The politics thread

Discussion in 'Politics & Philosophical' started by FirstHonda, Wednesday 13th May, 2015.


Should we stay in the European Union?

Poll closed Friday 1st Jul, 2016.
  1. YES

    7 vote(s)
  2. NO

    13 vote(s)
  1. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Ed Wiltshire
    There has been a lot of lively and thought provoking debate on HondaKarma over the past few months, what with the Scottish referendum and then the General Election.

    We now have a European re-negotiation and "in/out" referendum on the cards, and an unexpected Conservative majority Government, albeit with a small majority.

    Then there are the Labour and Lib Dem leadership contests to come, as well as seeing what role the SNP play at Westminster ahead of the Scottish elections next year.

    So, LOTS going on politically - and I thought it was worth a thread all of its own :Smile:

    Let's be sure to play nicely :Laughing:

    I'll start with the European referendum.

    I do believe that the EU needs reform, and I hope that David Cameron can be a catalyst for some sensible (and inclusive) discussions and changes that benefit all members. BUT regardless of how many concessions are made, I just cannot see the sense of the UK pulling out.

    I'd much rather see a more federal settlement (with a federal UK as part of that framework). Why on earth wouldn't we want an EU army/navy/air force for instance? Or a single EU foreign policy? And international aid, too.

    That's the pin out of the grenade, anyway...:Grin:
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  2. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    Great move to start this thread. As you've said,
    Respectfully putting across opinions and facts is what is wanted, from all sides of the political arena.
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  3. roelfarm Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Mike Cheltenham
    Have the Conservatives blaimed the Lib Dems yet for not allowing them to change some of the legislation they wanted to change in the coalition parliament.
  4. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Blue collar conservatives ?
    Still haven't figured this one out . Is it aspiration for the individual who brings about success for their-self and empowered by Tory policies at the expense of a collective aspiration ? I constantly hear mutterings of discontent about collective aspiration when peoples identity is diminished by the loss of what made their identity e.g a sense of community , fairness and justice , coupled with a true belief and trust in where we are heading . There has to be a sense of wellbeing and optimism , not resigned disillusionment , created not just by the people at local level but also at a national level , empowered and led by a government which seeks out mutual benefit for all rather than setting a somewhat divisive agenda as laid out in the past five years.

    Can the Tories deliver this through blue collar conservatism or is this a re - branding of their dear departed Lady.

    Yes you can have your aspiration but we are tightening the reigns on your ability to fight for it with new strike ballot laws !
    As for your identity . Well we've given most of your sporting identity to sky and those that can afford it . Now perhaps Auntie Beeb will be taken down a peg or two. After all it is a PUBLIC SECTOR sorry SERVICE broadcaster. I.e for public benefit

    :sherlock: Let me think on that one ! Public benefit = welfare . Cut it I hear you say !
  5. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Blue collar conservatism.
    Cameron seeks to increase core vote base --- on a tight leash of course
    - - - Updated - - -
    - - - Updated - - -

  6. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Ed Wiltshire
    As somebody who is very much "centre-right" I've been a fan of David Cameron since the start of his leadership.

    Personally, I think he is sincere and will judge him on his pledge to govern as a "one nation" Tory. His favourite former Prime Minister is said to be Harold Macmillan, and I'd say if he now uses him as an inspiration then we'll all be ok...:Smile:

    BUT - and it's a big BUT - he needs to control the right of the party, and continue to modernise - and be careful at taking things like welfare reform too far.

    As he will step down at the end of this term, I guess he'll be looking to be more radical than you might think.

    As for "blue-collar" Conservatism? Think "Mondeo Man." There is nothing wrong with encouraging aspiration, AS LONG AS it is combined with social responsibility, and that is his big challenge. Maybe we'll even see another crack at "The Big Society."

    vincemince likes this.
  7. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


    Trust is what it is all about , very little of it about in politics at the moment .Even though DC maybe sincere , events often compromise it.
    For me we all want the same things , trouble is , people get in the way , instead of facilitating a sense of social justice.

    TTIP sounds good prima facie but as I look at the future outcome are we not in danger of losing control in a democratic sense that big business will be tying the hands of government with legally binding contracts which may come back to haunt us.
    Trust can be lost and not regained through a judicial process but it can to some extent be written into a contract to ensure it is not lost.
    The NHS is the one area which fundamentally unites this nation and as such should not be exposed to inclusion in the TTIP the risk for me is too great.
    The NHS gives us an identity which should not be chipped away at or compromised . Although I do recall some time ago reading ' the gloves are off.... And ..... It will be shown no mercy . Trouble is I can't remember where I read it !
    Will the politicians serve their people well or will they be outsmarted by the business lobbies.

    Let's not forget it was in reality big business which caused the financial crisis and the price of that failure has been bourne by the people
    Let's hope the past 7 years experiences in The world economy and in particular that of Europe bear heavily on the minds of the political decision makers when agreeing TTIP . A similarly overarching agreement as was the Euro bears heavily on my mind.

    I was hoping for a sense of vision on the back of 7 years ' austerity' as some have called it , in a similar vein to that which occurred post ww1 & ww2 recognising that the suffering in both ww1 & ww2 in no way compares to the past 7. As said in previous posts it could be worse.
    A personal recollection from 35 years ago :
    just graduated starting salary £8000 went to new local sports centre into a jacuzzi three guys there and I quote one of them ' if I go back to work I 'd have to bring home £250 a week to make it worthwhile based on what I 'am getting on the dole' little did I realise at the time what this meant. It should have been sorted a long time ago , although he did have a wife and two children at the time.
    But this does not reflect how some people have exploited the welfare system through the likes of renting out very poor accommodation
    Nor does it reflect at times people through no fault of their own may find themselves in need and should not be disowned by society.

    :sherlock: Food for thought !
  8. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    With ref to Tristam Hunt comments on overspending by labour Question Time 14/05/2015

    Now let's apply some critical thinking to the information shown below
    Yes that's right we overspent between 2002 and 2007 in a similar fashion to the period 1990 and 1997
    . I.e labour and Tory doing a similar amount ----- then everything went pear shaped 2008 to 2012
    So what did we get for this overspending and more importantly why are we doing it ?
    The prudent answer would be the money was invested for growth and social wellbeing while the pear shape from 2008 was to cover up the mess created by big business . But how has it been spun . Well the incumbent gets the blame and loses its creditability
    However all this hides the financial deals set up IMHO to move an increasing amount of tax payers money into the hands of big business facilitated in various guises best exemplified with PFI
    And the tone is set to use the tax payer as a cash cow . Simplistic I know !
    No doubt I 'll be slaughtered by the economists for this simplistic interpretation.


    :sherlock: I feel a headache coming on !
  9. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Ed Wiltshire
    The big difference for me is Conservatives between 1979 and 1990 and the Labour Government, specifically from 2002-2008.

    The period of Conservative deficit in the early 1990s was driven by recession, which was sorted by the time Blair came to power in 1997. The period of Labour deficit from 2002-2008 was driven by uncontrolled spending in a period of "boom" IMHO.

    You should always make sure the roof is fixed in the Summer, when the sun is shining.
  10. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    In politics events happen and politicians attempt to capitalise on them for their own benefit , that being , to get into power.
    It is to my disillusionment that spin borders on misleading and the electorate are at times left uncertain about what and who to believe , to the extent that circa one third of them do not vote and the rest will believe the spin , if the narrative is PR perfection.

    It wasn't Labour who spent too much, it was the banks. How did we forget this? | Deborah Orr | Comment is free | The Guardian

    " It wasn't the government that failed to mend the roof while the sun was shining. It was the banks. They borrowed and spent like there was no tomorrow. They inflated the economy until it exploded. They had no savings set aside for times of trouble. It's amazing that in five short years this glaring fact has been all but disregarded, while politicians get on with the business of blaming each other for the chaos. "

    Fair enough comment but who took away the regulations to keep the banks in check ? And why if tax payers money is used to save them have they not been called to account by the very democracy which gives them their right to operate.

    mainly macro: Why are the Conservatives so incompetent at running the economy?

    "The 1990 recession was more home grown. It was partly a result of excessive inflation caused by bad fiscal and monetary policy under Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson, but it was made worse by fixing Sterling to the DM at an overvalued exchange rate. So a pretty clear case of macroeconomic mismanagement under a Conservative administration. "

    But it was not compounded by a banking crisis , fortunately !

    The myth of labours excessive borrowing is an interesting area of discussion see below article for one outlook
    Fabian Society » The myth of Labour’s excessive borrowing: why it’s time to fight back

    Definition of " uncontrolled spending " ?

    :sherlock: That which your are legally or morally obliged to do but which will vary because of events out of your control I presume !
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  11. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Ed Wiltshire
    Politicians don't want to tell the electorate the full story, it seems. Either they don't think we'll like it (and thus it will impact on their chances of power) or they don't think we'll understand it (which is insulting, frankly!)

    I look forward to a day when a politician stands up and says something simple, like:

    "Vote for us and we'll increase income tax by 2p in the pound, which will raise £xx which we'll spend on x and y."

    Some hopes...:Wassat:

    The Labour leadership candidates are hilarious - meaningless soundbite after meaningless soundbite. It's as if:

    a) None of them were involved in the last 5 years, and the policies presented in the election campaign and,
    b) It's all the fault of those pesky voters that they lost, nothing to do with them or their message ("...and we would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you darn kids.")

    I'm afraid I agree fully with you @vincemince that these days it is all about spin, and then more spin. Statistics can be manipulated to prove whatever a politician wants, and the electorate rarely (if ever) get a straight answer to even the simplest questions.

    Did the Conservatives ever clarify where the £12n of extra savings were going to come from? Nope. And yet they still won an unexpected victory - a vote for what the electorate considered to be the "least worst alternative" I'd wager.
  12. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

  13. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Steve Hilton over here doing the rounds publicising his new book More Human

    “Our democracies are increasingly captured by a ruling class that seeks to perpetuate its privileges,” Hilton wrote. “Regardless of who’s in office, the same people are in power. It is a democracy in name only, operating on behalf of a tiny elite no matter the electoral outcome.”

    :sherlock: I translate this as big business tying the hands of Democracy !
  14. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    There is obviously a lot of manouvres going on behind the scenes in the Labour Party . I feel they need to bash their heads around in a debate and realise what the people need and want [i.e their individual and collective needs can be met and their aspirations (wants) empowered] , both of which are encompassed by a sense of social justice. For clarity , needs are not the same as wants e.g I need , air food water shelter security healthcare education work . I want a better car better house I want to feel content and satisfied with life.
    Having your needs met , then allows you to aspire ! A Big step would be to sort the housing shortage problem ....but alas the money men control that. Give me a pragmatic vision of the future rather than an ideology !

    :sherlock: The new cast of Yes Minister me thinks ! They are going to have to do an awful lot to convince me !

  15. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom Ed Wiltshire
    Everybody agrees there needs to be more housing, except nobody wants it on their doorstep - if they are honest. Me included.

    Until they can find a way of actually using the "brown field" sites that everybody talks about but nobody seems to know where they are, and protect our green belt land, this will never change.
  16. ArcticFire Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Scotland Graham Scotland
    I personally believe there needs to be two main areas of change required.

    I strongly believe that the UK requires a form of Direct Democracy so that the public can be empowered when it comes to major decisions because waiting 5 years to get a political party out is too long if they are making a lot of bad and potentially irreversible decisions and a no-confidence vote isn't really an effective alternative. In order to control this system so that it does not hinder day-to-day politics or is abused by unions but remains fair and effective it would need careful parameters and structure.

    I would be thinking of something along the lines of 10% of the population would be required to vote in protest/objection in order for a referendum to be held whereby the whole country can then vote on the issue and a set percentage of votes would be required in order for the public to win over the Government's decision and this does not necessarily have to be 50% but it could be something as high as 75-80%. Now 10% in order to hold a referendum may not sound like a lot, but in terms of votes then you would be talking about almost 6 1/2 million votes, which would not be as easy to achieve as one would think - and this is just to be able to hold a referendum.

    In my eyes having fairly strict parameters would prevent the public from constantly voting against smaller issues and hindering progress, however, when it's something big that would effect most of the population and could be irreversible such as privatising the NHS then there could be a strong enough passion with the public to come forward and vote for a referendum. It would certainly be more effective than protesting on the streets which is becoming increasingly more difficult due to the increased amount of powers the police are being given to quell such protests. As said, waiting 5 years to vote for another party may be too long and the damage has already been done. I think Direct Democracy would also help encourage more people to engage in politics because they would feel that their voice could actually make a difference.

    Secondly, and this can be fairly controversial, but I believe that everyone should be required to vote by law. I think it's like this in Australia. However, there should always be an option for "none of the above" for those who don't believe in any of the parties. To me this is the only way to get a true representation of the public's views because otherwise there can be many reasons why people having voted and therefore the true story isn't told. For all those who don't vote because they don't believe in any of the parties being legally obliged to vote and being able to cross the "none of the above" box would send a pretty clear signal to the other parties about the faith the public has in them.

    Oh, perhaps there is a third thing. Get rid of the House of Lords and reform the system.
  17. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    You seem to be suggesting that the current system is inadequate and you want a form of direct intervention by a vote on specific matters which already exists in the form of a referendum albeit that comes from the government not directly from the people .Whilst I agree that I often feel disenfranchised on certain matters and would like a say I find the practicalities of a public vote are enormous as it would not be like a vote on X factor or strictly but similar to a full election process , although technology may in the future enable the process you desire.

    There already exists a petitional structure calling for a debate in the commons based on a member of the electorate putting forward a petition online which requires 100,000 signatories

    With regards to compulsory voting I feel uneasy with it although I do agree with your assertion that ' none of the above' should be on the ballot paper and perhaps ' change the voting system ' although the latter is effectively a type of referendum calling for change but not giving options

    The main thrust of your arguement is for change which I totally agree with

    Don't take this the wrong way --- UK pop 65 million electorate 46 million you appear to want to give everybody the right to vote
    " 10% is 61/2 million "

    :sherlock: Why does change take so long ? Because it's so complicated !
  18. ArcticFire Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Scotland Graham Scotland
    There's already a large amount of taxation done online now so if it's secure enoughand accessible for that then it should be more than capable for a voting system to be put in place.

    As for being able to force a subject to be discussed at parliament I know about this and been part of it many times,.in particular with animal cruelty subjects but you are still at the mercy of many self serving politicians who will more often than not put their own interests first.
  19. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Ah the good old taxpayer bailing out / subsidising business

    For those of you debating ' spare room subsidy ' / ' Bedroom tax ' --- think on the figures below
    In work tax credit. /. Business subsidy i.e. the tax payer is effectively increasing the profits of certainty business

    CompanyNumber of Low Paid Employees (to nearest 000)Total Public Subsidies Per Year (to nearest 000)Living Wage Saving Per Year (to nearest 000)Pre-Tax Profit in latest yearTax in latest year
    UK-wide figure (£6.70)5,240,00010,935,249,0006,667,000,000NANA
    The Rev Karen Rooms, Area Dean for Nottingham South and member of the Citizens UK Council said: “The figures revealed by this research are shocking, as the true scale of the subsidy of big business becomes clear.
    “The huge profits made by some of these high street names are made off the back of poverty-wages. In some instances the amount of tax they pay doesn’t even cover the wage top-ups we all have to chip-in and help with through the Treasury.
    “At a time of austerity when all sectors of society have to make savings it seems obscene that big business isn’t playing its part to help the country recover.”
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    Food for thought yet again
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    Apologies the source for the above and complete article

    Taxpayers Subsidise Big Business by an Estimated £11 billion a Year - Citizens UK

  20. GSD2013 Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    This is one heavy thread with good points coming from all directions, I am so pleased I was born in the UK and not North Korea, thank our lucky stars for democracy.
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