Author Topic: Why Europe Keeps Failing........ merged with "EU Seizes Cypriot Bank Accounts"  (Read 550996 times)

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Offline Chris Pook

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Random thought during this time when trade dominates the headlines and when civil servants and politicians interminably debate the verbiage on Free Trade Agreements:

If, tomorrow, all the governments, with all their money and all their regulations, were to disappear the first thing that would happen would be Free Trade.

To be sure some people might be trading bullets, or even resort to sticks and stones, but the vast majority of people would be trading words, services and goods.  Freely.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Britain:

Reversing 50 years of trade and political policy, dating back to 1967 when British politicians decided that Brits could appeal their cases to foreign courts; deciding to change course in a referendum; debating facts, opinions, courses of action and outcomes; cursing and swearing in the press, the house, on tv and on the internet; mobilizing massive street demonstrations - and no violence - despite claims of the occasional crime against foreigners.

France:

They raise the gas tax and this happens

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/tear-gas-flies-paris-french-yellow-jacket-protesters-clash-police-n942551

A state of insurrection because the price of gas is going up 2%.

Quote
The new fuel tax that takes effect Jan. 1 will raise gas prices around 12 cents per gallon. On diesel the hike will be about 28 cents per gallon.

Last week, gasoline cost around $6.26 per gallon in Paris, while diesel was around $6.28 per gallon.


And that is the reason that Paris will not be displacing London anytime soon and that Britain will survive Brexit regardless of what the politicians say or do.

Communists, Socialists, Suffragettes, Chartists, Luddites, Puritans and Levellers - all have been managed in their time.

The European Establishment may not like dealing with argumentative British parliamentarians, preferring the paper certainty of the British bureaucrats, but ultimately rioting in the streets is not good for business.  Better that the politicians and public beat the horse to death in parliament.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 16:36:00 by Chris Pook »
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Online FJAG

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A bunch of years ago I was in Strasbourg for a conference which occurred coincidentally on a weekend when the Anarchists were having a "riot".

I ended up being on the streets watching the riot pass by - thousands of scruffy protesters led by two police officers on foot and trailed by two more - news camera crews everywhere. Meanwhile, out of sight on the flanking streets were hundreds of mini vans filled with riot police in body armor, shields and all the other necessary paraphernalia.

The "rioters" passed through the city, spray painted lovely historic buildings and statuary, burned a few fires, had lovely speeches. During the night municipal clean-up crews pressure washed everything, fixed some glass and by morning you didn't know anything had happened.

They've worked the whole thing out to a science on both sides since the June Rebellion of 1834. Sometimes some of the folks forget that there's choreography for their event.

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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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The problem, FJAG, is that you went back to 1834 so fast, you accidentally skipped over 1968.  :whistle:

 ;)

Offline Chris Pook

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Funny you should mention the soixante-huitards OGBD.

Seems like they are the team to beat.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/france-anti-tax-protests-leave-gas-stations-running-dry-n942871

Quote
'Yellow Jacket' protests in France leave gas stations running dry; Paris riots worst since 1968
Saturday's unrest was the worst in central Paris since a student uprising five decades ago.

Two weeks and counting....

 ;)
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Offline Chris Pook

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A bunch of years ago I was in Strasbourg for a conference which occurred coincidentally on a weekend when the Anarchists were having a "riot".

I ended up being on the streets watching the riot pass by - thousands of scruffy protesters led by two police officers on foot and trailed by two more - news camera crews everywhere. Meanwhile, out of sight on the flanking streets were hundreds of mini vans filled with riot police in body armor, shields and all the other necessary paraphernalia.

The "rioters" passed through the city, spray painted lovely historic buildings and statuary, burned a few fires, had lovely speeches. During the night municipal clean-up crews pressure washed everything, fixed some glass and by morning you didn't know anything had happened.

They've worked the whole thing out to a science on both sides since the June Rebellion of 1834. Sometimes some of the folks forget that there's choreography for their event.

 :subbies:


Quote
.....

Arnaud Touati, co-founder of Paris-based law firm Alto Avocats, warned the damage done to France so far has been “devastating”.

He said: “Undoubtedly, we underestimate the considerable damage that this type of event has caused to France's reputation.

Politically, this is an unprecedented disaster. France is facing a deep institutional crisis. The country is subject to mistrust, both towards the trade unions and the political parties, which no longer represent anything or anyone.

“The socialist party is ruined, the Republicans are divided, the extremes unable to represent more than their electoral base and the presidential movement enjoys a deleterious image of representing the rich against to the poor.

“When one feels that one is not represented by anything or anyone and that one cannot reform the system from within, one seeks to free oneself from the established order and create a new system with its own rules.”

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1056137/Paris-riots-France-protest-yellow-vests-Emmanuel-Macron-Frexit-latest

I think the chaps in yellow vests may be doing the Brits a favour again, just as their ancestors of 1832 (I think you were out by a couple of years - only Lyon's Weavers and the Piedmont were out in 1834) did.

While the French were rioting in Paris the Brits were debating Rotten Boroughs and Democracy with the Establishment fighting hard to hold their ground.  Just as they are today.

But.

The French in the streets frightened all the Brits, including the Establishment, with the prospect of a return to the Terror, that the Establishment caved and voted the first of the modern Reform Acts - abolishing Rotten Boroughs and increasing the role of the demos/poli in government. The next year parliament passed not only the Reform Acts but the Factory Act outlawing Child Labour and the Abolition of Slavery Act. 

All thanks to French rioters. 

Perhaps they will do the trick again.


PS - in 1829, just 3 years prior, the Brits had passed the Catholic Emancipation Act with the Catholics declaring they did not believe the Pope was supreme or infallible.  Accordingly the British Government in Quebec started funding local Catholic and Protestant elementary schools with local control of the curriculum.  That arrangement was later quashed by the Church which claimed suzerainty over education.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 15:42:17 by Chris Pook »
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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BTW, little piece of trivia for those who don't know:

Where do the "yellow vest" protesters get those yellow safety vests so easily and in such great number? Answer: In their cars. It is a French regulation that at least one such vest be kept in every road vehicle at all times and that, in case of a breakdown or accident, the vest be worn by anyone stepping out of the car onto any "national" road. So one of them comes "standard issue" with every car.

Pretty ironic that a protest that decries in large part the French government's tendency to over regulate everything is using as its symbol a garment that is imposed by regulation.  :subbies:

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The Yellow Jackets' protest isn't so much about over-regulation as it is about an increase in gasoline tax (since rolled back) high cost of living, minimum wages and various tax issues.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_vests_movement

(That's not to say, however, that the French aren't regulated up to their eyeballs. Pretty much every western government is these days--including us)

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Offline Chris Pook

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The Yellow Jackets' protest isn't so much about over-regulation as it is about an increase in gasoline tax (since rolled back) high cost of living, minimum wages and various tax issues.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_vests_movement

(That's not to say, however, that the French aren't regulated up to their eyeballs. Pretty much every western government is these days--including us)

 :subbies:


Amen.
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Offline Chris Pook

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The Yellow Jackets' protest isn't so much about over-regulation as it is about an increase in gasoline tax (since rolled back) high cost of living, minimum wages and various tax issues.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_vests_movement

(That's not to say, however, that the French aren't regulated up to their eyeballs. Pretty much every western government is these days--including us)

 :subbies:

Further to this -

Quote
...the “failure to prevent” statute should extend to all areas of economic crime, where a company would be held to account if it could not prove it had done enough to prevent crime committed on its watch.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/12/09/time-get-grip-serious-farce-office/

How one earth does one prove that one has ever done enough of anything?  In the face of Brexit and claims for the harm that it has, is, will or may do I believe that implementation of such a policy through law and regulation would cause much greater harm to the economy.

The article is about a British government agency, the Serious Fraud Office.  It is occasioned by concern that they have lost a few cases after investing 10s of millions of pounds in investigations.  The people in charge of the office, including a recently appointed lawyer who apparently cut her teeth working for the FBI, are convinced that the solution is ever more stringent, ever expanding, ever more encompassing laws that will allow them to boost their conviction rates.

What is the point of a court room if the government is guaranteed to win >90% of its cases?  Shouldn't the bar be set at 50% if the system is fair and equitable?

And if you keep piling on the requirement to document you will create the environment in which Canada now builds pipelines.

Rant continues....  ;D

The words that I have come to detest over the last 30 years or so are:

Reasonable. Acceptable. Best available. Best practice.

These words have become the go to vocabulary for bureaucrats creating legislation.  They replace the prescriptive codes that I grew up with which said that if you drove under 60 mph you were not breaking the law.  If you pasteurized milk to 161F for 16 secs you were not breaking the law.

Now, in my trade, I am required to prove that it is reasonable, acceptable to drive under 60.  To prove that best practice, with the best available technology requires that milk be pasteurized at 161F for 16 secs and that the marker enzyme inactivated, phosphatase, is an adequate marker for the process and for all historic and foreseeable bacteria.

How can I ever prove that I have done enough? 

The short answer is I can't.  And some lawyer will be happy to inform me of that fact for a fee.

Cheers.  ;)

Edit - and for Gawd's sake don't get me started on Consultants.
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Offline Chris Pook

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OK! It is Sunday and I haven't ranted for a while.  I will indulge myself.

England has a population of 55,000,000
Scotland has a population of  5,500,000
Wales has a population of 3,500,000
Northern Ireland has a population of 1,900,000

Quote
The number of solicitors qualified to work in England and Wales has rocketed over the past 30 years, according to new figures from the Law Society. The number holding certificates - which excludes retired lawyers and those no longer following a legal career - are at nearly 118,000, up 36% on ten years ago.Apr 4, 2011

https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/apr/04/solicitors-number-england-wales-ethnicity

Lawyers represented 0.2% of the population 7 years ago and that was up 36% since 2001.  The population hasn't grown in the UK but the number of lawyers has.

Meanwhile they represent almost 20% of the population in the UK House of Commons.

A degree of over representation, one feels.


Quote
At the 2015 general election, according to an analysis by BPP University, a private law school, 119 of 650 MPs elected had either studied or practised law. That was up from 85 in 2010.Nov 8, 2016

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/11/unfair-attacks-liz-truss-shows-parliament-many-lawyers/


And then there is this

Quote
The U.K. legal sector could suffer a £3 billion ($3.87 billion) revenue hit and lose 12,000 jobs by 2025 in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit, according to a new study released by the Law Society, an independent professional association that represents and governs solicitors in England and Wales.

The study warns against the potentially “significant negative effects” on the legal sector of a hard Brexit, an outcome which is expected to hit revenue growth and economic performance across all sectors, resulting in reduced demand for legal services and a decrease in employment in the legal sector.
In its analysis of both “soft” and “hard” Brexit outcomes, the Law Society anticipates a loss of nearly $3.9 billion in revenue to the legal sector by 2025 in the event of a no-deal. The study suggested that if in such a situation the U.K. were to fall back on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, growth in the sector could drop to as low as 1.1 percent per year—or £30.86 billion ($39.84 billion) revenue by 2025—as opposed to steady growth of 2.1 percent in a “soft” Brexit scenario—or £33.83 billion ($43.67 billion) turnover. 

Both figures contrast starkly with the 4.6 percent average annual growth the legal sector saw before the 2008 financial crisis.

https://www.law.com/international/2018/08/22/no-deal-brexit-could-see-uk-legal-sector-shed-12000-jobs-and-lose-3bn-in-turnover-396-6130/?slreturn=20181109144849

I'm sure that it is purely coincidental that some of the most ardent opponents of Brexit, and especially a clean, no-deal, WTO Brexit, are lawyers - led by a former Attorney General.



And yes, he always looks as if he is about to burst into tears.




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Offline Colin P

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My wife will be counted as one of those Lawyers, due to the University of London doing "outreach" programs and her degree is from there, but she practiced in Malaysia and Canada only.

Offline Chris Pook

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A contributing factor to Brexit

Quote
It might be helpful to remember not just Max Weber, but also Abbé Sieyès, the great theoretician of the French Revolution. In 1799, he wrote: "Authority comes from above, trust from below." This formula still applies today -- to France, but also to Europe.

Henrik Enderlein is the president and professor of political economy at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin as well as the director of the Jacques Delors Institute.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/commentary-macron-versus-the-yellow-vests-a-1243724.html


Somewhat at odds with the tradition of "consent of the governed - of, for and by the people" and Anglo-Saxon Bills of Rights, but very much in keeping with "Pacem in Terris" (1963).

And just a reminder, Der Spiegel sees itself as a "socialist" organ.

Meanwhile, in Britain, there are like-minded people, even in the Conservative party, like Matthew Parris writing for the Spectator

"Why I don't, never have, and never will, trust the people."

Quote
...he said: ‘I just worry about our democracy, respect for our constitution and the effect that a betrayal of the 2016 referendum result would have on the people who voted for me and our party last year.’ ... As a democrat, and a Conservative who owed his position in Parliament to a little piece of England that he came from, that he knew, that knew him, and whose electors’ minds and feelings he had come to understand over the years, my friend felt with a quiet passion that he must not break his word to them, must not slither away from undertakings that had been given.

He felt the same about the electorate nationally, the British people’s trust in the Conservative party, and their confidence in politics itself. He felt, in short, conscious of an unseen bond between parliament and people, and fearful of the wider consequences should it be broken.....

Tories like me, and I think we used to be in the majority, see good governance as an effort to live with democracy rather than to an effort to live by democracy. It is why we were so chary about referendums in the first place. We are wary of the populace and instinctively hostile to the instincts of the mob. We see the popular will as a sometimes dangerous thing, to be handled, guided, and on key occasions (and subtly) thwarted.

...[in 1977, it was commonplace among us Tories to see and describe ‘the will of the people’ not as our mentor but as a rock to be navigated. Capital punishment and judicial flogging were very popular with the public. The hanging debate at party conferences was an annual nightmare for our leading spokesmen, but I never heard it suggested, even by colleagues who supported the return of these punishments, that we should bring them back because the people wanted it.

As for colleagues opposed to both, our challenge was to find ways of ducking the issue. Once I became an MP, I did so by voting for the principle and against the practice. This subversion of democracy (in Theresa May’s phrase) caused me embarrassment, but not a second’s guilt. Sod democracy: hanging was wrong...

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/12/why-i-dont-never-have-and-never-will-trust-the-people/

I suggest there are a lot of Matthew Parris's in this world, of all parties and nationalities and ideologies whose "Sod democracy" attitude and belief in Abbe Sieyes authoritarian views have resulted in the anti-intellectual (scratch intellectual - I can't stand the pretension) anti-elite environment in which they find themselves.
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