FAO: Europe and the rest of the world.

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by -danr-, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Mace

    Mace Vice Admiral

    Messages:
    1,589
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    35,135
    Location:
    Netherlands
    @wcnut: The UK for now still remains part of the Shengen area, since the Shengen agreement is independent of the European union.
     
  2. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

    Messages:
    11,763
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    69,385
    Location:
    Poland
    Uh... well... actually... the UK has never been a part of Schengen :).
     
  3. wcnut

    wcnut Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    24,135
    @Quarto. I agree there is always wisdom in taking the time to see the opposite side.
    I will take the time to listen, but no argument negates the fact that those are actual problems that they will be facing as part of their decision. Their economy is simply in for a world of hurt and there is nothing around it. I don't know about Northern Ireland (My understanding is the Irish population always wanted to join the rest of Ireland, and grumblings of succession are nothing new, but the very large British population always held them back) but Scotland definitely has the political will to leave which can't be good. As much as I would love it, it would be like Texas went off to do their own thing and would cause problems especially in a time of economic crises outside of their leaving. And the U.S. is a heck of a lot more self-sufficient then Britain.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  4. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

    Messages:
    11,763
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    69,385
    Location:
    Poland
    Look, absolutely - they will have problems. There will be a lot of pain involved. And I'm sure some of the leave campaigners have glibly glossed over the fine prints of the pain involved during the campaign itself - of course, they could afford to, because the remain campaigners were busy proclaiming that this pain would be so huge, it would be tantamount to Armageddon :).

    Not having any gift of prescience, let me just point out two things. Firstly, all major political transitions involve problems, but many of them are worth it. My own country, Poland, degraded dramatically in 1989-1990, as the support structures of a totalitarian government were suddenly loosened, and as that government suddenly lost the broader support of the Soviet Union. The result was a prolonged crisis, enormous inflation, mass unemployment, and a huge rise in mortality rates. Ten years down the track, with relatively little aid from abroad other than debt forgiveness, and indeed with active interference from abroad on the industrial front, the country had been able to lift itself up to new highs. We're obviously still a long way from where the West is, or even where the West was in 1989; as a matter of fact, in some aspects, we have yet to catch up with where we were back in 1939. Yet, there can be no doubt that the transition, however painful it may have been, was worth it. There can also be no doubt that it didn't have to be worth it - for reference, see Ukraine, who started out on the same path of transition just a year or two after us, but have not exactly been successful. Things can go wrong. I don't think anybody is pretending otherwise. But long-term benefits often involve short-term pain. Pointing out problems the UK will face is a little bit like saying that if you go to university, you'll have to study really hard, and it will be painful. Yes, it will - so what? Is it not worth the risk because of it? And does the fact that some people fail and drop out make it not worth the risk? :)

    Secondly, I do think the comparison with Texas is more than a little bit silly. Firstly, because Texas could easily survive as an independent nation - its population would place it just at the bottom of the world's top 50 most populous states, and its GDP is already higher than South Korea (with twice the population) and Australia (with a slightly smaller population, but infinitely bigger natural resources). Secondly, because in the context of American history, Texas is actually the equivalent of Scotland - Texas agreed to join the USA because it was having difficulty paying off its debts, in much the same way that Scotland merged into the UK in the aftermath of bankruptcy caused by its failed Panama colony. The United Kingdom, meanwhile, is the 22nd most populous state in the world, with 65 million people and a very strongly developed economy. It has the fifth highest GDP in the world. It's no pushover. If South Korea can prosper in the great big world without being a part of China, in spite of having just 50 million people and having started off after WWII from a far more dismal level of development than the UK, I daresay the British can survive. The possible (though improbable) loss of Northern Ireland, and the probable loss of Scotland mean relatively little in this equation. Yes, losing them would be dramatic, emotional, and in some ways humiliating for the British, who would even cease to be British at that point, really - they'd just be the English with a few Welshmen attached :). But looking at the economy... well, Scotland exports $26 billion, while the UK as a whole exports $500 billion. The loss would be barely noticeable. Similarly, Scotland has 5 million people, while Northern Ireland has just under 2 million people. Altogether, that's less than 10 percent of the UK's total population - probably about as much as the UK has gained in the past decade through immigration. Losing 10 percent of the population is not insignificant, but it is also not catastrophic - were Scotland and Northern Ireland to secede, the UK would drop from being the 22nd most populous state in the world to... 23rd. So, yes, I do think they can go it alone and not only survive, but even prosper - only the short-term will be painful.
     
  5. wcnut

    wcnut Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    24,135
    You misunderstand me, I wasn't making the case that Texas couldn't survive on it's own. I was saying the U.S. would feel it's loss if it were to suddenly leave and we are a lot larger than Britain. I'm not going to argue with you over long term ramifications, because you don't have any better idea then I. But the short term are very hard indeed.

    Personally I don't feel this political transition was necessary. The E.U. is hardly the Soviet Union and in fact gave Great Britain far more benefits then they care to admit. I doubt Armageddon will happen. :) But you're righ,t a lot more hardship is about to happen then many who voted for Brexit were prepared for.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
    Lilja likes this.
  6. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    83
    Trophy Points:
    35,235
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    Sorry Q but I still fail to see which points you see providing long term benefit.

    Swallowing the bitter bill, taking your medicine, etc, it's something we hear a lot - but without outlining the potential benefits all that pill is is a list of potential side effects from dizziness to chronic diarrhea.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  7. wcnut

    wcnut Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    24,135
    Scotland and Northern Ireland, leaving isn't just population leaving, it's land, it's resources, it's infrastructure (Those things that made England historically want to dominate them in the first place). Not to mention there will be a border where before goods and services use to travel freely, but now require trade negotiations, border control and all that fun stuff. And that's the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Sorry, but globalization has been the best benefit to arise out of the ashes of the first half of the 20th century, and all this push back to tribalism isn't doing the world any favors.
     
    Lilja, Pedro and LeHah like this.
  8. LeHah

    LeHah 212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"

    Messages:
    7,877
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    59,485
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ixion, Helios System
    Well said.

    Several friends in the UK I've talked to since the vote are terrified of the employment situation after the crash of the English Pound. One in particular, who works at a zoo with exotic animals, has already gotten notice that a break from the EU is going to substantially slow the quality and speed of updates in her field of work.

    Perhaps more to the point: while I *sort of* understand that the UK doesn't want to be footing the debt for other countries, I'm slightly worried considering the very recent rise in far right politics of Golden Dawn and other forms of fascism in Greece. Two years ago, you had people ejected from Greek Parliament while screaming "Hail Hitler" - and let it be said that these people are simply looking for an excuse to pray on economic reasons as a rise to power.
     
  9. Lilja

    Lilja Master Chief Petty Officer

    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    1,335
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sweden
    [​IMG]

    The way that I am dealing with things now is to try and find the funny side.

    There is alot of emotions and conflicts going around, and it will be interesting to see who commits political suicide and in which way they choose to do it, will the refurendum be honored ? will it be ignored ? redone ? or a half way measure found ?

    My first thought was that the UK would essentially have the same relationship with Europe as Norways has - e.g. in and out at the same time aswell as open borders

    The Guardian has done an article ( I read a re-written version in a Swedish news paper) saying that voters didnt truely understand what they were voting for and the top google searches over the past few days are about the EU. Another factor being put forward is about the vote leave being an opposition vote against Europe / the Conservates and that people only voted that way because they didnt believe that it would actually happen.

    I'm not really going to comment on thing too much more as to be honest I don't know anything, I moved away from England six years ago, and I planned never to go back. Everything that I read about the refurendum has been comments mostly through facebook. But I am expecting that this will become a big issue with some of the right wing parties within Sweden (and the rest of Europe) so I am torn about whether I would wish things to go well or not.

    I am rather worried about how torn apart the country is, the statistics that are being put forward about the voters seams to be dividing the UK up into groups;the older generation want out, the younger want in and low educated want out, educated want in, but to name a few.
     
  10. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

    Messages:
    11,763
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    69,385
    Location:
    Poland
    You know, I keep telling myself to stop posting in this thread, because it's so time-consuming :). And I think I did try to outline some of the long term benefits before. And I also posted you a link to a book, and to a film. Have you looked at either? Go for the book - Daniel Hannan is a genuinely likeable, intelligent and incredibly level-headed guy, who absolutely cannot be accused of being driven by personal gain, because he has just voted himself out of a job as a member of the European Parliament. Also, the book can be purchased in audiobook form, which is undoubtedly an advantage if you happen to commute to work.

    But ok - I will post a few points below. These are pretty off-the-cuff, mind you, and many more could be listed if I took the time to think about it. As a bystander, I think I've done enough digging already :).

    1. Freedom to trade with anyone you choose. Tariffs are not a thing of the past. Same for other forms of restrictive trade regulations. For this reason, many countries sign trade deals to facilitate trading. The EU has been shockingly remiss in this area - and the UK has been trapped. This, combined with other forms of EU protectionism, has caused great damage to export-driven industries in the UK, because it had made them uncompetitive. This can be addressed now. Already, after the initial shock, we're hearing people - like, for example, India's richest man, though damned if I remember his name - saying that actually, in the long term this will be good for their investments in the UK, because when they had last talked to the UK about various restrictions, they were told these are EU restrictions that cannot be lifted.

    2. A restored fishing industry. I think this is a particularly poignant one, particularly if you're pointing out the problems that the poorer parts of the UK will face now. Those parts of the UK that used to rely on fishing are now the poorer parts of the UK, and this is mainly because they were forced to stop fishing. May I remind you, that your traditional fast food dish in the UK is fish and chips? Well, things are getting to a point where even in many seaside cities, it's imported fish. That's ridiculous. This is just one example of an industry damaged by the EU, which can be restored (not immediately - it will take years!) now. There are others, too.

    3. The finance industry is saved from external regulations. You may or may not have heard about this, but the last few years, the British government had been continuously trying to fight off new EU regulations devised specifically to damage the London finance industry. Now, to be honest, I personally think that the London finance industry is obnoxious and out of control - but I don't think the solution is to assault British finance, while leaving French and German finance alone.

    4. You escape a corrupt organisation devised to steal money from the poor and to give it to the rich. The EU consistently fails its audits every year. It's corrupt (I've said more about this before, look at my previous posts), and it spends *your* money in incredibly wasteful ways. Just as one example of the wasteful spending of the EU... the day after the referendum, BBC Online published one of those "five things" lists, in this case I think something along the lines of five British things that will change because of the exit. One of those things was Game of Thrones, which stands to lose its EU funding apparently. Did you know that the Game of Thrones TV series is partially funded by taxes taken from English and Scottish factory workers? In what universe does that make sense? Is Game of Thrones truly something that couldn't possibly be made with private funding alone? Is it not profitable? Is it the kind of product that governments need to subsidise? And this is one of infinitely many examples of the way EU media funding operates.

    5. Finally, I've left the most "high-flying" bit for last, because while I think it's actually the most important aspect, it's sadly one that most people these days seem not to care about. You save your freedom. This is not idle talk. Already - it took them about two days after Brexit - the Germans are proposing an even tighter union, with talk, for the first time, of a single unified criminal law, unified army, and so on. This proposal will be laughed out of the room at this time, but the Germans will certainly keep pressing on, bit by bit. Let me be clear: not only is this a bad thing, but it's also something you are morally *obliged* to avoid. You do not have the right to give away the sovereignty that your children by right should inherit from you, just as you inherited it from your parents, who inherited it from theirs. As long as the EU was intended to be a common trading area, that was fine. The moment it started evolving towards a federal state, that's the moment everybody needs to exit. Because a federal EU has to ultimately morph into a German superstate (note: ironically, most Germans absolutely don't want this... but who's asking?). I think both of our nations have shed enough blood to avoid that last time, don't you?

    On a final note, I just came across a commentary on why people voted for Brexit, written by Richard Bartle - the guy who built the very first MUD, who's worked on dozens of MMO projects as a consultant, and who's written an excellent design book about building MMOs. His commentary (which is actually him relaying a discussion he listened to) says nothing about the repercussions of the vote, positive or negative. It's purely concentrated on the reasons why people voted to leave. I get the impression I wouldn't see eye-to-eye politically with Richard Bartle, but I certainly found this a worthwhile commentary. Have a read of it.
     
  11. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    83
    Trophy Points:
    35,235
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    The reason I asked for your view is I've heard most of the arguments, the movie but not the book included. Frankly it's hard to listen to Farage or even begin to entertain the notion that having trade barriers is anything but levelling the playing field given the country in which is reside is so famous for them.

    1. This is unlikely to be offset by the increase of bargaining power we have as a member of the EU

    2. I really and honest to goodness hope you are referring to something other than protection from over fishing here. This is a genuinely serious problem with generational implications. The EU is also responsible for subsidising that particular industry. Maintaing fish stocks is hugely important and one of the best arguments for international agreements. It's very hard for one country to be the one to turn down profit - no matter how catastrophic the consequences - when their neighbours are throwing caution to the wind.
    There is a theory that the reason why we've never encountered alien life is evolution leads to tendencies that are destructive by definition. It's a good theory - who wants to spend money on reducing emissions when ignoring the issue is serving the Chinese economy so well? Might give the economy a nomentary boost but not a very intelligent move forward - even if there were a God I doubt he'd be inclined to save people from their own selfishness.

    3. My grandfather was a banker, and before he died he predicted the collapse of the global economy - almost precisely as it eventually played out. The reason he anticipated the collapse was in his words a lack of regulation.
    Regulation had been relaxed on everything from the maximum multiple of your salary that you could take out on a mortgage to the currency you needed available to conver your investments given market fluctuations. Honestly I didn't pay his predictions any head at the time - but I know overregulation was not something he ever once expressed concern about.
    I'd be interested to know why think Londons banking sector is specifically targeted rather than an attempt to prevent another disaster brought on by naive stupidity treating capitalism as a religion that required no oversight.

    4. Possibly true, but then the same is true of our own government except a very few politicians who are exceedingly unpopular for their unrealistic views on the world.

    5. Freedom is an unobtainable illusion. One mans freedom inevitably treads on the desires of another mans. Far more meaningful goals are peace, harmony and unity. I as an individual would like freedom to move, to travel, to work elsewhere. There is no such thing as a free nation - only people with freedoms. Any moral obligation I feel is to ensure my children have a future where they can lead a life without fear - something which seems ever increasingly less certain.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  12. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

    Messages:
    28,369
    Likes Received:
    529
    Trophy Points:
    69,485
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ashton, MD, USA
    Ten years ago, I would have had a strong opinion about this! In fact, I’d have been sure that whichever side I chose was the absolute /right/ one and that anyone who disagreed with me was the worst person in the universe.

    So it’s funny how you lose that! I just can’t believe there is an absolute right or wrong answer to politics or much of anything else anymore, I don't believe I know everything… and I certainly don’t believe that anyone who disagrees with me must absolutely be ignorant or a racist or anything of that sort. (And I do see how treating another party that way just makes everything worse!)

    Anyway, I just wanted to speak up because it feels like this is a good thread, folks are sharing their views and not attacking one another. Hold on to that! To quote Timequake: “we're here to get each other through this thing, whatever it is.”
     
    wcnut, Quarto, AD and 1 other person like this.
  13. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    83
    Trophy Points:
    35,235
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    The issue was definitely initally forced to the front of British politics in part by actual racists, many of whom have since been exposed.

    The two can't easily be decoupled but i don't think anyone is under the illusion that the majority of the votes were made for such reasons. As far as voting goes I worry a lot of people just wanted change, any change, hopefully I am underestimating them.
     
  14. -danr-

    -danr- Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    984
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    22,485
    Location:
    Cornwall, England
    There are too many well written posts here, and I don't particularly feel like quoting paragraphs en-masse and replying in essay form.

    However, I will attempt (as briefly as I can) to draw a line under my involvement in this thread by trying to justify my 'leave' stance in the interest of banishing any misconceptions anybody may have that all 'Brexiteers' are xenophobic and/or racist - and I know Pedro went out of his way to say he didn't think this was the case.

    As I said above, for me the decision is not about flags or nationalism, nor distrust of foreigners or a longing for our waning imperialism to once more reign triumphant - it's all about soverign decision making; local rule, something once embraced by liberals and gently becoming eroded by powerhousing and globalism. It's really as simple as that. I don't believe that politics works in a 'one size fits all' kind of way, especially not in the way in which the EU projects its policy - at times rather aggressive and arrogant with decrees and beauracracy. Simply put, I believe people are different, cultures are different - nobody can deny the EU is heading towards full scale federalisation, some in Brussels don't even make a secret of this.

    ...and yes, we're going to miss out on certain benefits; not least the contributions of some of Europe's finest students and academics laying new roots here, and given that this is one aspect that I find the most disappointing, I find it sad that some of my fellow out-camp have made this about immigration and malice towards our neighbours - for some of us, it's simply about control.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
    cff likes this.
  15. Mace

    Mace Vice Admiral

    Messages:
    1,589
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    35,135
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Right, got me there, that does not mean they can still join up as a non-EU member. There's money to be made on both ends after all...

    But want an example of eurofilia? Our state secretary of social affairs forced a 100-page agreement to send off our pension funds down the government body, to be issued out within 24 hours(while she had been sitting on that report for 14 days). Our opposition did manage to block it. (The agreement here meant that our pension funds were free to settle anywhere in europe, taking the supervision out of our own government, and have these companies take risk investments whenever and wherever they would like.) Forgive the translation mixups, such as "US citizens"

    The UK will not have to deal with nonsense like that once they are out, and they don't have to agree to the refugee re-assignment. What is going to happen with that encampment in Calais now?
     
  16. -danr-

    -danr- Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    984
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    22,485
    Location:
    Cornwall, England
    I think I heard a snippet on the news yesterday saying that the refugee camp will remain in place for the forseeable future.

    Meanwhile, the EU has said we can't access the free market unless we allow free movement of EU citizens in and out of the UK.
     
  17. Oggy

    Oggy Rear Admiral

    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    26,535
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    the whole Calais thingy is a private agreement between Britain and France; not the EU as a whole.
    I can't say I am surprised on the conditions of access, both Norway and Sweden have exactly the same conditions. I suppose it comes down to how well we negotiate now and if some accord can be reached, otherwise WTO tariffs apply.
    exactly what I thought would happen did, price of access to the EEA is free movement
     
  18. Mace

    Mace Vice Admiral

    Messages:
    1,589
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    35,135
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Well, refugees are not EU citizens... They want to go to the UK because your social system is actually better(or worse) then hours, and they go as far as renting boats in the Netherlands to cross the channel. And as for sweden/norway, they take the long walk around.

    However, trade will have to continue, one way or another. You have probably seen those video's where this guy asks his girlfriend about random stuff and she demonstrates sheer stupidity(I want the guy to slice my pizza in 8 pieces, not 12, because no way I can eat those four extra pieces), god, I hope that was an act... The worse issue would be breaking up the UK into pieces who are part of the EU and those who are not. But, as with everything, in time you'll reinvent yourselves and get out of it... The british have a talent for that.
     
  19. David Wade

    David Wade Ensign

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    2,135
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Milton Florida
    Just remember liberty is but a single away from extinction it must be defended and fought for by every generation. As a veteran of the US military I have been to many places on this world that are horrendous. The horn of Africa for example is rampant with human rights violations and yet no one bats an eye. The EU has become too big for its own good the same as the American government has. Their only thought is how to keep themselves in power and needed. Local rule will always be better than the alternative to my mind. I have seen drug lords wipe out villages for no reason I have seen child soldiers murder other children I still hear the screams in my dreams these are the people our governments want to do business with. I for one will never believe a big government is the answer. Just my opinion not meant to offend just wanted a place I could say it without being attacked for it. Have a blessed day everyone.
     
    Mace likes this.
  20. Mace

    Mace Vice Admiral

    Messages:
    1,589
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    35,135
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Thank you, sir. In my country that is about the size of a big city in the US, we still have local governments(My city has 7!), too many of them, they do not function, and the one who does stand out gets silenced. The EU was never intended have it's own government and decide on it's own, make the participating officials wealthy. I'm an engineer.. not a politician or a high-flying official.. But in my company we had a chat, one of the manager logically claimed that one should not walk with a raised fist into a political conflict, but talk about it, and use democracy... Save your raised fist for participating in demonstrating, or when you really need it.
     

Share This Page