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Author Topic: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties  (Read 19669 times)

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Dave

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #24 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.  ;)

Bowden Guy

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #23 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......

Dave

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #22 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. 

wheels

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #21 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.

tigerman

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #20 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.

Dave

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #19 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."


Duke Fame

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #18 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.

corium

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #17 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

Bowden Guy

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #16 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?

Dave

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #15 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! 

Bowden Guy

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2015, 02:43:41 PM »
Blimey, Dave voting Conservative. I think I need to go and lie down.

Dave

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #13 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

Bowden Guy

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #12 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.

Dave

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #11 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. 

Duke Fame

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Re: A Grand Tour of the Political Parties
« Reply #10 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.