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  #1  
Old August 13th, 2007, 2:07 pm
Overdose  Undisclosed.gif Overdose is offline
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UK Politics

I'm going to make a final attempt to really get this discussion underway with the reopening of PNWI.

Anyway, the current political scene: Cameron's Conservatives have not done as well as they initially hoped. As charismatic as Cameron is, current public opinion seems to show that the public values Brown's supposed notion of strength, integrity and determination over Cameron's charm and charisma.

So anyway, questions to kick off the topic.

1) What do you like/dislike about Brown's new government? Is it actually a new government as the media have labelled it, or is it simply same old Labour?

2) The main opposition is the Conservatives, yet the Conservatives seem divided and weak. How will they pull together if a predicted early general election takes place?

3) The Liberals (or rather Liberal Democrats) are also stumbling since Cameron, rather than poach seats and directly confront Labour in recent bielections has capitalised on seats by moving into LibDem turf?

4) Boris Johnson for London? Yay or nay?


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  #2  
Old August 13th, 2007, 2:31 pm
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Re: UK Politics

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Originally Posted by Overdose View Post
Cameron's Conservatives have not done as well as they initially hoped. As charismatic as Cameron is, current public opinion seems to show that the public values Brown's supposed notion of strength, integrity and determination over Cameron's charm and charisma
It all went to pot for Cameron when he lost his lucky green tie. He has been losing popularity since then. It also doesn't help that he tries to be everything for everyone and has ended up alienating the traditional Tory voter by moving clser and closer towards the left.

1) What do you like/dislike about Brown's new government? Is it actually a new government as the media have labelled it, or is it simply same old Labour?

To me it is the same Labour, just with lots of different faces.

2) The main opposition is the Conservatives, yet the Conservatives seem divided and weak. How will they pull together if a predicted early general election takes place?

The Tories are divided because Cameron wants to please everyone instead of just sticking to his guns. due to the state of Labours finances at the moment the earliest and election could take place is summer '08 and there is a lot of time between then and now that could destroy Brown's image.

3) The Liberals (or rather Liberal Democrats) are also stumbling since Cameron, rather than poach seats and directly confront Labour in recent bielections has capitalised on seats by moving into LibDem turf?

The Lib Dems have never really gotten off the mark. Probably because no one knows what they stand for.

4) Boris Johnson for London? Yay or nay?

Yay!


  #3  
Old August 13th, 2007, 2:42 pm
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Re: UK Politics

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The Lib Dems have never really gotten off the mark. Probably because no one knows what they stand for.
I don't think they know what they stand for either. I have flirted with the Liberals in the past though my natural choice for economic policy is the Conservatives, but the Liberal Democrats have too much of a broad set of viewpoints to be a good choice for me (although the Conservatives are also going down this path now).

I agree with your assessment of Cameron. Before he posed a serious threat, Blair spent a long time in Labour dealing with the grass roots of the party so that they do not rebel against him. The statement on grammar schools etc has left Cameron hanging out to dry with no leg to stand on.

On paper, Cameron should be an attractive position to a lot of middle Britain: a fiscal conservative, but one who has a realistic position of government intervention to deal with issues such as climate change and a social conservative position in his views on family values. Problem is he simply does not appear coherant, and whilst his personal appearances recently (for example on webcameron) have been more policy based, he still cannot fling his image as an incompetant poster boy.


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Old August 13th, 2007, 2:52 pm
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Re: UK Politics

No, the LibDems don't know what they stand for. They sit on the fence and only make a decision at the very last minute and tend to side with the winning side. Ming Campbell was at my university doing a speech of some kind, and even though I missed the start (damn those lectures) I did catch most of it. Really, it was a load of waffle about absolutely nothing.

Someone really has to sit down and have a talk with Cameron. I mean, giving married couples tax breaks and incentives? What?! He needs to figure out some serious policies and then stick by them, not change them around to fit whoever he is talking to.

William Hague was a good leader, but was years ahead of his time. If he was to step in and give Cameron some decent advice (unlike the tosh he is getting at the moment) then the Tories might be able to salvage some of their credibility.


  #5  
Old August 13th, 2007, 4:07 pm
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Re: UK Politics

Quote:
UAM wrote
William Hague was a good leader, but was years ahead of his time. If he was to step in and give Cameron some decent advice (unlike the tosh he is getting at the moment) then the Tories might be able to salvage some of their credibility.
I quite liked Billy the Fizz but he was a fool to take over in 1997. The Tories had just lost in the biggest landslide in 200 years and weren't going anywhere for a while.

I think Cameron has the right idea to some extent because the old Tory party of Thatcher and Major was so hated but for the moment at least he hasn't got the party behind him. (and he does appear to be more style than substance) Until the right wing of the party understand that, for the moment at least, they are unelectable nothing will change. I am strongly reminded of the eighties when the left wing of the Labour party were in a similar state of denial.


  #6  
Old August 13th, 2007, 4:26 pm
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Re: UK Politics

I can't say that it's just the right that are at fault. The moderates in the Conservative party see the need to change the way the party works, yet I'm not sure they know which direction to go in which sends mixed messages to the grass roots and the Thatcherites.

My ideal Conservative party would emphasise less the family values diatribe they always break out when attempting to wi over middle England and focussing more on limiting the power of Europe to regulate the UK market, promoting free trade, economic liberalism, decentralisation and a tough stance on crime.

Similarly, currently my ideal Labour party is basically the already present movement though with less of the meddling in civil liberty, less of the bills to limit freedom of information which sadly both parties seemed to have common ground in, more on social housing and economic mobility.


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  #7  
Old August 13th, 2007, 5:16 pm
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Re: UK Politics

I must admit I wouldn't know who to vote for if there was an election. If Blair was still in power I wouldn't even think about voting Labour, but with Brown I'm at least willing to listen to see if anything really has changed. David Cameron I don't trust. He seems to just be a people pleaser but I don't think he can live up to all his promises. As for the Lib Dems I have no idea where they stand at the moment, if Charles Kennedy was still around that would be where my vote would go though, and I think the party should really have stood behind him.


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  #8  
Old August 13th, 2007, 6:27 pm
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Re: UK Politics

Given that Brown created New Labour in partnership with Blair, I highly doubt that much will really change at all.

I have and to some extent still do support Blair so I suppose I have a small amount of bias.

Currently, the Conservatives, whatever the faults of Labour are not offering a good or even any real alternative. As a voter I want to know what I am voting for and Cameron so far has yet to produce any decent proposals or really put up much of an opposition to Brown.


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  #9  
Old August 13th, 2007, 10:10 pm
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Re: UK Politics

But can you, honestly, say that anyone - anyone - in the last, I don't know 20 30 40 years has been a really good, trustworthy, enthusiastic, leader of any party?

I'll go for Boris to be London's mayor - I need a laugh.


  #10  
Old August 13th, 2007, 10:26 pm
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Re: UK Politics

Thatcher, for all her faults, was an excellent leader and an excellent PM. Of course mistakes were made but no one is perfect and the Tories are sadly still suffering from those mistakes, especially in the West of Scotland.


  #11  
Old August 14th, 2007, 6:42 am
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Re: UK Politics

1) What do you like/dislike about Brown's new government? Is it actually a new government as the media have labelled it, or is it simply same old Labour?
Same old Government. It'll only be a new government if Brown wins the next election and gets his own mandate. Though Brown has made some positive changes and dealt with situations quite well.

2) The main opposition is the Conservatives, yet the Conservatives seem divided and weak. How will they pull together if a predicted early general election takes place?


The simple answer is they won't pull themselves together in time.
Cameron for all his bravdo hasn't changed the soul of the Tory party.
They are unprepared to move into the centre ground properly and do anything to win. Which means ditching core party values that the general public no longer regard as being right for Britain.

3) The Liberals (or rather Liberal Democrats) are also stumbling since Cameron, rather than poach seats and directly confront Labour in recent bielections has capitalised on seats by moving into LibDem turf?

Actually the Lib dems did quite well in two recent by elections:
Ealing, Southall 19 July 2007
VS votes previous general election
Sharma Labour 15,188 41.5% 22,937 48.8% -7.3%Lab
Nigel Bakhai Liberal democrat 10,118 27.6% 11,497 24.4% +3.2% LD
Tony Lit Conservative 8,230 22.5% 10,147 21.6% +0.9% Con
Other candiates 3,082 8.4% 2,464 5.2% +3.2% Other
Sedgefield - 19 July 2007
Vote share previous general election
Philip Wilson Labour 12,528 44.8% 24,429 58.9% -14.1% Lab
Greg Stone Liberal Democrat 5,572 19.9%4,935 11.9% +8.0% LD
Graham Michael Robb Conservative 4,082 14.6% 5,972 14.4% +0.2% Con
http://www.parliament.uk/directories..._elections.cfm more accurate information can be found there.
The Lib dems have clawed themselves back into second place ahead of the Conserative party (although they are safe labour seats, the conseratives have to make real inroads into safe seats and the marginal ones if they have any hope of winning the next election).

4) Boris Johnson for London? Yay or nay?
Meh is all can say to that. The London Mayor is of no interest to me.
Cept when Red Ken makes gaffes
I doubt Boris would be able to run London properly, not least with the
2012 games coming up.


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  #12  
Old August 14th, 2007, 11:06 am
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Re: UK Politics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
The simple answer is they won't pull themselves together in time.
Cameron for all his bravdo hasn't changed the soul of the Tory party.
They are unprepared to move into the centre ground properly and do anything to win. Which means ditching core party values that the general public no longer regard as being right for Britain.
But no party is moving into the centre. Labour are moving further and further right and the Tories, although still on the right and now seen as being more to the left than Labour. I would say that the general public are moving slightly more to the right.

Quote:
The Lib dems have clawed themselves back into second place ahead of the Conserative party (although they are safe labour seats, the conseratives have to make real inroads into safe seats and the marginal ones if they have any hope of winning the next election).
That depends where in the country you are really. In Scotland they came behind the Tories. Yes, in Scotland the Tories did not come last and that is saying something! If I was a LibDem I'd be worried about that.

Quote:
I doubt Boris would be able to run London properly, not least with the 2012 games coming up.
I think any mayor would have trouble with the Olympics and I really hope Boris isn't made to take the fall for it. Poor Boris.


  #13  
Old August 14th, 2007, 11:54 am
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Re: UK Politics

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But no party is moving into the centre. Labour are moving further and further right and the Tories, although still on the right and now seen as being more to the left than Labour. I would say that the general public are moving slightly more to the right.
That depends I suppose on your definition of centre ground. I see the current Labour as centrists with the Conservatives as just slightly right of them and the Liberals as well as pretty much centrists. We don't really have a proper left wing anymore (thank god) but at the same time neither party is willing to endorse an unfettered liberal market (again, thank god).

Quote:
That depends where in the country you are really. In Scotland they came behind the Tories. Yes, in Scotland the Tories did not come last and that is saying something! If I was a LibDem I'd be worried about that.
I agree. Over here (I live in South London in a predominantly blue area) to get rid of the Conservatives candidate as MP, the best bet is to vote for Liberal Democrat since they're the next most popular candidate, but we're a bit of an oddity in the area. In some of the surrounding poorer estates the Labour candidate holds a lot of popular support and the Liberals are marginal.


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Last edited by Overdose; August 14th, 2007 at 11:56 am.
  #14  
Old August 14th, 2007, 11:58 am
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Re: UK Politics

i would say the LibDems are probably the most central party we have. Labour are going more right wing, although Brown may try to reverse it and steer them back to the centre.

In Scotland the left wing parties were ousted in the recent election and now we have the left-leaning Nats instead. The joys.


  #15  
Old August 14th, 2007, 12:04 pm
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Re: UK Politics

Actually, I'm interested to know, what sort of economic and social policies do the SNP really stand for apart from Independance? Given that they currently run the Scottish parliament under a minority government I'm woefully ignorant of them. I've never known a nationalist party to have an economic standpoint I actually agree with.


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Old August 14th, 2007, 12:16 pm
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Re: UK Politics

The SNP don't really have any coherent policies, or rather, they don't have any coherent ideas as to how to implement their policies. They have ideas and ideals but that is all. Here is a link to their manifesto http://www.snp.org/policies

Their biggest economic policy is the replacement of council tax with a "local income tax" (which the LibDems are also for) but there is massive debate over their figures and whether it would work in the way they say it would. The SNP are rather vague when it comes to details on things.


  #17  
Old August 14th, 2007, 6:42 pm
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Re: UK Politics

SNP policy ? Whatever Alex Salmond thinks is a good idea!
Labour is closer to the centre ground than the Tories are. The Liberal Democrats would be better off if Charles Kennedy became the leader of the party again (providing his problems with Alcohol are under control).
Sir Ming the old, is a fine politician, but i just don't think he has what it takes to go toe to toe with Brown and Cameron.


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  #18  
Old August 17th, 2007, 12:37 pm
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Re: UK Politics

Thanks for that.

Anyway, moving on: Conservative policy review.

So far it looks like a cut in inheritance tax and corporate tax which is a step in the right direction in my opinion.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6949753.stm

However, the Conservatives have as usual not made it clear how they are going to pay for services out of their predicted "growth" and as usual are waxing lyrical about all sorts of reaped benefits without actually being specific which makes me think that this is yet another publicity stunt.

Still, if they can make it work I'd like to see inheritance tax dropped and a more competitive market for smaller bussiness.


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Old August 17th, 2007, 1:07 pm
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Re: UK Politics

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Originally Posted by Overdose View Post
4) Boris Johnson for London? Yay or nay?
I sometimes wonder if he really is as bumbling and slow as he makes out on programs like Have I Got News For You, I mean for one thing he is an Oxbridge graduate so he can't be completely stupid.


  #20  
Old August 17th, 2007, 1:30 pm
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Re: UK Politics

There's a difference between intelligence and practical skill. I know some people who are Oxbridge graduates and their ignorance of the real world frankly scares me.

However, in regards to Boris, I wouldn't vote for him since I don't think that he would be able to handle a crisis that well. But, he isn't the idiot people say he is. A lot of his writing for example in Have I Got Views For You etc display a more accurate idea of his way of doing things rather than his appearances on celebrity football matches etc.


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