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Showing content with the highest reputation on 28/07/21 in all areas

  1. I would imagine it is because other countries can produce things that we want that we can't produce here, for example oranges or bananas, and in turn, we can produce things that other countries can't. If we're going to be trading with another country, it makes sense to strike a trade deal to cut down on the red tape .
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  2. Great to see that despite Brexit Cadbury has decided to bring most of its production of dairy milk chocolate back to Bournville from factories in Germany and across Europe. This has to be good for British jobs and the economy. Plus, it just happens to be my favourite chocolate
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  3. Having followed many discussions for some time, it comes up, particularly with one individual, in addition whilst the word may not be mentioned the content says it all. unfortunately all governments be it U.K. or SNP make false and misleading statements all the time, as far as I’m concerned I really don’t trust any of them. My worry is those who can’t see fault in certain parties and hit out at anyone who dares not to agree with their views, over powering the conversation, nit picking and therefore stiffening discussion. I’ve seen that on many forums including Shetlink. For clarity the last sentence is not aimed at you or anyone in particular, it’s how I often feel and why I gave up posting earlier in the year. Dealing with COVID was enough hassle. Whilst I accept that government are constantly trying to score political points against each other, wouldn’t it be great if those in power would all work together to defeat this pandemic for the good of the population. Rant over.
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  4. You quote Evil Inky directly and mimicked his reply so apologies for thinking you were addressing him directly. I'm also coming up short on the repeated claim that there's numbers of posts claiming past referendums weren't democratic. To me that would imply Trumpish level claims of vote tampering and suchlike which I don't recall seeing much of anywhere. I've seen plenty piddled off mentions about how, although Scotland as a nation voted to remain in the EU, we were taken out due to the voting power of England. You may rightly have a claim on such posts being against the "democratic will of the UK" - but do keep in mind we (Scotland) were told during Indyref1 that staying in the UK was the only way to stay part of the EU. When a democratic result is achieved through lies and false promises, that is true anti democracy in action.
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  5. Not at all roachmill everyone is entitled to their views and to question the government. God help us when folk don’t. My issue with not accepting democracy was aimed at those who keep saying it was not done democratically, whilst at the same time unwilling to provide any proof of that. You go ahead and and stick to your views. Fill your boots.
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  6. So really what your saying is that you don’t care what the outcome or effects on the country might be as long as you feel you’ve gone one up on England for something that happened in the 1600s. Wow you can hold a grudge for some time George.
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  7. Vote SNP ! WHY. George I gave you every opportunity a couple of nights ago to give me some good reasons why we should vote for independence, yet your only and consistent reply is because you clearly hate Westminster. Nothing about how we will benefit as a country and nothing about the negative effects of independence. You clearly want us to close our eyes, cover our ears, vote SNP and hope for the best. Westminster isn’t giving away our fishing waters, they are taking it back. The SNP on the other hand intends to put it back under EU control, who will give more of it away to foreign vessels, just as they are doing to Irish waters. Open your eyes.
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  8. lastpubrunner

    Photo ID

    In case you hadn't guessed, I'm strongly against the introduction of ID cards and the creation of a National Identity register. I am also against the idea of providing DNA from birth. This site is American, but it would be just as valid for the UK: http://www.xerraireart.com/blog/index.php?p=318 Even better is this site which everyone should see: http://www.aclu.org/pizza/index.html Copy and paste the link into your address bar; just let it run - no need to 'click' on anything. It takes about two minutes to run through. To the doubters out there, do you still want this kind of society ?
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  9. lastpubrunner

    Photo ID

    Why fight ? Because I don't want all my personal details to be available to every nosy policeman, local council official and NHS bureaucrat who fancies a root around in my private affairs, that's why. And I'm not even convinced photo ID is needed day-to-day. The only photo ID I possess is my passport, and that doesn't leave its drawer unless I'm travelling abroad. I've managed to travel south, attend gigs, and stay in hotels without it. The above is absolutely correct !! I realise that I might have to take my passport along to the bank or show my driving licence to collect a parcel from the post office - but I am against the state forcing me to supply biometric measurements and 49 separate pieces of information about myself to a database which will be accessed by God knows who without my permission or knowledge. The government's arguments in favour of ID cards keep shifting, and the hugely expensive project has been sold to the British public on a false premis. The government began by saying it would prevent terrorism. When that wasn't tenable, it said it would prevent ID theft. When that didn't work, it said it would prevent benefit fraud and when that didn't work it resorted to claiming that it would help control illegal immigration. So, first of all, terrorism. The Spanish ID card did not stop the Madrid train bombers and a British ID card wouldn't have stopped the London July bombings of 2005. ID cards, it is plain, will not deter home-grown terrorists or suicide bombers who are quite happy for their names to be known once they have carried out their attacks for the obvious reason that martyrdom is pointless when it is anonymous. So when that didn't work, ministers stirred up fears about ID theft as the great scourge of modern society. Yes, it is a problem, but it is nowhere near as large as the government has been making out. Recently, the Home Office published a report which said that ID theft cost the British public £1.7bn annually. It turned out that that figure included £395m for money laundering and £504m for the total loss of plastic cards. Thus the figure was exaggerated by a little under 50%. Rather than stopping ID theft, ID cards are, in fact, likely to increase the problem, because this single unified and trusted identifier will be something that is really worth forging. Already, we hear, criminal gangs have compromised the chip-and-pin technology that will be used. And the new RFID technology - that's radio frequency identifiers - in place in some passports has been read by illegal scanners at 30 paces. Imagine that gadget in the hands of terrorists or criminal gangs. In February 2004 the government published a report saying that a campaign against benefit fraud had cut losses by £400m. The report said that the government was on target to slash fraud and error by half by this year, quite an achievement. Then the boasting suddenly stopped. Why? Because the government's success at meeting its own targets go against the argument for ID cards. Like crime, benefit fraud has decreased. But you hear little of this from No 10 or the rightwing tabloid press, because it suits them to keep us in a state of near frenzy about both. And there is something else to remember: in the majority of cases, benefit fraud is not the result of well-organised individuals using multiple identities, but rather people exaggerating their sickness and the extent of their disability. The ID card will do nothing to stop someone faking depression or lower back pain. And, finally, the ID card won't stop illegal immigration. True, it will make the lives of illegal immigrants more difficult, but there is little evidence to suggest that it will actually deter people-smugglers and desperate migrants. One thing we do know is that the cost will be enormous - The nation is currently £5 billion in the red; it is estimated that an ID system will cost between £15 - £20 billion ! The London School of Economics puts it at £19bn over 10 years, while the government has said it will cost just £5.8bn, which seems ludicrously optimistic given that £12bn is being spent on the National Health Service database, a much less ambitious project. The government estimates that the cost of running the scheme will be £584m per year, which happens to be exactly the operating deficit of the NHS announced in June last year. Think of the schools, hospitals or university research centres, or jails, if you like, that could be built for this figure. The thing to remember is that this is our money and our children's money and if it goes ahead, it will be on a project that will divide people and government with mutual suspicion, that will invade everyone's privacy to a degree never seen in human history and that will make criminals of the people who feel that they cannot submit to the system. It will involve considerable inconvenience, as the NO2ID website makes clear. You will be required to attend an enrolment centre with some form of identifying material - bank statements, credit cards, driving licence or birth certificate, who knows what. Then you will be fingerprinted, photographed and the iris in your eye will be measured. You will give the authorities 49 pieces of information about yourself. If you don't, you may be fined up to £2,500. Additional fines of up to £2,500 may be levied every time you fail to comply. If you fail to inform the police or Home Office when you lose your card, or if it becomes defective, you face a fine of up to £1,000. If you find someone else's card and do not immediately hand it in, you may have committed a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, or both. And you will be fined £1,000 if you fail to inform the NIR of any change of address. You will also be expected to tell the authorities your previous addresses. Truly the government will be able to say with all the menace of the underworld enforcer: "We know where you live." If you don't inform the register of significant changes to your personal life, or any errors they have made, you will face a fine of up to £1,000. Astonishingly, you may also face a fine if you fail to submit to being reinterviewed, rephotographed, refingerprinted and rescanned. And for all this you will pay between £100 and £250 (or more) to be registered, with further charges to change your details and to replace a lost or stolen card. It's a devilishly clever scam because, in essence, the government is charging you so that it can charge companies that wish to confirm your identity. The card that you have paid for and have taken so much trouble over then remains the property of the secretary of state and he or she may withdraw it without explanation. Once that happens you will find it very hard to function in our brave new society. Rather than being something that is designed to help us, the card and the register are, in fact, tools of government control and surveillance. Over and above the information you have supplied at enrolment (please note the voluntary connotations of the word enrolment ) your file on the NIR will build an entire picture of your life - your hospital visits, your children's schools, your driving record, your criminal record, your finances, insurance policies, your credit-card applications, your mortgage, your phone accounts (and, one presumes your phone records), and your internet service providers. Every time you get a library card, make a hire-purchase agreement, apply for a fishing or gun licence, buy a piece of property, withdraw a fairly small amount of your money from your bank, take a prescription to your chemist, apply for a resident's parking permit, buy a plane ticket, or pay for your car to be unclamped you will be required to swipe your card and the database will silently record the transaction. There will be almost no part of your life that the state will not be able to inspect. And it will be able to use the database to draw very precise conclusions about the sort of person you are - your spending habits, your ethnicity, your religion, your political leanings, your health and even perhaps your sexual preferences. Little wonder that MI5 desired - and was granted - free access to the database. Little wonder that the police, customs and tax authorities welcome the database as a magnificent aid to investigation. But know this: from the moment the database goes live, we will become subjects not citizens and each one of us will be diminished in relation to the state's power. Something enormous and revolutionary is about to happen to us. We are giving the most precious part of ourselves to the government, allowing it complete freedom to roam through our privacy. And it's not just to this government, but to the governments of the future, the nature of which we cannot possibly know. And it's not just our privacy - it is the rights and privacy of future generations. While we are comfortable about handing this information over to the state, the citizens of the future may feel strongly about our complacency and our faith in the British government. We have a duty to those people, just as all the people who fought for the rights we enjoy today felt a sense of obligation to us. I am afraid I do not trust the government's motives - nor do I trust its competence. The past decade is littered with failed government IT projects - the Child Support Agency, the immigration records, the working tax credit database, the farmers' single payment scheme are a few that come to mind. This is to say nothing of its record on security. The NIR will literally have thousands of entry points where the information on your file can be accessed. A few years ago, one of the worst failures of a government database came to light a few weeks ago when the Home Office admitted that the Criminal Records Office had wrongly identified 2,700 people as having criminal records. I cannot think of a clearer case of defamation and it is surprising there is not some kind of class action against the Home Office. Not only were these people's reputations seriously damaged, many were turned down for jobs as a result of the CRO's mistake and can therefore argue for a serious loss of earnings. But the Home Office did not even apologise. It is exactly the arrogance that I fear will come to characterise all government dealings with the person in the street once this database is operational. In a free country I believe that every human being has the right to define him or herself independently and without reference to the government of the time. This, I believe, is particularly important in a multicultural society such as ours. The ID card will bring about a kind of psychological conformity, which is utterly at odds with a culture that has thrived on individualism, defiance and the freedom to go your own way. And it will remove the right of those who for whatever reason wish to withdraw from the cares of the world and the influence of society, to resort to the consolations of solitude and privacy without inspection from a centralised authority. Privacy, anonymity and solitude are rights, and we are about to lose them for ever. Imagine handing over the keys to your home when you are out at work to allow some faceless bureaucrat to rifle through your desk and drawers, your photograph albums and children's school reports, your bills and love letters. That is the kind of access they are going to have, and it is going to grow as time goes by and we become accustomed to this unseen presence in our lives. Well, it's not for me. I cannot do it. I will not do it, and I hope you won't either.
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