Many people who call themselves Conservatives, IMO, aren't. Many people who Conservatives call Socialists, aren't. In studying politics, I ran across a couple of lectures which identified what the professor called minimal-state liberals (Libertarians) and active-state liberals (modern liberals) (yes, they are real things, you can google them). So much depends on definitions, so I thought I would inquire about that.
One metaphor I read concerns a race, so I thought I would use that to start a discussion:
Two races to see who can run the fastest are run.
In one, the contestants, one black, one white, who are equal in every respect except two, color and the black man (both are men) has a slight atrophy in one of his legs. Clearly, the black man has a disadvantage relative to the white competitor.
How will a conservative, socialist, minimal-state liberal, and active-state liberal respond to this imbalance?
NOW, change the scenario to the following:
In the second race, the contestants, one black, one white, who are equal in every respect except two, color and the black man (both are men) has, because of custom and tradition, has a heavy weight locked on one ankle by a third party interested in the outcome. Clearly, the black man has a disadvantage relative to the white competitor.
How will a conservative, socialist, minimal-state liberal, and active-state liberal respond to this imbalance?
I’d be interested to see how Americans answer this because, across the pond, in Britain (and in Europe) our political spectrum is far wider than American politics; with a much wider spectrum of political parties.
From a Brits perspective the USA only has a simple ‘two-party’ system of Republics (Conservatives) and Democrats (Liberalism); and to a Brit the Liberal Democrats (Liberalism) is just ‘centralist’ (middle of the road) politics; while the Labour Party in Britain (which is far more left wing than the Democrats) is a true Socialist party, something America lacks.
Thanks for the perspective, Nathan - good to know.
That's about what I get, too. Although I'm not sure about the British meaning of "true socialism" - in the US "socialism" refers, more and more, to the entitlement philosophy of wealth redistribution in a misbegotten effort to "equalize" everyone; it has nothing to do with ownership of business or even price setting (much). Just about charity programs to take the wealth from one and give it to someone else.
Socialism must mean only one thing, socialism, the taking over the means of production and distribution for the benefit (supposedly) of society. Socialism is not the only political-economic system with welfare. In fact, ALL systems, from Fascism through capitalism to Communism has aspects of social welfare as part of their DNA. Even in so-called democratic-socialist counties of Europe have differing degrees of social welfare programs in them. More so in Northern Europe and less so in Southern Europe (in spite of Greece). America has our own public assistance system, just not as generous as Europe.
*sigh* And it is that big difference between generosity, whether compared to Europe or to our own past, that is changing in America. Which gives rise to what we call "socialism" in this country.
No, you don't get to change the common meaning of the term according to either your opinion or usage from the past. It is what it is, today, whether you agree with the slow change in meaning or not.
Impressive ‘My Esoteric’, you certainly do seem to have a good grasp on politics.
The one thing that keeps the Labour Party (in Britain) true to its Socialist roots is that the Trade Unions (who founded Labour as a Political Party in 1900) are to this day affiliated to the party and play a major role in electing its Leader and setting Labour Party Policy at its Annual Conference.
The biggest bone of contention in the Labour Party at the moment is that Jeremy Corbyn (it’s current Leader) was elected by the Trade Unions and Party Membership against the wishes of the Parliamentary Labour Party MPs who supported a more Liberal Leader.
Consequently, Labour currently has a Leader who is extreme left wing, as left wing as the Socialist Labour Government who won the surprise landslide victory in 1945 (ousting the Liberal Party to third position) and within three years pushed through Radical Social Reforms such as the NHS, Social Welfare on a big scale, and various Nationalisation programmes; in spite of Britain being near bankrupt at the time because of the 2nd world war.
Arthur (aka Nathanville)
Thanks for the political lessons, Arthur; extremely interesting. So, given your response to Mizbejabbers, our Democratic Party (minus the Bernie Sanders wing) would fit within the left-side of Britain's Conservative Party?
It is interesting to note that the Bernie Sanders wing (may I call it the BS wing) was quickly moving the Party to the Left. With the help of #TraitorTrump, however, the 2018 election brought the Party back to the center with the huge influx of moderate Ds from previously Red districts. As a result, there is a major power struggle within the Party as it tries to digest all of the new entrants, middle and left. It is giving leadership fits.
Are you guys going to get a second bite at the apple on BREXIT with a second vote? Not sure what your position is (my guess is you are an anti-Brexiter) but from where I sit leaving the Union is an economic death sentence for Britain and may cost you Scotland.
Thanks for your very astute feedback Esoteric.
Yep, your Bernie Sanders (if he was in the UK) would be far more comfortable on the right-side of our Labour Party than within the Liberal Democrats. And as you say, without Bernie Sanders your Democrats (who are quite similar to our Liberal Democrats) would overlap the left of the Conservative Party and the right of the Labour Party within Britain.
Yep, we have the same political osculation in Britain e.g. whenever the Conservatives goes swooning off to the far right Labour responds by swooning to the far left (polarization); then a decade or so later both start to move towards the centre again (and become far more moderate).
Brexit, a chance for a second vote is a big question; of which nobody knows the answer to yet!!!
In answer to your question, I am a ‘Remainer’ e.g. I voted to Remain and still support Remain. And yes, I agree with you, leaving the EU will be an economic death sentence for Britain. Not only would Scotland leave the UK to re-join the EU, but Northern Ireland would also leave the UK and re-unite with the Republic of Ireland (who is also part of the EU).
And in time it’s not inconceivable that, if Britain became a third rate country outside of the EU that Wales, and even Cornwall (ultimately) could seek Independence from England, and then seek EU membership; although it’s more likely that whatever is left of Britain would be seek re-joining the EU before it got that far.
Getting back to the question of a 2nd Referendum; apart from the fact that the vote was split on the original Referendum, 1 million people recently marched in London for a 2nd Referendum, and over six million people recently signed a petition demanding the Government to Revoke Article 50; so there is plenty of public demand for a 2nd referendum.
In parliament, the vast majority of MPs are Remainers at heart, and many of them would like to see a 2nd Referendum; but it’s all a question of ‘politics’ e.g. the Conservative Government is fiercely opposed to a 2nd Referendum. Ultimately, it’s whether and how the impasse over Brexit in Parliament is broken; some arguing that a 2nd Referendum maybe the only way to break the deadlock.
There are 650 seats in Parliament, of which the Speaker is ‘politically neutral’ and Sinn Fein (9 MPs, who don’t sit on principle) therefore to get her Deal passed by Parliament Theresa May needs the support of 321 MPs.
• Theresa May now has 314 Conservative MPs (of which about 90% are pro-Brexit, and don’t support a 2nd Referendum).
• DUP (who is anti EU, and don’t support a 2nd Referendum) have 10 MPs.
• Labour has 245 MPs, of which over 90% are pro-European and would support a 2nd Referendum.
• All the other Political Parties (excluding DUP and Sinn Fein) have 71 MPs between them, and they are all 100% pro EU, and are fighting hard for a 2nd Referendum.
So when you add the numbers up in Parliament, in relation to support for a 2nd Referendum, it’s like everything with Brexit; almost an equal split; hence an impasse.
Bummer! If there is a second referendum, I hope the people come solidly down on the side of Remaining. Given how close the results were the first time, the political shenanigans I read about by the Leavers, and that more facts and actual results are available, t think that would be a distinct possibility.
Sort of like our Trump-supporting farmers facing the reality of bankruptcy over the Trump-tariff debacle.
Are you one of those that support a second referendum, then? You didn't get the results you wanted from the first vote, so vote again?
If so, would you support voting again and again, as necessary, until you DO get the results you wanted?
In a way that's what we're seeing in the US - if a vote goes against what is desired, chip away at it until you DO get what is wanted. We see it in gun controls, we see it in abortion issues, and in other things. Never give up the fight - never accept a compromise, never accept the wishes of the majority in a vote.
Now that the British people have real facts, rather than the false promises and lies put out by the Leavers, don't you think they should get an informed chance to vote this time?
It is not if the vote was 70 - 30 to leave, it was something like 51-49 with a lot of questions about the fairness of the vote left hanging. Isn't that sort of like saying get rid of electing our House every two years. Once a voter made their choice, they are stuck with it until the elected dies or quits.
Yes ‘wilderness’ I am one of those who support a 2nd Referendum, but not for the reasons you state; ‘My Esoteric’ (in response to your point) sums it up succinctly enough.
If the Referendum had been decisive (as was the 2011 Referendum for Proportional Representation) then that would have been the end of the matter. But it wasn’t decisive, the result was split; and it was on a ‘Constitutional Matter’, which in many countries can only be passed by a ‘qualifying majority’ e.g. 66%; apart from which under the British Constitution Referendums are ‘Advisory Only’.
As well as the points ‘My Esoteric’ makes, it’s now over three years since the Referendum (and we still haven’t left) and since then about 1.5 million elderly people have died (75% of whom voted for Brexit), while during the same time period there are now about 1.5 million new voters; 75% of whom support Remaining in the EU but were too young to vote at the time.
Yep, what you describe “if a vote goes against what is desired, chip away at it until you DO get what is wanted”. is Theresa May’s tactics. Her Deal was defeated in Parliament by 432 votes to 202 (rejected by 230 votes); the largest defeat for a Government vote in Parliamentary history; and it’s been defeated twice since. Yet Theresa May intends trying to bring her Deal back for a fourth vote in Parliament after the Easter holidays. So the view of many is “what’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander” e.g. if Theresa May can keep trying to get her Deal passed (even though it has little support in Parliament) then holding a 2nd Referendum when the results on the 1st one was so marginal is fair and reasonable, and democratic.
One way Theresa May could break the deadlock (impasse) in Parliament is to put her Deal to the people e.g. let the people decide in a Referendum between her Deal and Remaining in the EU (such a proposal is likely to have a lot of support in Parliament). However, she will not do that because firstly, she is scared that the People will ‘reject’ her Deal and vote to Remain in the EU; and secondly, her own political party (the Conservatives) will lynch her (albeit she is a dead woman walking anyway, which for the New Brexit date now set for Halloween seems quite appropriate).
To answer your second point: “would you support voting again and again, as necessary, until you DO get the results you wanted?”. The answer is NO, I would not support voting again and again, and few would.
However, if Britain is taken out of the EU without the option of a 2nd Referendum then the fight is NOT over; it will drag on for decades, and if people are denied their democratic rights to reconsider it could get violent (a British thing) e.g. look at the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the unrest in Scotland. Historically, Britain is prone to riots and civil unrest periodically; I’ve seen a few in my time e.g. the 2011 riots in Bristol when Bristolians vehemently opposed the opening of a Tesco store (Food Supermarket Chain). Also the Poll Tax Riots and mass civil unrest across the UK back in 1990 that contributed to the resignation of the then Conservative Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher) and a reversal of her policy on Poll Tax e.g. it was axed. A lesson Margaret Thatcher didn’t learn from history e.g. the ‘Peasants Revolt’ of 1381 following Parliament’s attempt to introduce the Poll Tax.
2011 Riots in Bristol due to local residents’ fierce opposition to a food supermarket chain opening a Branch in their street e.g. that area is the Bristol equivalent of Portobello Road in London, and the local residents want to keep it that way (anyone who’s watched ‘Bed knobs and broomsticks’ will know the significance of Portobello Road):- https://youtu.be/hkCvka1uwuo
But apparently, against Wilderness's wishes, May is trying and trying again until she gets her way. I had forgotten that.
When Wilderness says "In a way that's what we're seeing in the US - if a vote goes against what is desired, chip away at it until you DO get what is wanted." - he is correct for sure. Ever since the 1964 Civil Rights and the 1965 Voting Rights Acts against strong conservative opposition, they have been chipping away at it until it is becoming close to being a shadow of its former self.
The same was true in the late 1800s. We fought a Civil War to end the slavery question (something England had done years earlier - end slavery, that is). It resulted in our 13th (end slavery), 14th (apply the Bill of Rights to the States), and 15th (black voting rights) Amendments. Conservatives battled back hard after the liberal Republicans were voted out and by about 1894, all but the 13th Amendment had been nullified by the Supreme Court. It took until 1964 to restore the 14th and 15th Amendments to their proper place. It was one of America's Dark Ages.
I'll add another one, more recent: the efforts to dump ObamaCare. While I have to agree that the one small piece requiring purchase of health insurance at inflated prices needed repeal, the effort to dump the whole thing was ridiculous. It is a part of us, either fix what is wrong or leave it alone (hopefully the former).
Yep, I do know what you mean Esoteric; we have a similar tug-o-war between Conservatives and Labour in the UK.
As well as sweeping Welfare State reforms, and the creation of the NHS in 1948, between 1946 and 1951 the Labour Government also Nationalised most of the UK's major strategic heavy industries and public utilities, including the Railways.
However, everything that had been ‘Nationalised’ by Labour in the 1940s was Privatised by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government in the 1980s, and early 1990s; albeit Labour re-Nationalised the rail network in 2002 because the private company failed.
Labour’s current policy is to re-Nationalise all ‘Public Utilities’, including the train operators, when they win the next General Election; a policy which is popular with voters.
Likewise, when the Conservatives are in power they try to nibble away at the Welfare State, and when Labour is in power they tend to redress the balance. But the difficulty the Conservatives have is that they can’t make any major changes to the Welfare State without putting it in their Election Manifesto, because of the Salisbury Rule; and much of the Welfare State is popular even with most of their own voters. So the Conservatives have to be careful with what they put in their Election Manifesto so that they don’t alienate too many voters.
The Salisbury Rule is part of the (unwritten) British Constitution, and basically states that the (unelected) House of Lords cannot block Legislation that the Government was elected on (in the Election Manifesto) e.g. should not stand in the way of the ‘will of the people’. The Salisbury Rule stems back to the Labour landslide Victory of 1945, at a time when most of the House of Lords were generally ‘conservative’ and therefore vehemently opposed the ‘Socialist’ reforms being made by Labour; which would have caused an impasse in Parliament (a constitutional crises).
Therefore, to break the deadlock back in 1945 between the Socialist House of Commons and a Conservative House of Lords; Lord Salisbury, Conservative Leader in the House of Lords, offered a lasting statement of principle that the ‘unelected’ upper chamber (House of Lords) should not stand in the way of the ‘will of the people’ for any Legislation that the elected Government had put in its Election Manifesto.
David Cameron (Conservative Prime Minister) from 2010 to 2015, fell fowl of the Salisbury Rule in that although he put in his Election Manifesto to slash the Welfare State by £12 billion ($18 billion), he didn’t win an overall majority in the General Election and had to form a Coalition Government with the Liberal Democrats. Therefore, when David Cameron passed his Bill to the House of Lords for their approval to cut the Welfare State by £12 billion the House of Lords refused on the grounds that the Conservative didn’t have a mandate from ‘the people’ because he didn’t win an overall majority in the General Election; so to avoid a constitutional crisis David Cameron scrapped his planned cuts.
The biggest bone of contention for the Conservative Party is the NHS: They hate it, but it’s extremely popular with most conservative voters so, while nibbling at the edges of it (when they are in power), trying to undermine it, they have to appear to be in support of it. Then when Labour is back in power, they undo as much of the damage that they can that was done by the Conservatives.
"However, if Britain is taken out of the EU without the option of a 2nd Referendum then the fight is NOT over; it will drag on for decades..."
But doesn't that work both ways, with the fight NEVER being over? If the 2nd Referendum goes YOUR way, then your opponents want a 3rd one to cancel out your win (just as you want one to cancel theirs) and the game goes on. Forever, it seems to me, for even if the threat of riots is real, it certainly applies to both sides.
And maybe I'm just getting really, really tired of the refusal to accept defeat in our own elections/voting. You lost - drop it and move on is my feeling, not continue to fight until you get your way, for that path leads to stagnation with nothing ever happening.
It all depends on whether the outcome is still 50/50, doesn't it?
Just because Trump won (sort of) doesn't mean we can't object to a crook being in the office. He is the worst thing that America has ever done to itself. You may be fine with his lunacy, but 60% of America is not; we would be very derelict in our duty not to oppose his policies and actions.
Just look how hard you opposed Obama who actually won his elections without suspicions the Russians helped him win.
I know and understand what you are saying ‘wilderness’; and you do have some valid points.
However, the fact remains that the 1st Referendum was ‘ill-conceived’, with lots of lies and misinformation (on both sides), and the result was split; which split the country.
Also, since the Referendum, half the population (those who voted Remain) have been totally ignored by the Government (disfranchised) e.g. Theresa May always refers to the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit, but NEVER refers to or considers the feelings or rights of the other half of the population who voted Remain (or who have since changed their mind aka Remoaners).
Therefore, if those who have been disfranchised throughout the whole process aren’t given a democratic voice then resentment will fester. And if that frustration can’t be alleviated through democracy then taking to the streets is the only alternative. In this respect the Police (and Army) have been put on alert, and have been preparing for civil unrest (following Brexit) since last September. In this respect there has already been some violence and death threats made by Brexiteer supporters; with one person being prosecuted and a number of Remainer MPs under police protection e.g. Anna Soubry and several other Remainer MPs are currently residing in a ‘safe house’ at a secret location (when not in Parliament).
All the Remainers are asking for is ‘now that we know what Brexit means’ that the people (the whole people) are given a 2nd say; and if on a 2nd Referendum the majority vote for Brexit; even if it’s a small margin; then so be it. Albeit, the Liberal Democrats and the New Independent Party would then continue to campaign for re-joining the EU, and (with the people having had made their choice democratically through a 2nd Referendum) such a campaign by these political parties would be done peacefully and democratically.
On the flip side, if there was a 2nd Referendum, and it was a slim majority in favour of Remaining in the EU then I don’t know how ‘Leavers’ and Brexiteer supporters would react.
The fact remains that a bitter battle that had been ragging in the Conservative Party for decades (since 1992) has spewed out into the country and has bitterly split the country down the middle; a potential recipe for a civil war brewing if the Government continues to disfranchise half the population from democratic avenues (as the Conservative Government is currently doing).
To say “that path leads to stagnation with nothing ever happening” isn’t the British way. The British have always fought bitterly for their civil rights e.g. the evolution of the British Parliament since 1215 through bloody conflicts; the rights of the Trade Union movement through bloody conflicts; the rights of ‘women’ votes through bloody conflict; the Irish civil war in the 1920s that led to southern Ireland gaining Independence from England, and the terrorist campaign in Northern Ireland by the IRA from 1969 to 1999 which eventually led to the Northern Ireland Peace Treaty; the civil unrest, riots, demonstrations and civil disobedience in 1990 that clogged the courts e.g. over 4 million people refused to pay the poll tax (myself included); which led to the Conservative Government abolishing their proposed ‘poll tax’ with the subsequent resignation of the Prime Minister.
The Anthem of the Labour Party, gives a flavour of how the British will fight for their rights, rather than take things lying down:-
The Red Flag (with lyrics) Labour Party Anthem:- https://youtu.be/klaEz6eYZ2U
You're losing me. It seems obvious that ANY vote not a straight 50-50 result will "split the country". What makes this one any different? Why is it special?
"Therefore, if those who have been disfranchised throughout the whole process aren’t given a democratic voice then resentment will fester. And if that frustration can’t be alleviated through democracy then taking to the streets is the only alternative."
This sounds like "If I don't get my way, I'll riot in the streets". Did you mean it that way?
"On the flip side, if there was a 2nd Referendum, and it was a slim majority in favour of Remaining in the EU then I don’t know how ‘Leavers’ and Brexiteer supporters would react. "
Whether slim or not (remember, they already won the vote), I would suspect rioting in the streets.
a potential recipe for a civil war brewing if the Government continues to disfranchise half the population from democratic avenues (as the Conservative Government is currently doing)."
Again with the disenfranchise thing. What does that mean, except "I didn't get my way". They lost the election - do they expect that Brexit won't happen because they lost? I'm confused.
I understand people fight for their rights. But when you live in a democracy (of any kind) and lose a vote, it means it's time to stop fighting and go along with it. That's how democracy works; it doesn't mean that when you lose you try to go around the back door and continue to fight what the people have decided they want. Now if a new law is put into effect (the poll tax as an example) and you don't like it; NOW take it to the people and stir up some counter opinion. But that isn't the case with Brexit; the PEOPLE spoke, not some govt. lackey.
The answer to this should be obvious - "What makes this one any different? Why is it special?"
It is the consequence that make it different. Because of a non-binding (if I understood Arthur correctly) referendum, England is facing economic disaster and probable break-up. All because enough Brits believed Trump-like lies and voted to leave.
The PEOPLE did NOT Speak. What if Trump-lies convinced 51% of the people in America voted to take away your right to speak? Will you live by those results, Wilderness?
No - because of a referendum, some people think England is facing economic disaster. This is much like what happened when ObamaCare was put in - some people saw economic disaster as a result.
If you don't think a referendum is a vote of the people - wherein the people speak - just what do you think it is? Losing a referendum does not mean you didn't have a voice in the decision, just that your side lost.
"It is the consequence that make it different. Because of a non-binding (if I understood Arthur correctly) referendum, England is facing economic disaster and probable break-up."
My Esoteric, this isn't a critical response, it is more of a request. It was prompted by a subscription post in my email. You and this comment immediately came to mind.
I am only beginning to dive into the links in this post, but I know that much of its supporting data will be a task for me to get through, and, I know that I will be seeing it with a preconceived perception. So...
... I thought of you. Digesting it fits your background, and your opposite perspective will counter the bias of mine.
How about taking a look and letting me know if you think the study's conclusions are valid.
This is an invitation to you too Natnahnville.
The post is from Dan Mitchell's International Liberty blog and is definitely from a Conservative-biased source.
The European Union and Economic Performance
"The conclusion that emerges upon looking systematically at the data is that EU membership has no impact on economic growth. …We start by simply looking at the comparative performance of the EU and the United States, which is the comparison that Niall Ferguson makes. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook Database provides real GDP growth rates going back to 1980 for the EU and the US. These are plotted in Figure 1. The EU only managed to outperform the US economy in terms of real GDP growth in ten out of the 35 years between 1980 and 2015. …With these growth rates, the US economy would double its size every 27 years, whereas the corresponding number for the EU is 36 years. This hardly amounts to stellar performance on part of the EU."
Without having the data to run my own statistics, all I can comment on are a viewing of the charts. And, at least on first impression, I am not sure I agree with his conclusions.
But more than that, he is asking the wrong question. He is considering what happens when a country joins the EU. The more correct question is what happens when they leave the EU after being totally integrated with it. He implies it is just the opposite of when they join.
He claims, weakly IMO, that countries did better economically before they joined and did poorly afterwards. But that is not the situation here.
Britain's whole economy is integrated with that of the rest of Europe - think of co-joined twins. In his cases, entering country's economies were independent of the EU and integrated into it - much less traumatic than getting a divorce.
I did notice in Chart 1 that the US GDP growth is much more volatile than the EUs and in my opinion is worse than a more steady economy even though the peaks are higher in the US economy and the troughs are mostly lower than for the EU. Based on that, I bet that if they did a t-test for difference in mean growth over the years, they would find the means not significantly different.
If that outcome is true, then that argues against his conclusion about the EU doing worse than American.
Thanks My Esoteric. Even if your points are correct, I would have expected a stronger pro-EU membership data exhibit.
Your point about the divorce being worse than the marriage may hold for the short term, but, still using the divorce analogy, perhaps the pain is worth the gain. A sense of sovereignty is an important thing.
Thanks GA for the invitation to view the personal opinion of Dan Mitchell; havening read them, I do concur with ‘My Esoteric’ assessment. Furthermore, even the British Conservative Government’s own internal ‘economic’ forecast (which was not intended for publication) confirms that the UK will be economically worse off by leaving the EU.
In the current ongoing ‘power struggle’ between Parliament (the Legislature) and the Government (Executive) Parliament voted in favour of the Government publishing its own ‘internal’ economic forecast of leaving the EU.
The Government fiercely objected on the grounds that it was ‘unconstitutional’ because such information should stay privy with the Government on the grounds of ‘National Security’; a tactic British Governments have always used to avoid publishing full details to Parliament on sensitive matters.
However, the ‘Speaker’ overruled the Government and allowed Parliament’s request to stand, forcing the Government to release the figures.
Government report says UK economy to slow post-Brexit: https://youtu.be/9vqxXFrLTU4
Prior to this, when the Government was quizzed about its ‘economic assessment’ by the cross-party ‘select committee’ the Government lied to the committee by claiming there was NO ‘economic assessment’. Subsequently, sections of the Government’s own ‘economic assessment’ started to be leaked to the ‘Press’, and eventually the Government owned up to having such a document and was forced by Parliament (with the Speaker’s backing) to release it.
When it was published to Parliament, the Government’s own (comprehensive) economic assessment had done a separate detailed economic ‘impact’ study on each sector of the economy (about 30 separate impact studies); and all showed that every sector of the economy e.g. agriculture, industry etc., all showed an adverse (negative) impact post Brexit.
UK government accused of Brexit ‘shambles’ over economy impact plans: https://youtu.be/i_hb5F7o8S0
Yep, wilderness, your comment in your last paragraph hits the point “when you live in a democracy (of any kind) and lose a vote, it means it's time to stop fighting and go along with it.”
Because of the way the Government has handled Brexit (from the start), not just half the country, but the whole country feels that ‘Democracy’ in the British system has been lost. It’s not just that Remainers are ‘frustrated’ because they haven’t been represented in the whole Brexit process, but Leavers feel angry because Theresa May hasn’t delivered Brexit. Regardless to what you may think, the fact is that in Britain there is anger and frustration on both sides.
In the recent opinion polls, not only is a high percentage of ‘Leavers’ set to boycott the European elections on the 23rd May, but are also set to punish the Conservatives in the Local Government elections on 2nd May. That’s fine by me because in both sets of elections in May it means that pro-EU candidates (Socialist Parties) are set to benefit from the anger and frustration by ‘Leavers’ vented mainly at the Conservatives.
But the main point you seem to be missing, is that Brexit isn’t like a General Elections (or a Precedential Election in the USA) where if people change their minds they can throw out their Government (or President) ever few years; Brexit is for LIFE. And once made, Brexit will fundamentally affect the lives of everyone in Britain, especially the ‘YOUNG’, who have their whole lives to live; and who in their own eyes (75%) feel that Brexit will have an adverse effect on them.
I don’t see why you should be lost about the significance of a ‘Marginal Vote’. If a vote is decisive e.g. 60% then people generally accept the result (regardless to whether they like it or not). However, when the result is marginal (near 50-50) on issues of major importance (such as Constitutional Changes) then that’s when feelings can run high. That’s why many countries use a ‘Qualified’ Majority (rather than a simple majority) for Constitutional Changes, so as to ensure a decisive result before the Constitution is changed. For example, it requires a two-thirds majority to make changes to the USA Constitution e.g. abolish the 2nd Amendment; something I’m sure you wouldn’t want done on a simple 50-50 majority.
No it’s not a case of "If I don't get my way, I'll riot in the streets", it’s a question of whether the Government circumvents democracy (when it suits them) by avoiding a 2nd Referendum because they ‘fear’ that ‘the people’ have changed their minds. As I said before, if people still ‘marginally’ voted to leave on a 2nd Referendum, then democracy will have seen to have been done, and the Remainers will accept the ‘will of the people’.
With reference to your comments “ Again with the disenfranchise thing. What does that mean, except "I didn't get my way”. They lost the election - do they expect that Brexit won't happen because they lost? I'm confused.….. Brexit; the PEOPLE spoke, not some govt. lackey.":-
The Government has handled Brexit badly from the start, making one blunder after another; all of which has done nothing other than deepen the division within the country.
Firstly, David Cameron was advised against calling a Referendum, but he was over confident that the people would over whelming vote in favour of Remaining in the EU, and as such it would put a stop to the long standing in-fighting within the Conservative Party over the EU. But his foolish gamble backfired and when he lost the Referendum he had no choice other than resign as Prime Minister.
Secondly, although under the British Constitution a Referendum is ‘Advisory Only’, Theresa May has always treated it as a ‘Mandate’ which has prevented her from being flexible e.g. the Referendum results should have been fully debated by Parliament, and (as with any other major legislation proposed by a Government) there should have been full ‘impact assessment’ and ‘Consultation Period’ before setting ‘policy’. Normally a Government will give three months for the ‘Consultation Period’ when proposing major Legislation, a time period when ‘interested parties’ including businesses, trade unions and the General Public etc. can express their views. But there was no debate in Parliament, no ‘impact assessment’ until much later in the process, and there was no Public Consultation e.g. Theresa May became ‘single minded’ and took it upon herself that ‘the people have spoken’ so Brexit must be delivered (at any cost).
Thirdly, Theresa May made the big blunder of calling a General Election, specifically to ‘Mandate’ the people on her policy to deliver Brexit, and (more importantly to her) to increase her majority in the House of Commons to make it easier to push through Brexit. Her plans backfired spectacularly e.g. instead of increasing her slim majority, she lost her majority altogether, and became a ‘Minority Government’ (a Government with no overall majority in the House of Commons); predominately because the Public in the General Election didn’t endorse her Mandate for Brexit.
Her 4th mistake was trying to negotiate a ‘supply and demand’ with DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) of 10 MPs to prop up her minority Government; a decision that has made the Conservative Government hostage to the 10 DUP MPs, in spite of the fact that DUP haven’t delivered on their promise to support the Government, because Theresa May didn’t keep her promise to them to guarantee that Northern Ireland will not be separated from the rest of the UK in anyway e.g. the issue of the controversial ‘Backstop’.
Her 5th mistake was pampering to the wishes of the Brexiteer MPs on the far (hard) right of her party, rather than trying to reach out cross-party, to the other political parties within Parliament. Coupled with this was Theresa May’s feeble attempts to try to unite her own party by trying to find a compromise deal that satisfied both Brexiteers on the far right of her party and Remainers on the far left of her party; but as she has discovered to her cost, you “Can’t please all of the people all of the time”.
Her 6th mistake is that she DIDN’T have a PLAN (or POLICY) when she triggered Article 50, so she entered the negations with the EU blind, also….
Her 7th mistake was that during the whole two years of negotiations, she never consulted with Parliament e.g. the very body who would have to pass her Deal.
If she hadn’t had called the General Election, and instead worked with Parliament, she did have a large enough majority to push through a Deal on Brexit without needing DUP’s support. It would most probably have been a ‘soft’ Brexit, and would almost certainly led to a border between the island of Ireland and mainland Britain, and a lot of Conservatives may not have been too happy about it, but ‘tensions’ across the UK wouldn’t have been as high as they are now.
The bottom line is that ‘because of the Northern Ireland Peace Treaty of 1998’ a ‘true’ Brexit was never deliverable.
How Brexit could create a crisis at the Irish border: https://youtu.be/e0xGHf8o-9k
Wonderful (or as Trump might call it "beautiful" or 'tremendous") analysis, Arthur.
"On the flip side, if there was a 2nd Referendum, and it was a slim majority in favour of Remaining in the EU then I don’t know how ‘Leavers’ and Brexiteer supporters would react. "
Would they, (Leavers), have the same support of your logic to then demand a 3rd Referendum?
Hi GA, to get some ‘definitions’ out of the way first (for clarity):-
• Remainers = people who voted to remain.
• Remoaners = people who voted to leave but now regret their decision.
• Leavers = people who voted to leave, and
• Brexiteers = people who want a no-deal Brexit (hard Brexit), specifically the ERG (and their supporters).
Your comment is the ‘tactic’ now used by Brexiteers (and Leavers) to argue against a 2nd Referendum. Before the 1st Referendum, when opinion polls were showing a lead in favour of remaining, the ERG leader campaigning for leave advocated an option for a 2nd Referendum. Also, just before the 1st Referendum a leaver started an online petition to lobby Parliament for a 2nd Referendum in the event that the result was marginal; that petition was ‘hijacked’ by the remainers immediately after the results of the Referendum, and within week soared to over 4 million signatures.
Therefore these arguments have become political arguments, as much as they are arguments about democracy, as the battle lines are drawn between remainers and leavers (Brexiteers).
The question should be to separate democracy from politics before deciding what the two ‘camps’ would do, and what is realistic.
On the question of democracy, there are many arguments in favour of a 2nd Referendum, but few for a 3rd Referendum.
On the question of politics, then yes the losing side on a 2nd Referendum would be peeved, especially if the result is marginal.
On the question of what is realistic: It takes 5 months to organise and run a Referendum in the UK, and there is no appetite from any Government (or any Opposition Parties) to keep running Referendums just for the sake of it; so if there was to be a 2nd Referendum, regardless to the outcome, there is little prospect of a 3rd Referendum.
However, regardless to whether there is a 2nd Referendum or not, and regardless to its outcome, the Conservative Government, by taking their internal fight (which has dogged their Party since 1992) to the country, has split the country with a bitter divide that will not be healed for at least 10 years, if not a generation. The wounds over Brexit are deep, splitting family and friends, as well as the country.
So regardless to what the outcome of Brexit is, and regardless to whether there is a 2nd Referendum or not; the battle lines are being drawn (by both sides), and the fight will continue for generations. A decisive result on a 2nd Referendum (regardless to which way it went) would defuse the situation; but failing that, if political/democratic avenues are stifled then the tensions will spill out into violence.
There hasn’t been any violence by the Remainers yet, but there have been violence by Brexiteer supporters e.g. abuse and death threats.
In anticipation that the battle has only just started, new political parties are being created for both ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’:-
Along with the existing political parties who are 100% pro EU and fully support a 2nd Referendum e.g. Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, the ‘New’ political party recently formed in Parliament from Labour MPs (on the right of the Labour Party) and Conservative MPs (on the left of the Conservative Party) is now registered as ‘Change UK – The Independent Group’.
The ‘Change UK – The Independent Group’, Liberal Democrats, SNP (Scottish National Party), Plaid Cymru (Welsh Party) and the Green Party; 81 MPS in total, in Parliament, have formed an alliance to speak as one voice on Brexit.
The ‘Change UK – The Independent Group’ and Liberal Democrats have very similar political ideology and are expected to eventually merge to form a ‘new’ centralist political party, so as not to split the ‘centre vote’ in elections.
But for now, the ‘Change UK – The Independent Group’ and Liberal Democrats have formed an electoral pact e.g. in future elections the Liberal Democrats will NOT field candidates where the ‘Change UK – The Independent Group’ stand and vice versa.
Three Conservative MPs resign to join Independent Group: https://youtu.be/oNYX7qs7Ehk
As regards the leave campaign, the UKIP vote has collapsed. UKIP were wiped out in the 2017 General Elections and wiped out in the Local Government Elections last year. Also, UKIP, which was an extreme right wing Nationalist party anyway has since been infiltrated by known extreme hard right wing activists e.g. on a par with fascism; therefore a large handful of original UKIP members (including its ex-leader) have resigned from UKIP to set up their own NEW Brexit Party called the ‘Brexit Party’.
Therefore the battle over Brexit (regardless to what the eventual outcome is in Parliament) is set to continue politically for potentially generations to come; and if in the coming years (decades) either side feel that political processes are being stifled then violence could spill out into the streets.
Further to my comments above, one of the leading campaigners (outside of Parliament) for Remain in the EU, and for a 2nd Referendum is Madeleina Kay, her anti-Brexit bus tour and music:-
We Won't Go Down Without a Fight! (Music Video) - Madeleina Kay: https://youtu.be/0id611WPIc4
Anti-Brexit bus departs London on week-long tour: https://youtu.be/IhGzjDKV7Ds
Sounds very much like the paroxysm our political system went through between about 1830 and 1880 which included the formation of the conservative, pro-slavery "No-Nothing Party", LOL. I am not kidding.
It was interesting to read about your historic ‘No-Nothing Party’ ‘My Esoteric’, I often wonder whether perhaps ‘paroxysm’ in your political system these days might be a good thing e.g. break up the two-party system a bit. I am of course speaking from a British/European perspective where we’re used to a multi-party system.
From my limited knowledge of USA politics, my understanding is that the USA electoral system is biased in favour of a two-party system; making it extremely difficult for ‘Independent’ candidates to win, and for ‘New’ political parties to be successful? Please correct me if I’ve miss understood.
In the UK most British people are eligible to stand as a candidate in an election, either as an ‘Independent’ or as a member of a ‘Political Party’; and to do so they only need to pay a deposit of £500 ($700) to the ‘Electoral Commission’, which they get back if they win more than 5% of the votes.
Also, to ‘level the playing field’, so that Independent’s and smaller political parties can compete more fairly against the bigger parties, the Electoral Commission sets ‘strict’ spending limits on how much each candidate can spend on his/her election campaign; typically around £15,000 ($20,000). Exceeding your spending limit is a criminal offence, and the Electoral Commission (who are a stickler for detail) scrutinise all spending after the elections, and will prosecute if there are any spending breaches.
Local Government Elections, Mayoral Elections and European Elections in the UK are done under the Proportional Representation system, which gives Independent Candidates and Smaller Political Parties a better chance of winning. Unfortunately, we are still stuck with the 1st past the post system in General Election; but only because in the 2011 Referendum the people voted decisively against Proportional Representation for General Elections (67.9% NO, and 32.1% Yes).
Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop Independent MPs and Small Political Parties from winning seats in the General Election e.g. The Election Results for the Leader of the ‘Green Party’ in the 2017 General Election:- https://youtu.be/F-b8BzBQvTs
Albeit we do also have some weird political parties; the strangest of all being the ‘Official Monster Raving Loony Party’, founded in 1983 by ‘Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow’; set up as a protest vote party during the Thatcher years. Then the formation of the ‘Raving Loony Green Giant Party’ in 1989 following a ‘spat’ between members the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, which led to some members splitting off and forming a 2nd ‘Loony Party’.
Both these Political Parties then stood against each other in Local Government Elections with both wining a handful of seats in each local government election, until Stuart Hughes (the leader of the Raving Loony Green Giant Party) won his seat on the Devon County Council in 1993, after that the other members of his party defected back to the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and Stuart Hughes himself defected to the Conservative Party in 1997.
The ‘Official Monster Raving Loony Party’ has never won any seats in General Elections, but currently they do have 6 elected Parish Councillors (Local Government), which is only a small percentage of the 20,649 local elected councillors (Local Governments) in the UK; but it does liven up politics on election night e.g. the 12 Candidates standing against Theresa May in the 2017 General Election: https://youtu.be/Fl2YniMKpas
OK, you win, you guys beat the hell out of us with strange party names, lol.
Personally, I like a two or three party system other than the fractiousness I see on your side of the Atlantic, and elsewhere where they have a parliamentary system.
In America, if you look below the federal level, you will find an amazing number of parties. And back before money became such a big deal in American politics, they bubbled their way up to the federal level. Besides money, the other thing that drives a two-party system in America is our size and structure of individual states.
To win at the federal level, one must be incredibly organized and well funded. No third party in the modern age has that ability. When they get too popular, they generally get absorbed into one of the two main parties.
There is currently a move afoot in America to form the Centrist Party. Their goal is to build an organization that is well funded enough to help Centrist candidates (mainly Senate) compete against the big boys; the idea is to get enough Centrists elected in the Senate so that they may, as a group, become swing votes that the two major parties will have to placate to get their way. I support this idea.
But Money is the big thing. I wish America had the laws you do regarding campaign financing. But, we can't because that violates our 1st Amendment (which was put in place in reaction to how the British treated us way back when).
The Citizen's United Supreme Court decision was one of the worst ever handed down by that body.
Thanks Arthur. For the sake of your country I can only hope your explanation is overly pessimistic.
Thanks GA; my explanation maybe a little overly pessimistic, but it largely depends on what happens over the next six months, and beyond; the current deadline for Britain to make a decision on Brexit being Halloween!!!
In giving this reply I do also have the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland at the back of my mind. Since the signing of the Peace Treaty in 1998 we may have had peace in Northern Ireland; but it’s been an uneasy (fragile) peace over the past 20 years. There is still a lot of hostility between the two sides (Nationalists and Unionists), the walls in Belfast separating the two communities are still in place, and there is still periodic outbursts of violence on the streets; which doesn’t get reported in ‘The Press’ because it is currently being contained by the police, and it’s become part of normal life in Northern Ireland so it’s not ‘news worthy’.
2011 Riots in Belfast, Northern Ireland: https://youtu.be/NmRuuAEtW2c
Yep, ‘My Esoteric’ sums it up rather well when he says “I think the point of the remainers is this so-called "sovereignty" issue is fabricated by the far-right; like in America, it was never a real issue and it still isn't real.”
The only way Britain can have more Sovereignty than it currently enjoys is a ‘Hard Brexit’ (A No Deal Brexit), which is what the Brexiteers (ERG Group) want; but at what cost!
Whereas a ‘Soft Brexit’, such as a Customs Union as wanted by the Labour Party would mean we have less ‘sovereignty’ than we now enjoy because it would mean we become a ‘law taker, rather than a law maker’ e.g. currently as a full EU member we have a voice in making EU Laws, whereas if we left the EU but stayed within a Customs Union we would still be subject to EU laws (for regularity alignment), but would no longer have a say in the making of those EU Laws.
But as ‘My Esoteric’ surmised, to a Remainer, sovereignty isn’t an issue; we view the EU very much like another version of the USA e.g. the EU Council of Ministers and the EU Parliament as being the Federal Government, and the 28 Member States (countries) as being ‘Federal States’.
You might consider it in a similar light to the historic struggles in the USA between Federalists and Unionists.
The Different Types of EU Laws: https://youtu.be/CZAC_uEJWfY
Coming from a UK citizen, it was good to see your "sovereignty" comparison to the US states Authur. It is a comparison that has been nagging me because I see it the same way, but struggle with a primary difference between the sovereignty of a nation, and that of a state.
I still have to give that some more thought because even with the similarities in the formation of the EU and the US, my gut still insists the issue of sovereignty is different. In some way, I think one difference might be how the distance from the governing power to the governed might be perceived by the governed. And the distance I am talking about isn't a physical geographical one.
I think that the grumbling of a southern state's voters over the actions of a northern state's voters will be felt differently than the grumbling of one nation's voters over the actions of another nation's voters.
Thanks' My Esoteric' for your detailed reply on party politics in the USA e.g. the ‘two party system’ in the USA, and the move to try to create a third (centralist) party. I appreciate that parliamentary systems (with multi-parties) in Europe can be fractiousness, but to me that is a sign of healthy democracy e.g. allows all views to be heard.
Although (being a Socialist) I would prefer Labour to win enough seats to have a comfortable overall majority in Parliament, so as to push through Socialist Policies, I am also in favour of centralist parties holding the balance of power so as to temper extremism in the larger parties e.g. the Liberals pact with the Labour minority Government in the late 1970s, and the Liberal Democrats coalition with the Conservatives from 2010 to 2015; albeit Liberal voters punished the Liberal Party in the 2015 General Election for working with the Conservatives.
Also, in Local Governments in the UK (where we have Proportional Representation), the smaller parties do much better, so it’s common for cross-party co-operation to get things done, giving smaller parties much more power in influencing local policies; which to me is far more democratic.
In Bristol (my Local Government) Labour currently has an overall majority; but in the previous Administration, although Labour had most seats, with the Conservatives in 2nd place and the Green Party coming 3rd, just ahead of the Liberal Democrats, Labour at that time didn’t have overall majority, so they chose to work with the Green Party to run Bristol, as both have very similar political ideology.
In the EU Parliament, political parties are aligned into ‘Political Groups’. An EU Parliamentary Political Group must have at least 25 MEPs, coming from at least 25% of EU Member States.
For example currently, the various UK political parties belong to the various EU Political Groups in the European Parliament as follows: Sorted by most left wing at the top and most right wing at the bottom:
• Sinn Fein: Independent (extreme left wing politics)
• Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru (Welsh Nationalist), Mebyon Kernow (Cornwall Nationalists): All belong to the EFA (European Free Alliance) (hard left wing political party)
• The Green Party belongs to the EGP (European Green Party) (left wing political party)
• Labour belongs to the PES (Party of European Socialists) (left wing political party)
• Liberal Democrats belong to the ADLE (Alliance for Liberal and Democrats for Europe Party) (centralist party)
• Conservatives belong to the ACER (Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe) (right wing political party)
• UKIP belongs to ADDE (Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe) (hard right wing political party)
• DUP: Independent (extreme right wing politics)
In summary, this is how ‘Political Groups’ are aligned in the EU Parliament: https://youtu.be/NlBrVLVJo8o
I’d be interested in your thoughts ‘GA’ about a ‘United States of Europe’ once you’ve had time to mull over it; it was a question raised over 70 years ago, in the aftermath of the 2nd world war, and a concept that has inspired Europeans ever since.
On the 19th September 1946, Sir Winston Churchill delivered his famous speech in Zurich calling for the creation of “a United States of Europe”; as a way forward to help bind Europe together in an attempt to stop Europe from fighting with itself, as it has done continuously for thousands of years. It was his speech that inspired a European movement that led to the foundation of the Common Market on 25th March 1957; and ultimately to today's European Union.
Ironically it was Margaret Thatcher (Conservative Prime Minister of the UK in the 1980s) who was instrumental in transforming the EU (European Union) from an ‘Economic Trading Block’ into what effectively became a single country (nation) with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty by ALL Member State Countries (Governments) on the 7th February 1992.
I say ‘ironically’ because being a being a shrewd Conservative Economic Politician, Margaret Thatcher was instrumental during the drafting of the ‘Maastricht Treaty’ in proposing and pushing for it to include ‘Internal’ borders within the EEC (European Economic Community) being abolished and to allow for the free movement of ‘People’, ‘Goods’ and ‘Services’ within Europe.
However, as the ‘Maastricht Treaty’ is a ‘Constitutional Change’ it required ‘ALL’ Member State Governments to vote in favour of it for it to become LAW. And typically, Britain was the one Member State where such a change was most ‘controversial’; due to bitter objections from ‘Nationalists’ on the far right in the Conservative Government. So Margaret Thatcher had a bitter fight in pushing the ‘Agreement’ for the ‘Maastricht Treaty’ through the British Parliament, and in doing so she split the Conservative Party, with internal fighting within the party ever since, which eventually led to the Brexit Referendum in 2016.
Nevertheless the ‘Maastricht Treaty’ transformed an ‘Economic Area’ into a ‘Union’ and led to the formation of the Schengen Area, and the ‘Three Pillars’ of the European Union e.g. Free Movement of people, goods and services; the very three pillars that the Conservative Brexiteers hate.
You raise a valid point in your last paragraph, and the question should be “when does a ‘Kingdom’ cease to be a separate ‘country’ and become a ‘Member State’ within a larger country (nation).”
In the 8th century England was divided into 7 separate Kingdoms, each with its own King; until the Danish Vikings invaded and occupied Northern England (which became known as Danelaw). Following the Danish Viking occupation of Northern England, the Saxon Kingdoms in the south united under one King who eventually signed a ‘Peace Treaty’ with the Danes in northern England; which lasted until the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
Today, most people think of Britain as one country (nation), but it’s not; it made up of four (potentially five) separate nations (countries); the Anglo-Saxons in England and the Celtic nations in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Cornwall. Under EU Law, Cornwall was granted ‘national minority status’ in 2014; thus putting them on the same legal status as the other Celtic Nations in the ‘United Kingdom’ of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained: https://youtu.be/rNu8XDBSn10
Cornwall Granted National Minority Status in 2014 by the British Government: https://youtu.be/vmzA8v3H5nw
And Cornwall’s Fight for Independence from England: https://youtu.be/Cmtqn8wANLY
Ironically, many UK citizens (most predominately the Celtic, but some English as well) prefer the EU to England; even all the Celtic National Anthems in the UK are anti-English; and the derogatory word for the English, in common use by the Cornish is Emmet (Olde English for Ant).
Nathanville, it feels like your "history" explanation and your links might be all the "mulling" I need to do. After reading your comment and following your links, I am feeling more confident with my gut feeling that to a citizen, national sovereignty is a much stronger emotion than state sovereignty. Which may explain why "sovereignty" seems to be the crux of the Brexit argument.
For instance, your early history sounds like the UK wasn't exactly formed by voluntary consensus. Your 20th century, (and perhaps 21st?), history of "The Troubles" seems to confirm all parties to the UK don't exactly see it as a match made in heaven.
Your continued explanation of Thatcher's forced political decisions that led to the EU's creation seems to further confirm my thoughts. Apparently, from 1066 forward, your UK members may have been forced into one union, and then that union was forced into another, (the EU). I can easily see why such circumstances would leave each country's citizens holding on to the sanctity of their national identity, which would include a sense of national sovereignty.
This is not the history of the formation of our states' voluntary formation of our Republic, The United States of America.
I am a great admirer of Churchill's wartime service to his nation. I might even call him England's Lincoln - the right leader for the times. However, I don't think his pre-wartime public service was so stellar or suited to the times. But even though I have read many books about the man and his times, (including his own works), I am certainly not qualified to make that an expert's proclamation. It is just my perception.
So perhaps that perception may also apply to his postwar service because I don't think he was correct in calling for a United States of Europe, or in pursuing such a new union under that conception. I no longer have that nagging suspicion about the comparison of the United States to the united Union of the EU.
Our "united" has a capital "U" that formed a Republic, your capital "U" is in Union, not united. Our states kept their sense of origin identity, (sovereignty?), in their citizens and those citizens willfully adopted a new national identity, (sovereignty), of our new Republic.
Your history, both ancient, (1066), and modern, (1957 & 1993), seems to paint a much different picture of your union(s) formation, and, those nations, (no longer a comparison to states), don't seem to have wilfully adopted their new union's identity and sovereignty, it looks more likely that they pragmatically accepted it. (yes, I am aware that logic could be turned around on me, but I think it describes the EU formation more than our Republic's formation)
This was a great bonus for me. Not only did I learn something new, (your historical and political trail), but I also resolved an undercurrent of indecision concerning the US/EU comparison.
Martinis all around. My treat. ;-)
My Esoteric, most definitely a ‘Democratic Socialist’; ‘Socialist Socialists (Communism) is as much despised and feared in Europe/Britain as it is in the USA.
The Labour Party, as a Democratic Socialist Party firmly believes in Nationalisation (State Ownership) of National Utilities, such as ‘Railways’, Electricity and Water etc., but unlike communism the Labour Party understands the importance of Commerce and Industry being kept in the private sector (capitalism).
And Nationalisation is a ‘vote winner’ in Britain e.g. in recent opinion polls 60% of voters are in favour of nationalising the railways and only 20% oppose it. While 9% are neutral on the idea, with 11% who said they ‘don’t know’.
Interesting data, Arthur. Try that in America and you would be shot, lol.
While life was simple when telecommunications, airlines, and healthcare were deregulated in America, it was, in the first two cases, much more expensive and reliable. Since deregulation, many millionaires were made, service got poorer, prices got cheaper (except for healthcare), more options became available and life became more complicated.
On the health care side, I could be wrong, but I don't remember getting insured was a major problem for people. I became a huge problem once the profit motive was introduced.
Thanks for your feedback GA; I can see where you are coming from, and it’s the kind of attitude most strongly felt by Brexiteers supporters. But there is one crucial point about ‘Nationality’ and ‘Sovereignty’ which you have missed in respect to the Celtic Nations of Scotland and Northern Ireland e.g. the peoples of both Nations voted by almost two-thirds in favour of Remaining within the EU.
In simple terms the Celtic Nations of Scotland and Northern Ireland do NOT feel British, but they do feel European.
I’ll focus on Scotland because it’s simpler. Put simply, Scotland does NOT want to be ruled by England, but DO want to be ruled by the EU. If Britain leaves the EU then Scotland will almost certainly press for Independence from England, with the intention to then apply to the EU for membership; swap one ‘sovereignty’ for another.
But it’s not just the Celtic Nations, since the Brexit Referendum over 1 million English citizens (my wife and son included) have claimed dual nationality with the Republic of Ireland as a way to retain EU citizenship post Brexit. One of the conditions in the Northern Ireland Peace Treaty of 1998 was children and grandchildren of anyone born in Northern Ireland have an automatic right to claim dual citizenship with the Republic of Ireland; and my wife’s father was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
It’s not a question of ‘sovereignty’; other than with Brexiteer supporters (who are only a small percentage of Leavers) most British citizens couldn’t ‘care two hoots’ who makes the laws, as long as they can get on with their daily lives. In the Referendum, different people voted to leave for different reason; the question of ‘Nationalism’ and ‘Sovereignty’ being just two of many.
As regards the Question of Nationality, there are millions of English people who feel European 1st and British 2nd; I and my family and my current circle of friends included. The fact that one million people marched in London last month in favour of a 2nd Referendum; and over six million people signed a petition last month requesting the Government to Revoke Article 50 shows the strength of feeling in Britain in favour of retaining EU ‘Nationality’ and EU ‘Sovereignty’.
EU Nationality is something people feel passionate about; we’ve lost two friends over Brexit, and across England families have been divided over Brexit; predominantly young against old e.g. 75% of grandparents voted Leave and 75% of grandchildren voted Remain.
These songs below by Madeleina Kay convey the ‘European Nationalism’ felt by tens of millions of British people:-
We Are Europe (Music Video) - Madeleina Kay: https://youtu.be/ovcAKCIvOtc
The Brexit Dividend Song - Madeleina Kay: https://youtu.be/M6jPVSFRbv8
For my part I am Bristolian 1st, European 2nd, and British 3rd; and my sentiment is common among many ‘Remainers’; just under two-thirds of Bristolians voted to Remain within the EU.
Another factor to remember is that the EU is in its infancy as a ‘Nation’ (just 27 years old), compared to the USA, which also had a bumpy start e.g. the American Civil War of 1861 to 1865.
One point I forgot to mention GA; nations (countries) are not forced to join the EU, membership is voluntary, and is always subject to a Referendum (the ‘will’ of the people). When we joined (45 years ago) in our Referendum to join the citizens of Britain voted in favour of joining by 67% to 33%.
It appears that I was sloppy in my choice of words, and the implications that those words apparently conveyed. I should have just spoken of leavers instead of using Brexit or Brexiters. My intention was only to refer to stay or go, not to align with different stay or go groups.
My comment was relative to a difference in perception of sovereignty between a national union sense and a state or a single country.sense, (comparable to a US state).
I must still be missing the point because your "Celtic" illustration only seems to confirm that thought; just using the union of the Uk instead of the EU as the example.
Who is the "we" that joined 45 years ago? Joined what? Is it a "we" that no longer wants to be a joiner?
Thanks for your feedback ‘My Esoteric’.
Yep, I guessed attitudes on the issue of Nationalisation’ in America is radically different to British attitudes.
I’ll start with the NHS (National Health Service) first, because that is the pride and place of the British People; in recent opinion polls 82% of the British Public support the NHS, with only 13% who want to see it privatised.
As you probably know, the NHS was created by the Labour Government in 1948, with its prime principle being “Free for All, At the Point of Use”.
The Conservative Party hate the NHS because it flies in the face of their political ideology, and Margaret Thatcher even tried to abolish it in the 1980s in favour of a private health service similar to America; but the NHS is so popular with voters (even two-thirds of Conservative voters love the NHS) that abolishing it would be political suicide, so Margaret Thatcher met a lot of resistance from her own Conservative MPs in Parliament, and nothing was ever done.
The National Health Service (The closest thing the British have to a religion): https://youtu.be/bDdZCv5v2Rg
The NHS has been described as “The closest thing the British have to a religion”; the reason for the statement being that (currently) 63% of British People are NOT Religious. In 1950 80% of the population was religious, but that figure has steadily declined over the years, with it reaching the 50/50 mark in about 2015.
As regards the other ‘Public Utilities’ that Margaret Thatcher did manage to privatise: Before privatisation they were all cheaper and provided a much better service e.g. the principle of ‘People before Profit’.
Since privatisation (even though there is free market competition) all these ‘Services’ have become more expensive and the services has got poorer simply because the private companies put ‘profit before people’ e.g. paying out huge dividends to shareholders rather than re-investing in the service; hence, why the Labour Policy for re-nationalisation of these ‘Services’ is a vote winner.
It's also why a couple of years ago I switched to Bristol Energy for my electricity and gas supply. Bristol Energy is a ‘none profit making’ co-operative set up by Bristol City Council (Local Government); Bristol City Council being controlled by Labour. In setting-up Bristol Energy, Bristol City Council appointed one of its Government Employees as a Board Member, and one of the Admin Secretaries in Bristol Energy is also a Local Government employee.
In switching to Bristol Energy, my fuel bills have fallen by almost 30% simply because profits are not being syphoned off to Company Directors and Shareholders.
Bristol Energy - How to stand up to the Big Six Private Energy Companies: https://youtu.be/uoxY5jut28A
GA, while in the garden this afternoon one thought struck me about your question of ‘nationality’:-
All the separate countries of Europe (nations) are of ‘ONE’ RACE; Europeans e.g. we share the same history and culture.
Over 2,000 years ago, prior to the Roman (Italy) invasion and occupation of Europe, the Celts occupied most of Europe. Today only six Celtic Nations survive, five of which are in the UK.
For the past 2,000 years (until the end of the 2nd world war) Europeans have consistently fought each other as we’ve invaded and occupied each other’s territories over and over again; historically the most violent place on earth.
In doing my own family history (Genealogy):- My maternal ancestors settled in Gloucestershire, Southwest England, following the Norman Invasion of 1066. While my paternal ancestors settled in Somerset, Southwest England, following the Norman Invasion of 1066.
When I got my Ancestry DNA results, in spite of my ancestors having lived in England for a 1,000 years, it turned out that I am:-
• 58% Western European
• 18% Celtic
• 9% Portugal and Spain, and
• Just 6% British
On my wife’s side, her maternal ancestors settled in South East England in the 8th century and her paternal ancestors come from Northern Ireland, for as far back as we can trace.
When we got her Ancestry DNA result, in spite of her being half English and half Irish, it turns out that she is genetically:-
• 40% Celtic
• 37% Western European
• 10% Scandinavian, and
• Only 7% British
So Europeans do have a lot in common, which transcends the old artificial ‘national’ (country) borders which frequently change throughout history anyway.
Also, because of the ‘Schengen Area’ (26 European countries where there have been no ‘National Borders’ between Member States for the past 30 years) national identity in those countries have become more blurred.
If (in the light of Brexit) you thought the Irish Border was complex enough, then that’s nothing compared to the borders between Belgium and the Netherlands:-
• The Town In Two Countries: https://youtu.be/pP4OL2i6t-Q
If you wish to compare the concept of a United States of Europe in relation to the United States of America; then using Britain as a baseline isn’t a good example because the British tend to be obstinate and arrogant by nature e.g. the remnants of the British Empire, when Britain once occupied and ruled 25% of the world.
In my view Britain needs to be taken down a peg or two e.g. a hard Brexit would certainly serve to make that half of the British population, who still reminisce in the old bygone days of the British Empire, to become more ‘humble’.
Your closing paragraphs finally bring us into focus Arthur.
You are right I have been focusing on Britain rather than the UK. For the misunderstanding that has caused I plead the ignorance of a Yank relative to your perspective of the UK being much more than just Britain, and my laziness in using general terms when specifics were important.
However, I do think the "stay or leave" groups I have been basing my thoughts on are the Brits, not all countries of the UK. Even though, as you say, that is not a good baseline to make the United States of Europe vs. United States of America comparison, I think my reasoning does have validity in the context I have basing it on.
Although I am not in great disagreement with some of your closing paragraph, the implication of your out with the old, in with the new sentiment regarding "half of the British population" is showing the ideological base of your own reasoning.
Perhaps that is why our view on the importance, (or even existence), of national identity and sovereignty, differ.
Thanks for your thoughtful responses GA.
To answer your question: “ Who is the "we" that joined 45 years ago? Joined what? Is it a "we" that no longer wants to be a joiner?”
The ‘we’ is the UK. The UK joined the EU 45 years ago; and as is conventional, whenever any country joins the EU it’s the ‘will of the people’ e.g. a Referendum. The Referendum in the UK, when we (the UK) joined the EU 45 years ago was 67% in favour of being in the EU and 33% against.
Yes you are right; the ‘Leavers’ do not have a sense of ‘loyalty’ to the EU; whereas ‘Remainers’ DO.
Also, to complicate matters the Celtic Nations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Cornwall do not have a sense of ‘loyalty’ to England; although to be different, Wales does!
And, while the Celtic Nations of Scotland and Northern Ireland have a sense of loyalty to the EU, Wales isn’t so bothered; and Cornwall doesn’t.
It’s when you analyse the Referendum results that the splits become interesting:-
• In England, the urban areas (the cities and large towns); which are the areas where the citizens have a lot of contact with the EU; is the areas where the citizens voted overwhelmingly in favour of Remaining in the EU.
• In contrast, the rural areas (the small towns and villages); which are the areas where the citizens have little contact with the EU; is the areas where the citizens voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU.
• Also (across the whole of England), over 75% of the elderly voted to Leave the EU; while over 75% of the young voted to remain within the EU.
In answer to your last points on our different perspectives because we come from two different cultures (American vs British); I have the same difficulty of communication with another American (a New Yorker) who I frequently correspond with.
I don’t know if it helps in this discussion, but one aspect of Europeanism in respect to Brexit, which my New Yorker correspondent has failed to appreciate, relates to the rich diversity of culture across Britain and Europe.
I shall try to cover the salient points as briefly as I can here:-
• On the one hand, the New Yorker believes that the EU is making Europe homogeneous, and in doing so is eroding national cultures (national identity); which is untrue.
• While, on the other hand he argues that national cultures (identity) causes divisions within EU; which is also untrue.
Europe is rich in cultural diversity, and from a European perspective it’s that diversity that we share, which helps to unite us as a nation (a people) e.g. Europeanism.
In this respect Britain (and the UK) is a microcosm of Europe:-
One thing I often see on YouTube of Americans who have visited Britain is their comment on how different the people in Northern England are to the people in Southern England, and that you only have to travel as little as 10 miles (to a neighbouring town) and the locals speak a different accent or dialect; which Americans seem to find quite amusing.
In fact there are over 30 different accents and dialects across the whole of England (three in London alone), and over 60 in the whole of the UK. Living in Bristol, I speak the Bristolian dialect with a Bristolian accent.
Also, although England has exported English to 20% of the world, in the UK English is just 1 of 8 spoken languages; the other languages spoken in the UK are:-
• In Scotland: - Scottish-Gaelic (Gaidhlig), and Scots (Scots Leid).
• In Northern Ireland: - Irish (Gaelige), and Ulster-Scots (Ulster-Scotch).
• In Wales: - Welsh (Cymraeg); which is the Official (Primary) Language of Wales
• In Cornwall: - Cornish (Kernowek).
• In Isle of Man: - Manx (Gaelg); which is their Official Language.
Each corner of England, Britain, and the UK have their own language, customs, foods and drinks etc., all of which makes that part of the UK special, different, and unique.
Everyone is proud of their local culture, and also take delight in travelling to other parts of England/Britain/UK/Europe to sample the local customs of the other places within our nation. On a grander scale, Brits enjoy sampling the diversity of the different cultures throughout the rest of Europe, just as much as other Europeans enjoy touring Britain; it makes us all feel European (I’m not sure whether that makes sense to an American?).
For example, in England alone: Cornwall has its Cornish Pasties and Cream Teas, Devon has its Cider, Cheddar has its cheese, northern England has its ‘blood pudding’ (which most southerners hate), and Scotland has its ‘haggis’, which most English people hate, etc. etc. etc.
One of the many difference between the Scottish and English is that the Scottish make their porridge with water and salt, while we English make our porridge with milk and sugar. And Scotland has a completely different celebration for the ‘New Year’ to the English.
Earlier, I mentioned that a lot of American tourist pick up on the fact the people in northern England are different to the people in southern England. Those differences include: Southerners (people of south England) are quiet, reserved and two-faced; while Northerners (people of North England) are open, friendly, and don’t say anything behind your back that they wouldn’t say to your face. And a Scotsman is blunt e.g. they’ll say exactly what they think; so you know exactly where you stand with a Scotsman.
I don’t know whether I’ve confused the issue, or given some clarification?
Cultural Diversity EU (an insight into the mind-set of a European): https://youtu.be/jqGfzCb2keo
It sounds like your NYer friend might be a nativist. In America, a "nativist" not only reject people outside the borders of the U.S. they also reject diversity within our borders - meaning American nativists are, as a rule, white protestants.
I am told, by a single source, my direct ancestor who started my strand of Belfords arrived in Charleston, SC, came from Wales. I have not been able to confirm that, however.
It’s the first time I’ve heard ‘nativist’ ‘My Esoteric’ (so I’ve learnt something new).
Is nativist commonly supported in the USA?
I don’t know whether my New Yorker ‘friend’ considers himself to be a ‘nativist’; but certainly he is a “Middle Class, White, Christian” American who supports nationalism, and Trump, and is anti-immigration, anti-EU and anti-Muslim.
So we have very little in common with each other e.g. virtually all of our political and social views are polarised; the only real common thread we have with each other is our mutual interest in genealogy.
No, nativism (hard core Brexit supporters are a British example) is not common in the US; it probably consumes 20 to 25% if American voters (the rabid Trump supporters). It has its up and downs in American politics. It first raised its ugly head in the 1790s in reaction to the bloody part of the French Revolution. Then again from 1820 - 1850, 1870 - 1880, 1890 - 1920, and now since 2014 with the rise of the Tea Party movement and the Trump crisis.
Yep ‘My Esoteric’, the forthcoming EU Parliamentary elections should be of interest; I’m certainly looking forward to it.
The ‘Remain’ (pro EU) Parties (including Labour) are looking forward to it because it will give them a chance to debate Brexit outside of Parliament. The Conservatives are dreading it because they know they’ll be punished by their own voters, and the Brexit Parties are angry because they don’t believe the UK should be participating in the EU elections.
Yes, I saw the ‘opinion polls’ today; and at first glance, especially if you take the ‘headlines’ in the newspapers at ‘face value’ the impression is that “Leavers dominate the delegation that will vote.
However, when you add up the support the Pro-Brexit parties have in the opinion polls, and compare it with the support the pro-EU parties have, then it’s more of an equal split:-
Pro Brexit Parties (% of support in the opinion polls):-
• The Brexit Party = 27%
• Conservatives = 15%
• UKIP = 7%
TOTAL = 49%
Pro EU Parties (% of support in the opinion polls):-
• Labour = 22%
• Green Party = 10%
• Liberal Democrats = 9%
• Change UK – The Independent Group = 6%
TOTAL = 47%
However, the EU Elections are not for another six weeks, and opinion polls are only snap shots of opinion “as at”; and in the UK public opinions can (and usually do) change dramatically in the last six weeks of any election. So no one can accurately predict the final results on voting day at this early stage; just speculate.
Classical (recent) examples of how opinions can shift dramatically during an election campaign being the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, the Brexit Referendum in 2016, and the General Election in 2017.
In 2014, at the start of the campaign about two thirds of Scots were in favour of Independence; one of the key issues being the British Prime Minster (David Cameron) floating the idea of a Brexit Referendum. During the six weeks campaign both the English Labour Party and Conservative Party campaigned vigorously for Scotland to stay in the UK, and David Cameron personally guaranteed that if the Scots voted to remain in the UK that their membership to the EU would be secure (A promise he was unable to keep).
The final result of that Referendum was 55% to Remain in the UK, and 45% to Leave.
In 2016, David Cameron called the Referendum because at the time about two thirds of Brits were in favour of Remaining in the EU, so he was over confident in winning, and he wanted to quell the Brexiteers (once and for all) as they had split the Conservative Party since 1992.
However, over the six weeks of campaigning both the Brexiteers and UKIP used propaganda effectively to sway a large section of the population to support Brexit, so we ended up with the split vote.
In April 2017 the opinion polls showed that the Conservatives had a 20% lead over Labour, so Theresa May called a ‘Snap’ General Election to increase her slender majority of just 0.8% in Parliament to a large working majority, specifically so that she could push Brexit through Parliament with little resistance. But over the six weeks of campaigning Labour ran a slick Election campaign which was popular with the voters, so it wiped out Theresa May’s slim majority; leaving her with the unworkable minority Government that we have today.
So we’ll have to see whether and how public opinion shifts over the next six weeks; but if MEPs were to be elected on the basis of the current ‘opinion polls’; then because we use Proportional Representation for EU Elections the number of UK seats allocated to the EU Parliament would be something like this:-
• Brexit Party MEPs (Pro Brexit) = 20 seats
• Labour MEPs (Pro EU) = 16 seats
• Conservatives (Pro Brexit) = 11 seats
• Green Party (Pro EU) = 7 Seats
• Liberal Democrats (Pro EU) = 7 seats
• UKIP (Pro Brexit) = 5 Seats
• Change UK – The Independent Group (Pro EU) = 4 seats
The UK is allocated 73 seats out of the 751 MEPs who sit in the European Parliament.
Falsely labeling a policy as socialism does not make it true. Unfortunately, quite a few people swallow the propaganda leveled at policies like Medicare, Social Security, and proposed increases in taxes for the wealthy.
Hard to see medicare or social security as socialist, except in that they are required of every worker. They are, after all, bought and paid for by the one benefitting.
But taking from the rich simply to give it to someone else - plain old wealth redistribution - yes, that is modern socialism. Almost by definition, it is socialism.
Again, saying it doesn't make it true.
Apparently, ol' Mitch disagrees with you about Medicare, though. He's peddling the propaganda like a good soldier.
I haven't paid attention, but are you sure he isn't griping about medicaid? They are two, very different, programs.
I'll also not that I'm seeing more and more Democrats claiming that both medicare and social security are entitlement programs, no different than section 8 housing or food stamps. Obviously not true, but it's being done in an effort to justify the massive entitlement programs forever pushed (and expanded) by the Democratic party.
*edit* Just saw your other thread on Mitch and medicare - I believe that you are trying to equate "free" health care for the population of America to medicare. Granted that that is how it was proposed, with very sloppy language, but the medicare we have now is NOT the same as health care paid for 100% by government for everyone.
My point is that McConnell specifically said it should be Medicare for none. Do you think he was confused?
I have to think he is just being sloppy in his language. I highly doubt that any politician thinks they could get away with taking paid for health care from millions of seniors without a massive backlash.
I think he meant that he will not allow that "free" health care for all - not that he will end the existing medicare program.
Wilderness, all who are advocating health care for all keep calling it MEDICARE, not medicaid. This includes Mitch and everybody else who are trying to do away with the real medicare.
And you are correct that medicare for the seniors is not the same as free health care for all. We seniors have paid into that fund all our working lives. It is not free to us, we still have to pay a fee out of our social security for it plus buy supplemental health and drug policies to supplement it. I say to them LEAVE OUR MEDICARE ALONE! But on SS, we still couldn't afford to pay the same prices that our younger family members have to pay for their health insurance. I told you that I am a middle-of-the-roader not a flaming liberal. To me there is such a thing as paying ones dues to society. I will go ballistically conservative on this one.
Yeah, all conservative!
President Trump released his budget proposal. According to the White House’s own assumptions, Trump’s budget would increase the deficit to over $1 trillion in the next two federal fiscal years. At the same time, the budget outlines a plan to cut roughly $1 trillion over the next decade from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The Trump budget estimates an $845 billion reduction in Medicare spending over the next 10 years. While some of those savings will be derived from plans like targeting fraud and waste, roughly 85 percent will come from cuts to health care providers.
Why is this important? Because if hospitals and doctors are not getting paid enough they will likely not serve as many Medicare beneficiaries, in turn reducing access to health care services.
First, it isn't nearly as bad as we're being told by liberal flaks. Second, few of those cuts will affect seniors at all; some 85% of the actual cuts (50B per year) do not change anything for the insured.
https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/m … s-directly
I know they are. I mentioned somewhere that it is a transparent effort to equate the medicare that you, I and millions of others prepaid so we would have health care in our later years to free medicare paid for by taxes.
As you say, medicare is not that at all; it is a program already paid for (although congress has seen fit to rob the funds for their pork barrel projects) and has nothing to do with the general tax base. And just like you, I and millions of others will go ballistic if they try to take that (as they have our SS retirement savings) for their own use. We have paid our dues to society - leave our savings alone!
Damn MizBeJabbers, you are a Purple! I have really enjoyed your forum participation this last week or so. I particularly liked your real-life comments relative to some issue, (can't remember the thread, might have been about reparations), concerning the South.
Yes, very interesting, Nathan. But in the U.S. we've had a Socialist Party and a Communist Party, neither of which did fly for long. Now we have the Socialists attempting to take over the Democrat Party. It will be interesting to see how that fares, and what will happen to the true Democrats if they succeed.
There is more to the parties that meet the eye, however. Bill Clinton was called a conservative Democrat or more popular, a middle of the roader. I myself claim to be a Bill Clinton Democrat, not a Hillary Clinton Democrat, which is much more liberal but doesn't reach Bernie's socialism. There is a difference. Then there are Bernie Sanders Democrats and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Democrats who represent the young socialist Democrats. Don't know what difference is between her and Bernie exceptin' their ages. They both seem to want to give the country to the young before they've paid their dues as an adult.
I've seen Republicans described as conservative Republicans and even heard that there are liberal Republicans, but I can't testify to that. The Libertarians seem to be a compromise between social liberals and fiscal conservatives, and the party claims to be built around personal freedoms. They don't seem to understand that it takes money to fix a road or maintain a school, and that money comes from taxes. Their candidates seem to be very naive once they get past their own local area. Their knowledge of geography is atrocious as is their knowledge of what it takes to run a government.
These are just the perspectives of an old Ozark girl. Maybe some of the lawyers and politicians on HP will explain it to you in technical terms.
Yep, I agree MizBejabbers, “there is more to the parties than meet the eye”; it’s the same thing in the UK.
In Britain, the Conservative Party is a very ‘broad church’, although currently it is fracturing and in danger of splintering into two parties; with some Conservative MPs defecting to other parties, or going Independent, as has already happened in the past few weeks e.g. three Conservative MPs joining the new ‘Independent Party’ and a fourth going Independent.
The moment a Conservative MP resigns from his Party to become an ‘Independent’ MP: https://youtu.be/aM2XWT8NaFg
The political spectrum within the Conservative Party in the UK is from extreme hard right-wing ‘Nationalists’, aka Brexiteers (members of the ERG group, a political party within a political party) to Conservative MPs on the left of the Party (soft left) who’s political philosophy is very akin to Liberalism.
Likewise, the Labour Party is a very ‘broad church’ with MPs on the far left e.g. Jeremy Corbyn who in the eyes of many Conservatives are Marxists) to Labour MPs on the right of the party who’s political philosophy is very akin to Liberalism.
It’s only the smaller political parties within Britain where political ideology within the parties is very narrow; these parties are:
• Right Wing: DUP
• Centralist Politics: Liberal Democrats and the New Independent Group
• Left Wing: SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party, and Sinn Fein (although Sinn Fein refuse to sit in the British Parliament on principle).
The New Independent Group of MPs Explained: https://youtu.be/R3VXLo9NZiI?t=37
Arthur (aka nathanville)
This is about right, and it is a real problem in the US that there are only two political parties (there are more) powerful enough to elect our president. For instance, neither Trump nor Bernie Sanders were Republican or Democrat, respectively - but they hijacked those political parties (well, Bernie almost did) by running their extreme ideals under one of the main 'more generalized' parties.
I'm not sure how/why anyone can run under the big parties. I would have thought they each would have had 'requirements' surrounding running under their organizations, but apparently not many if any. Bernie was originally of the Independent Party; and I'm pretty sure Trump used to be a Democrat. (Don't bash me if I got that wrong - I have no desire to go look him up to be sure, ha!)
It was the same thing with Obama in 2008, except he was an actual Democrat instead of from outside of the party: the old-time Dems were dang MAD at him for awhile for pushing Hillary out WAY back then. He ran on a platform of 'change' - and 'we the people' were CRAVING that.
Not that much 'change' actually happened. But, it was a start... its why we have Trump now. Oh yeah, LOTS of Obama voters voted for Trump - especially 'white males', according to stats. There are not enough Conservatives to win an election in this country by themselves, anymore.
Of course, within the parties you can be a Liberal or 'Socialist' Democrat (a term which has really become big since Bernie turned Dem), a Moderate or 'Progressive' Democrat or a Conservative Democrat.
The same is generally true for the other party, except there is no such thing as a Socialist Republican. But, there are Moderate Republicans (who are usually from 'purple' states as opposed to red or blue states - along with their Conservative Dem counterparts); and you can add uber-conservative 'Right Wing' Republicans - usually people who represent the Religious Right, such as Vice-President Pence.
Obama and his affiliates consider him to be a progressive/moderate democrat; while many (not all) progressive/moderate democrats argue (with great disappointment) that he is a conservative democrat (or even an actual Conservative, what an insult!) - and of course, most GOP generally accuse Obama of being a raging liberal. Perspective is everything, ha!
The last 'right-wing' group is considered to be 'the base' of the Republican Party - and yes, these are currently the people considered to be in power in our supposedly democratic society right now. They are having LOTS of fun enforcing their superstitious beliefs on us all - and of course, the rest of us are learning and making decisions. They ARE responsible for making us think and pay more attention - which, IMO, is the BEST thing Trump and his merry men have inspired in the populace across ALL of our diverse spectrums.
Yeah, I still love my country. This is all temporary, and only 'the good' - whatever that is - will stick from it. Expanding consciousness, that is what is really happening; and that is all that is really happening - across the whole wide world.
Having fun with Brexit?
I just thought this one was really funny - LoL!
An interesting read ‘Misfit Chick’. Yep, I like the IKEA poster in your post of Theresa May looking for a ‘New Cabinet’; very apt.
There certainly is a lot of ‘well deserved’ Brexit Parody floating around (all of them with more than just a grain of truth); including this one (which put a smile on my face):-
Brexit: A Titanic Disaster: https://youtu.be/svwslRDTyzU
I am not sure where to place the credit, or where to assign the blame, but my perception of both the culture(s) and Brexit votes of England and Great Britain is generally as you described them to be, and not at all like your New York friend's.
Your description of the Brexit vote demographics also seems to follow the conservative vs. liberal perspectives attributed to stay or leave voters. Which in turn, I also think aligns with my perception of our national identity/sense of sovereignty discussion.
Even with the very loose correlation of my American perception of Conservative vs. Liberal categorization with the British complexities of those categories, it seems safe to say that Britain is a majority conservative voter population. And it is the concept and importance of national identity and sovereignty that I think is mostly attributed to be an important Conservative issue.
This seems to strongly indicate that the immigration crisis of recent years was most impactful on voters that felt the loss of control of their borders was also felt as a loss of their national sovereignty.
That may seem like a; "Well, yeah, everybody understands that." point to make, but I am using it to get to a discussion about the commonly heard, (at least over here), claim that it is only the Far Right that feels that way. I don't think that is correct.
Just as everyone talks about Pres. Trump's "base" over here, it wasn't just his base that got him elected, just as I don't think it was just your "Far-right,' (however you would describe it), that is only pro-Brexit because of the sovereignty issue.
Pres. Trump's base is loosely estimated to be around 35% of Conservative voters, it took a lot more (small-C), conservative voters, (Independent, Republican, etc.), to get him elected. By that same explanation, I think it took a lot more than just your "Far-right" voters to get Brexit passed. So it seems like more than just those uninformed, under-educated old folks worried about national identity and sovereignty.
Can that large a segment of your population be that out of touch with modern societal evolution? Wait! That was a trick question. I wouldn't be surprised if your response, (a generic liberal/socialist "your"), was "Yes!" Just as I would bet you wouldn't be surprised that my perspective would be a "No."
One last thing: Regarding your "we" and "45 years ago," are you talking about when the UK joined the European Communities? My initial confusion was the math. The EU was founded in 1992/3, and since that was what we had been discussing, I couldn't get the math to work.
Your perception and assessment isn’t far off GA; just a few minor adjustments needed to some of the info; as follows:-
#1 “….it seems safe to say that Britain is a majority conservative voter population.”
No the majority of Britain isn’t Conservative voters:-
About 1/3rd of the UK is Conservative voters, about 1/3rd of voters are Labour supporters and about 1/3rd of the country votes for the other political parties (who are all Socialist or Liberal, except for DUP).
In the 2015 General Election (the last General Election before the Brexit Referendum):-
• The Conservatives won 50.8% of the seats with just 36.8% of the votes.
• Labour won 35.7% of the seats with just 30.4% of the votes, and
• All the other political parties won 13.5% of the seats with 32.8% of the votes.
The problem we have in the UK with General Elections is that we still use the ‘1st Past the Post’ System; which favours the big parties.
#2 “….And it is the concept and importance of national identity and sovereignty that I think is mostly attributed to be an important Conservative issue.”
Broadly correct, but the Conservative Party is a ‘Broad Church’. ‘National identity and sovereignty’ is ‘nationalism’, and it’s only DUP, and the right-wing of the Conservative Party who are ‘Nationalists’ e.g. the ERG Group within the Conservative Party; which is why Theresa May’s Cabinet and her own party is split over Brexit.
#3 “….the immigration crisis of recent years was most impactful on voters that felt the loss of control of their borders was also felt as a loss of their national sovereignty.”
Yes, this was a major factor that swung the Referendum in favour of Brexit; but only because of a ‘single’ propaganda poster by UKIP that swung wavering voters in the last few days of the campaign.
Another factor that persuaded a lot of the less well educated voters to vote Brexit was propaganda by the ‘Official Leave’ Campaign Group who spread a blatant lie that the NHS would be given more money by the Government if we left the EU. A lie that was exposed shortly after the Referendum results e.g. Theresa May’s Government has made it perfectly clear that the NHS will NOT be getting more money because of Brexit.
N.B. Government support for the NHS in General Elections is a big vote winner e.g. in the 2015 General Election (prior to the Referendum) the NHS was the most important issue:-
• With 74% of voters saying the NHS was ‘very important’, and 93% saying it was ‘fairly important’
• The 2nd most important issue in the General Election was the Economy with 69% of voters saying it was ‘very important’ and 92% saying it was ‘fairly important’.
#4 ”….So it seems like more than just those uninformed, under-educated old folks worried about national identity and sovereignty.”
I will generalise here for simplicity. I don’t know how it works in the USA, but generally, in the UK; the ‘uninformed, under-educated old folks’ tend to be the ‘lower working class and unemployed’.
Labour’s vote base is generally an equal split between the middle classes and working classes (I don’t have the precise percentages at this point). However, for Labour, the lower working classes (the less well educated) tends to be a more volatile vote base e.g. more easily persuaded by propaganda; and therefore easy pickings for the Conservatives to poach votes when they run a good propaganda programme.
In this context the British Newspapers play a major role:
In Britain, apart from the Daily Mail who relish in printing ‘fake news’, the newspapers fall into two camps; ‘quality press’ and ‘gutter press’. The ‘Quality Press’ will use ‘political spin’ but not propaganda; whereas the ‘Gutter Press’ relish in using ‘propaganda’.
The main British ‘Quality Press’ newspapers read mainly by the middle classes include the:-
• Financial Times (Conservative).
• Daily Telegraph (aka Tory Graph (nickname given by the opposition)) is also a Conservative newspaper.
• Independent (no political alignment i.e. apolitical), but very popular with middle class Liberal Democrat and middle class Labour voters), and
• Guardian (aimed at the middle class Labour voter)
The two ‘gutter press’ newspapers are:-
• The Sun: A conservative newspaper who targets the less well educated lower working class Labour voters; and is renowned for using ‘simple words’, and simple easy to read sentences, and smut.
• The Mirror: A Labour newspaper who also targets the less well educated lower working class Labour voters; and uses similar propaganda tactics to the Sun newspaper.
In Britain, unlike the newspapers, British TV is heavily regulated making the broadcasting of propaganda illegal; other than reporting it in a news item, which then has to be balanced to give an overall unbiased TV reporting.
Albeit, one of my favourite TV News Channels on British TV is the ‘Good Morning Europe’ on Euronews (broadcasted in English from France).
'Good Morning Europe' launches on Euronews: https://youtu.be/eqQUcuiGB5s
My error, I said EU, but at the time it was the EEC e.g. the EEC was founded in 1957, we joined it in 1974 (with our membership subject to a Referendum); but it was not until the signing of the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 by all National Governments of ALL Member States that the EEC became the EU.
All the other Member States were happy to sign the Maastricht Treaty; it was only Britain threatening to use its veto because the British Parliament (Nationalists in the Conservative Party) threw a wobbler; so Margaret Thatcher (although she had a large majority in the House of Commons) had to rely heavily on the Opposition Parties, and Conservatives on the left of her party, so that she could push Britain's acceptance of the Maastricht Treaty through the British Parliament, so that she could then add her signature to the Treaty.
Vladimir Putin's scheme called "Brexit" which was designed to WEAKEN our European Allies will NEVER happen: Putin managed to achieve one of his two short term goals by manipulating the 2016 presidential election in Daffy Donald Trump's favor, the people of Europe will stop this blatant undermining of NATO by the Kremlin:
Yep, well said Jake; as you might be aware, the ‘Vote Leave’ Campaign Group have already been ‘find’ £61,000 ($80,000) in the courts last December, for electoral offences committed during the Brexit referendum; and there still remains many other unanswered questions including Putin’s involvement.
Currently; concerns over Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit Referendum, which brings the legal validity of the Referendum into question, is part of an ongoing investigation by the UK Electoral Commission, the UK Parliament’s Culture Select Committee, and the United States Senate.
YES Nathanville, intelligence agencies of the USA have already established the FACT with hardcore evidence that Vladimir Putin did indeed use massive resources to commit espionage and other serious crimes against the USA and of course influenced our election in Donald Trump's favor so he could establish his "Satellite Kremlin" within the bounds of our white house: This appears to be one of many reasons WHY Mr. Trump has his frequent little incoherent "Tizzy Tantrums" directed at our FBI, CIA and law enforcement agencies: He must be IMPEACHED and or Indicted to save this country from complete failure and set the precedent that even a president can't commit crimes in broad daylight with impunity:
"Brexit" will also be invalidated one way or another, it was a gargantuan mistake PUSHED by Putin, and although common sense dictates Vladimir Putin did indeed infiltrate in a concerted effort to "Break-Up & Weaken" Europe under the guise of this ridiculous "Immigration" nonsense, UK Officials must perform their due diligence to establish the evidence:
Just ask yourself this question: Who would have been the primary beneficiary of "BREXIT"? The clear answer? Vladimir Putin of course:
We here in the USA want a Non-Brexit, Connected, STRONG, Vibrant and Contiguous Europe, a MIGHTY Force of allies which has kept this world relatively Safe & Secure for decades: Vladimir Putin and radical nationalists would of course desire the OPPOSITE:
Yep, I agree with what you say Jake.
Although UK Officials will perform their due diligence, by the time the ‘Reports’ are published it will be academic e.g. it will come too late to make any difference to whether Britain leaves the EU or not.
What could stop Brexit is a 2nd Referendum, but the Nationalists (although a minority in Parliament and the country) are bitterly fighting to stop a 2nd Referendum; so there is no guarantee there will be a 2nd Referendum.
Nationalism in Parliament (and in the country), best estimates (based on the information I have) is somewhere between 12% and about 30% in the UK; so realistically it’s probably somewhere in the middle e.g. about 20%.
If the UK does leave the EU then it will almost certainly mean the breakup of the UK as Scotland seeks Independence from the UK to re-join the EU as an Independent State; and support for Sinn Fein (the political wing of the IRA) in the Northern Ireland elections will grow giving them a large enough majority in their Parliament to trigger a Referendum for the re-unification of Ireland (and thus become part of the EU again).
Part of the Northern Ireland Peace Treaty of 1998 includes the right for ‘self-determination’ (the ‘will’ of the people); in this context, Sinn Fein’s primary gaol is a Referendum for the reunification of Ireland, which DUP bitterly opposes. The main stumbling block (currently) to any progress on this is that the Northern Ireland’s Parliament has been suspended for the past two years (Since January 2017) due to a bitter row between Sinn Fein and DUP due to DUP’s involvement with a ‘scam’ over public spending.
Although I am English (my wife is half Irish), I fully support the breakup of the UK because ‘historically’ England has held the Union together predominantly by ‘force’ and I believe in the principle that the Celtic Nations should have the ‘right’ for ‘self-determination’ (the will of the people); which fortunately is now embedded into British Law governing the legal rights of the Celtic Nations who have legal (EU Law) ‘national minority status’ recognition.
As regards England’s future (and whichever parts of the UK remains tied to England). If we do leave the EU, then the fight to re-join begins. In this respect, the prime ‘Policy’ of both the Liberal Parties (Liberal Democrats and the New ‘UK Change – The Independent Party’) is to start a vigorous political campaign to take us back into the EU; it might take 10 years, it might take a generation, but there is little doubt that Britain will eventually re-join the EU.
As regards the EU, historically, crisis (whether it’s the financial crisis, immigration crisis or Brexit etc.) have always served to strengthen and unite the EU; so with or without Britain (to the Russian’s dismay) the EU will grow and flourish.
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