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Local Community => Local Issues => Hazel Grove Elections May 2015 => Topic started by: Duke Fame on January 09, 2015, 08:15:46 AM

Title: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 09, 2015, 08:15:46 AM
Anyone else received the ludicrous letter of support for Lisa Smart from the current incumbent? "Over the last few years I have seen the Conservatives coming forward with more and more extreme ideas...". Priceless. Should've gone to SpecSavers in 2010, Sir Andrew!

It's certainly true that the coalition, although Tory led, has been very Liberal. Perhaps Stunnel is claiming the lib dems have kept the tories in check and that is what Andrew is claiming credit for.

Nevertheless, they have been very effective in putting the economy on a more even keel, business is sustainable and confidence is up.

Is be happy with a lib dem / Tory coalition again.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 09, 2015, 11:00:10 AM
It's certainly true that the coalition, although Tory led, has been very Liberal.

Liberal? In what way?

Nevertheless, they have been very effective in putting the economy on a more even keel, business is sustainable and confidence is up.

Or to put it another way, Pollyanna, we're in yet another debt-fuelled boom built on inflated property values. And business confidence is not up, it's down.  See http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/business-confidence

Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 09, 2015, 11:22:40 AM
Liberal? In what way?

I don't mean the nanny state liberalism of the 90's and 00's I mean:

Same sex marriages
Freeing up the market from state interference
The use of markets rather than quantitative regulations
Proper acceptance of free trade, economic liberalism, limited government and individualism

Or to put it another way, Pollyanna, we're in yet another debt-fuelled boom built on inflated property values. And business confidence is not up, it's down.  See http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/business-confidence

Private debt has fallen, the state debt is a worry but the critisism from the left has been that the reason why we're not already back in a boom is that the coalition haven't spent enough and logically have not put us into more debt. The left are good at this, they say spend money and it it doesn't work, you get Balls telling everyone 'We told you to spend more'.

What we have is a move to focus on long-term sustainable growth. Moreover, the emphais is to improve the capabilities of the work force and create an environment for innovation.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: wheels on January 09, 2015, 11:35:43 AM
Equal marriage
Blocking of the renewal of the wasteful trident

Neither would have been achieved without the coalition if you looking for a LIBERAL influence quite apart from none Liberal issue such as the increased pupil premium, increase funding for cycling and much more
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 09, 2015, 12:01:33 PM
Equal marriage
Blocking of the renewal of the wasteful trident

Neither would have been achieved without the coalition if you looking for a LIBERAL influence quite apart from none Liberal issue such as the increased pupil premium, increase funding for cycling and much more

It's actually quite surprising how much of the coalition agreement was delivered.

The political village is pretty surprised how together the actual MP's have been. I know two civil servants who work in westminster and both have said relations are not only better than the Blair / Brown feud but also that of the major and Thatcher govts (although the thatcher days are heresay)
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 09, 2015, 03:29:18 PM
Same sex marriages

OK, I guess that's Liberal.

Freeing up the market from state interference
The use of markets rather than quantitative regulations
Proper acceptance of free trade, economic liberalism, limited government and individualism

Those are more neoliberal than Liberal, and worryingly remniscent of the lax financial regulation that led to the global financial crisis that started in 2007, and whose legacy is still with us, of course. 

Private debt has fallen

No it hasn't.  See http://themoneycharity.org.uk/media/December-2014-Money-Statistics-summary.pdf

Blocking of the renewal of the wasteful trident

Last I heard it was still heading for replacement.  The government has kicked the can down the road, and deferred a decision until 2016. 

It's actually quite surprising how much of the coalition agreement was delivered. 

Agreed.  And despite my scepticism over some aspects, I agree that the present government has had some successes.  Not deficit reduction, of course - that has largely failed - but we do at last have some sort of economic recovery, while other developed countries are still struggling.   And one of the things I admire about this government has been its readiness to take on vested interests in areas which Tories have traditionally protected, such as the police and the armed forces. 

However, they have made a number of mistakes too, and they will pay the price for these on 7 May.  Take the NHS: all the reports into the current crisis at several hospitals show that one of the chief causes is so-called bed blocking, and I can bear this out from our own experience with an elderly relative, as it happens. Urgent cases can't be treated, because the hospitals are full of elderly patients who are ready for discharge but can't be sent home because Eric Pickles' brutal cuts to local authority funding have wrecked social services.  They should have seen that coming but they didn't.

Another big blunder was David Cameron's 'no ifs, no buts' promise to reduce net immigration to below 100K per year.  He should have had the wit to realise that as long as we are in the EU, that is completely unachievable.  But he didnt, and is now paying the price. 

It is often the case that governments get thrown out not because voters disagree with their policies, but simply because they are incompetent.  I'm expecting the same to happen in five months time. 
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 09, 2015, 03:57:29 PM
Those are more neoliberal than Liberal, and worryingly remniscent of the lax financial regulation that led to the global financial crisis that started in 2007, and whose legacy is still with us, of course. 

Neo liberal, classical liberal the constant is Liberal. It's pretty much bang on as Orange book liberal to me which is the best current form of liberalism.



No it hasn't.  See http://themoneycharity.org.uk/media/December-2014-Money-Statistics-summary.pdf

That's a pretty meaningless link. Average Personal Debt / Average income has fallen since 2010.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: tigerman on January 09, 2015, 04:07:43 PM
Average incomes in real terms are certainly down since 2010, but personal debt is once again on the rise. The government is reliant on another debt-fuelled recovery to save its ass, which is exactly what we don't need. Very little has been achieved, except a delayed recovery and shedloads of money delivered straight back to the banks.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 09, 2015, 05:54:21 PM
All of the Governent's shares in the UK banks that have been sold on the market have (so far) been at a profit. Taking such large stakes in RBS and Lloyds could yet turn out to be Brown's greatest master stroke.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 09, 2015, 06:02:16 PM
Average incomes in real terms are certainly down since 2010, but personal debt is once again on the rise. The government is reliant on another debt-fuelled recovery to save its ass, which is exactly what we don't need. Very little has been achieved, except a delayed recovery and shedloads of money delivered straight back to the banks.

Again, if you don't incorporate the 'real terms' into the personal debt, bringing 'real terms' into income is meaningless.

To get an idea of personal debt and how banks are lending, search: Household Debt ( PDF, 1 pages, 191.2 KB) - Parliament UK

The problem with debt at the moment is not really too much, moreover, it's a lack of lending and liquidity.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 10, 2015, 11:25:31 AM
All of the Governent's shares in the UK banks that have been sold on the market have (so far) been at a profit. Taking such large stakes in RBS and Lloyds could yet turn out to be Brown's greatest master stroke.

AFAIK we taxpayers still own 80% of RBS.  But yes, 8 October 2008 was perhaps Gordon Brown's finest hour.  Or maybe  it was the day he told Tony Blair we were not going to join the euro, or the more recent day when he stood up in Scotland and persuaded the Scots that they didn't want to leave the UK! 

A much maligned man because of his unsuccessful three years as Prime Minister, but before that he had a pretty successful ten years as Chancellor, and we tend to forget that. 
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 10, 2015, 01:43:56 PM
Dave, I very much admire your tribal loyalty to the Labour Party and I can certainly agree that keeping us out of the Euro was a massive achievement for Brown but I don't think history will look so kindly on his period as Chancellor as you do.

Your honour, can I please refer you to the following website? It has been put together by someone who appears to have similar views to Dave, but I'm not holding that against him!

http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5326/economics/government-spending/

If you look at the third chart down you will see that, after two years when Government's receipts were actually greater than Government expenditure (imagine that!) the brakes on expenditure were taken off even though receipts were flatlining. This carried on all the way through to the great crash of 2007-08, bribing  the voters with new benefits that were being funded by massively increased borrowing. And to think that he used to talk about "prudence" all the time.

Having said all that, thank our lucky stars that he put all those tests in the way of joining the Euro, a policy that was supported by most of the Labour Party, all of the nonEurosceptic Tories and, of course, almost all of the rabidly Europhilic Liberal Democrats.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 10, 2015, 02:27:46 PM
Brown's record as Chancellor is far from perfect.  He made some mistakes, notably selling off a lot of our gold reserves just before the price increased significantly, creating havoc in pension funds by some changes he introduced to corporation tax, and failing to ensure that financial services were effectively regulated.   

But have a look at this chart: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10613201

On the left you see the bust that followed the Lawson Boom - the 1990-92 recession which left us with about 3 million unemployed.  That ended when we abruptly left the European Exchange rate mechanism in 1992, and the resultant devaluation of sterling kick-started a recovery which lasted until the global economic crash in 2008.  Brown's ten years as Chancellor was a period of consistent growth and economic stability, and he has to have some credit for that. Yes, spending as a % of GDP went up significantly in 2008-09 and 2009-10, but that was as much to do with the collapse of GDP as an increase in spending. 

As for this: 

Dave, I very much admire your tribal loyalty to the Labour Party

....I'm not a member of any tribe - certainly not the Labour one.  For what it's worth, I've voted for all three major parties at various times over the 45 years since I was old enough to vote, and although I've not been counting, I suspect I've probably voted Labour less than for either of the other two.

If I'm in a tribe, it's the floating voter middle-of-the-road tribe.  And yes, I know, the middle of the road can be a dangerous place!   :D
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 10, 2015, 02:43:41 PM
Blimey, Dave voting Conservative. I think I need to go and lie down.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 10, 2015, 04:49:49 PM
Yes, well, I was young and foolish, and it felt like a good idea at the time!

Seriously, it was the 1970s and early 1980s, which is probably before your time, BG.    Factors like a strong anti-EU mood in parts of the Labour Party, inflation peaking at 25%, rampant trade unions, and a Labour prime-ministerial candidate called Michael Foot, felt like good reasons to vote Tory. 

I suspect the last time I did it in a  general election was either 1983 or 1987, and I can't imagine doing it again in the near future.  Although you should never say never, of course.  If it's a Miliband/Salmond coalition after 7 May, with Duke's hero Ed Balls as Chancellor, we may all be pleading for mercy by 2020, and so desperate that Boris Johnson becomes prime minister.  Now that IS scary! 
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 11, 2015, 05:46:08 PM
We're probably about the same age, Dave. It's strange that our political journeys have followed opposite courses. I started off as an SWP supporter (as a university student in Manchester) then joined the Labout Party, followed, some years later, by the Conservative Party. I am now happily non-aligned, with what I feel to be views that are socially liberal and economically extremely conservative.

I wonder when our particular trajectories might have crossed - about 1991?
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: corium on January 11, 2015, 07:10:47 PM
Can I just suggest this all needs moving into the general political discussion thread Simone started, the discussion has wandered a long way from Lisa Smart's statement and is now developing into a grand  tour of all the political parties

That's done - Admin
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 12, 2015, 11:36:58 AM
AFAIK we taxpayers still own 80% of RBS.  But yes, 8 October 2008 was perhaps Gordon Brown's finest hour.  Or maybe  it was the day he told Tony Blair we were not going to join the euro, or the more recent day when he stood up in Scotland and persuaded the Scots that they didn't want to leave the UK! 

A much maligned man because of his unsuccessful three years as Prime Minister, but before that he had a pretty successful ten years as Chancellor, and we tend to forget that.

Dave!! He was an utter disaster as chancellor. For the first 4 years, he was OK but even that may have been down to him being hamstrung into sticking to Ken clarke's spending plans & jolly good it was. After 2002, he seemed to lose his economic books and wanted to make his mark by spending all over the shop and believing that he had "put an end to the damaging cycle of boom and bust". He remains the only chancellor in history to have spent his way out of a boom.

I think the suggestion that RBS nationalisation is Brown's finest hour was a little tongue in cheek.

He managed to borrow the Tories policy of not joining the Euro, not really a success.

As for claiming success in Scotland, wow, I'll concede that Brown is very good at being a Scotsman - that deserves a cushy number with the IMF.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 12, 2015, 01:13:21 PM
Dave!! He was an utter disaster as chancellor.

Not at all.  His ten years as Chancellor was the longest period of continuous economic growth for the past 60 years.  What more do you want!

I think the suggestion that RBS nationalisation is Brown's finest hour was a little tongue in cheek.

Also not at all.  No less an authority than Paul Krugman, who knows more about economics than me or even, dare I say it, Duke, wrote in the New York Times of Brown's initiative in recapitalising the banks:  "Mr Brown and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer have defined the character of the worldwide rescue effort, with other wealthy nations playing catch-up." He also wrote "Luckily for the world economy,... Gordon Brown and his officials are making sense,... And they may have shown us the way through this crisis."

Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: tigerman on January 12, 2015, 02:16:54 PM
Not at all.  His ten years as Chancellor was the longest period of continuous economic growth for the past 60 years.  What more do you want!

Also not at all.  No less an authority than Paul Krugman, who knows more about economics than me or even, dare I say it, Duke, wrote in the New York Times of Brown's initiative in recapitalising the banks:  "Mr Brown and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer have defined the character of the worldwide rescue effort, with other wealthy nations playing catch-up." He also wrote "Luckily for the world economy,... Gordon Brown and his officials are making sense,... And they may have shown us the way through this crisis."

Quite right Dave, "the good that men do is oft interred with their bones". Ok Brown's not dead yet but you get the idea. The Tories and Liberals have succeeded with the help of the media to implant the idea that Labour brought the house down. The last Labour government had a good strategy to exit the market crash and growth was re-appearing. Unfortunately the incoming Coalition by increasing VAT and announcing austerity re-froze the economy resulting in a delayed recovery.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: wheels on January 12, 2015, 03:51:39 PM
We're probably about the same age, Dave. It's strange that our political journeys have followed opposite courses. I started off as an SWP supporter (as a university student in Manchester) then joined the Labout Party, followed, some years later, by the Conservative Party. I am now happily non-aligned, with what I feel to be views that are socially liberal and economically extremely conservative.

I wonder when our particular trajectories might have crossed - about 1991?

But doesn't this happen all the time haven't Labour and their friends tried to convince us that Tution Fees came out of the Coalition when in fact they (Labour) introduced them and the coalition considerably improved the system. Were not Labour first to introduce the Bedroom Tax which they operated via the Housing Benefit system while they now pretend their hands are clean. Was it not Labour that introduced rail fare iincreases plus a % the list goes on of things they pretend had nothing to do with them. Was it not Labour who first introduced the market into the NHS.

I have to say Dave I am with Duke on this the last Labour Govt was just about the most shambolic I can recall in a lifetime which broadly covers the same time period as yours.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 12, 2015, 06:06:26 PM
Phew, there's some dodgy assertions and grasping at straws there, even by wheels' standards!

haven't Labour and their friends tried to convince us that Tution Fees came out of the Coalition when in fact they (Labour) introduced them and the coalition considerably improved the system.

There have been university tuition fees since the late 1990s, as wheels points out.  They started at £1,000 per year, means tested.  They then rose to £3,000 a year in the early noughties, but the present government tripled them to £9K!  But that's less of a problem than what we now know is the long term position of student finance which has resulted from that disastrous move.  See  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-26688018.  The key bit of that link is this:  'Responding to a parliamentary question, universities minister David Willetts said the government had been reviewing its modelling on student loans and now estimated that about 45% would be written off - an increase from 40% six months ago. Economics consultancy London Economics said the "tipping point" at which the costs of the new system will exceed those of the old one would be reached if 48.6% of all student loans were not repaid.'

So in the long run, because of this government's badly thought out student loan system, higher education is likely to cost the taxpayer more, not less.  If that's 'improving the system' I'd love to know what making it worse would look like! 

Were not Labour first to introduce the Bedroom Tax which they operated via the Housing Benefit system

No they weren't.


Was it not Labour that introduced rail fare iincreases

No. that was Sir Robert Peel's Tory government of 1841-1846!

Was it not Labour who first introduced the market into the NHS.

No, it was the Thatcher Government's NHS and Community Care Act of 1990.

the last Labour Govt was just about the most shambolic I can recall in a lifetime which broadly covers the same time period as yours.

If wheels' lifetime is similar to mine then he's got a short memory!  The Wilson/Callaghan Labour government of 1974-79 was surely more shambolic than any since. 

IMO, this discussion would be much better if it were less tribal and more balanced and ready to recognise the truth, which is that both the present coalition government and the long Labour parliament which preceded it have had their successes and also their failures. 
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 12, 2015, 06:51:04 PM
An excellent idea, Dave. Perhaps you could start the ball rolling by listing what you feel are the successes of the current Coalition Government? Should be interesting......
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 12, 2015, 08:15:24 PM
Well I like a challenge, so here goes (it won't be a long list!)

1.   Same sex marriage.
2.   Eventually (after a two-year wait) producing the beginnings of a recovery from the Great Recession.
3.   Real terms increases in tax thresholds
4.   The pupil premium
5.   Averting the breakup of the UK.
6.   Cutting back on Labour's bossy bureaucracy, such as CRB checks.
7.   Er....
8.   That's it.

Now I look forward to reading one of this forum's loyal coalition supporters listing its failures.  ;)
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: wheels on January 12, 2015, 09:04:20 PM
Your wrong Dave Labour introduced the idea of the bedroom tax for the private rented sector initially, using the benefit system to make people leave there homes buy not paying the landlord the rent.

This was then picked up by the Tories who extened  it to public sector housing
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 12, 2015, 10:20:52 PM
Very simple Dave. The Coalition has signally failed to tackle our national debt (which has risen massively since 2010, with only a one-third reduction in the deficit) and has completely lost control of our borders, completing the job started by Tony Blair in the 1990s.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: wheels on January 12, 2015, 11:23:19 PM
Very simple Dave. The Coalition has signally failed to tackle our national debt (which has risen massively since 2010, with only a one-third reduction in the deficit) and has completely lost control of our borders, completing the job started by Tony Blair in the 1990s.

Ah so now were against the free movement of people are we
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 13, 2015, 09:37:53 AM
The Coalition has signally failed to tackle our national debt (which has risen massively since 2010, with only a one-third reduction in the deficit) and has completely lost control of our borders, completing the job started by Tony Blair in the 1990s.

Agreed.  To be fair to the government (why not, just for once!), the first of those was never on the cards so quickly, and unlike deficit elimination, which Osborne promised and failed to achieve within the 2010-15 parliament, it was never promised.

The second of them is a genuine failure, however, and it's something which in due course I think history will hold against Cameron.  He has through his own naivety and incompetence, and weakness in the face of his eurosceptic backbenchers, found himself in a hole and then kept digging!

It goes back even before Cameron was PM.  Back in the late noughties, after he became Tory leader, Cameron aligned the Tory MEPs not with the European People's Party (EPP), the main centre-right bloc of MEPs and the biggest and most powerful group within the European Parliament, but with a smaller group further to the right, called the ECR.  That was a huge tactical error.  Cameron should all along have been at the top table of centre-right European leaders, negotiating behind closed doors with Merkel and (at the time) Sarkozy.  Instead he was bullied by his backbenchers into exiling himself (and us) to a relatvely insignificant fringe group.

If he had not shot himself in the foot by doing this, I think the more recent history of our discussions with other EU leaders about control of our borders could have been very different.

As I've suggested before in this thread, in the end politicians are judged at least as much on their competence as on their policies.  Sadly, this was one area where Cameron has been woefully incompetent. 
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 13, 2015, 11:29:36 AM
Not at all.  His ten years as Chancellor was the longest period of continuous economic growth for the past 60 years.  What more do you want!

Anyone can create growth if they keep spending, it's a major problem is that income is not actually there and dries up quickly. In Keynesian economic, he was supposed to spend in the dry years and save in the rich years. He completely forgot about the saving part. He ran a deficit in 2005-7 which is utterly stupid and as I say, it meant he was unique in spending his way out of a boom.


Also not at all.  No less an authority than Paul Krugman, who knows more about economics than me or even, dare I say it, Duke, wrote in the New York Times of Brown's initiative in recapitalising the banks:  "Mr Brown and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer have defined the character of the worldwide rescue effort, with other wealthy nations playing catch-up." He also wrote "Luckily for the world economy,... Gordon Brown and his officials are making sense,... And they may have shown us the way through this crisis."

Krugman!! The darling of the Guardian reader. Krugman is an idealist full of theory that should never be applied to real life.

Alistair Darling is actually OK, his book showed how frustrated he was with Brown. Interesting that the conservatives were very happy for him to do the Scottish job rather than be across from Osborne.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 13, 2015, 11:53:08 AM
As Wheels will, no doubt, tell you, Dave, the free movement of people is an absolute right under EU law. As a result, controlling who comes into our country is not compatible with continued membership of the EU (an organisation that is so corrupt and inefficient that its accounts have never been signed off). The Conservative Party is not prepared to acknowledge this fact to the electorate.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: wheels on January 13, 2015, 12:21:01 PM
As Wheels will, no doubt, tell you, Dave, the free movement of people is an absolute right under EU law. As a result, controlling who comes into our country is not compatible with continued membership of the EU (an organisation that is so corrupt and inefficient that its accounts have never been signed off). The Conservative Party is not prepared to acknowledge this fact to the electorate.

I will tell you that we are all Europeans first and formost and yes free movement of people must surley be a basic right. That seems perfectly reasonable.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: marplerambler on January 13, 2015, 12:36:57 PM
"the good that men do is oft interred with their bones".

Perhaps it would be more appropriate to quote ‘The evil men do lives after them. The good that men do is oft interred with their bones.’ Your reference to the Mark Anthony speech seems to be particularly apt after listening to the Today Programme this morning and hearing Nick Clegg arguing that interception of mobile phone messages to and from those with proven terrorist links who do not seem to be have been active in terrorist activities in recent months is a step towards totalitarianism. Times change, letters are no longer sent to be steamed open (costs too much to send them!) or telephones tapped because messages between terrorists are now sent by mobiles with apps on the phones can ‘destroy’ the message sent within seconds. The power of the mobile phone to instigate anarchy from a section of society which is intellectually capable of little more than sending an email stating ’CU Piccadilly at 6. Rob every shop in M/cr’ was demonstrated on the day of the Manchester riots. Clegg’s statement that the consequence of increased surveillance in response to increased terrorist threats could be the revelation of an old lady’s shopping list to the local garden centre and therefore be an infringement of civil liberties is a total red-herring and pure nonsense.

The architects of the latest terrorist threat to our country are not the idiots who ransacked Manchester, they are extremely intelligent people trained in the art of war against defenceless civilians. They control zealots who wish to die what they believe to be a martyr’s death and kill as many people as possible as revenge for an irreverent cartoon. Interception, recording and keeping of mobile messages is a vital anti-terrorism measure: if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear! By labelling this as a ‘snoopers charter’ really makes you ask which planet Clegg is now living on and really makes you question if he has any role in a future government.

I am proud to be British because I can choose, reject or be indifferent to religious belief. I am proud to be British because I may see a political cartoon which highlights evil individuals within my own faith and look upon it and find it humorous, with sadness because there may be truth in the satire or with disdain and simply throw it into the bin. Most of all I respect that others may have different beliefs: good luck to them as long as they do not expect to impose their values upon the rest of British society. Evan Davies showed the latest satirical Parisian cartoon on Newsnight so fleetingly it was impossible to properly see or read it. He was shaking with fear that he could already have been in the sight of a sniper’s bullet.

Mark Anthony states that ‘The evil men do lives after them.’  Nick Clegg is striving to ensure that the evidence of the perpetration of the evil may no longer live in the form of recorded telephone calls from mobiles which hitherto would have been used to convict them. Is this bleeding Liberalism or a bleeding newspaper reporter, policeman or innocent bystander?

Are you voting LibDem at the next election?
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 13, 2015, 12:47:41 PM
As Wheels will, no doubt, tell you, Dave, the free movement of people is an absolute right under EU law.

I'm fully aware of that. The point I was trying to make, and my apologies for not explaining it clearly enough, is that we are not the only country where there are concerns about the level of internal migration within the EU - far from it.  Another is Germany of course.  If Cameron hadn't cut himself off from Angela Merkel and other EPP political leaders, I have little doubt that he would have found them much more ready to reach a compromise though private discussions, on ways in which internal migration can be controlled without breaching the overriding principle.  I'm thinking especially of approaches such as further restricting the rights of migrant workers to draw benefits.  There would be ways and means of achieving that without compromising the sacred principle of free movement of workers.

Camero is hopelessly undiplomatic.  The more he issues noisy ultimatums to other EU leaders, the less likely he is to achieve concessions. 

As for this: 
Krugman!! The darling of the Guardian reader. Krugman is an idealist full of theory that should never be applied to real life.

When Duke Fame wins a nobel prize for economics, the rest of us might take him as seriously as Paul Krugman, who already has one.   ;)
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 13, 2015, 01:52:16 PM
Angela Merkel has made it very clear, in the reports I have read, that free movement of people across the EU is, from her viewpoint, absolutely non-negotiable. So what's to negotiate?
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: wheels on January 13, 2015, 02:51:12 PM
Angela Merkel has made it very clear, in the reports I have read, that free movement of people across the EU is, from her viewpoint, absolutely non-negotiable. So what's to negotiate?

Nothing. Thankfully I suggest she represents the majority view across the continent
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 13, 2015, 03:17:49 PM
Dave, winning a Nobel Prize is a seriously high bar for taking someone's view seriously.......!
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 13, 2015, 07:49:29 PM
Angela Merkel has made it very clear, in the reports I have read, that free movement of people across the EU is, from her viewpoint, absolutely non-negotiable. So what's to negotiate?

Blimey BG, I can't spell it out much more clearly!  You can change the conditions whereby people are allowed to move to another EU country, without breaching the overriding principle of free movement.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: wheels on January 13, 2015, 09:03:15 PM
Blimey BG, I can't spell it out much more clearly!  You can change the conditions whereby people are allowed to move to another EU country, without breaching the overriding principle of free movement.



But why would you want to. We are all European citizens we should be able to move anywhere within the continent. I don't understand this desire to restrict all our freedoms.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Deniseam on January 13, 2015, 09:12:17 PM
. Evan Davies showed the latest satirical Parisian cartoon on Newsnight so fleetingly it was impossible to properly see or read it. He was shaking with fear that he could already have been in the sight of a sniper’s bullet.


Yes, I watched Newsnight and it was strange how he only half showed it to the camera. The production team must have debated whether to have a close-up of the cartoon but decided against it....
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: sgk on January 13, 2015, 10:00:48 PM
Yes, I watched Newsnight and it was strange how he only half showed it to the camera. The production team must have debated whether to have a close-up of the cartoon but decided against it....

Seemed to show it fairly clearly, from what I saw.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7NnjOZCQAAYmWa.jpg)
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 13, 2015, 10:16:30 PM
Angela Merkel has made it very clear, in the reports I have read, that free movement of people across the EU is, from her viewpoint, absolutely non-negotiable. So what's to negotiate?

I thought she was saying that freedom of movement is not up for discussion but if we want to adjust the benefits on offer, that's fine and what Germany has been doing for ever. My thoughts on this are unlikely to find any support here.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 13, 2015, 10:56:30 PM
 
As for this: 
When Duke Fame wins a nobel prize for economics, the rest of us might take him as seriously as Paul Krugman, who already has one.   ;)

Dave, the Nobel prize for Economics has been won by some left field theories usually nicely backup up with a lot of maths. One of my faves was Modigliani & Miller who won the gong in 1950's, years spent on research for the optimum funding and gearing for a firm but concluded (and this is where they won the prize) that it didn't matter in the absence of taxation - a situation which does not exist in any economy! My point, a Nobel prize win does not make anyone automatically right, especially when his prize was nothing to do with economic recovery in the light of over-spending by an egotistical power-mad Scotsman.

Krugman is pretty happy to criticise previous winners such as Edmund Phelps and Phelps (along with almost everyone else ) has critisised Krugman's wittering. I can assure you, I'm in good company to think Krugman is wrong.

If you want to know why Brown was wrong and what the solution should have been (Osbourne has gone a little way down this line - not far enough) see: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/134863/raghuram-g-rajan/the-true-lessons-of-the-recession
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 14, 2015, 10:05:30 AM
I love a bit of saloon-bar punditry.  'Yeah, these Nobel laureates, they're not what they're cracked up to be.  I mean, what do they know about real life?   Take that Ernest Rutherford, the one that split the atom.  Spent all his life cooped up an a laboratory, so what did he know?  And as for that George Bernard Shaw, the one who believed in eugenics - Hitler loved him, didn't he!  And don't get me started on Mother Theresa.............'   :D
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 14, 2015, 10:46:00 AM
I love a bit of saloon-bar punditry.  'Yeah, these Nobel laureates, they're not what they're cracked up to be.  I mean, what do they know about real life?   Take that Ernest Rutherford, the one that split the atom.  Spent all his life cooped up an a laboratory, so what did he know?  And as for that George Bernard Shaw, the one who believed in eugenics - Hitler loved him, didn't he!  And don't get me started on Mother Theresa.............'   :D

My point, as I suspect even you understood, is that Nobel prizewinners are not always right about everything and especially in economics, Nobel prizewinners will disagree with each other. Krugman has been extremely critical of Phelps yet, Krugman is very wrong and being proved wrong right now. As I say, Guardian readers swear by Krugman as for the first time in memory, a left-wing economist has been given an award - left wing politics and economics rarely mix.

As for George Bernard Shaw, getting an award for playing make-believe is beyond me but there is hope for Ed balls yet.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 14, 2015, 02:09:05 PM
OK, yes, I take Duke's point, I admit.  After all, another winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, some years earlier, was Friedrich Hayek, and I suspect he and Krugman probably would not have agreed on very much!

Meanwhile, Duke describes Krugman as 'an idealist full of theory that should never be applied to real life', so presumably he disagrees with Krugman's view that Gordon Brown's 2008 bank bail out was a good thing.   So perhaps Duke can refer us to another equally distinguished economist who agrees with him?
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 14, 2015, 05:53:54 PM
OK, yes, I take Duke's point, I admit.  After all, another winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, some years earlier, was Friedrich Hayek, and I suspect he and Krugman probably would not have agreed on very much!

Meanwhile, Duke describes Krugman as 'an idealist full of theory that should never be applied to real life', so presumably he disagrees with Krugman's view that Gordon Brown's 2008 bank bail out was a good thing.   So perhaps Duke can refer us to another equally distinguished economist who agrees with him?

Ha, well here's me being an academic rather than a realist, 'in theory' I'd say the banks should have been allowed to fail / find funding themselves. This may have seen the end of at least RBS / Natwest, Llloyds may have just found a buyer but I suspect it would have been far worse for their shareholders.

In practice, the bail-out was certainly the easiest (most palatable) solution for the country at the time and may yet give UK plc a return.

Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 14, 2015, 07:35:46 PM
Another recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics argued that open borders and an advanced welfare state are increasingly incompatible. The British people have a standard if living that is higher than almost everybody else in the world, so the number of people who will, rationally, want to come to live here is massive.

There may come a point when people are not prepared to pay increasingly higher taxes to pay for benefits to people who have made no prior contribution and for whom they feel little connection, despite Wheels' idealistic views. That prize winner - Milton Friedman (1976)
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 15, 2015, 07:58:31 AM
Another recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics argued that open borders and an advanced welfare state are increasingly incompatible. The British people have a standard if living that is higher than almost everybody else in the world, so the number of people who will, rationally, want to come to live here is massive.

There may come a point when people are not prepared to pay increasingly higher taxes to pay for benefits to people who have made no prior contribution and for whom they feel little connection, despite Wheels' idealistic views. That prize winner - Milton Friedman (1976)

Freedman was awarded his prize sometime after his work, his was quite unusual in that regard as in the climate of stagflation, poor productivity and inefficificiencies (especially in the uk) it was recognised that (albeit bastardised) Keynesianism can't offer the perfect solution.

I pretty much agree though, we should just open our borders but in doing so we must remove a lot of benefits. I'd rather allow a guy who's prepared to suspend himself under Eurostar to work hard here than fork out for some lazy overweight slob to spend their day watching Trisha
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 15, 2015, 10:38:22 AM
In practice, the bail-out was certainly the easiest (most palatable) solution for the country at the time and may yet give UK plc a return.

I guess that's as good an admission that Gordon Brown was right as we're going to get!    Evidently Duke's search for a reputable economist who opposed the bank bail-out failed - well there's a surprise.   ;)

Duke's determination to see only the worst aspects of Gordon Brown is absurdly blinkered.  Any politician who has served for as long as he did will have had their triumphs and their failures - that's as true of Brown as it is of Thatcher, Blair and the rest.  Brown tends to be remembered mainly for his three years as a unsuccessful prime minister, but as I pointed out earlier in this thread, we have him mainly to thank for the UK not joining the euro, for leading the way in world's response to the 2008 banking crisis, and (quite possibly) for averting the break up of the UK.  Those were three considerable achievements.

As for this: 
I pretty much agree though, we should just open our borders but in doing so we must remove a lot of benefits. I'd rather allow a guy who's prepared to suspend himself under Eurostar to work hard here than fork out for some lazy overweight slob to spend their day watching Trisha.

I tend to agree, although 'benefit tourism' is something that exists largely in the fevered imaginations of those who produce the Mail and the Express.  The statistics show that most migrants come here to work.  Certainly the NHS would grind to a standstill without immigrant labour.  I gather Stepping Hill has currently got a couple of HR staff stationed permanently in Spain, doing nothing but interview Spanish and Portuguese nurses! 
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 15, 2015, 12:12:32 PM
I guess that's as good an admission that Gordon Brown was right as we're going to get!    Evidently Duke's search for a reputable economist who opposed the bank bail-out failed - well there's a surprise.   ;)

Duke's determination to see only the worst aspects of Gordon Brown is absurdly blinkered.  Any politician who has served for as long as he did will have had their triumphs and their failures - that's as true of Brown as it is of Thatcher, Blair and the rest.  Brown tends to be remembered mainly for his three years as a unsuccessful prime minister, but as I pointed out earlier in this thread, we have him mainly to thank for the UK not joining the euro, for leading the way in world's response to the 2008 banking crisis, and (quite possibly) for averting the break up of the UK.  Those were three considerable achievements.

I'll take the last point, I wasn't too sure that losing Scotland was a bad thing. rUK would get it's Geordie oil and East Yorkshire gas, Fracking will replace the latter in any case.

Small states always do better so Scotland will be easier to manage. That said, Brown's 2 weeks of ranting is not really a claim to success, the figures suggest it was never as close as the Nats wanted us to believe.

Brown didn't join the Euro but IIRC correctly, only Lab, LD & Greens were supporting the EURO. What you are saying is a Labour chancellor happened to stand up to 1/2 of his party and follow conservative policy.

The UK had to act quicker than the EU in the banking crisis as we were the most acutely exposed. If at all possible state money should not have been used. As for finding an economist who thought the same, I posted the link from Raghuram Rajan, give it a read.



As for this: 
I tend to agree, although 'benefit tourism' is something that exists largely in the fevered imaginations of those who produce the Mail and the Express.  The statistics show that most migrants come here to work.  Certainly the NHS would grind to a standstill without immigrant labour.  I gather Stepping Hill has currently got a couple of HR staff stationed permanently in Spain, doing nothing but interview Spanish and Portuguese nurses!
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 15, 2015, 03:17:09 PM
Brown's 2 weeks of ranting is not really a claim to success, the figures suggest it was never as close as the Nats wanted us to believe.
In the end the vote (55%/45%) was pretty decisive, which was a relief to everyone, I think. because that put the issue to bed, at least for a few years.  But having spent much of last August in Scotland, just a few weeks before the referendum, and become aware of what appeared to be overwhelming support for independence from almost everyone in that particular area,  I honestly believe that if Brown had not intervened, the vote would have been much closer and could even have gone the other way.   It's important to understand that beneath the surface there was a very strong current of anti-Westminster and anti-Tory feeling among the pro-independence people, and every time Cameron or Osborne went up there and told them to vote no, it was almost certainly counter-productive.  That's why it was so important that a Scottish Labour figure who is as respected as Brown is (and believe me, he still is in Scotland) should speak up on the 'no' side.   

  What you are saying is a Labour chancellor happened to stand up to 1/2 of his party
There was also the small matter of his own prime minister, who also wanted to join!  That's why Brown's famous 'five tests' were so important and decisive.

As for finding an economist who thought the same, I posted the link from Raghuram Rajan, give it a read.
I can't find it - could you post it again? 
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 15, 2015, 06:27:11 PM
If only the Scottish electorate could have had a crystal ball showing them the price of oil in January 2015........

Personally, I wish Gordon Brown had not intervened at that late stage in the campaign, making long-term promises that I, as a taxpayer, will be expected  to fund. Nobody asked me to vote on this, or any other person living in England, NI or Wales. It is almost  inevitable that, at some stage, the Scottish people will vote for independence, and good luck to them. I do not, for one moment, think that this has "been put to bed for a generation".

On an entirely different topic (my iPad does not seem to show the 'start new topic" icon) the Pope has offered his views on the Paris atrocities....

"If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother he can expect a punch. It's moral. It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others".

Well, we now know where the Catholic Church stands on this issue......l
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 15, 2015, 11:56:52 PM
I think we can see why there appeared a spike in support for Divirce from Uk during August.

It's obvious that Cameron would not be a figure that the borderline separatist would warm to. His decision to get involved was calculated to make Brown look good, all he cares about is himself. Yhe separatists were always more vocal, they beloved they were winning on account of Twitter etc but that was akin to Michael foot believing he had mass support on account of getting a standing ovation when addressing far left supporters.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 16, 2015, 10:42:43 AM
Personally, I wish Gordon Brown had not intervened at that late stage in the campaign, making long-term promises that I, as a taxpayer, will be expected  to fund.

What promises?  See http://www.cityam.com/1411051570/gordon-browns-better-together-speech-eve-scottish-independence-referendum-vote-full-video
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 16, 2015, 12:42:05 PM
I can't find it - could you post it again?

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/134863/raghuram-g-rajan/the-true-lessons-of-the-recession
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 16, 2015, 02:14:42 PM
This is getting nowhere, predictably enough!  I'll recap, if only for Duke's sake: I challenged him to find a reputable economist who opposed the 2008 bank bailout, writing:
perhaps Duke can refer us to another equally distinguished economist who agrees with him?

That article is about austerity, which is an entirely different matter.  There is not a single word about the bailout in it.  Honestly Duke, I'd give up if I were you!   :D
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 16, 2015, 04:19:56 PM
This promise, Dave. It's from The Guardian, so its claim that there was a promise to retain the Barnett Formula indefinitely,p must be true......

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/16/politicians-scottish-funding-pledge-anger-daily-record

Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 16, 2015, 06:34:46 PM
OK, I think I get it: Cameron, Clegg and Miliband promised the Scots that the Barnett Formula would continue.  So Gordon Brown is responsible for that? BG, your arguments are getting almost as flimsy as Duke's.  ;)
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on January 16, 2015, 09:15:29 PM
Well, Dave, might I please refer to a report from your beloved BBC which states, quite categorically, that the pledge to retain the Barnett Formula was first announced by Gordon Brown.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29213418

You might want to scroll down to paragraph 25......,,

Fact -  Gordon Brown is still a very popular figure in Scotland and it was presumably decided  (by the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems) that he was the best person to present this commitment to the (wavering) Scottish electorate.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 17, 2015, 09:47:28 AM
Oh well, if the Beeb says it then it must be true!   ;)

But it's not in his famous and possibly history-changing speech last September:http://www.cityam.com/1411051570/gordon-browns-better-together-speech-eve-scottish-independence-referendum-vote-full-video

......  so when did he say it? 

Incidentally, it's worth watching a bit of that, if only to admire the rhetorical style of his delivery, the effective speaking from memory (think Ed Miliband!), and the unashamed appeal to the emotions.  Most politicians don't speak like that nowadays - it's a world away from Barack Obama, or David Cameron, both of whom I regard as excellent speakers, but times and styles have changed so much. 
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 17, 2015, 02:15:47 PM
This is getting nowhere, predictably enough!  I'll recap, if only for Duke's sake: I challenged him to find a reputable economist who opposed the 2008 bank bailout, writing:
That article is about austerity, which is an entirely different matter.  There is not a single word about the bailout in it.  Honestly Duke, I'd give up if I were you!   :D

i don;t want to sound condescending (that means talking down to people) Dave, but if you think that article is about austerity, I think you may not quite have the best understanding of economics (mind, you are a lefty, few of them have).

Nevertheless, you misunderstand my point, it's not that Brown was wrong to bail-out the banks, simply that he was hardly the only one who thought it the solution and moreover, Brown wasn't the chancellor at the time either.

The bail-out was not without it's critics, Stiglitz was pretty much ahead of the game in suggesting a bail-out but has been fiercely critical of it's execution.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: tigerman on January 23, 2015, 04:17:24 PM
The bail-out may or may not have been the answer, maybe the central bankers should have let them hang, only history will judge, but people are starting to wake up to the fact that the ordinary man on the street didnt benefit from the vast pile of money thrown at the banks. It saved the bankers from giving up their Maseratis, but many commentators are suggesting that we are heading the same way again.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Dave on January 23, 2015, 04:48:35 PM
Best not to feed the troll, tigerman. 
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: tigerman on January 24, 2015, 05:46:53 PM
 ;)
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on January 25, 2015, 07:48:42 AM
Best not to feed the troll, tigerman.

As Dave is aware, he's lost the argument when he resorts to petty name calling.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: marplerambler on February 05, 2015, 09:32:54 PM
Ever heard of TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)?  I must admit that I had not until today but it appears to be a new treaty clothed in secrecy but supported by David Cameron which I have been informed by a left-wing friend could lead to multi-national corporations  suing the country if any sections of the NHS currently operated by private companies for the NHS were to be re-integrated into a government controlled NHS, it is a treaty which will lead to abolition of food labeling regulations in order to make it easier for multinational corporations to undercut the prices of products which currently have to comply with British Health & Safety regulations.
Representatives of Greenpeace and other groups protested against TTIP in Brussels over the weekend stating that it will be a undermining of existing British legislation by international Big Business which is being kept from the electorate prior to the election.
Have a look at the You Tube clip
? TTIP: Regulatory Cooperation - a Threat to Democracy - YouTube

This really gives me the creeps! It may well be the claims of a covert attempt to keep it out of the news prior to the election is just scaremongering from the far Left but if there is any truth in the allegations this should be on the agenda of the local parliamentary candidates at the forthcoming election.
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: sgk on February 05, 2015, 10:40:41 PM

Have a look at the You Tube clip
? TTIP: Regulatory Cooperation - a Threat to Democracy - YouTube
parliamentary candidates at the forthcoming election.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q6A7fPO4gE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q6A7fPO4gE)
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Bowden Guy on February 25, 2015, 09:02:37 PM
But doesn't this happen all the time haven't Labour and their friends tried to convince us that Tution Fees came out of the Coalition when in fact they (Labour) introduced them and the coalition considerably improved the system. Were not Labour first to introduce the Bedroom Tax which they operated via the Housing Benefit system while they now pretend their hands are clean. Was it not Labour that introduced rail fare iincreases plus a % the list goes on of things they pretend had nothing to do with them. Was it not Labour who first introduced the market into the NHS.

I have to say Dave I am with Duke on this the last Labour Govt was just about the most shambolic I can recall in a lifetime which broadly covers the same time period as yours.

Does this really sound like the observations of a member of the Labour Party?
Title: Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
Post by: Duke Fame on February 26, 2015, 10:15:52 AM
Does this really sound like the observations of a member of the Labour Party?

It sounds like a chap who as a member of the Labour party has taken the time to reflect on their record and listened to the wonderfully compelling case put forward by the Duke of Fame and realised I'm right ;-)