Posts by Alex Storey

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21) Message boards : Politics : The Varoufakis thread #2 (Message 1800217)
Posted 27 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
That's the generation that will have to support the eldery generations in a near future.
Or will they?

They will... but from their own pockets and from OUTSIDE the country ;)

What's really a shame is that Greek kids probably have the same level of education (and number of educated people) as Sweden & Finland.

Problem is, last time I checked, they were leaving in the hundreds of thousands.

(Or so it was claimed)
22) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1800210)
Posted 27 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
I was thinking back these stories,
when she had to compromise to keep the coalition together in Germany or she might have lost power.

Apologies, those are both fantastic articles (even a lot of the comments are great, smthg I've noticed before on Spiegel) so now I'm super-confused.
What were you trying to say exactly?
'Cause it looks like I grossly misunderstood something along the way...
23) Message boards : Politics : The Varoufakis thread #2 (Message 1800208)
Posted 27 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
A lot more austerity being administered to Greece right now and all through 2016, meaning Greece is still nowhere near hitting bottom. Things are getting worse here by the day. But who cares, right?

Stupid German politicians, with their stupid fixation on being the control freaks of a whole continent, and a stupid little CDU somehow rationalizing that a stupid little party no-one cares about and it's stupid little upcoming elections are reason enough to grind Europe down.

But of course that's what narcissists & psychopaths do. Make themselves the center of the universe, demand your attention, create high stress scenarios to get said attention, all while being completely unable to even GLIMPSE into the future and how it might play out.

Elections uber alles. Fantastic plan.
At least the EU is super-efficient when there aren't any elections on the horizon.

THESE Germans are crazy.

Meanwhile in Greece:
Unemployment still over 24%
Youth unemployment still around 50%
So I guess The Great Depression was for pu**ies.

Europe still pretending it's not a jackboot on the throat but "reforms".

Even Steve Jobs would be envious of a Reality Distortion Field of this magnitude.



IMF Predicts Unemployment In Greece Will Fall To 12 Percent.... By 2040

"So even if the Greek economy returns to growth and its creditors agree to debt relief, it will take 44 years to reduce Greek unemployment to something approaching normal. For Greece’s young people currently out of work, that is all of their working life. A whole generation will have been consigned to the scrapheap."
24) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1800053)
Posted 27 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
At the moment I think the majority of Scots will follow Nicola Sturgeon, no matter where she will lead them.

That's cute :)
You know Rajoy & the gang mowed her down right? That's how they roll. It may have been a bit of a shock to any Scots paying attention!

Welcome to the EU Scotland!

(Though I'm sure the EU will flip-flop on this issue too, once they realize how bad it looked.)


All politicians, of all parties in all nations, flipflop

Yes, I know you know that. Those were rhetorical questions you answered to :)


one issue that stands out, for me, is Juncker, he should never have been made President. I would suggest even Frau Merkel agrees with that.

LOL. I hope you meant "...Frau Merkel agrees with that [by now]" because I'm hoping you are aware of this (just a random link, first one I found on back then):
Which reminds me. Back in the previous thread when I said I thought LEAVE was gonna win, a couple of the questions I asked were:
If the Tories hate the EU because Cameron got high-profile egg on his face...TWICE
And if Guardian readers hate the EU because... they read the Guardian
Then who exactly is going to vote REMAIN?
(Apart from thirtysomething% of the youngsters that bothered to show up to vote)

Like I said... I really thought LEAVE would be more like 56%.


And here's my whole point, and the ONLY point I'm trying to make ATM:

Of course nearly all the MP's have issues with the EU

...and made no bones about it. For years.
What makes you think the public forgot all that moaning?
Because majority of Parliament woke up one day and said "no, no, no, we didn't MEAN it! Please vote REMAIN"


The way I see it everyone in the UK voted on how much democracy they wanted in their lives. And voted in a very democratic way, might I add.
25) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799992)
Posted 28 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
I wasn't overlooking the things you mention deliberately. But I do think you are mistaken on the support of MP's

Actually, what you overlooked was my post :) That's not what I said.

I'll rephrase. If I go back and take a close look at what those
185 Con
218 Lab
have said before the referendum was announced, one by one... Are you really claiming that those 185+218=403 MPs have never dissed the EU over their entire political career? No moaning whatsoever?

The EU smells of roses for all 403?
UK politicians never flip-flop on issues? ;)

But it may be a good idea to start from the beginning and explain exactly how much "sway" you think politicians actually have when it comes to a referendum like IN/OUT.

Or let me try one more:

The Scots got kicked in the teeth by the EUsters a few days ago. You think that went unnoticed by the average Scotsman?
26) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799923)
Posted 28 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
WK, you are overlooking a couple of pretty major points.

Why are you pretending to forget almost half the parliament wanted nothing to do with the EU? Obviously that's not what they were saying right before the referendum... but if that wasn't true (and since I know you can't have had your memory erased you know it's why Thatcher got ousted)...

Sorry, I really don't know the right thing to say to help you understand something I know is already buried somewhere in the back of your head.

Do you think "the masses" don't remember Cameron got stonewalled on the Juncker presidency?
Do you think "the masses" don't remember Cameron got peanuts in the EU negotiations?
Do you think "the masses" couldn't see he didn't have feet to stand on asking for IN, after all that bickering in the news?
Do you think "the masses" don't remember anti EU sentiment in both parties going all the way back to Thatcher (at least)?
Do you think Nigel and Boris riled up over 17 million Brits UKers on their own?

You are deleting a lot of history just to make your argument work.

I think your mistake is falling for too simple a narrative.
27) Message boards : Politics : Donald Trump for President? (Message 1799910)
Posted 28 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
So why did all the EU countries sign up for that?!

Gary that is not what it was when the EU was created, it morphed into what it is.
A hypothesis I have is many of the members of the EU do not have a long legacy of democratic rule so autocratic rule seems natural to them, hence the ease of it's implementation.

Thank you for this piece of the puzzle. It was quite the revelation. Not in a "panacea" way obviously... but it did instantly help me understand why Spain, for example, still tolerate a fascist (by today's standards) like Rajoy. Even though I called him a Franco just a few days ago... I still never made the connection.

Anyway, Brexit & Trump are quite intertwined as I've mentioned before and I've got one of my favorite people - Matt Taibbi - to the rescue :)

(article link in The Way Ahead thread)

"...But whatever, let's assume that the Brexit voters, like Trump voters, are wrong, ignorant, dangerous and unjustified.

Even stipulating to that, the reaction to both Brexit and Trump reveals a problem potentially more serious than either Brexit or the Trump campaign. It's become perilously fashionable all over the Western world to reach for non-democratic solutions whenever society drifts in a direction people don't like. Here in America the problem is snowballing on both the right and the left.

Maybe the slide started with 9/11, after which huge pluralities of people were suddenly OK with summary executions, torture, warrantless surveillance and the blithe disposal of concepts like habeas corpus.

A decade and a half later, we're gripped by a broader mania for banning and censoring things that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.

Democracy appears to have become so denuded and corrupted in America that a generation of people has grown up without any faith in its principles.

Forget Plato, Athens, Sparta and Rome. More recent history tells us that the descent into despotism always starts in this exact same way. There is always an emergency that requires a temporary suspension of democracy.

I don't buy it. My admittedly primitive understanding of democracy is that we're supposed to move toward it, not away from it, in a moment of crisis.

It doesn't mean much to be against torture until the moment when you're most tempted to resort to it, or to have faith in voting until the result of a particular vote really bothers you. If you think there's ever such a thing as "too much democracy," you probably never believed in it in the first place. And even low-Information voters can sense it."
28) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799905)
Posted 28 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Taibbi's on a role again.

So here's what I've been struggling to convey, however this piece is obviously a lot more eloquently written... Wish I'd seen it sooner, would have saved me a bit of work.

Most smart people can't compute that intelligent folk make dumb decisions all the time. And perfectly capable of being "cowboys" too. I guess though that one could make the argument that intelligence isn't really intelligence if it's to abandon you the minute you need it most.

Ok enough philosophy for today...

(Click on link for full article. It's worth it.)


The Reaction to Brexit Is the Reason Brexit Happened
If you believe there's such a thing as "too much democracy," you probably don't believe in democracy at all
Matt Taibbi - June 27, 2016

As a rule, people resent being saved from themselves. And if you think depriving people of their right to make mistakes makes sense, you probably never had respect for their right to make decisions at all.

This is all relevant in the wake of the Brexit referendum, in which British citizens narrowly voted to exit the European Union.

Because the vote was viewed as having been driven by the same racist passions that are fueling the campaign of Donald Trump, a wide swath of commentators suggested that democracy erred, and the vote should perhaps be canceled, for the Britons' own good.

Social media was filled with such calls. "Is it just me, or does #Brexit seem like a moment when the government should overrule a popular referendum?" wrote one typical commenter.

On op-ed pages, there was a lot of the same. Harvard economics professor and chess grandmaster Kenneth Rogoff wrote a piece for the Boston Globe called "Britain's democratic failure"....

...Too much license, Plato wrote, leads to a spoiled populace that will turn to a strongman for revenge if anyone gets in the way of the party. These "men of naught" will inevitably denounce as oligarchs any wise group of rulers who try to set basic/sensible rules for society.

You have to be a snob of the first order, completely high on your own gas, to try to apply these arguments to present-day politics, imagining yourself as an analog to Plato's philosopher-kings.

And you have to have a cast-iron head to not grasp that saying stuff like this out loud is part of what inspires populations to movements like Brexit or the Trump campaign in the first place.
29) Message boards : Politics : Donald Trump for President? (Message 1799830)
Posted 28 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Ok reposting sorry (dates have been very sloppily copy/pasted)

- Spain 29 December 1978
- Austria 1955
- Greece 11 June 1975 (a bit earlier than that so other dates may be a bit off here too. Take with a grain of salt!)
- Italy 2 June 1946
- Finland... way to go Finland! :) (about 100 yrs AFAICT)
- France also looks good on paper
- Germany 23 May 1949
- East Germany 3 October 1990
- Lux also 1945 but looks good
- Holland like Lux
- Belgium like Lux
- Portugal 25 April 1976

And that's just from the first wave of EZ countries.
Let's not get into the second wave which are almost self-explanatory.

It would be fair to say Greek democracy is only really 40yrs old. Harsh. But more fair than not.

(you could maaaybe stretch that back to 1960 or so and then hit pause for a 7yr dictatorship but I think it's a bit sloppy)
30) Message boards : Politics : Donald Trump for President? (Message 1799818)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Many of the members of the EU do not have a long legacy of democratic rule so autocratic rule seems natural to them, hence the ease of it's implementation.

Please explain.

Damn. I wish I'd thought of that.

You know what Janne? I think Bet may be on to smthg!

I'm gonna go check some dates and brb.

Edit: In no particular order

- Spain 29 December 1978
- Austria 1955
- Greece 11 June 1975 (a bit earlier than that so other dates may be a bit off here too. Take with a grain of salt!)
- Italy 2 June 1946
- Finland... way to go Finland! :) (about 100 yrs AFAICT)
- France also looks good on paper
- Germany 23 May 1949
- East Germany 3 October 1990
- Lux also 1945 but looks good
- Holland like Lux
- Belgium like Lux
- Portugal 25 April 1976

And that's just from the first wave of EZ countries.
Let's not get into the second wave which are almost self-explanatory.
31) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799809)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
I'm not sure what you mean by "new members".

Greece adopted the euro almost 2 years before it went into circulation...

You mean it wasn't optional in Greece's case? Because I always assumed it was.
32) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799802)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Apologies Janne! I meant to say:

"C'mon Gary, say it! We ALL want to hear it!"


Luckily Sweden is not in the Eurozone.

Yes! Unfortunately Greece was dumb enough to adopt the euro, and (double-unfortunately) the EZ was dumb enough to let 'em.
33) Message boards : Politics : Donald Trump for President? (Message 1799797)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
OMG these guys appear to be awesome at first glance!
If these guys are the real deal, then this is exactly what I've been rambling on about...

These guys vs. Sanders in a GOP vs. Dem showdown in November...

I swear to God (just an expression) I'd be out of your hair... in the US threads obviously :)

Because when you take "the crazy" out of politics then it makes sense to talk about actual... policies.

(And personally I'm not THAT interested in politics. Just severely allergic to CRAZY playing around with trillions of dollars and millions of lives.)
34) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799788)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Another problem is of course that Germany and France always want to dictate us other EU members.

So you allow this?!!

What do you think?
Sweden has 20 MEPs, with 1.7% of the seats in the EU Parliament.
Do they have a realistic opportunity to influence the EU, and are the rest of the EU even listening to us or are we run over?

You signed up knowing this?!!

Oh it gets worse:

United States federal budget

The federal budget is prepared by the Office of Management and Budget, and submitted to Congress for consideration. Invariably, Congress makes many and substantial changes. Nearly all American states are required to have balanced budgets, but the federal government is allowed to run deficits.

United Kingdom

The budget is prepared by the Treasury team led by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and is presented to Parliament by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Budget Day. It is customary for the Chancellor to stand on the steps of Number 11 Downing Street with his or her team for the media to get photographic shots of the Red Box, immediately prior to them going to the House of Commons. Once presented in the House of Commons it is debated and then voted on. Minor changes may be made however with the budget being written and presented by the party with the majority in the House of Commons (the Government), the Whips will ensure that is it passed as written by the Chancellor.


The Eurogroup has emerged as a key body in the EU's evolving economic governance... yet it is democratically accountable to no one.

Legally-speaking the monthly forum for eurozone finance ministers has a narrow remit: It is not an EU institution and it cannot adopt legally binding decisions.

Rene Repasi, a professor at Leiden University, notes the transparency vacuum in which the Eurogroup operates.

"There is a no legal obligation of the Eurogroup to inform the public or other institutions about its activities. There are no transparency rules for the Eurogroup. There are no minutes of its meetings."

Speaking to MEPs in the constitutional affairs committee on Tuesday (5 May), Repasi also pointed out that Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Eurogroup president, is "not obliged" to appear in front of any parliamentary body nor does he have to worry about any "consequences" if the Eurogroup makes a bad decision.


C'mon, say it! We all want to hear it ;)
35) Message boards : Politics : Donald Trump for President? (Message 1799758)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
(Apologies. Another out-of-sync reply)

Careful there Alex. I brought up logistics many times & got lambasted for being an anarchistic truck driver.

Anarchistic? Seriously? I wish I had been there to see that! What happened? Too much reality for the brain to compute? :P

What makes me laugh atm is Trump & Clinton, over 300,000,000 in the States & that's the best that America can come up with?

My sentiments exactly.
36) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799750)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
Apologies, kept meaning to post this days ago but too much news and too little time for the forums :)

That's why you've been hearing the words "EU" and "reform" of late from the nervous mouths of some you'd least expect, such as Germany's Angela Merkel, and Donald Tusk.

Since everyone appears to be calling Hollande a Merkel "sidekick" I guess one could make the case that Sarkozy was France's last real president. A power-crazed weirdo no-doubt but at least there was the illusion that it wasn't just Germany calling the shots.

8:55 p.m.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has put forth a dramatic proposal to change some of the European Union's basic machinery.

Sarkozy suggested Friday the EU should create a new treaty, a new borderless travel accord and trim the reach of technocrats in the bloc.

Sarkozy, a conservative, said in a declaration that a re-founding of the EU is needed after the British referendum to leave.

"The British message is exploding in the face of all European governments," Sarkozy said.

He said he wants to replace the Treaty of Lisbon that he signed off on and that took effect after years of laborious negotiations in December 2009.

Sarkozy also wants a redo of the borderless Schengen accords with a "Schengen 2" that limits free circulation to European citizens only. He also wants a European monetary fund to "assure the independence of Europe which has no need for the IMF to deal with its internal affairs."

Presenting his map for a reformed EU of 27 member states, he pressed "pillars" he leaned on as French president from 2007-2012 to keep the far right at bay — European civilization, a European identity and culture, and added a reduction in the EU's often dreaded technocracy.

"We no longer want a technocratic Europe. Democracy has rules," said Sarkozy.


Weird, huh? Almost sounds like a confession... But wait, there's more!


12:15 p.m.

Germany's foreign minister says the European Union must avoid falling into hysteria or shock after British voters decided to leave.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said as he arrived Friday at a meeting with EU counterparts: "What matters now is that we keep Europe together."

He said that officials don't yet have answers to all the questions that arise from the British vote, but that people want the EU to respond to the problems they see.

Steinmeier says leaders should focus on finding "common European solutions where they are missing" — for example to the migrant crisis and doing more to boost jobs and growth.


12:10 p.m.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said Friday that "what we have to do here is not business as usual, but look at the real concerns of citizens."

Koenders warned of two short-term dangers: "those who want to take Europe apart, and the others saying we have to all at once go to even more Brussels, even more integration."


12:10 p.m.

Austria's chancellor says Britain's decision to leave the EU shows the necessity for reforms, particularly in boosting European economies, stemming unemployment and improving working conditions.

Christian Kern says the EU needs "a reform process with a clear direction" that will be supported by citizens of member countries.

His statement issued Thursday says such themes must be discussed in Brussels but adds national governments must also provide input "because we have now seen how quickly people's trust in the EU can be lost."

Rising disenchantment with the EU in Austria contributed to the strong showing last month of a euroskeptic populist candidate who came within a few percentage points of winning presidential elections.

TL;DR OMG!OMG!! There are ACTUAL PEOPLE living in the EU! Stop the Press! :P
37) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799645)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
In the European Parliament, there are international political groups. Many colours, many shades, many views, many combinations, many compromises.

Life, world and the EU are not as simplistic as "us vs. them", "Sweden vs. the rest of the world", "Tories vs. Labour", "donkey vs. elephant", "black and white".

I know you're suffering from a bad case of collective narcissism forcing you to bark whenever someone attacks your precious Germany but hey... when a country's politicians are stubbornly hell bent on forcing their will on whole continent, weeell most people tend to get a bit pissy. Apparently a lot of humans abhor being evangelized to, patronized, and - worst of all - utterly incapable of voting the psycho-primadonnas OUT. If Merkel is to rule Europe, then Europeans get to vote her in or our (not just Germans). You've made it abundantly clear you think this type of "democracy" is the bees-knees but like I've said before... I think you think you are a lot smarter than you actually are.

Because not only are you defending a deranged status quo that essentially boils down to:
Texas is and will be the only state allowed to vote for a US president

But by dropping this link here:'re advertising the fact (and this is very much a fact)

...that all the LOSERS in Europe ganged together and somehow managed to take over Europe. This deserves your full flag-waving efforts?

Sorry Snark but the king is naked AND batsh*t crazy. And by no-ones definition does any of this mess constitute a democracy. Which is why it's falling apart.

No-one's banging on the doors to get in. However a lot of people are running for the doors...

Your dialectics need a bit of a tune-up.
38) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799552)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Alex Storey
I see the EUsters are screaming "My way or the highway" again.

I wonder how many times they can pull that off before they ruin the EU.

And I'd say I'm surprised by the lack of self reflection from these guys, but since all of you know I personally think we are dealing with a handful of narcissists and psychopaths weeeeell... you won't be surprised to hear I think they are humanly incapable of any (self reflection).

Edit: I just had a thought. It's funny how the only time the OTHER countries appear to have a voice and allowed to speak is when Europe wants to gang up on someone!:D


Anybody want to coin a clever phrase?
39) Message boards : Politics : The Varoufakis thread #2 (Message 1799460)
Posted 29 Jun 2016 by Profile Alex Storey
Well that's new.

Because last Summer or so I had to email Uli and ask for her PP... instead she told me she'd contact me when she gets to London and then I would wire the money to Chris S (via PP) for him to give to her. Of course, by that time, we all forgot :)

Good news, Seti now has PP :)
Bad news... still useless to someone with a Greek bank account :(
40) Message boards : Politics : The Way Ahead (Message 1799459)
Posted 29 Jun 2016 by Profile Alex Storey
I didn't know...

The amount of what we "didn't know" (and still don't) is astonishing :(

Remember how I came in the Varoufakis thread (which wasn't called the Varoufakis thread back then) waving an EU flag? Aaah, those where the days! :D Carefree and naïve!

If Brits & Scots & NI actually had a clue what was really going on in Europe instead of listening to Beckham & Craig about how we should smile on our brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now....

The real referendum vote would be 90% LEAVE.


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