/ John Major interview

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Postmanpat on 13 Jun 2017

Very interesting interview on lunchtime R4 news with John Major. He's warning against the signals and unexpected consequences created by any deal with the DUP. Suggesting that May should attempt to carry on with only an informal understanding.

Also very keen to achieve some cross party communication on a brexit strategy in order to avoid any deal collapsing. He seems to think that there is some EU flexibility on free movement although he produces no evidence for this.
Rob Parsons on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Also very keen to achieve some cross party communication on a brexit strategy ...

Isn't it incredible that such suggestions have only started to be made after the election we've just had.
3
Dauphin on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

Cross Party conference and negotiating team on Brexit should of been formed right away; sensible grown up politics, but then again if we had P.R. we likely would never have got to the point where we needed the Brexit question to enable the unhappy masses to force a constitutional crisis. I'm sure the Tory party are not stupid enough to know they can't deliver on the 'promises' of hard Brexit, however much the 1%ers backing it might benefit. If they are clever, they may manage to avoid destroying their party and wandering the electoral wilderness for a generation.

"I f*cked up, but trust me I'm going to unf*ck us up!"

When is this lunatic going to wake up and realise she's been had?

So much fun. ;)

D
5
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

Yes, excellent interview. If only we had people of his calibre in government. The DUP deal (which let's face it is now probably a done one) is an atrocious betrayal not only for the people of NI but for all those whose values completely oppose those of the DUP (which, I hope, is a lot of us).

Major's deeply informed view that it isn't even necessary underlines just how out of her depth May is. It's a tragedy that she's clinging on; or rather, that her party has been left with no choice but to keep her there - no doubt with teeth gritted.

I enjoyed seeing her humiliated, but this is a truly appalling outcome. I still have hope for a change of policy on Brexit, but every time it seems to me that something has to happen, it never does!
5
Deleted bagger - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

His other main point was that the government should not do anything to compromise its position as a honest broker in the NI peace process. He reminded everyone that peace is not a given, that it is a delicate thing. Spoke well I thought.
Robert Durran - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Yes, excellent interview. If only we had people of his calibre in government.

Refreshing to hear someone who doesn't just unthinkingly blanket label all Tories as evil....... There are good tories and bad tories. How would you feel about Ruth Davidson being fast tracked to PM?
1
Postmanpat on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> I enjoyed seeing her humiliated, but this is a truly appalling outcome. I still have hope for a change of policy on Brexit, but every time it seems to me that something has to happen, it never does!
>
I think a change of policy in brexit is on it's way but given that the two major parties seem to share a similar policy I'm not sure what that means except a change in tone. I actually think that she was also in the process of back pedalling on austerity but was too hopeless to market it.

One of the ironies you'll enjoy is that when May fired Osborne she told him to "go and get to know his party better". He problem is that she may know her party but she knows bugger all about her (or any other) voters.

Rumour is that May is willing to resign but nobody wants the poison chalice. Better to see her hobble on and start afresh when she's gone, or (very unlikely) turn things around a bit and then ditch her ahead of an election.
Post edited at 14:22
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BnB - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I think a change of policy in brexit is on it's way but given that the two major parties seem to share a similar policy I'm not sure what that means except a change in tone. I actually think that she was also in the process of back pedalling on austerity but was too hopeless to market it.

Weern't those policies formed when they thought the majority of the population wanted out of the single market. Now that's not so clear could they re-assess?

1
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> There are good tories and bad tories.

Also a big fan of Ken Clarke, but perhaps this has a lot to do with his passion for jazz music (seriously, the records he's introduced me to through the R4 Jazz Greats series are amazing, and he talks with such passion and authority, but I digress).

> How would you feel about Ruth Davidson being fast tracked to PM?

I don't know enough about her. She comes across well on TV and I quite like the idea of having a big Scottish lesbian as PM, but I know nothing of her voting record, what issues she's championed or her political philosophy to take a view. Following her remarks about Brexit negotiations, she does seem to come across as part of the non-demented wing of the Tories, and she's clearly a competent campaigner judging by the results (although that's not an important consideration to me as someone who doesn't want a Tory government) - but I can't say any more about her really.
Postmanpat on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to BnB:

> Weern't those policies formed when they thought the majority of the population wanted out of the single market. Now that's not so clear could they re-assess?

I think her key position has always been that the majority of the population wants immigration sharply reduced. From that flows the logic that we must therefore leave the single market.

The great mystery is why she believes that about immigration so strongly and I can only assume it is because she spends too much time eating rubber chicken at Tory constituency bashes and has the night terrors about UKIP.

She is going to be forced to reassess by her own cabinet let alone others. My problem is that even if she backs off on the rhetoric I don't see that it opens the way for compromise with the EU.
Dauphin on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

Two main parties seem to share the same policy of 'oh f*cking? hell, let's wait and see and pretend it never happened' unfortunately for the Tories they enabled Brexit and are charged with delivery of the promised land, flowing with milk and honey, rickets and industrial dismemberment. Labour are fudging it in an expert fashion, they don't want to loose support from traditional labour heartlands who voted for Brexit and the youth vote, who overwhelming?ly don't want it.

Presumably they commit to the democratic will of the referendum and offer a vote on the terms at the end of the negotiating.

Time & demographics will take care of the result. Youth vote happened as a result of Brexit, they won't stop voting when they realise they can change things so easily.

D
1
Mike Stretford - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> She is going to be forced to reassess by her own cabinet let alone others. My problem is that even if she backs off on the rhetoric I don't see that it opens the way for compromise with the EU.

If only we'd been warned about the instability Brexit would cause!!!!

Deadeye - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Yes, excellent interview. If only we had people of his calibre in government.

It's a recurring theme that politicians of all persuasions seem far more clear, considered and with greater gravitas *after* they leave politics.

I suspect it is because they are freer to speak their true mind rather than hold to the cabinet responsibility of a specific party line. Also, the interviewing tends to be less interrupting when they are being asked for an expert view rather than challenged on a policy.

Stichtplate on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Yes, excellent interview. If only we had people of his calibre in government.

There's a sign of the times. What have we been reduced to, if John Major can reasonably be regarded as a political giant amongst midgets!
Tyler - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> One of the ironies you'll enjoy is that when May fired Osborne she told him to "go and get to know his party better". He problem is that she may know her party but she knows bugger all about her (or any other) voters.

Another of those ironies is that the party's downfall was brought about, in large part, by policies Labour shouldn't be too opposed to. The triple lock on pensions was a gift too far for pensioners (and given current inflation figures obsolete) and means testing winter fuel is fair, if not workable. Even the dementia tax has the germ of a good idea though it would be better and fairer if they just increased inheritance tax.
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jkarran - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> She is going to be forced to reassess by her own cabinet let alone others. My problem is that even if she backs off on the rhetoric I don't see that it opens the way for compromise with the EU.

Pity it's taken even the more sensible brexiters a year to realise that, that after the campaign that was fought this simply can't end well, there's too much loss of face for all involved so on we soldier toward oblivion.
jk
1
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I think a change of policy in brexit is on it's way but given that the two major parties seem to share a similar policy I'm not sure what that means except a change in tone.

Yes, I can't really make head nor tail of Labour's position. MacD's going on about the change of tone all sounds very nice, but I don't think the outcome depends so much on 'tone' - it depends on the facts of the matter. Even with all my anti-Tory sentiment at play, I can't honestly claim that May is attempting to implement an "anti-jobs" Brexit as McD would have me believe. I feel that we're completely backed into a corner over Brexit, because our politicians won't give us the truth: we need a new PM to stand up and say "the balance of costs and benefits is that we should keep free movement, and stay in the single market. I know a lot of you don't like it, but that's how it is". If that person can then go on to deliver good domestic outcomes - i.e. reversal of austerity, and catch a bit of good luck/timing with the economy, they needn't lose the next GE.

> I actually think that she was also in the process of back pedalling on austerity but was too hopeless to market it.

The last(?) budget looked a bit that way, but all the talk was the opposite to distinguish themselves from Labour.

> One of the ironies you'll enjoy is that when May fired Osborne she told him to "go and get to know his party better". He problem is that she may know her party but she knows bugger all about her (or any other) voters.

Not much doubt about who's had the last laugh! My delight at May's downfall has been attenuated a little by watching that little prick's ear-to-ear grinning...

> Rumour is that May is willing to resign but nobody wants the poison chalice. Better to see her hobble on and start afresh when she's gone, or (very unlikely) turn things around a bit and then ditch her ahead of an election.

She's said as much, hasn't she: "I'll stay as long as you want me" or something. There is no time for a leadership election, and as you say, a poison chalice anyway. If I was an ambitious Tory, I would be punishing May by forcing her to stay and take the blame for as much shit as possible before waiting for the best opportunity to get rid.

Sorry this is all going a bit off topic...
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alastairmac - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

"Ruth the Mooth" doesn't have any policies or principles. And she has no depth. She's a political chameleon that changes with the wind. During the recent election she relied on simply screaming "no second referendum" and adding an unhealthy dash of dog whistle sectarianism. And of course she lost the election in SCotland by a considerable margin. Not that you'd guess that from her deification in the mainstream media and BBC.
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thomasadixon - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I think her key position has always been that the majority of the population wants immigration sharply reduced. From that flows the logic that we must therefore leave the single market. The great mystery is why she believes that about immigration so strongly

http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/uk-public-opinion-toward-immigration-ov...

https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/14.3

Maybe she's been reading the polls? Over 50% want reduction by 'a lot' apparently.
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> Another of those ironies is that the party's downfall was brought about, in large part, by policies Labour shouldn't be too opposed to. The triple lock on pensions was a gift too far for pensioners (and given current inflation figures obsolete) and means testing winter fuel is fair, if not workable. Even the dementia tax has the germ of a good idea though it would be better and fairer if they just increased inheritance tax.

Absolutely agree. Sadly, I think rather too much of Labour's success was just down to cheap (in one sense, affordable in another) bribes.
2
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Maybe she's been reading the polls? Over 50% want reduction by 'a lot' apparently.

It's funny isn't it? We had this referendum, and now we're looking at polls to work out what it actually meant. Every day I hear politicians make inferences about what the public meant when they voted leave. f this information actually has any relevance to policy making, it's a pity no one asked when they had the chance, isn't it? My view of course is that it doesn't matter one jot what the average person thinks about immigration, because we don't make policy by referendums since that would be a ridiculous way to govern, we live in a representative democracy. We held a referendum by mistake, and now we have this completely extraneous fact in the middle of our political life. By far the best thing to do would be to return to behaving like a representative democracy and admit that the referendum was a mistake.
thomasadixon - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I was just helping solve the Great Mystery of why TM thinks immigration is important - 3/4 of the country think it should reduce, think this is important, and over half think it should reduce a lot. That's why. I'd imagine you might have a little trouble winning an election with the view that what people think doesn't matter.

Leaving the EU doesn't mean necessarily reducing immigration, they're separate things and (unsurprisingly) I think we should have had our say and that our "betters" shouldn't be able to make the decision for us regardless of what we think.
1
BFG on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Deadeye:
> It's a recurring theme that politicians of all persuasions seem far more clear, considered and with greater gravitas *after* they leave politics.

So are we a decade or so from Blair's public rehabilitation?

I completely agree with what you're saying, and would add that, after a few years they don't necessarily have any ties to the front bench of their party. As you point out, they're therefore free-er to speak their mind. It also means that they aren't immediately written off by the other side as a mere ideologue for the current ruling mindset.

This conversion isn't a given mind you; Tebbit springs to mind as a counter-argument.

I wonder how Cameron will come to be seen, in time.
Post edited at 15:38
Stichtplate on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to BFG:
> So are we a decade or so from Blair's public rehabilitation?

Are you also expecting hell to freeze over anytime soon?
Post edited at 15:35
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I was just helping solve the Great Mystery of why TM thinks immigration is important - 3/4 of the country think it should reduce, think this is important, and over half think it should reduce a lot. That's why.

The mystery as yet unsolved is why someone in her position of responsibility can't take on board more than one priority simultaneously and attempt to form policy that balances competing objectives to the achieve the best overall outcome.

> I'd imagine you might have a little trouble winning an election with the view that what people think doesn't matter.

Do you think so? With an emotive issue like immigration, the average voter's view is by definition completely uninformed and cannot by any stretch of the imagination take account of any balance of costs and benefits over the nation as a whole.

Would you agree that this is the job of policy? Or do you think policy should be made simply to placate voters at an emotional level, regardless of the impact?

Any workable system of government must allow policy makers to do the balancing of priorities, rather than pick out a single emotive issue to ride roughshod over everything.

> Leaving the EU doesn't mean necessarily reducing immigration, they're separate things and (unsurprisingly) I think we should have had our say and that our "betters" shouldn't be able to make the decision for us regardless of what we think.

So you're not satisfied with voting for a representative, you want a say in every policy decision? Or you're picking out immigration, or membership of the EU as a single issue on which we should all be personally consulted? Why this issue? Shall we vote on every budget too, to ensure that our "betters" (who we elect, by the way) don't pass a tax increase we don't want to pay?
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Postmanpat on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I was just helping solve the Great Mystery of why TM thinks immigration is important - 3/4 of the country think it should reduce, think this is important, and over half think it should reduce a lot. That's why. I'd imagine you might have a little trouble winning an election with the view that what people think doesn't matter.
>
Which raises the next question: if, as seems likely, her commitment to low immigration is based on public support why doesn't she market it in that way, or, more to the point, why doesn't she at least acknowledge the risks this creates to the economy and its implications for the form of brexit? Instead it just appeared, like grammar schools and fox hunting, as her own pet project.

Most people may not be very well informed but as she's just discovered, they can spot it when somebody takes them for granted.


Jon Stewart - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> Absolutely agree. Sadly, I think rather too much of Labour's success was just down to cheap (in one sense, unaffordable in another) bribes.

Sorry, typo here! Fixed above.
jkarran - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I was just helping solve the Great Mystery of why TM thinks immigration is important - 3/4 of the country think it should reduce, think this is important, and over half think it should reduce a lot. That's why. I'd imagine you might have a little trouble winning an election with the view that what people think doesn't matter.

Do you think they'd still believe that if for example it were pointed out that almost all our GDP growth in the last few years stems from inward migration rather than productivity improvement? I'm not saying that's a good thing especially when it is not used to grow services in line with the population's needs but I suspect the average 'immigration needs to fall' voter doesn't have the first idea how harmful it would be were that to actually happen especially were it to fall off a cliff as per TM's plans. Look at the nursing supply shortfall the NHS is now facing, how's that going to be met? Short term of course it'll be ever more expensive bank staff funded by cuts elsewhere leading to more losses in retained staff and a spiraling crisis. Then what, another recruiting drive in the Philippines probably but too little too late.

> Leaving the EU doesn't mean necessarily reducing immigration, they're separate things and (unsurprisingly) I think we should have had our say and that our "betters" shouldn't be able to make the decision for us regardless of what we think.

I think we should make informed decisions. IMO the evidence is we are as an electorate for a number of reasons ranging from education through unaccountable campaigns in social media to blatant press bias are basically unable to do so at the moment.

I'm with Jon on this, we need a statesman or woman with the courage, credibility and backing to stand up and say "Stop. This brexit thing doesn't do what you think it does, we already have the best deal available.".
jk
Post edited at 15:49
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Pete Pozman - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to BFG:



> I wonder how Cameron will come to be seen, in time.
As he's seen now I should think: reckless, irresponsible, unpatriotic, arrogant, intellectual lightweight, coward.
Rob Parsons on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Deadeye:

> It's a recurring theme that politicians of all persuasions seem far more clear, considered and with greater gravitas *after* they leave politics.

Problem is that, when I think about Major, it's the privatization of the railways which comes to mind. (Oh - and the Cones Hotline.)

So we need to avoid getting carried away here.
Tyler - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:


> Maybe she's been reading the polls? Over 50% want reduction by 'a lot' apparently.

That's the problem we try to turn a complex problem into simple binary issue, 'a lot' FFS! Consider the following two questions on immigration:
1. Given the current nursing recruitment crisis in the NHS, and the removal of bursaries for training new UK nurses, would you like to introduce measures that would see the number of nurses from EU states registering to potentially work in the UK drop by 96%?
2. Give that essential public services are being cut by between 5% and 25% would you like to see immigration controls on immigrants coming from Turkey, Africa and Asia?

The leave campaign dishonestly let people believe they were voting on question 2 when actually we were voting on question 1.

Not that the left is entirely blameless as, I believe, that the immigration debate has been stifled for years by people using the equally fallacious argument that all immigrants arrive full of entrepreneurial zeal and immediately start paying taxes in amounts that shames the rest of us.
Post edited at 15:58
earlsdonwhu - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Dauphin:



> Time & demographics will take care of the result. Youth vote happened as a result of Brexit, they won't stop voting when they realise they can change things so easily.

However, when they too discover that all too often promises are reneged upon or conveniently forgotten they may lose that naive youthful idealism and become cynical and jaded very quickly.

Dauphin on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to alastairmac:

How can you be Gay and Tory and not psychotic from the cognitive dissonance? We don't persecute queers anymore, only the poor and disabled.

Heed tha bah that Ruth.

D
1
Tyler - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Problem is that, when I think about Major, it's the privatization of the railways which comes to mind. (Oh - and the Cones Hotline.)

> So we need to avoid getting carried away here.

Lucky you, for a lot of people, it conjures up images of Edwina Curry!
BFG on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Dauphin:

It was under Cameron that gay marriage was legalised.

You can be economically right wing and still socially liberal.
1
Martin W on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:
> The great mystery is why she believes that about immigration so strongly and I can only assume it is because she spends too much time eating rubber chicken at Tory constituency bashes and has the night terrors about UKIP.

Of course it's nothing at all to do with her utter failure to get even vaguely close to any of the immigration targets she was set/set herself during her previous attempt at being a government minister, or that a hard Brexit would allow her to claim that she'd finally delivered what was promised...

> Rumour is that May is willing to resign but nobody wants the poison chalice.

No-one in the her party, perhaps. There are other parties, though some elements of the Conservative party do sometimes give the impression that they believe that they have a god-given right to govern (perhaps some kind of spectral hangover from the adherence to the "divine right of kings" by the various Tory factions back in the 17th century).
Post edited at 16:07
L bearman68 - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

I really like this forum (quite new to it), there is little ideological bigotry here. I don't like insults to our political leaders (of any party), but aside from that there seems to be a genuine discussion here. Long may it continue.

From my personal perspective leaving the EU is a really really bad thing to do. Ironically the integration we have seen over the last 20 years was spearheaded by the UK. (How utterly ironic is that). Cameroon would have been better going to the EU and negotiating for a temporary limit / ban on EU immigration. That would probably have limited most of the UKIP vote. I think it's a realistic argument that emigration from countries like Poland is detrimental to the Polish economy, and should be limited.
Oh, and by the way, the idea that an advanced western developed economy must import nurses from the Philippines, is in my mind completely immoral on so many counts.
Dauphin on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to BFG:

Large parts of non metropolitan Tories hate Cameron for it. Mostly over 70 I grant you. Hardly the party of social justice though are they?

Economically right wing and socially liberal - join the Labour party. ;)

D
2
thomasadixon - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

She just messed up her campaign pretty much from start to finish...

She did say that was why, vaguely.

> Most people may not be very well informed but as she's just discovered, they can spot it when somebody takes them for granted.

Another thing she failed to answer very well.
Dauphin on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> Absolutely agree. Sadly, I think rather too much of Labour's success was just down to cheap (in one sense, affordable in another) bribes.

You mean like un means tested winter fuel allowance and triple lock pensions, oh yeah and about turn on "dementia" tax? Labour will introduce something similar and then the left wing will tell us it's fair because the poorest pay nothing.

D
Post edited at 16:25
BFG on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Dauphin:

> Large parts of non metropolitan Tories hate Cameron for it. Mostly over 70 I grant you. Hardly the party of social justice though are they?

I never said they were. Just pointing out that there's no need for dissonance between being gay and Tory. How you view what people do in their own bedroom, your opinions on the economy or the correct size for the state have no necessary ideological link.

Postmanpat on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Martin W:

> Of course it's nothing at all to do with her utter failure to get even vaguely close to any of the immigration targets she was set/set herself during her previous attempt at being a government minister, or that a hard Brexit would allow her to claim that she'd finally delivered what was promised...
>
Well, very possibly having spent a lot of time trying to bring down immigration she developed something of an obsession, but I doubt that even she could think that achieving it via brexit would allow her to claim victory on the issue.

> No-one in the her party, perhaps. There are other parties,
>
Well, hold on a minute. She still leads the largest party by some way and the numbers don't add up for Labour to do any better.

thomasadixon - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> The mystery as yet unsolved is why someone in her position of responsibility can't take on board more than one priority simultaneously and attempt to form policy that balances competing objectives to the achieve the best overall outcome.

You just think she's not, she is. She's not closing immigration now, she's saying that it will slowly reduce over time. The Tories repeatedly refused to say that they'd do it in the next 5 years, because a shock change would cause problems.

> Do you think so? With an emotive issue like immigration, the average voter's view is by definition completely uninformed and cannot by any stretch of the imagination take account of any balance of costs and benefits over the nation as a whole.

Oh I agree, it's emotive, and all of those who loudly clap people's rhetoric over immigration having made the country are certainly uninformed. Taking account of balance of costs and benefits might necessitate deciding what is a cost, and what is a benefit, no?

> Would you agree that this is the job of policy? Or do you think policy should be made simply to placate voters at an emotional level, regardless of the impact?

I'm not sure what you're asking, what is the job of policy? Do I think we should keep net immigration in the hundreds of thousands just to placate voters at an emotional level? No.

> Any workable system of government must allow policy makers to do the balancing of priorities, rather than pick out a single emotive issue to ride roughshod over everything.

Right, so?

> So you're not satisfied with voting for a representative, you want a say in every policy decision? Or you're picking out immigration, or membership of the EU as a single issue on which we should all be personally consulted? Why this issue? Shall we vote on every budget too, to ensure that our "betters" (who we elect, by the way) don't pass a tax increase we don't want to pay?

I'm picking out EU membership as a binary constitutional question that, for example, the House of Lords thinks is exactly the sort of issue that should be put to a referendum.
Post edited at 16:39
2
Stichtplate on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Well, hold on a minute. She still leads the largest party by some way and the numbers don't add up for Labour to do any better.

After the last 18 months, I for one, don't put any store in political certainties.
The New NickB - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Back to Basics, sleeze, his own issues with Europe and the thing we try not to think about.
1
rocksol - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Dauphin:

If we'd had PR in previous election UKIP would have had more representation than SDP!
1
toad - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to The New NickB:
Oh god, that's like a seedy version of The Game. Oh, edwina........
1
Lusk - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

> .... and the thing we try not to think about.

What, tucking his shirt in his undies?
Dauphin on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to rocksol:

And? There's far right voices in every country. Best place for them is where you can see them rather than formenting trouble in dark spaces, trouble that took twenty five years to boil over. Daily Mail readers are actually living people.

D
1
Jon Stewart - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:
> You just think she's not, she is. She's not closing immigration now, she's saying that it will slowly reduce over time. The Tories repeatedly refused to say that they'd do it in the next 5 years, because a shock change would cause problems.

Looks to me more like the target is totally vacuous. Something she doesn't want to U-turn on, but equally she knows isn't going to happen, because a) she doesn't have the levers to make it happen, and b) it would be detrimental to the economy even if it could be achieved. It's got nothing to do with balancing priorities, it's May doing what she does best: repeating a meaningless catchphrase while having no policies to back it up.

> Oh I agree, it's emotive, and all of those who loudly clap people's rhetoric over immigration having made the country are certainly uninformed.

You're making a very vague claim that immigration has not "made our country". You're not saying what you mean or giving any kind of evidence for the vague implication that immigration has overall been bad for the UK. If you honestly believe that our economic success has not been dependent on immigration, then you simply don't have any understanding of history. After WII (for example) we didn't have high levels of immigration because of political correctness you know. There is a reason there are large communities of immigrants in the UK other than them wanting to come here and the government letting them in. At different points in our history we've been in great need of labour and we've gone to our former empire and elsewhere to deliberately import it. I'm sure you're sufficiently educated to know this.

So yes, immigration has "made the country". But that isn't to say there aren't downsides. Look at somewhere like Bradford and you don't have a thriving, cosmopolitan economy, you've got a complete shithole. Part of that is communities that seem totally isolated from what might be considered "British life" in terms of the values, culture, etc. However, pointing out the downsides of immigration doesn't change the historical facts: the UK economy could not have developed with indigenous labour, so we imported it and that's who we are as a country.

I think that this is really what's at the heart of the current anti-immigration sentiment. Although people think it's about people arriving now, the impacts they don't like are the impacts of a century of many different waves of immigration.

> Taking account of balance of costs and benefits might necessitate deciding what is a cost, and what is a benefit, no?

Exactly, so there needs to be an honest discussion about this. Employers, not least the NHS, need the labour, so we can't have policies that really shut down immigration. There are impacts on communities, and there are incredibly difficult questions about how those impacts are dealt with. Some of the impacts are practical, e.g. people's access to housing, school places, GP appointments etc, but some of them are emotional: how it feels to see your community change from everyone being like you, to being full of people who look and sound different.

Not to even discuss what the impacts are or how to deal with them, but to instead assume that the solution is to greatly reduce immigration is frankly nothing short of stupid. Do people who oppose immigration really think that if the numbers are cut, that communities are going to feel any different? That they'll actually feel as though there are fewer immigrants in their communities, that their access to services has been restored? If we go down this ridiculous path of reducing immigration as a worthwhile end in itself (the tail wagging the dog), it's just going to be yet another round of cutting off our nose to spite our face. We need better funded public services so that we have access to social housing, education and healthcare, not fewer immigrants FFS!

> I'm not sure what you're asking, what is the job of policy?

The job of policy is to take account of the balance of costs and benefits over the nation as a whole. Not sure how I can be any more clear. Do you agree or not?

> Do I think we should keep net immigration in the hundreds of thousands just to placate voters at an emotional level? No.

?? Can't respond, doesn't make sense.

> I'm picking out EU membership as a binary constitutional question that, for example, the House of Lords thinks is exactly the sort of issue that should be put to a referendum.

I agree that there's a principle about constitutional questions that may justify a referendum. However, there are IMO much, much stronger practical arguments not to hold referendums on questions that uninformed voters are not equipped to answer (obviously the campaign only served to make matters far worse). Look at where we are - we have an answer and the "government" is in crisis trying to implement it, and we still have absolutely no idea what's achievable in terms of trying to mitigate the obvious negative economic consequences. Ridiculous situation, haven't you noticed we're a laughing stock?
Post edited at 18:28
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Stuart en Écosse - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If only we had people of his calibre in government.

Exactly this, and I never thought I'd ever say that of John Major. Compared to the shower we have now, few of whom you'd trust with a petty cash box, he seems a political giant (and in some ways in a NI context, he is in a quiet kind of way). Brendan Duddy's sad passing was timely, he must be spinning in his grave now.

Trevers - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:



> Maybe she's been reading the polls? Over 50% want reduction by 'a lot' apparently.

50% think immigration is the most important issue facing their family. What!? I believe some people are being adversely affected by immigration, but refuse to believe it's 50%. Although that figure is kind of misleading because the economy is on 46% and health on 42%, and that doesn't add up.

It's so sad that it's come to this. As a nation, we've been denied a reasoned and calm debate on immigration. Successive Labour and Tory governments must share the blame. That Gordon Brown "bigots" moment was a missed opportunity. We've gone from a state where it was considered racist to voice concerns about immigration, to where it's political anathema to suggest it might be a positive thing for our country. What a mess!
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Trevers - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:
A couple of tweets from Steve Baker, the new Brexit minister:
https://twitter.com/SteveBakerHW

> 1. The language of "hard" vs "soft" Brexit is so misleading. We need a good, clean exit which minimises disruption and maximises opportunity

> 2. In other words, we need the "softest" exit consistent with actually leaving and controlling laws, money, borders and trade

There is no possible Brexit which can deliver on all of those demands, but it seems to me that the flavour of Brexit which comes closest to delivering on all of them is "no Brexit".
Post edited at 19:08
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Dave Garnett - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to BFG:

> So are we a decade or so from Blair's public rehabilitation?

You know, when he was one of the first to step up to say what a massive mistake Brexit was and that it was time the Labour party said so unequivocally, I began to wonder whether he might, one day, be rehabilitated.

But then, only today, I was reminded of Jeremy Bowen's opinion of his messianic delusion:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tcbry#play
James B - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Deadeye:

> It's a recurring theme that politicians of all persuasions seem far more clear, considered and with greater gravitas *after* they leave politics.
> I suspect it is because they are freer to speak their true mind rather than hold to the cabinet responsibility of a specific party line. Also, the interviewing tends to be less interrupting when they are being asked for an expert view rather than challenged on a policy.

I suspect Theresa May agrees with him, but knows that if she pushes for a cross-party consensus on Brexit the anti-Europe wing of the Tory would immolate her and split the party in 2 in the process
John2 - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Dave Garnett:

What do you think of Blair's enthusiasm for the euro? Not to mention the second invasion of Iraq.
L bearman68 - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to James B:

I suspect Theresa May agrees with him, but knows that if she pushes for a cross-party consensus on Brexit the anti-Europe wing of the Tory would immolate her and split the party in 2 in the process

And that's the point of a 'leader'. To do what must be done, and to take the tough decisions. She must act for the good of the country, nt the good of the Tory party.
Martin Hore - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> There's a sign of the times. What have we been reduced to, if John Major can reasonably be regarded as a political giant amongst midgets!

That is indeed how I regard him, even though I'm not a conservative. He was brought down by Tory Brexiteers - midgets indeed. It's a recurring theme.

Martin
captain paranoia - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Dauphin:

What we really need is someone with the bollocks to actually come out and say "f*ck me, Brexit was the most monumentally stupid idea in the first place, the referendum was based on no information or firm policy at all, just a bunch of lies and sound bites, and no-one actually knows what anyone really wants from brexit, so let's just forget about the whole stupid episode, and get back to running the bloody country in a semi-rational manner"

Oh, and a final point "the referendum was only advisory, anyway, and not binding..."
Post edited at 20:58
captain paranoia - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

> 50% think immigration is the most important issue facing their family

'Think' being the questionable word there. Having been brainwashed by right-wing press bleating on for years about foreigners coming over here, taking our jobs, bringing disease, making house prices fall, killing Princess Diana, abducting Maddie, blah blah blah.

Some of the highest brexit votes were in areas with the lowest number of immigrants. No doubt they had all had their jobs taken by invisible immigrants. Or had been whipped up into a frenzy of fear that hordes of immigrants were about to rush in and take their jobs.
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Rob Parsons on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Absolutely agree. Sadly, I think rather too much of Labour's success was just down to cheap (in one sense, affordable in another) bribes.

I think that's a rather bleak characterization. I think people last week were simply voting for an alternative set of social and economic policies. And this was the first election in quite while where that was possible: the 2015 election, as I recall it, was a race to see which of the two main parties could out-compete the other on so-called 'austerity.'
Rob Parsons on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Tyler:

> Lucky you, for a lot of people, it conjures up images of Edwina Curry!

Thank you very much. I have been trying to erase that mental image for many years - and now I can't get rid of it again.

"Oh, yeeeasss! That's not inconsiderably pleasurable, Edwina! I wunt it! I WUNT IT!"

I wonder what were their pet names for each other?
Andy Hardy on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Dauphin:

> How can you be Gay and Tory and not psychotic from the cognitive dissonance? We don't persecute queers anymore, only the poor and disabled.

> Heed tha bah that Ruth.

> D

There's been loads of "confirmed bachelors" in the Tory party down the years.
Stichtplate on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:


> Some of the highest brexit votes were in areas with the lowest number of immigrants. No doubt they had all had their jobs taken by invisible immigrants. Or had been whipped up into a frenzy of fear that hordes of immigrants were about to rush in and take their jobs.

This keeps getting dragged up as if it somehow proves how ill informed Brexit voters are on the realities of mass immigration. Have you considered that people deeply opposed to mass immigration are hardly going to choose to live in areas with high levels of immigration?
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Postmanpat on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:


> Oh, and a final point "the referendum was only advisory, anyway, and not binding..."
>
People keep making this feeble point. All major political leaders agreed to honour the result. If we'd voted remain and Cameron decided to leave how would react?...exactly.
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MG - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

And we if we'd voted remain and immediately joined Schengen and the Euro how would you feel? Exactly.
1
Postmanpat on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:
> And we if we'd voted remain and immediately joined Schengen and the Euro how would you feel? Exactly.

There's no equivalence.

Incidentally do u think there is any sign that a compromise between the two models will be achievable?
Post edited at 22:42
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MG - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> There's no equivalence.

So extreme brexit on an advisory vote is just fine, extreme remain isn't. Got it.

> Incidentally do u think there is any sign that a compromise between the two models will be achievable?

Two models?
Postmanpat on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:

It's not extreme to accept the logic that controlling immigration, which is what most people apparently want, implies for brexit. Both major parties accept it.

> Two models?
>
A quasi Norwegian model and a no freedom of movement/no single market model.

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Mr Lopez - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Dauphin:

> Daily Mail readers are actually living people.

Guess they are in a context where the white walkers are also living people
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captain paranoia - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Have you considered that people deeply opposed to mass immigration are hardly going to choose to live in areas with high levels of immigration?

Internal mobility is far, far lower than immigrant mobility.

People don't move away from areas of high immigration; they have too much inertia.
Stichtplate on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

> Internal mobility is far, far lower than immigrant mobility.

> People don't move away from areas of high immigration; they have too much inertia.

So I am to believe that the well documented phenomenon of white flight is a myth then?
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captain paranoia - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

I thought we were talking about EU migrants (being the motivation for Brexit)? Predominantly white...? I don't think there's a 'white flight' away from Poles, who are whiter than most Brits...

I suppose you're going to tell me that all those Brexit voters in Ebbw Vale were white flighters from Bradford?
Post edited at 00:04
Stichtplate on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

The post I originally replied to just referred to immigration, no other specifics.
Robert Durran - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to alastairmac:

> "Ruth the Mooth" doesn't have any policies or principles.

She is strongly pro Union and pro Europe. So that's two for a start.

> And of course she lost the election in Scotland by a considerable margin. Not that you'd guess that from her deification in the mainstream media and BBC.

A bit like the way Corbyn lost then? May "won" in the UK and The SNP "won" in Scotland but there is no doubt that the election was a serious setback for both - May humiliated and Scottish independence frimly off the agenda for the time being. Labour/Corbyn and the Scottish Conservatives/Davidson both "lost" but there is no doubt that the election was a very significant triumph for both.

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thomasadixon - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

There's no rational connection between what you think and what they've said as far as I can see. They say - we know people want to reduce migration so we will aim to achieve that, however there are benefits from it and we need to plan to cover that (e.g. training up nurses), so we can't promise to do it immediately. How is that not balancing priorities?

As for the idea that immigrants made the UK - the UK was made before I was born, it was made before my grandparents were born and we just grew up in it. Immigrants have contributed, but they certainly didn't make it anymore than you or I did. There were very few before WWII, and even then the numbers were nothing like there are today. They came to a well developed country that at the time was one of the most powerful in the world and had just survived a major attack by another, and they contributed in relation to their number, not more than those already here (who had of course already contributed, defending the country). Can you support the assertion that immigrants "made Britain" in any meaningful way? How do you square the idea that reducing immigration will have no impact, and at the same time point to major changes that have happened and claim that immigration is beneficial (i.e. non neutral, so must have an impact)?

It is a highly emotional subject. For some reason any time people say immigration should be controlled in some way, on say QT, someone always says what you've said, but it never gets any further than that. "Immigration is good and we should remember that! We should have a grown up debate! You can't just shut down immigration!" cue applause. No one is saying all immigration is bad, no one is asking to close immigration immediately. You're boxing at shadows. It's emotional for some on both sides and it's certainly not a straightforward economic decision (as if such a thing even exists).

Care to answer Coel's question on the other thread about actual evidence of economic benefit? As far as I can see that's nothing more than an oft repeated claim, it's never substantially backed up. It's also an incredibly vague one. Immigrant X, who is a doctor, is beneficial, immigrant Y, who works in a car wash is probably not. Immigration policy is about looking at what is beneficial and trying to judge that right, it's looking at the detail in the way you say it should do. Getting rid of free movement is doing exactly that, rather than having a free for all. Why is that a problem, and why does it cause such an emotional reaction?

Yes, the job of policy is to take into account everything. That includes how people feel and what they want, because that matters.
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Jim C - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:
> ... What have we been reduced to, if John Major can reasonably be regarded as a political giant amongst midgets!

He DID manage to keep his affair quiet whilst in office, and therefore kept his views on marital fidelity ( of lack of) from the public. ( and the apparently , the press) No small feat in itself.

Edit:- maybe he just walked out the door saying to his wife that he fancied a hot Currie, ( and his wife would be none the wiser;)
He could be honest without raising any suspicions
Post edited at 02:53
Jon Stewart - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:
> There's no rational connection between what you think and what they've said as far as I can see. They say - we know people want to reduce migration so we will aim to achieve that, however there are benefits from it and we need to plan to cover that (e.g. training up nurses), so we can't promise to do it immediately. How is that not balancing priorities?

That seems very naive to me. The numbers aren't still in the hundreds of thousands because the government have decided how many immigrants we need and this is the right number. The reason is because they do not have the policies to control the number. They've tried very hard to shut down much non-EU work-related migration, but you've got the student and marriage streams, plus of course the EU. Remember that the target was prior to Brexit referendum, Brexit is not a deliberate policy to achieve this aim, it's a total curveball. The numbers are not because of a plan that balances priorities (haha!), they're a result of the reality that it's just not within the government's gift to bring the numbers down like that.

> Can you support the assertion that immigrants "made Britain" in any meaningful way?

You introduced this ill-defined idea:

> all of those who loudly clap people's rhetoric over immigration having made the country are certainly uninformed.

> How do you square the idea that reducing immigration will have no impact, and at the same time point to major changes that have happened and claim that immigration is beneficial (i.e. non neutral, so must have an impact)?

Immigration has been critical at certain points in history. I don't think, taking a broad view across all sectors, that we're in that kind of period now - although if you look just at say nursing, you might argue that we are!

> It is a highly emotional subject. For some reason any time people say immigration should be controlled in some way,

It is already controlled, in fact very tightly for non-EU nationals.

> No one is saying all immigration is bad, no one is asking to close immigration immediately. You're boxing at shadows.

I'm not using that straw man. I'm saying that government is being dishonest about the target, that reducing immigration for the sake of it is stupid - we need to think about what outcomes matter, such as access to public services, first.

> It's emotional for some on both sides and it's certainly not a straightforward economic decision (as if such a thing even exists).

As I said,

> Some of the impacts are practical, e.g. people's access to housing, school places, GP appointments etc, but some of them are emotional: how it feels to see your community change from everyone being like you, to being full of people who look and sound different.
> Not to even discuss what the impacts are or how to deal with them, but to instead assume that the solution is to greatly reduce immigration is frankly nothing short of stupid.

Read again, the argument I'm making is not one-sided or simplistic in the way you portray it. I'm saying that there *are* problems, but announcing unrealistic reductions, and leaving the EU for the sole reason of reducing immigration is merely placating people at the emotional level, it's not addressing the problems - and in fact I think it will make the problems worse. I'm not arguing *for* high levels of immigration, I'm saying that the government response to concerns is completely wrong in many different ways.

> Care to answer Coel's question on the other thread about actual evidence of economic benefit?

There's stacks of research, and it's pretty clear that while it's bullshit that immigrants are a net drain on the economy, the overall economic contribution isn't overwhelming. The research doesn't all agree, so the effect can't be that enormous. The problem is that if you put in policies to significantly reduce migration, then you end up shutting off the supply of labour we really need. E.g. even though we're still in the EU, we've already cut off the supply of nurses!

Here's a summary on EU migration that should be pretty impartial:

https://fullfact.org/immigration/do-eu-immigrants-contribute-134-every-1-they-receive/

> Immigration policy is about looking at what is beneficial and trying to judge that right, it's looking at the detail in the way you say it should do.

I used to work in immigration policy, and I concluded that it's about trying to convince the public that the government has some control when actually it has almost none. We've all been sold this idea that you can choose specifically exactly who you want, and that's exactly who you'll get, but it's so much more difficult than that given all the different routes that people come into the UK: not just workers, but spouses, students, asylum, etc. Close off one route and you see the number start to rise in another...

> Getting rid of free movement is doing exactly that, rather than having a free for all. Why is that a problem, and why does it cause such an emotional reaction?

It doesn't! It would be absolutely fine by almost everyone in the country to end free movement of EU nationals and put in some immigration criteria as for non-EU nationals. But the whole point of the Brexit debacle is that we don't have that option! It's either leave the EU - and suffer all the economic consequences, or keep the benefits but put up with free movement.

> Yes, the job of policy is to take into account everything. That includes how people feel and what they want, because that matters.

Yes. What I'm saying is that the weighting the govt has given to people's feelings about immigration, compared to the weighting of all the actual consequences, is inappropriate. It's inappropriate, because actually people would much rather have a job and some more Polish people moving in nearby, rather than no job and no Poles. Not that every Brexit voter is going to find themselves in that position, but some will, and that's why it's the wrong call. You don't pander to people's whining if in doing so you make their lives and their children's lives significantly worse. It's wrong.
Post edited at 23:04
Dave Garnett - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> It doesn't! It would be absolutely fine by almost everyone in the country to end free movement of EU nationals and put in some immigration criteria as for non-EU nationals. But the whole point of the Brexit debacle is that we don't have that option!

We have the option even at the moment to restrict movement of EU nationals more than we have, in that there are rules about having a job or financial resources to avoid become a burden on the country EU residents move to.

Oddly, through all the allegations of benefits tourism during the referendum campaign, I never heard this discussed. I can see why the Brexiteers didn't want to admit that we didn't need to leave the EU in order to take at least some control of our borders; I'm less clear why Remain didn't make more of it.
Jon Stewart - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> We have the option even at the moment to restrict movement of EU nationals more than we have, in that there are rules about having a job or financial resources to avoid become a burden on the country EU residents move to.

I've heard this, but I can't understand why the policy was not changed during camerons negotiations - makes no sense!
alastairmac - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

You're right about Davidson being Pro Union. To the exclusion of everything else. Mainly so that she doesn't have to address the child poverty, the "rape clause", austerity and the erosion of the NHS and welfare state. Things that she really isn't that keen on talking about. If you follow events in the Scottish parliament the you'll know she doesn't know whether she's coming or going with reference to Europe. She'll do what she is told by Tory Central HQ. And if you follow Scottish politics you should know that the independence movement in Scotland does not begin and end with the SNP. Upwards of 25% of Scottish Labour voters support independence. So while you're welcome to your opinion you're wrong about independence being off the table now or in the future. It's a long game.
Robert Durran - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to alastairmac:

> You're right about Davidson being Pro Union. To the exclusion of everything else.

Even if that were true, it is some accusation coming from a supporter (I presume) of a party which has a single issue (Scottish Independence) as the only reason for its very existence, has a dubious record in office with other issues and over the decades has swum with the tide from right to left.

> If you follow events in the Scottish parliament then you'll know she doesn't know whether she's coming or going with reference to Europe.

She is a remainer. Obviously, just like all Labour and Conservative politicians she has found it necessary to balance her personal views with the official line of her party on the referendum result.

> So while you're welcome to your opinion you're wrong about independence being off the table now or in the future. It's a long game.

No, you are misrepresenting what I said. That was precisely my point - the SNP suffered a serious setback in the election which means independence is, as you say, back to being a long game rather than something to be decided upon with a second referendum in the near or foreseeable future.

And, by the way, I am not by any means a Conservative supporter. In Scottish elections with an element of PR I vote Lib Dem and I generally vote tactically against the SNP in Westminster ones - in the past this has usually meant Labour but just might, in the future, mean Conservative. Having said that, I can envisage circumstances in which I just might vote Yes in a second independence referendum (disastrous hard Brexit and guaranteed fast track back into the EU for Scotland) - unity, be it that of the UK or Europe being my guiding principle. But if I did vote Yes, it would be a vote for independence, NOT for the SNP. The SNP would cease to have any real relevance after independence; one of the (many) things which pissed me off in the last referendum was that they campaigned on issues other than independence as if we were being asked to give Alex Salmond a mandate to rule as dictator for life, when in fact the first thing which would have happened would have been a Scottish election open to all parties campaigning on all issues other than independence.

andyfallsoff - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Free movement creates an emotional response to me because scrapping free movement removes me of the reciprocal right to be in the rest of the EU! We all talk about this as if it isn't a right as well as something exercised by others.

I'm looking to go to the US / Canada at the moment and the visa / visa waiver system is showing me what we'd be giving up. It's a pain to go through
thomasadixon - on 19 Jun 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Sorry, been away and it's too much effort to write on a phone!

Firstly, leaving the EU and immigration are two separate issues. We're leaving the EU. We disagree on whether it's a good idea or not, but it looks like it's going to happen and it's a constitutional issue about who is in control, who makes the law, not specifically about immigration. Given that the only question as to what we should do is whether to keep allowing people in from the EU as they wish or we set controls for them just as we do for the rest of the world.

I'm arguing for the controls rather than the alternative, you think that's absolutely fine? If so then cool, we're agreed.

I brought up the idea that immigrants made Britain as an example of obviously false nonsense that people talk, and you then argued it was accurate! To claim that is to ignore hundreds of years of recorded history, either irrational or ignorant it seems to me. You seemed to be arguing that the emotional, irrational, behaviour is on one side. I can't see that it is, and the emotional cheering and jeering crowds always seem to be pro-immigration, even though the polls show a majority in favour of reducing numbers.

The study that link quotes is the same one always quoted, which doesn't show any major financial gain and doesn't even aim to answer the right question. It shows that taxes in vs direct payments out for a particular group of people, day to day, are a plus. That group are younger and of working age, and so pay more tax than others and take less, that's fairly obvious maths, but it doesn't mean that large numbers of immigrants are beneficial to the economy. Anything on GDP per capita?

It also doesn't take into account any effect on infrastructure costs, in that it says that immigrants cost the same as others, which could be true if we had excess capacity. Except we don't, extra people means new roads, schools, hospitals, housing, etc, built on land necessarily limited in supply, and short term realistically in many places it means decreased access as we can't afford to build/set up more or at least can't afford to in time. It says that immigrants take up less than their % of the population in social housing, great, better than the average, but without those particular being here immigrants would take up 0% of what is a limited stock. That's probably the major basis of the argument around numbers (which is not just emotional) and it doesn't look at it. You've said numbers aren't an issue, do you not think extra people have any effect at all?

There's a different question as to doctors and nurses, etc, and if the overall profile of immigrants was that they were mostly that kind of person I'd think differently. As it is there are many, many people coming in who we don't have skills we need, and as far as I can see we don't gain from this.

http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/migrants-in-the-uk-labour-market-an-ove...
captain paranoia - on 19 Jun 2017
In reply to thomasadixon:

> We're leaving the EU. [...] it's a constitutional issue about who is in control, who makes the law, not specifically about immigration.

Oh, so that's what Brexit is about, is it? I'm sure it must only have been me who didn't get the explanatory leaflet explaining clearly what the referendum was about. I'm sure I heard somebody helpfully explaining that 'brexit means brexit', which I thought was very Zen.
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