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Brexit 
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No necessarily my opinion. Just something that amused me :)

On a serious note, I was very much in the remain camp. My whole career depends on free movement of employment around the EU.

Now sitting back and watching with interest the UK political fallout both within the current government and opposition. Looks as if we shall just be muddling along with no leadership for a little while.

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Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:45 pm
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Yeah I shop at Iceland too - great products at great prices, and provider of fun DIY t-shirts to the Welsh footbal fans (When England were playing Iceland, some Welsh fans got hold of a bunch of Iceland carrier bags, cut the bottom seam open and put them over their heads and wore them as shirts - Why spend £20 on an official Iceland football shirt when you can get one from your local supermarket for 5p?

Absolute f***ing genius :D

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Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:09 am
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When Vertongen dropped I told my wife a 3-1 was the most likely outcome... Scary! Well played by Wales though. Well earned victory and I hope they beat Portugal!

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Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:57 pm
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Britain votes to commit economic suicide, then takes to Google the morning after to find out what they just did. We have a Tory leadership election in which neither Johnson nor Osborne are running. And Wales is now better than England at football. I just don't understand how this world works any more. What an odd week.

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Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:16 am
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Shadowspite wrote:
We have a Tory leadership election in which neither Johnson nor Osborne are running.

Sadly the uber-twat Gove is still running :( The thing is that in order to leave the EU, somebody has to invoke Article 50 - I don't think that Boris the Buffoon would have actually done this - He never really wanted to leave the EU any more than David Cameron did - he just led the leave campaign to further his own political ambitions and never expected to win.

Gove, on the other hand, is just the kind of blinkered, small-minded little cretin who would actually do it :(

Shadowspite wrote:
And Wales is now better than England at football.

I still can't believe we beat Belgium like we did - the second-best team in the world and we beat them 3-1. Unbelievable. I knew we had a good team but I really never expected to get to the semi finals.

Commiserations to Daeron and any other Belgians in here. You guys played really well, and I honestly thought we were on a hiding to nothing when you went 1-0 up early in the game. Not quite sure what happened after that but it was a really exciting game all the way through, with plenty of chances on both sides. Wales were definitely better in defence but how on earth did your guys miss all those scoring opportunities in the last ten minutes?

Amazing game. (And that takes a lot for me to say as I don't normally follow football - like most people in Wales, I much prefer to watch rugby - but the Welsh football team have been really inspirational this time). What an amazing turnaround from where we were 4 years ago, getting beaten 6-0 in qualifying by Serbia...

Shadowspite wrote:
I just don't understand how this world works any more. What an odd week.


I gave up on that quest years ago :)

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Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:47 am
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...And now Djokovic is out of Wimbledon, after losing to the #28 seed! I think somebody broke something in whatever celestial machinery maintains the comfortable illusion of consensus reality. :P

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Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:07 pm
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Ah, but Germany still win penalty shoot outs. So not all the world has gone to pot just yet.

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Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:52 pm
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Will you still say that if Annika Beck beats Serena Williams today, though? ;)

(Hmm... when was the last time we saw a Wimbledon finals without either Djokovic or one of the Williams sisters playing? ... Turns out it was in 2006.)

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Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:48 am
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Right, I'm lost. Is this thread about politics or sport in the UK? :?


Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:08 pm
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Darkprincess wrote:
Shadowspite wrote:
And Wales is now better than England at football.

I still can't believe we beat Belgium like we did - the second-best team in the world and we beat them 3-1. Unbelievable. I knew we had a good team but I really never expected to get to the semi finals.

Commiserations to Daeron and any other Belgians in here. You guys played really well, and I honestly thought we were on a hiding to nothing when you went 1-0 up early in the game. Not quite sure what happened after that but it was a really exciting game all the way through, with plenty of chances on both sides. Wales were definitely better in defence but how on earth did your guys miss all those scoring opportunities in the last ten minutes?

Amazing game. (And that takes a lot for me to say as I don't normally follow football - like most people in Wales, I much prefer to watch rugby - but the Welsh football team have been really inspirational this time). What an amazing turnaround from where we were 4 years ago, getting beaten 6-0 in qualifying by Serbia...


It's hard to believe because Wales didn't beat the second-best team in the world. The problem isn't their performance, or Belgium's for that matter, but the self-centered delusional analysts who think Belgium's team is the second-best team in the world. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade. The victory was well-earned and I certainly don't want to downplay it. It just irks me so much to see Belgium's team constantly being hailed like these Gods-descending-from-heaven. Look at their game against Italy and tell me if that's a second-best team of the World. Unfortunately, most analysis is done by top-club-allies who are seeing their Premiere League favourites lined up in a team and they think "this must be the best team in the world!".
Just to show, the day of the match I saw a news-flash pass by with some English reporter raving about how awesome Belgium was "because they could afford to put such talent on the bench", pointing at our top 3 defenders being out (2 injuries, 1 suspended).
The article seems to have disappeared after the match. Because we couldn't afford putting that on the bench ;)
This doesn't diminish the team... just shows the bullshit being said about it. It's the best team Belgium has had in 30 years, and so it gets people dreaming. But it's a long shot from being the team we had 30 years ago and the team we had back then wasn't even considered the second-best.
Any analytical model that classifies them in the top 10 of the world is a bad analytical model. Belgium didn't play below its performance, the expectations are set too high. Belgium played exactly as they are: irregular, with flashes of greatness. And that's all the team ever will be until it gets a whole lot more mature.

But again, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade. The game was incredible. Belgium should have been the favourite. But... what we needed the most against Wales were our experienced defenders. We lost 3 of our best. We could have done with 3 attackers less, but not without those defenders. In a rock-paper-scissors kind of situation, it felt like our scissors was reduced to a rock when fighting paper. And then Wales played incredibly. It was hard not to cheer for them by the end of the game :)
Wales rarely skipped a beat, and they worked hard for that victory. How Belgium missed those chances at the end? Above all else, an incredible job from Wales. I was impressed with how they defended. It wasn't rare to see one of the Belgian attackers swarmed 4 to 1 man, but it takes skill, discipline and coordination to keep doing that against every attack, from all the angles that Belgium tried. With the way Wales is playing, there's a reasonable chance they can continue the dream one more round and I sure hope they do.

And I hope the Belgians in France partied hard with the fans from Wales.. because if it was going to be our final football party, better to do it cheering and make it count!

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Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:55 pm
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Looking back at this post.. I'm very sorry if I come across negatively (I probably do). I'm not negative towards the team or the game. It was a great Euro tournament for Belgium, and it's an amazing time for Wales. In Belgium we're getting spammed with complaints and whines... Apparently people feel "humiliated" and "disillusioned" by the Red Devils. I don't see how. I think they did a good job, and what's firing back is a set of unrealistic, unfounded expectations.
I was surprised by how emotionally invested our country proved in this tournament... me included ;)

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:06 am
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I think the next hurdle that Wales will face is not so much the Portugese team (which has performed well below par this tournament), but managing the expectations of the fans - after beating Belgium, many Wales fans are almost expecting an easy victory over Portugal, but I fear that this could result in a degree of complacency that could prove costly.

Hopefully the team will just see it as any other game and just carry on playing as they've done so far.

Just hoping that Portugal don't suddenly rediscover their form in the way that france did yesterday against Iceland...

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:22 am
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I hope Wales wins... :D

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:54 am
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Darkprincess wrote:
Sadly the uber-twat Gove is still running

Aaaand... he's out. :mrgreen:

Our next PM will be either Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom. Won't be the first time a woman has to clean up the unholy mess left by a bunch of guys. May seems by far the better option to me (and also the most likely to win).

I am tactfully not mentioning the football. !lol!

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Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:44 pm
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Shadowspite wrote:
Our next PM will be either Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom. Won't be the first time a woman has to clean up the unholy mess left by a bunch of guys. May seems by far the better option to me (and also the most likely to win).

I am tactfully not mentioning the football. !lol!


Leadsom claims to be the new Margaret Thatcher - for those of us old enough to have lived through the worst of the 80s, that is not a welcome thought at all :(
Many of the problema that the UK faces to this day are more or less a direct result of Thatcher's "I'm alright Jack - screw you" policies. The last thing we need is more of that crap :(

As for the football, don't worry about it - Wales return home today to a heroes welcome every bit as huge as if they had gone on to win the trophy. Welsh football has finally come of age. The challenge now will be to maintain the level going into the world cup.

I'll be supporting France on Sunday. Not because I don't like Portugal, or that I want revenge for them beating Wales, but because I find Ronaldo to be an incredibly annoying and insufferably arrogant little oik that needs bringing down to size...

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Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:28 am
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nah mate i'm more left wing than you


Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:51 pm
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Shadowspite wrote:
May seems ... also the most likely to win

I am feeling slightly smug right now.

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Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:56 pm
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toots wrote:
nah mate i'm more left wing than you

What (and whom) was this in response to, anyway?

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Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:58 pm
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Watching your debate, I am quite glad I do not live in UK. Does you conservative party really have no one better then these two?


Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:26 am
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Loflar wrote:
Watching your debate, I am quite glad I do not live in UK. Does you conservative party really have no one better then these two?


Apparently not. To be fair, Theresa May would have been my choice out of the initial rogues gallery anyway. Given the choice of Boris the Buffoon (what a complete cockwomble!), Andrea Leadsom (billing herself as "the new Margaret Thatcher" - uh, no thanks - I lived through the 80's under the old one), that incompetent dribbling spunktrumpet Michael Gove, and Theresa May, I know which one I'd go with...

Having said that, I'm not a tory voter anyway, so none of them are ideal but given that the main opposition is in total disarray at the moment, somebody has to step up to the plate and Mrs May is, I guess, the best of a bad bunch...

Of course she is unelected - the very thing that the tories bitched about when Gordon Brown became PM - strangely those same dissenters are silent now that the scummy behaviour is on their side of the house. And then they all wonder why the British public are completely disillusioned with politics...

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Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:09 am
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Darkprincess wrote:
Loflar wrote:
Watching your debate, I am quite glad I do not live in UK. Does you conservative party really have no one better then these two?


Apparently not. To be fair, Theresa May would have been my choice out of the initial rogues gallery anyway. Given the choice of Boris the Buffoon (what a complete cockwomble!), Andrea Leadsom (billing herself as "the new Margaret Thatcher" - uh, no thanks - I lived through the 80's under the old one), that incompetent dribbling spunktrumpet Michael Gove, and Theresa May, I know which one I'd go with...

OK, I understand that there is a limited choice. But still, PM who wants to abandon European Charter of Human Rights and increase spying of citizens... I guess you will truly live in interesting times. I have an English friend who is already considering applying for Czech citizenship.

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And then they all wonder why the British public are completely disillusioned with politics...


BTW, since I am still trying to understand what happened, what do you think about this article? Do you think that it describes the reality?
https://theintercept.com/2016/06/25/bre ... titutions/


Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:55 am
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If I may cut in.. This disillusionment is not unique to the UK. Belgium suffers from it as well, and I dare say the problem is wide-spread in Europe. In general, people have a negative view about politics..
Some of the emotions I see return are:
- A very negative perception about politicians
- People seem to think our current situation is bad
- Every solution seems bad.. regardless of what it is
I find this interesting to examine this in itself, regardless of political view. I wonder what it means to the political and democratic future of my country and.. well.. Europe as a whole. At some point this world will become the world of my kids and their generation, and I'm concerned about what my generation will be handing over to them.

I can't help but notice that there's division, even among the traditional parties or political alignments. Traditional parties seem to have an identity crisis, where they have a new vs old generation conflict or progressive vs conservative. The progressive parties seem popular "in theory" but for some reason can't cash in the votes. The conservative forces are disliked, or hated even, except by people who will staunchly defend them to a level that's almost scary...
Our world is changing a lot, and our politics often seem incapable of dealing with the pace.

Dissension is commonplace... and we have politicians feeding it, and feeding on it. But I see a dangerous trend that this conflicted is targeting people or groups of people, instead of principles.
If we'd have a big political conflict about, say, employee rights or the social system or whatever.. I'd get that. Politicians could heavily defend the principles they want to represent. There's room for discussion, diplomacy and agreement because a system can be found to support more than one principle, even if they are quite opposing ideas. At least we'd be discussing ideas.
But lately, the conflict seems to targeting people and sentiment rather than principles. Old vs young. Immigrant vs locals. Tax-payer vs social beneficiary. I'm even throwing rich vs poor in this... It's not new, but the way it's discussed is. Nowadays being wealthy is almost seen as trickery, sin and crime. And being poor is seen as being crime done upon a person.
Personal responsibility is marginalised in these discussions and someone else is always to blame.

I've been shocked by some political opinions expressed on my social feeds. It's as if there's people screaming, mouths foaming, for blood and (social) war.. but of course they don't want to bother with that war themselves. It's someone else who has to go fight and bleed for them.

And then there are cockroaches in politics. The kind that like to present an identity, often nationalist in nature but any identity will do. They try to present that identity as if, somehow, by joining that you're being elevated to a higher status "the kind you always should have had the right to". Then, of course, they point fingers at who's to blame why you're not being as privileged as you should be. People buy into it, they get votes and they rarely ever fix things.

Even though I was surprised by the surge of racist incidents in the UK I'm angry at myself for not expecting it. I've seen it happen so many times before, not necessarily in a racist context. When the politicians feed on negative emotions, and then win the vote, they spark up violent and unbridled actions in the street.
It's like setting the kettle to boiling temperature and then loosening the lid. It will pop.
I don't think the BREXIT vote legitimised the racist actions in itself... Joining or leaving the EU could and should be a democratically debatable topic. But it's the way the campaign was conducted the incited this behaviour. I know brexiteers (I imagine them to look a lot like buckaneers) who checked "leave" for very reasonable arguments. But that was not the image of the campaign. It was never about "reason". It was about anger.

I can't help but feel this is a dangerous situation. Politics are never a solution to an emotion, which is why I so dislike the emotional discourse of politicians. "We feel this way". Yes, well, screw that....
Law can never fix an emotion. And, in a democracy, no solution will ever be 100% "satisfactory" for everyone.
This is why I'm somewhat... afraid... of this new PM. Competencies aside, she looks like a person who might take advantage of this emotional reaction of the people in the street to legitimise a tough policy.
And she'll walk out cleanly, having rarely stirred the boiling kettle herself.

I think people underestimate the challenge of democracy. It is a slow system by principle. It is something that takes an immense effort. Just look at the BREXIT situation. How immense is this change? How vast must our knowledge be to make an informed decision on it? Looking at the political implosion that followed, even the supposed experts knew little.
Sometimes, there are no quick and easy solutions. It requires a lot of information, study and knowledge. And so it's a very tough case to sell when people are unhappy: no your problem can't be fixed quickly and you need to put in effort just to make a decision. People give up, don't study further than the "top 10 arguments to win any discussion on the internet" card handed by politicians, and then they do the worst thing they can do: choose with their guts.

TLDR: make your choices based on knowledge, not emotions.. and yes, that is the most costly, demanding and slow route, but that's the price of democracy you must be willing to pay if you want it to work.

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Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:29 am
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*Shrugs* Theresa May is alright. She has an unfortunate authoritarian streak when it comes to drugs policy and counter-terrorism, but in all other respects is a moderate. She was the one who first urged the Tories to stop being the "Nasty Party", and has been a leader of the progressivisation of the party alongside Cameron and Osborne (for example, she was the first prominent Tory to campaign for same-sex marriage). If she were an American politician, she'd most likely be on the moderate/conservative wing of the Democratic Party, rather than a Republican. I think she will get along very well with President Hillary Clinton. ;)

She's certainly smart and capable. The job of Home Secretary is usually considered a poisoned chalice, a way of ensuring a promising politician's career will go down in flaming ruin, but May kept the job for longer than anyone else in 60 years and is generally regarded as having been extremely competent and successful in the post.

I disagree with Theresa May on lots of issues. Politically, I'm closer to the Lib Dems or even the Greens than I am to the Tories. But I still have a lot of respect for her.

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Of course she is unelected - the very thing that the tories bitched about when Gordon Brown became PM - strangely those same dissenters are silent now that the scummy behaviour is on their side of the house. And then they all wonder why the British public are completely disillusioned with politics...

Well, those Tories were flat-out wrong to biatch about that when Brown became PM. The British people don't directly vote for the PM. Our system of government is not supposed to be a unitary executive. We vote for our own local MP, and whichever party has enough MPs for a working majority gets to form a government. If Party X has the majority in Parliament, then Party X's leader gets to be PM. Brown's and May's accessions were just as legitimate as Blair's and Cameron's.

Personally, I'd be fine with having a snap election, especially if it returned a Labour government (or more likely a Labour/SNP or Labour/LibDem coalition) pledged to disregard the Brexit referendum result. But there's no reason why there has to be an election just because we've changed PMs.

Heck, even in the US with its presidential system, if the President and VP both resigned there still would not be a new presidential election. The Speaker of the House would become President and serve out the remainder of the original President's term, even though he/she had never been elected to anything other than his/her House seat.

Accession to high office without a general election is not necessarily some strange anti-democratic con-job.

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Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:40 am
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Darkprincess wrote:
Apparently not. To be fair, Dark Lord of the Sith Theresa May would have been my choice out of the initial rogues gallery anyway.


FTFY


Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:35 pm
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Clockwork wrote:
Darkprincess wrote:
Apparently not. To be fair, Dark Lord of the Sith Theresa May would have been my choice out of the initial rogues gallery anyway.


FTFY

And that's the problem right there. We can't just respectfully disagree with our political opponents, can we? We have to demonise them. Theresa May can't just be wrong on some issues, she has to be an irredeemably black-hearted villain. And the other side is no better when they try to turn Jeremy Corbyn's poor judgement into 'evidence' that he's a raging anti-semite and terrorist-sympathiser.

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Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:55 pm
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