Tag Archives: European Union

Want to bet on that?

The Guardian released a story last night, it released something a lot more important than you and I initially considered. You see, it intersects with articles I wrote in 2014, yet until today, and as we recently saw the issues that the Bank of England reported on, I now see a part I never considered, because, unless you are a banker it would not make sense. I admit that from the mere consumer point of view it seems like dodgy, even counterproductive to good business. So, I did not consider it, I did not inform you and for that I apologise. The writer of this story did not inform you either, but it was not the focus of her story so Mattha needs not apologise at all. Yet what is happening is a lot more important than you and I think and if I grasp back at what I found in 2014, there is every indication that GCHQ is actually aware of the situation, yet they decided to do nothing, endangering the sanity and social security of thousands of Britons, so should they apologise? Should Robert Hannigan, director of GCHQ apologise? I believe so, he should also get grilled in both houses (Lords and Commons), but that is not for me to decide (life would be so much fun if it was).

So as we are set in this path, let me explain what happened as per last night. Mattha gave us (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/31/gambling-industry-third-party-companies-online-casinos) the issue ‘how gambling industry targets poor people and ex-gamblers‘ the start is already an explosion of question by themselves. With: “The gambling industry is using third-party companies to harvest people’s data, helping bookmakers and online casinos target people on low incomes and those who have stopped gambling, the Guardian can reveal” we need to ask questions, but let me continue and give you a few more parts on these goods. the next items are “The revelations will add to calls for tighter regulation of the gambling industry more action to address problem gambling after the news on Thursday that online betting firm 888 had been penalised a record £7.8m because more than 7,000 people who had voluntarily banned themselves from gambling were still able to access their accounts“, as well as “The data is often gathered from raffle sites that offer cash prizes and gifts in weekly giveaways, he said. To apply for the prize draws, users must usually provide their name, date of birth, email and address. He claimed raffle companies would then sell the data, something customers have sometimes unwittingly consented to in lengthy terms and conditions agreements. One such site states: “The following sectors [including gambling] are the industry types you can expect to receive products, information, services or special offers from.”“. With these three quotes we have the first part of the equation filled. The article gives a lot more, but for now, here, that is what we need. So we see that people sign up for things they do not understand (we all do that), and for the most the initial thought was harmless enough. I have signed up for free premiere movie tickets, some of us for fashion items or even something as innocuous as a free bottle of perfume or after shave. It seems so harmless and when it comes to products it usually tends to be. Yet when it comes to free trips to certain destinations, for some of us, red flags go up, but at that point it is usually too late, we have already given out our details.

Now, we go back to January 2014. In my blog ‘Diary for a wimpy President‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/01/18/diary-for-a-wimpy-president/) I set the stage that includes GCHQ. The setting was theft of IP on a massive scale, yet it was on equal terms the issue we see more common, the theft of personal data. The questions I posed were:

  • Have you identified your organisation’s key information assets and the impact it would have on your organisation if they were compromised or your online services were disrupted? [Alternative: what data is bankable?]
  • Have you clearly identified the key threats to your organisation’s information assets and set an appetite for the associated risks? [Alternative: what data is accessible?]
  • Are you confident that your organisation’s most important information is being properly managed and is safe from cyber threats? [Alternative: the value management of data you think you own]

it came with the footnote: “The alternative are not just views I opt for, consider that the data collection field goes into open commercial hands as it could be presented by March 31st, what are your options to purchase certain buckets of data?

We are now on par in the two sides, my blog three years ago and the new iteration that the Guardian shows. I admit, the Guardian shows a side I never considered before last night. You see, with the quotes we saw mentioned by me, we need to add the third side to what is not a pyramid, but optionally the specific view on a cube, or even more disturbing a buried dipyramid. Now, we cannot expect people to realise that this is happening, but GCHQ knew, there is no way it did not know, and missing that is a career breaker plain and simple. You see, to give you that part, we need to add the following items. The first was seen on August 21st with ‘UK credit and debit card spending ​growing​ at fastest rate since 2008‘. We need to keep a check on the quote “The number of card transactions increased by 12.3% over the year to the end of June, according to the banking trade body UK Finance, coming amid a boom in consumer debt that has been raising alarm bells at the Bank of England. The pace of growth in card payments was 10.6% in the 12 months to the end of December“, the second quote comes from two days ago in the Guardian. Here in the article ‘Credit card lenders ‘targeting people struggling with debt’‘ we see the two parts “Citizens Advice finds almost one in five people struggling with debts have had their card limit raised without request” as well as “Unsecured lending is returning to levels unseen since the 2008 financial crisis, raising alarm bells at the Bank of England that consumers may struggle to repay loans in another economic downturn, thus putting financial stability at risk“. I believed this to be a bad business practise, yet until last night I did not give it the merit it should have had. You see commercial bankers are for the most without a moral compass at best, what if they are joining hands with gambling places that do not care how they get the money? The banker gets the bonus because business was booming and his (or her) moral compass is limited to the cash leaving the door without the use of criminal activity, beyond that they will not care. Yet with hundreds of thousands getting into this scrap. How many gambled the gained credit? How many pushed a chance for instant wealth into a decade of depression without options? The weird part is that GCHQ had to be aware, they are our (mainly the UK) watchdogs and they let this just go on. The questions I asked three years ago show that GCHQ should have been aware and monitoring. If they did not do that, then we have a case of negligence that surpasses the age of MI5 and the Cambridge 5. the funny part in this is that those 5 “were contemporaries at Cambridge University in the 1930s, and were attracted to communism mainly because of the Wall Street crash” and now we see that the same thing is happening for merely the same bloody reason (but those tend to be on the other side of the exploitative equation nowadays), yet now every gambling capitalist gets to enjoy the fallout, or is that out falling?

The evidence?

Yes, some elements will demand the evidence. In my view we merely have to compare the two lists, one showing the unrequested credit rises and the second list are those on the gambling marketing list, with any surpass of 5% being enough to be seen as significant evidence. This now gives two issues, the one is speculative when we go with ‘Is this a shady move for banks to push Brexit out of the way?’ You might think this is conspiracy theory, but is it? How many setbacks can the UK deal with before the banks cry foul and beg for Brexit to be delayed because they are too big to fail? Is it that farfetched? I don’t believe so. The second part is on the location of the location of the gathered online betting location and how these ‘marketing lists‘ all made it out of the UK and in several cases out of the European Union, which now puts the actions (read: non actions) of GCHQ on the firing line of enquiries and inquisitive questions on how they are keeping the people of the UK safe. We might argue (and I would) that people who gamble only have themselves to blame, yet when we see ‘more than 7,000 people who had voluntarily banned themselves from gambling were still able to access their accounts‘, we see that the odds are intentionally stacked against them and I believe that ‘Gambling firm 888 penalised record £7.8m for failing vulnerable customers‘ is a joke, I consider that giving them a £78 million penalty would have been too soft for them, especially as their growth surpassed 63% in 2016. And that is merely ONE gambling holding. The issue is growing at an alarming rate, even as we see how in Australia councils are drawing lines on ‘out of bounds areas‘ whilst with such amazement that the new casino that is currently being built on the order of bad boy jimmy Packard is (with surprising amazement) to be exactly outside certain zoning issues, just like Star Casino, giving him all the freedom he needs and get to play without any level of limitation. Let’s just mark that one up to ‘coincidence‘ shall we?

That example shows a certain complacency between councils and certain playing players and we now see that such levels are apparently happening in the UK for online gambling and we see that there is no way that GCHQ was unaware, we merely need to wonder why there was no political intervention, because that question is becoming more and more important.

Issues, shown from 2014 onwards give rise to non-protectionism of an unacceptable shady character. The act that the Guardian now shows that certain players are given a wide berth of that gives them degrees of freedom that no company in the UK ever gets is also giving questions to the status of banks and lenders and whether we should allow them to operate in the UK. If you wonder about this statement you only have to consider the triggers of bankruptcy, personal insolvency and how it is that these lenders will get paid either way, through either collection or write offs. What happens when they are no longer allowed to write off these bad business actions? What happens when it needs to come from their own ‘profits’ and ‘bonus schemes’? How long until suddenly the online casino’s and lenders walk away and continue that in places where they can exploit all they like?

Can you now see that you are placed in an increasingly difficult place to grow the stability of your family? If not, consider that you might not be the gambler, but you are a member of that bank or lending corporation. If they cannot write off, they will charge you through the services you receive, either through administration fees or interest percentages. You would (and rightly so) complain about these fees, so you want no change, which is what they are banking on and that should not be allowed. The final statement in the article is also important. With “In a longer statement to its investors, the company said it had taken action to fix its self-exclusion systems, which it said arose when customers who self-excluded from some of its brands were able to gamble with others” we are confronted with the question that seeing ‘fix its self-exclusion systems‘. You see, I believe that they never properly worked in the first place; leaving us with the intent that they had too much to lose enforcing ‘self-exclusion‘ which in my book makes them guilty of intentional and reckless corporate negligence.

You see when we consider that courts are less willing to cut off liability due to intent, the scope of Liability in Intentional Torts is now a given. The plaintiff would be entitled to see the entire engineering part of the ‘self-exclusion system’ and with the failing it holds whoever goes after house 888 might have a legal setting to regain all their losses. Yet that is merely one online gambling house. The fact that none of them want to truly cooperate gives rise to the notion that too many players don’t want the broken system to be fixed, not until after they got out of it whatever they could and such a knowledge tends to give consideration that the burden on GCHQ will be higher and needs to be higher. Yet will the burden be unjustly set too high? Because that is the clear direction we seem to be going to and that is equally unjust. In the end it will turn out to be a counterproductive situation.

Are you willing to place a bet on any outcome here?

 

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Explicitly exposed

There is an issue pushing to the forefront. In the upcoming elections, certain parties are playing a different game. The article ‘Facebook and YouTube face tough new laws on extremist and explicit video‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/24/facebook-youtube-tough-new-laws-extremist-explicit-video-europe) is showing a story that is not just incomplete, it is not telling us about certain dangers we all face and it is not coming from extremists. You might have missed it all and that is fine, but you need to be aware of the mess that some parties are increasing. The quote: “European Union ministers approved proposals from the European Commission on Tuesday“, now the article gives us that the rules are not yet public, because they are still talking about it, which is fine. Let those people get their act together before presenting it, I have no issue with that. It is the ‘trialogue’ part in the article that beckons view. The negotiators from the EC, the European parliament and the Council of the European Union are in the midst of this and we will at some point hear what is agreed upon. What I find utterly boggling is how the people were left in the dark regarding Article 50 for years (during the Grexit era) and we now see an overreaction regarding “forcing them to remove hate speech and sexually explicit videos or face steep fines“, now, I have no issue (within legal limits) on fines for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Yet what those players are not realising and not considering is that THEY themselves wanted the smartphone era, they wanted connectivity, they USED those options to get new taxation, new revenues and new technological iterations, yet they are in denial of the opposite side of the scales and there has never been a balance in any place of used technology where it applied. Yet they knew better! I know for a fact (from mere history books), that porn was not part of the first photograph ever taken, it was definitely part of the first 50 photographs taken in history. With movie the same way. There is Etruscan erotic art 900 BC and the clock goes back a lot further, so we knew that it would happen. Now for the most, it gets stopped, yet at times the filters fail. This is because there is a global wave, you see, the statistics gives us that in the recent past there was a total upload of 60 hours of movies EVERY MINUTE. That is just YouTube, there is no way to see how much the other channels in different formats operate at present. What these overreacting individuals seen to be oblivious about is the stuff that they find ‘objectionable’. They will happily steer away from every bogus sales and scam video uploaded as those do not show breasts, penises, vagina’s or suicide bombers. Video’s on how to get wealth with so much certainty. On how the next hype whilst getting your neighbours involved is not a Ponzi scheme. The list goes on, but they will not act there. Or how the people are fooled by ‘YouTube Marketing Training Scams‘. No, they do not care about the thousands that get fooled by slick pitches that could have fooled many in the actual industry. No, the tits are out and we see how the outrage is in a state of overreaction. You see, when these ‘commissions’ start getting traction, the players will suddenly find that these large corporations will insist on other solutions, and the commission will not be able to do that. Because on that point, privacy will actually stop. Now, when it comes to stopping some of the video low lives that exploit the people for personal greed, I will be in full support. Yet these European nations will then learn that they were alas unable to prosecute those people. The mere levels of hypocrisy here is just too sickening for words.

Now, we have two issues. Yes, we do want to stop extremist video’s and I feel 100% certain that Google wants that too. Yet video is about content and identifying an extremist video is a lot harder than one thinks. censoring 60 hours of movies every minute is just nearly impossible. If it is set to priority it will just be another way to stop net neutrality, because the advertisers would want to get checked first. Meaning that an engine of free speech will be taken away from the people. The question that everyone is skating around is the number of explicit video’s produced and where from, as well as the original and numbers of extremist video’s. Now consider the element of Extremism. What if it is an imam giving a Muslim lecture? How could we see that it was extremist in nature? There are so many outlets and methods of communicating these dangers that the setting is (as I personally see it) not about fines, or about stopping any of this. It is about setting a stage to gain control of a media, where the some and the fat cats want control. And in this specific setting Google and Facebook are not the fat cats on the menu. So who are these ‘ménage-a-trialogue’ people facilitating to? You see, when you realise the 60 hours of video a minute, the three examples given in the article are less than 0.000,000,23% of all uploads and that is merely for one day of uploads. This is as useless as trying to get gun control in the US, guns do not kill people, people kill people. So as the criminal offenders film their events and as we can see that it is statistically impossible to prevent this from happening, why are the three parties having large lunches, uncanny levels of expenditure and levels of remunerations that go beyond most incomes, why is this happening?

I believe that this is merely to set levels of control, levels that do not benefit anyone at all, perhaps the church, which would start an entirely different debate. We are already moving towards a new technological setting of non-repudiation online, but the levels of settings, whilst we also know that hackers can get online ending up leaving the blame with some innocent granny who has internet is just not the way to go. The articles do show my side as partial evidence in the final paragraph. As we see: “The proposals, which fall under the digital single market legislation, also include a quota of 30% of European films and TV shows on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Video, up from the 20% originally proposed by the EC“, so if this is about bandwidth and streaming, we now see a different picture. One, why the hell do I get to pay for some Netflix need, one that I do not want in the first place. And with “Member states will also be able to require video-sharing platforms to contribute financially to the production of European works in the country where they are established and also where they target audiences” we see that video sharing now comes at a price of funding other matters? How will that work? 50,000 students (likely that times 500), all creating their video channel, in a field of their passion, hoping to get discovered and actually make their passion a reality on real life on TV for all their audience to see on the large TV. So as they do this, why is there a need of funding?

Also, when we realise that this is already in play, why would Google need to give 20 hours a minute of streaming time to European films? Will that be free of charge? I am going with ‘NO’ as the answer from the movie creators, so this will be about money, about surcharging that will push the non-viability of net neutrality because it is now about limiting bandwidth with a value to the mandatory availability of other materials.

So as these players are explicitly exposed, their ‘balls to the wall’ so to say, we should request the names of the members of this obscene ‘ménage-a-trialogue’, so that we can get some art going. Perhaps we can get Lars von Trier to make some new work called ‘Nymphomaniac Politicologica’, or perhaps ‘For a few Terabytes more‘ with music from Ennio Morricone. You see, in a few second I added hours of European promiscuous non-explicit art of a European nature. I am willing to bet the house that these people would prefer to remain in the shadows, because that is seen when we consider the quote “discussions between negotiators” in a time when all those imaginative attaining politicians, this is a setting between negotiators? Who missed that part of the article?

Yet it is not all gloom and doom. The quote ““We need to take into account new ways of watching videos, and find the right balance to encourage innovative services, promote European films, protect children and tackle hate speech in a better way,” said Andrus Ansip, EC vice-president for the digital single market” is not one of negativity. Yet as the watching video’s options is set on a shifting scale. New connection methods, new stream utilising options and new ways to offer other materials is in the corner of innovation, keeping that door open is the only way that innovation hits us. The one element in all this is the data provider, that was the simplest of issues to figure out. The issue is however seen, not in Google or Facebook et al, it is seen in the facilitation of the data stream itself, the ISP and they know they cannot get to the stream provider as that person is in it for the money and that provider has local government protection. KPN in the Netherlands, BT in the United Kingdom, Telia in Sweden, Mobile providers all over the European states and so on. The moment they go anywhere near this is when they get cut from everything and the censor marketing police will shout fire, rape, help, whatever they will shout to get the limelight. In all this Netflix might need more bandwidth and better deals, so they will happily facilitate this path. I am merely wondering why Andrus Ansip is happy to facilitate his voice for all this. You see it is not up to YouTube to promote European films, it is up to the film maker to creatively facilitate marketing for their movie. So, perhaps it is less about the DataStream, perhaps it is in equal measure getting proper television to look beyond the Marvel movies. When I was a lot less old than today, I would watch Simon van Collum (Netherlands), Jo Röpcke (Belgium) and Barry Norman (United Kingdom). I would dream of becoming like them, making a living talking about movies. Alas, I never had that option and I happily reviewed Video Games for a decade. These people were giants and they fell away whilst no one filled those shoes. So for the internet to pick that up is a little bit a stretch. And as YouTube is probably one of the most innovative services of this century, we could start asking a few more questions regarding the push that we see here. So as we see the one element in this that can be answered immediately, we see “tackle hate speech in a better way“, which can be solved on the spot. Because my response here is a non-diplomatic: “Clean up the Criminal Justice mess you currently have, and properly identify and prosecute those shits!“. You see? The issue is now solved, yet it is not, because European law is an utter mess and as Strasbourg will do too little to tackle the option as it is too restrictive on free speech, we see that the European Commission is stopping their own European commission to achieve anything ground breaking. In all this, as I personally see it, for those who need it there is a fictive solution in retrenching net neutrality that is no longer neutral and the European Commission Gravy train could run for years on this element alone. So as we see this level of facilitation, the term ménage-a-trialogue is a lot closer to the truth than some consider it to be. And as long as those balls to the wall don’t make it to YouTube, we will see no result that is a solution or fair, European would merely be receiving a lot more Netflix, but at what price?

 

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When a Newspaper gets it wrong

We’ve all had these moments. We have a preference in things we do, I look at the Guardian in the morning, and at times I check out the tabloids (front pages and in one case page 3 as well). Yet I keep the Guardian as my main source to work with. So I was slightly miffed when I spotted ‘EU fears influx of ‘British champagne’ once Brexit ends food naming rules‘, which is utter baloney (read: bullshit)! The United Kingdom is still bound in laws, in this case it means that Trade Marks are still protected and ‘British champagne’ is not ever going to be an option and any Trade Marks office in the UK initially passing such a request might get itself invited to a mandatory meeting with the Professional Standards Board. I now feel that at this point, that my concern becomes that the writer Daniel Boffey has no clue! So (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/15/eu-fears-influx-of-british-champagne-once-brexit-ends-food-naming-rules) we see “The European Union is concerned that British companies could violate protections given to the names of thousands of European products – such as Parma ham and Champagne“, these two examples Parma Ham as well a Champagne has been clearly settled, so that will not ever be allowed. This is something that can be set in stone as the United Kingdom joined WIPO in 1970. The UK uses Trade Marks Act 1994, where we see this part. The Trade Marks Act discusses in section 3 reasons that are an ‘Absolute grounds for refusal of registration‘, with in section 3(1)(c) we see: “Trade Marks which consist exclusively of signs or indications which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, geographical origin, the time of production of goods or of rendering of services, or other characteristics of goods or services“, as Parma (Ham) and Champagne are regarded as ‘geographical origin’ the examples are faulty. So what is Daniel Boffey? An editor who did not prepare his work? Or is he another anti Brexit fear mongerer with a need to rile the people for his own personal needs? I actually do not know, but it is clear that (as I personally see it), that Daniel did not talk to any Trade Marks Attorneys. Even a quick call to Intellectual Property Office (at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office), or just look at the website and lodge a question would have answered the part that is (again as I personal see it) a blight on the good frame of the Guardian. The articles linked to his name ‘Brexit transitional deal will lock UK into EU court, says Verhofstadt‘, ‘Northern Ireland peace at risk because of Brexit, says Bertie Ahern‘, as well as ‘Britons living in the EU face Brexit backlash, leaked paper warns‘ gives indication that he is very much against the Brexit. Now, I have no problem with those against Brexit, because that was a valid choice of the minority. In addition, they are not swayed yet and they might never be swayed, yet the issue I see here as an Attorney is that the UK has clearly accepted IP laws and leaving the EU will not change the accords that the UK agreed to as a signatory of WIPO. So when I see “The question of what will happen to EU GIs after the withdrawal of the UK is a difficult one” I get the clear indication that the Guardian editor is in cahoots with the European parliament’s agriculture committee on spreading misinformation. In addition, I think he is actually making a case for Brexit, as it now shows that those people in the European parliament’s agriculture committee might be regarded as overpaid incompetent individuals that should be fired immediately, because there is a clear IP setting in place and as such, just by reading the Trade Marks Act 1994, Contacting the UK Intellectual Property Office, or contacting WIPO, this mere fact could have been cleared up in 15 minutes. An alternative is the WTO (at https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/gi_background_e.htm), which shows these issues clearly resolved as well. The WTO also gives us “The United Kingdom has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948. It is a member State of the European Union (more info). All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right”.

It seems to me that the EU gravy train on knowing as little as possible so that many meetings in 5 star locations could be held, which sounds like a massive waste of funds. Finding these facts took almost 10 minutes, so why are these EU members posturing on ignorance?

So the quote “If no arrangements to another effect are made, the protection afforded by the above-mentioned legislation would normally cease to apply in the UK, which means that over a thousand European registered names could be exposed to violation in this neighbouring country” is in equal measure a load of bollocks (for those unaware of the terms, they are the two elements positioned between the legs of a man), and if you are at this point still getting a blank, feel free to call Jim Davidson (the famous UK comedian) and ask him about a historical law enforcement agent (somewhere between 1068 until 1568), the name of that person was Big Dick Dangling, Sheriff of Nottingham Forest.

So there is a clarity that this is a non-issue, as the Trade Marks Act 1994 would remain in force after the UK becomes the Brexiteer, so as such I think that Katharine Viner (editor in Chief) needs to urgently call her Brussels office, especially as the non-issue is painted in such an obscure way that hiding behind “A document from the European parliament’s agriculture committee, which is advising the chamber’s leaders on the Brexit negotiations” is just too unacceptable, no matter how true that is, especially as the editor is now playing political suicide as he is stating “The document drawn up by MEPs warns: “In the hypothesis where the UK, as a third country, would enter into a new relationship with the EU27 based on a free trade agreement it would be important therefore to include a mutual recognition of GIs in such an agreement on the model.”“, which is  as I see it the hidden message. The ‘would enter into a new relationship with the EU27 based on a free trade agreement‘ is not for him to state, quote or comment on, especially as the bare minimum of the article is grossly misrepresented. Actually he could have quoted it, but I personally believe he fell short by a lot on elements like diligence in this article. In pursuit of the previous statement, we see the quote “The MEPs suggest the UK will need to maintain EU standards during any transitional period before a free trade agreement can be struck“, in that, can we get in writing that this includes equestrian beef burgers from Romania? There is light in the end of the tunnel as we see “the MEPs appear to take solace in the suggestion that the British government will be unable to take advantage of third countries seeking other options” with the supported follow up quote “One may wonder, in particular, whether the UK will have the sheer capacity to handle so many urgent trade negotiations in parallel with a national administration which has lost the experience and knowhow of such negotiations since the mid-1970s“, which sounds funny and in in fact hilarious, because in the first, the UK has been involved with trade negotiations on a global scale and in the end, it is the 27 nations that will be chomping at the bit to get a deal for their deliveries towards 68 million consumers. And if anyone thinks that 23 of these nations (who are smaller than the UK) will walk away from a customer base that represented 12% of the entire EU than those claiming that can apply for the function of Mad Hatter!

And as for the Chlorinated Chicken, that issue has been going on since 2014, which does not mean that the deal is null and void, or that it is not an issue, but at present, especially when we see the application of the word ‘if‘ we know that this is currently not the case and there is no clear indication that this will change, as such it remains a non-issue, because whatever the UK imports, if the EU does not allow for it, it stays within the UK, making it a non-issue for the export and the EU will not be affected as it has these limits in place. And in that regard, did these same MEP’s stop the issue of equestrian burgers yet?

Listen, there will be issues in the Brexit time, some will be complex and will require time to solve, anyone stating that this is not the case is lying to you, but to see articles that are a travesty of common sense, a case that could have been verified by any Guardian intern in Brussels with a few calls begs to consider what Daniel Boffey is doing. From my point of view he is not reporting, he is merely what some call a Reuters copy and paste user, which makes him very overpaid and replacing him with previous suggested intern might not be the worst thing to do.

The Guardian is not alone here, the amount of timewasting we see from the mirror, the Daily mail and the Daily online is far worse, but those places are not to be regarded as newspapers, so there is a difference. We see issues in the Independent as well, but one of a different kind. There Ben Chapman (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-britain-must-be-made-worse-off-after-leaving-eu-says-austrian-chancellor-christian-kern-a7578206.html) writes on the Austrian Chancellor and his views. The subtitle gives an interesting and non-invalid view ‘A member of a club must have better conditions than somebody who isn’t a member of this club‘, which is actually a decent way to put it. Yet, what the chancellor is not stating is that this club has failed. Some of its members has not been able to keep up and in response to failed economic numbers the club decided to pump in cash, two rotations of well over a trillion each and the club members need to pay up, even as all members know that it was not a solution. This is regarded as irresponsible acting and this so called club has failed its members by not setting a proper charter for misbehaving members (Greece) as well as a failed system regarding the acts of its executive members (Mario Draghi). Part of that we saw in last weeks The Week (at http://theweek.com/articles/679060/european-central-bank-about-something-stupid), as we read “when it kicked off a quantitative easing (QE) program worth $60 billion a month. In plain English, that means the ECB started creating a bunch of euros out of thin air and using them to buy up various financial assets. In March 2016, it kicked things up a notch, to $80 billion in purchases a month“, which was one of the issues I had. In addition, how anyone can see ‘creating a bunch of euros out of thin air‘ and ‘buy up various financial assets‘ seems so odd as it is not money that is supported by any gold reserve or at lease set against something of value. This doesn’t just read like a Parker Brothers monopoly heist, basically Draghi is buying stuff that is then paid for and is given to? To whom exactly? It almost reads like a derivative nightmare, Mr Blotto buys a lemon and goes bust. He sells this lemon to Draghi for the initial value and he walks away smiling again, whilst Draghi is buying lemons in stacks of 80 billion a month. So who owns the lemon? And where is that 80 billion coming from? Some people forget that if we add (for example) 2 trillion to our 10 trillion, the value of our 10 trillion would now be 10/12 trillion, implying our value decreased by 17% (because against the pound and the dollar it did), but now we get the small complication, Sweden is still using the SEK, the UK has the Pound, so there is an impact there too. That is the part the Draghi elites (financial captain and his minions) seem to ignore. There is an impact on our values, and that decrease is actually increasing faster and faster, especially as there is no improvement in sight.

In this we saw the growth and the actual move towards Brexit, yet at present as the smaller nations are realising (Austria) that they are merely less than 2% of that group and the impact of the exiting nations is seen, Austria is now facing a very mental breakdown. Because it sees the dangers it faces. Austria has a 67% services industry and whilst that is not great, it is not the worst either. The changes that they are now facing might negatively impact their economic value, in addition, the speech the chancellor gave was nice on a European value, the fact that the top 6 of its main export partners does not include the UK, and neither does the top 5 import list, so his club speech sounds nice but is now laced with the emotion of ‘I am taking whatever the UK loses whenever possible‘ gives rise to his reasoning of the club mentality, in addition European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gives us “Do the Hungarians and the Poles want exactly the same thing as the Germans and the French? I have serious doubts“, which is fair enough, yet at the same time we see “and the endgame is that there is no united European front“, which is a realisation that is long overdue, that was a given for the longest of time and the economic posts have been somewhat clear on that. That part is also clear in France where Emmanuel Macron has joined Marine Le Pen by adding the Eurozone membership on the agenda. Which now means that out of the three most likely to win the French election, only François Fillon seems to voice a continuation of France within the Eurozone. As such there is no guarantee that the Eurozone loses France, but only if François Fillon beats both Macron and Le Pen, a feat that is not impossible, but for now decently unlikely. That will be known on 23rd April 2017, when the 1st round of the 2017 French presidential election will be held. Perhaps it would be nice that Daniel Boffey realises that the French will not walk away with a French version of the West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and in equal measure Champagne will still be French, also after both have left the Eurozone, it will not be possible for Either to claim ownership of the Trade Mark ‘Edam Cheese’ as it is a Dutch Trade Mark.

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How misinformed are the French?

This is what today’s article in Reuters brings to mind. The article (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-election-frexit-idUSKBN1420HF) gives the following information: “But unlike Britain, France has a written constitution, which states that “the Republic is part of the European Union”. So a “Frexit” would require a constitutional change which experts say is difficult, but not impossible“.

You see, we are being bombarded by the media regarding the European Union, yet what about the European Economic Community, which was later renamed into the European Community?

More important, the fact that we see this: “France has a written constitution, which states that ‘the Republic is part of the European Union’“, this might not be in question, yet when a system is intentionally made complicated, is that a valid system? (We see that happening right now in the UK), in addition, when we consider the utter lack of accountability that the EC has shown in the last two years alone, gives rise to the imbalance and the unjust path the EC has been on. There is also the part where we see that Mario Draghi and his ECB are now feeling more and more the loud voices of political opposition. Which is likely the reason why we see (at http://www.europeanceo.com/finance/ecb-opts-for-longer-but-leaner-quantitative-easing/), that the title now reads ‘ECB opts for longer but leaner quantitative easing‘, yet the fact that this might lower the quantitative easing by €20 billion a month, yet the extension until December 2017 now implies that the French and the United Kingdom end up getting a massive part of an additional €830 billion in debt, that is almost a trillion more. Bloomberg had already given its view that the expected results were never met, more important, some critical voices give rise to a failing QE program as the debt increases, yet no economy was actually kick-started, there was a lack of results. By the way, when we add the €700bn of QE reported in April 2016, the debt goes well over the additional trillion, giving multiple headaches to France, the UK and Germany. In addition, it will with certainty drive the Frexit group stronger. Even as we saw in the Reuters article “A poll published by Ifop in July found that 67 percent of French voters who expressed a view would vote to stay in the EU. Only 33 percent were against“, which is the opposite from what was seen in February 2016, we need to realise that the upcoming message that France will inherit their share of a 1.3 trillion Euro additional debt through quantitative easing, that will fuel a possible drive of those 67% Fremainers into the Frexiteers Garrison that Marine Le Pen desires at the drop of a hat (any hat). The fact that a failed plan that keeps on getting prolonged reduces Mario Draghi to a one trick pony, or a one trick Wall Street Mule as some economists rumoured regard him to be after the October 8th IMFC meeting. This might have been in regards to the statement “until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation towards levels below, but close to, 2% over the medium term“. By the way, that paper reads like it requires the United Kingdom not to succeed its exiting path, which might just have been my interpretation of it. In addition, the quote mentioned earlier is also stated in regarding the TLTRO-II actions. So, lets realise that I am no economist, yet in the lighter side of all of it, consider that a bank owes amount x. Now we add the TLTRO-II and suddenly the banks debt becomes x+(x*0.3), so we get a 30% increase in debt, this would be a consideration when it wasn’t part of the quantitative easing already happening. In addition, we get “if a bank sufficiently improves its lending to the real economy, instead of having to pay interest, it can receive interest by ‘paying’ a negative rate. This rate can be as low as the deposit facility rate, currently at -0.4%“, so how much fraud (read: apologies I meant accidentally misreported numbers) will we face now? ‘Lending to the real economy‘ is like finding a virgin with nymphomania and 12 service of years in a brothel (read: Really?). In addition to this, the banks get extra money. So When we go to any bank stating we want to add to the economy, so we all borrow 50 million, because we add to the economy we receive $200K a year. Which we spend on food, bills and other things, so we get money and spend that on a real economy (butcher, baker and pastry maker) whilst getting money for spending it. How weird is that? Of course what they see as ‘real’ economy and my view of that are widely apart I reckon.

Yet in all this, we see another game being played, one that I speculatively ‘accused’ the ECB to play almost a year ago. The fact that they are raising the debt to such an extent that it becomes impossible to leave the EC, the UK is getting dangerously close to that point (France might have surpassed that point already, mainly because their economy has been flat for a lot longer). And in all this we see news cast after newscast on how things are slow, too hard and impossible. This almost makes me wish for the age of Alexander the great, where he dealt with the Gordian knot. In today’s version we are almost at the point where the UK only needs to cut off the heads of Jean-Claude Juncker and Mario Draghi and that problem is solved too. #SubtletyRulezOK

In addition, the document seems to set up hidden traps, traps that if adjusted will hurt many in the long run. The quote “prioritising public investment and reducing the tax burden on labour“, so this is not a reduction on taxation for the workers, it is a reduction on taxation on the cost of labour, meaning that corporation taxation will go down even more, yet the ignored definitions that governments face are the results of those reduced forms of taxation, because that money goes to the boardrooms and if the feelings of reduced enthusiasm for Apple, Google and Amazon were low earlier, wait till you see the feelings in several nations when the American policies are stronger enforced towards the US and where the golden rules for the auditors become that corporate contribution (revenue minus cost) will shift and the money trails push all that contribution towards the US. This is a reality I saw in the late 90’s with American companies. As well as a push that senior positions were to be held (for the majority) by Americans. Now, a company must do what it think it needs to do, yet with lower corporate taxation, unbalanced taxation where the bulk of revenue is not taxed and tax laws are still lacking in efficiency as well as holding corporations accountable for certain tax values, we will see a growing imbalance of cost of living and what I would call the implosion of governing budgets because the money isn’t coming in from several sides as all sides are etched to the needs and desires of corporations. And people are still debating that Brexit is a bad deal and that a one market world is a good thing. Now take the 30 largest corporations add what they paid in taxation and add what their revenues were. After which you go to the tax office and demand a similar deal. How hard will these tax employees laugh in your face?

You still think a one market deal is anything but an engine to enable the non-taxability of global corporations?

It gets to be an even stronger issue when we consider the Guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/29/new-cars-imported-from-eu-may-cost-10-more-if-uk-leaves-single-market), which is two weeks old. You see, why would we care? Why get a foreign car? In Australia, the makers didn’t like the deal they had, they wanted more and more tax breaks making the car industry pretty much the first one with legalised slave labour. Why would we want to support this? Why would the UK support this? Consider the UK with 68 million people, now if only 50% had a car, than that would still be a massive amount of consumer goods. If the UK stops importing cars, those in charge behind the screens will then suddenly look for a solution whether a car could be made in the UK. They currently have 4 cars made in the UK, but those are high end cars and too expensive for those usually needing one. This is how VW started its empire, in 1932 it started the people’s car project. A car for every person, Volkswagen, which pretty much translates the German brand. The Australians are not in such a good spot in that regard, but it is still a 20 million citizen market, with plenty of 4 wheel needs. Those car exploiters forgot about the consequence when a market on a national level states, we no longer need you. That is why the single market is so important to them (mostly those in the boardrooms). And as Toyota reported a drop of 40% compared to last year, the consequence of nations no longer needing their brand must be a massive nightmare for those getting a bonus based on sales results. In that regard they will feel the pinch and they will feel it a lot harder than ever before. They are however feeling good because ‘Toyota’s earnings performance is improving, mainly because the yen is now weakening‘, which sounds nice on an Abacus, but the massive debt that the Japanese people face ($9 trillion at present), how long until the Japanese stop to consider how much interest that actually is; considering that Japan only has 123 million people. At 0.1% interest, if it even could be that low, implies an interest of 9 billion a year, this sets the interest to $73K per person per year. So how is that going for the Japanese budget, especially when you consider that the average man in the land of the rising sun makes up to $20K a year? So how is that formula working and how much worse is Mario Draghi making it for Europe? You see, it is my personal speculation in this that the US and Japan are pushing parties in equilibrium, when the debts equalise there will be no way back for Europe. Europe will be at the mercy of the incompetence of America and Japan. At that point, as a member of UKIP would state it: ‘I don’t want some bloody yank telling us how to keep our debt, I don’t want any debt‘, but at that point it will be too late and we will be left without options on a global scale. Did any of us sign up for that? In addition, do the French realise that my speculation is not that far off?

This is a path that I have stated before and in earlier blogs I have clearly stated that we are in for a bumpy ride, I actually expect a new crash late 2017, early 2018 at the latest, so when we see that this article by Pension and Investments (at http://www.pionline.com/article/20161213/ONLINE/161219969/natixis-survey-investors-turning-to-active-management-amid-expected-2017-volatility) gives us the title ‘Natixis survey: Investors turning to active management amid expected 2017 volatility‘, by the way, that is a group of people where the lowest income would be close to 30-50 times my income, so these people have serious cash to play with. So the quote “As a result, asset owners plan to reset their portfolios, relying on active management and alternative assets as they seek to manage risk and boost returns” seems a little bit of an issue when we realise that Mario Draghi and his quote “as part of our expanded asset purchase programme (APP)” gives a whole new light in all this. It almost amounts to a speculated shift in ownership of assets, where governments are buying assets via the ECB (intentional or not) and in addition, these portfolios get to reset themselves and get rid of what would soon be new bad debt. Whilst the Guardian reported in November 2015 that the European banks were sitting on €1 trillion of bad debts and the quote “The increase in lending has been accompanied by a very gradual improvement of asset quality, although levels of non-performing exposures in EU banks remain a concern and a potential impediment to lending growth and profitability” now reflects on Mario Draghi as he basically has been adding more than €1 trillion more (making it a total of €2.3 trillion) by the time we get to December 2017. When the upcoming volatility shit hits the fan, all our financial futures will go straight into the sewer.

So, when the French realise that, do you really thing that there will be any non-illegals left in that country considering to remain in the European Community?

More important, when some of these factors start hitting the UK, its population could end up demanding a sledgehammer hard Brexit almost overnight. Yet, again, that is pure speculation from my side. In the meantime, I should apply for a job at Natixis, facilitate for people who will actually end up having some money left from January 2018 onwards. I have to eat too and I would love some French grub, even if I have to Join Legion Etrangere for that part (do not worry readers, I no longer meet their standards).

So as you now wonder how informed the French are, I need to wonder in equal measure if they are the only ones not getting the full picture (read: awareness), the fact the Dutch move out of the EEC is now getting a lot more realistic, even more realistic than I ever thought it would be, gives additional light to the title and topic in this blog. Yet so far there is a decent indication that Frexit will drive the decision of plenty and Frexit will come to a referendum before the Dutch get that chance, meaning that the French vote will clearly influence the Dutch one, yet to what extent cannot be said or stated. In addition, the Rhine and the Rotterdam harbours would not get the economic punch as hard because of German needs, meaning that these ties will remain strong for the need of both, but that is no guarantee that the Dutch will not feel the initial hardship of change, to what extent cannot be stated with any degree of reliability.

 

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Ignoranus Totalicus

We can see the title as a pig Latin version of being a ‘complete dumbass’, which stands opposite of the Latin phrase to be all knowing as ‘sciens omnia’, yet who is this ignoranus? That is very much the debate. For this we need to take a look at a few sources. Let’s start the game at the Guardian. The first one (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/22/barack-obama-brexit-uk-back-of-queue-for-trade-talks) is ‘Barack Obama: Brexit would put UK ‘back of the queue’ for trade talks‘. You see, after the quality voice Mark Carney gave at the House of Lords, one would initially expect that a president (even a lame duck one), would bring his ‘A’ game to the table. That part in question is indeed in doubt when we see the following parts: “And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done”. You see, the statement might sound correct, but it is not. You see America is not (read: no longer) about ‘trade agreements’ it is about non-accountable agreements of exploitation. The fact that this same president nags about taxes and tax havens, is the same person that allows for massive tax havens on American soil, not addressing those and in that same light takes an 180 turn on taxation in the meeting in the Hague as I mentioned in my earlier blog is part of the issue. These actions are matters of great concern. I wonder why we even bother listening to a president who will be out of the office in a mere 6 months. If this was such a big deal both nominations for president would not merely make a statement. The next part gives more than one issue “Obama argued that it was much more efficient for the US to negotiate with the EU as a bloc, rather than attempt to take on “piecemeal trade agreements”, and suggested that Brexit would send a signal of division to the world“, it is indeed more efficient, but moreover, it makes for easier exploitation. Exploitation is at the heart of this matter and the bulk of the politicians tend to have the spinal cord of a paperback, not one hardcover amongst them. The final part is seen when we get “This is a decision for the people of the United Kingdom to make. I’m not coming here to fix any votes. I’m not casting a vote myself. I am offering my opinion, and in democracies, everybody should want more information, not less, and you shouldn’t be afraid to hear an argument being made”, which is fine in one part, but consider the cost of a president appearing in person when a TV message could do the same if it was merely to ‘offer an opinion’. America is afraid, it has never been this bankrupt before, this deep in debt and the toppling of the Euro will crash the Dollar, that could  push no less than one third in a state of poverty. Wall Street and the financial connections are making their toll and the exiting president is doing whatever he can to keep the American nightmare alive, it does not matter who comes next for the mere reason that Brexit comes when he is still in charge. If Brexit comes into effect he will see the Dow Jones drop to a level not seen before, because Brexit is a guarantee that France will demand a Frexit referendum. This would guarantee the end of the Euro and as such the dollar cannot continue on the level it is. My voice is on par with justice minister, Dominic Raab. As he states ““You can’t say on the one hand that the US-UK special relationship is as strong as ever and always will be, and in the next breath say take my advice or you go to the back of the queue,” he said. “I don’t think the British people will be blackmailed by anyone, let alone a lame duck US president on his way out”“, he gives a truth that matters. This was not a simple visit where it is about an opinion. This is about the US being in such deep debt that Brexit could start the collapse of the US economy and its currency. This whilst still under this president. This president needs to get results before the end of his presidency, if that does not happen, than the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama will be the president who ended the American dream and started the American nightmare.

The next article, also in the Guardian gives us the quotes from Hillary Clinton, and as such she illuminates the issues that Britons have had with their situation. The quote “transatlantic cooperation is essential, and that cooperation is strongest when Europe is united. She has always valued a strong United Kingdom in a strong EU. And she values a strong British voice in the EU“, we do not object to that view, we all object to the non-accountability that large corporations (not just American ones) have, most of them American. President Obama signed his own political ‘death warrant’ when he made the administration to do a 180 about face in 2013. The quote The quote “Senior officials in Washington have made it known they will not stand for rule changes that narrowly target the activities of some of the nation’s fastest growing multinationals“, which I reiterated in ‘Delusional‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/04/07/delusional/), can we agree that places, most of them valued at multiple billions, don’t really need tax breaks? That misjudgement of such Titanic proportions is now the millstone around this president’s neck. Yet this is not the only part, it is about timing, which started when the issues in Greece escalated. That started the path we are on now. As the people at large became more aware on the one-sidedness of the EEC and the way their savings are now dwindling down is how the people started to side with more right extreme parties. There are more relevant quotes from President Obama in this article too, but they do not require comment, if you do not grasp the casual way that America ignored issues that hurt the bulk of the entire planet, than you are either too young, or you are unable to grasp the danger you are in.

Yet this is not the end. The independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/barack-obama-on-the-eu-referendum-i-wont-tell-you-how-to-vote-but-heres-how-i-want-you-to-vote-a6997436.html), we see another side. We see a likeminded article, the issues that I have been writing for some time. The quote on Boris Johnson matters. We get to read: “Johnson did indeed make the point that the US would never accept the kind of external authority that he thinks the British should continue to accept. But his clowning in his first paragraph obliterated that important debate and undermined his own authority“, which is a truth, yet the issue that matters is that on the other side Mark Carney as Governor of the Bank of England gave a response in the House of Lords that was so strong that it swayed me from Brexit to Bremain. I remain on the fence, as neutral as possible so that the people have at least one source that they can trust to be trying to remain neutral. I regard myself a conservative, yet this goes beyond mere politics. This vote, whether Brexit or Bremain will influence the life of the voters as well as their children. If you are 18 and still a virgin, worry not, this referendum will set the tone for the next 15 years at least, so any children you create in the next 10 years will likely see the consequence of this outcome.

In the final part of part 1 there is the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-plunges-into-heated-debate-over-britains-future-in-the-eu/2016/04/22/43657cba-0867-11e6-a12f-ea5aed7958dc_story.html), for the most it was all said before, yet the Post had one gem that does matter: “Even though Obama has been outspoken in his support for Britain staying in the European Union, analysts urged him to tread lightly on his visit. “This is an emotionally charged discussion, and it really does not respond to calm, rational logic” said Heather Conley, a senior European analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington”, she is setting the correct tone here but is missing a key element. As I stated in the past and in this piece, where I am not going anywhere near ‘calm rational logic‘, I am going towards the exploitation drive that corporate America has shown as well as the flaccid response of the last two administrations in that regard. What Greece started, the American response to greed from the financial industry did not help any and this American president is too clear a reminder of that fact.

So now to answer the question ‘Who is the Ignoranus Totalicus?’ It is you and me (more you than me in all honesty). You see, many people are not getting properly informed about the consequences of either Bremain or Brexit. They flock together with the person they ‘trust’, with the politicians that gets them those 15 seconds in the limelight. This referendum is too important for that, which is why there is turmoil, not just in the Conservative party, but in nearly all parties except UKIP. If you want to be the ignoranus, than be happy in that. For those who are worried (and you all should be), you need to get the proper information, get the real points, not just the one the press gives and go to the voting booth clear of mind and sound of choice, so that the choice you made reflects the future you seek for you and your family if you have one (or going to have one).

This is the one part that everyone seems to agree on, either side, the impact will be long and lasting, if you at least got that far, then you are on the right track and in this case it is perfectly fine to be selfish and consider only what is best for you and your family, because that is the one that matters.

 

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Murder or simply killing it

Europe remains on our minds from several directions. The fact that the start of Brexit is 13 weeks away, so basically we have now entered the final quarter of a union that basically never was. A union that did little good for too many people and a setting that well over tripled the cost of infrastructure. All elements that are shifted around, as they aren’t clearly in budgets on reports and more important, a place of spending that is not being properly monitored or controlled.

We might all think that the EEC was so good for us, but was it really? When you are not in a high position in a large corporation, how did you really benefit? The last 15 years have been a mere exercise in exploitation by big business and short cut seekers. In all this after Brexit, the situation will remain. When goods are needed, people will buy them, which is why I oppose certain articles from the Guardian. One of them (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/28/brexit-would-affect-lives-of-millions-official-uk-report-says) states: ‘Brexit would negatively affect lives of millions, official UK report says‘, yet is this altogether true? let’s take a look at some of the quotes “The 10 years cited in the report includes the time it would take for Britain to exit the EU, to set up a new trade and related agreements as well as negotiate fresh trade deals with the US and other countries“, I regard this to be untrue. You see, everyone wants to sell, if the UK wants to buy, than those nations will oblige. More important, HM Revenue and Customs (at https://www.uktradeinfo.com) shows that UK imports is a lot higher than exports, which means that the UK is spending between 10 and 20 billion a year more than it receives in exports. Do you believe for one second that those nations will not find an immediate solution here? The damage of the UK getting its goods from a secondary source is too scary for THEIR economies, so you can bet the house on a solution being found almost immediately after the changeover comes. The second quote which is important here is “It says the only legal way to withdraw from the EU is through article 50 of the treaty of the European Union. But it argues that there is no precedent for this and that Britain would be unlikely to achieve a successful negotiation in the two-year time period it sets out“, here I also disagree. The paper Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU (at https://lawlordtobe.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/ecblwp10.pdf) sheds light on this. On page 11 we see “One is that a right of unilateral withdrawal existed even in the absence of any explicit reference to it in the treaties, since sovereign States were, in any case, free to exercise their sovereign right18 to withdraw from their international commitments19

The references there are:

18. ‘Sovereign power’ has been defined as ‘power not subject to limitation by higher or coordinate power held over some territory’ (MacCormick (1999), p. 127).

19. See Zeh, p. 209. This proposition is in line with the decision in Maastricht Urteil (BVerfGE 89, 155 of 12 October 1993) where the German Constitutional Court stated that the States are still ‘the Masters of the Treaties’ and can always decide to abandon the EU, revoking their acts of accession by a contrary unilateral denunciation; and more recently in its decision in Lisbon Urteil (BVerfG, 2 BvE 2/08 of 30 June 2009) the German Constitutional Court found that the EU, as designed by the Lisbon Treaty, is not a federal state and that constitutional safeguards of national identity clearly exist under EU law.

Which gives us actually two issues. The first is that from the descriptions we see, that the EEC could be seen as a tontine. Here we see the following concept “Each investor pays a sum into the tontine. Each investor then receives annual dividends on the capital invested. As each investor dies, his or her share is reallocated among the surviving investors. This process continues until only one investor survives. Each subscriber receives only dividends; the capital is never paid back“, how is that any different? In addition, the EEC does not give dividend, it costs more and more money, in addition, the nations involved aren’t adding capital, they are adding debt and the last surviving nation ends up with all the debt. From that version Brexit makes perfect sense and getting out first seems to be an imperative need (the second one is further down the article for a reason).

There is one element the Guardian did get right “It also warns that the rights of 2 million British expats to work and access pensions and healthcare in EU countries may no longer be guaranteed“, I am on the fence here. I personally believe that if expats want to live their pensions away in Spain or Greece, than this should remain a possibility. I agree that there might be initial issues, yet those people might be permanent residents as such it should not affect them other than the pensions being a problem and that should not be the case. In addition, if the government does do a 180 on this part, it will be directly responsible to get affordable housing for those 2 million people. There is no way that this would work and it should not be an issue. A pensioner gets their money, it is deposited in whatever account is specified and that is pretty much the end of it in my book. Do you think that Spain, in its current economy would walk away from hundreds of thousands of paying Britons? I think not!

These are some of the oppositional issues I have with the article of Anushka Asthana, Heather Stewart and Nicholas Watt. It is however not the only article, because there are a few sides to the EEC at present, a pressing issue of refugees is an element and it is partially driving Brexit too. The article of a debatable level here is ‘EU acting like ‘human trafficker’ of refugees, says Austrian minister‘, the core of this is “Sebastian Kurz said that “in Greece refugees are being waved through to the heart of Europe. That is simply unacceptable in the long run. The European Union cannot act like a human trafficker.” Restoring the Dublin and Schengen agreements, he said, had to be a priority at the meeting between the EU leaders and Turkey“, as I stated before, it is like listening to someone who lost touch with reality (to some extent). In the first, the EU are not trafficking in refugees. Greece is completely overwhelmed by those refugees arriving via Turkish smugglers. Greece has no infrastructure to deal with the issue and the bulk of all the refugees do not want to stay in Greece, they want to go to a German or English speaking nation, in a pinch a French speaking nation would suffice. That is a clear fact as we have seen it for a long time, in addition, the part “had to be a priority at the meeting between the EU leaders and Turkey” here he seems completely intent of not calling the kettle black, because Turkey is massively responsible for the mess at his borders, as well as the Greek borders. Allowing free passes to smugglers and looking the other way as thousands of refugees are making for Greece. It seems that this short-sightedness is also fuel for both Brexit and Frexit. Now, I will immediately accept that Austria and Germany are getting swamped too. There is an issue, no one denies that, but taking Greece out of the solution was a really bad idea, especially as Turkey is part of the mess, not part of any solution. As the borders in Germany are back up, as borders close, we see another quote. When we read “Yet there will be little sympathy for Berlin from Hungary, Italy or Greece, which are bearing the brunt of the mass arrivals of people from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Afghanistan“, which is fair enough. Yet, as stated earlier: “This proposition is in line with the decision in Maastricht Urteil (BVerfGE 89, 155 of 12 October 1993) where the German Constitutional Court stated that the States are still ‘the Masters of the Treaties’ and can always decide to abandon the EU, revoking their acts of accession by a contrary unilateral denunciation“, the intersections of the two situations is found in the works of Juli Zeh.

This now reflects also on the second issue, the first I described earlier, the second issue I skipped until now. This all comes from an article titled ‘Union Membership: Accession, Suspension of membership rights and unilateral withdrawal. Some reflections‘ by Jean-Victor Louis, an honorary Professor from the Free University of Brussels. In his reflections on Page 11, we see: “The future will say if the prevision of unilateral withdrawal will be a “source of pressures and blackmailing against the general interest” or prove to be a useful way out of undesirable changes in the working and orientation of the European Union. Juli Zeh concludes her in-depth analyses of the right of withdrawal by quoting an Estonian member who expressed “hope that this clause will never be used” and indeed she is right. We would like to suggest that the Union should conceive and put in practice an accession policy for the future in order to avoid unilateral withdrawals“.

The interesting part is that at no time any consideration is given to the accountability of national needs and national acts. Consider the overspending of the budget by 12 trillion euro’s (total EEC debt including UK), or the fact that the bulk of the European nations remain incapable of keeping a budget. One could argue that not unlike a contract, the presence of unfair terms are not binding on consumers and the trader may not rely on them. Is the European Union any difference?

The last one is not really that sellable, but the premise is, in addition, should certain parties be investigated for neglecting ‘their’ national need? That question arises from the initial PDF mentioned. Here we see: “As one author has written, there are three main reasons why the treaties were silent on withdrawal: first, it was in order to avoid putting question marks to the Member States’ commitment to the achievement of their shared objectives; second, it was because providing for the possibility of withdrawal might have increased its likelihood; and third, because to provide for this possibility would entail the daunting task of spelling out the procedure and consequences of withdrawal“, this now implies that the creating parties set up an unbalanced situation and in addition the elected politicians at the time did not do their homework and created a dangerous situation to their national need. Am I the only one asking the right question here?

So will Brexit turn out to be murder, or will the British be killing it? Where will the economy go? These are questions that many sources are answering in their view, emphasising their need to be in-EEC, or out-EEC. I have my own view, but I do not have any useful answers. You see, there are issues on both sides, yet as I see it, the scales that are in favour of the UK seem to lean towards out-EEC at present. This view will be interfered with, especially by the USA, as it will topple a massive economic minefield which will blow up in all our faces, especially the value of the Dollar. Yet, the status for the UK would remain strongest if they leave first, especially if the Commonwealth unites with the UK in a strong economic bond. If we find a way to keep import low by utilising the Commonwealth bonds that Commonwealth nations have, the UK coffers would grow better, faster and higher. In the end, Brexit or not, a solution for the refugees must still be found, closing the borders to them completely is as unacceptable as it was for Austria to keep Greece out of the debate. How these parties will be resolved is a question that remains without answer as the involved parties have a hard time agreeing on the resolution, which is fair enough, there are no easy answers, as there is an equal concern that a solution is not forthcoming any day soon. For that Greece would have been needed to create locations, an option Austria decided to take it out of consideration, something that will haunt us for a little longer than we are all comfortable with.

 

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The mere legality

Now that the Greeks have voted to bankrupt themselves (blaming everyone else in the process), it is duly time to take another look at the part I touched on in my article ‘Dress rehearsal (part 1)’ on July 1st 2015 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/01/dress-rehearsal-part-1/). There the issue that came from Danuta Hübner, Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, European Parliament, with the attachment I added in the paper by Phoebus Athanassiou ‘Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU

Danuta Hübner mentions Art. 50 of the Lisbon Treaty as well as Art. 140 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). So, this is something we need to look at, because Greece has decided not to be responsible and before the papers and TV drown us in emotional issues, whilst keeping quiet that the debt of other European nations might go up and not by a small amount.

So, yes, basically article 50 is about ‘withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements‘, which does not mean the others can throw Greece out.

So far, that part seems almost impossible, as Tsipras keeps on claiming wanting to remain in the Eurozone, the image given is that he would stay in because article 50 is all about voluntarily removing one’s self from the Euro. Article 7(1) gives us “On a reasoned proposal by one third of the Member States, by the European Parliament or by the European Commission, the Council, acting by a majority of four fifths of its members after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2“, which leads to Article 7(3) “Where a determination under paragraph 2 has been made, the Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide to suspend certain of the rights deriving from the application of the Treaties to the Member State in question, including the voting rights of the representative of the government of that Member State in the Council

In short, Article 7 is about reprimanding, even if all rights are suspended. That does not mean that they exit, which gives us two parts, the fact that France can walk away from the Euro to protect itself, yet Greece cannot get removed, which is not a given yet, there is a lot more to sift through. Article 2 is all about values, respect from Human rights and the rights of minorities, which does not have bearing on this precise case. The PDF that brought this to light, which by the way (due to an error on my side) is from Phoebus Athanassiou, my apologies for the earlier mistake in my previous blog!

The idea that the treaties should explicitly provide for a possibility of expulsion was discussed in the 2001-2003 Intergovernmental Conference responsible for drafting the ill-fated Constitutional Treaty, but was abandoned“, so not only were politicians the start of the mess, yet NO ONE had the bright idea to consider that one player might not be an adult giving them all permanent headaches is beyond hilarious, the fact that this legal bright mind (trained in the UK) is also a former Lawyer connected to Athens Law Firm of Tsibanoulis & Partners, and a former consultant for Government of the Republic of Cyprus just adds to the humour. His paper from 2009 and now we are all about to learn how we wasted millions on representations from the ECB whilst they were unable (as it seems) to properly protect the members. In all this both Yanis Varoufakis and Alexis Tsipras must be howling with laughter as we learn that most papers had not even clearly investigated the marketing term Grexit, so even as Brexit and Frexit might become reality in voluntary secession, Grexit will not happen against the will of Greece, as the facts presently are given, but let’s take a look at the steps that come next, because the PDF I added on July 1st is truly a treasure trove (Phoebus Athanassiou seems to be hindered by extreme levels of brilliance).

There is however another consideration, if we look at Article 2, where we see “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities“, the question becomes, as Greece decided to ignore equality and rule of law, are they in violation of Article 2?

Consider, that the creditors are a factual minority (one set on wealth and power of decision), the Greek government took out loans, they signed of these loans, as they are not complying with the execution of the agreed terms, are they not breaking the law? In addition, Article 3(2) gives us “The Union shall offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of persons is ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime

It is the part ‘prevention and combating of crime‘, so as we see that for decades Greece did not ‘uphold’ (read reform) taxation laws or properly prosecute tax evaders (one fined Bobolas ‘proper’ combatting tax evasion does not make), can we state that Greece is in violation in accepting the articles of the Union, as such, what could be made then?

I will be the first to admit that this is a mighty fine line, but in this game, could such a fine line be enough?

Article 3(3) is about several things, including cohesion, Economic, social and territorial. When we consider the economic part we get the thought that economic and social cohesion is an expression of solidarity between the Member States and regions of the European Union. This means balanced and sustainable development, reducing structural disparities between regions and countries and promoting equal opportunities for all individuals. The fact that Greece (one of many) has not been able to (or intentionally unwilling) to keep a proper budget, we get an unbalanced and unsustainable development, whilst these people (the previous administrations) have not been properly investigated or even prosecuted, which gives us possible transgressions of Articles 2, Article 3(2) and Article 3(3). So is expulsion still not an option in that hindsight?

So as we see that the makers of the articles painted themselves in a corner by only focussing on growth and ignoring accountability, we see that Greece either got really well informed, or just had the right page open on the right day, no matter what, the EEC is inheriting a mess it did not properly defend itself against, so even though the path was reached in another way, as we see this explode, it seems very conceivable that the fallout from this event will have a large impact on the chances of Brexit and Frexit as they will be voluntary. So even as the UN was bright enough to include their Article 6, where the member can send home in a not so nice way for ‘persistently infringing the principles of the Charter‘, it becomes clear that the overpaid makers of Treaty of Lisbon were a lot less clued in at this point (or so it seems).

As I see it, Dr Phoebus Athanassiou, Senior Legal Counsel with the DGLS of the European Central Bank (ECB) had nailed the issue fair and square in 2009, I am just appalled that journalists and politicians have either ignored the options, or intentionally misinformed the people, whilst the European member politicians had their ‘closed door‘ meeting.

As I stated on July 1st: “Consider the next news “Here’s Bloomberg on Schaeuble’s comments: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told lawmakers in Berlin that Greece would stay in the euro for the time being if Greek voters reject austerity in a referendum scheduled this week, according to three people present. Schaeuble also said the European Central Bank would do what’s needed to protect the euro if Greeks voted against the bailout terms in the July 5 referendum, according to the people, all of whom participated in the closed-door meeting on Tuesday“, is that why it was closed door? The fact that expulsion is pretty much impossible?

So as we now see “Angela Merkel, is to head to Paris on Monday for urgent talks with French president François Hollande over how to avert a growing Eurozone debt crisis” (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/05/germany-greek-referendum-anger-solidarity), which signals two things, the first is that Germany is not considering steps that will accelerate many things, pat of it will make Greece the pariah it should not have made itself, you see, the BBC and the Guardian are all about ‘negotiations’ and the, as we might regard it hollow statement from EU Parliamentarian Martin Schulz “he hopes that meaningful proposals from the Greek government will arrive in the coming hours because “if not, we are entering a very difficult and even dramatic time.”“, is that so? Because Greece can only leave the Euro voluntarily as we see it at present. Another voice, which is the Economic editor Robert Preston gives us even more to worry about. “The Bank of Greece could make unsecured loans to Greek banks without the ECB’s permission“, which could blow the Euro straight into the basement value, as well as “Or it can explicitly create a new currency, a new drachma, which it could then use to provide vital finance to Greek banks and the Greek economy“, which might be more likely, but does Greece have to go either way? Consider that the lacking law makers forgot to properly defend itself, now take into account that when Tsipras will let it all fall and food and medication are no longer an option, we get back to Article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty with “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities“, which means that the other EEC nations would have to foot the bill and come to the aid of Greece to deliver food and medication. All this because previous Greek elected officials refused to adhere to Article 3(2) regarding ‘prevention and combating of crime‘ (tax crime to be exact), as well as the economic cohesion thing, but the last one is one that pretty much NONE of the EEC members adhered too, so calling Greece on that seems slightly hypocritical from my side.

So as the creditors might resort to “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” (let them eat cake), we see a dangerous escalation. I wonder how both Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen will respond in the coming days. There is no doubt in my mind that this will impact Brexit and Grexit, especially as it will be voluntarily.

No matter how this plays, we already seeing images on how Greek retirees are getting hit all over the place. So as we see Tsipras playing ‘paper tiger’ stating “the vote showed that “democracy won’t be blackmailed””, my less ‘diplomatic’ quote would be: “No, you blistering idiot, you sitting on your hands and not seriously reforming taxation and prosecution laws is part of the direct reason of the mess we now see!” This is why we will now see articles like http://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/crying-greek-pensioner-the-story-behind-the-heartbreaking-photo, ‘Crying Greek pensioner’. Here we now see quotes like “I see my fellow citizens begging for a few cents to buy bread. I see more and more suicides. I am a sensitive person. I cannot stand to see my country in this situation.” And this is not even close to the tip of iceberg.

The next few days will be interesting to say the least.

 

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