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Biden: Europe’s last American – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited January 16 in General
imageBiden: Europe’s last American – politicalbetting.com

Chicago has produced more than its fair share of colourful politicians. Rod Blagojevich – recently pardoned by Donald Trump – was impeached in 2009 as Governor of Illinois for attempting to sell (among other executive actions) Barack Obama’s former senate seat after the latter was elected president. A half-century earlier, Mayor Richard J Daley ran the city like a fiefdom, making and breaking presidential campaigns along the way. Forty years before that, Mayor Bill Thompson openly colluded in the Capone prohibition gangsterism.

Read the full story here

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Comments

  • eekeek Posts: 11,034
    edited January 16
    First as China will be in America's list of enemies very soon.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 38,781
    If Biden does not complete a full term, hard to see Kamala Harris having much love for Europe.

  • MattWMattW Posts: 5,929
    @SirNorfolkPassmore , I have replied on the PT, and I will leave it there as that conversation has already gone over 2 threads.

    Thanks for your reply.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 32,160
    On topic CNN piece:

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/16/europe/trump-has-trashed-the-transatlantic-alliance-intl/index.html

    The presidency of Donald Trump has left such a wretched stench in Europe that it's hard to see how, even in four years, Joe Biden could possibly get America's most important alliance back on track.

    Regardless, the Trump era has left Europeans with little choice but to wait and see how much of a priority Biden places on reclaiming America's place on the world stage. And they will use the four years of relative quiet under Biden to build safeguards against the all too real possibility of another Euroskeptic firestarter winning the White House in 2024.
  • dr_spyndr_spyn Posts: 10,953
    Not quite as interesting as making buses out of wine boxes.

  • MattWMattW Posts: 5,929
    Good piece - thank you David.

    One thing that I find slightly peculiar is why some still persist in describing Russia as the "third superpower" - which seems a bit farfetched now.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 8,915
    Good article.

    The next logical step is to accept that the "West" as we know it, has already been killed by Trump. The US and EU cannot be reliable allies as US politics is both too uncertain and likely to be less Atlanticist anyway even if America first nationalism does not reappear under another Trumpist.

    What's left is 3 main power blocs, US, China, EU, with the likes of Russia, India, UK, Japan a level below.
  • isamisam Posts: 34,994
    edited January 16
    dr_spyn said:

    Not quite as interesting as making buses out of wine boxes.

    I am fearful of a Truedeau style Gesichtsschwärzung emerging
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 8,915
    MattW said:

    Good piece - thank you David.

    One thing that I find slightly peculiar is why some still persist in describing Russia as the "third superpower" - which seems a bit farfetched now.

    Whilst they are not the third superpower, they have been more successful in achieving their foreign policy goals, primarily removing stability from the West and democracy, as well as regain military control of surrounding countries, than any of the superpowers this century.
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 15,264
    edited January 16
    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 29,456
    MattW said:

    Good piece - thank you David.

    One thing that I find slightly peculiar is why some still persist in describing Russia as the "third superpower" - which seems a bit farfetched now.

    Because, despite its feeble economy, it is geographically too large to be described as a regional power, and still maintains very large nuclear armed forces ?
    Its superpower status is certainly questionable and probably fragile, but it remains a threat to many countries, owing to its belligerence.

    And agreed, David’s article is thought provoking.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 5,067
    isam said:
    Thanks for that. A very good piece that I have a lot of sympathy with.

    "Grifters, conspiracy theorists, and bad faith actors have been tolerated for too long by lockdown sceptics. "
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 46,538
    edited January 16
    Interesting article as ever, Mr Herdson - and interesting article from Patrick Wintour on Johnson's ambitions for the G7/D10 and tensions that is creating with Europe:

    Boris Johnson is planning to host a virtual G7 summit of world leaders within weeks of Joe Biden becoming US president in an attempt to set an ambitious agenda covering climate change, a worldwide vaccination programme, future pandemic preparedness and relations with China.

    He is also pressing ahead with plans to convert the face-to-face annual summit of the G7 in June into a D10 of leading democracies. It is due to be the first in-person meeting of world leaders for nearly two years, after the US-hosted G7 was cancelled and the Saudi-hosted G20 meeting moved online last year.

    The proposal to expand the G7 into a wider group has met resistance from some European states concerned it will be perceived as an anti-China alliance and a means of diluting the power of EU countries. Concern has been expressed within French and Italian diplomatic circles.


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/15/uk-plans-early-g7-virtual-meeting-and-presses-ahead-with-switch-to-d10
  • eekeek Posts: 11,034
    Nigelb said:

    MattW said:

    Good piece - thank you David.

    One thing that I find slightly peculiar is why some still persist in describing Russia as the "third superpower" - which seems a bit farfetched now.

    Because, despite its feeble economy, it is geographically too large to be described as a regional power, and still maintains very large nuclear armed forces ?
    Its superpower status is certainly questionable and probably fragile, but it remains a threat to many countries, owing to its belligerence.

    And agreed, David’s article is thought provoking.
    Surely Russia is a threat because of fragile it is. An external battle keeps the internal issues hidden as everyone has something else to focus on.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,156
    There's a deal to be done between Europe/EU and the US as their interests are broadly aligned. However I think the relationship will be much more transactional, without the commitments of the previous one.

    Interesting to see how the UK's foreign policy develops after leaving the European Union. It has latched onto the G7/D10 (and less plausibly the Trans Pacific Partnership). India is a wildcard, I think. Has significant potential, but interests aren't all aligned and not especially reliable.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 29,456
    .
    eek said:

    Nigelb said:

    MattW said:

    Good piece - thank you David.

    One thing that I find slightly peculiar is why some still persist in describing Russia as the "third superpower" - which seems a bit farfetched now.

    Because, despite its feeble economy, it is geographically too large to be described as a regional power, and still maintains very large nuclear armed forces ?
    Its superpower status is certainly questionable and probably fragile, but it remains a threat to many countries, owing to its belligerence.

    And agreed, David’s article is thought provoking.
    Surely Russia is a threat because of fragile it is. An external battle keeps the internal issues hidden as everyone has something else to focus on.
    Sure, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 29,456

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 62,950
    edited January 16
    MattW said:
    The 5G Health stuff is not in the "reasons for rejection" because those are a legal doc written up by the Planning Officer, and cannot include non-material or fictional considerations - which would fail on Appeal, as was explained to the meeting by the Deputy head of Planning.

    On that weaselly Tweet, here is an extract from the Minutes.

    Cllr Sarah Warren, local ward member, spoke against the application. She highlighted the duty of the Committee to prevent harm. She stated that some research showed that 5G can have an adverse effect on health. Electromagnetic pollution could also cause environmental harm. There was real concern from local residents regarding the effect of the 5G mast and she felt that the Committee should be cautious about approving the application.

    Cllr Kevin Guy, local ward member, spoke against the application. He noted that an exclusion zone was required for areas with high levels of radiation. He pointed out that the mast would be close to a nursery school and community hall and that it would be irresponsible to approve the application.

    The Case Officer then responded to questions as follows:

    · Health concerns are a material consideration, however, the NPPF guidance is clear on this issue. To go against these guidelines would be going against national planning policy. The applicant has submitted a certificate of compliance with the ICNIRP public exposure guidelines. The key issues for the Committee to consider are visual impact, greenbelt policies, trees and ecology issues. Any refusal on health grounds would be in clear contravention of planning policy.


    and
    The Deputy Head of Planning advised that, although the Committee could give weight to the health aspects of the application, given that the applicant has supplied the required certification, if it were refused on health grounds, at appeal the applicant would be able to demonstrate compliance with guidelines and the Council would need its own evidence to weigh against that, and there is none that it could provide.

    (Link to Minutes:
    https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=26893)

    They were very silly to make those concerns prominent in their comments. Inspectors can tell when the arrived at reasons for refusal are a pretext when you do that. Unless also on the committee the local members wont have had a vote, but if most public concerns were 5G and the local members brought it up, it's pretty obvious what swayed the committee. Committees are usually more sensible than local members pandering, but given the primary objection is 5G, its suspicious.

    It's being approved at appeal I think. Committees try to use weak refusal reasons as a cover all the time, and it doesn't work.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 29,456
    FF43 said:

    There's a deal to be done between Europe/EU and the US as their interests are broadly aligned. However I think the relationship will be much more transactional, without the commitments of the previous one.

    Interesting to see how the UK's foreign policy develops after leaving the European Union. It has latched onto the G7/D10 (and less plausibly the Trans Pacific Partnership). India is a wildcard, I think. Has significant potential, but interests aren't all aligned and not especially reliable.

    Aligning interests is the purpose of diplomacy; David’s article is exploring the idea that the US might, for reasons more cultural than pragmatic, not make sufficient future efforts with Europe.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 6,294
    dr_spyn said:

    Not quite as interesting as making buses out of wine boxes.

    Gene Simmons? That's fucking ignorant. The Starchild is Paul Stanley.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 29,456
    Article on the possibly immune resistant variant and the recent wave of cases in Manaus.

    New coronavirus variants could cause more reinfections, require updated vaccines
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/01/new-coronavirus-variants-could-cause-more-reinfections-require-updated-vaccines
    When the number of COVID-19 cases began to rise again in Manaus, Brazil, in December 2020, Nuno Faria was stunned. The virologist at Imperial College London and associate professor at the University of Oxford had just co-authored a paper in Science estimating that three-quarters of the city’s inhabitants had already been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic coronavirus—more than enough, it seemed, for herd immunity to develop. The virus should be done with Manaus. Yet hospitals were filling up again. “It was hard to reconcile these two things,” Faria says. He started to hunt for samples he could sequence to find out whether changes in the virus could explain the resurgence.

    On 12 January, Faria and his colleagues posted their initial conclusions on the website virological.org. Thirteen of 31 samples collected in mid-December in Manaus turned out to be part of a new viral lineage they called P.1. Much more research is needed, but they say one possibility is that in some people, P.1 eludes the human immune response triggered by the lineage that ravaged the city earlier in 2020...
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 6,294
    algarkirk said:

    If the EU and its predecessors had prioritised being the economic arm of the European bit of NATO, made NATO membership a central plank of belonging and taken defence more seriously and FoM less seriously so we would still be in it. It is a major failure.

    The European Idea is far more than being "the economic arm of the European bit of NATO".

    Europe has no strategic autonomy in NATO because it's never going to be an alliance of equals.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 62,950
    Strong, well crafted header. Hits the expected notes, but delves into it a bit to flesh out the argument.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,156
    Foxy said:

    Leon said:

    It is actually a shame Newsnight framed that incredible report from Northwick Hospital with a wholly egregious and monumentally boring debate about "how we fund the NHS".

    It would have been so much more powerful if they'd just kept it, as the sole item on the plate. Here, eat this. This is Covid. This is what it does, this is what it is like. Right this moment. Now let's talk about Russia, or pollution.

    Bad production, great journalism.



    If anyone doesn't know that Covid-19 is a serious illness by now, 9 months into the pandemic, are they ever going to be convinced?

    My thousand bed Trust has 400 covid patients, 56 on ICU, 9 on ECMO, and admitted 40-55 new covid patients every day this week. Next week is forecast to be worse.

    If you think that's bad, we are still taking transfers from Essex and London, how much worse must it be there?

    Yet there are still covidiot deniers...
    The big problem, in my view, is reasonable people thinking, we have done the social distancing for a year now, we've got the vaccines. Enough is enough. Time to get back to normal.

    Meanwhile hospitals are at breaking point, with patients fighting for their every breath in makeshift wards. Now is the time for our greatest caution until that situation passes.

    Rather than covidiot deniers. Although I wouldn't give them time of day.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 8,915
    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    Realistically how can they be?

    It is rarely discussed but there is in effect a trade war between US and EU as well as US and China. Both ratcheting up ever increasing fines on each others companies, increasing tariffs, creating new and significant regulatory hurdles for trade.

    On top of which about 40% of America supports a fascist who prefers Putin, Xi, Kim, Erdogan to Merket, Macron and Trudeaux.

    The UK establishment wants a return of a united West, with the EU acting how the UK would like, rather than the EU acting how it does, and the US acting how the UK would like rather than the US acting how it does.

    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.

  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 50,324
    As much as NATO is a real issue, the bigger issue is reliance on commodities that form national economic security.

    That doesn't mean we have to have economic nationalism, but we do need to be able to rely on non-hostile states for matters of national and international economic security.

    A good method for dealing with this is the elimination of oil from the economy. That will remove the ability of Russia etc to 'turn off the tap', as well as defunding many hostile states.

    But we also need to ensure China don't have a monopoly on the production of any key silicone chips etc in the economy either.
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 9,332
    "Deranged, deluded and deadly: How Jeremy Corbyn's brother Piers leads an anti-vaxxer movement that thinks jabs are a 'New World Order' conspiracy and chanted 'Covid is a hoax' outside a beleaguered hospital"

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9152751/Covid-UK-Piers-Corbyn-leads-anti-vaxxer-movement-thinks-jabs-conspiracy.html
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,156
    Nigelb said:

    FF43 said:

    There's a deal to be done between Europe/EU and the US as their interests are broadly aligned. However I think the relationship will be much more transactional, without the commitments of the previous one.

    Interesting to see how the UK's foreign policy develops after leaving the European Union. It has latched onto the G7/D10 (and less plausibly the Trans Pacific Partnership). India is a wildcard, I think. Has significant potential, but interests aren't all aligned and not especially reliable.

    Aligning interests is the purpose of diplomacy; David’s article is exploring the idea that the US might, for reasons more cultural than pragmatic, not make sufficient future efforts with Europe.
    It is. The time where the US and some European cqountries were part of a meaningful and formal alliance is passed however. There is nevertheless plenty of scope for case by case agreement and common approaches. The US and Europe have a lot of common interests.

    The question exposed by David's piece, is how much the parties will engage with each other? Or will they retreat into their respective comfort zones and ignore the other party?
  • EssexitEssexit Posts: 1,915
    Nigelb said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    dr_spyn said:

    Not quite as interesting as making buses out of wine boxes.

    Gene Simmons? That's fucking ignorant. The Starchild is Paul Stanley.
    It at least suggests a predisposition to kiss and makeup ?
    Bravo.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 25,698
    eek said:

    Nigelb said:

    MattW said:

    Good piece - thank you David.

    One thing that I find slightly peculiar is why some still persist in describing Russia as the "third superpower" - which seems a bit farfetched now.

    Because, despite its feeble economy, it is geographically too large to be described as a regional power, and still maintains very large nuclear armed forces ?
    Its superpower status is certainly questionable and probably fragile, but it remains a threat to many countries, owing to its belligerence.

    And agreed, David’s article is thought provoking.
    Surely Russia is a threat because of fragile it is. An external battle keeps the internal issues hidden as everyone has something else to focus on.
    Also fragile as Russia is (politically, economically), I imagine Putin keeps its armed forces in a state of preparedness, largely because he seems quite keen on using them in various parts of the world. I read that they have c.1300 fighters, I imagine more than 4 of them are combat ready.

    Obviously the EU needs a more coherent defence policy, possibly an NEBTO (North East Baltic Treaty Organisation) with its own shoulder flash? That’ll go down well in certain quarters..
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 29,456
    Interesting article on Japanese vaccine scepticism, though it doesn’t satisfactorily explain quite how it arose, there is a smell of Wakefieldism.
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/12/23/national/japan-vaccine-history-coronavirus/
    ... Japan’s modern vaccine unease has its roots in a measles, mumps and rubella inoculation that some suspected of leading to higher rates of aseptic meningitis in the early 1990s. Though no definitive link was established, the shots were discontinued, and to this day Japan doesn’t recommend a combined MMR shot.

    Another catalyst was a 1992 court ruling that not only made the government responsible for any adverse reactions related to vaccines, but also stipulated that suspected side effects would be considered adverse events, said Tetsuo Nakayama, a professor at the Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences whose research focuses on vaccines. Two years later, the government revised a vaccination law, scrapping mandatory vaccinations.

    These events helped send a message that inoculations should be taken at one’s own risk, and diluted the awareness of vaccination as a greater public benefit, said Mikihito Tanaka, a professor at Waseda University specializing in science communication...
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 46,538

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 50,324

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

    Which has always been the case. The EU nations have literally never been our closest allies.

    There is a reason in the Iraq War that Tony Blair sided with the US President over the French and German Presidents. The EU did not trump Atlanticism and never has done in realpolitk security.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 25,698
    edited January 16
    dr_spyn said:

    Not quite as interesting as making buses out of wine boxes.

    He looks huge, Helmut Kohl sized.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 54,989
    Finished Rome and the Mediterranean last weekend. Review, for those interested: https://thaddeusthesixth.blogspot.com/2021/01/review-rome-and-mediterranean-by-titus.html
  • BarnesianBarnesian Posts: 6,820
    edited January 16
    Latest poll on London Mayoral election
    https://redfieldandwiltonstrategies.com/latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021&utm_source=Polling+UnPacked&utm_campaign=d0c939a698-MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349&goal=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349



    Brian Rose, layable at just 9.6 on Betfair, doesn't appear.

    Louisa Porritt (LibDem) currently has zero visibility but as we near the election that will change. She is a very attractive candidate with appealing policies and may just outshine Shaun Bailey (Tory) in Remainer London.
    https://www.facebook.com/LuisaMPorritt/posts/999042640592084

    Louisa Porritt is 660 on Betfair. Trading bet?
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 8,915

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

    What I think the EU see that the UK does not, and therefore the reason why the EU wont take a tougher line on China, is that whilst we can probably mangle together a short term alliance under Biden it leaves the EU completely shafted if a Republican led US then does a deal with China behind the EUs back. This threat prevents the EU taking a full side.

    In the UK we don't see this as a realistic possibility as we have a romanticised and nostalgic view of the US. The US Trump Republican party is not just America first, it is wholly transactional and has zero problem throwing allies under the bus if they think it helps them get a better deal.
  • ThomasNasheThomasNashe Posts: 3,150
    edited January 16
    Barnesian said:

    Latest poll on London Mayoral election
    https://redfieldandwiltonstrategies.com/latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021&utm_source=Polling+UnPacked&utm_campaign=d0c939a698-MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349&goal=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349



    Brian Rose, layable at just 9.6 on Betfair, doesn't appear.

    Louisa Porritt (LibDem) currently has zero visibility but as we near the election that will change. She is a very attractive candidate with appealing policies and may just outshine Shaun Bailey (Tory) in Remainer London.
    https://www.facebook.com/LuisaMPorritt/posts/999042640592084

    Louisa Porritt is 660 on Betfair. Trading bet?

    Certainly, a much better candidate than Benita. And outshining Bailey is a fairly low bar.
  • ThomasNasheThomasNashe Posts: 3,150
    Just to add, Brian Rose: LOL!!!
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 25,698
    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

  • RogerRoger Posts: 13,964
    edited January 16
    I'm all for keeping Europe as demilitarised as possible. Protecting old colonies is about as exciting as it ever needs to get and that's a dying sport these days.

    The only thing (other than keeping Johnson from being PM obviously) that I liked about Corbyn was his foreign policy preferences which included leaning towards not militarisation
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,156
    edited January 16

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

    What I think the EU see that the UK does not, and therefore the reason why the EU wont take a tougher line on China, is that whilst we can probably mangle together a short term alliance under Biden it leaves the EU completely shafted if a Republican led US then does a deal with China behind the EUs back. This threat prevents the EU taking a full side.

    In the UK we don't see this as a realistic possibility as we have a romanticised and nostalgic view of the US. The US Trump Republican party is not just America first, it is wholly transactional and has zero problem throwing allies under the bus if they think it helps them get a better deal.
    China is both a threat to Europe and the US, and also too important to ignore. The US and the EU etc try to protect themselves from the threat and at the same time to deal with China. At different times more one than the other and with variable success. The recent EU/China investment partnership can be seen in that context.

    I think the Europe / US relationship will be mostly or entirely transactional - the time of NATO as a meaningful alliance is probably over for now - but there is plenty of deal making to be done, if the parties want.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 54,989
    Mr. Roger, I suspect the Baltic tigers don't agree with your complacent pacifism.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 5,393

    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

    All three are lawyers who studied at the same university, the University of Bonn :)

    So, one mark off for no Eton & Oxford, but still 9/10 for sameyness.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,156

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

    Which has always been the case. The EU nations have literally never been our closest allies.

    There is a reason in the Iraq War that Tony Blair sided with the US President over the French and German Presidents. The EU did not trump Atlanticism and never has done in realpolitk security.
    Not sure what the lesson is there. That Europe in this case was right?
  • kamskikamski Posts: 1,799

    dr_spyn said:

    Not quite as interesting as making buses out of wine boxes.

    He looks huge, Helmut Kohl sized.
    Nearly everybody in the west/south of Germany is a "fancy-dress enthusiast" - unless those pictures were taken outside of carnival season
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 62,950
    Barnesian said:

    Latest poll on London Mayoral election
    https://redfieldandwiltonstrategies.com/latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021&utm_source=Polling+UnPacked&utm_campaign=d0c939a698-MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349&goal=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349



    Brian Rose, layable at just 9.6 on Betfair, doesn't appear.

    Louisa Porritt (LibDem) currently has zero visibility but as we near the election that will change. She is a very attractive candidate with appealing policies and may just outshine Shaun Bailey (Tory) in Remainer London.
    https://www.facebook.com/LuisaMPorritt/posts/999042640592084

    Louisa Porritt is 660 on Betfair. Trading bet?

    I'm going out on a limb that, unlike David Perdue, Khan will probably be fine on 49% on first prefrences/round.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 13,964
    Interesting header David. I particularly enjoyed the first paragraph. The Obama one was a story I hadn't heard before and I LOLed
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 62,950

    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

    All three are lawyers who studied at the same university, the University of Bonn :)

    So, one mark off for no Eton & Oxford, but still 9/10 for sameyness.
    That is genuinely impressive lack of political diversity, even within the same party.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 50,324
    FF43 said:

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

    Which has always been the case. The EU nations have literally never been our closest allies.

    There is a reason in the Iraq War that Tony Blair sided with the US President over the French and German Presidents. The EU did not trump Atlanticism and never has done in realpolitk security.
    Not sure what the lesson is there. That Europe in this case was right?
    No, just that the UK is and always will be more aligned with the USA and our Five Eyes partners than with France and Germany and the EU. Even when we were led by "Europhiles" it remained true.
  • ThomasNasheThomasNashe Posts: 3,150
    kle4 said:

    Barnesian said:

    Latest poll on London Mayoral election
    https://redfieldandwiltonstrategies.com/latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021&utm_source=Polling+UnPacked&utm_campaign=d0c939a698-MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349&goal=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349



    Brian Rose, layable at just 9.6 on Betfair, doesn't appear.

    Louisa Porritt (LibDem) currently has zero visibility but as we near the election that will change. She is a very attractive candidate with appealing policies and may just outshine Shaun Bailey (Tory) in Remainer London.
    https://www.facebook.com/LuisaMPorritt/posts/999042640592084

    Louisa Porritt is 660 on Betfair. Trading bet?

    I'm going out on a limb that, unlike David Perdue, Khan will probably be fine on 49% on first prefrences/round.
    So long as he doesn't get an endorsement from Trump he should be OK.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,609
    Interesting - an emphatic rejection of the right-wing candidate, who was seen as the favourite by most pundits. Makes a CDU-Green government after the election look quite possible.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 8,915

    FF43 said:

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

    Which has always been the case. The EU nations have literally never been our closest allies.

    There is a reason in the Iraq War that Tony Blair sided with the US President over the French and German Presidents. The EU did not trump Atlanticism and never has done in realpolitk security.
    Not sure what the lesson is there. That Europe in this case was right?
    No, just that the UK is and always will be more aligned with the USA and our Five Eyes partners than with France and Germany and the EU. Even when we were led by "Europhiles" it remained true.
    Always is a silly word here, you think this will apply in the year 4020 too? If Trump's coup had worked should we have continued to be the closest ally of what would have become a fascist undemocratic state?
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 62,950
    Roger said:

    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

    I watched a bit of parliament the other day and saw and heard Jacob Rees Mogg. Couple him with Nigel Farage as one of our most visible politicians and it's difficult to believe any European country can view us other than as a laughing stock
    You've always seemed really over concerned with what other people think of this country.

    Most people don't judge another country just because they get some amusement at its political leaders, since everywhere gets its stupid leaders at some point, it really is not a big deal and you shouldn't get so personally, deeply upset by it, nor expect others to feel ashamed because JRM is a cartoon character.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 55,965

    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

    But how many plagiarized their masters / phd thesis?
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 50,324

    FF43 said:

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

    Which has always been the case. The EU nations have literally never been our closest allies.

    There is a reason in the Iraq War that Tony Blair sided with the US President over the French and German Presidents. The EU did not trump Atlanticism and never has done in realpolitk security.
    Not sure what the lesson is there. That Europe in this case was right?
    No, just that the UK is and always will be more aligned with the USA and our Five Eyes partners than with France and Germany and the EU. Even when we were led by "Europhiles" it remained true.
    Always is a silly word here, you think this will apply in the year 4020 too? If Trump's coup had worked should we have continued to be the closest ally of what would have become a fascist undemocratic state?
    No and no, clearly.

    For the realistically foreseeable future then.
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 12,134
    kle4 said:

    nor expect others to feel ashamed because JRM is a cartoon character.

    literally...

  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,118
    Excellent article, David. I agree with every word.

    Of course, the US will always play *some* role in NATO - it has an interest in European stability and containing Russia as well - but it will expect to play only a 20-30% role in European security in the long run, not an 80%+ one.

    That is inevitable.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 8,915

    FF43 said:

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

    Which has always been the case. The EU nations have literally never been our closest allies.

    There is a reason in the Iraq War that Tony Blair sided with the US President over the French and German Presidents. The EU did not trump Atlanticism and never has done in realpolitk security.
    Not sure what the lesson is there. That Europe in this case was right?
    No, just that the UK is and always will be more aligned with the USA and our Five Eyes partners than with France and Germany and the EU. Even when we were led by "Europhiles" it remained true.
    Always is a silly word here, you think this will apply in the year 4020 too? If Trump's coup had worked should we have continued to be the closest ally of what would have become a fascist undemocratic state?
    No and no, clearly.

    For the realistically foreseeable future then.
    I can realistically see Trump or his allies returning in 2024 or 2028.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 31,863
    kle4 said:

    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

    All three are lawyers who studied at the same university, the University of Bonn :)

    So, one mark off for no Eton & Oxford, but still 9/10 for sameyness.
    That is genuinely impressive lack of political diversity, even within the same party.
    As said cloning Tories habits, inbred hooray Henry's by the score.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,118

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    I'm not sure I'd say the EU is an ally.

    There was a recent poll showing that in any confrontation between the USA and China the EU would prefer to remain neutral.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 82,645
    A plurality of Americans will still have European links, even through mixed race, despite the changing racial dynamic there.

    However the fact the US now sees China as the main threat rather than Russia also means it no longer sees the need to prop up Western Europe to contain a Russia that is weaker than it was under the USSR
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,118
    FF43 said:

    There's a deal to be done between Europe/EU and the US as their interests are broadly aligned. However I think the relationship will be much more transactional, without the commitments of the previous one.

    Interesting to see how the UK's foreign policy develops after leaving the European Union. It has latched onto the G7/D10 (and less plausibly the Trans Pacific Partnership). India is a wildcard, I think. Has significant potential, but interests aren't all aligned and not especially reliable.

    Although, I was surprised that India was the most positive about our vaccine over any other country in the world.

    One can read too much into that, of course, but it does suggest there's some basic level of trust there in the Indian population, which is what close relationships are built upon.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 39,355
    edited January 16
    kle4 said:

    Barnesian said:

    Latest poll on London Mayoral election
    https://redfieldandwiltonstrategies.com/latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-london-mayoral-and-general-elections-voting-intentions-13-14-january-2021&utm_source=Polling+UnPacked&utm_campaign=d0c939a698-MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349&goal=0_494ca252da-d0c939a698-312615349



    Brian Rose, layable at just 9.6 on Betfair, doesn't appear.

    Louisa Porritt (LibDem) currently has zero visibility but as we near the election that will change. She is a very attractive candidate with appealing policies and may just outshine Shaun Bailey (Tory) in Remainer London.
    https://www.facebook.com/LuisaMPorritt/posts/999042640592084

    Louisa Porritt is 660 on Betfair. Trading bet?

    I'm going out on a limb that, unlike David Perdue, Khan will probably be fine on 49% on first prefrences/round.
    A Green-LibDem candidate would have 19% looking at that poll.

  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 82,645
    Laschet wins the CDU leadership race, overtaking Merz in the second round runoff.





    Makes a CDU and Green coalition more likely after September's Federal election in Germany but means the CDU is still likely to leak votes to the AfD on its right.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,118
    Dura_Ace said:

    algarkirk said:

    If the EU and its predecessors had prioritised being the economic arm of the European bit of NATO, made NATO membership a central plank of belonging and taken defence more seriously and FoM less seriously so we would still be in it. It is a major failure.

    The European Idea is far more than being "the economic arm of the European bit of NATO".

    Europe has no strategic autonomy in NATO because it's never going to be an alliance of equals.
    It's not an alliance of equals because the USA does 80% of the heavy lifting. If it did only 20%, say, then it would be.

    A parallel here is in WWII where in 1942 American forces were relatively small and British policy led the strategy into Scilly and Italy, and they were even 50:50 at D-Day which was largely commanded by Brits.

    Once American forces massively outnumbered British forces (by over 4:1 at the war's end) they called the shots.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 39,355
    Andy_JS said:

    "Deranged, deluded and deadly: How Jeremy Corbyn's brother Piers leads an anti-vaxxer movement that thinks jabs are a 'New World Order' conspiracy and chanted 'Covid is a hoax' outside a beleaguered hospital"

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9152751/Covid-UK-Piers-Corbyn-leads-anti-vaxxer-movement-thinks-jabs-conspiracy.html

    Whereas his brother just thinks the Soviet Union was a splendid idea.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,609

    eek said:

    Nigelb said:

    MattW said:

    Good piece - thank you David.

    One thing that I find slightly peculiar is why some still persist in describing Russia as the "third superpower" - which seems a bit farfetched now.

    Because, despite its feeble economy, it is geographically too large to be described as a regional power, and still maintains very large nuclear armed forces ?
    Its superpower status is certainly questionable and probably fragile, but it remains a threat to many countries, owing to its belligerence.

    And agreed, David’s article is thought provoking.
    Surely Russia is a threat because of fragile it is. An external battle keeps the internal issues hidden as everyone has something else to focus on.
    Also fragile as Russia is (politically, economically), I imagine Putin keeps its armed forces in a state of preparedness, largely because he seems quite keen on using them in various parts of the world. I read that they have c.1300 fighters, I imagine more than 4 of them are combat ready.

    Obviously the EU needs a more coherent defence policy, possibly an NEBTO (North East Baltic Treaty Organisation) with its own shoulder flash? That’ll go down well in certain quarters..
    Personally I worry about Russia more than China. The willingness to engage in border conflicts and assassinate opponents abroad point to a dangerous recklessness. By contrast, China in its foreign policy seems a fairly standard large power - attempting to gain trade advantages and use money to promote its image is hardly unique behaviour. Their authoritarian internal behaviour and disgusting treatment of the Uighurs reflects the fact that they're an autocracy (as does the instinct of the Wuhan authorities to squash the first reports of Covid), but not an especially threatening one to Britain IMO. I think it's right to be wary in dealing with China and especially Russia, but not to start from a basis that they're looming enemies.

    It's quite difficult to separate a reasonable analysis of the actual risks from the look-squirrel attempts by Western leaders in difficulty - Trump in the most obvious example but he's not alone. During the Cold War, both sides issued blood-curdling warnings which proved to be somewhat exaggerated (no credible account of either side ever actually getting close to attacking the other has ever emerged). The alliance with America had obvious benefits in basic security but also implicated us in numerous unsavoury interventions; if we take a more dispassionate view of each other in future it may be no bad thing - good friends rather than an uneasy married couple.
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 15,794
    HYUFD said:

    Laschet wins the CDU leadership race, overtaking Merz in the second round runoff.





    Makes a CDU and Green coalition more likely after September's Federal election in Germany but means the CDU is still likely to leak votes to the AfD on its right.
    Good to see the right start to reject the populist dead end.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,118

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    Realistically how can they be?

    It is rarely discussed but there is in effect a trade war between US and EU as well as US and China. Both ratcheting up ever increasing fines on each others companies, increasing tariffs, creating new and significant regulatory hurdles for trade.

    On top of which about 40% of America supports a fascist who prefers Putin, Xi, Kim, Erdogan to Merket, Macron and Trudeaux.

    The UK establishment wants a return of a united West, with the EU acting how the UK would like, rather than the EU acting how it does, and the US acting how the UK would like rather than the US acting how it does.

    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.

    I don't see why that should be surprising?

    All countries will want to influence others in their national interest.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 25,698
    malcolmg said:

    kle4 said:

    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

    All three are lawyers who studied at the same university, the University of Bonn :)

    So, one mark off for no Eton & Oxford, but still 9/10 for sameyness.
    That is genuinely impressive lack of political diversity, even within the same party.
    As said cloning Tories habits, inbred hooray Henry's by the score.
    Yay, you're back!
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,437
    Roger said:

    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

    I watched a bit of parliament the other day and saw and heard Jacob Rees Mogg. Couple him with Nigel Farage as one of our most visible politicians and it's difficult to believe any European country can view us other than a laughing stock
    I think you’re overthinking what other countries think of us. How often did Berlusconi cross your mind when he was PM? Did he make you write all Italy off as a laughing stock? Well, that’s about how often people in other EU countries think of Johnson and what they think of Britain. Then think of a junior a member of Mr Bunga Bunga’s cabinet. That’s the amount of consciousness that Rees-Mogg has overseas. Then name me, without Googling it, the leader of Liga Nord in the EU Parliament 5 or 10 years ago. That’s the visibility Farage has.

    There’s a parallel inability in this country, on both sides of the Brexit debate, to see that (with the possible exception of Ireland) people in EU counties don’t generally give a shit about our domestic politics. They neither fear nor laugh at us - they generally ignore us to focus on their own dramas. The Dutch Government just resigned because the state racially profiled benefit claimants to accuse them of fraud. Pretty dramatic. As I implied earlier in this thread on another topic, there’s an inability to see any nuance in online discourse. It’s all black or white thinking, taking extremes positions in order to get noticed. that has got the whole world into the various degrees of mess (even without COVID) it’s in today. US Presidents either “love” or “hate” places. We’re either a “laughing stock” or “holding all the cards”. It’s all shite. Centrism is boring as hell but...
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 82,645
    edited January 16

    Interesting - an emphatic rejection of the right-wing candidate, who was seen as the favourite by most pundits. Makes a CDU-Green government after the election look quite possible.
    Though Markus Soder, the CSU leader and current Minister President of Bavaria, is also more likely to make a bid to be the CDU/CSU chancellor candidate in September now.

    The last CSU chancellor candidate was 19 years, ago, Bavarian Minister President Edmund Stoiber in 2002 who narrowly lost to Schroder
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 25,698

    eek said:

    Nigelb said:

    MattW said:

    Good piece - thank you David.

    One thing that I find slightly peculiar is why some still persist in describing Russia as the "third superpower" - which seems a bit farfetched now.

    Because, despite its feeble economy, it is geographically too large to be described as a regional power, and still maintains very large nuclear armed forces ?
    Its superpower status is certainly questionable and probably fragile, but it remains a threat to many countries, owing to its belligerence.

    And agreed, David’s article is thought provoking.
    Surely Russia is a threat because of fragile it is. An external battle keeps the internal issues hidden as everyone has something else to focus on.
    Also fragile as Russia is (politically, economically), I imagine Putin keeps its armed forces in a state of preparedness, largely because he seems quite keen on using them in various parts of the world. I read that they have c.1300 fighters, I imagine more than 4 of them are combat ready.

    Obviously the EU needs a more coherent defence policy, possibly an NEBTO (North East Baltic Treaty Organisation) with its own shoulder flash? That’ll go down well in certain quarters..
    Personally I worry about Russia more than China. The willingness to engage in border conflicts and assassinate opponents abroad point to a dangerous recklessness. By contrast, China in its foreign policy seems a fairly standard large power - attempting to gain trade advantages and use money to promote its image is hardly unique behaviour. Their authoritarian internal behaviour and disgusting treatment of the Uighurs reflects the fact that they're an autocracy (as does the instinct of the Wuhan authorities to squash the first reports of Covid), but not an especially threatening one to Britain IMO. I think it's right to be wary in dealing with China and especially Russia, but not to start from a basis that they're looming enemies.

    It's quite difficult to separate a reasonable analysis of the actual risks from the look-squirrel attempts by Western leaders in difficulty - Trump in the most obvious example but he's not alone. During the Cold War, both sides issued blood-curdling warnings which proved to be somewhat exaggerated (no credible account of either side ever actually getting close to attacking the other has ever emerged). The alliance with America had obvious benefits in basic security but also implicated us in numerous unsavoury interventions; if we take a more dispassionate view of each other in future it may be no bad thing - good friends rather than an uneasy married couple.
    Yep, relationships rather than 'special' relationships.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,609

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    I'm not sure I'd say the EU is an ally.

    There was a recent poll showing that in any confrontation between the USA and China the EU would prefer to remain neutral.
    Would most people in Britain want to get involved? Doubt it.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,118
    FF43 said:

    Nigelb said:

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    It’s not entirely clear how committed Europe might be to such an alliance, though. (I would agree about its desirability.)
    We need to grow up and face some clear realities, one of which is the US is not a reliable ally over the next couple of decades.
    Another of which is that the EU is not so much "soft" on China as "enabling". We'll be much closer to the US/Five Four Eyes on China than we will be to the EU. To what extent depends on how much (if at all) the EU Parliament unpicks Merkel's "old lady in a hurry" China deal.

    What I think the EU see that the UK does not, and therefore the reason why the EU wont take a tougher line on China, is that whilst we can probably mangle together a short term alliance under Biden it leaves the EU completely shafted if a Republican led US then does a deal with China behind the EUs back. This threat prevents the EU taking a full side.

    In the UK we don't see this as a realistic possibility as we have a romanticised and nostalgic view of the US. The US Trump Republican party is not just America first, it is wholly transactional and has zero problem throwing allies under the bus if they think it helps them get a better deal.
    China is both a threat to Europe and the US, and also too important to ignore. The US and the EU etc try to protect themselves from the threat and at the same time to deal with China. At different times more one than the other and with variable success. The recent EU/China investment partnership can be seen in that context.

    I think the Europe / US relationship will be mostly or entirely transactional - the time of NATO as a meaningful alliance is probably over for now - but there is plenty of deal making to be done, if the parties want.
    NATO was formed to contain the Soviet threat.

    If the threat shifts to a more global one, from China as well, then it will simply be broadened and renamed.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 13,964
    kle4 said:

    Roger said:

    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

    I watched a bit of parliament the other day and saw and heard Jacob Rees Mogg. Couple him with Nigel Farage as one of our most visible politicians and it's difficult to believe any European country can view us other than as a laughing stock
    You've always seemed really over concerned with what other people think of this country.

    Most people don't judge another country just because they get some amusement at its political leaders, since everywhere gets its stupid leaders at some point, it really is not a big deal and you shouldn't get so personally, deeply upset by it, nor expect others to feel ashamed because JRM is a cartoon character.
    Your post couldn't be further from the truth. The 'brand' of a country is very much determined by its political leaders. The amount of respect the US lost thanks to Trump is incalculable. By the same token the amount of respect Germany gain by having one of the worlds most respected leaders is also incalculable. I know you aren't in advertising or marketing but the ignorance of your post is alarming
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,118

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    I'm not sure I'd say the EU is an ally.

    There was a recent poll showing that in any confrontation between the USA and China the EU would prefer to remain neutral.
    Would most people in Britain want to get involved? Doubt it.
    A Corbynite speaks.

    Of course, most people would prefer to avoid confrontation and mind your own business, but sometimes you don't have a choice if you want to preserve things you value.

    I think British opinion would be far more CCP sceptic and supportive of countering the values based threat from China.
  • ThomasNasheThomasNashe Posts: 3,150
    edited January 16
    Scott_xP said:
    Seems a reasoned and well-balanced assessment. Nothing there anyone could possibly disagree with.
  • David Herdson makes the interesting point that migration is changing the US cultural memory and therefore its strategic orientation. Isn't the same process likely to occur in Europe?
  • RogerRoger Posts: 13,964

    I don't think the US/EU alliance is personal. The military commitments are a little bit historical, but generally the US doesn't mind having a military presence all over the place, if you want to be able to bomb anywhere then you want bases everywhere.

    China is a threat, the EU is an ally, and as China gets stronger and the US relatively weaker it gets less practical to counter China without allies. Any president regardless of party who's serious about countering China will want a strong alliance with the EU. Trump didn't, because he wasn't serious about countering China, or anything else for that matter.

    I'm not sure I'd say the EU is an ally.

    There was a recent poll showing that in any confrontation between the USA and China the EU would prefer to remain neutral.
    Would most people in Britain want to get involved? Doubt it.
    English exceptionalists view the world through a very narrow prism
  • Mary_BattyMary_Batty Posts: 630
    DougSeal said:

    Roger said:

    Shocking, you’d think at least one of them would have gone to Eton and Oxford.

    I watched a bit of parliament the other day and saw and heard Jacob Rees Mogg. Couple him with Nigel Farage as one of our most visible politicians and it's difficult to believe any European country can view us other than a laughing stock
    I think you’re overthinking what other countries think of us. How often did Berlusconi cross your mind when he was PM? Did he make you write all Italy off as a laughing stock? Well, that’s about how often people in other EU countries think of Johnson and what they think of Britain. Then think of a junior a member of Mr Bunga Bunga’s cabinet. That’s the amount of consciousness that Rees-Mogg has overseas. Then name me, without Googling it, the leader of Liga Nord in the EU Parliament 5 or 10 years ago. That’s the visibility Farage has.

    There’s a parallel inability in this country, on both sides of the Brexit debate, to see that (with the possible exception of Ireland) people in EU counties don’t generally give a shit about our domestic politics. They neither fear nor laugh at us - they generally ignore us to focus on their own dramas. The Dutch Government just resigned because the state racially profiled benefit claimants to accuse them of fraud. Pretty dramatic. As I implied earlier in this thread on another topic, there’s an inability to see any nuance in online discourse. It’s all black or white thinking, taking extremes positions in order to get noticed. that has got the whole world into the various degrees of mess (even without COVID) it’s in today. US Presidents either “love” or “hate” places. We’re either a “laughing stock” or “holding all the cards”. It’s all shite. Centrism is boring as hell but...
    There's some truth in what you're saying, although some falsehood too.
    I have a hobby that leads to me being in frequent contact with strangers around Europe. When these email exchanges happen, I often subtly try to get a feeling for what they think about UK politics. The frequency with which they speak knowledgably with almost no prompting about UK domestic policy is really eye-opening. Danes and Germans in particular seem to have as good an understanding of what's going on here as people I know in the same hobby circle from the UK.
    I see a reversal of that trend with respect to America. Brits know America better than Americans know Britain. But for Europeans, several topics loom large, and the UK is a major one. For good or ill, the eyes of Europe ARE on on, insofar as people are politically engaged outside their own locale. Their gaze is upon us much more than ours is upon theirs.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 12,156
    Scott_xP said:
    The interesting thing is that it is Germany, the most Atlanticist of European countries, saying it doesn't want to rely on the United States. That relationship is a stated policy aim of the German foreign ministry. One of about 4 such pillars, as I recall.
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 15,264
    Nigelb said:

    Interesting article on Japanese vaccine scepticism, though it doesn’t satisfactorily explain quite how it arose, there is a smell of Wakefieldism.
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/12/23/national/japan-vaccine-history-coronavirus/
    ... Japan’s modern vaccine unease has its roots in a measles, mumps and rubella inoculation that some suspected of leading to higher rates of aseptic meningitis in the early 1990s. Though no definitive link was established, the shots were discontinued, and to this day Japan doesn’t recommend a combined MMR shot.

    Another catalyst was a 1992 court ruling that not only made the government responsible for any adverse reactions related to vaccines, but also stipulated that suspected side effects would be considered adverse events, said Tetsuo Nakayama, a professor at the Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences whose research focuses on vaccines. Two years later, the government revised a vaccination law, scrapping mandatory vaccinations.

    These events helped send a message that inoculations should be taken at one’s own risk, and diluted the awareness of vaccination as a greater public benefit, said Mikihito Tanaka, a professor at Waseda University specializing in science communication...

    Japan has quite a strong strain of pseudoscience. Air conditioners by otherwise reputable manufacturers are marketed for producing "minus ions", and there's all this left-over Nazi stuff about being able to tell personalities from blood types. Another result of the decision to make wartime ideology cuter rather than confronting it is that vaccines have to be tested on *Japanese* people, so we won't have them for months. I guess this particular bit of racism will have killed a few thousand people by the time the whole thing is over.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,118

    eek said:

    Nigelb said:

    MattW said:

    Good piece - thank you David.

    One thing that I find slightly peculiar is why some still persist in describing Russia as the "third superpower" - which seems a bit farfetched now.

    Because, despite its feeble economy, it is geographically too large to be described as a regional power, and still maintains very large nuclear armed forces ?
    Its superpower status is certainly questionable and probably fragile, but it remains a threat to many countries, owing to its belligerence.

    And agreed, David’s article is thought provoking.
    Surely Russia is a threat because of fragile it is. An external battle keeps the internal issues hidden as everyone has something else to focus on.
    Also fragile as Russia is (politically, economically), I imagine Putin keeps its armed forces in a state of preparedness, largely because he seems quite keen on using them in various parts of the world. I read that they have c.1300 fighters, I imagine more than 4 of them are combat ready.

    Obviously the EU needs a more coherent defence policy, possibly an NEBTO (North East Baltic Treaty Organisation) with its own shoulder flash? That’ll go down well in certain quarters..
    Personally I worry about Russia more than China. The willingness to engage in border conflicts and assassinate opponents abroad point to a dangerous recklessness. By contrast, China in its foreign policy seems a fairly standard large power - attempting to gain trade advantages and use money to promote its image is hardly unique behaviour. Their authoritarian internal behaviour and disgusting treatment of the Uighurs reflects the fact that they're an autocracy (as does the instinct of the Wuhan authorities to squash the first reports of Covid), but not an especially threatening one to Britain IMO. I think it's right to be wary in dealing with China and especially Russia, but not to start from a basis that they're looming enemies.

    It's quite difficult to separate a reasonable analysis of the actual risks from the look-squirrel attempts by Western leaders in difficulty - Trump in the most obvious example but he's not alone. During the Cold War, both sides issued blood-curdling warnings which proved to be somewhat exaggerated (no credible account of either side ever actually getting close to attacking the other has ever emerged). The alliance with America had obvious benefits in basic security but also implicated us in numerous unsavoury interventions; if we take a more dispassionate view of each other in future it may be no bad thing - good friends rather than an uneasy married couple.
    Neither side attacked the other because they were both armed with nuclear weapons. And if you want an example of 'getting close' try looking up the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963.

    I find it richly ironic that the professed balance of your post majors on American interventions - together with its loaded language with words like "implicated" and "unsavoury" - whilst failing to mention Soviet interventions that tried to intimidate the West out of Berlin in defiance of its treaty obligations, crushed the Hungarian uprising and Prague spring with tanks, made dozens of interventions in Africa to try and spread its model by force, and tried to suppress Afghanistan under a communist dictatorship.

    Of course, the common thread is simply that you sympathise with communism and see American as the crowning symbol of global capitalism.
  • gealbhangealbhan Posts: 922

    David Herdson makes the interesting point that migration is changing the US cultural memory and therefore its strategic orientation. Isn't the same process likely to occur in Europe?

    Or anywhere? Though there is an argument true history is lost very quickly, even within our own generation. So cultural memory based on myth. Take those on here old enough to remember Margaret Thatchers political career. Versus those who only know it from Netflix productions.

    ON TOPIC. absolutely brilliant header by David.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,437

    DougSeal said:



    I think you’re overthinking what other countries think of us. How often did Berlusconi cross your mind when he was PM? Did he make you write all Italy off as a laughing stock? Well, that’s about how often people in other EU countries think of Johnson and what they think of Britain. Then think of a junior a member of Mr Bunga Bunga’s cabinet. That’s the amount of consciousness that Rees-Mogg has overseas. Then name me, without Googling it, the leader of Liga Nord in the EU Parliament 5 or 10 years ago. That’s the visibility Farage has.

    There’s a parallel inability in this country, on both sides of the Brexit debate, to see that (with the possible exception of Ireland) people in EU counties don’t generally give a shit about our domestic politics. They neither fear nor laugh at us - they generally ignore us to focus on their own dramas. The Dutch Government just resigned because the state racially profiled benefit claimants to accuse them of fraud. Pretty dramatic. As I implied earlier in this thread on another topic, there’s an inability to see any nuance in online discourse. It’s all black or white thinking, taking extremes positions in order to get noticed. that has got the whole world into the various degrees of mess (even without COVID) it’s in today. US Presidents either “love” or “hate” places. We’re either a “laughing stock” or “holding all the cards”. It’s all shite. Centrism is boring as hell but...

    There's some truth in what you're saying, although some falsehood too.
    I have a hobby that leads to me being in frequent contact with strangers around Europe. When these email exchanges happen, I often subtly try to get a feeling for what they think about UK politics. The frequency with which they speak knowledgably with almost no prompting about UK domestic policy is really eye-opening. Danes and Germans in particular seem to have as good an understanding of what's going on here as people I know in the same hobby circle from the UK.
    I see a reversal of that trend with respect to America. Brits know America better than Americans know Britain. But for Europeans, several topics loom large, and the UK is a major one. For good or ill, the eyes of Europe ARE on on, insofar as people are politically engaged outside their own locale. Their gaze is upon us much more than ours is upon theirs.
    I’m not going to gainsay your personal experience. Nevertheless I still maintain that lumping the whole EU with a single, one eyed, Manichaean, view of the UK is as insulting to them as it is to us.
This discussion has been closed.