means Brexit cheerleaders, 'our') way in widening rather than deepening»

This was decided at the very highest levels, not the "wisdom of diverse crowds", a very telling quote:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_reunification
«On 20 January 1990, Mitterrand told Thatcher that a unified Germany could "make more ground than even Hitler had". He predicted that "bad" Germans would reemerge, who might seek to regain former German territory lost after World War II and would likely dominate Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, leaving "only Romania and Bulgaria for the rest of us"»

Perhaps then "Leave" was a long term consequence of a desire for an english-french "sphere of influence" in eastern Europe.

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