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He's really incompetent isn't he
What a waste of money. A fucking referendum on something that doesn't need a referendum on.
Cutting us off from any serious decision-making and making the idea of a genuine renegotiation of our role utterly laughable (all I can see happening is the UK being allowed to weaken employees' rights at the expence of a right of veto), but part of me thinks it's smart domestic politics. Sure, it'll fuck the country, but from a Tory party point of view it cuts UKIP off at the pass when there was a danger that they could split the Tory vote in marginals, and if they press Miliband/Labour enough on whether they'll honour a similar pledge, it'll make the 2015 General Election all about the referendum and not about the cuts or screwed up economy.
We're halfway through this government - if it's a move with an eye on the next election then why not hold onto it for awhile longer. As it is, "we'll have a vote in five years time" just sounds ridiculous...
Hopefully it won't work.
- To bring UKIP voters, Tory backbenchers and newspapers back into the fold ahead of the general election campaign kicking off (which effectively will happen in the next year). The last thing the Tories need is disquiet, anti-leadership plots and infighting as the economy slides into a triple-dip recession and the sick, disabled and poor are seen to be being kicked to the side.
- To shift the focus away from the economy and cuts. In the absence of a war, Cameron (probably quite rightly) sees a bit of tubthumping as the only way to outflank Labour and maybe win the next General Election.
Cameron's already been doing that for the last 2 years anyway
The biggest threat to the Tories at the next election is the pressure on the right caused by UKIP. Regaining that ground is essential to any victory in 2015 and Cameron's made a shrewd move here by pandering to them and shifting the debate away from where Labour are stronger. Excellent tactics, it has to be noted.
except according to many business leaders it'll put the economy further at risk, which isn't the most clever thing to be doing at this stage of a distinctly lukewarm recovery. Certainly if I were an American/Chinese/Japanese (etc) firm looking to invest in Europe in the next 5 years, I'd be less likely to pick the UK now.
the Germans are probably feeling pretty pleased with Cameron today
I know little of the potential consequences, although I'd not be at all surprised if Cameron put the economic needs of Britain second behind his own ideology, agenda and bloodlust for power. After all, that's exactly what he's doing right now...
cmon guys why should some croissant scoffing suit decide working a doctor over a certain number of hours is unhealthy? Don't you want a lean, vigorous economy upon the Far Eastern model?
I need to know before deciding who to sarcastically ^ this.
It does a lot of good stuff, but the democratic deficit is ever more difficult to ignore, and the euro in hindsight (tying together myriad different economies of different strengths and weaknesses to a single economic policy) was a really stupid idea.
Furthermore, with all the emerging markets in the world focusing our economic efforts on a marketplace of a load of ailing economies doesn't seem a long term solution
It sounds like you just want a better EU that's more accountable and transparent.
The problem with the Euro was not that it tried to tie together too disparate economies, as the entry criteria were meant to remove that risk. The problem with the Euro was that the governments of some countries (largely the right-wing governments of southern European states), lied about their financial situation and hid loads of debt off the books.
True but only after France and Germany broke those rules in 2005, claiming that it was necessary to ensure growth. Commission took them to court and failed. Other countries took this as carte Blanche to do the same.
Didn't they get Morgan Stanley or someone to present false accounts?
Namely - I personally think it's crazy for a) a supranational body to have the ability to overrule a soverign parliament and b) for several national economies to be bound together in a single economic policy
I mean, the economy and politics of London and the South East are totally different to that of the rest of the UK.
of reducing the chances of war (within Europe, obviously), but not sure the EU in its current form is fit for purpose.
Also think that if we were to opt out of Europe we could find ourselves gradually become pretty isolated as the special relationship becomes increasingly less special to the U.S.
(not so)Splendid Isolation
Facebook seems to be a cheaper way to encourage integration...
but it's hard to get past the whole 'no wars between the major European powers since it was invented' thing. Obviously there's a causation/correlation side to things, but from a historical point of view that's both a) incredible and b) a very very good thing.
by which I mean that Cameron *is* a (sort of) Mr Sheen in that his face has this horrible 'sheen' to it.
Can't really explain the 'EU' part
perhaps you could say 'Cameron is eewwww...Mr Sheen' - that might work
(don't click on that link)
it's something I'm in favour of membership in and most people are as stupid and misinformed as me, so I'm uncomfortable with a referendum on it. Then again, one of the major qualms with it seems to be that it's not transparent so maybe I agree with all the people who don't like it ... Which I guess also makes them stupid an misinformed?
BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY!
Question is what Ed milliband should do.
I think that the Labour position should be to tell the voters who want a referendum that they’re idiots, and to tell the voters who are considering voting UKIP that they’re bigots.
That’s why I’d never go into politics.
Yeah, probably not a good idea for Milli.
But i I find he idea that the eu has a democratic deficit fairly laughable given that in the end it is national governments that hold the most powers rather than institutions.
how much would it cost to extradite/expel the roughly 4million EU nationals that currently live in the UK?
and how is the repatriation of 400,000 Brits from Spain or 150,000 Brits from France or 150,000 Brits from Germany etc. gonna work?
You could simply put an agreement in place that those already present could stay, or have an agreement like Switzerland's. Leaving EU =/= suddenly becoming some krypto-facist state
you want an EU exit that preserves the residency rights as they currently stand within the EU framework? How would that work?
My point is that leaving the EU at this stage would be such a logistical and legal nightmare that it's approaching impossible to implement and there certainly would be far reaching consequences of a withdrawal
maybe I'm misjudging but a lot of people seem to be psychologically framing this a decision to either be IN or OUT ... whereas the decision is actually whether to CONTINUE as a member State or whether to LEAVE which is an entirely different scenario in both psychological and practical terms
As they're immediate neighbours and trading partners they ratify eu legislation without actually having negotiated it.
So much for the whole "sooner the better: let's get it settled and over with" line that was being bandied around when the timetable for the 2014 referendum was being set out.
2014: Independence referendum.
2015: (Last) UK election.
2016: (First independent) Scottish Parliament election.
2017: (Remainder of the) UK referendum on EU.
so Scotland could become independent and STAY in the EU if the rest of the UK leaves?
like Taiwan was the officially recognised China at the UN for all those years
How does one become Scottish?
that he confused with reality
and take the hit that comes with it. Which is interesting considering the UK is going to referendum on whether to leave... maybe that'll change peoples minds about the EU? Are people more likely to want to stay as part of the UK rather than stay in the EU? Salmond is adamant that an indie scotland would be a member...
»Take the hit?«
Are you using that fear, uncertainty and FUD to make the claim that Scotland wouldn't be welcomed into the EU with open arms?
Are you saying that Scotland would be better off not »taking a hit« and ought to 'stay out of Europe'?
Are you a member of the, to give it it's full title, the Conservative and Unionist party?
Because we won't have the leverage of being an old member, but in fact applying like all other nations as a new member.
I don't know what FUD is, and I don't doubt the EU would accept our membership, but with what cost to our independence?
I am not saying that we should be out of the EU, not at all. Not sure where you get that from. I am asking whether people think are people going to be swayed to leave the EU and stay with the UK, or vice versa?
That's really it.
TheWza has a real bee in his bonnet around Scottish Independence. One of those topics where it's best to ignore and leave him to it, regardless of which strawmen he sets up in your name to defeat.
You're better than that.
But if by »bee in his bonnet« you mean a willingness to debate the issue and call out various lies, untruths and scare stories, then yeah probably best not to engage if all you have is misinformation.
You have to be kidding me, right?
So to summarise: you're suggesting that as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led by Westminster, which has a government currently agitating against the EU, Scotland is better placed than if it were an independent EU member, led by Holyrood, with (what would undoubtedly be) a pro-EU government?
I am asking the question if people will be swayed either way by this announcement. That is it.
So whaddya reckon?
I reckon it depends on which people we're talking about. I reckon UKIP's (and, to a lesser degree, Tory) performance in Scotland (and Wales) compared to (the south of) England gives a hint as to what to expect.
during which multinationals are scared of investing in and moving to the UK because they don't know if the UK? when we're trying to get the economy started again? a referendum that depends on tories winning the next election, or getting a coalition partner that agrees to the idea, and Cameron still being the PM after that, and not getting stabbed in the back before that. so, chances are it won't happen anyway, but everyone will just be nervously waiting for five years. great idea, Dave.
But I absolutely do not feel an iota of sorrow for him. He's in a bit of an impossible position, but he's not the first PM to be in an impossible position over something. See Gordon Brown for instance. Took a bold move in a position of helplessness to ensure the survival of the UK economy - now everyone thinks he's a profligate, useless cunt as a result. That's justice for you.
But anyway - Cameron's dilemma is just rewards for a man who has seemingly entered politics for all of the wrong reasons. He doesn't really have a cultured political backbone, nor a strong foundation of core beliefs which he is identifiable with... he's merely an arrogant careerbody who has forced his way to the top through a combination of determination, charm (ugh) and a sense of entitlement above all else.
He doesn't really have a great deal of strong political principles. He doesn't really have a position on the Euro to stick to and forcefully articulate to either his party or the nation - hence why he has been utterly unsuccessful in gaining the support of either (albeit, in slightly tricky circumstances).
This dilemma is the logical end point of where `being someone like David Cameron` ends up. And he thoroughly deserves it.
if that makes any sense.
I just don't think he deserves your empathy, is all.
The popularity of people like Nigel Farage a combination of a) the fault of a succession of politicians like David Cameron, b) the narrow-mindedness of large swathes of the UK, c) the current economic problems in the Eurozone.
Believe it or not - I'd rather continue to see Cameron as PM over Farage, but Farage's popularity is a problem caused by people like Cameron. It's all a bit shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
One has to admire Thatcher for her her steadfast commitment to her political principles, which she didn’t typically shift from regardless of popularity.
The problem with Thatcher is that she combined this with a breathtaking pig-headedness and a complete and borderline-psychopathic lack of compassion. That and terribly naïve/cruel supply-side economics. All of this created an uncommonly monstrous politician, although one not without traits which should be admired and learnt from.
Although his political positioning comes from a position of ignorance and stupidity. The only battleground on which arguments for and against the Euro should be fought is an economic one. Seeing as he, and his party, repeatedly fail to do that with any wisdom means I discount his principles, for they are founded on arguments which have no substance.
But, sure, at least he has a position on something and doesn’t water it down for mass-consumption.
PS. Good trolling.
Recognising and respecting political conviction and ability has nothing whatsoever to do with aligning yourself with them.
^a reply to CG, rather than Geoff, obv.
Amusing, but trolling all the same.
Anybody with ambitions to be Tory leader - and especially Tory prime minister - should fully expect a clusterfucking from their own party. He either knew what he was getting himself into, or is lacking any political nous whatsoever.
It's pretty easy to underestimate what massive cunts parts of the Tory party can be...
either side of the debate. However what I will say is I actually think the EU is pretty decent at setting out things like working conditions and legal and judicial processes.
I can’t blame him, though I don’t necessarily think that it is a good idea for the country.
I think there is so much white noise around the EU at the moment that, politically, he needed to attempt to put the issues to bed. It works tactically, because Labour will struggle to justify not pledging for an EU referendum in the next election, and those who vote UKIP for European reasons will have the option of either having a protest vote or voting for a party that will actually make their desires happen.
Similarly, making a commitment to a referendum will drown out the noise from the awkward squad in his party and allow his messages to come through clearer. I can imagine that things such as the forthcoming Gay Marriage vote will be a degree easier than they would have been before this announcement. His argument to his backbenchers is “I am giving you what I want, now you need to help us win the election”. As he knows it was the perception of disunity that really did it for Major.
The one advantage I can see is that it gives those of us in favour of the concept of the EU a clear platform and 5 years to make our arguments, rather than being drowned out by those who are ill informed as we almost consistently are on the EU issue at present.
The one sticking issue is whether the EU actually wants to renegotiate powers. Something makes me think that conversations Cameron has had with other leaders must mean that the key players do.
I think we won’t know whether today’s speech was the right thing to do for a good few years. It could be a political footnote in History, or it could not be.
perhaps Cameron intends to spin that as a personal victory
perhaps he intends to use the UK referendum as leverage in those negotiations
or a combination therof
the UK suffers a lack of investment over the next 5 years due to its uncertain position re: the EU that not only damages the economy/puts the brakes on a recovery but sees the UK lag behind the rest of the EU in relative terms
there is also the risk that business leaders in general will be very negative toward this referendum for a whole host of reasons - tax, labour, market access etc. as well as investment
I think it looks like clever politics on the surface but it may well backfire
Not that it's not a consideration, of course. Having said that, it's hardly as if there's a recovery to jeopardise anyway.
but the Conservative line on economy is that Labour should never have stewardship and that their own brand of free market capitalism is the natural common sense state of good fiscal management
if there is no recovery by the 2015 election they're never going to win and the effect on their party image will take a while to throw off
kind of depends on what position Miliband takes
in the same sentence.
It's exactly the same criticism most of us had of Cameron back in 2008/9. Frankly, it's usually better to not have hard policies and positions at this stage of a parliament - it just leads to farcical situations around inappropriate promises for tax-breaks and cast-iron guarantees that aren't met three or four years down the line when you get to an election.
It also like Thames says could cost him the election if the recovery, LOLZ, suffer on account of it. That's if you thought they had a chance at the next election which they clearly don't.
...and the £ is down against the $ and € since this broke.
Got much more important things to worry about, and you lot should have as well.
get back to the coal face in the football thread, I don't pay you to fart about in politics discussions
this referendum just makes Labour look so bad innit.
it is completely depressing that, at this current moment in time, tory cunts see their biggest threat as not being a backlash over their BARBARIC AUSTERITY MEASURES but some country bumpkins that have managed to purchase a suit.
and they want total sacrifice to He Who Walks Behind the Rows
what is the average ukip tempted conservative supporters actual real beef with europe, everytime ive seen it talked about on the news the one thing they bring up the eu working time directive, I struggle to see how the average person would be really passionately against that.
im not really against a referendum though, its a big issue for a lot of people so we should probably just do it an deal with the consequences
Looks like the bedwetters were wrong (again).
Pretty much every European leader's always said that they're open to negotiation, but not Britain just cherry-picking anything we want or dictating terms to the rest of Europe.
but we hate multinationals anyway don't we, for their tax avoidance and corruption of society. So anything that makes life difficult for them is a good thing, right?
Did you just use the 'N' word?!
All of their staff will be on PAYE and will be paying millions and millions of pounds in tax on their income each year as a direct result of their employment by **insert multinational company here**. Plus of course, for every single **insert item** **insert multinational company** sells, a cut goes the Treasury through VAT.
Indeed, **insert multinational company** are major tax facilitators to the Treasury. The fact they choose not to pay extra from their own pockets in return for this service seems eminently acceptable to me.
I've no idea how many people **insert multinational here** employs in the UK, but I would assume it's in the tens of thousands. If **insert multinational here** ceased to exist today, would all those people be in new employment tomorrow? Of course not.
As noted above, there was going to be a general renegotiation in 2014 anyway. Cameron's speech just means that inward investment from EU and non-EU countires carries a much higher risk.
I genuinely laughed out loud when I saw the front of The Mail this morning. And then I remembered that virtually all the papers would be like this from now until the election, and died a little inside.
Upthread some people are saying that we should, then the businesses say something we don't like, and now we shouldn't be listening to them.
"business leaders", much like journalists and economists are usually split on most things like this. It's usually pretty easy to find people to support any case you want - there's even scientists who'll support the view that climate change doesn't exist.
It's not necessarily inconsistent to agree with what one group are saying and disagree with another.
Reducing workers rights will not bring more jobs to the UK.
Assuming it relates to the potential scrapping of the Working Time Directive, that, to me, actually increases workers' rights, not deminshes them.
Am interested to hear your reasoning
and Commissioners, and their role and power.
Plus there's always the fact that the parliament's constiuencies are so large that if feels like your vote and your say doesn't really go far.
I just think the idea of the EU being significantly less democratic than our current (or indeed any) political system is a little bit of a myth. Heads of state and cabinet ministers have the final say on almost everything, and only absolute majority or unanimity in the council can pass a vote.
The council often asks or influences the commission into writing legislation, as does the parliament, even if technically the Commission has to draft and introduce it. Examples of this would be the financial regulation directive and regulation. Also, final legislation at Council level looks absolutely nothing like the original, due to the changes that the council and the parliament make.
Personal belief. I'm somewhat of a technocrat. Protection from the tyranny of the majority and so on.
And what can we do if we don't like what the Commission are doing? Nothing. We can't get rid of them and we can't vote them out. They are untouchable.
If you can't see the democratic defecit there, then there's not much I can do about it.
for the next 10 years, but hey, it ain't happening, however much Eric Pickles keeps waffling on about power being devolved to the local electorate.
Shame it's not relevant.
At least you've thought about it though. Half the people who say it's undemocratic just say so because the papers/someone else told them.
And is only doing it to shore up his support in his own party.
Guys! I'm ready to do my Europe speech now! OK, everyone gather round and listen. Guys. Guys. GUYS.
I just lost five minutes typing out a hilarious monologue by David Cameron which got eaten by quotes. Fuck the world.
where's your dunkirk spirit!!!?!
This is historical revisionism gone mad.