European Politics General (Canada welcome too, I suppose)

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NEXT
 

Catnip1024:

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
Interesting, I think to a certain extent everyone has seen far left wing politics fail again and again, from 70s England to Venezuela recently, so there's a very understandable distrust in the UK. I guess they'd have to focus on renationalising services to start with, there seems to have been a trend recently for mythologising British Rail as if it were some sort of super efficient Japanese style hyper rail rather then the strike ridden Union plaything it was in reality so that might work.

That's funny, given that a lot of issues can be arguably traced back to Thatcher and the 80s lurch to the right.

The main issue with British Rail was piss poor management. The strikes were an issue, but at least, unlike today, there was direct government union negotiation, not the current situation where the negotiations go via a private company who are the only people who do not lose out while the strikes rumble on. People are not pretending British Rail was perfect, they are saying it is better than the current half-arsed privatised subsidised system (noting the track is still maintained by National Rail, because the individual operators couldn't be trusted to do it).

Having some actual social housing was a nice thing, too.

More to the point, the current void in left wing politics could be filled by a champion of general workers rights. We have zero hours contracts, Uber / Deliveroo style screwing people over. We have the most restrictive rules on striking in Europe, and increasing income inequality. Education is getting more and more costly, and effectively segregating out the poor. All it takes is for someone vaguely competent to step into the void and not go on about Hamas, Israel, and the countless other things that regular people really don't give a shit about.

Ha ha, it's still Thatcher's fault? Really? Are you sure the left are ready yet? :)

Joking aside, whether its the government or a private company negotiating it's still a tiny bunch of unskilled and semi-skill labourers holding millions of people to ransom so they can extract perks, inflation busting pay boosts and increasingly tenure in unneeded jobs out of the tax payer under the pretense of safety. It's ridiculous in this day and age.

I presume you are referring to this with Uber - https://www.ft.com/content/a0bb02b2-9d0a-11e6-a6e4-8b8e77dd083a ?

They've disrupted one of the very few closed shop monopolies left, the people complaining should go work for a taxi company if they want minimum wage and a "traditional" job, they knew the business model when they took the job; if anything they've fucked the incomes of all the people who liked being self-employed. Of course the Unions are squealing, I'd squeal too if my closed shop were under threat.

As for the slightly odf track "income inequality" mantra and the random statement about education being more expensive. Well we don't have increasing income, inequality we have wage stagnation for everyone, ultimately, which is a different issue and not quite so readily exploitable for political gain: https://www.ft.com/content/24e88c30-bc5f-11e6-8b45-b8b81dd5d080

As for education, as far as I can see, education remains State funded up to 18? This seems pretty fair to me? It's free at point of delivery? I have paid tax all my life for something I've never used but I don't mind that but I do struggling to see why the taxpayer has to fund adults' education too? If you don't like that argument, there's never been more bursaries and scholarship to assist low incomes, it's part of the funding settlement, and anyone can get a student loan. The real problem is the proliferation of weak courses at unknown institutions that don't generate a job to pay it back - thanks Tony!

Having said all this I can see how a focus on this area could be political expedient, which is why May honed in on it immediately. I am sure zero hours contracts and the like are misused in some areas.

As an aside, I'd still maintain the very best thing the left could do would be to get the identity politics under control, the wilder fringes of that particular strand of thought are just so openly illiberal now they actively undermine the left wing message. Ultimately, the "whole immigration discussion is racist" debate which has torn the left asunder, separating it chattering London supporters from its midlands and Northern heartlands, is founded there. The strength of the left was always founded in the white working class and it abandoned them really quite shamelessly.

Not going to dwell on this overly, since this is supposed to be a general European thread. But...

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
Ha ha, it's still Thatcher's fault? Really? Are you sure the left are ready yet? :)

Joking aside, whether its the government or a private company negotiating it's still a tiny bunch of unskilled and semi-skill labourers holding millions of people to ransom so they can extract perks, inflation busting pay boosts and increasingly tenure in unneeded jobs out of the tax payer under the pretense of safety. It's ridiculous in this day and age.

The difference is that Southern Rail don't give a shit. They make the same money whether they run or not. The government at least has some interest in the benefits to the greater economy of trains actually running.

Personally, I believe it is best to have guards on trains. If you are going to get rid of anyone, get rid of the drivers.

More to the point, the outrage over unions having any sort of power is utter bullshit. Oh, diddums, is your train a bit late? That's totally more important than peoples livelihoods. Oh, what's that? You had a Doctors appointment delayed because he was busy striking about having his working hours adjusted without his consent? God, let's totally have a go at him.

People need to accept that, if ones working terms, conditions, pay, or pensions are adversely affected without their consent, they should fully have the right to strike. Let's be honest, if someone suggested me working Saturdays, I would be militant about that shit.

I presume you are referring to this with Uber - https://www.ft.com/content/a0bb02b2-9d0a-11e6-a6e4-8b8e77dd083a ?

They've disrupted one of the very few closed shop monopolies left, the people complaining should go work for a taxi company if they want minimum wage and a "traditional" job, they knew the business model when they took the job; if anything they've fucked the incomes of all the people who liked being self-employed. Of course the Unions are squealing, I'd squeal too if my closed shop were under threat.

The issue is more the fact that Uber are a loss making machine aiming to make themself indispensable and put the competition out of business. Then they can jack up the prices, Amazon style. Unions are nothing to do with Taxis, afaik. The issue is also that while Taxi drivers can make a decent living, Uber drivers scrape by, even while being subsidised by Uber.

Another example - look at the shitty conditions Amazon drivers get. Set minutes per parcel, you're screwed if someones address is hard to find. You may argue that this is their own fault for taking the job, but not everyone has the choice. And shitty jobs shouldn't exist just because some people might be willing to work them.

As for the slightly odf track "income inequality" mantra and the random statement about education being more expensive. Well we don't have increasing income, inequality we have wage stagnation for everyone, ultimately, which is a different issue and not quite so readily exploitable for political gain: https://www.ft.com/content/24e88c30-bc5f-11e6-8b45-b8b81dd5d080

We have wage stagnation, but certainly not at the top. Look at the average FTSE Director salary change over the past few years. And shitty contracts as above will drive the lower wages down.

As for education, as far as I can see, education remains State funded up to 18? This seems pretty fair to me? It's free at point of delivery? I have paid tax all my life for something I've never used but I don't mind that but I do struggling to see why the taxpayer has to fund adults' education too? If you don't like that argument, there's never been more bursaries and scholarship to assist low incomes, it's part of the funding settlement, and anyone can get a student loan. The real problem is the proliferation of weak courses at unknown institutions that don't generate a job to pay it back - thanks Tony!

Basic state education is free. You pay to go to posher schools, with better resources, where you will probably meet the right people and / or be guided into Oxbridge. University education is increasingly expensive, to the point it is essentially a tax on the rest of your life.

As an aside, I'd still maintain the very best thing the left could do would be to get the identity politics under control, the wilder fringes of that particular strand of thought are just so openly illiberal now they actively undermine the left wing message. Ultimately, the "whole immigration discussion is racist" debate which has torn the left asunder, separating it chattering London supporters from its midlands and Northern heartlands, is founded there. The strength of the left was always founded in the white working class and it abandoned them really quite shamelessly.

That's because the liberal left and the socialist left are different beasties.

Catnip1024:
Not going to dwell on this overly, since this is supposed to be a general European thread. But...

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
Ha ha, it's still Thatcher's fault? Really? Are you sure the left are ready yet? :)

Joking aside, whether its the government or a private company negotiating it's still a tiny bunch of unskilled and semi-skill labourers holding millions of people to ransom so they can extract perks, inflation busting pay boosts and increasingly tenure in unneeded jobs out of the tax payer under the pretense of safety. It's ridiculous in this day and age.

The difference is that Southern Rail don't give a shit. They make the same money whether they run or not. The government at least has some interest in the benefits to the greater economy of trains actually running.

Personally, I believe it is best to have guards on trains. If you are going to get rid of anyone, get rid of the drivers.

More to the point, the outrage over unions having any sort of power is utter bullshit. Oh, diddums, is your train a bit late? That's totally more important than peoples livelihoods. Oh, what's that? You had a Doctors appointment delayed because he was busy striking about having his working hours adjusted without his consent? God, let's totally have a go at him.

People need to accept that, if ones working terms, conditions, pay, or pensions are adversely affected without their consent, they should fully have the right to strike. Let's be honest, if someone suggested me working Saturdays, I would be militant about that shit.

I presume you are referring to this with Uber - https://www.ft.com/content/a0bb02b2-9d0a-11e6-a6e4-8b8e77dd083a ?

They've disrupted one of the very few closed shop monopolies left, the people complaining should go work for a taxi company if they want minimum wage and a "traditional" job, they knew the business model when they took the job; if anything they've fucked the incomes of all the people who liked being self-employed. Of course the Unions are squealing, I'd squeal too if my closed shop were under threat.

The issue is more the fact that Uber are a loss making machine aiming to make themself indispensable and put the competition out of business. Then they can jack up the prices, Amazon style. Unions are nothing to do with Taxis, afaik. The issue is also that while Taxi drivers can make a decent living, Uber drivers scrape by, even while being subsidised by Uber.

Another example - look at the shitty conditions Amazon drivers get. Set minutes per parcel, you're screwed if someones address is hard to find. You may argue that this is their own fault for taking the job, but not everyone has the choice. And shitty jobs shouldn't exist just because some people might be willing to work them.

As for the slightly odf track "income inequality" mantra and the random statement about education being more expensive. Well we don't have increasing income, inequality we have wage stagnation for everyone, ultimately, which is a different issue and not quite so readily exploitable for political gain: https://www.ft.com/content/24e88c30-bc5f-11e6-8b45-b8b81dd5d080

We have wage stagnation, but certainly not at the top. Look at the average FTSE Director salary change over the past few years. And shitty contracts as above will drive the lower wages down.

As for education, as far as I can see, education remains State funded up to 18? This seems pretty fair to me? It's free at point of delivery? I have paid tax all my life for something I've never used but I don't mind that but I do struggling to see why the taxpayer has to fund adults' education too? If you don't like that argument, there's never been more bursaries and scholarship to assist low incomes, it's part of the funding settlement, and anyone can get a student loan. The real problem is the proliferation of weak courses at unknown institutions that don't generate a job to pay it back - thanks Tony!

Basic state education is free. You pay to go to posher schools, with better resources, where you will probably meet the right people and / or be guided into Oxbridge. University education is increasingly expensive, to the point it is essentially a tax on the rest of your life.

As an aside, I'd still maintain the very best thing the left could do would be to get the identity politics under control, the wilder fringes of that particular strand of thought are just so openly illiberal now they actively undermine the left wing message. Ultimately, the "whole immigration discussion is racist" debate which has torn the left asunder, separating it chattering London supporters from its midlands and Northern heartlands, is founded there. The strength of the left was always founded in the white working class and it abandoned them really quite shamelessly.

That's because the liberal left and the socialist left are different beasties.

Fair enough, wrong thread, all honest answers from you and perfectly valid viewpoints, we probably won't reconcile, this has been rumbling for a while! :) All I'd say is "Oh, diddums, is your train a bit late?" is a bit euphemistic.

They were fucking with 300,000 other people's livelihoods for a protracted length of time: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/deal-reached-to-end-bitter-10month-southern-rail-dispute-a3456771.html

If they keep it up unions will be effective legislated out of existence and there will be zero sympathy from me... and that about all I can say really, I know others believe unions have some sort of point.

Edit - oh and there's loads of taxi unions, the most powerful being the black cab union. In the run up to London Mayor Kahn was hinting he might ban Uber - http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/03/sadiq-khan-threatens-crackdown-on-uber-saying-allowing-its-taxis-was-a-mistake/ because, well, the unions bankroll his party.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:

They were fucking with 300,000 other people's livelihoods for a protracted length of time: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/deal-reached-to-end-bitter-10month-southern-rail-dispute-a3456771.html

Why is it that the unions are fucking with people's livelihoods, but not the train company / government?

If they keep it up unions will be effective legislated out of existence and there will be zero sympathy from me... and that about all I can say really, I know others believe unions have some sort of point.

One of the ironies about so-called "economic liberalisation" is that it has involved, to a fair degree, the colossal deliberalisation of workers' ability to argue their case in the workplace. The general idea is that the government and businesses should have the total right to control and dictate to workers what their jobs should be like. It is profoundly disempowering for workers; it increasingly ends in workers treated as little more than a resource like steel or equipment. And I might suggest this is a lot of the sense of malaise about the state of the country among many of its population.

This is the aim of the right, to whip up the population against strikers and play everyone against each other. Strikers inconvenience more people than there are strikers, so they should back down for the good of the people. The end result is that no-one should ever strike. The train drivers shouldn't strike so the construction workers can get to work, and the construction workers shouldn't strike so the energy company engineers have offices, and the energy company engineers shouldn't strike so the train drivers don't have power cuts.

And the increasing limitation of the ability of workers to stand up to bosses themselves is what has ended up in the pressure for things like the minimum wage. Anger and frustration ends up being channelled into politics instead with calls for the government to establish minimum standards that in the old days, workers fought for themselves. Except politicians are usually more responsive to the people who pay their political party and control the levers of power - which is mostly the people who run companies.

But in the end, it's all the transfer of power to the elites: social, economic and political. That's what disempowering workers inevitably means.

Alright, let's bring this back to actual European stuff.

So, this has kept fairly low profile at the minute, what with all the other more Anglo-Saxon border stuff going on, but Belarus and Russia are having a bit of a squabble. Belarus criticised the annexation of Crimea, Russia cut oil deliveries, Belarus stopped Russia expanding its military presence. Now Russia's backed out of a free movement agreement and erected a border.

http://in.reuters.com/article/russia-belarus-idINL5N1FN66V

It's funny how people aren't looking over this way when they do their parallels of WW2 at the minute.

Hamon's going down again in the polls... which is a shame.
Fillon keeps falling, at this rhythm there's no way he'll move to the second round.
Macron is gaining on both of them, taking their lost support to bolster his own ranks.
Le Pen has already hit her support ceiling for a while now.

Looks like Macron-Le Pen is becoming more and more likely, and that Macron will win hands-down on the second round. Unless a serious curveball happens, I'm fairly certain in that prediction.

Sonmi:

Looks like Macron-Le Pen is becoming more and more likely, and that Macron will win hands-down on the second round. Unless a serious curveball happens, I'm fairly certain in that prediction.

Frankly, I'd rather Fillon got through. A right wing candidate will trounce Le Pen, because the left have nothing else to do but grit their teeth and back him.

However, stick a leftist up against Le Pen... I don't really trust the mainstream right, with all those right wing authoritarians, to pick moderate centre left against the far right.

Catnip1024:
Alright, let's bring this back to actual European stuff.

So, this has kept fairly low profile at the minute, what with all the other more Anglo-Saxon border stuff going on, but Belarus and Russia are having a bit of a squabble. Belarus criticised the annexation of Crimea, Russia cut oil deliveries, Belarus stopped Russia expanding its military presence. Now Russia's backed out of a free movement agreement and erected a border.

I believe the Ukrainian rebels (i.e. the Russian army) have also been attacking Ukrainian government forces recently. I've read it suggested they're hoping to prompt an overly strong Ukrainian government response which would allow restoration of full hostilities.

Sonmi:
Hamon's going down again in the polls... which is a shame.
Fillon keeps falling, at this rhythm there's no way he'll move to the second round.
Macron is gaining on both of them, taking their lost support to bolster his own ranks.
Le Pen has already hit her support ceiling for a while now.

Looks like Macron-Le Pen is becoming more and more likely, and that Macron will win hands-down on the second round. Unless a serious curveball happens, I'm fairly certain in that prediction.

Well it'll depend on how much Fillon scandal stick honestly, voter can forget about those things shockingly quick. Le pen will probably say something outrageous soon (she just said the good old "If you don't like it here you should have stayed home" I'd love to see her say that to a Syrian refugee for fun) and then everyone will forget about it just jumping on next big things. Plus as Macron become closer to the spot light he'll get more attack thrown his way and then some people might find some skeleton in his closet.

I dunno if right wing would really go with Le pen, a lot of what she wants is sorta leftish, nationalist don't really work on the good old left right divide since there often for big government but against liberalism.

Is there going to be a debate? I haven't anything about it. I know Le Pen is pretty good in those, I dunno how well Macron would be able to stand up to her, Fillon would probably do well too.

Agema:

Sonmi:

Looks like Macron-Le Pen is becoming more and more likely, and that Macron will win hands-down on the second round. Unless a serious curveball happens, I'm fairly certain in that prediction.

Frankly, I'd rather Fillon got through. A right wing candidate will trounce Le Pen, because the left have nothing else to do but grit their teeth and back him.

However, stick a leftist up against Le Pen... I don't really trust the mainstream right, with all those right wing authoritarians, to pick moderate centre left against the far right.

Macron is neither a leftist, nor a centre-leftist. He left Hollande's Socialistes because they were too left, for Chrissake. He's as centre as centre goes.

I think you're underestimating the left's disdain for a draconian austerity-hog. Le Pen's authoritarian communitarism might end up looking attractive compared to all of the benefits, jobs, and hours they would potentially lose with Fillon, who's increasingly seen as dishonest too.

Meiam:
Well it'll depend on how much Fillon scandal stick honestly, voter can forget about those things shockingly quick. Le pen will probably say something outrageous soon (she just said the good old "If you don't like it here you should have stayed home" I'd love to see her say that to a Syrian refugee for fun) and then everyone will forget about it just jumping on next big things. Plus as Macron become closer to the spot light he'll get more attack thrown his way and then some people might find some skeleton in his closet.

Very much a possibility.

I don't really see anything sticking to Le Pen though. She's already got a fascist, brutally racist father, it can't really go lower than that. Macron's relatively short political career makes skeletons a bit unlikely, but you never know. The French government is corrupt to an impressive degree.

Meiam:
I dunno if right wing would really go with Le pen, a lot of what she wants is sorta leftish, nationalist don't really work on the good old left right divide since there often for big government but against liberalism.

I kind of agree with that too. I think that the media is not being entirely accurate when they give Le Pen the moniker of "Far right extremist". She's vehemently nationalistic, and certainly to the right, but I don't think nationalism has anything to do with the left-right political axis.

The traditional right-wing is more likely to go to Macron, while I suspect most of the people turning to Le Pen might be tepid euro-skeptics of all stripes, Debout la France (obviously), and the more politically incorrect branch of the Republicains, Sarko's old guard for instance.

Meiam:
Is there going to be a debate? I haven't anything about it. I know Le Pen is pretty good in those, I dunno how well Macron would be able to stand up to her, Fillon would probably do well too.

Haven't heard of any debates planned so far, we're still fairly early in the electoral process after all.

Le Pen is a scary good orator though, I agree with you. Many a time, my friends and I have had to slap ourselves back to reality after listening her talk and thinking "Well, she's not exactly wrong"... and we're not exactly all French/white either. One thing is for sure, she is considerably more manipulative than her father was, and thus far more terrifying,

Nature Guardian:
Italians are going to follow what others do.

The problem is that they may decide to follow America yet again.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-38895425

By God, your worries might have been justified.

Ninjamedic:
*snip*

That is interesting, to be fair, I had not even considered the impact Brexit might have on Ireland (how continental of me, I know), but yeah, that looks dire for the Irish.

Also: http://cdn-new-parismatch.ladmedia.fr/var/ifop/13-02-2017.pdf

Macron polls the lowest he's been since taking second place in the first round. While it makes the prospect of Hamon taking second place more likely, it also makes it possible for Fillon to retake the second spot should he get a marginal bump of support. This is keeping me on the edge of my seat.

Sonmi:
Macron polls the lowest he's been since taking second place in the first round. While it makes the prospect of Hamon taking second place more likely, it also makes it possible for Fillon to retake the second spot should he get a marginal bump of support. This is keeping me on the edge of my seat.

It's the effect of Filon scandal receding, unless something else comes up I doubt Macron will be able to keep the momentum, still a way off from the election and the worse probably already came out.

Meiam:

Sonmi:
Macron polls the lowest he's been since taking second place in the first round. While it makes the prospect of Hamon taking second place more likely, it also makes it possible for Fillon to retake the second spot should he get a marginal bump of support. This is keeping me on the edge of my seat.

It's the effect of Filon scandal receding, unless something else comes up I doubt Macron will be able to keep the momentum, still a way off from the election and the worse probably already came out.

Fillon's still down though, the support he bled seems to go to Bayrou and Melenchon more than anything.

Sonmi:

Meiam:

Sonmi:
Macron polls the lowest he's been since taking second place in the first round. While it makes the prospect of Hamon taking second place more likely, it also makes it possible for Fillon to retake the second spot should he get a marginal bump of support. This is keeping me on the edge of my seat.

It's the effect of Filon scandal receding, unless something else comes up I doubt Macron will be able to keep the momentum, still a way off from the election and the worse probably already came out.

Fillon's still down though, the support he bled seems to go to Bayrou and Melenchon more than anything.

Doesn't it says +0.5 for Filon? I went trough the document pretty fast so I could be missing something

Sonmi:

Ninjamedic:
*snip*

That is interesting, to be fair, I had not even considered the impact Brexit might have on Ireland (how continental of me, I know), but yeah, that looks dire for the Irish.

Depends on how things could play out, we could end up gaining a fair bit if the Tories crash the Finance sector in the process of transition, as Dublin/Cork (hell even Galway at this point) could become new locations for Euro HQs. I'll admit, I'm more nervous about how committed Trump is to his "isolationist" sabre-rattling, since that could have far more potential repercussions for our current economic setup as we rely on a considerable amount of US investment, and unlike England, there is a far bigger factor to the dislocation as the Trumpets are on a different continent.

The North however is a complete flamingo up, the DUP are in the aftermath of a corruption scandal that's led to an upcoming election when McGuinness resigned in response. The Tories are their main ally going all the way back to Bonar Law, so May is pushing for more fingers to be pointed at "the IRA" and the DUP are backing Brexit to the hill, to the anger of a lot of unionists.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/26/theresa-may-troubles-inquiries-should-focus-ira/

There's no reason that Good Friday itself should be inherently threatened by even a Hard Brexit, but the Tory line from the beginning of the Leave campaign to now have done nothing to demonstrate any real understanding of the consequences to The Irish Question or reassurance of NI's long term future. Combine this with a lot of the Flirtation with Trumpist speaking points, general sabre-rattling, and the foaming rage being directed at any part of the British Government what isn't towing the party line and I'm quite apprehensive about the current Tory Campaign.

Meiam:

Sonmi:

Meiam:

It's the effect of Filon scandal receding, unless something else comes up I doubt Macron will be able to keep the momentum, still a way off from the election and the worse probably already came out.

Fillon's still down though, the support he bled seems to go to Bayrou and Melenchon more than anything.

Doesn't it says +0.5 for Filon? I went trough the document pretty fast so I could be missing something

You're right, actually.

I must have compared Fillon's numbers with that of a poll that had Bayrou missing.

In any case, Bayrou should clarify in the coming days whether or not he intends to run, and Macron should release his plan, that's sure to rock the boat a bit.

Ninjamedic:
Depends on how things could play out, we could end up gaining a fair bit if the Tories crash the Finance sector in the process of transition, as Dublin/Cork (hell even Galway at this point) could become new locations for Euro HQs. I'll admit, I'm more nervous about how committed Trump is to his "isolationist" sabre-rattling, since that could have far more potential repercussions for our current economic setup as we rely on a considerable amount of US investment, and unlike England, there is a far bigger factor to the dislocation as the Trumpets are on a different continent.

Except for Ireland's status as a tax haven, would Euro HQs really profit that much from moving there? One would imagine that if they had to leave London, they'd come back on the continent...

I wouldn't only be worried about Trump's isolationist spiel, but also his perceived general hostility towards the EU. His claim that he didn't expect it to last long, his buddying up to May and Farage, his equivalence of Merkel to Putin, it's all looking rather poorly for EU-US relations. He even claimed he thought Germany manipulated the Euro to hurt the American dollar for Chrissake.

Ninjamedic:
The North however is a complete flamingo up, the DUP are in the aftermath of a corruption scandal that's led to an upcoming election when McGuinness resigned in response. The Tories are their main ally going all the way back to Bonar Law, so May is pushing for more fingers to be pointed at "the IRA" and the DUP are backing Brexit to the hill, to the anger of a lot of unionists.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/26/theresa-may-troubles-inquiries-should-focus-ira/

There's no reason that Good Friday itself should be inherently threatened by even a Hard Brexit, but the Tory line from the beginning of the Leave campaign to now have done nothing to demonstrate any real understanding of the consequences to The Irish Question or reassurance of NI's long term future. Combine this with a lot of the Flirtation with Trumpist speaking points, general sabre-rattling, and the foaming rage being directed at any part of the British Government what isn't towing the party line and I'm quite apprehensive about the current Tory Campaign.

Has unionism grown in popularity lately in Northern Ireland? It always seems to me like troubles could re-erupt at any moment there, to be honest. I don't know how accurate that feeling is though, considering my knowledge of the country is rather limited.

I wouldn't be worried for the Tories, honestly. Even if they antagonize the Northern Irish and the Scots, I doubt they'll lose much influence next elections. Farron is no pre-backstab Clegg, and Corbyn's views are seen as unpalatable by the general public (oddly enough, here is one instance where incrementalism might advantage the left rather than hamper it), Scotland is pretty much guaranteed to the SNP in any case. Seems to me like the Tories have a guaranteed victory unless something big and controversial happens.

Sonmi:

Except for Ireland's status as a tax haven, would Euro HQs really profit that much from moving there? One would imagine that if they had to leave London, they'd come back on the continent...

As I said, depends on the assitude of the companies in question, I'd wager they'd be more likely to transfer to Frantfurt, but "England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity", we should at least be looking to nab something out of it.

I wouldn't only be worried about Trump's isolationist spiel, but also his perceived general hostility towards the EU. His claim that he didn't expect it to last long, his buddying up to May and Farage, his equivalence of Merkel to Putin, it's all looking rather poorly for EU-US relations. He even claimed he thought Germany manipulated the Euro to hurt the American dollar for Chrissake.

Well I addressing Trumps isolationist rhetoric in the context of foreign investment, no disagreement here otherwise.

Has unionism grown in popularity lately in Northern Ireland? It always seems to me like troubles could re-erupt at any moment there, to be honest. I don't know how accurate that feeling is though, considering my knowledge of the country is rather limited.

It's more down to unionism stagnating, it's built around "Stopping Them" entirely, so they have nothing else to add, and have now become a major roadblock to social reforms. There is a growing resentment to the Far-Right establishment, which I think has led to the sabre rattling from the DUP/Tories.

I wouldn't be worried for the Tories, honestly. Even if they antagonize the Northern Irish and the Scots, I doubt they'll lose much influence next elections. Farron is no pre-backstab Clegg, and Corbyn's views are seen as unpalatable by the general public (oddly enough, here is one instance where incrementalism might advantage the left rather than hamper it), Scotland is pretty much guaranteed to the SNP in any case. Seems to me like the Tories have a guaranteed victory unless something big and controversial happens.

I may have worded above a bit badly, I meant to say I'm worried about the damage they can bring. The UK needs a functional opposition more than ever, and everything has been done to put any public opposition to the Tories/UKIP as being akin to treason.

http://www.lepoint.fr/presidentielle/emmanuel-macron-le-produit-de-l-annee-15-02-2017-2104975_3121.php

I'm feeling less and less sure about Macron, to be fair.

His latest comment about colonization being a crime against humanity makes me fear that he might send fillonists into the arms of Le Pen, I really don't think attacking the Republique this way is a smart move if your goal is to win the elections, even if there is truth in your claims.

Getting more and more angry at Melenchon's unwillingness to compromise, to be honest, especially if it leads to Fillon or Le Pen being elected.

Well crap.

Bayrou announced that he wasn't going to run this time around, and that he would give the support of the MoDem to Macron rather than to stay out of it. Macron, in other news, just claimed that opponents to gay marriage were treated unfairly and disrespectfully during the large debate on the legalization of same-sex marriages.

Jadot estimated the deadline to announce his alliance with the PS to be next Monday, let's hope he doesn't drop the ball. Melenchon blames Hamon for not being able to make a left-wing coalition work, Hamon blames him right back.

This is so shit, lads.

At least Wilders seems to have dropped a bit in the Netherlands.

Sonmi:

This is so shit, lads.

Question from the man who should be a little more read about France, what are Le Pen's honest chances right now?

Ninjamedic:

Sonmi:

This is so shit, lads.

Question from the man who should be a little more read about France, what are Le Pen's honest chances right now?

Honestly, not very good, but better than they have ever been.

Fillon has exposed himself as a nepotistic austerity-starved crook, and Macron keeps gaffing left and right, pissing off both aisles of the Left-Right divide, and will probably have the Russians/Assange try to undermine him very soon, especially now that he's obtained Bayrou's support and that he suddenly seems like a much bigger threat to putinophiles Fillon and Le Pen.

The fact that out of the big three she's the only one to have pledged more social security doesn't help either, nor does the fact that out of all three, she's the only one opposed to CETA, which is opposed by all of the left-wing parties.

Last week, she had her best second round polling against Fillon, obtaining 44% to his 56%, but if we learned anything from Trump and the shy right-winger effect, it's that this might go up. I'm also expecting her support to go up after the debates, she's an excellent orator, and if any terror attack strikes France, she might still go up.

I wouldn't bet on her victory, but to completely dismiss it as a possibility and to expect a replay of her father's defeat in 2002 at the hands of Chirac would be foolish.

Sonmi:

I wouldn't bet on her victory, but to completely dismiss it as a possibility and to expect a replay of her father's defeat in 2002 at the hands of Chirac would be foolish.

I see.

You mention her pledges to some left-wing policies, would FN be comparable to UKIP or the Trump's Republican faction in terms of economic thought?

Ninjamedic:

Sonmi:

I wouldn't bet on her victory, but to completely dismiss it as a possibility and to expect a replay of her father's defeat in 2002 at the hands of Chirac would be foolish.

I see.

You mention her pledges to some left-wing policies, would FN be comparable to UKIP or the Trump's Republican faction in terms of economic thought?

UKIP, not at all. UKIP is rather far right as far as economic policies go, there is absolutely nothing attractive in what they offer to the working class, its whole support is based in xenophobia as far as I am concerned, they are closer to traditional Republicans than anything else.

Trump is similar, Trump decidedly held more populist leftish positions during his campaigning days, but kept contradicting itself as Trump is wont to do. Le Pen is more consistent in her arguments and her positions, and decidedly more to the left than Trump ever pretended to be, while also being far more authoritarian and ultra-nationalistic. Don't get me wrong, she's still a right-wing politician, but if only economic policies were to be evaluated, she would be considerably to the left of Fillon, far more left-wing than Dupont-Aignan (which would be the appropriate French analogue to Farage and UKIP), and possibly even to the left of Macron, who has yet to publicize his mandate plan were he to win the elections, and who could be said to be anywhere from "centre" to far neoliberal right as far as we know.

Sonmi:
At least Wilders seems to have dropped a bit in the Netherlands.

The more serious problem for Wilders is that as the polls stand now he would need at least 3 other parties cooperating with him for him to be a part of the government. We have no directly chosen president or anything like it. The only way to get cabinet positions here is by forming coalitions in the second chamber. (the main institution citizens vote for directly) As it stands a lot of the major parties either have said they won't work with him or are otherwise unlikely to work with him (especially the ones whom he tweets slanderous, doctored images of). The VVD(standard rightwing, vaguely liberal), who they have previously worked with, have said they don't want to work with him and their leader Rutte doesn't seem to trust him not to stop working with him halfway trough like what happened last time. CDA(moderate christians) tried working with him, allong with the VVD, almost tore themselves to shreds over it and are still recovering in terms of votes from that episode. Other parties likely to be influential like PvdA(labour), D66(libdems), Groenlinks(greens), SP(socialists) will certainly not work with him. Assuming Rutte lied when he said that (which might be the case, I don't know) and they can get the SGP(fundamentalist christians), 50+(party for elderly) and some more parties on board they probably still don't have enough. Just having 28/150 seats in the second chamber is far less useful than 2 seats used well. The PVV has an abysmal record on getting their proposals for laws and ammendments to laws under consideration passed, far worse than smaller parties like SGP or the animal party. Other parties have also been unwilling to make joint proposals with the PVV since Wilders 'less maroccons' comment. Their best claim to having an actual effect on the world is that they have shifted the discussion to the right. Maybe they can claim they should be in the government if they have the most votes, which might happen and maybe the VVD and a few other parties will fall for that, but I doubt that 76 or more second chamber members will actually approve of a cabinet with a (prime) minister Wilders and he does really need that. There is no rule that I know of saying the biggest party should be in charge. Now Wilders does really want to rule this time, he has stacked his candidate list with all the competent people he could find who are in the PVV. (well technically only he is in the PVV but whatever) Maybe he is willing to compromise a lot. I doubt it, though. Now Wilders does shift the debate to the right and maybe he is able to bargain something somehow so I'll be glad to see him lose as many votes as possible but even with a lot of votes for him, influence is not garantueed.

In terms of where the polls are going right now. Wilders and Rutte decided to not show up to an influential televised debate because 5 parties were invited rather than 4. They claimed this was contrary to the agreement. The reason five parties where invited was that the 4 biggest parties in the polls where to be invited and the number 4 and 5 where not statistically significantly far apart. Wilders later cancelled another appearance at a debate because the network in question had aired an interview with his brother (who isn't too pleased with him, apparently). I imagine not being on TV as much as the others a month before the vote doesn't help your chances and transparently trying to manipulate networks into excluding smaller parties to draw more attention to yourself might seem a bit like petty trickery and cajoling. It does to me. Also, some voters seem scared of voting for Wilders since they aren't too glad about Trump whom Wilders has aligned himself with.

Perhaps as general commentary. The greens seem to be surging. The big parties who have been ruling, VVD and PvdA have dropped since last elections, the VVD by quite a bit and the PvdA by an enormous amount. (despite not having done that bad, in my opinion) As it stands right now a very diverse coalition will have to be formed. The largest party has, by a high estimate, 28/150 seats. 76 are needed to do anything and 80+ would be preferable for stability so that a single rogue party member won't upset important plans. It is to be hoped that politicians will actually succeed in making such a large coalition work, or will be able to work something else out.

Pseudonym:
*snip*

Out of curiousity, what happens if no coalition manages to form and attain the 76 seats necessary to hold the majority?

-

Jadot officially announced his support for Hamon, and Melenchon claims he wants to meet with him either Sunday or Monday. Things just got a bit more pleasant in France.

Looking at the UK for a moment:

http://britainelects.com/results/parliamentary-by-elections/

Looks like the UK is in for another rightward lurch as in the 80's. I'm looking forward to seeing Labour becoming "electable" in the eyes of the media by agreeing with everything the Mail says and espousing for virtues of privatisation.

Sonmi:

Pseudonym:
*snip*

Out of curiousity, what happens if no coalition manages to form and attain the 76 seats necessary to hold the majority?

Ehm, I'm not entirely sure, actually. Possibly no cabinet or at least a very ineffective cabinet for months. Possibly new elections after a while. Possibly an experiment with a minority cabinet which has to find support for individual laws on a case by case basis. As far as I understand it, much of this is more a matter of political habit than law. I think at least the more centrist parties prefer stability and won't have patience for extended failure to form a coalition for too long though that has happened in the past. Ultimately, if all else fails, new elections.

Ninjamedic:
Looking at the UK for a moment:

http://britainelects.com/results/parliamentary-by-elections/

Looks like the UK is in for another rightward lurch as in the 80's. I'm looking forward to seeing Labour becoming "electable" in the eyes of the media by agreeing with everything the Mail says and espousing for virtues of privatisation.

To be fair (and this is from someone who can't stand Corbyn), Copeland was never going to vote for somebody who is clearly anti-nuclear, regardless of what he is saying at the moment. They have far too many jobs tied up in the sector.

Stoke, on the other hand, they only held because Nuttall is a fucking idiot. When you are only retaining seats on the grounds that your competitors are even worse than you, you know something is wrong.

http://www.lepoint.fr/politique/melenchon-sera-candidat-a-la-presidentielle-face-a-hamon-26-02-2017-2107732_20.php

Well shit, it's over for the Left in France.

Melenchon holding the working class hostage as he is doing at the moment is bullshit, especially with so much on the line. All hail President Macron (or Le Pen).

Ninjamedic:
Looking at the UK for a moment:

http://britainelects.com/results/parliamentary-by-elections/

Looks like the UK is in for another rightward lurch as in the 80's. I'm looking forward to seeing Labour becoming "electable" in the eyes of the media by agreeing with everything the Mail says and espousing for virtues of privatisation.

I thought they already shooed that prospect away by turning away Smith in favour of keeping Corbyn. In any case, I certainly hope they don't make a leap further to the right, if they do, everybody loses.

Sonmi:
http://www.lepoint.fr/politique/melenchon-sera-candidat-a-la-presidentielle-face-a-hamon-26-02-2017-2107732_20.php

Well shit, it's over for the Left in France.

Melenchon holding the working class hostage as he is doing at the moment is bullshit, especially with so much on the line. All hail President Macron (or Le Pen).

Ninjamedic:
Looking at the UK for a moment:

http://britainelects.com/results/parliamentary-by-elections/

Looks like the UK is in for another rightward lurch as in the 80's. I'm looking forward to seeing Labour becoming "electable" in the eyes of the media by agreeing with everything the Mail says and espousing for virtues of privatisation.

I thought they already shooed that prospect away by turning away Smith in favour of keeping Corbyn. In any case, I certainly hope they don't make a leap further to the right, if they do, everybody loses.

Macron is pro-nuclear, France is very lucky to have him. We don't get many pro-nuclear candidates in the western-world due to the fear-mongering by the left. With many liberals(not all) in the US it's anti-GMO, anti-nuclear power, and anti-vaccines & pseudoscience medicine, and if your a conservative you accept science when it's conventional for you. If your a neo-liberal you cut nuclear-power research because big gov't is bad.

Sonmi:
I thought they already shooed that prospect away by turning away Smith in favour of keeping Corbyn. In any case, I certainly hope they don't make a leap further to the right, if they do, everybody loses.

Smith didn't do himself any favours in the leadership contest, when he came across as properly conniving and two-faced. It says a lot when I actually preferred that Corbyn kept the job than it went to him.

Gergar12:
Macron is pro-nuclear, France is very lucky to have him. We don't get many pro-nuclear candidates in the western-world due to the fear-mongering by the left. With many liberals(not all) in the US it's anti-GMO, anti-nuclear power, and anti-vaccines & pseudoscience medicine, and if your a conservative you accept science when it's conventional for you. If your a neo-liberal you cut nuclear-power research because big gov't is bad.

Given the amount of French power that is generated through nuclear, how can any of their candidates be outright against it?

The ironic thing about Germany shutting down its nuclear power stations is that they then had to import energy from France, generated by... nuclear power stations. At a much higher cost.

As a complete deviation, I never realised how much of an issue Germany had due to it's overreliance on renewables:

Gergar12:
We don't get many pro-nuclear candidates in the western-world due to the fear-mongering by the left. With many liberals(not all) in the US it's anti-GMO, anti-nuclear power, and anti-vaccines & pseudoscience medicine, and if your a conservative you accept science when it's conventional for you. If your a neo-liberal you cut nuclear-power research because big gov't is bad.

I'm one of those pro-nuclear liberals.

Catnip1024:

As a complete deviation, I never realised how much of an issue Germany had due to it's overreliance on renewables:

Nuclear is base load power generation. Nuclear plants are even harder to start/shut down than coal and coal is still less flexible than natural gas.

Traditionally nuclear and coal compete for baseload, phasing out nuclear means replacing mostly by coal. Which has happened in Germany. Solar has proven to be able to pick up the load peaks during the day pretty well, a spot that before was taken by gas plants. But in Germany in the summer pretty much all of the power near noon can be generated by solar now, so installing even more solar panels gives less benefit and being able to cover all consumption via solar at certain times makes all baseload plants less effective because they need to be idle at times. Wind is better over the day, but needs to be coupled with flexible traditional plants. But the only flexible traditional plants are those former peak load plants using gas and those are the most costly to run per kWh. And owners of those want to shut them down now that they can't use them during peak load times anymore. Solar made them not cost efficient to run. No one really wants to take on this extra cost, least of all the wind mill owners.
But with the shift out of nuclear and building more baseload coal plants instead, the new plants are designed to be more flexible than older plants to be better to use together with wind. But this still needs idle time, and idle time means additional cost, so the newer coal plants end up more expensive than the old ones (or the nuclear ones) for the electricity they generate.

And then Germany has a big issue with not-in-my-backyard behavior. Not for the windmills themself but for power lanes needed to transport the electricity from the flat windy north to the industrial centres in the south.

Overall this whole stuff is really complicated which makes it easy for everyone to pick detail fitting their own narrative or agenda. The Telegraph article is a good example of that, but articles celebrating the renewable energy success in Germany in other outlets are not that better.
Personally i nowadays skip newspaper articles on that topic and go directly to scientific papers on the energy transition or at least to reports of independend scientific institutes.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here