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Sunday, 05 September 2021

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National Insurance sounds like a 'self digging hole' that knows no bottom? No one dares point that out I guess.

National Insurance is a tax on the poor and those in need to fund middle and high income fake management public sector scumbags in the NHS.

It won't end up buying anything like the extra number of doctors and nurses needed, nor will it reform the NHS to a more productive anatomy and workflow.

It's a socialist death tax.

SoD

By George and all the Saints, the DT on it like a car bonnet ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2021/09/04/boris-johnsons-social-care-plan-welfarist-death-spiral-must/

The Tories should intervene to create a private market, not open the door to nationalisation.

Plans to hike National Insurance contributions would not just be a breach of an election promise to leave headline tax rates untouched (in fact, the Tory manifesto hoped to cut them), and an attack on the crucial low-tax, small-state, Thatcherite core of the Conservative electoral coalition. It would impose serious pain on an economy that is already struggling under the weight of the existing, historically high tax burden. Some ministers seem to have forgotten that high marginal tax rates and a bigger state as a share of GDP tend to reduce economic growth. There is never a good time to slap a tax on WORK. This might be the worst imaginable. The Tories will be accused of hypocrisy while morphing into an imitation of Labour.

The money is also destined to go into a reform of the social care system that appears shockingly ill-thought-through, repeating past mistakes for which we are still suffering the consequences.

SoD

“The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.”
― Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850 France

SoD, search him online and you will love his timeless observations.

Bastiat, yes, we stumbled on him in one of the threads a while back. I must look him up in more detail!

SoD

Nice to see Bastiat was a Funded Libertarian. He acknowledged that if you have to do "social", do the cash direct to the peeps at the bottom of the power pyramid, don't tip it in at the top ...

However, Bastiat himself declared that subsidy should be available, albeit limited under extraordinary circumstances, saying the following:

"Under extraordinary circumstances, for urgent cases, the State should set aside some resources to assist certain unfortunate people, to help them adjust to changing conditions".[6]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Bastiat

In line with Locke, Smith, Mill, Popper, Hayek, and Friedman.

It is astonishing how the pol-gene has reversed all those learnings from the Age of Enlightenment, which were gained after 1,000 years of the Dark Age where the pyramid of the Feudal state showed us what not to do. And here we are with a feudal pyramid staffed by the public sector class instead of nobles - the neo-Nobility. A knight for an NHS administration manager, a Duke for a Minister, and everything in between. All justified and mandated by "democracy" aka re-elected tyranny.

SoD

The NHS. Absolutely awful. But a more privatized system like ours would most likely be worse:

"The top-performing countries overall are Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia. The United States ranks last overall, despite spending far more of its gross domestic product on health care. The U.S. ranks last on access to care, administrative efficiency, equity, and health care outcomes, but second on measures of care process."

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2021/aug/mirror-mirror-2021-reflecting-poorly

"The United States currently ranks highest in healthcare spending among the developed nations of the world. According to data released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2019, the U.S. rate was a staggering $11,072 per capita.

Switzerland had the second-highest healthcare budget in 2019, with expenditures near $8,000 per capita. Germany and Norway round out the top three, spending around $6,600 per capita each"

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/020915/what-country-spends-most-healthcare.asp

It might surprise you to discover that private companies are in business to make money above all else. Kwitcherbitchin.

Not even the end of the first day after the announcement of the funding increase and already it isn't enough ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/07/nhs-funding-boost-will-not-clear-backlog-warn-health-chiefs/

Health chiefs have warned they are facing “impossible choices” after the funding boost announced for the NHS leaves a significant “shortfall”, meaning waiting lists and delays are here to stay.

Boris Johnson told MPs on Tuesday that the Government must help the NHS “recover” from Covid-19, but he warned that the NHS waiting lists would “get worse before they get better”.

The health service faces a record backlog of 5.5 million people, while an estimated seven million patients in England did not come forward for treatment during the pandemic.

Bob, the problem with the US private healthcare sector is it's a cartel. Until you break it up and go multi-market - allow foreign competitors with zero import tariffs and friction, freedom of movement for doctors and nurses, and bring their own standards and professional bodies to compete with Uncle Sam's homegrown lor - you are isomorphic to the NHS.

But it'll never happen because the cartel and medical profession are in a patronage / clientalism relationship with the state and both parties.

A boot stamping on a human face ...

SoD

First off, you're right that healthcare in the US is run by a cartel. If you have a few minutes, here's just one example of how it involves business and government, including both major parties:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrUdDv8eqOk

So how do you imagine this competitive market in healthcare will work? Do you think doctors will come from Mexico or Canada on weekends to do some competitively priced surgery? Really. Give us some details.

It seems you're turning into Switzerland somewhat faster than not, and in the competition of ideas Brits have chosen government over globalism.

DT playing catch-up with the real issue ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/08/left-current-state-will-squander-every-penny-boris-windfall/

Left in its current state, the NHS will squander every penny of Boris' windfall.

This monopolistic, top-down, bureaucratic system can't achieve better outcomes by its very nature.

The Government has not only broken a key manifesto pledge. They have not only increased taxation to the highest levels since the Second World War. They have not only slowed down the post-Covid economic recovery by placing a direct tax on employment. They have done all that without even a whisper of a promise to actually improve Britain's mediocre healthcare system.

SoD

Bob,

Watched the vid, not sure what you're driving at with that? Unless it is to agree with me?

Monopolies and cartels are anti-free market constructs, and the state is justified in breaking them up so the industry they have infested and are strangling can breath again.

The healthcare service industry in the US is host to a similar cartel structure to the pharma industry. I put some links in about that when we last debated this which you didn't object to too, if I remember rightly.

On the subject of foreigners performing healthcare in the US and competing with the homegrown stitch-up, then presumably you agree with that too?

I remember an enterprising Indian guy who chartered a cruise liner off the coast of the US in international waters and performed heart operations with an Indian team on US patients. $5,000 instead of $50,000 dollars rings a bell.

Why not institutionalise that and make the healthcare industry a Freeport in the US?

Let the world come and compete, on cruise liners or on terra firma, and let them bring their standards organisations and professional bodies too. Internalise globalisation.

The rest of us who might be factory workers or any other product makers have to compete with the global free trade system, why do doctors and nurses get off the hook? Why are they privileged to work on $100k+ salaries with closed shop professional organisations and friction and barriers with standards and border quotas and tariffs?

Put an obligatory label on healthcare services with the standards and professional bodies that provide the governance, and let the American people choose. They can go on TrustPilot and elsewhere and make their own mind up.

If you'll allow the peeps to choose a pol to take the decisions on standards and governance, why wouldn't you allow them to take the decision itself?

The price will drop like a stone and ordinary Americans will find healthcare affordable again, and the ludicrous cartel rip-off of healthcare in the US would be broken.

SoD

In spite of already employing 1.4 million people and being the 5th largest employer in the world but not having enough doctors and nurses, an army of Dido Harding's on £270k per annum will be hired with the extra cash for the NHS ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/09/08/nhs-spends-millions-hiring-army-200000-bureaucrats/

And that cash is apparently only for the short term and will be switched to social care later. Yeah right, like those Dido Harding's won't be still in their jobs in 10 years time!

SoD

Dammit Loz you're losing that ol' "Duff Touch"!

I'm only coming around this place 'cause here I'm always expecting I can get in arguments with Bob - not to find me agreeing with wot he's typing!

C'mon man, circle back!

Dammit Loz you're losing that ol' "Duff Touch"!

Only reason I keep coming to this place is a'cause I just know I can find something to argue about with Bob not to find I agree with to ol' sot! C'mon man, circle back!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI7uqL6yclg

Oops

SoD,

What you're suggesting actually worked for awhile. Before the 2000's we had a flood of Canadian doctors coming to the States because they could make so much more money under our past system.

At this point giant healthcare networks, pharma, and insurance companies, through price fixing and payoffs to pols, control every aspect of US healthcare. The Canadian doctors are back home. Some Americans travel north or south to have procedures done for less than their insurance copays. My wife and I get some medications from Canada because they cost about a third of what they would be here with insurance. All the advanced (and some not) countries with nationalized systems have better outcomes and lower costs. There's nothing to argue about anymore.

The far right understand they're being screwed by the system. They just don't know who to blame and have been trained to believe the government is always wrong and Democrats are commies. It's been 40 years since Reagan said the scariest words in the English language are "I’m from the Government and I’m here to help." Thatcher probably said something similar. The pandemic, climate change, and loss of status for most earners has put an end to that as a belief system even if it lumbers on like a zombie for a while longer. Libertarians will probably be the last true believers, but few of you have ever been famous for being practical.

Yes indeed, 23rd June 2016 was a very good call. In the EU voters have no chance whatever of changing the identity of the governing class; the ghastly institution was deliberately set up that way. It is now possible for substantial change to take place in the UK though whether it works out that way is another matter.
Typical remainder trying to make out that the howlers made by our admittedly useless government have some connection with leaving the EU when they obviously don’t.

In the EU voters have no chance whatever of changing the identity of the governing class; the ghastly institution was deliberately set up that way.

Quick reminder David ...

EU

(1) The EU parliament is elected.
(2) The EU Council is made up of the elected heads of state of the EU member states
(3) The other EU body whose name eludes me is made up fo the foreign ministers also elected by their electorates
(4) The president of the EU, head of the executive, is chosen by the elected heads of state of the EU member states.

So that's 4 out of 4 on the "representative democracy scores on the doors".

Westminster

(1) Parliament's house of commons, the legislative body, is elected
(2) Parliament's house of Lords is not elected
(3) The prime minister and cabinet, the executive, is elected by only 1/650 of the population - the constituents of the constituency of the prime or cabinet minister - and then chosen by the party in power, like a one party state chooses its next tyrant
(4) The prime minister and cabinet, the executive body, votes in the legislative body, the biggest no-no you can have in the democratic principle of separation of powers

So that's 1 out of 4 on the "representative democracy scores on the doors".

So just remind me why and how you come to think that the EU is less democratic or representative than Blighty?

SoD

So if we had voted stay in 2016, how would we be better off?

Mark,

Economics ...

The Single Market, Four Freedoms, and State Aid Rules - Margaret Thatcher's legacy, invented and instigated by her and her people.

These mechanisms improve productivity, efficiency and value for money from the means of production and distribution through obligatory competition.

They reduce the cost of governance by sharing the making of rules and regulations across 500m people rather than 65m. You only need one GDPR, not 28 of them. The cost is quite literally 1/28 of what it is on your own.

They reduce corruption, incompetence, criminal negligence and abuse by politicians that leads to wasted resources and harm by obliging the state to tender to a wider audience of suppliers across 28 countries not 1.

They promote more optimal supply chains by giving independent sector businesses, civic society institutions, and public sector bodies access to 28 times the range of suppliers with no bureaucratic friction: the same standards and rules and regulations with no tax or quotas at the borders.

They prevent the state from propping up failed operations with tax payers' money, which lets the labour, capital, and assets re-allocate to more productive operations thereby improving productivity and efficiency.

Social ...

The SMFFASAR keeps us free from failed state scenarios and tyranny by allowing us to move to a better place out of a choice of 28 when things go wrong.

Freedom of movement gives people the chance to meet others from different backgrounds and cultures and appropriate better mentalities and customs. It allows people to influence those from other countries with their better qualities and appropriate the better qualities from those other countries, thereby improving human conduct and harmonising the relationships between peoples.

Political ...

It integrates nations with each other and makes them inter-dependent. Thereby each state sees the other as not worth invading, pillaging and trashing because the deep supply chains, family relationships, friendships, and mutual recognition of sameness arrests the sense of the other nation as merely an external asset with no cost to self if it is invaded, pillaged, and trashed.

The Confederal or Federal structure "Baits and bleeds" the political class by pitting the local political class of the 28 against the central political class of Brussels. Each grasses the other up to us, the Ordinaries, the Third Estate. For example, we discovered the EU Commission was corrupt in 1999 so the entire membership thereof resigned due in large part to this "Bait and Bleed" process. We also see the fiscal malfeasance of the PIIGS and the denigration of the principles of democracy in Poland and Hungary through the reverse direction of this process revealed and pursued by the EU. The 28 states call out EU, and the EU calls out the 28 states. Another tool in the kit-bag of the Ordinaries against tyranny, like a free media, separation of powers, habeas corpus, Magna Carta, rights, and a constitution based on Liberty with an elected executive.

There probably are more. but there's your starter for one.

In the post-Brexit world we live in the question now becomes "How do we replicate these economic, social and political advantages in Blighty alone?"

And there's the rub ...

I could never see how Blighty's Ordinaries, pols and Constitution would, or even could, do it.

The People are too indoctrinated with statism, collectivisation and socialism, both left and right, having had nearly 75 years since 1948 of state education and mainstream media brainwashing therewith. More than 50% believe that "Take back control" by the Brit state is the solution to our problems, and almost no-one believes Ronnie Reagan when he said "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - or even knows that he said it.

The pols smell blood in the dumbed-down Ordinaries, whose knowledge of the eternal truth of state proportionality to failure and degradation has been eradicated across three generations. They know that there is no mileage in trying to explain it to them until after the state has failed and collapsed again. They know the repetition of the 1948-1978 decline and fall must now go its full course to oblivion. That's why the blue, yellow and red socialists are the only boxes on the ballot paper, and why they're fighting to outdo each other in the their statism, collectivisation and socialism, until economics, social and political consequences wipe the board clean and we have to start again - as in 1979.

Blighty's constitution cannot save us from the inevitability of this self-fulfilling "Destroy the village in order to save it" trajectory. It didn't save us in the 1948-78 period and it hasn't changed, so why would it now?

But worse than this, at least in the 70's and 80's there were people like me, I wasn't alone, and there were enough to make the movement that restored Blighty from zero to hero in a decade. Today I'm completely alone. I don't hear a voice like mine anywhere, even my own Father who taught me the way it is, so complete is the indoctrination. I'm not convinced that Blighty will come back from the next failed state denouement.

The great flat-lining: "A boot stamping on a human face - forever", a Venezuelan, Cuban, or even North Korean style dystopia, looks like a vision of the future.

SoD

ECONOMICS

So why is the Euro such a disaster then?

"obligatory competition"!?

SOCIAL

Keeps us free from "failed state scenarios"? What about Greece, and the so called PIIGS devastated by the above mention Euro disaster? (and the heart warming example of "european" solidarity when Germany, the Netherlands etc are asked to help their "fellow europeans")

POLITICAL

"I don't hear a voice like mine anywhere, even my own Father who taught me the way it is" Yep, you're right and everybody else is wrong. Can't help thinking of blackadder and redbeard rum "Crew me lord!!"

"pitting the local political class against the central political class of Brussels" - I would posit the reason the peoples of the vassal states are treated with such utter contempt is these local political classes fighting each other like rats in a dustbin for the chance of politburo membership. And its 27 BTW.

"A boot stamping on a human face - forever", a Venezuelan, Cuban, or even North Korean style dystopia, looks like a vision of the future - I'm not sure what it is you are projecting to have such an absolute raging hate for your own country and so many of its people, but the ONLY thing you can conceive of to counter this is to subsume this country in toytown Austria-Hungary?

"People are too indoctrinated with statism" But not you with the EU!!!!!!

What's this all about Loz?

https://turcopolier.com/another-independence-vote-in-scotland/

The SNP are not aware that Scotland is a nation. The fanatics need to blame the English for their woes and failures.

"A boot stamping on a human face - forever", a Venezuelan, Cuban, or even North Korean style dystopia, looks like a vision of the future.

Nope. It'll be Switzerland for you. Start learning how to yodel and make really expensive watches.

SoD. I assume you are being frivolous. Without making a meal of it, you know as well as I do that that the European Parliament has very limited powers and that only the unelected Commission has the power to put forward policy proposals. In the UK the elected House of Commons has all the real power or at least did until the Government’s disgraceful Covid power grab.
I am not suggesting that the UK system is wonderful but I think it is clear that it is more democratic than that in the EU which, in the wake of WW2, was set up to avoid any real accountability. Democracy was seen as dangerous, For presentational purposes the EU was given the trappings of democracy but the reality is absent.
Being polite it seems to me that your counting exercise is facile.

Mark

What about Greece, and the so called PIIGS devastated by the above mention Euro disaster?

Running a single currency across disparate regions or countries has consequences. The periphery will suffer with an over-valued currency while the core benefits with an under-valued currency. The result is an adjustment whereby the capital and labour moves from the periphery to the core. But the average across a single currency area is not impacted so long as labour and capital is free to move.

This is why a single currency works in the UK as a whole for example. It's a loss to the periphery, like the SWINES (Scotland, Wales, and Ireland North East), but it's a massive gain to England and the South East. It nets out roughly the same. The same is true for the Euro zone: The PIIGS loss is the core countries' gain. So long as the SWINES and PIIGS are free to let their people and capital move to the core, and happy to participate in the single currency - and they're all democratic states with membership of the Eurozone being their decision, or have independence referendums available to them if they're regions like Scotland if they wish - then the average citizen will be no better or worse off and the mandate is acceptable.

You'll notice that the Euro and Pound are still very much with us in spite of all the "cake and eat it" nonsense of the PIIGS in the Euro crisis. They want all the labour and capital to stay in place and have a high valued currency to buy loads of stuff they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford with the lower-valued Drachma, Lira, etc. A bunch of "cake and eat it" whingers like the SWINES. So long as the Jerries stay on it like a car bonnet as the English do in the Union, the single currencies of the Euro zone and Blighty work just fine.

"obligatory competition"!?

The one thing that would kill the Euro - or the pound - stone dead would be if there was no competition. If there was no single market, four freedoms, and state aid rules in the Euro zone and the equivalent in Blighty to permit the free flow of labour and capital to the core as required, the single currency would be toast.

And finally, you don't seem to understand I despise Brussels as much as I despise Westminster. But there is a paradox: if you have both they cancel each other out, like matter and anti-matter, because they argue "like rats in a dustbin" and in so doing they weaken themselves, slow down, and can't do as much damage.

For the third estate - that's you an me, the Ordinaries - this is a God send. It's like two bullies in a playground, you're actually better off because they will fight each other for the right to bully you, and in so doing they are busy (which means they're not bullying you) and weakened (so you might stand a chance when one of them does come for you).

Confederalism or Federalism - take your pick, there's not much in it - is a construct like freedom of speech, rights, Liberty, separation of powers, habeas corupus, trial by jury, etc., that helps the third estate in its endless efforts to contain the pol-gened people and their insatiable hunger for power and control.

SoD

David,

The EU executive consists of the elected heads of state of the 27 member states. They appoint the president and commissioners. In what way is that different from the UK where the prime minister who is elected (albeit only by 1/650 of the population) appoints his cabinet, and then that combined executive appoints its state functionaries, sub-ministers, spin-doctors, quango heads, etc. etc.?

SoD

Here's something that might blow the Euro out of the water and sink the EU boat ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/09/14/germanys-leftward-lurch-stunning-economic-upset/

Funny how it's one of those pesky nation state socialist urges again, nothing to do with the EU.

SoD

@SoD

In a real currency area (i.e. a real country rather than a pretend one), I believe something between 3 and 8% of GDP moves around internally via the tax system etc. In toytown Austria-Hungary, I believe this is around 0.5%, which is why it doesn't work. Hence the desperate need for a fiscal union, which is politically unacceptable to what - despite statist fantasies to the contrary - separate states which behave as such.

Such a fiscal union is unacceptable to the boche as they would then need to recirculate what they are plundering from their vassals via the rigged exchange rates which allow them to run such massive surpluses with said vassals (which are being economically eviscerated in the process).

I do agree though that the PIIGs (SWINES - did you make that up yourself?) don't deserve much sympathy. They were all happy to borrow at low German rates and piss it away. They are finding out that while they can wipe their collective backsides with all the political rules, the rules of economics are not so malleable. Who knows though, the may all gang up on the hun and pass all the debt back to them. Target 2 ain't going away.

The Euro IS the EU. Why do you think all prospective members have to agree to join? It is essentially a political project - the crisis that would force the disparate countries together. Ain't working is it?

So I suppose when the whole populations of Italy, Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal all move to Germany, the problem will be solved!!!!

"It's like twenty seven bullies in a playground, you're actually better off because they will fight each other for the right to bully you, and in so doing they are busy (which means they're not bullying you) and weakened (so you might stand a chance when one of them does come for you)" Well I'm quite content to observe this wondrous alchemy from outside thank you very much!!!

Mark,

Fiscal transfers are hugely over-rated. The US does it, some say a lot, some say not, whatever, but the income disparity between the states remains vast. But they don't bitch and whinge. Blighty has been doing fiscal transfers like they were going out of fashion for years, the difference being the SWINEs (yeah, that's one of mine!) squeal like stuck pigs for more. Nowhere has fiscal transfer righted the weakness of the periphery vs the core in a single currency zone.

What was needed for the Euro zone was the sentiment in the market that the there was a lender of last resort, however flimsily implemented, and that Target2 account and "Draghi's put" was enough. As Germany gets relatively richer to the PIIGs - the PIIGS were growing again with Republic or Ireland leading the way before Covid - more under-writing can be done should the markets call the question again. There's no need for fiscal transfers. Nor do whole populations and all the capital need to move to the core, the balance has been found in the US, UK and EU.

I don't know how we got onto this historical debate anyway - I was trying to start a debate about how we move forward given the brainwashed social, economic and political failed dogmas in play in Blighty these days. Reckon it's Bob rolling in a grenade to take the heat off himself and get the Righties rucking!

"Bait and bleed", eh, can't live with it, can't live without it.

SoD

So who is the EU lender of last resort? There is the ECB supposedly, but the German constitutional court apparently says no. Who is in charge of the German or any other EU vassal economy?

The EU is not a country, it really isn't no matter how much you or anybody else pretends it is. The UK and the US have centuries of history, the EU doesn't even have 30 years.

What was it Barnier (who has suddenly discovered sovereignty it would appear) said? (Paraphrasing, can't remember the exact words): The EU is an association of states with some characteristics of a nation.

Whatever that is that supposed to mean, the manifest catastrophe that is unwinding is apparent and is entirely due to the imperial ambitions of these euro cliques and their belief in their own divine right to rule.

There is no "balance" in the EU, nor can there be because this "balance" requires the dissolution of the nation states to be remoulded in the vision of said cliques. This is what the EU was always intended to do which could never really be formally acknowledged.

The EU is a ferocious engine of economic and political destruction. It can - and will - be nothing else. It can be argued that it is just the latest manifestation of whoever is strongest grinding the continent under its boot.

We should never have got involved and I, for one, am profoundly grateful we managed to escape.

How do we move forward? All I know is that it will not be, and cannot possibly be, through the EU or whatever head the hydra may sprout when this one dies (and it will)

"The president of the EU, head of the executive, is chosen by the elected heads of state of the EU member states."

Dream on SoD! He or she, like the rest of the Commission, is selected by the French and the Germans. The rest of them do as they are told. Some democracy!

SoD,

You're giving me too much credit for bait and bleed. The arguments here are not new by any stretch. Your observations about fiscal transfers and the inequalities between the (kinda) United States are just a bit off. Don't forget our Civil War and the less spectacular but constantly ongoing arguments between, for example, oil producing states or agricultural states and nearly all the others. Political battles can all be viewed from an economic perspective.

However, politics also involves sociology, which is often overlooked by the right and especially by the libertarian or neoliberal right. Your insistence that economics determines everything is an oversimplification that's akin to Marxism.

Britain has much more in common with Switzerland than any South American or Asian country, and you are now in a somewhat similar position regarding your relationship with the rest of Europe. Viel Glück Alles Gueti.

A cynical reshuffle by BoJo: Thatcherite paper Tigers to placate the true Tory base for the hardcore Blue Socialist national insurance expropriation last week ...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/09/15/boriss-thatcherite-new-cabinet-will-fail-reverse-britains-dangerous/

The reshuffle has put free market radicals in high office, but are they really in power?

On the face of it, Boris Johnson’s reshuffle is good news for disgruntled Tory voters, especially those of a Thatcherite persuasion. Whether it was because he was seeking to atone for last week’s absurd, nihilistic tax increases, or it was simply a lucky by-product of the usual politicking, Johnson has promoted a series of figures from the reformist wing of his party.

But there is one seriously tasty thought that's just crossed my mind ...

Is this the time for Maggie's revenge?

The knife that parted her shoulder blades way back when, is it not time to despatch the Blue Socialist turncoat with the self same weapon and level the score? Put a True Blue Thatcherite Tory back in charge with the ready made cabinet of supporters, give some teeth to the Tiger, and ride the 80 seat majority into the next election and beyond?

By George and all the Saints, the very thought of that has lifted my spirits.

And if that happens, and Singapore-on-Thames, the Multi-Market, Freeport Blighty, the Mummy and Daddy of tax cuts, the wholesale privatisation of the NHS, state education, and social services, Universal Credit becomes UBI, then, read my lips: I'll be happy to turn into an instant Brexiteer - Liz Truss on steroids - and eat my hat and all of your hats and take all the piss-taking on D&N that will ensue for the years to come with the biggest smile on my face you'll ever see!

SoD

SoD. You aren’t seriously suggesting are you that because the EU executive consists of the elected heads of the member states there is political accountability in the EU? The important point, as Tony Benn recognised before the 1975 referendum, is that the EU is structured to make it impossible to throw the proverbials out. In the UK you can. Set against that your ‘what is the difference point’ seems rather insignificant to me.

David, there's a direct contradiction in what you just said.

The "elected heads of state". If they are elected they are accountable. Unless I'm missing something and being elected means they're unaccountable in your thoughts? At any time the electorates of those heads of state can throw them out.

That is one of the main arguments by the EU against the undemocratic behaviour of Poland and Hungary. It isn't to "nanny state" the Poles and Hungarians for their own good, it's to stop their EU representatives from being unaccountable while they work in the EU bodies. No-one would want a tyrant from a nation state, or a fake democrat like Vlad, participating in the EU bodies which affect other European states, quite rightly, as you point out.

The EU sub-contracts it's accountability to the member states in two of its bodies: the executive which comprises the heads of state of the member states, and the other body I can't recall the name of that has the foreign ministers as it's constituents. The third body, the EU parliament, is elected by Europeans as a whole.

That's 3 out of 3 for accountability of the executive and legislative functions of the EU.

The elected and therefore accountable pols then elect their president, also thereby accountable.

They appoint their acolytes and inherit permanent administrators to do the day-to-day work in the same way as Blighty does with its special advisors and civil servants respectively. These are unaccountable to democracy (they are to governance rules and law) it is true, but the same is the case in Blighty and in every functioning democracy in the world.

Your Farage-barraged mind is confused, and the lies and distortions of the Nige make pointing out your confusions, contradictions, and hypocrisies very straightforward.

SoD

SoD. No contradiction at all because unlike you I do not mistake form for substance which is what you have done throughout your exchanges with me. The fact that the elected heads of state are accountable to their own electorates does not mean that their role in the EU machinery makes . . . well who exactly is it in reality, accountable to the citizens of the EU for decisions taken at EU level. Power is diffused so that nobody can say who is responsible for the EU laws that the Member States are required to implement and which therefore govern those citizens.

I come back to the point that it is impossible to vote the barstewards out, a point you have studiously ignored, I suspect because you have no answer. I am genuinely baffled as to why a person of your apparent intelligence can reach the conclusion that an institution in which the only directly elected body has insignificant powers is democratically accountable. Your suggestion that I have been influenced by Farage is a bit insulting.; I came to my jaundiced view of the EU long before he arrived on the scene.

I come back to the point that it is impossible to vote the barstewards out, a point you have studiously ignored, I suspect because you have no answer.

I've answered that point time and time again. They're elected, so they can be voted out. What part of voting the barstewards out and elections being one and the same thing don't you understand?

The members states of Europe are the constituencies of the EU, just like the 650 constituencies of Blighty. They elect their heads of state like the peeps of Surrey Heath, my constituency, elected Michael Gove.

Michael Gove is not just merely an MP but also a cabinet minister. No-one in the wider electorate voted for that. The prime minister chose him. That's exactly the same process as the executive of the EU, the elected heads of state, choosing the president of the EU.

No-one outside of the Farage-barraged peeps of Blighty believes the EU is undemocratic or that you "can't throw the barstewards out". That idea is one of those delusional, weird, localised Brit propaganda lies that has been swallowed hook, line and sinker by the Brit peeps alone, like belief that the NHS is the "envy of the world" when the rest of the world just laughs and shakes its head at us disbelievingly.

SoD

@SoD

It's difficult to know where to start but please explain how a UK constituency could veto the UK government in the way an EU "constituency" can veto the EU.

The frogs for example threatening to veto the EU-Australia trade deal because of they are butthurt about something totally unrelated.

Mark,

You've just argued precisely as to why the EU is more democratic than the UK.

What you're saying is the very "barstewards you can't throw out" in the Brussels executive are in fact regularly thrown out on policies due to "constituencies" of Europe (states) who object to the "barstewards" policies.

Whereas in Blighty, as you correctly, day, the government - namely people appointed by the PM who was only elected by 1/650 of the population - cannot be jostled in its centralised power by the elected constituencies.

Which sounds more accountable and democratic?

SoD

@SoD

That absolutely is not what I am saying as you well know. Your sheer obtuseness is truly breathtaking.

I asked a question and rather than answer you indulge this puerile bait and switch, so let me return the complement.

Is there some secret remainiac fantasy league as to who can come up with the most deranged EU hagiography?

If there is, you are cruising! (or maybe we should start one?)

SoD. As you think my arguments are completely wrong headed and I think yours are there is no point in continuing. For what it’s worth I agree that the NHS is a hopeless shambles but it was you who, gratuitously in my view, linked a post about that with the vote to leave the EU. I do appreciate that it’s difficult to resist the temptation to ride favourite hobbyhorses.

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