The Great Theresa May. By FAR the Worst Prime Minister that the UK has Ever had.

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#22
Like all traps , So easy to get into.
So hard to get oneself out !, persevere and get there (out) in the end. & be self governing again.
spacesailor
 
#25
I agree with Nev in that on major constitutional change, the vote has to be materially more than first past to post, especially when almost 30% of the voting public don't vote. But I disagree that most voters didn't know what they were voting for. Like most elections, there were hardliners - those who wanted out at any cost and those that wanted in at any cost. I know of a couple who clearly knew the potential wider effects of the economy very well, but elected to vote out because their perception was their business would profit from a hard Brexit - they own a visa/immigration agency. But looking at the demographics and geographics of the vote, the remainers came from more universally wealthy areas or significantly benefitted from EU and UK subsidies. Those that wanted out were from universally neglected or disaffected areas - I think they knew the potential (and I stress potential) affects of a Brexit, but don't care about that because they could see the rich south east getting richer (and the subsidised region/s being molly-coddled) while they were left behind - partly it would seem a protest vote in general, partly a vindictive vote and partly a vote to dislodge a remote power base that has left them behind. This is a vote that is more the direct result of a fragmented and dsyfunctional society - the fact the UKIP, the party as the main proponent of Brexit has since lost all electoral support mainly because their purpose has been achieved and those who voted them realise they need someone more competent (or less incompetent) to manage what happens next. I don't think the information, disinformation or disingenuity of either side was a material factor in all of this - it did reinforce the opinion, especially of the Brexit voters, that the government is way out of touch, it's policies (collectively - not of only one party) are polarising and there is a disproportionately large number of people that are, well, hacked off. In fact, I would almost argue there was plenty of information available to the public - incredible claims by the Brexit campaign (i.e. obviousl political deceit - and people are not stupid - they knew it) and bullying from the Remain camp (to quote Junkers, "We will punish you if you leave"; Obama, "You will be at the back of the queue to negotiate a trade deal with the USA" - telling in the so-called special relationship).. I think that was information enough.
 

facthunter

Well-Known Member
#26
Getting emotional is never a good thing when making BIG decisions. Belgium was a PITA but staying in and reforming would have been a better deal. The threat of leaving might have been better than actually making it so you had to leave.
There's too much uncertainty in this and you shouldn't gamble if you can't asses the ramifications of a possible outcome. What was the rush? Really? People who stir you up are do it for a reason and it's not necessarily good for you. Those who did it were doing it for themselves or those who backed their campaigns.. Not Britain's Finest Hour. Nev
 

Methusala

Active Member
#27
Russia is rich in energy resources. Russia has the largest known natural gas reserves of any state on earth, along with the second largest coal reserves, and the eighth largest oil reserves and its 2018 population is estimated at 143.96 million. It's currently the 9th most populous country on earth, despite being the largest by area.

I think that to blythely quote statistics from a graph giving thae measure of national economies according to GDP is fairly disingenuous. Russia is currently the US's 1st, 2nd or 3rd most hated nation. (China or Iran are the other contenders.) It is suffering the effects of extreme economic sanctions applied by the US. Much of the world's trade is transacted in $US. Under these sanctions much of Russia's foreign reserves are not available. Russia manages to feed and sustain its population adequately. It has global leadership in many fields of advanced technology. It holds huge reserves of physical gold and silver. It is also developing its exports of energy rapidly. To compare it to Australia is quite fallacious and a trap which I would not accept. I think that it is dangerous to allow western propaganda to distort one's perception of the strategic balance of power between the US's influence and the East.

During the period of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, great damage was done to the state of Russia's economy. Vladimir Putin has managed to redraw Russia's nationalistic strength and spirit as popular and charismatic leaders can. It is probable that, if the catastrophe of world war can be avoided, Russia will emerge as a significant power again.
 
#28
You beat me to it. Russia has a lot of unexploited wealth and with crippling sanctions, it's GDP is going to be lower. Also, a major factor in the political and military strength of a country is its wealth; and Russia wields both - if the USA weren't reticent at going to war with Russia, it would have done so over its interference in the Syria conflict.

Also, if the infographic was based on each counties' own measure of GDP, I would be careful as GDP is a major factor in deciding credit worthiness of a country and there are a few countries in there with a decent amount of debt, of which the cost of servicing is increasing, while the ability to distribute medium to longer term debt (cheapest) is reducing...
 
#29
Getting emotional is never a good thing when making BIG decisions. Belgium was a PITA but staying in and reforming would have been a better deal. The threat of leaving might have been better than actually making it so you had to leave.
There's too much uncertainty in this and you shouldn't gamble if you can't asses the ramifications of a possible outcome. What was the rush? Really? People who stir you up are do it for a reason and it's not necessarily good for you. Those who did it were doing it for themselves or those who backed their campaigns.. Not Britain's Finest Hour. Nev
I was not suggesting emotionally based decisions are a good thing in this case, but I am contending that they didn't know what they were voting for. I think most people knew the risks - it's just most of them were already on a bad wicket so for them, if it gets worse, it is not going t be that much worse.

The other thing that gets on my goat is that remainers here say people didn't know what sort of Brexit they were voting for - soft, hard, something in between. I don't agree with that at all, either.. They knew full well what they were voting for - out. That's it.. No transition; no soft brexit.. To paraphrase the question - "Do you want in? Or Out?" Can't get more unequivocal than that. And most who voted out really wanted it.. The sooner, the better.

The reality is, given a hard brexit, it is not certain what will happen in the mid to longer term (5yrs+). All Brexit projects I know of are planning on the basis of a hard; no-deal Brexit. Threre hasn't been the mass exodus. Companies are starting to increase their inventories to cover for delays at the ports and disruption to their just in time supply chains; British based regulated firms (multinationals) have created European based offices of skeletal staff to meet regulatory requirements - where required; There has been some movement of jobs to Europe, but non already nor planned on the wholesale scale predicted during the referendum. The reality is, even for the likes of Airbus, moving a manufacturing plant is an expensive business and it will not necessarily justify the increase in cost for the transport/inventory holding.

The real elephant in the room is future investment decision making - which no one seems to be talking about publicly. Will VW or BMW be as open to opening new British plants or investing in a new British design centre? Probably not; Will Google or Apple continue to invest in the UK as much as they have, or will some of that be lost to Europe? Will Dyson invest in the UK? No - they have already headed out to India, I think... Some decision will be predicated on the EU non-membership and some will be predicated on global economics and would occur anyway.

If Britain wants to seek free trade agreements and go it alone, good on it, I say. But it takes political will and unity to create an environment where Britain can rap uo its services and manufacturing base to meet and compete in, what for Britain will be a brave new world.
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#30
You beat me to it. Russia has a lot of unexploited wealth and with crippling sanctions, it's GDP is going to be lower. Also, a major factor in the political and military strength of a country is its wealth; and Russia wields both - if the USA weren't reticent at going to war with Russia, it would have done so over its interference in the Syria conflict.

Also, if the infographic was based on each counties' own measure of GDP, I would be careful as GDP is a major factor in deciding credit worthiness of a country and there are a few countries in there with a decent amount of debt, of which the cost of servicing is increasing, while the ability to distribute medium to longer term debt (cheapest) is reducing...
Also Jerry, a significant factor in Russia's GDP being low is the fact that they don't manufacture much for export these days and are basically a resource and arms sales based economy. Sad really, as before the Union broke up, they were the world's second biggest exporter to the US.

Still, a low GDP hasn't stopped them from being the biggest nuclear power in the world and the second biggest conventional military power. Australia has 59 battle tanks, Russia has 15,398 tanks. So much for GDP.
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#31
During the period of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, great damage was done to the state of Russia's economy. Vladimir Putin has managed to redraw Russia's nationalistic strength and spirit as popular and charismatic leaders can. It is probable that, if the catastrophe of world war can be avoided, Russia will emerge as a significant power again.
Putin is certainly charismatic and his popularity is based on the fact that he walks the walk as opposed to talking the talk. Many in Russia consider Gorbachev and Yeltsin as traitors for selling out their country to the Americans. During that dreadful period in the 90's, Russia was economically raped. The US wasn't content to out borrow the USSR and win the Cold War. When Russia was down, the US kicked them in the head.

One of the main reasons the US governments don't like Putin is that he brought about an end to the product sharing agreements, took back control over Russia's resources and ensured that Russia got a fair share of revenue and royalties. Basically, he kicked the yanks out. It hurt their pride and their pocket and they'll never forgive him for that. During the 9 years or so when the US controlled the new Russian Federation, estimates vary between 1 and 2 million Russians having died of starvation and lack of heating. Putin put an end to America's game; the standard of living and wages increased times over, the defence forces rebuilt, and a beaten nation regained their pride. They were fortunate to regain control before the big oil boom and scooped in ample revenues to partly rebuild the country. People in the West have trouble understanding why Putin is so popular in his own country. It's not rocket science.
 

Bruce

Well-Known Member
#33
Russia is a big oil exporter and one of the countries which will benefit from global warming. They are terrible in how they treat their population so badly.
In Australia, our best wheat lands have 10cm of topsoil and 400mm of rain. I Russia it is 100cm of topsoil and 1000mm of rain.
Well we treat our people better than they do.
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#35
Yeah, but compare our land borders with other countries.

Russia: 20,241 km
Australia: 0 km

There's a reason they want 15,000 tanks and we don't.
I know that Marty, I was just using it as a tongue in cheek example to demonstrate the unimportance of GDP to a countries' power and position in the world. There's many, many other items apart from tanks we could all quote as an example.
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#36
Russia is a big oil exporter and one of the countries which will benefit from global warming. They are terrible in how they treat their population so badly.
In Australia, our best wheat lands have 10cm of topsoil and 400mm of rain. I Russia it is 100cm of topsoil and 1000mm of rain.
Well we treat our people better than they do.
Bruce, your quote ' They are terrible in how they treat their population so badly.' I'd be interested to hear more on that. There would possibly be close to a hundred countries that treat their people worse. Are you referring to the Russian Federation in 2018 or how the Soviet citizens were treated in times past.

I'd agree that we treat our people better overall, but in a percentage of ways Russian people get a better deal than we do here. Not a majority percentage, though by any means.

There's currently 15,000 South African farmers negotiating with the federal and provincial governments to locate to the RF and farm. There's a lot of post Soviet good farmland that hasn't been brought back into production and so far the Russian government is welcoming the SA farmers. These are the ones we didn't want as it would have been seen as a racist immigration policy. So the place isn't quite as bad these days as the old cold war era narrative we're used to. There's a few things we don't get, like 13% flat tax, considerable government payments and subsidies for second and subsequent children (more parental support than we get), and in the East, any Russian citizen can apply for a free land grant ( 1 or 2 hectares, I can't recall which). Can anybody tell me who the hell is going to give you free land in Australia. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Things aren't black and white with that country, there's a lot of grey. Even in the Soviet days, there was good in amongst a lot of bad. Today we enjoy good working conditions, 38 hour week etc. and take it for granted. Thank the Soviet Union for that. The first in the world to introduce the 8 hour day, and because of unions in the west being linked into that, it flowed on to us. If it wasn't for socialists, we'd still be a slave class working a 100 hour week for barely enough to feed our families. Does anyone really think capitalist corporations would have brought in those reforms for workers.

The point I'm making is that there's a lot of good in the Russian Federation for Russian citizens and some bad. The same could be said for Australia.
And even though, historically, there was a lot of bad in the USSR, there was also a lot of good.

The big challenge in Russia these days is to try to bring the standard of living of those in the more remote regions up to something comparable to those living in the cities. For people in some outlying regions, life is not much better than Soviet days. And this is while Moscow has the highest number of millionaires of any city in the world. Most people that are treated badly in Russia are those in remote Siberian areas and the bad treatment is by the local corrupt councils. The Federal government is gradually getting control over these regions and Putin has done a lot personally to weed out the bad eggs and improve people's lives in these areas. Meanwhile in Moscow and Saint Petersbourg, a lot of people enjoy the same lifestyle as those in Noosa.

Here's a small example of how people can be successful and make good in the Russian Federation these days. You don't have to be a corrupt oligarch to do it. It's a clip of famous Russian singer / entertainer, Yelena Temnikova doing a celebrity interview showing off her new BMW. Note her mansion in the background in a gated community. She grew up in smaller city in Siberia, then moved to Moscow and made it big in a Russian version of the spice girls, went solo and the rest is history. A rags to riches story that is as common there as here or in the US. She's probably worth 20 or 30 million dollars from having a good voice and working hard. The government hasn't treated her badly, that's for sure. The point I'm making is that in Russia, you can still work hard and do well in life just like here. You won't get beaten, imprisoned, poked with sticks and have your money taken off you.



Just so I'm not guilty of thread drift, Theresa May's approval rating is 34%, Vladimir Vladimirovich usually polls well over 80%.
 
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Methusala

Active Member
#38
Well we treat our people better than they do.
Well Bruce... I don't know so much. We used to pride ourselves in being a helpful neighbor but with our attempts to burgle the emerging Timor nation, deportation of NZ'ers who had lived entire lives in Oz, conspiring to extend an arms length policy of racism and yes, torture to Pacific islands added to the 4th world standards of indigenous Australians, I'm not so sure.

Why are we prepared to overlook a Centrelink which is punitive to the point of Scrooge while a $500,000,000 expansion to the WAR Memorial is waved through gladly (what was that about ANZACS?). My wife had a work colleague from S. Africa. She and her husband bought their family here 10 years ago to live. They both worked in community service positions. They, being non-citizens paid private school fees to educate their children (being not entitled to state education). They where model citizens 'till the wife developed health issues. Against the will of their employers, their friends and the community they lived in they were summarily deported back to S. Africa. I've lived here for 67 years and don't really understand what's become of the "Fair Go".
 

Old Koreelah

Well-Known Member
#39
Methuselah is right about my graph showing a distorted view of Russia's economy. Measuring GDP is only one method of comparing countries; it makes Australia look a bit more important to the world than it probably is.
He's also right about Russia's massive economic potential. Trouble is, nations don't always achieve their potential, due to historic and cultural factors.

Australia has vast potential it may never achieve, because long ago we sold the farm to balance the books and pay for our good lifestyle. Most of our economy is controlled by foreigners.

Russia's economy has been stunted by vast spending on defence (which it has ample historic reasons to prioritise). American sanctions have hurt, but have also strengthened its corrupt dictatorship (almost all Russia's wealth is owned by just a few oligarchs).

Meanwhile, by imposing sanctions on nations that stands up to its global dominance, America has overplayed its influence. "Rogue states" find ways to trade without using US dollars. Russia has quietly built up its gold reserves and is reducing its reliance on US$ for trading. When the next global economic crisis hits (and it's likely to be far worse than 2008) Russia will be less affected than trade-dependant nations like Australia. The average austerity-hardened Russian will soldier on; how will Australia's citizens cope with a huge downturn in the economy?
 
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willedoo

Well-Known Member
#40
Well Bruce... I don't know so much. We used to pride ourselves in being a helpful neighbor but with our attempts to burgle the emerging Timor nation, deportation of NZ'ers who had lived entire lives in Oz, conspiring to extend an arms length policy of racism and yes, torture to Pacific islands added to the 4th world standards of indigenous Australians, I'm not so sure.

Why are we prepared to overlook a Centrelink which is punitive to the point of Scrooge while a $500,000,000 expansion to the WAR Memorial is waved through gladly (what was that about ANZACS?). My wife had a work colleague from S. Africa. She and her husband bought their family here 10 years ago to live. They both worked in community service positions. They, being non-citizens paid private school fees to educate their children (being not entitled to state education). They where model citizens 'till the wife developed health issues. Against the will of their employers, their friends and the community they lived in they were summarily deported back to S. Africa. I've lived here for 67 years and don't really understand what's become of the "Fair Go".
Methusala, just as a comparison, if your wife's friends were living in Russia, they would be able to apply for citizenship after five years residency in the country. Also, on comparisons, something I forgot to mention previously, in Russia the retirement pension age is 60 for men and 55 for women. The government wants to raise it 5 years but is getting a lot of resistance from the public.

Russia's economy has been stunted by vast spending on defence (which it has ample historic reasons to prioritise). American sanctions have hurt, but have also strengthened its corrupt dictatorship (almost all Russia's wealth is owned by just a few oligarchs).
Economically, the sanctions have cost their European trading partners more than Russia itself. Long term, it will benefit Russia, as they are hard at work building the ability to be more self reliant. More business and domestic production will be good in the long run. Their recent record wheat planting has cut the US out of some markets, for example. One problem with the sanctions is that Russia's former suppliers, like the Italian farmers, may never regain their markets, as Russia has sourced most goods elsewhere. Turkey has really gained from it, among others.

The oligarchs are a mixed bag. A lot of people assume they're Putin's cronies, enriched under his leadership. Some are, and quite a few others became oligarchs thanks to the Americans during the early 90's. The US divided up a lot of the Soviet spoils among a cohort of powerful Russians who then owed favours to the Americans. At one stage, a lot of them became politicians and the Americans used them to pressure Yeltsin & co..

Putin has cleaned a bit of it up, but is limited in what he can do or he would be bumped off. And some of them are handy to the government, others have been jailed.

Here's some interesting figures on Australia's wealth. The top 1% own more than the bottom 70%.
Top 1% of Australians own more wealth than bottom 70% combined
 
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