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  1. #101
    I'd gladly take England as our 51st state, but only if somebody brings over the fish and chips.

    Tonight.

  2. #102
    The 1975 referendum was to confirm our acceptance of continued membership of the EEC.
    A lot more people would have voted against there and then if they had known it would change from a trading bloc into a political union.

  3. #103
    Yes Roger...while not an expert on international currency...I have heard about stores in many EU countries with two price tags on merchandise...the local currency and the EU currency...Seems like an invitation to a mess to me...I am familiar with the two currency system use in Cuba...The currency used for tourists and top government officials and the currency used for the common Cubans...That is a scheme to keep the real money I the hands of the Cuban elite, and the worthless currency in the hands of the subjugated population where food and other commodities sold with that currency are very scarce...As for the Greeks...they should go to an Ouzo currency to work out their problems...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 06-30-2016 at 07:36 PM.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    I'd gladly take England as our 51st state, but only if somebody brings over the fish and chips.

    Tonight.
    King George lll would be spinning in his grave...

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Oz View Post
    I'd gladly take England as our 51st state, but only if somebody brings over the fish and chips.

    Tonight.
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    I don't think USA would want that, and I don't think the Englanders would like that.

    Now that I have a more well-rounded view of how The EU works (from an outside point-of-view) I am more fearful that one of my 2 countries (Canada) aims to have ever closer ties with The EU. And, my other one, The Netherlands, will pay an even greater share of the funding needed to integrate the lower-grade economies into The EU's money system, and also funding EU projects, with The UK dropping out, and, perhaps, other members following their lead.

    I don't think it is practical to have a politically united and fully-integrated EU. But, I wouldn't want several countries dropping out of "the economic block".

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    ..As for the Greeks...they should go to an Ouzo currency to work out their problems...
    LOLOLOLOLOL

    Good one!

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    LOLOLOLOLOL

    Good one!
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    They should make an Ouzo cartel, and cut off the supply of Ouzo, and create a panic. Like what the petrol producers did in 1974.

    Would people change to Aqvavit?

  8. #108
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-36670066

    Some might find this interesting

  9. #109
    Americas power around the world has absolutely waned...That said, some consider that to be a good thing. Whether it is or not remains to be seen...Many allies are pleased that they've not been asked to participate in any military conflicts, however, several of those same countries have been victimized by terrorist attacks and have yet to see the results of several US led and inspired international actions...Agreement with and massive funding to Iran, non- action in Syria while Russian influence dramatically increases, Russian "reset" which unset as Russia increases it's influence in European countries bordering it as they invade neighboring sovereign countries with nary a peep from us, extremist groups increasing influence and power in Africa, and the fallen stature of our military around the world (best illustrated by the recent events with the Iranian Navy) due to sgnificant funding cuts and a declining lack of morale...And on the domestic front...a well intentioned health care plan (ACA) which is falling apart like a house of cards as the largest insurers United Health Care and Blue Cross) in America begin dropping out of the exchanges and stand close to a state of economic collapse without massively increasing revenues (massive tax increases), increasing gun violence (not the kind of guns Congress is fixated on) in all of our major cities, falling labor participation rate (# of people in the economy who are ACTUALLY working), more poverty combined with class and racial disparity and conflict, massive national debt in which every child born will start life owing close to $100,000 before they leave the maternity ward, etc, etc...The next President will have his/her hands full...and unfortunately...in my opinion, neither of the current candidates are even remotely qualified, neither temperamentally, politically, or ethically to deal with the state our country finds itself in...Just my opinion...Of course as always, dissenting opinions are welcome, and even appreciated...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 07-01-2016 at 01:18 PM.

  10. #110
    Hi!

    My main concern is the failure in communication, in giving correct information. That enables all those populist parties to spread disinformation and for some reason the press and media are not able - or in many cases - not even willing to correct it.

    E.G. in legislation EU only has a limited authority. It can give directives in customs union matters, but as a rule not in such fields as national health care, industry, culture, tourism, education etc. And all those directives are not made up in Brussels. They're initiated in a correspondent ministry of a member country, statements are asked from every other member country and finally they hold a vote on that suggestion in each parliament. It's only a very limited part of legislation concerning members of the EU that is passed in Brussels.

    Also, the amount of money and personnel (so called bureaucrats) are vastly exaggerated. The EU budget is about 1 % of the total GNP of all EU countries.

    During these past 20 years Finland has benefitted a lot from EU and Euro. As a country dependent to a degree on export free trade is important for us. True, we've have economic difficulties lately due to our internal problems but mostly to sanctions against Russia (which is our neighboring country and a big partner in trade - this has affected us most) - but now there are positive signs and according to the latest information the rise could be anything from 1-2 %. Not much, but it's plus, not minus.

    I also wonder where do all those "Fixit" rumors come from. According to the recent poll, only about 25 % of our population wants a Fixit referendum. The rest are satisfied with the EU at the moment.

    As I said, I see that the main problem lies in disinformation and failure of all the EU offices in correcting all the untrue information, which feeds populists, who are in it only for personal power - not common well-being.

    I'm sorry for all the mistakes and non-fluent language. I'm in a bit of a hurry at this precise moment, but I'm one happy EU citizen.

    Best regards
    Heikki

  11. #111
    And to be clear on this EU deal...now that the UK has voted to leave the EU...Chancellor Merkel is doing a quick about face on her years long effort to block Turkeys admission into the EU and plans to meet with the Turks to discuss the possibility of their admission. The Merkel stipulation...Turkey help her out on the immigration crisis in Germany which is bleeding both her power and popularity throughout her country as over a million immigrants have flooded into Germany from the Middle East and North Africa and she did nothing to stem the crisis (and even encouraged it) and Turkey of course had virtually sealed it's borders to keep the problems within Syria and Greece (who could not afford to feed even it's own people let alone a massive refugee influx) and the migrant crisis throughout Europe away from Turkish territory (other than setting up refugee camos in an effort to keep the fleeing refugees from infiltrating it's population centers) until the EU made political concessions and funded Turkey with massive EU dollars to set up their refugee camps...Interesting though with the recent terrorist attack on their soil how Turkey is making yet another attempt to join the international community now that it realizes that terrorism can strike within it's borders too (and it's paying off in EU currency)...including it's recent rapprochement with Israel following more than a decade of icy, almost non-existent relations...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 07-01-2016 at 01:51 PM.

  12. #112
    Heikki

    I am sure that the public is being fed disinformation but there's little that can be done to that barring the EU opening up its offices up to public scrutiny. I do not see that happening.

    When whistle blower Marta Andreasen spoke up abut the lack of an adequate accounting system and then refusing to sign off the annual accounts, it was clear to me that there was something seriously wrong. In my experience, whenever there is a problem to be solved, the answer is ALWAYS to follow the money and you'll get the answer.

  13. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by heikki View Post
    Hi!

    My main concern is the failure in communication, in giving correct information. That enables all those populist parties to spread disinformation and for some reason the press and media are not able - or in many cases - not even willing to correct it.

    E.G. in legislation EU only has a limited authority. It can give directives in customs union matters, but as a rule not in such fields as national health care, industry, culture, tourism, education etc. And all those directives are not made up in Brussels. They're initiated in a correspondent ministry of a member country, statements are asked from every other member country and finally they hold a vote on that suggestion in each parliament. It's only a very limited part of legislation concerning members of the EU that is passed in Brussels.

    Also, the amount of money and personnel (so called bureaucrats) are vastly exaggerated. The EU budget is about 1 % of the total GNP of all EU countries.

    During these past 20 years Finland has benefitted a lot from EU and Euro. As a country dependent to a degree on export free trade is important for us. True, we've have economic difficulties lately due to our internal problems but mostly to sanctions against Russia (which is our neighboring country and a big partner in trade - this has affected us most) - but now there are positive signs and according to the latest information the rise could be anything from 1-2 %. Not much, but it's plus, not minus.

    I also wonder where do all those "Fixit" rumors come from. According to the recent poll, only about 25 % of our population wants a Fixit referendum. The rest are satisfied with the EU at the moment.

    As I said, I see that the main problem lies in disinformation and failure of all the EU offices in correcting all the untrue information, which feeds populists, who are in it only for personal power - not common well-being.

    I'm sorry for all the mistakes and non-fluent language. I'm in a bit of a hurry at this precise moment, but I'm one happy EU citizen.

    Best regards
    Heikki
    Hello Heikki my good friend...I can appreciate your appreciation for the EU, in that you admit that the EU has been good for FInland...That to me is the crux of the problem...The receiving countries of course are happy with what the EU provides...but the paying countries with the highest GDP's and lowest unemployment rates (Germany, France, the UK, and Italy alone pay 60% of all EU contributions) who contribute the most are going to be the ones who question the viability of remaining with the EU in it's current set-up...I do hesitate to throw Germany into the exit mix since I believe that Chancellor Merkel considers herself to be the "darling" of the EU, although she is becoming more and more unpopular within her borders, but Germany does exert undue influence in all EU decisions leaving smaller countries at a distinct disadvantage...That said...the EU wields tremendous influence into the inner workings of member countries through it's myriad of councils which pass laws and directives which may take effect automatically including significant actions to restrict and limit imports from other member states, The Maastricht Treaty which covers areas like immigration, justice, common security, is nothing but a joke as the immigration crisis of today, and even going back to the Balkan crisis of the 90's where the EU stood by impotently with events in it's own backyard while NATO had to come in to resolve the situation...I doubt RUssia has aims on Finland at this time (other than perhaps some old WW ll Paybacks), but as other countries become inundated with refugees, you see from my previous post that Germany is now considering what had been the unconsiderable...admission of Turkey to the EU...Actually, most of the statistics I've seen clearly state that the EU is responsible for over 59% of the economic, political, and judicial affairs of it's member countries...So like anything else...this political organization works well for some...not so well for others, except also like other organizations, the ones it's not working so well for happen to be the major funders of it, and their populations and citizenry are beginnnng to stand up and ask why???...

    I feel I must throw in this disclaimer at this point as to what may seem to some (me being an American) as my excessive interest in this entire Brexit topic and it's complications...Prior to a few weeks ago, I knew that The UK was involved in some sort of action regarding it's membership in the EU (which I new little about) and that was about it...Two and a half months ago...quite fortunately and quite by accident through a CT scan for one somewhat minor but painful problem (torn rotator cuff), it was found that I had two growths on my right lung...Further testing done right away showed that it was most likely lung cancer and within a few weeks I was at the great cancer center, City of Hope in Duarte, California with a terrific surgeon who performed robotic surgery and tested the growths and one of them was cancerous...He proceeded to perform a surgical procedure to remove both growths and the areas around them...I had a very difficult recovery which ended me back in the hospital with a two very serious infections...so what should have bee a 5 day deal turned into three weeks, plus daily visits from a nurse upon returning home for a month of antibiotic infusions...Follwing all that, I took brief vacation for relaxation and to just clear my head...During ALL that time, and hearing of the so called Brexit issue, I found it interesting enough to spend a lot of time researching the issue, even as I lay poolside in Indian Wells and responded to some Facebook postings on the topic, mostly from anti Brexit people LOL...So I became fairly well versed in many of the issues surrounding this topic, although that does not necessarily make my conclusions or opinions right or wrong and my basic political instincts certainly play a role in this as well, although I always try to look at a topic from all sides,,,All that said...I am happy to report that as of today...two months after my surgical procedure...I am 100% cancer free from my stage 1 diagnosis, including all the lmph nodes and margins that were biopsied from the surgery. I have a bit less lung to breathe with, but it's getting pretty close to normal at this point with fortunately no further treatment needed, so I'm preparing to return to my normal activities, rather than sit around looking at Facebood, Soulful Detroit,,and all other websites as I return to civilian life...but for those who wondered about my apparent fascination and time consuming research with this topic...it just happened to be there at a time I was exposing myself to the current events of the day as my old profession of "newsman" came to the fore...LOL
    Last edited by StuBass1; 07-01-2016 at 03:13 PM.

  14. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    Hello Heikki my good friend...I can appreciate your appreciation for the EU, in that you admit that the EU has been good for FInland...That t me is the crux of the problem...The receiving countries of course are happy with what the EU provides...but the paying countries with the highest GDP's and lowest unemployment rates (Germany, France, the UK, and Italy alone pay 60% of all EU contributions) who contribute the most are going to be the ones question the viability of remaining with the EU in it's current set-up...I do hesitate to throw Germany into the exit mix since I believe that Chancellor Merkel considers herself to be the "darling" of the EU, although she is becoming more and more unpopular within her borders, but Germany does exert undue influence in all EU decisions leaving smaller countries at a distinct disadvantage...That said...the EU wields tremendous influence into the inner workings of member countries through it's myriad of councils which pass laws and directives which may take effect automatically including significant actions to restrict and limit imports from other member states, The Maastricht Treaty which covers areas like immigration, justice, common security, is nothing but a joke as the immigration crisis of today, and even going back to the Balkan crisis of the 90's where the EY stood by impotently with events in it's own backyard while NATO had to come in to resolve the situation...I doubt RUssia has aims on Finland at this time (other than perhaps some old WW ll Paybacks), but as other countries become inundated with refugees, you see from my previous post that Germany is now considering what had been the unconsiderable...admission of Turkey to the EU...Actually, most of the statistics I've seen clearly state that the EU is responsible for over 59% of the economic, political, and judicial affairs of it's member countries...So like anything else...this political organization works well for some...not so well for others, except also like other organizations, the ones it's not working so well for happen to be the major funders of it, and their populations and citizenry are beginnnng to stand up and ask why???...
    And for that 59%....here are MP's BOTH from Cameron's Tory party, one (Andrea in blue) is from England who voted overwhelming to LEAVE and the other (Ruth in red) is from Scotland who voted REMAIN.

    It's no wonder folk get confused when even the people from the same party give out differing information.
    .

  15. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    And for that 59%....here are MP's BOTH from Cameron's Tory party, one (Andrea in blue) is from England who voted overwhelming to LEAVE and the other (Ruth in red) is from Scotland who voted REMAIN.

    It's no wonder folk get confused when even the people from the same party give out differing information.
    .
    It obvious the Scottish "shouter" was working under the concept that figures lie and liars figure...She used the previous ONE year where she claims that only four laws affecting the UK were passed at the EU the previous year...So freaking what? What about the HUNDREDS of laws passed in the decades past and the treaties going back over 40 years that affect the everyday lives of the citizens of EU countries...What a ridiculous and totally falsified argument this lady put forth...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 07-01-2016 at 09:47 PM.

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by heikki View Post
    Hi!

    My main concern is the failure in communication, in giving correct information. That enables all those populist parties to spread disinformation and for some reason the press and media are not able - or in many cases - not even willing to correct it.

    E.G. in legislation EU only has a limited authority. It can give directives in customs union matters, but as a rule not in such fields as national health care, industry, culture, tourism, education etc. And all those directives are not made up in Brussels. They're initiated in a correspondent ministry of a member country, statements are asked from every other member country and finally they hold a vote on that suggestion in each parliament. It's only a very limited part of legislation concerning members of the EU that is passed in Brussels.

    Best regards
    Heikki
    Hi Heikki ..

    I think that our "Remain" campaign would disagree with you on your assertation that "industry" is generally unaffected by EU Directives! One of the main reasons given for "remaining" was that if we were outside of The EU and then had a relationship with our former partners similar to that currently between The EU and Norway, or The EU and Switzerland, then we would have to abide by EU regulations concerning industry but would have no say in their formulation. It seems like we had nothing to worry about after all and that all of those people who were scared into voting "Remain" could have voted "Leave" after all.

    Also, the way that you describe EU directives evolving seems to be far away from my understanding of how they occur. Perhaps the best place for you to look to prevent "failure in communication giving incorrect information" is The EU's own website.

    According to The EU's own website the European Commission issues binding "Directives", "Regulations" and "Decisions" and non-binding "Recommendations" and "Opinions" ....

    http://europa.eu/eu-law/decision-mak...s/index_en.htm

    If you delve around on The EU's website you will find out that it is The Commission alone which is responsible for drawing up proposals for new legislation ....

    http://europa.eu/about-eu/institutio...n/index_en.htm

    These proposals are certainly not drawn up by the corresponding ministries in the Member States, they are initiated because The European Commission itself thinks that there is a need to legislate. The European Commission is appointed every 5 years (in a manner "simply" explained in the link I've posted above) by a President who is appointed by "The Council Of Ministers" (in practice during a meeting involving the leaders of the member states), The members of The European Commission are chosen from nominees put forward by the member states, and will typically be retired senior politicians.

    The European Parliament then looks at the various regulations and directives sent down to them by The European Commission as is explained here ....

    http://europa.eu/about-eu/institutio...t/index_en.htm

    Essentially (from a British perspective) The European Parliament has a role similar to ur House of Lords in that they can debate and (in extreme cases) refuse to pass the legislation but they have no powers to amend it.

    "Regulations" go straight into law immediately within the member states. "Directives" are expected to go into law within the member states after having been scrutinised by The Parliaments of the individual member states and some degree of leeway for amendment is allowed. "Decisions" are instructions to a specific Government or other body within The EU to instigate a particular rule.

    Roger

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    Americas power around the world has absolutely waned...That said, some consider that to be a good thing. Whether it is or not remains to be seen...Many allies are pleased that they've not been asked to participate in any military conflicts, however, several of those same countries have been victimized by terrorist attacks and have yet to see the results of several US led and inspired international actions...Agreement with and massive funding to Iran, non- action in Syria while Russian influence dramatically increases, Russian "reset" which unset as Russia increases it's influence in European countries bordering it as they invade neighboring sovereign countries with nary a peep from us, extremist groups increasing influence and power in Africa, and the fallen stature of our military around the world (best illustrated by the recent events with the Iranian Navy) due to sgnificant funding cuts and a declining lack of morale...And on the domestic front...a well intentioned health care plan (ACA) which is falling apart like a house of cards as the largest insurers United Health Care and Blue Cross) in America begin dropping out of the exchanges and stand close to a state of economic collapse without massively increasing revenues (massive tax increases), increasing gun violence (not the kind of guns Congress is fixated on) in all of our major cities, falling labor participation rate (# of people in the economy who are ACTUALLY working), more poverty combined with class and racial disparity and conflict, massive national debt in which every child born will start life owing close to $100,000 before they leave the maternity ward, etc, etc...The next President will have his/her hands full...and unfortunately...in my opinion, neither of the current candidates are even remotely qualified, neither temperamentally, politically, or ethically to deal with the state our country finds itself in...Just my opinion...Of course as always, dissenting opinions are welcome, and even appreciated...
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    Just like Ancient Egyptian Empire, The Persian Empire, Alexander The Great's Empire, The Roman Empire, The Byzantine Empire, The Ottoman Empire, and The British Empire went on a long decline, and eventually fell, and their core countries became ordinary, or even a poor country, in some cases, USA will have the same fate. It's a law of economics. The rise includes grabbing wealth and an inflow of resources from other (conquered) nations. The conquering country gets richer and richer. Wages keep rising until it is cheaper to produce in poorer countries, where labour costs will be lower, and desperate people are willing to work very hard for low pay. When manufacturing flows out, higher wages move elsewhere, profits from production move elsewhere and now expensive products must be bought because from other countries because they aren't produced locally anymore. The once wealthy country can't produce its food or tools or what it needs any more. They become dependent upon other countries. It is clear that Great Britain is well along that path and USA has started along it as well.

  18. #118
    ,
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    Just like Ancient Egyptian Empire, The Persian Empire, Alexander The Great's Empire, The Roman Empire, The Byzantine Empire, The Ottoman Empire, and The British Empire went on a long decline, and eventually fell, and their core countries became ordinary, or even a poor country, in some cases, USA will have the same fate. It's a law of economics. The rise includes grabbing wealth and an inflow of resources from other (conquered) nations. The conquering country gets richer and richer. Wages keep rising until it is cheaper to produce in poorer countries, where labour costs will be lower, and desperate people are willing to work very hard for low pay. When manufacturing flows out, higher wages move elsewhere, profits from production move elsewhere and now expensive products must be bought because from other countries because they aren't produced locally anymore. The once wealthy country can't produce its food or tools or what it needs any more. They become dependent upon other countries. It is clear that Great Britain is well along that path and USA has started along it as well.
    Hi Robb...Agree with much of your initial premise, although I'm not sure I believe in the Donald Trump theory that cheap Chinese labor is going to be our downfall, especially with our clear advantage in technology,but our debt to them might push us in that direction...however, I believe you fail to mention an even more significant cause of the fall of the examples you brought up...that being what we refer to today is overt multi-culturalism. Neither Empires, nor societies can exist when separate cultures, languages, traditions, and especially separate laws and rules for various segments of a given society exist within a single entity...That being the reason that Brexit Brits claim they want their country back, as is the issue here in the US...unfortunately, all we've got is Donald Trump to overhype and trumpet that message, but Trump is a mild version of what I fear will happen in a country like Germany when the traditional population finally decides that the massive wave of new immigrants bringing their cultures, values, religious edicts, and nonassimilation, will pull much of the country to the right and I can only imagine what in a country like Germany...who after all brought us Kristallnacht, mass deportations, and of course...labor and death camps...It's in their national DNA and they've done it before...von Hindenburg was as much loved then...perhaps more, than Merkel is today with her popularity on the wane...One huge economic downturn where the German population can't afford the food, while the government feed the immigrant population, a terrorist assault, and continued assaults on German citizens by immigrants, and one charismatic demagogue at the right place at the right time as the population begins to feel more and more impotent... and I truly fear what will happen in Germany especially, and elsewhere...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 07-01-2016 at 09:51 PM.

  19. #119
    Hi!

    Thank you for all the comments. This is an interesting thread.
    How are you Stu? How's life in your corner (and outside of the EU) :-). Or do you want to join?
    I'll look into your and other answers later today, but first I must state that we are a paying country and have been for over ten years now. I think today it's about 800 million Euros. Financially we used to be among top EU countries still a few years ago (with AAA ratings, now only AA+), but for me the benefits exceed the sums we pay to the EU budget.
    More later...

    Best regards
    Heikki

  20. #120
    Hi!

    I didn't know about your health problems, but I'm glad that you're cancer-free now.

    Besides the rise of populist parties with disinformation and nobody correcting it, the main problem today really is the immigration and refugees. And it's not only Germany, Italy and Sweden; at one point last fall - as unbelievable as it is - Finland received most refugees in proportion to our population, via Sweden and Russia. Luckily the winter arrived and they noticed that this is not their paradise, and 1/3 of them left voluntarily, which just shows that they weren't genuine refugees. About 1/3 were/will be turned backed and 1/3 will be adapted to our society. Hopefully it'll work out.
    But anyway, EU must find better solutions for this problem. One thing that they're looking into right now is financial aid to the certain African countries, where they are fleeing, and that could work, if those countries weren't so corrupted.
    Turkey's EU desires were blocked once again recently. They're just not ready for it.
    That 59 % is a new figure for me, and I don't quite see what it's composed of.

    Roger, very good analysis, thank you!
    I actually discussed this issue with my "own MEP" a few months ago and she explained that all those suggestions for directives come from member countries, from state employees mostly. Commission doesn't come up with those ideas in their own "towers". After giving it a directive form, statements are asked from each country., and each country can pass independently a national law based on that directive. That's what she told me as an answer to my jokingly put question about "directive machines" in Central Europe. Regulations are binding, true, but also in these cases each country is heard first - according to her.

    As stated recently, ETA-connection (Norway, Switzerland) is an option for the U.K. too, but also in that case the "four mobilities" - people, goods, services and capital - are obligatory for free trade, so that doesn't stop the immigration flow.

    Best regards
    Heikki

  21. #121
    Hi Heikki...
    Thanks...I agree that unfettered and uncontrolled immigration was likely the factor that pushed this issue over the edge, but it also revealed part of the glaring problem of centralized government when the powerful make rules that affect the lives of others (as you have pointed out as relates to Finland and it's immigration status within the EU as they apparently tried to push the "refugees" farther and farther north until they eventually reached the North Pole)...As I previously pointed out...essentially three countries are carrying the majority of the load for the entire EU (with one recently voting to leave). Part of their decision was based on the 59% figure which comes from the House of Commons library which tracks and maintains records and statistics of such matters as relates to the UK. Smaller countries, like Finland perhaps, so long as they are willing to follow the rules and dictates of the larger, more powerful countries, and perhaps relinquish some of their national character for the benefit of the larger Union may perhaps decide the benefits of membership in the EU are preferable to the problems of running their government with complete independence...I would still maintin that the EU of today largely represents the power base of Chancellor Merkel and she will do whatever she sees necessary to hold the EU together...Other countries are seeing some of the pitfalls of sacrificing their independence to serve the greater good of the EU...Certainly the military and security aspects of the EU are a joke, incapable of controlling their own borders, let alone resolving any military conflict whch could arise...and dual currencies remains a problem for many members...In the final analysis...it will be interesting to see if so many countries with a centuries old history of conflict and war with each other, with different cultures, traditions, and governmental structures will be able to accommodate each other in an organization with vast power and control over it's members to either resolve conflict, or ultimately, contribute to it???...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 07-02-2016 at 01:06 PM.

  22. #122
    Hi Stu!

    In majority of the matters during the past twenty years we have followed closely Germany, especially in issues with certain Mediterranean countries, who are not so particular about their economy. But we were very close to the U.K. too and this concern some issues, when Germany and France joined forces and tried t rule over smaller member countries, and that's why it's a pity we're losing the U.K. Especially free trade was important for both of us.

    Preserving the peace between all the member countries has been an important principle and in that EU has succeeded - I mean within EU countries - especially keeping in mind all the turbulence till the last mid-century. This is the thing I try to keep in mind, when these troubling incidents occur.

    Everything may turn out good in EU after all. Now the leaders understand that they must listen more closely to people and avoid the elite impression, and perhaps the good sides of this union are highlighted as well. Perhaps the rest of the union will just grow stronger in the end. Perhaps? Meanwhile populists are on the loose for a couple of years.

    Best regards
    Still one happy EU citizen,
    Heikki

  23. #123
    Quote Originally Posted by heikki View Post
    I actually discussed this issue with my "own MEP" a few months ago and she explained that all those suggestions for directives come from member countries, from state employees mostly. Commission doesn't come up with those ideas in their own "towers". After giving it a directive form, statements are asked from each country., and each country can pass independently a national law based on that directive. That's what she told me as an answer to my jokingly put question about "directive machines" in Central Europe. Regulations are binding, true, but also in these cases each country is heard first - according to her.
    That is pretty much how I imagine "Directives" and "Regulations" originate Heikki, though I think that some might start as pet projects of individual Commissioners or due to pressure from lobbyists in Brussels. The whole point though is that none of these people are ever elected and given a mandate to implement their changes. At no time in the process is there ever a popular debate about whatever it is that The European Commission decides it needs to make decisions about.

    In Britain we have been used to having election campaigns every four or five years where we vote for Members of Parliament to represent us at Westminster. The various candidates argue amongst themselves about what they think should be done on issues that are of current popular interest. Then on election day we voters weigh up the various manifestos on offer and vote for whoever we think best reflects our own thoughts and aspirations. Then we expect whoever commands a majority of MPs at Westminster to initiate legislation to carry through their proposals. We certainly don't expect some anonymous government official to decide for us what we should be interested in and how it should be tackled.

    During the recent referendum campaign there were a number of senior politicians (including ones on the "remain" side) who commented that as British Government Ministers they had had legislation imposed upon them from Brussels that they were unaware was even in the pipeline. To me this just sounds wrong.

    Roger

  24. #124
    Hi Roger!

    You have a point in there, and I believe that's how it partially happens.
    I do, however, remember that there have been debates quite often in our parliament on some of those regulations and directives. (After all, all those sessions are either televised or can be watched on the internet).
    I can't help but feel that if a Minister is unaware of upcoming legislation, he's only poorly informed, or he himself is a bit lazy:-
    But looks like that mostly we agree. I'll try to find out more about these processes later on, but, of course, it'll take time.

    Best regards
    Heikki (one happy EU citizen)

  25. #125
    Hey guys...thanks all for an interesting and enlightening discussion. I learned a lot, and hopefully shed some light on the motivations of some people on both sides of the issue. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the future...This is how internet discussions should be conducted...calmly, respectfully, thoughtfully, and with passion, yet also with an open mind. Thanks to my British, European, and plain ol American friends... And Heikki... Hope the publishing is going well...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 07-03-2016 at 01:23 PM.

  26. #126
    Hi Stu!

    The publishing goes okay. As you know, we're online only now because of the postage. My latest features will be up there still in July.

    I also want to thank everybody for this interesting discussion. I usually avoid non-music topics on the internet, but this time I was so worried about constant false accusations towards the EU, which has become so fashionable in recent years - not only among populists, but in media as well. I still believe that the sum - 1 1/2 % of our budget - that goes directly to the EU is cheap compared to, say, establishing those custom barriers again.

    And Roger, strong lobbying is omnipresent in the EU. That was a good point. Luckily they'll soon be all registered.

    Best regards
    Heikki

  27. #127
    So much for Boris being a buffon.....he's chosen the same candidate as me!!

    Boris backs Andrea Leadsom.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...remain-UK.html

    I do hope this lady secures the position. I think you guys overseas will like her. She seems very worldy and very honest.

  28. #128
    I understand that Andrea Leadsom's performance while at the Treasury was not thought of very highly.

    We are in for at least two year's of turmoil, so we need someone who can bring calm and stability to the situation. That person is Theresa May.

  29. #129
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    I understand that Andrea Leadsom's performance while at the Treasury was not thought of very highly.

    We are in for at least two year's of turmoil, so we need someone who can bring calm and stability to the situation. That person is Theresa May.
    I'm not a Tory paid up member so I'm not voting.

    I still hope Andrea gets in. We are going to have to put up with seeing Andrea or Turnaround Theresa on our screens quite a bit in the next 2 years and I don't think I can cope with seeing too much of May's mugshot. lolol

  30. #130
    I'd dig up the Iron Lady, prop her up before Parliament...and I believe she'd do a fine job...

  31. #131
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    I'm not a Tory paid up member so I'm not voting.
    Me neither, nor am I a member of any other political party. I tend to float between Labour, LibDem and Green.

  32. #132
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    Me neither, nor am I a member of any other political party. I tend to float between Labour, LibDem and Green.
    I don't think I have ever voted Tory. I know I've never voted Green - nice thought but I dont see that happening in my lifetime.

  33. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    I'd dig up the Iron Lady, prop her up before Parliament...and I believe she'd do a fine job...
    Unfortunately that wouldn't work Stu as she was cremated ..... http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/432...w-key-ceremony

    However her ashes are only a mile or two down the road from The Parliament Building in the grounds at Chelsea Hospital so perhaps the urn could be retrieved and placed in the middle of the table in The House of Commons (after a suitably dignified ceremony of course).

    Roger

  34. #134
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    I'd dig up the Iron Lady, prop her up before Parliament...and I believe she'd do a fine job...
    Now that would certainly get a few people going!

  35. #135
    Even in her present condition...I've no doubt Maggie could defeat Hillary Clinton in a cage match... LOL

  36. #136

  37. #137
    Hate crime reports surge in Britain in weeks around 'Brexit'

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/08/europe...mes/index.html

  38. #138
    Angela Dewen asks "Is racism on the rise...."

    It's not racism, it's hate crime. There's a big difference.

    Bad journalism which is clearly aimed to give a disjointed view to support those who have their own agenda.

  39. #139
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Hate crime reports surge in Britain in weeks around 'Brexit'

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/08/europe...mes/index.html
    There have always been instances of "Hate Crime" in Britain (that is since the term was invented .. previously it was just considered to be "crime") and there has certainly been a rise in the reporting of it in the last few weeks. Part of this rise may be due to people being encouraged to report anything they might think is suspicious and possibly some incidents are ones that people previously would have considered too trivial to bother anyone with.

    Sometimes this rise in "hate" could be mere paranoia. As an example, in the video with the CNN article we are asked to believe that a very well-spoken Finnish lady has been the victim of some misdemeanor simply because some stranger told her loudly that she had a "nice accent".

    Roger

  40. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    There have always been instances of "Hate Crime" in Britain (that is since the term was invented .. previously it was just considered to be "crime") and there has certainly been a rise in the reporting of it in the last few weeks. Part of this rise may be due to people being encouraged to report anything they might think is suspicious and possibly some incidents are ones that people previously would have considered too trivial to bother anyone with.

    Sometimes this rise in "hate" could be mere paranoia. As an example, in the video with the CNN article we are asked to believe that a very well-spoken Finnish lady has been the victim of some misdemeanor simply because some stranger told her loudly that she had a "nice accent".

    Roger
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    I guess those of us with a "foreign" (not British) accent, had better stay away from Britain. And those of us with brown or Black skin had better stay away from USA. And those of us with Middle Eastern family names or Middle Eastern nose shapes or other facial features (like mine) had better stay out of Western Europe, with all the fear of being swamped by immigrants.

    This is like my early childhood after WWII. We Jews were told by our elders that we "always have to keep our bags packed", as we never know when we'll have to "get out while the gettin' is good", to keep body and Soul together. One would think that Humankind would have learned a lesson from the atrocities of the 20th Century. As I stated above in this thread or in a like one, if I had been born with Black skin, I surely would be dead already.

  41. #141
    Robb-K .... What I found particularly strange about that Finnish lady was that to me she didn't have a "Foreign" accent at all, to me she was just "well-spoken". Maybe in Britain, as an experiment, we should all start communicating by sign-language and see how that works out!!??

    Roger

  42. #142
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    Robb-K .... What I found particularly strange about that Finnish lady was that to me she didn't have a "Foreign" accent at all, to me she was just "well-spoken". Maybe in Britain, as an experiment, we should all start communicating by sign-language and see how that works out!!??

    Roger
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    I think that my proper Canadian English would sound out of place in The East End of London, Brixton, Lancashire, Liverpool, Yorkshire, Scotland, Wales, or, indeed, anywhere in The U.K.

  43. #143
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    I think that my proper Canadian English would sound out of place in The East End of London, Brixton, Lancashire, Liverpool, Yorkshire, Scotland, Wales, or, indeed, anywhere in The U.K.
    Most of our accents will sound different in another town but is that what you mean by "out of place".

    When I was listening to the news, there were people talking in Dallas and they sounded very different to the interviewers.

  44. #144
    Quote Originally Posted by theboyfromxtown View Post
    Most of our accents will sound different in another town but is that what you mean by "out of place".

    When I was listening to the news, there were people talking in Dallas and they sounded very different to the interviewers.
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    Well, I grew up in Manitoba, next to the forest, in a home with 30 people at the dinner table on weekdays, and 50 on weekends, and most of them spoke Dutch, or Canadian English from the 1880s and 1890s. Despite having colleagues at school, I speak, more or less as Canadians spoke in the late 1800s to early 1900s. I did also hang out on The South Side of Chicago and in South Los Angeles from 1963-72 (so, maybe I have a little '60s "ghetto Speak" mixed in as well.

    In addition, I've dwelt mostly away from English North America since 1972, so the little I've used English (away from visiting English-speaking family) has been using it as a "lingua Franca" speaking with Africans, Asians, Finns, and some Brits. So, I would sound "weird" to just about anyone, in terms of vocabulary, word order, currently unused grammar forms, etc. and, certainly accent.

  45. #145
    One good thing that has come out of all this is a lot of young people are now more aware of British politics and all the crap that goes with it. So that has to be a good thing. The UK needs a young voice.

  46. #146
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritinthesky View Post
    One good thing that has come out of all this is a lot of young people are now more aware of British politics and all the crap that goes with it. So that has to be a good thing. The UK needs a young voice.
    Wasn't it Winston Churchill who said..."Show me a young conservative, and I'll show you a person with no heart...Show me an old liberal, and I'll show you a person with no brain"... lol

  47. #147
    Well ... it looks like Theresa May is going to be our new Prime Minister ("ugly mug" and all) as Andrea Leadsome has just dropped out of the race. She still needs ratifying by the Conservative Party as their new leader but it looks like a formality now.

    I wonder what she will become known as? "Iron Lady" has already gone. Any ideas anyone?

    Roger

  48. #148
    She's been called

    Turnaround Theresa
    Teflon Theresa

    and that's just the nice ones!

    lol

  49. #149
    ...seems to me as a person who has never voted for ...or understood ...Tories ...that they're all a bunch of weak-kneed politicians ...when the going gets tough ...they either resign or withdraw ...Cameron ...Johnson ...Gove ...Leadsom ...et al ...their followers and supporters must feel terribly let down ...can't stand any of them ...!!

  50. #150
    Quote Originally Posted by grapevine View Post
    ...seems to me as a person who has never voted for ...or understood ...Tories ...that they're all a bunch of weak-kneed politicians ...when the going gets tough ...they either resign or withdraw ...Cameron ...Johnson ...Gove ...Leadsom ...et al ...their followers and supporters must feel terribly let down ...can't stand any of them ...!!
    Thank goodness I can shut my front door, turn off the radio and TV and put on my music and stick two fingers up to the lot of them! LOL

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