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Source: (consider it) Thread: Shake it all about: Brexit thread II
Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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Well, if you go back to the pre-vote thread you'll see I was questioning the validity of the process before the outcome was known, when the polls were predicting a Remain win. So, I've not changed my tune.

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Alan Cresswell

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And, don't forget that Leave campaigners are on record as saying that a 48-52 result against them would result in them immediately starting to work on another referendum as soon as possible afterwards, so much for their moaning about "not respecting the result" when we do all we can to reverse the result or direct the government towards the softest of possible forms of Brexit.

Of course, Farage effectively threatened to let his thugs loose on the streets if he didn't get his way. A wonderful exemplar of a democrat [Disappointed]

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Dave W.
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Had you really declared that the result would be invalid, whichever way it went? I'd be interested in seeing that, or even a close approximation, if you wouldn't mind providing a link to the appropriate thread.

(And are you really now using Nigel Farage and the Leave campaign to justify your own position re: legitimacy? That smells of desperation.)

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
A major constitutional change is something that should be the culmination of a process that gains the support for that change across all levels of government and society, a process on which the electorate has several chances to have their say at the ballot box.

Well that might be what you like but that isn't what has ever happened, has it?

From memory, there have been three nation-wide referendums of constitutional importance: the 1975 referendum on EC membership; the 2011 AV referendum; and the 2016 EU referendum.

The AV referendum wasn't, to my knowledge, based on any party's manifesto but came out of coalition negotiations, and the other two appear to have followed similar paths of development.

quote:
Yet, this anomalous (by a very narrow margin) result has lead the government to scrapping it's manifesto in relation to the EU and claiming a mandate to take an action that the electorate could not have known they'd be taking.

That hasn't happened at all. The 2015 Conservative Party manifesto promised to hold a referendum and honour the result. A referendum was held and the result is being honoured.
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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
And, don't forget that Leave campaigners are on record as saying that a 48-52 result against them would result in them immediately starting to work on another referendum as soon as possible afterwards

Who are these 'Leave campaigners' other than Nigel Farage, who wasn't actually part of the official Vote Leave campaign?
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lilBuddha
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Who are they? Really?
Gisela Stuart, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, John Mills, Peter Cruddas...

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Who are they? Really?
Gisela Stuart, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, John Mills, Peter Cruddas...

Did they all say that? I'm happy to be proven wrong...
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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
Had you really declared that the result would be invalid, whichever way it went? I'd be interested in seeing that, or even a close approximation, if you wouldn't mind providing a link to the appropriate thread.


Well, I was sure I had. But a quick skim through the thread didn't reveal it (I may need more time, it's possible I said it earlier in the thread than I thought, it's also possible I'm confused and it's something I said on Facebook). I certainly compared the referendum unfavourably with the Scottish independence referendum, though in that case in the context of the coherence of the Leave campaign. I've not found the Hell thread in Oblivion, but that may have been after the referendum anyway.

I'm not sure if I used the word "invalid", it was only after the referendum that people I heard regularly talking about valid/invalid (on both sides - a lot of Leave voters claiming it was valid, and therefore those of us who still opposed Brexit were 'anti-democratic' etc).

quote:
(And are you really now using Nigel Farage and the Leave campaign to justify your own position re: legitimacy? That smells of desperation.)
If it had gone the other way, and Farage et.al. were pointing out flaws that could allow them to put the same question to the people of the UK I'd agree with them re: legitimacy, the main difference being I would say that the question was too simplistic, and so a legitimate referendum would need to include a more specific question (even if the same words, backed by an agreed definition of what Brexit means). Also, having had a referendum with a significant vote to Leave that would mean that at least one party (other than UKIP) would have a commitment to leave the EU in their manifesto for 2020, and if they got into government then it would be a step along a legitimate route to Brexit.

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Citizen of the world.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
A major constitutional change is something that should be the culmination of a process that gains the support for that change across all levels of government and society, a process on which the electorate has several chances to have their say at the ballot box.

Well that might be what you like but that isn't what has ever happened, has it?
It's exactly what happened for the Scottish independence referendum, and the devolution referendum before that. Also the 1975 referendum to join the EEC in the first place.

quote:

From memory, there have been three nation-wide referendums of constitutional importance: the 1975 referendum on EC membership; the 2011 AV referendum; and the 2016 EU referendum.

The AV referendum wasn't, to my knowledge, based on any party's manifesto but came out of coalition negotiations, and the other two appear to have followed similar paths of development.

I'm also on record of opposition to the AV referendum because AV wasn't what any of the parties had in their manifesto - the LibDems sought PR. As I just said, the 1975 referendum followed an Act of Parliament to join the EEC, following extensive treaty negotiations by a series of governments elected on a manifesto to negotiate entry into the EEC. And, of course, the 2016 is the one we're talking about.

quote:
quote:
Yet, this anomalous (by a very narrow margin) result has lead the government to scrapping it's manifesto in relation to the EU and claiming a mandate to take an action that the electorate could not have known they'd be taking.

That hasn't happened at all. The 2015 Conservative Party manifesto promised to hold a referendum and honour the result. A referendum was held and the result is being honoured.
The Conservative manifesto also included commitments to the single market, and to keeping the UK in the "family of nations in the EU". What do you do when one part of a manifesto contradicts other parts?

But, my point about the anomaly is that there have been several elections where EU membership was a significant part of the question posed to the electorate, and in all cases the UK electorate chose the pro-EU option. Except this one referendum, and then by a very narrow margin.

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Citizen of the world.

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PaulTH*
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# 320

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Creswell:
But, my point about the anomaly is that there have been several elections where EU membership was a significant part of the question posed to the electorate, and in all cases the UK electorate chose the pro-EU option.

I don't agree. Apart from Michael Foot's pledge to renegotiate or leave in 1983, no party has offered the British people a say on Europe since 1973. Until Cameron announced on 23rd January 2013 that he would call a simple in/out referendum if he won the next election. After his surprise win in 2015, three years and five months to the day after making that pledge, he honoured it. After parliament had voted by 6 to 1 in favour of calling the referendum. Alan seems to be so distressed by this that he may have agreed with Gina Miller when she said that the thought of leaving the EU made her physically sick. But such level of emotion clouds judgement.

At the time when Cameron made the pledge he was accused of running scared of UKIP which was probably true, but how can anyone question the integrity of a referendum authorised by parliament more than 3 years after it was promised? Another thing Alan is forgetting is that the UK has always been a bad member. De Gaulle vetoed British membership in the 1960's because he couldn't see Britain ever sharing the EU's long term aspirations. He was right. From Thatcher's rebate to Major's Maastricht opt out of the Euro to the exemption from Schengen, and finally Cameron's opt out to "ever closer union" the British position has always to stay detached.

Indeed Britain was instrumental in the enlargement, the "widening not deepening" because we have always been out of kilter with the federalist drive. John Major took over from Thatcher on a promise to be less confrontational with Europe. Then he had Maastricht. Tony Blair came to power vowing to put Britain "at the heart of Europe." But every one of them ran up against the buffers of British objections to their style of federalism. A referendum was called three years after it was promised. It was called as a manifesto commitment. And it was called with the overwhelming backing of parliament. That some people feel completely jaded by the result is acceptable. To question the integrity of the process is not.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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MarsmanTJ
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It has become clear to me that Theresa May and the Conservative party have decided that the only way to 'make a success of Brexit' is to align themselves as closely as possible with Trump. If that is not a sign that there are serious issues with Brexit--the only way out of it is to bank on a trade deal with someone with serious personality issues who could easily back out at the last minute--then I don't know what is.
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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Creswell:
But, my point about the anomaly is that there have been several elections where EU membership was a significant part of the question posed to the electorate, and in all cases the UK electorate chose the pro-EU option.

I don't agree. Apart from Michael Foot's pledge to renegotiate or leave in 1983, no party has offered the British people a say on Europe since 1973.
Well, you mention 1983. Labour Party manifesto including withdraw from Common Market, Conservatives include commitment to EC membership. Result: Conservative landslide victory. Yes, there were other factors (not least the Falklands war effect), but support for leaving the EU was nowhere near strong enough for Labour to even have a good showing.

Or, 1997. Conservative party opposed to membership of the Euro currency, with a vocal "keep the pound" campaign. Labour considering Euro currency membership, depending on the conditions at the time. Result: Labour landslide. Again, other factors in play but opposition to the Euro not strong enough to keep Labour out of power.

Just to mention two elections.

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Citizen of the world.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Who are they? Really?
Gisela Stuart, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, John Mills, Peter Cruddas...

Did they all say that? I'm happy to be proven wrong...
Hell, I don't care. They all said stupid things they didn't mean to achieve a result they didn't actually want. So narrowing down who said exactly what is not worth the effort.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Creswell:
But, my point about the anomaly is that there have been several elections where EU membership was a significant part of the question posed to the electorate, and in all cases the UK electorate chose the pro-EU option.

I don't agree. Apart from Michael Foot's pledge to renegotiate or leave in 1983, no party has offered the British people a say on Europe since 1973.
Well, you mention 1983...
...
Or, 1997...
Just to mention two elections.

...which were 20-30 years ago. Attitudes change.

quote:
Originally posted by Alan Creswell:
But, my point about the anomaly is that there have been several elections where EU membership was a significant part of the question posed to the electorate, and in all cases the UK electorate chose the pro-EU option.

Except the one where they were explicitly asked about EU membership. This line of argument reminds me of The Day Today's interview with a Pool Supervisor.
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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
Had you really declared that the result would be invalid, whichever way it went? I'd be interested in seeing that, or even a close approximation, if you wouldn't mind providing a link to the appropriate thread.

Well, I was sure I had. But a quick skim through the thread didn't reveal it (I may need more time, it's possible I said it earlier in the thread than I thought, it's also possible I'm confused and it's something I said on Facebook). I certainly compared the referendum unfavourably with the Scottish independence referendum, though in that case in the context of the coherence of the Leave campaign. I've not found the Hell thread in Oblivion, but that may have been after the referendum anyway.

Thanks for the pointer to the thread. I see nothing in your pre-referendum posts that comes anywhere near to suggesting that the result would be invalid because of the process. There were 150 such posts; had this notion been prominent in your thinking at the time, I would have expected to find some trace of it there.
quote:
I'm not sure if I used the word "invalid", it was only after the referendum that people I heard regularly talking about valid/invalid [snip]
Yes, this is quite consistent with the losing side being shocked by the outcome, and grasping for ex post facto justifications for throwing it out. Perfectly understandable, if unedifying.
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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
A major constitutional change is something that should be the culmination of a process that gains the support for that change across all levels of government and society, a process on which the electorate has several chances to have their say at the ballot box.

No, absolutely not in regards to that last bit. General process of gaining support, yes. Repeated official votes, terrible idea.

"Several chances" to have their say is a recipe for utter confusion. How do you interpret the results if you ask several times and get different answers this time. Best of 3? Keep tossing the coin until some given person is happy with the result?

There might just possibly be certain kinds of situations where a staged process is possible, but only where the later stages assume 100% the answer from a previous stage.

If you go back and try to check the answers again and again, you're not going to make more people happy. You're going to make more people unhappy. If the result next time is different, all that you'll get is a large swathe of people who liked the first result feeling that they were cheated by having another go.

It's simply not viable to go over and over on something if the only thing that has changed is people's happiness with the result. The situation in Scotland is legitimately different with the UK departing the EU, but even then it's quite difficult to muster another independence referendum. Having a vote on some aspects of leaving the EU might be possible. Having another vote on whether the UK should leave the EU is a recipe for disaster.

[ 29. January 2017, 01:56: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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Also, Alan, you seem rather confused about the function of party manifestos.

Take the proposal for the change of voting system. You observe, correctly, that the option presented to people wasn't in the manifesto of any party.

But so what? The entire process of Parliament is about compromises and negotiations, especially at a time of minority government. A party doesn't gain a general mandate for all of its policy ideas just through winning seats in Parliament. An election is the start of the process, not the end of it.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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molopata

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
[QUOTE]If you go back and try to check the answers again and again, you're not going to make more people happy. You're going to make more people unhappy. If the result next time is different, all that you'll get is a large swathe of people who liked the first result feeling that they were cheated by having another go.

As an inhabitant of a country that has rather a lot of experience with referenda (we get multiple shots at them every three months at a national level), I would concur that you can't keep asking the same question time and again in quick succession, however you can either wait a bit (e.g. we find ourselves voting on national health insurance every seven or eight years), or you can rephrase the question in such a way that you move towards your ultimate goal in a drawn-out series of referenda in a process called "salami slicing".

But the major thing about all Swiss referenda is you are always voting on a law, and as such, the electorate, as the sovereign, assumes legislative function. The proposed law is checked by lawyers and has provisions as to how it should be executed. This usually works reasonably well.

So while I would disagree with Alan that the Brexit referendum could be compared with the Crimean, it was nevertheless seriously flawed. It was not (at least to my knowledge, and certainly not in terms of the voting papers I received) underpinned by a draft law or white paper that would have spelt out what it actually meant, but rather by a public argument full con conjecture, acumen and false promises by whoever could raise their voice high enough. For a democracy, that is at the very least bad style.

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... The Respectable

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orfeo

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Molopata, I agree with you to a large extent. Votes of this kind are far better when there's a piece of legislation, so that people can know exactly what it says.

This vote was really on a piece of executive action, though, triggering Article 50. Some of the problems with it have only emerged later (such as the proposition that legislation was even needed to do that, something I still think is dubious despite 8 of 11 judges saying that it was necessary).

And there's a Catch 22 involved here. The terms of the exit have to be agreed with the rest of the EU. The rest of the EU has said, we won't negotiate until the UK triggers Article 50. The only way to reach a complete deal is until after Article 50 is triggered... which is only going to happen because the UK public voted to say they wanted it to be triggered.

It's not impossible that there will be a 2nd vote once a full deal is on the table, but a full deal is impossible until after that crucial step is taken. And that's all executive action, still to come. So it's not really a situation where a clear piece of legislation could have been created. I suppose a white paper setting out the proposed negotiation position would have been possible.

[ 29. January 2017, 07:18: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Gee D
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The trouble with that is that there does not seem to be any mechanism to withdraw a notice given under Art 50. What if the electorate says that it does no like the deal the EU offers? The EU simply says that that is what we're offering and whatever you may now think is irrelevant. And I think that the EU has said pretty clearly that the remaining countries are happy that the UK is leaving; it saves them from what for the last 40 years has been a series of requests from the UK for special treatment.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
Thanks for the pointer to the thread. I see nothing in your pre-referendum posts that comes anywhere near to suggesting that the result would be invalid because of the process. There were 150 such posts; had this notion been prominent in your thinking at the time, I would have expected to find some trace of it there.

As I said, a quick look and I couldn't find posts I'm sure I had made - which means it's possible that I posted those thoughts elsewhere (FB for example), or that actually it's reading back something that is now clear in my mind onto the posts I made while my thoughts were clarifying. But, I'm going to withdraw my claim that I was already questioning the validity of the referendum prior to the vote in June since neither of us can find the posts that demonstrate that.

quote:
quote:
I'm not sure if I used the word "invalid", it was only after the referendum that people I heard regularly talking about valid/invalid [snip]
Yes, this is quite consistent with the losing side being shocked by the outcome, and grasping for ex post facto justifications for throwing it out. Perfectly understandable, if unedifying.
As I said, my first recollection of regular use of the language of "validity" was from the Leave campaign after the vote - in effect claiming that the vote was valid and binding, and that therefore those of us who were continuing to campaign for EU membership were being undemocratic and working against the expressed will of the majority of the people of the UK. Which might, of course, have been a reaction to a group I was unaware of claiming it was invalid and therefore seeking to throw it out (actually, there were some early legal challenges along those lines, of people who had been unable to vote saying the result should be thrown out because they had been prevented from voting, that I heard of).

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Citizen of the world.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
A major constitutional change is something that should be the culmination of a process that gains the support for that change across all levels of government and society, a process on which the electorate has several chances to have their say at the ballot box.

No, absolutely not in regards to that last bit. General process of gaining support, yes. Repeated official votes, terrible idea.
Just to clarify, I wasn't talking about multiple referendums on the same question (or, even changing to a slightly different question and asking again), at least not within any one generation.

I was saying that the policy change put to the electorate in a referendum should be a policy change advocated by a political party, forming part of the platform they stand for election on, and as such have been through at least one general election with (possibly not on the first time) the party gaining a majority in Parliament such that they can progress that policy through to the point of putting the question to the people - and, if the people agree to immediately start putting that policy into action.

In the concrete case of EU membership, the Conservative party would have needed to put withdrawal from the EU in their manifesto as a definite pledge (of course having first convinced their own party members of the benefits). They would then need to convince enough voters to either agree with that, or at least to not disagree so strongly that they don't vote Conservative because of it. Then having got into government put a bill through Parliament, to convince a majority of MPs and Lords to support the motion. And, finally a referendum. Then, on the Friday morning when the result was known David Cameron could have stood on the steps of No 10 and invoked Article 50 before the TV cameras of the world and sent his negotiating team to Brussels to sit on the door of the Commission waiting for them to develop a negotiating platform (taking the political high ground, and hence a much stronger negotiating position).

By my reckoning that's two votes by the people (general election and referendum), plus votes by our representatives in Parliament. More if it takes several election cycles to convince enough of the UK electorate to vote for a party that is standing with "withdraw from the EU" as part of their platform. That's what I meant by the electorate having several says on the question.

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Citizen of the world.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Also, Alan, you seem rather confused about the function of party manifestos.

Take the proposal for the change of voting system. You observe, correctly, that the option presented to people wasn't in the manifesto of any party.

But so what? The entire process of Parliament is about compromises and negotiations, especially at a time of minority government. A party doesn't gain a general mandate for all of its policy ideas just through winning seats in Parliament. An election is the start of the process, not the end of it.

I understand all of that. It's why we have a Parliament, the manifesto pledges of a party do not become law immediately upon them gaining power but through a drawn out process of bills passing through Parliament with all the usual amendments and votes. Which is a good thing too, because I don't think anyone ever agrees with all the points in a manifesto (including those standing for election for that party) and the Parliamentary process provides a filter to separate policies with broad public support from those which the public don't really like but were part of a package that was approved on the basis of policies the public did like. Plus, of course, manifestoes are often contradictory (eg: the 2015 Conservative pledges to maintain the UKs position within the EU and hold a referendum on the question - the Leave vote made the first impossible to keep). And, finally as you'll appreciate, it takes a lot of work and scrutiny to convert a paragraph or two of text on a manifesto into a workable law.

All of which means that the Parliamentary process will often end up somewhere slightly different from the original manifesto pledges. As happened with the morphing of the (minority party) LibDem desire for a vote on PR turning into a vote on AV - which at the time seemed like a shrewd move by Cameron to get Clegg on board so he could form a government, though with hindsight I'm not sure he's actually that smart.

But, my point is that Parliamentary process needs to be followed. Which the EU referendum did to an extent, though I still don't understand how the bill to hold the referendum got so much support despite the (admittedly with the benefit of hindsight) holes in it. Part of that may have been the absence of any lengthy public discussion on EU membership, so most MPs were unaware of how much support Leave were going to get - it's easy to quickly pass something that you're sure everyone will agree with you on, because it won't make any difference. Why spend Parliamentary time debating what would happen in the event of a Leave vote (eg: can the government trigger A50 without explicit act of Parliament?), or even define what Leave would mean, when you're confident of a resounding Remain victory?

But, that lack of prior public discussion is a big part of the whole problem.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
The trouble with that is that there does not seem to be any mechanism to withdraw a notice given under Art 50. What if the electorate says that it does no like the deal the EU offers? The EU simply says that that is what we're offering and whatever you may now think is irrelevant. And I think that the EU has said pretty clearly that the remaining countries are happy that the UK is leaving; it saves them from what for the last 40 years has been a series of requests from the UK for special treatment.

Yes, I'm aware of those difficulties. Really, the whole thing is a mess on an international scale. Partly because no one really imagined this was going to happen, in the UK or elsewhere.

I still think there's a real risk of further breakup of the EU, coming elections in other countries will be interesting. The last few years have been rough, and in my view the Germans have handled a couple of big issues (refugee crisis, Greek finances) somewhat poorly. We might find Article 50 getting a bit of exercise.

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Curiosity killed ...

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# 11770

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Alan - the reason you can't find the Hell thread in Oblivion is because it is still in Hell. Are you thinking of these posts from 19 June?

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fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
# 13919

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Posted by Orfeo:
quote:

....in my view the Germans have handled a couple of big issues (refugee crisis, Greek finances) somewhat poorly.

The Germans or Europe?
Poorly?
In regards to the refugee crisis - the largest since the second world war - Saudi Arabia and Turkey (two countries with magically wonderful human rights records) have between them taken in just under six million refugees. Germany took in one million because no other rich nation in Europe could be bothered to help people in absolute desperation who literally had nowhere to go.

Greece handled badly? Yes, I'm sure they could have continued without any semblance of a sensible tax system and just borrowed and borrowed indefinitely, and sure Europe could have just let the whole place sink without a trace without a bail out. I'm sure that would have been just peachy; especially seeing it was the point of entry for all those refugees.

This demonstrates nicely Britain's overall attitude to the EU. It's all about not letting the dirty foreigners in and making sure we all stay nice and economically comfortable. Middle East turning to shit? Oh well, I'm alright Jack. A European country facing complete bankruptcy? Ah sure, let 'em sink, it's not on my doorstep.

[ 29. January 2017, 12:30: Message edited by: fletcher christian ]

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Well, if you go back to the pre-vote thread you'll see I was questioning the validity of the process before the outcome was known, when the polls were predicting a Remain win. So, I've not changed my tune.

But it isn't about changing your tune, it is about talking bollocks laced with spurious comparisons.

The EU referendum was a free-and-fair ballot with no gerrymandering, no reports of threats of violence, no buying of votes. The vote in that (let's agree, quite narrow) sense was more valid than the Crimea ballot. The British referendum met international standards, the Crimea referendum did not.

Whether or not the question was the right one, whether or not the legislation was worded correctly and whether or not Cameron fully thought through the outcome properly is a completely different point.

One can agree with you on much of the latter without the nonsense comparison with Crimea.

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fletcher christian

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# 13919

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Posted by Cheesy:
quote:

no reports of threats of violence

One MP dead, Farrage threatening that there will be blood on the streets if it doesn't go the 'right' way. Yeah, I'm sure you're right; no violence or threats there at all and nobody on the leave side ever told a lie, not even about money going to the NHS. That bus you saw must have been a mirage.

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Staretz Silouan

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
One MP dead, Farrage threatening that there will be blood on the streets if it doesn't go the 'right' way. Yeah, I'm sure you're right; no violence or threats there at all and nobody on the leave side ever told a lie, not even about money going to the NHS. That bus you saw must have been a mirage.

There is no comparison between these things and tanks on the streets.

You are right to say there were issues I understated, but that doesn't mean a comparison with Crimea is anything other than bollocks.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Ricardus
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# 8757

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
This demonstrates nicely Britain's overall attitude to the EU. It's all about not letting the dirty foreigners in and making sure we all stay nice and economically comfortable. Middle East turning to shit? Oh well, I'm alright Jack. A European country facing complete bankruptcy? Ah sure, let 'em sink, it's not on my doorstep.

Hmmm ... Setting aside the fact that orfeo isn't British: what word describes someone who defends internationalism by means of national stereotyping?

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Alan - the reason you can't find the Hell thread in Oblivion is because it is still in Hell. Are you thinking of these posts from 19 June?

Thanks for the link, I'd expected it to have been cleared out of Hell by now. As someone will point out if I don't, that post also doesn't question the validity of the referendum either. But, perhaps I'll have time to look further through the thread later to see if there is a post there which does.

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Citizen of the world.

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Doc Tor
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# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Alan - the reason you can't find the Hell thread in Oblivion is because it is still in Hell. Are you thinking of these posts from 19 June?

Thanks for the link, I'd expected it to have been cleared out of Hell by now.
Geez. It's on page 2. Of 4. [Roll Eyes]

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PaulTH*
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# 320

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
In the concrete case of EU membership, the Conservative party would have needed to put withdrawal from the EU in their manifesto as a definite pledge (of course having first convinced their own party members of the benefits).

I don't get the logic of this. The Conservative party wasn't advocating leaving the EU even if some of its members believed in it. It was advocating giving the British people the final say on membership, which they did. I don't see any democratic deficit in this process. Many people have argued that it was a mistake to offer the referendum but that's another matter. Having offered it, they stuck by their promise with the outcome you hate so much. I think you are wrong to blame the process for an outcome you didn't want.

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Paul

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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The logic (or, lack thereof) is that a Conservative government has forced itself into enacting a policy change which it doesn't believe in, and that has little support within their own party. Logically, governments would enact legislation that they believe to be the best for the country with the support of their party (perhaps with a small dissenting minority). It's a bizarre way to govern a country.

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Citizen of the world.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
Posted by Orfeo:
quote:

....in my view the Germans have handled a couple of big issues (refugee crisis, Greek finances) somewhat poorly.

The Germans or Europe?
Poorly?
In regards to the refugee crisis - the largest since the second world war - Saudi Arabia and Turkey (two countries with magically wonderful human rights records) have between them taken in just under six million refugees. Germany took in one million because no other rich nation in Europe could be bothered to help people in absolute desperation who literally had nowhere to go.

Greece handled badly? Yes, I'm sure they could have continued without any semblance of a sensible tax system and just borrowed and borrowed indefinitely, and sure Europe could have just let the whole place sink without a trace without a bail out. I'm sure that would have been just peachy; especially seeing it was the point of entry for all those refugees.

This demonstrates nicely Britain's overall attitude to the EU. It's all about not letting the dirty foreigners in and making sure we all stay nice and economically comfortable. Middle East turning to shit? Oh well, I'm alright Jack. A European country facing complete bankruptcy? Ah sure, let 'em sink, it's not on my doorstep.

How you got half of that stuff from my post (including, apparently, a belief about my nationality that is wrong), I've no idea.

But let's unpack a little.

In terms of the refugee crisis: Germany handled it poorly because it threw out the EU rulebook and turned refugee status into a pan-European footrace. My issue is not about taking refugees in, but about making a unilateral decision on what was supposed to be an EU-wide issue. That is fairly obviously not going to make others fond of the EU - if the central country that keeps saying how great the EU is decides to ignore the EU at a crucial moment.

In terms of Greek finances: where the hell did you get the idea that I think they should have just let Greece sink? I think exactly the opposite. I think there's a serious lack of recognition of the extent to which Greece's problems were contributed to by richer EU countries, and Germany in particular. Among other things, I came to the conclusion at the time that the Euro is fundamentally bad because of the way in which it benefits Germany at the expense of weaker economies.

So thanks for all that outrage, what a pity it isn't directed at anything I actually said or believe.

[ 29. January 2017, 20:09: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

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What was in the Tory platform at the last election - it may or may not have been in a document called "Manifesto", I don't know - was a promise to hold a referendum on continuing EU membership. It pretty obviously could not have espoused one view or the other given the diversity of opinion in the party. What was in the platform was what the the leader put into effect.

Was taking the steps necessary to allow for the holding of a referendum on independence for Scotland in the Tory manifesto for the previous general election?

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The logic (or, lack thereof) is that a Conservative government has forced itself into enacting a policy change which it doesn't believe in, and that has little support within their own party. Logically, governments would enact legislation that they believe to be the best for the country with the support of their party (perhaps with a small dissenting minority). It's a bizarre way to govern a country.

You're putting forward an interesting version of democracy, whereby popular participation is limited to picking which party the people want to tell them what to do for a 5-year period.

The possibility of feedback in the other direction - the people telling the party what they want - just doesn't seem to be part of your conception.

[ 29. January 2017, 20:54: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Since I've repeatedly stated that democracy isn't limited to the ballot box, but must include the whole range of lobbying, campaigning, mass protest etc that seems a strange thing to say.

But, we keep getting told the benefits of a strong government (though I'm a long way from being convinced that a strong government equates with a large majority of MPs blindly following the directions of the whips). A government divided over an issue, from a party divided, leading a nation divided is the antithesis of strong government.

Clearly if the referendum result had been much clearer then the situation changes. Because, it's difficult to respond to the wishes of the electorate when there is no clarity about what the electorate want.

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Citizen of the world.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:

But, we keep getting told the benefits of a strong government (though I'm a long way from being convinced that a strong government equates with a large majority of MPs blindly following the directions of the whips). A government divided over an issue, from a party divided, leading a nation divided is the antithesis of strong government.

Who do you get told that by? Parties that don't want their authority challenged.

There's no obligation to believe them.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
# 13919

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quote:

How you got half of that stuff from my post (including, apparently, a belief about my nationality that is wrong), I've no idea.

I'm not quite sure where in any of my post I got your nationality wrong. Both of us are expressing opinions about Brexit and neither of us are living in Britain. I would hope that doesn't preclude us from expressing opinion, nor our opinions coinciding or conflicting with those who live there.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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Talking of such things, May insisted at lunchtime that the UK-Ireland travel zone would continue, customs lawyers later told a parliamentary committee that this would not only be against EU rules, it would be against WTO rules as well.

According to newspaper reports, they said that all freight traffic between NI and RoI would have at least momentary stops to check paperwork and that even someone riding a horse on the border would need to be holding the paperwork as is currently the case between Germany and Switzerland.

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Callan
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# 525

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Apparently Brexit is due to cause the biggest rise in inequality since Mrs Thatcher came to power.

Here.

The Tories are fine with that, of course. They're Tories. What the actual fuck do the Labour Party - with a few honourable exceptions - think they are doing.

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Anglican't
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Interesting, since I thought inequality is now at its lowest for 30 years?
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chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
Interesting, since I thought inequality is now at its lowest for 30 years?

You have that entirely the wrong way around, it's actually at its highest for 30 years.

There was a period between 2001 and the start of the GFC where inequality fell, since 2008 it has been on the rise again.

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
Interesting, since I thought inequality is now at its lowest for 30 years?

You have that entirely the wrong way around, it's actually at its highest for 30 years.

There was a period between 2001 and the start of the GFC where inequality fell, since 2008 it has been on the rise again.

Well, The Guardian from last month suggests *income inequality* is indeed at the lowest levels since 1986.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
Interesting, since I thought inequality is now at its lowest for 30 years?

You have that entirely the wrong way around, it's actually at its highest for 30 years.

There was a period between 2001 and the start of the GFC where inequality fell, since 2008 it has been on the rise again.

Well, The Guardian from last month suggests *income inequality* is indeed at the lowest levels since 1986.
[Killing me]
I'm assuming you actually read the article?
The "narrowing" gap is essentially the same as Bill Gates losing a tenner and me finding 50p on the pavement.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
Interesting, since I thought inequality is now at its lowest for 30 years?

You have that entirely the wrong way around, it's actually at its highest for 30 years.

There was a period between 2001 and the start of the GFC where inequality fell, since 2008 it has been on the rise again.

Well, The Guardian from last month suggests *income inequality* is indeed at the lowest levels since 1986.
[Killing me]
I'm assuming you actually read the article?
The "narrowing" gap is essentially the same as Bill Gates losing a tenner and me finding 50p on the pavement.

Right. Because I said that the gap had gone.... I'm assuming you actually *read* what I wrote?

[Killing me]

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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"The figures, which show a fall in income inequality to levels last seen in 1986"

any other arguments you think I'm making are happening in your head.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Sipech
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# 16870

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For those with an eye for detail, have a read of the Brexit white paper and tell me what is odd about chart 7.1 on the top of page 32. [Two face]

As for inequality, income inequality is one form, asset inequality is another.

It was striking that the Bank of England today held interest rates at 0.25%, while the land registry records house price inflation as being 6.7%. So those that are property owners are having their asset values inflated, while savers are seeing the real value of cash being eaten away. It's a problem neither the Bank of England nor successive governments have taken seriously.

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
"The figures, which show a fall in income inequality to levels last seen in 1986"

any other arguments you think I'm making are happening in your head.

Income inequality was lousy in 1986, is as bad now as it was then and was worse in between. It has always been one of the nastier aspect of British society.

Wealth inequality is even more striking.

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