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Coming general elections

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Burnout21, 5 Apr 2010.

?

which way you swing...

  1. Labour

    11.8%
  2. Conservatives

    28.6%
  3. Lib Dems

    42.0%
  4. Another Party

    5.0%
  5. I won't be voting

    4.2%
  6. Undecided

    8.4%
  1. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    Not wanting to completely dominate the thread, but to play devils advocate...

    Mining was exactly loss-making - it just gradually became less profit-making; that is, it started to become more expensive to mine the coal than to buy it. That's fair enough - no business (goverment-run or otherwise) can afford to ignore the economics.

    But there is still plenty of coal left, and there are a small number of independently-owned mines in operation - they are viable because they have kept costs under control and have applied modern technology and working practices.

    I'm of the opinion that Brown is partially wrong in his approach (which *is* Keynesian), however it is not Keynesian economics that is wrong per se, but Browns decisions under it.

    One can easily find fault (and benefits) with any economic system, and thus there is no sense in labelling any right or wrong.

    Browns policy of borrowing, spending and printing currency isn't the best option IMHO, butagain it's not 'wrong' - the economy will recover whichever party dictates economic policy - but I think the legacy of Browns decisions means that the pain will live longer (for generations) but fortunately won't completely torpedo his re-election chances - the pain will start after the election - a confession only just secured from the lips of our government - until a couple of months ago they were in denial.

    The gold is there to be sold when we need it. Unfortunately he sold it at an historic low - through desperation... why? Because pre-recession (and for the preceding parliament) all the talk had been about Gordon's 'black hole'. We were heavily in debt in 2007, the recession just highlighted the fact.

    While I agree that the benefits system is a millstone around our necks - we *do* need a welfare state. However, I'm puzzled by your resentment about spending on prisons - without prisons, you'd simply be moaning about rampant crime. We pay for prisons because we they do us a service.

    I mirror your dislike of Labour, but I think they'd have to sink a little lower before I vote BNP. Institutional racism aside, although the BNP do have the odd reasonable policy, I wouldn't want them running our schools, the NHS, or in the Foreign Office (!).
     
  2. Pieface

    Pieface Modder

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    I meant Prisons, as in, how much gets spent to give them a comfy life. Look at Ian Huntley. He's getting 20k Compensation, and round the clock security which will cost around £100k a year, hardly good spending. I never meant specifically paying for Prisons, but they don't deserve luxuries such as TV's, PC's, Consoles etc.
     
  3. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    I agree that some aspects of some prisons are quite cushy; while I don't think we should head back to Victorian squalor, it would be nice if privileges were harder-earned.

    On the other hand, look at the lack prison riots these days. Perhaps it's cheaper to keep the punters happy....
     
  4. minimad127

    minimad127 CPC Refugee

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    i also generally agree with this, i feel that prison life 'appears' to easy and has too many comforts, although having never actually spent anytime in one i can not say for sure, however it is my belief that if the prisons where a bit more of a 'hell hole' you would end up having less re-affenders since no one would want to get caught and put back in it

    although my idea of the hell hole prison would probably get pulled up infront of the european court for breach of human rights, but hey in my mind you give up most of your human rights when you commit a crime
     
  5. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    Depends if you believe in retribution or rehabilitation. You want prisoners to want to leave (and, in future, avoid...) prison, but simply being a bigger b*stard and making them suffer probably wouldn't have the desired effect. There must be a happy medium between dungeon and hotel...
     
  6. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    There seems to be a good debate occuring, but people please keep this well structured,

    We don't want admin shutting it down, i am worried as with all political debates here it soon get out of hand.

    Pieface made a few valid points, actually i think most people have.

    Shouldn't politics in the UK just dump the whole political party idea, and move forward as except there is no such thing as a single good political party.

    We need a new house of commons, where decisions are made in the benefit of country, where there is no one single leader but a group. I know this kinda already happens but its seem all rather messy.

    I might sound like a jammed record, but re-building the rail network would boost the economy in terms of jobs, and any luck home grown trains which would generate a big industry. This would also take traffic off the roads

    It would be fantastic if the rail network was as spread as it was in the 1940's, then encourage people to use trains for journeys over 40 miles in distance.

    China understands the future in terms of travel, hence the reason of it magnetic trains its deploying across its country, yes china is massive, but it should help reduce pollution by reducing internal air travel.

    It would be handy to have a good inter europe rail network, expanding on the idea of eurostar by linking northern england to holland in some manor....
     
  7. brave758

    brave758 What's a Dremel?

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    cjmUK lots of very good points and yep i'm with you on most. Don't want to spend ages quoting and commenting but i think you get the idea.

    This next election is gona be a tough one, I'm finally comming home so i guess i best start to take more than a passing interest. But your right "New labour" has to go, it's time to clean the slate. Been having a quick read and the liberal democrats policies take my fancy the most. I don't trust tory boy Cameron, he reminds me far too much of blair :wallbash:.

    But either way i don't see a easy road a head. A lot of damage has been done, and even more needs fixing to allow the UK to keep fighting in the future.

    I for one think re-investing in the rail network and local transport sounds great, with fuel prices on the up any excuse not to drive makes me happy, maybe they will finally start putting that 80 odd% tax on fuel to good use?

    They talked about effectively de-centralising the government from westminster and returning power to the local governments effectively giving the power back to the people. This does sound good in practice and again rings true for me. It's easier to give the local politicians a slap when they start acting up!

    They also talked about moving the income tax brackets, sounds good in theory but i would like more info.

    But my greatest worry is would a vote for the liberals be a wasted vote? Like i said I'm not a fan of tory boy, but brown and his current labour party are toxic and need to be outed and totally destroyed in the polls, I think a real signal hopefully not just to them but also the other parties that we won't put up with crap. On the back of that maybe a landslide victory for the liberals is what the country needs, just to really shake things up?

    On a side note. I don't mind paying taxes but i want to see a return for my money. If i means i have good cheap safe transport,schools hospitals and local amenities . Look at Denmark pay very high taxes but are one of the happiest.
     
    Last edited: 6 Apr 2010
  8. cybergenics

    cybergenics What's a Dremel?

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    Like the 'old enough to remember Thatcher and Major' thing. More's to the point, I am old enough (41) to remember Jimbo Callaghan, you think Thatcher was bad....you need to read up his parties antics before her.
     
  9. Pieface

    Pieface Modder

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    3 Day working week? Yeah I studied that era for A Levels. Made me laugh at how the uneducated talk about Thatcher.
     
  10. MacWalka

    MacWalka What's a Dremel?

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    The upcoming election is going to be close I think. I actually think the Lib Dems may even have a chance of becoming the main opposition if there are enough splits in vote between the Tories and Labour. From the Lib Dems point of view, there are so many people who would like to vote for them but won't as they feel it's a wasted vote. If those people actually turned intention into votes, the Lib Dems would probably be close to coming into power.

    I personally think the first past the post voting system is out of date. Looking at the voting system for the Scottish Parliament up here, it results in a lot less 'wasted' votes as there is an element of proportional representation in there. I think changing the voting system would get rid of our two-horse race in the UK.

    As for who would I vote for? I would vote for SNP, but my constituency has the biggest Labour majority in the UK, it will never go to anyone else in my opinion. I'm out of the country on election day so this will be the first election since I turned 18 where I probably won't vote.

    Both Labour and Tories in my opinion have slowly destroyed this country over the past 20 years. Check the graph on the first post of this forum to see how royally screwed we are:

    http://taboard.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=116321

    Basically it shows we have the highest budget defecit in the devloped world, even worse than Iceland and Ireland who are not in a good state right now. We will be as bad as they are.

    The thing that has caused this in my opinion is the erosion of our manufacturing industry. How can a country create wealth if it doesn't make anything? Yes we do manufacture some things but compared to the likes of France and Germany who have managed to keep their manufacturing and agriculture in a better state than us, we produce very little to export. We bought into this new american dream of stock market and baking and moving bits of paper around to make money.

    My personal opinion is that for a country to succeed, it needs to have a population that works, is as self-sufficient as possible and can export goods or services that are value for money. We are currently not meeting any of this. Our unemployment is high, not as high as people expected but I also think the recession will double-dip and we'll be worse off in another year or two than we are now. We don't produce anywhere near enough food and energy to keep ourselves self-sufficient. We don't export nearly enough goods to bring money into the country.

    Raising National Insurance seems like a bad idea to me. We pay so much tax these days, its unbelievable. National Insurance, Income Tax, Council Tax, VAT, Inheritence Tax, Road Tax, Fuel Tax, Savings Tax etc etc. Cutting things such as ID cards, Renewal of Trident and other huge wastes of money would save the country money and allow us to put it into the places where it matters: education, health, attracting business.

    The strikes that are happening just now are very close to those happening during the end of the last Conservative government. Some of them have merit (railway strike on Airdrie to Bathgate rail line), others do not (British Airways). I think there needs to be a balance in the power of Unions. They are great at fighting for workers rights but when they become to powerful, they just become greedy. The miners strike was a result of greedy unions and an arrogant Thatcher, between them, they caused it. Not just one group was responsible.

    The Public Sector needs to be shaken up seriously now. There are still tonnes of people on final salary pensions, they are still getting wage rises while the private sector have seen redundancies, pay-cuts and wage freezes, they have a job for life as the unions are so strong its almost impossible to make redundancies or sack people.

    Green industry is a great idea, and something we're getting pretty good at up here in Scotland. We have the biggest wind farm in Europe at Whitelees near Glasgow, the SNP have announced that Scotland will be investing heavily into tidal power over the coming years and there are a few waste to Energy power plants in planning up here too.

    If I'm being honest, I've never really been one for Scottish independence until the past couple of years. I've become increasingly frustrated with the policies being developed and introduced in London that I disagree with and been impressed with the decidions made by the Scottish Government/Executive since devolution. From a selfish point of view, I think Scotland would now be better off apart from the union.

    Anyways, massive response from me, and I think I've been all over the place on this.
     
  11. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    We have the largest defence company in the world MacWalka. BAE systems create and export everything from bullets to ships to infantry fighting vehicles. True, our civilian manufacturing has taken a massive hit, but it's a very tough task to keep a western nations manufacturing base in the face of cheap labour in the east. Germany has managed it in an extremely impressive manner, by being high-tech and having a very strong work ethic. However to start afresh, as we'd have to do, it would be extremely difficult to compete with labour markets where 50 people's wages cost less than a single worker costs in the UK per month. Still, our manufacturing isn't as weak as some people seem to think.

    The financial sector has been and still is one of this countries greatest assets. The UK still makes a very significant proportion of it's wealth from financial activities, and we have the world's financial capital in our country. Not bad for a medium sized, medium population country. In times of global recession, when our banking system has taken a massive hit, and people generally seem to hate bankers and financiers for earning so much, it's important to remember that the sector earns us a lot of our money. Moving bits of paper around, as you quite unkindly put it, is a vital sector of our economy and it's essential that any government gives strong support to that industry.

    When everyone else can do manual labour more cheaply than you, you have to do something else. The financial sector enables us to do that. As a country, we can be smart. If we're smart, we cost more. If we cost more, we're richer :clap:.

    Isolationism is another popular ethic in times of uncertainty. Feel free to have a look at North Korea or Cuba to see how that works out. What's the point in us trying to produce all our own food, if someone else can do it more cheaply, but we can do something they need far more efficiently than they can? Free market economics increase efficiency, and so make the entire world's population richer, on average.

    I do agree on one point though, we don't produce enough energy. The sooner we start building nuclear power plants everywhere, and importing uranium from Australia or Canada the better.

    Trident isn't really a waste of money. A nuclear deterrent keeps us safe in the long term, and since nuclear weaponry can't just be built overnight (or at all, if you observe the NPT), we need to maintain our nuclear weaponry for the time being.

    The oil is running out. Our banks have all but collapsed, saved only by massive investment from the UK government (paid for, I regretfully confess, largely by the English). How would we be better off?

    Sure, we create renewable power plants, but they're expensive and not efficient in financial terms. We can hardly run our entire economy on selling windmills. Scotland is really in the crapper right now economically. Part of the great thing about the union is that we've been contributing greatly to the UK for the last 20 or 30 years, pumping huge amounts of oil and gas money into the country, and creating massive wealth through our banks. That's all gone way downhill for now though, and by being part of the UK we can get away from that problem relatively unscathed, so that in 10 or 20 years time our economy can flourish again - instead of us going completely bankrupt like the Icelanders.
     
  12. MacWalka

    MacWalka What's a Dremel?

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    Good post there.

    On isolationism. I don't want isolationism but I think with a larger marketplace we'll increasingly have a smaller piece of the pie. For example food. The world's population is still rising and food production is going down. Britain imports a lot of its food and hasn't been able to sustain its own food requirements since the second world war. Emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil will soon be importing more themselves, it reduces the amount going to the established countries. I don't think a little bit more self-sufficiency is a bad thing in this case.

    On independence. I read that prior to the 2007 Holyrood election, Scotland would have been around £20 bn in debt by now if it had been independent since the 1970s. This was an article in the Telegraph and was trying to persuade people not to vote SNP. Given that Scotland's estimated debt as a share based on poulation is around £70 bn, it looks like financially we would be no worse off as an independent country.

    If you look at the Union right now, the main UK political parties are desperate to keep the Union together. If Scotland apparently gets more money from being in the union than England does, why are these parties so desperate to keep us? Your mention of the bank bail-outs being bailed out largely by the English is a bit confusing, can you clarify please? I am assuming you mean banks such as RBS and HBoS that were bailed out? It was the Halifax mortage lending section of the bank that was Donald Ducked and needed bailed out, the Bank of Scotland part of the bank was actually OK. Same for RBS, it was the Union Bank (from Northern Ireland) that had most of the bad assets. We are basically saying that we'll have free-markets with less regulations and when it all goes wrong the Government will step in to save the day. Its a dangerous precedent to set IMO.

    I'm torn with the whole free-market idea. I think although it creates more wealth, the wealth isn't distributed correctly and companies do behave with questionable ethics. See Bhopal disaster, New Orleans Projects being torn down after Hurricane Katrina and Shale Oil in Canada for examples.

    I agree, we need more nuclear power. It's one of the few policies and decisions I disagree with the SNP on, I think that was a seriously bad move. The idea that North Sea oil is running out is actually quite incorrect. The rise in oil price has meant that large areas of the oil in the North Sea is now economically viable to drill for and there is a good 20-30 years at least left. Scotland was lied to back in the 1970s about the oil. Labour lied through their teeth saying that the oil in the North Sea could not fund an independent Scotland-due to release of inofrmation 30 years later, we found it was true all along.

    The comment about Iceland is inaccurate. Iceland has a population the size of Edinburgh and had put all its eggs in one basket (property and banking) hence why it has been crippled. I'd say Scotland is more akin to Norway, who are doing very well for themselves. I admit that its probably too late to get ourselves into the position they have with the oil fund etc but I'd suggest thats what we should be aiming for.

    On renewables. I agree, renewable energy isn't the only way to go. We should be aiming for energy diversification-nuclear, coal, wind, tidal, hydro etc not stick to one solution. I meant we should be looking at creating an industry that exports technologies and equipment to other countries to improve their environmental impact. I'd like to see Scotland (and the UK) making the most of our R&D in universities and start creating hi-tech industries.

    On manufacturing and Finance. Again its diversification. We've relied too much on one industry to provide this country with wealth recently and destoyed whole economies by winding down manufacturing. In my industry, we have been warned against buying Chinese and Polish Steel now. It's been found to be of lower quality and has failed on many occasions over the past decade. The problem is that British Steel which is a higher quality is now unable to meet demands that we're stuck with buying in cheaper but poorer quality steel. To me its unfair that we bail out banks when they hit a rough patch but are rarely prepared to do the same for manufacturing companies when they hit a rough patch.

    Again big post, hope its readable.
     
  13. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    This time next month I'm in ur election booths, spoilin ur ballotz. Totally disenchanted with the system. It is not a democracy.
     
  14. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    It is democratic to an extent. These things aren't absolute though. Democracy lies on a spectrum, and ours is democratic to a lesser extent than some.
     
  15. benjamyn

    benjamyn What's a Dremel?

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  16. cyrilthefish

    cyrilthefish What's a Dremel?

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    I'd say its close to undemocratic a system as you can get while still technically calling it a democracy, it's an absolute twisted/biased mockery of what democracy should be :(

    Democracy is the foundation our society is built on and it's corrupt and crumbling in it's current state.

    There are many serious issues about, but the root problems all boil down to the corrupt voting system, we need to fix that before we'll have chance to fix the (arguably greater) other problems. When the foundations of a house are failing, plastering over the cracks in the walls will not do.

    I'm asking people to vote for democratic change now (lib dems being the largest party that is calling for voting system change*, means them right now) rather than your potential favourite party until the system is fairer, because if you fix democracy first you have a much greater chance of fixing other problems afterwards.

    I think the whole labservative campaign has got it spot on:
    A vote for conservatives= a vote for conservatives+labour
    A vote for labour= a vote for conservatives+labour

    conservatives admit they do not wish to reform the voting system in any major way
    labour say they want reform, but they've been saying that since they got power in 1997 without lifting a finger to do so since, so anything they say on the issue can be discarded as proven lies

    Closing, i'd hope people choose this priority system for voting issues:
    1: vote to get the voting system changed to a less corrupt/biased system
    2: once #1 is fulfilled, vote freely for any other issue you feel important at the next election with your vote, now that it counts for something
    because, you cannot have #2 under FPTP, the last ~30+years have proved that.

    *as we currently have FPTP, which is heavily biased against smaller parties and pro larger parties, you have to hold your nose and vote for the largest party supporting the issue to counter the immense FPTP bias
     
    Last edited: 20 Apr 2010
  17. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    Be careful what you wish for...

    A proportional representation system would almost guarantee a hung parliament every time in this country... which means coalition will be required - which in the majority of cases means a Lab/Lib coalition that won't have the support for labours more 'individual' policies nor support for the Liberals more 'individual' polices.

    It will hamper the governments power to act decisively - which is a benefit as well as its biggest drawback. People think that it will give more power to smaller parties, but it won't be the case in this country - the 3 big parties are too much bigger - so 2 of the three will al
    ways be required in a coalition. Add any of the big 3 together an you will have a government with a sufficient majority to legislate unopposed, like Blair had in his first 2 terms.

    Of course, it's a matter of opinion whether this situation is better or worse than the current one - but regardless, don't be fooled into thinking PR is a panacea and solve all our woes.
     
  18. MacWalka

    MacWalka What's a Dremel?

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    I actually think that at the very least we should have the House of Lords elected on a PR system.

    The problem with FPTP is that the future of the country lies within just a few constituencies as the other thread on voter power shows. If the polls are correct right now we will see voters doing the following:
    Lib Dems = 32%
    Conservatives = 31%
    Labour = 28%
    Others = 9%

    It will also mean that the Lib Dems will only have around 100 seats compared to Labour and Conservatives having around 250 each. How is any voting system fair when the party that gets the largest number of votes result in them still being third?
     
  19. Pieface

    Pieface Modder

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    Because, you vote for a constituency, you don't vote for the country. Some may say it unfair, but you don't vote for your surrounding areas, you don't vote for the party to get into power, you vote to get your representative into the House of Commons.
     
  20. MacWalka

    MacWalka What's a Dremel?

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    Yes, I know this but FPTP was developed back in the days when government had less say in people's day to day lives. In this day and age most people vote on the basis of who they want to govern them, not who they want to represent their local level.

    Look at the campaigning the parties are doing. It's all about what the party would do when in government. If the political parties themselves believe the election is about forming a government, then the election process should reflect that.
     

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