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scottdisco
22-09-2009, 01:01 PM
apologies for starting a deeply parochial, inchoate mess of a post but what is going on here?

Clegg with his vision to stake out the party's turf as the new progressive wing of British politics: what does anyone think about that? just conference season talk on the one hand, yes, but on the other, they'll never have a better time to put more distance between themselves and Labour and the Tories.

can someone who follows British politics explain if there is any likelihood of an LD schism in the future between the classical liberals in their ranks and the social liberals?
granted, all Tories, some Labour, and all LDs have opposed much of the Blair/Brown social authoritarianism/paternalism of recent years, but just because all LDs make the right noises about libel laws, protest and privacy, it doesn't follow that the more classical liberal branch of their ranks is going to follow the social democrats leftwards.

also Vince Cable is i'm sure a fine human being, certainly seems a nice chap, and can string together a coherent, non-repellant sentence - which is more than most major British politicians - but he only looks so attractive because everyone else is Ed Balls or George Osborne. interesting he started off Labour.

sorry to make such an obvious point but he is getting sacred cow status for me (i even put this in that thread in the Music section!). hope this doesn't sound overly sectarian but realise it may.

crackerjack
22-09-2009, 01:15 PM
now, i may of course be entirely wrong here but i thought a good portion of the LDs remain Orange Book libertarians, essentially, polite Tories? in which case Clegg's call to arms means nothing for those in his party this description still covers, does it not?

Don't really know what Orange Book libertarians means, but the Lib Dems are just socially liberal, nothing libertarian about their economic policies. Don't get where they're going under Clegg - Labour are weak, so move/stay left to take their ground. Makes sense, right? Instead they're moving right, alienating and pissing off their public sector voters with "savage cuts" - inspired, no doubt, by all the polling suggesting people think cuts are needed - and already backtracking.

You'd expect them to oppose the Blairite security state - that's what they're there for. But in every other respect they seem to be trying to nudge in between Labour and Tory, though their best results came under Kennedy, when they cast themselves to Labour's left.

Don't wanna over-personalise it, but can't stand Clegg, who just sounds like Cameron with a more middle-England accent. Vince, otoh, got the props.

owengriffiths
22-09-2009, 01:37 PM
Suicidal organisation who got rid of kennedy for a man named Ming. On the face of things Clegg seems to be an interim leader who is just there unitl someone better comes round.

Nevertheless I don't get why the electorate never vote for them, presumably because "they've no chance of winning anyway", vicious cycle foolishness. At the end of the day give a party 10 years in power and eventually everyone will hate them. You may be gagging for Cameron to be elected next year, but surely you can remember that you voted out the Tories in the 90's for the same reason- vice versa with labour supporters. Whereas the last time the Liberal Democrats fucked up was 80 years ago. They should have got much more votes in recent years. As an aside, 7/7 would have probably happened anyway, but voting Labour & Conservative back in was very risky.

But could it be that they are a small organisation and don't have the people/ resources to properly contest every constituency? I would be surprised if this were the case though, but perhaps it's what people are thinking.

crackerjack
22-09-2009, 01:40 PM
Suicidal organisation who got rid of kennedy for a man named Ming. On the face of things Clegg seems to be an interim leader who is just there unitl someone better comes round.

Clegg was chosen cos he was the closest they had to a Blair/Cameron fresh face and the furthest possible away from MIng.

scottdisco
22-09-2009, 01:50 PM
Don't really know what Orange Book libertarians means, but the Lib Dems are just socially liberal, nothing libertarian about their economic policies. Don't get where they're going under Clegg - Labour are weak, so move/stay left to take their ground. Makes sense, right? Instead they're moving right, alienating and pissing off their public sector voters with "savage cuts" - inspired, no doubt, by all the polling suggesting people think cuts are needed - and already backtracking.

You'd expect them to oppose the Blairite security state - that's what they're there for. But in every other respect they seem to be trying to nudge in between Labour and Tory, though their best results came under Kennedy, when they cast themselves to Labour's left.

Don't wanna over-personalise it, but can't stand Clegg, who just sounds like Cameron with a more middle-England accent. Vince, otoh, got the props.

cheers for this folks, good answers and over-views so far. Crackerjack, you're quite right, "libertarian" from me is the height of political illiteracy, i will scratch it.

fair to say i won't be getting any work with Cato any time soon ;)

i meant to say i am giving the Wiki on same the benefit of the doubt when they wrote


In the book the group offers liberal solutions – often stressing the role of the free market – to several societal issues, such as health, pensions, environment, globalisation, social and agricultural policy, local government, the European Union and prisons. It is usually seen as the most economically liberal book the Liberal Democrats have produced in recent times. Such, along with its impact upon the party, it has helped cause the dividing line within the party: those who advocate a restricted market observing social democratic values and those (such as authors, contributors and supporters of the Orange Book) who advocate a free market.

economic liberals yes, maybe, but when i recall the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts proposed scrapping all taxes at the last US election i think it's fair to say i've just failed my Politics A/S.

incidentally, does anyone else think Cameron and Clegg bear more than a slight passing resemblance?
i look forward to seeing them on the same SKY News podium..

crackerjack
22-09-2009, 03:00 PM
Oops (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6844322.ece)

slightly crooked
22-09-2009, 07:44 PM
is any likelihood of an LD schism in the future between the classical liberals in their ranks and the social liberals?

They just don't really seem the type for bitter feuds between disparate elements of the party, do they? Mind you, there certainly is an element of tension between the liberal and social-democratic aspects of the party (a legacy of their formation from the old Alliance, perhaps?)

The thing is, they also face a bit of a conundrum in terms of electoral strategy. Much of their recent (comparative) electoral success has been at the expense of the Tories. This leaves them with many MPs representing areas with large numbers of middle-class voters in areas like Richmond, Kingston or Winchester, who are likely to be vulnerable to Cameron's resurgent Conservatives and so rather nervous about any leftward moves (this might be the cause of some of the revolt over taxing high-value properties). But, future gains are far more likely to be due to picking up disillusioned Labour supporters for whom guarantees of levels of public service would be attractive.

So, they have to find a way to appeal to left-leaning voters without causing uproar amongst many of their MPs who are scared for their future. The sort of thing that requires well thought out policies and strong leadership - not really something that springs to mind when you think of Nick Clegg...

bassnation
23-09-2009, 09:08 AM
Suicidal organisation who got rid of kennedy for a man named Ming. On the face of things Clegg seems to be an interim leader who is just there unitl someone better comes round.

Nevertheless I don't get why the electorate never vote for them, presumably because "they've no chance of winning anyway", vicious cycle foolishness. At the end of the day give a party 10 years in power and eventually everyone will hate them. You may be gagging for Cameron to be elected next year, but surely you can remember that you voted out the Tories in the 90's for the same reason- vice versa with labour supporters. Whereas the last time the Liberal Democrats fucked up was 80 years ago. They should have got much more votes in recent years. As an aside, 7/7 would have probably happened anyway, but voting Labour & Conservative back in was very risky.

But could it be that they are a small organisation and don't have the people/ resources to properly contest every constituency? I would be surprised if this were the case though, but perhaps it's what people are thinking.

you make a valid point that they are all shit and essentially uk democracy boils down to being able to give the incumbents a kick up the arse every four years.

but the lib dems are not that great to be honest. the main problem is with them is that they will say or do anything and pretend to be all things to all men. hence the poisonous and racist tower hamlets campaign amongst other things.
http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/sr168/nineham.htm

scottdisco
23-09-2009, 10:33 AM
The thing is, they also face a bit of a conundrum in terms of electoral strategy. Much of their recent (comparative) electoral success has been at the expense of the Tories. This leaves them with many MPs representing areas with large numbers of middle-class voters in areas like Richmond, Kingston or Winchester, who are likely to be vulnerable to Cameron's resurgent Conservatives and so rather nervous about any leftward moves (this might be the cause of some of the revolt over taxing high-value properties). But, future gains are far more likely to be due to picking up disillusioned Labour supporters for whom guarantees of levels of public service would be attractive.

cheers, a very good point.


you make a valid point that they are all shit and essentially uk democracy boils down to being able to give the incumbents a kick up the arse every four years.

but the lib dems are not that great to be honest. the main problem is with them is that they will say or do anything and pretend to be all things to all men. hence the poisonous and racist tower hamlets campaign amongst other things.
http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/sr168/nineham.htm

tbf i'd like to think the LDs of today have learnt lessons from that wicked time; i mean, i don't think they're all going to go around making homophobia a set-piece if it suits them these days as Simon Hughes once did against Tatchell in Bermondsey.

have you got anything a bit more recent?

full disclosure: i am not a LD supporter or anything in any way, etc, so hardly interested in sticking up for them as such, did vote for them in a local once mind (there has to be tactical round my way sometimes).

bassnation
23-09-2009, 10:48 AM
cheers, a very good point.



tbf i'd like to think the LDs of today have learnt lessons from that wicked time; i mean, i don't think they're all going to go around making homophobia a set-piece if it suits them these days as Simon Hughes once did against Tatchell in Bermondsey.

have you got anything a bit more recent?

full disclosure: i am not a LD supporter or anything in any way, etc, so hardly interested in sticking up for them as such, did vote for them in a local once mind (there has to be tactical round my way sometimes).

i don't forgive political parties for campaigning on homophobic or racist grounds. its not like its ancient history - in particular the simon hughes thing was only a few years ago.

to be fair to them, they were the only anti war party and i like vince cable. but they've long been known to campaign vociferously on local issues, which is all well and good, but i'm in agreement with the recent guardian article (which i am struggling to find) that argues that while such strategies play well with voters in the short term, really many of the issues that people care about are national in nature - for example ending the postcode lottery on health provision etc.

scottdisco
23-09-2009, 11:03 AM
fair enough re the racism/homophobia and i am sympathetic to the local/national split argument you echo w the Guardian.

i know Tatchell forgave Hughes although the details of what happened in Bermondsey back then are indeed vicious (http://www.petertatchell.net/politics/simonhughes.htm).

incidentally that link worth clicking on for the final paragraph as Tatchell makes an interesting point - see myself up-thread - about the Orange Book LDs.
The Wiki notes


Beside Laws and Marshall, the contributors include Vincent Cable, Nick Clegg, Edward Davey, Chris Huhne, Susan Kramer, Mark Oaten and Steve Webb.

i must admit Oaten was the only LD i've had time for in recent years and that boiled down to - when he was their Home brief - him speaking in sensible, humane terms about asylum seekers, economic migrants and so on, as opposed to the populist, xenophobic garbage seeping out from Labour or the Tories.

craner
23-09-2009, 12:31 PM
A head-shakingly hopeless shower of a party. Their boldest move being the Orange Book: that common sense, obvious, but also desperate and venal attempt by right-ish liberals to reclaim the mantle of...Locke and Mill! A combination of pygmy Hayeks and soft focus-filtered corporatists led by Vince Cable, himself a sort of neutered, parochial, small-time Heseltine.

Another bold move they are now famous for is, of course, the time Lembit Opik cheated on Maesteg weather girl Sian Lloyd with one of the Cheeky Girls. I actually saw Opik scything down Whitehall once and he did actually have “the vision thing” – the weird look that intra-Westminster intrigue and obssession gives these elected fuckers. (One thing I like about Peter Hain is that he avoids it by retaining an honest glare of big Cat hunger in his eyes. David Blunkett avoids it altogther by being blind.)

This is a party that was at its most dynamic and relevant when it was a vehicle for Paddy Ashdown. At its most charming when putting on a brave face during Charles Kennedy's Scotch-on-the-Caledonian-Sleeper blues and subsequent rim-eyed crack-up laced with gallows humour bad jokes. They were at their most worthless when lead from the front by that self-infatuated pensioner Ming Campbell, who spent most of his time making pathetic paw-scratches at the Iraq war so somebody (a moo-ing Question Time audience member? The Independent ’s editorial board?) would forgive him for deposing the alcoholic game show star.They were at their most loathsome and laughable when they finally pushed that over-ripe dauphin over the edge of the conference stage only to replace him with a...Cameron clone! And weren’t they lucky to find him.

Who? Who the fuck am I even talking about? What is the existential role of Nick Clegg? He has even less of a reason for being a minister than Cameron who has even less of a reason for being a Prime Minister than Blair did who, until God got involved, was a pure politician, a political gamer.

None of this would matter if they had a clear or indentifiable political programme or persuasion or base. As it is, the LD political class is even more distanced from its activists (it only really has activists, rather than grassroots or core voters) than Labour or the Tories. And you can’t really blame them – in fact, if you’ve ever come across LD activists, you can understand why they keep a distance. A strange, cultish, evangelical brand of political enthusiast, they give me the creeps too.

With their founding pedigree (the talented streams that converged at the creation) and the rich tradition that their name gives them access to, the Liberal Democrats should be producing our Whigs or maybe a Gladstone. Sadly for them, Peter Mandelson is already an epitome of Whig; perhaps the most perfect possible contemporary Whig. And Blair was our Gladstone. Unless he was our Disraeli. (Or a mixture of both, with each tendency corroding the other.)

bassnation
23-09-2009, 12:50 PM
A head-shakingly hopeless shower of a party. Their boldest move being the Orange Book: that common sense, obvious, but also desperate and venal attempt by right-ish liberals to reclaim the mantle of...Locke and Mill! A combination of pygmy Hayeks and soft focus-filtered corporatists led by Vince Cable, himself a sort of neutered, parochial, small-time Heseltine.

i don't understand why you think the uk needs another centre right party - its hardly as if there's a deficit of politicians in the middle ground is there? its a dreadful idea and an affront to democracy and proper, real representation when all the parties trot out the same tired old thatcherite policies. thats the entire reason why i haven't voted for the last two general elections.


Another bold move they are now famous for is, of course, the time Lembit Opik cheated on Maesteg weather girl Sian Lloyd with one of the Cheeky Girls.

lucky bastard, thats all i can say. he is pretty weird though.

craner
23-09-2009, 12:53 PM
i don't understand why you think the uk needs another centre right party - its hardly as if there's a deficit of politicians in the middle ground is there? its a dreadful idea and an affront to democracy and proper, real representation when all the parties trot out the same tired old thatcherite policies. thats the entire reason why i haven't voted for the last two general elections.


I don't particularly. I wasn't advocating a thing, merely dissecting a position.


Quote:
Originally Posted by craner
Another bold move they are now famous for is, of course, the time Lembit Opik cheated on Maesteg weather girl Sian Lloyd with one of the Cheeky Girls.

lucky bastard, thats all i can say. he is pretty weird though.

Hmm, I dunno. I thought that was pretty gross all round.

bassnation
23-09-2009, 12:56 PM
Hmm, I dunno. I thought that was pretty gross all round.

are you mad? lembit doesn't do it for me though, i have to say - that lopsided crazy face. he really is a bizarre eccentric.

scottdisco
23-09-2009, 01:08 PM
beautifully put assessment of this mob Oliver.
as the old line goes, they couldn't run a bath.

i must admit i haven't read this Orange Book i'm slagging off but there again i don't want to.

knee-jerk a priori personal of me (which is a bad thing, i know) but Vince Cable's time at Royal Dutch Shell means he would have to work extra hard before he was endearing politically.

vimothy
23-09-2009, 01:14 PM
all the parties trot out the same tired old thatcherite policies.

Is this actually true?

bassnation
23-09-2009, 02:37 PM
Is this actually true?

if we are talking in terms of the three main parties, i'd love you to enlighten me on which is socialist or even eschews economic liberalism.

vimothy
23-09-2009, 03:13 PM
So there's only one dimension along which parties compete, and that's economic? And furthermore, there are only two choices: "economic liberalism" or socialism?

bassnation
23-09-2009, 03:36 PM
So there's only one dimension along which parties compete, and that's economic? And furthermore, there are only two choices: "economic liberalism" or socialism?

i don't pretend to be an expert in politics or economics, but i don't feel that any of the parties represent me in any shape or form, and i'm far from alone in feeling that.

bassnation
23-09-2009, 03:38 PM
So there's only one dimension along which parties compete, and that's economic? And furthermore, there are only two choices: "economic liberalism" or socialism?

and yes, what i want is a proper socialist alternative, and i want to see the working class represented once again (cf the rise of the bnp). so what do you want?

vimothy
23-09-2009, 03:48 PM
A nice cup of tea.

vimothy
23-09-2009, 03:56 PM
Anyway, aren't there (IIRC) quite a few socialist and communist parties already?

Mr. Tea
23-09-2009, 04:06 PM
So what do people reckon on matters other than the economy?

Specifically, do either of the other main parties offer much of an alternative to the hegemonic New Labour brand of patronising nanny-state 'liberalism' combined with ever-encroaching authoritarianism? "Five portions a day keeos Osama away!" I mean, excluding those states with unarguably totalitarian regimes, has any government ever lectured, snooped on or interfered with the populace quite as much as our current overlords?

And could we expect a susbtantially different mode of relationship between government and public with either a) the Lib Dems or b) the Tories in charge?

BTW that's not a rhetorical question, I'm genuinely interested to know the thoughts of people on here who keep a bit more up-to-date on politics than I do (which wouldn't be difficult).

craner
23-09-2009, 04:06 PM
A nice cup of tea.

With the Taliban?

Mr. Tea
23-09-2009, 04:22 PM
You know who else drank tea?

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EaglesNest/Photos2007/HitlerTable.jpg

HITLER!

massrock
23-09-2009, 04:29 PM
And he died!

Mr. Tea
23-09-2009, 04:32 PM
And he died!

Well that's the official story...

crackerjack
23-09-2009, 04:36 PM
You know who else drank tea?

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EaglesNest/Photos2007/HitlerTable.jpg

HITLER!

looks more like he drank water by the vase

vimothy
23-09-2009, 04:37 PM
Specifically, do either of the other main parties offer much of an alternative to the hegemonic New Labour brand of patronising nanny-state 'liberalism' combined with ever-encroaching authoritarianism?

I dunno. That's not very specific. I do know that there are lots of problems with pomo terrorism (a la AQ) for the current (international and domestic) legal regimes... Not much of an answer, perhaps.

Mr. Tea
23-09-2009, 05:00 PM
Well obviously there is a Terror Threat, no-one who's not an idiot would deny that. But it's highly debatable as to whether current WOT tactics - certainly on the domestic front - are tackling this in the best way or achieving a desirable payoff ratio between fighting terror and infringing civil liberties/damaging community relations/fuelling the extremism that leads to terrorism in the first place.

I mean, come on, I'm hardly the first person to say this, or the most expert...

vimothy
23-09-2009, 05:15 PM
Yeah, I'm aware that there are criticisms, and that many of these criticisms are valid (some of them, like Sir Michael Howard's famous essay (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/57615/michael-howard/whats-in-a-name-how-to-fight-terrorism), are truly excellent). But I think that one problem is that when you talk in such general terms it's very hard to judge properly. "Creeping authoritarianism for little objective gain". No, that doesn't sound very appealing to me either. On the other hand, e.g., maintaining rigid separation between intelligence agencies to limit their power is good from the perspective of civil liberties, but can have unfortunate side effects given the nature of modern war/terrorism (cf 9/11). Or, how exactly should the law allow for legal intercept of communications given their now digital form (i.e. no longer occuring from one point in one jurisdiction to another)?

scottdisco
23-09-2009, 10:34 PM
The British in their time have fought many such "wars" -- in Palestine, in Ireland, in Cyprus, and in Malaya (modern-day Malaysia), to mention only a few. But they never called them wars; they called them "emergencies." This terminology meant that the police and intelligence services were provided with exceptional powers and were reinforced where necessary by the armed forces, but they continued to operate within a peacetime framework of civilian authority. If force had to be used, it was at a minimal level and so far as possible did not interrupt the normal tenor of civil life. The objectives were to isolate the terrorists from the rest of the community and to cut them off from external sources of supply. The terrorists were not dignified with the status of belligerents: they were criminals, to be regarded as such by the general public and treated as such by the authorities.

The Troubles - total dead according to Wiki page: 3524


EOKA's main target as stated both in its initiation oath and its initial declaration of existence was the British military. In total during the campaign EOKA engaged in 1,144 armed clashes with the British Army. About 53% of clashes took place in urban areas, whilst the rest (47%) took place in rural areas.[8]
During the course of the insurrection a total of 105 [13] British servicemen were killed and 51 members of the police.[14]


Killed: 1,346 Malayan troops and police
519 British military personnel
Wounded: 2,406 Malayan and British troops/police
Civilian casualties: 2,478 killed, 810 missing

Killed: Malayan Communist Troops 6,710
Wounded: 1,289
Captured: 1,287
Surrendered: 2,702

war on drugs, war on poverty,
war on terror?

bassnation
23-09-2009, 11:48 PM
Anyway, aren't there (IIRC) quite a few socialist and communist parties already?

none of those parties have traction with the working class. but those people are in need of representation from one of the main parties, and they aren't getting it. you imply the left has no support, and the hegemony of the centre right is a measure of them winning the argument. if thats the case then why does the turnout get lower every year. the left needs to concern itself with the poor once again.

scottdisco
24-09-2009, 11:21 AM
does anyone think time in exile for Labour will move them left? a nice thought that Old Labour bods like Mark Fisher might get enough critical mass to try and force direction a bit away from the Millbank tendency, but i doubt it. still, you never know.

i was going to go rambling about the WoT and where i quote Howard (ta Vim) was to be the first in a series of epic posts but, er, i got distracted by my chip barm and sausage l/nite.
anyway Vim says it all really.
incidentally, point three in this splendid BobFromBrockley post re the Lucozade plot (http://brockley.blogspot.com/2009/09/lessons-of-lucozade-plot.html) is worth a read.

scottdisco
24-09-2009, 12:37 PM
from a UK pov apart from avoiding some of the govt's worst excesses like 42 days don't see what much difference a Tory or LD govt would've made in recent years, when you get down to the essentials, really.

the other two would certainly not have been as heavy-handed on protest, surely, but sad, unfortunate episodes like the June '06 Forest Gate raids would have happened regardless, i bet, if only because our security services are relatively underfunded and juggling so many plates.

platitudes, granted, but i shall be interested to see if the Tories keep listening to daft codgers in the MCB and treating UK 'Muslims' as a monolithic bloc, as Labour have so often done.

the only sure thing is w ex-FCO Arabists like Alastair Crooke doing PR for HAMAS around the globe all responsible govts are going to be shaking a lot more unpleasant hands in the future i guess

bassnation
24-09-2009, 12:53 PM
the only sure thing is w ex-FCO Arabists like Alastair Crooke doing PR for HAMAS around the globe all responsible govts are going to be shaking a lot more unpleasant hands in the future i guess

the uk government never had a problem shaking the hand of benjamin netanyahu and all the other war mongers on the other side, so whats the difference?

scottdisco
24-09-2009, 12:56 PM
the uk government never had a problem shaking the hand of benjamin netanyahu and all the other war mongers on the other side, so whats the difference?

i wasn't making a value judgment TBF, just analysing

scottdisco
24-09-2009, 02:46 PM
some splendid speeches at the UN, the Colonel on swine flu is first class.

crackerjack
24-09-2009, 04:36 PM
so this guy thinks the lib dems have a shiny happy future (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/anatole_kaletsky/article6846599.ece). think he's talking arse myself, but just thought i'd lay it out for all to see

scottdisco
24-09-2009, 05:57 PM
it's almost like watching Tony Wilson trying to shoe-horn disparate musical events into his 'every seven years' theory or whatever the heck it was.

bring forward the Milwaukee McDonald's vouchers, eh, Anatole?!

scottdisco
27-09-2009, 12:05 PM
But just because the Labour dream is over, that doesn't mean the dreams of those who supported them have died. So where can those people turn to now?
...
That same spirit should exist between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in other areas, too. That's because on so many progressive issues, there is strong agreement between our parties.

one progressive addresses another (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/20/david-cameron-libdems-tory-alliance)

hucks
27-09-2009, 12:42 PM
It's difficult to know where to start, but is it really excessively 1980s to point out that a guy who went to Eton, and is 9 months from becoming Prime Minister with a cabinet stuffed with Old Etonians might be the wrong person to lecture anyone on social mobility? It's like Sting's missus flying round the world by private jet to tell us all to cut carbon emissions.

scottdisco
27-09-2009, 01:30 PM
shush now! Dave is hoping you wouldn't mention that.

it's that sort of thing that made this David Mitchell article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/13/david-cameron-election-david-mitchell/print) so accurate on Cameron.


Unlike Labour who, says Cameron, can barely "bring themselves to say the word 'cut'", he's all about the tough choices. Last week, he announced that he's going to slash ministerial salaries and MPs' perks. Wow! What a tough choice! People will hate that but it's got to be done! That's the kind of non-crowd-pleasing statesmanship that will save the nation.

He admits it'll only be a "pinprick compared to the total amounts of money" that the government will need to save, but what a courageous place to start.

[...]

The solution is to tighten expenses rules but pay MPs more, but that's a difficult argument to win and politicians would have to be brighter to do it, particularly after they've all been caught pilfering House of Commons toiletries.

Ultimately, it's not in Cameron's interests. He doesn't need the money – many Tories don't. Lower pay and cutting things like each MP's communications allowance, which they'll then have to find from political funds, will always tend to benefit the right wing, the advocates of the rich. What sounds like selfless parsimony for those who aspire to govern translates as voicelessness for people without private wealth or contacts in big business. It turns out he's not stupid.

(about half way in Mitchell nails him with 'deft but hollow the measure of the man'.)

crackerjack
27-09-2009, 01:57 PM
It's difficult to know where to start, but is it really excessively 1980s to point out that a guy who went to Eton, and is 9 months from becoming Prime Minister with a cabinet stuffed with Old Etonians might be the wrong person to lecture anyone on social mobility? It's like Sting's missus flying round the world by private jet to tell us all to cut carbon emissions.

No, no, he acknowledged that in a speech a while back so the issue's done and dusted and if you bring it up you're not interested in social mobility, just perpetuating class war. Like people who complain about raising Inheritance Tax threshold to £1m.


it's that sort of thing that made this David Mitchell article so accurate on Cameron.


Indeed. It worked though - I thought the Tories had it tough between 97-02 but the soft ride they're getting now is outdoing even Blair's long honeymoon.

hucks
27-09-2009, 05:22 PM
No, no, he acknowledged that in a speech a while back so the issue's done and dusted and if you bring it up you're not interested in social mobility, just perpetuating class war. Like people who complain about raising Inheritance Tax threshold to £1m.


Was that the speech where he said he knew what a bad education would be like because he'd had such a good one? It's like saying you know what it's like to be poor because you are, in fact, rich. Hang on, it's not like that at all - it actually is that

LoraHup
03-12-2009, 03:16 PM
There is no doubt that a section of the British people are becoming extremely averse with the Islamic religion primarily due to the terrorism issue. However, it is a tiny minority adn no more than Islamic fundamentalists that want to bring about an Islamic state all over Europe.

In this day and age I doubt very much that history from the first part of last century can be repeated in a democratic Europe. However, only god knows what will happen in the next 20-30 yrs. If it does happen very unlikely then it will usher in a new world war and destruction of mankind.

Thats what I think anyways.