The British Liberal Democrats

bassnation

the abyss
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?
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
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).
 

vimothy

yurp
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

Shub-Niggurath, Please
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

yurp
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)?
 
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scottdisco

rip this joint please
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

the abyss
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

rip this joint please
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.
 
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scottdisco

rip this joint please
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

the abyss
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?
 
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