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Aurelia last won the day on August 19 2016

Aurelia had the most liked content!

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About Aurelia

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  • Birthday January 4

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    Terra Brasilis/Belgica
  • Interests
    I have been passionate about history since childhood, particularly ancient and medieval history. Other than the Greco-Roman world, I'm also interested in Celtic culture and mythology as well as Arthurian legends. I love reading historical novels but also like African fiction.

    On a more general note I love photography and traveling. I also appreciate wine (have recently followed a wine tasting course) and food (eating, not cooking).

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  1. Aurelia

    UNRV Brexit poll

    Loved the "slap Michael Gove" website! Good to know he's out although I feel sorry for the Brits now that May has picked Boris Johnson to be Foreign Secretary (what was she thinking??). Is there a "slap Boris Johnson" website out there?
  2. Aurelia

    UNRV Brexit poll

    It might not initially have been about British nations voting individually but it is turning into quite an issue now. Most of all, it has served to expose the deep fractures within the UK and it's likely to get worse as the full implications of leaving the EU become more clear. Northern Ireland doesn't seem too pleased with the idea of leaving the EU either and who knows what this will do to relations between NI and the Republic of Ireland if/when a new border goes up between the two. A union of sovereign states does not mean it is a super state in which they have no say. Yes, the EU is a politico-economic union defined by a single market, free circulation of goods, services and people, and a series of common policies that promote close cooperation. Yes, there are rules whereby EU members must abide, but close cooperation among such a large number of member states would be almost impossible without them. Besides, the UK has always been very successful at cherry picking the rules it wanted to apply to them (no Schengen, no Euro, no JHA or at least most of it...) and still managed to moan about it in the process. It's all very nice to want to benefit from the best aspects of close cooperation without having to chip in as well but unfortunately it's just not realistic. And it's very ironic that the "leave" campaigners have thrived on telling supporters that the UK would be better off as a member of the EEA such as Norway, or with a special bilateral agreement such as the one with Switzerland when we all know very well (actually, apparently many people don't know that!) that in order to be able to access the EU single market, a country has to abide by EU rules (including all those nice little EU directives that the British love to hate) as well as to allow for free movement of people (oops!). Not to mention that Switzerland and Norway also need to pay into the European Structural Fund. One thing is for sure, it will be interesting to see what sort of arrangement (if any) the UK will manage to reach with the EU if it continues to insist it does not want to follow certain rules. France's economic problems have little to do with the EU just as those of the UK (please refer to my previous post). France benefits enormously from the Common Agricultural Policy. Also it is a very conservative country when it comes to its labour market. For instance, their 35-hour work week and extreme protection of employees sounds very nice in theory but it also represents a huge obstacle in the creation of new jobs. The UK, on the other hand, has gone in the complete opposite direction with the implementation of those appalling zero-hour contracts which, to be quite frank, are a disgrace. Yes, that's true but wouldn't you say that weaker European countries joining the EU also contributes to more stability in the continent? You could compare it to the welfare state where we all contribute towards supporting the weaker and most vulnerable as a way of promoting the greater good. I know our libertarian American friends will disagree with me here but I won't go into that now (perhaps that would be a discussion for another topic ). By the way, good luck getting back those £350 million a week (which is not even an accurate figure) from your own government. Judging by the Tory government policies so far, they are likely to cut even more funds in the future. Here's a little reality check to end this post. How's life in the bubble?
  3. Aurelia

    UNRV Brexit poll

    This is a very sad day for Europe. I must admit I'm still quite shocked by the results - I knew it would be tight but never expected "leave" to win. Sorry to burst your bubble, Caldrail, but I've just watched Nicola Sturgeon from Scotland say in a press conference that it is highly likely that they will now call for a second referendum as they are still very keen to keep their ties with the EU. As I understand it, many Scots who voted to remain within the UK in 2014 did so because they did not want to leave the EU. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think even David Cameron said at the time that if the UK voted to leave the EU, this would justify another Scottish referendum. As for the assertion that all European nations would eventually be absorbed into a EU super state, please, we all know that will never happen. There is just too much resistance within EU countries (not just the UK) and the rise of right-wing movements across the continent bears testament to that. I think the referendum results reflect a deep dissatisfaction with the UK government itself much more than with the EU. The economic downturn in the UK, as well as the NHS and housing crises are more a result of the appalling policies introduced by successive ineffective governments (Labour and Tory) than any European directive. Anyway, let's hope the future is not quite as bleak as "experts" would have us believe (for the UK and for the EU)!
  4. Aurelia

    UNRV Brexit poll

    Indeed but, to be fair, the lies told by the leave campaigners seem a bit more outrageous.
  5. Aurelia

    UNRV Brexit poll

    Sonic, this one is for you!
  6. Aurelia

    UNRV Brexit poll

    Well, today is the day! I'll be following the news with interest throughout the day to see which way things are going (although I believe we'll only get the definite results at some point tomorrow). I won't lie: I'm definitely pro-EU and hope that the UK votes to remain. I have had the privilege of enjoying all the benefits and freedoms that the EU provides all its citizens. Sure, it is not perfect (but neither is any national government!) but I think it has enabled Europe to grow closer together and enjoy an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity since the ravages of war in the 20th century. Having lived and worked in Brussels from 2001 to 2010, I have had the chance to witness the way it works from up close. Sure it can be bureaucratic and often ineffective (it is not entirely to blame, mind you, as national governments still have the final say in major decisions taken within the bloc unlike what the "leave" campaign has been advocating) but the bureaucrats and particularly MEPs are mostly genuinely committed people working towards a better common future. The divisive and often explosive referendum campaign is perhaps a wake-up call that ordinary citizens (in the UK and elsewhere) want the EU to change and reform. But I don't think leaving is the way to go. I hope our British friends choose to stay and, who knows, even spearhead a future campaign to reform the EU.
  7. Aurelia

    UNRV Brexit poll

    Great idea caesar novus! You can now express your dissatisfaction with the EU in the poll at the top of this thread!
  8. Aurelia

    UNRV Brexit poll

    Very interesting response, sonic. I bet it is confusing what with each side often advocating completely opposing views. So, when you say you'd choose a politician you despise, would Nigel Farage be a good candidate?
  9. Aurelia

    UNRV Brexit poll

    Well, I can see things have been pretty quiet at the Forum lately. I myself have been on an extended leave for some time now. I do miss sharing ideas on this Forum though. So, as I tend to follow British politics fairly closely, I was wondering what our British (and other) forum members think of the upcoming EU referendum this week. Are you voting in or out? And if you are not British, which way would you go?
  10. Aurelia

    Disco's here, dat goes der

    Fascinating video, truly inspiring. Am seriously considering a career change!
  11. Aurelia

    New History Books (January 2015)

    Happy New Year everyone! Please see below the first releases of 2015. Darius in the Shadow of Alexander Beauty: The Fortunes of an Ancient Greek Idea The Medicine of the Ancient Egyptians: 1: Surgery, Gynecology, Obstetrics, and Pediatrics Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World State Power in Ancient China and Rome Economic Equality and Direct Democracy in Ancient Athens Sexing the World: Grammatical Gender and Biological Sex in Ancient Rome Roman Helmets The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day
  12. Aurelia

    Happy New Year!

    Happy 2015!!
  13. I'll tell you what, Aurelia. I very much swing between really liking this, and finding it really cheesy. It hasn't found its way onto my iPhone yet, though. PS I still can't resolve the whole 'Happy ≈ Room without roof' equation. Hehe, yeah, I confess that it took a while for this song to grow on me but my daughter took to it instantly so I didn't have much choice in the matter. I do enjoy listening to it now - the lyrics are indeed a bit crazy though.
  14. Pharrell Williams - HAPPY Blame my daughter for this one...
  15. Haha, I had a good laugh with this one, thanks for posting!