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Discussion > General Election 2017 ?

I think Scottish nationalism is going to end-up in the same place as...

May 6, 2017 at 1:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

I think Scottish nationalism is going to end-up in the same place as...Quebec.

May 6, 2017 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

It's the neverendums that try peoples patience. SNP take note.

May 6, 2017 at 1:37 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

May will not give us what we want, she will give us what she considers is best for us and that will not be what we want. No other conclusion can be drawn from her unwillingnerss to explain what her plans are during this general election process. I sincerely hope that the manifesto changes my mind but reducing the motorway speed limit to 60mph? We will have a control economy and society.

May 6, 2017 at 12:23 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, she can't tell us what her plans are - one so that the EU doesn't work aginst it - two so that it doesn't scare everyone. Leaving the EU with no deal has to be an option but the media has a hissy fit every time it's suggested.It's impossible to know what will happen but there's nobody else can deliver it.

On another note - is it me or is the Russian intereference claims becoming too convenient an argument? There's another one for the French election. Apart from there being loads of western hackers, surely the Russians could stitch up politicians far more realistically if they wanted to. Plenty of genuine embarassing cyber information has come to light through legitimate routes, that the Russians should have been able to dish the dirt far better than the fuzzy attempts attributed to them. If Russia wanted to shut down the EU, I'd bet there was a mountain of dirt they could dish on EU leaders and paper pushers.

May 6, 2017 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


I totally respect you and your opinions however what stops May telling us wht she will do about our underfunded armed forces and our self imposed climate change targets?

May 6, 2017 at 4:37 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Partly what spurred the election in the first place - too restrictive promises. Brexit will be tough and will result in stuff people won't like. I'd rather the government wasn't hauled up by the BBC every week because they've had to do something they said they wouldn't in the manifesto.

Anyway, none of the parties have launched their manifeasto yet. The moment they do the media will start sneering.

May 6, 2017 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

..... what she will do about our underfunded armed forces and our self imposed climate change targets?

May 6, 2017 at 4:37 PM | Dung

Armed Forces. After Trump and China deal with the problem in Korea, without UN/NATO/EU involvement, the value of the UK maintaining a viable and independent defensive and strike capability will again be appreciated at home and abroad.

Climate Change. We remain bound by EU agreements. I HOPE that May's current silence is due to a General Election requiring to be fought first. May needs to increase the UK's competitive edge. Scrapping pointless legislation is working for Trump

May 7, 2017 at 1:03 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie

"the value of the UK maintaining a viable and independent defensive and strike capability will again be appreciated at home and abroad."
Unfortunately we do not have that GC, which is why I am concerned.
Thanks to Cameron our carriers will be of limited value; much needed and useful genuine air superiority fighters from allied nations can not land and take off from our carriers. The only current aircraft that can use our carrtiers is the F35B and only the US Marines also use that aircraft. The F35B is not an air superiority aircraft, it has a limited weapons load, a limited range, poor performance, an airframe that is not strong enough for air to air combat and is not a stealth aircraft (it is merely stealthy and so it can be detected). If the F35B is within visual range of an enemy air superiority fighter then it has no chance of surviving and if the enemy aircraft has the appropriate radar then it has no chance of surviving. The US plans to use the standard F35A in conjunction with their own air superiority aircraft which they can do because they have carriers that allow both to use their launch and retrieval systems (catapult and arrester hook).
The carriers can never be allowed to sail without escorts and the bare minimum would be a type 45 destroyer, 3 frigates and one attck submarine. There is no way we could use both carriers at the same time because of cuts to our surface ships. Our type 45 destroyers have been out of action because they were equipped with the wrong engines and were continually breaking down and none of our frigates (which are very old) are up to the job. Our Astute submarines also have engine problems and we do not have enough sailors to man all these ships. May has said nothing about these issues since she was made PM. I could go on.

May 7, 2017 at 2:05 PM | Registered CommenterDung

golf charlie

"Climate Change. We remain bound by EU agreements"

Bad as they are, it is not the EU regulations that are causing us the biggest problem, it is (as you know) the Climate Change Act and May has not spoken once about this problem.
Since May became PM she has never once mentioned fracking and depressingly the media have not told us anything about progress that should by now have been made at sites where fracking has been allowed since early this year.

May 7, 2017 at 2:31 PM | Registered CommenterDung

May 7, 2017 at 2:05 PM | Dung

Dung, I had typed a longer response to you, and then the interwebby went phwtt on me last night.

Armed Forces. The EU does not believe in the point of NATO anymore. Trump knows that. The UK has been readying itself for an EU Defence Force, with front line fighters consisting of White Doves of Peace, armed, via the teeth, with full rectums, intended to crap, in a non-lethal sort-of-way, on anybody who turns out to be really, really, naughty.

NATO has served the UK well, and the UK has served NATO exceptionally well. I would agree that the concept of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is probably outdated. I would be interested to know how much of the EU's BREXIT Bill of £100Billion is to make up for the EU having to find military strength to make up for the loss of the UK's.

The UN has demonstrated how NOT to fight a war, or keep the peace, on numerous occasions, at considerable cost to Britain in lives aswell as money.

Gulf War 1, the liberation of Kuwait, demonstrated how to achieve a clearly defined Military Objective. Politicians opposed the toppling of Saddam Hussein. So "we" had to do it all over again, with Gulf War 2, and are still paying the consequences.

The highly un-civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, became a mess BECAUSE of the UN's interference. Having worked there, the British and US Military are highly praised for what they did, WHEN THEY WERE ALLOWED TO!

I agree that the UK's Armed Forces have been reduced too far. The UK needs to be able to defend British interests all over the world. The EU Defence Force was never going to help with that. A Special Relationship with the US needs to be maintained. The EU Defence Force needs the UK, something the EU does not want to highlight.

IF Trump deals with North Korea (with the Chinese putting their boots on the ground) that will mark a change in World Peace Keeping. Airstrike Diplomacy will replace Victorian Gun Boat diplomacy.

This will NOT prove a solution to Islamic extremists, terrorists etc, whether they are supported by Moslem countries or not.

The UK does need to have military capable of operating independently of the EU, UN, and NATO. NATO may wither, the EU and UN are not to be trusted by British Armed Forces.

May 7, 2017 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

You are like May, you have not dealt with any of the issues I have raised :(

May 7, 2017 at 9:43 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Golf Charlie/Dung
I agree about defence.
The UK armed forces have been paired to the bone. Discounting the Trident force for non-nuclear conflict then the Royal Navy consists of 7 attack submarines, 3 amphibious carriers, 6 Type 45 Destroyers (with problems when operating in tropical waters), 13 Type 23, 15 Minehunters. The French Navy is similar apart from having an operational aircraft carrier equipped with 12 Rafales and 9 Super Etenards although it is probably carrying more for operations in the Eastern Mediterranean due a refit this year. Even the Spanish Navy has 3 Attack Submarines, 3 amphibious carriers and 12 Destroyers/Frigates and a whole lot of patrol vessels.
The RAF has about 250 Multi-role combat aircraft, the French Air Force about 230 and Spanish Air Force about 150.
British army about 85K men, the French army about 110K and the Spanish army about 75K

So in manpower terms the UK would be hard pressed to fight a war with Spain over Gibraltar. Fighting/peacekeeping in two serious conflicts would be impossible.

There are two concerns, firstly reequipping the services over a short period would require purchasing ships, planes and tanks etc from abroad presumably the USA. Secondly in real terms the UK spends 3x as much as Spain and 20% more than France on defence. Apart from the USA only Greece spends more as a %age of GDP than the UK, presumably a border with Turkey might have something to do with that. So there must be a criminal level waste at the MOD.

I don't think that Cameron can take all the blame all Prime Ministers including Mrs Thatcher, check 1981 White Paper, it was that White Paper that prompted the famous "Here today gone tomorrow" question by Robin Day (the BBC needs someone like him now) and the John Nott tantrum

May 7, 2017 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Scottish Nationalism is a serious issue for the UK. I've always said if small nations integrated into larger nations willingly or unwillingly in the past should be allowed to leave if they want to. Brexit being only the latest example.

So I can't really see the problem with the SNP wanting another referendum. With hindsight their problem is that Alec Salmond didn't foresee Brexit.

As an Expat to both Scotland and the UK I'm interested in the "Tory surge" in the Scottish local elections last week. Just looking at the overall percentages it would appear to me that the SNP vote went up by a very small amount and the combine Tory, Labour, Lib Dem vote went down a tiny amount. This may have changed a bit since I looked. So it seems to me, looking from afar, that what has happened is that the Tories have taken the Brexit-Unionist vote from Labour whose core voter base remained loyal this time. The Nationalist-Pro EU and Nationalist vote remained pretty static for the local elections at least. I would assume the most motivated electors in local elections this time would be strongly unionist, strongly Brexit and strongly nationalist.

So is the "Tory Surge" merely unionist labour supporters doing what brexit supporting labour voters did in England and switched to the Tory Party rather than anything else?

May 7, 2017 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

You are like May, you have not dealt with any of the issues I have raised :(

May 7, 2017 at 9:43 PM | Dung

Trump pulls huge amounts of funding from the UN to do many things, including Climate Science, and "Peace Keeping". To be confirmed

NATO is over. To be confirmed

The EU Defence Force was always going to be bad for British interests, taxpayers, and Armed Services. Guaranteed

The UK Armed Services have been adjusted in readiness for EU Duties, in Defence of the EU's interests. It has happened.

A war between Russia -USA-China seems less likely now. Hopefully.

Of course I haven't "dealt" with anything.

Meanwhile, the other side of the Channel ..........

Macron beats Le Pen, 65% v 35%. In other words, France registers a 35% FREXIT Vote. Next time it will be closer still. The other parties have to decide whether to adopt Le Pen policies, as UK Conservatives and Labour have adopted Farage's BREXIT. In 4 or 5 years time, France may be sharing Navy duties with the Royal Navy .......

May 7, 2017 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Finally I have a question regarding Hard Brexit, bear in mind I want the UK to do well and there be some reciprocal arrangement for ex-pats. A £-€ of about 1.60€ would be great.

Anyway taking the UK car manufacturing industry 70% of the components are imported, mainly from Europe. ~60% of UK built cars are exported to the UK. So if there is no trade agreement on Brexit in 2019 tariffs will be applied. Say 10% for arguments sake. So if components make up 50% of a cars cost then the price at the end of production will go up by 5%. Anything exported to the EU will then have an additional 10% tariffs added meaning in Europe the cost of a UK built car will go up by over 15% and an EU built in the UK by 10%. So there will be a decline in sales in in both.

A decline in sales will lead to cost cutting and rationalisation. In the UK only Nissan, Honda and Morgan not sure about Jaguar-Land Rover and India don't have the capacity to move production to existing manufacturing facilities in the EU. For example Minis are already being built in Holland and BMW could move new models there or to Germany as they are introduced. Ford and ex-GM could move to various countries. Toyota have a facility in France. Jaguar-Land Rover would probably be given inducements to move to the EU. Bently and Rolls-Royce could be moved to their parents in Wolfsburg and Munich.

As a car manufacturing executive looking at ease of closing factories, strength of Trade Unions and sales I would gradually (3-5 years) let my UK manufacturing arm wither. The problem would be compounded by a strong Euro weak Pound.

So assuming a hard Brexit, tariffs, a fall in the value of the £ and a decline in sales can someone give me a solid financial argument rather than platitudes about them being mopre at risk than us why this won't happen as a result?

I still hope for the best and plan for the worst so consider this planning for the worst.

May 7, 2017 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

golf charlie
Don't count on it too much. Fillon was the favourite until leaks about dodgy financial dealing regards his (Welsh) wife. He promised many changes to to state to encourage business and reduce benefits and functionaires. He still came third despite the controversy. Marine Le Pen It is usually the case that traditional parties to change course when it looks like they will lose power to a new comer. Don't forget Macron has done a Donald Trump and created a new party in a year and is as non-establishment as is Trump Macron also wants more EU more to come to France from Germany.

So Macron has 5 years to persuade the EU that it to needs to change, a difficult job I admit.

I sometimes think that Teresa May has a bit of Machiavelli about her. Didn't do a great deal as party Chairperson, or in her shadow roles. As Home Secretary she was unable to achieve anything of note and by not reducing immigration including non-EU immigration, leading in part to Cameron's demise. She then kept out of the Brexit debate and kept her powder dry and let her rivals eliminate themselves from the race to be PM. Since then she triggered Article 50 a couple of months before the French election and then called a general election between the French election and the German election. So she has effectively reduce a two year process to 18 months. So what may be her ultimate goal of a hard Brexit so much easier with the EU easier to blame. Mind you she has an ally in Juncker. Perhaps he'll get the knighthood that General Galtieri should have had from Mrs Thatcher.

May 7, 2017 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

May 7, 2017 at 10:22 PM | SandyS
I am still not sure what a "Hard" BREXIT is, as opposed to a soft one. The Remain campaign was about how absolutely terrible BREXIT would be, all doom and gloom scaremongering, and instant economic collapse. Actually, none of it happened, if anything, the opposite.

Now, the remains of Remain have invented "Hard Brexit" as a new thingy, to scaremonger with concern about possible doom and gloom. I am not sure whether this isn't becoming an attempt to try and claim victory for all BREXIT success stories, and blame May/Tories/UKIP for everything that does go wrong. At the moment, the EU is making ALL of the confrontational noises.

May 7, 2017 at 10:44 PM | SandyS

Macron is NOT an outsider, like Trump. If he can consolidate his support, rather than be the "anyone but Le Pen" candidate, he will have to stand up for French interests against the EU, ie cause some change. I presume that immigration accounted for some of the 35% support for Le Pen. I have no idea whether some of the traditional "left of centre" voters did vote for Le Pen, but that is the group that really swung BREXIT, and continues to damage Labour.

Macron has done well out of the fraud and corruption of his rivals. His rivals will now pounce on any perceived financial scandal surrounding Macron. I presume the Progressive establishment will continue to support him, until traditional Party differences rear their head. This is what Cameron sought to finish-off, and he failed. May is trying to finish-off the pro EU factions throughout the UK. So far, it is going well for her.

Macron COULD be the right person for France, the EU and the UK. Statements from the EU leadership over the last few weeks seem to have increased support for May and BREXIT. Corbyn can not be blamed for everything. If Macron can make the EU address some of the problems created by, and ignored by the EU in France, the EU should survive beyond his first term as Leader. But this will require the EU to realise it has lost the UK through arrogance and now 35% of the French. This was FREXIT Mk1

For me, the issue of Brits living abroad, and EU citizens living here, has never been a factor, and may have consequences for family, friends etc, and potentially me! Freedom of movement towards the best State benefits and handouts is another matter.

As a country bumpkin, retirement to rural France has a lot of appeal. I don't think too many French retire to the UK.

May 8, 2017 at 12:38 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

SandyS, forgot to add ....

May has proved herself to be a strategic thinker. I think she would have run for Conservative Leader and PM after Cameron resigned in a year or so having kept the UK in the EU. She would have been fighting those within the Conservative Party and a resurgent UKIP campaigning for BREXIT Referendum Mk2, based on more proof of the EU not listening to its critics, as Juncker continued trying to drain the EU's wine lake.

May 8, 2017 at 12:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Fun facts about the F35, of which I'm not certain; the Air Force version costs an eighth of a billion, the Navy one a quarter of a billion, and the Marine one a third of a billion. Those are not Monopoly Dollars, either.

May 8, 2017 at 4:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

golf charlie
I like to think of a Hard Brexit as one which will make life more difficult for me.

I guess it depends what you mean by outsider, but someone who has never been elected as a politician, or tried to previously might fit the bill. He was a member of the Socialist Party and was a Minister for Industry for 2 years and made business friendly changes, or so it seems.

I think Macron was one of those who doubted the wisdom of the EU's policy towards Greek debt

Looking closely at the result you'll notice that about 12% of votes were what we'd call spoilt ballots meaning of those that voted 12% said none of the above. So on a low turnout, which was about 75%, 12% of those didn't like either candidate. So in reality the support for Le Pen is about 25% of the electorate, which doesn't mean she can't win just that it might be more difficult than it first appears. It something as important as leaving the EU/Euro a higher turnout would happen even if it meant voting for the least worst option. The big unknown is whether Juncker and Tusk are men enough to see he may well be heading for an iceberg at full speed, that's something I seriously doubt.

If you take, for arguments sake, a Hard Brexit to mean one that involves no trade agreement and no freedom of movement I;d be very interested in your counter argument to my car manufacturing exodus in those circumstances.(May 7, 2017 at 10:22 PM )

May 8, 2017 at 8:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Interesting that the RN is buying hugely expensive American aircraft whilst the French are able to fly off and land navalised Rafales on the Charles De Gaulle. Not the the CDG is a perfect vessel by any means. Perhaps another case of politicians listening to experts when they perhaps should have listened to those with experience, or perhaps the success of the Harriers in the Falklands influenced thinking away from conventional aircraft by too great an amount.

May 8, 2017 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

golf charlie
I should have said that I can't see a pro-EU UKIN party ever being formed far less a rump of pro politicians moaning about what has been lost for the next 40 years. Nor do I see a set of fortuitous circumstances where there'll be a populist clamour to join an EU or its replacement. Further breakup of nations I'm not so sure about..

May 8, 2017 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I'd be very interested in your counter argument to my car manufacturing exodus in those circumstances.(May 7, 2017 at 10:22 PM )

May 8, 2017 at 8:07 AM | SandyS

I don't have a "counter argument". The production of cars in the UK by Companies from outside the EU has been one of the UK's EU success stories. They do not manufacture or fabricate too much, they are Assembly Sheds. If you build a big enough shed, with all the correct infrastructure, moving an actual "Assembly Line" from England to Hungary is no longer as unimaginable as it used to be, especially if timed with the switch from the Mk3 to Mk4 Model.

Volkswagen Audi Group have shown how to do it with their Seats and Skodas etc, and very successfully. Peugeot Citroen have not yet needed to try.

Is deliberately spoiling a Ballot Paper a traditional way of registering disapproval with both candidates, in France? If so, could they represent those more Left Wing than Macron, who might have voted for a left of centre candidate?

The EU and its supporters are celebrating Macron's win. They should now start concentrating on addressing the EU's inability to deal with the discontent and problems that have been created by the EU, and ignored by the EU, including the Progressive Elite of the EU. That means Macron himself.

I appreciate that they are two very different systems of Democracy. Le Pen lost, with 35% support and remains a credible force, Corbyn would love to have 35% support, and some credibility.

My previous comments that "Hard Brexit" is a scaremongering term invented by Remainers and the EU stands. The EU are currently trying to make it happen, not the UK, UKIP, May, Tories, The Sun etc

May 8, 2017 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


The three aircraft you mentioned are totally different from each other despite all being named F35.

The air force version is a normally set up aircraft so it has one engine (the most powerful version) and it is designed for air to air combat and is stealthy in a better way than the marine aircraft.
The Naval version (US naval version) is basically the same as the air force version but with a strengthened airframe and strengthened undercarriage plus an arrester hook all to enable carrier launch and recovery. The marine version (the F35B which the UK will use) is far more complex and is a bit of a pig.
The F35B has two engines; one for forward flight and one for vertical flight, it does not have vectored thrust like the Harrier and so has none of the combat tricks that the brilliant Harrier had available. Two engines means more weight, higher fuel consumption, less space to carry weapons, a less powerful main engine than the USAF version and hence lower performance, lower range, less time in the air. All three versions carry the advanced electronics which are supposed to give the F35 its advantages

F35C = US Navy
F35B = US Marines and UK RN/RAF

May 8, 2017 at 2:20 PM | Registered CommenterDung