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Lewes Forum thread

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How the EU works...

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On 20 Sep 2018 at 12:50am Clifford wrote:
But of course our pretend left Hard Remainers here won't believe it:
'Costas Lapavitsas, an economics professor at London University (SOAS), is bravely trying to educate the British Left. His book - The Left Case Against The EU - argues that the Social Chapter of the Delors era has long since given way to “institutionalised austerity”, with a Europe divided between a rich core and a pauperised South, and under the thumb of “German industrial export capitalists”.
'Monetary union in particular is the coercive whip of the ascendant ideology. “The euro has been an outstanding instrument for imposing discipline on workers,” he writes.
'Prof Lapavitsas was briefly a Syriza MP and witness to the failed Greek Spring. He argues that politics as we normally know it is impossible in the EU. The Left is wasting its time thinking it can change anything by democratic activism. “It is a transnational juggernaut. Neoliberalism has become EU the credo. Capital wins at every major turn,” he said.
'His warning to Jeremy Corbyn is that EU rules on state aid, public procurement, and nationalisation would make it impossible to carry out his industrial policies. “These are not minor issues. They lie at the heart of any attempt to transform Britain’s economy in a socialist direction,” he said.'
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 7:10am Twit wrote:
Yeah 1 person versus the rest of the economists in the country, it must be true then... Clifford you are a bit of a tool.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 7:15am nancy wrote:
It runs on corruption and stupidity.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 7:21am Alfred the Late wrote:
Clifford, I'm fairly sure your energies would be better spent trying to get a good Brexit. The one we are going to get at the moment, whether No Deal or Chequers, has been described this week by one prominent international legal expert (who is neutral on the EU) as something no-one acting objectively in the best interests of the country could agree with. Have a think about that for a second, look away from the EU and look at your own country and what Maria and her ilk are planning to do to it, maybe do your own research into the WTO they love so much, and then consider doing something constructive perhaps.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 8:50am Mark wrote:
No, Clifford. I would broadly believe it. The EU is a capitalist machine engineered to very gently ease the far more socially-cohesive Catholic and Nordic countries to the right. I considered that immediately before I voted Remain.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 8:51am Happiness wrote:
Clifford / Twit - I think it would be best for you both if you were to have a break.
Marriage is hard, and divorce should only be a last resort, but I really think you should work on your relationship, communicate your feelings and listen to one another.
Posting nonsense on the internet is silly and bad for your health.
Go for a walk together, embrace and reconnect.
You need to rediscover your love.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 8:54am Capt Sensible wrote:
There is only one real question to ask ourselves. Would we join it now ? Obviously the answer is a definite no. So we have a chance to escape. Once we do, you can bet more will try and follow, but they wont be given the vote or chance.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 9:33am Observer wrote:
I think Clifford needs to go and read about the Social Chapter. He also needs to bear in mind why so many people like Freedom of Movement in Eastern and Southern Europe - they were living under communist or military dictatorships until quite recently and had their freedom to move, or freedom to move jobs, restricted or removed completely.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 10:14am hector wrote:
Clifford is right in his analysis. The democratic deficit in Europe is huge. The elites have made of the EU a system that serves only their interests; it's effectively a bankers union, an economic union that imposes economic policies rather than a social or a political union. The personified 'markets' are its public voice. Given that Germany is the largest and richest state in the EU it follows that it and its bankers play the major role in determining economic policy.
We are in a cleft stick because no truths are being told. Of course no one wants the extreme expedient madness of Johnson, the corrupt Liam Fox et al. It does not serve ordinary people's interests at all. Nor do I want a compromised stitch up that the EU is deftly overseeing so that their interests are preserved. To me the only hope is modest left thinking in the form of a Labour government whose interests are not those of big money but rather righting our grossly unequal country. This is why the attack on the Labour party and its leader has been so orchestrated vicious and sustained. My real fear is that they will tie Jeremy Corbyn's hands through the small print of any agreement in case he comes to power. I think the real danger is perhaps not a cliff edge but the status quo of continuing stagnation with British living standards deteriorating still further. I voted leave and I feel we are being ill served. We have been deliberately sold a pup.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 10:15am Twit wrote:
I actually thought you were Clifford Happiness, I really don't know what to add to this, neither of you can name a single benefit from leaving (yes I know "will of the people").
Clifford it's actually scary that you can focus on a single opinion (and it is an opinion) and take it as a fact.
Given all of the above, it's surprising how support for staying in the EU is the strongest it's ever been in countries like Spain, Greece and Italy no?
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 11:09am Earl of Lewess wrote:
It's frustrating to see both sides so entrenched in their positions. The EU is not the great evil that the Brexiteers make it out to be, but neither is it the grand philanthropic enterprise that Remain would have us believe. It was, first and foremost, a trade agreement with a long-term aspiration to build a federal state so that Europe would never have to return to the devastation of two world wars. A noble aspiration, but the reality is an entity that undermines the democratic process and, as has been mentioned, would make it difficult for a UK government to renationalise the railways. That's why people on the left like Tony Benn objected.
Britain joined because it wanted the economic benefits to its economy, which had never recovered from WW2, but apart from a small cohort of idealists led by Edward Heath, we weren't interested in the federalist dream. From what I see of the EU today, it has over-expanded and the whole edifice is beginning to fall apart, as Populism reasserts itself. Whether we stay or remain, it's going to be a tough time ahead, so let's not pretend that it's a simple choice between total collapse or the sunlit uplands. Obviously we will be better off in the short term if we remain in the EU, but in the longer term, it's impossible to say.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 11:22am Happiness wrote:
Sit down, these may be a little hard to understand all at once:
- no more membership fees - we're a net contributer and can spend this money elsewhere
- we'd regulate our own trade costs
- controlled immigration
- sovereignty ( I know this one winds you up )
- remove regulations that do not apply to businesses who trade outside the EU
- democracy in action - it's what the majority wanted. The Greeks haven't been given a choice, and as you helpfully mentioned them above, there is no way they would stay in if they had a choice.
There are plenty more but I'm sure it'll take a few days for you to digest these.
Have a good day.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 11:50am Mark wrote:
Oh dear, Happiness. I took me about 2 secs. I seriously doubt that it remains the will of the people. Lots were fooled by the Brexit bus but there can't possibly be all that many people left who still believe that because we are marginally a net contributor that there's ipso facto going to be a brexit dividend. That's such a simplistic take on things.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 1:41pm Twit wrote:
- no more membership fees -
UK GDP down (tariffs up), we might not be paying the EU but overall we have less money to spend.
- we'd regulate our own trade costs
No initially we go into WTO as "applicants" on the highest tariffs, despite what you've been told we won't get individual trade deals globally the day after Brexit (it will take decades).
How is doubling our tariffs a benefit?
- controlled immigration
This is the only arguable benefit (arguable that it's a benefit), however it's not currently "uncontrolled" from the EU as you say, EU citizens must have a job and be able to support themselves or they can be removed after 3 months.
Personally I don't see the issue, old people leave this country and retire to the EU, EU workers come here and pay taxes.
I feel silly for pointing this out, because of course you realise if there were no EU workers in the UK, taxes would need to go up due to the worker / social care ratio...
- sovereignty ( I know this one winds you up )
I'll dumb it down for you, the UK is able to leave the EU, therefore we must be a sovereign state.
- remove regulations that do not apply to businesses who trade outside the EU
Most still have to follow them and actually most non EU companies now look for a CE mark on goods (it's now a standard as well as a set of regulations).
- democracy in action - it's what the majority wanted.
It's not democracy when you vote for A, B and C and get X, Y and Z.
You know the chequers deal isn't Brexit right?
- The Greeks haven't been given a choice, and as you helpfully mentioned them above, there is no way they would stay in if they had a choice.
You mean the average man on the streets and not the politicians, the average man voted in a hard line party who accepted ALL the EU reforms, they could have triggered article 50 at any time (they are sovereign too).
Funny that even a hard line party knew they would be worse off outside of the EU than inside it.
- There are plenty more but I'm sure it'll take a few days for you to digest these.
Still haven't seen a single benefit mentioned.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 2:10pm Happiness wrote:
There lies the problem.
You've got a blinkered view and have chosen to argue against any benefits because you either can't accept them or don't want to believe in them.
That's your choice. Comes across a little arrogant though.
Have a good day.
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 4:50pm demon wrote:
brexit wont work .
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On 20 Sep 2018 at 5:50pm Twit wrote:
I’m not sure how my view is blinkered, tell me which points are skewed or untrue.
To the best of my knowledge they are facts, no matter how much you don’t like to hear them.
But at best we’ll come out worse in many areas and slightly better in some, no matter what you think of the EU it’s done more for the average brits quality of life than the U.K. government has, tax dodging, expense scams, incompetence. Give me the EU any day.
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On 21 Sep 2018 at 4:55am Clifford wrote:
Twit wrote: 'Yeah 1 person versus the rest of the economists in the country, it must be true then... Clifford you are a bit of a tool.'

Oh, Twit, I assume you're talking about all those economist who saw 2008/9 coming. You still haven't learned, have you?
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On 21 Sep 2018 at 5:01am Clifford wrote:
Twit wrote: 'EU it’s done more for the average brits quality of life than the U.K. government has, tax dodging, expense scams, incompetence. Give me the EU any day.'

Twit, you really have no idea what is going on in the EU if you think tax dodging, expenses scams and incompetence is confined to the UK, have you? I can understand a not very intelligent person wanting to believe there is a Utopia somewhere, but don't expect the rest of us to be so naive.
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On 21 Sep 2018 at 7:25am Brian wrote:
I don't think I've met anyone who thinks the EU is perfect. I wonder if Clifford's assertion that by supporting the EU you must be incapable of seeing the faults is a deliberate strawman argument or if he really can't see it's possible to not like it, but still see it as preferable to the alternative proposed by the ERG? It's a damning indictment of the education system either way.
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On 21 Sep 2018 at 7:49am Mark wrote:
There's quite a powerful, supra political machine operating in this country. We've just witnessed how it can cause the media to spend a month screaming out the news that the Labour Party is full of antisemites. Unelected and less transparent than the EU.
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On 21 Sep 2018 at 9:00am Twit wrote:
"Oh, Twit, I assume you're talking about all those economist who saw 2008/9 coming. You still haven't learned, have you? "
Oh Clifford, you're still taking about crystal balls and who can predict the future (what a pointless argument). I am talking historic fact, eg the UK has gone from having the strongest growth in the EU to have the weakest (behind Greece), you know what the economists said would happen.
"Twit, you really have no idea what is going on in the EU if you think tax dodging, expenses scams and incompetence is confined to the UK"
I have a pretty good idea, UK has the most tax havens, France next, meanwhile the EU are chasing down company like apple and hitting them with multi billion fines. I don't pretend the EU is perfect, but it does more for me than parliament does. Brexit has pretty much summarised parliament for me, a class of 12 year olds would have done a better job of it.
Anyway I'm going back to the only point I am making, how about naming one Brexit benefit that can't be dismissed within 2 seconds?
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On 21 Sep 2018 at 9:39am Jack Spencer wrote:
Twit, you really cannot see or acknowledge any benefits from Brexit?
So you believe in following the rules of the EU? Then explain why Germany isn't governed by the financial rules of the Maastricht Treaty.
It was signed 25 years ago and has been used to punish and fine other countries, yet Germany has never complied.
Are you just trolling because you've got nothing else to do?
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On 21 Sep 2018 at 9:59am Supra Dupra wrote:
times are a-coming. LOL
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On 21 Sep 2018 at 11:32am @Jack wrote:
I assume you're referring to 2003 and budget deficits?
It was actually Germany and France, the EU commission wanted to fine them and the then 15 members voted the commission down (including Gordon Brown and the UK)?
Surely that shows it's mainly the member states self serving governments that can't be trusted?
And I really don't understand why this is a Brexit benefit
Maybe explain it in small words to me...


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