British Politics



  • @davesofthunder said in British Politics:

    Just worth noting the referendum was won with 51.9% to 48.1%

    That is bloody close so for all this "will of the people" bollocks entirely ignores that nearly half (not quite, I fully acknowledge leave won) of those who voted wanted to remain.

    I think the mandate that gives is to leave but to also consider what a massive chunk of the electorate want which is to retain ties.

    It has left us with a massive clusterfuck of a situation and the Tories are falling apart under the strain.

    Also, it was not clear what BREXIT meant with plenty of leave campaigners claiming we could replicate other deals that are essentially EU light.

    Personally I would like another vote as I don't think people were well informed the first time with clear campaign breaches from leave and greater context of what it means. I still think a significant amount of people would still want it but I suspect the result would flip.

    There you highlight the problems with a referendum. It is 99% guaranteed to give a binary outcome notwithstanding that a very large chunk of the population may be against the result. Also that the public are asked to make this binary choice with little information or understanding of the ramifications, certainly in this instance.

    But, now it's done, it's done.



  • @victor-meldrew said in British Politics:

    Which neatly explains why the electorate rejected Richard's pleas to stay in the EU. He's perfectly happy to import labour from the EU so he can pay the lowest possible to his workers and depress wages for local people. And then shakes his head in disbelief when people he regards as stupid and ill-informed vote to change the system.

    Stupider than Chloe Jones IMHO

    But that was his business plan. Everybody paid taxes, everybody earned at least the minimum wage. Everybody was happy.

    He doesn’t depress wages for anybody. The depression comes from people being prepared to work harder than others.

    And what’s happening now? Lots of eastern EUR is gone, and those who are left are demanding higher wages. So who suffers there?

    The Chloe's have been left behind, marginalised, called stupid, feckless and generally treated like shit by governments of all flavours and by business for years. The political establishment ignored them - and handed them on a plate to the likes of Farage and the Leave campaign

    Yep, nail on the head with that one.



  • @catogrande said in British Politics:

    Gordon Brown announcing he was going to sell a load of our gold reserves sometime before he actually did

    I'd forgotten that fiasco - cost £5Bn. Pales into significance compared to the NHS IT program which blew £19Bn before being scrapped, having delivered nothing.

    (bit off topic so I'll end it there 😎 )



  • @majorrage said in British Politics:

    And what’s happening now? Lots of eastern EUR is gone, and those who are left are demanding higher wages. So who suffers there?

    Wages are pretty static or growing slowly and probably not a bad thing considering the wage squeeze over the last few years. The lack of cheap labour could well be forcing managers to actually manage and invest in people to increase productivity. About bloody time.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/05/07/uk-productivity-grows-strongly-still-lags-behind-europe/

    UK productivity grows strongly but it still lags behind Europe

    "Productivity in the UK grew by 0.9pc and 0.7pc in the final two quarters of 2017, the strongest growth since 2011.

    But, the UK’s output per hour is still around a quarter behind competitors like France and Germany, meaning it takes British workers five days to produce what others achieve in four."



  • @majorrage said in British Politics:

    Everybody was happy.
    He doesn’t depress wages for anybody. The depression comes from people being prepared to work harder than others.

    The wage depression comes from people from Eastern Europe being able to work and support their families in Eastern Europe on those reduced wages. Not a level playing field.

    I just don't buy into the "better work ethic" argument - seems to me a very convenient rationalisation for importing cheap labour and a lack of interest in productivity and people management



  • @victor-meldrew said in British Politics:

    @majorrage said in British Politics:

    And what’s happening now? Lots of eastern EUR is gone, and those who are left are demanding higher wages. So who suffers there?

    Wages are pretty static or growing slowly and probably not a bad thing considering the wage squeeze over the last few years. The lack of cheap labour could well be forcing managers to actually manage and invest in people to increase productivity. About bloody time.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/05/07/uk-productivity-grows-strongly-still-lags-behind-europe/

    UK productivity grows strongly but it still lags behind Europe

    "Productivity in the UK grew by 0.9pc and 0.7pc in the final two quarters of 2017, the strongest growth since 2011.

    But, the UK’s output per hour is still around a quarter behind competitors like France and Germany, meaning it takes British workers five days to produce what others achieve in four."

    Sorry Victor, but at the risk of derailing the conversation, you do know that if you wanted to increase productivity investing in people is the thing you wouldn’t do, don’t you? Given it is the ratio of value-added output to inputs, the lower your cost of inputs (usually through less or cheaper people) the better.

    The single biggest reason Germany’s productivity over time is so far ahead of the UK’s is that Germany has a concentration of industries that lend themselves better to automation and robotics than the UK has.

    If your premise is that the cheap EU workers are responsible for the UK’s lower productivity, think how much worse it would be had they not been there to lower the input side of the equation!



  • @victor-meldrew said in British Politics:

    But, the UK’s output per hour is still around a quarter behind competitors like France and Germany, meaning it takes British workers five days to produce what others achieve in four."

    Some of that will also be a reflection of industry mix compared to Germany and France. A couple of years ago France had the highest output per hour worked in the OECD, for better or worse through high technology usage, a 35 hour working week, and 10% unemployment. New Zealand's labour productivity stats are among the worst in the OECD but we've almost gone the opposite way to France with close to 'full' employment (not to mention a very different industry mix). Germany seems to have the best of all worlds on those metrics - high productivity and slightly lower unemployment than the UK.

    (EDIT: though from a quick Google it looks like Germany's labour force participation rate is about 10% lower than the rate in France... the rate for the French is closer to ours at over 70%.)

    Given the way the productivity stats are measured - someone once told me a nation could quickly top the labour productivity stats by firing everyone earning less than, say, $30 an hour, but there may be some ethical issues there...



  • @catogrande said in British Politics:

    Personally I would like another vote as I don't think people were well informed the first time with clear campaign breaches from leave and greater context of what it means.

    One of the funniest things about Brexit is the Pro-EU groups like the Lib Dems, Blair, many Labour MP's and the political elite saying the referendum was advisory only, Parliament should ignore it and make decisions on EU matters, people who voted Leave - particularly working-class people - "didn't understand" (people who voted Remain were, of course, well-informed) and there was interference from foreign, outside interests

    The self-same people are now campaigning for another referendum or "People's Vote" - financed by a Hungarian billionaire......



  • @jc said in British Politics:

    Sorry Victor, but at the risk of derailing the conversation, you do know that if you wanted to increase productivity investing in people is the thing you wouldn’t do, don’t you? Given it is the ratio of value-added output to inputs, the lower your cost of inputs (usually through less or cheaper people) the better.

    Nope.

    Replace a well-paid, trained, skilled motivated worker with a cheaper, less skilled option and the re-work from errors and carelessness input to the system will not only reduce the overall output by reducing value-add, it will divert management resources and, worst of all, damage your customer base/reputation.

    Which is why so many companies who outsourced to India brought it back onshore - it was costing them a fortune.



  • @donsteppa

    Yeah, agree on the productivity/employment bit, but on like-for-like UK business are generally pretty poor and it's a big opportunity to exploit - countries like Switzerland have both high productivity and employment

    Exceptions are there - the mainly foreign-owned car industry and Financial Services. The UK is way more productive in areas like insurance for example.



  • @victor-meldrew said in British Politics:

    @catogrande said in British Politics:

    Personally I would like another vote as I don't think people were well informed the first time with clear campaign breaches from leave and greater context of what it means.

    One of the funniest things about Brexit is the Pro-EU groups like the Lib Dems, Blair, many Labour MP's and the political elite saying the referendum was advisory only, Parliament should ignore it and make decisions on EU matters, people who voted Leave - particularly working-class people - "didn't understand" (people who voted Remain were, of course, well-informed) and there was interference from foreign, outside interests

    The self-same people are now campaigning for another referendum or "People's Vote" - financed by a Hungarian billionaire......

    Funny though how he likes of Farage were lining up for another vote when they thought it was close but it's not OK the other way.

    I do think heaps would still want BREXIT but it is a massive multi generational decision and when it is that close I can see how either side would feel that there is a question worth checking once we know what it actually means.



  • @davesofthunder said in British Politics:

    @victor-meldrew said in British Politics:

    @catogrande said in British Politics:

    Personally I would like another vote as I don't think people were well informed the first time with clear campaign breaches from leave and greater context of what it means.

    One of the funniest things about Brexit is the Pro-EU groups like the Lib Dems, Blair, many Labour MP's and the political elite saying the referendum was advisory only, Parliament should ignore it and make decisions on EU matters, people who voted Leave - particularly working-class people - "didn't understand" (people who voted Remain were, of course, well-informed) and there was interference from foreign, outside interests

    The self-same people are now campaigning for another referendum or "People's Vote" - financed by a Hungarian billionaire......

    Funny though how he likes of Farage were lining up for another vote when they thought it was close but it's not OK the other way.

    I do think heaps would still want BREXIT but it is a massive multi generational decision and when it is that close I can see how either side would feel that there is a question worth checking once we know what it actually means.

    Yep, and it's important to remember that among those that voted either way there are people that want to change the situation as it was.
    Asking such a black and white question then applying the result as winner takes all is so stupid it's criminal.



  • @davesofthunder said in British Politics:

    Funny though how he likes of Farage were lining up for another vote when they thought it was close but it's not OK the other way.

    To be fair, Farage has consistently argued for referenda on Europe and has said he's pretty much OK with a second referendum on the final deal. He's never changed his mind and started arguing against a referendum and that Parliament only should decide - unlike many in the Remain camp who are now suddenly pro-referendum on EU matters.

    The likes of Blair, Vince Cable and Chukka Umanna are now suggesting a 3rd referendum in 2-3 years time on the effect of the deal if there's a vote in favour of the deal in a second referendum.

    Still taking people for idiots - no wonder Remain blew the campaign



  • @crucial said in British Politics:

    Asking such a black and white question then applying the result as winner takes all is so stupid it's criminal.

    The same black and white, winner takes all question approach was used in the 1974 referendum to join the EU - multi-generational issues and all.

    Perhaps if people had got an opportunity to change the situation as it was after we joined by having referendums on the various treaty changes which impacted people lives (like most other EU countries did), we wouldn't be in this current situation.



  • @victor-meldrew said in British Politics:

    @crucial said in British Politics:

    Asking such a black and white question then applying the result as winner takes all is so stupid it's criminal.

    The same black and white, winner takes all question approach was used in the 1974 referendum to join the EU - multi-generational issues and all.

    Perhaps if people had got an opportunity to change the situation as it was after we joined by having referendums on the various treaty changes which impacted people lives (like most other EU countries did), we wouldn't be in this current situation.

    Without wishing to be pedantic, the 1974 referendum was whether to stay in or not rather than to join. At that time it all meant far less than it does now. The then EEC was little more than a trading alliance and a twitch in the trousers of a few wannabe Eurocrats. At the time I thought a referendum was a good thing. Let the people decide. But of course then I was young and naive and occasionally voted socialist. Being much older and more bitter and cynical I just cannot see why anyone thinks the people should decide on a single topic. A classic example being letting the people decide on the name of a new lifeboat (I think). The result? Boaty McBoatface.



  • @catogrande said in British Politics:

    Being much older and more bitter and cynical I just cannot see why anyone thinks the people should decide on a single topic. A classic example being letting the people decide on the name of a new lifeboat (I think). The result? Boaty McBoatface.

    You just disagreed with yourself? Boaty McBoatface is a shining example of "Single Topic Democracy works".
    (A Research Ship by the way)
    I see the Government ignored the People's Will on that particular topic.



  • @kruse said in British Politics:

    @catogrande said in British Politics:

    Being much older and more bitter and cynical I just cannot see why anyone thinks the people should decide on a single topic. A classic example being letting the people decide on the name of a new lifeboat (I think). The result? Boaty McBoatface.

    You just disagreed with yourself? Boaty McBoatface is a shining example of "Single Topic Democracy works".
    (A Research Ship by the way)
    I see the Government ignored the People's Will on that particular topic.

    Mate, I disagree with most people these days. However, good news for Blair et al, the word of the people can be ignored.



  • @kruse BTW, we’re you suggesting that Boaty McFuckface was a good outcome?



  • @catogrande said in British Politics:

    @kruse BTW, we’re you suggesting that Boaty McFuckface was a good outcome?

    Yep - great outcome.



  • @catogrande said in British Politics:

    The then EEC was little more than a trading alliance and a twitch in the trousers of a few wannabe Eurocrats.

    That's my point. In '74 they didn't know what the final deal was they were voting for - e.g the Euro (and having to pay to bail it out). Same argument used by those wanting a 2nd referendum.

    Anyway, as the chines proverb says "May you live in interesting times"...