** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

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stu1102
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby stu1102 » 5 Jun 2018, 7:34am

Ben@Forest wrote:[quote= The referendum methodology wasn't at fault - the question however, was wrong or at least too simplistic.


I think the problem with referendum is that people change their minds, this is evident by Latest @yougov survey for the times finds 40% say UK right to vote to leave EU; 47% say wrong. 7-point gap is widest yet. I know my own thought and decision making process evolves after evaluating evidence, referendum's are asking you how you feel on a particular day about a given issue

Even Brexit fanatics like David Davis can change their minds who 'has backpedalled on his claim that a Brexit deal can deliver the “exact same benefits” as EU membership, now admitting it was little more than an ambition.' https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/p ... 57426.html

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Cugel
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby Cugel » 5 Jun 2018, 8:53am

stu1102 wrote:
Ben@Forest wrote:[quote= The referendum methodology wasn't at fault - the question however, was wrong or at least too simplistic.


I think the problem with referendum is that people change their minds, this is evident by Latest @yougov survey for the times finds 40% say UK right to vote to leave EU; 47% say wrong. 7-point gap is widest yet. I know my own thought and decision making process evolves after evaluating evidence, referendum's are asking you how you feel on a particular day about a given issue

.......


Like it or not, even we post-modern interwebbed-up people don't have the first idea about complex policies such as whether to be in the EU or not. We do need a class that is as expert as such decision-making (with the appropriate knowledge & experience) as it's possible to be. Even they will be doing 5% reasoning and 95% educated guessing. And today's politicians seem not only over-ideological but also personally corrupt, inept and entirely self-serving. Where are the Attlees and other such statesmen for today!?

It often makes me snort with mirth when some fool gives me his thinly-papered and clumsy précis of a newspaper article hooted out by the likes of the Hate Mail or The Daily Frightener. These fools really have convinced themselves that they know something about the subject-matter involved. They know only a bit of crude propaganda - and only that in an inchoate fashion. I know very few people who base their ideas and attitudes on their own everyday experience. They'd rather live in some mad media circus full of imaginary clowns and monsters, where reason and reality are put to the side.

In reality, though, there never has been a democracy of the informed and responsible citizen variety. We have all been subject to the various machinations and associated propagandas of various ruling elites, since the times when we ceased to be hunter-gatherers and began to form polities of demarcated socio-economic functions and, eventually, status. The nation-state is a tool of an aristocracy of some ilk (from Divine Righters through Generalissimos to Captains of Industry). It main use is to promote the interests and obsessions of that aristocracy, often via use of the hoi-polloi as fodder for factory or cannon.

*****

Personally I have no confidence in my own ability to wade through the hoots, yells, screams and poisonous whispers that is the mass media, our only source of "information" about things like Brexit. In the end, I ignore all the detail and make a big choice between: do I want to be a member of a very large & powerful association or of a much smaller parochial group managed by incompetent charlatans. Despite the very real dangers of the former, in a world of Putins & Trumps it still seems safest. But that too is a wild guess.

We all live in a theatre and have little or no say about our scripts so may only bite and scratch to get a good part. The play seems to be an endless soap opera.

Cugel

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bovlomov
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby bovlomov » 5 Jun 2018, 8:56am

stu1102 wrote:
Ben@Forest wrote:[quote= The referendum methodology wasn't at fault - the question however, was wrong or at least too simplistic.


I think the problem with referendum is that people change their minds

Government by referendum is a terrible thing, even for simpler issues such as abortion and fox hunting.

What's democracy? Is direct ballot more democratic than having elections to a legislative chamber? Is policy that changes immediately according to the popular vote more democratic than policy that changes within a procedural framework? That so many people still earnestly cite the 'Will of the People' suggests that 1) some people prefer instant domocracy, and 2) that the UK's educational system is rubbish. Evidently, that rubbish education applies to Eton and Oxford as much as it does to Bash Street and Luton University.

But how do we get out of this mess? Overturning the result? Parliament ignoring it? Another referendum? Ploughing on regardless, because Brexit means Brexit. None of these is a happy solution. I feel that the government could have salvaged something out of the situation, had they not turned Brexit into a culture war. But Brexit was doomed when the Will of the People was interpreted to justify simplistic and self-serving agendas (by May, Rees Mogg, Boris... ... each with their own motives).

I can't imagine how the government could have done a worse job, so the level of support it retains is astonishing. I suppose it's down to that rubbish education, and whatever institutions failed to teach political journalists how to question a politician.

pwa
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby pwa » 5 Jun 2018, 10:46am

bovlomov wrote:
stu1102 wrote:
Ben@Forest wrote:[quote= The referendum methodology wasn't at fault - the question however, was wrong or at least too simplistic.


I think the problem with referendum is that people change their minds

Government by referendum is a terrible thing, even for simpler issues such as abortion and fox hunting.

What's democracy? Is direct ballot more democratic than having elections to a legislative chamber? Is policy that changes immediately according to the popular vote more democratic than policy that changes within a procedural framework? That so many people still earnestly cite the 'Will of the People' suggests that 1) some people prefer instant domocracy, and 2) that the UK's educational system is rubbish. Evidently, that rubbish education applies to Eton and Oxford as much as it does to Bash Street and Luton University.

But how do we get out of this mess? Overturning the result? Parliament ignoring it? Another referendum? Ploughing on regardless, because Brexit means Brexit. None of these is a happy solution. I feel that the government could have salvaged something out of the situation, had they not turned Brexit into a culture war. But Brexit was doomed when the Will of the People was interpreted to justify simplistic and self-serving agendas (by May, Rees Mogg, Boris... ... each with their own motives).

I can't imagine how the government could have done a worse job, so the level of support it retains is astonishing. I suppose it's down to that rubbish education, and whatever institutions failed to teach political journalists how to question a politician.


Another question I have heard asked recently, is what could / should the remaining EU be doing to attract an unhappy UK back into the fold. Even Remain supporters must acknowledge that the UK population has not been content with the EU as an institution over recent years, and in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote voices at the top of the EU were talking about it as a wake up call that demands reform. But in the subsequent two years they have done SFA to make the EU more appealing to member states, and they have done zilch to try to win back support in the UK. I can only imagine that they are actually content with the EU as it is, which I find astonishing. It is complacency taken to a new level.

Psamathe
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby Psamathe » 5 Jun 2018, 11:19am

bovlomov wrote:
stu1102 wrote:
Ben@Forest wrote:[quote= The referendum methodology wasn't at fault - the question however, was wrong or at least too simplistic.


I think the problem with referendum is that people change their minds

Government by referendum is a terrible thing, even for simpler issues such as abortion and fox hunting......

I agree. Can you guess the outcome of a referendum about spending significantly more on cycle facilities (and the motons campaigning on MAMILS vs NHS for your hard earned money).

Ian

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bovlomov
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby bovlomov » 5 Jun 2018, 11:26am

pwa wrote:Another question I have heard asked recently, is what could / should the remaining EU be doing to attract an unhappy UK back into the fold. Even Remain supporters must acknowledge that the UK population has not been content with the EU as an institution over recent years, and in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote voices at the top of the EU were talking about it as a wake up call that demands reform. But in the subsequent two years they have done SFA to make the EU more appealing to member states, and they have done zilch to try to win back support in the UK. I can only imagine that they are actually content with the EU as it is, which I find astonishing. It is complacency taken to a new level.


Is it possible that the EU is saving up a carrot, hoping that if the tide of UK opinion turns, there will be an offer to seal the reversal? I don't know. Perhaps the ground is too poisoned to allow compromise.

I believe many in the EU valued the UK's input. It was seen as a sensible, restraining influence (ha ha! No longer), and often voiced objections that other states supported but were unwilling to express openly. That went wrong as theatrical rhetoric for domestic consumption drowned out the genuine debate.

But what could the EU do? Which reforms? Certainly the UK population was not content with the EU, but I'm not sure that it knew why, as much of the information it relied on was cobblers.

The freedom of movement 'problem' should have been dealt with by the UK itself. It had some tools, both by restricting non_EU immigration and by tightening rules for EU immigrants. That successive governments failed to do so tells you everything about their priorities. They didn't care about the issue, beyond knowing that it was a good instrument for rabble-rousing. From Blunkett to May, Home Secretaries couldn't even check who was coming through our ports. That was nothing to do with the EU (and, by the way, nothing to do with ID cards).

It's true that there are some tax-dodgy kind of people at the heart of the EU, but it was the UK that stymied proposed rules on offshore tax havens.

The EU might have done more for the likes of Greece and Italy (though that's by no means simple). But that wasn't a concern for most Brexit voters, was it?

What else could the EU do to draw us back?

Psamathe
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby Psamathe » 5 Jun 2018, 11:30am

stu1102 wrote:
Ben@Forest wrote:[quote= The referendum methodology wasn't at fault - the question however, was wrong or at least too simplistic.


I think the problem with referendum is that people change their minds, this is evident by Latest @yougov survey for the times finds 40% say UK right to vote to leave EU; 47% say wrong. 7-point gap is widest yet.....

What is interesting is the recent survey (on TV/Radio) about how people feel about "being British" (or "English"). The results indicated that youngsters feel less proud of their nation than older
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-03/as-brexit-divides-u-k-bbc-poll-shows-split-over-english-pride wrote:Just as the country navigates its way out of the European Union, a poll conducted by YouGov for BBC News revealed less than half of those age 18-24 are proud to call themselves English. By contrast, 72 percent of people over 65 said they have pride in their nationality.

And particularly relevant to this thread
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-03/as-brexit-divides-u-k-bbc-poll-shows-split-over-english-pride wrote:Three-quarters of voters who backed Britain’s withdrawal proudly identify as English compared with 44 percent of those who voted to remain.

And
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44306737 wrote:England's Christian tradition is important for almost half of Leave voters, but only 29% of remain voters. Leave voters are significantly more likely to talk of Englishness in terms of history, fair play, tolerance, plain-speaking and friendliness than those who wanted to remain.

Poll carried out for some BBC TV program and the BBC article https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44306737

Ian

pwa
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby pwa » 5 Jun 2018, 11:39am

An attractive EU would have direct elections for the top jobs, not anonymous nobodies sprung on us from nowhere. I need to vote for a group or a name, not have it decided by committees in secret. I see no sign that such a change is in the offing. The EU states don't want the public getting involved in that.

An attractive EU would limit migration between states, based on what recipient states feel they can handle at any point in time. A yearly quota. Not for visitors, but for those intending to stay.

If the EU looked seriously at those two issues I'd be more than happy to give it a second chance.

Psamathe
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby Psamathe » 5 Jun 2018, 11:49am

pwa wrote:An attractive EU would have direct elections for the top jobs, not anonymous nobodies sprung on us from nowhere. I need to vote for a group or a name, not have it decided by committees in secret. I see no sign that such a change is in the offing. The EU states don't want the public getting involved in that......

You mean like we vote for those sitting in the House of Lords, or vote for our Prime Minister or vote for our Home Secretary or vote for our select committees, etc.

Ian

pwa
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby pwa » 5 Jun 2018, 12:00pm

Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:An attractive EU would have direct elections for the top jobs, not anonymous nobodies sprung on us from nowhere. I need to vote for a group or a name, not have it decided by committees in secret. I see no sign that such a change is in the offing. The EU states don't want the public getting involved in that......

You mean like we vote for those sitting in the House of Lords, or vote for our Prime Minister or vote for our Home Secretary or vote for our select committees, etc.

Ian


The Lords is close to what the EU does with its top jobs, and what I don't like: not elected by you and me. Voting for a "party" could work, or voting for a named person. But us voting people into and out of office, not having them appointed by "our representatives". That is the only way we will connect with and respect the institutions at the top of the EU.

Psamathe
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby Psamathe » 5 Jun 2018, 12:08pm

pwa wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:An attractive EU would have direct elections for the top jobs, not anonymous nobodies sprung on us from nowhere. I need to vote for a group or a name, not have it decided by committees in secret. I see no sign that such a change is in the offing. The EU states don't want the public getting involved in that......

You mean like we vote for those sitting in the House of Lords, or vote for our Prime Minister or vote for our Home Secretary or vote for our select committees, etc.

Ian


The Lords is close to what the EU does with its top jobs, and what I don't like: not elected by you and me. Voting for a "party" could work, or voting for a named person. But us voting people into and out of office, not having them appointed by "our representatives". That is the only way we will connect with and respect the institutions at the top of the EU.

So maybe we should be leaving Westminster as well (or before as Westminster does not seem to bring the economic benefits the EU provides - but I suppose it does give tax breaks to the wealthy and their corporations).

I find it amusing that "we must leave the EU because it's so undemocratic" whilst (as a nation) we happily accept the House of Lords, select committee membership, etc. And in practice the MEP electoral system is far more "representative" that the Westminster "First Past The Post" system.

And maybe it's lack of knowledge on my part but I thought the EU "top jobs" were elected - just elected by our democratically elected representatives (just like our own Westminster "top jobs").

Ian

Psamathe
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby Psamathe » 5 Jun 2018, 12:22pm

stu1102 wrote:....
I think the problem with referendum is that people change their minds, this is evident by Latest @yougov survey for the times finds 40% say UK right to vote to leave EU; 47% say wrong. 7-point gap is widest yet. I know my own thought and decision making process evolves after evaluating evidence, referendum's are asking you how you feel on a particular day about a given issue
.....

Also interesting in the same survey is
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-poll-voters-eu-leave-wrong-theresa-may-negotiations-deal-yougov-a8383826.html wrote:Significantly, no fewer than 62 per cent of voters said the government was handling Brexit negotiations badly, with just 23 per cent backing ministers.


Still, Farange was probably right when he told Mirror on 16 May 2016: “in a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way - If Remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it.” and the BBC quoted him as saying "there could be an unstoppable demand for a rerun of the EU referendum if Remain wins by a narrow margin". (And me agreeing with Farange!)

Ian

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bovlomov
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby bovlomov » 5 Jun 2018, 12:24pm

pwa wrote:An attractive EU would have direct elections for the top jobs, not anonymous nobodies sprung on us from nowhere.

Do you mean directly elected? By the people?

If I take it how I think you mean it, I disagree. Just like I disagreed with having directly elected city mayors or directly elected police commissioners. It turns democracy into showbiz.

On the other hand, I'm sure there are ways to improve accountability. For the most part, what my MEP does and what goes on in the EU is a mystery to me. There is next to zero reporting on day to day EU matters, and very little understanding of the processes. I imagine it's a similar story throughout the EU, and that lack of engagement is bad for democracy. Mind you, it's a similar story in local government, where the lack of proper local papers allows councils to do more or less what they like, without scrutiny.

The point being, democracy is under threat everywhere, from ignorance, misinformation and lack of engagement. That's the same for the EU, Westminster and the local council. I don't see the EU as being a special case of unaccountable policy making.

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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Jun 2018, 12:30pm

I see that things are so bad that the decision over the third runway at Heathrow is being spun as a distraction
Heathrow Airport: Cabinet set for new runway decision
However I see it's all being announced by Failing Grayling:
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will outline the expansion plans in the House of Commons at 12:30 BST - although a vote is not expected until later in the month.

It may be to distract Middle England for something higher on the agenda than Brexit. :wink:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44357580

Psamathe
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Re: ** The Brexit Thread ** - 'Brexit Means Brexit'

Postby Psamathe » 5 Jun 2018, 12:31pm

bovlomov wrote:.... For the most part, what my MEP does and what goes on in the EU is a mystery to me. There is next to zero reporting on day to day EU matters, and very little understanding of the processes. I imagine it's a similar story throughout the EU, and that lack of engagement is bad for democracy. ......

I have found MEP helpful. Contact them and they respond and seem happy to take up your case and to work on it. Last time I contacted my MEP was end-April this year. Previously had an MEP putting in loads of work arguing against the French Government (not only on my behalf but taking up the case for a number of us ex-pats) and getting things changed. Compare that to my "safe seat" Westminster MP who rarely bothers to respond to correspondence and when he does he's completely failed to read your letter (just the title).

Ian