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Comment Re: Wow, the UK is even more screwed up than the U (Score 1) 238

"While I thoroughly agree with your post - your choice of a 'good' third choice was terrible."

I don't see how this can realistically be blamed on Churchill, it was an inherited problem, and Britain was in the midst of war with barely enough resources to feed it's own population. What exactly could he have even done by that point? India was already defacto out of British rule by that point anyway because it was a condition of India's support for Britain in the war, hence why a mere 4 years later they were able to transition to full independence.

Do I think Churchill was perfect? No, his government after all was responsible for the treatment of Turing and Turing's resultant death. But Churchill did a lot of incredibly good things as well, the European Court of Human Rights being an obvious example, but his efforts post-war were what led directly, and indirectly to things like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Criminal Court, the EU and so on and so forth - institutions he either led creation of, or created the environment in which such institutions could be created have created decades of European stability, and given justice to and protected the human rights of millions.

If you judge him by the standards of the time he was far and away about the most progressive leader going. Of course, standards at the time were pretty poor sure, but it's still a night and day choice between Churchill, Stalin and Hitler - declaring him one of the worst leaders in history is rather over the top hyperbole, you're effectively basing that on making him guilty of inaction in not pulling a magic trick to resolve a problem he did not cause and could not realistically resolve, and ignoring the fact that the ideas he had and institutions he created are what have led to the stability and success of the modern Western world. This is something that is all too well being eroded as modern leaders regularly declare things like human rights as bad, or try and shout down the international criminal court because it dares to try and tackle war criminals and so forth. Churchill sought to create structures and institutions that would prevent or minimise the likelihood of the atrocities of World War II ever coming to the fore on that scale again, and to bring justice when they do happen. As much as modern world leaders are now fighting back against that, he has to date, been completely successful, and so if you do blame those 3 million Indian deaths on him you must also credit him with the 100s of millions of lives he's saved both in helping to push an end to the war, and with the prevention of further instability preventing further wars and war crimes since. You cannot simply pick some indirect problem and blame it on him without also accepting the other indirect good things.

Comment Re:The wording (Score 1) 238

Because the reality is numerous studies (well, those from impartial organisations) have shown immigration is of net economic benefit to the UK, and not one single prime minister would ever be willing to create a situation where we go into recession because we've decided to cripple a number of industries just because of a bunch of blame gaming.

Migration to the UK was already controllable for migrants coming from outside the EU, and we already had a points system for those people, and yet, more people still migrate from outside the EU than inside, despite the propaganda meaning that even where we could control immigration we can't and wont. IIRC the most recent figures showed something like 272,000 migrants from outside the EU last year, but only about 236,000 from inside. If we really wanted to we could've cut immigration in half by just banning migration from non-EU sources already, but we don't and wont, because we need things like scientists, doctors, nurses, teachers, fruit pickers, and so on and so forth because no one here wants to or can do those jobs.

This is precisely why so many top Brexiters fled with their tails between their legs when they won the vote - populism is such an easy politics to get people onside because humans mostly appear to love being angry, so pick something to get them angry at and they'll rally around you. The difficult bit is if you win you then have to somehow square your populist lies and blame gaming with reality - this is also the problem we now have by way of increased racism in the UK. Politicians like Farage put so much effort into blame gaming and demonising minorities that hate crime is massively up, and an MP even got killed in the run up to the referendum.

Note that I'm not trying to generalise here, migrants are not a net economic benefit to every country - the number of Syrian migrants seen in some European states and the lack of the lack of suitable jobs for them, as well as migration into the US do result in net costs, it's just simply not true of Britain where they're net contributors.

Of course there are more than economic arguments, talk of integration (though I don't buy those personally - violent football hooligans born and bred in Britain also don't integrate, it's not a migrant specific thing, some people are just assholes), but economics is at the core of a politician, particularly a prime minister's calculations. No PM will ever put themselves in a position where they have say "Guys! I fixed the immigration problem, but yeah, your grandma died because we ran out of nurses, oh and taxes are going to have to go up to make up the shortfall in income to pay the police too. We're also out of carrots for Christmas this year, no one to go and pick them.".

Technically though yes, as an island, there's nothing to stop us from physically locking down our country as such, though even then people will smuggle across to some degree.

Comment Re: Wow, the UK is even more screwed up than the U (Score 2) 238

"So yes, getting things done in the U.S. system is harder, and it's easier for a few states to block legislation. That doesn't mean the U.S. system has greater legitimacy, quite the opposite. The state governments are barely accountable for their actions, and even a party with strong popular support can fail to get its legislation passed thanks to the byzantine electoral system."

I think you have a rose tinted view of the UK's electoral system if you genuinely believe it leads to greater accountability. Let's be clear here, the ruling party has 100% of the power in the UK despite only representing 37% of the voting electorate in this parliament, worse though, party leaders determine the direction of the country and are typically the figurehead that people vote for, and as such when there is a handover in this case, the country can be pushed in a direction that is completely against the will of the people. Theresa May now has the option to take the country in whatever direction she wants for 4 years despite having no democratic mandate to do so, beyond on one simple point, that we should leave the EU but with no definition of when or how.

The UK would be better if it had proportional representation, but it doesn't, due to first past the post, the UK's electoral system nearly always turns out what can be best described as minority backed dictatorship as the British system almost never turns out a party backed by a majority, or a coalition backed by a combined majority. The last government was the first exception in a hundred years where we had a coalition that actually represented a compromise goverment covering over 50% of the population's votes.

The idea of our system is that it leaves us with local representatives, but even this is broken and is in itself the source of the problem - at local level the representatives can be even less representative, in some constituencies a represented is elected with less than 25% of local support, this absurd situation means that someone who is meant to represent his local region is actually opposed by over 75% of the people that live there. If those 75% are liberal and support gay married, whereas the other 25% are an organised church loving, gay hating minority, then that representative may vote in a manner that the vast majority of his constituents are firmly opposed to.

Germany is one of the better examples of governance in the world. Picking between the UK and US electoral systems is like narrowing yourself to a choice between Stalin and Hitler as your leader when you could instead go with a 3rd option and just have Churchill.

Comment Re:Wow, the UK is even more screwed up than the US (Score 1) 238

That's not really a great comparison because Queen Elizabeth has no executive powers, whereas Obama does.

The reality is that the UK simply just doesn't have a president equivalent, the closest thing is our prime minister, who, as you say, also doubles as leader of the house. All of Obama's executive powers are held by the Prime Minister in the UK.

Comment Re:The wording (Score 3, Insightful) 238

Actually, from all the people I know who didn't vote they didn't vote because they said they just couldn't tell who was lying and who wasn't, so didn't feel informed enough to vote. It's not that they didn't care, it's that they'd rather make no choice than a bad choice. Their feelings on the matter weren't "Don't care" but typically something like "I want the best for my country, and kids", they just had no idea which option that was.

Of course, many people who did vote also had no idea who was lying to them, either they just decided the opposite, that it's better to risk making a bad choice than no choice.

The referendum result was clear, but it's certainly not the case that the British public made an informed choice. The result of the referendum was by and large an uninformed choice. Not that it matters, but I suspect if the debate was much more clearly informative that many of those that didn't vote would have and I suspect in a fully informed debate many people wouldn't have taken the risk. Ultimately leave won the referendum, but lost the argument, because much of what remain predicted would happen has happened - Farage admitted he lied about the NHS, other leavers like Daniel Hannan admitted they lied that they'd be able to bring immigration down now, Cameron has in fact left and we do in fact now have 4 years of dictatorship ahead of us, the pound has in fact tanked, and the FTSE 250 is down whilst the 100 is being proped up only by a commital of £250bn stimulus reserve (12 years equivalent of EU fees) by the BOE. Project fear turned out to be project fact, and team leave fled for the hills when their bluff was called leaving everyone else to suffer the consequences and clean up the mess.

After all is said and done it looks most likely that we'll end up in the EEA, paying the same amount we do currently, without a seat at the table, and having suffered a few years of reduced economic capability. The whole things looks like it will have become a completely unnecessary needlessly damaging exercise with nothing clear to show for it.

From that I don't think hardly anyone really had their say as such, I just think millions of people had a completely random stab in the dark. The number of us who had done our own fact checking to verify the claims from both sides (by actually looking up and understanding statistics on the economy, migration and so forth) and who were able to vote on the actual facts were an absolutely tiny minority.

Comment Re:When will they learn? (Score 1) 104

"You are wrong. They are lost sales -- just not a 1:1 ratio."

How do you know this, where is your data? I never used to watch super hero movies, like the Marvel and DC ones, they were never my thing I thought, until I did actually download the first Avengers movie and really liked it. As a result I bought it on Bluray along with all the other surrounding films like Captain America, Iron Man, and some of the DC ones like Green Lantern.

Not only was my pirated copy of Avengers not a lost sale, it actually has netted them over 30 additional Bluray sales now. So that's a ratio of 30 movies purchased for one pirated movie.

So again, where is your data? I'd wager not only is it unlikely that there are not lost sales from piracy, but there are in fact gained sales as is most definitely the case with me. Were I not able to download that initial Avengers movie, the industry would now be down 30 sales including a copy of that movie itself.

You seem to be making wholly unfounded assertions, without having anything to back them up.

Comment Re:Will that include Guccifer? (Score 1) 801

I think it's very much a case of two wrongs don't make a right. Just because Hillary did wrong, doesn't make it legally acceptable to hack into the computer of a government employee. I mean, let's be clear here, he had no way of knowing she was guilty of wrong doing before he hacked in, thus he was clearly hacking with malicious intent.

So therein lies the problem for him, he only exposed wrongdoing after he'd committed a malicious act, and stumbling across something like that doesn't undo what he did before. If you hold up a bank with a sawn off shotgun, but find someone unconcious and give them first aid and save their life it doesn't change the fact you're a bank robber.

Comment Re:Democracy restored (Score 2) 1592

"The issues you raise are problems with the voting system, but to my mind this doesn't mean the system as a whole is not democratic."

How can you realistically separate the two? The is is the method of implementation and if the method of implementation doesn't implement democracy then it's not a real democracy.

"Your power of representation is through your PM and councillors. So you have the potential to influence decisions by lobbying your representative. You can do that whether you voted for them or not."

A representative by definition, has to represent you, but if you've voted against them then you've done so because they do not represent your beliefs. It doesn't matter that you can speak to them if they're not going to listen - people in North Korea can speak to Kim Jong Un but that doesn't change the fact he's a dictator.

If you want a system with representatives that's truly democratic you need something (ironically) closer to the system we have to MEPs where by they're elected proportionally but still represent an area in such a manner that the share of party representatives mimics the popular vote closely enough to allow a majority of people to be represented by someone that actually represents them, rather than someone that doesn't as under FPTP.

"It's things like this that create a democracy. I consider those avenues more powerful than voting from the perspective of a single individual."

I think you're using a very odd definition of democracy, typically a democracy requires majority rule, and we do not have that in the UK.

The fact we've had one instance of democracy on one single issue out of the literally tens of thousands doesn't make us a democracy. We're still ultimately an elected dictatorship with minority rule - the only time this wasn't true was in the 2010 election term whereby we ended up with two parties working in compromise who offered compromise representation for 59% of the population but how common are compromise coalitions? Once in a hundred years it seems.

Effectively therefore between that and the referendum you can reasonably say that the UK system is capable of producing a democratic outcome on rare occasions, but the vast majority of the time is simply not democratic.

That's before you even factor in the whole unelected Lords thing where they can outright strike down legislation regardless of whether the public wants it.

Any claim that the UK is a genuine and consistently democratic country is merely a whitewash to pretend we're somehow superior than countries we oppose like Russia.

There are really two paths to achieving actual lasting democracy in the UK and the electorate rejected the one that keeps local representatives but elects the one that is at least partially representative of over half their electorate (AV) so the only other option is proportional representation which we've consistently been denied the option of - precisely because we're not a true democracy amusingly enough.

Comment Re:Democracy restored (Score 2) 1592

Yes it does, due to the nature of the party system coupled with FPTP the UK system is not democratic.

For example, the current government has 100% of power, but was only elected by 37% of the populace, that means that 63% of the country have no power representation in the UK at all. Due to FPTP their vote is directly equivalent to 63% of the populace simply being denied a vote at all. 37% is quite high, we've seen it go as low as about 32% - that is, a party having 100% of power against the will of 68% of the population.

That's not democracy. Democracy requires that everyone have a meaningful (no matter how small in impact) vote, but that doesn't happen in the UK, a majority of the population have no effective vote. The UK's system is best described as elected dictatorship because a minority dictate to a majority, but are elected through an undemocratic system.

Comment Re:I agree somewhat (Score 1) 288

I saw a bit about that, but as someone else pointed out, and as Google pointed out to them in the article I read, Google does already shoulder the burden and has done for some time with tools and staff supporting the whole business of takedowns on YouTube.

I'd ask a question though as to why artists are special, every other industry has to pay for their own policing, whether it's a guy with a convenience store paying for CCTV to prevent shoplifting, a cinema or train station paying for people to check tickets on entry, or an independent software developer issuing his own takedown notices.

Everyone else has to take this on as a cost of doing business, why should artists be treated as special cases?

Comment Re:I agree somewhat (Score 3, Insightful) 288

Yes, I'm unable to find much information on what these artists actually want other than they're not happy with the fact that the DMCA protects hosts from the actions of their users. This implies that they actually just want to make the DMCA far, far worse.

The problem they're talking about where artists get fucked by labels is a problem with copyright and is trivially solved by making copyright non-transferable from the author. That way the music industry can still offer them contracts and help them produce and sell, but can never take ownership of their creation and fuck off and make all the profits on it without paying the artist a penny.

As such you'll have to colour me sceptical that the artists aren't just doing this on behalf of the music industry, because what they're suggesting will destroy the technology industry to the benefit of not the artists, but the very companies they're complaining about.

As such I will treat this list of artists as the list of artists I will not pay a penny to as what they're suggesting is anti-progress, anti-consumer, anti-technology, and pro-big music industry.

Comment Re:Stolen? (Score 1) 104

It's probably worth noting that G2A shouldn't be treated as some kind of saint, the organisation is in itself as dodgy as they come. They engage in all sorts of illegal practices such as advertising instant delivery on purchase of game keys and then demanding you hand over your phone number, or e-mail them a scan of your passport inevitably resulting in deliver of your key being far from instant.

Furthermore, in the past they've been outed as one of the biggest abusers of paid reviews to give their company a massively inflated rating. I believe they have their roots in WoW/other MMO gold farming using Chinese sweatshops to farm gold.

It wouldn't surprise me therefore if it was the case that G2A is helping facilitate the criminals actions whilst making life difficult for tinybuild, G2A are after all very clearly and openly willing to break the law to make money in other cases, so why not in this case?

G2A is one of those companies that kind of works for consumers in practice whilst nothing is going wrong, but is ultimately just not a good idea and should probably be shut down, because given the intrusiveness of data it collects on people (again, passport information) coupled with it's generally shady practices and willingness to work with criminals it's pretty much inevitable that it's not going to end well. It strikes me as the sort of company that's a mass consumer credit card fraud tragedy or similar just waiting to happen and given that it's based in China there will be zero accountability for the impact on it's largely Western customer base when it does.

Comment Re: Immigration (Score 1) 1718

Wonderful, but none of those things actually give her any real practical power, hence, she's a figurehead. Just like here in the UK where she's also our head of state, but also has not the slightest amount of political power whatsoever. Sure in theory she could try to disband the government etc., but everyone would ignore her and carry on as usual. To have actual power a leader needs people who would follow them, the monarch does not have that precisely because she's understood as purely ceremonial in role, which is precisely why she'd never try it in the first place - no point giving orders that would be ignored and remove you and your family from your palace permanently.

Having your face on currency, having an oath sweared to you, doesn't actually give you any kind of power whatsoever. The Governor Generals are themselves picked by the prime minister not the Queen. Of course, you should know this, it's your fucking country.

She's also not imposed on you as part of your Commonwealth membership, you have her because you choose to continue to have her regardless of the Commonwealth.

If you don't like having her as a symbolic figurehead then get rid of her, she can't stop you, again, because she has no actual power, but don't pretend she's there for any reason other than the fact you like having a symbolic figurehead.

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