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Cameron and the EU speech

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Reason : going nowhere because of FM


brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2013 10:10PM
Two different things in my view Jools.

The idea of trying to cobble togther a Federation made up of so many disparate countries with their differing economic, social and political histories and cultures smacks of the old USSR. Throw in a "One size fits all" system of government I have real doubts as to its long term stability, let alone economic success.

As to how we turn this country around, I fear that until we wean the electorate of their need to be sheltered from some rather unpleasant truths, like - we aren't a rich country any more, financial and economic growth isn't a guaranteed fact etc no political party will ever be able to run the country the way it needs to be run

But I don't see EU integration solving it either

I am really glad I'm in my later years some times, having grown up during the war, things could only get better, now I fear they can only get worse, I worry for my Grand-children Sad

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mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 8:49AM

Quote:You may not believe it but I am Agnostic when it comes to the EU (but I am strongly ant-Federalist).


I'm actually becoming more and more federalist with each passing UK government. What makes you think Brussels could do a worse job of governing the UK than the clowns we've elected for ourselves over the years?



I think the EU at the moment is scizophrenic on the term 'federalist'. The German idea of federalism is quite different to the US term and how the UK populatoin sees it. In Gemany, as in Australia, it is quite easy to have a collectoni of states where the central government sets an overall tone and deals with foreign policies/relatoins. And I think that model is on the UK would be quite happy with (with devoution of Sotland and Wales, is that not pretty much the structure of the UK at the moment?) Unfortunately the nature of the EU beast at the moment is quite the opposite being one of micromanagement mixed with an unaccountability that p!sses people off - and the one-size-fits-all economic policies are certainly not in the best interests of the EU.
It will change because it has to, but I am pessimistic about how long that change will take - the new members like the structures at the moment because it helps them a lot financially and it will take a brave person to start kicking the can.
Focus_Man 4 481 631 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 9:39AM

Quote:Lord! Anyone who agrees with you is someone who understands the issues. Anyoen who disagree with you has a vested interest so their views are invalid and/or is a false prohet and not telling the truth - either way you can safely ignore them and have no need to challenge your own conclusions. What a lovely cosy world you live in.



Pots and kettles come to mind.
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 9:51AM

Quote:it will take a brave person to start kicking the can.


yet everyone appears to be attacking Cameron for doing just that?
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 10:02AM
Yep.
And I heard on the radio this morning that global leaders are attacking him for talking about tackling companies who evade tax: I guess everyone is scared that they are the ones who will lose out if not all countries follow suit.
Focus_Man 4 481 631 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 10:14AM

Quote:Yep.
And I heard on the radio this morning that global leaders are attacking him for talking about tackling companies who evade tax: I guess everyone is scared that they are the ones who will lose out if not all countries follow suit.



That of course is another problem and maybe worthy of being a new string.

Past (and the present) governments have been lenient with Mulit-Nationals granting them special conditions in order to encourage them to set up businesses here. Like Eire reduced capital gains tax to do the very same thing. So it now seems to be expected and one of those measures is the manner in which they have been able to manipulate their taxes. Nothing new in that but the fine balance is in deciding at what point would they withdraw from the country. It is the price we have to pay and the acceptable method we use rather than doing what some other countries do - give back handers. The government has explained this when discussing the top rate of income tax. When Labour raised it to 50% less money was collected and one has to assume that highly paidinvestment bankers and their ilk moved elsewhere into a lower tax haven. The same thing has started to happen here with the French entrepreuneurs who have had 70% levied on them by their new socialist government. Some appear to ahve moved here to pay 45% top rate instead. As I said, it is a fine balance not such simplistic answer for George Osborne on top of which the Lib Dems keep harping on about increasing the top rate again, but who the hell still supports them anyway? Their standing in the polls is less than 10% and very much less than less than UKIP.
strawman 11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 11:34AM
Ah yes global companies evading tax. Of course one country on their own and they say OK we will skip over the border to.... But all of the EU say in all countries the taxes will be paid and if you are outside the ECU you will pay an aditional tarrif to access the market you have killed the problem as they will pay the tax one way or another and the size of the market means that a fair number of the supplier will play with you. Would that be an advantage of an integrate EU with common rules on taxes and a joint stance.
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 12:29PM

Quote:Would that be an advantage of an integrate EU with common rules on taxes and a joint stance.


It has the potential to be so, so long as:

- it is applied equally to all EU members
- it is in step with the rest of the world

The latter being the most important (in my view) because otherwise it is too easy for there to become internal consistency, with all the EU countries going down the pan together

I really can't see any prosepct of a unified world trade agreement on taxes, I believe there really is a global economic war going on at the moment and its every country going for whatever small advantage they can gain
Focus_Man 4 481 631 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 12:48PM

Quote:Ah yes global companies evading tax. Of course one country on their own and they say OK we will skip over the border to.... But all of the EU say in all countries the taxes will be paid and if you are outside the ECU you will pay an aditional tarrif to access the market you have killed the problem as they will pay the tax one way or another and the size of the market means that a fair number of the supplier will play with you. Would that be an advantage of an integrate EU with common rules on taxes and a joint stance.


Unlikely to happen as the EU might then be subject to even larger tarriffs set by the UK to export to here tit-for-tat. And you suggestion may not happen anyway - all supposition. Given that we will save £18 billion each year we could still turn over a nice fat profit anyway.
25 Jan 2013 1:09PM

Quote:It has the potential to be so, so long as:

- it is applied equally to all EU members
- it is in step with the rest of the world

The latter being the most important (in my view) because otherwise it is too easy for there to become internal consistency, with all the EU countries going down the pan together



It doesn’t need to be worldwide to work. Since the EU is the world’s largest economy, there’s a very compelling case for companies to continue trading within it even if they must pay taxes. You can be sure Starbucks isn’t going to say, ‘right, I’m off to China then – stick yer taxes where the sun don’t shine!’ Their directors would immediately be sued by their shareholders for breach of fiduciary duties. Besides, they’re already in China.

The sheer size of the EU gives it unique clout to press for change on important European and global issues. It’s a big reason it’s been effective at large-scale endeavours like promoting human rights, protecting natural habitats, cracking down on dishonest advertising (the cheap airlines being a notable recent example), massively cutting roaming charges for mobile phones, imposing climate-change regulation, extending the reach of competition law, etc. These things cannot be done effectively or at all by individual member states.
strawman 11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 1:36PM

Quote:Given that we will save £18 billion each year we could still turn over a nice fat profit anyway.
Sorry your number is wrong, no one here has been able to show the balance of plus and minus costs for being in the EU. Regardless even if we just balance the direct payments and rebates In fact I can envisage situations where it will cost the UK more to not be in the EU, so please stop putting in incorrect numbers.
25 Jan 2013 1:42PM
On the referendum itself, well, referendums have an odd standing in the UK. They’re frowned upon by establishment grandees but subject to intense debate by constitutional-law wonks, since for good and bad they’re a form of direct democracy.

There was a previous UK referendum on EU (then EC) membership, back in 1975. Ironically, then Labour feared exploitation by capitalist pigs in Brussels, so some Labour MPs weren’t a bit sure they should back EC membership. Still, when the question was put to voters, two-thirds of them backed continued membership. Result? A split Labour party, but an effective mandate for subsequent governments to play a proper role in Europe.

Referendums are useful because they give a very clear mandate one way or another. They also focus the minds of parliamentarians in ways that even a backbench revolt cannot, because everyone in the Commons is reminded that the legitimacy of democratic authority lies exclusively in the consent of the people.

For these reasons, referendums have a powerful entrenching effect on any legislation enacted as a result of them. Consider New Labour’s referendums in the nineties on devolution, the Greater London Authority (establishing the position of the Mayor of London), and the Belfast Agreement. No subsequent government dreamed of repealing those things, since they were so evidently backed by the will of the people.

It’s likely that something similar will happen with this new referendum on the EU. If people vote in favour of continued membership, the question will be settled for another generation. If they vote against, then similarly that will be the end of the matter. You could say the reason there’s so much dissatisfaction about the EU in the UK at the moment is that people feel their views are ignored – as indeed they frequently are.

On the other hand, the debate will be terribly reported by the press. I’m already shocked by the mountains of unashamed xenophobic nonsense from the likes of the Daily Mail, and it will only get worse as the referendum nears. Many people will be goaded into prejudice and vote on false fears, and that is a pity.
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 1:49PM

Quote:Referendums are useful because they give a very clear mandate one way or another. They also focus the minds of parliamentarians in ways that even a backbench revolt cannot, because everyone in the Commons is reminded that the legitimacy of democratic authority lies exclusively in the consent of the people.



Quote:You could say the reason there’s so much dissatisfaction about the EU in the UK at the moment is that people feel their views are ignored – as indeed they frequently are


Oh yes! Smile
Focus_Man 4 481 631 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 2:08PM

Quote:Given that we will save £18 billion each year we could still turn over a nice fat profit anyway. Sorry your number is wrong, no one here has been able to show the balance of plus and minus costs for being in the EU. In fact I can envisage situations where it will cost the UK more to not be in the EU, so please stop putting in incorrect numbers.


Best estimate you will get, allowing for the £5billion rebate but adding on for housing, state benefits, NHs fees, schooling etc etc £18Billion total. If you don't accept that then tough, you provide me with a better estimate yourself, excluding nothing, but maybe include the fines that the EU is slapping on us as of today of £250,000 per day for not implementing reforms fast enough. The reforms are complete in Eng. Scot & Wales and will be in NI by March which is spot on schedule. Despite that it being in line with the EU requirement, they think it is not fast enough!!! How crass is that?

Another reason to get out, petty revenge because of Cameron's speech. I just hope that as we will have full implementation by the due date, we refuse to pay it. If you finish on time it just has to be fast nough in my book!
Focus_Man 4 481 631 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2013 2:11PM

Quote: Many people will be goaded into prejudice and vote on false fears, and that is a pity.


Doubt it, the electorate is just as smart as you. If the press won't fool you, what places you on such a pedestal to believe you understand but others don't?