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Posts posted by L00b

  1. 16 minutes ago, RJRB said:

    The fringe parties may influence whichever of the 2 dominant parties are in power,but will never ascend to a majority.In this sense they have a role to play.

    I am not even sure that a change is desirable when you look at the battles to form an acceptable coalition of small parties such as applies in Belgium.

    It seems that coalitions are inevitably short lived.

    Belgium is an outlier. Coalitions work just fine, and have long worked just fine, elsewhere. Germany is the opposite example in that respect.


    But, and of course, that supposes a predisposition for consensus-led politics and, but for the degree of divergence in political beliefs and/or principles that underpin the disparity of parties involved, a common design to strive for the best interests of the entire electorate (-and other residents not entitled to vote), however diverse.


    Never is a long time. 

  2. 22 hours ago, Anna B said:

    The current (under Starmer) Labour and Conservative party are both following a Neoliberal agenda which is causing the huge wealth gap and schism in society.  The electorate have never been given a choice on this policy, and yet it affects every aspect of their lives. So their 'democratic' choice is no choice at all.   

    That is wrong.


    The greens and the libdems (e.g.) have long been credible-enough voting alternatives.


    But so long as you, as a voting collective, fail to coordinate enough to end the phenomenon of safe seats under FPTP system, of course nothing is going to change. 


    The electorate has been given that choice with every election. It's only apathy that maintains the status quo, and it is in the interest of neither the Tories nor Labour to change it.

  3. 2 hours ago, The Joker said:

    I considered bypassing this step and simply throwing the laptop in the bin myself, but the end result is that laptop will not reach its destination.



    Seriously: if UPS don't know any better than DHL, and you can't get through (or an answer from) HMRC, try the Chamber of Commerce.


    British chambers have been running seminars all month with European audiences about Brexit and customs, so someone there might know (-more), even if this isn't a business/commercial call.



  4. The Joker, just send it as you usually would.

    If anyone asks you to fill in a form, refer them to Mr Johnson at no.10 Downing Street, wherein they will be told to throw that form in the bin.



    1 minute ago, RollingJ said:

    Agreed, but it is red tape agreed (presumably) between the UK & EU for something that has not been needed it for 40+ years - why now, when other than the exit of the UK from the EU has changed??

    Because the UK is not in the Single Market or Customs Union.

    That red tape has not been “agreed between the UK & EU”, it is the standard red tape for import/export between third party countries.

    This is what ‘exiting’ always entailed (unless the UK stayed within the Single Market).

  5. 19 minutes ago, tinfoilhat said:

    I'm intrigued into way they are doing it? Do they think AZ are on the fiddle? More over do they think they're on the fiddle at Boris' behest? They are coming out of this very badly.

    Apparently a delivery note was found by investigators, for a very early shipment of vaccine from AZ's Belgian factory to NI, which (if it happened) puts AZ in breach of its contractual obligations to the EU about the initial 300m doses.


    That breach would then necessarily be either wilful (on gvt order or out of patriotism or ...) or accidental. The export control is designed to mitigate reoccurrence of that breach irrespectively of whether it is wilful or accidental: customs officer would just seize the shipments in Zeebrugge or wherever else they leave Belgium.


    But this is all still looking very confused, there is some doubt about whether the Commission actually took a/the decision under Article 16 at all, and it wasn't instead some unauthorised disclosure of preparatory materials (the Commission had been talking about Art.16 for quite a while). 


    It's a political mess. But at least, it's not an illegal one (if the decision was actually taken), because Art.16 allows unilateral invoking without consultation in an emergency (which this would be, if the underlying facts are averred).

  6. 6 minutes ago, El Cid said:

    I am really in the middle and I believe policies on the light and right could work given a chance. I drive a minibus for a local authority, they have in-house buses and private.

    Both private and in-house works. The Tories, more so Boris, look after the rich, but they also need to look after the poor to get votes.

    I concider myself slightly more rightwing, but I would very much favour Labour for a mixed economy and social justice.

    The evidence is that they don't.


    Clearly, propaganda is enough to get the impoverished vote.


    T'was ever thus.

  7. 1 hour ago, Westie1889 said:

    I agree it takes time to organise and sort the number of doses and funding between the EU 27, but I thinks it’s fair to point out that it took them far too long even taking that into account.

    Some of the Northern European health ministers had got together already to plan procurement for their respective nations, as it is possible to do this as you point out.

    However, they were then over-ruled after pressure was applied by the EU commission and according to one German newspaper were forced to write what amounted to an apology to the Commission for attempting to go it alone.

    I get people have an agenda based on their Brexit views and it must be hard not to defend whichever viewpoint you adhere too, especially after years of wrangling and some serious affects on people’s lives.


    But this decision will cost lives, either in the EU or here so that should be the primary focus in this debate.


    I would like a closer relationship with the EU than we have now, and I admire many of the things it has achieved but on this occasion the criticism that it is too bureaucratic and over-bearingly political has been laid bare and will result in the loss of life sadly.


    Hopefully the politicians will reflect on why they made these mistakes and focus on doing the best they can for their citizens rather than playing costly political games.


    I'm reserving final judgement on this particular issue, until the contracts have been published and facts have been delineated from allegations.


    We're hearing about inequitable conduct by Astra Zeneca favouring the UK in breach of their contractual obligations with the EU, here - something which I very much doubt that you are hearing over there. Now I'm saying that in passing without any partiality* here, simply to illustrate the point that there is a lot of media noise over a lot of allegations, both in the UK and outside of it,  with little verified substance and an a sea of misinformation.


    *this is the Covid thread, and my position remains that this vaccines stuff has *sod all* to do with the UK-EU relationship, considering 'Brexit' really only started at all 29 days ago, when all these issues about PPE, vaccines funding and supply contracts, etc. were all in the works and done months and months ago in 2020, whilst the UK was to all intents and purposes still in the EU, under the WA.


    It's yet another issue that is turning adversarial and antagonistic between the UK and the EU27, when really there was no need whatsoever.  With English politicians pouring it as kerosene on their blame-the-EU-for-everything fire, it's not going to get better anytime soon either. For shame. 

  8. 3 hours ago, Flanker7 said:

    The situation spins both ways.

    a) The EU -  Hide bound, bureaucratic, slow.

    b) UK - Corner cutting, standard slipping, expedient.


    I tend to believe :-

    b) as we know them so well.

    a) can be true also


    But I suspect that there are similar Political clones in every country. Whilst many of us are able to see 'wood for the trees'and hear the dog whistles in the UK our knowelege of EU is less detailed. Heaven help us.

    Recalling that healthcare generally, and pandemic management in particular, had never been competencies of the EU until last year, helps to appreciate the situation in its proper context, which is that EU member states eventually agreed to coordinate and handle procurement issues collectively through the EU institutions, which by definition takes much more organising and a longer time, whereas the UK went it alone, with the additional good fortune  of having Astra Zeneca at home with its own production facility.


    So of course the UK was always going to be more adaptive and nimble, especially after Sunak equipped it with a newfound jungle of money trees. The NHS has made the rest of the difference -and still does-  but that has certainly not been through Johnson and Hancock's leadership and managerial skills.


    Brexit supporters are currently making hay of that situation, in their desperate search for positives to make Brexit look worthwhile, even though any EU member state could have gone it alone and started vaccinations earlier. But in 6 months' time, once the most at-risk populations have been vaccinated and virus mortality declines dramatically (...in first world countries), no-one will remember who vaccinated most or quicker: what people will still remember then, are the number of deaths in their country and how the pandemic was handled by their government.


    EDIT: this EU blocking is not needed, either. There are compulsory licensing provisions in the patent legislation of every developed and semi-developed country in the world, under which a government, faced with a healthcare emergency, can force Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, etc. to grant a time-limited license (not free) to one or more national producers under the national patent for the vaccine, for boosting domestic production. Why more noise isn't made about this option, I don't know. But it's hardly secret. It's just never been used anywhere before (AFAIK). Now would very much be the time.

  9. On 27 January 2021 at 12:06, bassett one said:

    but making your car do no more than 117mph is still 47 mph over the limit,why not make all cars say 75mph and thats it,i know some will say thats still 5mph over ,but you need discretion.

    If you want the UK to continue exporting Nissans and Minis to the Continent, better not. 


    The motorway speed limit in many countries -and certainly the 2 largest markets, France and Germany- is 82 mph.


    Besides, most cars that integrate cruise control have long had a (user-selectable / -activatable) speed limiter option. Takes seconds to set on our 14 year old (low end) Mercedes.


    Modern cars with built-in GPS and cruise control already integrate all the technology required to implement this.


    My car has a GPS 'repeater' in the instrument cluster that displays the speed limit for the road I'm on and updates it in real time (by comparison with observing roadside signposts, the accuracy looks like 5-ish meters) and a "naughtymeter" that compares my current driving speed to it in realtime (5 green bars = at or under it, down to 1 red bar = multiples in excess of it). It'd be easy enough to get those electronics to 'talk' to the (similarly-electronic) throttle.


    The car is manufacturer-restricted to 155mph, like most other EU cars (-I believe). But that manufacturer limit is removable, likewise the power output is upgradeable, through reprogramming. Again, as with most other cars.

  10. UK membership was still in force last year (as extended under the WA) and yet did not prevent the UK from approving the Pfizer vaccine early nor doing independent deals, and healthcare policy was never a competency passed to the EU by member states, until Covid-fighting measures were mutualised last year.


    So I'm afraid that this link with Brexit exists only in your head.


    But whatever helps you get over your win :thumbsup:

  11. 1 hour ago, Delbow said:

    Although let's not forget that Moody's were rating a load of junk credit as AAA just before the 2008 crash. I'm not sure I would put any store in what they say, and the credit rating agencies have too much power, but that's a different issue.


    I'm not sure Moody's are quite as comprehensively discredited as all that. The AAA-rating of junk credit up to 2008 was not exclusive to them -by far- and  they continue to be paid handsomely for their credit assessments, with considerable weight still attached to them by economists and central banks.

    In any event, what Moody's are saying here is not new, or contrary to the general view. The decision of the UK government not to seek any accommodation on trade in services was widely commented on at the time, and since: if anyone thinks Moody's (and almost everyone else) is wrong in their assessment, then their reasons for thinking this would be welcome, which should be a bit more convincing than "Moody's did a bad thing 12 years ago".


    The current Brexit story about the UK government paying EU immigrants £2k to go back is interesting. The shade of brown on those spots of the leopards eating faces party is getting nastier by the week. To not great surprise, either.

  12. 10 hours ago, El Cid said:

    They are only 3/1 so put £10 on them to leave and get £30 back in 10 years time, you could get a better return on the stock market.

    Of course they need to have a referendum and they do have referendums in Italy.

    The chances of Italians looking at the UK in five years time and thinking that we are doing great, poor, but the leavers will think otherwise.

    Leavers are free to think what they want, and to do as they please with their 80 seat majority.


    Meanwhile, and irrespectively, economic facts of life -and their inevitable consequences- keep it real...


    ...wherein, speaking of Italy, the UK is trailing it for FDI these days:




    I'll let those who understand the longer-term significance of FDI starvation, draw their own conclusions.

  13. 9 minutes ago, retep said:

    Looks like cracks are appearing,


    "EU rebellion: Italy, Spain and France join eurosceptic alliance to leave Brussels bloc"



    any minute now

    any time

    it's happening

    yes really, right now

    and the German car manufacturers are finally coming to the rescue, too

    right now

    aaany time

    you'll see

  14. There really was no need for you prove my point with a quote. But thanks all the same, I guess.


    As for this "United States of Europe" stuff...<sigh>...again? Really? You've still not learned a thing about what the EU is and how it works?


    You realise that (i) it is not a federation (ii) nor any other sort of 'superstate' (iii) and it could never become one, without every single member first agreeing to it? Then what are the chances of that last one happening?


    Please don't quote The Express or the Telegraph to me. That very same Telegraph which was blaming Brexit on Angela Merkel last week (Brexit is someone's fault now...and actually the Germans' fault, you see), and the Express which recently spun those British cheese manufacturers setting up a distribution hub in Benelux as a "clever ploy to help British businesses avoid crippling EU red tape".


    It's just beyond the reach of satire at this stage.

  15. 10 minutes ago, West 77 said:


    The irony of your posting this clip, when Ms Thatcher was an architect of, and instrumental in bringing about, this very "organisation which the UK left" last year, is not wasted on me, rest assured ;)


    Rewrite away, peeps, if it makes you sleep better at night.


    Because it'll make SFA difference to the new trading normal, and all consequences thereof, intended like not.

  16. 2 hours ago, West 77 said:

    Absolutely correct. The reason was to regain our sovereignty again and being free from European jurisdiction and not being part of a future European super state.  The fact is the organisation the UK left was not the same economic community it joined in 1973.

    I'm old enough to remember that big red bus and what was written on it.


    Are nurses getting paid with some of that regained £350m sovereignty yet, or is claps-at-8 still the going rate?



    Now, that's rather a lot of history-rewriting some of you lads are doing these days. 


    But don't worry, enough people have functioning memories. A big lot of Scots first among them ;)

  17. 9 hours ago, Baron99 said:

    Of which we run a deficit.  So who needs who the greater & in the long run, on which side of The Channel will have the most suffering business when UK customers start to go, "You know what, I used to buy that product cheap from a European stockist because it was actually cheaper than buying British but since all the additional costs, it now works out cheaper to buy British / it now works out cheaper to get it imported from the Far East."


    What we've done in the past 40 odd years, is no indication of what we'll start to do in the next decade plus.  Actually, come back to me in 47 years & we'll re-evaluate. 

    And reciprocally EU27 customers, with British stockists.


    However for these EU27 customers, still without any extra paperwork (nor corresponding overheads) relative to the withdrawal period.

  18. 9 hours ago, Baron99 said:



    Despite Project Fear postings, hundreds of pages back & months ago the when some here predicted that Sunderland would be an example of a post Brexit, unemployment abyss. 


    No doubt we'll be treated on here to baseless conspiracy theories for  Nissan carrying on trading?  I'm looking forward to "Well they've been promised millions of secret Govt money just to stay" or "Well the Govt are going to scrap all the labour laws, so even if someone loose an arm on the production line, they'll be given a sticking plaster & told to get back to work." 



    Baseless theories, eh? Happy to oblige.


    9 hours ago, Baron99 said:


    Off you go, have a nice day.  Looks the workers of Sunderland will be having a rosy post Brexit future, much to the disappointment to many on here?

    I very much doubt that anyone who's spent years warning about the consequences of Brexit, here and elsewhere, wanted  to see them come about. The whole point of warning against them -and of voting Remain for those who could- was precisely to avoid the ongoing bin fire, that is only just getting started now.


    To think how many on here wanted no deal or WTO 🙄


    Johnson pushed for Canada instead. So Canada is what you have, and the new standard for freight customs clearance. 


    Carry on winning 👍

  19. 3 hours ago, alchresearch said:

    Just don't mention the Mexico wall.  

    Apparently, the pardon which Trump issued to Bannon does not extend to Bannon's running that Wall-building donations fraud, about which the State court can still indict him.



    18 minutes ago, andyofborg said:

    Apparently trump has followed one tradition and left a note, any thought  on what it says? 


    I'd hope something like 'im sorry for everything' 

    'I still won bigly, you fraud'

  20. 3 hours ago, Delbow said:

    I see fishing and sea food business can now claim up to £100k each for lost income. I'm just checking how this works: (largely) vote for Brexit, get Brexit, start losing money because of Brexit, get given other people's money to be protected from the consequences of your own decisions. Is that it?

    Sunak found a jungle's worth of money trees, then?


    You are presuming that these claims will be honoured...

    ...when fishing and seafood businesses are merely the first 2 seats of the first carriage of a miles-long train nicknamed "UK plc".


    It's not the sort of presumption that I would feel confident enough to stake my business' continuity on.


    Not when there's a planeload or ten of carpetbaggers circling and waiting for the derailment, to then swoop in and pillage the wreckage for nowt; and then stash the proceeds in BVI and Jersey banks.

  21. 21 minutes ago, andyofborg said:

    think of the fun you can have finding a way to cook them which makes you like them. 

    Quoted for truth. Lobster tandoori is really quite something.

    13 hours ago, Delbow said:

    If the Brexiters in government really, really care about keeping money in the UK, they'll use their new political independence to make sure companies can't offshore their profits and avoid paying corporation tax. Let's see if that happens.

    Enhanced tax avoidance is a feature of Brexit, not a bug.


    It's plebes' money that they want to keep in the UK. So expect capital controls before too long (on top of customs restrictions in destination EU countries), now that FoM of capital has been removed.

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