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 The Elephant in the Room.

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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 20 Jul 2018, 21:25

@nordmann wrote:
And so the stupidity continues ....

As does the very low level of public discourse. This morning, for example, BBC One's Breakfast program was reviewing the papers and one of the presenters held up an article to camera and said that it related to:

"Leo Varadkar the Irish prime minister saying that you can't have your cake and eat it. This is apparently what he's been reported saying after a cabinet meeting. This is the visit of Theresa May saying that you can't take back our waters. This is all about the border between over the Irish Sea or potential border between the landmass over in Northern Ireland and Ireland and the UK and the rest of England and Scotland."

So that cleared that up.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 22 Jul 2018, 06:47

@Temperance wrote:
@Islanddawn wrote:
The most unbearable of the whole tournament was the 'it's coming home' sillyness and it was such a relief when it wasn't coming home after all. The gloating and nationalistic frenzy would have been worse than that of the London Olympics, simply too much for anyone to swallow.

Absolutely. You wouldn't get the cool and rational French indulging in any such  "silliness"!











Smile


Not sure what France have to do with it Temp, unless you are saying that being stupid is ok because they do it too?

But what you are showing are celebrations after winning, no?  Not claiming to have won before you've even reached the second round, which is what the daft 'it's coming home' was doing.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 22 Jul 2018, 08:19

Indeed, ID - as we are instructed in "The Words of King Lemuel of Massa, Which his Mother Taught Him", it is a foolish man who tries to eat the omelette before the hen has laid the egg.

May I point out that on 24th June (how far away that glorious day now seems) I posted this in the Bar:



We must keep things in perspective, chaps: it was only Panama. The way everyone's carrying on here you'd think we'd just beaten Brazil 6-1 in the actual final -  at the Estádio Nacional de Brasília.



But to be absolutely serious - if anyone these days from Brexitland can be taken seriously - rather than fretting so much the everlasting Brexit negotiations (it is only Brexit, as one BBC commentator rather strangely put it), shouldn't we all be worrying about the two madmen in Washington and Moscow? Jungian shadows, the collective unconscious, political manipulation and all that stuff?  Not to mention the Orwellian power blocks that are developing. Europe is terrified of Russia - and rightly so...







And in the Orwellian nightmare that we see taking shape, the Orwellian "Ignorance is strength" - makes for a lovely motto. Perhaps Trump could ask Her Majesty to give him a coat of arms with that emblazoned on it.

EDIT: Politics and the English Language (1946) is an essay by George Orwell. The work focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind". Orwell believed that the language used was necessarily vague or meaningless because it was intended to hide the truth rather than express it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 22 Jul 2018, 22:00

Temperance,

"But to be absolutely serious - if anyone these days from Brexitland can be taken seriously - rather than fretting so much the everlasting Brexit negotiations (it is only Brexit, as one BBC commentator rather strangely put it), shouldn't we all be worrying about the two madmen in Washington and Moscow? Jungian shadows, the collective unconscious, political manipulation and all that stuff?  Not to mention the Orwellian power blocks that are developing. Europe is terrified of Russia - and rightly so... "


Temperance,

first of all about the map. Can you give the source? Because it can solve the possible bias...
I see here the small dot of the British Isles connected to "Oceania"? Isn't it rather connected to Western Europe? Spanish and Portuguese America not connected to the US? More second world countries? Southern Africa more third world than second world?
I started an informal exchange with Dirk Marinus (and invited him here) about  the new world power circles.
I asked him: Europe including the British Isles the new Italy of the world? The world as in the Cold War divided in two powerblocs: the US and SSSR, while Russia is there again. But now a new actor (factor): the third party:China, which can act as a balance between the two? I think Russia is not capable to challenge the whole world as the US now do? Too less people to man it all? And only China will gain from a conflict between the two powers, with Europe in the middle? And I am not sure if even the mighty US can hold it against the rest of the world? But about Japan, I think it will remain a close ally of the US, as it is afraid of his big neighbour China...Europe can perhaps as China act as a brooker between the two blocs? But Europe learned that it had no big power status anymore starting from the Suez crisis...and in the Yugoslavian civil war Europe made a mess of it and the US with Madeleine had to clean it up? Even in that local conflict they weren't able to stand their man...but the Americans brought then another bias in it by supporting the UCK and the greater Albania, with now Muslim power overthere?

Kind regards from Paul.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 23 Jul 2018, 17:27

Copied the map from here, Paul:

Map of 1984



In George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984’, the world is ruled by three superstates:



• Oceania covers the entire continents of America and Oceania and the British Isles, the main location for the novel, in which they are referred to as ‘Airstrip One’.
• Eurasia covers Europe and (more or less) the entire Soviet Union.
• Eastasia covers Japan, Korea, China and northern India.

Unfortunately, there’s not much ‘super’ to these states except their size. All three are totalitarian dictatorships. Oceania’s ideology is Ingsoc (English Socialism), Eurasia’s Neo-Bolshevism and Eastasia’s is the Obliteration of the Self (one imagines some kind of Buddhist-inspired fascism. If one can). These ideologies are very similar, but the people are not informed of this.

The three states are in a perpetual state of warfare – sometimes two against one, sometimes all three against each other. These wars are fought in the disputed territories, running from North Africa over the Middle East and southern India to Southeast Asia.

And yet…

And yet the war might just not even be real at all. It’s clear that the Oceanic media are one-sided and fabricate ‘facts’. A dissident book central to ‘1984’ suggests the two other powers may actually be a fabrication of the government of Oceania, which would make it the world government. Or, on the other side of the scale of thinkable alternatives: Airstrip One is not an outpost of a greater empire, but the sole territory under the command of Ingsoc, which fabricates eternal global war to keep its people permanently mobilised, scrutinised and on rations.


It's interesting that Orwell has the British Isles as a little, isolated dot on the edge of an opposing superstate. Russia appears to have swallowed up Europe - which is exactly what the EU is terrified might happen. The whole thing is a nightmare waiting to happen.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 23 Jul 2018, 18:00

Orwell's '1984' was of course first published in 1948 (NB the digits, and strictly while it was intended to appear in late 1948, publication was delayed and the first copies only appeared in early 1949) and was a contemporary critique of Britain's post-war, micro-managing government; with strict currency controls, oppressive media censorship, rationing of food and fuel, widespread shortages of non-rationed goods, and widespread and often invasive petty bureaucracy. At the same time in Germany, then still an occupied country, almost all rationing ended that same year, 1948, and the German economy - although still devastated by war but now finally freed from the stifling artificial economic constraints that had been imposed by the US - immediately started to boom. Seeing these clear economic benefits France rapidly followed Germany's lead by dropping all its rationing and currency controls (also in 1948).

Britain however chose to continue to enforce war-time austerity and rationing until 1954 (ie some 6 years after most other European economies). This action alone, IMO, probably only served to stifle the UK's post-war economy ... and the effects remained until at least the mid 1970s, when, in desparation and because it was nearly bankrupt, the UK finally decided to join he EEC.

And now it seems Britain wants to throw all that progress away and go back to the 1960s ... or is it the 1950s that you're hankering after?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 23 Jul 2018, 22:45

@Meles meles wrote:
Orwell's '1984' was of course first published in 1948 (NB the digits, and strictly while it was intended to appear in late 1948, publication was delayed and the first copies only appeared in early 1949) and was a contemporary critique of Britain's post-war, micro-managing government; with strict currency controls, oppressive media censorship, rationing of food and fuel, widespread shortages of non-rationed goods, and widespread and often invasive petty bureaucracy. At the same time in Germany, then still an occupied country, almost all rationing ended that same year, 1948, and the German economy - although still devastated by war but now finally freed from the stifling artificial economic constraints that had been imposed by the US - immediately started to boom. Seeing these clear economic benefits France rapidly followed Germany's lead by dropping all its rationing and currency controls (also in 1948).

Britain however chose to continue to enforce war-time austerity and rationing until 1954 (ie some 6 years after most other European economies). This action alone, IMO, probably only served to stifle the UK's post-war economy ... and the effects remained until at least the mid 1970s, when, in desparation and because it was nearly bankrupt, the UK finally decided to join he EEC.

And now it seems Britain wants to throw all that progress away and go back to the 1960s ... or is it the 1950s that you're hankering after?


Meles meles and Temperance,

now I see: Orwell...and I just wanted to start this evening my thread about Orwell for Nielsen...and I said in that thread that I never read "1984" from Orwell...hence my ignorance about "Oceania"...instead I saw Fahrenheit 451 from Truffaut an adaptation of Bradbury's novel of 1954...some similarities?...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451
But in the meantime Temperance, I presented you with my take on the contemporeous geopolitical situation Wink ....and you see how difficult it is to predict the future...but perhaps taht was not Orwell's purpose?...

Meles meles, thank you very much that you again reiterates the rationing in Europe, a subject that we both already discussed in depth...as with examples from your mother and father...

And now I am again too late for the Orwell thread for Nielsen Sad ...tomorrow early up to work in refurbishing an appartment...

Kind regards to both from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 31 Jul 2018, 07:05

A very good cartoon by Martin Rowson in today's online version of 'The Guardian' brilliantly depicting the UK's current Brexit government as The Bash Street Kids, from the popular 1960s/70s children's comic 'The Beano':



... we really ought to have a thread about political cartoons - there have been some absolutely first-class ones lately, but then the current political situation, and not just in Britain, is particularly rich in suitable material.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 31 Jul 2018, 08:48

Loved me some "Beano" on wet playtimes back in the day, MM.  I did mention the death of Leo Baxendale, the original author/illustrator of the Bash Street Kids on the RIP thread last year.  David Sutherland drew at least some of the illustrations since 1961 though.  (Now am I really brainy and carry this information in my head or have I just had a quick decko* on Wikipedia).  The Bash Street Kids were apparently inspired by a Giles cartoon of kids coming out of school.

*"have a decko" - English slang expression for "have a look".
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 31 Jul 2018, 15:56

Love the Beano cartoon - especially Rees Mogg as Lord Snooty - brilliant!



My favourite cartoon in the past couple of weeks was the one in The Times the other day. It referred to the unfortunate incident in Downing St. last week when Palmerston, the amoral Foreign Office cat, snatched a little duckling from its mother and dismembered it in front of a group of horrified photographers and reporters. Here is the photographic evidence:






Then - alas -





Inspiration for this brilliant cartoon:





PS Larry the Cat (who was asleep at the time of the Downing Street duck massacre) has demanded Palmerston's removal after this "disgraceful incident", but Larry and his suggestions - however reasonable -  seem to be as ineffectual as those of his boss at Number 10.
   



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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 31 Jul 2018, 16:01

Larry's tweet:


Larry the Cat‏ @Number10cat · Jul 24  

Unlike the PM, I’m willing to take action when my team steps out of line. Palmerston is being transferred to Antarctica following this disgraceful incident...


Larry is however right: the PM should pack the lot of them - Boris, Gove, Rees-Mogg and the other rebels - off to Antarctica. In their underwear. Better to be feared than loved - and our Prime Minister is neither. Bad position to be in.
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PostSubject: And so I came on the shortage of the   Wed 15 Aug 2018, 22:57

I wanted to put this on the Orwell thread, but perhaps it is better placed overhere.
About the recent trade wars between for instance the US and China, the US and Russia, the US and Europe, the US and Iran, lately beween the US and Turkey. Between Europe and Russia.
One thing which emerges in my opinion. The entity that starts the trade war has to be big enough to endure the counter measures from other countries? Turkey is too small an economy to counter a trade war. I am even not sure if a US is big enough to endure a long term economic isolation without proceding to the danger of a "real" war...I doubt if Europe and certainly not the UK is big enough to manage a kind of autarky policy...perhaps Russia with its big resources, but then the population is not big enough...nordmann's opinion would be appreciated...

And yes a lot is not "ethical" in the financial world, which is responsible for a lot of anomalies in the "social" world. I am so glad that the Tesla boss tackled the "shorters" that gangreen of the economies that push whatever to a high or to a low of the stocks even witout proof in the real economy...in former threads I asked already for some kind of guiding on speculation on the world market...even  a Europe isn't big eonough if the US and Japan don't agree and as I know the Americans...

And I agree fair trade is a laudable project...but I think the EU is right that one has to do some compartimenting...one can't absorb a third country economy within the frameworl of the own "compartiment" as the two economies differ too much and the only solution is to bring the involved country gradually on the same level as your own "compartiment", but as proven in the past the "social" level has to adapted also gradually to the receiving ecomomy...
Perhaps something similar to the rules about the isolating of one country to the introduction of biological diseases for contamination of plants, animals and humans...as in the UK and yes I saw this morning also in New Zealand...
I came to it when reading in a French language teletext on TV about an elogy on the "avocat" as some kind of fruit. I always thought that that was a laywer, but when looking on the "internet" it came out that the French "avocat" was also an "avocado".
And so I came on the article about avocados in New Zealand that can't be imported because of the fear for plant diseases. and now there is a shortage...
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/14/world/asia/new-zealand-avocado-thefts.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-45169917

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 17 Aug 2018, 23:45

Adding to the previous about New Zealand...

Saw today an article in the paper about the new restrictions proposed for foreigners on the local house market...
Found this about the case on "internet":
https://qz.com/1299734/foreigners-are-rushing-to-buy-property-in-new-zealand-before-law-changes/


Own folks first? I have the opinion that it is not that strong...and as I see it it is an international phenomenon...some places are highly valuable...and thus go the prices up...and as it is an international free market, some foreigners with money invest to seek for an higher return of their money...and as the prices go up it becomes interesting to refurbish older buildings to modern norms...or even as in Brussels demolish entire houses and rebuild new ones, as that is cheaper than refurbish old ones...however as in Bruges you have to let stay the front or even rebuild the house with the old equipment as staircases and all that...
The granddaugther living now in Zurich Switzerland...appartment for four residents: each one 1,500 Euro and for an old appartment...and she lived for 6 months in New York, there it was even worser...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 23 Aug 2018, 07:06

Hi Paul,

I saw this a few days ago and didn't have time then to reply, but when I looked for it now, it took me a while to find it; it was only when I went to another thread that I saw you had mentioned it there.

NZ has very stringent rules on imports, being very dependent on its agriculture for exports and therefore its economy.  I did hear something about avocados being very expensive (though we had one just the other day, and my husband, who does all the shopping these days, keeps a very keen eye on prices). 

As regards the housing, the new Labour/NZ First/Green alliance has brought in stricter rules to curb the growing shortage of housing.  Some of this has been blamed on foreign ownership, though that may have been overstated.  Still, seeing reports of foreigners buying houses and not filling them with either themselves or tenants, but just waiting for the price to rise, does seem very odd. I did see a news item or an economist today saying it was the wrong time to bring this in, as house prices are cooling and we need migrant workers and somewhere for them to live.  (Though whether these very expensive houses would be used for workers is doubtful.)

Cheers, Caro.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 23 Aug 2018, 21:23

@Caro wrote:
Hi Paul,

I saw this a few days ago and didn't have time then to reply, but when I looked for it now, it took me a while to find it; it was only when I went to another thread that I saw you had mentioned it there.

NZ has very stringent rules on imports, being very dependent on its agriculture for exports and therefore its economy.  I did hear something about avocados being very expensive (though we had one just the other day, and my husband, who does all the shopping these days, keeps a very keen eye on prices). 

As regards the housing, the new Labour/NZ First/Green alliance has brought in stricter rules to curb the growing shortage of housing.  Some of this has been blamed on foreign ownership, though that may have been overstated.  Still, seeing reports of foreigners buying houses and not filling them with either themselves or tenants, but just waiting for the price to rise, does seem very odd. I did see a news item or an economist today saying it was the wrong time to bring this in, as house prices are cooling and we need migrant workers and somewhere for them to live.  (Though whether these very expensive houses would be used for workers is doubtful.)

Cheers, Caro.


Caro,

thank you very much for your reply and the comments, especially for the wise evaluation of the second paragraph.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 24 Sep 2018, 18:01

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 08 Oct 2018, 12:02

I have watched the news fairly cursorily of late - I've caught the main points to keep au fait with what they say but I had quite missed out on any cosying up between BoJo and Potus.  I regret to say I didn't know who Mike Galsworthy was (the person whose twitter link I'm linking but I see he is a media person and a scientist.  https://twitter.com/mikegalsworthy/status/1017674921793728513  Someone on the twitter feed has pointed out that BoJo can be economical with the truth - no - I'm shocked, horrified.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 17 Oct 2018, 11:30

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 17 Oct 2018, 19:54

Splendid Triceratops...I wonder if we have that great political entertainers too overhere or perhaps some two: a Dutch speaking one and a French speaking one, how typical Belgian. I don't mention the names while I suppose they are not that well known outside Belgium...

And welcome back Triceratops...I missed you...as I still miss the compagnon (or is it companion?) from the first hours on the BBC, the man with the poultry, the man looking to us from the depths of the Mesopotamian mythical world...

But I haven't to speak to you...what is 6000 years in comparison with 68 million ones?

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 18 Oct 2018, 13:54

I was always a great one for laughing at things, but that time is now past.

There was a collective groan in the UK after yesterday.

It is surely a very unwise thing for the EU, especially France, to think they have us on the run, and that, in the utter humiliating shambles of all this, we will crumble and agree to anything. The Prime Minister - who is, I believe, a decent woman - is nevertheless being far too reasonable with everyone: she wishes to be diplomatic and fair (she is a Libran, after all), but she is simply being seen as weak. She needs to kick a few backsides now - British and European and (mostly) male backsides. But she won't. She goes regularly to Church to ask for guidance, but I fear that how to deal effectively with Macron and the rest of the smirking crew is a matter on which prayer has not enlightened her.

What worries me is that we British, like our German cousins, can get very nasty when pushed too far: we are, unfortunately, at heart, a stupidly belligerent race, and the present situation, as in Germany after WW1, where there was a dreadful cynicism combined with seething resentment and anger (just as there is now in our green and not-very-pleasant land), could see the rise of a coalition of vicious and extreme elements who will  exploit the present poisonous situation. I don't see Boris or Rees-Moggy emerging as a British Hitler, but who knows, as Yeats asked in 1919, what beast is "slouching towards Bethlehem, waiting to be born"? Or was born a few decades ago and is now waiting his chance to slouch towards London?




Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


The Second Coming Y.B. Yeats published 1919.


EDIT: Just found this Guardian article, published this summer (and the atmosphere is much more unpleasant here now):

A Humiliating Brexit Risks a Descent into a Weimar Britain


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 18 Oct 2018, 14:48

@Temperance wrote:
It is surely a very unwise thing for the EU, especially France, to think they have us on the run, and that, in the utter humiliating shambles of all this, we will crumble and agree to anything.

I don't think anyone thinks they have or even wants to have "Britain on the run" or humiliated ... Britain (or rather less than half of the population) voted to "leave the EU" (whatever that actually meant at the time) and was given the standard two years to negociate the fine detail of exactly how it would leave so that there wouldn't be chaos. The other 27 members of the EU are still waiting to hear what Britain intends to do. This isn't about bullying or humiliation, and nothing is being forced on Britain; it's simply about limiting the damage to the EU of Britain's decision. But right up front the EU stated, quite understandably, that it would not consider any measures that damaged the integrity of the EU organisation. And that was the unanimous decision of all the other existing member states. But at the end of the day you - Britain - wanted to go ... so go; no-one is trying to stop you. But the country will need to honour its existing obligations and face up to the future consequences.

But I do heartily agree with you of the dangers, post-Brexit, of a weakened Britain, in recession, with its population divided, its international reputation damaged and its relationship with all its closest neighbours poisoned. I mentioned on the 'back-to-the-thirties' thread the similarities I see between the situation of Brexit and that of Germany post WW1. But the so-called stab-in-the-back myth (the Dolchstoßlegende) which so helped the rise of the NAZIs was, like 'project fear', 'EU bullying', and many of the pro-brexit arguments, exactly that; a myth and unsubstantiated by any real facts.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 18 Oct 2018, 16:10

While I in no way can better what MM says, there is the point, as seen from this bureaucratic side of La Manche, the remaining 27 member states want to retain what is seen as the benefits of the EU, with no 'outsiders' cherrypicking without contributing.
A kind of, 'no representation without taxation', to reverse what some of the early, later to be US citizens coined as a phrase.


Besides there is a point of not making it appear easy to leave, if too many others decide to, too many nice jobs might disappear from the EU bureaucracies. 
This is where I see a problem, some remaining countries hold large bureaucracies to be beneficial, where others don't.
Employment for 'fonctionnaires' versus fast effeciency, perhaps even accountability. [I realise that these are naughty thoughts and words, but I dare!]


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 18 Oct 2018, 16:12

Another thought...

No one, yet, to my knowledge has has publically mentioned it, but if in a few years, post-brexit, the whole of Ireland is re-united, and Scotland votes for independence and then opts to join the EU ... then how would England-Wales justify its permanent seat on the Security Council at the UN?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 18 Oct 2018, 16:36

Interesting article/information here:

https://www.una.org.uk/news/what-would-happen-uk%E2%80%99s-seat-un-security-council-if-scotland-were-become-independent

It won't happen, us getting thrown out of the Security thingy, even if we are eventually shrunk to a few Home Counties, plus Basingstoke: the world needs us to stand up to the might of a combined Russia and China. And the UN Security Council/NATO/the World without the protection of Boaty McBoatface? Unthinkable.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 18 Oct 2018, 16:44

@Temperance wrote:
There was a collective groan in the UK after yesterday.

I'm not actually sure what particular bit of yesterday's news this referred to, as I thought nothing at all happened at the summit. The one bit of news I did notice however was that, as there was no progress and so nothing more to be said, Merkel and Macron nipped off to the Roi d'Espagne bar in Brussel's Grand Place, where they met up with the prime minister's of Belgium and Luxembourg, and they all had a convivial beer or two. And why not Belgian beer is very good.

But I wonder what language they spoke as they chuckled about 'No-mates' May? I don't think Macron's German is very good and neither is Merkel's French, but both speak good English, as I believe do Michel and Bettel. So ironically the only common language between them all was probably English.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 19 Oct 2018, 08:52

Meles and Mad Nan, UK Government says you should be OK in the EU post Brexit;

UK Gov. europe

here's another thing, though I've not read it;

https://www.blevinsfranks.com/brexit
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 19 Oct 2018, 10:17

Maybe so, Trike, but I have little confidence in what the perfidious and incompetent UK government say ... Frankly I have much more confidence in the French government, who are now advising that all UK citizens currently resident in France apply for a titre de séjour - residence permit. This is not necesssary at present but will guarantee rights in the event of no-deal brexit, and will only help any subsequent application for French citizenship ... yes I'm being forced to consider becoming truely French, mon Dieu!

My residence rights in France were never likely to be compromised and I already have a French medical card etc, but I live only 20km from the border with Spain, so a simple wrong turn on a local road can easily find me in another country in which I may not have the right to even enter without a visa. The Guardia Civil may not be so understanding of my plight when I try to get home. A French passport would solve that.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 19 Oct 2018, 10:43

Here's a recent humorous German take on brexit (subtitles available lower right):



Meanwhile today's Sueddeutsche Zeitung is suggesting - without a hint of satire - that May's failure to get a deal, or even a summit, is a tactical masterpiece - eine taktische Meisterleistung! Under the headline, "May is the winner of the summit", it starts, "The British Prime Minister wanted a Brexit deal or at least an emergency summit in November. She has not achieved both. But that was a tactical masterpiece ..."

That's understandable from a German point of view as they believe in organisation and method: they do not understand chaos and reckon gross incompetence should be eradicated. So they think it must all be part of a cunning plan. I suspect, however, they are totally wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 19 Oct 2018, 20:14

@Meles meles wrote:
Here's a recent humorous German take on brexit (subtitles available lower right):
Meanwhile today's Sueddeutsche Zeitung is suggesting - without a hint of satire - that May's failure to get a deal, or even a summit, is a tactical masterpiece - eine taktische Meisterleistung! Under the headline, "May is the winner of the summit", it starts, "The British Prime Minister wanted a Brexit deal or at least an emergency summit in November. She has not achieved both. But that was a tactical masterpiece ..."

That's understandable from a German point of view as they believe in organisation and method: they do not understand chaos and reckon gross incompetence should be eradicated. So they think it must all be part of a cunning plan. I suspect, however, they are totally wrong.
Meles meles,

I find the German humorous take "übertrieben" (overdreven, exagéré, exagerated). Humour has the task, I know, to over-emphasize the reality, but here is the humour itself overplayed. I found your first youtube much better, could it be that it was English?

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 19 Oct 2018, 21:59

Well yes German humour often isn't subtle. But I do find it interesting to see just how the media in other countries are presenting the news ... in the same way as I very often read the top news stories as covered by the UK's Daily Mail (rightwing) to compare with The Guardian (left-centre). The difference between media outlets covering the same story is often incredibly large ... but that has always been part of the problem with the British media's portrayal of the EU, and now of brexit. The presentation of information, the analysis and opinions are very polarised ... is it really any wonder the UK is now split between extremes and sensible dialogue is now virtually impossible.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 20 Oct 2018, 00:19

@Meles meles wrote:
Well yes German humour often isn't subtle. But I do find it interesting to see just how the media in other countries are presenting the news ... in the same way as I very often read the top news stories as covered by the UK's Daily Mail (rightwing) to compare with The Guardian (left-centre). The difference between media outlets covering the same story is often incredibly large ... but that has always been part of the problem with the British media's portrayal of the EU, and now of brexit. The presentation of information, the analysis and opinions are very polarised ... is it really any wonder the UK is now split between extremes and sensible dialogue is now virtually impossible.


Yes Meles meles, it is perhaps a universal problem, the bias of the sources...Nielsen said it also, as he knows some languages too, he sees differences and yes quite big ones for instance in the wikipedias in different languages about the same subject...and as you know a bit the Belgian situation...I read the Flemish press and the French Brussels/ Walloon press and teletext...and now a row with the Minister-President of the Flemish regional goverment and the central government about comments on the Spanish government from a Flemish member of the Belgian embassy in Spain about the Pujemon revolt (the MP of the Flemish government a Flemish nationalist supporting Pujemon). The Flemish MP has asked the national government for a note to Spain about the rejection of that particular Flemish embassy member and the national Prime Minister has rejected the Flemish demand, as the regional governments have no say in the national foreign policy...
You can understand that there is a difference in comments in French language and in Dutch language...But the Dutch language comments are more moderate, while that group of Flemish Nationalists have only a 25% vote intentions of the regional government for the moment...
Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 22 Oct 2018, 12:49

The Australian take on Brexit



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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 22 Oct 2018, 12:52

Gawd I don't know how that happened, and I can't edit the second one for some reason so you'll just have to watch it twice! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 22 Oct 2018, 13:15

Fixed, ID :) Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 22 Oct 2018, 14:18

Thankyou!
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 22 Oct 2018, 14:50

Are you OK with your citizenship, ID?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 22 Oct 2018, 16:59

Oh, no problems as I've permanent EU residency Trike, but I'm Australian so Brexit has no effect and am returning down south soon anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 23 Oct 2018, 19:13

@Islanddawn wrote:
Oh, no problems as I've permanent EU residency ...

I have/had that too. It was called my British Passport .... But alas it doesn't seem to work anymore, or at least it probably won't after the end of March 2019.

Thankfully though the French Government have plans in place, and they are advising I apply for a titre de séjour - a residence permit. It's not necessary now of course because i'm still, as of now, a European citizen, ... but they advise doing it ASAP as it well be essential if/when brexit goes completely tits up . And anyway, as they say, it will serve to support any future application for full French citizenship.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 24 Oct 2018, 06:23

Welcome to the world of us 3rd country people, and welcome also the the slow lane at the airport MM Smile .
Yes, you'll have to get a residency card (at the least) to remain in France permanently as that is normal procedure for everyone that is not an EU citizen and wishing to live in any EU country. I don't see how a deal with the EU on citizens (either in the UK or in the EU) is going to work either as it is individual member states that dictate who can and who can't stay within their borders, not the EU. The UK is probably going to have to come to some arrangement with all member states individually to get any preferential treatment for British citizens, I'd imagine. And vise versa. 

I've seen reports in British press that pointing this out is the EU (or France in this case) bullying and humiliating Britain, but it isn't. It is simply the way things are done the world over and what every other 3rd country citizen has to go through. If treating Britain like any other country in the world is humiliating then Britain is going to have to get over itself very quickly if it wants to survive out there. There is no special treatment for anyone outside the EU, so my advice (for what it is worth) is that I agree with the French gov., get your card asap as they normally take a few months to process because it looks increasingly like Britain is going to crash out with no deals in place at all.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 28 Oct 2018, 11:50

It is a big elephant, is it not?  I voted Remain but I have reservations about re-voting because although if a second vote in this case might provide a different result it would create a precedent and next time the re-vote might be about something with which I disagree.  I can't help wondering how many of the people who are whinging now didn't bother to vote in the referendum (obviously young people who were under voting age in 2016 get a pass on that).

I remember in the late 1960s to early 1970s the "troubles" flared up in Northern Ireland I asked my parents why the UK didn't grant home rule to the entire island of Ireland.  Mum said the majority in the "six counties" had wanted to stay in the UK.  Maybe they did in 1920 and odd but was there any possibility that the difficulties might have ironed themselves out between the 1920s and the 1970s?  We'll never know.  "If ifs and ands were pots and pans there'd be no need for tinkers" as the saying goes.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 28 Oct 2018, 17:35

Ireland does seem to be the elephant in the room here LiR and I don’t mean the EU/UK border because everyone is talking about that. What does seem to be being ignored, however, and particularly by unionist leaders in both Northern Ireland and Great Britain, is the coming border poll which will surely take place in Northern Ireland at some time in the 2020s. And it is a vote which was likely to have taken place whichever way the 2016 EU referendum went or even had there not been an EU referendum at all. The demographic trajectory of the province makes it a virtually inevitability and the findings of the 2021 census will set the scene.

So far, however, neither the Conservatives nor Labour nor the DUP are even addressing this coming question. Interestingly, however, the other main unionist party in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party, is starting to suggest that this is a question which is going to have to be addressed soon and addressed in a grown-up way. And this in itself is historic. One wonders if the head-in-the-sand approach (particularly with regard to the Conservatives) is an ominous sign of things to come and when one considers the approach of that party towards the Irish constitutional question pre-1910 then one wonders if it were ever thus.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 29 Oct 2018, 13:03

So many elephants ...

The real elephant, of course, is the value of a referendum in a country only pretending to have a constitution - but that's a debate I've attempted over many years to engage in with British people and have only ever received a denial that this is the case at all, though a denial based on ignorance of what a constitution is when it's at home, or most times simply a form of denial based on the true subject's mentality of "it's not for us to be thinking about such things - we leave that to our betters".

LiR, you are right to be cautious regarding the prospect of another so-called "people's vote" on this issue. The first one was crazy in that it was presented as a logical fallacy, not least in that it was pretending to be an invitation for "the ordinary person" to dictate government policy. The tragedy with this is that this pretence is now being extended into actual policy-making, and we can all see how well that's going. A second one cannot but be a continuation of the pretence even further, no matter how it goes (especially since so many of the electorate seem to find it hard to distinguish between what's expected of them in a referendum and what's expected of them in a telephone vote for "Britain's Got Talent").

A resolution to the mess can only be to finally address the fundamental flaw in a society whose institutions were founded in a peasant/subject and aristocracy/monarchy symbiosis in which the adoption of power and the channels through which it is exercised have scarcely budged since the time they were implemented under early Norman rule - not a regime renowned for its inclusivity when it came to the local electorate, and its modern version only apparently adept at pretending otherwise. If power is to be properly invested in the people then the same people must own those channels, allow others to engineer and control those channels only with their express permission, and have this status quo protected with a written contract - ie. a constitution.

An Irish journalist on BBC Radio 4 really annoyed me the other day when she commented on her fellow Irish, faced on Friday with a referendum to remove the concept of "blasphemy" from their constitution, after having been asked (in a rather condescendingly humorous manner I might add) what the Irish reckoned with being asked to vote in such referenda so many times recently. Her answer, phrased with equally inappropriate jocularity, was that most people saw it more or less as no different from when tele-voting in the Eurovision Song Contest. This drew peals of merriment from her British inquisitors on air, and I was left in a quandary as to whether absolute seething or pure despair should prevail in my thoughts. The question, of course, was ignorantly put and in fact only confirmed my opinion of the common view in Britain regarding what a referendum might actually be for (a view that borders on the absolute obsequious in its implicit chiding of their masters for having foisted one upon them), and in fact was a logical fallacy in its own right just as obnoxious as the one phrased within the "referendum" that led to Brexit. The so-called journalists's response however was even more galling than that. She betrayed so much in her glib response that it is difficult to know where to start, and in fact I suspect she was simply showing another form of obsequiousness entirely - the traditional assumption on the part of the Irish, encouraged by their British counterparts, that if it's Irish it requires to be laughed at first, and only then examined for any worth.

In the case of "the Blasphemy Referendum" versus the "Brexit Referendum" the situation couldn't in fact be more opposite.

When the Irish electorate chose on Friday to amend their constitution and remove reference to "blasphemy" they did so in the knowledge that they were also - at a stroke - removing a slew of legislation from the statutes of the land in which blasphemy carried a criminal definition with very real punishments applied for such "criminality". What's more, they had been left in little doubt over the course of the last few months exactly which laws they were invalidating. And even more, thanks to some intelligent and pro-active measures taken by the Irish parliament in preparing alternative legislation based on such an amendment, they knew exactly what laws they were enabling.

Compare that to the quandary in which the British public found itself when faced with their parody of a "referendum" in 2016. For a start they did not even know what, if any, policy change any government would be obliged to adopt based on their "decision", as in truth no such obligation actually exists in a country whose "constitution" has never existed with clarity enough even to draw a legally binding causality from any majority view expressed in any manner by the electorate regarding what those elected then have to do. In such a scenario whereby an opinion poll is pretended to be in any way legally binding at all, in a society in which most people know from experience that it is anything but, it is no wonder that even many intelligent people did not think of consequences - some because there were too many potential consequences to reasonably contemplate, and some because they actually reckoned no meaningful consequence could in fact realistically ensue from such a stupid process. Both viewpoints centered on the idea that they were "throwing the issue back" at politicians who never should have burdened them with the process anyway, a further indication that the British public is neither mature nor educated enough a political animal in its own right to contribute meaningfully within a normal democracy. It was a weird situation in which those with least political intelligence actually understood the causality of the action they were embarking upon better than the rest and, on the evidence of how it has been portrayed in the media during the process and throughout its tragi-comic aftermath, it is still the less than intelligent who are not only driving the relevant agendas but are the only ones with even sufficient spirit left to voice an opinion at this stage.

The sense of foreboding that accompanies this tragi-comedy, at this stage, has less to do with the hopelessly gloomy implications of a British refashioning of its economic and international status by those less qualified to tackle such a challenge, and more to do with the fact that this ultimate proof (if proof had ever been needed from the time of the Peterloo massacre onwards) that Britain's electorate has no meaningful political voice, no constitutional duty to express it, and therefore no incentive to even begin learning the vocabulary required, has "passed the electorate by" - a daming indictment of what centuries of enforced peasantry dressed up as democracy actually leads to. The question is no longer if Britain should adopt a written constitution (that had been answered long ago), but if the average British person these days could even begin to grasp the basic concept of what this represents with regard to their own protection, not least against the so-called "masters" of their destiny, but also against their own ignorance.

The Irish journalist, in even faintly implying that her fellow Irish equated such an antipathetic view of their own meaningful contribution to a democratic process by which they are slowly but surely (and intelligently) re-framing not only their legislation but their national ethos and future prospects, with their British counterparts whose faith in "muddling through", "things ironing themselves out", and all the other excuses for their enforced non-participation in a functioning democracy, could not have been more wrong on any level. But then, she probably reckoned, it's only a British audience listening so they may as well have the Irish to laugh at and not be reminded of what they have been so cruelly deprived of historically regarding shaping their own destiny. The "last laugh" however, might be a very different thing indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 29 Oct 2018, 13:23

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 29 Oct 2018, 22:04

nordmann,

"The real elephant, of course, is the value of a referendum in a country only pretending to have a constitution - but that's a debate I've attempted over many years to engage in with British people and have only ever received a denial that this is the case at all, though a denial based on ignorance of what a constitution is when it's at home, or most times simply a form of denial based on the true subject's mentality of "it's not for us to be thinking about such things - we leave that to our betters"."

We discussed the "constitution" subject overhere I think with you and Vizzer and of course I was a favourite of a "constitution", but in my humble opinion that is not enough, one needs a mentality of real interest in politics, as people seems not to be aware that it is about "their" life that politics decide...and interest is not enough, one has to try to get informed, but not on whatapps, facebook and all that stuff...one needs information to make a decision via truthful channels, but where to find them...perhaps by comparing the opposite thruthful channels?

"on the true subject's mentality of "it's not for us to be thinking about such things - we leave that to our betters".

I think that is not specific to one country, it is in my humble opinion (again) more the rule than the exeption. Instead of taking up your democratic task of getting informed and making a deliberated decision of the choice of your vote...but if I look to my let's say "broader" inner circle I see only roughly one third including me making a deliberated thinking, the rest is as you say: leaving it to their betters...

Take now the yesterday election in Brazil...I read this morning on the teletext of the French language television (the Dutch language has no teletext anymore, as they suppose everyone has access to the internet?) about the election and the whatsapp desinformation influencing the voters with comments of a professor of the UCL (Univeristé catholique de Louvain)

And Brazil has now a constitution:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Brazil

As I even didn't know what a "whatsapp" was, I suppose I will be not influenced by such a "device"...but it seems that in Brezil it is the information for those, who have no access to the internet...if I have understood it well...and again my supposition, I think the poorer part of the Brazil population? And perhaps this part of the population has no access to truthfull information?
But there seems to be a reaction and an awareness of what happened...?
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/26/brazil-elections-comprova-project-misiniformation-whatsapp
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10/18/jair-bolsonaro-accused-creating-criminal-network-spread-fake/
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45956557


Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 30 Oct 2018, 08:35

Paul wrote:
Take now the yesterday election in Brazil...I read this morning on the teletext of the French language television (the Dutch language has no teletext anymore, as they suppose everyone has access to the internet?) about the election and the whatsapp desinformation influencing the voters with comments of a professor of the UCL (Univeristé catholique de Louvain)

And Brazil has now a constitution:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Brazil

Yes, and it's about to be tested. The new right-wing president has two major inhibitions to his stated aims imposed by the Brazilian constitution, which is unique in that it has probably the most intelligently complex article provisioning legislation against "hate crimes", including use of inflammatory rhetoric by politicians, and also has the most explicit anti-firearm sale article of any constitution. It is telling that Bolsanaro has targeted exactly these two articles in his first major policy statements - he knows that if he doesn't use his popularity to get the electorate to remove these obstacles to his plans he's practically a lame duck politically before he can even get started on his so-called "reforms". Alarming and all as this populist hard-liner's acquisition of power may be, it has also brought into very sharp relief the value of having a written constitution. In Britain the public doesn't even have this level of protection - the only effective defence against radical government policy being the traditional requirement for the Commons parties to appeal to a broadly conservative, working-, lower-middle- and middle class constituency. When and if that broad constituency changes character then that control effectively evaporates - the rise in profile of UKIP and fellow travellers may be an indication of such demographic and cultural shift - and the repercussions from even this small inroad into the traditionally conservative (with a small "c") constituency that has shaped government for well over a century has already been quite traumatic indeed.


Paul wrote:
"on the true subject's mentality of "it's not for us to be thinking about such things - we leave that to our betters".

I think that is not specific to one country, it is in my humble opinion (again) more the rule than the exeption. Instead of taking up your democratic task of getting informed and making a deliberated decision of the choice of your vote...but if I look to my let's say "broader" inner circle I see only roughly one third including me making a deliberated thinking, the rest is as you say: leaving it to their betters...

Democracy survives precisely because the majority accede to the principle of representation and trust this system to reflect and cater for their own political outlook and welfare, at least sufficiently enough to be willing to continue with it. A feature of this, whether a country has a written constitution or not, is that many defer completely to those doing the representing. Democracy does not require everyone to participate and engage thoroughly and consistently, only a critical mass within the electorate at critical times (eg. elections, and referendums in actual constitutional democracies) to ensure against overt abuse of the system by individuals pretending to represent while pursuing individual political agendas contrary to the common good. To decry a growing stupidity evidenced by electoral trends is one thing (in fact also an important feature of a healthy democracy if one retains the platform and right to so decry such trends) - but this does not invalidate the requirement of a constitution or render it meaningless. In fact the opposite. Which is why what is happening in the UK at this moment in time is rather more alarming than simply an aberrational bit of mass stupidity on the part of the electorate - as the events there unfold they are increasing proof of what happens when an electorate has no guaranteed constitutional protection against elements in society acting against the welfare of that same electorate. It is alarming not because it is part of a trend in western politics towards "dumbed down" populist policies, but because in this version of the phenomenon the traditionally relied on brakes on such stupidity in that country just aren't working anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 30 Oct 2018, 22:06

nordmann,

thank you very much for your wise observations. I have nothing to add for the moment, or it has to be about constitutions...

I made in our last debate with Vizzer? and you a survey I think from wiki about what majority in parliament is needed to change an article of the constitution in the several countries and I mentioned then the two thirds of Belgium...and that is a wise ration in my opinion, while an article of a constitution is a serious matter for the population of the nation-state. And I said it before in that thread, 2/3 means a lot of the population and even after the change by these 2/3 majority one has still to consider the "verzuchtingen" (desiderata) of the minority.
(that's again such a word to let the translators get berserk: in my dictionary they translate by "sigh", that's of course not what I meant. After some quarter of an hour research I came to "verzuchten" noun "verzuchting": lamentate, long for, desiteratum, desiderata, sigh) of course in this sentence it has to be: consider the desiderata of the minority...)
And if Britain would have had a constitution which needed a 2/3 majority for a BREXIN there would have been perhaps never an entry? Or as you say there had to be a serious debate among the general population to push Wink the government in one or another direction...?

Kind regards from Paul.
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