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HSR: Col is given a 'free rein to spout his opinions' for exactly the reasons you are, only he does so with more civility.   Recently there have been a couple of attacks on the validity of t

True enough but none quite so 'in your face' or as blatant. To paraphrase Mone "I didn't lie to hide the the fact we're making £60 million and hiding it in a trust, it was to to protect my family

Why do you feel the need to influence others? What is your motivation for so doing? Is it because you think you know better than they? Is it because it feeds your ego if and when you succeed?  Is it b

There is no British Communist party in the elections as far as I know.  The Greens will make a good showing, though I accept that may not translate in seats.  I'm voting Green because they are clearly pro Remain and their other policies are basically left of centre.

 

I'm not voting Labour because the Labour leadership has ignored the party majority membership, who want at least a vote on any agreed deal, or anything up to and including a cancellation of Brexit.

 

The whole point of this election from a UK and a Brexit point of view is that all parties will take messages from the results and the voter share. The best outcome for me would be a massive showing for any and all Remain parties.

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10 minutes ago, philmayfield said:

Stark choice between fascists or communists!? I still think there are lots more of us in the middle ground.

 

Is that Remain middle ground or Leave middle ground. ?  :)

 

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Of course he isn't.  He's certainly on the left of the party and he's a socialist idealist, but he's working within a democratic pluralist system and not planning on overthrowing it. 

 

All the ones making noises about overthrowing the system are on the far right.  That's what is so worrying.  We all know what happened that last time anybody succeeded with that in Europe.

 

And to cap that we've got people here and throughout the country, who, when faced with facts about the far right plotters pushing for a no deal Brexit, are just sticking their fingers in their ears and going 'lalalalalala'.  Ask those same people to quote you one single verifiable benefit of leaving and they can't.

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4 hours ago, radfordred said:

You have to be careful who's links you click on Margie & Gem! Our postal votes where ticked & back & in the letterbox almost before they hit the mat.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-47529183/sleaford-mods-on-brexit-austerity-and-political-disillusionment

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Double post. Sorry.

 

 

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Just beat me to it Rob but..

 

Who mentioned borrowing?  Not me.. but since you raise it.. 

 

https://fullfact.org/economy/labour-and-conservative-records-national-debt/

 

Tory Governments always claim that Labour borrow too much, spend too much and tax people too much.  The facts don't really bear this out.

 

But also, it's a false call to try to see the National economy in the same simple terms as a household budget, because it's far more complex. I don't claim to understand it in depth, but I know that much.

 

For instance, after the 2008 crash (NOT caused by Brown), we were heading into recovery, but the Tories succeeded in blaming Labour for the crash and sneaking into power.

 

Osborne decided instead to impose austerity and punish everyone in this country, but especially the poor, for the crimes of the rich international banks and corporations.  Of course this malice and idiocy, which is still continuing, just crashed the economy and reduced the tax take, making things worse, but it also handed an increasingly right wing Tory Party the opportunity to impose its anti Public Sector, and Anti Public Services 'ideology' and set about dismantling the welfare state and replacing it, and also local Govt., with seedy 'outsourced' contractors, with short term, piecemeal and incoherent objectives.

 

We've got more people employed, but I think a glance at the criteria for regarding someone as employed ..... (not easy to 'drill down to'..)

 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/fulltimeparttimeandtemporaryworkersseasonallyadjustedemp01sa

 

....quickly shows that much of the claimed employment is part time, or 'in work training'.  It's also well known that many people are trying to run several jobs, often on 'zero hours contracts', just to stay afloat, and many still need 'in work benefits' to survive.

 

It's not good is it?

 

We could, instead, have borrowed at the historically low interest rates of the time and put money into repairing our crumbling infrastructure etc.  This would of course also have created real employment and increased the tax take.

 

We also have a skills shortage in this country, very largely down to a failure by both Govt. and industry to properly organise and fund training.  So, as announced only today, certain professions/trades are going to be added to the list of 'shortage occupations' which will allow people from abroad to come here to work if they are skilled in those areas.  That to me is looking like a deliberate plot to import cheaper labour.  And of course as fewer are daft enough to come here from the EU, those who come will most likely be more noticeably 'foreign.'  A bit of an 'own goal' that.

 

It's really not going well for the right is it?

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1 hour ago, Rob.L said:

And it’s worth noting that despite all those years of “austerity” and cuts, government debt is now nearly double what it was when Labour left office.

 

Actually the link provided by Col shows that it's not, it's 53% admittedly it's 'inflation adjusted' so the real figure could almost anything.

If we go with double as you say  then things still look bleak for Labours handling of the economy.

 

If you want to look a little closer at the chart you put up Rob it shows that during the last few Labour years it DID double (from less than 0.5 to just over 1.0) BUT they managed to do it in just 3 years!  They set the runaway train going.

 

1 hour ago, DJ360 said:

after the 2008 crash (NOT caused by Brown), we were heading into recovery

 

Recovery? The figures show quite clearly Col that 2008/9 the debt increased by almost 20% (19.64.) Funny sort of recovery that is

 

Under the terrible Tories it's true the debt has still  increased but at a much SLOWER rate ( 9 years as against Labours 3) as they struggle to bring Labours, (Browns) poison chalice of an economy  under control. They might have even succeeded if they had given the job to someone who understood economics instead of Osbourne .

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Being an optimist, I still think something positive can come from the current mess..The END of two party politics! No doubt the slimeballs would start forming pacts however!

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12 minutes ago, HSR said:

Being an optimist, I still think something positive can come from the current mess..The END of two party politics! No doubt the slimeballs would start forming pacts however!

 

Politics is the process whereby any society determines 'Who Gets What'.

If one side gains a permanent, or long term advantage, the situation can only eventually lead to revolution and conflict.

Two parties or twenty two parties, you either have political 'horse trading' (forming pacts'), or you have conflict.

 

Which do you prefer?

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4 hours ago, DJ360 said:

I'm always reminded of something one of my economics lecturers said, to the effect that it is 'perfectly possible to have a seemingly highly successful economy.. in which 90% of the population are not able to participate.'

 

Not in this lifetime! Unless you want a totalitarian government,

 

4 hours ago, DJ360 said:

But surely that was the point where Brown decided to start 'quantitative easing

 

It was and he was praised but in hindsight he and 'they ' were wrong - he didn't save the world. Printing more and more money is a short term, short sighted  solution. Like everything else money looses it's value if there is a glut of it.

He let loose a system we shall be paying for, for decades , possibly forever. (£375 Billion)

 

5 hours ago, DJ360 said:

The economy is about more than just debt. Activity, productivity, GDP, you know.. that sort of stuff

I didn't raise debt but ...  :happy:

In any economic system debt is the prime indicator. You can have all the production you like but if you are not covering your bills you are going to either increase your debt  - or go bust. Any household budget holder will tell you that.

I don't blame Brown for the crash. I blame his handling of it (and Osbourne), trying to spend your way out of debt never did make sense.

 

You say you spent some time living in debt, so did most of us but like most of us I suspect you worked to reduce your mortgage, not go out on a spending spree thinking more deficit spending will magically pay off what you owe. Sometimes even something as complex as a national economy has a simple common sense solution ala Mr Micawber.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, HSR said:

I'd like to think mature adults have the courage of their convictions..thus the more parties the better, am I idealist & naive, probably!

 

Nice idea, everyone having a say, all working together for the common good...

 

From Wikipedia:

A multi-party system is a system where multiple political parties take part in national elections. A lot of countries that use this system have a coalition government[1], meaning many parties are in control, and they all work together to make laws. Good examples of countries that have this system include Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Philippines, and South Korea. There is no limit to the number of parties that can take part in a British election, but the government must command a majority in the House of Commons, and is usually formed from one party.

 

For the most part hardly shining examples. It would be a bit like running a country by committee. I've been on a few and the majority of firm decisions made concerned the date and time of the next meeting - bugger all else. The UK government has cabinets who can't agree and they are on the same side!

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5 hours ago, DJ360 said:

If one side gains a permanent, or long term advantage, the situation can only eventually lead to revolution and conflict.

Two parties or twenty two parties, you either have political 'horse trading' (forming pacts'), or you have conflict.

 

Don't agree Col.

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My dad always reckoned that the best thing for the country as a whole, was a Tory government to run the country efficiently, and a Labour run local council to spend money freely. Simple eh !

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7 hours ago, HSR said:

Thanks for the definition of 'horse trading' DJ360..

I'd like to think mature adults have the courage of their convictions..thus the more parties the better, am I idealist & naive, probably!

 

I don't think you are naive.  You may well be an idealist and to some extent so am I.  We all have to have something to aim for.  I'm also in favour of Proportional Representation, which might well have prevented the current 'impasse'

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3 hours ago, Stavertongirl said:

 

Should that probably read “politics is the process whereby politicians determine who gets what” and whoever is “in” their cronies get it.

 

 

 

My definition isn't perfect.  It's just one I came up with because I was sick of Politics lecturers at uni going on about Politics being the 'Art or Science of Government', when it was plain to me that much of politics is conducted outside of the formal structure of Govt.

 

My definition is wider, including all activity which determines 'who gets what'.  Your proposed definition only relates to elected politicians and is therefore included, or 'subsumed' within mine.  I've no doubt that there's an awful lot of 'cronyism' about, but I'd prefer 'redistributive' cronysm where for e.g. trade unions influence employment , welfare and taxation policy, to the sort of shadowy, lobbying based 'carve up' of our national wealth which has gone on under Tory Govts since Thatcher.

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2 hours ago, Brew said:

 

Don't agree Col.

 

We had 'Consensus' politics until Thatcher.  It meant, in effect, that certain policy areas, notably the idea of the Welfare State and of Public Services and Local Govt. (which actually had their roots in mediaeval guilds, and assorted religious groups), were accepted by all major political parties as vital components of the socio-economic make up of our country.

At that time, even Labour and Conservatives did not seek to upset the consensus.  Neither party was strong enough to completely exclude the other from the ongoing process of Govt, and it's arguable that there was no real need for a very different system.

However, Thatcher deliberately set out to destroy that consensus, to undermine local government and public services, to neutralise trade unions and to flog off everything to the lowest bidder.  Let's not forget that she was also incredibly lucky, being bailed out economically by North Sea Oil, which she arguably squandered, and politically by the 'gift' of the Falklands confict, which played right into her jingoistic stance and ensuing mythology.

 

If you get to a situation such as we have now, where the Tories have managed to cling to power for ten long years, largely doing as they liked in all policy areas, despite having  no significant majority in parliament for much of that time.. we are moving dangerously close to a 'one party' system.  It is evident to me that the Tories are are still in power largely due to a broadly supportive press and media.  This is further dangerous territory.  It's true that having a poorly led opposition doesn't help, but the basic thrust is from a very determined and increasingly right wing Tory party, supported by a right wing and foreign owned press/media.  There's further right wing pressure as the Tories are running scared from the like of Farage, and the far right within their own party.

 

Even more worrying if you are me, is that this process, along with Brexit, has resulted in a hollowed out centre in UK politics.  And Brexit in particular has led many to favour a revolution from the right, led by horrors like Farage, Johnson and Rees-Mogg, which will inevitably see an even more divided society with the real prospect of major civil unrest, leading to even more authoritarian Govt., and so on.It's scary.

 

It's also ironic that the time when Britain was 'great' in the memories of many, is precisely the time when the consensus was strong, in the immediate post war period. Yet they seem to want to go back to then via a very dangerous route indeed.

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3 hours ago, Brew said:

Not in this lifetime! Unless you want a totalitarian government, 

 

 

He wasn't advocating it!  He was warning against it!

 

3 hours ago, Brew said:

It was and he was praised but in hindsight he and 'they ' were wrong - he didn't save the world. Printing more and more money is a short term, short sighted  solution. Like everything else money looses it's value if there is a glut of it.

He let loose a system we shall be paying for, for decades , possibly forever. (£375 Billion)

 

He saved Britain to a large degree and he also saved a couple of banks from going under, with all that would have entailed for investors, savers and the rest.  So what did the Tories do?  They waited until those banks got back into profit, at the Taxpayer's expense and then, instead of keeping them in public ownership until they had repaid the debt to the country, they flogged them off ASAP..  Typical Tory tactic. Nationalise the debt and privatise the profit.  They've recenty done the same with the profitable publicly owned East Coast Railway.  That ended well....

 

 

3 hours ago, Brew said:

I didn't raise debt but ...  :happy:

In any economic system debt is the prime indicator. You can have all the production you like but if you are not covering your bills you are going to either increase your debt  - or go bust. Any household budget holder will tell you that.

I don't blame Brown for the crash. I blame his handling of it (and Osbourne), trying to spend your way out of debt never did make sense.

 

You say you spent some time living in debt, so did most of us but like most of us I suspect you worked to reduce your mortgage, not go out on a spending spree thinking more deficit spending will magically pay off what you owe. Sometimes even something as complex as a national economy has a simple common sense solution ala Mr Micawber.

 

 

The simplistic part is in seeing debt in simplistic household terms.  In economic terms, it is arguable that money = debt and vice versa. 

 

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3 hours ago, FLY2 said:

My dad always reckoned that the best thing for the country as a whole, was a Tory government to run the country efficiently, and a Labour run local council to spend money freely. Simple eh !

 

Rather reminiscent of the old alleged adage about German Generals leading British 'Tommies'  I don't suppose that was correct either... 

 

It's an easily demolished proposition.

 

1.  It's a myth that the Tories are somehow more able to run an economy, or a country 'efficiently'.  Efficiency is defined basically as Maximum Output for Minimum Input., Look around you.  All that ten years of Tory rule has acheived is a slight lowering of input, ( overall spending) which has actually led to a reduction in output.  Any fool can cut budgets and the Tories are past masters at it, but their incessant cuts, privatisations,  and sell off have been of no benefit to anyone but themselves and their cronies.  Our infrastructure, transport, public services, education and everything else are falling apart. And our employment market if now largely a low wage churn, since so many highly qualified public employees have been 'binned'. Efficient?  I should coco...

 

2. 'a Labour run local council to spend money freely'  Nice idea, except that Labour run councils tend to exist in poorer areas, which means more money is needed to fund services, but there is less money about to be raised in Council Tax.  This is where Govt should step in with funding to even things up a bit, but where the Tories have slashed budgets instead, on top of which they have loaded more responsibility onto local councils, especially in areas such as Social Care and Youth Support/ Employment measures.  Hence the social care crisis and the rise in youth crime, suicide among the young, knife crime, etc., etc.

 

Have a look at this: and check your local council in the Cuts League Table  https://ig.ft.com/sites/2015/local-cuts-checker/#E08000013ZZE08000013

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/10/councils-budget-cuts-social-care-bills

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I don’t think you can blame everything on the tories, the NHS has been in a mess for a long time lurching from one crisis to another and education has suffered from implementation of the latest fad incessantly by various governments. I am not defending them just it an easy “given” to blame them for everything. 

 

I have no love for Thatcher (my husband was a Yorkshire miner at the time of the strike and I saw the damage it did first hand) but she enabled us to get on the property ladder by buying our council house, something we would probably never have achieved otherwise. (No doubt adding to the housing crisis:()

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Stavertongirl said:

I don’t think you can blame everything on the tories, the NHS has been in a mess for a long time lurching from one crisis to another

 

There's some truth in that, but my objection to the Tories re: the NHS is that they are doing little to help and are clearly ideologically oppposed to it.  They fought it tooth and nail before it was established, tolerated until Thatcher and then quietly set about seeking ways to shift us to an American style insurance based system.

 

6 minutes ago, Stavertongirl said:

and education has suffered from implementation of the latest fad incessantly by various governments. 

 

Again, this has a lot of truth, but the Tories have been in power for ten years and we've had that idiot Gove interfering disastrously in education at all levels, followed by a succession of inneffective nobodies and a continuination of attempts to privatise education.  And, even as I'm typing this, the Govt have finally admitted that they were wrong on Tuition fees and Education Support grants. , but it just amounts to another review and an 'intention to..', which is one of a series of warm and cuddly recent statements clearly designed to try to improve the very tarnished image of the party without actually doing anything.

 

6 minutes ago, Stavertongirl said:

 I am not defending them just it an easy “given” to blame them for everything. 

 

It's time for them to stop complaining about the hand they were dealt, and to either take responsibility for repairing the damage they have done, or move over and let someone else do it.

 

6 minutes ago, Stavertongirl said:

I have no love for Thatcher (my husband was a Yorkshire miner at the time of the strike and I saw the damage it did first hand) but she enabled us to get on the property ladder by buying our council house, something we would probably never have achieved otherwise.

 

I'm not so sure about that.  Obviously I don't know your finances, but we bought this house in 1976. I was working in a factory and Mrs Col was a low grade civil servant.  We had to borrow the £25 holding deposit and then frantically save for the  mortgage deposit as the house was being built.  I was made redundant two weeks after we moved in and it took me 6 months to find work.  But we hung on, even through the worst inflation of the late 70s. I was then made redundant a couple more times before spending four years at university on virtually no money.  We re mortgaged and extended the morgage a couple of tmes, out of necessity. Meanwhile we managed to raise two kids, and we got Mrs Col through uni too, and finally both kids.  All of that damaged our longer term 'wealth' and we haven't been able to salt much away, or do as much to the house as many of our neighbours, and we don't have posh cars on our drive like they do, but we own the house.

 

 

7 minutes ago, Stavertongirl said:

(No doubt adding to the housing crisis:()

 

Don't beat yourself up! No point in cutting your nose off to spite your face and once the Right to Buy was established, only a fool would refuse it. I was opposed to the 'right to buy' and I still am, especially the bit where councils were not allowed to use the proceeds to build more, much needed housing.  But my Mum was offered the right to buy on the house she'd occupied for 50 years and wanted to leave us something but couldn't afford to buy it. We bought it on her behalf and drew up a legal agreement that she would live there for as long as she wished, or was able, and we would pay for upkeep.  This of course meant that my widowed Mum no longer needed any Council support such as housing benefit etc., or maintenance. Of course,  the council tried to claim it was Mum's property when she went into Adult Social care, and make her sell it to pay for her care.  We soon disabused them of that notion, went to court and won our case.

 

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Hot from Facebook.  Nigel Farage still wants to scrap the NHS. Trust me, that will only be the start.

 

Turkeys.. Christmas.. etc.

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4 hours ago, DJ360 said:

it is arguable that money = debt and vice versa. 

 

In a debt driven economy you are on a Merry-go-round and cant get get off. A debt driven economy means grow or die! The debt is expanding, so the economy has to grow to feed it. Manufacturing, sales and spending must increase using up precious resources, companies have to  expand or go under but there is less and less money  available.

We soon have a situation of little money to go round to feed into the economy and increasing pressure from debt, so adding more pressure on the economy to grow, it's a vicious circle. When dear Gordon was trying to buy his way out of debt he was actually making it worse.

 

How do we get out of it? like any sensible person we stop throwing good money after bad and cut back on our spending. We cut wages, benefits, and outsource to cheaper facilities. Nobody likes to admit it but it's the sensible option.

 

Now here's the conundrum by creating debt we create more money, but money becomes more scarce so where is it going?

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11 minutes ago, DJ360 said:

Nigel Farage still wants to scrap the NHS

 

Actually -  

Farage denied he wanted to replace the NHS with private insurance, but said insurers could “take the burden off the NHS” - on the Andrew Marr show.

 

I agree with Labours Ashworth, he's was being evasive, some would say outright lying but in the interest of accuracy...

 

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