Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Random block vote option for Yes/No referenda

Don't know which option you prefer?
  (+2)
(+2)
  [vote for,
against]

So the UK is shortly going to have a referendum to decide whether to stay in the EU, or leave.

There is a Yes (stay in) campaign, which has chosen to highlight the economy, stating that staying in would be good.
There is a No (leave) campaign, which primarily claims that leaving the EU would be good for the economy.

Now I'm not an economist, and suspect that one of these options is wrong, but don't have the time or inclination to spend sufficient effort to decide which. Thus the two campaigns cancel out[1]. I suspect that a significant proportion of the populace is in a similar state.

Therefore I propose a third option - "random block vote". Basically votes for this option are assigned as a block at random to either the yes or no side after the voting is complete.
In this case I propose that the Queen toss and catch a 50 pence coin, and hold it covered on her wrist. The leader of the yes campaign can declare (while the coin is in the air) whether they choose heads or tails to gain the votes of the third option. This ceremony to be televised live on the Parliamentary channel.

Obviously this playoff only needs to happen if the number of votes for random exceeds the difference in votes between yes and no.

[1] Actually I know which way I'll vote. I'll say what and why in the comments if pressed.

Loris, Apr 15 2016

Coles’s Law http://www.tandfonl...?journalCode=tjhr20
[Ian Tindale, Apr 15 2016]

Sealand http://2.bp.blogspo...-external-front.jpg
I'll just leave this here. [Voice, Apr 20 2016]

On bendy bananas https://en.wikipedi...on_(EC)_No._2257/94
The Agriculture Commissioner stated, "This is a concrete example of our drive to cut red tape and I will continue to push until it goes through. [...] It shouldn't be the EU's job to regulate these things. It is far better to leave it to market operators." [zen_tom, Apr 22 2016]

Public need answers in 'shocking' MI6 rendition scandal, says senior Tory https://www.theguar...ole-rendition-blair
[Loris, Jun 13 2016]

HM Treasury analysis:Short Term Impact of leaving the EU https://www.gov.uk/...ving_the_eu_web.pdf
Beware, contains Maths! [zen_tom, Jun 16 2016]

Daily Mail: Rection to "algebra", "maths" and "fact". http://www.dailymai...t-gobbledygook.html
'It's gobbledygook!' George Osborne ridiculed over his algebra-laden pro-EU dossier that makes 'no sense at all' [zen_tom, Jun 16 2016]

HM Treasury Analysis - Long Term View https://www.gov.uk/..._membership_web.pdf
Beware again, contains scientific method, long words and maths. [zen_tom, Jun 16 2016]

Data Analysis of Eurovision Voting patterns http://www.datalyty...he-voting-patterns/
Douze points! Exposing regional bias across the Eurovision Song Contest, using more maths - and, if you click through to the tableau links, a quite nifty bit of data visualisation. [zen_tom, Jun 16 2016]

90% of the UK earns less than the average wage http://voxpolitical...at-youve-been-told/
Average wages for 90 per cent of British workers are less than half what you’ve been told [Skewed, Jun 19 2016]

Sky News Analysis Of HM Treasury Analysis http://news.sky.com...asury-brexit-report
So What's Fishy About Treasury Brexit Report? [Skewed, Jun 20 2016]

[link]






       What and why?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 15 2016
  

       I support the "Schrödinger's EU Membership" option, in which we have a referendum but the results are never published and we proceed as normal, but both simultaneously a member of the EU and not a member of the EU.
hippo, Apr 15 2016
  

       I propose that we vote to remain, but ask France, Germany and the others to leave.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 15 2016
  

       It's deeply annoying, the whole thing is a game of in-party politics played out exclusively for the purposes of levelling the internal rift within the Conservative party that never healed since it tore them apart 20 years ago. Sadly they can't sort it out by themselves, and so are asking the country to do it for them - if the outcome weren't so important to the rest of the country, it'd just be a sad bit of intrigue.
zen_tom, Apr 15 2016
  

       In the final analysis, the fundamental and insoluble problem with the EU is that all the other member states are nothing more than a bunch of bloody foreigners (Most of whom have been the recipients of "a right drubbing" at various times in their history).   

       However, bun awarded for (1) getting the plural of 'referendum' correct, and (2) at least it's not in Other:general …   

       // "Schrödinger's EU Membership" //   

       You should post that, [hip].
8th of 7, Apr 15 2016
  

       Given that nobody — absolutely nobody — actually knows which way they’d vote from one day to the next, due to a very real lack of facts, it’s essentially a lottery. No amount of skill and judgement is available whatsoever. Apart from a huge impressive simulation which everyone could witness (no doubt in the form of a reality show, involving singing, baking and pottering, in the EEC and out of it), there’s simply no way that anyone can do more to further their opinion than to vote emotionally.   

       I personally was highly pro Europe until I suddenly realised why, last year. It’s because of the SI units we were gloriously given when I was in my early years of school. We were told that we were the first generation to grow up in this new age of metrication, common market, glitter and space exploration. It was all because of Europe, and life would be much much better for us than it ever was for previous monochrome generations and their ration books and common accents.   

       It took until last year for me to realise that it was only SI units that I prized about being partly in Europe (without having to actually, you know, have the Euro as currency, but with, you know, as much right to win the Eurovision Song Contest as, for example, Australia). That was all. As long as I don’t have to go backward and learn some antiquated pointless difficult thing that I never actually learned at all and actively avoided all my life, then life’s good. I could vote in Europe, or out of Europe, I don’t care, as long as the UK continues to be hard metric.   

       Hence fore and there forth, if it’s essentially a lottery with emotional weighting in as many directions as there are people voting, why not actually dispense with the vote and make it so that people buy a lottery ticket, instead. There’s only two “numbers” on the lottery card, representing stay or go. A lot of people will win, but not much.
Ian Tindale, Apr 15 2016
  

       Also, someone should set up an inter web campaign to get The Clash “Should I stay or should I go” rereleased in time for that whole voting thing.
Ian Tindale, Apr 15 2016
  

       Our other obvious option is to use what's left of our navy to invade the Channel Islands. Jersey, Guernsey (and the others which no one bother with (Alderney, Sark, etc.)) are not currently part of the UK, the EU or the Commonwealth (but are, of course, Crown Dependencies and are part of "The Crown", which might or might not mean that they're the property of the Queen).

There is no precedent for an EU nation invading and taking over a non-EU nation. However it is logical that if you do this, in the process becoming a larger state, your EU membership is somewhat diluted with the invaded state's non-EU membership. This will allow us to pick and choose which EU things we carry on with and which we ignore.
hippo, Apr 15 2016
  

       //What and why?//   

       Okay, so being in the EU, we're covered by EU human rights legislation. This is the sort of protection the present government is none too keen on when it interferes with their schemes for knobbling civil liberties, e.g. spying on everybody.
I know it's a slow and difficult process to actually use these laws, but I think they're a useful moderator.
I carefully read the government referendum booklet when it arrived, and somehow they forgot to add this as a point in favour.
  

       So I think we should stay in.
Loris, Apr 15 2016
  

       // use what's left of our navy //   

       Actually, it's the Royal Navy. It belongs to the Queen.   

       // invade the Channel Islands. Jersey, Guernsey (and the others which no one bother with (Alderney, Sark, etc.)) are not currently part of the UK, the EU or the Commonwealth (but are, of course, Crown Dependencies and are part of "The Crown", which might or might not mean that they're the property of the Queen). //   

       They are. It would be like the Queen ordering the Household Division to invade Kent. The natives are not likely to put up much of a fight, or even notice.   

       Oh, and you forgot to mention Berwick-upon-Tweed ...   

       // There is no precedent for an EU nation invading and taking over a non-EU nation. //   

       Belgium has in fact been invaded and overrun by the armed forces of many nations since 1971, and a number of major engagements have occurred. However, the consequential massive destruction of urban areas and the death of huge numbers of Belgian civilians was misunderstood by outsiders as some sort of laudable civic improvement scheme.   

       // However it is logical that if you do this, in the process becoming a larger state, your EU membership is somewhat diluted with the invaded state's non-EU membership. //   

       No, because it's called a "colony", where the indigenous carbon units have no rights, particularly voting.   

       // This will allow us to pick and choose which EU things we carry on with and which we ignore. //   

       About time, too.   

       // Okay, so being in the EU, we're covered by EU human rights legislation. //   

       "A sixteen-inch manhole cover for an eighteen-inch manhole"   

       // This is the sort of protection the present government is none too keen on when it interferes with their schemes for knobbling civil liberties, e.g. spying on everybody. //   

       But they do that anyway ...   

       // I know it's a slow and difficult process to actually use these laws, but I think they're a useful moderator. //   

       We agree. They should certainly be packed into the core of an operational nuclear reactor, and as soon as possible.   

       // I carefully read the government referendum booklet when it arrived, and somehow they forgot to add this as a point in favour. //   

       We've dealt with about half of it so far. That glossy paper is strong, but doesn't flush well.   

       // So I think we should stay in //   

       <inscribes [Loris]'s name on The List>
8th of 7, Apr 15 2016
  

       //As long as I don’t have to go backward and learn some antiquated pointless difficult thing that I never actually learned at all and actively avoided all my life, [...] I don’t care, as long as the UK continues to be hard metric.//   

       To be honest I've reached the point of being faintly amazed when people use archaic units.
Unfortunately there are a few things which cling on to their old units. Babies are measured in pounds, human height in feet and inches, car-based distance in miles, and dot resolution in inches.
I wonder if we could sue for all those motorway signs which claim things like "services 30m" while not having the exit just behind them.
Loris, Apr 15 2016
  

       // Unfortunately there are a few things which cling on to their old units. //   

       Indeed. It is clearly necessary to institute a vigorous programme of "re-education" involving random violent beatings of offenders, and also all those non-offenders who retain the capability to offend. The re-introduction of the death penalty for a first offence would also cut the incidence of recidivism.
8th of 7, Apr 15 2016
  

       //there are a few things which cling on to their old units//   

       I think partial blame lies with the US here, inches/dpi etc do pervade US led consumer technology. Then there's aviation feet and pounds all over that. Any attempt at swapping may cause confusion, see the Gimli Glider. It is possible to run the two in parallel, in fact the American's do it, engines are in liters.
bs0u0155, Apr 15 2016
  

       // partial blame lies with the US //   

       And what's more they don't even do it properly with their undersize pints and gallons. But a lot of industry and all of science is thoroughly metricated, so maybe there's some hope.   

       Ironically, all those Mexican drug dealers measure their product in kilos ...
8th of 7, Apr 15 2016
  

       I hate it when you guys talk about British politics here. This is a site for ideas (param, pam)
theircompetitor, Apr 15 2016
  

       What, like Donald Trump's ideas ?   

       <waits poised for chance to call Godwin's Law>
8th of 7, Apr 15 2016
  

       Pass the Cole’s Law.
Ian Tindale, Apr 15 2016
  

       I was on my way to google Cole's Law when it hit me...points to you.
normzone, Apr 15 2016
  

       No, it’s a real law, to do with turbulent boundary layers and velocity-defect layers, the law of the wall and the law of the wake. Look it up. No need, I’ve emplaced a hyperlink.
Ian Tindale, Apr 15 2016
  

       //<inscribes [Loris]'s name on The List//   

       Really? I thought I was on there already.
I demand a recount!
Loris, Apr 18 2016
  

       //so being in the EU, we're covered by EU human rights legislation//The ECHR comes from the Council of Europe, which is a different beast. This key distinction was lost (and has remained lost) in the pre-referendum-pledge mire of anti-European workhouse-fetishising jingoistic John Bull bollockry about how outrageous it was that we had to give brown people a fair trial and how we weren't allowed to summarily execute debtors. This is both a shame and a blessing. It's a shame because the quality of the discourse precludes this distinction being articulated and appreciated. It's a blessing because a lot of people are pro-EU because they are sentimental about the value of the ECHR and ECtHR, even if the ECtHR is occasionally nice to monsters like yer Norwegian.
calum, Apr 21 2016
  

       There should be a third choice simply called "Banana" This would be depicted by a banana with a deviated curve. The result of the majority selecting "Banana" would place the UK both In and Out of Europe simultaneously. If this was chosen by the majority, then the UK parliament and the brainless European Eurobots would have to ensure that democracy was respected and satisfied accordingly. Vote Banana!!!
xenzag, Apr 21 2016
  

       Funnily, I was very recently planning on doing a series of videos explaining how sound synthesis works, using a banana to demonstrate wave shapes, envelopes, etc. (well, using a banana to explain absolutely everything — all of it, explained with a banana).
Ian Tindale, Apr 21 2016
  

       //The ECHR comes from the Council of Europe, which is a different beast// - and, of course, nothing to do with the European Council. But wait! <EU pedantry> When you say "ECHR" do you mean the "European Court of Human Rights" or the "European Convention on Human Rights"? I would have said the European Court of Human Rights is a product of the European Convention on Human Rights which comes from the Council of Europe.</EU pedantry>
hippo, Apr 21 2016
  

       //When you say "ECHR" do you mean the "European Court of Human Rights" or the "European Convention on Human Rights"?//
ECHR = Convention
ECtHR = Court
calum, Apr 21 2016
  

       Ah yes, I see
hippo, Apr 21 2016
  

       Lawyers: supping alphabet soup since 1989
calum, Apr 21 2016
  

       An update on the political situation:   

       The leader of the labour party, Jeremy Corbyn has stated: "We, the Labour Party, are overwhelmingly for staying in, because we believe the European Union has brought investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment."
Look at that - a mention of something other than the Economy - and it includes my reason for reason for staying.
  

       Not only that, but I received a leaflet posted to me from the "leave" campaign, which also has non-economic reasons. OK, so one of them is:
:: Does the EU protect workers' rights?
:: "The rights we have won for British workers came from our Parliament, not the EU. The EU is run in the interests of the big corporations who spend billions lobbying to make it work for them." (Gisela Suart, Labour MP and Chair of Vote Leave)
So we have both sides saying similar things in opposing directions; under my criterion that cancels out.
  

       BUT. Look at this:   

       ::Does the EU keep us safe?
::"Brexit would bring two potentially important security gains: the ability to dump the European Convention on Human Rights ... and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the European Union." (Sir Richard Dearlove, former chief of MI6)
  

       This is brilliant. Both sides are saying the same thing, in the same direction. We totally know where we stand on that.
For context, Sir Dearlove was head of MI6 when it was busy abducting people and renditioning them to places where they could be secretly tortured (see link).
Loris, Jun 13 2016
  

       I think they're both saying the same thing, but for different reasons. In general, it seems that the Remain campaign are saying things that they believe to be true, in order to help avoid the obvious car-crash that would ensue if we leave. Meanwhile, the Leavers all have specific personal interests in getting the rest of us to believe their arguments, as it will give them personal mandates to further their careers and provide them individually with power and influence. It makes sense that they're tailoring their arguments to resonate with key segments of the population, particularly those who are more likely to listen to their mix of promises and make-believe, having softened them up first with decades of politically active news-media owned largely by a single corrupt individual. Can't get a council house? Blame a foreigner. Can't step out your front door without breaking out into apoplexic fear and rage? Blame another foreigner. Having trouble understanding simple cause-and-effect? It's all them immigrants, init. Coming over here, with their croissants and coffee, and f*cking LANGUAGES! Don't understand the democratic basis of the entire European System? It's all them f8cking politicians aint it? Getting f*cking elected by their native constituencies, who do they fink they are? F*cking trade and economic stability? F8cking conspiracy! I know what's wot, and I didn't sign-on for 20 years just to be able to work anywhere in the entire EU at the drop of the hat. Economic opportunity? F8CK THAT! That's for f8cking arseholes! I mean, bendy bananas! If I want to grow a tropical fruit here in the temperate climes benefiting uniquely from the gulf-stream weather system, then no imaginary Eurocrat is going to tell me how f8cking bendy it can or can't be!
zen_tom, Jun 13 2016
  

       I’m firmly in favour of everyone voting to leave the EEC and the common market and the butter mountains. The reasoning is simple.   

       In network theory the least connected hubs diminish their connectivity and the most connected nodes become more connected. It is very hard for a weakly connected dissortative hub with conserved spread to suddenly gain connectivity and become a successful scale-free high-degree hub.   

       Similarly, in small-world theory, if years and years go by with no work, no money and no recognition at all, it is appropriate that everyone else experiences this too. Leaving the EU might harm the UK in a fascinating and destructive way, but, you know, fuck it, so what. Who cares. It might be fun to watch, and it can’t get any worse than things are, so just let it burn, let’s see how everyone else manages with no work, nothing but debt, and endless rejection and humiliation. Fuck it all.   

       So, we should all leave the EU, as it is probably the most destructive option, which would at least be entertaining.
Ian Tindale, Jun 13 2016
  

       Forget human rights & data protection & economic wellbeing & all that claptrap. The prime reason for staying in the EU is that the whole issue will continue to be a running sore in the Tory party forever & ever & ever & ever. Disastrous for them. Highly amusing for us.
DrBob, Jun 13 2016
  

       //Similarly, in small-world theory, if years and years go by with no work, no money and no recognition at all, it is appropriate that everyone else experiences this too. Leaving the EU might harm the UK in a fascinating and destructive way, but, you know, fuck it, so what. Who cares. It might be fun to watch, and it can’t get any worse than things are, so just let it burn, let’s see how everyone else manages with no work, nothing but debt, and endless rejection and humiliation. // That reminds me of somebody I know from somewhere. Can't remember who, exactly.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 13 2016
  

       I think it’d be an inevitable and probably good idea that if the vote were cast, and the referendum result announced, and then we’re either out or in, the two groups that voted either in our out continued in the form of a civil war, finding out who voted for which and dragging the oppositions out into the street to thrash them or beat them up or give them a good drubbing. For many months, until it is all solved.
Ian Tindale, Jun 13 2016
  

       // investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment." Look at that - a mention of something other than the Economy //   

       what?   

       [Ian].. those are economic elements, so still the economy   

       besides the new jobs it "creates" are all more than swallowed by the inward immigration it allows, which means a net effect of more unemployed   

       the laws of economics the other side of the argument are so fond of (supply & demand et al) all mean this results in lower wages for those in work so the "good for the economy" angle while true (to a given value of true) is only good for 8% or less of the population (business owners).. & it's not even guaranteed to be 8% or so of the indigenous population, some of the business owners probably live abroad   

       so good for the economy in this instance means a few people have more money (compared to everyone else) while more people are unemployed & those that are in work get paid less :D   

       makes the "good for the economy" shtick stick in your craw a little when you finally get round to looking at it properly & realise that ;P
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       The universe isn't fair. Get over it.
8th of 7, Jun 14 2016
  

       // The universe isn't fair. Get over it //   

       I know that - it's being lied to quite so blatantly I object to   

       the market forces argument being marketed to the public in the fashion it so often is being the case in point (it's a bit like someone handing you a lemon & saying "enjoy your orange" with a big grin on their face)   

       suggests a belief I'm more stupid than I am on the part of the liar.. which I find offensive :)
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       the only other option besides assuming that the lemon seller thinks you're a fool is that he honestly believes he's holding an orange   

       given that the lemon vendors in this particular scenario are the great & good of our fair nation (to whit the government) it's just too depressing to contemplate   

       with a choice of being annoyed at being taken for a fool or depressed our leaders are idiots I'll take annoyed any day of the week.. it's far less likely to end in wrist cutting ;P
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       //besides the new jobs it "creates" are all more than swallowed by the inward immigration it allows, which means a net effect of more unemployed//   

       Even if the shrillest, most xenophobic figures are quadrupled, they still account for less than 1% of the population, so that flimsy argument is measurably wrong/misleading. If you further expand the school-boy economics to encompass the "Lump of Labour" theory where immigrants don't just exist in a vacuum, consuming "work", and doing nothing else, then it turns out they generate more tax, more jobs, more of the good economic output we all enjoy the benefits of.   

       In addition, two-way movement of peoples allows all of us to work anywhere in the EU. That's a massive freedom we've all worked hard to earn. I don't want to give up that amount of opportunity on a silly nationalist whim.   

       So good for the economy in this instance means good for everyone who has a job, good for everyone who would like a job at some time in the future, and good for everyone who doesn't have a job and depends on the tax revenues of the working folk who, through their employment continue to fund things like the NHS, roads, public services and all that stuff.   

       Worse, even accepting the argument that immigration poses a threat to the economy (which it doesn't, but there's no accounting for taste) then after the chaos generated by a Brexit vote across Europe, there will be lots of people looking to enter the UK who, in addition to the masses of people fleeing North Africa, will also now be fleeing Europe as well.   

       As France is released of the costly burden of imposing immigration controls on their side of the channel, all the tens of thousands of immigrants will be able to cross unimpeded (indeed potentially encouraged) to our shores to set up home here, so in the short term expect a surge of additional immigration. And, once the other displaced immigrant population spread across Europe looking for somewhere to call home learn that the barriers to entry are now open, many of them will make their way here as well.   

       Meanwhile, as Russia realises that the once-strong European Union is no longer as able to speak with a single voice, will continue to destabilise and regain lost territories, either through economic means, or military ones, further spreading instability and economic collapse, further increasing the immigration load on our country as people look for a safe haven.   

       The real lemon-sellers (I don't really get the analogy, but assume you're simplifying this to things tasting sweet or sour here, right?) are the Tory politicians who have everything to gain personally from a leave vote, and who will say almost anything to prop up their shabby arguments. Sadly, they're also backed by a corrupt individual who personally directs many of the media organisations here and in the USA, and who is on record explaining how his point of view is based on the level of influence he personally has (or doesn't have) here and across the EU.   

       So these politicians who are leading the people to vote leave are not fools, they wont personally lose out - it's just the normal people with jobs, or pensions, or children, anyone who relies upon benefits or just wants to access public services who are being sold out here.   

       I can understand the emotions, being excited by the thought of change, being stirred by nationalist narratives and making the foreigner out to be the enemy - but this isn't story-time, it's a real thing, with real consequences that will hurt people's futures. So please, have a proper think about it - even just for a moment.
zen_tom, Jun 14 2016
  

       // the normal people with jobs, or pensions, or children, anyone who relies upon benefits or just wants to access public services who are being sold out here. //   

       No change there, then.   

       // I'll take annoyed //   

       Sure, just ignore the proven facts, why don't you.   

       They are all idiots. The reason is very simple; noone who wasn't an idiot would want to get involved.
8th of 7, Jun 14 2016
  

       And if it's about how you feel about one set of leaders, or another set of leaders - instead, look at the actual impacts upon your own, personal life.   

       Base your decision on facts and the balance of probability.   

       I've lost a great deal of faith in many of our politicians as a result of this (I didn't have a great deal prior, but still) But the extreme left and right is on the rise all across Europe, the sure fire way to give them a leg-up is to trash all the good centrist, sensible and measurably beneficial work that's been done in the last 60 years to the common good of everyone.
zen_tom, Jun 14 2016
  

       //They are all idiots// They're not idiots, they each stand to make substantial personal fortunes from a leave vote.
zen_tom, Jun 14 2016
  

       That's not the politicians; it's the oligarchs standing in the shadows behind them.   

       It's very simple. All governments without exception are institutionally deceptive (viz. BSE, Iraq War, Maralinga, Brook island, Gruinard, Foot & Mouth, E. Coli. etc. etc. ad infinitum), so if all the politicos are saying "stay" then "leave" is clearly the best option.
8th of 7, Jun 14 2016
  

       // Even if the shrillest, most xenophobic.. //   

       who mentioned xenophobia, the inward migrants are as much victims here as the indigenous population   

       lured in by promises of higher wages than at home only to find that the cost of living requirements in the new country either maintains there standard of life at the same level it was before or even pushes it down to below that   

       the only people being demonised here are lemon vendors (to whit the government & "big business") & that's for being self serving liars of an order that would be defined as fraud were it subject to law.. so deservedly demonised in this instance   

       racism tends to be the argument of last & first resort used by these types (regardless of any evidence (or lack of) to back the assertion) when countering their detractors - I know you can do better than name calling ;P
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       // Even if the // / figures are quadrupled, they still account for less than 1% of the population.. //   

       the number of migrant workers currently in Britain marginally exceeds the number of people currently unemployed in Britain.. current unemployment is more than 1% so there's something wrong with your figures there   

       that is according to the governments own figures
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       // tax revenues of the working folk //   

       per capita tax revenues can actually be expected to be reduced by immigration   

       it depresses wages (officially admitted by the government) so workers earn less which means they pay less tax per person   

       less tax per person means less revenue to spend per person - while at the same time lower wages mean more people are going to fall into the category of people in full time work needing working benefits to get by   

       so per capita spending requirements of the country can conceivably go up at the same time as its per capita revenue goes down
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       OK, fair point - I've had plenty of namecalling to know it's not very persuasive. And, to be honest, I've been letting off steam here, to the detriment of the argument. We're all friends here.   

       But I do think it's reasonable to demonstrate that *some* of the leave argument *is* based on xenophobia. It's definitely not racism, since if it were race, then European immigration would, since we're all the same indigenous hue here, fairly bland, colour wise, be perfectly acceptable. Equally however, a source of support for the leave campaign are the BNP, The Front Nationale in France, Austria's Freedom Party, Greece's Golden Dawn, and others, all (or at least sizable populations) of whom are openly racist, and anti-Europe. So it is fair to make the link, if only an associative one. To state that in logical terms, it's not fair to call *all* leave supporters racists, just some. And you know what, it's possible to call some remain voters racists as well, it's just less easy to find documentary evidence of such an associative connection.   

       You are kind to think of immigrants as victims - I don't think they're "lured" here by promises of high wages, more forced here by unrest across North Africa, high unemployment across Southern and Eastern Europe, and the fact that we here in the UK enjoy a well balanced, growing economy due in part to all of the positive benefits we owe to our membership status within the EU.   

       When I took a job in Paris, to earn money to feed my family, I didn't see myself as a victim at all, but as someone able to enjoy the freedom to dip into a massive employment-pool, without recourse to the bureaucracy of applying for work-visas, getting special dispensations, or having to bribe a local official. In terms of red-tape it was immensely low-key. And to think any of us can do that, at any time now or in the future. I don't work there any more, but it was a fantastic opportunity and I'd like other English people to be able to benefit from It in the future.   

       So, xenophobia, lemon-sellers, and politicians aside then, that still leaves the balance of the economic argument pro-Remain, the social stability argument pro-Remain, the anti-destruction argument pro-Remain, the reduce immigration argument pro-Remain, the pro-democracy argument pro-Remain, the pro-sovereignty argument pro-Remain, the balance of corruption argument pro-Remain, the geopolitical argument pro-Remain, the pro-freedom argument pro-Remain and the increased opportunity for all argument pro-Remain.   

       I think that's pretty much everything covered.
zen_tom, Jun 14 2016
  

       // two-way movement of peoples allows all of us to work anywhere in the EU //   

       it does but in practice far fewer people in the UK take advantage of this than the number of people from outside the UK who come to work in it   

       and that's the problem   

       the fact a small percentage of UK people find it more fun to move around more freely in Europe is great   

       good for them say I   

       it doesn't change the fact that the mechanism that lets them have a bit more fun is hurting a lot more people in the UK than it helps
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       // sweat & sour simplification //   

       yup :)   

       damn.. got to go & get some other stuff done - I'll check back tonight or tomorrow to see how the convo's developed   

       suffice to say I honestly believe from my own analysis the UK as a nation (rather than that top 8%) would be better off with stronger immigration controls & that such controls can only be achieved outside the EU (sans some serious alterations to the EU constitution & all)   

       which leaves me a touch conflicted because I really do like the "idea" of the EU & love having all these foreign buggers running around the place, some of them are just so damn sexy ;p   

       maybe we could just ban male immigrants ;D
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       //the number of migrant workers currently in Britain marginally exceeds the number of people currently unemployed in Britain// that's not a cause and effect relationship. Are you saying that if they all went home, we'd suddenly have zero unemployment?   

       If per capita wages are depressed by a tiny amount of immigration (somewhere close to 1% according to your figures), then any minor effect on tax revenues is equally tiny, certainly not worth trashing the economy over. If you're focused on the tax take on low wages, then that's even lower as a proportion, so less of an argument there too. In fact, the additional work generated by all that immigration is likely to increase the overall amount of work available, making everyone better off as a whole.   

       //it doesn't change the fact that the mechanism that lets them have a bit more fun is hurting a lot more people in the UK than it helps//   

       It isn't a fact. And the mechanism (i.e. freedom) that lets people do what they want is benefiting everyone, everywhere. Particularly here in the UK.
zen_tom, Jun 14 2016
  

       hmm.. I've been arguing from a purely UK economic standpoint (& haven't even read through your 2nd shorter post yet) - the larger geo political ramifications of Brexit you're referencing haven't factored into my thinking yet so it'll take a while to absorb & consider those when I do get back
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       And thanks [Skewed] (and everyone else for putting up with us/me) I sincerely appreciate being able to thrash these things out - it's hard work sometimes, but I think a healthy bit of rough and tumble serves to keep us all honest in the end.
zen_tom, Jun 14 2016
  

       Those statistics are incorrect, probably from Orifice of National Statistics and Propaganda. Unemployment is currently 100%. If there were as many jobs as there are people, then things are as things should be. It seems almost as though there is competition for jobs. What on earth is the point of competing when some other bastard will be better at it? This needs rectification, the UK is not alone in this. Therefore, we should leave the EU.
Ian Tindale, Jun 14 2016
  

       The toothbrush moustache and the side parting really suit you, [Ian]. Just lift the right arm a little higher and keep that elbow straight. Oh, and yes, you do look good in lederhosen.
8th of 7, Jun 14 2016
  

       // Orifice // // rectification //   

       do I detect a theme here?   

       oh & 8th is yanking your chain.. no one looks good in lederhosen (unless it's in Lycra & modelled by 18 year old swimsuit models of the female persuasion, & only then if it's worn ironically)
Skewed, Jun 14 2016
  

       John Heartfield
Ian Tindale, Jun 14 2016
  

       I think it's important, in order to reach a balanced and reasoned decision, to bear in mind that England is widely known to be the best country in the world. Even foreigners admit this when they are amongst themselves, which is why so many of them are depressed, aggressive, swaggering, alcoholic or otherwise obsessed.   

       Given this simple and self-evident fact, we need to ask ourselves with whom we wish to associate. I'm quite surprised that nobody has raised this point before.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 14 2016
  

       The Welsh?
Ian Tindale, Jun 14 2016
  

       What about them?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 14 2016
  

       You know, it’s incredible isn’t it. We’ve had computers for, how long is it, quite a few years. We’ve had complex simulation software for almost longer than that. We get weather forecasts, sim games, flight sim games, son of sim games, weather forecast games, the lot. Apparently there’s even something called financial modelling (point of that? surely you just press a button, say “there’s no money” and that’s accurate). Why hasn’t there been an indubitable, doubtless and beyond any doubt model of what would happen in, and what would happen out. If they can accurately model the horoscopes every day, surely they can do this. In a week.
Ian Tindale, Jun 16 2016
  

       //Why hasn’t there been an indubitable, doubtless and beyond any doubt model of what would happen in, and what would happen out//   

       Ian, they did. I'll provide a link (of the links see the Long-term view for the modelling method used)   

       They created an indubitable financial model, publishing all the details including assumptions, scenarios etc - even boiled it down to a bottom-line numeric money value, per individual (or household, I forget which) to make it easy to understand.   

       The nice thing about this is that if someone did dubit the assumptions/method of the model, by publishing it openly, and using common/standard valuation/risk methodologies (i.e. maths) then anyone is welcome to provide an alternative analysis - at the same academic level - for anyone else to dube as they see fit.   

       The public/media dismissed it because it contained something called maths and was therefore "boffin" related.
zen_tom, Jun 16 2016
  

       I’d like to see that country-pair fixed effect formula applied to prediction of Eurovision voting.
Ian Tindale, Jun 16 2016
  

       //prediction of Eurovision voting// Not exactly the same thing, but see link exposing various biases identified between countries across the history of the competition. You should be able to use some of this to form generalised predictions for the next competition.
zen_tom, Jun 16 2016
  

       // Are you saying that if they all went home, we'd suddenly have zero unemployment? //   

       you seem to be avoiding what I was actually saying.. lets recap   

       in response to   

       // Even if the // // figures are quadrupled, they still account for less than 1% of the population //   

       which I took to be a claim immigration accounted for less than 1% of the population   

       I replied   

       // the number of migrant workers currently in Britain marginally exceeds the number of people currently unemployed in Britain.. current unemployment is more than 1% so there's something wrong with your figures there //   

       I knew immigration was far in excess of 1%, I wasn't going to give a (perceived) untruth of that magnitude a free pass but didn't have the figures to hand (I did have the other 3 pieces of information from recent browsing which when put together refute the idea immigration is less than 1%)   

       my actual (unspoken, but implied) suggestion was that anyone who claims immigration is less than 1% of the population is either very misinformed or lying (I wouldn't dream of claiming to know which) & consequently any "facts" or opinions they present should not be taken seriously ;P   

       it does occur to me that you may not have been referring to immigration but typed as it is, it reads that way (to me) & I'm not sure what else you might have meant
Skewed, Jun 19 2016
  

       as it happens there were 7.5 million foreign-born residents in the UK in 2011 which was then 11.9% of the population   

       in 2014, this was 13.1% of the population   

       net migration is acknowledged to have been in positive figures every year since - migration is also acknowledged to be a more significant contribution to population growth in the UK than new births   

       so if it was 13.1% of the population 2 years ago it should be more now   

       unemployment was I think 5.6% last I looked
Skewed, Jun 19 2016
  

       "For every additional one hundred immigrants, 23 British workers would not be employed."   

       that from a study carried out by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on which Theresa May based her Policy Exchange Speech   

       "immigration puts a downward pressure on wages. Drawing on several academic studies, the Committee found that immigration can increase wages for the better-off, but for those on lower wages, more immigration means more workers competing for a limited number of low-skilled jobs."   

       a quote from Theresa May (Policy Exchange Speech)   

       which illustrates what I've been saying..   

       immigration is good for you if you're a high earner & bad for you if you're a low earner   

       low earners vastly outnumber high earners in just about every industry (for a start consider how many shelf stackers or checkout staff there are for every manager in Tesco or secretaries & office assistants per manager in any normal office)   

       so immigration is undoubtedly bad for far more UK residents (including previous immigrants) than it is good for
Skewed, Jun 19 2016
  

       // you may not have been referring to immigration but // // I'm not sure what else you might have meant //   

       was this it?   

       I believe your 1% figures & the fractions thereof you mention may come from this kind of thing   

       "A 2008 study found that an increase in the number of migrants corresponding to one percent of the UK-born working-age population in the years 1997-2005 resulted in an increase in average wages of 0.2 to 0.3 percent"   

       the (very) important thing to remember there is it's the average they're talking about & when they say average they're most often referring to the mean - so a small number of top earners in the mix can give an entirely non-representative result   

       as a very simple illustrative example of this..   

       if you have 100 people earning £100 & 1 earning £10,000 this gives an average of £198   

       if you have 110 people on £90 & 1 on £12,500 that's an average of £201   

       the average per person is higher but clearly everyone is worse off accept that 1 person - in this example a 1.5% average increase in wages really reflects a 10% drop in wages for more than 99% of the population (now imagine the basic cost of living was £94)   

       if you use the median instead of the mean the disparity between the average wage & what more than 99% of them really earns is even worse   

       that's a very simplified model of course but I'm confidant that the 0.2 to 0.3 percent increase in average wages from the 2008 study quoted above represented a significant loss of earnings for well over 60% of the population & drove many (who weren't already there) to below the cost of living
Skewed, Jun 19 2016
  

       // good for the economy // // means good for everyone who has a job //   

       no.. it doesn't - please refer up to prior 2 posts & especially the quotes from Theresa May & the Migration Advisory Committee   

       it drives wages down for low earners (so more people than not unless you're going to argue that high earners outnumber low earners)
Skewed, Jun 19 2016
  

       This is easy to test.   

       1. Allow unrestricted migration.   

       2. Document the collapse of the welfare system and the bankruptcy and disintegration of the state.   

       3. Leave before the Civil War starts.   

       4. Return when all is quiet again and a cold wind is blowing a thin, dispiriting rain through the desolate wasteland, along the empty streets, over the burnt-out vehicles, and in through the broken window panes, spreading a damp miasma of misery over the forlorn, shattered remnants of destroyed lives and homes.   

       5. Interview the remaining inhabitants (if any) and determine how many were resident prior to the influx.   

       6. Publish the results and collect your Ph.D. on the way out.
8th of 7, Jun 20 2016
  

       // easy to test //   

       1-6. I believe the government has already decided to adopt this approach (currently at stage 2, implementation of stage 3 under consideration) ;D
Skewed, Jun 20 2016
  

       Do you want to join the Ph.D. programme ?
8th of 7, Jun 20 2016
  

       First. We don't have unlimited migration. Second, the migration we do have is already "under control" by the UK government. Third. For f&cks sake?! Fourth, Sky/Rupert Murdoch. Fifth. European migration is helping. Sixth. Lowering wages in a country with a minimum wage is not a problem, or at least, less of one if you're also trying to say that it effects the lowest paid the most. Because, logic. Seventh. Helping. Eighth. This isn't Medieval Times. Ninth, it's nowhere near "unlimited". Tenth. 1% or 15% it's not a big deal. Tenth. We can't be racist about Europeans because they're the same race as us. Eleventh. I don't want to be on the same side as the Britain First thugs and terrorists. Twelfth. That's reason enough. Thirteenth, im on my holiday's in Europe, where everyone is nice and friendly and I enjoy feeling welcome. Fourteenth. I didn't have to bribe anyone to get here or to clear customs. Fifteenth if I fall ill while I'm here, I qualify for free healthcare. Sixteenth, I could get a job here if I want. Seventeenth if we take the strain now, and help Europe through this difficult time, we guarantee they will still be around when the economic cycle changes when we drift behind the curve. Eighteenth, it's just plain common sense. Nineteenth - I enjoy freedom and intend to vote for it.
zen_tom, Jun 20 2016
  

       So, you're still undecided ?
8th of 7, Jun 20 2016
  

       //1-6. I believe the government has already decided to adopt this approach (currently at stage 2, implementation of stage 3 under consideration) ;D//   

       How do you square that belief with the significant increases in the difficulty of immigration over the last decade or so?
(Yes, yes, obviously these are for non-EU citizens.)
  

       * Life in the UK test (introduced 2005)
* Various other hoops to jump through
* Massive, swinging fee increases for visas and permits
  

       Or looking at it another way - how did the country respond to the Syrian migrant crisis? I think this snippet from a Guardian article sums it up:
::The government has said it will allow 20,000 Syrians to settle in the UK over the course of five years, but that pales in comparison to countries such as Germany, which is expected to take in more than a million refugees this year alone.::
Loris, Jun 20 2016
  

       I think most people are suspicious that if this really were important in any way, why are we being allowed to vote on it?
Ian Tindale, Jun 20 2016
  

       // I don't want to be on the same side as the Britain First thugs //   

       ding ding ding ding !!   

       and we have a winner ladies & gents :D   

       regardless of anything else you will always take the opposite view (to them) on any subject one of these people [spit] has expressed an opinion on   

       the relative merits of the argument are of no relevance or value to you   

       try this for me [zen] - pretend they don't exist & never expressed a preference on the subject then go somewhere quite & think about it again.. carefully & on it's own merits this time
Skewed, Jun 21 2016
  

       // Do you want to join the Ph.D. programme ? //   

       we predict that the project will be abandoned at stage 4 due to a lack of funding resulting from the collapse of the banking system..   

       so no, not much point ;)
Skewed, Jun 21 2016
  

       // if this really were important in any way, why are we being allowed to vote on it? //   

       damn! even more pessimistic than me (though sadly that may be true), wasn't even sure that was possible ;D
Skewed, Jun 21 2016
  

       The Cynicism Event Horizon is only a couple of orbits away ...   

       Two days prior to the vote, it's still too close to call. For whichever side wins, it will be a squeaker, and resolve nothing.   

       It won't silence the "leave" campaign, even if they lose, because it was so close; in fact, it will encourage them. So the issue won't die ... and the "stay" campaign will only have a tiny majority.   

       If "leave" wins, an it's an evens chance it will, then the "stay" campaign, and the government, will have an excuse to be half-hearted about the exit strategy, to the accompaniment of vociferous heckling from the leavers.   

       The great irony is that no "exit" negotiation is necessary. An email saying "Goodbye, good luck" is all that's needed.
8th of 7, Jun 21 2016
  

       1st. yes we do, is there a hard limit per year after which no one else (baring asylum seekers perhaps) is allowed in until the following year, no there isn't   

       2nd. saying it's so doesn't make it so - it's not so (see 1st)   

       3rd. random expletives (disguised or other) are hardly valid arguments   

       4th. I'll give you that one ;D   

       5th. not really - but on it's own it's not really hurting either - immigration between equally developed countries is usually fairly reciprocal & also spread more evenly across wage groups though we do suffer a disadvantage linguistically due to American culture being so ubiquitous (more of them speak English (than those of us who speak a European language) making inward immigration a lot easier than vice versa)   

       before you get excited by my apparent U-turn there remember you said "Europe" (not "EU")   

       6th. of course it is - because market forces - a country with them immediately becomes attractive to those elsewhere with lower wages & you risk being flooded with far too many migrants far too fast unless you've adequate immigration controls - pay attention ;P   

       7th. helping is good agreed   

       8th. relevance - none   

       9th. this is 1st again isn't it - asked & answered   

       10th. yes it is   

       10th. what happened to 11th?   

       some people can be racist about anything - you should have said "we shouldn't be racist about Europeans because they're the same race as us, so it would be silly" - no one (worth paying attention to) is being racists about them anyway - you just threw this in as irrelevant hyperbole to cloud the issue & garner sympathy for your cause from those who aren't paying attention - stop it ;P   

       11th. ah there it is!   

       ding ding ding !!   

       I refer you up to the previous post   

       12th-14th. none of these comments are even tangentially related to the subject at hand - I'm happy your enjoying your holiday though ;)   

       15th. we had reciprocal emergency healthcare arrangements before we even joined the EEC much less the EU & still have them with many countries outside the EU - unless you're suggesting they'll refuse any negotiations to establish new ones if we leave the EU I fail to see your point   

       16th. can & will are two different things   

       17th. so you think // when we drift behind the curve // they'll treat us differently to the way they treated Greece perhaps - please keep you're private delusions to yourself ;P   

       18th. no it's really not - I think you may be a touch deficient in that department on this subject, but that's just my opinion   

       19th. me too
Skewed, Jun 21 2016
  

       //For whichever side wins, it will be a squeaker, and resolve nothing.//   

       Yeah, well you say that but my experience suggests that when a referendum is over, it stands.   

       Basically the vociferous voters on the losing side are a small minority[1] - the majority being those who don't care enough to go through that rigmarole again.   

       So if you want a rerun, either conditions need to change significantly, or you'll have to wait a generation.   

       [1] A minority of a minority, in fact.
Loris, Jun 21 2016
  

       Also re. immigration:   

       Remember the idea's rules of engagement. If you're arguing about it then it cancels out.
Loris, Jun 21 2016
  

       // no one (worth paying attention to) is being racists about them anyway //   

       well.. apart from [8th] & one or two other notable halfbakers who seem to have a thing for the French   

       but I've always thought that was just meant in fun - it always struck me as like little boys pulling the pigtails of little girls they fancy - maybe they should just get a room (with the French.. all of them) ;P
Skewed, Jun 21 2016
  

       // French //   

       Sp. "french", or "evil-smelling decadent gallic nomarks"   

       // when a referendum is over, it stands. //   

       If a referendum is decisive, yes. If not, the debate continues ad nauseam.   

       // conditions need to change significantly //   

       That can happen in a very short time - literally overnight.
8th of 7, Jun 21 2016
  

       // How do you square that belief with the significant increases in the difficulty of immigration over the last decade or so //   

       I might use an analogy about carrying water in a net or a sieve - making the mesh a little finer doesn't really help much - what we need is a bucket with a small hole in the bottom so it takes a (lot) longer to drain out & we can plug it with a finger when we want to
Skewed, Jun 21 2016
  

       That's a good idea. An appropriate finger could be that of a cabinet minister.   

       Wouldn't need to be attached, either.
8th of 7, Jun 21 2016
  

       After the count of tomorrow’s vote thing, I foresee portrayals of the end scene from Planet Of The Apes* acted out by whichever side didn’t win (i.e. did lose).   

       * An utterly superb example of science fiction film screen play writing by Rod Serling.
Ian Tindale, Jun 22 2016
  

       there's no way I'm spending all that money flying to the states just so I can stand at the feet of a giant French bint & weep into my cupped hands while I fall to my knees - besides, someone would have to knock her half over first or it just wouldn't look right   

       Irony is all well & good but there are limits to how far I'm willing to go to express it
Skewed, Jun 22 2016
  

       Well, at least there might be a few EU ministers weeping into their 1954 Chateau Margaux. If they fall on therir knees weeping into their cupped hands, that would be an ideal opportunity to sneak up behind them and administer a forceful blow to the base of their crania, just below and behind the ear (the bone is thinner and fractures easily there) with a carefully selected length of lead piping.
8th of 7, Jun 22 2016
  

       the pointy end of an ice pick is far more efficacious for that particular blow   

       but due to the sad lack of arctic expedition outfitters in London these days it's a bit difficult to lay your hands on one.. so the led pipe it is then
Skewed, Jun 22 2016
  
      
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