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simon silverdollar
03-04-2006, 10:13 AM
just wondering what the political make-up of dissensus is.

so, would you ever cast a vote for the right? i'm especially interested to know if UK dissensians have been at all swayed by the tory's 'reinvention' under cameron.

me, i'd never vote tory. partly because i do believe that most of Labour are basically decent people doing a fairly good job, whereas I don't trust the tory's claims to be concerned with social justice in the slightest.

but mainly it's a non-rational, visceral hatred of the tories that was instilled in me from childhood: my mum's one 'golden rule' was that i was to never vote tory: doing so would mean running the risk of being chucked out of the house.

no change of leader, or even change in policy, is going to get past that basic loathing of the conservatives. and definitely not Cameron, who i despise: i bet if you cut him open, inside he's all made up of Lattes, gastropub sea-bass, and jamie cullen CDs...

droid
03-04-2006, 10:26 AM
Not living in the UK, I dont really have a right to comment, but from everything Ive read and seen over the last 10 years or so the main difference between the Tories and Labour, is that Labour has better PR.

Privatisation/Illegal wars/Arms trade/Corruption - they've all flourished under Blair...

simon silverdollar
03-04-2006, 10:35 AM
Not living in the UK, I dont really have a right to comment, but from everything Ive read and seen over the last 10 years or so the main difference between the Tories and Labour, is that Labour has better PR.

Privatisation/Illegal wars/Arms trade/Corruption - they've all flourished under Blair...

true, but there's also been record levels of spending on health and education, a real concern with improving gay rights, the minimum wage, and consistently low unemployment. I don't think any of these would ahve occurred under a conservative government.

IdleRich
03-04-2006, 11:20 AM
You can never say never but I think it will take a lot more than Cameron to change my mind. There seems to be just as much corruption associated with this Labour government as its predecessor and they've done lots of things that I totally disagree with but in the final analysis the philosophy of Labour chimes more closely with mine than that of the Tories.
On a related note, maybe local issues can change the way you vote - the reason I say that is because last week I was speaking to the woman who runs Broadway Market and she mentioned how little help she had had from Labour Councillors whereas the Tory guy had been excellent. She said that she had thought that she would never vote Tory but now she would although she preferred to call it voting Councillor Roth.

droid
03-04-2006, 11:20 AM
true, but there's also been record levels of spending on health and education, a real concern with improving gay rights, the minimum wage, and consistently low unemployment. I don't think any of these would ahve occurred under a conservative government.

I appreciate that small differences in policies can make big differences domestically - but when it comes down to it, its the big issues that count. And Britain under Blair doesnt look much different (from the outside) to Britain under Major, or even (shudder) Thatcher.

At least you know where you are with the Tories - theyre evil and proud of it (until recently), Labours policies are made all the more odious as theyre hidden behind the facade of ethics, Blairs hypocritical, patronising, 'sincere' grin and his 'oh so reasonable' wheening tone of voice...

Check out George Monbiots: 'Captive State' and Mark Curtis's: The Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World for some fairly damning Nu-lab bashing...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0330369431/qid=1144059542/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_3_1/202-2668497-3202212

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0099448394/202-2668497-3202212

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0099469723/qid=1144059571/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_3_2/202-2668497-3202212

Rachel Verinder
03-04-2006, 12:10 PM
In response to the original question: rearrange the following words to make a well-known phrase: "HANDS," "COLD," "DEAD," "MY."

zhao
03-04-2006, 02:18 PM
I would vote conservative. conservative Libertarian.

nunc
03-04-2006, 02:23 PM
my local polling station (in the hall adjoining a cathedral) last year (first time voter!) was staffed entirely by fearsome old tory ladies. they were just about sentient enough to tell that my protracted scribbling sounds could signify only illiteracy dementia or infantile ballot spoling. anarchists could have voted for them under those undead 'we are not amused' gazes.

jk_gabba
03-04-2006, 02:59 PM
A little personal plug, I've just finished working on some code for a psychological test that purports to get at your sub-conscious voting intentions, i.e do you like Cameron more than you though you did.. anyway, if you've got 15 minutes to spare click here:

http://www.cogresearch.com/politics/

IdleRich
03-04-2006, 03:22 PM
".. anyway, if you've got 15 minutes to spare click here:"
Well, that was quite interesting. Apparently I like Gordon Brown more than smarmy Dave which I guess means it was correct. I wonder though if I might have got the opposite results if the Cameron/Brown & Good/Evil linking things had come the other way round ie Brown-good, Cameron-evil followed by Cameron-good, Brown-evil instead of how it was.

Edward
03-04-2006, 04:48 PM
No way!!
It's so blatantly transparent that Cameron will just say anything to become popular, and equally obvious that he doesn't mean a word.
Problem is, Labour seem to be 90% as bad: corruption/titles for cash, PFI scams, Iraq, ID cards, etc etc.
Hobson's choice more than ever before innit?

I used to pity the American's for having to choose between the right or the ultra right but now we can choose between the fairly right or a bit righter.

Is a vote for greens or independents a vote wasted? I gave up voting a few years ago cos I honestly hate them all and I am a person who really tries to let go of negative feelings and not to hate. (yeah, hippy but I mean it)

I think a huge number of british people feel the same as me - that there is nobody to represent them.

Anyone heard anything about the "make politicians history" campaign someone is doing in Ireland?

PS jkgabba- i tried to look at your survey but just got a blank page... on the other hand my computer is 100 years old...

matt b
03-04-2006, 05:42 PM
i can't watch david cameron as i'm always scared he's about to fall off his bicycle- no helmet and all.

he's essentially a cheap whore isn't he?

matt b
03-04-2006, 05:44 PM
true, but there's also been record levels of spending on health and education

only to give it all to laughing business men.

owen
03-04-2006, 06:12 PM
only to give it all to laughing business men.

quite. throwing money at PFI hospitals to make ideological points is not the sort of spending on the NHS people are asking for...

anyway. in answer to the question- FUCK NO- but i do rather miss the sheer evil of the tories. the gleeful nastiness of an alan clark versus the simpering managerial twattery of an alan milburn...

droid
03-04-2006, 06:40 PM
So who'd vote labour then?

Anybody? (apart from Oliver of course :D)

mms
03-04-2006, 07:02 PM
but i do rather miss the sheer evil of the tories. the gleeful nastiness of an alan clark versus the simpering managerial twattery of an alan milburn...

just a clearer enemy, you know where you are with them more

Padraig
03-04-2006, 10:04 PM
so, would you ever cast a vote for the right?

Be real conservative: don't vote ...


quite. throwing money at PFI hospitals to make ideological points is not the sort of spending on the NHS people are asking for...

anyway. in answer to the question- FUCK NO- but i do rather miss the sheer evil of the tories. the gleeful nastiness of an alan clark versus the simpering managerial twattery of an alan milburn...

"There! There's the Enemy , Shoot it!" :-)

Interesting you should mention the NHS, which is likely to become a core issue soon enough, as Britain follows the "Boston Model" of health care (increasing privatisation). Its currently happening in Ireland, and its the single biggest political issue of the moment. From the likes of Hollywood multi-millionaire actors like Brendan Gleeson [who recently delivered a viseral emotional outburst against the current state of the health system on the main TV chatshow here, about witnessing his mother dying in circumstances of horrendous medical neglect in public hospitals. Gee, Brendan, with yer Hollywood fortune, how come yer mother was depositied in ... er, better not follow that line of enquiry ] to Ireland's leading "philanthropic" capitalists rushing forward to gushingly offer "managerial services" to help "solve" the crisis in the health services by utilising the "benefit" of their pragmatic "business approach" to solving acute social dilemmas. So making it even worse ... "More Private Hospitals!!" (state funded, of course) goes the call, "a proper business ethic", so guaranteeing the further forceful exclusion of those whose neglectful treatment they are now so indignant about ... their very ideology the underlying cause of the problem in the first place.

http://www.smuht.nwest.nhs.uk/news/articles/131.jpg Thank you so much for cooperating with me in dismantling the NHS, and I hear there's plenty of nursing jobs in Eyerland ..."

The concept of socialised medical care is Enemy Number One here, as it increasingly is with Blair [funnnnney how one of the poorest, most sanction-manacled countries in the world (Cuba), can have one of the best health-care systems, while the richest ones let the poor die in hospital carparks ... now that's a good bit of wandering off of the beaten track of this thread ...

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/steve_bell/2003/05/08/bell512.jpg

Rambler
04-04-2006, 02:56 PM
It depends. If, come the next election, I'm still living in this constituency then no - Conservative only get about 3% of the vote here so there wouldn't be much point, and I'll vote LibDem like last time.

However, if there's one thing that three terms of Labour government has done, its clarify for me that my basic political preferences are better served by the right than the left, even if the left-right divide has become meaningless in modern politics. There's almost nothing this Labour government has done that I'm glad it has done, and even without a viable alternative, my priority in the last two general elections I've voted in has been to get Labour out of power. With the recent acceleration in legislation that chills me to the core - ID cards, Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill being the two biggies - the urgency is even greater. And if you think for a moment that a Brown government will make things better, think again - ID cards are just the sort of expensive, wasteful big government project he's a fan of.

So yes, I will vote conservative one day, absolutely, particularly once they realise (as they are coming to) that civil liberties and personal freedoms are absolutely core conservative values and something the country desperately needs a return to. Until Cameron's election, it was pointless - I saw Michael Howard speak once to a room full of paid-up members of the Tory party - some of whom had voted Tory for decades - and he was so bad even they started questioning whether he was worth their vote. He was the dying vestige of the worst aspects of 90s conservatism and I'm glad he's gone. There are some appalling elements of the conservative party (some of them were in that room that evening), but they're not what the party has to be about, and under Cameron they are no longer being courted. Cameron may not be perfect (a prize for anyone who can name a perfect politician), and he may just be out there saying the right things, but they're the things I want to hear, and I hope he gets the chance to prove himself on some of them.

matt b
04-04-2006, 03:20 PM
However, if there's one thing that three terms of Labour government has done, its clarify for me that my basic political preferences are better served by the right than the left

:(

i'm sorry to read this rambler- the left (NOT the labour party) has the strongest tradition of bigging up the things you discuss

i also disagree that "civil liberties and personal freedoms are absolutely core conservative values"- i can't think of a single example of this link.

"Cameron may not be perfect (a prize for anyone who can name a perfect politician), and he may just be out there saying the right things, but they're the things I want to hear, and I hope he gets the chance to prove himself on some of them."

'kin ell! you buy the spin! cameron (like most politicians) is after power and will say owt to get in. i guarantee that all his softly softly mr nice guy platitudes will be dumped the moment he gets into powerr (heaven forfend).

droid
04-04-2006, 03:24 PM
And in what universe does Nu-lab represent 'the left'?

Rambler
04-04-2006, 03:42 PM
i also disagree that "civil liberties and personal freedoms are absolutely core conservative values"- i can't think of a single example of this link.

Well, there's the free market for one, but come on, the Left has throughout history been the site of government intervention in the affairs of its citizens, of higher taxes to pay for greater bureaucratic mechanisms, of regulation, of emphasising groups over individuals. The conservative emphasis on lower taxation, offset by greater efficiency in public services, to pick one example is a conservative value based on personal freedom (the freedom to spend your money how you want) over state intervention.


'kin ell! you buy the spin! cameron (like most politicians) is after power and will say owt to get in. i guarantee that all his softly softly mr nice guy platitudes will be dumped the moment he gets into powerr (heaven forfend).

For the moment, yes I do. I prefer his spin to anyone else's (I have no hard evidence not to), and I'd like to see him in power so we can hold him accountable for some of the (very attractive) promises he's making. He's not going to come good on them all, but at the very least he's promsing things that I agree with and want to see happen. At the moment I can't see anything I even want to see happen come out of Blair's mouth.

Rambler
04-04-2006, 03:46 PM
even if the left-right divide has become meaningless in modern politics

;)

Actually, I did one of those political spectrum tests; on a left-right axis I'm pretty much dead centre, but on the authoritarian/libertarian axis I was a long way off to the libertarian end, and it's those things that make it impossible for me to vote for this Labour government (and, as it happens, Howard's conservatives).

matt b
04-04-2006, 04:09 PM
Well, there's the free market for one

which is a theoretical construct and does not exist. the rights' claims about the free market are guff too- see george w.'s policy on US steel and the selling of ports.





but come on, the Left has throughout history been the site of government intervention in the affairs of its citizens, of higher taxes to pay for greater bureaucratic mechanisms, of regulation, of emphasising groups over individuals.

well the statist 'left' maybe, but there are plenty of examples of the left doing exactly the opposite of this



The conservative emphasis on lower taxation, offset by greater efficiency in public services, to pick one example is a conservative value based on personal freedom (the freedom to spend your money how you want) over state intervention.

what does 'efficiency' mean? it (again) is an ideological and essentially meaningless term in this context: it means privatisation.

my freedom is not solely focussed on my ability to spend money freely. what about my freedom to get free health care, have a liveable environment etc?

such simplistic arguments allow political class to control the debate, which of course they want.




For the moment, yes I do. I prefer his spin to anyone else's (I have no hard evidence not to), and I'd like to see him in power so we can hold him accountable for some of the (very attractive) promises he's making.

'we' cannot hold politicians to account very often and he's not promising anything at all. he's set up lots of focus groups with nice sounding names, the posh arse.





At the moment I can't see anything I even want to see happen come out of Blair's mouth.

oh i can- william hurts' alien would be good

matt b
04-04-2006, 04:11 PM
Actually, I did one of those political spectrum tests; on a left-right axis I'm pretty much dead centre, but on the authoritarian/libertarian axis I was a long way off to the libertarian end

well, your 1/2 way there ;););)

Rambler
04-04-2006, 04:28 PM
which is a theoretical construct and does not exist. the rights' claims about the free market are guff too- see george w.'s policy on US steel and the selling of ports.

Don't be naughty - the question is 'would you vote conservative', not 'would you vote Bush' (and, er, no I wouldn't).




Alright, maybe, but none of them are currently on the menu for the next general election.


[QUOTE]what does 'efficiency' mean? it (again) is an ideological and essentially meaningless term in this context: it means privatisation.

my freedom is not solely focussed on my ability to spend money freely. what about my freedom to get free health care, have a liveable environment etc?

such simplistic arguments allow political class to control the debate, which of course they want.

I understand what you mean by the second half of what you say, Matt, but I don't agree with the first half - public service efficiency does not equal privatisation. It means a certain degree of accountability to your paymasters - in the case of the NHS (which if you've read the 'what ails you' thread, you'll have guessed that I'm an enormous beneficiary of) this means accountability to those of us who fund the thing through our taxes. At the moment, I strongly believe that we don't get value for money, and what is more the whole system is completely hamstrung by over-bureaucracy. I think most doctors would agree with that. The same goes for education - Labour's obsession with arbitary quotas for the sake of creating homogenous bands of people, rather than educating individuals according to their needs is killing the higher and further education system in this country.

So, having paid for doctors, teachers and lecturers, why are they spending more of their time filling paperwork to meet government 'standards' than they are treating and teaching people? I do believe it's possible to go some way to fixing this problem, and I don't believe it has to be done through privatisation.

And anyway, how is Labour's drive to PFI everything in sight a better alternative? I'll emphasise again, my primary motivation for voting in the next General Election will be to get Labour out; the Tories are best placed to do so, and it so happens that I'm starting to agree with them on a lot of things as well. For the first time a political party is actually courting my point of view, and I admit I like that.


oh i can- william hurts' alien would be good

Hahaha! :D

Grievous Angel
04-04-2006, 04:34 PM
Big up Rambler for sheer chutzpah in defending Cameron on Dissensus!

New Labour is the biggest missed opportunity in modern politics. (Note that I am not making a strict leftist analysis here -- I'm sure Eden would totally disagree with what I've just said ;). Anyway, back to the bourgeois position...)

They've chucked unfeasible amounts of money at the NHS and have achieved very little. They've spent quite a bit more on education and achieved nothing. With pensions they totally shied away from the issue, same with green / environmental issues -- in fact Prescott has done more damage to environmental causes in the last six months than the Tories did in ten years by totally skewering green building regulations while accelerating new building and destroying green building incentives. PFI is not a bad idea at its core but it's been executed in the most apallingly wrong-headed way imaginable, as the Economist has documented many times.

It's a complete mess buoyed up by a strong economy that was largely the creation of Ken Clarke. I don't trust Blair and I think he's a war criminal, but I do think he's a very talented politician; but he doesn't really know what he's doing. I trust Gordon Brown even less -- I think he's an arsehole who's on the verge of being unhinged.

Meanwhile the Lib Dems are a useless bunch of slimey, lying tossers with one or two excellent people who tend to quit in disgust after a few years, like my recently ex-local MP. And as for the left... Christ. Talk about turning back-biting into a career. I wouldn't trust Respect / the SWP as far as I could throw them. (Others, like Hackney Independent, are OK but the British left is pretty uninspiring.)

Which leaves the Tories. Cameron is trying to do a Blair -- grabbing the middle ground while doing all he can to alienate the atavistic extremes. If he were elected it's just about possible he might do more good than harm in a few areas. Pensions and the NHS are trying to do things they were never designed to do and which no economy can afford; maybe Cameron will be able to say the emperor has no clothes. He has given no indication he will do so, quite the reverse in fact, and in any event, you just know the Tories will be off with the silverware the minute they're in power.

So as to would I vote Tory, the answer is

NO

FUCKING

WAY

But then who would (other than Rambler!)?

To me the interesting thing -- and I mean "interesting" as a matter of sport, not of politics -- is whether Cameron would beat Brown. The numbers say not, but I simply cannot envisage people voting for him. Look at his eyes -- it's "Helter Skelter!" Cameron is ticking all the right boxes for the politically unaligned. I'd put money on him and may actually do so -- but the odds are short already.

IdleRich
04-04-2006, 04:44 PM
"my freedom is not solely focussed on my ability to spend money freely. what about my freedom to get free health care, have a liveable environment etc?"
No, but that is one freedom which the Right traditionally supports is what you asked him to give you right?
I think it's unhelpful to have a complete knee-jerk response to the idea of voting Tory if it prevents you analysing the main parties' respective policies properly. This Labour Government has been very restrictive of freedoms when you consider that (off the top of my head) they've banned fox hunting and smoking in public, they wanted to extend the amount of time you could hold a suspect without charge and they are pushing through ID cards.
I think it's fair to say that the Conservatives could argue that they are more libertarian party than Labour at present although I personally don't think that that is enough to swing my vote.

droid
04-04-2006, 04:46 PM
What about foreign policy though? Thats not gonna change under Brown or Cameron... If you vote labour with at least some knowledge of the various crimes that have been committed over the last 8 years by the UK - does that make you in some way culpable for future crimes?

Im playing devils advocate here, but I know plenty of people who blame Americans for what Bush has done, and they at least have the excuse that they really dont know whats going on in the world - most British people I know, have at least some awareness of what Blairs' been up to, but still say they would 'never' vote Tory, and they'll continue to support Nu-lab because local issues like council rates or speed bumps or something similar.:D

Britain needs to face up to their global role. In the eyes of the world the projected image of a small green island full of footballers, eccentric inventors, scholars and pop geniuses doesnt quite wash - Britain is also seen as a cowardly, duplicitous and ruthless rogue state, less dangerous only than the US and Israel... (to paraphrase Bill Bailey), like the skinny little shit that jeers you from behind the school bully as youre being kicked in the head...

BTW - this is meant to be constructive provocation - not an attempt to alienate 90% of Dissensus...

Some of my best friends are British after all! ;)

IdleRich
04-04-2006, 04:57 PM
The problem with the Iraq war as a decision maker for voters is that the Tories are even more natural supporters of the US than Blair is, they offered no opposition whatsoever so it seemed that there was no party we could vote for that had any chance of getting in to power that would have acted differently.

Grievous Angel
04-04-2006, 05:16 PM
This Labour Government has been very restrictive of freedoms when you consider that (off the top of my head) they've banned fox hunting and smoking in publicBollocks Rich. Neither of these are restrictions on freedom. If you think that people have a "right" to spread cancer and lung disease to non-smokers then you're talking gash as far as I'm concerned.

they wanted to extend the amount of time you could hold a suspect without charge and they are pushing through ID cards.That's more like it :)

IdleRich
04-04-2006, 05:30 PM
"Bollocks Rich. Neither of these are restrictions on freedom. If you think that people have a "right" to spread cancer and lung disease to non-smokers then you're talking gash as far as I'm concerned. "


"That's more like it"
Well maybe I didn't list them in the right order of importance but they are all anti-libertarian measures and I think that they were a valid example to back-up Rambler's point that the Right may be more libertarian than the Left whether you agree that they are correct to be so or not.
(Personally, although I did argue quite heatedly against the smoking ban I'm beginning to see that what everyone else said about it impacting on other's freedom may actually be right. I still couldn't give a toss either way about foxes though to be honest.)

matt b
04-04-2006, 05:54 PM
Don't be naughty - the question is 'would you vote conservative', not 'would you vote Bush' (and, er, no I wouldn't).

point taken ;). BUT (see how big that is?) 'free trade' as currently formulated has nothing to do with equitable trade.

you're taking a position of 'least worse option', no?
personally i can't see any fundamental difference between new labour and cameron's tories



So, having paid for doctors, teachers and lecturers, why are they spending more of their time filling paperwork to meet government 'standards' than they are treating and teaching people? I do believe it's possible to go some way to fixing this problem, and I don't believe it has to be done through privatisation.

agreed. but i don't think cameron will do anything different- they are thatcherite policies in the first place.
(and PFI/ PPP are de facto privatisation any how)

droid
04-04-2006, 07:09 PM
The problem with the Iraq war as a decision maker for voters is that the Tories are even more natural supporters of the US than Blair is, they offered no opposition whatsoever so it seemed that there was no party we could vote for that had any chance of getting in to power that would have acted differently.

I agree. This is the problem everywhere.

Its not just Iraq though, there was the sanctions, Kosovo, arms sales to Indonesia (amongst others)... is it OK to vote for a party led by war criminals to keep the Tories out?

Grievous Angel
04-04-2006, 08:17 PM
Sorry droid, I just don't accept the left's critique of intervention in Kosovo.

But I don't want to derail the thread with an ancient argument :)

bassnation
04-04-2006, 08:32 PM
only to give it all to laughing business men.

exactly. just finished a project in the public sector, the way that no-one is ever held accountable for fuck ups and the blatant waste of public money was absolutely shocking. there are a lot of business people becoming rich on taxpayers cash.

bassnation
04-04-2006, 08:42 PM
Well, there's the free market for one, but come on, the Left has throughout history been the site of government intervention in the affairs of its citizens, of higher taxes to pay for greater bureaucratic mechanisms, of regulation, of emphasising groups over individuals. The conservative emphasis on lower taxation, offset by greater efficiency in public services, to pick one example is a conservative value based on personal freedom (the freedom to spend your money how you want) over state intervention.

at face value maybe - but the real picture is more complex. don't you remember the back to basics campaigns, the attacks on single mothers? that doesn't suggest a party that is dedicated to personal freedom and the individual.

on the authoritarian front, in thatchers reign, to bring up just one example, i remember miners getting their heads stoved in by the police. not the first time they have been overtly politicised to crush a labour movement but certainly marked a new phase in contemporary times, and has only increased over the years.

thing is, its easy to mix up left and right with liberal and authoratarian when they are different things. its perfectly possible to have libertarian left as long as your prepared to knit your own muesili.

if it sounds like i'm defending labour, i'm not. i hate all of them equally.

simon silverdollar
04-04-2006, 08:43 PM
So who'd vote labour then?

Anybody? (apart from Oliver of course :D)

i would, and have done in the past three elections. briefly, here's why:

-the conservatives are still too focussed on 'individual liberties' in the trade off with equality and social justice for me (i.e. low taxes and de-regulation over improving the lot of the worst off)

-the lib dems are either closet tories, or represent some of the worst element of the left, where being 'leftwing' is about giving stuff away for free, even if yr giving to people who clearly have more than enough (see their support for the abolition of means testing in the public services, and their opposition to top up fees, despite the fact that worse off students get more financial help that they've had for decades , and it's only posh kids who are incumbered by top up fees).

-labour have reduced inequality in income in the UK, and saved an NHS that was on its last legs after more than a decade of tory mis-rule. education is also gradually improving. yes, they haven't done enough, and yes, its not a proper socialist government. but while milliions of people in the UK read the Mail and the Sun everyday, we're not going to get a socialist government. but what we can have is a labour government that genuinely does improve the lot of the worst off in our society. the best we can hope for is to inch closer to the Swedish model. which we are doing, slowly. i know Mark K-P will see this as a capitulation to the myth of 'capitialist (ir)realism' but i think that the real problems of whether people in this country have jobs, and have access to a health service that is free at the point of need, and have a decent primary education are too urgent to be ignored until we have a feasible, worked out alternative to capitalism.

droid
04-04-2006, 10:59 PM
Sorry droid, I just don't accept the left's critique of intervention in Kosovo.

But I don't want to derail the thread with an ancient argument :)

Id be curious as to your thinking on this via PM/email if ya like. Theres been some interesting retrospectives of the whole sordid episodes of late...

IdleRich
05-04-2006, 09:30 AM
Droid said "is it OK to vote for a party led by war criminals to keep the Tories out?"
I reckon it is if you think that the alternative may be worse war criminals. I think that choosing the least worst option is something that you have to do sometimes.
The longer Labour are in power the more they have come to resemble the previous administration, not so much in policies but in closeness to business and so-called sleaze. It makes me wonder if there isn't something drastically and intrinsically wrong with the system in our country. I mean obviously I knew it was far from perfect but it seems to have something fundamentally wrong that means it will corrupt anyone involved. I tend to believe that most (not all) politicians get in to it for the right reasons but once you start compromising your beliefs and being pragmatic at the expense of your ideals it's the thin end of the wedge. Maybe that's just a problem with human nature anyway and no political system can get round it.

droid
05-04-2006, 09:54 AM
I understand your position, and appreciate it, but the magnitude of the crimes in this case is shocking.

Over a million dead Iraqis dead as a result of sanctions. At least 100,000, and possibly as many as 300,000 dead as a result of the war. Britain and Labour complicit in crimes verging on genocide, and the ultimate war crime of aggression against a sovereign nation.

Arent the domestic benefits of a Labour Govt. completely offset by these horrendous actions? I know what the tories represent but afaik, there arent that many active Tories (that we know of) who have already committed crimes against humanity. Blair and his cronies should be locked up for life, and Labour should be disbanded, the upper echelons 'de-nazified' and the party reconstituted. People have been hanged for much lesser crimes.

IdleRich
05-04-2006, 10:41 AM
So are you talking about how we should have voted in the past or how we should vote in the future? I really think that the Tories would have been at least as gung-ho as Labour over Iraq and ended up being as complicit in any warcrimes. That sounds as though I am judging them without giving them a chance but their rhetoric hasn't lead me to believe that they would have acted any differently.
In the next election I'm not sure how I will vote, most likely Lib Dem to be honest. I don't like Labour's foreign policy and I don't think that I would like the Tory version either. I know pretty much for definite that I will hate the Tories on domestic policy but I don't really like what we have much. Then again Lib Dem would be a wasted vote, it's a tricky one.

droid
05-04-2006, 11:05 AM
In the future I suppose - I would have voted Labour and kicked Major out as well, but that was before we knew what we now know...

I can see that theres no real or easy alternative - but does that justify voting them back in? They're bathed in blood - and history has a way (however unfair) of tarring populations with the same brush as their governments in cases like this.

Im not trying to preach here - I sympathise with your position, and dont really know who Id vote for if I was in your shoes - but one thing I do know is that Blair is a liar and a mass murderer, and theres absolutely no way Id ever vote for him or any of the cowards that supported his crimes... they should be on trial - not ruling your country.

IdleRich
05-04-2006, 11:52 AM
"Im not trying to preach here"
Don't worry, I'm interested to hear what you have to say. We have a slightly different position but it's amongst the mildest arguments I've ever had.
To summarise what I think and answer the original question about voting Tory; in general I dislike the Tories but I wouldn't rule them out for ever. At present they still not attractive to me and crucially don't differ from Labour on the things that annoy me the most. I'm fed up with the Labour Government and I agree with you that Tony Blair and co have led the country in to an illegal war using lies - pretty much the worst action a government can take. Not happy with either of those leaves me Lib Dems who are marginally more attractive to me but have less chance of getting in. How about the Greens? More attractive but less chance and so and so on. I think that you are saying that you want Labour out at any cost so would vote Tory, is that right? It's Hobson's choice anyway.
It's no wonder that so many people are not interested in mainstream politics.

droid
05-04-2006, 12:00 PM
I guess Im just very aware of how easy it is to sermonise fom the sidelines. The shower of pricks who lord over us here are in it up to their necks as well with Shannon.

Independents or the Greens. Has to be. Its not throwing a vote away - even if your party doesnt get in, enough votes will lay the foundation for its future success, and may force Labour to change some of their policies.

Failing that - burn it all down? Starting with Blair's spare houses :D

IdleRich
05-04-2006, 12:56 PM
I think that you're right - a Green vote means something even if it only raises consciousness in some of the mainstream parties, and could build for the future.

Grievous Angel
05-04-2006, 01:08 PM
I voted green for ages.

There's big chunks of their platform that I think is fab, but plenty that I think is naieve nonsense.

And the guy they put up as the Nether Edge candidate last time was just a totally humourless uber-nerd...

matt b
05-04-2006, 01:17 PM
I voted green for ages

me too. i never used to vote at all, until i met my current girlfriend who used to harangue me about it. greens are the least worse option, but we need PR.

IdleRich
05-04-2006, 01:26 PM
"but we need PR."
Do you really think that this would change things for the better? I'm not saying that I'm not willing to be convinced or that I don't think that there is something wrong with the present system but I'd like to hear some good arguments for why this would improve matters.

Slothrop
05-04-2006, 01:34 PM
I voted green for ages.

There's big chunks of their platform that I think is fab, but plenty that I think is naieve nonsense.
They're a bit kneejerk anti-science for my tastes - I'm all in favour of critically examining the claims of scientists (and more to the point, of people who make statements and policies allegedly based on the claims of scientists) in the light of their motivations and so on, but I draw the line at intrinsically distrusting anything done by anyone in a white coat.

On the other hand, I'm fully in favour of the 'wasted' vote for a single issue party - in a situation where politicians are chasing every vote (provided it happens to be in a marginal constituency, of course), a 'wasted' vote is a message that if they want your vote they're going to have to significantly alter their position on the relevant issues. This is arguably a more effective use of the vote than helping to replace one bunch of corrupt bloodthirsty control freaks with another...

matt b
05-04-2006, 01:58 PM
Do you really think that this would change things for the better?

too right!
i want my vote to count- the first past the post system discards all votes not for winning candidate

depending on which chart you look at between 21.6- 35.3% of the electorate voted for labour in the last election but they still have the majority of the seats in parliament (356 seats), whereas 1 % of people voted green yet they get no seats.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/constituencies/default.stm

system is fcuked and fundamentally undemocratic.

droid
05-04-2006, 02:03 PM
too right!
i want my vote to count- the first past the post system discards all votes not for winning candidate

depending on which chart you look at between 21.6- 35.3% of the electorate voted for labour in the last election but they still have the majority of the seats in parliament (356 seats), whereas 1 % of people voted green yet they get no seats.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/constituencies/default.stm

system is fcuked and fundamentally undemocratic.

Then theres the whole '4 year dictatorship' thing, illustrated perfectly by Blairs ignoring of clearly articulated public opinion.

On second thoughts, lets not go there... :D

matt b
05-04-2006, 02:10 PM
Then theres the whole '4 year dictatorship' thing, illustrated perfectly by Blairs ignoring of clearly articulated public opinion.

tony always says 'we are simply putting our manifesto into effect.' etc. then goes off and does loads of stuff he's never mentioned before. the twat.

11 crosses in a lifetime is not a democracy etc.

IdleRich
05-04-2006, 03:14 PM
"I'm fully in favour of the 'wasted' vote for a single issue party - in a situation where politicians are chasing every vote (provided it happens to be in a marginal constituency, of course), a 'wasted' vote is a message that if they want your vote they're going to have to significantly alter their position on the relevant issues. "
The point is that a lot of constituencies aren't marginal so this doesn't work.


"too right!
i want my vote to count- the first past the post system discards all votes not for winning candidate

depending on which chart you look at between 21.6- 35.3% of the electorate voted for labour in the last election but they still have the majority of the seats in parliament (356 seats), whereas 1 % of people voted green yet they get no seats."
Sure, I understand all that and even that the UK system doesn't work but I'm not sure that systems elsewhere work any better. There are several other proposals, is PR definitely the best? I thought that the main problem with PR is that because everyone is represented and no-one (necessarily) has a majority nothing gets done. On second thoughts maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing...

Rambler
05-04-2006, 03:59 PM
(P.S. - I've not been able to get online all day, but just wanted to drop this in - last time the UK had ID cards, after WWII, it was Conservative government that revoked them. OK, carry on... :) )

Rambler
05-04-2006, 04:23 PM
at face value maybe - but the real picture is more complex. don't you remember the back to basics campaigns, the attacks on single mothers? that doesn't suggest a party that is dedicated to personal freedom and the individual.

on the authoritarian front, in thatchers reign, to bring up just one example, i remember miners getting their heads stoved in by the police. not the first time they have been overtly politicised to crush a labour movement but certainly marked a new phase in contemporary times, and has only increased over the years.

thing is, its easy to mix up left and right with liberal and authoratarian when they are different things. its perfectly possible to have libertarian left as long as your prepared to knit your own muesili.

if it sounds like i'm defending labour, i'm not. i hate all of them equally.

BIG xpost, but I just want to answer some of this.

Yes, absolutely - but you said it, the picture is more complex. Back to basics, the CJA (my first protest march was against that), was all bad. Definitely. But I don't think they are representative of conservatism in general, even if they did come to characterise the party in a particularly ugly way during the 80s and 90s. One of the key things that opens me up to the possibilty of voting Tory next time around is that I do think the party is coming to address this unpleasant aspect of its history. Cameron's Tories are not the same as Thatcher's and Major's - you know this because Thatcher's and Major's Tories would have voted Davis or, worse, Fox as leader - just as Blair's Labour isn't Kinnock's.

Rambler
05-04-2006, 04:28 PM
Failing that - burn it all down?


Mass card burning is the only way to go.

That's your answer for everything isn't it :D

matt b
06-04-2006, 11:38 AM
One of the key things that opens me up to the possibilty of voting Tory next time around is that I do think the party is coming to address this unpleasant aspect of its history.

ALL of the tories history is unpleasant. its what it stands for!


cameron's vague hints at policy 'cosmetic' according to euro mp shocker-


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4880450.stm

matt b
06-04-2006, 11:39 AM
That's your answer for everything isn't it :D

well droid's a reggae fan, innit- BUN EVERYTING

droid
06-04-2006, 11:50 AM
BUN IT DOWN! MORE FIYAH!!! http://weareie.com/assets/images/smilies/icon_torch.gif

Rambler
06-04-2006, 11:53 AM
Yeah, John Redwood says something stupid shocker, while the Shadow Environment Secretary (Peter Ainsworth, a man I do trust), who is actually in charge of Conservative policy on the environment, says something sensible. The party's changing, there are bound to be disagreements but I don't honestly think Redwood's opinion is going to be taken terribly seriously, by the party or by voters.

Jackson may have a point about the European People's Party, but I don't know enough about the European Parliament to comment. The fact is that the environment is a massive issue that has only been a serious concern of politicians for the last few years, so figuring out how to incorporate it into broader policy is going to be tricky. I'm glad he's being made aware of the challenges.