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Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 396

The EU referendum is a proxy for a vote on immigration. If limits could be placed on the right to live anywhere in Europe, people would be completely fine with the EU and would likely be swayed by arguments like the need for unity in the face of neighbouring dictators, free trade, energy policy, climate etc. There are other issues with the EU, around sovereignty, democratic deficit, two-speed Europe, etc, but I don't think the average person really cares about those, they're too abstract.

In principle I think if it could be shown that the current rate of overall population growth (about 450K per year, the bulk of which is net immigration) is sustainable, that might have been enough, but in practice people perceive social systems to be overwhelmed and in crisis, or at the very least that government forecasting and planning is woefully inept.

I suspect if there is a referendum, people will vote to stay in, mainly because no one will paint a realistic picture of what it would mean to leave (the fact that the leaked document was intended to remain secret whereas the governor of the Bank has not been secretive about the case for staying in Europe, is a case in point), so all that will be heard is horror stories about how the UK will become Zimbabwe if it leaves.

Nevertheless I predict it will be a closeish vote, rather like the Scots referendum, 55%-45% or so on a highish turnout.

Comment: Re:Fuck this bullshit. (Score 4, Informative) 125

The shop down the road can't avoid sales tax.
The online shop based in Australia can't avoid sales tax.
The online shop based outside Australia can avoid sales tax.

This puts Australian businesses at a disadvantage, i.e., the tax regime fucks your own people.

So the choices are:

* level the playing field by abolishing sales taxes (the market fundamentalist/tax haven model)
* level the playing field by requiring individuals to declare and pay the sales tax (the US model)
* level the playing field by requiring foreign companies to collect and pay tax

Most governments go for the latter.

Comment: Re:So a the cars are the same model? (Score 3, Interesting) 167

by pr0nbot (#49370027) Attached to: At the Track With Formula E, the First e-Racing Series

I've actually been watching the Formula E races, because I'm into Formula 1 and there are a bunch of B-list ex-F1 drivers in there.

As far as I can tell, there's a fairly strong emphasis on it being entertainment rather than sport. For example, drivers get a boost button they can use during the race if they're the "fan favourite" before the race. There are also some gimmicks like bonus points for fastest lap and pole position. In the pre-season trailers, one of the key talking points was the DJ that was going to be guesting for each race.

The races themselves are fairly laughable - short, with a fairly hilarious car swap when they run out of juice (the driver hops out of one car and does a little dash to the other car), and the cars themselves are fugly as hell and all the bits are wobbly (so... a bit like me I guess). The coverage is completely ghetto, minimum-budget stuff -- it's on ITV4 in the UK, which tells you everything you need to know.

However, it's a a new series, and the drivers at least are for real, so I'm giving it time to grow.

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai