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Well, the trouble is that ours catch fire, which is somewhat inconvenient

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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Usefully, Jay Rayner, a prominent UK food critic has just published a useful guide to what we could do if we wanted.

There's a few paragraphs explaining why he published it here instead of attending them eeting but then he goes into this...

Jay Rayer - Michael Gove asked me to a meeting to share my expertise. I declined. Instead, I've given him a piece of my mind.

WRITTEN SUBMISSION FOR MICHAEL GOVE MP, SECRETARY OF STATE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

By Jay Rayner

July 2017

HISTORY

In the early 1990s Britain's self-sufficiency in food reached its highest in modern times. We were producing just over 70% of all the food we were eating. Since then the story has been one only of decline. We now produce 60% of our own food, but because of exports only around 50% of the food we eat is actually produced here. There are a number of reasons for this, but key among them is the dominance of the supermarkets. In the late 80s and early 90s a series of changes to the planning laws allowed for the building of large out-of-town hypermarkets on previously greenfield sites which in turn encouraged the boom in the supermarket sector. That created the food retail landscape we have today in which fewer than a dozen companies control over 90% of the food retail market.

The supermarkets used that dominance to drive prices ever lower, and with drastic impacts. This is no knee-jerk negative response to the concept of supermarkets. They have their positives. They have kept pace with social change, shortening the length of time it takes people to get the shopping done, thus enabling the two-job households required to keep pace with the cost of living. They have been a prime driver of food culture in the UK, providing a ready source of the ingredients consumers have been introduced to via the media. They have enabled huge economies of scale.

However, they have also imperilled whole sectors of agriculture, including the dairy and pig business. Enormous numbers of food producers have either gone bust or simply left the business because it was no longer viable. We are no longer in a position to feed ourselves adequately. And all of this is against a swiftly changing global situation.



by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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(And does London suffer from same lack of family sized apartments IE does?)
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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Apartments are for poor people. Proper Englishmen need their moated castle.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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More apartments buildings and fewer detached houses would do wonders on that count, too.

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on
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AFAIK NK can produce all the food it needs..... so long as it has a can opener for all the foreign aid.

UK might produce more food if only our land weren't tied up in 1% boodoggles. And if we re-arrange our economy away from London so that we didn't feel obliged to keep putting housing on some of the best agricultural land in the coubntry

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Re: Whistling in the wind...
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I think you're being kind. I quite like Parris' writing and enjoy the view from the other side of the fence, but to say he's surprised that the hardliners don't care what happens so long as they personally get rich is merely a re-statement of modern conservative priciples. It may be news to Parris, who affects to be more humane than many, but comes as no surprise to most of us.

The problem is not that the hardliners don't care what happens, it's that they remain convinced that the UK will be a fabulous place afterwards, "We know cos think-tanks have convinced us" {see Bill Maher}.

I would have preferred it if Parris had acknowledged that, when he told the brexiteers to "go ahead, drive off the cliff", that all of us are trapped in the rear seats with them, except they've got parachutes and we haven't


by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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< wipes tears >

yes, well, then. Impairments attached to the going concern known as the United Kingdom will certainly adversely affect the price and um risk rating of gilts.

How have WTO examiners typically treated similarly situated THIRD WORLD applicants?

by Cat on
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I doubt it. I think that North Korea, these days, can more or less produce all the food they need. I don't think the UK can.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Re: Whistling in the wind...
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VICTORY!

by Cat on
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This century is young, Frank.
"Leaving EU would make UK the North Korea of Europe," said the prophet.

by Cat on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Re: Whistling in the wind...
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I thought he was quite clear: increasingly the brexiteers only have two viable options, firstly to let the whole thing slide and remain in the EU, or secondly a hard brexit, probably without any deal.  All other intermediate options like the Norway option come with a lot of the disadvantages of membership and few advantages. Judging by a lot of the comments on his piece, the Brexiteer's choice is quite clear - to leave, if necessary without a deal, and bugger the consequences.

And his fundamental analysis is, I think, sound.  Brexit was a political choice to restore full sovereignty which draws its inspiration from British history going all the way back to the split with Rome. It may be economically nonsensical  in the modern age, but the brexiteers are quite happy (for others) to accept short term pain, and have a somewhat mystical belief that the UK can ultimately do much better economically as a fully sovereign power, thank you very much.

In order to win the referendum the Brexiteers had to muddy the waters about the economic consequences, by rubbishing economic experts and making all sorts of false claims. They successfully tapped into an anti-establishment sentiment and needed some of the rubes to believe this stuff in order to get a majority, but they can be dumped now. The whole point was political sovereignty and regaining power they felt was slipping away from them.

Now they will be free to make war wherever they want, sell arms to everyone, build alliances with unsavoury dictators, and benefit from hot money from almost anywhere without the EU interfering in any way. It will be a hard right wing paradise and a few people will get rich. As for the rest? Did they ever matter?  Were they ever more than cannon fodder for the war and propaganda machine? You think things are bad now? Expect relations between the EU and the UK to deteriorate steadily from this point on.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Re: sorta. kinda. not really.
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no, no, no ... check the TV Guide! The Originals is an epic drama about the first vampires to reach North America. They came from Greenland to settle in New Orleans 1000 years ago.

by Cat on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Re: Whistling in the wind...
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The government smack talk goes back 35 years ...

Thank you for demonstrating my argument, why "lay blame for the epic consequences of UK gov't stupidity at Madame May's feet"?

Why rely on Madame May's proximity to political disaster and remorse that arise from the actions of successive gov'ts, when the Treaty of Versailles --and that UK gov't part in it-- would do just as well to exacerbate relations with other nations of Europe?

The inevitability of Brexit was written long before the present messengers assumed "leadership" of the UK's pretext of "reform."

by Cat on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Re: Whistling in the wind...
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I read the Parris article a couple of days back and my concern is that he's published what he seems a letter addressing private conversations he's had with various media and backbench hardline leavers, but without really giving the lay reader an idea of the context.

After the sympathetic hand on the shoulder waffle that takes up 2/3 of the article, he seems to lose his way. Or rather, at that point we no longer know what discussion point he's answering. I honestly don't understand what he's trying to say in the last 2 paragraphs except a vague hope that it will all run uselesly into the sand.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Thanks. Two v. good links
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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Re: Whistling in the wind...
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Brexit as a fundamental reorganization without strategy and concrete goals has become a goal unto itself:

Brexit: the visionless vacuum - Flip Chart Fairy Tales

At first things go well but soon you run up against a problem. There are important decisions that need to be made but the overall strategy isn't clear. How can you restructure an organisation, re-design processes or implement a major system (or even all three at once) without understanding the overall direction of the company? At some point people start asking, "Why are we doing this? What's the purpose?" Questions get referred up the line and nothing comes back.

... had you known some of this, there are things you wouldn't have done and decisions you would have made differently. ... Kicking off an expensive operational change programme while not being clear about why you are doing it is rarely a good idea.

... There will be no hero's welcome for the little ship of Brexit. It is adrift on an open sea, rudderless and heading for God knows where.

The coming scenario of crashing out:

Dear Leavebugs, it's time to admit your mistake: Recklessness is all that's open to Brexiteers now - Matthew Parris - Spectator

Wisely, you Brexiteers dropped the Norway idea. Now we Remainers are reviving it. Beware. Ask yourselves why. ... Suspect a plot by my lot to procrastinate until you lot slip out of vogue. Deadlines for any `transition' can be put back until kingdom come.

Your other alternative is bolder. Cheat Parliament of its chance to vote down a deal by never reaching one. Keep your hostage in Downing Street and storm on towards the cliff edge in which we tumble out of the EU without agreement. Persuade public opinion that Brussels bullies brought us to this breakdown, negotiation is now impossible, and Britain must walk away -- and damn the consequences.

Damning the consequences is all that's open to you now. Double or quits: a reckless strategy that could destroy the Conservative party and land you in the rogues' gallery of history, but it's your only hope.



by epochepoque on
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Hello folks, sorry for the delay in doing the laundry and putting up some clean threads here, the past weeks I had a number of tight deadlines to meet. Getting my breathing space back as summer and holidays descend on Europe.

How's everyone else doing?

by Bjinse on
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In story: Rest of July 2017

People & Klatsch
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by Bjinse on
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by Bjinse on
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In story: Rest of July 2017

Living On the Planet
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by Bjinse on
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In story: Rest of July 2017

Living Off the Planet
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by Bjinse on
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by Bjinse on
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by Bjinse on
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In story: Rest of July 2017

Economy & Finance
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by Bjinse on
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by Bjinse on
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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Re: sorta. kinda. not really.
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North Africa and the biblical lands were occupied solely by Caucasions until about 600AD, when the Muslims invaded. Obviously. Just look at paintings of that Jesus guy.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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In story: Whistling in the wind...

Re: Whistling in the wind...
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Lots of info about Paul Singer funding the Rubio campaign and the 'dirty dossier' on candidate Trump through Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson. Great partnership ... from my diary @BooMan:  

During Yeltsin Era, UK and US Stripped Assets Off Russia   (Oui @BooMan - July 15th, 2017)

Yeah! Putin has Trump in his pocket. Russia has big, big leverage on candidate Donald Trump from his commercial ties to Russians from 2008 forward.

So the Marco Rubio dirt seekers of Glenn Simpson's Fusion GPS hires a former MI6 Moscow spy nest called Orbis Business Intelligence with master spy Chris Steele to build an "opposition dossier" on the Trump campaign team. Glenn Simpson as SNS executive helped Paul Singer gain influence within the U.S. Treasury to put pressure on the Argentinian government to restore a billion plus settlement on Wall Street hedge fund. Comey of the F.B.I. used this leaked "Dodgy Dossier" to get a FISA warrant to wire tap Carter Page close to the Trump campaign team. Comey has always declared the F.B.I. had no investigation on presidential candidate Donald Trump.

On Russian spy activities, the CIA, FBI and MI6 had a close cooperation as was seen in the Evgeny Buryakov spy case where Carter Page was a willing witness for the FBI Counterintelligence agency.

Beyond pale how the IC has a hold on the American press corps to dictate the narrative, or if you will, to spin the story for the reporters to publish in their respective high quality papers of the Washington Post, New York Times and the TV networks including CNN Cable News.

by Oui on
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The Argentinian default is relevant only if the UK defaults on its international debt, and no one here has yet suggested that it will.  The context here is the Brexiteer's assumption that there are some default WTO terms of trade that the UK can fall back on if there is no Brexit or Trade deal with the EU.

My understanding is that the UK cannot simply "inherit" the terms of trade it enjoyed as part of the EU and that it's future terms of trade will have to be negotiated with other WTO members who may or may not agree to similar terms being granted to the UK as have been granted to the EU.

This process is hideously complex and dependent on goodwill on all sides, which may not be forthcoming given previous historical disputes and the fact that the UK, on its own, is simply not as important a market and therefore not as powerful a negotiating counterparty as the EU.

In fact it represents a wonderful opportunity for any of 150+ WTO members who have an outstanding grievance or grudge against the UK to play hard ball with the UK. Indeed, if the UK/EU divorce is extremely acrimonious, the EU might even "discourage" it's trading partners from giving similar terms to the UK.

At worst, the UK may be about to discover what its like for a former colony to try to achieve equality of treatment and parity of esteem with the major players on the world stage. No amount of Royal visits will assuage (say) the Chinese to give the UK a similar status to (say) Singapore.

Indeed, if the UK were to become a haven for hot and laundered money from dodgy Russian Oligarchs, drug lords, Saudi sheiks and others deemed undesirable, the UK may become shunned by the rest of the "civilised world", which would be ironic given the UK more or less defined the term...

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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News and Views

 Rest of July 2017

by Bjinse - Jul 22, 8 comments

Your take on this week's news

 26 June - 2 July 2017

by Bjinse - Jun 26, 74 comments

Your take on this week's news

 July Open Thread

by Bjinse - Jul 22, 1 comment

Summer threading

 Open Thread 26 June

by Bjinse - Jun 26, 62 comments

When we are threading, we are alive

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