UK Politics in General

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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Derek » 22 November 2020, 20:29

I think of Macbeth, delightful accents, and misery.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 22 November 2020, 20:30

For me it's deep-fried Mars bars.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Magic J » 22 November 2020, 20:33

I've actually had a deep fried Mars bar. In Stonehaven, no less (where legend says it was first conceived).

It's pretty meh.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Marmaduke » 22 November 2020, 20:39

Ok, you’re right, Ireland was a clumsy point. Nobody thinks of the Queen when they think of Ireland, unless it’s blowing her up. I think the main thread that pulled me into talking about Ireland at all was the way you presented as a virtue something which seemingly went so wholly against your values, i.e. multinational corporations settling in Ireland to minimise tax.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Marmaduke » 22 November 2020, 20:40

Derek wrote:Why do you want strong international standing? What good has the UK used its international standing for recently, for its own people or for others?

It used it to secure the loans required to pay 80% of everyone’s salary for 6 months.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Marmaduke » 22 November 2020, 20:48

But no, I don’t see it, I don’t see that Scotland has the capital required to function independently. There’s so much it’s going to need to pay for, be it one off huge costs at the start or ongoing costs that have been heavily subsidised up until now. So many questions, like “what is Scotland’s foreign policy?” “How will international aid be distributed?” “What’s the immigration policy?”

In fact, that last one, that’s the one Scotland needs to start working on now if it really wants independence. Because all we care about in England is immigration, nothing terrifies us more than Syrian refugees. And if you start letting them in, thinking being humanitarian will do you a favour in the long term, the tabloid media will have you painted as the best friend ISIS ever had in about 3 days. And then you’re fucked. Then it’s only a matter of time before every illegal immigrant we can’t force back onto the French, we try and force onto you with the suggestion that they probably arrived in a lorry off of a Dutch ferry that so handily lands in Edinburgh now. And we’ll win, because just look at how we treated our own homeless citizens over the years, we don’t help them, we just buy them a cheese sandwich and a train ticket to be someone else’s problem. And you just know that train is gonna be the Caledonian Express. Scotland needs a border control plan and it needs one iron clad and double quick, because otherwise England is gonna use it to fuck you over. I’m not proud of it, it’s gonna make me ashamed when we inevitably get caught doing it, but we both know we’re gonna do it.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Derek » 22 November 2020, 20:50

Marmaduke wrote:
Derek wrote:Why do you want strong international standing? What good has the UK used its international standing for recently, for its own people or for others?

It used it to secure the loans required to pay 80% of everyone’s salary for 6 months.

I'm not familiar, but I assume it did it the way every country does, namely by leveraging against its own currency?
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Marmaduke » 22 November 2020, 20:56

Derek wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
Derek wrote:Why do you want strong international standing? What good has the UK used its international standing for recently, for its own people or for others?

It used it to secure the loans required to pay 80% of everyone’s salary for 6 months.

I'm not familiar, but I assume it did it the way every country does, namely by leveraging against its own currency?

It’s eligibility for credit and the terms at which that credit is offered works in very broadly the same way as it does for you. The UK has a credit rating, just like you, based on its current debt, its income and its behaviour so far as that affects the bank’s confidence that its debt to income ratio will remain manageable. Whilst it’s not the top-notch AAA rating we had 7 or 8 years ago, it’s still AA- and that’s thanks largely to its international standing and the continuing faith held by financial institutions around the world that we can and will repay what we owe without doing stupid things like minting trillion dollar coins or just writing a really big cheque and issuing enough new liquidity to cover it.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 22 November 2020, 20:59

This is going to be classed as severely reductionist, I am aware of that, but at least in what I've experienced a lot of the rhetoric around Scottish independence from the UK is very similar in tone to the rhetoric around the UK's "independence" from the EU.

And I'm not saying it's all as bullshit as Brexit is. My issue with it is that it so often sounds like the SNP is selling a very idealised version of the concept, one that's going to be easy and work out well for everyone and everything will be sunshine and lollipops at the end of it.

I mean the whole UK is getting a lesson right now, a years-long one, about how hard and potentially disastrous it is to extricate ourselves from a union we'd been in for 47 years. Scotland has been part of the UK for 313 years.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Derek » 22 November 2020, 21:47

Marmaduke wrote:
Derek wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
Derek wrote:Why do you want strong international standing? What good has the UK used its international standing for recently, for its own people or for others?

It used it to secure the loans required to pay 80% of everyone’s salary for 6 months.

I'm not familiar, but I assume it did it the way every country does, namely by leveraging against its own currency?

It’s eligibility for credit and the terms at which that credit is offered works in very broadly the same way as it does for you. The UK has a credit rating, just like you, based on its current debt, its income and its behaviour so far as that affects the bank’s confidence that its debt to income ratio will remain manageable. Whilst it’s not the top-notch AAA rating we had 7 or 8 years ago, it’s still AA- and that’s thanks largely to its international standing and the continuing faith held by financial institutions around the world that we can and will repay what we owe without doing stupid things like minting trillion dollar coins or just writing a really big cheque and issuing enough new liquidity to cover it.

Do you think a nation's credit score depends on the size of its influence in international politics? If that was the case, shouldn't the US have a higher credit score than Canada? Or Ireland, for that matter?
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Marmaduke » 22 November 2020, 22:07

Derek wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
Derek wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
Derek wrote:Why do you want strong international standing? What good has the UK used its international standing for recently, for its own people or for others?

It used it to secure the loans required to pay 80% of everyone’s salary for 6 months.

I'm not familiar, but I assume it did it the way every country does, namely by leveraging against its own currency?

It’s eligibility for credit and the terms at which that credit is offered works in very broadly the same way as it does for you. The UK has a credit rating, just like you, based on its current debt, its income and its behaviour so far as that affects the bank’s confidence that its debt to income ratio will remain manageable. Whilst it’s not the top-notch AAA rating we had 7 or 8 years ago, it’s still AA- and that’s thanks largely to its international standing and the continuing faith held by financial institutions around the world that we can and will repay what we owe without doing stupid things like minting trillion dollar coins or just writing a really big cheque and issuing enough new liquidity to cover it.

Do you think a nation's credit score depends on the size of its influence in international politics? If that was the case, shouldn't the US have a higher credit score than Canada? Or Ireland, for that matter?

I said influenced by, not dependent on. Both the US and the UK should probably have lower ratings than they do, based on debt as a ratio of GDP and borrowing patterns over the last 10-15 years.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Derek » 22 November 2020, 22:18

If the UK and US weren't able to borrow so cheaply, maybe they'd consider taxing corporations again. This is another instance where it strikes me as a net-negative that countries like ours are powerful. Certainly it's not necessary to be powerful to finance a basic welfare state if poorer and weaker countries can do it.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Magic J » 23 November 2020, 21:51

Severelius wrote:And I'm not saying it's all as bullshit as Brexit is. My issue with it is that it so often sounds like the SNP is selling a very idealised version of the concept, one that's going to be easy and work out well for everyone and everything will be sunshine and lollipops at the end of it.

I suppose that I just don't find the "it'll be very complicated" argument to be particularly compelling. Not now, anyway. It evidently wasn't compelling in the Brexit debates, and it won't prove compelling in the independence debates, and nor should it, frankly. It is by any measure true, and the SNP have yet to convince me that they're entirelly up to the task, but if that's the sum total of the argument, then it reads like a hostage situation more than anything else. People are becoming more willing to accept the risk.

I think you're right to look at SNP messaging more critically. The SNP have quite effectively seized the mantle of progressivism here, when it's actually not particularly obvious how their vision for an independent Scotland is inherently progressive. It certainly could be, but that really does need to be argued out and proven through policy. Again, I'm not certain that the SNP have done this during their time in power (for instance, their signature policy, free university tuition, whilst good in principle, is not quite as egalitarian as it might seem). They've achievements to their name, absolutely, in the realms of social policy, to my mind, but economic policy? Well, if their (thankfully dropped) plans to slash corporate tax in an independent Scotland and their (apparently still in play) aversion to wealth taxes of any sort are anything to go by...

However, they have the energy and sense of forward momentum, and that counts for a lot when there's a general sense that the system has become tired and increasingly unworthy of participation. The debates around independence have increased political participation quite a bit, and I see that as an obviously good thing. Perhaps that'll continue into an independent future. Maybe there's creative potential to it, if we get back to having a genuine choice at the ballot box (this is me foreseeing the splitting of the SNP into it's constituent elements).

There's so many hopes and aspirations that can be hitched to this wagon, and if Labour (I reckons it must be Labour) can't muster a suitably invigorating counter to this, then Scotland will go independent, and maybe we'll all deserve it.

I think that's a bleak enough take on this. :P I await the campaigns.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby GaySpacePirateKing » 24 November 2020, 20:53

And now for the crazy wacko anarcho position on all this that no one asked for! Hey its your choice to read on!

For the TLDR version my musings on this kind of go back and forth although ultimately I am neither for or against independence, but I also don't really see any point in it.

So I am kind of in initial agreement with Marmaduke which is strange because he isn't as far as I know coming at this from an anti-capitalist perspective, but rather more of a liberal one that England/Scotland would lose international standing, that our economy would be fucked and that it would be an extremely complex and difficult process to which yeah I agree that some extent of this is probably what I think it would result as.

The other part of this that the economic risks or consequences are worth it due to the political benefits I have never been able to understand.

I shall conceded that we might and in fact probably would have better more progressive government policy in an independent Scotland so long as the government in an independent Scotland is in a position to be able to implement it. I am not sure its worth the cost though if the cost is economic hardship for thousands of us. But then again perhaps we are already heading that way regardless because of Brexit and Covid.

I think there is a tendency for people to go a bit further than this though in terms of how much they perceive independence as breaking away from the grip of the politics of Westminster or the tories and giving people real meaningful democratic choice and control to which my thoughts are that it really doesn't.

This is where my cynicism kicks in. My political views are marked by a deep scepticism towards political parties, governments, economic and political institutions so as long as all that remains in place and it obviously will in an independent Scotland then I don't see it as being any fundamentally different.

This isn't some theory bullshit I am on about here either I mean materially I don't see it any different. All of the current political and economic relationships would remain in place. Your a worker you work for a boss, earn a wage, are controlled in your work, exploited, governed over by politicians who make the big important decisions over which you still have only limited say.

It could as I alluded to open up the way for some reform - an increase in workers rights and conditions or give the left a bit more room for manoeuvrability. If we could get all this through it I'd vote for it, but there is nothing certain about this at all.

This is the reason that when people say that Scottish independence would solve the situation in the UK of England voting one way and Scotland another and of the Scottish people therefore not been 'represented' properly I am thinking that well yeah it might but its not the root of the biggest problems here. Scottish people being 'properly represented' in an independent Scotland doesn't translate to me as Scottish people having meaningful control over there lifes.

Basically I am just a cynical bastard :shrug:
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Brenden » 24 November 2020, 21:05

It is generally the case that the more local the politician is the more responsive they are to their constituents. Holyrood is a short train ride away from the vast majority of Scots. Constituency MSPs have offices in even small towns of 10,000~15,000 people. Most MSPs commute from their constituency.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby GaySpacePirateKing » 24 November 2020, 22:49

Brenden wrote:It is generally the case that the more local the politician is the more responsive they are to their constituents. Holyrood is a short train ride away from the vast majority of Scots. Constituency MSPs have offices in even small towns of 10,000~15,000 people. Most MSPs commute from their constituency.


I mean yeah they might be better at listening to the views of the people in their constituency and voicing those views in Parliament, maybe voting on issues the way their constituency wants them to, turning down development projects that their constituency doesn't want to be built, agreeing to change the route of a new bypass or something for example.

I suppose its an improvement, but I don't think its much really.

I don't agree with the idea that a smaller nation gives us more control though.

Ultimately its no threat to the continuing of capitalism. Its no threat to the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few, it doesn't end the existence of economic class. It doesn't stop Scotland being influenced by international capital, corporations and international financial institutions. It doesn't mean we will have participative direct democracy.

If anything having a smaller nation risks masking class difference, creating the idea that we are all Scottish whether we are a boss or a worker and so therefore all have the same class interests.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 25 November 2020, 09:10

GaySpacePirateKing wrote:
Brenden wrote:It is generally the case that the more local the politician is the more responsive they are to their constituents. Holyrood is a short train ride away from the vast majority of Scots. Constituency MSPs have offices in even small towns of 10,000~15,000 people. Most MSPs commute from their constituency.


I mean yeah they might be better at listening to the views of the people in their constituency and voicing those views in Parliament, maybe voting on issues the way their constituency wants them to, turning down development projects that their constituency doesn't want to be built, agreeing to change the route of a new bypass or something for example.

I suppose its an improvement, but I don't think its much really.

I don't agree with the idea that a smaller nation gives us more control though.

Ultimately its no threat to the continuing of capitalism. Its no threat to the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few, it doesn't end the existence of economic class. It doesn't stop Scotland being influenced by international capital, corporations and international financial institutions. It doesn't mean we will have participative direct democracy.

If anything having a smaller nation risks masking class difference, creating the idea that we are all Scottish whether we are a boss or a worker and so therefore all have the same class interests.

You know, I've come to realise, through talking to alot of people, that there is very little support for direct democracy, even amongst those, who are ardent supporters of democracy, infact, especially amongst those people. It's so bizarre.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby GaySpacePirateKing » 25 November 2020, 10:38

PopTart wrote:You know, I've come to realise, through talking to alot of people, that there is very little support for direct democracy, even amongst those, who are ardent supporters of democracy, infact, especially amongst those people. It's so bizarre.


I don't really support it either :P

Its probably because most people envision it rolled out on a national level with everything we have current. Nation states, national economy, hierarchy, inequality in wealth and power all still existing, but now with lots of plebiscites.

When its on a decentralised and non-hierarchical, egalitarian scale where we have economic democracy along with political democracy then it sounds better to me.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Marmaduke » 25 November 2020, 11:16

I just think we need to disenfranchise the elderly and move citizenship to an app. On it, we can put everything, your passport, your driving license, your NHS information, your tax information, and when the country needs to decide something, it’s just pushed as a question via the app. We can even go fully Nietzsche and put every single matter that would be for the government to vote on onto the app, but tier them. Make it so that certain questions are only visible to people of a certain level or field of higher education. Strip members of parliament down to about half of what they are now, throw the House of Lords in the bin. Retire the Palace of Westminster, move the new government to Manchester in a new purpose built building. All with Marmaduke as Supreme Leader.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 25 November 2020, 11:21

PopTart wrote:You know, I've come to realise, through talking to alot of people, that there is very little support for direct democracy, even amongst those, who are ardent supporters of democracy, infact, especially amongst those people. It's so bizarre.

Because let's be honest, direct democracy would be a shitshow. It would devolve every single issue into complete nonsense because most of us regular clueless dolts out there don't understand the intricate details of government policy so for any vote on a detailed subject it'd end up being fucking Brexit all over again; an incredibly complex topic no random jackass really understands boiled down to the most aggressively stupid lowest common denominator talking points possible just to convince 50.1% of the voters that a terrible idea is actually a vital necessity.

I have zero faith in the British public to make good faith intellectual decisions about complex subjects. And yes I count myself in that.

Representative democracy is the best balance between democracy and letting other people handle the shit we can't be bothered to understand. And even that's a pretty busted system though I put most of that busted-ness down to First Past The Post still being a thing that exists.
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