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Who Voted For New Labour And Why Did You Do It?

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posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 05:51 AM
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OK Strangerous, I get the checks and balances arguement.

What I don't get is that you seem to be saying that on the one hand you have been a supporter of a more 'old Labour and socialist' approach and that on the other your so disappointed that Tony Blair's 'version' of Labour wasn't 'socialist' enough for you so you think the answer is to elect back in the tory party?!

A tory party, may I remind you, with no policies at the moment.
The only thing you can look to for any sort of guidance on that is their ghastly 'yet-another-reheat' 2005 manifesto Howard tried to hawk (which is hardly unreasonable as Cameron co-authored it).




posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 08:45 AM
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But what do you suggest he does do sminkey? Vote for a party who he has fallen out of favour with and feels no connection to, someone he doesn't want in power, or vote for a party he knows will not get in? That's the problem, people don't want to vote Labour on the basis that they are seen as the only choice, and they don't want to throw their vote away.

You can't expect people to vote Labour thinking "Well, it can only get better when Tony leaves....can't it?" because poeple don't believe that.

Given that, a lot of people are probably going to vote Tory, however much spin Labour puts on Cameron. They want change and with Tony holding on with a steel grip, people aren't seeing any hope of change in the Labour party. I'm sure John Majors supporters (the few) were just as pertubed by it all as Blairs supporters are now, at the end of his road.

Perhaps if Brown get's his chance early enough, people will warm to him and trust him to run our country, but at the moment all they see is Blair's Britain, and it's not one the common man is particularly impressed with, spin or no spin.

All opinion of course, so no need to get all "Alistair Campbell" on me Sminkey



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 10:41 AM
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Originally posted by chebob
But what do you suggest he does do sminkey?


- Whoah there; I am not in the business of 'telling' anyone who to vote for - though I am very open about who I prefer and why - I am merely asking further questions about the views already stated, chebob, because there seems to me to be an almighty and glaring inconsistency in there.


Vote for a party who he has fallen out of favour with and feels no connection to, someone he doesn't want in power


- Well actually that would seem to be his/her preferred choice as far as the tory party are concerned, in view of his/her earlier complaint about Tony Blair and socialism.

I am asking how anyone can talk in lamenting terms about "Over 100 years of socialist struggle destroyed in a decade! Nice one Tone" and then in the next say their preferred course of action is to go and vote tory from now on, particularly as that will certainly be long after the departure of Tony Blair.


Given that, a lot of people are probably going to vote Tory, however much spin Labour puts on Cameron.


- Well that's certainly the tory spin/hope.


All opinion of course, so no need to get all "Alistair Campbell" on me Sminkey


- Excuse me?
I'm looking for an apparantly ex-Labour voter and party member to expand on the views he/she has given, that's all.

It's a message board, there's nothing more to it other than a little debate.

If all anyone wishes to do is make curt statements around here then that's fine and that's their right, if somewhat sterile, but we're surely allowed to at least ask why he/she feels the way they do, hmmmm?



[edit on 14-6-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

If all anyone wishes to do is make statements around here then that's fine and that's their right but we're surely allowed to at least ask why he/she feels the way they do, hmmmm?


The reasons pretty clear though, isn't it? After all this time, Tony has managed to make Labour, and to an extent Socialism, unpalletbale to many, including former die-hard labour supporters. If someone else was to take his place and make people believe in Labour again, a lot of those voters will probably forget the Tory party exist and go back to Labour.

But at the moment Blair is making people feel like Labour has been a sham, a rotten fruit disguised as a golden apple, to the point where they are willing to sway the other way just to get things like Crime, Immigration and the Health and Educaiton services looked at in a fresh light, wether the Tory party are actually capable of that is yet to be seen.

But I can't speak for anyone else, so I'll leave the other poster to give you the real reason he personally has "had enough".



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by chebob
The reasons pretty clear though, isn't it? After all this time, Tony has managed to make Labour, and to an extent Socialism, unpalletbale to many


- No, that is not what was said.
It was said Tony Blair had 'destroyed over 100 years of socialist struggle in a decade!'

(which IMO is simply not true either but that is a slightly different issue)


If someone else was to take his place and make people believe in Labour again, a lot of those voters will probably forget the Tory party exist and go back to Labour.


- Well this is entirely my point.

If the problem is supposed to be that Labour isn't 'socialist' enough under Tony Blair how on earth does anyone get 'more socialism' (presumably their desire given the complaint) by voting tory?!
(Especially considering that he will have gone by the time of the next general election.)



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 11:09 AM
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Not me, I voted Tory in the hope that Brave New Labour World would get the boot. And I agree with the thread starter - I'm not even right-wing at all but as soon as they pulled all the New Labour rubbish it was obvious that the actual Labour party had went bye-bye. I think Michael Howard would have been a welcome break as PM - it could have meant also that the real Labour party could have gathered itself together again. It's a disgrace, we live in a country that's about the size of New York state and it's a mess.



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey


If the problem is supposed to be that Labour isn't 'socialist' enough under Tony Blair how on earth does anyone get 'more socialism' (presumably their desire given the complaint) by voting tory?!
(Especially considering that he will have gone by the time of the next general election.)



I'm sure a lot of people planning to vote Tory are simply reactionary responses, but that doesn't make them void. Perhaps Strangerous no longer believes a political party in the UK can uphold real Socialist values, and will simply accept a change for the better in any direction, as long as problems are sorted.

What I was trying to say is, that a some of the "dissenters" are giving up on "Blairs Socialism" and want something different. I'm sure more than a few of those don't trust that Brown will be that change, but we'll just have to wait and see. If you listen to Blair at Prime Ministers Questions, you'll know it takes more than a decade to even start thinking about rectifying previous PM's mistakes (It's Majors Fault! It's Thatchers Fault!), so it looks like Brown will have his work cut out winning back the publics hearts
.

Blair has turned Socialism into something else, and has let the country suffer for it IMO. Too many Labour MP's are seen as nothing but Tories with red ties, so when there's no actual choice, people will go for simple "change". That's my opinion, and now I really will let Strangerous give you his own answer.



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 11:53 AM
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Cheers guys

Yes you're right it is a slightly illogical position - but I'm not alone.

Blair had perhaps the best opportunity since 1945 to drive through a fairer, more socialist programme to redress the damage / unfairness of Thatcher's & Major's legacy.

Like many labour supporters I knew it wouldn't happen overnight so at the second election showed faith and voted for them (I was away in '97)

That faith was betrayed and it became clear we had a tory Govt that would follow the US into any adventure at the expense of our long-term interests and our relations with our most important friends - the EU, continue with ludicrous tory policies such as the NHS internal market etc etc. Plus we have the usual experience of any Govt that's re-elected where the corruption comes to light (and boy has it!)

There was a significant move among 'Old Labour' to vote tactically and send the Govt a strong message - it so happened I live in a constituency where the tories were a close second so they got my vote, if the LD's had been second they would have got my vote. Unfortuntely our sitting Labour MP won but with a majority of only 85

The intention was to ideally cut the majority to such a level where Blair couldn't afford to ignore the Old Labour elements of the party, second-best would be a coalition Govt with the LD's which again would be more inclusive of other non-New Labour views. The 3rd outcome and my least favoured would have been a tory Govt.

Unfortunately the parliamentary majority wasn't cut to such a level so the good ship Tone sailed on

If / when Brown succeeds I'll probably revert to type - providing it's clear Brown is going to follow a more socialist programme. Personally I think it will be hospital pass succession and prove once and for all the Blair actually despises socialism and is doing all he can to work against it (but that's for a different thread).
Ideology aside I also want to Brown in action unfettered by Blair spin and see if I think he can handle the job before finally committing myself.

BTW I'm a 'he'



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 12:04 PM
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I may as well also share that the Libs were 2nd where I live, but I don't see how that FPTP system is in any way democratic at all, so I didn't consider it when I voted (I had used it on a previous occaision as a tactical vote). Voting is about choosing who you think would be best for the job, I'd rather choose by party and let them select their best people to put in place.

Votes should be accumulative by party, otherwise what happens is that all votes cast for a candidate that does not win their seat mean nothing towards anything at all. It's not a democratic system. Hung parliament is a void term that is used to mean that one main party will not have overall control of Parliament. Well they don't have to have overall control, each member should vote as they see fit as to who they represent also, it doesn't matter how many different parties they may collectively be representing when sat in the House.



posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 05:48 PM
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Sminkeypinky in what ways are the Tories less socialist than New Labour. Yep I said New Labour?
Go on make your list (even if you have to rely on the last election for policies).

Both Labour and Tory support private sector involvement in the NHS. Tories have dropped their NHS passport idea. Both leaders voted for the war in Iraq. I would love to know how the Tories are less socialist than New Labour as the way I see things they are about as unsocialist as each other.
In fact they are both equally terrified of the phrase "redistribution of wealth".

Telling an old Labour supporter to vote Labour because the Tories are less Old Labour is to my mind like saying "do you mind switching coffees because mines 30 seconds cooler". As an old Labour supporter considering Tory; Strangerous seems to have figured that one out.

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
Both Labour and Tory support private sector involvement in the NHS.


- Ha! Yes, but the 2 ideas of "involvement" mean very different things.

Whether you care to acknowledge it or not Labour's approach here has always been to make use of the unused capacity of the private sector (where appropriate) as an adjutant to expand the NHS's capabilities and service.

Whilst you might not care about this or try and use this as a means to attempt to 'attack' the government's excellent record on health I'm willing to bet that the record numbers of people receiving their health treatment couldn't care less about the narrow ideological argument about the NHS making use of the private sector like this.
I'm quite sure they are just glad that they are getting the tangible benefits of a much improved, and still improving, health service, thanks to this Labour government.

This is actually yet another tangible benefit and difference in the 'performance' and record between the parties.

That is nothing like the same as 'privatisation' or vouchers or compulsory insurances or making the NHS 'subservient', or a 2nd tier, to the private sector, quite the reverse in fact.

......and some might also say 'about time too' seeing as how the private sector uses staff trained by the NHS at public expense and were feather-bedded for so many years by generous tory tax privileges.


Tories have dropped their NHS passport idea.


- Who really knows what they are are going to come up with?

The tory party are simply making vague noises about just about anything at the moment, IIRC they don't have any actual formal policies (that they're brave enough to come right out with right now) so you can hardly make claims about what they will or will not be proposing, right?

Something to bear in mind though are their historical instincts and that Cameron co-wrote the last manifesto and has a shadow front bench packed with many old returning tory has-beens.
So much for being 'the future', 'fresh' and 'new'.


Both leaders voted for the war in Iraq.


- Quite true.

But you'll also find that when he was tory leader Howard said he would have gone to war without the attempt to gain the UN mandates which he claimed were "dithering".


I would love to know how the Tories are less socialist than New Labour as the way I see things they are about as unsocialist as each other.


- Maybe the problem is, as you have just said, "the way" you, prefer to, "see things"?

You can claim there is no difference all you like but the fact remains that there are significant differences, even if they are not obvious to you or you prefer to just ignore them.

A tory gov would never have introduced the minimum wage, would never have signed the social chapter, nor incorporated the ECHR into British law, nor have introduced devolution to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

They had nearly 20yrs to do it and never once brought in child care help.

The tory record on spending per pupil at junior and secondary levels was way behind that of this Labour government.
Ditto spending on higher education.

The Labour record on aid to the developing world and the debt relief for the poorest nations is about as unlike the tory approach as it is possible to get, to name but a few.

Labour's instincts are geared towards the bulk of the populace, the tory parties' towards the wealthiest.
Always has been always will be and the record of each in office shows it.


In fact they are both equally terrified of the phrase "redistribution of wealth".


- Then perhaps you'll be amazed to hear that Gordon Brown's budgets have incorporated a degree of exactly that, wealth distribution, from the very wealthiest to the poorest.
Some example of Labour being "terrified" of the subject.

Another concrete and actual difference.


Telling an old Labour supporter to vote


- You might be in the business of trying to tell people who to vote for but I am not.


is to my mind like saying "do you mind switching coffees because mines 30 seconds cooler".


- Well perhaps that says more about you than anything else.


As an old Labour supporter considering Tory; Strangerous seems to have figured that one out.


- Interesting then that in his last post he did acknowledge the inconsistency I mentioned and said he may think again.

The really funny thing in all of this is that every Labour government ends up disappointing many of those who would claim to be their 'reddest' supporters.
It really is nothing new (for those informed by a degree of historical perspective).

Unfortunately many of those on the 'old Labour' side of things refuse to accept that they were one of the major reasons why Labour went in opposition for so long and that not everyone is attracted to the reddest red politics.

It's easy to complain that 'they're all the same' and that there is little or no difference (something else that isn't exactly new either) or that the Labour leadership is somehow 'tory' (in times gone by it was the farm and land owning types who were supposed to be 'suspect') but you can bet your life that the tory party do not think years more Labour government make no difference and are just the same as if they were in office.

Frankly that is a laughably trite and ridiculous comment......and if you don't believe me go ask any tory if they're happy to be out of office for nearly a decade and whether it makes no odds?


[edit on 15-6-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 08:32 PM
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I acknowledge the Tory argument that for the state to employee one person sort of takes two people as its private income being used to provide a life for someone who doesn't generate private income. Yet if they weren’t being employed by the state then they would be contributing to the bread basket and not taking out of it.
So yeah generally I acknowledge bureaucracy and stuff to be a pressing issue but that's about as far as I look into things (it’s perhaps more than most or at least many people do). At the end of the day providing tax payers money is well spent that should give good public services which is what I want from my tax money since i give so much of it.
Regarding the Tories I think they are in the mood to ditch just about any of their cherished beliefs if it means power. And Labour's been like that for as long as they became "New" Labour. This is what I mean about both parties being much the same. And if the Tories don't win this election I’m sure it will be true come next time (that's if it isn't already).

A Side Note
Howard, Blair, Brown and Cameron are all (or at least were) supporters of the war in Iraq. This is also what I mean about the parties being much the same. 4 out of 4 top dogs on that critical issue = 0 out of 4 choice on that one critical issue. And the same is true on other things like U.K's almost unquestioning support for Israel, arms being our biggest national export in cash terms, the use Africa to distract the public sort of media tactics.
I expect the parties to be united on popular issues like health and education. I reject with a passion on the more divisive issues.



posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 09:12 PM
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Guys I'm flattered my inconsistencies are the subject of such debate.

Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war.

If New Labour being ousted and a Tory Govt for 4 years is the price you have to pay the possibly, sometimes it's worth it. As I said my ideal outcome would have been a coalition, which would have toppled Blair & not been a Tory govt red in tooth & claw.

FWIW The only leader to attend the march and speak out against the war was Charlie Kennedy and if we had PR (as we have in the local elections, and the Europeans) then a proportion of my votes would have gone LD. But our twisted FPTP system gives us very few options.

If it hadn't have been for the war I'd probably have abstained but given Tony's gung-ho attitude to our reputation and soldiers' lives I really couldn't waste my vote that way.

BTW policy doesn't always follow party lines; this Labour Govt continues with Thatcherite policies, wimps out on the minimum wage and thinks PFI is the answer to years of under-investment and yet Heath took us into the EU and implemented the most wealth-redistributive income policy we've ever had.

Rather than red or blue often it's all shades of grey.

Oh and it was IDS (remember him?) who was for the war although to be fair to him he didn't realise the intelligence he saw as a Privy Counsellor had been written by Campbell and was all made up / straight lies



posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal 1984
I acknowledge the Tory argument that for the state to employee one person sort of takes two people as its private income being used to provide a life for someone who doesn't generate private income. Yet if they weren’t being employed by the state then they would be contributing to the bread basket and not taking out of it.


- Well that's a view, I think it's just wrong, absurdly simplistic and at heart it's utterly disingenuous (which is it's political intention).

How about the fundamental stable and relatively safe wealth creating 'enabling' conditions and those independent necessities of the modern state provided by a 'public sector' where a private function, involvement or competition is simply non-existent, unwise, unworkable, inappropriate or damaging, hmmmm?

BTW this also flies in the face of your complaint about the private sector being used by the NHS......or was that just the usual tory opportunistic attempt at a dig at Labour despite them doing something they actually agree with, eh?
Maybe you hate 'socialism' but choose to berate Labour for not being 'socialist' enough, eh?



So yeah generally I acknowledge bureaucracy and stuff to be a pressing issue


- Then the £22 billion savings program Brown has currently gotten underway following the Sir Peter Gershon review of public sector efficiency must please you enormously, right?

....but no mention or credit for any of that, eh?


At the end of the day providing tax payers money is well spent that should give good public services which is what I want from my tax money since i give so much of it.


- Considering the state of the public services now and when the tories left office you must be impressed then that, except for a very short period during the tory years when taxes dipped to their very lowest, personal taxes are now, for most when allowances and credits are taken into account, as low as they were during most of the tory 19 years - in fact compared to periods of the 3 Thatcher terms they are lower, for most.


This is what I mean about both parties being much the same.


- A shared desire to have power does not make them 'the same' in any real and meaningful sense.

I pointed out several clear differences which you have chosen to gloss over and ignore.

Another is a record of 3 millions + unemployed (twice!) during the 1980's and 1990's escapes your consideration too......as must do this Labour government' record of record employment coupled with low unemployment.
Almost 2 decades of mass unemployment, interesting that it doesn't figure in your assessment of how 'appalling' you find this government.


A Side Note
Howard, Blair, Brown and Cameron are all (or at least were) supporters of the war in Iraq. This is also what I mean about the parties being much the same.


- Except that they weren't just 'the same'.

Blair encouraged Bush to try and engage the international community and go through the UN twice.
Once successfully the second time not.

That is nothing like the same as a tory party baying for blood because they thought the 'charge' of 'dithering' would be effective with the public.


the same is true on other things like U.K's almost unquestioning support for Israel


-

Do you know how much 'arms' were sold to Israel by the UK?
£25 million.
....and large parts of that were spare parts and not actual weaponry.


Licences for British arms sales to Israel last year amounted to nearly £25m, almost double the previous year. The licences covered the export of armoured vehicles and missile components.

www.guardian.co.uk...

- You can look up the US and how many $billions worth of arms they sell/give Israel.
worldpolicy.org...


I expect the parties to be united on popular issues like health and education.


- Well you can choose to be taken in with smooth sound-bites and claims which amount to no more than words but I'll stick to looking at their records in office.

They are not the same.

==========================================================


Strangerous
Guys I'm flattered my inconsistencies are the subject of such debate.


- Think nothing of it, what else would we be talking about?


Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war.

If New Labour being ousted and a Tory Govt for 4 years is the price you have to pay the possibly, sometimes it's worth it.


- That's exactly the kind of thing that was being said by those on the left in 1979.
Look where that got us.
19yrs.....of Thatcher and Major, no thanks.

Whatever TB's mistakes, faults and flaws (and I do have my own criticisms too, actually) he is no 'Thatcher' or 'Major' for that matter, thank God.


As I said my ideal outcome would have been a coalition, which would have toppled Blair & not been a Tory govt red in tooth & claw.


- Strangerous, if you missed what kind of tory Michael Howard was and what his tory party was like you have been away too long or haven't been paying attention.

The record of coalition gov in the UK isn't great, my bet would be neither a Lib/Con gov nor a Lib/Lab one would have lasted; the net result would probably be the major party would ensure another election shortly after and win, maybe decisively maybe not.

Which puts us right back to the only game in town, a Labour gov (avoiding splits or rows, knowing a new election could be close and so as not to alienate the public = little or no change) or a Howard tory one (unchanged for same reasons).


if we had PR (as we have in the local elections, and the Europeans) then a proportion of my votes would have gone LD.


- OK, much as I'd prefer a version of PR myself that's still just a matter of interesting debate.
It isn't changing any time soon no matter who gets power.

You're still left with FPTP until there is agreement to change the rules.
No sign of it, at all.

FPTP does at least give a clear result (not insignificant).


this Labour Govt continues with Thatcherite policies


- such as?
I only ask because I keep hearing the phrase but when looked at those policies turn out either not to be anything like actual 'Thatcherite' policies at all or so peripheral to the whole record as to be a silly consideration.


wimps out on the minimum wage


- Well maybe if you were someone who was living with the tory reality of no minimum wage at all you might think differently.

Labour at least brought it in and has raised it every year since it was introduced - and last year raised it to a level the TUC were pleased about (£5.35/hr from oct 2006).


and thinks PFI is the answer to years of under-investment


- OK, I'll make a deal with you, the day you can get the British public to vote explicitly for higher taxes feel free to let us know that a practical alternative exists then, eh?


and yet Heath took us into the EU


- True, but so what?
Are you trying to say the tory party are largely pro-EU now, eh?

That's a great example of how things can change once the crazies get in charge (ironically after Labour ditched that nutty policy the tories picked it up, you couldn't make it up), not of any shared 'same-ness' between the parties.


and implemented the most wealth-redistributive income policy we've ever had.


- ?
OK, I'm all ears, please explain how you arrived at this conclusion......and I'd also point out that the tory party today could not be further from the 'Heath-ite' version.


Oh and it was IDS (remember him?) who was for the war although to be fair to him he didn't realise the intelligence he saw as a Privy Counsellor had been written by Campbell and was all made up / straight lies


- Read Hutton and Butler et al, you mightn't agree with their conclusions but nowhere is such a claim substantiated.

BTW if you read the Foreign Office enquiry (IIRC there were at least 4 official enquiries into Iraq and the surrounding issues) you'll find them complaining that the UK intel services were far too dependant on US sources (even, at times, not knowing that some of the intel was coming from sources that were US).

To claim AC et al 'made it all up' is simply a lie.

IMO Iraq was all about (from the British perspective) mistakes in our intel (but we were far from alone in this internationally), misplaced trust ('we' failed to appreciate that Bush & Co. really could be operating to an agenda all of their own) and ultimately a decision that, despite it all, the wider 'geopolitical' issues meant the UK had to go in with the US (because the US-UK alliance is far too valuable to destroy over a transitory phenomenon like Bush & Co.).

I'll leave this at this -

I find it sadly amusing that there is all this heat and noise (and from some pure venom) about Labour and the Iraq war.

An honest disagreement over whether the UK should have gone to war or not is one thing.

But IMO even so that is not in this case sufficient grounds to write-off and ignore the whole of the rest of this government's record.
In the 5/05 general election the public agreed with that.

I can't believe how come the tories (far more pro war than Labour, not interested in the UN route and calling anything that didn't mean an instant leap into the war as "dithering") get a total 'bye' in this and are then claimed by those who bash Labour in this as a preferable and acceptable choice to govern the country (despite their appalling record in office)......

......by people who are supposed to be so anti-war or ex-Labour party supporters.


[edit on 16-6-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 12:07 PM
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I'll try to remember the points you raised:

Re Thatcherite policies well the NHS internal market and the 40% top tax rate for two. PFI is a Thatcherite wet-dream and yet it's a 'Labour' govt that implemented it most enthusiastically

Re Howard yes I know he was scary but you presume he could keep his party together and actually implement any meaningful polices - personally I doubt he could.

Re coalition Govt - depends on your definition of effectiveness - at times less radical policies where the status quo is preserved do seem attractive. Bizarrely the country continues to function when MP's are all off on their jollies so it seems to me a radical, thrusting, 'change everything' Govt isn't really essential

Re Heath - his £3 maximum wage rise policy was without doubt the most redistributive policy implemented in the UK since WW2, It may not have been implemenyed for ideological reasons but the fact is indisputable

Sorry if I've missed any



posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by Strangerous
Re Thatcherite policies well the NHS internal market and the 40% top tax rate for two.


- No, you are mistaken, the 'internal market' has gone.
The 'internal market' was a tory policy dispensed with and replaced under this government.
One mustn't forget that, thanks to devolution, local arrangements pertain in Scotland and Wales (and NI too if they ever get their act together and run their devolved admin properly).

As for the top rate of tax?
OK the % rate has stayed constant but the uprating of the allowance at which it begins has not quite kept up with inflation, hence the squeals of people like the Mail and Telegraph who seem to be convinced that 'middle England' are all on the top rate and 'suffering' this.

Once again sorry but no, I cannot agree that this is an example of Labour operating 'Thatcherite' policies.

The tax question was settled on the basis that there would be no rises in the rates as the price of Labour's repeated electoral victories.
A price well worth paying, IMO, considering the gains made.

You might also note that there is no appetite to alter the tax rates in Scotland (where they have that flexibility).


PFI is a Thatcherite wet-dream and yet it's a 'Labour' govt that implemented it most enthusiastically


- PFI (of a sort) was begun under Major IIRC, not Thatcher.
Secondly PFI is not something set in stone, the terms evolve, the Gov/public sector put PFI deals together as individual cases and are getting much better at them as they gain experience with the approach.
This is why one can fairly say that, despite having the same name, the PFI terms under Labour are not the same as under the tory gov.

PFI is, ultimately, the reason why we have many of the brand new facilities we do have, the alternate is not wholly publicly funded facilities but in may instances no new facilities at all.

Like I said, the day you can get the public to happily vote for tax rises is the day we put away things like PFI.


you presume he could keep his party together and actually implement any meaningful polices - personally I doubt he could.


- Why not?
Thatcher did despite umteen large-scale and very damaging civil disturbances and public revolts......and Howard was very much from the 'crack-down-hard-on-'em' and tough-it-out 'school'.


it seems to me a radical, thrusting, 'change everything' Govt isn't really essential


- I won't dispute that MP's (probably like us all) have an inflated view of their own importance and how essential they are to the running of things
but
it is unquestionably the case that law is an evolving 'animal' and so are the needs of the people and the commerce we all depend upon.
I do not believe in a completely absent hand at the tiller although a light hand probably works best.


Heath - his £3 maximum wage rise policy was without doubt the most redistributive policy implemented in the UK since WW2, It may not have been implemenyed for ideological reasons but the fact is indisputable


- No, absolutely not.

This is absolutely bogus, it absolutely did not 'redistribute' anything to anyone (least of all achieve a position of being "without doubt the most redistributive policy implemented in the UK since WW2").

It merely attempted to place a limit on wage rises in public and private sector (and as anyone in business then knows was easily side-stepped with various allowances and perks anyway) and gave nothing whatsoever to the less privileged (but it did make some accountants a little wealthier) .

In any event it was supposedly introduced in Nov 1973 and Ted & Co. were ejected in Feb 1974.
It had no time to do anything and the tory party were very swift to ensure that the Heath-ite version of 'tory-ism' was removed from influence and denounced as rapidly as possible.



[edit on 16-6-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 07:13 PM
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Many fair points there.

Again I'll try to answer them without the benefit of being able to see your reply.

Re internal market OK the specific internal market has gone but has it not been replaced with the concept of choice. My criticism of this strand of policy applies to education too. Rather than concentrating on a traditional labour strategy of improving the basic level of service for all New Labour has perpetuated the Tory policies of more and more layers of admin, some centres of excellence at the expense of the 'bog standard'.

Irrespective of who / when it was introduced PFI is a Thatcherite wet-dream. It's hardly a traditional Labour / socialist solution to public investment issues.

Tax rates - Labour had the perfect opportunity to raise the upper tax rate - for a labour govt to have one rate for income from c. £40K to £40M is a damning state of affairs - if this isn't Thatcher's legacy then I don't know what is.

Heath - I know it wasn't perfect but the fact remains it was the single-most redistributive income policy in recent years.

Apologies if I've missed anything - as I said I wouldn't claim my voting tory was logical but it was a heart-felt tactical vote with the intention of blooding Tony's nose / hastening his demise.

As the results show I wasn't alone.

If Brown's to have any chance he's going to have to work hard to ditch Blair's legacy of thatcherism mark II.



posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by Strangerous
Rather than concentrating on a traditional labour strategy of improving the basic level of service for all New Labour has perpetuated the Tory policies of more and more layers of admin, some centres of excellence at the expense of the 'bog standard'.


- I can go by the evidence of my own eyes on this.
Between visiting other people and attending myself I can point to 3 hospitals within 15mls of me that have all had major new buildings/wings etc etc.

That is local 'bog standard' hospitals, not 'centres of excellence.

Ditto the local schools, one huge brand new college of further education, one brand new secondary school and a large scale plan for redevelopment to begin work at another large school next year.

I'm sorry but between what I read, see on TV and what I can actually see around my own local it is patently obvious that the NHS and the education system have improved, greatly.

It is quite refreshing and new to see people discussing things like the public service priorities in the context of greatly improved performance, the choice of what and where to spend or even where there is, supposedly 'trouble - like the NHS trust deficit - limiting the rate of service expansion, as opposed to everything hinging around just endless talk about real and genuine cuts-backs and reduced services and less central government funding year on year.


Irrespective of who / when it was introduced PFI is a Thatcherite wet-dream. It's hardly a traditional Labour / socialist solution to public investment issues.


- No, you can't be as blanket about it as that.
PFI is all about the contract.
If the contract is a good one (from the public's POV) then you can hardly claim it is the same as a badly drawn up contract.

Some of the commentary about this has been outrageous and totally (and deliberately) disingenuous, there are examples of work being done with PFI that are utterly unique, horrendously complex and difficult (the NHS records computer springs to mind), hugely expensive and yet extremely valuable to the nation.
If you confined yourself to some commentaries you'd think it could all be done on a £400 PC with bar-code scanner!
Such is the 'quality' of some of the debate on this.

.....and it all still comes back to 'how else are the funds to be raised'?

The 'traditional Labour/socialist solution' is not available, insufficient funds would be raised in that way......or alternately (the real tory wet-dream) is that a good old dose of 'old Labour' high tax and spend would bring the Labour period in office to a rapid end.

Like I said, show me the public appetite for high taxes and we can put away PFI.


Tax rates - Labour had the perfect opportunity to raise the upper tax rate - for a labour govt to have one rate for income from c. £40K to £40M is a damning state of affairs - if this isn't Thatcher's legacy then I don't know what is.


- It's a political reality.
It's no good banging your head against a brick wall over a totem that's far more trouble than it's worth.
Even the LibDems have come to face up to that fact of life.

We Brits don't really like that kind of thing anymore, we now go for the 'stealth' stuff instead (and on that score Labour have raised rates for the very highest earners).


Heath - I know it wasn't perfect but the fact remains it was the single-most redistributive income policy in recent years.


- Well I must be really missing this one then.

Walk me through it if you care to, how does a policy that merely attempted to cap the % pay rises of the higher earners equate to 'redistributing' anything?

In other words 'how does forcing the chairman of ICI (or whoever) to take a low % rise in pay for a mere 4mths, if that, redistribute anything to anybody'?
Least of all fit your own description of it being "the single most redistributive policy"?
(any chance of showing that any other serious political/economic commentators ever accorded it that grandiose title?)


If Brown's to have any chance he's going to have to work hard to ditch Blair's legacy of thatcherism mark II.


- I don't think it's as one dimensional as that, same as the entire evaluation of this government.
They have their faults and flaws but overall they have, IMO, done quite well in the major areas......and a hell of a lot better than the either intentions the opposition articulated or the comparable record in office of the alternatives.

I can't see the future anymore than anyone else but given the way these things seem to work my bet is the country and history will look kindly on the TB years as a period of stability and general good economic health 'at home'.
Ireland will above all be his greatest single achievement (however imperfect the 'peace') and that is no small accomplishment at that.
The war in Iraq will undoubtedly be the main point of argument but even that isn't the central issue for many - or as cut and dried as some wish to make out.


[edit on 19-6-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 09:28 PM
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Heath's policy was a maximum £ increase not a % - as I said originally it was forced on him and not the best example, but facts is facts.



posted on Jun, 20 2006 @ 06:42 AM
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I suppose I'll leave this at that then Strangerous.

I just cannot see how a very short-lived attempt at forcing the top earners in the UK to get a smaller % (or £.....I think it was specied both ways whichever was the lower.....there were so many 'phases' announced.....phase 3 announced - but not enacted - in Oct 1973 for instance was a limit to 7%) pay rise than what might otherwise have been actually 'redistributes' anything to anybody.

It's curious that you don't mention his far longer and greater attempts to limit and hold down the pay rises of the much less well off (which created so much of the industrial unrest that plagued Heath's time).

It's not like the companies had to declare what they would otherwise have paid and then had to give that to the government to be paid out later to the least well-off, is it?

In any event all those kinds of measures back then simply became the motivation for the vast 'perks' industry that grew up here.
For instance the good ol' 'company' car running on 'company' petrol which could either be bought for a song when their 'term' was up or changed for a new one.

Edward Heath achieved almost nothing for the least well-off, even his pensioner's 1972 X-mas bonus was so transparently an attempt at an electoral 'bribe'.

Edward Heath, Mr '1 million unemployed', was the first PM to preside over that then record post-war number.
(it's tragically funny the way tories have that kind of 'record'.....Thatch was Mrs '2 million' & 'Mrs 3 millions' followed by Mr '3 millions' again, Major.)

......and you, an ex-Labour party member with a memory of these things, honestly believe this lot an 'example' of having helped the least well off in your book, eh?!



[edit on 20-6-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



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