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Extradry Martini

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  1. The Airbnb angle is certainly one reason for this. But really most of the protests so far against tourism have been where rowdy beach tourists have behaved badly in areas not set-up for beach tourism such as Barcelona. On the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca, which pretty much only exist because of tourism, the infrastructure not only knows how to deal with them but does deal with them (or at least contain them). Spain is acutely aware of the value to it of its biggest industry.
  2. I completely agree re the consequences of the Irish border moving to this side of the Irish sea. But I think that’s unlikely to happen – I can’t see a fiscal and monetary union without a customs union. I haven’t spent much time thinking about it yet, but there’s something nagging me at the back of the mind on it and it’s big. I have learnt to trust that feeling but it needs thinking through… I’ll come back on that problem. I was thinking about Scottish secession in the status quo, I admit. Whether or not it would be a good idea for Scotland after Brexit would depend on how Brexit happens I think. There would certainly be very strong resistance from Spain to Scotland joining the EU so it could be a difficult thing to do even if the population wanted it. It would also be exceptionally complex, but then again it would be now as well.
  3. Excellent article in the current edition of the Economist comparing the Brexit movement to the US neo-con push for the Iraq war: https://www.economist.com/news/britain/21725784-parallels-between-brexiteers-and-american-neocons-who-pushed-iraq-war-lessons It might be behind a paywall, but of the many comparisons cited, perhaps the most salient right now is that “In both cases overconfidence led to a lamentable lack of planning”. Having started the article discussing various Brexiteers citations of history, the last para is pure gold: “The real problem with the Brexiteers is that they don’t spend enough time studying history. Since the mid-17th century the British have had a marked suspicion of radical change. They prefer their revolutions to be “glorious”—that is directed from above and dedicated to gradual change. And they insist that the popular opinion should be qualified and diluted by constitutional constraints. Leaps in the dark are supposed to be for foreigners.”
  4. Yes, but without being familiar with Ireland's fiscal position in 1923, I have no idea what the economic impact was.
  5. It’s actually idiotic for a whole bunch of other reasons in my view. For example, Scotland is running a huge deficit (around 10% of its GDP) and doesn’t have its own currency. If it did it would have to issue a huge amount of debt to create foreign reserves in its central bank and if it decided to keep the pound, as an independent state it would have to issue a huge amount of debt to back up its banking system (it’s actually the same thing once you dig down) apart from the obvious drawbacks of having a monetary union without a fiscal union.
  6. Could be. But if it is, then the same people ought to think that the Spanish and French must be just as high quality given how many people go there. Or maybe they just mean to live. On that subject, when I was living in Madrid some time ago, I would occasionally come across British expats living on the costas (normally friends of friends). Almost none of them spoke any Spanish beyond ordering beer in a bar. They spoke English at work, to their plumbers (who often were British themselves) and in supermarkets. I would always ask these people why they lived in Spain, something I often asked expats in Madrid too. From the costa Brits, besides the obvious answers of climate, food and cheap wine, many of them would cite immigration in the UK and how the immigrants never seem “to integrate”. All this without any irony at all. There were reports that those living in Spain who could vote, voted by majority for Brexit. Given my experience, it doesn’t surprise me, but it must be the closest to Turkeys voting for Christmas that non-avians can get.
  7. Assuming you mean refugees or asylum seekers, it is their duty under the EU Treaty and UN Declaration of Human Rights (something that, incidentally, the UK will remain a signatory of even after Brexit). How can it be “oppressive” to insist on observing these rules? To be honest I find it extraordinary that anyone in Europe might wish to deny asylum to those who genuinely need it, given our history. It is to all of our shame that we refused asylum to Jewish people in the 1930s and 1940s (though the UK was better in this regard than some countries, especially with regard to the Kindertransport). But maybe you think that was a good thing. Never mind, my original point still holds – I have yet to find a Brexiter who can tell me how, in concrete terms, the EU is oppressing him or her. Unless you are a member of the (fairly nasty) current Polish or Hungarian governments, then your comment doesn’t really fit the bill. What a lot of tosh. Where did the 30 million number come from – plucked out of thin air? What do you mean about “sustainable” – in what way? Or “realistic” – to what kind of "reality"? The only way any of that holds any logic is if you believe that xenophobic urges kick in after a certain population density. But I would say that within 15 years or so a good proportion of the natural xenophobes in the UK will have died off (along with a good proportion of those who think that Brits are innately superior – not always the same thing). Have you ever considered that maybe people “go quiet” because what you say is a little unhinged?
  8. I am yet to find a Brexiter who can tell me in what exact and concrete way/s he or she is being oppressed by the EU. Instead it comes from a mix of mistrust of foreigners, a sense of British superiority and a lack of understanding either of the institutional framework of the EU or of basic macro-economics. The different proportions of that mix change depending on whom you are speaking to. But it's not their fault - seen to be explaining, promoting or defending the EU in any way has been poisonous in UK politics since the Major government, so no one in positions of political influence has done it.
  9. It’s funny, but here I am, explaining what crashing out of the EU in 2019 would probably mean in real, concrete, terms. However, instead of saying that my conclusions are wrong because of this or that things which I have missed or miscalculated, you say “man up”. As if explaining negative consequences of the actions (or lack of them) of an incompetent and unprepared government somehow shows irrational fear… … But still no contest from you on what I have said. If someone I cared about was behaving in this way, I might have thought that they had an emotional attachment, rather than a rational one, to what they believed and therefore felt threatened by the reality. But to be frank, I don’t give a hoot about why you behave the way you do, what I care about is the way that this is all going to play out and that the damage to the UK in the process is minimised. For reasons that I have already explained, I think that this government (the worst of the post-war era in my view) has approached this issue in the most irresponsible way that it could have. Are you saying that if enough people decide that Brexit is a stupid idea, the referendum decision should not be reversed? Ever? How anti-democratic of you! :-) By that reasoning, the 1975 referendum decision should not be reversed either… Actually, you hear this a lot even from the most vocal Brexiter politicians. It belies a deep insecurity about how this is going to unfold. I think many of them are married to the idea as an emotion (indeed, have bet their political careers on it), but deep down – maybe even subconsciously - know that in practice it will have a detrimental effect on the UK economy, perhaps a disastrous one. It is a question of insisting that democratic principle is adhered to in the case of last year’s referendum, but also that the people should never be granted the right to decide ever again. It does appear that many of these Brexiters, again deep down, realise that they got lucky last year because many voters were basing their choice on other factors unrelated to EU membership. But if one thing both sides of the debate seem to agree on, it’s that voters did not have a great deal of information on which to base their votes last year. There was no manifesto and there was disingenuous and mendacious campaigning on both sides. As we find ourselves better informed about the consequences of leaving the EU, it is only right, democratically and ethically, that the people are given a say on whether they want to leave the EU in the way that the government does at some point in the second half of next year. That assumes of course that we have a deal on a transitional phase and a broad direction of travel in terms of the relationship with the EU after that. If that is still not in place, then the people should be given the right to decide whether we want to leave the EU without a deal. (After all, not even the most rabid Brexiter suggested that before the referendum). It is true that few people want another referendum. But this is a huge event for the UK – the most important since the entry into the EU and possibly since the second world war – and clarity over what the people want should be sought. Besides, few people wanted the referendum last year either, and even fewer wanted the election this year, called to “strengthen the hand” of the UK government as it leaves the EU. (I also don’t doubt that the government would call – or the opposition would force - another election if it suited them). This Brexiter fear of public opinion is almost certainly what is driving their policy inaction around Brexit. The more they show what they are trying to achieve, the more they will need to explain it to the people and the greater the opposition to a hard Brexit is likely to be. But the longer they leave it, the more dishonest they are becoming both with respect to the electorate and as people with the responsibility of governing the country.
  10. This is great - it's so funny to see your comments when you take out those of other people. It is just infantile trolling. I thought a few days ago that the re-quoting software here was a little more awkward than it was on the site a few years ago, but I stand corrected. Your last post to me was "man up" for goodness sakes... it's brilliant, no content whatsoever, zilch, nada. Reminds me of an empty popcorn box, lying on a dirty floor, that you half trip over on your way out of the cinema after a bad movie. Fantastic! :-)
  11. Oh dear. You think this whole thing is based on feelings? You feel that you want the UK to leave the EU and you feel that it'll be ok, so don't worry it won't be a problem? Because you see it this way, you assume that everyone else does? I assure you, we don't. But lucky you - I sometimes wish that I could live in such intellectual cotton wool. One way or another, you'll find out though. The easiest way is to do some fact-checking and thinking by yourself. Look at what will happen under various scenarios...It requires a little work, but you'll be much better off for it. I would suggest that you start by looking at the reasons why the four freedoms are in place and why they are seen as indivisible. Next look at the stance and lack of preparation of the UK government. If you don't think that they are unprepared, then ask yourself why they haven't yet sold the reality of the different paths to the electorate. Then do some digging on what happens when borders close. After all that, you might realise that sitting in ignorance and hoping for the best, while nice and warm (like pancakes, no? You must feel it), is ultimately very debilitating.
  12. Ok, but surely it depends how great those costs are, no? The problem is that the government's official stance is that there will be no Freedom of Movement from March 2019. If you take that literally, then that means we have no transition period and we are out of the EU without a deal in March 2019. Unless we have already set up customs and border arrangements under WTO by the, which is highly unlikely given the short time available and the seeming complete lack of preparedness of the UK government to move beyond slogans and get down to work. (And not least because we are not actually a WTO member in our own right yet). That means no flights in or out of Europe from/to the UK, no trade and no services with the EU. It would have a huge knock on the economy and would probably mean a sharp rise in unemployment and a sharp fall in living standards. This is of course the worst case scenario, but if the UK keeps on insisting on no FoM, it is very difficult to see how we don't end up there. People can choose not to believe this, but it would be purely an act of faith.
  13. What, like what would happen if the UK left the EU without any future arrangement? Not a very clever approach...
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