October 26, 2019 at 10:25 am #191150
Actually, Chris Gilligan is quite good but you have to listen first to 5 minutes or so of Kliman and the other one going on about Trump being a “proto-fascist” and the need to unite with “centrists” to oust him. I’m afraid Kliman has completely lost the plot politically. Even Gilligan has to dismiss the attempt to liken Boris to Trump.
October 27, 2019 at 4:54 pm #191154
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Matthew Culbert.
It looks as if that loudmouth Tim Martin may be about to receive his comeuppance:
I don’t know why I still go to Wetherspoons. Well, I do. The beer is cheaper and there’s no music so you can have a proper conversation.
Talking of beer mats, this one was better …November 7, 2019 at 9:08 am #191316
Looking for something else, came across this article from the January 1970 Socialist Standard. We’ve been nothing if not consistent.
“The Socialist Party and the Common Market
The Socialist Party of Great Britain is neither for nor against Britain’s entry into Europe. We stand for world Socialism and regard the Common Market issue as irrelevant from a working class point of view.
Britain’s joining the Common Market would amount to little more than a re-arrangement of tariff barriers. Which is a matter of no concern to workers, but of great concern to capitalists since it could affect their profits.
Most of Britain’s biggest firms have long been convinced that joining the Common Market would allow them to make more profits. This is why the parties that most directly serve their interests, the Labour Party and the Tory Party are also in favour of entry. It is the task of these parties to work out policies that benefit capitalist industry in Britain and then to trick workers into backing these policies. Thus we are about to be subjected yet again to intense pro-Market propaganda in the press and on the radio and television.
Some British capitalists, with investments mainly in farming and what used to be the British Empire, are opposed to entry as they reckon it would threaten their profits. Their direct political expression is through sections of the Tory Party but their anti-Market campaign is helped, no doubt inadvertently, by a section of the Labour Party, the National Front and the so-called Communist Party.
It is because we know that the Common Market debate involves only the interests of these two sections of the British capitalist class and that, as we say in our declaration of principles, “the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class”, that we refuse to take sides and warn workers not to be taken in by the political spokesmen of either section.
We repeat now what we said when this red herring first appeared in 1961:
“Whether the British government goes in or not, British workers should be looking to promote their own Socialist working class unity with workers everywhere, not just in Western Europe” (Socialist Standard, January 1962).”
December 17, 2019 at 11:21 am #192260
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by ALB.
It is now clear that the UK will formally leave the EU on 31 January but the nature of the trade arrangements with the EU remain to be settled. The status quo — of being in the customs union and the single market — will apply until at least 31 December 2020.
Johnson wants a free trade agreement with no tariffs and no quotas but the EU won’t agree to this unless there is a high degree of regulatory convergence (on state aids, environmental standards, workers’ rights, etc) to avoid unfair competition from UK companies. They will insist on “a level playing field”. What exactly this will be is what is going to be negotiated over the coming year. It needn’t be fully regulatory alignment but could be mutual recognition of each other’s regulations.
We’ll see. But once the UK has formally left I think that will satisfy the vast majority of Leave voters. I can’t see them getting worked up — or being successfully stirred up — over the details of what is or what is not a level playing field for UK-EU trade. Trading arrangements was never the real reason why they voted Leave or for the Tory or Brexit parties last Thursday.
If this is right then Brexit will no longer be a popular issue let alone the main one. Good thing too.December 17, 2019 at 12:00 pm #192262robbo203Participant
It looks like a no deal Brexit is once more a possibility. If that happens what are the likely consequences?December 17, 2019 at 12:35 pm #192267
It won’t happen. By waving the possibility that it might Johnson is seeking to strengthen the UK’s negotiating hand. The same goes for his announcement that he won’t extend the transition period beyond 31 December next year. Some commentators are saying that this latter could prove to be counterproductive as, assuming that the threat of no deal is a bluff, it puts pressure on the UK government to reach a quick deal and so strengthens the EU’s hand.
Fascinating stuff for nerds but unlikely to interest Leave voters who will regard leaving on 31 January as having got “Brexit done” as far as they’re concerned (and as far as it concerns them).December 17, 2019 at 5:48 pm #192273AnonymousInactive
The workers who voted for Brexit they are already satisfied with the results of the election, they do not care about anything else, their nationalist sentiments have been fulfilled, in any way staying with the UE or leaving the UE makes no difference either. It is the same case of the followers of Donald Trump, they do not care if he is the worst president or the worst leader, they just want a white nationalistJanuary 7, 2020 at 8:06 pm #192662
And they think it is all over
The European parliament will express its “grave concern” about the attitude of Boris Johnson’s government to the 3.3 million EU citizens living in the UK following threats of deportation made by a British minister. The condemnation follows the comments of security minister Brandon Lewis, who threatened EU citizens with deportation from the UK if they do not apply for settled status before the deadline of 30 June 2021.
Without a “physical document” offering proof of their right to residency at the end of the transition period on 1 January 2021 there is an increased “risk of discrimination against EU27 citizens by prospective employers or landlords who may want to avoid the extra administrative burden of online verification, or erroneously fear they might place themselves in an unlawful situation”.January 17, 2020 at 1:30 am #192822
“The Treasury will need to find almost £2bn a year to fill the hole left when EU funding for some of Britain’s poorest communities ends after Brexit, ministers have been told.”
I can recall shortly after the referendum a TV documentary taking an unemployed worker in one of the most run-down regions of Wales that voted overwhelming for Brexit on a tour of his home town, showing him all the new developments and new infrastructure which was being funded by the EU, each with the sign that said so.
He had not a clue about this EU investment and had only seen the Brexit headlines of the money the UK had to pay the EU.
If Brexiteer voters believe that central government will now fully replace that cash, they are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. They’ll need reminding, of course.January 17, 2020 at 11:31 am #192828
Or the government will continue some of it and proclaim it as some new initiative to “regenerate” the North or wherever. In any event, ordinary people are not going to notice much difference either way. Certainly not on 1 February (except for the sound of church bells chiming in some places), if only because the UK will still be in the EU economically. They won’t notice much difference either on 1 January 2021, when new trading arrangements with the EU are supposed to come in. But much of these are likely to be window-dressing with the UK taking the “independent sovereign decision” to do what it would have done had it still been in the EU.January 24, 2020 at 10:01 am #192934
From today’s Times without comment:
“Britain will not diverge from European rules “just for the sake of it” after Brexit, Sajid Javid said yesterday, as he softened the government’s rhetoric on future EU trade talks.
In a move to reassure business, the chancellor said that while ministers were determined that Britain would not become a “rule taker” from Brussels, it did not mean the UK would necessarily diverge from European standards.
“We will be a sovereign and independent country,” he told a lunch for British executives at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. “But we’ll always protect the interests of British businesses throughout this process and we’ll maintain high standards — not because we are told to, but because we want to.””January 24, 2020 at 2:32 pm #192937Bijou DrainsParticipant
“not because we are told to, but because we want to.”
I say more or less the same thing to our lass when she tell’s me what to do, but we both know what’s really going on. 🙁 🙁January 30, 2020 at 10:59 am #193127
More of the same. From an article by Simon Nixon, their chief leader writer in today’s Times:
“Theresa Villiers this week introduced a bill in parliament that legally guarantees Britain will leave the fisheries policy. But the government will have little choice but to negotiate a deal that looks remarkably similar to it.”
So, they put us all through this Brexit fuss just to change the way that decisions are made, not the content of the decisions. Talk about much ado about nothing.January 30, 2020 at 10:22 pm #193134
In an alternative reality if the Dutch had not been in the EU
Without EU laws, particle pollution in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague would have risen steadily to be about 10 times greater than they are today; only slightly better than cities across China, India and Iran.
Average life expectancy across the Netherlands would be about six years shorter;
That equates to about 66,000 extra Dutch deaths annuallyJanuary 31, 2020 at 10:03 am #193138
Actually, when you read the article, the “alternative reality” is not the Netherlands not being in the EU but if the EU’s anti air pollution laws didn’t exist.
Obviously, as air pollution respects no frontiers, some sort of inter-governmental agreement in particular with Germany with its heavy industry was required to deal with air pollution in the Netherlands, and the existence of the EU and its decision-making procedures facilitated this. However, the same regulations could have been negotiated bilaterally been the two states.
So it does not follow that had the Netherlands not been in the EU more people would have died. Not that the article actually says this — it merely says that if EU anti-pollution laws had not applied there — but appearing in the anti-Brexit Guardian readers would be expected to draw this conclusion and extend it to assume that with Britain now out of the EU more people will die here.
But this assumes that Britain will not follow the content of EU anti air pollution laws or will water them down. Theoretically possible but highly unlikely as, while Britain might be free to make its own “sovereign” decisions from tomorrow (actually it won’t be till 31 December at the earliest as it has to follow EU rules till then), it would not be free of the economic reality that the economies of Britain and the EU are interdependent and can’t be separated, at least not without severe economic disruption which no government of capitalist Britain would dare risk despite electioneering and pre-negotiation rhetoric. Wait and see.
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