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Profile: BobShilling
User Name: BobShilling
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Gender: None Specified
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Joined: Sunday, April 1, 2018
Last Visit: Sunday, September 15, 2019 5:05:54 PM
Number of Posts: 1,324
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: What is up with the British and large numbers?
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2019 3:59:31 AM
Until 1974, the British system (by number of zeroes) was:

6 - million
9- thousand million (= milliard in some continental countries)
12- billion
15 - thousand billion
18 - trillion
21 - thousand trillion
24 - quadrillion
27 - thousand quadrillion
30 - quintillion.

Since 1974, the British system has been

6 - million
9 - billion
12 - trillion
15 - quadrillion
18 - quintillion
21 - sextillion
24 - septillion
27 - 0ctillion
30 - nonillion
Topic: Is England Still Part of Europe?
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2019 2:00:09 AM
FounDit wrote:
I can't imagine the EU to have been happy about a defection, however. Surely there were fears of contagion of the idea to other countries, partic ei .ularly those who were struggling financially, or having to support those in such straits.

True. This is one reason the EU could not make any extra concessions to May. They allowed the UK everything it was entitled to, but almost nothing more. The last thing they wanted other doubting countries to pick up was the message that leaving the EU was easy and painless.

I find it particularly curious that May would invoke Article 50 before the negotiating team were properly prepared. Was she compelled by the vote? Was there something in the referendum that required her to do it before the team could be prepared? Or could it be she do this to sabotage the decision of the vote? Does anyone know, or are these the questions that are to be debated for decades?

My guess (and that's all it can be) is that May hoped that eventually the brexiters in her party would come to realise that the only reasonable way to leave the EU without too many dire consequences was to remain in some form of customs union with the EU. When it became clear that this was not going to happen, she felt she was at risk of getting thrown out, and invoked Article 50 to prove that she wasn't a closet remainer.

From what I understand at this point, it seems that this border issue is the rock in the shoe, which, again, begs the question of why May invoked the article before the team was ready, or had addressed this problem.

Desperation. She had to be seen to be serious about respecting the result of the referendum or almost certainly lose her job.

That makes sense, as no one is likely to want to see the old troubles ramp up again. So that raises the question of why anyone would want to push so hard for leaving when the consequences could be so disastrous. I still feel like some bits are missing.

Personal opinion only:
I see three main groups pushing for Brexit at any price:
1. Certain big business interests who want to be rid of EU restrictions. For all its faults, the EU has attempted to protect the rights of workers against multinational businesses, to protect its citizens against multinational malpractices, to protect the environment, to ensure that the average citizen has access to a sound system of justice, etc. These interests have for decades pushed disturbing bad news about the EU through the press they control.
2. Many ordinary British people, and some political groups, who still cling to the belief that the United Kingdom was, until wishy-washy politicians forced it into the EEC (as the EU then was) a first-class, mighty world power. Free of the shackles of the EU, the UK will regain her rightful position in the world. Rule Britannia! They actually appear to believe that most countries in the world ar queuing up to to trade deals with the UK that will be favourable to the UK.
3. Certain unscrupulous politicians who,sensing the fears and worries of many British people about the EU, have stoked these fears and worries with a barrage of false information to further their own interests.
Topic: Is England Still Part of Europe?
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 5:13:49 PM
FounDit wrote:
So that leaves the question of why a "no deal" exit would inflame folks if it was plain there would be a Brexit Deal? Obviously, I'm still missing some pieces of information on the subject.

At the time of the referendum,the thought of no deal did not occur to anybody. The United Kingdom, like all members of the EU, was so bound up in the EU that it was clear that it was in the interests of all members of the EU, including the about-to-depart member, to arrange as amicable and civilised a departure as possible.

Unfortunately, for reasons that will be debated for decades, May invoked Article 50, the provision of the Treaty of Lisbon that allows an EU member to leave the EU, before the British negotiating team were properly prepared. This meant that the two-year period allowed for negotiation was not long enough for May's team to negotiate a deal acceptable to the EU that would be accepted by parliament, and May had to ask for extensions.

To over-simplify this very complex issue, May failed to get a parliamentary majority to accept the deal she had negotiated because some remainers still hoped that they might get a second referendum that would keep the UK in the EU, and so voted against a deal that would mean Brexit; some brexiters thought that May's deal meant the UK was still too closely tied to the EU, and so voted against a deal that was too pro-EU.

As it seemed unlikely that May could ever achieve a deal that the EU would accept and a majority in the British parliament would vote for, the hard Brexiters came up with the no-deal idea. If the EU would not give the UK a fair deal, the UK would simply leave without a deal. As many of those who voted in the referendum for Brexit and had won the referendum, were frustrated that there seemed to be no progress, the no-deal idea seemed attractive. "We voted for Brexit, and we are going to get it!"

Unfortunately, as even some who are strongly in favour of Brexit realise, a no-deal Brexit will have disastrous consequences for the UK. One of the most serious problems will be on the island of Ireland.If the UK leaves without a deal, there will have to be a properly regulated border between the EU and the UK. The only land border that exists is that between Northern Ireland, part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member.

A hard border on the island would not only have dire economic consequences for both the Republic and Northern Ireland, but would also pose a serious threat to the fragile peace that has existed since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

This is one of many reasons a majority of MPs, including some brexiters, have been trying to stop Johnson get the UK out of the EU without some form of deal. They still hope against hope that some form of deal that avoids a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland can be struck.
Topic: left-field
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:44:53 PM
It means slightly odd, unusual.
Topic: Is England Still Part of Europe?
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 7:23:48 AM
RSoul wrote:

I wouldn't even eat fish and chips out of them.

I am afraid it was that attitude that led to the remainers (including me) seriously underestimating the pro=Brexit side.

Most of the British people I know were remainers. The newspapers I read were pro-remain. It just slipped my/our attention that roughly half the country wanted out, and some pretty influential parts of the media were feeding their antipathy towards the EU.

I think many Democrats made the same mistake in 2016 in the USA. Because they subscribed only to media they approved of, and mixed only with like-minded people, they simply did not realise that nearly half the country wanted what Trump offered.

Trump is still on over 40% approval rating. and could win the 2020 election.

In the UK, Johnson is on about 40%, with Corbyn at about 20%. Swinson (strongly pro-remain) is, at 32% , only two percentage points ahead of Farage (strongly pro-Brexit).

Just because we intelligent, reasonable, fair-minded (Whistle ) people would prefer to remain, and are strongly opposed to a no-deal Brexit, it does not mean that everybody agrees. Johnson could win a general election, and the Brexiters could win a referendum.
Topic: Is England Still Part of Europe?
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 6:23:58 AM
RSoul wrote:
The way Johnson is going there may very well be another referendum. I'm guessing the 'majority' outcome may very well be different now that the mendacious dust has settled.

Would that it had.

Read the Telegraph, Mail and Sun.
Topic: For
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 6:16:46 AM
thar wrote:
It depends on the verb and the resultant meaning.

Topic: For
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 2:39:12 AM
Atatürk wrote:
We went to Japan three years in a row.

Should it not be "for three years"?

No. You need either 'for three years', the length of your stay, or 'three years in a row', the frequency of your visits.
Topic: Is England Still Part of Europe?
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 1:05:26 AM
FounDit wrote:
Well, I was hoping for some intelligent opinions, and discussion, but this seems to have turned into another prime example of the idiom, “straining gnats and swallowing camels”.

The point was Brexit.

Well, you seemed to me, and apparently to some others, to be asking for our opinions on the article:

FounDit wrote:
RSoul wrote:
More creative writing. Honestly, where do you find this stuff? lol

I think someone should inform the writer of the difference between England and the British Isles.

Hmm, I think I'll wait for a few more opinions on it before asking the question that first comes to mind.

So, I gave my opinions - on the article.

Thus the statement from Mr. Hanson: “Britain has a last chance to re-embrace the free-market democratic world that it once helped to create.” Since he is a military historian, and a scholar of ancient warfare, and since my recollection of British history is not as fresh as it was in the days I was schooled in it, I didn’t find it necessary to nitpick it.

He may be a military historian and scholar of ancient warfare. That does not make him an expert on Britain and Brexit. We can discuss Brexit if you wish, but we don't need uninformed views such as Hanson's to help us. Pointing out his ignorance and bias is hardly 'nit-picking'.

Because the voice of the people has been ignored, it seems, I wanted to know why. The Irish Border point continued to be mentioned. There is still much to be learned, no doubt. I had thought some who are British might provide some cogent thinking on the matter, but once again, it became the usual exercise in “straining gnats and swallowing camels” criticism that prevails.

I'll be happy to give my opinions on such things if you ask.

It seems to be much more fun to attack rather than to think. After all, thinking is not much in vogue for many on account of the strain involved.

Pot, kettle.
Topic: Six form
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 11:02:19 AM
thar wrote:

In traditional schools, before they became 'year seven...year eleven' (logical but completely lacking in imagination!), these were forms in secondary school, from age 11/12.
Fourth form - Lower, Middle and Upper Fourth ( IV)
Fifth form Lower and Upper Fifth (V)
And Sixth Form, - Lower and Upper Sixth. (VI)

That's one version.

In the (direct-grant) school I attended, the system was:

11/12: third form
12/13: fourth form
13/14: remove (for boys who needed a five-year path to GCE rather than a four-year path)
13/14 (for the bright boys), 14/15 (for the others): lower fifth form
14/15 (for the bright boys), 15/16 (for the others): upper fifth form.

15/16, 16/17: lower sixth
16/17, 17/18: upper sixth
17/18, 18/19: seventh form - for those taking Oxbridge schols.

The system when I began teaching in the state system was simpler.

11/12: first form/year
12/13: second form/year
13/14: third form/year
14/15: fourth form/year
15/16: fifth form/year

16/17: lower sixth or first year of sixth form college
17/18: upper sixth or second year of sixth form college

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