Print Story What is going on in UK politics?
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By xth (Tue May 05, 2009 at 07:32:37 AM EST) (all tags)
"Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, has disclosed that senior Labour members told him they were prepared to leave the party because they fear it could lurch to the Left."
Source

No, really.


"Fear it could lurch to the left"???? Labour was MEANT to be a party of the left.

And what are the Lib Dems doing, the last mainstream (I use the term loosely) party with some leftists policies, consorting with the right wing of the right-wing government party?

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What is going on in UK politics? | 52 comments (52 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Deep down by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue May 05, 2009 at 07:45:05 AM EST
...the Labour Party seems to have always wanted people to be in groups and has difficulty in regarding them as individuals. The Liberal Democrats seem to balance the individual freedom that the Conservative Party wants without being absolutely barking with respect to the heavy handedness with respect to Law and Order, blindness with respect to business morality etc etc.

I'm not really certain you can regard the Liberal Democrats as a truly left wing party; they're left of center but not so much as to scare everyone off.


Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
'Left of centre' is all we've got by xth (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue May 05, 2009 at 07:58:47 AM EST
but even that seems to have become 'right of centre, but slightly less far to the right than all the other parties'.

I am very surprised there are no parties trying to cash in on many people's fear of a 'big brother state'. You'd think that would be a good topic for the Lib Dems to try and get some exposure and some following. Instead, nothing.

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[ Parent ]
The freedom bill sets out the means to do that by rdskutter (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue May 05, 2009 at 08:06:02 AM EST
Rolling back survelience and civil rights abuses:

http://freedom.libdems.org.uk/the-freedom-bill/full-text-of-the-freedom-bill/

"BEEN A BIT CARELESS HAVEN'T WE" - Mr Death
[ Parent ]
Note to self: do your research first by xth (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue May 05, 2009 at 08:25:31 AM EST
That looks good. It's not something I immediately associate with them though, as always the Lib Dems need to get their message across more loudly.

And I suppose the old 'what do the Lib Dems stand for' issue hasn't gone away - if you hate foregners you immediately think BNP, if you hate the EU you think UKIP, but the Lib Dems aren't associated with anything specific other than 'slightly fluffier than the rest'

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[ Parent ]
Well what do Nu Labia stand for? by rdskutter (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed May 06, 2009 at 09:56:00 AM EST
What do the Tories stand for?


"BEEN A BIT CARELESS HAVEN'T WE" - Mr Death
[ Parent ]
IMHO by xth (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed May 06, 2009 at 10:10:11 AM EST
New Labour: running a country like a company, sucking up to big money.
Tories: the same, done by toffs.

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[ Parent ]
Wrong: by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:00:29 PM EST
New Labour: running a country like a bankrupted company, eliminating historic civil liberties, sucking up to big money, snouts in the trough.
Tory: running a country like a ruthless cost cutting company, sucking up to big money, good quality suits.


[ Parent ]
I noticed... by xth (4.00 / 1) #31 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:14:47 PM EST
'eliminating historic civil liberties' is not listed under Tories.

as if.


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[ Parent ]
The only thing I can think of straight off the bat by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:17:10 PM EST
Was the CJA right to assemble.

By comparison, Labour have made the Tories look amateurs in reducing civil liberties.  Labour have even instigated thought crime laws, after all.


[ Parent ]
yes, but if the tories had been in power by xth (4.00 / 1) #34 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:21:28 PM EST
during the 'war on terror', do you think they wouldn't have come up with the same sort of civil liberties (s)crap New Labour did?

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[ Parent ]
Probably not. Maybe they would have. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:41:05 PM EST
But they weren't in power were they?

I see this argument a lot from leftits - "the Tories would be worse" rather than trying to defend Labour's indefensible policies.


[ Parent ]
Leftists I mean by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #36 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:41:45 PM EST
Although "leftits" has a certain appeal to it.


[ Parent ]
but why would leftits want to defend new labour? by xth (2.00 / 0) #37 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:51:25 PM EST
new labour is no longer a left wing party, so why should leftists be the ones defending it?

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[ Parent ]
Not as left as it once was by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:57:00 PM EST
`But left enough I think.

See yicky's comment on here for details...


[ Parent ]
Well it's all relative by xth (4.00 / 1) #39 Wed May 06, 2009 at 01:11:13 PM EST
to a libertarian any mainstream western party looks left wing.

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[ Parent ]
Would the tories have called it a 'war on terror'? by rdskutter (2.00 / 0) #47 Thu May 07, 2009 at 08:08:58 AM EST
Countless years of actual IRA terrorism never got such a label

"BEEN A BIT CARELESS HAVEN'T WE" - Mr Death
[ Parent ]
Was it really the govenrment decision by xth (2.00 / 0) #48 Thu May 07, 2009 at 09:40:32 AM EST
or that of their American masters? And would it matter which party was in power?

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[ Parent ]
International Troubles by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #49 Thu May 07, 2009 at 09:44:33 AM EST
Or maybe Islamist Troubles?

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Careful by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:05:09 PM EST
You'll upset the resident lefty's with your non-serious nomenclature of our beloved ruling party there.

You sound about as disillusioned with the health of our democracy as I am.


[ Parent ]
I've never voted for the party that won by rdskutter (2.00 / 0) #51 Thu May 14, 2009 at 09:02:44 AM EST
So, yeah, I am pissed off, because the majority of the other voters are stupid and vote for what they know because they fear change.

I welcome change (and not the sort that David Maceroon and his Benefit Cheating Tory Toffs claim to offer).


"BEEN A BIT CARELESS HAVEN'T WE" - Mr Death
[ Parent ]
Indeed. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #52 Thu May 14, 2009 at 10:02:13 AM EST
Would you like a Red Troughpig, a Blue Troughpig or a Yellow Troughpig?


[ Parent ]
Mind you, they better hurry... by xth (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue May 05, 2009 at 11:00:23 AM EST
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/03/gchq_mti/

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[ Parent ]
There are by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #6 Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:32:57 PM EST
Libertarians, for example.


[ Parent ]
Libertarians? Always thought it was for Americans by xth (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:50:01 PM EST
I am quite the opposite - I wouldn't mind paying high taxes in exchange for good public services, Scandinavian style.

Of course, having lived in the UK for a long time, I don't think there's any more chances of tax money being used well than, say, in France or Italy, but there you go.

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[ Parent ]
And there you have it in a nutshell by dmg (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:09:18 PM EST
why Libertarianism is the only sensible option if you don't want to your hard-earned money pissed against the wall by incompetent and/or malicious politicians.

I wouldn't mind paying high taxes in exchange for good public services, Scandinavian style

But I WOULD mind being coerced into paying high taxes. In effect you are demanding that I subsidise you. What moral right do you have to demand that of me?


 
--
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
How about by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #17 Wed May 06, 2009 at 09:32:33 AM EST
Low taxes and you make your own arrangements for healthcare and schooling with your money that the government no longer has to confiscate from you?


[ Parent ]
Oh yes, because it works so well in the US by xth (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed May 06, 2009 at 09:40:04 AM EST
What do you do with the social problems that model creates, just push them to the ghetto and forget about it?


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[ Parent ]
No. by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #25 Wed May 06, 2009 at 10:43:09 AM EST
Instigate dying wards, and harvest the organs of the dying poor for the rich.

Or maybe as part of the welfare system, you get health vouchers you can spend at the private hospital of your choice when sick?

The USian system is fucked because of poor regulation of the medical insurers and collusion by the pharmaceutical companies, not because of any inherent flaw in a free market solution.


[ Parent ]
Difficult by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #26 Wed May 06, 2009 at 11:19:14 AM EST
On one hand, you want them to die in a timely and regular fashion to maintain supply. On the other, you don't want icky poor people's potnoodle nourished organs straight into your precious rich body.


[ Parent ]
Good point. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed May 06, 2009 at 11:58:27 AM EST
Induce a persistent vegetative state for a couple of months to let the cheap cider, pot noodles and turkey twizzlers work their way out.


[ Parent ]
Oh and also by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #20 Wed May 06, 2009 at 09:40:34 AM EST
How about paying high tax to finance wars started on flimsy pretexts, high tax to pay for bin snoopers and street space diversity outreach co-ordinators, high tax to bail out the banks, high tax to give money to countries with satellites, nuclear weapons and a space program, high tax to foster a breeding underclass?

No thanks, take from me enough to defend the borders, run a criminal justice system, keep the streets lit and clean and a worldwide embassy network; that's about enough thanks.


[ Parent ]
Hung parliament by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue May 05, 2009 at 03:23:57 PM EST
Is a quite likely outcome for the next election. The Lib Dem base are not fond of the Tories, so Lib-Lab looks more likely than Lib-Con.

But the Lib Dems don't have that many MPs, and virtually no Cabinet experience. So maybe a high-level Labour defector might be in a decent position to get a Cabinet post as a Lib Dem, if he or she prepared the ground early enough.

Also, whether it's a hung parliament or an outright loss, a Brownite leadership, vindictive after losing a majority, might make the post-election Labour party a bad place to be for a Blairite. They might try selling themselves to the Labour party base as the true, tax-raising, equality-legislating Old Labour group; that sadly only defeated the treacherous Blairites too late to win the election. In which case the Blairites would be handy scapegoats. Joining the Lib Dems might be a useful exit strategy.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

Every election there's talk of a hung parliamet... by xth (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue May 05, 2009 at 05:32:42 PM EST
...if only.

I agree with your reasoning about why Labour MPs would want to defect, but it annoys me that the Lib Dems will actually take them. But what you say makes sense, perhaps they're just after their experience (and contacts), plus the obvious political point scoring.

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[ Parent ]
Well by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed May 06, 2009 at 05:11:16 AM EST
Hung parliaments used to be pretty common, but there hasn't been one since the 1970s.

Be interesting to see how one works with the perpetual populist hysteria of the modern media climate. Might moderate it, but it might lead to even more backstabbing, blame-spreading and contradictory policy gimmicks.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Lib-Lab coalition by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed May 06, 2009 at 09:33:21 AM EST
Ain't going to happen after Bliar sold the LibDems out on PR.


[ Parent ]
Apathy rules the day in the UK by dmg (1.00 / 1) #11 Tue May 05, 2009 at 09:12:47 PM EST
Most people do not give a toss, or actively protest by not voting (as I do), which is evidenced by the low turnout at elections. 
Given that most UK laws are essentially created as treaty obligations from our EU masters, its not hard to see why people think voting is pointless.



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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
You seem obsessed with the EU by xth (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed May 06, 2009 at 04:51:47 AM EST
I don't see the relevance to the UK's Lib Dems, but still. Anyway, you are moaning to the wrong person - I see myself as a European first. When I moved to the UK I thouight of it as internal migration from one region within the EU to another, like someone from Lancashire moving to Leeds or something.

I look forward to the day when national entities will dissolve into a federal EU of regions. Imagine that - a subsidised rail system that works, a strong currency, and a baguette in every home - by law.

Onwards my EUropean bretherns!
ONE DAY ZE DREEM WILL COME TRUE!!

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[ Parent ]
I believe by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #15 Wed May 06, 2009 at 06:15:12 AM EST
that the poor man has fallen for govt misdirection. The UK lobbies europe for the strictest versions of rules, and then whines back home that the nasty men in Brussels make them do it. It is surprising that such an experienced critic and person with demonstrated ability to see the real, hidden truths would fall for this.

Mmm....baguette.


[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what your point is? by dmg (2.00 / 0) #44 Wed May 06, 2009 at 07:23:02 PM EST
Are you saying that 70% of new UK laws are NOT in response to EU treaty obligations?

The truth is out there, but its difficult to see how it can be opposed.
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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
i'm saying by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #45 Thu May 07, 2009 at 03:07:40 AM EST
they're *all* out to get ya!


[ Parent ]
That much is obvious by dmg (2.00 / 0) #50 Thu May 07, 2009 at 05:17:03 PM EST
And the reason I don't vote.
There are other (esoteric/occult) reasons why voting may not be a good idea too. 
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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
I'm coeliac you insensitive clod! by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed May 06, 2009 at 09:23:44 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Lib Dems are pro-EU by dmg (2.00 / 0) #41 Wed May 06, 2009 at 04:44:28 PM EST
As are all the major UK parties. There is no serious party a Euro-realist can vote for.
The vast majority of the electorate are ambivalent at best about the UK's EU membership.
Even if you agree with the corrupt EU's increasing (undemocratic) influence over our lives, it would be nice for the electorate to be given a chance to approve, after all we were told we were entering a free trade area back in 1973, and our politicians have been lying to us about the EU ever since. That's before you even begin to consider the constitutional issues.

Call me reactionary if you like, but the UK wasn't really broken (West Lothian question notwithstanding) and EU membership doesn't fix it.

I seem to remember baguette being available in the UK before we joined the EU. As for rail systems that work (should you buy into the green propaganda re: public transport) - the EU is not necessary for that, nor for a strong currency.

Basically, most arguments in favour of the UK's continuing membership of the EU are either facile (we won't need to change currency when we go to France) or ill-informed (we can't trade with the EU if we are not in it). 

I have yet to hear a convincing reason why the UK should continue to subsidise French farmers. It simply doesn't make any sense.


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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Fun fact about CAP funds in the UK by xth (2.00 / 0) #42 Wed May 06, 2009 at 05:01:41 PM EST
The biggest UK recipients of CAP funds as individuals are Mrs Elizabeth Windsor (£500k in 2003), Mr Charles Wales (£700k in 2003), Mr Gerald Grosvenor (£500k), Mr Richard Sutton (£1M), all aristocrats.

And of course, all the aid money the EU has given the UK when your farmers caused mad cow disease go unreported.

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[ Parent ]
Two wrongs don't make a right by dmg (2.00 / 0) #43 Wed May 06, 2009 at 07:17:20 PM EST
And the fact remains, the UK bankrolls the EU to the extent of  £106000 per minute.

Bottom line is, how it it in the national interest of the UK to be part of the EU?
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dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
it would be a grand idea to leave by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #46 Thu May 07, 2009 at 07:43:12 AM EST
Even better than Texas seceding into oblivion.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Well by Herring (4.00 / 2) #14 Wed May 06, 2009 at 06:10:54 AM EST
I think it's been clear for a while that politics as principle is all but dead. Politics as a career (or a way in at the top of a different career) is the order of the day. The way that ministers can walk out of that job straight into a highly paid gig at a company they've been shovelling tax money into is pretty shameless.

Hell, you don't even have to face the electorate to get there now.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

Hmmm by yicky yacky (4.00 / 2) #21 Wed May 06, 2009 at 09:41:33 AM EST

Historically high tax burden: CHECK
Nanny-State policies: CHECK
Authoritarian tendencies: CHECK
Diminution of civil rights for the 'greater societal good': CHECK
Invasions of privacy commensurate with the Stasi and KGB: CHECK
Use of tangential legal instruments to control media output: CHECK
Redistributive spending: CHECK

Looks pretty classically left-wing to me.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
According to your definition, anyway by xth (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed May 06, 2009 at 10:14:30 AM EST


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[ Parent ]
For the record by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #29 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:03:42 PM EST
I have not stole yicky's account.


[ Parent ]
Or stolen, for that matter by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed May 06, 2009 at 12:17:58 PM EST
NT


[ Parent ]
Interesting version of redistribution by Herring (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed May 06, 2009 at 02:39:01 PM EST
As an example: the Royal Mail sell-off. As planned, TNT (or someone) ends up with the profitable bit, while the taxpayer ends up with the pension liability.

Or PFI. The PFI company ends up with a guaranteed income over 30 years and some property while the taxpayer ends up paying for empty schools.

Yeah, there are a few dole scroungers who take the piss and make headlines, but I bet if you did the maths, more of my tax money is going to the likes of Capita.

Hopefully, whoever gets in next - although they will still be funneling my money into their mates' bank accounts - wont be so authoritarian.


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
What is going on in UK politics? | 52 comments (52 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback