UKC

/ Italian election

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Big Ger - on 05 Mar 2018

Very interesting, in the light of Brexit. Could they be next to leave?

> A majority of Italian voters supported Eurosceptic candidates in the national election on Sunday, preliminary results showed, after decades in which Italy has steadfastly championed the European project.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/05/italy-turns-back-on-europe-as-election-points-to-hung-parliament

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MG - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Very interesting, in the light of Brexit. Could they be next to leave?

We have Trump, Putin, Xi, Erdogan and highly dubious leaders in Hungary, Poland and Czech....and you think childishly jumping up and down in glee at every hint the EU might have problems is a good idea.

7
Bob Kemp - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

I assume you're hoping they do. But remember Italian politics is famously volatile, and getting a coalition together will be tricky for the parties involved. I wouldn't be surprised if they are heading for a situation of indefinite paralysis. Followed by the dumping of Renzi for Gentiloni and another election?

Post edited at 10:28
1
Big Ger - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> We have Trump, Putin, Xi, Erdogan and highly dubious leaders in Hungary, Poland and Czech....and you think childishly jumping up and down in glee at every hint the EU might have problems is a good idea.

How about you try debating the point rather than the person? It may stop you embarrassing your self with silly infantile imaginings like this; "childishly jumping up and down in glee" fantasy of yours.

Grow up.

Do you think it possible Italy may leave the EU? Personally I don't.

 

28
Big Ger - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> I assume you're hoping they do.

I think it's up to them, I don't think it;s in their interest to leave, and I don't think the UK has anything to gain from it.

> But remember Italian politics is famously volatile, and getting a coalition together will be tricky for the parties involved. I wouldn't be surprised if they are heading for a situation of indefinite paralysis. Followed by the dumping of Renzi for Gentiloni and another election?

Nothing there I disagree with.

 

5
MG - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> How about you try debating the point rather than the person? 

The point, although you are too blind to see it, is that small-minded nationalism and  strongmen are increasingly taking over from liberal democracy across the world.  By wanting to tear down the EU, you are encouraging this.

12
Big Ger - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> The point, although you are too blind to see it, is that small-minded nationalism and  strongmen are increasingly taking over from liberal democracy across the world.  

The point, though you are to blind to see it, is that by including your snide little sneer you devalue debate.

> By wanting to tear down the EU, you are encouraging this.

Who wants to "tear down the EU"? Again your absolute addiction to attacking the poster rather than addressing the point, blinds you to the fact that I do not want to tear down the EU, a facile notion at best. 

Wanting the UK to leave the EU does not equal wanting to "tear down the EU"

Grow up.

Post edited at 10:49
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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> The point, although you are too blind to see it, is that small-minded nationalism and  strongmen are increasingly taking over from liberal democracy across the world.  By wanting to tear down the EU, you are encouraging this.

I'm not sure how you can label this at Italy. They have held democratic elections and the population have spoken. Unless the winners decide to take down the existing voting system and representation methods, then liberal democracy is safe and intact, no?

Obviously in China, it never existed in the first place.

1
MG - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I'm not sure how you can label this at Italy. They have held democratic elections and the population have spoken. Unless the winners decide to take down the existing voting system and representation methods, then liberal democracy is safe and intact, no?

Unless.  From what I hear 5-star is more populist than anti-democracy but there are less pleasant versions in the wings. Also it's not really necessary to dismantle the voting system etc to end up with illiberal strongman or similar in charge - look at e.g Hungary or quite possibly the USA in a few years.  Against this background, I think endlessly painting the EU as somehow a monster is shortsighted and very dangerous.

 

4
summo on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> The point, although you are too blind to see it, is that small-minded nationalism and  strongmen are increasingly taking over from liberal democracy across the world.  By wanting to tear down the EU, you are encouraging this.

But. Perhaps the eu needs to look at the UK and the other countries listed above, the Catalans too and grasp it can't force an all controlling  federal states of Europe within half a lifetime, it needs to reform and adapt to the populations. Pushing on with the giant merger as rapidly as possible doesn't make potential problems go away, it's more likely to bring back old divides that nobody regarless of their views on the eu wants to see.

No Italy won't exit. It can't afford to. 

Big Ger - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> No Italy won't exit. It can't afford to. 

That's a hard sell to the people who have been affected by mass immigration and loss of jobs. In the some regions unemployment is as high as 29%.  Italian debt is now the second worst in Europe after Greece.

 

2
stevieb - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

Why do you think that the UK can afford to leave but Italy cannot?

Italy are also net contributors to the EU, around 2/3s of the UK.

Their economy is based more heavily on food and manufacturing which are far easier to trade under WTO or independent trade deals  than services are. Although Italy's location suggests that their economy may well be more embedded in the EU.

Also, they have been far more heavily affected by non-EU immigration than the UK has.

C Witter on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

The inequalities of the EU have, I think, led Italy up to this point. Some industries in Italy no doubt benefit from EU membership, but in general the Italian economy is just not as productive as Germany, France and the UK - and without control of its monetary policy, it's severely disadvantaged.

The response of the EU and its institutions has been loans in exchange for imposing austerity, screwing over the majority of the Italian population. Defending this, and in cowardly tones, is what did Renzi and the Democratic Party in. Autocracy, austerity and cowardice.

This has created an opening, however, for all the opportunist scum of the earth to emerge, creating false polarisations between "Italians" and "Immigrants", "cosmopolitanism" and "tradition", "the family" and "gender neutralism", "religion" and "lesbianism". Fascist discourse has entered the mainstream of debate.

This is like the UK over the last 10 years, but even worse. It's a disaster for Italy, and for all its neighbours.

3
pasbury on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to MG:

> Unless.  From what I hear 5-star is more populist than anti-democracy but there are less pleasant versions in the wings. 

This seems to the problem all over the place, it's a shame to see another electorate brainlessly falling for it.

 

4
pasbury on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to C Witter:

The Italian economy hasn't been performing that badly though considering the wordwide conditions.

Bob Kemp - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> I think it's up to them, I don't think it;s in their interest to leave, and I don't think the UK has anything to gain from it.

> Nothing there I disagree with.

Fair enough...

summo on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to stevieb:

> Why do you think that the UK can afford to leave but Italy cannot?

> Italy are also net contributors to the EU, around 2/3s of the UK.

Compared to the UK their national finances and strain on their banks are far worse. They cooked the books to join the euro and it's not improved since. Plus just being in the euro adds a huge extra problem to any Italian exit, when you need to restart an old currency.

 

BnB - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

A fair bit of wrangling upthread could have been avoided if anyone had pointed out that:

a) none of the three leading parties has the objective of leaving the EU

b) under the Italian constitution, even to put such a question before the populace requires a 2/3 majority

stevieb - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

I'm not sure that UK government finances are any more resilient than the Italian, but you're right, being in the Euro does add a whole other level of complexity

Big Ger - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

> A fair bit of wrangling upthread could have been avoided if anyone had pointed out that:

> a) none of the three leading parties has the objective of leaving the EU

> b) under the Italian constitution, even to put such a question before the populace requires a 2/3 majority

Well observed.

4
MG - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

> a) none of the three leading parties has the objective of leaving the EU

Neither did they in the UK.

 

Big Ger - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

This is the sort of rhetoric which would appeal greatly to those affected by immigration, job losses, and unemployment; Matteo Salvini, leader of The League party; "Why on earth would free people remain prisoners in a cage of absurd laws and regulation, with rigid constraints that humiliate the true needs of the people and their country?”

5
pasbury on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

Is he an anarchist then?

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to C Witter:

"This is like the UK over the last 10 years, but even worse. It's a disaster for Italy, and for all its neighbours."

Seems to me that Europe is now littered with minority governments and weak coalitions (Spain, Netherlands, UK, Italy...even Germany!) Is it all due to "opportunistic scum" or do you think it's a reaction to the way the EU works?

Post edited at 14:24
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stevieb - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> "This is like the UK over the last 10 years, but even worse. It's a disaster for Italy, and for all its neighbours."

> Seems to me that Europe is now littered with minority governments and weak coalitions (Spain, Netherlands, UK, Italy...even Germany!) Is it all due to "opportunistic scum" or do you think it's a reaction to the way the EU works?


Do you think it's just about the EU, or do you think this could be caused by a wide range of other issues;

Germany and Italy both have ageing populations, below replacement levels. This is driving the very immigration which is hugely unpopular.

The EU decision to allow total freedom of movement to eastern Europe was probably misguided, but 18 of the top 20 immigrant populations in Italy are non EU. This suggests the issue is bigger than the EU.

Libya is a failed state. This is not due to the EU. This is having a big impact on Italian immigration. Italy and Lampedusa are one of the main destinations.

For the past 30 years and more, we have happily moved a huge amount of production to China, India, South Korea, Poland etc. and reaped the benefits of cheap goods. These countries are much wealthier now, and we are paying the price for this short termism.

 

RX-78 on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

'Populist' government' cropping up all around the world, would suggest the EU is not the main factor, probably bigger issues at play.  Global warming, population growth and automation leading to increased uncertainty and instability, so people turn to those promising to make things better and prioritize them. I can only see the global situation get worse.

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to stevieb:

I do think immigration is a factor. But I think the euro and the way it is currency union without being a fiscal union is a bigger factor that has had damaging effects throughout the EU.

 

tripehound - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

This whole scenario is highly reminiscent of the 1930s. All very worrying, Mussolini Mk2?

 

1
tripehound - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> No Italy won't exit. It can't afford to. 

Well we appear to be leaving and we certainly cannot afford to.

1
summo on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to tripehound:

> Well we appear to be leaving and we certainly cannot afford to.

Why can't We? We aren't in the euro, aren't wedded to the ecb, banking sector is in better shape etc.. the UK does have a debt, but that's down to over ingulging in the 00s. The UK has not and didn't massage it's accounts to join the euro which then effectively devalued it's currency. UK and Italy. Chalk and cheese. 

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john arran - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> Why can't We? We aren't in the euro, aren't wedded to the ecb, banking sector is in better shape etc.. the UK does have a debt, but that's down to over ingulging in the 00s. The UK has not and didn't massage it's accounts to join the euro which then effectively devalued it's currency. UK and Italy. Chalk and cheese. 

Yes, you're right. And I'm sure we'll simply thrive now we're free to negotiate even better trading terms with the US and with Vanuatu. Who needs to trade with the largest trading bloc in the world anyway, even if it is right on our doorstep? This is Britain we're talking about; All the other countries of the world will be queueing up for us to exploit them.

5
C Witter on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

For me, it's due to the failure of the centre to deliver on any of its promises. Unemployment or casualised employment, attacks on pensions, decreasing incomes, rising cost of living (particularly housing, obvs,  but also council tax, utilities and transport), increasing personal debt, etc. etc. People are hacked off, and all the Renzis, Camerons, Milibands and Macrons could do was shrug and say "well, we know times are hard, but the responsible thing is to blah blah fiscal responsibility".

So, into this vacuum, like flies around a giant turd, swarm the likes of Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Grillo and Salvini, as well as open fascists like Le Pen, declaiming: "Yes (despite our wealth, our idiocy, our inability say an honest word) we understand The People and we know their problem: immigrants. Finally, we can bravely step forward where no one dares to tread and, in time honoured tradition, do what no one else has the balls to do: pin it on the wretched of the earth!"

And since the political centre had already been quite willing to blame and criminalise and abuse immigrants and minorities for the entirety of modern history, it wasn't a difficult hand to play...

2
Offwidth - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

What proof at all do you have that Italy cooked the books to enter the Euro?. There is forensic accounting that proves the case for Greece, using methods that the EU should have  (and I think probably did, but didn't acknowlege that they had) spotted. Germany in particular made a fortune from an undervalued Deutsche Mark and relative competitiveness of their industry in a common currency zone with their weaker southern neighbours, especially from Greece. What was the bigger dishonesty in the end for the future of the currency?

aln - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

As an aside, did the Brexit vote affect your decision to come back from Australia or had the move already been decided? 

Pete Pozman - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> "This is like the UK over the last 10 years, but even worse. It's a disaster for Italy, and for all its neighbours."

> Seems to me that Europe is now littered with minority governments and weak coalitions (Spain, Netherlands, UK, Italy...even Germany!) Is it all due to "opportunistic scum" or do you think it's a reaction to the way the EU works?

The 2008 crash, our stupid wars in the middle East, the consequent refugee crisis, falling birth rates, mass migration from brown skinned countries. These are the things which are causing people to get angry. None of the the right wing insurgent movements are engendering calm responses. A young Polish coach driver in the Dolomites told me two years ago  that there was an increasing mania for smashing things. Where's it going to end? I asked. He shook his head: "There will be a war."

All you lot relishing the comeuppance of the liberal elite. Start praying that lad was wrong  

Post edited at 20:46
RomTheBear on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Very interesting, in the light of Brexit. Could they be next to leave?

M5S is not a eurosceptic party and doesn't call for a referendum. A 2/3 qualified majority of parliament would be needed to call one. So no.

RomTheBear on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> the UK does have a debt, but that's down to over ingulging in the 00s. 

It is not. You need to learn to read a chart. 

 

2
RomTheBear on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> What proof at all do you have that Italy cooked the books to enter the Euro?. 

They did not. Italy is a rich country. They did not need to cook the books.

 

Timmd on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to john arran:

> Yes, you're right. And I'm sure we'll simply thrive now we're free to negotiate even better trading terms with the US and with Vanuatu. Who needs to trade with the largest trading bloc in the world anyway, even if it is right on our doorstep? This is Britain we're talking about; All the other countries of the world will be queueing up for us to exploit them.

Much of the greatness in our history, within the last four or five centuries, has been funded by slavery and the exploitation of other continents, it's what drove the industrial revolution, money from using resources in other countries, and from slavery. We might now be diplomatic, or innovative, or influential (to what degree is subjective, and arguably linked to our membership of the EU - or not) but we stopped being 'Great' quite a long time ago, what with entering the doldrums during the 1970's.  I really want Brexit to succeed if it's going to happen, but I wonder if there might be an awakening for some voters. 

It's pretty straight forward to look into what fueled Britain's ascent, where the resources and money came from in the Empire, and it's areas of trade.

 

Post edited at 22:44
Pete Pozman - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Brexit cannot succeed. It is, of its nature, a failure. 

2
Makemake002 - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

Both the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League (Northern League) have talked about the possibility of abandoning Nato, called for ending sanctions on Russia they say have hurt the Italian economy, and have been supportive of Russia’s campaign in Syria.

Matteo Salvini has been to Moscow multiple times and  Manlio Di Stefano of M5S gave a speech before a conference of Putin’s United Russia party in which he not only called for an end to EU sanctions, but said it was evident that the “Ukraine crisis” was a result of meddling by the EU and US in Russian affairs.

So Brussels can blame Russia for this one too, maybe the 13 Russian trolls are at it again lol.

1
GrahamD - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

> But. Perhaps the eu needs to look at the UK

At the moment, the EU is not separate from the UK.  The UK has as much influence as anyone else (probably more) as to what course Europe should and can take.

 

1
cander - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I’m interested, I assume the money from slavery came from selling slaves to the Americans and from the sugar plantations of the West Indies, can you point me to any good sources that demonstrate the financial impact of the slavery sales and sugar industry on the British economy (I think it was significant but I don’t really know how significant).

I’m also assuming that slavery wasn’t a major institution in the rest of the British empire (India etc) but I might be wrong.

1
DerwentDiluted - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

It's not worth much anguish. Italian governments are a bit like buses, if this one dosn't go your way, wait a few minutes and three others will show up.  Its been like that since the Medicis and probably won't change for a bit longer.

1
elsewhere on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to cander:

Financial impact is from owning generations of descendants rather than initial import of their ancestors?

*tobacco, cheap import of raw materials such as cotton to boost profits of UK industry/exports

 

1
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Pete Pozman:

"The 2008 crash"

Exactly, and that was a particular disaster for countries tied to the euro and the ECB with no control themselves like the PIIGS. The ECB moved incredibly slowly excarbating the situation and leaving European Banks incredibly weak and likely to be unable to withstand another debt crisis, even to this day despite the ECBs LTRO strategy. Draghis "Whatever it takes" empty statement did bring some stability and now bond yields are much lower, but that has just shifted the problem to extremely low economic growth and risk of deflation. The ECB can't raise interest rates because of the added damage that would do to various countries mired in debt. And who holds all this useless european govt debt that is only backed by Marios "whatever it takes" statement? European banks of course. A perfect "catch 22" which has resulted in the can kicking we have seen over the last 7 years.

The political implications of this has been huge in a lot of European countries, but there is zero appetite to change at the EU level in regards to the euro and fiscal sharing as that would be an admission of fault.It is like a supertanker at full speed with cotton wool in it's ears. Not listening and not turning around. Austerity and massive QE has been the only answer, but is not looking like the solution. The symptom is now what we are discussing.

In regards mass migration from "brown skinned countries" , I suspect that would be unpopular regardless of the financial state of the EU. But add them together and the political future for a lot of EU countries looks interesting.

All of this is makes Brexit negotiations virtually impossible for the UK IMO, as the EU cannot be seen to be weak. How weak is the EU? well my opinion is probably different to a lot of people on here...but another financial crisis will tell us if their swimming without trunks on.

elsewhere on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> All of this is makes Brexit negotiations virtually impossible for the UK IMO, as the EU cannot be seen to be weak. How weak is the EU? well my opinion is probably different to a lot of people on here...but another financial crisis will tell us if their swimming without trunks on.

We'll rise and fall with the EU since that's where our trade is (mostly). If the EU is in crisis we will be too so it won't change much in the balance of power even if their GDP is only five times bigger than ours rather than six times bigger than ours. We're negotiating with a big beast.

Post edited at 11:03
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wbo - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus: I suspect another financial shock would also reveal rather a lot about the UK economy as well although that is another discussion. 

 

1
Jim Hamilton - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> Much of the greatness in our history, within the last four or five centuries, has been funded by slavery and the exploitation of other continents, it's what drove the industrial revolution, money from using resources in other countries, and from slavery.

> It's pretty straight forward to look into what fueled Britain's ascent, where the resources and money came from in the Empire, and it's areas of trade.

I don’t think it is quite that straightforward.  There were many reasons for Britain's rise, including necessity in emulating the Dutch going their own way from the wealthy Spanish, development of Amsterdam and London as commercial centres, lower social inequality, innovation, reform of the Navy following defeat by the Dutch which could then protect trading positions round the world, and Great Britain did not have to spend vast amounts protecting land borders. It looks as though the slave trade had more effect on port/city growth than driving the industrial revolution. 

 

summo on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

> At the moment, the EU is not separate from the UK.  The UK has as much influence as anyone else (probably more) as to what course Europe should and can take.

I was referring to the fact a proportion of European citizens aren't happy with the eu's current course. The eu solution; to push even harder and faster in that direction. They are out of touch and it's not good for europes stability to have some higher body trying to steer nearly 30 very diverse countries in a very precise direction, in a very short space of time. 

3
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to wbo:

That's true, but we do have our own levers to pull in times of crisis (own currency, own central bank) although how much dry powder is left is debatable. It is widely accepted though that TARP in the US has put American banks in a much stronger position than European banks, likewise the Swiss and the UK were much quicker at reacting to the crisis. The Eurozone was much slower, most likely due to being hamstrung by the nature of the set up. (Germans don't like bailing out Greek banks...etc)

Italy is a problem with it's stagnant economy and it's debt pile. A cobbled together coalition of populist parties deciding they know better what's good for Italians than the EU will be interesting to observe.

 

1
GrahamD - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to summo:

There isn't a higher authority.  The EU is its members.

1
RomTheBear on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> That's true, but we do have our own levers to pull in times of crisis (own currency, own central bank) although how much dry powder is left is debatable. It is widely accepted though that TARP in the US has put American banks in a much stronger position than European banks, likewise the Swiss and the UK were much quicker at reacting to the crisis. The Eurozone was much slower, most likely due to being hamstrung by the nature of the set up. (Germans don't like bailing out Greek banks...etc)

Eurozone countries had a much slower recovery than the U.K, but also a significantly shallower recession (except Greece)

If you look at the UK recovery, much, if not almost all of it, was achieved through growing the working age population and keeping wages down.

Trying to “fix” the economy through a mix of mass immigration and lower wages was maybe not such a good idea, and clearly not sustainable. And now you have brexit to deal with, and the eurozone is pulling away whilst we are stagnating.

> Italy is a problem with it's stagnant economy and it's debt pile. A cobbled together coalition of populist parties deciding they know better what's good for Italians than the EU will be interesting to observe.

Most likely they will do absolutely nothing which is more or less the normal state of Italian politics.

 

1
BFG on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Very interesting, in the light of Brexit. Could they be next to leave?

This point may have been made before, I haven't read the full thread. If so, sorry.

However, I think it's important to note that a) the party with the largest vote share (Five Star), whilst both generally anti-establishment and specifically euro-sceptic, have no policy to leave the EU; they're explicit policy is to stay in and push for reform.

Additionally, about 60% of the electorate voted for centre left or centre right coalitions; neither of which are opposed to Italy's membership of the European Union, though the centre-right coalition includes a nationalist party opposed to Italy's membership of the Euro

So, specifically on your question, I think it's extremely unlikely that you'll see Italy leaving the EU.

More generally, I think it's important to recognise that being Eurosceptic is not the same  thing as being anti-EU. Especially on the continent, there is no prima facie link between being critical of the organisation and not wanting to be a member of it.

Big Ger - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BFG:

Well put.

1
Timmd on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

> I don’t think it is quite that straightforward.  There were many reasons for Britain's rise, including necessity in emulating the Dutch going their own way from the wealthy Spanish, development of Amsterdam and London as commercial centres, lower social inequality, innovation, reform of the Navy following defeat by the Dutch which could then protect trading positions round the world, and Great Britain did not have to spend vast amounts protecting land borders. It looks as though the slave trade had more effect on port/city growth than driving the industrial revolution. 

''Much of the greatness in our history, within the last four or five centuries, has been funded by slavery and the exploitation of other continents, it's what drove the industrial revolution, money from using resources in other countries, and from slavery. It's pretty straight forward to look into what fueled Britain's ascent, where the resources and money came from in the Empire, and it's areas of trade.''

I figured it might be clear from what I'd written that I didn't just mean slavery, but general exploitation too. I don't quite have the time to go into further, but my point stands that our rise as a country & global power happened thanks to exploitation (and military might - arguably the same thing). These days, we might be respected on the world stage for whatever reasons, but we are just another country now compared to the past.  

You've picked one thing I've mentioned, and told me there was more to it than that. ;-) 

Post edited at 15:03
1
Jim Hamilton - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> You've picked one thing I've mentioned, and told me there was more to it than that. ;-) 

Or rather you only mentioned slavery and exploitation, and I said there is a bit more to it than that! 

 

 

1
Timmd on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I realise I was possibly too vague in what I mean by 'exploitation'. I meant more than slavery, and actually what you have alluded to, as well, in British competition with the Dutch and what was behind that, which had money as the motive, along with national pride and the status which came along too, but end result was more money for the nation's coffers, meaning our growth and prosperity came from exploiting other parts of the world and it's people. So we seem to be in agreement, that the money which fueled the rise of Britain on the world stage, came from the exploitation of others. Unusual for UKC. 

Post edited at 17:29
1
baron - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Those in the UK who made a great deal of money exploited the general population of the UK as well.

Slavery was obviously awful but the living and working conditions of the UK population even into the 20th century were nothing to be proud of.

 

aln - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

BTW my question above about the connection between Brexit and your move back to the UK had no agenda, I was just curious. 

1
neilh - on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

difficult one that do you square that view with high youth unemployment rates in France, Italy and Spain.

alos look at the Eastern Europeans who migrated to UK for jobs .

The uk effectively became the place to go for jobs in that period.

It is a huge plus to the uk that we did this.

RomTheBear on 09 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> difficult one that do you square that view with high youth unemployment rates in France, Italy and Spain.

Which they pretty much always had. Most of it was structural. 

> alos look at the Eastern Europeans who migrated to UK for jobs .

> The uk effectively became the place to go for jobs in that period.

> It is a huge plus to the uk that we did this.

You are missing part if not most of the picture though, net migration to the U.K. especially from the EU was very high before 2008 and took a massive hit after. It wasn’t until 2013/14 that it recovered, mostly because if the lifting of work restriction for EU2 countries. So we had these fast transitional effects, but the long term average was broadly the same.

A lot of it has to do with perception, when net migration massively dropped in 2008 it didn't make any headlines, when it simply jumped back to what were pre-crisis levels, it was suddenly fire and fury in the press about armies of Bulgarian scroungers coming here to take you jobs and rape your childrens.

Sure you could say that keeping jobs through depressed wages and getting growth through increasing the working age population was better than no growth in the short term, and I agree, however it had nasty unintended consequences and now you've got all the benefits of that already wiped out in less than two years by Brexit.

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