UK Election non-frenzy

craner

Beast of Burden
How would Miliband answer that?

"Now let me answer you directly...what is your name? Sally? Sally. Let me answer you directly, Sally. We did not 'blow' people up..."

NI politicians are now squabbling about a referendum...not about the EU, but about same-sex marriage. This is more heated than the mainland EU scrap. Religion poisons everything, to quote somebody.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
McGuiness just quoted Ghandi, in a debate about welfare spending. Unreal! This is Balkans politics. Different level.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Miliband was fatally compromised to deny that Labour ever overspent.

He could perhaps have admitted that Brown overspent, but pointed out that what he primarily overspent on was outrageous bailouts for the banks that caused the crisis, not free pedicures for teenage single mums and six-bed houses for asylum seekers, as the Tories and Tory press continue to insist.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
In any case, isn't abundantly clear by now that the problem is, and always has been, under-taxation rather than overspending?
 

you

Well-known member
Absolutely ANYTHING that could in any way compromise businesses' ability to make AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE ALL THE TIME is LITERALLY STALINISM.

This ties in with the old Jameson/Zizek thought that it's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism... cue grad student marxist reading of any hollywood film.

However, there is something in this, frankly, and, now look now, let me be direct here. Up and down the country there is an increasing complacency with the capitalisation of things that shouldn't be. For the last four years pretty much all Labour and Tory rhetoric about education has been about future jobs, competitiveness, growth.... not education for educations sake, for culture etc (even though education was generally born from organised religion in the west.... but whatevs). You see the same complacency with the NHS. Free at point of 'Service', 'customers' targets... even Labour's fetishistic obsession with the quantification of care smacks of Virgin Media sales strategies. It's almost as if that in order to 'sell' more socialist prospects (increased spend in education or healthcare) to the electorate then the message has to take the form of some oxbridge stuttered apprentice style sales pitch.
 
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crackerjack

Well-known member
I don't think it is bullshit. I think there are plenty of people who do follow their gut when they get to the booth. I also think there are many who choose not to disclose their intentions, and they tend to vote conservative witho ut actually being Tories. I reckon that vote will have its biggest moment since 1992, and still be a squeak. But, crucially, enough.

From what I read, the 'shy Tory' vote hasn't been a thing since 1992 – not just less so, but not at all . Peter Kellner even maintains it wasn't a thing then, but that pollsters were all basing weightings on 1981 census and hadn't taken proper account of the rise in well-off manual workers.

But who knows. We find out tomorrow. But it you think a Tory majority is likely you should get a very large bet on right now.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I don't think I will, as I'm out knocking doors for the opposition tomorrow, it would feel a bit dodgy. Still stick with my hunch, my instinct, though. It's more that, than a prediction. I hope I'm wrong.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Just because it hasn't been a thing since 1992, doesn't mean it won't be a thing in 2015. I am amazed by the confidence in data you all show.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
This ties in with the old Jameson/Zizek thought that it's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism... cue grad student marxist reading of any hollywood film.

However, there is something in this, frankly, and, now look now, let me be direct here. Up and down the country there is an increasing complacency with the capitalisation of things that shouldn't be. For the last four years pretty much all Labour and Tory rhetoric about education has been about future jobs, competitiveness, growth.... not education for educations sake, for culture etc (even though education was generally born from organised religion in the west.... but whatevs). You see the same complacency with the NHS. Free at point of 'Service', 'customers' targets... even Labour's fetishistic obsession with the quantification of care smacks of Virgin Media sales strategies. It's almost as if that in order to 'sell' more socialist prospects (increased spend in education or healthcare) to the electorate then the message has to take the form of some oxbridge stuttered apprentice style sales pitch.

This is one of those things where you really can't fit a knife blade between any of the main parties - indeed it was Nu Labour under Blair that really pioneered this in its modern form, AFAIR. (Although perhaps it was already underway during the Thatcher/Major years and I was too young to pick up on it, I dunno.)

And as a rule I try to reject the lazy assertions of "they're all the same" - even if they are far too similar for any voter who actually wants something substantially different from just an alternative flavour of neoliberalism.
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
Have you been out on the doorstep, CJ? What's your impression, if so?

I have, but not enough to form an overall impression (this election has coincided with my busiest period of freelancing for 2 years).

I'm surprised by your data scepticism. The value, it seems to me, is not in isolated polls but in the average. Even the phone polls (which have had Lab about 3.5 behind for a week) are closing now (see ICM today).

What confuses me is that, despite the even polls, betting markets and projection experts are still predicting Tories to get most seats by about 15-20. For 10 years wisdom has had it that Con needs a 3pt lead to equal Lab in seats. Now they're saying it's reversed. Scotland obviously accounts for a lot of that, but not all.

I'm also concerned that quite a few Lab pundits (several NS staffers, for instance) have a twinge of doom in their tweets. So where the fuck has our inbuilt seats advantage gone?
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
Just because it hasn't been a thing since 1992, doesn't mean it won't be a thing in 2015.

Different times, different political culture. In 92, people were thinking of tax bombshells – they were voting Tory out of fear and self-interest. Now there's a lot of visceral hatred of Labour. They crashed the economy, the mess they left us in blah blah blah (not to mention the millions of people suddenly expert in the gold markets). People aren't shy about saying they hate us.
 

you

Well-known member
This is one of those things where you really can't fit a knife blade between any of the main parties - indeed it was Nu Labour under Blair that really pioneered this in its modern form, AFAIR. (Although perhaps it was already underway during the Thatcher/Major years and I was too young to pick up on it, I dunno.)

Yah, before Blair. But he continued the ideology in many ways.

Stewart Lee points this thought out nicely here -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDEZ2h41t0I

Although I don't agree with him totally.

His use of 'trickle down' is wrong for me. Because today there is a decreasing amount of inter-demographic influence (the internet forum cliquery is an exemplary register of this).

He also suggests that artists and thinkers pose some sort of political or social threat and that they have been repressed via a conscious political motive. I think this is far too positive. I don't think there was any robbing or repression of political agency, I question if it ever existed in the first instance. The withdrawal of funds from the arts and education was never about politics, I think it was just first on the chopping block as an economical necessity. The arts and education were always a luxury (a luxury necessary for an equal and rounded society of course - I agree with Lee here though he may not like to think of it as a luxury) - that sad prospect is that the UK is a small becoming poorer european island that is increasingly dependent on wealth from other countries. We see this in the shift of the art market from being a London hub of creativity to being just a detail on the global art buyers itinerary. We will never have our own salons again, we'll just hold warehouses full of other's art for other's to buy (to put it in quite nationalistic terms). We see the same poverty of culture in pop. Gone are the days of local scenes, we just have a few high value brands whose only reason for finding success in the UK is to be a primer for breaking the US market. TV is not in quite as dire a state to be fair.

Going back to Ed. I'm surprised he hasn't refuted the Labour/Brown over borrow criticism more - or in a different way than the way he did on question time. Yes Brown over borrowed. But the crash was a global economic phenomena, not some domestically created problem. It started in the US and hit the UK the next day. It is quite separate from Brown's borrowing in many ways. Though it could be argued that Brown should've done the opposite in the wake of the crash. The Tories have continued to increase borrowing too (iirc, correct me if im wrong) but with a severe austerity plan too. Of course growth targets for the Tories have not been hit. So, Ed should argue that the Tories are borrowing, making a similar mistake as Brown to some degree, but with a too severe austerity plan that is not being rewarded because their own growth plan is failing. Brown had little chance of relying on growth (which is why his borrowing was so absurd). The tories had a chance and they mis-planned it. Get the growth right and borrowing is less of an issue - PLUS credit rating could've been maintained if growth was managed better.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
All good points - to say nothing of the fact that not only has the coalition had to borrow far more than Brown did, the money is now more expensive since the UK lost its AAA credit rating - keeping which was something Osborne considered important enough to be worth impoverishing and immiserating millions of people for.

I don't know how anyone can still take the concept of an entire economy's "credit rating" even remotely seriously, when you consider Greece had its AAA rating renewed even while it was an open secret that the country was fucking brassic.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
This was satire in the 1990s:


Is there a word for that specific phenomenon whereby something that was once intended as a parody ends up being made redundant by reality itself getting more and more ridiculous? I think I might have heard it called the 'Nathan Barley effect', or similar.
 
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