The UK political thread (formerly independence thread)

Put the world to rights here (off-topic discussion)

How will you vote in the 2019 UK General Election?

Conservative
1
6%
Labour
7
41%
Liberal Democrat
4
24%
SNP
0
No votes
Brexit
1
6%
Green
2
12%
Plaid Cymru
0
No votes
Other
0
No votes
Won't Vote
2
12%
 
Total votes: 17

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Metalchemyst
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Metalchemyst » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:33 pm

gandalf the red wrote:I also like the way they keep wanting to be like "The Scandinavian Model". They complained when they wanted to have a minimum price for alcohol. What will they be like when it's £10 a pint? :lol:
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby CrappyMike » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:32 pm

Turbo wrote:I hope Scotland goes the other way really. I hope it becomes the Czech Republic of northern Europe. Cross the border and break the suspension on the car with all this dirt cheap beer. :yes:

unlikely, our laws on alcohol are considerably worse than in england currently. Its illegal to do multibuy deals on it :lol:

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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Matty_the_Emo_Slayer » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:23 am

I can see this ending up with people taking the ferry from Stranraer to Belfast to buy Buckfast in bulk at non-import prices :lol:
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Metalchemyst » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:46 am

Bisset wrote:Finally (again with both sides) what if it's 49%/51% in favour of Yes, can you really become and independent country if just shy of half of the country Is opposed to it, and vice versa.
Good point. I think for major constitutuonal changes the required majority should be at least 55%. This would go for an in/out EU referendum as well.

By the way, I read that only about 10% of the Welsh want independence. What is it in Northern Ireland for leaving the UK?
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Matty_the_Emo_Slayer » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:40 am

Metalchemyst wrote:
Bisset wrote:Finally (again with both sides) what if it's 49%/51% in favour of Yes, can you really become and independent country if just shy of half of the country Is opposed to it, and vice versa.
Good point. I think for major constitutuonal changes the required majority should be at least 55%. This would go for an in/out EU referendum as well.

By the way, I read that only about 10% of the Welsh want independence. What is it in Northern Ireland for leaving the UK?



It's difficult to gauge because Unionist parties have a head in the sand approach to a border poll. Last time Sinn Fein put forward a green paper for it and the DUP vetoed it the Belfast Telegraph ran their own poll with less than 10% saying they would vote for a United Ireland tomorrow if given the option. There's two big reasons why that is a wildly inaccurate figure though. For one that is an opinion poll of Belfast Telegraph papers which has a massive Unionist bias, and secondly the framing of the question as "how would you vote tomorrow?" reduces a pro-32 county unity to an emotive response. For me and most Republicans I know it is not as simple as that.

Sinn Fein's agenda with a border poll isn't to try and bring about a United Ireland in the immediate future but more to open up a dialogue on what a United Ireland would actually look like. They're not suggesting basically handing the 6 counties over to Dublin given how utterly inadequate Fianna Fail/Fine Gael/Labour have been at running the south up til now.

There's many things about the system down there I prefer, not least that a presidential system with 2 elected chambers is much fairer and efficient that Britain's ancient and ceremonial quasi-democracy. The amount of leeway the state still gives to the church and the headless chicken approach to economics though are definitely things I'm glad I don't have to deal with. Even though on paper Ireland should be recovering economically better than the UK and in terms of foreign investment especially an all-Ireland economy definitely looks more attractive (lower corporation tax etc.) economic mismanagement is still a big factor in why catholics/nationalists are wary of any unification deal happening soon, and the frankly still pretty justified concerns of a Dublin-centric and heavily church-influenced government are off-putting to moderate/middle class unionists/protestants.

Looking at the results of the last census I think a United Ireland is increasingly inevitable. Between 2001 and 2011 the percentage of the population designating as protestant fell by 4% to 41.6% while irreligious climbed 3% to 16.9% and catholics actually grew by 0.6% to 40.8%. About 45% of people aged under 18 are catholic compared to only about 30% protestant while a whopping 60% of the over 65 are protestant. What this means is we have an aging/dying protestant population, specifically those older ones who remember the pre-Troubles days of the Orange State, and a young population mostly being born in heavily catholic/nationalist areas of Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry.

In 2011 there was also a question on national identity for the first time and while only just over a quarter of the population declared themselves as Irish primarily compared to 46% being British only or a mix of British and Northern Irish those numbers are different across age groups with about 32% of young people being primarily Irish. The number of people with some ability in Gaelic is rising too, now at 10.7% even though the number of fluent speakers has declined.

The reason I think it's dangerous for unionists to stick their heads in the sand over the issue is if they don't start preparing for a united Ireland now and start speaking up for things like strong regional powers for Ulster to defend against a Dublin-centric government (or my suggestion, moving the capital to Belfast), complete separation of church from state, increase of public spending for a health system modelled on the NHS etc. then they are going to be left out in the cold when it inevitably happens whether they are ready or not.
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Matty_the_Emo_Slayer » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:56 pm

gandalf the red wrote:The Irish are quite like the English. They both like drink and have a reluctance to live in Ireland.



A bit of English reluctance in that matter over the past 8 and a half centuries would've been helpful :P
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby keera_envenomed » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:56 pm

Matty_the_Emo_Slayer wrote:
gandalf the red wrote:The Irish are quite like the English. They both like drink and have a reluctance to live in Ireland.



A bit of English reluctance in that matter over the past 8 and a half centuries would've been helpful :P


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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Metalchemyst » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:48 pm

Thanks for the detailed reply, Matty.
Matty_the_Emo_Slayer wrote:The amount of leeway the state still gives to the church and the headless chicken approach to economics though are definitely things I'm glad I don't have to deal with. Even though on paper Ireland should be recovering economically better than the UK and in terms of foreign investment especially an all-Ireland economy definitely looks more attractive (lower corporation tax etc.) economic mismanagement is still a big factor in why catholics/nationalists are wary of any unification deal happening soon, and the frankly still pretty justified concerns of a Dublin-centric and heavily church-influenced government are off-putting to moderate/middle class unionists/protestants.
How exactly does the church influence the state in the Republic and do the people want it that way? What is the cause of the economic mismanagement?
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Matty_the_Emo_Slayer » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:51 am

The direct influence of the church isn't felt so much any more in that they aren't given free reign to run orphanages, homes for "wayward girls" etc. but there is still a sickening level of deference shown to them, not least in the lack of prosecutions for historical abuse. The 1936 constitution also contained a clause noting the "special position" of the catholic church which is the historical basis for northern protestant fears of "Rome Rule." Somehow no one ever seemed to think this conflicts with the earlier clause in the constitution about freedom of religion, nor with the secular vision of the 1916 martyts but that's neither here nor there... Technically this clause has no legal authority but it still influencing policy now i.e. lack of abortion on demand. In fact, provisions for medical abortion in case of threat to the mother's life only came into law in the south last year.

On the face of it the south hasn't secularised anywhere near as much as the north. The breakdown as far as I know is roughly 84% catholic, 7 or 8% irreligious and the rest mostly various types of protestantism, but the percentage who actually go to mass every sunday is now ridiculously low, probably as little as 25%. Especially amongst the under-45s there is mass support for abortion on demand, like over 60% and in general right wing catholicism as a political force is largely dead. In fact Dana (yes the girl who sang "All Kinds Of Everything" in the Eurovision) ran on a catholic platform for the 2011 presidential race and got less than 3% of the vote. Interesting as well the frontrunner for most of the election was a gay protestant civil right activist, though he failed to win after a massive PR disaster in which it turned out he asked another country to release a former boyfriend of his on underage sex charges.

So the political will for a secular nation is there amongst the majority but just not amongst the leaders. The current Taoíseach Enda Kenny did say last year or the year before "my book is the constitution, not the bible" but he's really been all talk and no trousers when it comes to standing up to the church.

I'll tackle that second question tomorrow!
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Matty_the_Emo_Slayer » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:08 am

Economic mismanagement, where to start?

Well the problem to me is in the quality of politicians in Ireland. There is very few people with any progressive vision and in spite of it going against everything the constitution stands for (i.e. ruling class titles and nobility are essentially illegal in Ireland) there is a political elite just as ingrained as there is in Britain. This isn't the case so much with the smaller parties like Labour, Green and Sinn Fein but the two major parties in the south, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, can be traced back to either the pro- or anti- treaty factions of the IRA in the civil war of 1921-1922. Even now standing in the two big parties is largely based on nepotism and family name i.e. what rank your grandfather was in the civil war counts for more than intelligence or policies. Listening to what people have to say seems a secondary or tertiary concern in Irish "democracy", case in point being an independent TD who put forward some very very good marijuana decriminalisation proposals with mass public support that could have had a big effect on economic recovery and it was shot down in the Dail with barely any discussion.

Thinking the economic boom of the 90's and early 00's would last was their biggest mistake as essentially the whole "Celtic Tiger" that actually created a new middle class in the south was based on a very unstable housing market surge, as well as foreign investment in the services industry. 10% corporation tax was obviously going to be tasty for companies like Google but you can't really be surprised when they up sticks to Asia where things are even cheaper. The 90's also coincided with birth and immigration rates actually outstripping death and emigration for the first time since the famine as well so there became a need for affordable housing especially in central Dublin and the things slum lord developers got away with in those days was ridiculous. Like with the church bankers and developers acted as though the law simply didn't apply to them, and given how most of the criminal cunts who manufactured the recession aren't in prison now it seems they were right.

The other big issue, and one that not enough people even know about, was the selling of off-shore drilling interests off the west coast. Shell got them for practically nothing and essentially don't have to pay their corporation tax for the first 3 years of drilling out there. It's ridiculous that something like that could happen without public consultation never mind without a referendum and it is essentially money pissed away that the people of Ireland can never have back now. It was the major chance for a stable first world economy and the pig ignorant farmers' spastic sons running the government blew it. Another opportunity like that won't come along until commercial space travel becomes a real prospect as the Leinster midlands (as well as Mid-Ulster in the north) are two of the most suitable spots in all of Europe for that sort of development, but that is probably at least 20 years down the line from now.
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Metalchemyst » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:15 am

So even with a proportional voting system, the Irish are still electing the dinosaur parties? That sounds pretty hopeless.

If a united Ireland seems unlikely in the near future then what about NI becoming a Crown dependency like the Isle of Man?
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Matty_the_Emo_Slayer » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:02 am

The system is fine, the problem is to do with the political culture. Though Sinn Fein are losing their stigma in the south now so the possibility of a progressive SF/Labour/Green coalition in the future is growing. Middle class southerners refusing to vote Sinn Fein because of links to the Provisional IRA of 1970-2006 but voting Fianna Fail or Fine Gael in spite of their origins in the original IRA of 1918-1922 is stupidly hypocritical anyway.

I think NI becoming more self-governing is likely, especially if Scotland goes independent. Devolution has created an unfair situation where NI, Scottish and Welsh MPs are able to vote on Westminster decisions that now only affect England, so I think rectifying that in trade for Stormont getting full taxation and public spending powers would be beneficial for everybody. Unionists would likely object to it because they don't want to see the Union weakened regardless of whether it makes economic sense or not but logically it's the best option for us.

Northern Ireland needs to be able to set it's own taxes to be able to compete with the lower corporation tax of the south of Ireland and our public spending needs are different to those in England and Wales so I think any level-headed person who cares about NI whether Unionist or Republican should support further devolution. I'd even accept it as a halfway measure to a Republic to be honest. Sure there would be still a British military presence in Northern Ireland and the British monarch would be still the nominal head of state and those are sore issues for me but if a room full of millionaire toffs who've never set foot here had no power over NI any longer I'd be happy. Prosperity is a secondary issue to Unionists who want to stay part of the Union no matter the cost (to us or the English) but I think once we have a stable and working agreement on flags, symbols and parades Downing Street will just try and force us out anyway. I know they're sick of babysitting us and the current situation is unfair on England too. Give us economic autonomy and we could probably make a better go of it rather than essentially leaching off British public funds.
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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Womble » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:46 pm

HEY NORTHERN IRELAND, GO GET YOUR OWN THREAD.

:P

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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Smerphy » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:47 pm

Womble wrote:HEY NORTHERN IRELAND, GO GET YOUR OWN THREAD.

:P
Gandalf the Red wrote:
Fjar wrote:Guy on the far-right has just remembered he left the oven on.



That comment can be read very diffferently than what was meant. :lol:

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Re: Scottish Independence thread

Postby Womble » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:09 pm

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All the reason anyone needs to vote for Independence :P