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Local Community => Local Issues => Hazel Grove Elections May 2015 => Topic started by: simonesaffron on December 17, 2014, 08:56:10 AM

Title: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: simonesaffron on December 17, 2014, 08:56:10 AM
The elections in prospect are a strange animal indeed. Apart from those with former party allegiance who would vote for a donkey providing it wore the right colour, little guidance is offered to the open-minded voter.

IMHO local elections in Marple are fairly straight forward and I can see nothing else but Liberal Democrat ward candidates being returned and on balance probably deserving to be returned.

Hazel Grove Constituency though is a different story altogether and the outcome is more open than it has ever been.

Leaving aside the candidates for a moment if you consider the parties.

Conservative: Don't seem to have any answers to anything other than austerity and to blame the previous labour administration for everything from immigration to the economy. Can't be trusted with the NHS.

Labour: Inspire no confidence whatsoever with anything to do with money in general and particularly not the welfare state. It should never be about one person but I cannot think of a more square peg potential Prime Minister since I have been following politics. The fact that the party has picked such a leader over the one it could have had is in itself an alarm bell situation.

LibDem: Whatever their follower's protestations they are facing wipeout nationally, though perhaps not in Hazel Grove. The party has almost been destroyed by the ambitions of a few, it is hard to follow or fathom such leadership and if you vote LibDem who do you actually get, although this time their numbers returning will be so small that there will be no point in them being in a coalition so you might actually get the real them, their treachery over tuition fees is not forgotten, it is very perplexing.

Ukip: The politics of anger. Definitely not the future probably the past, 1930's isolationist policies which would probably bring about 1930's conditions. Lives in the land of the British Empire, only we don't have one anymore. One to avoid as a rule yet, seems to have candid leadership and an element of trustworthiness.

As I say it isn't clear and it isn't easy. The candidates will be all important in Hazel Grove but with 4 months to the election who are they? Oh we know their names and a little background but not much else.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 17, 2014, 12:17:45 PM
Conservative: Don't seem to have any answers to anything other than austerity and to blame the previous labour administration for everything from immigration to the economy. Can't be trusted with the NHS.

With respect, that's nonsense. Perhaps it's been with Lib Dem influence but there has been very little austerity. There has been a shift from spending on services into spending on infrastructure which really gives a long-term benefit as opposed to something where you turn the keynesian taps off and everything crumbles.

Yes, there is a lot of austerity to come, hopefully the stimulus efforts to date should mean more in work etc.

Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: simonesaffron on December 17, 2014, 03:59:11 PM
All right Duke,

Forget the word austerity, let's replace it with this phrase (from the OED definition of the word)   "..difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce a budget deficit, especially by reducing public expenditure..."

Would you agree that, that is exactly what the Conservatives have done in this parliament? If you don't then you must inhabit a place that I've never been to.

More to the current situation, the question is, is do you want more of it ? It seems that you do. So if you do vote Conservative, I'm not trying to stop you. All I'm saying is that they don't seem to have anything else in the locker other than the reduction of public expenditure.   
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: wheels on December 17, 2014, 04:21:17 PM
The elections in prospect are a strange animal indeed. Apart from those with former party allegiance who would vote for a donkey providing it wore the right colour, little guidance is offered to the open-minded voter.

IMHO local elections in Marple are fairly straight forward and I can see nothing else but Liberal Democrat ward candidates being returned and on balance probably deserving to be returned.

Hazel Grove Constituency though is a different story altogether and the outcome is more open than it has ever been.

Leaving aside the candidates for a moment if you consider the parties.

Conservative: Don't seem to have any answers to anything other than austerity and to blame the previous labour administration for everything from immigration to the economy. Can't be trusted with the NHS.

Labour: Inspire no confidence whatsoever with anything to do with money in general and particularly not the welfare state. It should never be about one person but I cannot think of a more square peg potential Prime Minister since I have been following politics. The fact that the party has picked such a leader over the one it could have had is in itself an alarm bell situation.

LibDem: Whatever their follower's protestations they are facing wipeout nationally, though perhaps not in Hazel Grove. The party has almost been destroyed by the ambitions of a few, it is hard to follow or fathom such leadership and if you vote LibDem who do you actually get, although this time their numbers returning will be so small that there will be no point in them being in a coalition so you might actually get the real them, their treachery over tuition fees is not forgotten, it is very perplexing.

Ukip: The politics of anger. Definitely not the future probably the past, 1930's isolationist policies which would probably bring about 1930's conditions. Lives in the land of the British Empire, only we don't have one anymore. One to avoid as a rule yet, seems to have candid leadership and an element of trustworthiness.

As I say it isn't clear and it isn't easy. The candidates will be all important in Hazel Grove but with 4 months to the election who are they? Oh we know their names and a little background but not much else.

With respect Simone your review in my view looks at the wrong issues. What matters on polling day and in the period leading up to it is who has the best organisation for it is party organisation that wins the day. Far and away the best machine in HG is the Lib Dem machine and for the others to challange that they need to build similar sized memberships and structure. Its most likely too late to do that for next year now but that is where they have to start.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 17, 2014, 04:56:51 PM
Simone talks a lot of sense, as she frequently does.  Although she's maybe a tad harsh about the Lib Dems and their 'treachery' over tuition fees.  After all, they went into a coalition, which most people accept was the right thing to do at the time.  That meant negotiating a compromise set of policies and priorities.  You win some, you lose some, and rightly or wrongly, the Lib Dems conceded the tuition fee issue to their coalition partners.   As Nick Clegg has since admitted, their mistake was making the unconditional 'no fees' commitment in the first place.

As for this:
What matters on polling day and in the period leading up to it is who has the best organisation for it is party organisation that wins the day.
...it's a pretty depressing point of view, isn't it, to suggest that the policies and the competence of the parties and their candidates is less important than 'who has the best organisation'.

As Simone rightly says, in this constituency  'the outcome is more open than it has ever been,'  so in a close run contest, it could come down to the personal attributes of the candidates, which would be a refreshing change, I guess.     

Nationally the outcome is also far from predictable, but for what it's worth, my money is on a Labour/SNP coalition. Alec Salmond for Deputy Prime Minister, anyone?   :D
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 17, 2014, 05:35:15 PM
All right Duke,

Forget the word austerity, let's replace it with this phrase (from the OED definition of the word)   "..difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce a budget deficit, especially by reducing public expenditure..."

Would you agree that, that is exactly what the Conservatives have done in this parliament? If you don't then you must inhabit a place that I've never been to.

More to the current situation, the question is, is do you want more of it ? It seems that you do. So if you do vote Conservative, I'm not trying to stop you. All I'm saying is that they don't seem to have anything else in the locker other than the reduction of public expenditure.

There has been a shift, the spending has been on projects rather than services, to me this is fine and far better than simply get the populous even more reliant on the state than it already is.

Road building, rail, airport spending is all good and will give the economy a comparative advantage in time.

The cost of services still exceeds the 2007 level of spending and that year is hardly noted as a low point in services. Personally, I'd have services cut to the core and allow the taxpayer retain as much of their own money to spend as they wish. furthermore, the savings so far have just scratched the surface, huge cuts are needed (IMHO rightly so) no mater what flavour of party is in charge and this is my biggest doubt around the Labour party which has promised all sorts and frankly lied.

I expect a coalition in the next government and think the LD's will still hold a balance of power despite having a far lower vote (irony for the PR fans). I hope they go with the Conservatives but I worry.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 18, 2014, 10:29:41 AM
Personally, I'd have services cut to the core ..... huge cuts are needed (IMHO rightly so)

Fortunately the majority of the electorate appear to take a different view, judging from the latest (post-Autumn statement) opinion polls, which put the Tories at 28% - the lowest of either of the two major parties since Michael Foot's Labour Party 30 years ago! 
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 18, 2014, 10:50:11 AM
Fortunately the majority of the electorate appear to take a different view, judging from the latest (post-Autumn statement) opinion polls, which put the Tories at 28% - the lowest of either of the two major parties since Michael Foot's Labour Party 30 years ago!

Fortunately??? why would anyone want to have the public taxed for anything but core services unless you work for the council and it's providing a cushy livelihood at taxpayer's expense.

So far, the cuts have simply removed some of the fat within local authorities. The 'nice to have' services rather than essential services, there are still a lot of these 'nice to have' roles left and lots of middle management roles that can go.

Since the cuts, public opinion has actually shown services to have improved!!

Privatised NHS services also show a better service than before.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: simonesaffron on December 18, 2014, 10:58:28 AM
Duke,

You and I are always going to disagree on both the importance and the value of good public services, and if I step into that argument you'll only dig out some obscure anecdote about a labour controlled London borough where they have an ambassador for left - handed Japanese jellyfish on £40.000 per annum. So if you don't mind, on this occasion I'll stay out of that one and save you the research.


Wheels,

No argument with your assertion. The LD's have established by a mile the best political organisation. That's certainly the case in Marple, I'll accept your word that it's also the case in Hazel Grove and it is probably the case in the whole of Stockport, that's probably why they run it. I'll even accept that they do a decent job under very difficult circumstances and I've already said that I expect local Councillors in Marple to be returned. You're also correct, Political Organisations do win elections.

However the HG parliamentary seat lives in unprecedented times.

The electorate has not yet given its verdict on the LD's in coalition, it will have its chance next May. Dave says that 'most people' now sympathise with the LD's in coalition but we don't actually know that. There is also the obvious disadvantage of no Sir Andrew for the LD's. This absence has in effect created a level playing field for all candidates and in my view this time it  it will be candidate and not party that wins Hazel Grove.
 
In Manchester before the coalition there were around 30 plus LD councillors now there are none. Nationwide since the coalition the LD's have lost 2000+ councillors. I personally think that the LD's were all right in coalition if only in recognising that they pegged the Conservatives back, but I think the damage done to the party has been grossly underestimated by the LD leadership. 

I make no predictions yet, but the fact that it is a hard one to call when in previous years it was a foregone conclusion speaks very loudly for itself.     

 
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Andy on December 18, 2014, 11:05:34 AM
Hold on,

I pay around £800 a month in direct taxes, much more through regressive indirect forms, even if every penny was in my pocket as Thatcher wanted there is no way I could afford to live, educate my children, be ill at any point in my life, have a pension or even dream of retirement, let alone do the things that enrich ones existence such as enjoy the arts or have a social life.

There are more than enough resources and wealth in the world to go round. The ordinary folks at the bottom - that's pretty much every single person in the constituency - need to demand that those who are not paying their fair share do so.

The whole neo-liberal / advanced capitalism concept is flawed. Instead of responding to the issue all you can say is:

A the Bulgarians did it.
B the poor did it
C the poor Bulgarians did it
D it doesn't matter who did it you'll have to suffer for it.
E they don't look like you, i bet they did it.


Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 18, 2014, 11:17:13 AM
Hold on,

I pay around £800 a month in direct taxes, much more through regressive indirect forms, even if every penny was in my pocket as Thatcher wanted there is no way I could afford to live, educate my children, be ill at any point in my life, have a pension or even dream of retirement, let alone do the things that enrich ones existence such as enjoy the arts or have a social life.

There are more than enough resources and wealth in the world to go round. The ordinary folks at the bottom - that's pretty much every single person in the constituency - need to demand that those who are not paying their fair share do so.

The whole neo-liberal / advanced capitalism concept is flawed. Instead of responding to the issue all you can say is:

A the Bulgarians did it.
B the poor did it
C the poor Bulgarians did it
D it doesn't matter who did it you'll have to suffer for it.
E they don't look like you, i bet they did it.

I'm pretty much in the neo-liberal school of thought, I don't think I've ever said any of that.

I am all for a state education and as we're so far in, a universal NHS free at the point of delivery for core health services.

I do however, believe that we should all be left with as much of our earnings in our pocket in order to do what we choose. If we choose to have kids, we pay for it. If we like cakes, we pay for it.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 18, 2014, 12:22:32 PM
Andy, I absolutely agree with you that the 'better off' should pay their 'fair share". It's good to know, therefore, that the top 10% of taxpayers pay over 55% of all income tax collected.

I would be very interested to know what % figure you personally believe would be "fairer"', assuming it would be somewhere between 55% and 100%?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: simonesaffron on December 18, 2014, 12:40:12 PM
Hold on yourself Andy,

You're completely wrong there.

I admit that in the past I may have blamed the; Rumanians, Irish, Indians, Welsh, Australians, Man City, Duke Fame, The Council, David Cameron, The Scottish Nationalists, Nick Clegg, Santa Claus, My login is Vendetta and that neighbour of mine that goes to work on a motor bike at 6am Monday to Friday.  But I HAVE NEVER blamed the BULGARIANS.   

That is a lie.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Andy on December 18, 2014, 01:43:24 PM
Boden Guy - this sort of thing -

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/vodafones-84bn-tax-avoidance-bonanza-nothing-for-taxpayers-in-verizon-deal-while-bankers-share-500m-in-fees-8794169.html  (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/vodafones-84bn-tax-avoidance-bonanza-nothing-for-taxpayers-in-verizon-deal-while-bankers-share-500m-in-fees-8794169.html)

or this

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/uk-tax-gap-widens-austerity-lack-avoidance-law-1466606  (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/uk-tax-gap-widens-austerity-lack-avoidance-law-1466606)

Also, the top 10% or earners invariably don't pay through PAYE and so the chance of them paying 55% is slim, such as this 

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2089892/How-bosses-paid-tax-cleaners.html  (http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2089892/How-bosses-paid-tax-cleaners.html)

To the others -

My partner was once in the upper, then very upper, tax bracket for a short while. I didn't begrudge it, it was a civic duty, much like any other civic duty. (Tax payer doesn't mind paying tax shock!!)

Sadly I don't think I will ever get the opportunity to pay so much tax, but, in my work I do see people really struggling with things, going to school hungry with holes in their shoes, living in high rent low quality housing with very little prospect of improvement, and often ask myself if this current system is working. I believe the answer is no.

Do I believe that the markets hold the answer, I know the answer is no.

Do I wan't the whole system overhauled so it is fairer to those who earn little and places a greater burden on massive corporations? Yes.

Do I trust any of the current political parties to do this? No.

Genuine question - what do you all think?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 18, 2014, 03:30:04 PM
So far, the cuts have simply removed some of the fat within local authorities. The 'nice to have' services rather than essential services, there are still a lot of these 'nice to have' roles left.
I do however, believe that we should all be left with as much of our earnings in our pocket in order to do what we choose.

'Nice to have' - it's a good phrase, and you can equally well apply it to keeping the money in your pocket rather than paying it to the government - that money is also 'nice to have'.

So as we are fortunate enough to live in a democracy, we have a choice of which of these 'nice-to-haves' we want most.  Do we want to live in a civilised environment, with libraries, and with parks that still have swings for the children, with care for the elderly which lasts for longer than 10 minutes per visit, being treated in A&E without waiting for hours on a trolley, having decent rail and bus services, having roads and pavements kept in good condition, where people are not so desperate that they have to resort to food banks?   Or are we going to give up and accept that even though we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, these are luxuries that we can't afford?   

I know what I will choose. 

Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 18, 2014, 11:43:51 PM
Andy, thank you very much for not answering my question. The 10%\55% I referred to in my previous post does, of course, refer to PAYE earnings,  as you well know.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 18, 2014, 11:47:01 PM
So, you can choose between 55% and 100% of total income tax revenues for the "top 10%"'. What's it to be, Andy? Perhaps Dave would also like to contribute? (Doesn't hold breath.....)
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 18, 2014, 11:56:59 PM
'Nice to have' - it's a good phrase, and you can equally well apply it to keeping the money in your pocket rather than paying it to the government - that money is also 'nice to have'.

So as we are fortunate enough to live in a democracy, we have a choice of which of these 'nice-to-haves' we want most.  Do we want to live in a civilised environment, with libraries, and with parks that still have swings for the children, with care for the elderly which lasts for longer than 10 minutes per visit, being treated in A&E without waiting for hours on a trolley, having decent rail and bus services, having roads and pavements kept in good condition, where people are not so desperate that they have to resort to food banks?   Or are we going to give up and accept that even though we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, these are luxuries that we can't afford?   

I know what I will choose.


Hmm, perhaps I didn't make myself clear or perhaps you purposely misunderstood.

Getting rid of the bloated bureaucracy that has grown in elements of local government will ensure local authorities can protect front-line services. Front line services are those that we expect the local authority to provide because of market failure. Now I'm sure we can point the finger at the  council where they have an ambassador for left - handed Japanese jellyfish (there you go Simone) or even the chronic over-staffing and vast swathes of useless middle-management or even, why not, the roles that are simply a political indulgence rather than a service that are necessary services to those who cannot pay themselves or, moreover, should not be expected to pay themselves.

It may be nice to have a cycling coordinator (I made that up as an example) and other such jobs but are they really necessary and surely better to save that money and allow the tax-payer to choose the things they like rather than give their money to the state and let it decide what is best for the individual.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Andy on December 19, 2014, 06:30:30 AM
Boden guy - my original statement wasn't referring to ones personal tax bracket rather corporate tax. I believe corporations whose profits are in the billions should pay more, correction, pay what they owe.

In terms of personal tax I would like to see tax credits scrapped, indirect taxes scrapped and everyone paying some income tax, even  those on the lowest wages. This way everyone has a stake in the civic realm.

To achieve this everyone would have to be paid a living wage and income tax would have to be completely overhauled starting with a 2p rate right up to a 75p or even 99p rate for hose who are multi multi millionaires.

Does any one person need all that money?

Maybe we should tax wealth rather than income. I would welcome any sensible debate from any political party, it doesn't appear to be forthcoming.


Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 19, 2014, 08:58:21 AM
Andy, I'm not sure that your original post did, in fact, refer to corporate tax but, I can certainly agree that the very largest corporations need to pay more if, in fact, they are paying very little. However, I don't agree that we need to tax people more. Do you really think that anyone is going to work for 1p in the pound?

In my opinion, we need to start taking away some of those "entitlements"' like free travel for the over 60s and the winter fuel allowance, most of which are very recent and were funded, not by an increase in the national wealth, but by massive borrowing from a certain G Brown. Is this going to happen? Not in a million years.

You also make an excellent  point about ensuring that everyone should pay at least some tax.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 19, 2014, 09:26:54 AM
Boden guy - my original statement wasn't referring to ones personal tax bracket rather corporate tax. I believe corporations whose profits are in the billions should pay more, correction, pay what they owe.

In terms of personal tax I would like to see tax credits scrapped, indirect taxes scrapped and everyone paying some income tax, even  those on the lowest wages. This way everyone has a stake in the civic realm.

To achieve this everyone would have to be paid a living wage and income tax would have to be completely overhauled starting with a 2p rate right up to a 75p or even 99p rate for hose who are multi multi millionaires.

Does any one person need all that money?

Maybe we should tax wealth rather than income. I would welcome any sensible debate from any political party, it doesn't appear to be forthcoming.

The problem is that policywould be self-defeating. France tried it and they simply saw their top earners migrate to the UK and other economies. The point of tax is to raise money for the state services, not to penalise the ones who have worked hardest. Taxing the richest at 99pc will mean you simply lose the richest so if we force the richest 10% to go elsewhere, then you will need to raise that money (55% of the state's income) from the rest of us i.e. the poorest.

I agree with scrapping tax credits in an ideal world but whilst not ideal, they do sort of work. I'd also transfer council tax and rates to an income / sales tax.

Living wage? well, no, I disagree. You work to your lifestyle, if you don;t earn enough, you need to work harder or get better skills. Raising a min wage will simply create unemployment and inflation and the living wage will then not be enough to live on so the cycle begins. IF you pay the dullest job, say a local council worker £8 ph, then what do you pay the guys who currently earn between £6.50 & £8? IF I were a trolley collector at Tesco, I'd be moving jobs to work for the council at £8. So Tesco pay the trolley collector £8, they have to pay his supervisor more, £9 and then the checkout staff will want £10. Tescos then put £1 on the price of a loaf to pay for the increased cost and the council clerk finds the living wage isn't enough because the groceries have gone up.

The Corporate tax avoiders is far more complex that you are suggesting. Starbucks, Google, ebay etc didn't stop paying tax in 2010, it's been put on the agenda by the left-wing media. These guys didn't pay tax under the previous government and frankly smarter than any govt. Take ebay, 20 years ago, if you had a car to sell, you'd advertise in the local paper for £10 and that paper would charge you VAT at 17.5% and give it to the UK govt, it would also pay tax in the UK on it's profits.  Now, we don't advertise in the local paper, the local paper is replaced by a portal now based in Luxembourg, you pay the Luxembourg company to advertise,  you pay VAT at the local rate (10pc??) and their profits are paid in tax at the local rate (lower than the UK). Should the UK get the tax? I can't really make a case for it, the service reaches the UK but the transaction has not taken place here.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Andy on December 19, 2014, 10:02:54 AM
The point I am making about an extreme high tax band is that people won't be going to work for just 1p for every £1, they will have earned many hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of pounds in that year and will have already and paid much lower tax on that.

With regards to Dukes comment about the living wage - to use your rather dodgy Tesco analogy, it again demonstrates a failure of the current business model and current common sense. Tesco, up until very recently, made massive profits, they *could* use these to pay a living wage and differentiate the lower pay bandings.

Is it nor more humane to effect the market so people are paid enough to live? The idea that by working harder you can earn your way to the top if flawed. I think there are many who work harder than I do and quite probably don't earn what I do, the marked distorts things, for instance why do we pay those who undertake child care so little when my child is the most valuable thing in the world to me - I could use the same example for elderly care.

In the UK we have developed, the catalyst being Thatchers de-industrialisation which continued under Labour, a low wage service led economy. Our jobs market only requires the skills of a primary school child for over a fifth of jobs available.  (http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/feb/26/employement-fifth-uk-jobs-need-only-basic-education) This is unsustainable. This is what the market and current economic policy has done.

I understand the laffer curve (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve) side of your argument. I just don't think it can be simplified to that extent.

Perhaps, an this may be too much for the orthodoxies of the board to cope with, we need an international approach to tax and take it out of competition?

Does anyone believe that any one person needs a personal fortune into the Billions of pounds whilst there are people in the UK needing foodbanks?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 19, 2014, 11:33:36 AM
It's interesting that people always believe that "the rich" are people who earn more than they do. For Andy, from what he has posted, it's people who earn "millions". For people who earn £25K ( the median salary/wage) it's people who earn £50K (witness the brouhaha over Child Benefit when people on these incomes were claiming they were part of the "squeezed middle", much to the derision of lower earners). People on the minimum wage look at people who earn £26K and think they are "richer" than them.

In world terms, of course, almost everyone in the UK is part of the "rich". I  remember reading a very interesting article in the Guardian just a few years ago when they said that if you live in the UK, have a salary of £30K and have a mortgage on a house, you are in the top 1% of the world's population.

Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: simonesaffron on December 19, 2014, 11:36:18 AM
It is all political ideology versus reality and there only ever has been and only ever will be one winner in that debate.

If you are going to wait for 'sensible debate' as you call it, to be 'forthcoming' then you probably know from your own experience that you are going to be waiting around for a long time.

We can't fall into a depression because somebody has a hole in their shoe. You can always form your own political party or stand for somebody else's if you feel so strongly about those that have and those that have not. Whether politicians are the ones that create the society or it is somebody else altogether that society exists and evolves. It also has fundamentals that will never be changed. The only thing that hopefully will change is that the general condition/freedom/standard for all will improve. So if we look back twenty five years say, (those of us that can) are our lives better than they were then and by that I don't necessarily mean with things we own although that has to be factored in.   

We live in a democratic country and the only contribution that most of us have is a vote.

Initially we have two choices, to vote or not to. From your comments Andy I take it that you are not going to, which of course is your decision. I will be voting, it is just that I don't know who for yet. That's the real debate, there isn't anybody reconciled with your ideas that is standing.

It is also worth remembering that no matter who you vote for the government always seems to get in.           
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 19, 2014, 12:00:10 PM
It's interesting that people always believe that "the rich" are people who earn more than they do. For Andy, from what he has posted, it's people who earn "millions". For people who earn £25K ( the median salary/wage) it's people who earn £50K (witness the brouhaha over Child Benefit when people on these incomes were claiming they were part of the "squeezed middle", much to the derision of lower earners). People on the minimum wage look at people who earn £26K and think they are "richer" than them.

In world terms, of course, almost everyone in the UK is part of the "rich". I  remember reading a very interesting article in the Guardian just a few years ago when they said that if you live in the UK, have a salary of £30K and have a mortgage on a house, you are in the top 1% of the world's population.


It's a very good point, there seems to be a general feeling that we need more services to be paid for people who earn more than ourselves. It may have been a coincidence but when the last lot bought in their political time bomb of the 50pc tax in the last few weeks of their government, they set the level for the 50pc rate at that just above the salary for the PM. That feeling that someone else should pay goes right to the top!
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Andy on December 19, 2014, 12:38:34 PM
Simone - It’s an interesting one, I’m actually a card carrying party member. I do frequently find myself disagreeing with things, but feel it is better to try and change things from within than leave. I will be voting in May, I have voted in every election I have been eligible to do so in. As you say, it is pretty much all we can do. But how much of a hypocrite would I be if I didn't vote.

Boden / Duke – I agree, the grass is always greener. However, take the CEO of a multinational or FTSE 100 or a Banker. I think pretty much 90% of the population would agree that if their salary equates to £1million or more a year plus pension they are rich.

My argument isn’t that they pay more tax personally, but, their companies should and they should pay their workers more, who for example earn below the average wage ( I realise this will distort the average) enough to live.

I seem to be answering a lot of questions with mine being ignored.

So, what about taking tax out of international competition?

Does any one person need a personal fortune into the billions whilst people in our country are going hungry?

I don’t profess to have the answers, it’ll take a much greater mind than mine to work them out, but, I do have a sense of fairness, experience of the poverty that is stalking the country and a feeling that a few very rich people have made it much worse for the majority.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Howard on December 19, 2014, 02:54:05 PM
The problem with big corporations is that they have far more money to pay very expensive tax consultants and accountants than governments ever will. These people are employed to do nothing else than look for loopholes and finance schemes for companies to maximise their profits. The fact is, they're all at it. It's not just Amazon, Google, Apple, Starbucks etc. IKEA have this image of being a pleasant, clean, family friendly Skandinavian icon. HOwever, they are essentially owned by a series of for-profit and not-for-profit shells and charitable institutes. From Wikipedia:

Quote
The net profit of IKEA Group (which does not include Inter IKEA systems) in fiscal year 2009 (after paying franchise fees to Inter IKEA systems) was €2.538 billion on sales of €21.846 billion. Because INGKA Holding is owned by the nonprofit INGKA Foundation, none of this profit is taxed. The foundation's nonprofit status also means that the Kamprad family cannot reap these profits directly, but the Kamprads do collect a portion of IKEA sales profits through the franchising relationship between INGKA Holding and Inter IKEA Systems.

You have vested interests in certain countries as they place a small tax on finances that go through them. Luxembourg is a good example, and Jean-Claude Junker (sp?) is now feeling the heat for it as he was its PM when these arrangements came about. Ireland is another although it's removing its "Apple Tax" in 2020. All countries in the world have the same problem. Apple, Microsoft and others have billions of dollars in cash that they feel they can't move back to the US as they will be taxed on it when it's transferred. If you finally take into account geographies such as the Cayman Islands, Panama, and the British Virgin Islands who live on the modern financial versions of the naval "flag of convenience" it's an intractable problem. Unless the whole world agrees (and when did that ever happen) someone will always work out a way of avoiding paying tax.

This is actually one of the benefits of being in a large organisation like the EU who are slowly getting around to looking at schemes which avoid tax. It's just a shame it has taken a financial crash for them to do so.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 19, 2014, 03:11:54 PM
Boden guy - my original statement wasn't referring to ones personal tax bracket rather corporate tax. I believe corporations whose profits are in the billions should pay more, correction, pay what they owe.

In terms of personal tax I would like to see tax credits scrapped, indirect taxes scrapped and everyone paying some income tax, even  those on the lowest wages. This way everyone has a stake in the civic realm.

To achieve this everyone would have to be paid a living wage and income tax would have to be completely overhauled starting with a 2p rate right up to a 75p or even 99p rate for hose who are multi multi millionaires.

Does any one person need all that money?

Maybe we should tax wealth rather than income. I would welcome any sensible debate from any political party, it doesn't appear to be forthcoming.


It's all very well to believe a 'living' wage should be paid to all. The lowest paid lad in my place is on £7.20 before bonuses & is 21/22 and he goes out every weekend with disco dancing, pills and powder. He's out a few times a week and spends more on his car than it would cost to buy my own motor vehicle. Others are on more and cannot afford this lifestyle so should I pay to his living wage or the others? If I paid him £8 it would cost me an extra £36 a week and if he fails to hit his targets, frankly he's not really worth the money so we'd get rid.

Andy, your assumption seems to be that all employers are big multi-million ££ organisations. Most are not, when my business doesn't sell enough, my staff get paid and I go without.

If people want to earn more money and think they are being exploited, I suggest they set up their own business and put their money where there mouth is or simply work harder for your employer.


I’m actually a card carrying party member.

Which party?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 19, 2014, 03:26:23 PM
Boden / Duke – I agree, the grass is always greener. However, take the CEO of a multinational or FTSE 100 or a Banker. I think pretty much 90% of the population would agree that if their salary equates to £1million or more a year plus pension they are rich.

Hmmm, the CEO always seems to be on some super salary. To earn that much money, he tends to need to achieve something special for his shareholders, if he doesn't he's often out on his ear. Similarly bankers, I'm amazed the amount of public sector bods who claim to be badly paid and compare themselves to bankers. If they were good enough to succeed in banking, I'm sure they'd be in that industry, the truth is that the best people can earn big money and so they should.

Taxing everything out of existence is silly. Ed Milliband's father didn't spend most of his high earning days in the USA because he was happier with the ideology of Carter & Reagan, it was more to do with him being able to keep far more of his earnings.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 19, 2014, 06:04:00 PM
An interesting discussion.  Howard rightly points out that at the heart of the taxation issue is the tax avoidance activities of some of the world's biggest multinational corporations.  And he's surely right when he says that
  The problem with big corporations is that they have far more money to pay very expensive tax consultants and accountants than governments ever will.... Unless the whole world agrees (and when did that ever happen) someone will always work out a way of avoiding paying tax.

True, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do everything we can to mitigate the problem.  And as Howard says, the EU is already doing something, and on a wider scale , so is the OECD.

I'm not an accountant, and maybe this is too simplistic, but it seems to me that what governments should be doing is working towards an international agreement that corporations will pay tax wherever they make sales, not where their headquarters happen to be situated.   Here in the UK, VAT is collected by HMRC, who therefore have an established mechanism for recording the trading activity of all companies selling 'vatable' goods and services.  That mechanism could, presumably, simply be adapted to collect corporation tax as well. 

As for Duke, any psychologist will tell you that people unintentionally reveal things about themselves through the assumptions they make about others.  Duke writes:
I'm amazed the amount of public sector bods who claim to be badly paid and compare themselves to bankers. If they were good enough to succeed in banking, I'm sure they'd be in that industry

Duke may find this hard to understand, but believe it or not, there are actually people who are motivated in their working lives by things other than money!  The reason they are not bankers is not necessarily because they are not 'good enough' (whatever that may mean) but because they want to make a more useful contribution to society, rather than just make a heap of money.  Yes really - amazing isn't it!   
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 19, 2014, 07:33:29 PM
An interesting discussion.  Howard rightly points out that at the heart of the taxation issue is the tax avoidance activities of some of the world's biggest multinational corporations.  And he's surely right when he says that
True, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do everything we can to mitigate the problem.  And as Howard says, the EU is already doing something, and on a wider scale , so is the OECD.

I'm not an accountant, and maybe this is too simplistic, but it seems to me that what governments should be doing is working towards an international agreement that corporations will pay tax wherever they make sales, not where their headquarters happen to be situated.   Here in the UK, VAT is collected by HMRC, who therefore have an established mechanism for recording the trading activity of all companies selling 'vatable' goods and services.  That mechanism could, presumably, simply be adapted to collect corporation tax as well. 

You want to collect taxation on sales? given the  hoo-har hypocrisy and lies over the 20pc VAT, I think that may be politically difficult.

The big issue here is that it simply will not work. It was reported that Tesco make a £1 for every £40 spent, such are the margins they are playing with, they rely on volume. Anyone with a low margin / low cost product would be decimated by transferring corp tax to sales.

I think your idea will have a few unintended consequences with regard investment too.

Back to the drawing board I think.

As for Duke, any psychologist will tell you that people unintentionally reveal things about themselves through the assumptions they make about others.  Duke writes:
Duke may find this hard to understand, but believe it or not, there are actually people who are motivated in their working lives by things other than money!  The reason they are not bankers is not necessarily because they are not 'good enough' (whatever that may mean) but because they want to make a more useful contribution to society, rather than just make a heap of money.  Yes really - amazing isn't it!

Tell me what you do again?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 20, 2014, 09:53:20 AM
Yes, a sales tax as an alternative to corporation tax would be fraught with difficulties, but some form of it is likely to to be the way forward.  Either that or its relative, unitary tax.

Duke writes:
Back to the drawing board I think.

What's on your drawing board, Duke?  Or do you think it's fine for multinational corporations to be cheating the system by avoiding tax on an industrial scale?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: marplerambler on December 20, 2014, 01:21:12 PM
I worked in the Benefit Office during the Thatcher years and saw the Tories destroy Britain north of Watford. A word previously not even in the vocabulary of most Marpudlians destroyed the nation - unemployment. The consequence of the Tories determination to destroy the trade unions irregardless of the cost resulted what was the previously a part-time two morning a week outhouse of a benefit office becoming the busiest building in Marple full of people desperate for work receiving benefits which they had paid for during their many years of work. I have no great interest in politics but my only political ambition was that we would never again see a Conservative government. Two days before the last General Election Andrew Stunnell put a letter through my door stating Labour cannot win in Marple - you must vote LibDem to keep out the Tories. I dutifully did so and Andrew Stunnell immediately became a founding father of the ConDem coalition and later received his knighthood in recognition of this act of betrayal. Westminster LibDems sold their souls to the devil to satisfy their lust for power and sacrificed many admirable policies and I vowed that I would never again vote LibDem. Local LibDem councillors who I believe have done a fantastic job over many years were left to do the dirty work of their political masters and the Tory party which used the LibDems to destroy healthcare (try getting a doctor's appointment in Marple in less than a week), public services and public transport (grotty old bangers of trains with seats so close together you cannot fit if you are over 5 foot 10: if the Scots had gained their independance the all public transport in Marple other than the 394 and 62 would have been foreign owned) now deride the LibDems in the final months of the coalition. UKIP offer nothing but hatred so my cross will have to be in the Labour box not because they inspire hope but because there is no other alternative. Ironically this will almost certainly be a vote wasted but at least at the moment the Tories have not privatised democracy.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 20, 2014, 04:52:46 PM
Isn't it strange then, Marplerambler, that more coal mines were closed under Harold Wilson than under "Thatcher"?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Andy on December 20, 2014, 06:48:26 PM
Isn't it strange then, Marplerambler, that more coal mines were closed under Harold Wilson than under "Thatcher"?

Admittedly I haven't been around for too long, but, I can't ever remember coal mining being a staple industry of Marple.

Marple rambler makes two interesting points, firstly, the lib dem line of vote for us to keep the Tories out is dead in the water,

Secondly the neo-liberal ideology that has characterized the past 30+ years has been a tragedy for social and civic society and places a cost rather than a value on these things.

We have been promised by successive governments that we will all become better off, over the past 30 odd years this hasn't really happened for the majority and what improvements have been won are built on really shaky foundations.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 20, 2014, 07:18:34 PM
Yes, a sales tax as an alternative to corporation tax would be fraught with difficulties, but some form of it is likely to to be the way forward.  Either that or its relative, unitary tax.

Duke writes:
What's on your drawing board, Duke?  Or do you think it's fine for multinational corporations to be cheating the system by avoiding tax on an industrial scale?

I think everyone should pay their fair share.

I think the corporation tax avoidance has been slightly over-blown. A lot of loopholes are there for good reasons, do we want to encourage companies to invest in the UK? If the answer is yes, why cry foul when they use such incentives and avoid tax. The tax system has not coped with the internet too well. In the old days, if you exported something like a car from the UK in to say the US, the importer paid the UK company and the UK company paid the tax on the profit (or if it was BL, shafted the taxpayer a bit because they got their sums wrong). The importer paid their national govt tax on the profit and sales tax, everyone was clear. Now, if we sell something advertised on Ebay, we just use a portal and that can be based anywhere, does the UK have a claim to tax the profits on an overseas company taking advertising orders from the UK and delivering them from their home state? I can't see that we do.

A solution? I say we have a simple low tax regime and simply stop expecting the state to wipe our collective bottoms.

There is a great deal of hypocrisy from people in the arts who complain about tax avoidance yet avoiding tax themselves (via charity, investment in films, investment in the arts etc etc)
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 20, 2014, 07:31:14 PM
Andy, are you seriously trying to suggest the vast majority of poeple in the UK are not materially "better off" than they were 30 years ago? (roughly the period I have been married). I would humbly suggest otherwise, just as people in 1984 were substantially better off than my parents were when they had mevin 1958.

By all means criticise "inequality", which is a perfectly legitimate view to take, but  but don't tell me that the vast majority of people in this country are not massively better-off than their parents  or grandparents.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: marplerambler on December 20, 2014, 07:49:26 PM
Andy, are you seriously trying to suggest the vast majority of poeple in the UK are not materially "better off" than they were 30 years ago?

True enough for the majority but how many working people in 1980 were on wages so low that they could only survive care of the food banks?
The concept that unskilled working people could not make enough for food, basics and and a roof over their head was unthinkable thirty years ago. It is now virtually impossible to find an unskilled job that is permanent, offers full time hours or entitlement to some kind of a pension on retirement.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 21, 2014, 01:27:17 AM
True enough for the majority but how many working people in 1980 were on wages so low that they could only survive care of the food banks?
The concept that unskilled working people could not make enough for food, basics and and a roof over their head was unthinkable thirty years ago. It is now virtually impossible to find an unskilled job that is permanent, offers full time hours or entitlement to some kind of a pension on retirement.

utter rubbish, the council employ more now than ever before. I agree, we hould get rid of most of them  but hey ho
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 21, 2014, 11:50:13 AM
I worked in the Benefit Office during the Thatcher years and saw the Tories destroy Britain north of Watford. A word previously not even in the vocabulary of most Marpudlians destroyed the nation - unemployment. The consequence of the Tories determination to destroy the trade unions irregardless of the cost resulted what was the previously a part-time two morning a week outhouse of a benefit office becoming the busiest building in Marple full of people desperate for work receiving benefits which they had paid for during their many years of work.

What a wonderfully simplistic reveiw of the post-war industrial decline in Britain, it was all Thatcher's fault??? Throw in a nice big chip the shoulder re. the North-South divide.

British industry's problems started far earlier than 1979. Post-war government wanted influence over industry as it provided money to help industry return back to non-military production and as a result industry had to do things that were not really best for industry but best (in the eyes of the government) for the UK as a whole. For this reason we saw the likes of Rootes group building it's new car in Linwood Scotland rather than the midlands where it had a skilled labour force, similar interventions occurred across the industries but other big ones were Triumph being forced to move to Speke. THis all led to industry creating sub-standard products that only had a market because of protectionism and the commonwealth.

Additional workers rights were welcome but weak management and weak government ensured that worker power soon got out of hand & British industry became unproductive as it suffered from crippling industrial action.

Failing businesses were bailed out. Instead of receiving the kick up the backside it needed, when industry failed government bailed it out and nationalised it which was a disaster.

Once we joined the EEC, we could no longer protect our industry and the ineptness of British products and poor workmanship contrasted with products made away from these shores.

The UK government continued to prop up industry and intervene in industry that it really knew nothing about. A huge grant was given to Wallsend ship-builders to build huge super-tankers to compete with the Japanese despite the yard being far more adept at building smaller vessels and Offshore rigs. The big ships were built, they were to expensive and weren't as good as the competition so it wasn't surprising that once the super-tankers rolled into the Tyne, the yards didn't get anymore orders and all it's customers for smaller craft had gone elsewhere too. Add to that, the Labour government gave all it's military orders to Scotland for political reasons - shipbuilding had died long before Thatcher.

By 1975, it was clear the UK economy was in trouble but the likes of Tony Benn pressed on with throwing public money into industry and nationalising where possible. '76 saw the realisation that the money had gone and in came the IMF. The likes of Triumph in Speke were closed (as it happened, it had been closed for more days than open for the previous 3 years due to industrial action) as the govt could no longer prop it up.

In this time, the high earners had fled the UK due to the crippling tax rates so that should be a warning that driving the top 10% away will not help you tax take.

It was already clear that the UK could not carry on pretending to be an industrial power-house. Labour, under Callaghan had some success in stopping the rot by following the IMF conditions for the bail-out. Those conditions were pretty much Thatcher's policy too and in she came.

Her policy was no more bailing out, industry had to survive on it's own, survival of the fittest. Privatise the likes of  Roadline,  Sealink, IMOS, ICL, Rolls Royce, BA etc. Privatisation had already been successful when the Tories were in power under Heath when Thomas Cook, Lunn Poly, Rolls Royce cars and Carlisle's public houses were sold into private enterprise and freed from the shackles of State ownership.

We take it for granted now that industry must compete, so which part of this policy do you disagree with? Perhaps government should own pubs , perhaps we should have a state travel company?

I have no great interest in politics but my only political ambition was that we would never again see a Conservative government. Two days before the last General Election Andrew Stunnell put a letter through my door stating Labour cannot win in Marple - you must vote LibDem to keep out the Tories. I dutifully did so and Andrew Stunnell immediately became a founding father of the ConDem coalition and later received his knighthood in recognition of this act of betrayal. Westminster LibDems sold their souls to the devil to satisfy their lust for power and sacrificed many admirable policies and I vowed that I would never again vote LibDem. Local LibDem councillors who I believe have done a fantastic job over many years were left to do the dirty work of their political masters and the Tory party which used the LibDems to destroy healthcare (try getting a doctor's appointment in Marple in less than a week), public services and public transport (grotty old bangers of trains with seats so close together you cannot fit if you are over 5 foot 10:

Why do you think Lib Dems have betrayed you? If you didn't agree with Lib Dem policy then I'd say it's pretty stupid for voting for them. They are the 3rd party in UK politics, like Greens and Ukip, the most they can expect is coalition so, given the chance they must go for a coalition, otherwise, the vote are wasted.

I voted Lib Dem and I'd have been horrified had they gone and propped up the hideous Gordon Brown and his repulsive bullying side-kick Balls but I knew there was a chance and I could only hope the likes of David Laws would dominate the treasury as Balls was so inferior (Balls knew this and was behind the leaking of Laws' homosexuality).

if the Scots had gained their independance the all public transport in Marple other than the 394 and 62 would have been foreign owned)

Price of milk?

now deride the LibDems in the final months of the coalition.

That's how it was always going to end, both parties have to show their differences as we approach election -granted, it's not been managed well.

UKIP offer nothing but hatred
Is the irony intended?

  so my cross will have to be in the Labour box not because they inspire hope but because there is no other alternative. Ironically this will almost certainly be a vote wasted but at least at the moment the Tories have not privatised democracy.

Why, which policy do you agree with? All you have posted is a make-believe story and nothing to suggest you agree with any Labour policy?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: simonesaffron on December 21, 2014, 12:16:54 PM
As far as I am aware Duke, virtually all councils have had to make severe budget cuts, and this will have been done, I am sure, by redundancies. So your assertion that council's are employing more people than ever is probably just that, an assertion.

I am continually surprised when in an election taking place in 2015 people refer to Thatcher and Wilson people that have been out office for decades.

I am also amazed that somebody would even consider voting for a party that they know just can't win. What really is the point in that. Andrew S's statement that Labour can't win here is far from 'dead in the water, ( I personally wish it was) It is the opposite of being that, it is absolutely true, and that is why the Libdems keep peddling it because they know that it is a fact and it squeezes the labour vote for them. It might not squeeze as many as it used to but they obviously think that the number is still significant. Nobody says LD's, Conservative or UKIP CAN'T WIN because we all know that any of them might do.

Some people seem to be voting for something that others are saying is being offered but the reality of it is that it isn't - such as a Labour MP for Marple. There is absolutely no such offer, I only wish there were.

I choose to live here n Marple and a political party and a particular MP can have a significant impact on my life. So I need to vote for somebody that might can get in not somebody that absolutely can't. If I was looking for a husband, I wouldn't marry another woman and if was looking for an MP for Marple  I wouldn't vote Labour.

There are only three candidates whom to varying degrees can win the seat.

Perhaps we should look at it from another perspective and ask ourselves who we don't want in and work from there.       
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 21, 2014, 03:49:42 PM
As far as I am aware Duke, virtually all councils have had to make severe budget cuts, and this will have been done, I am sure, by redundancies. So your assertion that council's are employing more people than ever is probably just that, an assertion.

My point, rather badly made, was that although there have been cuts in local authorities, the funding is still at 2007 levels which was not exactly starving local authorities and they were well into the Labour program of creating jobs to keep the employment figures looking good. A quick glance at Stockport Council job page still has a plethora of jobs for those who perhaps didn't try too hard at school. Personally, I disagree with the idea that the local council should be employer of last resort and spending money just to keep the willing unemployable busy, it simply pushes costs up for other employers.

I am also amazed that somebody would even consider voting for a party that they know just can't win. What really is the point in that. Andrew S's statement that Labour can't win here is far from 'dead in the water, ( I personally wish it was) It is the opposite of being that, it is absolutely true, and that is why the Libdems keep peddling it because they know that it is a fact and it squeezes the labour vote for them. It might not squeeze as many as it used to but they obviously think that the number is still significant. Nobody says LD's, Conservative or UKIP CAN'T WIN because we all know that any of them might do.

I disagree, surely people should vote on the policy they agree with or past performance. I'm not voting for Labour simply because their policies do not add up, all the things they've promised in opposition cannot be paid for by a mansion tax and there seems to be some doubt as to how this mansion tax will work in any case. Those who have a big house but can't afford the mansion tax can defer it until they die!! I also take on board the absolute pig's ear they made of the Economy when the Scottish PM was in charge and I look at the key personnel, IMHO the leader is terrible, the shadow chancellor is a liar, a nasty piece of work and I suspect has a fair chunk of corruption juice on his hands from the days of the bank crisis and LIBOR.

Ironically I think Michael wouldn't be a bad Tory MP and could vote for him with a blue rosette. I'm likely to vote Lib dem as I think some of them have been very good in coalition.

Some people seem to be voting for something that others are saying is being offered but the reality of it is that it isn't - such as a Labour MP for Marple. There is absolutely no such offer, I only wish there were.

You have a point here, From what I know of Michael, he's a one nation Tory / European style Christian democrat so a vote for Labour here is a vote for a one nation Tory but the scary thing is that it could let in a Labour government.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: simonesaffron on December 21, 2014, 04:33:38 PM
Duke,

I've just had a look at Stockport Councils plethora of jobs, I know, I should go out more. With two or three exceptions they are all in education: Head teachers, Deputy Head teachers, teachers, teaching assistant. Are you saying that the council is creating these jobs unnecessarily. Surely an individual school knows whether it needs a Head Teacher or not. These schools have boards of governors, these governors aren't fools are they?

What are you saying? That these jobs don't really exist. Are you saying that they don't really need a Head Teacher at Vernon Park School, that they don't need a caretaker at Our Lady's Catholic Primary or that they don't really need two teachers at Westmorland Primary? That they are just pretending that they do for reasons best known to themselves.

Or are you saying that these posts are really already filled and that the Council is just duplicating them to create employment and that when the new Head arrives at Vernon Park the old one will still be in post but nobody will actually notice ? 
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 21, 2014, 05:02:05 PM
Duke,

I've just had a look at Stockport Councils plethora of jobs, I know, I should go out more. With two or three exceptions they are all in education: Head teachers, Deputy Head teachers, teachers, teaching assistant. Are you saying that the council is creating these jobs unnecessarily. Surely an individual school knows whether it needs a Head Teacher or not. These schools have boards of governors, these governors aren't fools are they?

What are you saying? That these jobs don't really exist. Are you saying that they don't really need a Head Teacher at Vernon Park School, that they don't need a caretaker at Our Lady's Catholic Primary or that they don't really need two teachers at Westmorland Primary? That they are just pretending that they do for reasons best known to themselves.

Or are you saying that these posts are really already filled and that the Council is just duplicating them to create employment and that when the new Head arrives at Vernon Park the old one will still be in post but nobody will actually notice ?

14-19 coordinator - a job that seems to be doing what parents should be doing.

Conservation Management Trainee -  a trainee in a dept that is a chronic waste of time and the whole lot should be sacked

2 x CSS Officer, a job in a department that should be privatised

Libraries trainee - well OK

some dinner lady roles

loads of Social Workers

Safeguarding Adults Service Manager -

Social Care Lawyer -

Foster carers

Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 21, 2014, 06:14:50 PM
although there have been cuts in local authorities, the funding is still at 2007 levels

Government funding for local government has fallen by around 40% in real terms since 2010 alone.  But of course, on Planet Duke there's no inflation is there!   
 
As for his replies about the jobs, it's just the usual Dukey waffle and bluster. 
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 21, 2014, 07:25:21 PM
Government funding for local government has fallen by around 40% in real terms since 2010 alone.  But of course, on Planet Duke there's no inflation is there!   
 
As for his replies about the jobs, it's just the usual Dukey waffle and bluster.

Dave, do you always talk in the 3rd person? It always appears you are snitching behind people's back instead of addressing them face to face. It does not reflect well on you.

The point on the jobs was that there seems to be plenty unskilled jobs available within the local authority, the comments on jobs were just to add a bit of colour.

40% fall since 2010 would be great is only it were true. Money was thrown at favoured local authorities by the last govt with very little effectiveness, in fact it was under the coalition when spending peeked in 2011 at £176bn, the coalition has managed to reduce this to £168bn, nowhere near the 40%. More cuts are needed, on hte whole, local authorities have coped well but some like Labour led manchester have show utter incompetence in prioritising cuts and have cut front line services whilst spending £1/2m on an Alicia Keys concerts for council staff and B list celebs.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: My login is Henrietta on December 22, 2014, 12:11:32 AM
Admittedly I haven't been around for too long, but, I can't ever remember coal mining being a staple industry of Marple.

Slightly off-topic but, historically, Marple and district did have coal mines, the product of which powered the local mills until the coming of the railways when cheaper coal was available from further afield. In fact the last one, albeit a very small one-man band, was still in production in the early 1980s according to a report I read in one of the local papers at the time. Marple coal was said to be of very good quality
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 22, 2014, 12:52:15 AM
Slightly off-topic but, historically, Marple and district did have coal mines, the product of which powered the local mills until the coming of the railways when cheaper coal was available from further afield. In fact the last one, albeit a very small one-man band, was still in production in the early 1980s according to a report I read in one of the local papers at the time. Marple coal was said to be of very good quality

More about it here: http://www.marplelocalhistorysociety.org.uk/2012-publications/industrial-history-of-marple/143-coal-mining-in-marple-and-mellor.html

I think Mr rambler may have been exagerating the impact on the unemployed numbers with the Thatcherite attack on Marple's coal industry
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: simonesaffron on December 22, 2014, 08:01:25 AM
Let us look once again Duke, at another of your many attempts to mislead by assertion and bluster.

There are currently a plethora of 32 jobs being advertised by Stockport Council.

Of these 32, 19 are in education. Most of these advertised jobs in education require qualifications (we expect our teachers and Head teachers to be qualified) and therefore we must assume that despite another of your assertions that applicants for these jobs did try hard at school.  There are jobs within this plethora such as school caretaker, where there is probably no academia required, but I would suggest that other qualifications are needed  for this role and that it is a necessary and honest occupation and that such a job makes a contribution to the economy that you are so enamoured of.

Another four of the thirty-two jobs are for Social Workers. No doubt Duke that you don't even agree with their existence, but many of us do. In fact I am sure that it will come as a shock to you but many of us ( it isn't just DAVE) disagree with many of your assertions. My point again is that Social Workers have to have qualifications/experience  and again it is a necessary and honest occupation.

Another vacancy is for a lawyer,  again I expect any presented applicants will have tried hard at school and will need qualifications.

Libraries Assistant, Dinner Ladies, your point is what exactly?

Foster Carers? It is well known that there is an ongoing national shortage, again your objection is exactly what? What would you prefer that children looked after by the council do? Perhaps you would prefer that they slept in the park.

I also disagree that conservationists should be scrapped.

So in all, not much common ground there, at least we can agree on that.

You say that you vote Libdem, I can't for the life of me see why. If they have any political nouse, they'll jump on this site and disown you forthwith. Your views and theirs seem poles apart. From what I have read of your postings(never boring but often inaccurate) you politics seems to be based on nothing more nor less than a personal and vitriolic hatred for Ed Balls and Gordon Brown.

If Ukip's politics are the politics of anger then perhaps Duke's are the politics of Hatred. Hatred for Balls and Brown and for anybody that didn't try hard at school.   
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 22, 2014, 09:23:37 AM
Let us look once again Duke, at another of your many attempts to mislead by assertion and bluster.

There are currently a plethora of 32 jobs being advertised by Stockport Council.

Of these 32, 19 are in education. Most of these advertised jobs in education require qualifications (we expect our teachers and Head teachers to be qualified) and therefore we must assume that despite another of your assertions that applicants for these jobs did try hard at school.  There are jobs within this plethora such as school caretaker, where there is probably no academia required, but I would suggest that other qualifications are needed  for this role and that it is a necessary and honest occupation and that such a job makes a contribution to the economy that you are so enamoured of.

Another four of the thirty-two jobs are for Social Workers. No doubt Duke that you don't even agree with their existence, but many of us do. In fact I am sure that it will come as a shock to you but many of us ( it isn't just DAVE) disagree with many of your assertions. My point again is that Social Workers have to have qualifications/experience  and again it is a necessary and honest occupation.

Another vacancy is for a lawyer,  again I expect any presented applicants will have tried hard at school and will need qualifications.

Libraries Assistant, Dinner Ladies, your point is what exactly?

Foster Carers? It is well known that there is an ongoing national shortage, again your objection is exactly what? What would you prefer that children looked after by the council do? Perhaps you would prefer that they slept in the park.

I also disagree that conservationists should be scrapped.

My point was in response to Mr Rambler who said you could not get an unskilled job. The council have some available, 3 days before Christmas. Of course, not all are unskilled but they are there.

I can't see the point of a huge Conservationist dept in the council. I've dealt with them in the last year whilst arranging to re-brand a shop. The poor shop-owner was left with his shop finished in primer for 2 months because the conservation dept could not decide which shade of Purple was acceptable. The conservation dept gave me a tour around Stockport telling me what shop's were acceptable, I pointed out that these shops were all vacant and concluded that the conservation dept seemed happy to have a ghost town of a town centre which was dying on it's proverbial as long as it dies in a conservation colour. Totally pathetic. I'd suggest getting rid and just paying an outside firm for the odd bit of consultancy if needed.

So in all, not much common ground there, at least we can agree on that.

You say that you vote Libdem, I can't for the life of me see why. If they have any political nouse, they'll jump on this site and disown you forthwith. Your views and theirs seem poles apart. From what I have read of your postings(never boring but often inaccurate) you politics seems to be based on nothing more nor less than a personal and vitriolic hatred for Ed Balls and Gordon Brown.

If Ukip's politics are the politics of anger then perhaps Duke's are the politics of Hatred. Hatred for Balls and Brown and for anybody that didn't try hard at school.

Simone, I'm not a hater. I do dislike liars and hypocrites and your identification of Brown & Balls in that bracket is about fair in my opinion.

I've voted Lib dem, I've voted Tory and I've even voted Labour. I've been a member of all three parties when at uni (mainly as a way to get girls) as well as the young Fabians when I was young and naive.

My politics are more aligned with Orange book liberals, small state and individual responsibility and all that. I feel the current coalition have done as good a a job as they could given the circumstances and would vote to keep govt as it is for another 5 years.

I certainly don't agree enough with one particular party in order to join them and find those who support parties like I would a football team simply weird.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: simonesaffron on December 22, 2014, 10:54:43 AM
I fully understand it now Duke.

I've solved it all.

I now know how you have arrived at your political standpoint and it is perfectly understandable.

When you were at uni you were originally a member of the Labour party and you didn't get any girls, so you switched to Conservative and you started to have success but once you moved to Liberal you were fighting them off.

After you left uni you fell in love with the local conservation officer but she didn't reciprocate, as I say its all perfectly understandable.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 22, 2014, 11:19:02 AM
I fully understand it now Duke.

I've solved it all.

I now know how you have arrived at your political standpoint and it is perfectly understandable.

When you were at uni you were originally a member of the Labour party and you didn't get any girls, so you switched to Conservative and you started to have success but once you moved to Liberal you were fighting them off.

After you left uni you fell in love with the local conservation officer but she didn't reciprocate, as I say its all perfectly understandable.


I was member of all three at the same time, I was a reet floosy.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Howard on December 22, 2014, 11:34:21 AM
I fully understand it now Duke.

I've solved it all.

I now know how you have arrived at your political standpoint and it is perfectly understandable.

When you were at uni you were originally a member of the Labour party and you didn't get any girls, so you switched to Conservative and you started to have success but once you moved to Liberal you were fighting them off.

After you left uni you fell in love with the local conservation officer but she didn't reciprocate, as I say its all perfectly understandable.

@simonesaffron I wish there was a LOL button. Instead I'll give you a  ;D
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: marplerambler on December 22, 2014, 04:48:27 PM
O Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke. There are times when you absolutely drive me to despair. OK! I hold up my hands and say that I was finding the discussion about the forthcoming election was growing tedious so I quite deliberately threw in some Thatcher-bashing knowing that the red rag would result in blue bull and when it came what it came what fascinating reading and an avalanche of common sense it brought. You churned out reams of intelligent analysis  but at the same time but follow this with such nonsensical conclusions that can only lead me to believe you are a complete fraud roaring with laughter stirring the pot with a huge wooden spoon with the sole intention of creating controversy and reaction on the website.

I suspect that, even though you may deny it, you know better than most that there are both well managed and poorly managed private and public sector workplaces and that shirkers last no longer in the public sector than they do in the private sector.

I admit I chuckle cynically when you boast that you have never paid a train fare in your life or comment about council staff
utter rubbish, the council employ more now than ever before. I agree, we should get rid of most of them  but hey ho

The response to my comment about public transport in Marple was:


Price of milk?



All this seems to suggest to me is that you rarely if ever need to use public transport. I have absolutely no choice and I will never be able to receive a ‘fit to drive’ tick for a driving licence from my doctor even though for most of the time my health is fine. Public transport does not have the relevance of a pint of milk to me: it is a primary factor determining where I live. The day I posted the last email was round about the time of the Scottish referendum. The trains and buses should never have been privatised. I find it infuriating that to travel by public transport from Marple the subsidies and absurdly high train fares are lining the pockets of foreign companies and resented the fact that profits from Stagecoach buses feathering the nest of a fervent Scottish separatist should be fed to Perth Scotland – the profits might just as well have be sent to Perth Australia if Scotland became independent yet the Scots seem to treat us with nothing but disdain rather ironically because a disproportionately large section of the unprofitable British industry supported by earlier socialist governments was north of the border until the “Blessed Margaret” said “Enough!” though ironically North Sea oil allowed Scotland to stand on its own two feet for a few decades.

As for voting for the LibDems at the last election Andrew Stunnell was a hard working MP who had my respect. Marple Libdem councillors were undoubtedly the hardest working in Stockport. I actually believed that the Libdems could, and would have had my support forming the 2015 government as a consequence of common sense and wise voting for the duration of a hung parliament. Dissociation from either Labour or Conservatives and wise voting on individual issues seemed to be the key. The books of a government which felt a responsibility for the social welfare didn’t balance so some cuts in conjunction with tax increases seemed inevitable. For me Andrew Stunnell’s pledge that my vote would keep the Tories out of Marple (and I naively assumed that this pledge also meant prevent Tory control of Westminster) secured my vote.
 
Duke asks:
Why do you think Lib Dems have betrayed you? If you didn't agree with Lib Dem policy then I'd say it's pretty stupid for voting for them.
My reply is that Stunnell’s fundamental pledge was the Libdems would be an alternative and not an ally to the Tory Party. The Labour Party would not be drawn into a pact and the prospect of a hint of political power in return for an alliance was too much for the LibDems to resist. By doing so they are now seeing a pitiful amount of support in by-elections and will pay the price in the 2015 General Election. I voted LibDem because I believed Andrew Stunnell would help keep out the Conservatives and because I agreed with the very promises which were ditched in return for LibDem Ministerial posts.

Duke is particularly astute to pick out in his observation that in my statement there is;


 nothing to suggest you agree with any Labour policy?
You are right is recognising that I saw nothing particularly inspiring in the Labour Party: that is exactly why I was so unhappy with Andrew Stunnell’s involvement in uniting with the Conservative Party and until that point had seem them as a good long-term bet.

Simone says

I am continually surprised when in an election taking place in 2015 people refer to Thatcher and Wilson people that have been out office for decades.

I am also amazed that somebody would even consider voting for a party that they know just can't win. What really is the point in that.

The Labour Party is barely recognisable thirty years on but I still see exactly the same old Tories: the divide between rich and poor continues to rise. As for voting for a party which can’t win in Marple, the point is that I have a right to vote in a democratic election which is denied to billions elsewhere in the world so I intend to exercise that right even if it is a vote of protest which serves only to reduce the majority of the winning candidate.

As for the vacancies for Council workers not being necessary, Duke you really should be ashamed of yourself.
14-19 coordinator - a job that seems to be doing what parents should be doing.

Conservation Management Trainee -  a trainee in a dept that is a chronic waste of time and the whole lot should be sacked

2 x CSS Officer, a job in a department that should be privatised

Libraries trainee - well OK

some dinner lady roles

loads of Social Workers

Safeguarding Adults Service Manager -

Social Care Lawyer -

Foster carers

As for Conservation  Management I am sure that residents or those who are familiar with the Conservations areas at Chadkirk, Marple Bridge, Mill Brow or Moor End may well disagree.

You would be the very first person to scream about cuts in police expenditure but murders and abuse take place whether you live on Middle Hillgate or Moor End Road.
It is a very sad fact of life that we live in violent society in which there is a huge amount of abuse of children, partners and of the elderly. There is a railway crossing at the back of High Lane which I see as an attractive walking route but which Samaritans notices at the site identify as a location for suicide. Social Services is chronically understaffed but life and death go on. The load of Social Workers you refer to could be the difference between life and death for some desperate people who may not share your strength of character or ability to deal with crisis.

If there were to be an appropriate level of social workers, Safeguarding Adults Service Managers and Social Care Lawyers enabling the recognition and solution of problems at an early stage may well result in a reduction in the number of foster carers needed.

Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 22, 2014, 08:21:54 PM
With the greatest degree of respect, you don't have a clue what happened in "Moor End Road" or whether "abuse" or "murder" took place there.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: sgk on December 22, 2014, 10:29:13 PM
loads of Social Workers

Safeguarding Adults Service Manager

Social Care Lawyer

Foster carers

@Duke Fame - Baffled as to what your "beef" could be with recruiting social workers (extremely difficult job, working with some of the most vulnerable members of society) or with foster carers (again, difficult and working with vulnerable young people and actually saving the council money when compared to the costs of institutional care homes)

Sources below, take your pick depending on your politics!
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 23, 2014, 02:42:38 AM
40% fall since 2010 would be great is only it were true.... in fact it was under the coalition when spending peeked in 2011 at £176bn, the coalition has managed to reduce this to £168bn, nowhere near the 40%.

Well, you can believe Duke or you can believe the National Audit Office. I think I know which one I believe!
http://www.nao.org.uk/report/the-impact-funding-reductions-local-authorities/
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 23, 2014, 09:15:15 AM
The pair of you are, of course, talking about two very different things, Govt support for local authorities vs total Govt expenditure. Perhaps Wheels will be able to confirm that SMBC has not suffered a 40% decline in its expenditure since the ruling party went into the national Coaltion in 2010?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 23, 2014, 09:41:50 AM
I just thought I would take a look at what has actually happened at our local Council over the past few years. Here is the weblink to the section on their website which includes annual Financial Statements for the past 6 financial years.

http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/councildemocracy/your_council/documentsandfacts/budgetsfinancialmonitoringreports/statementofaccounts

Net Expenditure
2008-09    £321,060K
2009-10    £249,209K
2010-11    £263,712K
2011-12    £240,814K
2012-13    £239,753K
2013-14    £234,828K



Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: wheels on December 23, 2014, 10:00:23 AM
The pair of you are, of course, talking about two very different things, Govt support for local authorities vs total Govt expenditure. Perhaps Wheels will be able to confirm that SMBC has not suffered a 40% decline in its expenditure since the ruling party went into the national Coaltion in 2010?

Well I can't in the office at this time of day but I am aware that we, Stockport, suffered substantially in terms of its settlementas as against the other Greater Manchester Authorities under the previous Government. Our children recieved less support per head in particular.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 23, 2014, 10:12:23 AM
For anyone interested in looking at some actual facts about National and Local Government expenditure, here is a link to a very useful website. You can choose which year to look at via the drop-down menu.
http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/year_spending_2015UKbt_14bc1n#ukgs302

Interestingly, in 2008-08 total Local Government expenditure was £167.9 billion. In the current year it is budgeted to be £168.6 billion. Yes, inflation will have had an impact in "real terms' but it's hardly a "collapse", is it?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: admin on December 23, 2014, 10:16:54 AM
Here are some sums done on the figures provided by @Bowden Guy

Spend £'sK             Compared to 2008-09            Year on Previous Year   
2008-09   321,060            
2009-10   249,209      -71,851      -22.38%             -71,851   -22.38%
2010-11   263,712      -57,348      -17.86%              14,503     5.82%
2011-12   240,814      -80,246      -24.99%             -22,898    -8.68%
2012-13   239,753      -81,307      -25.32%               -1,061    -0.44%
2013-14   234,828      -86,232      -26.86%               -4,925    -2.05%
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: marplerambler on December 23, 2014, 12:49:19 PM
With the greatest degree of respect, you don't have a clue what happened in "Moor End Road" or whether "abuse" or "murder" took place there.

Bowden Guy, thank you for a diplomacy which does you credit and in the dark hours of the night I was only too aware that you are absolutely right, that I had swooped to Duke’s level and that an apology is in order.

Duke’s comment from a while ago about people from the Heatons that
Good god, they'll all have lice
may well have been said with his tongue in his cheek but the patronising attitude of Duke brings back memories about a small minority from Marple who I dealt with during the Thatcher years who found it inconceivable that they should be on the dole and treated the Benefit Office staff as if was the Benefit Office and not Thatcher who were responsible for them being out of work.   Such arrogance is not forgotten and sadly may bring out the worst in others born in other areas of Stockport thinking that Duke is an official spokesman for Marple when he is nothing of the sort.

Simone states

I am continually surprised when in an election taking place in 2015 people refer to Thatcher and Wilson people that have been out office for decades. 
You wouldn’t forget so readily if you had lived in Marple during the Thatcher years, lost your job or left school/university and after a couple years sunk into a despair that no matter how hard you tried that the future in the north of England offered nothing other than a life on benefits or worthless job schemes. Thatcher was the mother of the professional benefit claimants. Pre-Thatcher there was always a small number of work-shy malingers but there was a job for everyone willing to work (with the shortfall in required labour being made up by immigrants). If you did not work without good reason you were looked upon by all in society, rich or poor, as a parasitic malingerer.  The Thatcher years spawned a whole new psychology about unemployment: it was impossible to get an unskilled job because Britain’s manufacturing base had been undermined by a government which rightly or wrongly said ‘No more subsidisation of inefficient British industry, pay unemployment benefits instead, raise unemployment levels to effectively destroy the unions which had been holding the economy to ransom and import goods which can be produced more cheaply and shipped from the other side of the world’. An unfortunate result was that a lifetime on benefits became a norm so when the Tories were eventually kicked out and the economy began to recover life on benefits was seen by some no longer as the norm but as a right and we still have a legacy of people who scream when Polish people who aim to do nothing but work hard for a living come to fill the hotel and catering and agricultural jobs (paying British taxes while they are here) because the local unemployed now say that they will not take the jobs because the hours are too long and that they are better off on benefits.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 23, 2014, 03:26:17 PM
Marplerambler, your last sentence was the best advocacy for reform of the benefits system that I have ever read. Good stuff.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 23, 2014, 03:38:47 PM
Just to get the discussion on government funding for local authorities back on track, let's be clear that that's a different issue from total government expenditure,
or indeed from total local authority expenditure, both of which seem to have crept in and confused the issue in some recent posts.

The relevant figure is government grants to local authorities, adjusted for inflation, which the NAO confirms have fallen by just under 40% since 2010.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 23, 2014, 04:30:47 PM
And, yet, the ACTUAL expenditure hasn't gone down by anywhere as much, so, if anyone has an explanation, I would love to hear it.

And, as we can see from the Council's own financial statements, the greatest part of the actual reduction took place under the last Government.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 23, 2014, 04:41:55 PM
I think that's probably because the total LA expenditure includes the spending on schools, which is a separate ring-fenced grant from the DFE, of course, and not included in the DCLG grant to LAs.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 23, 2014, 05:19:35 PM
Yes, Education, which currently accounts for almost half of the Council's expenditure......
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 24, 2014, 02:25:55 AM
Yes it does now, though it used to be more like 40%. But whilst education spending has been protected by the government, other areas of local authority spending have not.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 24, 2014, 09:16:18 AM
@Duke Fame - Baffled as to what your "beef" could be with recruiting social workers (extremely difficult job, working with some of the most vulnerable members of society) or with foster carers (again, difficult and working with vulnerable young people and actually saving the council money when compared to the costs of institutional care homes)

Sources below, take your pick depending on your politics!
  • BBC News: Children in care soar as councils seek more foster parents, 28-Feb-2014 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26384989)
  • Guardian : JK Rowling: Isn’t it time we left orphanages to fairytales?, 17-Dec-2014 (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/17/jk-rowling-fairytale-orphanage-lumos)
  • Daily Mail : Children in care hits a record high after Baby P, 27-Nov-2014 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2851156/Children-care-hits-record-high-Baby-P.html)

Not a beef, just saying there are plenty low skill jobs advertised.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 24, 2014, 01:38:21 PM
Just to get the discussion on government funding for local authorities back on track, let's be clear that that's a different issue from total government expenditure,
or indeed from total local authority expenditure, both of which seem to have crept in and confused the issue in some recent posts.

The relevant figure is government grants to local authorities, adjusted for inflation, which the NAO confirms have fallen by just under 40% since 2010.

Dave what you have done is taken the actual figures that completely refute your claim, you've taken some spending off that figure until you've got a figure to back up your claim.

I'd love it if this government had actually got local spending down by 40% with no discernible difference in service but that has not happened
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 24, 2014, 04:04:28 PM
As I wrote previously:

Well, you can believe Duke or you can believe the National Audit Office. I think I know which one I believe!
http://www.nao.org.uk/report/the-impact-funding-reductions-local-authorities/

Meanwhile, as the season of peace on earth and good will to all men is upon us, can I suggest a Christmas truce? Duke, Bowden Guy, wheels, simone, marplerambler, Andy,  me, and anyone else who wants to take part, to meet on Arkwright Road rec for a kick about. Ref Admin, of course. We will leave our rifles and bayonets behind, exchange cigarettes and handshakes, and sing Silent Night.

On Boxing Day hostilities will be resumed, of course.

Happy Christmas!
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 24, 2014, 04:28:53 PM
Bowden Guy, thank you for a diplomacy which does you credit and in the dark hours of the night I was only too aware that you are absolutely right, that I had swooped to Duke’s level and that an apology is in order.


Oi, stoop to your own level, mine is just fine.

Duke’s comment from a while ago about people from the Heatons that may well have been said with his tongue in his cheek but the patronising attitude of Duke brings back memories about a small minority from Marple who I dealt with during the Thatcher years who found it inconceivable that they should be on the dole and treated the Benefit Office staff as if was the Benefit Office and not Thatcher who were responsible for them being out of work.   Such arrogance is not forgotten and sadly may bring out the worst in others born in other areas of Stockport thinking that Duke is an official spokesman for Marple when he is nothing of the sort.

My comment was a little tongue in cheek but given that I lived in Heaton Moor, I think I can make a little joke. I do think that Labour voters tend to be a little less aware of the issues in economics and stats show they tend to be more likely to be racist, poorly educated and low-achievers. i grew up in the south and although my Father was a good socialist, in an area that adapted well from 1970's Labour to Thatcher's conservatives, in an area with an enterprising culture, you didn't get too many Labour voters.

Simone statesYou wouldn’t forget so readily if you had lived in Marple during the Thatcher years, lost your job or left school/university and after a couple years sunk into a despair that no matter how hard you tried that the future in the north of England offered nothing other than a life on benefits or worthless job schemes. Thatcher was the mother of the professional benefit claimants. Pre-Thatcher there was always a small number of work-shy malingers but there was a job for everyone willing to work (with the shortfall in required labour being made up by immigrants). If you did not work without good reason you were looked upon by all in society, rich or poor, as a parasitic malingerer.  The Thatcher years spawned a whole new psychology about unemployment: it was impossible to get an unskilled job because Britain’s manufacturing base had been undermined by a government which rightly or wrongly said ‘No more subsidisation of inefficient British industry, pay unemployment benefits instead, raise unemployment levels to effectively destroy the unions which had been holding the economy to ransom and import goods which can be produced more cheaply and shipped from the other side of the world’.

It wasn't just Thatcher that said we can't carry on subsidising and nationalising, it was the IMF.

Furthermore, there are plenty jobs about, nobody who tries hard needs to spend a life in the dole.

An unfortunate result was that a lifetime on benefits became a norm so when the Tories were eventually kicked out and the economy began to recover life on benefits was seen by some no longer as the norm but as a right and we still have a legacy of people who scream when Polish people who aim to do nothing but work hard for a living come to fill the hotel and catering and agricultural jobs (paying British taxes while they are here) because the local unemployed now say that they will not take the jobs because the hours are too long and that they are better off on benefits.

You see there is a bit of blame game, Britain became uncompetitive pre-Thatcher and that was the fault of the workers / management. Rather than blame Thatcher, maybe those who lost their jobs should have looked at themselves and took a little self-responsibility.

If Poles are taking jobs in a nation of non-polish speakers, I think it says more about those being pushed out than the immigrants or government.

Anyway, Seasons Greetings and for those on the left of the discussion, I hope the State brings you everything you think you are entitled to.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: tigerman on December 29, 2014, 01:31:31 PM
Now that Mervyn King has officially recognised that the line peddled by the Tory/Lib coalition that Labour was responsible for the financial crash has been found to be a lie (Radio4 Today programme), perhaps we can indeed move on and discuss the kind of society that we wish to create.  I too believe, as do others on this forum, that the castigation of public services as an imposition is wrong-headed. We remain one of the richest nations on the planet so the question is about the distribution or re-distribution of wealth and how that can be achieved. Taxation is not an evil, it is the foundation of a decent society, but the system seems designed to allow those with the greatest wealth to avoid their obligations. 
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 29, 2014, 05:33:12 PM
I agree. Taxation is fundamental to a fair society, funding things that the market cannot, or chooses not to, deliver. Now,  tigerman, could  you please explain to me how the top 10% contributing 55% of total income tax revenues is not "fair".

I would also be very intetested in finding out what you believe future tax rates should actually be to ensure things are "fairer".
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 29, 2014, 07:27:27 PM
Now that Mervyn King has officially recognised that the line peddled by the Tory/Lib coalition that Labour was responsible for the financial crash has been found to be a lie (Radio4 Today programme), perhaps we can indeed move on and discuss the kind of society that we wish to create.  I too believe, as do others on this forum, that the castigation of public services as an imposition is wrong-headed. We remain one of the richest nations on the planet so the question is about the distribution or re-distribution of wealth and how that can be achieved. Taxation is not an evil, it is the foundation of a decent society, but the system seems designed to allow those with the greatest wealth to avoid their obligations.

I don't think anyone claimed Labour created the crash, all colours, even Lib Dems would have had  similar problem, no govt would have shot the goose that laid the golden eggs. However, the other two parties would not have ran deficits in the time of plenty. The conservatives would certainly not have been artificially pumping the economy from 2005 with a load of non-jobs in a pursuit of full-employment.

Taxation is a way of raising revenue to pay for essentials where there is market failure. It's not a tool for punishing the hardest-working or successful.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 30, 2014, 02:32:19 AM
I don't think anyone claimed Labour created the crash

They certainly do, and they are still at it - I heard Danny Alexander repeat it on the radio only the other day.

It's complete nonsense, of course, as Duke rightly points out.

The Labour government of 1997 - 2010 still has to bear a certain amount of responsibility, of course. For example, for their failure to regulate the banks effectively - although it has to be said that at the time the Tory opposition was claiming that regulation was too strict!

But claims that public expenditure was excessive don't really stand up to much scrutiny. The UK national debt in 2007 stood at about 35% of GDP. It's now 75% and rising, thanks to the global recession followed by the initially incompetent stewardship of G Osborne, who spent his first two years in office making things worse before he saw the light in 2012.

As for the vexed issue of taxation, it's quite simple: if we want good public services, we should be prepared to pay for them - all of us, according to our means.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 30, 2014, 07:20:55 AM
So, Dave, what do you think personal tax rates should be? You obviously don't think they are too high so how much should they rise by? And,  for all those electricians, IT consultants, plumbers, accountants and other SMEs that aren't covered by PAYE - same question. Similarly, if the top 10% of income tax payers generating 55% if revenues isn't high enough, what do you think it should be? It's too easy to say "according to our means"- without figures, that "means" nothing.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: tigerman on December 30, 2014, 11:21:55 AM
For starters, it was wrong for the richest segment of society to be given a 5% tax cut by the ConDems, whilst those at the bottom pay a massive marginal rate. My comments were mainly aimed at the massive corporations who evade tax by moving their profits around the globe. 
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 30, 2014, 03:58:23 PM
So, Dave, what do you think personal tax rates should be? You obviously don't think they are too high so how much should they rise by? And,  for all those electricians, IT consultants, plumbers, accountants and other SMEs that aren't covered by PAYE - same question. Similarly, if the top 10% of income tax payers generating 55% if revenues isn't high enough, what do you think it should be? It's too easy to say "according to our means"- without figures, that "means" nothing.

You only have to drive through Wilmslow or Hale Barns to realise that there's no shortage of people who can afford to pay more tax.

As for those electricians, IT consultants etc. many of those are paying far less tax than they should, since this government's cuts to HMRC staffing gave such a boost to the black economy.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 30, 2014, 05:01:11 PM
So, Dave, if they are not "paying enough" just HOW MUCH extra should they be paying, in your opinion, as a man of the Left? Somehow, I suspect you will be unwilling to commit.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 30, 2014, 10:15:38 PM
They certainly do, and they are still at it - I heard Danny Alexander repeat it on the radio only the other day.

It's complete nonsense, of course, as Duke rightly points out.

The Labour government of 1997 - 2010 still has to bear a certain amount of responsibility, of course. For example, for their failure to regulate the banks effectively - although it has to be said that at the time the Tory opposition was claiming that regulation was too strict!

But claims that public expenditure was excessive don't really stand up to much scrutiny. The UK national debt in 2007 stood at about 35% of GDP. It's now 75% and rising, thanks to the global recession followed by the initially incompetent stewardship of G Osborne, who spent his first two years in office making things worse before he saw the light in 2012.

As for the vexed issue of taxation, it's quite simple: if we want good public services, we should be prepared to pay for them - all of us, according to our means.

As I say, nobody was prepared to shoot the goose that laid the golden egg.

If you wanted all the tax revenue to spend on services, you had to let the goose do it's thing. The RIGHT thing to do was to build up reserves in order to cope with the inevitable slump. Unfortunately, the utterly incompetent chancellor and latterly the Scottish PM believed he really had put an end to boom and bust. He pretended to understand Keynesian economics but had only read half the theory, the spending part, so up went public spending on really useless services. The problem with spending in times of plenty is that not only do you lose the chance to build reserves, you also crowd out private investment. In doing so, it's a double whammy when there is a slump, the private energy isn't at a level to pull the economy through and the govt doesn't have the money to kick start the economy.

When the slump came, it was a big one and the govt should have been able to look at all the money it had in gold etc and spent it on infrastructure to give the economy an advantage whilst employing people. Instead, there was no reserves, the Labour govt had been running a deceit even in the last two years of the boom and there was debt on the books without assets. Terrible stewardship by TSpm & his bullying hatchet man - Ed Balls. In amongst the clique was the intelectually weak and rather insignificant Ed Milliband.

Simply put, the last Labour govt were guilty of creating the difficulties we have had, we cannot let these idiots back in.


if we want good public services, we should be prepared to pay for them - all of us, according to our means.

let's keep within our sustainable means, as someone once said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 30, 2014, 10:26:47 PM
You only have to drive through Wilmslow or Hale Barns to realise that there's no shortage of people who can afford to pay more tax.

As for those electricians, IT consultants etc. many of those are paying far less tax than they should, since this government's cuts to HMRC staffing gave such a boost to the black economy.

So your whole economic argument is that you think some sparky is doing a few jobs for undisclosed cash and the only reason that you can;t tell us how much is because the HMRC have had cuts???

It's as plausible as taxing people out of their houses.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 31, 2014, 07:12:03 AM
Bowden Guy keeps asking what personal tax rates should be, as if that might provide the answer to the UK's economic problems!  It won't, for a number of reasons.  One of them is because nowadays the difference between the haves and have-nots is nothing to do with income, it's to do with property and other capital assets.

I seem to recall that the richest 1,000 people in the UK are worth about 500 billion between them - an average of 500 million each.  The current UK annual deficit stands at just over 100 billion. So those 1,000 individuals alone could wipe out the deficit at a stroke by contributing a mere 20% of their wealth.  And you know what? They wouldn't notice the difference.

We live in a grotesquely unequal society, and tinkering with income tax rates will not change that. And sadly, neither will anything else in the foreseeable future.

As it happens, I happen to be visiting family in the USA at the moment.  It's increasingly clear to me that the Tories are being steered by Osborne towards a version of the American model of a low tax and minimal public services economy.  So if that's what we Brits want, we've got an opportunity to vote for it next May. But I won't be.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 31, 2014, 03:17:48 PM
Bowden Guy keeps asking what personal tax rates should be, as if that might provide the answer to the UK's economic problems!  It won't, for a number of reasons.  One of them is because nowadays the difference between the haves and have-nots is nothing to do with income, it's to do with property and other capital assets.

I seem to recall that the richest 1,000 people in the UK are worth about 500 billion between them - an average of 500 million each.  The current UK annual deficit stands at just over 100 billion. So those 1,000 individuals alone could wipe out the deficit at a stroke by contributing a mere 20% of their wealth.  And you know what? They wouldn't notice the difference.

We live in a grotesquely unequal society, and tinkering with income tax rates will not change that. And sadly, neither will anything else in the foreseeable future.

As it happens, I happen to be visiting family in the USA at the moment.  It's increasingly clear to me that the Tories are being steered by Osborne towards a version of the American model of a low tax and minimal public services economy.  So if that's what we Brits want, we've got an opportunity to vote for it next May. But I won't be.

You are really suggesting the state privatise and seize all privately held assets?

Personally I'd tax all those who can afford fancy overseas holidays in the Americas.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: wheels on December 31, 2014, 03:41:19 PM
Duke,

I think Dave said he was visiting family...... You want to tax people for visiting families (personally I would tax those who take fancy overseas holidays)  Thanks for confirming the right is as anti family as the left.  :P
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on December 31, 2014, 04:16:46 PM
You are really suggesting the state privatise and seize all privately held assets?

Of course I'm not suggesting that. The point, and I apologise for not spelling it out clearly enough for Duke, is that the entire UK budget deficit amounts to just a fraction of the personal wealth of some of our fellow citizens.  Think about it........
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Harry on December 31, 2014, 05:29:54 PM
All this talk about the better off paying more, and someone commenting about how the top rate was reduced by 5% (without mentioning thousands at the same time being taken out of the tax system altogether), reminds me of a story that explains the tax system. After a little searching I found it, and include it below.


Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics

Everyday ten men go out for beer after work and the bill for all ten comes to £100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay £1.
The sixth would pay £3.
The seventh would pay £7.
The eighth would pay £12.
The ninth would pay £18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.
So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20." Drinks for the ten now cost just £80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. What about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that £20 divided by six is £3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay £5 instead of £7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the £20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got £10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I got"
"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get £10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: My login is Henrietta on December 31, 2014, 05:51:48 PM
With the greatest degree of respect, you don't have a clue what happened in "Moor End Road" or whether "abuse" or "murder" took place there.
The OP was speaking figuratively, I think

However, wasn't there a murder up there a few years ago?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on December 31, 2014, 06:14:05 PM
So, Dave, in 2015  these people either voluntarily give up 20% of their wealth, or it is expropriated by the Government, and the deficit  for that year disappears. I only have one question - what happens in 2016 when the country's expenditure is still massively greater than its income?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on December 31, 2014, 09:54:48 PM
Of course I'm not suggesting that. The point, and I apologise for not spelling it out clearly enough for Duke, is that the entire UK budget deficit amounts to just a fraction of the personal wealth of some of our fellow citizens.  Think about it........

Does it prove that individuals' skill and motivation is more successful in creating wealth than the state?
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 01, 2015, 09:37:59 AM
Have just been looking at the bookmakers'' odds for the outcome of the General Election.....

Con/Lib Dem coalition      4/1
Conservative majority      9/2
Labour majority               9/2
Labour minority               9/2
Labour/Lib Dem coalition  9/2
Conservative minority      7/1
(No odds for Labour/SNP coalition, btw)

Personally, I think it will be 'business as usual" after the May 6th so I'm going to take some of that 4/1 action.

Happy New Year to everyone on the Forum.


Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on January 01, 2015, 12:04:57 PM
Have just been looking at the bookmakers'' odds for the outcome of the General Election.....

Con/Lib Dem coalition      4/1
Conservative majority      9/2
Labour majority               9/2
Labour minority               9/2
Labour/Lib Dem coalition  9/2
Conservative minority      7/1
(No odds for Labour/SNP coalition, btw)

Personally, I think it will be 'business as usual" after the May 6th so I'm going to take some of that 4/1 action.

Happy New Year to everyone on the Forum.

I think the coalition have done a very good job and the pnly govt that has had to create it's own divisions, I think Blair said it's a lot more together than his governments (hinting at The Scottish PM's madness not helping)
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on January 01, 2015, 08:21:37 PM
Does it prove that individuals' skill and motivation is more successful in creating wealth than the state?

Yes, it does.  I think that's self-evident, and borne out by history.   But for free enterprise to prosper, it needs the infrastructure provided by the state: law and order, defence of the realm, education, transport, health, social services etc etc, plus freedom from institutional corruption and those 'nice-to-have' things such as facilities for sport and the arts, that give people quality of life.

Bowden Guy's bookies' odds are fascinating, but I'm not convinced by the identical odds for both an outright Labour victory or an outright Tory one.   I don't think either of the two big parties is likely to come out of it with an overall majority, but I'd give Labour a slightly greater chance than the Tories. (History tells us that the party in power very rarely increases its number of seats when seeking re-election.)

Meanwhile, following up BG's post, I found myself on the Ladbrokes site, and stumbled across their odds for this constituency:

Lib Dems 3/10
Tories 5/2
UKIP  33/1
Labour 50/1

That's probably pretty fair, although I'll be surprised if the number of UKIP votes is higher than Labour's.  After all, this isn't Essex - people round here have got more sense than that!

Happy New Year to my sparring partners Duke and BG, and to all on this excellent Forum.   :D
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: tigerman on January 05, 2015, 07:36:11 PM
I think the coalition have done a very good job and the pnly govt that has had to create it's own divisions, I think Blair said it's a lot more together than his governments (hinting at The Scottish PM's madness not helping)

This would be a hilarious proposition, but the food banks, the drop in living standards for all but the very rich, the increased national debt, and right-wing media fed hysteria about immigration tell a story that is tragic rather than funny.

A Happy New Year free of this government. Yes please!

Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: ringi on January 05, 2015, 10:05:11 PM


Meanwhile, following up BG's post, I found myself on the Ladbrokes site, and stumbled across their odds for this constituency:

Lib Dems 3/10
Tories 5/2
UKIP  33/1
Labour 50/1

That's probably pretty fair, although I'll be surprised if the number of UKIP votes is higher than Labour's.  After all, this isn't Essex - people round here have got more sense than that!


UKIP is a lot less predictable then labour, I expect they will come 4th place here, however labour winning would sock me more than UKIP, given recent UKIP results that we would have thought unthinkable a few months ago.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on January 05, 2015, 11:26:02 PM
This would be a hilarious proposition, but the food banks, the drop in living standards for all but the very rich, the increased national debt, and right-wing media fed hysteria about immigration tell a story that is tragic rather than funny.

A Happy New Year free of this government. Yes please!

Yawn, change the record. We all know why debt wet up, we were spendin more than we earnt, we had to drop living standards because the lifestyle we had was not affordable, govt spending was based on huge income from banks which turned out to be unsustainable. Food banks will be used if you supply them, there is no need for them if people prioritise their spending as food is very cheap.

By all means come up with an argument but not the tired bbc/guardian/mirror rhetoric
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on January 05, 2015, 11:27:53 PM
UKIP is a lot less predictable then labour, I expect they will come 4th place here, however labour winning would sock me more than UKIP, given recent UKIP results that we would have thought unthinkable a few months ago.

Although ukip will poll decent numbers, I suspect we'll only see a few seats go that way.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on January 06, 2015, 09:35:26 AM
Food banks will be used if you supply them, there is no need for them if people prioritise their spending as food is very cheap.

Whatever happened to Cameron's 'compassionate conservatism'!  If Duke spoke to anyone who volunteers at a food bank, or works at the DWP (my next door neighbour does, and his reports are heartbreaking), he would know better than to write anything like that. 

Food banks are the last resort of the desperate.  They exist because, sadly, they are necessary.  You can only use a food bank if you have been referred by the DWP or other recognised agency.  People forced to use them are so impoverished by benefit delays and 'sanctions', the bedroom tax, and the abolition of council tax benefit  that they cannot otherwise put food on the table for their children.

Of course, there's no poverty on Planet Duke, so that's OK. 
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: ringi on January 06, 2015, 11:33:52 AM
I was told yesterday by someone on benefits that run out of money within hours of getting the benefits, that she does not have time to take back the cloths she buys on impulse that she then never uses, but yet she still has time to go to the cloths shop as soon as the benefit is paid.   

Therefore if her child needs anything in the week he does not get it until the next week this extends to running out of some food etc.

Clearly she needs help, but she sees no need to change her life.

Food banks will ALWAYS be needed, and are a lot better option than giving out even more money to people that refuse to control their spending.

Another person I know on benefits will not risk taking a short term job, due to the delays in getting the benefits back, so clearly delays are a BIG problem as well.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on January 06, 2015, 01:04:30 PM
Whatever happened to Cameron's 'compassionate conservatism'!  If Duke spoke to anyone who volunteers at a food bank, or works at the DWP (my next door neighbour does, and his reports are heartbreaking), he would know better than to write anything like that. 

Food banks are the last resort of the desperate.  They exist because, sadly, they are necessary.  You can only use a food bank if you have been referred by the DWP or other recognised agency.  People forced to use them are so impoverished by benefit delays and 'sanctions', the bedroom tax, and the abolition of council tax benefit  that they cannot otherwise put food on the table for their children.

Of course, there's no poverty on Planet Duke, so that's OK.

I quite liked the Labour government's scheme to issue food vouchers to ensure benefits were spent in the right way.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Melancholyflower on January 06, 2015, 01:46:43 PM
Getting back to the original thread subject, as I've only lived in Marple for 2 years, I will be very interested in the outcome of the election in Hazel Grove.

It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the Tories got in. Lib Dems have come out the worst of the coalition partners, and the Tories have more campaign funds - it could make a difference.

Forgive me for going on about the voting system, but I really do feel voters missed a huge opportunity to give British politics a shot in the arm when they rejected AV. Like it or not, it would have ensured a much more closely fought election in much more parliamentary seats than is the norm with the usual marginals.

Someone mentioned party organisations earlier, and I do feel that this has a disproportionate effect in marginal seats. The Tories concentration and funding on these seats in 2010 was pretty crucial.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on January 06, 2015, 02:47:13 PM
Getting back to the original thread subject, as I've only lived in Marple for 2 years, I will be very interested in the outcome of the election in Hazel Grove.

It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the Tories got in. Lib Dems have come out the worst of the coalition partners, and the Tories have more campaign funds - it could make a difference.

Forgive me for going on about the voting system, but I really do feel voters missed a huge opportunity to give British politics a shot in the arm when they rejected AV. Like it or not, it would have ensured a much more closely fought election in much more parliamentary seats than is the norm with the usual marginals.

Someone mentioned party organisations earlier, and I do feel that this has a disproportionate effect in marginal seats. The Tories concentration and funding on these seats in 2010 was pretty crucial.

I'm all for PR but didn't vote for the AV as I simply thought it no better than PFTP.

Ironically, the Lib dems will retain 30 odd seats despite having a falling % of the vote. UKIP voters will of course be under-represented.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on January 07, 2015, 06:20:30 PM
It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the Tories got in..... Someone mentioned party organisations earlier, and I do feel that this has a disproportionate effect in marginal seats. The Tories concentration and funding on these seats in 2010 was pretty crucial.

Interestingly, it seems that Conservative Central Office have included Hazel Grove in a list of 40 target seats to win in the forthcoming general election. See http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2013/05/by-mark-wallacefollowmarkon-twitter-in-october-cchq-announced-that-it-was-launching-a-4040-strategy-aimed-at-winning-the.html

With a Lib Dem majority of over 6,000 at the 2010 election, that can't be because it's regarded as marginal, so it must presumably be because they think they are in with a chance because of Sir Andrew's retirement.   

So no doubt we can expect a much more visible Tory campaign, with bus loads of canvassers coming here, and lots of money thrown at leafleting and postering etc.

6,000 is a sizeable majority to overturn, so on the face of it it seems unlikely, but stranger things have happened!  And Mr Wragg, unlike Ms Smart, is a genuinely local candidate; that will no doubt count for something with some voters.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 07, 2015, 08:25:19 PM
If the Conservatives were to take Hazel Grove it would result in the Lib Dem parliamentary party being reduced to the size of the Liberals in the 1970s. The table below shows the Lib Cem constituencies ranked by size of majority.....

http://www.ukpolitical.info/Lib.htm

Personally, I can't see it happening, despite Lord Ashcroft's dosh but the majority will certainly be reduced (to around 5 or 6%?).
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Melancholyflower on January 07, 2015, 10:46:34 PM

With a Lib Dem majority of over 6,000 at the 2010 election, that can't be because it's regarded as marginal, so it must presumably be because they think they are in with a chance because of Sir Andrew's retirement.   


Bang on. There's always a bit of a vacuum when long-term MPs retire, and Stunell's majority isn't that big really - a quick look at the stats shows his share has been eroded steadily since 1997. The Tories have targeted this for a good reason.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on January 07, 2015, 11:50:10 PM
Interestingly, it seems that Conservative Central Office have included Hazel Grove in a list of 40 target seats to win in the forthcoming general election. See http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2013/05/by-mark-wallacefollowmarkon-twitter-in-october-cchq-announced-that-it-was-launching-a-4040-strategy-aimed-at-winning-the.html

With a Lib Dem majority of over 6,000 at the 2010 election, that can't be because it's regarded as marginal, so it must presumably be because they think they are in with a chance because of Sir Andrew's retirement.   

So no doubt we can expect a much more visible Tory campaign, with bus loads of canvassers coming here, and lots of money thrown at leafleting and postering etc.

6,000 is a sizeable majority to overturn, so on the face of it it seems unlikely, but stranger things have happened!  And Mr Wragg, unlike Ms Smart, is a genuinely local candidate; that will no doubt count for something with some voters.

I think Michael is also counting on the stunell retirement factor, I think that why he chose Labour over the other more suitable political vehicles and I think he's been quite calculating.

Not sure of his opening gambit. He says wages falling behind cost of living with fuel at its lowest for yonks, 1930's spending (which was rather high, war prep and mass house building). The two sticks labour have have snapped.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Dave on January 08, 2015, 11:43:55 AM
the [Lib Dem] majority will certainly be reduced (to around 5 or 6%?).

That's my gut feeling too - I think Ms Smart will probably scrape home, unless Mr Taylor manages to attract some disgruntled Lib Dem voters, in which case it could be 'vote Taylor, get Wragg'! 
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 08, 2015, 12:33:00 PM
"Only the Liberal Democrats can keep the Tories out here"...... (accompanied by dodgy histogram illustrating suspiciously small Labour vote in 2010)
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: ringi on January 08, 2015, 05:35:05 PM
I am now thinking that only the Tories can keep Labour out, as the Lib Dems may make a pack with Labour….
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: DarranPalmer on January 08, 2015, 09:53:57 PM
I've been following the discussions but didn't want to get involved. However I thought you may want to see the European election results for the Hazel Grove constituency. They are the most recent National election results.

UKIP.    28.14%
Con.     23.85%
Libdem 20.28%
Labour. 15%
Other.   12.73%
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on January 08, 2015, 10:08:52 PM
I've been following the discussions but didn't want to get involved. However I thought you may want to see the European election results for the Hazel Grove constituency. They are the most recent National election results.

UKIP.    28.14%
Con.     23.85%
Libdem 20.28%
Labour. 15%
Other.   12.73%

I know you polled well in the Euro elections but so you should, it's your top issue. Your problem is that the logical vote ito achieve  UKIP's aims is to vote conservatives. The only party that can deliver a route out of Europe is the conservatives even if they will not actually be supporting a split with the EU, it's the only way to get an EU exit on the cards.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Howard on January 08, 2015, 10:50:06 PM
I've been following the discussions but didn't want to get involved. However I thought you may want to see the European election results for the Hazel Grove constituency. They are the most recent National election results.

UKIP.    28.14%
Con.     23.85%
Libdem 20.28%
Labour. 15%
Other.   12.73%

Plus people are well aware that the Euro elections are a form of proportional representation and the national elections are FPTP where they tend to vote tactically.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on January 09, 2015, 12:09:01 PM
And you have made no effort to keep in touch since.

That's a little unfair, I know he & his good lady have stood for election before but there is no obligation to access the electorate via every portal. If that were a guide to electability, i would be MP straight away (although it's not a bad idea)
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Middle wood on January 10, 2015, 08:02:15 PM
Clearly the Conservatives feel that they have a chance with the Hazel Grove constituency as I'm led to believe that David Cameron himself was in Chadkirk yesterday.

It was, after all, in Conservative hands with Tom Arnold for many years. I've had telephone canvassers on the phone just this week from them too. One downside for Marple residents will no doubt be endless leaflets from the Tories and Lib Dems. These never sway my decision but a necessary evil of elections I suppose. Thankfully no UKIP have come my way yet.
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: sgk on January 10, 2015, 10:12:48 PM
...I'm led to believe that David Cameron himself was in Chadkirk yesterday.
Yep -> David Cameron describes Stockport as a 'vital' general election battleground (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/pictures-david-cameron-describes-stockport-8412658)
Title: Re: Hazel Grove - General Political Discussion
Post by: Duke Fame on January 11, 2015, 10:43:00 PM
I may be wrong but I suspect Haward and Darran are talking at cross purposes? I am sure that the Lib Dem newsletters where they say one thing in one part of the country, and the diametrically opposite point of view in a different constituency, are funded by the Party.

However, the propaganda newspapers (with multiple photos of the leading Councillors), published by Councils across the country, are indeed paid for by Council Tax payers. Strange how we can still afford them, really, what with the swinging cuts, austerity, cost of living crisis, back to the 1930s, blah blah blah.....


Over in Manchester, they aren't having a 1/2m pop concert for D list celebs and council nobodys this year. It really is 1930's spending kicking in but they still have a bigger budget than Stockport (& pretty much every other council in the country) .