Apocalypse Now

Open 24/7 Come in, relax and chat about issues relating to the P-O.

Moderator: Moderators

martyn94
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 2086
Joined: Sun 14 Apr 2013 14:37

Post by martyn94 » Mon 11 Jul 2016 13:31

GrahamC wrote:
martyn94 wrote:Jean Monnet died 37 years ago. The French thought he was so destructive of their sovereignty that they put him in the Panthéon.
More petulance. You use condescension as a technique to try to portray yourself as knowledgable and sophisticated. But in truth Martyn, your understanding of the EU is out of date and you are ignorant of the profound issues that have arisen since Lisbon.

P.S.

Having now read his memoirs I've modified my view of Monnet. He did indeed believe that economic integration would lead to slow transfer of sovereign powers and he was convinced that a federal europe was the desirable end game. But he doesn't appear to have wanted to do this through deliberate subterfuge. (That comes later with Heath and Giscard d'Estaing). Rather he thought economic integration would lead to a dawning realisation that federalism was the way ahead.
The facility to edit these posts is a mixed blessing. I made a very short, and entirely accurate, response to something you first said about Jean Monnet. You accused me of petulance. You then came back and entirely modified what you thought about Monnet - but left the accusation of petulance standing.

While I'm here, my problem about referendums is not that they produce the "wrong" answer, but that they produce the "right" answer to whatever question happens to be on the individual voter's mind, very rarely the one that happens to be on the ballot paper. If that is wrong, you have to assume that intense study of the Treaty of Lisbon (and its iniquities) is the norm in our communities which are under the lash (and old, and ill-educated) but relatively absent in those that aren't. If that is condescending, I plead guilty. The referendum seemed to me to be a cynical and wholly irresponsible exercise even before I lost. I believe I said so, but can't be bothered to look. As you say, it happened, and I lost.

GrahamC
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat 25 Oct 2014 21:43

Post by GrahamC » Mon 11 Jul 2016 13:59

Your response was not entirely accurate. Most the past 40 years have been spent denying that the EU has federal ambitions. After Lisbon and the Brexit debate this outrageous lie has been outed.

But the charge still stands, Monnet wanted federalism but his path began with economic integration. The really blatant lying came later when the likes of Wilson and Heath denied that the EEC was anything other than an economic community and when d'Estaing subtly subsituted 'community' for 'federalism'.

Now that Theresa May (far from being a comitted Exiter) is to be PM hopefully we will achieve a balanced, compromise solution which goes at least part way towards satisfying the diametrically opposed needs of Remainers and Exiters

martyn94
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 2086
Joined: Sun 14 Apr 2013 14:37

Post by martyn94 » Mon 11 Jul 2016 14:39

GrahamC wrote:Your response was not entirely accurate. Most the past 40 years have been spent denying that the EU has federal ambitions. After Lisbon and the Brexit debate this outrageous lie has been outed.
God help me, what I said was 22 words about Jean Monnet. How many lies, or even inaccuracies or incompletenesses, about Wilson, and Heath, and Giscard d'Estaing, and Lisbon do you think I managed to pack into that? I am entirely ready to believe that politicians try to make the best of their case, and sometimes get things wrong, or fail to anticipate what will come next. But the mindset that everything you don't agree with, in hindsight, said by any public figure, was all just "lies" seems to me depressing and toxic: not a monopoly of Brexiters, obviously, but prevalent there.

GrahamC
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat 25 Oct 2014 21:43

Post by GrahamC » Mon 11 Jul 2016 17:10

Seriously? I mean seriously Martyn? You, the person who said before the vote that the EU was 'nothing more than a messy set of institutions' is now trying to deny the federalist agenda cover up. What utter disingenuous tosh.

Next you'll be saying that when we all voted for the EEC we were actually all happily voting for an EU superstate.

And more ad hominem attacks - how tedious.

martyn94
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 2086
Joined: Sun 14 Apr 2013 14:37

Post by martyn94 » Mon 11 Jul 2016 19:42

I will put up with a lot, but I don't like to be accused of arguing ad hominem, if only because I know what it means.

It means that I reject your arguments on the basis of some extraneous fact about you, which does not go to the merits of your argument - you are gay, or straight, or have red hair or whatever. The fact that Brexit voting seems to be correlated, ex post (I can do Latin too), with various broad statistical characteristics of the voters (old, ill-educated, back-of-nowhere, to put it unacceptably crudely) is interesting, and even suggestive, but not remotely ad hominem: none of that was my idea. And the fact that your arguments seem to me like overheated nonsense doesn't make it ad hominem either: lots of people seem to agree with you, and I would happily say the same to them for the same reasons.

User avatar
Gus Morris
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 248
Joined: Sat 07 Mar 2015 05:45
Contact:

Post by Gus Morris » Tue 12 Jul 2016 01:33


Quote from Graham C's reply to my last thoughts


"In my opinion it would not be right to go for a complete Brexit because there isn't a strong enough mandate."

Starting to change tack are we?

Leadsom has gone down the drain too. Looks like being pro Brexit is suddenly not such a good idea in British politics. Where is the golden dawn that the tabloids promised would greet Britain once it had voted to thrown off the shackles of EU control? How has the taste of the honeyed milk of sovereignty lifted the spirits of the British to new heights? Or was it all an illusion?

If Theresa May can gather a good team around her there is hope.She needs all the help she can get. From wherever it may come on the political spectrum. The socialists need to get their act together. There are, without a doubt, major problems in Europe. Instead of standing outside the tent and pissing in maybe, at long last, Britain will find a way to facilitate change and get us out of the mess.

Sometimes you've just got to believe in miracles.

Gus

User avatar
lonesome paddy
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat 28 Aug 2010 17:21
Contact:

Post by lonesome paddy » Tue 12 Jul 2016 13:32

Although i have lived in France for many years, i am Swiss with an American father and an Irish mother. I have worked and lived several times in the UK & the Republic of Ireland so im quite ambivalent as to whether the UK stays or leaves the EU but i do think that Nigel Farage & Boris Johnson ought to be ashamed of themselves, no matter what excuses they're using. They led and pushed so hard for a Brexit, after achieving it they saw what lay ahead and have done a runner and left others to clean up any mess they had a huge hand in creating

neil mitchell
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun 03 Mar 2013 11:47
Contact:

Post by neil mitchell » Tue 12 Jul 2016 17:38

So, now the online petition for a second referendum is going to be debated in September, Theresa May has said that Article 50 should not be applied before the end of the year and what must be every constitutional law barrister in the UK has written to the PM to say that leaving the EU can only be done by an act of parliament. Brexit isn't going to happen is it?

Owens88
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 423
Joined: Fri 13 Jan 2006 01:49
Contact:

Post by Owens88 » Wed 13 Jul 2016 00:08

John
www.Goodviews.co.uk

Vernet Les Bains and East Midlands

Sus
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu 12 Nov 2015 16:47
Contact:

Post by Sus » Wed 13 Jul 2016 09:57

lonesome paddy wrote:Although i have lived in France for many years, i am Swiss with an American father and an Irish mother. I have worked and lived several times in the UK & the Republic of Ireland so im quite ambivalent as to whether the UK stays or leaves the EU but i do think that Nigel Farage & Boris Johnson ought to be ashamed of themselves, no matter what excuses they're using. They led and pushed so hard for a Brexit, after achieving it they saw what lay ahead and have done a runner and left others to clean up any mess they had a huge hand in creating
I couldnt agree with you more, what cowards to just do a runner. Especially Farage, just managed to get his company to go into liquidation and then keeps his seat in the European parliament for the salary, what hypocrisy...

Sus
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu 12 Nov 2015 16:47
Contact:

Post by Sus » Wed 13 Jul 2016 10:00

Gus Morris wrote:
Quote from Graham C's reply to my last thoughts


"In my opinion it would not be right to go for a complete Brexit because there isn't a strong enough mandate."

Starting to change tack are we?

Leadsom has gone down the drain too. Looks like being pro Brexit is suddenly not such a good idea in British politics. Where is the golden dawn that the tabloids promised would greet Britain once it had voted to thrown off the shackles of EU control? How has the taste of the honeyed milk of sovereignty lifted the spirits of the British to new heights? Or was it all an illusion?

If Theresa May can gather a good team around her there is hope.She needs all the help she can get. From wherever it may come on the political spectrum. The socialists need to get their act together. There are, without a doubt, major problems in Europe. Instead of standing outside the tent and pissing in maybe, at long last, Britain will find a way to facilitate change and get us out of the mess.

Sometimes you've just got to believe in miracles.

Gus
I agree with Graham that there needs to be a compromise as the mandate was not strong enough. danger for May is that she is not going to make anybody happy, what a job she has in front of her... couldn't pay me enough!

neil mitchell
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun 03 Mar 2013 11:47
Contact:

Post by neil mitchell » Wed 13 Jul 2016 11:02

Part of the debate will be about the very misleading information used in the campaign which, it is argued, makes the result unsafe.

I see the point. It only takes one person to say " I voted leave because I was told that it costs £350 million a week to be in" and with no way of finding out how many other people thought the same, it may be reasonable to think that many others did too and with such a small margin it could easily have changed the outcome.

I also take the point that the referendum was just an information gathering exercise and that, using that information, it is the duty of parliament to debate the matter in depth and detail to decide what actually is best for UK.

And TM is, in my opinion, correct to allow some time to elapse in order to give time for thought and reflection. It is foolish to think that any government would take action straight away on the outcome of a referendum with such a close margin and an allegedly rather corrupt campaign.

I guess we should allow the grown ups to decide.

GrahamC
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat 25 Oct 2014 21:43

Post by GrahamC » Wed 13 Jul 2016 11:50

I don't think that arguing forcefully for what you believe is right necessarily means that you must then insist on being prime minister if/when your argument's prevail. Political argument is one thing, fitness for the very highest office is another.

It's not at all wrong for Boris and Gove to make way for Theresa May who is much more likely to command the following and respect of more of the country. Boris and Gove are certain to be formally involved the Brexit process.

No Gus I am not changing tack. From the very outset of this debate I have always maintained that I am a reluctant Brexiter. Nothing would have been easier for my life in the PO than a Remain vote. But when it was clear that the EU Commission was too damn arrogant to listen to the concerns of its second largest member it was obvious which way to vote.

Now look what has happened. Suddenly they are all over themselves thinking of ways in which Europe should be made more democratic. Why didn't they do that BEFORE the vote? Do we really think that would have happened if we had voted to remain?

In future Gus (this is the second time you've done it) please try not to take a small piece of a widespread response and imply something that isn't true.

Corrupt referendum? In what way? Are we talking about the £9m of taxpayers money to fund a biased and unbalanced booklet posted through every door in the country (an action that would have been illegal during a normal election plebiscite). Or are we perhaps talking about the Treasury report that slanted every single assumption to make the consequences of Brexit look dire? Or are we referring to Osborne's penalty budget that would have to happen but -oh look - no it doesn't?

If 'misleading information' makes the result unsafe then perhaps we had better annul the result of every general election ever held.

Neither side came out of the debate smelling of roses. But 17.4 million votes to leave cannot be ignored.
Last edited by GrahamC on Wed 13 Jul 2016 12:33, edited 4 times in total.

GrahamC
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat 25 Oct 2014 21:43

Post by GrahamC » Wed 13 Jul 2016 12:22

What I REALLY can't fathom in all this debate we've had is why anyone on here or in the UK would vote for the current EU system of governance.

As it stands 70% of all the new laws and regulation that we are subjected to are devised in secret by people we can't vote for and can't vote out.

Worse still laws made by the elected members of our parliament in a transparent process of openly accessible debate can, since Lisbon, be struck down by a politically motivated court over which we have no control.

Luxembourg has one EU commissioner for every 500,000 people. We have one for every 30 MILLION.

Again people WHY is this not a huge problem for you? I genuinely don't understand how anyone can be so sanguine about this.

I think it can be taken as read that every reader of this forum loves Europe and the European ideal but can someone please present me with cogent arguments why this trumps democracy?

PS

Please don't respond with the argument that we have more chance changing it if we're in. We tried that for 40 years without success.
Last edited by GrahamC on Wed 13 Jul 2016 12:51, edited 3 times in total.

GrahamC
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat 25 Oct 2014 21:43

Post by GrahamC » Wed 13 Jul 2016 12:43

Gus Morris wrote:

Where is the golden dawn that the tabloids promised would greet Britain once it had voted to thrown off the shackles of EU control? How has the taste of the honeyed milk of sovereignty lifted the spirits of the British to new heights? Or was it all an illusion?

Gus


1. We have't yet thrown off the shackles.
2. Only 20 days has elapsed since the vote.
3. The sky has not fallen in as predicted.
4. The £ has fallen - thank god for us business exporters.

neil mitchell
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun 03 Mar 2013 11:47
Contact:

Post by neil mitchell » Wed 13 Jul 2016 13:23

Well, as a simple pleb, who really only makes a voting decision on the most superficial criteria, I need a government to look carefully at what I want and decide whether or not it is in the best interest of the country. Even if a small majority of other plebs have done the same thing because it may well be that what we want is not actually what we need.

martyn94
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 2086
Joined: Sun 14 Apr 2013 14:37

Post by martyn94 » Wed 13 Jul 2016 14:45

GrahamC wrote:What I REALLY can't fathom in all this debate we've had is why anyone on here or in the UK would vote for the current EU system of governance.

As it stands 70% of all the new laws and regulation that we are subjected to are devised by people we can't vote for and can't vote out.

Worse still laws made by the elected members of our parliament in a transparent process of openly accessible debate can, since Lisbon, be struck down by a politically motivated court over which we have no control.

Again people WHY is this not a huge problem for you? I genuinely don't understand how anyone can be so sanguine about this.

I think it can be taken as read that every reader of this forum loves Europe and the European ideal but can someone please present me with cogent arguments why this trumps democracy?

PS

Please don't respond with the argument that we have more chance changing it if we're in. We tried that for 40 years without success.
The shortest answer - not very glorious, but entirely cogent - was coined by Hillaire Belloc

"Always keep ahold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse".

We didn't, and we assuredly have.

For the rest, I just don't see the world in the same manichean terms as you do (does X trump Y, or Y trump X? It depends.). I believe, like Churchill, that democracy is the worst system apart from all the others, but I don't make a fetish of it, or believe it can only have one institutional expression.

I have spent far too much of my life in three-quarters-empty Commons committee rooms at three in the morning helping the whips push through legislation that no-one but me understood (and often I didn't, as it turned out) to have romantic ideas about "the transparent process of openly accessible debate". And I have spent enough time in endless EU working groups to know that they can come up, ultimately, with quite good stuff, accepted by a consensus of the member states' elected representatives. The difference being that it takes years, and you do actually have to persuade people.

We have now got a new prime minister elected, effectively, by a few hundred members on the committees of local Conservative associations. That's the price of living in a representative democracy. But Juncker comes out smelling of roses by comparison.

GrahamC
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat 25 Oct 2014 21:43

Post by GrahamC » Wed 13 Jul 2016 15:22


The shortest answer - not very glorious, but entirely cogent - was coined by Hillaire Belloc

"Always keep ahold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse".

We didn't, and we assuredly have.
Ironically that quote applies equally the other way round. 1000 years of sovereign government (depending on your take on history) vs 40 of foreign oligarchy.

For the rest, I just don't see the world in the same manichean terms as you do (does X trump Y, or Y trump X? It depends.). I believe, like Churchill, that democracy is the worst system apart from all the others, but I don't make a fetish of it, or believe it can only have one institutional expression.
It may have more than one form of experession but all democracies in free societies by their definition have 2 essential features:

1. The election of the executive by the people.
2. The separation of executive and judiciary.

The EU has neither.

I can understand why, with your background and political leaning, you tend to prefer the idea of oligarchy. But your personal opinions derived from that are not an objective argument in favour of abandoning democracy.

It may be your personal opinion that good decisions are taken in the EU - it may even be the case that some of them are ;)

But what happens when different people replace the ones now behind closed doors? Will you still champion oligarchy if it swings radically right? Would you be content for Marine le Pen to replace Juncker courtesy of a cabal of right wing commissioners?

One doesn't have to be manichean in one's thinking to strongly advocate democracy as a least worst option. And not many people would agree with your assertion that a strong, principled stand in support of democracy is fetishistic.

I agree wholeheartedly with Churchill's sentiment. Thank you for adding it.

martyn94
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 2086
Joined: Sun 14 Apr 2013 14:37

Post by martyn94 » Wed 13 Jul 2016 19:34

GrahamC wrote:

The shortest answer - not very glorious, but entirely cogent - was coined by Hillaire Belloc

"Always keep ahold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse".

We didn't, and we assuredly have.
Ironically that quote applies equally the other way round. 1000 years of sovereign government (depending on your take on history) vs 40 of foreign oligarchy.

For the rest, I just don't see the world in the same manichean terms as you do (does X trump Y, or Y trump X? It depends.). I believe, like Churchill, that democracy is the worst system apart from all the others, but I don't make a fetish of it, or believe it can only have one institutional expression.
It may have more than one form of experession but all democracies in free societies by their definition have 2 essential features:

1. The election of the executive by the people.
2. The separation of executive and judiciary.

The EU has neither.

I can understand why, with your background and political leaning, you tend to prefer the idea of oligarchy. But your personal opinions derived from that are not an objective argument in favour of abandoning democracy.

It may be your personal opinion that good decisions are taken in the EU - it may even be the case that some of them are ;)

But what happens when different people replace the ones now behind closed doors? Will you still champion oligarchy if it swings radically right? Would you be content for Marine le Pen to replace Juncker courtesy of a cabal of right wing commissioners?

One doesn't have to be manichean in one's thinking to strongly advocate democracy as a least worst option. And not many people would agree with your assertion that a strong, principled stand in support of democracy is fetishistic.

I agree wholeheartedly with Churchill's sentiment. Thank you for adding it.
I think you do have to be manichean to express your worldview in such loaded terms.

I don't think that the EU is a state let alone a superstate. Some people, in the past, may have had ambitions that way but they manifestly have not been realised. I consequently don't think that it has an executive in the sense that a sovereign state has one. I see no reason to think that the ECJ is not independent, or is politically motivated. I can understand that you don't agree with some of their decisions, but courts are like that: I won the couple of cases there that I was ever involved in, so naturally I think they're jake.

I don't understand your fantasies about Marine becoming I President of the Commision courtesy of a "cabal of right wing Commssioners". Firstly because the President isn't elected that way. Secondly because it would be entirely democratic to have her there if she got through the necessary hoops, though it seems unlikely given that she favours Exit (as her presumptive supporters in other countries would presumably do for themselves). If all else failed, that really would be a good occasion for the UK to invoke article 50.

Incidentally, if you are still in doubt what an "ad hominem" argument looks like, read your own last post. Not in the strictest sense, because we're not applying formal logic here, but in the extended sense of rejecting my arguments simply because of what you suppose you know about my background and "leanings".

GrahamC
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat 25 Oct 2014 21:43

Post by GrahamC » Wed 13 Jul 2016 20:03

OK, I'm out of this thread too. I was trying to turn this from a woe-is-me Martyn thread into a serious discussion of democratic principles. But it's all now sounding like sour grapes to end all sour grapes.

We still live in a democracy thank God, and the majority of the UK population don't think like you Martyn. Respect the will of the people and move on.

I am still genuinely, seriously, intrigued by the democracy question because I am desperately trying to understand the Remainers counter argument. If anyone can enlighten me I'd love to receive your PM.

PS.

Nothing supposed about where you're coming from Martyn. You've already told us that you were a civil servant and a lifetime socialist. And in another life, as a government servant dealing with the cabinet office, I had plenty of experience of that. :D :lol: :shock: :shock:

Post Reply