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Southmartin last won the day on May 28

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About Southmartin

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  1. Southmartin

    Bye bye Treason May?

    Wow, that is an epic undertaking!
  2. Southmartin

    Bye bye Treason May?

    Does anyone have a list of Tory seats that voted Leave by a comfortable margin, but are represented by Remainer MPs... Idealy with small majorities I'm considering bagging some carpets
  3. Southmartin

    Bye bye Treason May?

    Some cracking stuff by a guy called Barney Lane over on Quora. Here he explains Trade ============ For an institution that’s supposed to promote free trade, the EU’s record is appalling. Despite existing for nearly 70 years, it has failed to secure a free trade agreement with any of the world’s largest countries. Just contemplate that for one moment. The EU has existed for 7 decades. How many of the world’s top economies does it enjoy free trade with? None. No free trade deal with the USA. No free trade deal with Japan. No free trade deal with China. And let me ask you again, how long has it had to get one in place? Answer: nearly 70 years. The EU’s record on trade is quite outrageously terrible. The inherently conflicting interests that exist within such a large, diverse bloc have paralysed it. When 7 years of talks can be vetoed by Wallonia (a small part of Belgium), do you see how hard it is to agree a deal that pisses nobody off? Small countries like Switzerland, Chile and Singapore have all done better at securing good trade deals, than the EU. They have fewer special interests to appease. It gets worse. 40% of the EU’s trade deals don’t even include services. Again, for small countries like Switzerland, Chile and Singapore, over 90% of their trade deals include services. Now, if you’re primarily a manufacturing exporter, if your largest export market is France and if most of your trade is inside the EU, you might not care about any of the above. But that’s opposite to what the UK is. Most of our exports are outside the EU. Relatively speaking, we are a services exporter (the world’s second largest). Our largest national export market is the USA, a country with whom the EU has failed to secure a trade deal with, even after nearly 70 years. Compare that with Singapore. It has existed since 1965, yet in 2002 it signed a free trade deal with Japan and in 2003, it signed one with the USA. Singapore is a member of ASEAN, which in 2010 signed a free trade agreement with China. And (unlike the EU) the vast majority of Singapore’s trade deals include services. Now, some people glibly predict the UK’s post-EU trade deals won’t be “as good” as the ones it currently enjoys by virtue of its EU membership because the EU is this great hulking behemoth, while the UK is barely an amoeba. Really? There are several problems with this argument. One is, aside from questions of scope, free trade is basically free trade. Free trade deals are reciprocal. Access to one market in exchange for access to another. It’s not good or bad. The only question is what’s included and we’ve already seen the EU is quite bad at getting broadly based free trade agreements. Worse than several much smaller countries. Another problem with the argument is that it assumes you get some kind of leverage because of your size. Nonsense. If that were the case, the USA would have free trade deals with every country in the world, on extremely exploitative terms. But we know that’s not the case. The US obviously found it worth getting out of bed to deal with Singapore; a pipsqueak of a nation. Yet do we hear horror stories about an impoverished Singapore being horribly bullied around by big bad USA? We do not. The time-consuming part of negotiating trade deals is agreeing carve-outs, or departures from true free trade. If you believe in free trade, a simple, quickie deal is generally better than a big complicated one. It has fewer exceptions. No. Arguing that free trade deals can only be good if you’re big, is to misunderstand the nature of free trade. Free trade isn’t about leverage or outmuscling an opponent, it’s all and only about mutual advantage. Mutual advantage is something the UK offers in spades. It’s a huge market for imported manufactured goods and raw materials and is second in the world only to the USA in its finance, insurance and professional services. Its technology hubs in London and the M4-corridor, and scientific research hubs centred around its world-leading universities, are the strongest in Europe. In these areas, we outclass China, India, Japan and the EU-27 put together. We have win-win potential made in heaven. Yet today, we’re not even allowed to talk about it because our trade relations are determined on our behalf, by the EU! Now, as we’ve seen: it’s not all about size but even if it were, the UK is no minnow it’s all and only about mutual advantage The UK has ready-made potential for hand-in-glove relationships with some of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies; those exact same economies with which the EU has failed to agree terms, even after seven decades. For those reasons, I am quite confident in predicting that within years of departing the EU, the UK will have substantially better trade agreements than the EU ever succeeded in negotiating on our behalf, in its entire history. I mentioned above that the UK’s largest national export market is the USA. Now, guess what the EU27’s largest national export market is. Go on, what do you think it is? USA? Nope, it’s the UK. In a nutshell you see how — trade-wise — the UK’s and the EU’s interests are simply not aligned. Our largest market is not even in the EU, but the EU’s largest market, is us! This is the single fact that explains why the UK wants to leave the EU, but the EU wants the UK to change its mind. As a supporter of free trade, I’m happy that the EU has unfettered access to its most important national market. However, I’m not over the moon that the EU wants to stop us having unfettered access to our most important national market. Quite why some people still seem to think the UK is better off inside the EU leaves me baffled.
  4. Southmartin

    Bye bye Treason May?

    Yes this exactly - i've been saying this for years. Once we leave the EU we can say things like "housing benefit for UK citizens only"
  5. Southmartin

    The US Mid-Term Elections

    David Davis I expect? David Davis I expect?
  6. Southmartin

    Deluded Old Scrapper Birds On Dating Sites

    I buy quality chicken breasts from my local butcher.. Before I did that though, I totted up the cost of supermarket chicken breasts from a few sources. The only ones to be similar on price was the bulk bags from Lidl/Aldi etc - and i think it's fair to say that the quality of live those poor birds had wasn't a patch on the ones the butcher has. Interestingly they used to cost £2.50 each, (but with a 10% discount for regulars). However the price has come right down to £1.80 each now, and the size of them is massive compared to similar from the 'exclusive' ranges from the supermarkets. My advice wouwoulddl be to go round to a few butchers and ask them where they source the chickens, if they are organic. Hopefully one of them will give a satisfactory answer - then it's just a question of price
  7. Southmartin

    Deluded Old Scrapper Birds On Dating Sites

    Aye, but they'll be too scared to confront me about it ;-)
  8. Southmartin

    Deluded Old Scrapper Birds On Dating Sites

    That's a good start @JoeDavola, but none of it will matter if you're not giving your body enough of the right fuel to grow and pack the muscle on. You need protein. The amount of chicken breast, fish, and eggs I eat would amaze most people (all organic or good omegas too). But to top it up I use this stuff: I can now bench 110kgs, and have been getting some compliments from ladies recently too ;-)
  9. Southmartin

    Who will win the general election?

    Over half of my vote in 2015 (I stood in the GE for UKIP) came from the old Labour wards. Add this together with the size of the Brexit vote in the north-east heartlands, and you can only try to imagine the size of the contempt huge swathes of ex-Lab voters hold for the current party. Gerard is actually a good choice, as he know's his stuff and doesn't have the 'media baggage' that Nigel has.
  10. Southmartin

    Who will win the general election?

    Be interesting if half Labour's vote abandoned them (only fair, as Labour has abandoned it's core) and it went to UKIP. Then the disaffected Cons voters also went UKIP. Might end up with a very similar thing to what the SNP did in 2015!
  11. Southmartin

    The normalisation of female obesity

    There's only one way to solve this
  12. Southmartin

    Sensible lightweight motorbike suggestions

    I can see your point, and I don't disagree. The point I was making is that until there is equal treatment of all face coverings, then they could go fuck off. Wasn't there a jewellers in London that recently got raided by 4 blokes wearing burkas?
  13. Southmartin

    Sensible lightweight motorbike suggestions

    I once got asked to remove my helmet in the local coop. I asked the manager if they'd ask a woman in a burka to remove that and he said "probably not" (points for honestly). I told him that until the rule was applied equally I was going to ignore it.
  14. Southmartin

    Bloody telephone scammers

    I no longer have a landline for this reason. Honestly, the last time I had a BT landline it was as if I was paying £15 a month just to have the pleasure of being sold to by call centres. Honestly, out of 10 calls a month, at least 8 of them were scammers. Fuck that
  15. Southmartin

    Apu is going to be killed in the Simpsons

    what's the betting the Kwik-e-Mart will be taken over by some rednecks and they'll run the place into the ground because they didn't work hard enough... then the residents of Springfield will eventually starve and wish Apu had never left..