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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  28/04/2011  :  07:37
Political comment is a high risk activity on the site these days so I thought I'd try again to give those who are interested in politics a safe haven!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 24/10/2011 : 06:01
Bit dire Comrade but we are seeing the precursors to global economic war at the moment. As I have said before, protectionism is growing though not admitted and history tells us that when nations start to withdraw behind their boundaries it is a dangerous situation and has led to conflict in the past.

All eyes are on the symptom of Greece, if they default and it looks like a certainty, the EU has then to defend the other Meditarranean members and it is doubtful whether the European Project could dtand the strain. If the EU starts to implode the consequences for the world economy are bad and though not voiced, this is the fear that lies behind what is going on now.

Meanwhile, our politicians are focussed on whether to have a referendum or not. Totally useless debate as far as EU is concerned because by the time any referendum took place the world will be in a different place. The politicians are driven by the wrong factors, either rabid anti EU beliefs or a ploy to re-negotiate powers back to UK on the back of promises of support for the EU. I find it all very sad because I have always been in favour of greater European cooperation rather than conflict but have watched Germany and France manipulate the concept to garner more and more power to the centre as a precursor to a federal Europe controlled by them. (There is also a suspicion that Cameron is provoking internal party conflict to strengthen his precarious hold on power. Many are comparing what is happening to 1995 and John Major.)

There is a case for saying that this in itself is low-level economic war. As Clausewitz said. "War is politices by other means". At the most fundamental level it's like children fighting for their share of the cake. Perhaps the eventual solution is something as simple as sharing.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 24/10/2011 : 07:21
Just heard a report that Sarcozy told Cameron to shut up and stop going on about the Euro when UK doesn't use it. This may be true but a collapse will affect everyone. Berlusconi called in (summonsed?) for 'friendly talks', really? More like a good dressing down I would have thought! Sounds as though tempers are fraying a bit in Euro Land. Not good news, this is a time for logic and cool heads.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 24/10/2011 : 09:36
I agree it is a bit glum then who  five years ago would have imagined the dire economic circumstances in which we now find ouyrselves.

Given that the two strongest economies in the world are supporting very beligerent regimes I do not think it beyond the bounds of posibility that both will see an opportunity to enrich themselves even further. 

Lets not forget that China once had a foothold in the Balkans in Albania and it doesn't take much to ignite that tinderbox of nationalistic idiots in surrounding states. Turkey will want a share of any disruption and may well even turn to other Moslem cpountries for support - a good way for Syria and Iran to put down their problems with a bit of jingoism.

I'm not sure its that far fetched.  Nolic 

 


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 25/10/2011 : 06:27
Anything is possible once a certain level of chaos is reached and the signs aren't good at the moment. It only took one assassination in the Balkans to start WW1.

I see the Tories may have stuck a plaster over internal divisions but the fact still remains that though the timing was wrong, the sentiment was right. The EU we see now is not the shining vision of international cooperation some of us hoped for after WW2. Remember that Chrchill was one of the first politicians to envisage a United Europe but I don't think the present state of affairs was what he had in mind. Mind you, it remains to be seen whether the EU will survive......


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 25/10/2011 : 08:06
The back bench revolt was the biggest ever experienced by a Conservative leader. If you include the Tellers, 81 of his backbenchers defied the 3 line whip.  In 1983 John Major had 41 against him over Maastricht.

What strikes me is the number of times the Tories have crowed over internal divisions between Right and Left in the Labour Party. Politics is a dirty business. 

There's a programme on later this week on R4 called 'Stephanomics' in which the case will be put that the economists and financiers have got it wrong and should have a radical rethink. I agree and one of the gvuests on the programme will be George Soros who holds the same view. There is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the present ethos and the faster it gathers strength the better. I can feel a NOP coming on......


Stanley Challenger Graham




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handlamp
Senior Member


1100 Posts
Posted - 25/10/2011 : 15:35
I have no doubt that the majority of Tories who supported the motion were only expressing the views of their costituents, which is exactly what they should do - it's called democracy. I have written our MP thanking him for doing that. It would be indeed nice if those who voted against set out the perceived advantages of being in such a shabby dubious set up.  


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 26/10/2011 : 06:02
Ted, it's looking a lot more shabby this morning! Arguments between the French banks who are being asked to take a hit of about 60% on dodgy Greek bonds and the EU. Meanwhile Italy comes under attack. What a bloody mess.

I heard one French commentator  this morning on World Service saying that the hard truth was that Europe is going to have to accommodate a hit of about 25% in prosperity. In other words we have been living in a fool's paradise. He could have added that this applies to the US as well. I think he may have a point. Problem for a politician is how do you tell the public the truth?

I am reminded of what Norman Tebbitt is alleged to have said before the 1992 election, that the worst thing that could happen to the Tories would be to win it as the economic situation was so bad. This may turn out to have been true about the 2010 election.  

The latest news as I write is that there is no agreement before the EU summit which is the crunch point. Italy is now seen as the danger and it's 'too big to fail'.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 26/10/2011 : 10:49
The storm over the parliamentary debate over the EU referendum appears to be abating, and the more it was analysed it became obvious that it was a political tool aimed at the rest of Europe. Why else pull forward the debate.

Maybe if a full debate occured the Westminster clique would have to admit that all this raft of legislation is not the fault of the EU but our own Whitehall.


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 26/10/2011 : 10:53
Anyone catch the NHS article on Today this morning after 8.30?

A study is being undertaken to improve the clinical care of chronic patients. In this case it was diabetes 1 sufferers.

I was staggered by the pronouncement of the beeboid that more money was having to be put into this scheme, despite the fact that it showed both patient care improved and overall costs decreased.

What kind of loony world do we live in where we have to pay someone (supposedly a public servant) more money just to do things which make their jobs much easier, deliver better results, and cost less?


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/10/2011 : 05:24
EU has produced a large sticking plaster out of the black bag. Question is, will it work? Lots of holes in it. I think they have simply kicked the can down the road, time will, tell....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 27/10/2011 : 11:16
It was widely regarded that the EU needed a 2 trillion euro fund to kick the can down the road for 2 years, which would allow the time for further integration of the sovereignty of the eurozone. Time to negoitiate the new treaties.

The fact that they have promised only 250 billion which will be "magicked" up to 1 trillion by the ECB is a concern. A further concern is the possible selling of a stake in the Euro to China.

What was much more obvious from yesterday was that there is clarity emeging about a 2 stage Europe. Those in the Euro zone and those outside. The partnerships seem to have been strengthened by both the French and German prevarication, and some of Cameron's rhetoric and political manoeverings at home.

Just because there is greater financial union does not mean that the industries from the north are going to relocate to the south to redistribute those jobs. A greater problem will be with a freedom of movement allowed under EU rules and the migration of populations to the north to "get work".


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Bruff
Regular Member


479 Posts
Posted - 27/10/2011 : 15:41
I thought the debate this week on 'Europe' was in response to 100,000+ people signing a petition asking for a referendum?  The coalition set in place a mechanism whereby if over 100 thousand folk called for something to be debated in the House it would be, subject to a decision by some committee or other in the House.  This is why Hillsborough was debated the week before.  I was amused that this exercise in popular democracy led to a 3-line whip against the motion....

 
''......all this raft of legislation is not the fault of the EU but our own Whitehall''

 
Absolutely.  There isn't a legislative instrument implementing a Directive originating in Europe (or a Treaty) that hasn't been passed by our elected Parliament.  Indeed, there isn't a European Directive that hasn't been agreed by elected Heads of State and/or elected Ministers.  Even European Commissioners are appointed by elected Governments, including ours.  As for negotiating in Europe, strategies are set out in the various negotiating strategies developed by the various Departments consistent with Government objectives.  This is why with the change of Government last year, all the negotiating strategies on every Directive in development were revised.  Any civil servant who put up a negotiating brief to the new Minister that was essentially 'business as usual', would have got short shrift.

 
None of this is to argue for or against our continuing membership of the EU, simply to note the reality of how all this 'EU regulation' is developed and then implemented.

 
Richard Broughton



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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/10/2011 : 05:53
I agree Richard. The 'Common Market' I voted for grew like Topsie as what we see now as creeping federalism became more and more important because in their hearts, the politicians knew that  monetary union couldn't work properly without fiscal union, central control of the economy and closer political union. France and Germany have not lost sight of this goal. The last item in the early morning announcement yesterday was all about this. Leaving aside the economic problem, this is a bonus for the federalists as it accelerates the process.

 As for the 'Plan'. Important to recognise that at the moment it is nothing more than a declaration of intent and in financial terms carries no more weight than Berlusconi's letter. Vast sums of money are being allocated but they don't exist, they have to be borrowed or 'engineered'. If you print money you devaluate the money supply and in effect take a tax from everyone with money. Remember Harold Wilson pulling this wheeze off when he made his 'Pound in your pocket' speech? It takes a while for this devaluation to work its way down the supply chain but when it does it means more inflation, less disposable income and less domestic consumption.

Then there is the borrowing of sovereign funds. Far too complicated to go into here but what will the effect be when people realise the scale of their loss in terms of their own sovereignty? Our present argument about repatriating rights to the UK from the Euro is a mini-version of this. A large can has been kicked down the lane. It remains to be seen how long the optimism of the markets engendered by yesterdays announcement lasts. 

Meanwhile, none of what is proposed will promote growth and the only clean way out of the problem is to add value via useful labour.  Indeed, it is the only way the debts can be paid in the long run. The key to this is not exports in a competitive world  but domestic consumption and none of the elements of the plan promote this, indeed they damage it.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest it is announced that in the last twelve months, the salaries of directors in Footse quoted companies rose by 49% while their employees 'enjoyed' just over 2%.  Most public service salaries are frozen and the unemployed of course are on the bread-line. Then there is inflation which means that any wage increase below about 8% is a pay cut. (Inflation of essential goods and services is higher than the official figure)  What is there in this that is going to promote domestic consumption?

Tin hats on Lads!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/10/2011 : 07:31
If you want to hear a chilling report on the possible involvement of China in lending money to the EU go to listen again and hear what Jim Rogers has to say about it. (See this LINK for a biog on Wiki.)

He has just said that he thinks China will inject some money for various reasons, the main one being to raise its international profile. Good news? Hardly, because he went on to say that as a purely commercial decision he wouldn't invest as what was happening in the EU is a 'scam'. When questioned about this he said that all they have done is kicked the current problem into the long grass because the economic tools they are using are exactly the same mechanisms that got us into trouble in the first place and until the debtor nations of the world bite the bullet and address their enormous liabilities the present problems will not go away. He cited the US which he says is a bigger basket case than the EU. The solution the EU proposes is in effect an extension of debt and will either have to be paid back or erased by default. It can't be paid back without growth and the same mechanisms that produce the phantom cash inhibit growth for decades to come. Default would have enormously damaging repercussions.

He sounded down to earth and plausible to me. If blokes like this who have a track record of being correct are so scathing about the process shouldn't we be listening to them?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 28/10/2011 : 10:46
I note that all Union employees are being asked to contribute more towards their pensions. I wonder if this is the start of the "realisation" from them over current financial predicaments?


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