Author Topic: Do we really care about Brexit  (Read 20390 times)

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Offline Maxi

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Do we really care about Brexit
« on: May 21, 2017, 09:12:21 AM »
Brexit is slipping down the agenda fairly rapidly in this election. Politicians are realising, perhaps to their surprise, that other things matter a lot more to people in the UK.

Indeed, despite the fact the issue has dominated all news and comment for the last four years, this election may just prove how little people actually care about it one way or another. It also raises questions once more over whether there was really a need to hold a referendum - other than to settle a 40 year-old debate within the Conservative Party.

This weekend two non-Brexit issues dominated the campaign: on both there is internal party division and real passion amongst voters.

The Conservatives announced plans to get elderly people to use the value of their assets including property worth over £100,000 to pay for their own social care. In response Tory candidates have received an earful on the doorstep and talk shows such as LBC had a flood of callers, some saying they would switch their vote to Labour.

One woman who cares for her mother at home with the help of social services called into the Nick Ferrari show worried that when her mother died she would be left homeless. In an emotional plea, Anna from Putney said: "What's going to happen to me, Mrs May? Where are you Theresa May? What's going to happen to me?"

For Labour, Jeremy Corbyn is in just as much deep water with voters on his party's flip-flopping stance on Trident. In my interview with him on Saturday he confirmed Labour's "commitment" to the nuclear defence programme, but afterwards lamented how often he is asked about whether he would press the button and wondered why journalists weren't more curious about how politicians intended to bring peace to the world.

A fair point, but national defence really matters to voters and no one is blind to the Labour leader's dismissal of the idea that he would ever find himself in a position to willingly launch a nuclear attack, even if the UK was under attack itself. In which case, the UK may as well save itself £20bn on the hardware.

“In reality the EU as a campaign issue has been met by a giant yawn from an electorate whose tummy is already too full of Brexit.”

These hot election topics are far removed from Brexit. Theresa May triggered this election saying she needed a mandate to strengthen her hand in her negotiations with the EU. Many interpreted it as her wanting to destroy Labour while gaining more seats to control her potentially rebellious backbenchers who may challenge her eventual deal. But the EU negotiation is dimming into the background as an election issue.

The Liberal Democrats eyed an opportunity in this contest to tap into the 48% who voted to remain, while UKIP might have expected more loyalty from the 52% who voted to leave. In reality the EU as a campaign issue has been met by a giant yawn from an electorate whose tummy is already too full of Brexit.

A few weeks ago bookies were predicting the Lib Dems would win back 30 or so seats, but their fight back is yet to materialise and the party's seat numbers could even remain in single figures.

UKIP meanwhile is sailing below its meagre 2010 popularity levels, with a recent poll giving it just 2% of the vote down from 12.6% in 2015. It probably won't even take back Clacton.

You could argue all this is to be expected. We have had the referendum - both Leavers and Remainers want to move on, and that might be true. But you could go further and ask whether this is evidence that the EU question has unnecessarily hijacked politics for the last four years, ever since David Cameron called the referendum with his Bloomberg speech in January 2013.

Ipsos MORI's "Issues Index" contains over 40 years of monthly data showing people's answers when asked: "What are the most important issues facing the country?" For much of the 1980s, the percentage even mentioning Europe stayed in the low single figures. In late 1990 this climbed to 18% as Britain entered the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, growing to 33% during the Maastricht Treaty debates and slightly higher when Tony Blair flirted with joining the Euro.

However, the NHS and unemployment always remained top of the list of priorities and by the turn of the century interest in the EU began to fall. In the year before David Cameron called for the referendum, just four in 100 people told Ipsos MORI that Europe was one of the issues that mattered most.

Of course, once called for, the issue took fire and amid the Euro crisis and the immigration crisis - Europe gained more attention - mostly negative. Somewhere along the way the issue of EU membership became conflated with things that do matter more to people such as immigration, welfare and even the amount of money we spend on the NHS.

But did Europe just become more central to those issues due to a relatively brief electoral blip where UKIP looked to threaten a party already weakened by Coalition? An internal struggle within the Conservatives spilled into a UK-wide decision to settle the matter?

In interviews for a book called How To Lose A Referendum, David Cameron's former Director of Communications Sir Craig Oliver disputes this, insisting the referendum was "a slow train coming". He added: "There had to be a referendum, we held it and Leave won. And the fact that Leave won tells you something, doesn't it, about why there needed to be a referendum."

It's a rather blunt and compelling point from the man who coordinated the Remain campaign. Any argument against this might seem undemocratic. But then again, if you hold a referendum on a Yes or No question someone has to win. If you talk about it for long enough opinions have to be formed.

We also know that throughout the campaign a third of people felt one way, a third of people another and a third were in the middle - undecided. We know the result was close to a 50/50 split - more evenly matched than the question of Scottish Independence.

It's also clear that the UK has a schizophrenic desire to control EU immigration whilst maintaining the benefits of the Single Market and will probably end up five more years down the line with some kind of fudge.

Was it really worth it? It's starting to feel like Brexit has been a massive distraction from bigger issues that have been ignored for too long and are finally emerging in this election - even though it is of course all still supposed to be about Brexit.

http://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-do-we-really-care-about-brexit-10886477



Offline Michael

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 11:08:57 AM »
An interesting article from Sky's Adam Bolton, and in some respect he is right, there are more pressing problems facing the eventual government of this country, and the question is can we trust Theresa May's party to deal with these problems in a fair way.
It would seem that having hit the less well of by cutting benefits the Tory's now want to attack the slightly better off by making them pay for the mess that this country is in.
The article below offers a different perspective.

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c14f-Get-over-the-EU,-Lib-Dems

Offline jimkerr

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 13:27:55 PM »
I voted to leave and I am not voting on the EU in this general election funny that this forum is full of tory supporters that put down the Labour leader about most of his views but no one puts down Theresa May about pinching Money from the elderly and taking away what they have worked for.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 20:24:05 PM by jimkerr »

Offline baldy

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 01:45:22 AM »
I've been too shocked about the PM's manifesto proposal about the cost of social care for the elderly - and especially the plan to take the value of houses into the equation for care at home - to actually say anything yet.

I'm even more shocked at Theresa May then changing the the plan within days and then declaring that nothing has changed.

I knew that I personally do not like her at all on a personal level, but now my view of her is really quite negative.

The real issue though is that the choice in this general election is between Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn as PM.  It's a dreadful choice as Corbyn is just so awful in terms of being an unapologetic terrorist sympathiser, anti-nuclear defence and unwilling to say he would actually use our nuclear deterrent ..... and to make matters worse his choice of shadow chancellor is actually financially illiterate. In an interview on BBC on Sunday, John McDonnell actually claimed several times that the money borrowed to renationalise several industries is not debt.  What he meant to say - or at least should have said - was that the debt would be self-financing as the industries that need to be bought outright from shareholders are profitable and can service their own debt.

I'm afraid that most people who will vote Labour are simply too economically illiterate to understand the terrible consequences for the country if Corbyn the buffoon became PM ...... but never mind .......... the Tories will stay in power and arrogant, difficult, shrill and wobbly Theresa will almost certainly do a few more U-turns to eventually get her policies right ...

So much for strong and stable ............ more like just about competent with regular wobbles, but still miles more competent than that utter buffoon Corbyn.

As for caring about BREXIT, I have found myself in recent days dreaming about brushing up my French and emigrating and then I wake up with a bump and remember I've just recently got myself elected to serve a 4 year term for 2 local councils ....
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 08:59:11 AM by baldy »
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Offline Michael

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2017, 18:37:31 PM »
It appears that baldy subscribes to the Lynton Crosby approach to political debate, that of personalised abuse, the old hat diatribe and the Tory Party obsession portraying Jeremy Corbyn as an IRA supporter.
So lets look at the true position, to achieve the goal of securing a ceasefire he met Irish republican representatives, treating them as serious political voices rather than violent extremists beyond the pale of respectability.
In fact successive British governments maintained contacts with IRA leaders throughout the violence Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and four other IRA leaders were flown to London in 1972 for talks with the Tory government.
The regurgitation of this old hat rubbish strikes of political desperation, but despite this Jeremy has maintained a positive and polite approach, behaviour that we could all learn from.
On the issue of Trident it is obvious to all clear thinkers that this is no kind of deterrent to the threats we face from the terrorists, and it does seem that we are underfunding our security services when the attack we have seen on Monday cannot be avoided. 
John McDonnell made the perfectly valid point that successive governments issued bonds to achieve the money to invest in projects, this is not debt this is investment in the countries infrastructure.
The renationalization of the railways will be achieved by not renewing franchises when they come up for renewal and taking the rail companies back under public control.
All these policies have significant support, and the gap in the polls between the two major parties is narrowing as Jeremy Corbyn gets more positive coverage on the main stream media.
It would seem that Tories are incapable of thinking on their feet and debating political issues or even engaging with members of the public who haven’t been vetted by the Tory apparatchiks, especially now that the general election landslide that was expected seems to be diminishing.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 18:44:51 PM by Michael »

Offline John GL

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2017, 20:13:36 PM »
I'd say the IRA leaders were (and in some cases are) "violent extremists beyond the pale of respectability".  There's no excuse for Mr Corbyn's overt support for them at the height of their terrorist campaign, which was very different from the then Governments' nose-holding negotiations.  Perfectly true that nuclear weapons are no deterrent against terrorist attacks, but they are an essential deterrent against nuclear or conventional attacks. 

I'm not dismayed by the social care proposals in the Conservative manifesto, but I am at the apparent back-tracking.  The proposals seem to be very sensible, and in line with what was done in respect of my mother and mother-in-law (the latter lived to the age of 101).  In both cases their properties were sold and the proceeds devoted to their care costs - the responsible way of doing it.  I can't see why anyone would object for other than purely selfish reasons!

Nationalisation: my working career started with the Metropolitan Water Board, continued with the Thames Water Authority and ended in a senior role with Thames Water plc.  I can say of my own knowledge that privatisation was a marvellous thing for the water industry, with sounder finances, far better infrastructure, enormously improved productivity and greatly improved service to customers.  I'm in a particularly good position to judge on the last point as I was in charge of complaint handling for over a decade!  In the public sector we had "consumers" and "ratepayers" and no sense of service; after privatisation we had "customers" and a real keenness to serve them.  Renationalisation would be a fearful disaster.  I don't have the same experience of the railways, but I do have vivid memories of the disgraceful performance of British Rail when I was a regular commuter.



Offline jimkerr

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 20:43:05 PM »
John you would like the NHS Privatised ? it seems very unfair to me that a person who gets cancer or any other life long illness get it free why someone who gets dementia pays for it even your mother and mother in law should of been free in my opinion. But seems your happy with it i don't understand that unless of course your well off.

And for Corbyn a decent at last man who actually answers the questions.

The Invasion of Iraq
Well set off a spiral of conflict, of hate, of misery, of desperation that will fuel the wars, the conflict, the terrorism, the depression and the misery of future generations.
Jeremy Corbyn February 2003

And this Terrorist is From UK and Libya Who bombed Libya ? we never learn its about time we did.

Offline Bob DeBilda

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2017, 20:49:38 PM »
This thread is titled "Do we really care about Brexit" I care about Brexit. We are going to leave and we are so intertwined in so many different ways that you can't imagine and it is going to be very difficult and take much longer than anyone thinks. maybe never completely?

AND

The upcoming election is, despite what others think, about Brexit. Although Theresa May publicly supported Cameron in his quest to remain in the EU we all know she voted leave. She has seen an opportunity to increase her (small) majority to enable her to more easily negotiate the terms she wants with the EU. She has seen that Labour are in disarray with a leader who, quire frankly, doesn't look or act like he could be PM. A Labour leader who was put there by the conservatives because of just that.

I can't see Labour winning this election but I would like to see the governments majority reduced or at the best remain the same. What we don't want is May doing deals with the EU that are bad for us. A reduced majority would keep her to heel.

As for the conservative manifesto regarding social care and removing the winter fuel allowance (at least means testing it) she has shot herself in the foot with those. Definite vote losers. The most selfish people are rich conservatives and they wont like it (i've paid my taxes etc etc.)

labour have a definite vote winner with their scrapping of tuition fees. What parent and their 18 year old about to go to university wouldn't vote for that? (rich selfish Torys included) They wont care about how it's otherwise paid for or even think about it.


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Offline John GL

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2017, 21:18:04 PM »
John you would like the NHS Privatised ? it seems very unfair to me that a person who gets cancer or any other life long illness get it free why someone who gets dementia pays for it even your mother and mother in law should of been free in my opinion. But seems your happy with it i don't understand that unless of course your well off.
Surely the individual's resources should be used first, rather than expecting the taxpayer to pay.  The problem with the NHS is the insatiable demand... even Clement Attlee once described it as "grossly extravagant", and its scope has vastly expanded since then.  If patients had to pay, as they already do to some extent (e.g. dentistry), it might be possible to balance the books.

And for Corbyn a decent at last man who actually answers the questions.
I can't regard a supporter of terrorists as a decent man. 

The Invasion of Iraq
Well set off a spiral of conflict, of hate, of misery, of desperation that will fuel the wars, the conflict, the terrorism, the depression and the misery of future generations.
Jeremy Corbyn February 2003

And this Terrorist is From UK and Libya Who bombed Libya ? we never learn its about time we did.
The Manchester bomber's parents fled from Gadaffi, who was a sponsor of terrorists including the IRA.  The invasion of Iraq in 2003 didn't start the present terrorist activity, which was already well established.  Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell are just opposed to Western values, as they've made very clear.

Offline John GL

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2017, 21:26:37 PM »
I care about Brexit, too - I want it to happen.

Bob - in what way was Jeremy Corbyn "put there by the Conservatives"? 

On vote-winners and losers: scrapping tuition fees would benefit only well-off students, as the poorer ones never repay their loans anyway.  Means-testing pensioners' benefits is plain common sense, as is the proposal regarding care costs.

Offline baldy

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2017, 21:47:31 PM »
John McDonnell made the perfectly valid point that successive governments issued bonds to achieve the money to invest in projects, this is not debt this is investment in the countries infrastructure.

So you too are economically illiterate.

Issuing bonds (ie. Gilts) is a way to borrow money at a stated rate of interest. It is debt. The money has to be paid back.

I accept that the money is to be used to invest in worthwhile industries though whether it is a good way to invest for the government is very debatable, but if you support a Marxist agenda then it is a normal use of debt.

It is simply ridiculous and delusional to deny that borrowing money (whether by issuing bonds / gilts or otherwise) is creating debt because issuing gilts is the main definition of government debt.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 21:52:03 PM by baldy »
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Offline Bob DeBilda

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 21:56:51 PM »
The Labour party membership swelled amazingly when Corbyn was running for leadership. It swelled because all members have a vote and it swelled with £5 conservatives 'joining' in and being able to vote and vote for Corbyn because they saw him as the man to take the Labour party back to a place where they were never likely to win an election for the forseeable future.

The only problem now is that because May is turning around faster than a ballerina on speed and coming up with vote losing policies, it might all backfire.

Means testing pensioners for their winter heating allowance is common sense. But it wont be popular even amongst well off Tory pensioners.

Again, well off Tory's will like the scrapping of tuition fees like you say and that will lose votes. The poorer ones will always have a £50,000 + dept hanging over them if fees aren't scrapped. No incentive to get a higher paid job there? Also no chance of being able to buy a house no matter how many are built!
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Offline Bob DeBilda

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 21:58:15 PM »


So you too are economically illiterate.



I suspect 90% plus of the population are. So what..
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Offline John GL

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2017, 23:41:52 PM »
The Labour party membership swelled amazingly when Corbyn was running for leadership. It swelled because all members have a vote and it swelled with £5 conservatives 'joining' in and being able to vote and vote for Corbyn because they saw him as the man to take the Labour party back to a place where they were never likely to win an election for the forseeable future.

The only problem now is that because May is turning around faster than a ballerina on speed and coming up with vote losing policies, it might all backfire.
Looks like a fanciful conspiracy theory!

Means testing pensioners for their winter heating allowance is common sense. But it wont be popular even amongst well off Tory pensioners.
Such as me, you mean?  I think it's an excellent idea.  Many of these "well off Tory pensioners" donate these payments to charity.

Again, well off Tory's will like the scrapping of tuition fees like you say and that will lose votes. The poorer ones will always have a £50,000 + dept hanging over them if fees aren't scrapped. No incentive to get a higher paid job there? Also no chance of being able to buy a house no matter how many are built!
I think you judge people too harshly.  Not everyone is narrowly selfish - many act pro bono publico

Offline Michael

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Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 07:29:15 AM »
Issuing bonds (ie. Gilts) is a way to borrow money at a stated rate of interest. It is debt. The money has to be paid back.
On that basis all investment is debt, companies issue shares, governments issue bonds, a perfectly reasonable way of achieving capital to invest.
For a government to invest in infrastructure there are many benefits, not least the ability to control the use of surplus to re-invest in a publicly owned company.
The current problem exists because, particularly in the service industries, profit comes before service and shareholders reap the benefit of an inadequate service.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 07:31:43 AM by Michael »