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Thread: The British Liberal Democrats

  1. #31
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    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...
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  2. #32

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    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, 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)?
    Last edited by vimothy; 23-09-2009 at 04:32 PM.

  3. #33
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    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?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    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.

  5. #35
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    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 is worth a read.
    Last edited by scottdisco; 24-09-2009 at 10:24 AM. Reason: ah

  6. #36
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    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

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdisco View Post
    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?

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassnation View Post
    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

  9. #39
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    some splendid speeches at the UN, the Colonel on swine flu is first class.

  10. #40
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    so this guy thinks the lib dems have a shiny happy future. think he's talking arse myself, but just thought i'd lay it out for all to see

  11. #41
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    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?!

  12. #42
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    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

  13. #43
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    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.

  14. #44
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    shush now! Dave is hoping you wouldn't mention that.

    it's that sort of thing that made this David Mitchell article 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'.)

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by hucks View Post
    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.

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