/ Are we on the slippery slope to fascism?

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Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019

I don't think we are - yet. But I do agree with the claim in this blog post by Chris Grey: the warning signs are there:

https://chrisgreybrexitblog.blogspot.com

Interesting read. I'd suggest we'd do well to keep an eye on these developments. The price of freedom etc.... There's a less measured and more polemical piece by Nick Cohen this week too but he shies away from mentioning fascism:

https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/nick-cohen-tory-leadership-race-british-right-change-1-6154123

(Note: the Labour left doesn't escape scot-free here.)

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subtle 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Perhaps in London and the Home Counties but not elsewhere 

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birdie num num 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

No we’re not.

You perhaps should get out more. Fashion your views from  interaction with ordinary people.

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Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

You seem to be confusing me with someone who says we are on the slippery slope to fascism. What I actually said was "I don't think we are - yet." 

1
Postmanpat 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

  Two members of the chattering elite fear facism because it turns out their views are not the in the majority. Rightyho. Thanks for the insight.

  What do you think would be the UKC reactionif somebody had the temerity to suggest that they might not be looking in the right direction?

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Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat

Classic messenger-smearing. Worthless. And it sounds like you didn't read the Cohen piece - see what he says about Labour before you talk about not looking in the right place. 

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what the hex 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   What do you think would be the UKC reactionif somebody had the temerity to suggest that they might not be looking in the right direction?

How about looking in a Westerly direction, to the US/Mexico border for example, where there are concentration camps especially for children, would that be right wing enough to qualify as fascism in your non chattering, non elite opinion?

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john arran 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

There are so many emerging parallels with early fascist developments that to deny the potential to slide down such a slope would be to have your head firmly in the sand. I don't believe we can yet be said to be sliding but the slope is there, grinning at us with an ever more convincing allure, pretending it's a joyride and hoping we'll fall for it.

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Postmanpat 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

  It’s not about Labour or Conservative and Cohen’s views on the left’s support for fascism are well known.

  Talking of abusing the messenger, what gives the right for pissed off remainers trying to impose their view to shout fascist and xenophobe at anybody else? How do you think that would go down in reverse?

   Boris Johnson is a duplicitous arse but he’s not fxcking Mussolini. Get over it.

Post edited at 22:51
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baron 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Having just read your linked articles I’m not convinced about the slide towards fascism but having just watched Andrew Neil interviewing Hunt and Johnson I can definitely say that we’re well down the slippery slopes of ineptitude and buffoonery.

We’ll be well stuffed before the fascists take over.

1
birdie num num 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I’m rarely confused.

Based on your interpretation of the articles that you attach, the lean of your post was suggestive that we were teetering on the edge of fascism, perhaps. 

That’s ok. 

But I don’t think so. 

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john arran 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

It's not about Brexit or Remain, it's about shutting down media freedom, dictating political suitability for civil service, applying human rights selectively and a whole lot of other indicators. If leading Remainers were accused of such behaviour, substantiated, then I'm pretty sure that most Remainers would be very quick to disown them.

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Pefa 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I have pointed out before that you will get fascism when the capitalists want to use it to defeat countries where you have worker control or moderate socialist policies or in extremis when there is a major emergent socialist power that is perceived as a threat or where there is a strong growth in genuine socialism in any country. 

I won't read Nick Cohen after laughing my way through one of his books on the left many years ago and brexit isn't all together a right wing thing given the way the EU is set up although utter racist wallopers are totally empowered by it enough to treat foreigners like shit throughout Britain. 

Post edited at 23:01
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Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

To clarify, I don't think we are teetering on the edge of fascism, I think there are warning signs that we should be aware of, that's all at the moment. 

1
Postmanpat 12 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

> It's not about Brexit or Remain, it's about shutting down media freedom, dictating political suitability for civil service, applying human rights selectively and a whole lot of other indicators. 

>

  No, it really isn’t.

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Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

How are remainers 'imposing their view'? That's a ridiculous claim - some bloke with a Wordpress blog and some bloke writing in the massively influential New European are imposing their view? Don't make me laugh. And as for it going down in reverse, we've had the dominant media shouting at us for years about how dreadful Europe is. These opinions are a drop in the ocean in comparison. 

1
Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

I see you lean towards the cock-up theory of history - quite understandable.

Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Pefa:

"I won't read Nick Cohen" - I do like to see an open mind. You should try alternative views sometime - it will sharpen your arguments up no end. 

1
john arran 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   No, it really isn’t.

That's your argument?

1
birdie num num 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Can I have a list of the warning signs?

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baron 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> I see you lean towards the cock-up theory of history - quite understandable.

I’m not sure what the cock up theory is but I am continually amazed at the lack of obvious ability displayed by people who think that they are suitable to be prime minister.

Graeme Alderson 12 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

It's on a par with most of his/her arguments.

1
Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

There's a few: this is one that seems to be the basis of the NY Holocaust Memorial poster you'll see a lot of if you do a search:

https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html

Umberto Eco's is often cited:

https://medium.com/posteuropean/umberto-eco-on-the-14-signs-of-fascism-3f3dd368fcf8

Personally I don't think we will see fascism in exactly the same form as it appeared in the inter-war years - the world's changed so much. But many of these characteristics are likely to still be there.

Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

It's not just their ability that bothers me, it's their apparent lack of moral scruples. They don't appear to be able to hold any principle for any length of time. 

In reply to Bob Kemp:

The way Trump tries to shut down and subvert the media, fight the justice system, silence his critics, exalt or destroy anyone he works with, use populism and nationalism to get power, suggest he will stay on longer than the standard term, blatantly lie about literally anything to further his cause, has suggested he should be immune from further FBI investigations etc - yes I am worried about fascism in the west.

Especially when our leaders seem to be studying at the Steve Bannon school of divide and conquer, and pandering to Trump which will only get worse as Brexit comes to a head.  

1
Jon Stewart 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Talking of abusing the messenger, what gives the right for pissed off remainers trying to impose their view to shout fascist and xenophobe at anybody else? How do you think that would go down in reverse?

I can't tell you anything about "rights", but I can tell you that it is entirely reasonable for people who think we should not leave the EU to voice that opinion, and to develop political strategies towards that end. I can also explain that the reason leavers are sometimes accused of racism and xenophobia is that a significant number of people voted leave for these reasons. While it's wrong to call all leave voters racists, it's also wrong to ignore the contribution that small minded racist and xenophobic (but not fascist, as far as I can see) views made to the referendum. It's much better to be honest and acknowledge the world as it is.

>    Boris Johnson is a duplicitous arse but he’s not fxcking Mussolini. Get over it.

Having a PM who has literally no interest at all in the wellbeing of the population and acts at all times purely in his own self-interest, regardless of the wider consequences, is extremely dangerous. Don't underestimate how serious that is. Implementing an explicitly evil ideology would indeed be worse - but that doesn't make Boris any less of a threat, so let's not try to minimise how atrocious a mess we're in (just because you voted for it, many times over). Thank god he'll only be in power a few months at most.

Post edited at 23:31
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birdie num num 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Yes. Sorry, but both of those links were a load of shit.

Honestly, in the real world, away from the Uck keyboard, ordinary people like you and I are far more engaging and moderate of other opinions.

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Bob Kemp 12 Jul 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

Funnily enough, in the real world not everybody just dismisses things as 'a load of shit' without bothering to say why. 

Post edited at 23:51
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birdie num num 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

They’re a load of shit because both items were media based interpretations that don’t honestly represent what you truly think.

And I understand that.

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Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

Are you saying these articles are rubbish simply because they don't represent my thinking? That's not enough reason to dismiss them. And it would still be interesting to know what exactly you don't like about them. 

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Enty 13 Jul 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

>

> Honestly, in the real world, away from the Uck keyboard, ordinary people like you and I are far more engaging and moderate of other opinions.

Go and spend an evening talking to the locals in The Commercial in Haslingden. ;-)

E

MG 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Umberto Eco had a list of 14 indicators of fascism, which isn't easily defined.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_fascism

I'd say the  UK is hitting a few already, and the likes of Farage, Raab and Banks would go much further and they aren't far from power now  The other day Farage was arguing that only brexiteers should be civil servants or in the armed forces. So I'd say we should be concerned, particularly as they now have Boris. 

MG 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

What sort of situation would make you concerned, noting the path Hungary, Turkey and increasingly India and the US are following? 

summo 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

No. 

There is selectetive hatred or dislike. 

Marching season in NI now. Yesterday, today possibly too, folk will be marching singing songs, playing music, chanting etc. Teasing and antagonizing opposing communities. 

If it were any too other religions, cultures etc. The press would be in melt down. 

3
Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

> There are so many emerging parallels with early fascist developments that to deny the potential to slide down such a slope would be to have your head firmly in the sand.

There are also glaring parallels with the thought processes that lead to totalitarian, self-proclaimed socialist/Marxist/Maoist, "for the people", movements which resulted in suffering on par with, or worse, than any fascists imposed. 

I was thinking the other day that the issue doesn't lie with differing opinions (which the left seems dedicated to stamping out). Racists and non racists, capitalists and socialists, can live easily side by side.

The problem lies with the certainty of belief that one viewpoint is so reprehensible that it must, and may rightly, be eliminated.  Border controls for example are necessary . The claim that those who impose them are an existential threat to humanity, representing the thin end of the wedge to fascism, strikes me as being the bigger issue than the proclaimed fascist act. (https://twitter.com/realDailyWire/status/1149791199982686208?s=09)

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Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

> There are so many emerging parallels with early fascist developments that to deny the potential to slide down such a slope would be to have your head firmly in the sand.

There are also glaring parallels with the thought processes that lead to totalitarian, self-proclaimed socialist/Marxist/Maoist, "for the people", movements which resulted in suffering on par with, or worse, than any fascists imposed. 

I was thinking the other day that the issue doesn't lie with differing opinions (which the left seems dedicated to stamping out). Racists and non racists, capitalists and socialists, can live easily side by side.

The problem lies with the certainty of belief that one viewpoint is so reprehensible that it must, and may rightly, be eliminated.  Border controls for example are necessary . The claim that those who impose them are an existential threat to humanity, representing the thin end of the wedge to fascism, strikes me as being the bigger issue than the proclaimed fascist act. (https://twitter.com/realDailyWire/status/1149791199982686208?s=09)

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Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> How are remainers 'imposing their view'? That's a ridiculous claim

They, we, lost the referendum. But essentially behave as if we won it.  But the Brexiteers are the people we point at and scream "fascists".  You do see that there is a small government, anti-state, localisation argument to Brexit? One that makes the case that there are things more important than "economy first", and that over supply in the labour market may be a problem for wages at the bottom end of the scale?

The complete failure by Remainers to even conceive of a pro-Brexit argument that might have validity is THE problem.

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Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Having a PM who has literally no interest at all in the wellbeing of the population and acts at all times purely in his own self-interest, regardless of the wider consequences, is extremely dangerous. 

Can you point to the evidence of this. Its as serious question, as the claim sounds like hyperbole, painting the former mayor of London as potentially up there with Mao.

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Postmanpat 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>I can also explain that the reason leavers are sometimes accused of racism and xenophobia is that a significant number of people voted leave for these reasons.

>

  Yes, and a significant proportion of remainers believe that the message from the referendum is that the franchise should be restricted to  or weighted to a limited proportion of the population and/or that it's abolutely fine that the protections against authoritarianism built into the Constitution over a thousand years of history should be sublimated to undemocratic powers in Brussels. And, of course, that all means, parliamentary or non-parliamentary, should be used to undermine the result of a referendum that they all agreed to abide by. So is it OK to shout "fascism" at remainers in general?

   I actually think that the term "fascist" is so unspecific and so degraded by overuse that its usage is very seldom helpful.

> Having a PM who has literally no interest at all in the wellbeing of the population and acts at all times purely in his own self-interest, regardless of the wider consequences, is extremely dangerous. Don't underestimate how serious that is.>

 It may be dangerous, just as having any incompetent PM is dangerous. But that doesn't make it fascism.

  It's true, because the PM has "powers under the Crown" that there is potential for the UK to suffer at the hands of an overmighty PM but I see little likelihood of the necessary  majority of "proto-fascists" being elected to parliament that he or she could exploit the constitution to impose authoritarian rule. (As an aside, I would regard Trump through a combination of narcissism, carelessness and ignorance, as a much more threatening character than any leading UK politician (some of Corbyn's cronies excluded) but the US constitution was specifically designed to constrict overmighty presidents and seems to be largely working so far).

  

Post edited at 10:00
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Rob Exile Ward 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

It's hard to see the appointment of our PM by a committee of 120,000 self selected wealthy individuals as a sign that liberal democracy and an Open society are thriving.

And I'm still of the view (and will continue to believe it until tested in a ballot) that Brexit is being forced on the majority by a relatively small but shouty and bullying minority led by a couple of totally unprincipled but highly effective demagogues. That feels wrong and dangerous too.

1
MG 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> The complete failure by Remainers to even conceive of a pro-Brexit argument that might have validity is THE problem.

Brexit is only a symptom. Globally there is a move towards authoritarian, populism with an increasingly fascist flavour. 

Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

And the answer is more anti-fascism? What if there isn't actually a rise in fascism and what you are seeing is simply a reaction to a liberalism which says some people deserve more rights than others? And if the anti-fascism is nothing other than a push towards a despotism of the Left?

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wercat 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I definitely think we are on a slippery slope but I don't know which way we are descending - 1202 ?

MG 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I see why you find things confusing  if you think Liberalism is about giving some more rights than  others. That's in fact much closer to fascism. 

Post edited at 11:23
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MonkeyPuzzle 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Yes, and a significant proportion of remainers believe that the message from the referendum is that the franchise should be restricted to  or weighted to a limited proportion of the population

Sorry, I'm not letting that go unchallenged. Do you have a shred of evidence that a "significant proportion" of remainers think that? Any placards or chants from the People's March? Any prominent remainers pushing that argument? I put it to you that you're talking out of your arse.

> and/or that it's abolutely fine that the protections against authoritarianism built into the Constitution over a thousand years of history should be sublimated to undemocratic powers in Brussels.

Yeah, remainers don't agree that the EU is undemocratic. That's your argument, not theirs.

> And of course, that all means, parliamentary or non-parliamentary, should be used to undermine the result of a referendum that they all agreed to abide by.

Who agreed to abide by it? Who agreed to abide by it regardless of the consequences, which is really what you're saying?

> So is it OK to shout "fascism" at remainers in general?

It's OK, but laughable.

>    I actually think that the term "fascist" is so unspecific and so degraded by overuse that its usage is very seldom helpful.

I agree with you on that at least.

>  It may be dangerous, just as having any incompetent PM is dangerous. But that doesn't make it fascism.

>   It's true, because the PM has "powers under the Crown" that there is potential for the UK to suffer at the hands of an overmighty PM but I see little likelihood of the necessary  majority of "proto-fascists" being elected to parliament that he or she could exploit the constitution to impose authoritarian rule. (As an aside, I would regard Trump through a combination of narcissism, carelessness and ignorance, as a much more threatening character than any leading UK politician (some of Corbyn's cronies excluded) but the US constitution was specifically designed to constrict overmighty presidents and seems to be largely working so far).

Again, I mostly agree but the PM-elect hasn't ruled out shutting down parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit, which should concern everyone.

1
elsewhere 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Lock her up, liar press, simple solutions,  ,lies , irrelevance of facts, nationalism, breaking treaties, personality cult, man of the  people blames political elite, cronyism, admiration/jealousy of dictator like Putin.

Certainly some similarities and not just in US.

Post edited at 11:41
Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

The original question was whether we were on the slippery slope to fascism. Not whether there is actually a rise in fascism at the moment. So your what-if is a bit of a distraction from the question. The idea of a despotism of the left is at the moment evidence-free in any case (although I wouldn't trust Corbyn's neo-Stalinist coterie not to want to head off in that direction if they ever got the chance). Anyway, if you want to open a thread to discuss whether or not there's a recognisable push towards a despotism of the Left, by all means do. 

Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Yes, and a significant proportion of remainers believe that the message from the referendum is that the franchise should be restricted to  or weighted to a limited proportion of the population

This is evidence-free nonsense. Boris-bluster. There may be a very few that have suggested that but it's not exactly significant.  

> and/or that it's abolutely fine that the protections against authoritarianism built into the Constitution over a thousand years of history should be sublimated to undemocratic powers in Brussels. And, of course, that all means, parliamentary or non-parliamentary, should be used to undermine the result of a referendum that they all agreed to abide by. So is it OK to shout "fascism" at remainers in general?

Whether or not the Referendum was binding is open to debate. Legally it wasn't. Not a good basis for shouting 'fascist' at people if they simply want the law observed. Anyway, isn't it the Brexiters that want to undermine Parliament at the moment by proroguing it to push through a no-deal Brexit that no-one voted for?

>    I actually think that the term "fascist" is so unspecific and so degraded by overuse that its usage is very seldom helpful.

Fascism may be an overused term, but that doesn't necessarily make fascist features disappear. As I think I've mentioned earlier fascism was a particular historical phenomenon, and the world has changed substantially so we do probably need a new term to describe the new manifestations. 'Populism' isn't adequate, nor 'authoritarianism'. 

>  It may be dangerous, just as having any incompetent PM is dangerous. But that doesn't make it fascism.

It's not just about who's PM though.

Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> They, we, lost the referendum. But essentially behave as if we won it.  But the Brexiteers are the people we point at and scream "fascists". 

Who's doing that? Most Brexiters probably aren't fascistic at all. There is a nasty minority who might lean that way - check the Daily Mail Comments pages for evidence of that - but this looks like a red herring. 

> The complete failure by Remainers to even conceive of a pro-Brexit argument that might have validity is THE problem.

Plenty of us do have an ability to conceive of Brexit arguments with validity. I could put together much better arguments for Brexit than most Brexiters seem capable of. THE problem is that rational Brexit arguments have been overwhelmed by a flood of fantasy 'grass is greener' arguments, myths about the faults of the EU (scarcely ever realistic criticisms, of which there are plenty), and dissembling about exactly which kind of Brexit was ever envisaged. It's been impossible to have proper reasoned discussions.

Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Anyway, if you want to open a thread to discuss whether or not there's a recognisable push towards a despotism of the Left, by all means do. 

Isn't that a bit of a problem? Fascism can only be discussed in the context of a limited realm of the right, while the left's is relegated to another thread? Trump bad, but let's not look at the other side?

While the hippies and lefties screamed and yelled about the fascism of the US war in Vietnam and Laos, a socialist genocide slaughtered a quarter of it's own population in neighbouring Cambodia (and academics and left-wing social commentators declared Pol Pot to be a good thing).

The lessons of history are there to show what happens when you become so preoccupied with the actions of others and wilfully blind to the sins of your own.  And the more you paint doomsday scenarios about the right, the more you give a tacit nod to the extremes of the left.

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Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Here's a thoughtful review piece from historian Mark Mazower:

https://www.ft.com/content/6d57a338-3be9-11e8-bcc8-cebcb81f1f90

The Riley book looks particularly interesting on the contradictions involved in the emergence of fascism based on its mobilisation of organisations in civil society. And the final conclusion, that we should not be complacent but should look at the current crisis of democracy, seems well advised.

Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> THE problem is that rational Brexit arguments have been overwhelmed by a flood of fantasy 'grass is greener' arguments,

Have they? Or is that simply the perception amongst remainers and the way the largely remain-oriented media tends to portray 52% of voters?

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Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

Why should it be relegated? Do you think there's a league table of threads or something? It's just a case of keeping this discussion more or less on-topic. 

>And the more you paint doomsday scenarios about the right, the more you give a tacit nod to the extremes of the left.

That is ridiculous. If you apply that logic, pointing out the faults of Pol Pot as you just did gives a tacit nod to the extremes of the right. 

Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

The 'largely remain-oriented media'? Are you having a laugh?

1
Postmanpat 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> This is evidence-free nonsense. Boris-bluster. There may be a very few that have suggested that but it's not exactly significant.

  Just like they're a very few actual racists and xenophobes then?

  It's a live issue in political/academia circles, highlighted by two books "Against democracy" (Brennan) an "Against elections"  (Van Reybrook) and being actively discussed (usually negatively, but why discuss it if it's not being promoted?) in all sorts of places. Here's Richard Dawkins "Under-age people can’t vote. Whatever our criterion for thinking them unqualified (eg insufficiently developed reasoning powers or knowledge) there must be some adults less qualified than some under-age people. Is age the only practical threshold or could others be devised?"

  Actually it's been a thread topic on UKC and , anecdotally, I've had various people float it to me. It's reflected in the common meme that brexiters are stupid. Il's also an element in the topical promotion of "peoples' assemblies" which basically involve getting a small number of the "stupid" to be educated how to vote by their betters. Even though most remainers would probably accept that even "stupid" people should have a vote, they resent it, and in some cases think that they shouldn't.

  It's kind of ironic that people who regard brexiters as "stupid" are not even aware of a very significant argument coming out of their own camp.

Here are a couple of fairly random links just to give you an idea of what's out there. Runciman has a longer discussion in his book.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/may/01/why-replacing-politicians-with-experts-is-a-reckless-idea

This one demonstrates the long history of such ideas which ironically, in the last century have often been promoted by the left.

https://kenanmalik.com/2016/07/13/democracy-was-never-intended-for-degenerates/

> Whether or not the Referendum was binding is open to debate. Legally it wasn't. Not a good basis for shouting 'fascist' at people if they simply want the law observed. >

  You really don't get it. Absolutely, there is a discussion to be had about weighing a public pronouncement in the H of C against the law that the pronouncements were meant to "supercede".  Shouting "fascist" from either point of view is not helpful but remainers are happy to do so on equally flimsy grounds. It's not about whether one argument is right or wrong, it's about whether it is accurate or constructive to screech "fascist" to support one's point of view.

7
MG 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Talk about kicking up dust clouds.   No one is screaming fascist  (except maybe Pefa) because of views they disagree with, or even just because of brexit. If, looking around the world, you cant see dangerous trends in politics in previously stable Liberal democracies you really are a long way down the rabbit hole. 

Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Why should it be relegated? Do you think there's a league table of threads or something? It's just a case of keeping this discussion more or less on-topic. 

Unless I've misunderstood, you seemed to be saying this wasn't the place to discuss the potential despotism of the Left, that that was a different matter for a different thread.  I'm saying they are one and the same and, if anything, I think the direction of the left (its self-belief in its righteousness, its perpetural victimhood narrative, its dominance in the media and academia) is the bigger threat and more likely to lead to a catastrophic turn in society.  You, and those screaming about Trump, seem intentionally oblivious to that.  You can barely acknowledge the sins of the Left and seem intent on soaking up the hyperbole of the left-leaning press or social media.

> >And the more you paint doomsday scenarios about the right, the more you give a tacit nod to the extremes of the left.

> That is ridiculous. If you apply that logic, pointing out the faults of Pol Pot as you just did gives a tacit nod to the extremes of the right. 

From where I'm standing, people here are claiming the former mayor of London becoming PM is tantamount to the rise of fascism (someone on another thread said they would consider becoming an anarchist if it happened).  Trump deporting migrants likewise.  I tend to believe the people who say some should have more rights than others, that people should be ejected from their employment for holding "incorrect" viewpoints, or who make the claim that speech can be "dangerous" and proponents of "freedom of speech" are actually a threat...that these types of people, the people on the Left, represent a greater threat of instituting over-reaching state power.

The Pol Pot analogy is two-fold.  One, that the Left sleep walked in to supporting extremism (he corrected the evils of the right), and two, that the ends justified the means - our  enemies were so egregious that they had to be crushed, by any means, because of an (overblown) claim against a certain "other" class.  

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Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> The 'largely remain-oriented media'? Are you having a laugh?

No joke.  You may be mistaking the number of media sources with size of the audience.

A larger proportion of the population clearly do follow right-of-centre media.  But the media (TV, press, social-media) is OVERWHELMINGLY Remain, and left-leaning.  

9
Pan Ron 13 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> If, looking around the world, you cant see dangerous trends in politics in previously stable Liberal democracies you really are a long way down the rabbit hole. 

You are of course right.  When a comedian makes an off-colour joke, they get a visit from the police.  When a social-media user says something construed as racist, likewise.  When the majority of the public votes for something to occur, the prevailing view seems to be that it must not happen and that it would not be altogether improper to keep voting until an opposite result was achieved.  An acceptable form of denigration, one sufficient to bring about policy change in an organisation, is to use the term "old", "white" and "man" together.  When you position on a board or your employability isn't judged by the strength of your character but by the colour of your skin (or gender) in order to fulfil quotas.  The list goes on.  These strike me as fundamentally illiberal trends.

7
MonkeyPuzzle 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> . When the majority of the public votes for something to occur, 

Sorry what exactly did they vote for again? And if Brexit-supporting MPs had voted in favour of the withdrawal agreement would we not be out of the EU already? Twaddle.

Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

Where's your evidence that the media are overwhelmingly Remain and/or left-leaning? The dominant print media in this country certainly aren't. The Beeb certainly isn't. ITV seems pretty neutral. Channel 4 is the only TV channel that seems to me to be left/Remain. Social media isn't - if anything social media has undermined any left-liberal tendencies. And much left social media represents Lexit tendencies anyway. 

2
krikoman 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> "I won't read Nick Cohen" - I do like to see an open mind. You should try alternative views sometime - it will sharpen your arguments up no end. 


To be fair though Nick Cohen is a cnut, of the highest order, you pretty much know what you're going to get from word one, on most subjects, if it mentions Labour then I could probably write it for you and it would be roughly the same.

I do read him now and again, if only to confirm my expectations, it's like reading any article about JC in The Times, predictable.

Eric9Points 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Can someone tell me who has been suggesting that democracy in the UK should be limited in any way? I seem to have missed that.

John Bolton and Steve Bannon could be described as fascists in some respects but I don't see Farage or anyone else in mainstream UK politics as even being in the same league as those Premier League arseholes.

2
MG 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I'm starting to think you are a bot. You post essentially identical responses regardless of what you are replying to. 

1
Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Unless I've misunderstood, you seemed to be saying this wasn't the place to discuss the potential despotism of the Left, that that was a different matter for a different thread.  I'm saying they are one and the same

If you can't tell the difference there's no point in discussing this with you. The despotism of parts of the far left is a legitimate subject for discussion, but it is not qualitatively the same as that of the extreme right, even if some of the outcomes are similar. So start your own thread.

>and, if anything, I think the direction of the left (its self-belief in its righteousness, its perpetural victimhood narrative, its dominance in the media and academia)

If we leave out academia this applies very well to the far right and to many leading Brexiters.

>is the bigger threat and more likely to lead to a catastrophic turn in society.  You, and those screaming about Trump, seem intentionally oblivious to that.  You can barely acknowledge the sins of the Left and seem intent on soaking up the hyperbole of the left-leaning press or social media.

How is it the bigger threat? Where are the imminent left-wing coups? Where are the revolutions bubbling under? This is fantasy.

> From where I'm standing, people here are claiming the former mayor of London becoming PM is tantamount to the rise of fascism (someone on another thread said they would consider becoming an anarchist if it happened).  Trump deporting migrants likewise.  I tend to believe the people who say some should have more rights than others, that people should be ejected from their employment for holding "incorrect" viewpoints, or who make the claim that speech can be "dangerous" and proponents of "freedom of speech" are actually a threat...that these types of people, the people on the Left, represent a greater threat of instituting over-reaching state power.

It's all about belief for you isn't it? Faith and ideology. I think that people who over-egg the threat of fascism are a little paranoid. You're exhibiting the same tendency in the other direction in these arguments. Where is the evidence that this is likely to happen in the near future? The clearest threat at the moment is from elements of the right-wing.

> The Pol Pot analogy is two-fold.  One, that the Left sleep walked in to supporting extremism (he corrected the evils of the right), and two, that the ends justified the means - our  enemies were so egregious that they had to be crushed, by any means, because of an (overblown) claim against a certain "other" class.  

I've mentioned before that 'the Left' is too big a generalisation. Try 'parts of the Left'. It makes your case look a little more reasonable.

1
Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Are you sure? Farage just called for a Brexit loyalty test in the Civil Service and armed forces. And fascism and its variants isn't simply about limits on democracy. 

Apart from that, the Farage-Johnson-Bannon connection is real and hard to ignore. Maybe Farage isn't in the same league, but he's in league with them!

Postmanpat 13 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

Worst of all I can't even enjoy the slow motion destruction of the Conservative party, they've ruined even that sweet delight by ensuring the fascist-populist parasite which rotted them from within will emerge stinking and well fed from the ruins, a viable threat to all of us.

(Not pefa)

Have you heard it on the news
About this fascist groove thang
Evil men with racist views
Spreading all across the land
Don't just sit there on your ass
Unlock that funky chaindance
Brothers, sisters shoot your best
We don't need this fascist groove thang
Brothers, sisters, we don't need this fascist groove thang

(not pefa)

He is not the cuddly man with a pint. He has hoodwinked many, possibly including you*, but he is a extreme right wing, white supremacist supporter, I think the shorthand for this is Nazi.

(not pefa)

"Farage’s claims include that Soros wants to fundamentally reshape Europe’s racial makeup and to end the continent’s Christian culture. He also praised Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, for having the “courage to stand up against him”." 

(you know who...)

(written in support for the comment immediately above)

"Farage said Soros sought “to undermine democracy and to fundamentally change the makeup, demographically, of the whole European continent”. The latter claim directly echoes conspiracy theories against Soros made by far-right groups such as Generation Identity.

ditto

1
Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

Cohen makes a number of cogent and evidence-based criticisms of the Labour left and other elements of the left. Try addressing them not just dismissing him as a 'cnut' - it would sharpen your arguments up, stop you coming over like a latter-day Dave Spart.

( https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2018-11-13/dave-spart-our-times )

MG 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

You seem to have missed ".. because of. views they disagree with" bit. 

krikoman 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Cohen makes a number of cogent and evidence-based criticisms of the Labour left and other elements of the left. Try addressing them not just dismissing him as a 'cnut' - it would sharpen your arguments up, stop you coming over like a latter-day Dave Spart.


I'm not really bothered about sharpening my arguments up, from what I've read of his work, he's hardly likely to have changes his arguments much, for me Cohen has an agenda, and he doesn't really veer away from it that much.

"simultaneously cursed with an illiberal government and opposition, escapes 
this time."

Illiberal opposition, isn't this the exact opposite of what Labour is being accused of, being too liberal?

Once again, Cohen seem to get in the "far left" when talking about Labour, it's only "far" because it's gone so far right, it's almost indistinguishable from the Tories, for a lot of people. Labour policies are no more extreme than they were 30 years ago, when they were simply "the left".

Post edited at 14:57
Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

There's no substitute for reasoned argument and evidence. Just holding an entrenched position without reason doesn't win arguments. 

Yanis Nayu 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

That is pure shite. 

Postmanpat 13 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> You seem to have missed ".. because of. views they disagree with" bit. 


True, I overlooked  it . But actually when you call Farage a nazi  or make up pathetic rhymes about fascism about "thes brexit thingy" you are really just screeching fascist at somebody who's views you disagree with (more than a bit, but let's not quibble).

5
MonkeyPuzzle 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Sorry, can't work out if you're still arguing that withdrawal of the vote or weighting those of certain people is as commonly held a belief amongst remain supporters as xenophobia is amongst leave supporters. Are you?

Post edited at 15:11
krikoman 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> There's no substitute for reasoned argument and evidence. Just holding an entrenched position without reason doesn't win arguments. 


Are you suggesting Cohen's view of current Labour being "far left" isn't entrenched?

It's also full of stuff we already know, and which has been true for years if not for ever, "Party democracy has now become the enemy of representative democracy. The views of the privileged members stand above the views of the electorate."

FFS!

Post edited at 15:06
elsewhere 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

Perpetual victimhood -  a state you ascribe to the Right in every post.

> The Pol Pot analogy is two-fold.  One, that the Left sleep walked in to supporting extremism (he corrected the evils of the right), 

I don't remember that.  I do remember the Thatcher government supported the Khmer Rouge against the communist Vietnamese invasion that terminated the Pol Pot led Khmer Rouge genocide. Personally I thought even communist invasion is better than genocide that kills a quarter of the population in 3 years. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian%E2%80%93Vietnamese_War

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/politics/2014/04/how-thatcher-gave-pol-pot-hand

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/jan/09/cambodia

Postmanpat 13 Jul 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Sorry, can't work out if you're still arguing that withdrawal of the vote or weighting those of certain people is as commonly held belief amongst remain supporters as xenophobia is amongst leave supporters. Are you?


It's a small minority position in both (with others who kind of feel an affinity with the view but would not actively support it) so to tar the rest with the same brush is wrong.

Post edited at 15:13
Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

I'm not suggesting his position isn't entrenched. But it does have a basis in argument and evidence, even if you don't agree with him. So take on his arguments, don't just dismiss him. 

MonkeyPuzzle 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

So that's a yes?

Mark Bannan 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Talking of abusing the messenger, what gives the right for pissed off remainers trying to impose their view to shout fascist and xenophobe at anybody else? How do you think that would go down in reverse?

As a remainer, I would not be bothered at all if a brexiteer called me communist and pro-immigrant!

2
Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

It's interesting how you and Pan Ron say so often that people you disagree with are always 'screeching' or 'screaming'.

Postmanpat 13 Jul 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> So that's a yes?

  Are you asking me if you think the proportions are the same? I've not done a survey, have you?

Postmanpat 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Mark Bannan:

> As a remainer, I would not be bothered at all if a brexiteer called me communist and pro-immigrant!


How about "fascist" or even "xenophobe"?

1
jethro kiernan 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Isn't that a bit of a problem? Fascism can only be discussed in the context of a limited realm of the right, while the left's is relegated to another thread? Trump bad, but let's not look at the other side?

>

> The lessons of history are there to show what happens when you become so preoccupied with the actions of others and wilfully blind to the sins of your own.  And the more you paint doomsday scenarios about the right, the more you give a tacit nod to the extremes of the left.

Your not really reading history very well, left wing dictatorships have tended to emerge in  poor agrarian based countries with no democratic structures after an extended period of war, Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia 

fascist dictatorships tend to emerge in more established industrial/developed countries with democratic structures usually at a period of downturn/recession  and is a usually a subversion of the established democratic process by populist parties or politicians see  Italy, Germany, Chilli 

Your false left right equivalencies are rubbish, we are in no danger of a cultural revolution in Europe or USA however we should be keeping an eye out for populism leading to fascism though.

2
krikoman 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> I'm not suggesting his position isn't entrenched. But it does have a basis in argument and evidence, even if you don't agree with him. So take on his arguments, don't just dismiss him. 


The trouble is, why? It pretty obvious to most readers who have read more than one article by him, and they've been argued to death, any number of times. Just because he writes it more than once doesn't mean it's true.

"the views of it's privileged members", how are Labour's members privileged? Some of them might be, but there are many, many grass-root members, who joined to support Corbyn, because he was seen as someone who, might put them first, and who might listen, and who have sweet FA. It's cheap and pithy "journalism" and it shouldn't need me to point out the holes in it, it's not that hard.

MG 13 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

> "the views of it's privileged members", how are Labour's members privileged"

I'd assume he meant privileged in the sense of able to dictate policy regardless of the interests of those who vote (or voted) Labour 

Bob Kemp 13 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

If you want to dismiss people as 'cnuts' you do need to back that up in some way. As it is, I can only assume that your problem with him is that he doesn't like the people you like, and that's all. 

1
Pefa 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

> It's a small minority position in both (with others who kind of feel an affinity with the view but would not actively support it) so to tar the rest with the same brush is wrong.

How do you know the quantity that voted leave because of xenophobia? Would any admit it?

Post edited at 20:47
1
Pefa 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

Pan Ron this left that could lead to a communist dictatorship of the proletariat in Western counties where is it and who is it? I've asked you before but you didn't reply, maybe you could because until you do to me you are fighting windmills. 

1
Pefa 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

> worst of all I can't even..... 

> (not Pefa) 

What is all that please?

I might have called Farage a fascist 4 years ago but I haven't since then and certainly don't think he is one although he is poisonous and the far right love him. 

Jon Stewart 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Yes, and a significant proportion of remainers believe that the message from the referendum is that the franchise should be restricted to  or weighted to a limited proportion of the population and/or that it's abolutely fine that the protections against authoritarianism built into the Constitution over a thousand years of history should be sublimated to undemocratic powers in Brussels. And, of course, that all means, parliamentary or non-parliamentary, should be used to undermine the result of a referendum that they all agreed to abide by. So is it OK to shout "fascism" at remainers in general?

Sorry, I just think this is a load of garbage. I don't believe that "a significant proportion of remainers believe that...that the franchise should be restricted", since the comments I've heard amount to  tongue-in-cheek stuff about old people f*cking up the world for the people who actually have to live in it. Which has more than a grain of truth to it, but I haven't witnessed any sincerely fought threat to the usual rules of democracy (note, please, that the usual rules of democracy aren't holding referendums to decide policy, that's extraordinary, and as we've seen, impractical, because it can conflict with the usual representative system and result in a massive pig's breakfast...those who think that the one-off direct democracy somehow overrides the representative are talking out of their arses, unless you'd like to try to justify this?).

And as I've said, I think it's daft to shout "fascist" at anyone (well, except fascists), so you're talking to yourself here. It would be more constructive if you could respond to my comments, rather than ones you've made up.

>  It may be dangerous, just as having any incompetent PM is dangerous. But that doesn't make it fascism.

Err, no it doesn't. I thought I was clear about there being no accusation of fascism from me.

>   It's true, because the PM has "powers under the Crown" that there is potential for the UK to suffer at the hands of an overmighty PM but I see little likelihood of the necessary  majority of "proto-fascists" being elected to parliament that he or she could exploit the constitution to impose authoritarian rule.

My objection to Boris is more practical. I don't want to live in shithole, under bad policies, run by a self-serving moron. That would be shit. And it's what I'm going to get, thanks to the conservative party. So I'm not grateful for your contribution of voting for the tories and brexit - you've f*cked up. (And "what about Jeremy Corbyn" is not a counter-argument. You were not offered a binary choice of this disaster, or a Corbyn disaster. We could be going for reverse Brexit and a Rory Stewart PM, for one example of many.)

Post edited at 21:39
MG 13 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

What do you make of this? Fantasy?

https://twitter.com/Gabriel_Pogrund/status/1150132173166534656?s=19

Post edited at 21:38
Jon Stewart 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Can you point to the evidence of this.

Haha, yes of course I can. Have you heard of Brexit?

This, which I've posted before at least once, explains his role:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a6HNXtdvVQ

This isn't something you can gloss over. He's f*cked up the UK in an entirely cynical  manoeuvre for power. Acknowledge the world as it - what's the point of lying or pretending it's not happening? Or are you so gullible you actually believe that Boris thought, and still thinks, that Brexit would benefit the people of the UK? I find that a ridiculous position and that you might believe it leaves me wondering whether to laugh or cry.

Postmanpat 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Sorry, I just think this is a load of garbage. I don't believe that "a significant proportion of remainers believe that...that the franchise should be restricted", since the comments I've heard amount to  tongue-in-cheek stuff about old people f*cking up the world for the people who actually have to live in it.

>

   Are you of the opinion that the comments you've heard about it are the sole judge of whether it is significant? See my reply above. People like Dawkins et al promoting the idea and plenty of people agreeing that the uneducated are "too stupid to vote". The latter may, of course, just be frustrated rhetoric but then again so is most so called "xenophobia".

In a sense it's not germane to the point  whether people who object to such rhetoric, or for that matter the pretty incontrovertible argument that if you create a centralised federal Europe (the current way of choosing a PM may be bloody stupid but it looks pretty damn good compared to how they choose Junker's replacement) you undermine the UK protections against authoritarianism, are actually right. They tend not to crap on about "fascism". Funnily enough  one who does use the term to describe the EU is our old friend Varoufakis. Funny old world.

  Talking about "responding to comments". In a thread arguing that brexit is part of a trend towards fascism and on a website (UKC) on which it is a run of the mill cliche that brexit and brexiteers are fascist and xenophobic I'm not quite sure why you think a response to that isn't relevant.

Post edited at 22:57
5
Jon Stewart 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>    Are you of the opinion that the comments you've heard about it are the sole judge of whether it is significant? See my reply above. People like Dawkins et al promoting the idea and plenty of people agreeing that the uneducated are "too stupid to vote". The latter may, of course, just be frustrated rhetoric but then again so is most so called "xenophobia".

I'm talking about the facts of the world:

1. Some remainers make remarks about people being "too stupid to vote" or votes being weighted according to what you actually have to live with, i.e. by age. These comments do not represent a genuine threat to the democratic system. There is no mechanism by which they can be implemented and the people making them know this - as such they are tongue-in-cheek.

2. Some proportion, most likely more than the 2% needed to swing the result, of the leave vote was motivated by small-minded racism and xenophobia coupled with a lack of understanding of what the impact of the vote would be, e.g. people thinking that voting to leave would reduce Muslim immigration. This doesn't mirror the "too stupid to vote" view on the remain side, because the people who were too stupid to vote had a deciding influence on the result.

I'm only asking you to accept the reality. The equivalence you draw is false.

>   Talking about "responding to comments". In a thread arguing that brexit is part of a trend towards fascism and on a website (UKC) on which it is a run of the mill cliche that brexit and brexiteers are fascist and xenophobic I'm not quite sure why you think a response to that isn't relevant.

Because I made clear I don't think leavers (except some far-right racists) show any fascistic tendencies, and you ignored that.

Post edited at 23:14
Gordon Stainforth 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

> In a sense it's not germane to the point  whether people who object to such rhetoric, or for that matter the pretty incontrovertible argument that if you create a centralised federal Europe (the current way of choosing a PM may be bloody stupid but it looks pretty damn good compared to how they choose Junker's replacement) you undermine the UK protections against authoritarianism, are actually right.

Wow, Nick, I'm glad you're having a good evening and drinking something rather special. Because that is one of the most grammatically convoluted sentences (66 words) that I've seen for quite a while. It just about defies grammatical analysis. I tried for quite a while and eventually decided the subject of the sentence must be 'it' in 'it's not germane' etc, but even that didn't work, so I gave up. Net result: your message, whatever it is, doesn't come across.

I mean, once you get your head round the incredible subordinate clause constructed round 'whether ... or' and battle your way past the even more fantastic 25-word parenthesis, you then crash with 'are actually right'. It's a bit like taking a rather nasty ground fall.

Post edited at 23:40
6
Timmd 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I read something the disabled often being the first to suffer when fascism begins to appear, which has me looking afresh at austerity.

It could be down to a lack of representation in government of disabled people, which means they've born the brunt of austerity, in there being not enough informed life experience among the decision makers to make the right kind of decisions so that they don't, but either way, we need to protect all the parts which make up a democracy, and it can't continue - disability could happen to us all in some form.

Post edited at 23:40
aln 14 Jul 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

> Yes. Sorry, but both of those links were a load of shit.

> Honestly, in the real world, away from the Uck keyboard, ordinary people like you and I are far more engaging

When you post away from your comedy persona.... Honestly, don't bother, you sound like a dick.... 

3
FactorXXX 14 Jul 2019
In reply to aln:

> When you post away from your comedy persona.... Honestly, don't bother, you sound like a dick.... 

Interesting.
You criticise Stroppygob for being a nasty piece of work on another thread, but seem quite happy to resort to petty insults against someone who has different opinions to yourself.
Pot kettle black?

2
Mark Bannan 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

> How about "fascist" or even "xenophobe"?

Why would a brexiteer use such terms to describe a remainer?

RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> How do you know the quantity that voted leave because of xenophobia? Would any admit it?

If we define xenophobia as dislike of foreigners, then I don’t see how on earth it is possible for anybody with half a brain to vote for Brexit without disliking foreigners, or at the very least, considering then less worthy of consideration than natives.

6
RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to what the hex:

Westerly ? I’d say look over here, this is a country where we throw people in jail without trial for made up reasons, and nobody is punished for it, in fact barely anybody blinks an eye.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/09/mps-to-question-home-office-officials-over-english-tests-scandal?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Post edited at 08:27
1
birdie num num 14 Jul 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Interesting.

> You criticise Stroppygob for being a nasty piece of work on another thread, but seem quite happy to resort to petty insults against someone who has different opinions to yourself.

He just kind of illustrates the point really.

He rather comes across as a keyboard pipsqueak.

In the real world, that aggressive posturing would run away and hide.

2
baron 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Westerly ? I’d say look over here, this is a country where we throw people in jail without trial for made up reasons, and nobody is punished for it, in fact barely anybody blinks an eye.

Your linked article doesn’t support your statement that people are being sent to jail without trial.

2
RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Your linked article doesn’t support your statement that people are being sent to jail without trial.

It does. Just read it. That’s not new either and well known. That’s the point of « administrative detention », you don’t get a trial. In many cases you don’t get a right of appeal either, as is the case in most of the examples provided.

Migrants can be held without trial indefinitely in the UK. That’s the legal reality. I think that “fascist” is a pretty good description of this attitude.

Post edited at 08:58
4
baron 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

You are confusing detention with jail or prison as it’s usually called in the UK.

We can debate the unfairness of detention and deportation without appeal but it isn’t the same as being imprisoned without trial.

3
RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> You are confusing detention with jail or prison as it’s usually called in the UK.

> We can debate the unfairness of detention and deportation without appeal but it isn’t the same as being imprisoned without trial.

I am not confusing anything, if you lock people up then they are being imprisoned. You can call it a different word if you like, but it is exactly the same thing, you are depriving someone of their freedom.

The fact that you think that locking up a migrant without trial is somehow not the same as locking up a citizen without trial shows exactly the kind of attitude some would describe as “fascist”

Post edited at 09:05
3
baron 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Where did I say that it’s OK to lock up migrants without a trial but not UK citizens?

You do understand that migrants are detained to stop them absconding in the same way that people are remanded without bail for the same reason.

As I’ve already stated, we can discuss whether or not these processes are fair or not.

However, nobody is being sent to jail without a trial which was your original assertion.

Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I am not confusing anything, if you lock people up then they are being imprisoned. You can call it a different word if you like, but it is exactly the same thing, you are depriving someone of their freedom.

> The fact that you think that locking up a migrant without trial is somehow not the same as locking up a citizen without trial shows exactly the kind of attitude some would describe as “fascist”

Tens of thousands of UK citizens are currently locked up without trial. It's called being on remand and it's a normal part of the judicial process.

1
RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Tens of thousands of UK citizens are currently locked up without trial. It's called being on remand and it's a normal part of the judicial process.

Yes, this is part of the judicial process, and there is a time limit, lots of restrictions, right of appeal etc etc. In the UK even a terror suspect can not be detained for more than 14 days without charge.

Administrative detention is indefinite. It’s not part of a judicial process, it’s an administrative process. That’s why you end up with people being detained for 11 month without trial after absurd accusation of cheating at some English test.  In many cases people have been locked up for several years, purely for administrative mistakes.

Post edited at 09:26
2
RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Where did I say that it’s OK to lock up migrants without a trial but not UK citizens?

> You do understand that migrants are detained to stop them absconding in the same way that people are remanded without bail for the same reason.

There are a lot of restriction to remand without bail. Not the least time limits, and judicial safeguard and appeals.

in the case of admistrative dentention, you may well have no time limit, not right of judicial appeal, and in fact, this is completely outside of the justice system.

> However, nobody is being sent to jail without a trial which was your original assertion.

Yes, they are. Plenty of example in the article in posted.

Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Yes, this is part of the judicial process, and there is a time limit. In the UK even a terror suspect can not be detained for more than 14 days without charge.

You didn't say without charge, you said without trial and that limit is 182 days which can be extended on application.

RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> You didn't say without charge, you said without trial and that limit is 182 days which can be extended on application.

Fine. That’s still a limit, but more importantly, it can’t be done without going through the justice system.

however, in the case of immigration detention there is no time limit, no judicial oversight.

this is what the house of lord review said :

“Our inquiry identified a weak administrative process and a serious lack of judicial oversight of the decision to detain. Decisions to hold an individual in immigration detention are taken by Home Office officials and not by a Judge or court, and immigration detention is overseen by the Immigration Enforcement directorate in the Home Office. In this process, there is no thorough pre-detention screening of individuals and other than in asylum interviews there is no face to face contact between immigration decision-makers and the detainee. As a result, in the immigration system, people can be deprived of their liberty through an entirely paper-based exercise by officials where no one involved in the decision ever interviews the potential detainee. Moreover, there is no requirement in UK law for those decisions to be subject to judicial oversight within a certain period after a detention order is made. This has to change. In the UK, there is no limit on the length of time for which someone can be held in immigration detention.”

Post edited at 09:36
baron 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

I read your article.

Several of the migrants were still living, undetained, in the UK years after being initially detained.

Hardly the mark of a fascist  state.

People are kept in detention for long periods because they are fighting against deportation.

MPs have suggested not detaining migrants for longer than 28 days and this would certainly speed up the process and seems reasonable. Can a person assemble a case against deportation and have said case heard by a court within 28 days? Or will migrants who would previously have been able to remain, albeit in detention, while fighting lengthy legal cases, simply be deported after the 28 days expires?

We could, of course, not detain any migrants who are suspected of being in the UK illegally and just trust them to attend future immigration hearings.

I’m sure that would work.

3
Postmanpat 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Wow, Nick, I'm glad you're having a good evening and drinking something rather special. Because that is one of the most grammatically convoluted sentences (66 words) that I've seen for quite a while. It just about defies grammatical analysis. I tried for quite a while and eventually decided the subject of the sentence must be 'it' in 'it's not germane' etc, It's a bit like taking a rather nasty ground fall.

>

  Bloody impressive after a bottle of wine I thought. And,of course, you bounce better after a few drinks😀

RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> I read your article.

> Several of the migrants were still living, undetained, in the UK years after being initially detained.

> Hardly the mark of a fascist  state.

I see, a few of them were not being detained so that makes it ok that others were.

Are you for real ?

> We could, of course, not detain any migrants who are suspected of being in the UK illegally and just trust them to attend future immigration hearings.

Have you ever heard of presumption of innocence ? You think that somehow it shouldn’t apply to foreigners

Post edited at 09:43
1
baron 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

You originally stated that people were being sent to jail without trial.

It now seems that you actually meant being detained while awaiting deportation.

People are kept detained for often lengthy periods of time because they do not want to be deported and the legal process that they become involved in can be a drawn out one. The detention can end at any time if the person accepts  their deportation.

As I said previously we can argue whe this is a fair process but it definitely isn’t being locked  up indefinitely. Unless I’ve missed a case and some poor, unfortunate soul is still in detention many years after having been detained.

Nobody is being arrested and locked up indefinitely without trial and for no reason as you initially stated.

Post edited at 09:53
4
baron 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Innocent  until proven guilty doesn’t me you can’t be detained.

You keep stating that I think the law should only apply to foreigners.

Given that we are discussing immigration law then, in this particular case, that’s probably true.

Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Fine. That’s still a limit, but more importantly, it can’t be done without going through the justice system.

> however, in the case of immigration detention there is no time limit, no judicial oversight.

Latest figures show 1784 people held in detention, 30% down on a year ago, lowest level since records began. These figures hardly support your contention that the UK is an increasingly fascistic state.

70% of detainees were held for less than 29 days. 4% were held for longer than 6 months; usually because they were foreign national offenders or had subsequently claimed asylum, ie. that 4% were fighting tooth and claw to stay in the country. People normally seek to flee fascist states that are oppressing them.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-december-2018/how-many-people-are-detained-or-returned

1
Postmanpat 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

  Rereading Cohen's article it's really very lightweight. Most of it is just a load of rhetoric about the brexit leadership being lying bastards etc. The meat of his point is probably "Yet instead of being reshaped by reality, the right is reshaping the realities of British life. It has taken the Brexit vote of 2016 as licence to attack parliamentary sovereignty, and the independence of the judiciary, civil service and diplomatic corps." but he makes no attempt to flesh this out.

The obvious rejoinder is that those institutions have been a  closed echo chamber of groupthink for too long and that criticising that groupthink and is absolutely legitimate very healthy for democracy. Paul Tucker, the former deputy governor of the BOE, has written what sounds like a very interesting book (I listened to his podcast) called "Unelected Power". He argues (from a position of knowledge) that the growth in power of central banks, regulators, the judiciary, and quangoes is a threat to democracy. He lays out the principles needed to ensure that central bankers, technocrats, regulators, and other agents of the administrative state remain stewards of the common good and do not become overmighty citizens. 

  Cohen's  only factual argument is that the electoral systems of the two parties leave the country at the mercy of a few hundred thousand activists. This is a fair criticism but he fails to note that until quite recently the choice of party leaders (and thus in some cases PM) was made either by "men in suits in smoke filled rooms" or by an unholy group of party members and left wing power blocks. I don't see that the current system is any worse than that.

Post edited at 11:12
1
RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Innocent  until proven guilty doesn’t me you can’t be detained.

It means you shouldn't be detained without time limit, without being charged,.

> You keep stating that I think the law should only apply to foreigners.

No, I keep stating that you think it's ok for people to be put and kept in jail for long periods of time on the whim of a bureaucrat.

baron 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It means you shouldn't be detained without time limit, without being charged,.

> No, I keep stating that you think it's ok for people to be put and kept in jail for long periods of time on the whim of a bureaucrat.

That’s not what I said said nor what you said.

RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Latest figures show 1784 people held in detention, 30% down on a year ago, lowest level since records began. These figures hardly support your contention that the UK is an increasingly fascistic state.

> 70% of detainees were held for less than 29 days. 4% were held for longer than 6 months; usually because they were foreign national offenders or had subsequently claimed asylum, ie. that 4% were fighting tooth and claw to stay in the country. People normally seek to flee fascist states that are oppressing them.

That does not make it OK, or even remotely acceptable, to put law abiding people in detention for long period of time under a false accusation, at the whim of a bureaucrat.

The simple fact that many people, including yourself,  find this remotely acceptable, is one of the reason , among others, why I think the country is increasingly fascist. If I look at the way many people of the Windrush generation, for example, have been treated, this can be only be described as systematic persecution.

Post edited at 11:16
3
Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> That does not make it OK, or even remotely acceptable, to put law abiding people in detention for long period of time under a false accusation, at the whim of a bureaucrat.

I'd agree.

> The simple fact that many people, including yourself,  find this remotely acceptable, is one of the reason , among others, why I think the country is increasingly fascist. If I look at the way many people of the Windrush generation, for example, have been treated, this can be only be described as systematic persecution.

I don't find it acceptable, never said I did. Just because I disagree with you doesn't make me a fascist or even a fascist apologist.

RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> That’s not what I said said nor what you said.

Whatever, my point simply is, depriving people of their freedom, for indefinite periods of time, without a right to a fair trial or judicial review, is an example of behaviour one could reasonable call fascist, in my opinion.

What worries me is not simply the fact that this happen, but the fact that many people find it justifiable, or excusable, or are just happy to ignore it.

Post edited at 11:28
3
RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'd agree.

> I don't find it acceptable, never said I did. 

If you don't find it acceptable, then you agree with me.

Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> If you don't find it acceptable, then you agree with me.

I don't find it acceptable but I don't see it as evidence of a slide into fascism either. It's evidence of inept bureaucracy, inane immigration policy and a historic inability to enforce immigration laws. If we'd enforced the freedom of movement laws to the same degree as most other EU countries, I doubt very much that we'd be having this conversation or that the UK would have voted for Brexit.

RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I don't find it acceptable but I don't see it as evidence of a slide into fascism either. It's evidence of inept bureaucracy, inane immigration policy and a historic inability to enforce immigration laws.

The problem is not "inept bureaucracy", it is the fact that we gave this inept bureaucracy the right to be judge, jury, and executioner. That did not happen by chance, it was a choice, and the simple fact is, despite the Windrush scandal, there has been absolutely no real change in policy. In many ways it has gotten worse . That, also, is a deliberate choice by politicians of this country.

And my opinion is that the kind of persecutions foreigners - and sometimes of British citizens who happen to look a bit too foreign - have been subject to are indeed quite reminiscent of what fascist regimes have done. 

Post edited at 11:46
Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The problem is not "inept bureaucracy", it is the fact that we gave this inept bureaucracy the right to be judge, jury, and executioner. That did not happen by chance, it was a choice, and the simple fact is, despite the Windrush scandal, there has been absolutely no real change in policy. In many ways it has gotten worse . That, also, is a deliberate choice by politicians of this country.

In what ways has it got worse then? Or is this just more hyperbole?

RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> In what ways has it got worse then? Or is this just more hyperbole?


I am worried by the direction policy is taking, which seems to be clearly to break the link between residence and settlement - making essentially foreigners in the UK a subclass, with less and less right, purely an economic ressource we can throw away when we don't need it. We are going towards some sort of state of apartheid without realising.

We see the same forces at play in the United States, for example, but they have more robust constitutional and judicial protections, although they clearly are under pressure.

Post edited at 12:04
Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I am worried by the direction policy is taking, which seems to be clearly to break the link between residence and settlement - making essentially foreigners in the UK a subclass, with less and less right, purely an economic ressource we can throw away when we don't need it. We are going towards some sort of state of apartheid without realising.

I note that you provide no actual examples of harsher policies. Looking at recent changes show some significant easing of strictures place on potential immigrants seeking to settle in the UK:

It will be possible to apply under the scheme from outside the UK.

Non-EEA citizens will be able to apply for an “EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit” to join or accompany an EEA citizen who was been granted leave under the settlement scheme.

Applications made under Appendix EU will be free of charge from 30 March 2019.

Citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and their family members, will be able to apply under the Settlement Scheme.

It will be possible to submit national ID cards as identity documents for EEA nationals, and biometric residence cards for non-EEA family members

Administrative reviews can now be made from outside the UK.

these are all changes made in March of this year. What changes do you evidence as...making essentially foreigners in the UK a subclass, with less and less right, purely an economic ressource we can throw away when we don't need it. We are going towards some sort of state of apartheid without realising. ?

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=43742232-05b5-4311-af0d-042cab79f6d4

Pefa 14 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> What do you make of this? Fantasy?

" Siezed" 

" Spied on" 

" Disappeared"  

Lol this is the level the anti-Corbyn media have now stooped to, using terms associated with fascism. 

And you believe all that nonsense with specifically chosen words to create that impression? This is for people who know nothing of politics, politically infantile people not bright people. Where is this Dexter proof of any of the ridiculous comments he makes? A real whistle-blower shows proof. 

We would see stuff they said only got lenient punishment but when the media reported it then it was treated differently. (I'm paraphrasing this Dexter character) 

So what? The media are calling people in the Labour Party anti-semitic for nothing other than criticising Israel crimes or stating the truth. It is an obvious conspiracy. 

Post edited at 12:59
Bob Kemp 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Cohen's piece would certainly be stronger for more factual evidence. As I said when I posted it, it's a polemic, and quite an angry one. I used it because it looked like a useful starting point for debate. 

>Cohen's  only factual argument is that the electoral systems of the two parties leave the country at the mercy of a few hundred thousand activists.

And the bit after is a reference to fact, but he leaves it for the reader to do the fleshing out. I suppose that's because he thinks he's already preaching to the converted but it could have been useful to add some factual detail at that point. Maybe he was working to a word limit?

I don't think your rather sweeping statement about 'closed echo chambers' is particularly useful. (Oh, and you're following Cohen in using rhetoric without factual evidence here too! )The Civil Service and the Diplomatic Service are professional bodies whose practice requires that some of their work is closed to the wider population. And conflating them with the bodies referred to by Tucker doesn't hold up either. 

The previous systems worked on the basis that MPs chose their leaders. If you support representative democracy that makes sense, although I know there has been much jiggery-pokery involved in these processes. Are you saying you're against the principle of representative democracy? 

As to the wider argument in this thread, I don't think the new systems of leader choice in Labour and Conservative parties are evidence of a slide to fascism but they do present problems. 

Pefa 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> As to the wider argument in this thread, I don't think the new systems of leader choice in Labour and Conservative parties are evidence of a slide to fascism but they do present problems.

What leader choice do you mean? 

Timmd 14 Jul 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

> He just kind of illustrates the point really.

> He rather comes across as a keyboard pipsqueak.

> In the real world, that aggressive posturing would run away and hide.

It doesn't add anything to the quality of an online debate, though, for people to have personal digs at other posters. Unless somebody is being particularly unpleasant and it being called out stops it continuing, it's generally just something which detracts, and takes up space before the thread is automatically shut after it reaching a certain size.

Post edited at 13:22
Trevers 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Although some posters understandably won't like to admit it, asking whether we're heading towards fascism is a question that needs to be asked. The comparisons with Weimar Germany are not precise nor so extreme, but they are certainly there.

It is beyond doubt that Brexit is eroding democratic principles at an alarming rate. A democratic society would by now have either rejected the referendum entirely, or at least rerun it in accordance with democratic principles. The fact that the idea of proroguing Parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit has become mainstream shows just how corrupted our democracy has become.

As to how much further we go, that depends largely on the courage of our MPs and the resilience of those of us in society who are prepared to resist. I think Brexiters were not expecting such an organised and passionate movement to grow, but it is passionate and growing every day. Fortunately, we are still able to peacefully protest without fear of persecution, long may that continue.

The actions and language of many Brexiters are fascist. The rhetoric of the Brexit "Party" is truly alarming. Woe betide us if they ever gain a significant presence in Parliament. The goal of the Tory Brexiters appears to be to the Trumpification the UK against a backdrop of nationalistic and jingoistic rhetoric, which is already turning EU citizens living here into second class citizens without democratic rights and with the fear of deportation hanging over their heads. Meanwhile, in the guise of Robinson and his followers, we have actual fascist thugs on our streets, the modern equivalent of the blackshirts, but thankfully at present very limited in number.

The good news is that - for now - society at large seems to have been remarkably resilient to the madness that has engulfed our political class. The lynch mobs are confined to twitter. And from talking to leave voters when I've been out and about campaigning, they are perfectly normal decent people.

So I don't think that we're at imminent risk of a Kristallnacht, or of goose-stepping Nazis and final solutions. But we would be foolish to assume it can't happen here. Those of us who are aware of what's going on should continue to expose the hypocrisy and nastiness of Brexiters, should keep a careful watch on events, and should organise and resist. Most importantly, we shouldn't be ashamed of being angry. Our anger is righteous and justified, and the alternative is normalisation of what's going on, which is what will allow the situation to continue to deteriorate.

(Just for clarification, I use the term "Brexiter" to refer to those pursuing it within our political class or from an elevated position in public life, not the average leave voter or Brexit supporter.)

Post edited at 13:34
Postmanpat 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

  Regarding the groupthink description . It's probably an exaggeration. But civil servants tend to work within an overton window (which largely excludes both brexit and corbynism), partly of their own creation because they tend to come from similar educational backgrounds. This becomes apparent when people like Gus O'Donnell retire and tell us what they really think which tends to be what we always assumed they thought! Does anyone seriously doubt that the Treasury and the FO are institionally in favour of the EU?

  Yes, they are professional bureacrats expected  to be objective but successive governments from Thatcher onwards (Blair massively expanded them) have felt the necessity to employ a parallel group of SPADs to drive their projects forward, often on the grounds that the professional  civil service is institutionally resistant to change. The brexit group is effectively just repeating this charge.

  Regarding picking party leaders, actually until a few decades ago Tory MPs were barely part of the process and Labout MPs only a minor part. It's actually difficult. It (I think) it seems to me that parties should choose their leaders however they see fit but they shouldn't automatically become PM without a either an election or at the very least  a vote amongst their respective party MPs to agree the choice.

  My point is just that to regard that current system, which is better than those employed for most of the past century, as part of a drift towards fascism (as opposed to bloody silly) is misleading.

2
Timmd 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

> In a sense it's not germane to the point  whether people who object to such rhetoric, or for that matter the pretty incontrovertible argument that if you create a centralised federal Europe (the current way of choosing a PM may be bloody stupid but it looks pretty damn good compared to how they choose Junker's replacement) you undermine the UK protections against authoritarianism, are actually right. They tend not to crap on about "fascism". Funnily enough  one who does use the term to describe the EU is our old friend Varoufakis. Funny old world.

'Raises hand' - David Cameron secured agreement on no further integration of the UK into the EU in the time preceding the referendum, which means it wouldn't affect the UK in any case, so long as trading relations continue* as they have been in the past.

*Or continued, in a post Brexit era. 

Post edited at 14:23
Bob Kemp 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Civil servants are expected to carry out the policies of the government of the day. It's a bit of a myth that SPADs were  introduced as a counter-weight to the Civil Service's resistance to change. 'Yes Minister' has a lot of responsibility here. Personally I don't think that the Civil Service is the most significant problem with our current creaky political system. 

I do agree that the leadership issue is not really a sign of a drift towards fascism - provided as you say there is some kind of electoral or parliamentary process involved.

There's an interesting Telegraph article on the Civil Service and Brexit here - 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/07/09/blame-britains-political-class-sorry-state-civil-service/

Of course, it being the Telegraph it has a call for smaller government tacked onto the end of the piece that's not really justified by any evidence in the article...

Yanis Nayu 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Yes. I really can’t see how anyone can think otherwise, it’s so obvious. 

Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Yes. I really can’t see how anyone can think otherwise, it’s so obvious. 

I remember when Obama got in and started pushing for socialised health care some of the less measured on the American right started making noises about a lurch towards communism.  Lot’s of people out in the heartlands nodded their heads cos “it’s so obvious”. 

Of course, it was actually just bollocks.

Yanis Nayu 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Hardly the same is it?

Yanis Nayu 14 Jul 2019
Postmanpat 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Yes. I really can’t see how anyone can think otherwise, it’s so obvious. 

   I suspect that you genuinely have no idea how much more that comment says about you than it does about the subject under discussion.....

1
Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I take it that you're holding up Albright as someone of unimpeachable wisdom and political savvy? Same Albright that blocked military intervention in Rwanda? Who declared that 500,000 dead Iraqi children was a price worth paying for the imposition of sanctions? Who attempted to block US recognition of the Armenian genocide?

Here's Albright in full flow...

“If we have to use force, it is because we are America! We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall, and we see further into the future.” 

...and you want us to take her warnings on fascism seriously? Excuse me while I laugh up my sleeve.

Yanis Nayu 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Open your eyes ffs. 

Postmanpat 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Open your eyes ffs. 

Sheesh, the irony😀😀

”I really can’t see....”

Richard J 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Not sure that HM Treasury is institutionally pro-EU.  I think it's institutionally pro- HM Treasury being in charge of everything, which isn't compatible with a federalising project.  Hence them effectively squashing Tony Blair's ambition to join the Euro.

They are, though, institutionally in favour of "sound money and free trade", which makes them keen on the Single Market, not least because it was designed by a Conservative Treasury Minister, Lord Cockfield.  So it's fairly natural that they're going to veer towards models of Brexit that keep as close as possible to the Single Market.  They're obviously fairly orthodox in their economics, and given the absence of any serious economics argument in favour of trade barriers with the rest of Europe, they're going to take a dim view of erecting them. 

Yanis Nayu 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

I’m far too tired to argue. Time will tell. 

Timmd 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

I can see why credibility matters, but with everybody having the capacity to be wrong - or accidentally right, it could seem to be making an assessment of the argument being presented, is of more value than thinking about who presents it. 

I think that's something from a philosophy discussion that I absorbed by osmosis now I think of it, but it's logical enough.

Post edited at 18:58
Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> I can see why credibility matters, but with everybody having the capacity to be wrong - or accidentally right, it could seem to be making an assessment of the argument being presented, is of more value than thinking about who presents it. 

Of course everyone has the capacity to be wrong and arguments should be assessed on their own merits, but the source of the argument is intrinsically linked to the weight you should assign it. My youngest went through a phase of insisting that unicorns were real. Now I love my daughter dearly and I had no means of disproving her proposition but I think you can guess how much veracity I leant her assertion.

Put it another way; The BMJ and Homeopathy Today may have opposing views on the efficacy of mass vaccination. One publication I'd take very seriously the other I'd read purely for entertainment value.

Edit: I just made up Homeopathy Today...but then I googled it and it's a real thing.

Post edited at 19:16
Timmd 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Edit: I just made up Homeopathy Today...but then I googled it and it's a real thing.

The temptation to contact them and ask if their information is more effective if it's diluted is quite strong.

I stand by it being more logical to consider what Madeline Albright is saying while trying to not be swayed by it being her who has said it re fascism, btw, even the daft can be right occasionally. 

Post edited at 19:21
Gordon Stainforth 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Bloody impressive after a bottle of wine I thought. And,of course, you bounce better after a few drinks😀

Nice English and a nice answer. 😀😀

Yanis Nayu 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Albright has lived through 2 totalitarian regimes and has held been the equivalent of Foreign Secretary for the US government. I’d weight her opinion on such matters a little higher than yours. 

2
Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Albright has lived through 2 totalitarian regimes and has held been the equivalent of Foreign Secretary for the US government. I’d weight her opinion on such matters a little higher than yours. 

oof...I'm hurt (really? It took you two and a half hours to come up with that?).

1
Yanis Nayu 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Don’t flatter yourself. 

Trevers 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>    I suspect that you genuinely have no idea how much more that comment says about you than it does about the subject under discussion.....


Could you please elaborate on that comment? Because I'm of a mind with Yanis and Bob, that even if we're not imminently going be be overrun by Nazis, there's good reason to be extremely anxious and vigilant. To dismiss the question entirely suggests that what we're seeing in the UK is the normal, healthy functioning of democracy.

RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I note that you provide no actual examples of harsher policies. Looking at recent changes show some significant easing of strictures place on potential immigrants seeking to settle in the UK:

> It will be possible to apply under the scheme from outside the UK.

> Non-EEA citizens will be able to apply for an “EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit” to join or accompany an EEA citizen who was been granted leave under the settlement scheme.

> Applications made under Appendix EU will be free of charge from 30 March 2019.

> Citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and their family members, will be able to apply under the Settlement Scheme.

> It will be possible to submit national ID cards as identity documents for EEA nationals, and biometric residence cards for non-EEA family members

> Administrative reviews can now be made from outside the UK.

> these are all changes made in March of this year. What changes do you evidence as...making essentially foreigners in the UK a subclass, with less and less right, purely an economic ressource we can throw away when we don't need it. We are going towards some sort of state of apartheid without realising. ?

The EU settlement scheme is an abomination. We are asking people who have perfectly the right to stay in the UK to “apply” to get this settled status not worth the paper it us written on. In fact it isn’t even written on any paper, it is purely electronic, and can be removed at any time, with a simple keystroke. It’s a purely administrative status. The home office can instantly erase anybody they want from the system, in total impunity. No safeguard, no right of judicial appeal, the status itself doesn’t exist in primary law, and can be amended by ministers at will.

A typical example of what I’m describing. Anybody with this status will be at the total mercy of brainless bureaucrats themselves at the total mercy of cynical ministers.

As far harsher policies, I suggest you read the immigration white paper.

I’m sort of hoping that Johnson will be more liberal on immigration than May, who just genuinely hates “foreigners”, but given that the guy doesn’t care about anything hit himself, I have no doubt he’ll happily put foreigners in concentration camps without a blink if that gained him half a percent of popularity point.

Post edited at 22:20
Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The EU settlement scheme is an abomination. We are asking people who have perfectly the right to stay in the UK to “apply” to get this settled status not worth the paper it us written on.

How shocking. People have to apply to stay in the UK? In every other EU country, apart from France, you have to apply for residency after just 3 months, so it appears that the UK has been considerably more liberal regarding residency than 26 other EU countries. France is a special case having had no legal requirements to obtain a carte de sejour. This leaves tens of thousands of Brits that have been living in France for years, perfectly legally, at risk of being booted out if they don't get a shift on and start applying for residence. 

So if every other EU nation expects foreign nationals to apply for residency why shouldn't the UK?

RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I take it that you're holding up Albright as someone of unimpeachable wisdom and political savvy? Same Albright that blocked military intervention in Rwanda? Who declared that 500,000 dead Iraqi children was a price worth paying for the imposition of sanctions? Who attempted to block US recognition of the Armenian genocide?

> Here's Albright in full flow...

> “If we have to use force, it is because we are America! We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall, and we see further into the future.” 

> ...and you want us to take her warnings on fascism seriously? Excuse me while I laugh up my sleeve.

In a sense the world “fascism” is too vague, and too easily twisted, it refers to a period of the past which was vastly different.

But you’d have to be a totally blind to not recognise that we are entering a period of increased nationalism, a hardening of exclusive identities, increased willingness to accept authoritarian governments and to compromise on human rights, coupled with a process of deglobalisation.

Immigrants are just the first victims of this process but not the last.

Most educated commentator have noticed this. This isn’t new or controversial.

Post edited at 22:54
RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> How shocking. People have to apply to stay in the UK? In every other EU country, apart from France, you have to apply for residency after just 3 months, so it appears that the UK has been considerably more liberal regarding residency than 26 other EU countries. France is a special case having had no legal requirements to obtain a carte de sejour. This leaves tens of thousands of Brits that have been living in France for years, perfectly legally, at risk of being booted out if they don't get a shift on and start applying for residence. 

> So if every other EU nation expects foreign nationals to apply for residency why shouldn't the UK?

More liberal, only on the face of it. They simply made it easier to obtain a status, but the problem is that unlike in other countries, this new status is very weak. It’s in fact no more than a promise which can be taken away at any time. In fact, when you obtain the badly called « settled » status, they don’t even give you a document to allow you to prove your status. All it is on a government database, under  no system of independent control, exempted from GDPR.

And looking at the record of the government has for finding all sorts of made up reason to kick people out, and to remove people right to remain, this doesn’t look particularly good.

Stichtplate 14 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> In a sense the world “fascism” is too vague, and too easily twisted, it refers to a period of the past which was vastly different.

Not that vague:

Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

> But you’d have to be a totally blind to not recognise that we are entering a period of increased nationalism, a hardening of exclusive identities, increased willingness to accept authoritarian governments and to compromise on human rights, coupled with a process of deglobalisation.

Yep, there's been a shift to the right across much of the Globe, but please, a little perspective. Before Adolf managed to seize dictatorial powers Germany had 15 years of mayhem starting with losing WW1,  being forced into a humiliating peace treaty, having the value of their currency wiped out almost overnight, 100's killed in political violence, an attempted coup, massed opposing paramilitary forces (the brownshirts alone numbered 2000,000), and finally had their Houses of Parliament burnt down.

Nigel and his little march is hardly a preamble to a night of the long knives.

> Immigrants are just the first victims of this process but not the last.

British immigration authorities are a disgrace, but victims of oppressive regimes are normally to be found fighting to leave, not fighting to get in.

> Most educated commentator have noticed this. This isn’t new or controversial.

Yeah, as I said, we're seeing a drift to the right but to state as one poster up thread has...even if we're not imminently going be be overrun by Nazis, there's good reason to be extremely anxious.. is a little premature to say the least. I'm sure everyone has stuff in their lives to worry about, I certainly do, but I'm not currently 'extremely anxious' about little Nigel donning jackboots.

Post edited at 23:25
1
Trevers 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

Since the 2016 referendum we have seen the warning signs of most of those characteristics that define fascism.

> Yeah, as I said, we're seeing a drift to the right but to state as one poster up thread has...even if we're not imminently going be be overrun by Nazis, there's good reason to be extremely anxious.. is a little premature to say the least. I'm sure everyone has stuff in their lives to worry about, I certainly do, but I'm not currently 'extremely anxious' about little Nigel donning jackboots.

We're on the verge of a complete breakdown of democracy in the UK. My comment was serious and measured.

Post edited at 23:48
RomTheBear 14 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Not that vague:

> Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

> Yep, there's been a shift to the right across much of the Globe, but please, a little perspective. Before Adolf managed to seize dictatorial powers Germany had 15 years of mayhem starting with losing WW1,  being forced into a humiliating peace treaty, having the value of their currency wiped out almost overnight, 100's killed in political violence, an attempted coup, massed opposing paramilitary forces (the brownshirts alone numbered 2000,000), and finally had their Houses of Parliament burnt down.

> Nigel and his little march is hardly a preamble to a night of the long knives.

It’s not Nigel I’m most worried about. As usual you oversimplify everything, It’s the global change in attitude. The way you present with such cartoonish views of the worlds is in fact part of the problem.

> British immigration authorities are a disgrace, but victims of oppressive regimes are normally to be found fighting to leave, not fighting to get in.

Windrush were not fighting to get in, they were fighting to stay in their own home they have lived in all their lives, the only one they know.

> Yeah, as I said, we're seeing a drift to the right but to state as one poster up thread has...even if we're not imminently going be be overrun by Nazis, there's good reason to be extremely anxious.. is a little premature to say the least.

It’s not premature. It’s late, to say the least.

> I'm sure everyone has stuff in their lives to worry about, I certainly do, but I'm not currently 'extremely anxious' about little Nigel donning jackboots.

It’s easy to not worry when you are not impacted. However if you were on of those people who were woken up one morning by Serco officers, handcuffed, thrown in jail, with no trial, no judicial recourse, under a false accusation, then again you’d probably have a different opinion.

Post edited at 00:04
Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Trevers:

> Since the 2016 referendum we have seen the warning signs of most of those characteristics that define fascism.

If you look hard enough you'll find those same warning signs in every country, not just the UK. It's a bit like looking up symptoms on the internet, you start off with the vague suspicion that you might have piles, half an hour later and you've convinced yourself you've got stage 3 rectal cancer.

> We're on the verge of a complete breakdown of democracy in the UK. My comment was serious and measured.

I'm sure you could make a case for that, anybody can. To take the UK and Brexit; remainers will tell you the sweeping reforms being put through to deal with the unholy f*ck up entailed in converting EU law to UK law means "complete breakdown of democracy in the UK". Meanwhile brexiteers will tell you that the referendum has been subverted and that means "complete breakdown of democracy in the UK". See, it's a game for all the family.

Post edited at 00:05
baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It’s easy to not worry when you are not impacted. However if you were on of those people who were woken up one morning by Serco officers, handcuffed, thrown in jail, with no trial, no judicial recourse, under a false accusation, then again you’d probably have a different opinion.

Still peddling the lies, Rom?

It’s no wonder that people aren’t convinced by your arguments.

5
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Still peddling the lies, Rom?

Still living in an alert native reality  ? There is nothing in what I’ve said that isn’t happening regularly. This is well documented, human rights organisation and other charities have denounced it, MPs denounced it, it’s been reported in the press, etc etc. In fact the article I posted above documented exactly a similar situation.

I understand that it may be easier to ignore reality, problem is, is doesnt go away.

Post edited at 00:11
Postmanpat 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Trevers:

> Could you please elaborate on that comment? Because I'm of a mind with Yanis and Bob, that even if we're not imminently going be be overrun by Nazis, there's good reason to be extremely anxious and vigilant. To dismiss the question entirely suggests that what we're seeing in the UK is the normal, healthy functioning of democracy.

  Of course: firstly I'm not dismissing the question (so no, I don't think we have a healthy democracy). That is what he is doing and that is what is extraordinary: that he actually "can't think" how anyone could hold a different view.

  (I  disagree with the point posed in the question on the back of spending quite a lot of time reading about it  and trying to understand both sides, but that was not the point of the specific post.)

  My point was: As a rule of thumb I don't  think that a view is valid unless one has taken the time to understand the opposing view because, if you haven't , then you haven't thought through the issues. So what Yanis is effectively saying, proudly it seems, is that he is utterly incurious about why people would disagree with him and as a result doesn't understand why their disagreement is possible. That doesn't tell me that his view (or mine) is right, simply that his view is based on a self professed lack of understanding of the issues or even any attempt to understand the issues.

  Hence it tells me nothing about the issues, but quite a lot about him.

  

Post edited at 00:40
2
Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It’s not Nigel I’m most worried about. As usual you oversimplify everything, It’s the global change in attitude. The way you present with such cartoonish views of the worlds is in fact part of the problem.

What's wrong with cartoons?

> Windrush were not fighting to get in, they were fighting to stay in their own home they have lived in all their lives, the only one they know.

Oh Windrush again. That the same Windrush that was universally hailed as a scandal? Same Windrush that saw a government minister forced to resign? Same Windrush that resulted in abject governmental apologies issued to it victims. Same Windrush that saw the victims deservedly paid thousands in compensation?

Pardon me, but such a (admittedly belated) response hardly puts the UK government in the same category as the Nazis persecuting the Jews.

> It’s not premature. It’s late, to say the least.

> It’s easy to not worry when you are not impacted. However if you were on of those people who were woken up one morning by Serco officers, handcuffed, thrown in jail, with no trial, no judicial recourse, under a false accusation, then again you’d probably have a different opinion.

The major difference is that when real fascist governments gain power (eg. Germany, Italy, Spain, Chile etc, etc) the dawn arrest is often a precursor to a spot in a mass grave, not a seat on a Ryan air flight.

Lusk 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

I gave up listening to him years ago.

His overwhelming UK negativity has warped his mind.

2
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> If you look hard enough you'll find those same warning signs in every country, not just the UK. It's a bit like looking up symptoms on the internet, you start off with the vague suspicion that you might have piles, half an hour later and you've convinced yourself you've got stage 3 rectal cancer.

> I'm sure you could make a case for that, anybody can. To take the UK and Brexit; remainers will tell you the sweeping reforms being put through to deal with the unholy f*ck up entailed in converting EU law to UK law means "complete breakdown of democracy in the UK". Meanwhile brexiteers will tell you that the referendum has been subverted and that means "complete breakdown of democracy in the UK". See, it's a game for all the family.

In this particular example, the remainers would have a decent rationale for their assessment, whilst the brexiteer would be simply, 100% factually, wrong. It’s a terrible example. Indeed giving the power to ministers to make sweeping changes to UK law with little to no scrutiny in practice is a yuuuuge democratic problem.

Post edited at 00:25
Trevers 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> If you look hard enough you'll find those same warning signs in every country, not just the UK. It's a bit like looking up symptoms on the internet, you start off with the vague suspicion that you might have piles, half an hour later and you've convinced yourself you've got stage 3 rectal cancer.

Ok, but up until 2014/5 you could quite uncontraversially say that those symptoms were safely contained within a shouty but small section of the political class. Whereas now, it's engulfed the ruling party and is getting worse with each passing day. Applying that to your analogy, you'd be foolish to not go for a screening.

> I'm sure you could make a case for that, anybody can. To take the UK and Brexit; remainers will tell you the sweeping reforms being put through to deal with the unholy f*ck up entailed in converting EU law to UK law means "complete breakdown of democracy in the UK". Meanwhile brexiteers will tell you that the referendum has been subverted and that means "complete breakdown of democracy in the UK". See, it's a game for all the family.

We're seriously considering suspending Parliamentary democracy in order to force through the most extreme version of a vaguely defined policy which was voted for narrowly a referendum which, it is now known, was conducted with little regard for our democratic principles. That was what I meant by a "complete breakdown of democracy".

Trevers 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

I follow, thanks for explaining.

1
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> What's wrong with cartoons?

> Oh Windrush again. That the same Windrush that was universally hailed as a scandal? Same Windrush that saw a government minister forced to resign? Same Windrush that resulted in abject governmental apologies issued to it victims. Same Windrush that saw the victims deservedly paid thousands in compensation?

ho dear, a government minister had to resign, (btw, not for what happened, but for having misled parliament). Apologies ? Have you seen one sincere apology from those who built this architecture of oppression ?

I’m sorry, but thousands of people have had their entire life ruined, many have died, many have spent years in detention without trials.

Those responsible should be tried and put behind bars. But no, they still have their jobs, and pretty much nothing had changed, they continue to apply exactly the same policies, the same way, under the same laws that give them total impunity.

> Pardon me, but such a (admittedly belated) response hardly puts the UK government in the same category as the Nazis persecuting the Jews.

I never said they are in the same category. At least the nazis were honest and pretty clear about their intention. The politics of today, however, are mired in contradictions. 

> The major difference is that when real fascist governments gain power (eg. Germany, Italy, Spain, Chile etc, etc) the dawn arrest is often a precursor to a spot in a mass grave, not a seat on a Ryan air flight.

If it’s a flight to a country where you’ll indeed end up in a grave then that’s hardly better.

Besides, I don’t think we should wait to have people put in mass graves before we should start to worry. Everyday persecutions such as those experienced by victims of the hostile environment, or indefinite detention without trial, are grave enough as far as I am concerned. 

What is indeed concerning is the fact that people accept it, happily ignore it, and still vote in large numbers for the parties that have engineered those crimes. 

1
Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Firstly, the Nazis weren’t honest about what they were doing, they tried to cover it up.

Secondly, I know it’s your favourite, most best and special hobby horse, but as I pointed out up thread, the Uk’s latest figures show that the government is holding 30% less immigrants than 12 months ago, and the lowest numbers since records began 10 years ago. So it’s hard to see how this shows the UK is becoming increasingly fascistic no matter how much you keep banging on about it.

Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Trevers:

> Ok, but up until 2014/5 you could quite uncontraversially say that those symptoms were safely contained within a shouty but small section of the political class. Whereas now, it's engulfed the ruling party and is getting worse with each passing day. Applying that to your analogy, you'd be foolish to not go for a screening.

You’ve seriously narrowed your historical viewpoint if you think evidence of fascism in the Uk only became apparent post 2015. I don’t know how old you are but I can vividly remember the 80’s when the NF was an actual real thing, actual skinheads roamed the streets and racist graffiti was commonplace. As to that other fascist indicator, a highly regimented society; punks were considered shocking, gay people could be detained under the mental health act and any sort of alternative lifestyle choices could see you at risk of a shoeing from the local plod. 

It’s par for the course that countries ebb and flow between progressive and regressive but the Uk would have to regress a long way to the right to reach 1980’s societal attitudes, let alone the 1930’s when fascists had a real power base in Britain.

> We're seriously considering suspending Parliamentary democracy in order to force through the most extreme version of a vaguely defined policy which was voted for narrowly a referendum which, it is now known, was conducted with little regard for our democratic principles. That was what I meant by a "complete breakdown of democracy".

It was a freely held national referendum. You may say “it is now known” that it disregarded democratic principles but 52% voted for it and as far as I can tell the vast majority of those leave voters only see that disregard of democratic principles evidenced by us still being in the EU 3 years down the road.

1
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> It was a freely held national referendum. You may say “it is now known” that it disregarded democratic principles but 52% voted for it and as far as I can tell the vast majority of those leave voters only see that disregard of democratic principles evidenced by us still being in the EU 3 years down the road.

They are confusing democracy with tyranny of the majority. Democracy in the UK is achieved through parliamentary representation, parliament made the decision to not leave the EU just yet. This is therefore perfectly democratic. What would be completely undemocratic would be to bypass parliament.

Bob Kemp 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

This is an interesting contribution to the debate from Fintan O'Toole last year - how our tolerance for fascistic measures is being tested:

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-trial-runs-for-fascism-are-in-full-flow-1.3543375

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

If parliament fails to represent the people then maybe it is time to change the parliament or the system. 

1
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Firstly, the Nazis weren’t honest about what they were doing, they tried to cover it up.

> Secondly, I know it’s your favourite, most best and special hobby horse, but as I pointed out up thread, the Uk’s latest figures show that the government is holding 30% less immigrants than 12 months ago, and the lowest numbers since records began 10 years ago. So it’s hard to see how this shows the UK is becoming increasingly fascistic no matter how much you keep banging on about it.

There are many things that can impact the numbers, but certainly, it isn’t a change in policy, as far as I can tell despite Windrush there has been no change to the hostile environment policy. 

And if I look at the immigration white paper, it’s also pretty clear that things are not going in the right direction, although I still hope this could change with a new government.

Btw I don’t claim that the UK is becoming increasingly fascistic, I regard the term as vague and too much dependent on a time and place. It’s not a meaningful comparison. However there is no doubt that the UK has become over the past ten years or so increasingly hostile to foreigners, as evidenced by the hostile environment policies.

Post edited at 09:50
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> If parliament fails to represent the people then maybe it is time to change the parliament or the system. 

That’s exactly why some are worried that democracy is being endangered, as more and more people are willing to accept authoritarian leaders and policies, as they have been disappointed and let down by the traditional democratic systems.

Hence the rise of “strong men” who peddle simplistic, top down solutions to complex problems.

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

If our politicians don’t realise that their constant failures to address the needs of the people are the problem then they need to go.

Is it better to have a dictator who gets things done or a democratic system that consistently fails to deliver?

4
Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Btw I don’t claim that the UK is becoming increasingly fascistic, I regard the term as vague and too much dependent on a time and place. It’s not a meaningful comparison.

The thread title is 'Are we on the slippery slope to fascism'. I thought that was the debate? Or do you see the thread as simply yet another opportunity to shoehorn in immigration policy?

>However there is no doubt that the UK has become over the past ten years or so increasingly hostile to foreigners, as evidenced by the hostile environment policies.

The hostile environment policy was aimed solely at illegal immigrants as a way of sidestepping the cost of policing immigration by way of ID cards and right to residency applications, as occurs in most every other Western country. It's not, and never has been, a policy aimed at all foreigners.

This isn't in any way a defence of the policy. It's a bad policy, badly thought out, badly implemented, wholly ridiculous and a disgrace to the UK. It isn't, as you keep intimating, evidence of blanket societal and institutional xenophobia. 

Post edited at 10:10
john arran 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

What makes you think that Parliament is not representing the people? You seem to be implying that it's an MP's job to take instructions from their constituents rather than to act in accordance with their constituents' - and the country's - best interests.

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

> What makes you think that Parliament is not representing the people? You seem to be implying that it's an MP's job to take instructions from their constituents rather than to act in accordance with their constituents' - and the country's - best interests.

As in ‘ we (MPs) know what you (the voters) want but we know better so you can have that instead ‘.

It’s that seemingly elitist nonsense combined with the two party system that has partly led to the present day chaos.

Many people, myself included, thought, mistakenly, that MPs were elected to do what their voters wanted but of course they’re actually there to do whatever they want. as they know best.

Until election time when they’ll pretend to be interested in the needs and wants of the voters.

4
Mike Stretford 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp: I don't think fascism, but we are are in uncharted territory.

Strange times when Liam Fox is righteously fact checking Boris Johnson, our PM in waiting.

Bob Kemp 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Is it better to have a dictator who gets things done or a democratic system that consistently fails to deliver?

No. Fortunately dictators who get things done aren't the only option. A failing democracy can be fixed - British democracy shows a history of how this can be done.

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I’m not sure that the Brexit debacle is going to allow politics to go back to the way it was.

Which might be a good thing given the failure of successive governments to address the nation’s needs.

john arran 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

Of course the referendum (were it to have been conducted fairly) was an expression of the wishes of the people. It's then the MP's job to find a way to implement those wishes. As far as I can tell the closest they've so far got to doing so was May's Withdrawal Agreement, which required only the assent of Parliament and which you'll notice was voted down by many of the MPs who are actively pushing for (a disastrous form of) Brexit. Were they to have voted in line with 'the wishes of the people' we would have left by now - or at least we would by now be an a transition period. So remind me again which MPs you think should be replaced for not implementing the will of the people?

Bob Kemp 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Many people, myself included, thought, mistakenly, that MPs were elected to do what their voters wanted but of course they’re actually there to do whatever they want. as they know best.

Yes, you were mistaken. We live in a representative democracy. MPs aren't delegates. 

Bob Kemp 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

I do agree that our democracy needs reform, and for me the only useful thing about Brexit is that it's highlighted that there is a problem. But wishful thinking about dictators isn't helpful.

Pefa 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> You’ve seriously narrowed your historical viewpoint if you think evidence of fascism in the Uk only became apparent post 2015. I don’t know how old you are but I can vividly remember the 80’s when the NF was an actual real thing, actual skinheads roamed the streets and racist graffiti was commonplace. As to that other fascist indicator, a highly regimented society; punks were considered shocking, gay people could be detained under the mental health act and any sort of alternative lifestyle choices could see you at risk of a shoeing from the local plod. 

That is now your Football Lads Alliance EDL, Britain First, Alt-right though they are no where near as overtly active as the skinheads but then there is National Action who are worse and the murder of Jo Cox and all the death threats on social media. The fascists in Ukraine have been handed control of the forces by the USA and EU happy for them to make Russian speaking Ukrainians and socialists disappear or just be murdered and nothing is done. So that is real fascism in action in Europe used officially and given great powers. There is also a move in Tallinn to get an Estonian Nazis statue put up just like all the fascist statues that have gone up in Ukraine. Fascists from old SS units and neo-nazis hold parades in the Baltic countries every year and they as well as now Poland have been destroying all the Soviet WW2 statues. There was a refusal at the UN by the USA, Canada and Ukraine to ban fascist propaganda in 2015, practically all of Europe abstained from the vote that was proposed by the Russian Federation. But practically the entire rest of the world voted for the ban. As usual the USA and EU pushed by the banks, capitalist oligarchs and transnationals are using fascism against countries they want to strangle. And they have done this using Islamo-fascists in Libya and Syria to as well as death squads in Columbia right now but that has been long running. 

Obviously these two separate strains of fascism (European and Islamic) have come into conflict and Predictably that is also used by their bosses to fuel more division. An example of this would be the BNP and other far right in Europe exposing our jihadis over in Syria because they don't like to see villages and towns of Syrian Christians getting their heads slowly cut off or islamist terrorists taking over a secular Muslim country and creating an absolutely massive refugee crisis. (Which is also used by the bosses to sow even more division) 

Win win for the USA and EU ruling classes. Always. 

This foments further fascism in the EU as we see a barbaric form of Islam taking over in these countries and it scares the hell out of everyone who would not want their head slowly cut off and it creates nearly 10 million Muslims running away from our proxy army. Many of these refugees are young men, a few will be criminals, traumatised or have nothing so commit crimes in Europe which pushes people in the EU further right as they see some of the prophecies of the fascists come true and they offer protection ie. The only way to protect women and ourselves is to organise in groups, kick out the MPs who encourage this etc. So some of the representatives of the ruling class get kicked out and we see anti-immigration parties springing up in Europe but they will still represent the ruling class who have all the power although we will be that bit further to the right and we are. 

Racist and xenophobic a-holes and there are a huge amount in the UK especially in the tribal football spectator communities are now treating foreigners like shit and with total contempt and many people who were not like that are also now like that due to the daily feed from the ruling class gutter press over the years and brexit has given these a-holes total empowerment by making it look as if the majority of British people are like them and hate everyone who is not British and white. 

> It’s par for the course that countries ebb and flow between progressive and regressive but the Uk would have to regress a long way to the right to reach 1980’s societal attitudes, let alone the 1930’s when fascists had a real power base in Britain.

It is par for the course in capitalism yes but that isn't natural. I'd say it is back to 1950s attitudes and Enoch Powell for a great deal of brexit voters with respect to immigration but its under the surface. 

> It was a freely held national referendum. You may say “it is now known” that it disregarded democratic principles but 52% voted for it and as far as I can tell the vast majority of those leave voters only see that disregard of democratic principles evidenced by us still being in the EU 3 years down the road.

Apart from the hardcore rabid racists I don't think many leave voters expected to be out the EU in a few years as it is a massive undertaking. Although a great deal are alarmed at talk of a second referendum. 

Post edited at 10:56
baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

I wasn’t actually thinking about Brexit but the general idea of MP’s choosing what’s best for the people.

Most people in the UK want the same basic things.

As in somewhere affordable to live.

Easy answer - build more houses. Governments response = fail to build more houses.

As in social services that deliver a workable service.

Easy answer - combined NHS/social services properly funded. Governments response = needless reform, wasted money, no joined up services, not enough  funding.

As in sorting out the homeless issue.

Easy answer - improved mental health, alcohol and drug dependency  services, more social housing.

Governments response = ?

The list goes on.

And I know that things aren’t as simple as I’ve made out.  

But if an MP’s job isn’t to take instructions from their constituents but to do what’s best for the country then I would suggest that they’re failing.

Time for a change.

Post edited at 10:49
2
john arran 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

Then go into politics and get done what our elected representatives are failing to do. Or elect someone better than those we have right now. That's the way democratic representation works.

1
baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Yes, you were mistaken. We live in a representative democracy. MPs aren't delegates. 

Which doesn’t mean that MP’s shouldn’t listen to or act upon the wishes of the constituents.

RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> The thread title is 'Are we on the slippery slope to fascism'. I thought that was the debate? Or do you see the thread as simply yet another opportunity to shoehorn in immigration policy?

I regard the thread title as vague and simplistic. What we have is not fascism, it’s something else, but nevertheless worrying - and shares some similarities.

Immigration policy is central to the argument in my view, as it is where the societal shifts towards tolerating authoritarian illiberal policies that breach long established human rights have had drastic consequences. It’s a symptomatic issue.

> >However there is no doubt that the UK has become over the past ten years or so increasingly hostile to foreigners, as evidenced by the hostile environment policies.

> The hostile environment policy was aimed solely at illegal immigrants as a way of sidestepping the cost of policing immigration by way of ID cards and right to residency applications, as occurs in most every other Western country. It's not, and never has been, a policy aimed at all foreigners.

I disagree, it is aimed at everybody they could find an excuse to throw out. There was huge pressure to reduce net migration, and there isn’t nearly enough illegal immigrants you can deport to make an inch of a difference, so they targeted wide and large, finding every little excuse possible to put people in detention and in a plane.

We routinely have people being detained and deported after being falsely accused to cheat at English test, or because they made perfectly legal amendment to their tax records.

> This isn't in any way a defence of the policy. It's a bad policy, badly thought out, badly implemented, wholly ridiculous and a disgrace to the UK. It isn't, as you keep intimating, evidence of blanket societal and institutional xenophobia. 

I disagree, the hostile environment policies were the result of huge political pressure to reduce immigration - at all costs. And that pressure came from increasing hostility to immigrants in society. It’s ill effects and blatant breach of human rights they are creating were well known by the government and officials, and they knowingly carried on with it. Moreover, despite everything, they still have made no changes to it, and those who have implemented and enacted these policies are still in their jobs.

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Then go into politics and get done what our elected representatives are failing to do. Or elect someone better than those we have right now. That's the way democratic representation works.

But these failings go back decades.

Our politicians consistently fail and as a result many people’s lives are seriously affected.

While all isn’t doom and gloom how hard can it be to address the basic needs of a wealthy nation?

The thread is about fascism in the UK.

Which at the moment isn’t a big issue but people become more extreme if they think they’re being  ignored.

Who knows where that might lead?

Perhaps Brexit is the new fascism?

Post edited at 11:01
1
Eric9Points 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

The problem with democracy is that in order fir it to serve the wishes if the electorate properly, the electorate have to be well informed and act rationally.

That's not the case.

You suggest our system should be changed. What should it be changed to?

1
Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> That is now your Football Lads Alliance EDL, Britain First, Alt-right. 

Lets just stick to fascism in Britain.

Football lads alliance: market themselves as apolitical, anti-extremists. In reality their ranks are undoubtedly stacked with racists but they're not fascists and they're certainly not a threat to democracy.

EDL: are they even a thing anymore? According to wiki they've been in decline since 2011. A quick google shows their last march in Manchester attracted a couple of dozen lonely muppets surrounded by 50 coppers, mainly there to protect them from 300 anti-fascist protesters that showed up (check out the picture...hilarious!).

https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/20/tiny-edl-protest-is-swamped-by-police-during-far-right-march-through-manchester-8059140/

Britain first: at its height they had 800 members.

Alt right: increasingly meaningless catch all term for anyone on the right that doesn't vote Tory.

So no, absolutely no evidence there that fascism is in the ascendancy in the UK. Note that EDL demo, they were outnumbered by anti-fascists 12 to 1.

> Racist and xenophobic a-holes and there are a huge amount in the UK especially in the tribal football spectator communities are now treating foreigners like shit and with total contempt and many people who were not like that are also now like that due to the daily feed from the ruling class gutter press over the years and brexit has given these a-holes total empowerment by making it look as if the majority of British people are like them and hate everyone who is not British and white. 

> It is par for the course in capitalism yes but that isn't natural. I'd say it is back to 1950s attitudes and Enoch Powell for a great deal of brexit voters with respect to immigration but its under the surface. 

I just don't recognise this characterisation. I don't live in a bubble and socially and through work I come into contact with a wide variety of people. Hardcore racists are a very rare breed in the UK these days. Fairly recently someone painted 'No Blacks' on a family's door in Salford. You probably saw the story, it was all over the national news largely because such events are now vanishingly rare. In the 80's it wouldn't have made the local rag, it would hardly have been big news on the estate where it happened. The police arrested the prat responsible and he was sentenced to 12 months. I don't imagine the police would have put much effort into investigating 30 years ago.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-48292967

> Apart from the hardcore rabid racists I don't think many leave voters expected to be out the EU in a few years as it is a massive undertaking. 

I don't know what you base that on. We had months of being told that March was a firm deadline, then it was April, next it's October but I'll be entirely unsurprised when that deadline passes too.

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

You don’t need to be well informed to know that you want a home, education, health care, security,etc.

The need to act rationally is always going to be a problem for democracy.

Change the system to something that works.

proportional representation?

Communism?

Fascism?

Who knows?

All have their pros and cons.

Put the Queen back in charge if that’s what it takes.

2
Harry Jarvis 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> But if an MP’s job isn’t to take instructions from their constituents but to do what’s best for the country then I would suggest that they’re failing.

> Time for a change.

I wouldn't disagree with much of what you say, but the problem lies entirely with ideology. For example, you want more houses - very sensible. However, there are different ways of going about this, and we currently have a government which wants the private sector to do as much of the work as possible, and does not see it as the role of government to provide houses and homes for those who need it - they see the role of government as creating the environment in which the private sector can do that, and they would argue that it is the best interests of the country to have a strong private sector. 

The fact that the private sector has different ambitions - to make as much money as possible - which may be in conflict with the need for more houses is a considerable impediment to meaningful progress in this regard. 

And of course ideology also play a part when it come to levels of taxation and public spending. We have had successive governments which have seen tax reductions and reduced public spending as a meaningful policy in its own right, regardless of the consequences. Sadly, the public has been successfully sold the idea that public spending is a bad thing. 

Pefa 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Sorry, you misunderstood my point which was a comparison of skinheads and NF which you mentioned to the assorted fascists and racists we currently have. I don't see much difference apart from as I stated it is now less overt .You still get plenty of racist/xenophobic attacks these days be they verbal abuse on the street or assault as well as discrimination at work against foreigners. 

Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I disagree, it is aimed at everybody they could find an excuse to throw out. There was huge pressure to reduce net migration, and there isn’t nearly enough illegal immigrants you can deport to make an inch of a difference, so they targeted wide and large, finding every little excuse possible to put people in detention and in a plane.

The figures don't even vaguely back this contention. In the last 10 years the UK has deported 4000 to 6000 annually. Net migration peaked at 336,000 in 2016 and stood at 282,000 in 2017, a full year after the Brexit vote. If the policy is a huge ploy to bring down net immigration, it's spectacularly unsuccessful.

> We routinely have people being detained and deported after being falsely accused to cheat at English test, or because they made perfectly legal amendment to their tax records.

Evidence of ineptitude not that Britain is intrinsically racist and xenophobic.

> I disagree, the hostile environment policies were the result of huge political pressure to reduce immigration - at all costs. And that pressure came from increasing hostility to immigrants in society. It’s ill effects and blatant breach of human rights they are creating were well known by the government and officials, and they knowingly carried on with it. Moreover, despite everything, they still have made no changes to it, and those who have implemented and enacted these policies are still in their jobs.

You're like a stuck record. So, how does Cyprus measure up in its treatment of migrants?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48110874

1
neilh 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

When hanging was stopped in the UK it was a HofC decision and MP's decided it was time for it to be stopped.

Most voters wanted hanging as a captial puinishment to be continued.So who was right?

Most voters have not really got a clue what they want, for example they want better services but are not prepared to pay the tax and expect somebody else to pay it for them.

Therein lies the contradictions of a modern democracy.Individualism but no real core values.

But its alot better than the other systems.It has its faults. You could have the China model,but do you really want that? The Russian model- no thanks.And so on.

You cannot have every decision pushed back to the voters...its ridiculous.

The big issue in UK politics is no formal constitution, it is just hundreds of years of development.

1
baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

I’m a believer in small government but when the private sector fails to address a fundamental and urgent need such as housing then the government needs to forget its ideology and do something that works.

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

On the issue of hanging the people were right, IMHO.

And that’s the problem when politicians keep telling the people what they can have instead of what they want.

And while money is always an issue it’s beyond annoying when politicians always find the funds for what they think is important while proclaiming that the country can’t afford it.

3
neilh 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

Despite all the evidence that hanging does not work and people were hanged who should not have been ( one of the fundamental isses with hanging)

Can you give us specific concrete examples instead of coming out with platitudes.

RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> When hanging was stopped in the UK it was a HofC decision and MP's decided it was time for it to be stopped.

> Most voters wanted hanging as a captial puinishment to be continued.So who was right?

> Most voters have not really got a clue what they want, for example they want better services but are not prepared to pay the tax and expect somebody else to pay it for them.

> Therein lies the contradictions of a modern democracy.Individualism but no real core values.

> But its alot better than the other systems.It has its faults. You could have the China model,but do you really want that? The Russian model- no thanks.And so on.

Agree. I’ll add further to your analysis by adding that the old national democracies, such as the UK’s, are completely powerless in the face of global issues, whether it’s migration flow, or the economy, for example.

It’s no surprise then that disappointed voters turn to more radical, authoritarian solutions.

What we are witnessing, in my view, is the last spasm of the western model of large, centralised nation states. It is the wrong level to address global issues over which they have no control, and the wrong level to address local issues because they can’t please everyone.

The non-authoritarian solution lies in localism coupled with international cooperation. Switzerland may be one of the best example.

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

You were the one who brought up hanging and I responded.

What would you like specific, concrete examples of?

neilh 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

I used hanging as an example of where ignoring voters is a good thing.

You said politicians always find money when proclaiming the country cannot afford it. I was after an example along those lines.

Post edited at 13:11
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> The figures don't even vaguely back this contention. In the last 10 years the UK has deported 4000 to 6000 annually. Net migration peaked at 336,000 in 2016 and stood at 282,000 in 2017, a full year after the Brexit vote. If the policy is a huge ploy to bring down net immigration, it's spectacularly unsuccessful.

> Evidence of ineptitude not that Britain is intrinsically racist and xenophobic.

I disagree, too easy to put this on ineptitude. The hostile environment is a deliberate policy. 

As I’ve said before, people have been wanting to reduce immigration. But the government could not find any single group they could realistically target, so they targeted everybody they could, Obviously it ended up harming the weakest.

> You're like a stuck record. So, how does Cyprus measure up in its treatment of migrants?

Much better than the UK. Nobody makes you feel like a foreigner here, but that’s probably anchored in cultural attitudes, Cyprus has been colonised by so many different people, having a melting pot isn’t really something particularly new, people are pretty relaxed about it in general. With the Turkish occupation, they also have real problems to think about, instead of inventing fake ones.

The case you are referring to indeed shook the country and spurred a sort of national introspection. Cypriots have been blaming themselves and their own government for letting something like this happen, which is a rather extraordinary reaction, given that after all, these are the actions of a mad serial killer. The issue hasn’t been brushed under the carpet and simply dismissed.

Given the repeated failure of the home office to protect vulnerable women from abuse, you’d hope people in the UK would be all up in harm about it, but instead, the news story come in again and again in some sub column of the guardian, and people barely shrug their shoulders. Worse, the government removed the right of judicial appeal for immigration decision for women facing domestic abuse. That is not « incompetence », it deliberate policy.

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> I used hanging as an example of where ignoring voters is a good thing.

> You said politicians always find money when proclaiming the country cannot afford it. I was after an example along those lines.

HS2

Crossrail

NHS reform

Hinckley Point

Brexit preparation 

How many examples would you like?

neilh 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

You could run through every one of those and put an equally good strategic UK case for them.

The issue is more your politics.

You have forgotten house planning, gay rights, civil partnerships, Scottish and Welsh devolution and so on.

I think you want nothing to change and for the UK to stay wrapped in cotton wool.

1
baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

Sorry, you’ve completely lost me.

I was arguing that politicians had consistently failed the electorate and something should change although I’m not sure exactly how.

And you take that as me wanting nothing to change?

Harry Jarvis 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Sorry, you’ve completely lost me.

> I was arguing that politicians had consistently failed the electorate and something should change although I’m not sure exactly how.

I think, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, you're looking for some way to re-assess priorities for government actions in ways that deliver a 'better' outcome for the country. The challenge then becomes identifying what constitutes 'better'. 

baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

It just seems that for decades the UK has failed to address the problems that people face on a daily basis while politicians of all parties have plenty of ideas but seem unable to turn these into workable solutions.

So for gosh knows how long there’s been a shortage of affordable housing.

Thousands of words have been written and spoken by politicians about the need to sort this problem out but little is actually d about it.

Yet this is an issue (one of many) which has a real affect on people’s lives.

1
Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I disagree, too easy to put this on ineptitude. The hostile environment is a deliberate policy. 

> As I’ve said before, people have been wanting to reduce immigration. But the government could not find any single group they could realistically target, so they targeted everybody they could, Obviously it ended up harming the weakest.

We'll have to disagree on that. You obviously have far more direct experience than me, but I do have several foreign born friends and work colleagues whose experiences don't match up with your descriptions. Despite us frequently butting heads on here, I've said before that it sounds like you and your wife have been treated abominably by the UK systems.

> Much better than the UK. Nobody makes you feel like a foreigner here, but that’s probably anchored in cultural attitudes, Cyprus has been colonised by so many different people, having a melting pot isn’t really something particularly new, people are pretty relaxed about it in general. With the Turkish occupation, they also have real problems to think about, instead of inventing fake ones.

Pardon me again if I can't agree with your characterisation of Cyprus as a cultural melting pot. While it's a long time since I was over there, I've got friends that served on the Green line relatively recently and they report back more barbed wire and machine guns than fraternal singalongs and mutual handholding.

> The case you are referring to indeed shook the country and spurred a sort of national introspection. Cypriots have been blaming themselves and their own government for letting something like this happen, which is a rather extraordinary reaction, given that after all, these are the actions of a mad serial killer. The issue hasn’t been brushed under the carpet and simply dismissed.

> Given the repeated failure of the home office to protect vulnerable women from abuse, you’d hope people in the UK would be all up in harm about it, but instead, the news story come in again and again in some sub column of the guardian, and people barely shrug their shoulders. Worse, the government removed the right of judicial appeal for immigration decision for women facing domestic abuse. That is not « incompetence », it deliberate policy.

Again, you'll have far more knowledge of how things are done in Cyprus, but I've had direct experience of the measures taken to safeguard vulnerable women in the UK and I can assure you nothing is swept under the carpet and it's taken very seriously indeed. Further, I've not come across similar issues to those described in the article and certainly nothing of the scale described in Cyprus (relative to respective populations).

neilh 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

What you do not like is in your opinion politicans who disagree with your view, you brand it as undemocratic.I would suggest that in all those things there has been arguments until the cows come home and a decison has been made.

There is really nothing undemocratic or a waste of money about Hinkley Point ,Crossrail etc.More you just do not like them.

Housing --well tricky. Round where I live people are opposed to any more building ( more fields gobbled up as people want to live in " nice areas", yet at the same time people want houses to live in in those nice areas.Its a bit more complicated than you portray.So who is right?

Bob Kemp 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

>I was arguing that politicians had consistently failed the electorate and something should change although I’m not sure exactly how.

Politicians have consistently failed some parts of the electorate in the interests of trying to please other parts. The housing market is a very good example of this. That's the problem with your idea of politicians doing what the voters want. Which voters? And at the expense of which other voters? 

RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> It just seems that for decades the UK has failed to address the problems that people face on a daily basis while politicians of all parties have plenty of ideas but seem unable to turn these into workable solutions.

> So for gosh knows how long there’s been a shortage of affordable housing.

> Thousands of words have been written and spoken by politicians about the need to sort this problem out but little is actually d about it.

House prices are high therefore this should trigger a supply response in construction, the main reason it isn't happening is because of planning restrictions.

But every time politicians suggest loosening planning restriction, it’s met with fierce public opposition. 

Gordon Stainforth 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Perhaps Brexit is the new fascism?

That's exactly what a vast swathe of intelligent, knowledgeable people have been saying for three years!

1
Gordon Stainforth 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Put the Queen back in charge if that’s what it takes.

That's exactly what some experts are saying could happen on October 31, if the new PM tries to bypass/prorogue Parliament. She being, in our constitution, effectively the figurehead of our Parliamentary democracy.

Eric9Points 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> You don’t need to be well informed to know that you want a home, education, health care, security,etc.

> The need to act rationally is always going to be a problem for democracy.

> Change the system to something that works.

> proportional representation?

> Communism?

> Fascism?

> Who knows?

> All have their pros and cons.

> Put the Queen back in charge if that’s what it takes.

Well yes, you don't need to be well informed to know what you want but you won't necessarily make good decisions if you're not. Are you aware for example that various studies have asked voters what they wanted and then compared those with who they voted for and found that a significant percentage, 10 or 15% IIRC voted for the wrong party and that's even before examining the reasons for their political choices.

That combined with irrational decision making makes people susceptible to lies and half truths told by cynical politicians and ruthless owners of the media.

At present at least we have well informed representatives in Parliament to act in their best interests. Most of us consider it prudent to use experts to execute our broad wishes in other parts of our lives such as investing our pension savings. Why should the infinitely more complex business of running a country be left to amateurs with little knowledge of many of the issues that must be dealt with? Again there are plenty of examples of disastrous decisions being made by ordinary voters when things like allocation of funding in council budgets are devolved to them.

The key of course is making sure our politicians and media are honest with us. Unfortunately this is only partly the case.

Trevers 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> We'll have to disagree on that. You obviously have far more direct experience than me, but I do have several foreign born friends and work colleagues whose experiences don't match up with your descriptions. Despite us frequently butting heads on here, I've said before that it sounds like you and your wife have been treated abominably by the UK systems.

How about the widespread disenfranchisement of EU citizens at the EU elections in May? It was known about in advance, was raised by MPs and there was a very straightforward solution. As it turned out, hundreds of thousands of EU citizens lost their vote, entirely as predicted.

Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Trevers:

> How about the widespread disenfranchisement of EU citizens at the EU elections in May? It was known about in advance, was raised by MPs and there was a very straightforward solution. As it turned out, hundreds of thousands of EU citizens lost their vote, entirely as predicted.

I dunno. What’s the question?

wercat 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Trevers:

I've been thinking lately about parallels.  Given that Brexit is pretty much a religious belief is there a more British parallel with the takeover of seventeenth century England by the Puritans who also ruled that everything should be made to fit their aspirations for the future?

Trevers 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I dunno. What’s the question?

The phrasing of my question doesn't follow on from the conversation, but I was intending that as an example of a systematic bias against foreigners, specifically EU citizens in this instance.

Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to wercat:

> I've been thinking lately about parallels.  Given that Brexit is pretty much a religious belief is there a more British parallel with the takeover of seventeenth century England by the Puritans who also ruled that everything should be made to fit their aspirations for the future?

Why not, makes as much sense as brexit=fascism. 

Personally, I’m going for the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867, or perhaps a better comparison would be when Joey got his own spin off from Friends.

Edit: typo

Post edited at 16:53
Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Trevers:

> The phrasing of my question doesn't follow on from the conversation, but I was intending that as an example of a systematic bias against foreigners, specifically EU citizens in this instance.

Fair enough. You can have French residency and 10 years living in the country and still no right to vote. That’s how their system is designed, not disenfranchisement through incompetence as was the UKs excuse.

Does that mean the French are even bigger fascists than we are?

RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> We'll have to disagree on that. You obviously have far more direct experience than me, but I do have several foreign born friends and work colleagues whose experiences don't match up with your descriptions. Despite us frequently butting heads on here, I've said before that it sounds like you and your wife have been treated abominably by the UK systems.

Abonimably indeed, after applying for permanent residence after 10 years of working in the UK, she was falsely accused of submitting false information to the home office and sent a letter telling her to leave the UK within 14 days or face detention and deportation. As it turned out it was a complete mistake due to HMRC holding corrupt records, but the damage was done. 

The problem is, this isn’t isolated. This is how the home office works. They look for any little pretext to reject people, and if it’s unlawful, or if they are wrong, they don’t really care, because the applicants have limited or simply no judicial recourse. When it comes to non-EU citizens this is a lot worse, as they are not protected by EU law. 

There was an interesting testimony from someone in a similar situation on BBC world news (at 7:30) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csy73

As for your foreign born friends, did you consider that they might simply be afraid to even touch the subject with British people ?

> Pardon me again if I can't agree with your characterisation of Cyprus as a cultural melting pot. While it's a long time since I was over there, I've got friends that served on the Green line relatively recently and they report back more barbed wire and machine guns than fraternal singalongs and mutual handholding.

More than 20% of the population is foreign born. Indeed Turkish occupation is a real problem, maybe that contributes to putting things in perspective.

> Again, you'll have far more knowledge of how things are done in Cyprus, but I've had direct experience of the measures taken to safeguard vulnerable women in the UK and I can assure you nothing is swept under the carpet and it's taken very seriously indeed.

Absolutely true, it’s taken very seriously indeed, if you are British, if you are not and are facing the hostile environment, that’s a different story,  if your residency depends on your spouse and you partner is abusing you, you face the choice between deportation, detention, or just shut up about it. There used to be a route of  judicial appeal for victim of domestic abuse threatened by deportation,  and the home office lost 50% of the cases,what was their solution ? They just removed the right of appeal....

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/aug/16/abuse-victims-increasingly-denied-right-to-stay-in-uk

That is the main issue, really, as long as you have a proper justice system people can access, it’s ok to have tough immigration policies if that’s what people want, what is not ok is to give extensive powers to the home office to detain and deport unlawfully in total impunity.

> Further, I've not come across similar issues to those described in the article and certainly nothing of the scale described in Cyprus (relative to respective populations).

We never had serial killers in the UK ? Are you joking ?

Post edited at 17:02
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Fair enough. You can have French residency and 10 years living in the country and still no right to vote. That’s how their system is designed, not disenfranchisement through incompetence as was the UKs excuse.

That is wrong. Any UK citizens in France is allowed to vote in EU election. As are EU citizens in the UK, the problem is that they were prevented to do so. This is currently under investigation and money is being raised to sue the government. 

I’d invite anybody with a spare tenner to give it to these guys so that they can hopefully nail these bastards in court.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/denied/?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=Update21262078onDeniedMyVotePhase1-ResearchFundedJuly132019&utm_medium=email

And BTW, you can live and work in the UK for 20, 30 years, you still don’t get the right to vote in national election or national referendums.

I wouldn’t have a problem with it if the rules were not discriminatory, someone from Pakistan, living in the UK for three month, can vote in national elections, but someone from say, Germany, in the UK for 20 years can’t.  That doesn’t make any sense to me, and there is ground to say that it can significant distort results, especially in tight referendums....

> Does that mean the French are even bigger fascists than we are?

No, it just mean you haven’t understood the issue.

Post edited at 17:17
Bob Kemp 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

I agree with the general thrust of your argument about expertise, but "At present at least we have well informed representatives in Parliament to act in their best interests." In a Parliament with Grayling, Andrew Bridgen et. al.? Are you sure?

Trevers 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Fair enough. You can have French residency and 10 years living in the country and still no right to vote. That’s how their system is designed, not disenfranchisement through incompetence as was the UKs excuse.

Any EU citizen can vote in EU Parliamentary elections in their country of residence. I hadn't heard that the French had excluded other EU citizens from voting in May, is that the case? If they only allow French citizens to vote in their internal elections, that's their prerogative.

I'd argue that the disenfranchisement in the UK was deliberate, given the ample warning and easy solution to the problem which the government effectively ignored.

Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> As for your foreign born friends, did you consider that they might simply be afraid to even touch the subject with British people ?

Afraid to touch the subject with me? No that's not a possibility. Believe it or not I enjoy 'robust' conversation, and one of these friends I've known for over 25 years, our families have often holiday'd together and I couldn't count how many New Year's we've spent together, 2 others are regular drinking companions of over 10 years standing.

> Absolutely true, it’s taken very seriously indeed, if you are British, if you are not and are facing the hostile environment, that’s a different story,  if your residency depends on your spouse and you partner is abusing you, you face the choice between deportation, detention, or just shut up about it. There used to be a route of  judicial appeal for victim of domestic abuse threatened by deportation,  and the home office lost 50% of the cases,what was their solution ? They just removed the right of appeal....

Absolutely not true. I'm not going into it but I have direct experience of this and your comments are incredibly insulting to people that work in the field. When it comes to victims of abuse I've never come across anything but care and compassion from UK frontline agencies, regardless of the nationality of the victim. 

> We never had serial killers in the UK ? Are you joking ?

Don't be dense Rom. I was referring to the main thrust of the article..

The case has exposed an exploitative system that allows tens of thousands of migrant women to work as housemaids in conditions that critics have described as akin to modern slavery

Horrendous numbers when you consider that the Republic of Cyprus only has a population of 850,000.

Edit: typo

Post edited at 17:59
1
Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Trevers:

> Any EU citizen can vote in EU Parliamentary elections in their country of residence. I hadn't heard that the French had excluded other EU citizens from voting in May, is that the case? If they only allow French citizens to vote in their internal elections, that's their prerogative.

> I'd argue that the disenfranchisement in the UK was deliberate, given the ample warning and easy solution to the problem which the government effectively ignored.

My point, which was badly put across, was that the disenfranchisement of EU voters in the UK was mirrored by the disenfranchisement of UK voters in France. There is a broad streak running through UKC that almost everything to do with British foreign and domestic policy, past/future/present, is uniquely corrupt and evil. This simply isn't the case.

https://www.thelocal.fr/20190522/british-in-france-fear-they-will-not-be-able-to-vote-in-european-elections-over-voting-mishaps

Eric9Points 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> I agree with the general thrust of your argument about expertise, but "At present at least we have well informed representatives in Parliament to act in their best interests." In a Parliament with Grayling, Andrew Bridgen et. al.? Are you sure?


I know, I know.

Even so, I'd still rather have Grayling sitting in a big office in Whitehall than any London taxi driver I've talked to.

People should vote for people and not parties but I doubt that that will ever change. Perhaps mandatory reselection of MPs should be written into law but sadly constituency parties are likely to make choices based on electability and along factional lines rather than competence.

RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Afraid to touch the subject with me? No that's not a possibility. Believe it or not I enjoy 'robust' conversation, and one of these friends I've known for over 25 years, our families have often holiday'd together and I couldn't count how many New Year's we've spent together, 2 others are regular drinking companions of over 10 years standing.

> Absolutely not true. I'm not going into it but I have direct experience of this and your comments are incredibly insulting to people that work in the field. When it comes to victims of abuse I've never come across anything but care and compassion from UK frontline agencies, regardless of the nationality of the victim. 

The problem is, the frontline agencies can be fantastic and caring all you want, in the hostile environment, the victims won’t come forward if they risk being deported. That’s the whole issue. Have you read the article ?

> Don't be dense Rom. I was referring to the main thrust of the article..

> The case has exposed an exploitative system that allows tens of thousands of migrant women to work as housemaids in conditions that critics have described as akin to modern slavery

> Horrendous numbers when you consider that the Republic of Cyprus only has a population of 850,000.

Modern slavery is a grave problem in the UK and elsewhere too. The phenomenon in Cyprus is very recent, and in fact, a consequence of the rather liberal immigration system. It is very common in Cyprus for elderlies to hire someone to help them. A lot of young girls from Vietnam and the Philippines come to work, and unfortunately, it seems that some are being abused. This is a rather new phenomenon for Cyprus, hence the lack of system to prevent it from happening and the shock and horror when it was discovered. To be honest, hardly surprising given that Cypriot police are lazy fucks of the highest order, they could not find a coconut on coconut island.

Post edited at 18:40
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> My point, which was badly put across, was that the disenfranchisement of EU voters in the UK was mirrored by the disenfranchisement of UK voters in France. There is a broad streak running through UKC that almost everything to do with British foreign and domestic policy, past/future/present, is uniquely corrupt and evil. This simply isn't the case.

I guess the difference is that registering to vote is an administrative f*ck up for everybody in France. The great french administration does not discriminate in how it dispenses a terrible service ! Everybody is treated like shit equally

The situation in the UK is unique because it impacted specifically a very large number of EU citizens, the issue had been identified in 2014, the government was warrned repeatedly, and they deliberately chose to do nothing. That’s why preparations are being made for a judicial review.

I can perfectly understand that making it easy for certain category of people to vote against them is not exactly palatable to the Tories, but that’s not the way a democracy should work.

Post edited at 18:49
RomTheBear 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Well yes, you don't need to be well informed to know what you want but you won't necessarily make good decisions if you're not.

I’d argue that we are in fact too informed. If you give a doctor 50 pieces of information on a patient, his diagnostic will be worse than if he has only 10. Our brain are shit at processing information.

There is no easy solution to this, but to me is seems that the most effective is simply to do away with the centralised nation state. Voters are always going to make mistakes, so the system needs to be decentralised, thus limiting the impact of bad decisions.

Unfortunately it seems to me that we are going towards more centralisation, more top down. In probabilistic terms, given enough time, this can only end badly.

Its an interesting feature in fact, in a centralised political system, scale brings instability, as bad decisions by voters have a very large impact, however in a decentralised political system, scale bring more stability - as small parts of the system experience failure, from which the whole system learns, without suffering any large impact.

This is probably what made the US such a successful democracy, but now even them are going toward centralisation so here you go, everything is going in the wrong direction.

Post edited at 20:11
1
Postmanpat 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Mark Bannan:

> Why would a brexiteer use such terms to describe a remainer?

 It’s truly amazing that you so many of you have to ask  this. It just demonstrates that you aren’t even aware of the arguments. 

  Because the EU is regarded as an undemocratic unrepresentative body that explicitly intends to reduce or remove national sovereignty without the understanding of the people and give control to supranational technocrats . And it establishes protectionist regulations and borders against foreigners.

  To describe this as “fascist” or “xenophobic” is of course a silly exaggeration but no more so than when the terms are used by remainers.

Post edited at 21:48
8
Pan Ron 15 Jul 2019
Wicamoi 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Hilarious sophistry - have a gold star.

1
Postmanpat 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Wicamoi:

> Hilarious sophistry - have a gold star.

Sheesh. You really really haven’t a clue. It’s the straightforward answer to the question. Which part do you think is sophistry?

Post edited at 22:30
2
Wicamoi 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Reply with one fewer "sheesh!" and a little less scorn (or a little more humour) and I might consider that you deserve an answer. Or not - as you please.

1
Postmanpat 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Wicamoi:

 As opposed to your very polite post? Whatever...

2
Darren Jackson 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>  As opposed to your very polite post? Whatever...

Talk to the hand, cos the face ain't listening, girlfriend... Word. 

... I love it when you go street. Tickles my cobbles. 

1
Stichtplate 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>  It’s truly amazing that you so many of you have to ask  this. It just demonstrates that you aren’t even aware of the arguments. 

It's truly amazing that you haven't worked out the rules to this game yet. First you have to pick a side. There are only two sides and you have to be on one of them. The people on the other side are stupid and dangerous and ill informed and don't know what they're doing cos there is only one side. Remember that. One side. Some people will tell you that there isn't just one side but they are wrong. Don't look at things from any side but your own side. There isn't really another side. Stupid people can't have a side. So there is only one side.

This thought process seems to be getting more and more common. I don't know how it happened, maybe it's something to do with decreasing attention spans, anything that isn't binary just takes up too much band width. End result; there just seems to be this ever widening chasm where the centre ground used to be. 

If Western democracy is facing an existential crisis it's not phantom fascists creeping out of the woodwork, it's the death of constructive political dialogue because the two sides have no common ground and the gap between them has grown too wide to shout across.

Wicamoi 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> If our politicians don’t realise that their constant failures to address the needs of the people are the problem then they need to go.

> Is it better to have a dictator who gets things done or a democratic system that consistently fails to deliver?

I am the sort that is slightly concerned about a possible descent into fascism, and I have to say that this phraseology, especially coming from an evidently decent human being such as yourself, does nothing to calm my nerves. What is your answer to the question you pose (noting that I disagree that its premise reflects reality)?

Post edited at 23:33
baron 15 Jul 2019
In reply to Wicamoi:

The answer is the democratic system given that I can’t think of any dictators who have been benign.

Although this doesn’t solve the problems of those who feel ignored or left behind by our present system.

I guess they’ll just have to suck it up and get on with things as they’ve always had to do.

Wicamoi 15 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

I am relieved to hear your answer. Thanks!

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> It's truly amazing that you haven't worked out the rules to this game yet. First you have to pick a side. There are only two sides and you have to be on one of them. The people on the other side are stupid and dangerous and ill informed and don't know what they're doing cos there is only one side. Remember that. One side. Some people will tell you that there isn't just one side but they are wrong. Don't look at things from any side but your own side. There isn't really another side. Stupid people can't have a side. So there is only one side.

> This thought process seems to be getting more and more common. I don't know how it happened, maybe it's something to do with decreasing attention spans, anything that isn't binary just takes up too much band width. End result; there just seems to be this ever widening chasm where the centre ground used to be. 

> If Western democracy is facing an existential crisis it's not phantom fascists creeping out of the woodwork, it's the death of constructive political dialogue because the two sides have no common ground and the gap between them has grown too wide to shout across.

What if, just what if, there were indeed two sides, and one of them happened to be not only wrong, but extremely dangerous ? This wouldn’t be the first time in history.

When I hear comments such as those recently made by Trump, I don’t see how it’s possible to find any way to compromise or dialogue, or find any nugget of truth or wisdom in what he says.

I always give the benefit of the doubt and prefer to look at what people do rather than what they say, but in the case of Trump, his awful words are equally matched by awful actions. Does he look like someone who wants to “dialogue” ? Some have tried, they failed, and he’s not interested anyway.

What do you do then ?

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Because the EU is regarded as an undemocratic unrepresentative body that explicitly intends to reduce or remove national sovereignty without the understanding of the people and give control to supranational technocrats . And it establishes protectionist regulations and borders against foreigners.

We know full well the argument, you’ve been repeating the same tabloid soundbites for a while, the problem is that there doesn’t seem to be much careful analysis of facts behind it.

1) the EU isn’t particularly undemocratic. Arguably, in many ways, it’s more democratic than most western democracies in its functioning. Pretty much nothing happens without overwhelming consensus. It’s in fact overly democratic to the point that it is painfully slow. But slow is sometimes good.

2) it does not remove national sovereignty, this is a voluntary club that every member has joined willingly, our parliament ratified all the treaties every single step of the way, we were on the winning side of the EU council votes 98% of the time, and we were always free to leave the club at any point.

3) EU protectionism is evidently a myth. The EU is probably the most liberal large trade bloc in the world, and the biggest free market in the world. It has pushed liberalisation of trade further than anybody else has ever done. Moreover, it has a very impressive range of large trade deals, and the pace is accelerating, despite increased protectionism elsewhere.

The protectionist are those who want to take us under WTO rules, and don’t understand that in order to get a trade with someone you need to give something in exchange, not quiet Eurocrats in grey suits who have slowly been building one of the largest free market in the world and have concluded wide ranging trade deals.

4) Border against foreigners: That one is just categorically wrong. Immigration policy is a reserved matter for member states. Any member state can have whatever immigration policy they like, the only condition is freedom of movement between Europeans, which is a very good thing and a formidable freedom to enjoy, and certainly not a “border against foreigners”. Also a very hypocritical one given that one of the most politically potent justification for Brexit was that people wanted indeed stronger borders against foreigners !

Post edited at 00:54
2
neilh 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

On one side you argue earlier for a less centralised state or nation in the broadest terms, then you say the EU is OK.

If I am correct there was never an EU system in place for a country to leave ( one of the issues we are faced with).And one of the issues we are faced with is how difficult it is to extract oursleves financially from the system.It is debateable whether you could therefore really say it is  " voluntary".

Alot of countries outside the EU block do consider it a protectionist block.For example The EU policies on agriculture etc are considered by  some to be incredibly protectionist to EU farmers.We dress it up as " standards", but it is still viewed by others as protectionist.Most people on this forum do not trade internationally outside the EU and therefore do not see how others see us as protectionist.

You are aware of a global view that the EU is basically a trading block designed to protect a mature ageing low growth market from the ravages of more dynamic growing markets? Some in Greece would argue that the EU block is stopping the young unemployed ( what is it 30-40% of those under 25 without a job) from getting jobs.

1
krikoman 16 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> What do you make of this? Fantasy?


I have no idea, but quoting The Times as some sort of balanced view on Corbyn, or Labour, is a bit of a fantasy.

David Riley 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

>  Any member state can have whatever immigration policy they like, the only condition is freedom of movement between Europeans,

This is a contradiction.

2
FactorXXX 16 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

> I have no idea, but quoting The Times as some sort of balanced view on Corbyn, or Labour, is a bit of a fantasy.

What do you make of the comments put forward by Tim Dexter?

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> This is a contradiction.

It’s not a contradiction, it simply is the truth, member states have complete control over their immigration policy. The condition for entry in the EU is that you accept to have freedom of movement. That is a sovereign choice parliament made. If you don’t like it, then you have to negotiate a new agreement or leave, but you are free to do so. That’s control.

Moreover, PP argument was that the EU puts barriers on foreigners, that is untrue, member state can do pretty much whatever they want in regards to non-EU migration, if they want to let everybody in, they can.

2
David Riley 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It’s not a contradiction, it simply is the truth, member states have complete control over their immigration policy.

Rubbish.

> member state can do pretty much whatever they want in regards to non-EU migration, if they want to let everybody in, they can.

So Croatia could decide to let everybody in (for a sum of money), on condition they all move to the UK.

2
RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> On one side you argue earlier for a less centralised state or nation in the broadest terms, then you say the EU is OK.

Because the EU, unlike the UK, is not a centralised system. It simply is a platform for cooperation. It’s not even remotely to the stage of a federal system, which would be very much more decentralised than for example, the UK.

There is a principle of subsidiarity and consensus. And more importantly, you can leave.

> If I am correct there was never an EU system in place for a country to leave ( one of the issues we are faced with).

There is, it’s called art 50.

> And one of the issues we are faced with is how difficult it is to extract oursleves financially from the system.It is debateable whether you could therefore really say it is  " voluntary".

Of course it’s voluntary. The fact that it is difficult to leave is simply down to the fact that we drew benefits from membership, therefore it’s difficult to leave in a way that isn’t damaging.

Its rather an absurd argument, it would be like an employee saying he is a prisoner of his employer because they pay him too well !

We are free to leave, it’s just that OUR parliament doesn’t want to. It is OUR government that requested an extension twice.

> Alot of countries outside the EU block do consider it a protectionist block.For example The EU policies on agriculture etc are considered by  some to be incredibly protectionist to EU farmers.We dress it up as " standards", but it is still viewed by others as protectionist.Most people on this forum do not trade internationally outside the EU and therefore do not see how others see us as protectionist.

You are right that there are strong protections for agriculture, but by international standards, they are pretty much in line or more liberal than what you see elsewhere. And with the development of trade agreements they are being reduced. Most other trade block are even more protectionist, starting with the US. We can’t even export haggis to them !

A lot of these protections are perfectly sensible, the EU is clearly for more liberalisation in this area but critically it depends on what other trade block can offer.

BTW it seems quite obvious to me that there is no reason to think the UK would have more free trade than the EU on agricultural products. Other trade blocks are unlikely to offer better market access to the UK than they do for the EU, especially given that there is less we can offer, and visibly no will to lower existing standards.

> You are aware of a global view that the EU is basically a trading block designed to protect a mature ageing low growth market from the ravages of more dynamic growing markets?

Except that the EU has been at the centre of trade liberalisation for decades, and is now doing everything it can to restrain protectionist tendencies elsewhere, but never mind the facts...

> Some in Greece would argue that the EU block is stopping the young unemployed ( what is it 30-40% of those under 25 without a job) from getting jobs.

Some would argue that indeed, some other with a less politically motivated look would simply say that if you base your economy on public spending, and run out of money, then you end up with high unemployment.

Bob Kemp 16 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

> I have no idea, but quoting The Times as some sort of balanced view on Corbyn, or Labour, is a bit of a fantasy.

It's not actually 'quoting' the Times is it? It's a video of an individual talking about anti-semitism in Labour and stands apart from the medium it's in. The Times may well be delighted to show this because it supports its distaste for Corbyn and Labour but that's a separate issue. What matters is, is he telling the truth?

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> Rubbish.

You can say rubbish all you want, it simply is the truth.

> So Croatia could decide to let everybody in (for a sum of money), on condition they all move to the UK.

They can, if they want, but of course those people would most likely need to apply for a UK Visa to be able move to the UK (assuming they aren’t British)

I’m frankly failing to see why anyone would pay the Croatian government a sum of money on condition that they move to the UK, and getting nothing in return, when they could instead not pay anything and still move to the UK under exactly the same conditions of entry. Are you sure you’ve thought this through ? This looks quite absurd.

Post edited at 13:12
1
David Riley 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> They can, if they want, but of course those people would most likely need to apply for a UK Visa to be able move to the UK (assuming they aren’t British)

> I’m frankly failing to see

But we have to let them in if they become EU citizens in Croatia.

neilh 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

You are again making the common mistake that I see all the time in looking at it through European eyes.

Alot of business people that I meet who are non European consider the EU just a protectionist block irrespective of Trade Deals.And Trade Deals involve alot of hagglin and compromise.

Sometimes you need to listen see how others percieve the  EU.

neilh 16 Jul 2019
In reply to David Riley:

Any evidence of what you are suggesting? Or is it just " what if"?

David Riley 16 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

I expect some people Merkel accepted have moved here.

1
RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> You are again making the common mistake that I see all the time in looking at it through European eyes.

> Alot of business people that I meet who are non European consider the EU just a protectionist block irrespective of Trade Deals.

And yet, everybody is doing business with the EU, more than ever before, and it’s easier to do business in the EU than in the vast majority of the rest of the world. 

> And Trade Deals involve alot of hagglin and compromise.

Indeed ! That’s the whole point ! If you don’t like protectionism then there isn’t much else you can do but negotiate for freer market access, which is what the EU does.

What doesn’t help fight protectionism is to suddenly exit all the market access you have negotiated for decades and start from scratch with vastly less on the table to offer the other markets you want access to.

> Sometimes you need to listen see how others percieve the  EU.

I do, that’s all I do, hence why I took the time to write a reply to you and PP.

But there is perception, and facts. The simple fact is that the EU has been one of main motor of trade liberalisation. It has in fact gone further than pretty much everybody else.

neilh 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Try speaking to businesses in the USA who want to export into the EU. 

Just complying with CE marking standards is considered protectionism.

As you know I voted remain. But I do not consider myself blind to how standardsetc are used as a cloak of protectionism  , often dressed up as providing no real additional safety or protection

Post edited at 14:40
1
MG 16 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> Just complying with CE marking standards is considered protectionism.

It might be considered protectionist but that doesn't mean it is!  CE marking serves a valuable purpose.  I am sure US companies might prefer it if their only standards applied, but CE marking doesn't have the intention of preventing imports - it is about safety, environmental, sustainability among other matters.

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> But we have to let them in if they become EU citizens in Croatia.

Don’t have to either. You can leave the EU in which case the free movement arrangement for EU citizens ceases to apply.

Instead of inventing absurd arguments involving the UK being invaded by hordes of evil naturalised Croatian citizens, you can simply recognise the basic fact of the matter: the UK has control over its immigration policy.

Post edited at 15:01
3
neilh 16 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

That is of course a view. But such standards are used to protect local industries as well. 

David Riley 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Don’t have to either. You can leave the EU in which case the free movement arrangement for EU citizens ceases to apply.

Obviously.

The only way member states can have complete control over their immigration is to leave the EU.

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> It might be considered protectionist but that doesn't mean it is!  CE marking serves a valuable purpose.  I am sure US companies might prefer it if their only standards applied, but CE marking doesn't have the intention of preventing imports - it is about safety, environmental, sustainability among other matters.

That's what it might say on the tin but it doesn't make it so. Consumer protection is better served by national legislative bodies than barely enforced 'standards' that have very little oversight. Most big consumer scandals don't seem to result in consumer payouts until people start getting sued in US courts. VW emissions anyone? How about buying 'extra virgin' olive oil that actually is extra virgin. Malukah honey is legally sold all over Europe but very little is actually Malukah. The horse meat scandal was pan European and cross border but it was a national body that blew the whistle. Remember Tamiflu ? EU countries spent billions stockpiling it, it was certified by the European Medicines Agency and it turns out it was next to useless. All these products were/are CE marked. 

Google world's biggest product recalls or worlds biggest consumer scandals. None of them resulted from EU interventions, even though the EU is the worlds biggest trading block with the worlds biggest regulatory infra-structure. Does CE actually stand for Caveat Emptor?

1
thomasadixon 16 Jul 2019
RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> That is of course a view. But such standards are used to protect local industries as well. 

That is true, but these protections, mostly concerning farmers, are rather on the liberal end of the spectrum by international standards. Moreover, these local industries are fully exposed to unhindered and ferocious competition within the single market, which is large and wide, so on balance, European farmers have probably more exposure to competition than in most places.

Plus, don’t forget the other side of the equation, in order to get better access to more dynamic markets, these other countries need to agree to it, which means you have to offer them something in exchange ! Having a market of half a billion consumer is quite useful, because you have something big to offer. 

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to thomasadixon:

> ”7% of those who came...under EU rules...born outside continent”

These people are EU citizens. When we joined the EU, we agreed to free movement for EU citizens.

MG 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

What's your point?  That enforcement and consumer protection isn't perfect?  Of course not. If there was more enforcement, no doubt you would be decrying that as "EU meddling".  The US have their own systems as do other countries, none of which are perfect.  That isn't a reason for abandoning them, or for regarding them as protectionist irritations.

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> Obviously.

> The only way member states can have complete control over their immigration is to leave the EU.

No, you already have control, simply we used that control to agree to free movement for EU citizens, and now we are using that control to end it (sadly).

This was always up to us and still is. Same with our free movement agreement with Ireland. The question is what you do with this control. I’d argue that using it to agree reciprocal free movement between friendly countries is perfectly reasonable and beneficial, and you can perfectly have a different opinion, but saying that we did not have control is simply a falsehood, and a meaningless circular argument.

if you want an example of a country that indeed doesn’t have control over its immigration policy, look at Scotland. They want a different immigration policy, but they can’t get one, and they can’t leave the UK either without asking for permission from the central state.

Post edited at 16:13
1
Bob Kemp 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

As usual, the situation is more complex and ambiguous than you're claiming. Part of the problem with enforcing food standards is that the responsibility for enforcement still lies with national governments, who don't bother. And there's a good case for saying there isn't enough regulation. But you're right about the US courts - it's not easy for European consumers to sue. Have a look at this for a more rounded picture - 

https://www.foodwatch.org/uploads/media/Final_Position_Paper_6.7.2018__2_.pdf

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> What's your point?  That enforcement and consumer protection isn't perfect?  Of course not. If there was more enforcement, no doubt you would be decrying that as "EU meddling".  The US have their own systems as do other countries, none of which are perfect.  That isn't a reason for abandoning them, or for regarding them as protectionist irritations.

I'm in favour of the EU but also see it as deeply flawed. You said "It might be considered protectionist but that doesn't mean it is!  CE marking serves a valuable purpose." Perhaps you'd like to expand on what its valuable purpose is because from what I've seen of its use, its simply a lever for protectionism.

1
Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> As usual, the situation is more complex and ambiguous than you're claiming. Part of the problem with enforcing food standards is that the responsibility for enforcement still lies with national governments, who don't bother. And there's a good case for saying there isn't enough regulation. But you're right about the US courts - it's not easy for European consumers to sue. Have a look at this for a more rounded picture - 

Of course it's more complex and ambiguous than I've written. I dashed it off in a couple of minutes while waiting in the vets. Your link covering just food is 8 pages long.

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> That's what it might say on the tin but it doesn't make it so. Consumer protection is better served by national legislative bodies than barely enforced 'standards' that have very little oversight.

Consumer protection, in the EU, is enforced by the national agencies of each country. Each country is also free to set its own standards above those agreed at EU level as long of course as they don’t distort competition within the EU market.

> How about buying 'extra virgin' olive oil that actually is extra virgin. 

What is olive oil that is actually extra virgin ? Extra I get it, it must have been extracted and not pressed, but virgin ?

I produce some olive oil, so please let us know what you think it actually means, because everybody has their own definition it seems !

> The horse meat scandal was pan European and cross border but it was a national body that blew the whistle.

Not suprising, given that enforcement is the responsibility of each national bodies.

> Remember Tamiflu ? EU countries spent billions stockpiling it, it was certified by the European Medicines Agency and it turns out it was next to useless. All these products were/are CE marked. 

CE just means the product conforms to essential requirements of safety and environmental standard, not that it isn’t useless or crap.

Very useful for free trade as once you have something like this you can agree mutual recognition agreements, etc etc.

Sure, you can argue the requirement are too lax, they probably are, but then you get accused of protectionism ! So it’s a balance, and it seems to function reasonably well.

MG 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

As above, it gives confidence (not certainty) that a product meets standards of safety and so on.  This is a valuable thing for anyone buying products.  It also gives a route to legal remedy if the product doesn't comply when it claims it does.  

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'm in favour of the EU but also see it as deeply flawed. You said "It might be considered protectionist but that doesn't mean it is!  CE marking serves a valuable purpose." Perhaps you'd like to expand on what its valuable purpose is because from what I've seen of its use, its simply a lever for protectionism.

On the contrary, it’s a lever for free trade

1) it provides a baseline upon which you can establish mutual recognition agreement with trading partners.

2) if you want free trade, you need to build some kind of level playing field in terms of standards, otherwise people will simply reject it.

3) It’s also easier for traders to conform to one standard instead of 28, so it makes trade easier.

Conformity markings are one way to do it, as imperfect as it is, but if you’ve got a better idea let us know !

Post edited at 16:49
neilh 16 Jul 2019
In reply to MG

ANEC, formally the European Association for the Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation, basically says that CE Marking is not a mark indicating that a product is " safe".It caustions agianst this line of thought.

This is the body which sets the standards for consumers.

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to MG/Rom

Here's an example: say you're a UK company and want to introduce as piece of PPE kit (an area where consumer protection is quite important yeah?) into the European market and you've got to get your CE.

First you get to pick your samples you want testing (not random), then you get to pick the company that's going to test them (private company...and who wants a reputation for being overly stringent?). Now the EU issues accreditation for the private company and the 2 UK based companies that can perform PPE testing are having their accreditation removed, not because they've lowered their standards, but simply because the UK is leaving the EU.

So all the UK PPE manufacturers that have years of relationships with the UK testing companies now have to go elsewhere for their CE accreditation, putting them at considerable disadvantage to their EU competitors (you might say this shouldn't make a difference, but in the real world it certainly does).

CE is marketed as offering protection for the consumer. I'd say this protection is largely illusory. It does present as a considerable protectionist lever for the EU though largely because it forces external competitors to jump through all kinds of unfamiliar regulatory hoops.

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> On the contrary, it’s a lever for free trade

Weird, cos from outside the EU it presents a considerable barrier.

> 1) it provides a baseline upon which you can establish mutual recognition agreement with trading partners.

What does that even mean? I can fully recognise an iPhone as a product designed and marketed in the US and built in China without any EU intervention. I'm not worried it'll explode and burn off half my face, not because of EU standards but because it'd ruin Apple's commercial reputation.

> 2) if you want free trade, you need to build some kind of level playing field in terms of standards, otherwise people will simply reject it.

See above. People don't buy stuff cos it conforms with EU standards, never have , never will.

> 3) It’s also easier for traders to conform to one standard instead of 28, so it makes trade easier.

Illusory standards that don't actually serve consumer protection, just market protection.

> Conformity markings are one way to do it, as imperfect as it is, but if you’ve got a better idea let us know !

Sue people that sell you shoddy goods or just don't buy from them again. It's how real world consumer markets actually work. Arc'teryx don't get away with charging what they do cos they've got CE stamped on the label.

David Riley 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

>  now we are using that control to end it (sadly).

I'm glad you agree we must control immigration by leaving the EU.

2
MG 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Illusory standards that don't actually serve consumer protection, just market protection.

That's just cobblers. I certainly do. If you prefer  no consumer protection to support even freer trade, fine. But most people don't. 

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> In reply to MG/Rom

> So all the UK PPE manufacturers that have years of relationships with the UK testing companies now have to go elsewhere for their CE accreditation, putting them at considerable disadvantage to their EU competitors (you might say this shouldn't make a difference, but in the real world it certainly does).

Meeeh yes you’ve just discovered one of the reason why it is useful to be part of a big trading bloc...

> I'd say this protection is largely illusory. It does present as a considerable protectionist lever for the EU though largely because it forces external competitors to jump through all kinds of unfamiliar regulatory hoops.

So your solution is what, that they would have to jump through 28 different kinds of regulatory hoops instead, and get screwed in 28 different ways ?

Do you have a better solution ?

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> I'm glad you agree we must control immigration by leaving the EU.

As I’ve explained, you already had control, you are just now using it to adopt a different policy. But I get it, it’s much easier to shout « take back control » than coming up with a realistic view of what a good policy would look like.

neilh 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

It gets even more complicated. Because You can still have local standards in any EU country. For example a gas cooker made in the UK still had to comply with local standards in say Czech. 

It is bewildering at times. 

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Weird, cos from outside the EU it presents a considerable barrier.

Weird, because most shops are full to the brim with foreign goods of all sorts with CE markings.

> What does that even mean? I can fully recognise an iPhone as a product designed and marketed in the US and built in China without any EU intervention. I'm not worried it'll explode and burn off half my face, not because of EU standards but because it'd ruin Apple's commercial reputation.

That’s fine, you can still do that with or without CE marking.

> See above. People don't buy stuff cos it conforms with EU standards, never have , never will.

That is fine, I don’t see the problem. It wasn’t meant to be an effective marketing tool.

> Sue people that sell you shoddy goods or just don't buy from them again. 

You do now that there is nothing preventing you from doing that, regardless of CE markings, don’t you ?

> It's how real world consumer markets actually work.

In a world where consumers have perfect, exhaustive and transparent information and make perfectly rational purchasing decisions whilst taking into account environmental issues, that’s indeed how markets would work. That world is called cuckoo land.

In the real world, where the rest of us humans live, people go to the shop and buy an Arcteryx jacket because they think it makes them look pro on their Instagram.

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> It gets even more complicated. Because You can still have local standards in any EU country. For example a gas cooker made in the UK still had to comply with local standards in say Czech. 

Exactly. It doesn’t prevent member countries to have their own superior standard if they wish to, of course there are legal mechanisms in case they are being used to distort fair competition, something you can’t have without mutual cooperation.

> It is bewildering at times. 

It is, which makes you wonder why people want to make it even more bewildering.

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> > 

> That's just cobblers. I certainly do. If you prefer  no consumer protection to support even freer trade, fine. But most people don't. 

Really ???  

Hands up anyone who's checked a product's stamped CE before buying it. Quick straw poll here reveals a total of zero out of nine

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Meeeh yes you’ve just discovered one of the reason why it is useful to be part of a big trading bloc...

No argument from me on that score.

> So your solution is what, that they would have to jump through 28 different kinds of regulatory hoops instead, and get screwed in 28 different ways ?

> Do you have a better solution ?

I thought I'd just outlined it? ...to recap; taking manufacturers to court and publicising failings to the detriment of reputation and market share. Also an imperfect solution but at least it's concrete and not just smoke and mirrors.

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It is, which makes you wonder why people want to make it even more bewildering.

errr...protectionism.

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Weird, because most shops are full to the brim with foreign goods of all sorts with CE markings.

> That’s fine, you can still do that with or without CE marking.

> That is fine, I don’t see the problem. It wasn’t meant to be an effective marketing tool.

> You do now that there is nothing preventing you from doing that, regardless of CE markings, don’t you ?

> > It's how real world consumer markets actually work.

> In a world where consumers have perfect, exhaustive and transparent information and make perfectly rational purchasing decisions whilst taking into account environmental issues, that’s indeed how markets would work. That world is called cuckoo land.

Look my point was that the CE mark is another protectionist lever, not a standard to protect people. None of what you've written refutes that.

> In the real world, where the rest of us humans live, people go to the shop and buy an Arcteryx jacket because they think it makes them look pro on their Instagram.

I bought mine cos of the CE mark.

Not really, I bought it cos it was half price and I thought it'd make me look cool in my profile pic (epic fail)

MG 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Yes, really. I'd advise avoiding e.g phone batteries without. You also do indirectly all the time - others check for you. 

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> Yes, really.

Wow (nerd). 

>I'd advise avoiding e.g phone batteries without. You also do indirectly all the time - others check for you. 

I doubt it. Even my dear old mum's not checking my gear for CE.

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Really ???  

> Hands up anyone who's checked a product's stamped CE before buying it. Quick straw poll here reveals a total of zero out of nine

The idea is that it is mandatory for certain classes of product to have this marking in order to be sold legally in the EEA, simply because EEA countries agreed between themselves that it should be the case. 

I frankly don’t see what the big deal is, if a bunch of countries decide to enforce together some  baseline product standards, why shouldn’t they be able to do so ? Prior to this there was a plethora of different markings and requirements which made it more difficult to trade.

It’s rather odd to complain about protectionism and a the same time wanting to take us back to the 1970s when technical barriers to trade were much higher.

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The idea is that it is mandatory for certain classes of product to have this marking in order to be sold legally in the EEA, simply because EEA countries agreed between themselves that it should be the case. 

> I frankly don’t see what the big deal is, if a bunch of countries decide to enforce together some  baseline product standards, why shouldn’t they be able to do so ? Prior to this there was a plethora of different markings and requirements which made it more difficult to trade.

> It’s rather odd to complain about protectionism and a the same time wanting to take us back to the 1970s when technical barriers to trade were much higher.

You're really not reading what I'm posting are you?

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Look my point was that the CE mark is another protectionist lever, not a standard to protect people. None of what you've written refutes that.

Everything I’ve written refutes that, it’s easier for traders to have less disparate standards to conform to, it’s easier to agree for mutual recognition, and free trade can only have public support if people and businesses have at least some sort of sense that there is a democratic layer of control over it. You just need to look at the trade war the US is waging to see that people can easily turn against it if they feel they are being screwed over.

All this is perfectly sensible, and most trade block adopt a similar approach of standard harmonisation, maybe because it’s, I don’t know, useful ?

And more obviously, as I’ve pointed out, shops are full of foreign product of all sorts with CE marking, which pretty much empirically entirely demolishes the argument. If you don’t like going to the shop, then just look at the EU balance of trade. It’s oscillating around zero, suggesting we have a pretty decent balance between import and exports. Odd for a supposedly protectionist bloc, isn’t it.

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> You're really not reading what I'm posting are you?

I did, very carefully in fact, it’s just that it appears to not have any structured points, has a lot of contradictions, and no realistic alternative.

So maybe you can clarify for me by answering these very simple questions:

- Should countries be able to agree mutual standards between themselves if they wish to, and if not, why ?

- Do you have a better idea than enforcement of common standards through certification to improve safety for the consumer and improve environmental standards ?

Post edited at 18:36
Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I did, very carefully in fact, it’s just that it appears to not have any structured points, has a lot of contradictions, and no realistic alternative.

Well read it back again. I'm sorry it's not clear enough for you but frankly I can't be arsed going over it yet again.

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Well read it back again. I'm sorry it's not clear enough for you but frankly I can't be arsed going over it yet again.

Well, if you are not willing to make an effort to make your points clear, I can’t force you.

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Wow (nerd).

You don’t need to be a nerd. Personally I’m quite happy that when my neighbour buys a new oven, some kind of minimal certifications have been passed to make sure it doesn’t set fire to the building. 

Somewhat, I’d be rather suspicious of the ability of « market forces » to lead him to conduct extensive research and extensive safety checks on his appliance before buying it instead of simply going for the cheapest available.

If anything I’d like the standards to be higher and the enforcement better, maybe some will call or it « protectionist ». No surprise there, businesses don’t generally like to have to pass certifications, for them it’s pure cost. But protection is nevertheless sometimes useful.

In a perfect world there would be one perfect standard that everybody agrees on and everybody enforces well, there would be no technical barriers to trade, but that would be the now familiar world of cuckoo land.

Post edited at 19:12
neilh 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

 Because  it is more often than not protectionist ......   protecting local jobs/local companies 

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You don’t need to be a nerd. Personally I’m quite happy that when my neighbour buys a new oven, some kind of minimal certifications have been passed to make sure it doesn’t set fire to the building. 

Apparently not only have you not bothered reading my posts properly, you don't keep up with the news either.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/9477559/whirlpool-recalls-800000-tumble-dryers-free-replacements/

A CE MARK WILL NOT STOP YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S NEW OVEN FROM BURNING THE BUILDING DOWN!

Edit: "The fault was blamed for at least 750 fires over an 11-year period, according to the government."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48603753

Post edited at 19:30
MG 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Are you really arguing we abandon consumer protection law to aid trade?

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> Are you really arguing we abandon consumer protection law to aid trade?

Err...you think CE marks and consumer protection law is the same thing ???

They aren't even in the same room.

They are unrelated.

1
Rob Exile Ward 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

I bought my boat because it was CE Category A. Like any such classification it's flawed - I can still sink it - but it has passed all sorts of agreed standards. If I was a boatbuilder I think I'd appreciate agreed standards to work to.

Stichtplate 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I bought my boat because it was CE Category A. Like any such classification it's flawed - I can still sink it - but it has passed all sorts of agreed standards. If I was a boatbuilder I think I'd appreciate agreed standards to work to.

I'm glad you feel reassured by your boat being CE certified. Perhaps the 750 people who had their houses set on fire by CE certified tumble dryers were similarly reassured. Perhaps the owners of the 11 million CE certified Volkswagens were reassured that their cars met the specified standards (right up until it was revealed they'd made up the results, that is).

If I were you, I wouldn't skimp on your boat insurance on the strength of it's CE certification.

Post edited at 22:23
1
john arran 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Surely the fact that things need a valid CE certificate to be sold legally by an EU vendor is the important point, not whether individual consumers actively verify the certificates or stamps? If I were to take a job with an EU employer I would be confident that I would be benefitting from all EU employment protection legislation, without needing to verify that each such clause is explicitly copied into my contract. Buying from a reputable EU retailer should be equivalent to brushing up explicitly on all EU consumer regulations and verifying that the seller and the goods conform to them. But of course a whole lot easier - that's really the whole point of it.

The ability to import direct to consumer from outside of the EU is what muddies the water somewhat (legally or otherwise), but it's really just a matter of education to make sure that consumers are aware of the difference and what they are foregoing by importing non-CE goods directly.

Pefa 16 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

If it wasn't for the Germans and French rejecting ISDS then we would have accepted TTIP and have the corporations of America in control of our NHS etc. We probably will end up with this if the Tories stay in power. 

Postmanpat 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Darren Jackson:

> Talk to the hand, cos the face ain't listening, girlfriend... Word. 

> ... I love it when you go street. Tickles my cobbles. 

I hadn’t realised that you were old enough to be so out of touch. “Whatever” was a term used by irritated and irritating teenagers around the turn of the century.

Your phrase was probably street when Desmond Decker was making hits 😀

RomTheBear 16 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'm glad you feel reassured by your boat being CE certified. Perhaps the 750 people who had their houses set on fire by CE certified tumble dryers were similarly reassured. Perhaps the owners of the 11 million CE certified Volkswagens were reassured that their cars met the specified standards (right up until it was revealed they'd made up the results, that is).

Yes because of course before the development of safety standards houses never went on fire because of bad appliances, ha the good old days before we had « protectionist » safety certifications...

Shock and horror, people cheat and regulation and its enforcement are imperfect by nature, let’s instead scrap them and rely on the « market » to make sure our houses don’t catch fire, that’s certainly going to make it better, of course...

When you are done with your whatabouteries, maybe you can engage in the discussion meaningfully and constructively, start by answering the question, what is your magical alternative to safety certifications ? Since pretty much every country or trade bloc in the world  has similar regulations, you must have a killer idea that nobody thought about, we are all ears.

The problem in the EU is not the regulations, they are pretty much broadly decent, we’re very good at bureaucracy, the problem is poor enforcement, and that is simply due to the fact that we never wanted to create powerful enforcement agencies like they have in the US, indeed because it was always deemed too integrationist. But obviously that’s not a problem that goes away by having disparate regulations, that is, if you want free trade.

Post edited at 00:23
Pefa 17 Jul 2019

In reply in general :

There must be one of those meme faces of shocked disappointment at the moment when you are constantly liking what someone has been saying throughout a thread then out of the blue they have a go at you on another thread. Lol. 

Yanis Nayu 17 Jul 2019
Pefa 17 Jul 2019
baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I love the idea that the US is going to turn into a fascist state.

This is a country where there is a constant battle between the US government and individuals states for power.

Where many people are distrustful of ‘the feds’.

Where many people are armed to the teeth and literally prepared and able to defend their freedoms.

Yet somehow Trump is going to overcome all of this?

The only way that will happen is if the majority of the people want it to.

Then it would be ‘the will of the people’.

RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> The only way that will happen is if the majority of the people want it to.

How naive. You have a point that the US system is robust. But it’s not invulnerable.

Post edited at 10:43
Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Yes because of course before the development of safety standards houses never went on fire because of bad appliances, ha the good old days before we had « protectionist » safety certifications...

I see you’ve revised your position from your post at 18:48 when you stated that CE ensured that your neighbours new oven wouldn’t burn his house down.

> Shock and horror, people cheat and regulation and its enforcement are imperfect by nature, let’s instead scrap them and rely on the « market » to make sure our houses don’t catch fire, that’s certainly going to make it better, of course...

When the EUs biggest manufacturer, VW can falsify emission standards for 11 million vehicles and its left to a small US non profit to twig what’s going on,  If hotpoint can stick 5.7 million dryers out there, starting 750 house fires and it’s 11 years before it’s picked up on, we’ll, what good’s your CE?

> When you are done with your whatabouteries, maybe you can engage in the discussion meaningfully and constructively, start by answering the question, what is your magical alternative to safety certifications ? Since pretty much every country or trade bloc in the world  has similar regulations, you must have a killer idea that nobody thought about, we are all ears.

its not whataboutery, it’s specifically questioning the efficacy of the CE system in providing consumer protection. I’ve already outlined what really changes company behaviour...being sued, damaged to reputation and losing market share, all mechanisms that work really well in the US.

> The problem in the EU is not the regulations, they are pretty much broadly decent, we’re very good at bureaucracy, the problem is poor enforcement, and that is simply due to the fact that we never wanted to create powerful enforcement agencies like they have in the US, indeed because it was always deemed too integrationist. But obviously that’s not a problem that goes away by having disparate regulations, that is, if you want free trade.

CE does sod all for the consumer because, as we can see, major manufacturers can easily subvert it. Are you a big fan of carrying on with a failing systems simply because ‘everyone else does it’?

edit: and by the way, compliance marking isn’t a legal requirement in the US.

Post edited at 11:12
2
MG 17 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Yet somehow Trump is going to overcome all of this?

> The only way that will happen is if the majority of the people want it to.

As demonstrated by Trump being elected with a minority of votes...

baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> How naive. You have a point that the US system is robust. But it’s not invulnerable.

Of course it’s not invulnerable.

I was trying to point out that both the individual states and the population of those states are in a position to firmly resist attempts by a central government to impose fascism upon them.

Unless that’s what the majority want and then it’s the choice.

neilh 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate::

And CE Marking does not stop a lawyer pursing a claim for an unsafe product..If the CE Mark was any good as a safety standard then lawyers would be stopped dead in their tracks every time.You also get the crazy situation with H & S just ignoring the CE Mark.Legally its a waste of time and offers  no protection for me as a manufacturer.

It is an illusion that a product is safe with CE Marking.It is a symbol with paperwork.

And outside the EU its totally ignored and useless.

Having a good civil legal system and  H & S drives up standards.

Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

Completely agree. Quite telling that the US has excellent systems of consumer protection but have no mandatory compliance marking.

baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> As demonstrated by Trump being elected with a minority of votes...

As part of the well established US voting system.

Pefa 17 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Of course it’s not invulnerable.

> I was trying to point out that both the individual states and the population of those states are in a position to firmly resist attempts by a central government to impose fascism upon them.

> Unless that’s what the majority want and then it’s the choice.

Barring major social upheaval fascism would take route in any democracies gradually not by just making laws the equivalence of we are now fascist as that would never work. 

baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Pefa:

It would be difficult  if not impossible to change the laws in 50 separate US states to allow even the slow introduction of fascism.

Is that how fascism works anyway?

Doesn’t it depend on a quick introduction to take advantage of a particular set of circumstances before its (fascism’s) failings are realised?

I find it difficult to believe that fascism would have taken hold in Germany or Italy if it had been a very slow process.

krikoman 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Edit: "The fault was blamed for at least 750 fires over an 11-year period, according to the government."


What's that got to do with the EU? Are you suggesting the EU have prevented our government from acting on this?

Rob Exile Ward 17 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

'Doesn’t it depend on a quick introduction to take advantage of a particular set of circumstances before its (fascism’s) failings are realised?'

You could argue that Brexit's rise from nowhere to 33% fulfils your requirement for speed; how about this for a scenario.

Johnson tries to force Brexit, Parliament rejects it so he is forced to call a GE. Brexit pick up a shed load of the leave seats, with the Cons picking up enough of the rest to stay in power in a Brexit/Tory pact, with NF as deputy PM. A heartbeat away from the premiership...

neilh 17 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

Just showing the " safety" fallacy of CE Marking.

What you are suggesting is a seperate issue.

neilh 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Which results in me paying a huge insruance premium on products liability cover.....

Bob Kemp 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

The US does have some mandatory compliance marking. Check out the FCC Declaration of Conformity for electronic goods for one. 

Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> The US does have some mandatory compliance marking. Check out the FCC Declaration of Conformity for electronic goods for one. 

Mandatory FCC labelling was rescinded in November 2017.

Bob Kemp 17 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

It's an over-generalisation to talk about a 'safety fallacy' here.  CE marking is often misinterpreted as being a safety standard, yes, but that doesn't mean it has nothing at all to do with safety. CE marking refers to a range of standards and directives, some of which do have safety requirements and some of which don't. So how much CE marking involves safety varies from product type to product type.

RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> :

> And CE Marking does not stop a lawyer pursing a claim for an unsafe product..If the CE Mark was any good as a safety standard then lawyers would be stopped dead in their tracks every time.You also get the crazy situation with H & S just ignoring the CE Mark.Legally its a waste of time and offers  no protection for me as a manufacturer.

Its useful, for example, if you are an importer, if your supplier puts the CE mark on its product, then the supplier is liable if the product does not comply with the regulation. That’s pretty much the main purpose of it, it’s useful when you have a large market with disparate legal systems.

> It is an illusion that a product is safe with CE Marking.It is a symbol with paperwork.

> And outside the EU its totally ignored and useless.

> Having a good civil legal system and  H & S drives up standards.

The CE mark is just that, a mark, it just there to make it easier to identify liability and to make things easier to track in a single market.

You could get rid of the marking, it would change absolutely nothing to the safety regulations the product has to comply to.

It’s a bit like your « uk duty paid » sticker on your bottle of whisky. We could get rid of it but still duty would need to be paid on the bottles.

RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> It's an over-generalisation to talk about a 'safety fallacy' here.  CE marking is often misinterpreted as being a safety standard, yes, but that doesn't mean it has nothing at all to do with safety. CE marking refers to a range of standards and directives, some of which do have safety requirements and some of which don't. So how much CE marking involves safety varies from product type to product type.

Exactly. It’s just there to say « this product complies wit it the regulations of the single market, the person who applied for that stamp is liable if it doesn’t ». That’s pretty much it.

it just is there to make things easier, if you are te-distributing products in the EU or in countries with mutual recognition agreement of CE, you don’t have to understand all the regulations, you just need to check that the product have a CE marking.

Post edited at 14:22
Bob Kemp 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

I think you'll find it wasn't totally rescinded. Some devices were removed from the requirement and they relaxed some of the testing requirements. 

neilh 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Which is exactly what we have been saying..........

Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I’m just googling here Bob, I’m not an American commercial compliance lawyer

Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> Which is exactly what we have been saying..........

Ie. This is a box. It has been ticked. 

(But it’s an expensive and time consuming box to get ticked, especially if you’re a tiny company and most especially if you’re a company outside the EU. Hence; only utility =protectionism).

Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Exactly. It’s just there to say « this product complies wit it the regulations of the single market, the person who applied for that stamp is liable if it doesn’t ». That’s pretty much it.

The company that made it is already liable because they made it. There are laws which ensure this.

> it just is there to make things easier, if you are te-distributing products in the EU or in countries with mutual recognition agreement of CE, you don’t have to understand all the regulations, you just need to check that the product have a CE marking.

How in the holy f*ck does jumping through hoops for a meaningless stamp make anything easier?

if you’re an end user how does the CE mark reassure you?

Even if the process behind obtaining a CE mark isn’t followed, how hard do you think it is just to stick “CE” on something? Counterfeiters can produce everything from an England kit to an iPhone. I do t imagine that a sticky label will present much of a challenge.😂

Bob Kemp 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Ha, yes, I know what you mean... it's hard to decipher some of this stuff!

baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> 'Doesn’t it depend on a quick introduction to take advantage of a particular set of circumstances before its (fascism’s) failings are realised?'

> You could argue that Brexit's rise from nowhere to 33% fulfils your requirement for speed; how about this for a scenario.

> Johnson tries to force Brexit, Parliament rejects it so he is forced to call a GE. Brexit pick up a shed load of the leave seats, with the Cons picking up enough of the rest to stay in power in a Brexit/Tory pact, with NF as deputy PM. A heartbeat away from the premiership...

Well I suppose it’s a possibility although I’m not convinced that a Brexit/Tory party pact would count as fascist.

I think the result of a general election is so hard to call.

I think that the Brexit party should decimate the tortes and the Lib Dem’s should do for labour.

However, there’s the age old problem of people voting for the party that they’ve always voted for.

Which could lead to who knows what as far as the composition of parliament is concerned.

We could see enough MPs to see Brexit through or enough MPs to have another referendum/revocation.

It might depend upon the EU allowing the fiasco to roll on or maybe they don’t give us another extension.

This fiasco could go on and on.

MG 17 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> I find it difficult to believe that fascism would have taken hold in Germany or Italy if it had been a very slow process.

It took something like 20 years in Germany. I think you are getting hung up on the word "fascism".  The broader point is that democracy (in its wide sense of voting, institutions, free press, rule of law etc), is retentively easy to subvert by strongmen type leaders.  This is clearly happening in many countries (Hungary, Turkey, etc), and the same forces are at play in the UK, USA and elsewhere.  I think you are naive and complacent if you think we and US are somehow immune.

baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to MG:

> It took something like 20 years in Germany. I think you are getting hung up on the word "fascism".  The broader point is that democracy (in its wide sense of voting, institutions, free press, rule of law etc), is retentively easy to subvert by strongmen type leaders.  This is clearly happening in many countries (Hungary, Turkey, etc), and the same forces are at play in the UK, USA and elsewhere.  I think you are naive and complacent if you think we and US are somehow immune.

I think that the population of the US are too well armed and the population of the UK too apathetic to succumb to fascism.

I prefer to be described as cynical rather than naive.

2
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> The company that made it is already liable because they made it. There are laws which ensure this.

Are you a bit slow ? Of course there are laws, but they aren’t the same everywhere, so if you want to remove technical and legal barriers to trade, you need some kind of common framework. It’s not that hard to understand.

> How in the holy f*ck does jumping through hoops for a meaningless stamp make anything easier?

Its easier because, for example, if I import product from Spain in the UK, I only have to make sure the products I receive from my supplier in Spain have the CE mark, I don’t need to do all the safety checks in the UK again, because the CE certification is valid in the UK.

> if you’re an end user how does the CE mark reassure you?

It can be useful for products where it isn’t mandatory, as you might prefer to buy a product that has passed this safety standard, even if it isn’t a mandatory one.

But the sticker isn’t essential at all, what counts is the safety regulation behind it, which you’d have to pass anyway.

If your only complain is the sticker, frankly, it looks like you’re running out of arguments.

> Even if the process behind obtaining a CE mark isn’t followed, how hard do you think it is just to stick “CE” on something? Counterfeiters can produce everything from an England kit to an iPhone. I do t imagine that a sticky label will present much of a challenge.😂

It’s not counterfeit proof at all, wasn’t meant to be, but if you pass your product as CE certified where they haven’t actually been certified, then you may face prosecution, so there is a dissuasive element.

we are still waiting to your magical alternative to harmonised safety standard to facilitate free trade.

Post edited at 16:32
1
Rob Exile Ward 17 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

I think there's quite a way to go before we start building full-on concentration camps, but there have been many policies over the past few years that have been devastating to many individuals, have been implemented by a largely faceless and unaccountable bureaucracy and  brought about by a government with frequently scant respect for the rue of law.

Just a few: the bulldozing through of Universal credit, leaving those with the least resources without any means of subsistence. The ruling that most students taking English language tests had cheated, so could be deported willy-nilly, however far through their studies they were (and how much they might have paid.) The idea that 'hostile environment' was an acceptable policy to deal with immigration. The reluctance to allow Parliament to vote on plans for Brexit - and of course, the likely attempt to ignore parliament next time round.  

Bob Kemp 17 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

If you prefer to be described as cynical rather than naive perhaps you should be looking at which part of the US population is well-armed.

neilh 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

The USA and other countries have free trade agreements ( not with the EU) without CE Marking.

It is not a precusor to a free trade deal.

baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

As a Conservative voter I share your concern at the inability of the Conservative government to successfully implement many of it policies.

By success I mean to the benefit of the people affected by those policies.

To work through your list of examples - 

Universal credit - surely a good idea to simplify a complicated system but who thought it was a good idea to leave claimants without benefits for weeks?

Who thought it was a good idea, when the delay in benefits issue was pointed out, to only reduce the waiting time by a short amount?

English language tests - as far as I know the governments fears of cheating were confirmed by the company conducting the tests but the subsequent fiasco should be added to the long lost of the governments failing immigration policy - immigration targets anybody?

Hostile environment - to reduce the number of illegal migrants and possibly welcomed by many people but becomes another poorly implemented policy - Windrush scandal being the most obvious example.

Parliaments non involvement in Brexit process past and future - an ill conceived and undemocratic idea.

However, all of these failings have been exposed and some remedied by our media, political and judicial system.

That wouldn’t happen in a fascist state.

I think that this isn’t a Conservative plan, I’m not even sure that the Conservative Party could formulate a plan, of any sort, let alone implement it.

Where’s the competent political opposition to all this chaos?

baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I found some statistics which showed the gun ownership was much higher among people who identified  with the Republican Party than those who identified as Democrats.

41% versus 16%.

However, among people who identified as being independent of any political party gun ownership was 36%.

Make of those statistics what you will.

1
krikoman 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Ie. This is a box. It has been ticked. 

> (But it’s an expensive and time consuming box to get ticked, especially if you’re a tiny company and most especially if you’re a company outside the EU. Hence; only utility =protectionism).

Except, there is a name that goes with a CE mark, in our company that's me, while it doesn't stop people counterfeiting my stuff, or even the CE mark itself, for a legitimate company, there's is someone you can ask, "how did you CE mark this?"

neilh 17 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

I sign the decelerations as well..... it is also my name.....,,,

Does not mean I can’t recognise what it is strategically used for as a trade barrier .......

3
jethro kiernan 17 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

It is possible to have a semi fascist policy where only a minority would be targeted, think of all those gun toting yanks taking the law into their  own hands and “sending back” Hispanics

Possibly with a nod and a wink from the idiot in chief.

You don’t need jack boots and uniforms 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-us-canada-48029360

Rob Exile Ward 17 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

'Where’s the competent political opposition to all this chaos?'

God only knows. Just wait till Keir finally gets the job then we really will whip your a*se!

baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> 'Where’s the competent political opposition to all this chaos?'

> God only knows. Just wait till Keir finally gets the job then we really will whip your a*se!

I voted for Tony Blair when he won his first election because I was fed up with Tory ineptitude and corruption and I hoped New Labour would offer a new way of doing things.

I won’t be making that mistake again.  

RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> The USA and other countries have free trade agreements ( not with the EU) without CE Marking.

Actually they have lots of similar markings, just look at the back of your favourite appliance. 

I just looked under my keyboard and I counted 14 different ones from various countries, EAC from the Eurasian custom Union, FCC from the US, NOM from Mexico, IC for Canada, etc etc

But the important thing is not the sticker, the sticker is just there to indicate the existence of a claim by the manufacturer that it has verified compliance with the product product standard and regulation

Are you telling me that the USA and other countries don’t have product environmental and safety certification schemes  ? Are you telling me they don’t also have mutual recognition clauses for safety and environmental standards in trade deals ? That would be news.

This argument is frankly getting ridiculous, you are now down to complaining about a stupid sticker. 

1
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> I sign the decelerations as well..... it is also my name.....,,,

> Does not mean I can’t recognise what it is strategically used for as a trade barrier .......

Shock and horror, you have discovered that differing standards and regulations present a technical barrier to trade. 

Why don’t we do something such as for example, having a common certification scheme between willing countries, so that we can make it easier ? Ho wait... that’s exactly what this is.

Post edited at 17:32
1
neilh 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

I happen to export to non Eu countries including Japan please do not lecture to me about standards.

Post edited at 17:32
5
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> I happen to export to non Eu countries including Japan please do not lecture to me about standards.

I’m not lecturing you about standards, I’m pointing out the total lack of substance in your argument, if there is even one, tbh it sounds more like you are having a fairly vague ranting because obviously you have to comply with regulation, which typically a cost.

I sympathise as these regulation typically influenced by big corporate lobbies penalise small businesses, unfortunately we still need regulation, and we have to have some king of common ones if we don’t want endless bureaucracy and easy free trade.

if you export to Japan, then surely you must be aware of the mutual recognition agreement the EU has with Japan, which, I hear, are to be significantly expanded in the latest trade deal.

Post edited at 17:55
3
baron 17 Jul 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Thanks for your linked article.

I read it with interest.

These groups appear to be well armed and possibly well prepared but haven’t yet begun to send back any Hispanics.

I couldn’t find anything where it stated that was their intention although their hatred of migrants seems to be growing.

They do have the dilemma of having to choose between their hatred of the feds and their support for Trump who is number one fed.

Given that their hatred  of the feds predates the arrival of Trump who knows which way they would turn if he tried to restrict their freedoms.

I suppose he could try to recruit them into a sort of Brownshirt type movement as you seem to suggest.

Hopefully there are enough sensible people in the states affected to prevent such actions from happening.

Post edited at 17:47
neilh 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

In your opinion...of course......and with that i will leave you to it.

6
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

We still have no clue as to what your point was other than « bobooh it’s protectionnist » despite the fact that common standards appeared indeed to make business easier. And it’s completely unquestionable that it is much easier to trade now than it was back in the 70s.

And despite the endless frothy criticism and I see absolutely no proposal of realistic alternative coming from you either. There is a reason why every trade bloc is adopting broadly the same strategy to harmonise standards first in their bloc, and then seek MRA with others.

If you have an original idea to suggest, please go ahead.

Post edited at 18:07
4
Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> We still have no clue as to what your point was other than « bobooh it’s protectionnist » despite the fact that common standards appeared indeed to make business easier. And it’s completely unquestionable that it is much easier to trade now than it was back in the 70s.

> And despite the endless frothy criticism and I see absolutely no proposal of realistic alternative coming from you either. There is a reason why every trade bloc is adopting broadly the same strategy to harmonise standards first in their bloc, and then seek MRA with others.

> If you have an original idea to suggest, please go ahead.

All this has been explained several times, in several different ways.

and yet still you sit there behind your keyboard, fingers jammed in ears, screaming “lalalalal, I’m not listening!”.

You do make me laugh.

8
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> All this has been explained several times, in several different ways.

I’m not the one who doesn't try to reply to the points made seriously. You can say it, it doesn’t make it true. All you’ve done is show that you havent done your research on the topic.

Can you quote where you have proposed an realistic alternative ?

Even the UK civil service is preparing a new UKCA marking which will mirror CE marking in case of no deal...

But of course the UKCA marking will not be recognised on the EU market, so we’ll have to apply for certification on two markets. So much for liberating ourselves of red tape.

Post edited at 20:52
1
wercat 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

lack of compliance by BT and openreach is causing lots of problems with RFI/EMC   one man's liberty is someone else's loss

Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Im not the one who doesn't try to reply to the points made seriously. You can say it, it doesn’t make it true. All you’ve done is show that you havent done your research on the topic.

No, I've not done my research, just spent 22 years manufacturing a globally exported product. What is it you do again Rom?

Edit: sorry 21 years. must maintain full accuracy or I might lose my CE certification (not).

Post edited at 21:00
6
Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to wercat:

> lack of compliance by BT and openreach is causing lots of problems with RFI/EMC   one man's liberty is someone else's loss

I'm all for compliance, Global standards would be great, the EU is great. CE certification is a ridiculous non-functional, non-enforced bag of shite. 

6
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> No, I've not done my research, just spent 22 years manufacturing a globally exported product. 

If you think it makes you an expert in global safety standards and trade then you are very seriously deluded. You must do your research and read from people who know the topic.

I’m still waiting to hear your magical alternative, btw. Still no idea bubbling up ?

Post edited at 20:58
1
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'm all for compliance, Global standards would be great, the EU is great. CE certification is a ridiculous non-functional, non-enforced bag of shite. 

So how would removing the need for CE certification make enforcement better ?

Post edited at 21:03
Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> If you think it makes you an expert in global safety standards and trade then you are very seriously deluded. You must do your research and read from people who know the topic.

What, like You?

> I’m still waiting to hear your magical alternative, btw. Still no idea bubbling up ?

I've twice explained what actually enforces product standards. I'll go over it again if you like and even explain one simple difference that makes the British safety industry federation safe supplier scheme vastly superior as a mechanism for consumer protection.

But first answer my question and tell me what you've done for a living that makes you such an expert on manufactured products and safety standards.

8
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> What, like You?

> I've twice explained what actually enforces product standards.

You’ve said it’s markets (obviously bollocks and over simplistic), and then you said it’s suing people, which you can try to do anyway whether there is a CE sticker or not.

> I'll go over it again if you like and even explain one simple difference that makes the British safety industry federation safe supplier scheme vastly superior as a mechanism for consumer protection.

You can, I’d be happy to hear it, but It looks like another whataboutery, I don’t see how that is related. That scheme is a British voluntary mechanism for a very specific type of products, it’s useful for buyers and suppliers of these products on the UK market, how does that help you harmonise standard to facilitate international trade ?

> But first answer my question and tell me what you've done for a living that makes you such an expert on manufactured products and safety standards.

I am not, don’t claim to be, that’s exactly why I’ve done my research and read from experts, and maybe you should do a bit more of that.

Post edited at 21:30
2
Stichtplate 17 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I am not, don’t claim to be, that’s exactly why I’ve done my research and read from experts, and maybe you should do a bit more of that.

Ahh....so you’ve never worked in manufacturing, you’ve no experience in producing products to conform with CE certification and you’ve no direct experience of international safety standards.... but you feel free to lecture others in your usual ultra-patronising manner cos you’ve got Google.

In that case sir, I’ve tried to explain as simply as I can for that lay man and I can do no more.

9
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Ahh....so you’ve never worked in manufacturing, you’ve no experience in producing products to conform with CE certification and you’ve no direct experience of international safety standards....

All very useful experiences to have for many things, but unfortunately utterly useless if you are trying to understand the development of certifications in relation to free trade.

For example, in my industry, finance, we face similar very heavy regulatory challenges, and I have to deal with regulations from various bodies and countries all the time, the fact that I know how to achieve compliance doesn’t qualify me to judge how best these regulations should be harmonised and enforced across jurisdictions and their influence on trade,  if I want to have an opinion then I have to do some reading and listen to what the experts in the field are saying, instead of simply saying it’s shit cos they are a pain.

> but you feel free to lecture others in your usual ultra-patronising manner cos you’ve got Google.

if being able to answer the points made with verifiable information is patronising to you, that says more about you than about me. 

On your last post you were taking about BSIF... I’m still waiting for you to explain to us how an obscure British voluntary registration scheme for a niche class of products with no enforcement powers solves the problem of harmonisation and proper enforcement of regulation across border across many products, as well as the problem of technical barriers to trade.

Post edited at 23:04
3
RomTheBear 17 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> In that case sir, I’ve tried to explain as simply as I can for that lay man and I can do no more.

You have explained nothing, you are unable to answer simple questions, all you did was to come up with whatabouteries, rants, and unsubstantiated contradictory affirmations. 

4
Lusk 19 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

And there we have it in a nutshell, a banker!

A so called expert who has no actual experience of the real world.

Who was it that dropped us all in the shit about ten years ago ... ?

4
krikoman 19 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> In that case sir, I’ve tried to explain as simply as I can for that lay man and I can do no more.

You haven't really explained anything though, you've said you could and would, more than once. You've then gone on to asked more questions, but like a good politician, you've not done what you said you, would and could.

Stichtplate 19 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

If you read up thread, you’ll see that I’ve said real manufacturing standards are maintained by the threat of legal action, reputation damage and subsequent loss of customers/market share.

As you know, to get your product CE certified, you get to choose which samples you send in, you get to choose which company you employ to test the samples and from then on there’s no further testing (currently) unless something goes wrong. And of course, the parameters being tested are often arbitrary and far from comprehensive.

im not against base standards, I just think ce barely sets any.

1
Trevers 22 Jul 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

At risk of dredging up this thread again, I read this in today's FT and thought that many posters might be interested to read it, and the book to which it makes reference:

https://www.ft.com/content/44f96050-ac56-11e9-8030-530adfa879c2?fbclid=IwAR1yqfXnXp_BGyGuKXXISeo_wG5my7ZjLs0aqrj1ZD5UN5CiBTDo-cWrSvE

john arran 22 Jul 2019
In reply to Trevers:

It's paywalled, but if you google "Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and lessons from the 1930s", the link direct from Google gets through

krikoman 25 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> If you read up thread, you’ll see that I’ve said real manufacturing standards are maintained by the threat of legal action, reputation damage and subsequent loss of customers/market share.

Then you might as well do away with standards altogether if you suggesting,"reputation damage and subsequent loss of customers/market share" are the driving force.

I know the CE is a bit wishy washy, but it means there's someone with the manufacturing company who is responsible, which is where you first point,  "legal action" comes in.

Post edited at 12:25
RomTheBear 25 Jul 2019
In reply to krikoman:

> Then you might as well do away with standards altogether if you suggesting,"reputation damage and subsequent loss of customers/market share" are the driving force.

> I know the CE is a bit wishy washy, but it means there's someone with the manufacturing company who is responsible, which is where you first point,  "legal action" comes in.

The thing is, and I pointed this out many times to no avail, CE is NOT a standard. It’s a certification mark. It simply is a way for the manufacturer to declare that its product conforms to the relevant regulations of the single market. That’s very useful for cross border trade, as in most cases don’t need to prove compliance in every country you sell.

Whether the underlying regulations and their enforcement is good or bad is a different subject, and not a clear cut one, they differ widely between classes of products so any generalisation is likely to be over simplistic. Anybody who says « they’re shit » or « they’re good » most likely has no clue of what they are talking about.

The question was how can have free trade whilst preserving product regulations and standard. Certification Marks is one of the tools we can use to achieve that. I have asked many times Stichplate for his magical alternative but he’s unable to answer.

Post edited at 15:35
1
krikoman 25 Jul 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Have a like, that's what I was try to convey

MG 25 Jul 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> If you read up thread, you’ll see that I’ve said real manufacturing standards are maintained by the threat of legal action, reputation damage and subsequent loss of customers/market share.

Boeing.... 


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