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bohemian

they are all the same! politicians!

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23 minutes ago, Ron Hilditch said:

Agree with a lot of what you have written.  But the more remote governance is from the people, then Democracy is less effective.  So add 27 other groups of mendacious people to the Tories.  Then domestically we had the Blair/ Brown Labour Government.  Who out Toried the Tories.  'Prudence' Brown what a joke!  Sold off our gold reserves at a rock bottom price.  Then we had the NHS & Education PFI binge.  Financial bulemia and we are still vomiting up money to pay for it.  City centre schools and hospitals sold off to property speculators.  Norwich as an example, hospital bed numbers crashed and the replacement hospital is situated on the southern outskirts of Norŵich.  Difficult for many older and poorer people to access.  So you can go on as much as you want about mendacious Tories.  Don't like them, but experience has taught me the Labour Party are even worse.  

These are all very fair points. I don't see a great divide of basic views here. I would however draw a sharp divide between Labour policy pre- and post-Callaghan. Labour at that point hadn't quite realised that they were no longer constrained by a gold standard (abolished by Nixon in 1971) and let themselves be both blackmailed by the IMF and floated along with Friedmanism. I will always maintain that that IMF business was the main cause of the misery of 1978/79.

Brown's gold sales were just poor management; he wasn't what he thought. Though the actual ownership of gold is not that important in a modern fiat economy, it doesn't back the currency. Their turn to adopting the oppositions basic policy has destroyed Labour's credibility.

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51 minutes ago, CnoEvil said:

People know there is an alternative - as the contrast between Starmer and Johnson couldn't be more stark - and are, if they have been following, aware of how Labour would handle the big issues of our day - namely Brexit and Covid.

The people will only get an alternative when they can vote for one - which is 3.5 years away. Laying out their stall now, would not be wise imv, as they will only be accused of switching direction, when things change.

People will vote for Labour for several reasons:

- They always vote Labour

- They think Starmer will be a more credible Leader than Johnson

- They never vote Tory

- They have been betrayed by Tories, due to how the Tories have governed/betrayed their trust

- What Labour put in their manifesto prior to the next GE

None of the above will really be helped by putting forward policies that they can't implement - and will be forgotten or changed by May 2024.

There really isn't any meaningful alternative being offered by Starmer. Being better than Johnson & co is not hard. I mean compared to Quasimodo I'm a male model, but what does that really say? What Starmer needs to do is abandon this fake managerial approach of being what Tony Benn called 'weathercocks' i.e. people who move with the wind and don;t seem to actually have any recognisable positions. That at least was one of Thatcher's admirable qualities. You know what you're for or against and it informs how you analyse the rest of their policy.

I agree that some people will vote Labour because they always have done/never vote Tory/feel betrayed/... This is what has always bolstered the two parties, and it would be naive of me to assume every voter has performed a full pre-vote analysis, including myself. What I don't like is how it is abused. Blair abused it. That said I maintain that they can put forward central policy and stick to it and carry on repeating it right up to the election adding more and more detail. Making sure to demolish objections long before the whirlwind of the GE weeks. There's nothing they can put forward which they can't implement.

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Another Tory MP! We can't even provide food parcels to feed children as their parents (who didn't go to public school) will swap the parcels for drugs.

The working class (which means everyone who didn't go to public school) are all on drugs!

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26 minutes ago, Le Baron said:

There really isn't any meaningful alternative being offered by Starmer. Being better than Johnson & co is not hard. I mean compared to Quasimodo I'm a male model, but what does that really say? What Starmer needs to do is abandon this fake managerial approach of being what Tony Benn called 'weathercocks' i.e. people who move with the wind and don;t seem to actually have any recognisable positions. That at least was one of Thatcher's admirable qualities. You know what you're for or against and it informs how you analyse the rest of their policy.

I agree that some people will vote Labour because they always have done/never vote Tory/feel betrayed/... This is what has always bolstered the two parties, and it would be naive of me to assume every voter has performed a full pre-vote analysis, including myself. What I don't like is how it is abused. Blair abused it. That said I maintain that they can put forward central policy and stick to it and carry on repeating it right up to the election adding more and more detail. Making sure to demolish objections long before the whirlwind of the GE weeks. There's nothing they can put forward which they can't implement.

IMV. This isn't an argument which has a right and a wrong answer - and valid points can be made for either POV.

We won't know what alternative Starmer has to offer until he has the chance to deliver it.

At this point, I would settle for a competent grown up, who isn't the puppet of Cummings.

Edited by CnoEvil
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21 hours ago, Ron Hilditch said:

Regarding America, Biden has raised over $140 million in the last week.  It in the main comes from rich business interests.  We see internet media companies interfering in the Presidential Election.  Dangerous times for democracy over there. One thing is certain, the rich contributors will expect payback if Biden gets in!

The media has been 'interfering' with elections in the US for as long as there have been newspapers and other forms of media.  In the old days, the newspapers were essentially political party newsletters/propaganda.  In the current times, not much has changed really when you look at newspapers, radio, and TV.  Maybe the political parties don't have as much direct control, but it doesn't really matter.  The influence that outsiders, or corrupt insiders, have on the westerners via social media is something new I would say.  It's a concerning issue, but it's hard to say how it should be handled.

There is no mystery to Joe Biden.  For decades, Biden has been the go-to man for the banking industry.  Delaware is known for lax regulation and, thus, banks and other corporate interests are often based in Biden's state of Delaware.  Biden has explicitly run on a platform of essentially doing nothing to advance healthcare for Americans.  Biden's contributors are not hoping that Biden will be extremely pro-corporate, they know that he will be and they know that the majority of Democrats in Congress will be as well just as they have been for a long, long, long time.  Biden's embarrassing track record on foreign policy is also well-known.  As unbelievable as it is, the Democrats are running a candidate for president in two consecutive elections who voted in support of Bush Jr.'s war in Iraq in the Senate.  :S

Biden and the vast majority of the Democrats may talk a good game about helping minorities and so forth, but they're all for the same neoliberal economic policies pushed by Republicans and Democrats for decades which has eroded fortunes for the working class.  Millions of working class people who once voted for Democrats in the era of Clinton and so forth have given up on the party.  Rightfully so I say, they're a major reason why American laborers have lost jobs.  What I'm not entirely sure of is why these same people are now firmly Republican voters.  The Republicans are strong believers in the same policies.  Maybe the division tactics help the Republicans in that regard, I'm not sure. 

It certainly seems to me as an outsider that the issue is not too different from what is going on the UK.  Loyal Labour voters in areas like the North East seem to be giving up on the party thanks to neoliberals like Blair and company.  I'm not entirely sure why they are voting for Conservatives other than to say that the Conservatives are selling a dream which will never become reality.

This may seem like a dire situation, but at least as far as the US goes, I'm actually encouraged by a lot of what I'm seeing.  Yes, the 2016 and 2020 elections will certainly be remembered as the Trump elections, but what must also be remembered about these elections is the success Bernie Sanders had in the primaries.  Never in my lifetime has a candidate with such a platform had as much success as Bernie had.  You might say that this success didn't lead to anything, but I disagree with that.  I'm seeing a lot of young Bernie supporters getting involved in politics.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (often referred to as AOC), a young woman with a background in economics from a good college who won a US Congressional seat in her 20s, is perhaps the most visible example of this, but there are other examples.

Candidates and potential candidates like AOC should be encouraged to run and take issues seriously.  These candidates must be told by the public that they need to commit to the important economic issues and not fall for the typical Democratic trap of running on identity politics and London like that.  The American public wants major healthcare reform, but the Democrats like Biden keep saying that running on healthcare makes one 'unelectable'.  Bloody hell.  o.O  My only hope is that if Biden wins, I hope that those with good economic ideas don't claim victory and then sit on their hands as the Democrats do a whole not of nothing positive for the majority of the population like what happened when Clinton and Obama won. 

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Excellent summary. The point about Bernie Sanders is important. There is often a view that if you didn't take power, you lost. But we've seen people taking office, but not taking power because they've handed it to corporate entities. Or they are corporate entities. Bernie has galvanised a movement of people sick and tired of utter lies.

Edited by Le Baron
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3 hours ago, Klassik said:

The media has been 'interfering' with elections in the US for as long as there have been newspapers and other forms of media.  In the old days, the newspapers were essentially political party newsletters/propaganda.  In the current times, not much has changed really when you look at newspapers, radio, and TV.  Maybe the political parties don't have as much direct control, but it doesn't really matter.  The influence that outsiders, or corrupt insiders, have on the westerners via social media is something new I would say.  It's a concerning issue, but it's hard to say how it should be handled.

There is no mystery to Joe Biden.  For decades, Biden has been the go-to man for the banking industry.  Delaware is known for lax regulation and, thus, banks and other corporate interests are often based in Biden's state of Delaware.  Biden has explicitly run on a platform of essentially doing nothing to advance healthcare for Americans.  Biden's contributors are not hoping that Biden will be extremely pro-corporate, they know that he will be and they know that the majority of Democrats in Congress will be as well just as they have been for a long, long, long time.  Biden's embarrassing track record on foreign policy is also well-known.  As unbelievable as it is, the Democrats are running a candidate for president in two consecutive elections who voted in support of Bush Jr.'s war in Iraq in the Senate.  :S

Biden and the vast majority of the Democrats may talk a good game about helping minorities and so forth, but they're all for the same neoliberal economic policies pushed by Republicans and Democrats for decades which has eroded fortunes for the working class.  Millions of working class people who once voted for Democrats in the era of Clinton and so forth have given up on the party.  Rightfully so I say, they're a major reason why American laborers have lost jobs.  What I'm not entirely sure of is why these same people are now firmly Republican voters.  The Republicans are strong believers in the same policies.  Maybe the division tactics help the Republicans in that regard, I'm not sure. 

It certainly seems to me as an outsider that the issue is not too different from what is going on the UK.  Loyal Labour voters in areas like the North East seem to be giving up on the party thanks to neoliberals like Blair and company.  I'm not entirely sure why they are voting for Conservatives other than to say that the Conservatives are selling a dream which will never become reality.

This may seem like a dire situation, but at least as far as the US goes, I'm actually encouraged by a lot of what I'm seeing.  Yes, the 2016 and 2020 elections will certainly be remembered as the Trump elections, but what must also be remembered about these elections is the success Bernie Sanders had in the primaries.  Never in my lifetime has a candidate with such a platform had as much success as Bernie had.  You might say that this success didn't lead to anything, but I disagree with that.  I'm seeing a lot of young Bernie supporters getting involved in politics.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (often referred to as AOC), a young woman with a background in economics from a good college who won a US Congressional seat in her 20s, is perhaps the most visible example of this, but there are other examples.

Candidates and potential candidates like AOC should be encouraged to run and take issues seriously.  These candidates must be told by the public that they need to commit to the important economic issues and not fall for the typical Democratic trap of running on identity politics and London like that.  The American public wants major healthcare reform, but the Democrats like Biden keep saying that running on healthcare makes one 'unelectable'.  Bloody hell.  o.O  My only hope is that if Biden wins, I hope that those with good economic ideas don't claim victory and then sit on their hands as the Democrats do a whole not of nothing positive for the majority of the population like what happened when Clinton and Obama won. 

Great post!  What a state when tne best they can do is Trump and Biden.  Bernie Sanders legacy are the young radicals, who won't follow the traditional Democratic Party line.   If you look at Biden's record over the years.  

African Americans - Predators.  

Voted for the second Gulf War.

Was a supporter of legislation that jailed mainly young African American men for life.  Quite often for minor offences.

The cages on the Mexican border were put there by Obama and Biden.  

Trump's wall is just continuing the barrier put up by Obama and Biden.

So exactly what are Americans voting for?  Perhaps more of the same, which ever way they vote.

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It's astonishing isn't it that so many companies (usually ex-public companies either transferred whole or broken up) are always allowed to run at a loss when they (often) fail and it's thought crucial to prop them up with public spending. On the other hand, running a public company at a loss is considered a prime reason for privatisation...curious that. Leaving aside the strict public/private divide, it's considered normal for e.g farming to run at a loss (as it does) and be heavily subsidised because the unthinkable alternative is the collapse of the domestic food supply system. Imagine if that was really left to 'market forces'. There'd be a famine.

The video above shows clearly that provisioning of an economy is actually set in motion by government spending - and it is either done in the public benefit or not, with the governments of the last few years achieving only the latter result. The government procures the largest amount  of goods/services at the very top of the chain - either by in-house production or contracting - and spends the big money - because as currency-issuer it has access to funding the private sector will never have. It also ensures liquidity into banks for indirect credit across the board. The top of the "private sector" is not the main driver; these are designated providers of goods/services in the form of "sales" who, indirectly via government procurement, service the country's needs. The enormous mistake is in assuming that the market produces from nothing and the government sucks away that 'national wealth' for mere redistribution, to a greater or lesser extent. Or that it acts as a mere part-time supervisor.

The question of 'public or private?' is less important that asking if whatever means a government uses to provision a nation's core needs really are in the public interest. If a private entity needs subsidising as much as a publicly-run entity and only offers poor terms of employment for the majority, or pretty much no employment apart from the minimum while paying excessive returns at the top, is it really a benefit?

End of rant.

Edited by Le Baron
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On 24/10/2020 at 08:43, Le Baron said:

Unaccountable? That strikes me as entirely the wrong word. That a government would not totally suppress its citizens' voices in the style of e.g. Russia or China, is hardly a clear sign of democratic debate. Right now there are near unbridgeable chasms between groups of people because of very heavy disinformation campaigns. When you have that, you don't need to go about dropping nerve agent into people's food to stop them.

There are some politicians with integrity and not everything a politician does is played out around the centres of power, but their reach is limited by those power centres. This is why they sometimes disappoint, not because they are all necessarily bad people.

Le Baron  - Social media is unaccountable because anyone can post anything they like on mainstream social media as long as it is in the COP of the platform - which means bugger all.
A confusing but enthusiastic argument . 
Are you talking about the nerve agent Salisbury thing - what are you talking about ?? 

Edited by Von Krolock

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More lockdown = more looting.

While you are locked down, Boris and his posh chums are looting your money on a grand scale. 

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In case you are wondering who this couple are...

"Norman is the son of Sir Torquil Norman and his wife Lady Elizabeth Montagu (daughter of Victor Montagu, 10th Earl of Sandwich), the paternal grandson of Air Commodore Sir Nigel Norman, 2nd Bt., and the great-grandson of Sir Henry Norman, 1st Bt. He and his children are therefore in remainder to the Norman baronetcy.[6][7] In 1992, he married The Honourable Kate Bingham,[citation needed] daughter of The Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the former Lord Chief Justice."

Edited by notaclue

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The Governmint is destroying the economy whilst lining their own pockets!

This is epic looting. The Governmint is vomiting up money and gobbling it down... 

"The UK government has awarded a new £347m Covid-19 testing contract to Randox, the Tory-linked private healthcare company whose testing kits had to be recalled over the summer because of concerns about contamination. … Critics raised further concerns about a separate revelation that the Conservative MP Owen Paterson, who is paid £100,000 a year to act as a consultant for Randox, was party to a call between the company and James Bethell, the health minister responsible for coronavirus testing supplies."

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