Are we sleep-walking out of Europe ?

Duncan Mann posted:

"Which just highlights the fact that JC was in my view just as complicit in delivering the Referendum result as the likes of Boris & Gove, through his studied indifference and lukewarm campaigning. He vigorously denies it, of course, but like most unreconstructed 70's Marxists he's intrinsically opposed to the EU, not least because EU rules severely constrain national governments from nationalising everything in sight. Not that I'd be opposed to the latter, in some sectors, I should add, where pragmatism overrides political dogma - i.e. the railways."

Despite having a grudging respect for Corbyn and sympathy for some of his policies, I have to agree with you.

Resurrection posted:
Hmack posted:

Neither particularly witty nor insightful, and more than a little unpleasant.

I guess your reply probably speaks for itself and was simply intended to offend or at least irritate. It may not even reflect your true feelings.

However, I will take the bait. Just out of interest, are your feelings about the traitorous & parasitic left directed towards a small number of individuals on the 'left', or to anyone whose political views happen to be somewhat to the left of the likes of Rees Mogg, John Redwood or Nigel Farage?  

 

 

Anyone living parasitically on the public's purse. However, if you look at quangos and charities rather a lot of their top dogs are allegedly left wing but I would call them at best Champagne Socialists, or spongers at worst. Am happy to include any Conservative peer grasping money from the EU  while clearly doing no Lordly duties. But any right winger doing the same as the Kinnocks or the Milibands is fair game as well. I hope you don't think I am prejudiced, Hmack.

 'Anyone living parasitically on the public purse' is rather vague and woolly and open to quite a bit of biased (or prejudiced) interpretation, don't you think?

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Hmack posted:

Duncan Mann posted:

"Which just highlights the fact that JC was in my view just as complicit in delivering the Referendum result as the likes of Boris & Gove, through his studied indifference and lukewarm campaigning. He vigorously denies it, of course, but like most unreconstructed 70's Marxists he's intrinsically opposed to the EU, not least because EU rules severely constrain national governments from nationalising everything in sight. Not that I'd be opposed to the latter, in some sectors, I should add, where pragmatism overrides political dogma - i.e. the railways."

Despite having a grudging respect for Corbyn and sympathy for some of his policies, I have to agree with you.

This railway re-nationalisation enthusiasm always surprises me !

The Gov owns the railway infrastructure.

Network Rail has a 30 year licence to operate, maintain and renew that infrastructure. To all intent and purpose, Network Rail is already a Gov department.

The Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and Freight Operating Companies (FOCs) each have short-tern operating licences (c. 5 years) and these licences don’t have to be renewed, the Gov can take them over on expiry. The Gove sets the basic timetable for each TOC , who bids in competition for the right to operate that service.

The big banks (mostly) own the train sets. HMG would need to buy these back or invest in new trainsets.

The manpower, middle-managers and most of the directors (ie the entire workforce) would simply be TUPE’d across to any revised organisation. About a dozen top executives would be replaced (probably be Jeremy Corbin/Diane Abbot clones to oversee the new organisation.

With the same workforce in place and newly appointed incompetent management, I don’t anticipate any real improvement - Brexit or no-Brexit !

Don Atkinson posted:

This railway re-nationalisation enthusiasm always surprises me !

The Gov owns the railway infrastructure.

Network Rail has a 30 year licence to operate, maintain and renew that infrastructure. To all intent and purpose, Network Rail is already a Gov department...

With the same workforce in place and newly appointed incompetent management, I don’t anticipate any real improvement - Brexit or no-Brexit !

I can't say I'm any kind of expert on trains, Don (apparently I misspent my time as a spotty youth not collecting train numbers), and I'm conscious that we're heading off piste topic wise - but what the hell, after 97 pages of the same old, why not?!

You're right, Network Rail is effectively a public body, though it's only in recent years that this has become the case, with the treasury classifying it as a private sector body until 2014, no doubt to keep its debts off the treasury books.

I don't think that nationalisation per se holds the key to transforming the British rail infrastructure into something approaching world class standards. Network Rail's performance has been a very mixed bag, with some projects being delivered satisfactorily (Crossrail), whereas others have been botched (Great Western Electrification, for example) - and usually where there have been problems, ministerial prevarication and interference has been the main cause. 

However, most people accept that the British rail network is extremely expensive (cf. other European countries), and performance by many of the private TOCs is distinctly substandard (Southern Rail, anyone?). The classic example quoted is the East Coast line, where private operators have struggled to turn a profit, and Virgin/Stagecoach look ready to walk away from their contract early as a consequence. This has happened on this line before (as any reader of Private Eye would know!), but the current government refuses to accept that private enterprise doesn't have the answer to everything. It looks likely that a not-for-profit hybrid body will replace Virgin/Stagecoach, so Grayling doesn't have to give succour to JC by admitting that a publicly owned TOC can succeed where private companies cannot.

Interesting to note that according to a Yougov survey in May 2017, 60% of those polled felt that TOCs should be run in the public sector, as indeed they are generally across much of Europe.

 

Hmack posted:
Resurrection posted:
Hmack posted:

Neither particularly witty nor insightful, and more than a little unpleasant.

I guess your reply probably speaks for itself and was simply intended to offend or at least irritate. It may not even reflect your true feelings.

However, I will take the bait. Just out of interest, are your feelings about the traitorous & parasitic left directed towards a small number of individuals on the 'left', or to anyone whose political views happen to be somewhat to the left of the likes of Rees Mogg, John Redwood or Nigel Farage?  

 

 

Anyone living parasitically on the public's purse. However, if you look at quangos and charities rather a lot of their top dogs are allegedly left wing but I would call them at best Champagne Socialists, or spongers at worst. Am happy to include any Conservative peer grasping money from the EU  while clearly doing no Lordly duties. But any right winger doing the same as the Kinnocks or the Milibands is fair game as well. I hope you don't think I am prejudiced, Hmack.

 'Anyone living parasitically on the public purse' is rather vague and woolly and open to quite a bit of biased (or prejudiced) interpretation, don't you think?

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Come on, if you can’t afford Champagne you can’t afford Naim gear.

Hmack posted:

 'Anyone living parasitically on the public purse' is rather vague and woolly and open to quite a bit of biased (or prejudiced) interpretation, don't you think?

To Resurrection (rather than Hmack): does that include the heads of private organisations like G4, Capita and Carillion?

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Personally I prefer prosecco or Australian sparkling wine...

The big four accountancy firms have been described by the select committee report as living parasitically off Carillion, and given that Carillion were largely funded by state contracts, it follows that Deloittes, Ernst & Young and the others have been living parasically off the public purse. 

Eloise posted:

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Personally I prefer prosecco or Australian sparkling wine...

Maybe you have only experienced Champagne shipped for the British market? I don’t like the majority I’ve tried, with the ‘bog standard’ Moet & Chandon being the worst of all, only fit for the bog in my view. But a holiday in the Champagne region of France, tasting at small vineyards normally only frequented by the French, opened my eyes (and taste buds). A benefit of free travel and movement of goods in the EU meant I could not only discover premier cru Champagnes at around £9 a bottle (as adjusted to today’s prices), but I could happily bring back 16 cases for my subsequently happy consumption.

Until I do that trip again, Prosecco is normally also my fizz of choice. I wonder what will be the effect of Brexit on being able to bring back wines in bulk, and on prices of European wines in UK.

Eloise posted:

Personally I prefer prosecco or Australian sparkling wine...

Well you should also consider New Zealand (Cloudy Bay Pelorus) and Spain (Freixenet and other Cava).

Champagne can be bought at good prices from Sainsbury when they have a 25% off weekend combined with another discount. Costco do offers on Bolly at about £26 a bottle.

Pre Brexit visits to Calais are worthwhile because you can get the excellent Canarde Duchene champagne at very good prices. You can also get vintage Freixenet at around €5 a bottle.

Duncan Mann posted:

I can't say I'm any kind of expert on trains...

Well, I am going to self identify as an expert on trains. This is solely on the basis that I have a large LGB 'G Scale' train set. Sadly, this has lain unused in a cupboard for 15 years (since the kids grew out of it) and has had no maintenance over that period. And, there lies the problem...

Our rail system went for decades without any proper investment. Every time the passenger numbers (and fare revenue) went up the Treasury reduced its subsidies. This all came to a head in the Hatfield train crash of 2000. It was from this that Network Rail was born. One of the reasons our rail system costs so much is because of all the investment needed to 'catch up'. They are doing a huge amount of work and I have respect for them. 

At least railways and champagne make a welcome break from the train crash that is Brexit (I'm not necessarily anti Brexit but the whole thing has been unbelievably cocked up by our politicians and unelected officials).

Eloise posted:
Hmack posted:

 'Anyone living parasitically on the public purse' is rather vague and woolly and open to quite a bit of biased (or prejudiced) interpretation, don't you think?

To Resurrection (rather than Hmack): does that include the heads of private organisations like G4, Capita and Carillion?

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Personally I prefer prosecco or Australian sparkling wine...

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

Hungryhalibut posted:

The big four accountancy firms have been described by the select committee report as living parasitically off Carillion, and given that Carillion were largely funded by state contracts, it follows that Deloittes, Ernst & Young and the others have been living parasically off the public purse. 

I don’t like the big four parasites either or Goldman Sachs. Blood suckers!

Resurrection posted:
Eloise posted:
Hmack posted:

 'Anyone living parasitically on the public purse' is rather vague and woolly and open to quite a bit of biased (or prejudiced) interpretation, don't you think?

To Resurrection (rather than Hmack): does that include the heads of private organisations like G4, Capita and Carillion?

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Personally I prefer prosecco or Australian sparkling wine...

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

There seems to be an awful lot that you don’t like. Anyway, lager contains hops; it’s one of the key ingredients. 

Resurrection posted:

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

Have you tried IPA? There are some great craft IPAs around. I've begun drinking IPA in preference to lager or bitter when there is a good one available.

Resurrection posted:
Eloise posted:
Hmack posted:

 'Anyone living parasitically on the public purse' is rather vague and woolly and open to quite a bit of biased (or prejudiced) interpretation, don't you think?

To Resurrection (rather than Hmack): does that include the heads of private organisations like G4, Capita and Carillion?

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Personally I prefer prosecco or Australian sparkling wine...

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

A self-confessed lager lout - that explains EVERYTHING!

PeterJ posted:
Resurrection posted:

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

Have you tried IPA? There are some great craft IPAs around. I've begun drinking IPA in preference to lager or bitter when there is a good one available.

I suspect Rees-Mogg doesn't drink beer (too, common) but if he did it would have to be India Pale Ale. Day's of Empire and all that. 

PeterJ posted:
Resurrection posted:

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

Have you tried IPA? There are some great craft IPAs around. I've begun drinking IPA in preference to lager or bitter when there is a good one available.

While up here in Scotland I had a heather beer called something like fruech and was very pleasant. Not keen on IPA.

Penarth Blues posted:
fatcat posted:

Just realised leaving the single market will push up the price of Westmalle Triple.

This Brexit  malarkey is turning serious.

Westmalle Trippel is my favourite Trappist beer - you've reminded me I have a bottle in the fridge...

Off topic, but many congrats on the Bluebirds getting to Premiership. Warnock is a grumpy old git but he gets results.

Innocent Bystander posted:
Resurrection posted:
Eloise posted:
Hmack posted:

 'Anyone living parasitically on the public purse' is rather vague and woolly and open to quite a bit of biased (or prejudiced) interpretation, don't you think?

To Resurrection (rather than Hmack): does that include the heads of private organisations like G4, Capita and Carillion?

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Personally I prefer prosecco or Australian sparkling wine...

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

A self-confessed lager lout - that explains EVERYTHING!

Only the best German or Belgiab lagers. After all, I am a committed European. 🤓

MDS posted:
PeterJ posted:
Resurrection posted:

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

Have you tried IPA? There are some great craft IPAs around. I've begun drinking IPA in preference to lager or bitter when there is a good one available.

I suspect Rees-Mogg doesn't drink beer (too, common) but if he did it would have to be India Pale Ale. Day's of Empire and all that. 

I do like a Duvel, my wifee likes Framboise but I am quite happy with a Jupiler or even a Stella.

Hungryhalibut posted:
Resurrection posted:
Eloise posted:
Hmack posted:

 'Anyone living parasitically on the public purse' is rather vague and woolly and open to quite a bit of biased (or prejudiced) interpretation, don't you think?

To Resurrection (rather than Hmack): does that include the heads of private organisations like G4, Capita and Carillion?

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Personally I prefer prosecco or Australian sparkling wine...

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

There seems to be an awful lot that you don’t like. Anyway, lager contains hops; it’s one of the key ingredients. 

"By comparison, hops tend to be found in much higher content in ales, especially as the hops provide a protective element to the beer as it is being fermented at higher temperatures. However, the faster, warmer process of brewing ale also means that there may be more bitterness within in the finished beer, which can be a detriment or a positive factor, depending on your own personal taste and the style in which is being brewed."

Don't like the bitterness of hops, which is the fundamental reason I don't really like ales. I don't mind Guinness now and again. 

Hungryhalibut posted:
Resurrection posted:
Eloise posted:
Hmack posted:

 'Anyone living parasitically on the public purse' is rather vague and woolly and open to quite a bit of biased (or prejudiced) interpretation, don't you think?

To Resurrection (rather than Hmack): does that include the heads of private organisations like G4, Capita and Carillion?

However, I am a little perturbed  that you should think of the term 'Champagne Socialist' as being pejorative in any way. I aspire to be a champagne socialist - I just can't afford the champagne.

Personally I prefer prosecco or Australian sparkling wine...

Absolument Eloise! I also am neither keen on Chsmpagne or Prosecco. Strangely, I’m a lager lout when not drinking wine ie I don’t like beer either. Don’t like hops.

There seems to be an awful lot that you don’t like. Anyway, lager contains hops; it’s one of the key ingredients. 

Weiss Beer. 🤓

Imagine a beer made by the EU.

The bureaucrats at the Commission would take a year or so to come up with the idea. It would then go to the Council of Ministers to be knocked around for a couple years before being put to the European Parliament for another year or so and if approved the ECJ would then take an eternity to vet the legislation to make sure it met all of the necessary criteria and didn't break any rules. The funds for the building of the factory could then be released, probably going to one of the lesser countries as part of the Regional Development programme, so ending up at a place with no brewing tradition but tasked with the remit of making a beer which met all member states tastes and will of course in reality satisfy no ones. They could name it after one of the 3 or is it 5 unelected EU Presidents - if only someone could remember their names.

Ray

thebigfredc posted:

Imagine a beer made by the EU.

The bureaucrats at the Commission would take a year or so to come up with the idea. It would then go to the Council of Ministers to be knocked around for a couple years before being put to the European Parliament for another year or so and if approved the ECJ would then take an eternity to vet the legislation to make sure it met all of the necessary criteria and didn't break any rules. The funds for the building of the factory could then be released, probably going to one of the lesser countries as part of the Regional Development programme, so ending up at a place with no brewing tradition but tasked with the remit of making a beer which met all member states tastes and will of course in reality satisfy no ones. They could name it after one of the 3 or is it 5 unelected EU Presidents - if only someone could remember their names.

Ray

Now, now Ray. That's a rather sceptical view of the EU !!!!!!

A few years ago, when EASA, on behalf of the EU had published a whole set of new aviation rules and regulations, it was discovered there were a few (ok lots) of errors, inconsistencies and ambiguities.

Their programme to change some of the more trivial, minor ones was.......wait for it........5 years !!!!

For the big mistakes etc, their comment was (I forget the exact words) "just because we have a mistake, doesn't mean we intend to do anything about it !"

MDS posted:
Penarth Blues posted:
fatcat posted:

Just realised leaving the single market will push up the price of Westmalle Triple.

This Brexit  malarkey is turning serious.

Westmalle Trippel is my favourite Trappist beer - you've reminded me I have a bottle in the fridge...

Off topic, but many congrats on the Bluebirds getting to Premiership. Warnock is a grumpy old git but he gets results.

Thank you for remembering I follow the Bluebirds in the first place! It's been a great season because it was all so unexpected from many angles, and because I got to have a proper look at what a motivated set of players can do when they play as a team for the first time in years.

I've also been converted to the Warnock approach to football, which is a lot more subtle than the papers would have you think: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/...-city-under-14552610 but then it wouldn't make such good copy if they can't just paint him as the antithesis of good football. From a fans viewpoint I'd rather see us have an attempt on goal than pursue possession for its own sake - only a very few clubs in the World are able to do what Man City are capable of doing. The rest just bore the punters rigid with a slightly weird game of football chess undertaken by players who are mostly idiots and play actors.

Being honest, I'm not looking forward to the Premiership as it is not a proper competition unlike the EFL leagues. I did wonder if we could be promoted but stay in the Championship where most results are not known before the match kicks off... I think the likelihood is that I'll get that pleasure again in just over a years time. I just hope we don't overspend this time and try and balance the books a bit better as a result of being promoted.

I did think at one stage that Pompey might have been coming back up to the Championship but it wasn't to be. Best of luck for next year - we may meet in the Championship in the 2019 season!

Looks like some of the senior Tory back-benchers are at last being more public in encouraging the PM to face down the hard Brexiteers in the party, and to confront them with the parliamentary arithmetic.  It seems more and more likely that within the party and Cabinet, the prospect of reaching a compromise e.g. on the customer union, won't be found, thus calling the Brexiteers' bluff.  A 'no-deal' scenario could well be voted down by the HoC so the Brexiteers are going to have to compromise.   

Christopher_M posted:
Don Atkinson posted:

......some rational thinking and proposals.

Could be a while, Don!

Yes. Hence “hope” and “one step at a time”

but what constitutes rational thinking to me, might look like treachery to Resurrection and the other half-dozen hard brexiteers on this forum !

So, £20bn pa to run the Boris Customs System as opposed to £18bn pa (less the rebate) to be a member of the EU.........

........apologies, I know, I should have posted in the “best jokes” topic.

And yes, I appreciate that JRM will state that neither is wanted by 17bn voters.

In fairness, Don, the two figures are very different currencies. The £20bn is an estimate of the increased compliance cost burden that UK businesses that trade with the EU might incur as a consequence of that trade being subject to customs controls. the most tangible element of that for businesses will be the new direct costs they will have to meet in paying shipping agents to handle the customs declarations etc. The £18bn is money collected by HMRC through import duties and VAT which makes up the annual payment HMG makes to the EU budget.  The latter would be 'saved' by government the former would be paid for by businesses.

That said, your broader point is spot on.  If Brexit were subject to a business case appraisal these figures suggest that the sums don't add up to a worthwhile investment. 

MDS posted:

In fairness, Don, the two figures are very different currencies. The £20bn is an estimate of the increased compliance cost burden that UK businesses that trade with the EU might incur as a consequence of that trade being subject to customs controls. the most tangible element of that for businesses will be the new direct costs they will have to meet in paying shipping agents to handle the customs declarations etc. The £18bn is money collected by HMRC through import duties and VAT which makes up the annual payment HMG makes to the EU budget.  The latter would be 'saved' by government the former would be paid for by businesses.

That said, your broader point is spot on.  If Brexit were subject to a business case appraisal these figures suggest that the sums don't add up to a worthwhile investment. 

I agree with your exposition of the separate nature of the two issues.  You set the situation nice and clearly, far better and more succinctly than I could have done.

I see the issues simply linked by “effort”. That effort can be seen as either “manhours” (apologies ladies) or ££££s. Either way, this effort denies effort in other, more productive activity.

No doubt there will be other resource- draining activity incurred by Brexit.

The news that the NHS will need additional funding to maintain current levels of care and treatment didn’t come as any surprise. Neither did the amount - estimated at £4,000 per household each year.

What surprised me most was the statement that increased taxation will be necessary to fund this increased cost. We all knew that the increase was necessary, but I seem to recall that £18bn pa was going to be available for this purpose as a result of Brexit ! I recall seeing £350m pw on a bus and also on a Boris Johnson poster making this crystal clear.

Have I been asleep ? (or perhaps sleepwalking ?)

So, according to Ipso MORI, 48% of people say Brexit is working out as they expected (compared to 9% who say it’s going better than expected and 39% who say to going worse than expected and 4% who “don’t know”).

Coincidentally 48% of people (who voted) voted to remain.  So is this the same 48% of the people - they thought it was going to be a disaster, and think it’s working out to be a disaster?

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