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Everything posted by snowflux

  1. That'll be Mike Natrass, (former) UKIP MEP for the West Midlands. Edit: I also voted LibDem, of course, though their box took a bit of finding amongst all the UKIP copycats and turncoats.
  2. I don't know what Farage's beef with Natrass was. He certainly seemed to be doing his job in annoying liberals like me every weekend in the local paper as a local UKIP MEP. I'm guessing it's because he's either too rich or not a man-made climate change denier.
  3. Of the 11 parties on the West Midlands ballot, 6 are eurosceptic, 7 if you include the BNP. And you complain about not having a choice!
  4. I hope don't live in the West Midlands, otherwise you just voted for Nikki Sinclaire!
  5. It's hardly the fault of TPTB that UKIP is full of rich backstabbers. Not only do we have Mike Natrass's "An Independence from Europe" at the top of the ballot, we also have Nikki Sinclaire's "We Demand a Referendum Now" at the bottom of the ballot (in the West Midlands). Both former UKIP MEPs. Farage is certainly good at turning friends into enemies.
  6. I've already mentioned this a couple of times! It's former UKIPper Mike Natrass's outfit. He fell out in a big way with Farage and stormed off to found his own party, which he named "An Independence from Europe". It should really be called the "Mike Natrass Giant Sulk Party". He's pretty well known round my area; he actually lives just a couple of miles from me in a very large and expensive house. I wonder how many votes he will take from UKIP? Possibly enough to cost them a seat in the West Midlands.
  7. Yes, and the equation looks even less attractive as less accessible sources of fossil fuels are exploited. Even if it could be made to be reliable, CO2 sequestration will bring forward the point at which EROEI reaches unity. It would make a lot more sense to simply leave as much of the stuff under the ground as possible.
  8. It depends what you mean by sorted out. Obviously there are going to be errors in accounting in any large organisation, but it is important to keep tabs on these errors and reduce them as much as possible. The EU accounts are audited annually by the Court of Auditors. For 2012 their estimate of error was 4.8%, which is not as good as the prevous year (3.9%) but an improvement on earlier years, when errors of up to 7% were estimated. The EU depends to a large extent on its member states to reduce errors since about 80% of the budget is administered directly by the member states. Are you talking about the second Irish referendum here? The Irish said no, so the EU went away and amended the bits the Irish didn't like and asked them again and got a positive response. Is that not democracy in action? With regard to Baroness Ashton, I guess there is an argument for appointing the High Representative from the EU Parliament, but I don't think the heads of the member states would be prepared to give the EU Parliament that much power. The HR is, of course, appointed directed by the heads of the member states in the European Council to represent the EU abroad. Maybe, though many would argue for fewer rather than more EU laws! The Parliament can ask the Commission to draft legislation and it has been argued that this gives the Parliament a de facto right of legislative initiative. The EU Parliament can, of course, reject legislation proposed by the commission. I'm not what you mean by the West Lothian question in this context. All the member states have equal representation, with allowances for their populations. Yes, this has become ridiculous, and the majority of MEPs want to stop this, as do many others. Unfortunately, this was set by treaties that can only be changed by unanimous agreement of the heads of the member states. And France has always said it would veto such a move.
  9. Do you even understand what a strawman argument is? As part of your argument in favour of leaving the EU, you said: Now, AFAIK, no-one who is in favour of remaining in the EU has claimed that they would. That's what makes it a strawman. It's an argument based on misrepresentation of your opponent's position. A logical fallacy.
  10. Well, here's strawman no. 1: Who has claimed that BMW, Mercedes, Renault, Peugeot etc. would suddenly decide to stop exporting to the UK in the event of the UK leaving the EU?
  11. What would Vince's resignation achieve? Who do you think Cameron would choose to better fill the post?
  12. No he isn't. Help to Buy is George Osborne's baby and, other than repeatedly voicing his doubts about the scheme, Vince Cable really isn't in a position to influence it. It's not his department.
  13. A romantic libertarian/hippy fantasy. While I would agree that access to and exploitation of natural resources is far too concentrated in the hands of the few (especially in the democratically deficient UK), there are simply too many of us to allow unrestricted exploitation of natural resources. There would very soon be no fish left. Maintenance of a high standard of living for a large population in a world of limited resources requires social cooperation, typically enforced by the rule of law, and a high level of specialisation.
  14. Yes, we are the eurozone's biggest export market: about 12% of eurozone exports go to the UK. However, the eurozone is also our biggest export market, and by far: more than 40% of UK exports go there. Edit: Like Roger Helmer, I'm using eurozone figures as an approximation to EU minus UK.
  15. It depends what currency and time-scale you're looking at. Sterling crashed from about €1.50 to €1.10 during 2007/2008 and has since recovered a little to €1.20, i.e. nowhere near its value at the start of 2007.
  16. I would have thought the mathematics make a Lab/Con coalition extremely unlikely. UKIP would have to have a substantially higher share of the vote than the Lib Dems while, at the same time, not weaking the Conservatives too badly. Anything short of a massive UKIP vote would simply hand Labour an overall majority.
  17. It couldn't hurt for them to do a bit of work, though, could it? After all, we'll still have to implement most of the laws passed by the EU parliament if we want to continue trading with the EU after pulling out. May as well have a say in them while we still can.
  18. Regardless of your views of Lib Dem policies, at least their West Midlands MEP, Phil Bennion, pulls his weight in scrutinising and amending the legislation that underpins the EU single market rather than spending time, effort and money squabbling with his own colleagues.
  19. I doubt, given the difficulty that UKIP has agreeing with itself, let alone another party. Over the last few days, I've had euro election leaflets not only from the official UKIP candidate, but also from Mike Natrass and Nikki Sinclaire, the former UKIP MEPs for the West Midlands, both of whom have left UKIP to found their own anti-EU parties. Mike Natrass's party in particular, "An Independence From Europe", could well take quite a few votes from UKIP. As well as being listed at the top of the ballot paper, he's also well-known in the area and a far more familiar face than the official UKIP candidate.
  20. Ah. That explains why I had so few problems getting a mortgage. And I didn't even have to lie.
  21. I've often thought the same. I'd have thought one of the main objects of progress was to get people off the treadmill rather than getting more people on to the treadmill. But then I'm not a member of the controlling elite.
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