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  1. #2881
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viking01 View Post
    Reply to post #2874 above.

    Replying to just a few of the headings.

    3. Get Brexit Done.
    Agree with much of your summary.

    I can understand EU unwillingness to concede much to the UK (for a range of reasons) e.g.

    1. The current EU trading implementation was the product of years of negotiation in itself. The EU team will have envisaged a fully fledged EU-UK (re-)negotiation programme needing several years , whereas the UK team wanted a simplified agreement - and to conclude the whole process within 12 months.

    This basic difference in viewpoint was never reconciled, and slow initial engagement by the UK team wouldn't have helped matters. In response, the EU position likely was: Why should the EU then act contrary to its own interests - and concede very much to a party that was choosing to leave the EU trading bloc (as opposed to join)? Especially given that that party currently had a large proportion of its external trade with the EU.

    2. The EU would have obviously seen some financial advantage in taking their time with negotiations (e.g. an extended period of UK levy contributions; a possible shift by some manufacturing and banking organisations from the UK to the EU bloc in the interim).

    3. Some of the Brussels civil service involved in regulating EU trade would have had a vested self-interest in maintaining the status quo (i.e. avoid job losses or of benefits).

    I'll concede to displays of EU arrogance during the initial EU-UK negotiation phase itself (e.g. periodic leaks to the media by Juncker ; comments about competence of UK politicians).

    But for me, I think the initial negotiation phase spoke more of a general lack of clarity and consensus within the UK political space (i.e. what was Brexit supposed to deliver to the UK in terms of tangible outcomes - and to whom?).

    And that these quickly became visible once initial negotiations began:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...uietly-dropped

    I'm not a close follower of UK politics, but my understanding was that Theresa May was effectively trying to negotiate a Brexit deal largely to satisfy a specific section of the Conservative Party (the most ardent Brexiteers). Reflecting internal splits within the party.

    But given that her final proposal seemed to indicate "continued adherence to EU rules" - implying not only a continued customs union governing trading activity, but also impacting upon some aspects relating to "UK sovereignty " (such as the ECJ and the NI / Eire border which had been key planks of the Brexit Referendum), then perhaps no real surprise that Theresa May's proposal ended up being rejected within the UK Parliament.

    Quite in contrast to Boris's subsequent negotiating behaviour (a clear "Exit the EU" - and with a "No Deal" option clearly visible in the background as late as mid December 2020). Before he then quickly changed tack and concluded an EU-UK FTA (marginally better than a "hard Brexit").

    5. Financial Services

    Your comment "... In the Long-run, I think the UK will be fine - we always have been fine" may well end up being true.

    My earlier posts related to loss of income earned from legitimate trading and financing activities, but the Channel Islands and the City have long had reputations for other "finance related" services:

    (i) The Channel Islands have often been used by the gentry for hiding their assets and income from UK taxation (as opposed to money laundering);
    (ii) Large flows have tended to go through the City itself, with big foreign banks (US, Euro, Middle East, African and Asian banks) pushing all sorts of transactions (e.g. proceeds of crime and illegal activities / tax evasion) through to their UK subsidiaries. From there, proceeds can then get laundered (e.g. via deals, advances, asset purchases, or just straight transfers to certain parties via other City participants).

    https://truepublica.org.uk/united-ki...l-crime-scene/

    The following link gives an idea of the nature of the issue:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ney-laundering

    This next link is based on the FINCEN leak which exposes how the UK has a high number of shell companies that are used to hide/obscure the money flows arriving at and passing through the banks.

    https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/ho...ring-hub-39963

    The FINCEN leak reports also provide some further texture:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54226107

    Mind you, money laundering is a truly global pursuit. Though that isn't the perspective you get from official FATF, EU and Basel Committee publications (which try to paint the UK and US as bastions of AML virtue).

    8. Removal of Regulations

    Chlorinated Chicken - Point noted. But you'll excuse me if I pass (and I never see such product on a NZ super-market shelf).

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ade-deal-uk-eu

    14. FTA's
    As to FTA's negotiated or concluded (signed) during 2020, I'd imagine very few. Due to a reluctance for countries to engage and interact while the Covid pandemic has been active. To develop a global picture, you'd need to compile an inventory of documents (such as the following) and then aggregate:

    https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/do...doc_118238.pdf
    https://aric.adb.org/database/fta <-- See Table 6

    China
    Given the phases you mentioned for development (growth), I can't see the Chinese life cycle being overly different from several other countries. Other than the fact that it was possibly more highly successful (and in a shorter time period), and that it has also shifted itself up the product value chain as well.

    Is that much different as for a number of other countries (e.g. some of the Asian Tigers of the 1990's ? India ? Israel ?)

    Given the Chinese proclivity to trade, it's no surprise that China has sought to spread its wings globally within the last 20 years and to widen its trade base (especially with more developed / wealthier western nations whose citizens have more disposable income). But China has obviously distinguished itself further, in that it has also sought:

    (i) To develop trading routes and nodes throughout Asia and Europe = OBOR
    (ii) To improve its future technical capability via AI / Robotic initiatives = Made in China 2025
    (iii) To grow its physical economy via use of a mixed economic model = Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics
    (iv) To improve the economic situation of a substantial portion of its population = Increasing Middle Class (wealth).

    As an outcome, China has now become a significant economic power in its own right. And a strong economic competitor to the US.

    Wherein lies the "problem" for the US. In that China is now able to resist US influence to some extent, as well as surpass western technical capabilities in some areas.

    But probably more annoying (for the US), it has been able to do so largely independent of direct US ownership and control of Chinese assets. And placing some restrictions on the actions of western corporations operating in China.

    What did amuse me in your story was the transition - whereby now having gained some degree of economic parity, China is supposedly going to start displaying some Jeykll-and-Hyde personality change (supposedly seeking to "turn off some tap" and to "cripple the West"). The obvious question to that assertion is simply "why ?".

    In contrast, the US has had plenty of practice in this respect, having been doing this all across the globe the past 50+ years (often in conjunction with the IMF and the World Bank). Simply in order to maintain its own economic position and to preserve its western lifestyle. And where the US has been unable to dominate some specific country militarily (i.e. via invasion or military bases), it has often resorted to some combination of:

    (i) Attempted regime change
    (ii) Financial sanctions - such as restrictions to the US banking systems, USD, or to bank credit
    (iii) Pressure on the local currency
    (iv) Indirectly encouraging the target to take out foreign currency loans (via the IMF or WB), and then imposing austerity conditions and forcing state asset sales if repayments faltered.

    One should not assume that China has the same social or political objectives as the US, nor that it will adopt the same operational model.

    I think you must have been reading too many western based think-tank reports recently.

    Uyghurs
    You feel free to get excited by western media stories about Muslim Uyghur persecution in Xinjiang, but excuse me if I don't join you. Simply because there is more than enough information online to present a much truer picture of the situation on the ground, and the motivations of the various actors involved e.g.

    https://off-guardian.org/2019/07/23/...f-the-uyghurs/
    https://journal-neo.org/2018/10/05/c...entioned-part/
    https://consortiumnews.com/2021/02/2...against-china/
    https://thegrayzone.com/2020/03/05/w...rk-fall-china/

    In some respects, similar to the Chechen situation in the Russian southern provinces in the early-to-mid 1990's . In that case, both the US and Saudi were involved in providing funds and fighters to stir up the local Muslim populations.

    Soft Power
    I was also amused by your comment about "soft power". Is it only OK when it is wielded by western states (our traditional friends - like the US, the UK, Germany, France, etc), but it is not OK when it is wielded by their economic competitors (like China, Russia)?

    The US has been bleating about its loss of reputation ("soft power") in the age of Trump, due to events such as:

    (i) US Covid management
    (ii) conducting a trade war with China, disrupting global trade and supply chains
    (iii) the Trump administration's hard nosed position re EU NATO funding
    (iv) willingness to sanction the EU, where it had sought to engage with either Russia or China.

    But this has simply been the latest in a long line of events since at least year 2000, and spanning both Republican and Democrat administrations. Events such as:

    (i) starting and progressing a list of wars ("7 wars in 5 years") costing some $ 6 Trillion
    (ii) pushing the rapid expansion of NATO across eastern and southern Europe
    (iii) causing the 2008 GFC, which then rippled out across the whole world
    (iv) an ongoing lack of US willingness to allow certain states to decide their own political future, and initiating "colour revolutions".

    It should therefore be no surprise that China - with its focus on trade and on OBOR projects - has increased its "soft power" (despite all the adverse western media commentary), while that of the US has declined.
    Um, dude. Do you think anyone actually read what's above? It's a page of text. I'm not that sure what you are arguing about, but it sounds boring.
    Can we go back to Hillary's baby eating accusations?
    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
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  2. #2882
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    The griters are still at it. The attachment was still up last night our time. The company doing the fundraising is a 'for profit' and they take a major chunk of the money raised. Well, at least that part which doesn't have to be repaid because it was taken under false pretences.
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  3. #2883
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    Quote Originally Posted by F5 Dave View Post
    Um, dude. Do you think anyone actually read what's above? It's a page of text. I'm not that sure what you are arguing about, but it sounds boring.
    Can we go back to Hillary's baby eating accusations?
    Maybe only TDL.

    You do as you wish, sir.

    Have a good day. Definitely a low-wind day today, ideal for a ride.

  4. #2884
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    Quote Originally Posted by F5 Dave View Post
    Um, dude. Do you think anyone actually read what's above? It's a page of text. I'm not that sure what you are arguing about, but it sounds boring.
    Can we go back to Hillary's baby eating accusations?
    I read it, with great enthusiasm, I find Viking01's posts to be well written, well thought out, exceptionally well formatted, adequately sources (a touch too much The Guardian for my personal liking) and most of all - I find his opinions and insights to be balanced and with a good foundation of reason and evidence to support them.

    Which makes disagreeing with him all the more fun for me.
    Physics; Thou art a cruel, heartless Bitch-of-a-Mistress

  5. #2885
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemonLord View Post
    I.... (a touch too much The Guardian for my personal liking) ....

    Which makes disagreeing with him all the more fun for me.
    Damn. And I thought I was being careful.

    I deliberately avoided including any RT and China Daily Global links.

  6. #2886
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    Matt Gaetz who may be charged with a number of crimes including underage sex and trafficking among others. Some serious stuff. He claims he's innocent, but It's now reported that he approached White House staff about a premeptive pardon from Trump shortly before Biden took over. Innocent people don't usually seek pardons just in case. Trump has now said that Gaetz didn't approach him for a pardon. That wasn't the claim, the report was that Gaetz had approached senior staff. Maybe he didn't wave his chequebook. As one of Trump's most vocal supporters he should've known how it worked.
    There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one. - Joey Dunlop

  7. #2887
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viking01 View Post
    Damn. And I thought I was being careful.

    I deliberately avoided including any RT and China Daily Global links.
    TDL should read the Guardian more often. People who restrct their reading to RWNJ crap turn into RWNJs.
    There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one. - Joey Dunlop

  8. #2888
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    Quote Originally Posted by pritch View Post
    TDL should read the Guardian more often. People who restrct their reading to RWNJ crap turn into RWNJs.
    Who says I don't read the Guardian?
    and who says I only read 'RWNJ' crap?

    And finally, if that is true for 'RWNJ Crap', why would it not be true for 'LWNJ Crap' (Aka, The Guardian)...
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  9. #2889
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viking01 View Post
    Maybe only TDL.

    You do as you wish, sir.

    Have a good day. Definitely a low-wind day today, ideal for a ride.
    Why thank you.
    Yes it would have been but I had this work thing on today (work). But I did enjoy a snack down by the river at lunchtime. That's not code for something dodgy. It was some chocolate fudge (not code either, ) and some V. (Again, not code).
    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
    Everybody listen, voices in my head
    Everybody listen, do yours say, what mine says?

  10. #2890
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemonLord View Post
    Who says I don't read the Guardian?
    and who says I only read 'RWNJ' crap?

    And finally, if that is true for 'RWNJ Crap', why would it not be true for 'LWNJ Crap' (Aka, The Guardian)...
    Dunno what to say. Too much of what the RWNJs believe has no connection to reality. None. The irregularities and anomolies they saw in the election just did not exist. At all.

    Yet they clung to them with dogged determination.

    They didn't get any of that from the left wing press.

    Today a Repblican politician from Georgia admitted that their Jim Crow 2.0 voter suppression laws were based entirely on Trump's big lie that the election was stolen.
    The lie the RWNJs believed.

    You probably won't read about that in the RWNJ press though.
    There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one. - Joey Dunlop

  11. #2891
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    ...having read most of, or skimmed a lot of this thread, I have come to a conclusion...you cunts are even sillier than me...and that deserves a medal...

    ...who actually gives two fucks...

    ,,,Jacinda and her mismatched, luck strewn, red-left-green-wankfuck-tell-delusional-tales...to a silly bunch of dumb kiwis a few untruths, must be more of a concern, and twice as exciting... shirley...



  12. #2892
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    Quote Originally Posted by F5 Dave View Post
    Why thank you.
    Yes it would have been but I had this work thing on today (work). But I did enjoy a snack down by the river at lunchtime. That's not code for something dodgy. It was some chocolate fudge (not code either, ) and some V. (Again, not code).
    i prefer the V and avoid the choc fudge
    Quote Originally Posted by Katman View Post
    I reminder distinctly .




    Kinky is using a feather. Perverted is using the whole chicken

  13. #2893
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    Quote Originally Posted by husaberg View Post
    i prefer the V and avoid the choc fudge
    Well You can have the V, I'll take a choc fudge. (And no, that's not code.)

    Only tried RedBull and V once each didn't like them. Worked with a large lady (yeah, that's code) who bought them by the slab. Her business but...

    Anyhoo saw this yesterday and it appealed.
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  14. #2894
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    Quote Originally Posted by pritch View Post
    Well You can have the V, I'll take a choc fudge. (And no, that's not code.)

    Only tried RedBull and V once each didn't like them. Worked with a large lady (yeah, that's code) who bought them by the slab. Her business but...

    Anyhoo saw this yesterday and it appealed.
    THeir both just shameless shotgun blasts of sugar in a can. A scientist did a really cool tech analysis on YouTube. Basically there’s scant evidence that the stimulants like gurana and whatever else actually do anything and that the quantities of them in the can would make them negligible next to the sugar anyway.
    As a former long haul trucker I can tell you they are useless for real world fatigue.
    Every sip Is just one step closer to pancreatic cancer... (all that sugar bashes the part trying to make suitable insulin to balance it out)

  15. #2895
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    Yeah iys my guilty pleasure. I buy fridge packs so smaller than usual 200ml cans 10 of. Takes a couple of weeks to get through that so I probably drink less sugar and caffeine than your average coffee drinker which I'm not.

    The craft beer on the other hand. Well, guilty as charged.
    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
    Everybody listen, voices in my head
    Everybody listen, do yours say, what mine says?

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