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Brexit. Discussion Only. (1 Viewer)

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JustRob

FoWF
WF Veterans
We weren't asked whether we wanted to join the EU, so when we were asked whether we wanted to leave we just set the record straight, that so far as we were concerned we never joined. The EU is a very different thing from the old Common Market.

It is the same mentality as that of Southerners in the USA who deny that they lost the civil war there because there never was one. There was a "war of northern aggression" but that just petered out apparently. In fact even the northerners seemed unsure whether they were at war or not in the end. During a period when they were claiming that the southerners were just criminals within a country that wasn't at war they were also claiming the right to impound and search British ships under the terms of war. The British government denied them this right on the grounds that they couldn't identify anyone that they were at war with if the southerners were to be regarded just as criminals. In the House of Lords the British government declared that they would continue to recognise the southerners' independent rights until the northerners admitted that they were no longer at war with anyone and the country was united. The northerners also declared that they would pursue southern criminals escaping across the border into British territory in Canada until the British government pointed out that that would itself constitute an act of war against Britain.

It doesn't make sense to make a decision without asking someone's opinion and then later ask them what you should do because you did that. The question is not why we want to leave the EU but whether we actually ever wanted to join it. At least, that is how some of us regarded that referendum.
 

Guard Dog

Senior Member
Rob, who have you been talking to from the southern U.S.?

I was born and raised here, and I don't know anybody who'll claim there was no war, or that the south didn't lose.

Hell, Lee surrendered. That means somebody lost. Since Lee was a General... well, must'a been a war, 'cause it sure as hell wasn't a football game. :lol:


G.D.
 

Phil Istine

Staff member
Global Moderator
We weren't asked whether we wanted to join the EU, so when we were asked whether we wanted to leave we just set the record straight, that so far as we were concerned we never joined. The EU is a very different thing from the old Common Market.

WARNING: Contains a little moderately offensive language.

I voted to remain in the EU.

Casting my mind back to 1975 now so memory may be unreliable.

I believe that Ted Heath took us into the EEC (Common Market) in 1973 (or 74) which was then a trading bloc of six other nations. He did this without a referendum, but the next (Labour) government did call a referendum in 1975 to ask the people if they wished to continue with it.

Apparently, ever-closer political union was an eventual goal, even back then, and there is paperwork that backs this up. However, it wasn't highlighted and indeed, there may well have been efforts to suppress such information. This was far easier to do in a pre-internet era.

When taking into account the UK's economic problems in the early/mid-70s, it's not surprising that a 'safety in numbers' attitude was prevalent, and the electorate voted to stay in the EEC by some margin. This was also helped by the consequences of oil quadrupling in price in a very short time. There were severe, albeit temporary, supply problems and application forms appeared to apply for petrol rations, though the problems eased a little and ration books were never issued.

Anyway, although I voted Remain, I do concede that the electorate may have felt under pressure at the time of the 1975 referendum, and that only those who made a point of studying such things would have been aware that far closer political union was an eventual goal.

Having written that, if there were to be a second referendum, I suspect that it would have been better to have it far sooner than 2016 - perhaps around 1990, shortly before that debacle with the ERM (exchange rate mechanism). The issues should have been laid out transparently, no convenient suppressing or highlighting, with honesty and integrity. And here is where we have a problem with the UK political system. Generally, politicians are so used to cheating, lying, and evading questions, most of them would likely have nervous breakdowns if they did something radical like telling the truth more than once per day. No system is perfect, but it would have been healthier to adopt a Scandinavian style of discussion about such important changes. But we are so used to class warfare, confrontation, and downright bloody-mindedness, having a reasonable discussion between rulers and citizens is practically alien. It's not in our genes. The roots of this possibly lie in the years of our Industrial Revolution when Britain was possibly the richest economy in the world and people shat in wooden buckets. It's why we hoot with derision when someone talks about 'trickle-down economics'. To a Brit that means 'being pissed on from a great height.

I digress. I seem to have outJustRob'd JustRob :)

In the UK we have a 'first past the post' voting system. This means that if you live in an area where your political view is greatly in the minority, your vote counts for nothing. Ever. With referenda, this is not the case. For many people, this was the first time in their lives that their vote would count. And boy, were they going to stick it up the ruling class who preside over a system that they believe has failed them. The main flaw in that logic is that political systems always make sure that the ones who are squeezed hardest are those at the bottom of the pile.

There is no problem that capitalism cannot resolve - by shitting on the working class.

I believe that the vote to leave the EU was a symptom of widespread mistrust that goes back generations and is endemic. It's not a recent quirk.

Although I voted to remain, I understand why leave won by a narrow majority. There are issues about the EU that I dislike too, but I believe we are better off in than out. I suppose I'm what you might call a soft Remainer. I see myself as an internationalist, but despise much of what unchecked capitalism seems to stand for.

I hope I haven't breached the 'no debating' ethos of this site. I am merely stating where I am with this. I'm not trying to persuade others of the rightness of my perceptions.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Why what, sorry? Why talk about it? Why leave? You know, to me, the actual concept of leaving the EU is not without merit. If it costs money to stay in there, then there's a potential savings to at least be costed out. If we have some super whizz bang new innovations that the EU would stifle, then OK. The EU is far from flawless. But my issue is that none of this was put out there as the reason for leaving. I have no faith that the Leave movement have any of this as their incentives, preferring scare tactics and out-and-out fabrications before cashing in on the ensuing uncertainty. But really, none of this should have been put to a referendum. By and large people are simply not well-enough informed or sufficiently responsible (remember Boaty McBoatface?) to make a decision of this magnitude. Now we have a future driven by people that took in the rhetoric but who in far too many instances are not going to have to actually live through it, leaving that particular joy to the people that never wanted it (source). Rather cynically, it was only put as a referendum item so David Cameron could keep his job, which he bailed on when that backfired (he was a Remainer). I know of very few businesses that support it so I cannot see any economic benefit. The Queen should step in at this point or maybe we should divide the country down the middle and yes I'm totally going to write a story about that OMG plot bunnies plot bunnies!!!
 

Phil Istine

Staff member
Global Moderator
Why what, sorry? Why talk about it? Why leave? You know, to me, the actual concept of leaving the EU is not without merit. If it costs money to stay in there, then there's a potential savings to at least be costed out. If we have some super whizz bang new innovations that the EU would stifle, then OK. The EU is far from flawless. But my issue is that none of this was put out there as the reason for leaving. I have no faith that the Leave movement have any of this as their incentives, preferring scare tactics and out-and-out fabrications before cashing in on the ensuing uncertainty. But really, none of this should have been put to a referendum. By and large people are simply not well-enough informed or sufficiently responsible (remember Boaty McBoatface?) to make a decision of this magnitude. Now we have a future driven by people that took in the rhetoric but who in far too many instances are not going to have to actually live through it, leaving that particular joy to the people that never wanted it (source). Rather cynically, it was only put as a referendum item so David Cameron could keep his job, which he bailed on when that backfired (he was a Remainer). I know of very few businesses that support it so I cannot see any economic benefit. The Queen should step in at this point or maybe we should divide the country down the middle and yes I'm totally going to write a story about that OMG plot bunnies plot bunnies!!!

I actually wrote a very tiny piece about a 50-metre wide tract of land from Scotland to London that should be known as the Stanstead corridor (after Danzig). To avoid the east of the country being cut off, small international areas could be set aside near the A1 where unicorns can graze in peace, a sort of DMZ
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
@ Pip. While I will concede the merit of your point, I see the situation as a lot more complex. Leavers are seriously faction riddled, hence the ugly scenes in parliament.

@ JustRob. I can see how the injustice of having your life arranged without consulting you is causing a level of frustration that requires some kind of action, I just don't understand why anyone would vote to wreck their own lives and the lives of countless others.

@ Guard Dog. I can understand your reluctance to let history be revised to support a dodgy deal. I wish more people would keep pointing out that facts are not malleable.

@ Kevin. They don't have a complaint, just an emotional response to what is akin to being groomed by some unbelievably barefaced opportunists.

@ Phil istine. Th UK has by accident ended up with the sweetest deal imaginable, it wasn't what we voted for or what we expected but it has made us one of the top six countries in the world and now we are going to deliberately chuck our good fortune away and slide down the league.

@ bdcharles. The EU is far from perfect, so either we leave it or try to fix what we can. Leaving is mad, we voted Nigel Farage in as our fixer. You couldn't make this up.
 

Guard Dog

Senior Member
@ Guard Dog. I can understand your reluctance to let history be revised to support a dodgy deal. I wish more people would keep pointing out that facts are not malleable.

Eh.. when you've walked through as many civil war battlefields, graveyards, and museums as I have, and seen so many dangerous items and tombstones from that period... ya kind'a have to believe that something happened that was a fair bit more than just a harsh disagreement or a game. *shrug*

There's also a few letters still laying around that point out the flaw in some people's thinking as to the exact cause or reason for it as well.

...but that's a whole 'nother thread.

The bottom line is that politics has the habit of twisting facts around to suit some people's opinions and goals.



G.D.
 

JustRob

FoWF
WF Veterans
Rob, who have you been talking to from the southern U.S.?

I was born and raised here, and I don't know anybody who'll claim there was no war, or that the south didn't lose.

Hell, Lee surrendered. That means somebody lost. Since Lee was a General... well, must'a been a war, 'cause it sure as hell wasn't a football game. :lol:


G.D.

Not me but our next door neighbour. He is an English jazz trumpet player deeply into that music culture and has also spent most of his life studying the American Civil War simply as a personal pastime. He and his lady have visited pretty well all the battle sites in the US, spending weeks driving across parts of the country seldom if ever visited by tourists. They have of course also visited New Orleans, given their enthusiasm for traditional jazz. While they were in a supermarket in one town the woman at the checkout recognised their Engish accents and announced to all the other shoppers that there were Brits in the shop, which caused considerable excitement. They were even invited to go to the local radio station to be interviewed just so that the locals could hear genuine English accents and opinions. Our neighbours, being typically English and horrified at the idea, made a quick getaway to avoid being in the spotlight like that. So, they definitely managed to find the places that other tourists evidently don't.

However, the places that they found it difficult to find were the battle sites as many locals just denied that there'd been a civil war or such battles. Even when they visited a civil war museum the curator there mourned the lack of interest that his own countrymen showed in the subject. He showed our neighbour a series of old pictures of prominent people in the war and of course our self-taught British expert could name every one of them to his delight. He said that in contrast when he showed the local youth a film about Abraham Lincoln and asked them what they thought about it they just commented that there wasn't much sex in it.

The attitude of the British government to the erratic behaviour of the union that I mentioned I got from reports of parliamentary proceedings in The Illustrated London News as I have original copies of that periodical from the years around the end of the war. I acquired these from the clearance of an elderly gentleman's family home and unfortunately someone had already removed the pages relating to the death of Lincoln, but many other details of the war and the people involved were covered and made fascinating reading, even to me.

So no, I don't have first hand experience of civil war deniers but our neighbours do. Most of my correspondence with any southerner is with an Okie raised on an Oklahoma farm whose ancestor fought for the south. He actually spends some of his time enlightening people about the War of Northern Aggression as seen from the Confederate viewpoint and he also takes part in battle re-enactments. His grandson, who also takes part in the re-enactments, was very unhappy when he was required to play a part in a re-enactment of Lee's surrender, which was probably on the anniversary in 2015.

My correspondent now works in Washington DC, where amongst other things he does research in the national archives to assist members of the US armed forces and others, including myself in the past as it happens. Of course he lives in Alexandria on the Virginian side of the Potomac in the corner cut out of the DC square to allow the slave trade there to continue for a while longer, but then he is a dyed in the wool southerner. So yes, I agree that some southerners are well versed in the war and even revel in it, but there are certainly those who appear to have a positive aversion to the subject, much like the opposing factions in the Brexit debate here.

Well, you did ask.

@ JustRob. I can see how the injustice of having your life arranged without consulting you is causing a level of frustration that requires some kind of action, I just don't understand why anyone would vote to wreck their own lives and the lives of countless others.

Our first past the post electoral system makes the average voter feel that their vote is unlikely to make any difference, the system being designed to maintain the stability of the major political parties. Hence we do not bother to consider the issues seriously. If we felt that knowing about them personally would make any difference then we might pay more attention to them, but in general our opinions have never had any effect on any issue in British politics and the referendum result was just a flook. The major political parties insist on our electoral system having this effect of potentially allowing government of the country to drift away from the wishes of the majority, so they should stick to their guns and never directly ask for our opinions on anything. They don't need a second referendum now but just the guts to ignore the results of the first.
 
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Kevin

WF Veterans
Still lacking any data I'm left to come up with my own conclusions: Rather than pieces of sky raining down upon them (crash! Bang!; ow! Oof!) I'm supposing the island will sink without the last, erhm.. years of continental support. I've always wondered how it is that islands float, dirt being heavy and such.
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
OP JustRob. Our first past the post electoral system makes the average voter feel that their vote is unlikely to make any difference, the system being designed to maintain the stability of the major political parties. Hence we do not bother to consider the issues seriously. If we felt that knowing about them personally would make any difference then we might pay more attention to them, but in general our opinions have never had any effect on any issue in British politics and the referendum result was just a flook. The major political parties insist on our electoral system having this effect of potentially allowing government of the country to drift away from the wishes of the majority, so they should stick to their guns and never directly ask for our opinions on anything. They don't need a second referendum now but just the guts to ignore the results of the first.
Hmmm.... I don't see this as a flook. A lot of media savvy big wheels used some very nasty emotional manipulation to force this result. This is a deliberate, long term, thoroughly cynical and successful form of warfare. None of the leave voters I know are going to change their minds despite the leave campaign being totally discredited. I suspect we are living through Brexit Mania, similar to the Tulip Mania which ended in 1637.

I still don't know why....
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
I doubt the leave voters will change their mind because they don't want to admit they were duped. Only last night I was watching a program about the effect Brexit will have on the Police and sharing information across borders. Then there is NI... what a clusterfuck that will be.
 

JustRob

FoWF
WF Veterans
Northern Ireland only has a problem because Eire isn't leaving planning to leave the EU as well.

There may well have been factions who actually wanted or even still want us to leave, but it is also possible that the referendum result was partially a reaction to politicians gambling on the electorate for purely political ends. It was held to prove that the Conservative party stood by the promise made in their election manifesto, the assumption being that the result would be not to leave anyway, so no harm would be done. Equally Theresa May subsequently called a general election in the hope of strengthening her position, but instead she weakened it. I don't think the electorate at large like politicians using them in their political games like this but effectively ignoring them the rest of the time and now parliament is paying the price, having to work hard to dig itself and the country out of the hole that its members themselves have dug. If they stop trying to save the party political system and focus on what is best for the country things should turn out fine, but they have to make the decision between party allegiances and the good of the country it seems.

As for whether any of us really have strong feelings about our membership of the EU, if I for one did then I would have written to my MP about it, not waited patiently for a referendum, but I didn't. I have written to my MP about other matters and got good results from doing so, so I have faith in local politics working but higher up the chain where party politics prevail matters seem to get more erratic.

There seem to be similar problems with such inertia in the USA. It is a known fact that large continents drift but small islands don't seem so prone to doing that. We can't go far so long as Eire remains in our way anyway.
 

Guard Dog

Senior Member
However, the places that they found it difficult to find were the battle sites as many locals just denied that there'd been a civil war or such battles.

This sounds more like people trying to shoo away tourists than anything, to me.

Some folks just don't like having people coming around asking questions about things that they personally may not have any knowledge of, or any interest in.

So, probably not so much deniers as people that are just tired of unwanted attention.




G.D.
 

Winston

WF Veterans
I'll just never wrap my head around the concept of folks across the water, in another land, dictating the minutia of your daily life.
That seems grossly inefficient and anti-liberty. But I'm just overly simplistic and partisan. And 'Murican.
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
Better let Putin Know.
I'll just never wrap my head around the concept of folks across the water, in another land, dictating the minutia of your daily life.
That seems grossly inefficient and anti-liberty. But I'm just overly simplistic and partisan. And 'Murican.
 

Winston

WF Veterans
Better let Putin Know.

Say I know that guy! Isn't he the convenient "straw man" losers blame every time they can't justify their self-inflicted defeat?
I mean that was one of the arguments the Stay folks foisted, right? The EU is weaker without GB, therefore, a vote for Leave is a vote for Putin.
Putin bad, Merkel good. Four legs good, two legs bad.
Pure logic, that.
 
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