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Sacre Bleu

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Sacre Bleu last won the day on July 5 2019

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  1. My otherwise healthy relatives who ended up fighting for their lives in hospital with Covid, my friends sheltering underground in Ukraine, and my own eyes which have seen the satellite imagery, are at odds with your posturing. I assume you are either misinformed or trying to provoke reaction.
  2. Thank you, I will do so. My understanding of VHEMT is that it is an anti-natalist, as opposed to misanthropic, group. Is that correct? I've dabbled in Schopenhauer and don't find his viewpoint to be particularly misanthropic. I must admit to finding his writings amusing at times due to the sheer bleakness and pessimism, but he does encourage us to engage in arts and philosophy as a way to find meaning.
  3. The misanthropic position, loosely defined as a contempt of the human species, is often inherently hypocritical. Many misanthropes advocate for the eradication of their fellow humans, either through action or inaction as appears to be the case here, but if the misanthrope defines themselves as members of the group they hold in contempt, it is logical that they would want to eradicate themselves. If they do not wish to eradicate themselves, it follows that they believe there is a purpose in their own existence or that they are sufficiently 'special' to fall outwith their own definition. The logical conclusion of this line of thinking is that the misanthrope considers their own existence to have more significance than the existence of the others whom they hold in contempt.
  4. Where this type of reductionist anti-natalist thinking falls down is that every species has evolved through an inherent drive to live and reproduce, regardless of sentimentality or ethics. Other species may well be more prosperous in the absence of the human race, but advocating for this outcome via failure to prevent the mass suffering of others (in this case dying from a painful and distressing virus) is a philosophically challenging position to adopt.
  5. To suggest we simply do nothing in the face of a pandemic and "let nature takes its course" is reckless. Viruses can mutate rapidly, and spread exponentially, and evolve from seriously affecting weak and infirm hosts to otherwise healthy hosts as virulence increases. Taking swift and decisive action in an environment of incomplete data is challenging but necessary. Mistakes will be made, that is for sure, and many ethical questions will be raised along the way. Personally, I find the argument that society should let the old and less healthy take the consequences of a relatively unknown virus, particularly a pandemic, is usually ill-considered both ethically and medically, and usually comes from a right of centre political, rather than an evidence based, perspective. This is an interesting primer from the World Health Organisation (2016) - Guidance For Managing Ethical Issues In Infectious Disease Outbreaks - https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/250580/9789241549837-eng.pdf
  6. To say that Scotland and England had no links before unification “in any way at all” is highly ignorant of history. To say “it must be accepted that Britain is not a democracy in any way or form” implies a lack of understanding of the mechanisms of democracy. To imply that the SNP are not represented at Westminster is a fanciful falsehood. I could go on.
  7. Forgive me if I have misinterpreted your post George, but it could be argued that Brexit is but another chapter in Britain's relationship with mainland Europe. Even the name 'Britain' can be traced back to a confluence of Latin and early French, some of the first recorded use of the word is from the writings of Greek explorers, and the name became established as the Roman outpost of 'Britannia'. The geographic area in question has ebbed and flowed over history, and even included the part of France now known as Brittany during the Middle Ages. With regards to Shetland, it was annexed to Scotland in 1471, and Scotland joined England in the United Kingdom via the 1707 Act of Union, so Shetland is indeed part of Britain both geographically and legislatively (if not completely culturally!) But for the sake of brevity of explanation, 'Britain' is generally considered to be a landmass and the 'UK' is a governance structure. With regards to Westminster, Britain is a conceptual understanding of landmass that predates the Westminster seat of government by several centuries.
  8. I find comments such as the above accusing Liberal Democrats as being "bunch of hypocrites destroying British democracy" to be undermining of democracy. The Liberals, whether you agree or disagree with their policies, have been consistent in their support for the EU and so are not hypocrites, and they are free to express their opinions, as are the Brexit Party. But more importantly, the wider principles of democracy have been trivialised to the point that a pre-legislative referendum three years ago is being promoted by many as the 'true' or 'ultimate' form of democracy, and all other more established mechanisms of democratic governance must be subverted, and wider socio-economic circumstances, developments since the referendum, and new knowledge must be ignored. This is reckless and myopic logic. We should certainly be holding our government to account to act in our best interests, but in doing so we should be aware that the referendum is but one factor in a complex series of decisions which must be made to arrive at the optimum outcome. We need mature and non-partisan debate where all facts, developments, options and potential outcomes are presented. This is not a time for partly-political polarised posturing. If through such a process Brexit emerged as the optimum outcome, then so be it. However, I know of few well-considered lines of thought that would arrive at a no-deal Brexit as being a desirable conclusion. The future of the UK in terms of Brexit will determined by one of two politicians who are engaged in a popularity contest where they must appease a small and unrepresentative demographic of the population in the form of conservative party members who favour a no-deal Brexit, so the ship of representative democracy may well have floundered.
  9. There have been few periods in the past 40 years or so when global economic politics and conditions have been so unfavourable for international 'trade talks' There has been a significant change toward nationalistic protectionist economic policies, of which the USA's 'trade tariffs' are symptomatic, in the past 18 months. This, and many other factors, are increasing the chances of a global economic downturn and possible recession. The early indicators of recession in the UK are already visible. An economically weakened UK cut loose from the EU will not be in a favourable bargaining position. Politicians who are advocating a no-deal Brexit and fail to address this material change in circumstances are, in my humble opinion, simply playing to the short-term populist gallery.
  10. @ Suffererof1crankymofo I'm happy with established parliamentary processes and timescales. My contention is that the government has been trying to circumvent those processes and push through imprudent legislation. I don't recognise the EU that you and other commentators on this forum describe, nor do I believe the 'them and us' attitude is helpful (or accurate - we are, after all, still a key member). I think the UK has done very well as a member, but it is time for reform. I can understand people's ideology who wish to crash out of the EU as soon as possible and be damned with the consequences, but I think that's a reckless ideal. It may be my age!
  11. It hardly matters what percentage voted for the change in the referendum, the majority of those who chose to express an opinion on the day voted for it,and that is the decision that stands, as that IS how democracy works. Its an established principle of democracy that those who chose not to vote, for whatever reason, accept the will of the majority who did. Attempts to belittle or discredit the 'value' of a democratic vote by imposing some arbitarily decided percentage of the entire electorate having to vote a certain way before it has 'validity' is simply subverting democracy and a contemptible tactic of the losers to gain some ground. A simple majority vote on a single issue is but one form of arriving at a decision. Like it or not, in a representative democracy such as ours, it is rarely straightforward for a decision to be enacted quickly and without amendment as there are many checks and balances. I do not wish to be patronising, but it could be worth researching how referendums operate and the legislation that governs them. As I have stated, I am in favour of leaving the EU so you can save your contempt. Attempts to undermine a factual point by claiming the person making the point must have ulterior motives does not alter a fact.
  12. The second part of my reply was not directed at you, so my apologies if you thought it was. I don't have anything to add beyond repeating what I've written, but to answer our question, triggering Article 50 on a certain date doesn't, IMHO, constitute a process. I'm not insinuating that, I'd like to be quite clear about it. The period between the referendum and now has been chaotic and hallmarked by delays, court cases, contempt of parliament actions, backbench rebellions, confusion around the Irish border etc that could have been avoided if the process had been carefully thought through.
  13. Thank you, Suffererof1crankymofo. FYI, Article 50 is in the 2007 Treaty on European Union. The 2015 European Referendum Act you mention could not allow for the referendum to be binding, as explained in the House of 2010 Lords Constitution Committee report on referendums, "....because of the sovereignty of Parliament, referendums cannot be legally binding in the UK, and are therefore advisory. However, it would be difficult for Parliament to ignore a decisive expression of public opinion." The High Court agreed with this assessment in 2016 stating "a referendum on any topic can only be advisory for the lawmakers in Parliament”. The practical implications of this are that Parliament is obliged to give serious consideration to the result of the referendum, which they are doing, and that Parliament must ultimately make the decision. For the government and many Leave campaigners to present it as a situation by which the result of an advisory referendum in which only 37% of the electorate voted for constitutional change must immediately and unquestioningly be implemented without parliamentary due diligence is at best nieve, and has resulted in much divisive ill-feeling and muddying of constitutional waters.
  14. Regardless, we have a constitution. It is incorrect to say we lack one. I don't agree that the conventions are intended solely to increase the power of the state, the conventions generally constrain and clarify the powers. There have been several attempts to simplify and condense the constitution, most recently by the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee - https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/political-and-constitutional-reform/The-UK-Constitution.pdf I hope that recent events will hasten the process of constitutional reform
  15. Quote: "I wasn't aware that a "40% Rule" was in place, neither was a "66% majority" demanded" I refer you to my previous response - the government assured parliament that the referendum was advisory/consultative, not binding, so did not require a minimum threshold. The European Union Referendum Act 2015 states that there was no requirement nor timescale for the government to implement the result. For the government to then claim the result gave them a mandate that did not require parliamentary debate is quite clearly disingenuous, and the UK Supreme Court agreed. Quote: "we DO NOT have a Constitution to change.." Indeed we do. It is a myth that we do not have a constitution, presumably because it is not codified in a single document - https://www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/what-uk-constitution/what-uk-constitution Quote: "Can't help thinking that you only want "democracy" when the result suits you?" On the contrary. I generally support leaving the EU but I don't believe the government should be allowed to ride roughshod over our constitution to get what they want. That is a very dangerous precedent. If we are to have more control of our constitutional affairs post-Brexit, we should be strengthening, not undermining, our democratic processes and holding the government to account regardless of our opinions on the EU.
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