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Topic Sidestep - comments on International reactions to US politics

Ernest Bywater

In another thread the US political situation came up, and I said I'd not comment again in that thread on the US political matter that had been under discussion by me and others there. Since I said I wouldn't, I haven't commented on those specific matters since, and won't - they're done and finished as far as I'm concerned. However, someone in that thread has raised a new aspect to do with why Europeans see US Politics in a different light to Australians. That is what I'll comment on here - the difference in the overseas views on US politics.

................

Most of Europe and the Europeans have a strong socialist approach and leans to political matters. Much of how many of the Europeans view things is done through a communal socialist world window approach - note: not all Europeans are this way, just the majority of them, mostly due to their media, education systems, and politicians.

Most Australians take a much more individualistic approach and don't want the total control of life an everything the socialist view endorses. This is despite the heavy inroads the socialist propaganda from Europe and some areas of the USA are having on the Australian society and people via the media, films, and the education system.

I hope this helps you to understand why the different perceptions of what's going on around the world, and in the USA itself.

Another aspect that raises it's head with some of the people involved in the US politics is we have a major disdain for hypocrites, liars, cheats, thieves, and traitors. Also, many of us look for the truth behind things instead of accepting the BS put out by the major media outlets looking to control the world for their owners.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

a major disdain for hypocrites, liars, cheats, thieves, and traitors


Many of us here in the US and elsewhere feel the same way; it is not solely an Australian point of view.

I sincerely doubt that the Australian media is any different than the US media and the media in many other countries. Of course, I doubt that applies to places like North Korea.

Capt. Zapp

@Ernest Bywater

... hypocrites, liars, cheats, thieves, and traitors.


You just described 99.9% of politicians. :D

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Capt. Zapp


You just described 99.9% of politicians. :D


I thought it described 99.99999% of politicians and modern media reporters.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

The UK is more sympathetic towards Trump than the rest of the Fourth Reich. We dislike unelected bureaucrats micromeddling in our lives and that's one of the principal reasons for the Brexit result.

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Capt. Zapp

@Ernest Bywater

You just described 99.9% of politicians. :D

I thought it described 99.99999% of politicians and modern media reporters.


When you include the reporters you have a larger pool, resulting in your accuracy extending to more decimal places. :)

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

The UK is more sympathetic towards Trump


That surprises me. Weren't there a lot of marches protesting a state dinner for Trump because it would put the Queen in an "uncomfortable" position?

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

And there was a petition to parliament to have Trump's visit cancelled. The UK has a large contingent of neofascist 'liberals' who only believe in free speech when they agree with what's being said :(

AJ

ustourist

@Switch Blayde

There were (and still are) a lot of marches demanding a second referendum about leaving Europe, but it doesn't mean to say that the marchers are in the majority. They just have a sympathetic press, make a lot of noise, and spend a lot of time on social media with multiple accounts to try and appear more influential than they are.
The excuse about the Queen being uncomfortable would never hold water anyway. She is a seasoned diplomat and having hosted the Japanese Emperor (you know, the guy who Obama genuflected to and the person who led Japan against her country in WWII) she is hardly likely to be concerned about the leader of a former colony.

Switch Blayde

@ustourist

it doesn't mean to say that the marchers are in the majority. They just have a sympathetic press, make a lot of noise,


I once saw a news report. I think it was shortly after the second Iraq War. The camera caught the protestors sitting quietly until they saw the cameras. Then they all jumped to their feet and held up their signs and screamed "Death to America." Without the press they wouldn't have been there.

Replies:   sejintenej
Dominions Son

@ustourist

Japanese Emperor (you know, the guy who Obama genuflected to and the person who led Japan against her country in WWII)


The current Japanese emperor, the one Obama genuflected to, is not the one who led Japan against the Allied powers in WWII.

The current emperor, Akihito, was born in 1939 and became emperor in 1989 on the death of his father (who was Emperor during WWII).

It is highly likely that Queen Elizabeth hosted the previous emperor (Hirohito) more than once, but Obama would never have met him either as a Senator or as President.

Replies:   sejintenej  Not_a_ID
sejintenej

@Dominions Son

It is highly likely that Queen Elizabeth hosted the previous emperor (Hirohito) more than once, but Obama would never have met him either as a Senator or as President

Don't forget that Hirohito was a puppet emperor up to and including WWII; it was the military who controlled everything. As for afterwards he was accepted as a very accomplished scientist in his own right. MacArthur realised that to control Japan in 1945 onwards he needed the emperor.

Replies:   Dominions Son
sejintenej
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


I once saw a news report. I think it was shortly after the second Iraq War. The camera caught the protestors sitting quietly until they saw the cameras. Then they all jumped to their feet and held up their signs and screamed "Death to America." Without the press they wouldn't have been there.


I have been in the middle of three "made for the press/tv violent demonstrations which were a bit like that.

1) about 1964, Accra Ghana. UDI in Rhodesia. I was working in the local head office of a UK company; the protestors had agreed with management which windows were to be broken with thrown bricks. Of course those specific rooms were evacuated so nobody got hurt. Lots of noise but we (whites) were able to leave the office and walk through the crowd with no fear.

2) Milan, Italy about 1975. Big strike and demonstration outside a bank head office I was due to visit. Lots of banners and noise as usual. A striking staff member saw me and, learning that I had an appointment, took me round the back and got me in the building.

3) São Paulo, sometime in the early 1980s. I got caught on the wrong side of Avenida Paulista at lunch by a procession of bank strikers - noise, banners etc to beat those Italians. End of lunchtime I was able to walk straight across the procession to the bank on the other side. That was painful; those whistles were LOUD! but otherwise no hassle.

Those were personal experiences. One I was not personally in:

TV reports of violent uprisings in Soweto, Jo'burg against apartheid. I had to phone our Jo'burg office and the phone was answered by a local girl whom I knew lived in Soweto. I indicated that I was glad that she had got into work uninjured; she knew nothing whatsoever about the demonstration!

As you imply, SB, those demonstrations are usually for the TV and press. There are many suggestions that in the UK there is a corps of people employed as demonstrators for whatever cause.

Dominions Son

@sejintenej

Don't forget that Hirohito was a puppet emperor up to and including WWII; it was the military who controlled everything.


Hirohito didn't become emperor until 1926, little more than a decade before WWII started, and he was only 25 at the time.

By contrast, his son, Akihito was 50 when he became emperor.

richardshagrin

"The Second Sino-Japanese War (July 7, 1937 – September 9, 1945) was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan". It led up to and included World War II as actions of the Axis powers added to the Allies. (The Germans attacked the Soviet Union, the Japanese attacked the United States of America at Pearl Harbor.)

gmontgomery

@ustourist

No, Obama honored the son of the wartime emperor. Though, HM probably did cordially meet the father.

hosted the Japanese Emperor (you know, the guy who Obama genuflected to and the person who led Japan against her country in WWII)

Replies:   ustourist  Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Most of Europe and the Europeans have a strong socialist approach and leans to political matters. Much of how many of the Europeans view things is done through a communal socialist world window approach - note: not all Europeans are this way, just the majority of them, mostly due to their media, education systems, and politicians.

Most Australians take a much more individualistic approach and don't want the total control of life an everything the socialist view endorses. This is despite the heavy inroads the socialist propaganda from Europe and some areas of the USA are having on the Australian society and people via the media, films, and the education system.

I understand those concepts (though I'd object to calling Europe "socialist"), however, I'd consider Australia more traditionally Republican. I was surprised when they all seemed to go full Trumpian (rather than full 'individual rights', which Trump doesn't seem to believe in).

Replies:   ustourist  Not_a_ID
ustourist

@gmontgomery

I was actually meaning the emperor as a position rather than an individual, the same as if I used the term president of the United States without using a name, but I can see how it could have been taken the other way.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@ustourist

The excuse about the Queen being uncomfortable would never hold water anyway. She is a seasoned diplomat and having hosted the Japanese Emperor (you know, the guy who Obama genuflected to and the person who led Japan against her country in WWII) she is hardly likely to be concerned about the leader of a former colony.


Uh. Emperor Akihito technically assumed the throne on January 7th, 1989 when his father(Emperor Shōwa) died. Although wasn't "enthroned" until almost two year later in November of 1990. (Also note: He was born in December of 1933, so he was 12 years old at the end of WW2, he didn't lead anything of significance during WW2)

But as Shōwa became Emperor in 1929, he would have been the one to lead Japan during WW2. But as he died in 1989, President Obama would have had a hard time interacting with him in any kind of personal capacity.

Replies:   ustourist
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

The current emperor, Akihito, was born in 1939 and became emperor in 1989 on the death of his father (who was Emperor during WWII).


Ah, someone beat me to it, I'll leave mine up though. Wiki says the current head of state for Japan was born in December of 1933, not 1939. :)

Not_a_ID

@gmontgomery

No, Obama honored the son of the wartime emperor. Though, HM probably did cordially meet the father.


Yeah, considering how much of their respective reigns overlapped(Nearly 37 years!). As well as both nations being members of the G6(Known today as the "G7" or "G8" or a few other more colorful names), which was initially formed as a Bulwark against the USSR and China during the 1970's.

They undoubtedly met on multiple occasions, whether or not they played host to one another may be another matter. But I imagine a determined enough person could find an answer on Google.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Crumbly Writer

(though I'd object to calling Europe "socialist"),


The majority of EU countries are run by a left leaning party or left coalition, and the EU itself is bordering on a socialist dictatorship as the commission is not answerable to the voters in any country. There has been an increase in popular interest in centre and right parties since the UK referendum, but I think probably only Austria and Hungary could really be considered majority conservative or right wing. The UK conservative party is dead centre with both socialist and monetarist policies, and whilst France will probably vote more than 50% conservative in their next election, it has a socialist President and Prime Minister.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

I understand those concepts (though I'd object to calling Europe "socialist"), however, I'd consider Australia more traditionally Republican. I was surprised when they all seemed to go full Trumpian (rather than full 'individual rights', which Trump doesn't seem to believe in).


Well, the EU isn't Communist, at least in a Marxist sense. But they're pretty darn close to being socialistic in nature near as I can tell. IF you don't think the term fits, what should they be called?

As to the whole Trump thing. He seems to be big on the authoritarian side of things, and that concerns me. He's the third President in a row we've had who wants to conduct himself in such a manner. They just seemed to have their attentions focused on different things when they entered office.

It's kind of scary to think that as despicable as Bill Clinton was, he wasn't particularly "scary" in general because he was such a politician in everything he said and did. Too bad his Wife couldn't figure that out.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Not_a_ID

@ustourist

I was actually meaning the emperor as a position rather than an individual, the same as if I used the term president of the United States without using a name, but I can see how it could have been taken the other way.


Considering the Emperor as a person and Position alike was alive for the first 37 years of her reign, I think she had plenty of time to get used to idea of treating him as an Ally. As such, working with his Son by comparison was a cakewalk in relation to that.

ustourist

@Not_a_ID

See my response above your comment, which crossed in posting. I was using the title as a position of head of state, not as an individual, but can understand it being taken either way.

ustourist

@Not_a_ID

Hirohito visited the UK in 1971, and the visit was memorable for former servicemen lining the streets and turning their backs as he passed. I believe that was the first time it had ever happened.

Replies:   sejintenej
Ross at Play

@Not_a_ID

Well, the EU isn't Communist, at least in a Marxist sense. But they're pretty darn close to being socialistic in nature near as I can tell. IF you don't think the term fits, what should they be called?

Social Democrats.
I think that is the usual term for those believing in democracy and free markets; but that governments have a role to play in ensuring minimum standards for all, limiting public costs from private business, and that taxation to distribute some proportion of a nation's wealth is not theft.
If you accept that definition, then nobody with more than brain cells could describe the EU as "socialist".

Replies:   Not_a_ID  awnlee jawking
PotomacBob

@Ernest Bywater

Since the biggest newspaper in the U.S. in terms of circulation is the Wall Street Journal and the biggest TV network in terms of viewership is Fox News - both owned by a former Australian - I suggest we bow to the Australian writer's superior knowledge of what is going on in American and whether "the major media outlets" are "looking to control the world for their owners."

Not_a_ID

@Ross at Play

Social Democrats.

And oddly, they employ the same root as Socialism. So "Socialist Democrats" isn't too much of a stretch. It's kind of like the communist party in the United States constantly rebranding various apparatus over time as various words start to become undesirable, until people forget about it in a later generation.

I think that is the usual term for those believing in democracy and free markets; but that governments have a role to play in ensuring minimum standards for all, limiting public costs from private business, and that taxation to distribute some proportion of a nation's wealth is not theft.


So it's socialism lite. Kind of like light mayonnaise. Yes, it technically isn't mayonnaise, but it's very closely related. Close enough that most people wouldn't be able to notice a difference in many cases.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Not_a_ID

Social Democrats

It's kind of like the communist party

TOTAL CRAP

So it's socialism lite.

MORE TOTAL CRAP.
No its democracy and capitalism without factories dumping carcinogenic wastes in rivers, with markets that are free because monopolies are restrained, where every child can get a decent education and every citizen is entitled to a basic level of health care - for societies fit for human beings to live in. They do exist. If you emigrate you may find one.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Ross at Play

Oh, I dunno. Changes are coming to the US.

I'm sort of looking forward to seeing the Cuyahoga River flaming again as it oozes through Cleveland, now that The Donald is gutting the EPA.

I'm looking forward to not having to pay School Tax Levies under the GOP principle that none should be taxed for something they don't receive. After all, my kids left school long ago.

I'm tickled that we made it here before my mother's parents were stopped from immigrating from a nation with a violent record of terrorist activities: Ireland. But it's essential that NO MORE be allowed!

It's refreshing to see tax reforms proposed that will finally encourage the nation's wealthiest to hire and share the gains: the bin will finally tip and prosperity will trickle down upon our heads.

Useless government bureaucracies will melt away; corporate America will be free to exercise unrestrained laisezz-faire in fact rather than in promise.

Americans will be inspired to earn their health benefits, reject Social Security, shun any and all unearned and undeserved handouts such as Medicare, Medicaid, Emergency Room medical access as a health insurance substitute, and Unemployment and Disability benefits (which only encourage reckless and irresponsible behaviour.)

And with any luck, we can forgo the outrageous expense of the southern border wall, when minefields, armed drones, and guard towers will, at far less cost, assure greater border security.

Finally, the day when all fraudulent state-issued driver's licenses will be discovered and confiscated by checkpoints manned on federal highways at every state border crossing. This will hasten the detention and removal of huge numbers of undocumented residents and associated family members.

Socialism? NO! Social Darwinism is the key to winnowing the winners from the losers in a competitive Capitalist system. America will be SO GREAT again!

Grant

@graybyrd

Changes are coming to the US.
...
America will be SO GREAT again!

If that post were satirical it'd be mildly amusing. But as so many people actually believe it, it's really rather sad and depressing.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ross at Play
Updated:

@graybyrd

America will be SO GREAT again!

I will stop thinking there are NO AMERICANS with a sense of humour.
That is a work of art. :-)

If that post were satirical ...

Yes, Grant. It is satirical, but as with all satire, it is unfunny unless there is a significant element of truth among all the exaggerations.
That post was hilarious from the start to the finish. :-)

IliaVolyova

@graybyrd

But Hillary ?!?!?!

Replies:   Ross at Play  graybyrd
Ross at Play

@IliaVolyova

But Hillary ?!?!?!

She's no "George Washington", but then George Washington wasn't one either.

graybyrd
Updated:

@IliaVolyova


But Hillary ?!?!?!


Alas, poor Hillary. Now that America has set her feet firmly upon the Path to Greatness, there is little need for Corporate America to enlist her speaking talent at $250,000 per. Perhaps her skills as a Defender of the Weak and Powerless may see her engaged in courtroom battles representing downwind residents of Cleveland choking in clouds of Cuyahuga River smoke.

Or not. The new Attorney General of the United States has little patience for nuisance lawsuits.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Grant


If that post were satirical it'd be mildly amusing. But as so many people actually believe it, it's really rather sad and depressing.


What makes it funnier from my perspective is seeing how far down the proverbial rabbit hole he, and others seem to have fallen. They're unable to "Call a spade a spade." As it were.

Just because something(s) are inherently socialistic in nature doesn't mean they're inherently bad.

Just because something is widely agreed to be "a good thing" doesn't mean it doesn't allow it to fit into a broad range of other "bad categories" as well.

Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope. But you'd die if you tried to go through life without eating/ingesting it for fear that the radiation exposure from it might kill you. That doesn't make Carbon-14 magically "not radioactive."

Replies:   madnige
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Social Democrats.
I think that is the usual term for those believing in democracy and free markets


That's definitely not the EU. One of the benefits of Brexit is that the UK will be able to trade with our former colonies and allies again without having to impose hefty tariffs.

As has been suggested, the EU is largely run by diktat by unelected Commissioners, and even the internal market is far from free UK citizens can't get the same prices to use the Channel Tunnel or visit Disneyland as the French, for example.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
madnige

@Not_a_ID

Just because something is widely agreed to be "a good thing" doesn't mean it doesn't allow it to fit into a broad range of other "bad categories" as well.


Water - too little, you die. Too much. you die.
Oxygen - too little, you die. Too much. you die.

Moderation in all things.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Dominions Son
Not_a_ID

@madnige

Moderation in all things.


And the congregation said "Amen" or is it "Amun" instead? ;)

The better part is even Wikipedia will explicitly group "Social Democrats" under the "Socialist" banner without much trouble. Sure, they may be "the extra-light-mayonnaise of Socialism" but it still remains a derivative of Mayo in this particular example. :)

Dominions Son

@madnige

Moderation in all things.


Moderation is a thing. Moderation in moderation

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

the EU is largely run by diktat by unelected Commissioners

... run by some appointed by democratically elected representatives, in accordance with a system agreed to by democratically elected representatives.
That is a democratic system.
* * *
BTW, good luck with that thing about 'trade with our former colonies and allies again without having to impose hefty tariffs' ... if you think you'll be trading with the EU anymore.
Your PM is telling you she will "negotiate" the best terms possible for the Britain. Britain is the one country in the EU that has ABSOLUTELY NO SAY in those negotiations.
Britain has declared, "We are leaving!" As they are walking out the door they will be given their new terms.
The remaining countries will allow terms they deem necessary to avoid shooting their foot, but their primary objective will be proving to other members that leaving is far too costly to even contemplate.
It will be like the IMF when it goes in to "rescue" bankrupt country. They consider it their moral responsibility to wreak such havoc in rescued countries to persuade others to avoid being so profligate to ever need a rescue.
* * *
Do yourself a favour! Don't think Britain will start trading with its former colonies again, emigrate to one of them while the pound is still worth a few peanuts!

Replies:   Not_a_ID  awnlee jawking
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Ross at Play

BTW, good luck with that thing about 'trade with our former colonies and allies again without having to impose hefty tariffs' ... if you think you'll be trading with the EU anymore.


Uh, last I checked, the EU was party to the WTO, as well as a number of other trade compacts that are going to make it very difficult for the EU to be overly punishing towards the UK as it is likewise party to many of those same agreements even without being tied the EU anymore.

Will trade with Europe be more expensive than it is currently? Yes. Will the cost increase by an order of magnitude? Unlikely, the difference is likely to only be a single percentage point, if even that. Yes, that makes competition on a cost basis a little more difficult, but not insurmountably so. Or else non-EU nations, like the United States, Canada, China, and Japan for example, would have a hard time engaging in trade with the EU and being competitive with the EU Marketplace.

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

... run by some appointed by democratically elected representatives, in accordance with a system agreed to by democratically elected representatives.
That is a democratic system.


MEPs are pretty powerless, so we're agreed that the EU isn't democratic. Indeed, it tries to stifle referendums and other forms of democracy, and many Eurocrats have criticised the UK government for giving mere citizens a referendum in the first place.

The EU benefits more from trade with the UK than vice versa. If it tries to penalise us for Brexit, all we have to do is reciprocate. They're pretty pissed at the prospect of losing our financing to prop up the fraud and largesse, but that's their problem for not tackling the much needed reforms.

The pound is fundamentally a stronger currency than the Euro. The depredations by currency speculators have temporarily knocked it back, but the EU still has the problem of bailing out bad banks and bankrupt economies so a correction is only a matter of time.

AJ

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@awnlee jawking

The EU benefits more from trade with the UK than vice versa. If it tries to penalise us for Brexit, all we have to do is reciprocate. They're pretty pissed at the prospect of losing our financing to prop up the fraud and largesse, but that's their problem for not tackling the much needed reforms.

The pound is fundamentally a stronger currency than the Euro. The depredations by currency speculators have temporarily knocked it back, but the EU still has the problem of bailing out bad banks and bankrupt economies so a correction is only a matter of time.


I haven't drilled into this particularly far, as I'm not particularly invested one way or another. But I do generally agree with the assessment that the UK's finance sector was doing particularly well because it was acting as "a global finance gateway" for many other nations when came to moving money in or out of the EU. No longer being part of the EU is going to certainly hurt that aspect of the finance sector in the UK.

Scottland trying to remain in the EU could make a further mess of things, as that would put the North Sea oil and gas reserves under the purview of the EU instead of the UK which would be essentially defunct at that point.

But yeah, I'm generally inclined to say much of anti-Brexit rhetoric is high-order fear mongering and likely to be much ado about nothing in many fields. The "punishment of Great Britain" post-Brexit is likely to be quite laughable in many respects after all is said and done, but it makes for great headlines and rhetoric in the interim.

Although it would be hilarious to watch EU take a hardline on that only to get slapped down by the WTO.

Ross at Play

@Not_a_ID

the EU was party to the WTO

I was aware of that, and realise Britain will drop back to a similar status as other external trading partners of the EU.
There is however a long list of things the new Tory leadership says they "negotiate" to retain after Britain leaves the EU.
That's pure fantasy. Countries that leave the EU have no rights. The remaining members of the EU will decide amongst themselves what Britain gets - and they will consider only what is best for the EU.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
sejintenej

@ustourist

Hirohito visited the UK in 1971, and the visit was memorable for former servicemen lining the streets and turning their backs as he passed. I believe that was the first time it had ever happened

We had a situation in the UK where an Israeli politician (I suspect it was Sharon) on a state visit to the UK had to have special security because any UK adult could validly have carried out a citizen's arrest for the man's past crimes.

sejintenej

@Not_a_ID

Scottland trying to remain in the EU could make a further mess of things, as that would put the North Sea oil and gas reserves under the purview of the EU instead of the UK which would be essentially defunct at that point.

The North Sea oil reserves are well depleted already though there are known deep water reserves off the north coast (the Denmark Strait) which will be very difficult to exploit.
They haven't thought out the transport between Scotland the Continental Europe. Of course tax deposits would have to be placed whenever goods come into the UK to or from an EU country and, of course, they would have to pay for the damage Scottish / EU lorries do to our roads.
On top of that England subsidises Scotland heavily, they will lose the naval base near Glasgow and financial companies in Edinburgh have already undertaken to move their business into England if Scotland becomes independent.
We call it "short and curlies"

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

It was the suggestion Britain will regain trade with former colonies which I reacted to. The gains from that will be insignificant.
I do not really expect the EU to "punish" Britain. However, what the Tory leadership is telling the public they will "negotiate" is pure fantasy. The rules about leaving the EU are very simple. The remaining countries tells any departing country the new terms they will be given.
What I expect to be the overwhelming cause of damage to the British economy is the self-inflicted damage of a major disruption. Economies without all engines firing tend to have the glide path of an elephant. How little did it take to cause the global meltdown in 2008? How little did the IMF withdraw from the economy of Greece to result in its GDP falling by 25% in a matter of years. I have seen an estimate the government will need to spend about 3% of GDP in the next few years - simply to set up its own agencies to monitor rules grandfathered from the EU.
My advice to Brits is do not stand under flying elephants.

Ross at Play

@sejintenej

We call it "short and curlies"

The economic reasons Scotland should not leave the UK are MUCH MORE clear cut than Brexit - as you pointed out, the oil is almost gone and the net subsidy from England to Scotland at present is very substantial.
However, voters do find reasons to vote in ways that are obviously against their economic self interest, e.g. Brexit and the poor of the rust belt of USA.

awnlee jawking

@Not_a_ID

But I do generally agree with the assessment that the UK's finance sector was doing particularly well


That's a major cause for concern.

When the UK joined the Common Market, its heavy industry was largely pre-war, inefficient and failing. There should have been a Common Industrial Policy to cope with such a situation, commensurate with the Common Agricultural Policy which bailed out, and continues to bail out, French farmers.

Thatcher's solution was to push heavy industry off a cliff and rush into financial services, and for a while that worked pretty well. But now German industry, mostly post-war and once the economic powerhouse of the Common Market, is hitting the same problems the UK had - it's now relatively old and inefficient.

Take Volkswagen as an example. They have an advertising slogan, 'If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen'. And even fifteen years ago, that was true, Volkswagen cars were well put together and near the top of reliability tables. But last year, the Volkswagen Golf was right in the middle of the reliability tables, one place BELOW the Ford Fiesta. Not long ago the idea of a Volkswagen being less reliable than its Ford equivalent would have been unthinkable.

Germany seems to be aware of the problem and is making its own dash for financial services - witness their attempt (hopefully doomed) to take over the London Stock Exchange.

The ramifications are unclear, but London's reputation for a lighter touch when it comes to financial regulation should help to keep it as the centre of choice for Russian mobsters etc.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

You slap on a 5% tariff (the maximum permitted by the WTO) and we slap on a 5% tariff - and it hurts you more than us.

How is that not negotiation?

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

It was the suggestion Britain will regain trade with former colonies which I reacted to.


We can drop the EU-enforced tariffs when we trade with the USA, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.

Unfortunately we won't be able to palm off antediluvian British Leyland offerings on the Aussies :(

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

How is that not negotiation

It's not a negotiation when only one side has the power to say no.
Once Britain starts the clock, they are out in less than two years, with no right to reject the terms they are offered.
The EU will do what is best for the EU. It is not in their interests that the British economy should collapse, but it is in their interests to disavow any other countries of the thought they might be able to negotiate favourable terms if they decide to leave too.
Even if the eventual gains equal the eventual losses, the gains taking longer to materialise is enough to cause a recession or prolonged period of anaemic growth.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

with no right to reject the terms they are offered


That's incorrect. If terms can't be agreed, the UK can walk away and enforce the WTO default.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  sejintenej
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

However, what the Tory leadership is telling the public they will "negotiate" is pure fantasy. The rules about leaving the EU are very simple. The remaining countries tells any departing country the new terms they will be given.


I know nothing about the EU, but that makes no sense. If the EU wants to trade with Britain, there will be a 2-way negotiation, no different than one for the EU trading with the U.S.

If the EU thinks they can dictate terms, they're crazy. Unless they don't need/want Britain as a trading partner.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Ross at Play
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


If the EU thinks they can dictate terms, they're crazy. Unless they don't need/want Britain as a trading partner.


From a lot of the rhetoric I'm catching over here in North America, that seems to be what a lot of pundits would like people to believe. That the UK was basically superfluous to the EU as a whole, and that the EU may be better off without them. LOL.

More likely it's somewhere in between.

The UK was more important to the EU than it wants to admit at this time, and it will be paying the price for that in years to come, and the more harsh they choose to be in the parting of ways, the steeper that price will be. But it will likely be years, if not decades before they start to really feel the impact. (Mainly the UK role as playing counter-balance/backstop to France and Germany, which is now departing the EU)

But at the same time, the EU was more important to the UK than many(right-wingers) would like to claim. However, probably less so than many other(left-leaning) parties like to claim it is as well.

Replies:   ustourist
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

the UK can walk away and enforce the WTO default.

Yes, The terms the EU gives Britain will certainly comply to WTO rules, i.e. not be worse than America and Canada currently have.
However, that's not what the Tory leadership are claiming they will negotiate. They may ask to retain some things countries outside the EU currently have, but the EU has no obligation to agree, and not much incentive.
There will be a vast number of things from the UK that are currently presumed to comply with EU rules. The UK will retain many of those rules, at least to start with, after they exit, but it will become necessary for sellers to prove they are in compliance once the split takes place.

ustourist

@Not_a_ID

So far nobody has pointed out that ALL EU countries must agree to any exit plan on the EU side, whereas only the UK has to agree on the other side.
Getting 27 different countries to agree to something, where the Poles, Irish, Germans, Greeks and French all have different agendas, will be almost impossible if not totally so - particularly in a specific 2 year legal timeline. If the UK doesn't agree it can simply walk away and potentially be better off than agreeing to ludicrous demands from some of the EU negotiators.
Can anyone honestly imagine 27 civil service committees from 27 different countries agreeing to anything even when it comes to tabling an agenda, let alone discussion of the items, when empire building and self importance is probably the only common factor between them.
Put bluntly, the UK holds all the aces and the posturing and blowhard comments coming from the commission in Brussels are all self aggrandizing, but nothing more, and certainly not EU policy as that is still undecided. If the departure terms aren't favorable to the UK and relations get too strained, Ireland would have to leave the EU as well because their economy is almost totally dependent on the UK. Scotland are irrelevant as far as the negotiations are concerned, and know it.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

If the EU wants to trade with Britain, there will be a 2-way negotiation, no different than one for the EU trading with the U.S.

The EU is entitled to tell Britain, "The UK will get the same as the US currently gets."

The Tory leadership is talking about negotiating MORE than that, but anything extra will require all 27 remaining countries to agree within a two-year period. There will be much begging, and some of it may succeed, but no 2-way negotiations.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

but no 2-way negotiations.


Out of curiosity, can the U.S. negotiate a trade deal with an EU country, say France, and another, say Germany, without negotiating one common deal for all the EU countries?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Out of curiosity, can the U.S. negotiate a trade deal with an EU country, say France, and another, say Germany, without negotiating one common deal for all the EU countries?

Effectively, No, because France and Germany are a "common market".
There probably are some legacy arrangements (things like France may still buy olives from Morocco), but not allowing that is entire point of the EU.

Not_a_ID

@ustourist

Put bluntly, the UK holds all the aces and the posturing and blowhard comments coming from the commission in Brussels are all self aggrandizing, but nothing more, and certainly not EU policy as that is still undecided. If the departure terms aren't favorable to the UK and relations get too strained, Ireland would have to leave the EU as well because their economy is almost totally dependent on the UK. Scotland are irrelevant as far as the negotiations are concerned, and know it.


Basically we're looking at another year or so of posturing in the EU as the Brexit clock only just recently started as I understand it? Once they're down to the 11th hour, the EU will scramble and likely agree to something like Norway has in hopes of not forcing Ireland out of the EU and possibly making an independent Scotland more possible, assuming the Scots don't blow their load in the interim.

Replies:   Ross at Play
sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

That's incorrect. If terms can't be agreed, the UK can walk away and enforce the WTO default.

You are joking, of course.

How many times has France been fined for refusing entry to British foodstuffs (usually beef) and simply ignored it?

Now Spain is talking about unilaterally allowing Brits to continue to live in Spain and enjoy Spanish medical treatment on the same terms as today? (OK so they do have health service difficulties but at least the principle is there).

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@Not_a_ID

the EU will scramble and likely agree to something like Norway

The EU might agree to that, but the UK won't.
Norway accepts a whole swag of EU regulations without having any say in their formulation, and specifically accepts the free movement of goods, services, and people.
The UK will not accept the free movement of people, and the EU cannot allow the free movement of goods and services without that - if they allow that the whole thing collapses.
As things stand, when the UK leaves it will have a trade status similar to that of the US. Anything extra requires all remaining countries of the EU to agree, within two years. Gaining any concessions at all will require handing back the sovereignty to make regulations it just took back - and only on terms the EU is willing to accept.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

How many times has France been fined for refusing entry to British foodstuffs (usually beef) and simply ignored it?


When it comes to negotiating, most EU countries will do what Germany tells them. France is the biggest fly in the ointment and most likely to try to be vindictive, followed by Spain who will view Brexit as an opportunity to acquire Gibraltar.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

The EU might agree to that, but the UK won't.
Norway accepts a whole swag of EU regulations without having any say in their formulation, and specifically accepts the free movement of goods, services, and people.


That's right. The UK voted in a Conservative government because immigration control was a principal issue at the last election. Immigration control was a key issue in the Brexit referendum too. I believe the government would like to negotiate something along the lines of EFTA, but they're resigned to leaving the 'single' market unless there's a seismic change in EU policy.

Some of the former Eastern bloc countries have set up defences against the flood of migrants in defiance of single market regulations, and some of the Schengen Zone countries are regretting giving up border controls as it allows free movement of terrorists.

All very volatile.

AJ

EzzyB
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

That surprises me. Weren't there a lot of marches protesting a state dinner for Trump because it would put the Queen in an "uncomfortable" position?


Of course it would. The moron is more likely to try and grope her than talk policy (not that he's capable of the policy thing).

Sorry, I just finished Jennifer Government. I'm a feeling a bit anti-fascist right now.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd
Updated:

@EzzyB

For real fun, watch Angela Merkel's facial expressions in the news clip of the joint news conference with Trump, especially the moment where he declared they had 'something in common,' meaning being hacked.

Her face reminded me of my mother's reaction when she discovered she'd stepped in a pile of dog shit.

Priceless!

I wonder if and when she'd ever agree to stand with him again in public.

graybyrd
Updated:

The world may be -- or may not be -- looking to the U.S. for a reaction to Syrian government forces using nerve gas against its civilian population. The answer is fairly predictable:

1. The Syrian government denies it; there is no proof.

2. The U.S. cannot move to prevent the use of nerve gas; it would upset our Russian friends.

awnlee jawking

@graybyrd

I thought Trump had already made his disinterest in the Syrian situation clear. Although if the Syrian government would like to sell him some of their nerve gas, I'm sure he'd like to use it in North Korea :(

AJ

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@awnlee jawking

The U.S. use Syrian surplus nerve gas in N. Korea? Not possible...

That would upset our Chinese friends.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
graybyrd

@graybyrd

UPDATE: "These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution." Trump Tweet, 4 APR 2017

CORRECTION: "These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's [acceptance and compliance with my numerous tweets* to stay the Hell out of Syria.]

*Refer to numerous Trump tweets in 2016 & 2017, and also the US Congress refusal to acknowledge former administration request for authorization to respond to earlier Syrian nerve gas attacks on civilian populations.

Not_a_ID

@graybyrd

2. The U.S. cannot move to prevent the use of nerve gas; it would upset our Russian friends.


I doubt Hillary would have an appreciably different tone, unless of course, you're wanting the USA to go to war with Russia. Which incidentally was a side concern for a number of voters last November.

Something that ironically saw verification in the weeks/months that have followed, the Russians evidently agreed(that a H.Clinton presidency wasn't in their interests). Because the one thing people like to forget, Hillary, like her husband, is something of a War Hawk. She was the biggest hawk in the Obama Administration, and wasn't particularly repentant on the campaign trail.

So while Trump was busy talking about peace through strength and potentially ordering the committing of war crimes in conflicts he's unlikely to actually bother with. Other people were getting twitchy as to the military mis-adventures HRC would get the world embroiled in.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Not_a_ID

We're going to have a really difficult time keeping the U.S. from wrecking in the ditch doing nothing but driving with our eyes on the rear-view mirror.

Just sayin'... mebbe them folks screwed up, or were gonna screw us over, but they ain't got hold of the wheel now. And I'd feel some better if the current blowhard-in-chief would glance out the windshield to see what he's doin', instead of stayin' focused on that damned mirror and lookin' behind all the time, so he kin blame it all on them others.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@graybyrd

Just sayin'... mebbe them folks screwed up, or were gonna screw us over, but they ain't got hold of the wheel now. And I'd feel some better if the current blowhard-in-chief would glance out the windshield to see what he's doin', instead of stayin' focused on that damned mirror and lookin' behind all the time, so he kin blame it all on them others.


Don't text and drive...

awnlee jawking

@graybyrd

China's attitude seems to be hypocritical to say the least. They claim they can't interfere in North Korea because it's a sovereign state, but that didn't stop them illegally annexing Tibet, and their continued acquisitive approach to Taiwan and the South China Sea territories.

AJ

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@awnlee jawking

China's attitude seems to be hypocritical


That would be called "national self-interest." Everybody does it. China is the only nation that has relations with North Korea. Well over 90% of NK's exports are to China. According to 'those who know' who've commented lately, China props up NK as a 'buffer' to prevent unification of the Koreans, which would then place the U.S. military presence at the Chinese border.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@graybyrd


That would be called "national self-interest." Everybody does it. China is the only nation that has relations with North Korea. Well over 90% of NK's exports are to China. According to 'those who know' who've commented lately, China props up NK as a 'buffer' to prevent unification of the Koreans, which would then place the U.S. military presence at the Chinese border.


This, N. Korea is a buffer nation. It isn't that China couldn't take over, it's that they don't want a common land border with a nation which has a close military alliance with the United States. Also, the N. Korean proximity to Japan, another close U.S. ally, just further exacerbates the issue for China, even if it is across a largish body of water.

Likewise, Taiwan's ambiguous state is preferable in that context as it prevents the U.S. from having any kind of significant meaningful presence in Taiwan, and forestalls a risk of a "close alliance" developing like S. Korea and Japan have. Basically they do not want U.S. forces on their proverbial doorstep, and their current approach means they avoid moving that doorstep closer to where the U.S. is, while discouraging the U.S. from getting closer as well.

Of course, the Taiwan situation is complicated by the matter that both China and Taiwan claim to be "the rightful government" of the other nations territory due to being in a state of defacto cease-fire over a civil war dating back to before WW2.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Not_a_ID

This, N. Korea is a buffer nation.


I thought that's what I said... but, anyway. Thanks for the overall review.

Just to make things interesting, now that China has essentially turned the entirely of the South China Sea into a militarized zone, with permanently-installed aircraft and missile bases on their man-made islands, there appears to be something of a Chinese noose being tightened around Taiwan, the Philippines, and the southern Indonesian region. It's now pretty much assured that whenever the Chinese tell the U.S. not to bring armed warships through "their" waters, we'll probably have no choice but to concede the point.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@graybyrd


It's now pretty much assured that whenever the Chinese tell the U.S. not to bring armed warships through "their" waters, we'll probably have no choice but to concede the point.


That's a little less clear, they're playing a game here, but they also don't want to send the Philippines running back into the arms of the U.S. and restore a close relationship on a military level, in particular, giving basing rights once more. They'd rather the P.I. play buffer for them. It'll be an interesting and very dangerous diplomatic and military game playing out in that region for years to come.

China does want the oil that is believed to be there however, and they'd much prefer direct control. Which makes it a question of which priority takes precedence at the time. Their desire to maintain a buffer, or their desire for those natural resources. For now, the buffer takes precedence, so it's just a matter of seeing how far they can push before they get pushback they find truly unacceptable.

It just also has a secondary knock-on effect of giving them an advanced defensive position to use in the future should it ever come to engaging in a conflict with the U.S. instead of fighting directly over their coast, just getting to it may become a challenge when they assume a wartime posture.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Not_a_ID

Good observations. As for resources, I think not just oil, but fishing and minerals, too. A billion hungry Chinese are always looking for fish. And they've been pretty aggressive at running 'foreign' fishing boats out of those waters. I remember one video clip showing a Chinese 'factory' ship chasing down and 'rolling' an interloping fishing boat. It rolled and sank with all hands. The Chinese don't piss around.

As for holding an armed conflict at an arms length away from their coast, I think that's 'spot on.' With the possible (probable?) exception of that nutcase running North Korea, it's pretty much conceded that nuclear weapons are now useless in any armed conflict. So we'd be engaging the Chinese with conventional arms, and that could be confined to those waters. Nobody... absolutely nobody is nuts enough to attack the Chinese mainland. Talk about setting one's bare ass on a fire ant hill!

Not_a_ID

Well, a longer game is they'd prefer Taiwan fall under their direct control. It's useless as a buffer.

They'd love to subvert S. Korea, and getting control over many of the commerce routes in and out of that region helps "incentivize" S. Korea in playing nice, and helps better secure the Chinese coast that is across the way from S. Korea. Likewise with Japan, although they know that ones highly unlikely for a long time to come. But I think China hopes the prospect of an eventual Korean unification at some point may get S. Korea out from the U.S. sphere of influence and turn then neutral at the least. Then that gives China a significant buffer between themselves and both the U.S. and Japan. However, I think that may be a pipe dream for China.

The longer they drag out the collapse of N. Korea and reunification, the harder it will be for the remaining S. Korean government to be willing to even consider such a change towards neutrality.

If they were clever, they'd help expedite reunification, then work on undermining the U.S. - Korea relationship. Of course, that may be the game they're setting up now. Ensuring they have a reasonably strong "sea control" position in relation to the Korea's and Japan prior to letting N. Korea fall. So long as N. Korea is in play, it restricts what S. Korea is willing/able to do.

Once N. Korea leaves the board, particularly if China facilitates the reunification, it gives them brownie points, and once more keeps the S. Korean government busy for years to come on a slew of domestic issues.

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