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UK Election thread 2008

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posted on May, 6 2008 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by dave420

For all the good Labour did in the UK (repairing the Conservative mess, mainly with the economy and the Northern Ireland peace process),


Sorry, but I find that quite a strange statement - the tories had repaired the economy to such an extent that brown (as chancellor) had the best platform for many years to do whatever he wanted.

Yes, we had the boom and bust of the eighties, but as was said at the time, hard decisions were made to ensure future prosperity - and that prosperity came about in the nineties.

Gordon Brown was bloody lucky to inherit it - without it, labour would have been out of power some time ago.

The country was awash with money and opportunity - so what did brown do? nearly taxed us out of existence, by stealth.

It's the same labour policy as it's always been (tax and spend) under a different guise, and one which will drag us down before too much longer.




posted on May, 6 2008 @ 11:21 AM
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I'm with budski on this one.

The only good that Labour ever did was to broker peace in Northern Ireland. A pretty easy task considering that most people were fed up of fighting over an issue which nobody cared about anymore.

Brown's supposed excellence as Chancellor was, as Budski said, only because of the exemplary stability imparted by the Iron Lady herself.

Sadly I know what is to come... the economy will just about hold itself together until the 09 elections, where the Conservatives will win. The economy will then fall apart, and Labour will start claiming it was a Conservative mistake.

I mean, if we examine the record of Brown as chancellor we come up with:

1. An increase in the spending of the government at a rate 1/3 more than the increase in GDP.

2. Destroyed the pensions system by inducing a black hole

3. HUGE sustained budget deficit, which he will pawn off onto the Conservatives and run away at the next election.

4. Sold off our Gold reserves at a price 1/5th of what the price of gold is today.

5. Increased income tax

As prime minister:

1. Increased corporation tax forcing companies to move abroad.

2. Put into place the non-dom tax, which is forcing the ultra- rich to move abroad.

3. Northern Rock bailout- £50bn of taxpayers money... which is not even existant in the coffers... more debt.

4. Increasing the 10p income tax band to 20p.


Gordon Brown is the WORST chancellor and leader Britain has ever seen. Gordon Brown has injected a slow poison into the UK. Labour will be proven to be the death of this country.The effects havent been felt yet... but they sure as hell are about to be.

When the rich are leaving the country in droves, as are major businesses... what will be left? Just a nation of over-taxed, unhappy and angry Britons.

If this were the apprentice, I would say... "Gordon, you're fired".



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by dave420
the Northern Ireland peace process



It wasn't Labour who started the Ball rolling and got talks going over the Northern Ireland peace process, it was the Tories and John Major who started it iirc?



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 05:55 PM
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Gordon Brown the worst chancellor ever?

I suppose you were both too young to have mortgages, or you earnt far above most folk in the country when people were losing their houses left, right and centre, due to the insane interest rates under the last Tory government?

Too young or earnt too much to be affected by the terrible, unfair poll tax, eventually bundled into a "council tax" where a few men drove round in vans randomly pointing their pens at houses/flats and shouting numbers out?

Gordon Brown as chancellor was the best chancellor we ever had, and to comment on how good his leadership is highlights your extremely biased political views, and says nothing of the mans leadership powers.

After he has actually had some time to lead, maybe it won't show the political bias so heavily.

As for saying the Tories repaired the economy... That's crap! When they left Downing Street, this country was in a complete state with regards to the NHS, education, and the general economy - they had however taken the economy from its darkest hour into something lighter. Fix it they did not, break it they did.

Hard decisions made to secure the future? How did cripplingly insane interest rates help the future? How did selling off all the government run things help? Sell British Telecom because it was costing the government money? How much did BT go on to make in their first year once privatised?

If I were you, I'd be treading careful ground to vote Conservative, if you are worried about a pension. Given their record of benefits, pensions, and increases in both, you'll be lucky to even get a state pension. If you are talking private pensions, it hardly matters who is running the country.

And how did he increase income tax? Last I heard, he took out the 22p rate and the 10p rate to pave the way for a 20p flat rate. Given the average male UK wage is £23764, I'd say that's a cut in income tax? (Note, I disagree with the methodology used, and am personally all for poly simultaneous staggered tax brackets - but it's not an increase in income tax for most!)

His important mark as chancellor is stablisation of the interest rates, and getting the right amounts of money in the right places - been to hospital lately? It almost seems like people being treated in corridors or left severely ill in corridors, or being given a 1.5 year waiting list was something I dreamt in the 90's.. But unfortunately it was real, and seems too easily forgotten today.

I'm all for the rich leaving the country in droves, they can take their fox hunting with them too, for every one that leaves there are 10,000 common folk left worth far more in terms of manpower and far less willing to bleat nonsense, armed with their true British stiff upper lips!

[edit on 6-5-2008 by adjay]



posted on May, 6 2008 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by adjay
 


Ridiculous.

Ok I admit, Im too young to have ever seen the state of the UK in the 80s and 90s, but that in no way impairs my ability to judge the current prime minister. Im also inadequately versed on the record of the Thatcher government on economics, so I shall let someone else address that issue (please
).

I suppose you choose to ignore the black holes and budget deficits he has created? It isnt hard to increase spending in the NHS and all that other jazz when he is doing it on a deferred debt basis! The future generations of this country are being shafted, to put it mildly.

I can comment only on what I have seen in actuality since the transfer of power from Tory to Labour governments in 1996. I have seen the Britain I wanted to be a part of crumble and disintegrate. Within two years or so there will be little incentive for me to remain.

It is evident that you are of the left- wing persuasion. I wish you good luck comrade, for you shall need it when all the wealth leaves this country. It has already started... the exodus of the rich has already begun.

Hindsight is a wonderful tool, and only hindsight can correct Labour supporters of the error of their ways.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 06:20 AM
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reply to post by adjay
 


I AM old enough to remember the 80's and the boom and bust that happened, which has already been covered.

What you seem to forget is the mess made by labour that thatcher had to fix - and fix it she did, only for rabid labourites to try and grab the glory by saying it's all down to brown.

Absolute rubbish.

On the subject of poll tax - I didn't agree with it then and I don't agree with the council tax now.
Especially when you consider the amount it has risen by under brown.

And that's before we even get to the 200+ stealth taxes brought in by brown.



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 06:35 AM
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reply to post by budski
 


Bud, can't agree with you here mate.
Thatcher was an evil woman who destroyed whole communities.
She sold off the family silver.
She went to war just to get re-elected, (by no means unique, Bliar!).
She enabled her son to become one of the biggest arms dealers in the world.
She enabled her cronies to milk this country dry.

The whole of the North East was decimated by her policies, (as were various other Labour dominated regions), whilst the affluent, Tory areas enjoyed massive booms.

She originally got elected on the banner of "1million people unemployed, Labour isn't working".
Under Thatcher unemployment soared to 4 million!
There were enormous amounts of home repossesions.
The policy of building council houses ceased thus forcing all young families into the private property market thus forcing the spiralling housing costs to which we are eventually only now paying the price for.

Whole communities were destroyed through her spite and evilness.

I for one will celebrate with one hell of a party when she finally pops her socks.

The harm she did to this great country and union can not be understimated.

[edit on 7/5/08 by Freeborn]



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by budski
What you seem to forget is the mess made by labour that thatcher had to fix - and fix it she did, only for rabid labourites to try and grab the glory by saying it's all down to brown.


That's not actually true. Yes it's true that Thatcher did a lot to fix the economy, but the argument that the pre-1979 economy was Labour's fault is fundamentally flawed.

1) Between 1945-1979 (a period of 34 years), the Conservatives had been in power for 17 years. That means that, for 50% of the time up until Thatcher came to power, we had a Tory government. Surely they had some impact?

2) The British economy never fully recovered from World War II and subsequent events until the 1990s in my opinion. Between 1945-1979, both sides tried numerous times to sort the economy out but failed. Labour tried its "In Place of Strife" to placate the unions, and they didn't accept it. There was also the IMF issue under Callaghan. Heath tried to face them down but it ended up backfiring spectacularly (remember stagflation? The three day week?). There are also numerous runs on the pound under both Labour and Conservative governments, forcing devaluation in some cases.

3) There is considerable debate as to what extent 'Thatcherism' is 'Conservatism'. Thatcherism was something that the UK had never seen before until 1979 - before that, there was a post-war consensus on most issues between the two main parties. Thatcherism destroyed much of that consensus (notice no Tory Government had privatised British Gas, British Airways, British Telecom and so on before Mrs. Thatcher?)

She represented a new generation of leader who had fundamentally different ideas from the old guard in both the Conservatives and Labour. She was the most right-wing leader the Conservatives have ever had, and previous Tory leaders (like Macmillan and Heath) disliked many of her policies. The troubles in the economy pre-1979 are, quite simply, the fault of both the Tories and Labour.

As for Brown, once again, you're generalising. I would agree that his best years as Chancellor were the first three or four (making the Bank of England independent, keeping a tight hold over public spending and so forth) and he made plenty of mistakes. But to dismiss him as completely terrible or hail him as perfect is utterly simplistic and one-dimensional. Life isn't like that. It's much more complex than stark choices of either 'good' OR 'bad'. I hope that everyone here can recognise that, because it's necessary to have an interesting and civilised political debate.

We have never had a perfect government. Nor have we had an utterly disastrous government. If anyone here thinks we've had either then I'd suggest you're either being very selective with the evidence and facts you use or you're ignorant of the true nature of that period of our political history.

I think this is why I find it hard to use a convenient label (e.g. 'conservative', 'liberal', 'socialist') to define my own political views. I don't unconditionally vote for any particular party - each have their good and bad points.

[edit on 7/5/08 by Ste2652]



posted on May, 7 2008 @ 07:11 PM
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The two posts above me are faultless, and echo much of my own sentiments.

I'd like to also point out I don't take too kindly to being pigeon holed as "right wing" or "left wing" or a "labourite" or anything else anyone would like to come up with. I criticise everybody in equal amounts and will continue to do so in politics until I take my dying breath.

I partially want a Tory government to win the next election for two reasons. One is to help rid Labour of their current complacency, and the other is so the current whinge brigade get something of substance to actually whinge about. I am sure they will be out at the following election as their current manifesto is full of holes and more hot air than the biggest of Bransons balloons. Perhaps this will help them actually find their way, as currently they seem to have no particular direction at all, and are being led blindly by a hooray henry with equally poor map skills.

I think it's easy to spot the clear political bias in the posts in this thread, if anybody needs any help simply pick up a Conservative newspaper and play some "spot the similie".



posted on May, 8 2008 @ 05:44 AM
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reply to post by Freeborn
 


I agree with some of your points, and I'm certainly no fan of thatcher, but I'd also like to make a couple of points.

The Falklands are British sovereign territory - do you think we should have let Argentina take the islands against the wishes of the british population there, who had chosen to remain british?

We can question her motives, but can we really say that she was wrong to take them back?

Unemployment soared and we had boom and bust cycles because the economy was such a mess, left that way by the labour party who allowed the winter of discontent, and allowed the few (the unions) to have power over the many in a failed attempt at socialism.

Let's be quite clear about this - the unions were out of control and were holding the country to ransom.
Something had to be done - she did it, and this is where much of the unemployment came from.

The country could not afford to subsidize innefficient and wastefull industry, and although what she did was painfull, it was the right choice at the time.

When thatcher came to power, the UK was known as "the sick man of europe"
We weren't known for anything except shoddy practices and striking.

Do you think that she should have allowed that to continue?

I grew up during that period, and I suffered along with many others, but I still say she did what needed to be done to get the country back on its feet.

Meanwhile, under labour, we have seen the return of the same kind of socialism, except this time, the jobs are in the civil service and local government, the NHS is way over-managed and as a result is top heavy, our kids are no longer allowed to be competetive in schools, and the education system is constantly dumbed down in order to show that standards have "improved"
We have also seen our national debt increase, we have been subjected to over 150 stealth taxes, crime is rife (because kids are not being taught right from wrong) and PC has run wild.

Yes there were the poll tax riots under thatcher, but has labour done anything to rectify this?
No, instead we have seen the council tax rise each year above the rate of inflation, as well as all the other stealth taxes brought in.

And as for thatchers son - well what about blairs wife?
One of the first things he did was to make the EU human rights act law - his wife has since made millions out of it, and that's before we get to her speaking tours, the freebie holidays, the rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous (mostly to stroke his own ego) and the croneyism.
No conflict of interest or nepotism there at all... (sarc)

I didn't say that what thatcher did was nice, but it was necessary, and anyone who thinks differently is just kidding themselves I'm afraid.

libcom.org...

news.bbc.co.uk...

news.bbc.co.uk...

ner.sagepub.com...

news.bbc.co.uk...

Even accounting for the worldwide recession at the beginning of the 80's, thatcher did the job she said she would, and got the country back on its feet.

Yes it was painfull - but it worked.

What I think we need though, is a radical shift in how we view politics in this country.
To some extent, blair has achieved this by muddying the demarcation between socialism and conservatism - but brown is a pure, old-fashioned socialist, tax and spend, tax and spend.

My belief is that our political system needs reform, with the parties working for the common good, instead of their own.

Sadly, I don't think this will ever happen, without (at least) a coalition government working only for the good of the country, instead of bribing the electorate with false promises and "tax cuts" just so they can stay in power.

Both parties have been guilty of it, but it needs to stop.

Thatcher was a micro-manager, so is brown - blair was a macro-manager disinterested in the day to day governance of the country, but willing to take the credit and stand in the limelight.

We need more autonomy, not less, which is happening now.

We also need to see the end of the attitude of some who scream that everything labour/tory is bad, instead of looking at the big picture of who can help the country most.

I don't think that this government is the worst we've ever had, but nor do I believe the labour hype about brown being the best ever chancellor, about blair being a visionary (he was an advocate of thatcherism at one time) and most of all, the false promises just to get elected have to stop - and the current government has been more guilty than most when it comes to that.

Remember the slogan "No New Taxes" - just the 150 + of them...




[edit on 8/5/2008 by budski]



posted on May, 8 2008 @ 07:46 AM
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Originally posted by budski
reply to post by Freeborn
 


The Falklands are British sovereign territory - do you think we should have let Argentina take the islands against the wishes of the british population there, who had chosen to remain british?


The Falklands will remain British until the islanders themselves do not wish to be.
That is non-negotiable and is as it should be.
I have made my views on this several times on ATS.
But that still does not alter the fact that Thatcher manipulated the situation for her own personal advantage through various means. Her control of the media during the conflict was masterful.



Let's be quite clear about this - the unions were out of control and were holding the country to ransom.
Something had to be done - she did it, and this is where much of the unemployment came from.


Says who?
MSM!
Maybe some union officials had too much influence but Thatcher used her dislike of Unions and took it to extremes.
The woman destroyed whole communities through her spite and evilness.
So it was ok for her to make millions unemployed, to turn father against son, to forcibly re-locate thousands of families.

A whole generation were lost through her policies, we have never recovered.
Appenticeships, the very foundation of manufacturing, non-existent for at least a decade through her policies.
She destroyed the whole manufacturing base of this country, we have never recovered from it.
Now we have a skills shortage in the little manufacturing we have left and thus we see an influx of foreigners filling the very few vacancies available!

She knowingly allowed the use of Agent Provoceteurs to instigate and agitate during various strikes to further influence public opinion.
Just to get her own way.
There was no end to her arrogance.



The country could not afford to subsidize innefficient and wastefull industry, and although what she did was painfull, it was the right choice at the time.


Why couldn't it?
Every other European country at the time did?
Better subsidy than unemployment and all the complications that came with it.
All they needed was professional management.
All the utilities etc sold off, and who made the big bucks? All her cronies?
Now where are they owned?
France!
Where does the profit go?
France!
Instead of being redirected into our economy and our nation ALL the profits now go abroad.
Thatchers backers and supporters made the big bucks in the 80's.



When thatcher came to power, the UK was known as "the sick man of europe"
We weren't known for anything except shoddy practices and striking.


I agree, but to blame it all on Labour is naive, I would suggest it was the culmination of the policies of a number of governments.



Meanwhile, under labour, we have seen the return of the same kind of socialism,


Too suggest that Blair or Brown are socialists is ridiculous.
They are just another shade of blue.



except this time, the jobs are in the civil service and local government, the NHS is way over-managed and as a result is top heavy, our kids are no longer allowed to be competetive in schools, and the education system is constantly dumbed down in order to show that standards have "improved"
We have also seen our national debt increase, we have been subjected to over 150 stealth taxes, crime is rife (because kids are not being taught right from wrong) and PC has run wild.


Again, I agree, but to suggest that anything would be any better under "Hug a Hoody" Cameroon is, I think, way off the mark.
Labour? Conservative?
They are both a complete shower at present.
I hold little hope for this country when looking at the quality of politicians currently on the centre stage.

I have never said that I agree with all, or even anything this government has done, just that I can not stand this apparent deification of all things Thatcherite.
Some, not all, of the problems we currently face can be directly traced back to her and her policies.
She allowed her personal advancement and opinions override the good of the country, a truly evil woman.



And as for thatchers son - well what about blairs wife?
One of the first things he did was to make the EU human rights act law - his wife has since made millions out of it, and that's before we get to her speaking tours, the freebie holidays, the rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous (mostly to stroke his own ego) and the croneyism.
No conflict of interest or nepotism there at all... (sarc)


Again, I agree.
The only difference being that Cherie Blair allegedly try's to help and save people, Mark Thatcher gains profit through killing and maiming and the illegal overthrow of governments.
Mark Thatcher is a truly odious individual who stands even below his mother in my contempt!



I didn't say that what thatcher did was nice, but it was necessary, and anyone who thinks differently is just kidding themselves I'm afraid.


Yes, some of it was necessary, but she took things to such an extreme that it is just inexcusable.
She deliberately drove this country apart to prove she had bigger balls than most men!

Her policies on council housing helped fuel the current housing crisis we find ourselves in.



My belief is that our political system needs reform, with the parties working for the common good, instead of their own.


Politicians need to recognise that they are elected to represent the will of the people.
Our political system does not work like that at present.
We are given a serious of options, (all blue at present), and vote for the one most like our opinion.
Politicians then believe that once elected they have a mandate to tell us what to do, when, why and how and if we don't like it they will stifle any serious debate and discontent.
The nanny state reigns supreme, this will not change one little bit under Cameron.



Sadly, I don't think this will ever happen, without (at least) a coalition government working only for the good of the country, instead of bribing the electorate with false promises and "tax cuts" just so they can stay in power.

Both parties have been guilty of it, but it needs to stop.


Yes, in the short term a coalition would probably be in the countries best interests but long term we need a radical review of our election and government procedures with emphasis on true democracy and the well being of the country whilst maintaing individual rights and freedoms.



Thatcher was a micro-manager, so is brown - blair was a macro-manager disinterested in the day to day governance of the country, but willing to take the credit and stand in the limelight.


Never thought of that but yes, that is a fair assessment.



We need more autonomy, not less, which is happening now.

We also need to see the end of the attitude of some who scream that everything labour/tory is bad, instead of looking at the big picture of who can help the country most.


I refer the honourable gentleman to the answer I gave earlier.

Party politics is outdated and is decoming detrimental to the continued development and well being of this country and it's citizens, (subjects?).



posted on May, 8 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by Freeborn
 


I respect your point of view, but your assessment of thatcher is a little wide of the mark IMO, as is your assessment of cherie blair - and the greed of blair in general.

Gordon Brown is a good old fashioned, die-hard socialist - he just hides it well.
All you have to do is look at his economic policies to see that he is a tax and spend maniac - and he doesn't even do it very well.

I'd also suggest your assessment of france is a little wide of the mark - they were a sick country for many years, and are now turning to thatcher-type policies to cure the sickness, as are germany.

Personally I don't think it's the right way - but our system of government sometimes demands hard choices have to be made for the greater good. Which is why brown didn't give us the referendum we wanted - because in the long run he thinks we'll be better off.

I can't believe your comments about the unions - have you forgotten the winter of discontent?

There were over 600 unions, many of them hell-bent on getting only what they wanted with no thought of the consequences, wild cat strikes, corpses piled high in hospitals because graveyards were being picketed, tons of refuse rotting in the street, power strikes, water strikes etc etc.

I lived through those times, I remember them vividly, and thatcher did what needed to be done to ensure it wouldn't happen again.



posted on May, 8 2008 @ 06:42 PM
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Ultimately, the trade unions destroyed themselves. When an unrepresentative body throws its weight around to the extent that they were effectively dictating to the democratically elected government of the day (be it Labour or Conservative), it was only a matter of time until a leader emerged to break the power of the unions. Remember, a trade union represents its members, whereas Parliament represents the entire United Kingdom. You can't have a trade union effectively dictating to the government - that totally subverts the rule of law and the idea of Parliamentary sovereignty, one of the core pillars of our constitution.

Ironically, I don't think Thatcher would have won the Conservative leadership without the unions - the Tories wouldn't have opted for such a radical outsider (which Thatcher most definitely was) if the situation in Britain been better.



posted on May, 9 2008 @ 05:27 AM
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reply to post by budski
 


Yes, the unions needed reigning in.
As much I too disliked Scargill, it is worth noting that everything he predicted came true.
We have no coal industry at all worth mentioning despite having vast resources, thousands of families were displaced and thousands others banished into the Benefit system.
They had far too much power and influence, but Thatcher took it to extreme and destroyed whole industries and communities to achieve her goal.
For years afterwards workers rights suffered as there were no effective representative bodies and employment law was heavily wieghted on the side of the employer.

I too lived through the Thatcher years, having left school in 82 with no jobs, no prospect, nothing.
I live in the North East and I assure you, I witnessed the full effect of her policies.
There is not one single shipyard on the Tyne, Wear or Tees despite having one of the highest heavy engineering skills set in the whole world.
The misery that woman caused in unmeasurable.

My point about France is that the profits from UK utility use now goes into the French economy.
Whilst not advocating wholescale nationalisation, I do believe that there is merit in certain, essential services and operations being nationalised, providing, and this is a massive point, they are managed in a professional and business like manner the same as any succesfully run private business.

Sorry Bud, but maybe I didn't make my point about Cherie Blair quite clear.
Yes, she used her position as the PM's wife to further her legal carear and make an obscene amount of money.
But to compare her to that odious creature Mark Thatcher is like comparing Imelda Marcos to Pol Pot!
Mark Thatcher's business is death and control.

At least we agree that we need to take a fresh approach to all things political if we are to make any significant changes to our society.
I, and many others, believe British society is in free fall and very much fear the worst.
Party politics is failing us miserably and our current government and election processes and procedures are outdated and do not facilitate advancement and progress.
I certainly don't have all the answers, probably not any if the truth's told, but maybe you are right, a coalition of the best and brightest minds geared towards tackling the immediate, short term issues which need addressing now.
But we also need to develop a long term economic policy allied with a modern government system offering genuine democracy.

How?
I ain't got a scooby, I'm not that clever.

[edit on 9/5/08 by Freeborn]



posted on May, 9 2008 @ 05:52 AM
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Originally posted by Freeborn
reply to post by budski
 


But we also need to develop a long term economic policy allied with a modern government system offering genuine democracy.

How?
I ain't got a scooby, I'm not that clever.

[edit on 9/5/08 by Freeborn]


Perhaps by voting Lib Dem in the next general election? They seem to be the only ones who are neither dragging around old prejudices nor tainted by self-interest and scandal. I suspect that, given the chance, they'd do Britain the world of good.

Plus they're interested in electoral reform.

Edited to add the last sentence


[edit on 9-5-2008 by PiratePiPi]



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