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BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK

The Barden of England 15 Jun 09 - 06:03 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 15 Jun 09 - 05:22 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 09 - 09:08 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 14 Jun 09 - 08:38 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 09 - 03:44 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Jun 09 - 09:17 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 13 Jun 09 - 10:31 AM
The Barden of England 13 Jun 09 - 04:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jun 09 - 07:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jun 09 - 07:23 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Jun 09 - 07:02 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Jun 09 - 06:50 PM
The Barden of England 12 Jun 09 - 03:03 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Jun 09 - 07:24 AM
The Barden of England 12 Jun 09 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Allan 11 Jun 09 - 11:01 AM
Richard Bridge 10 Jun 09 - 11:03 PM
Ian Fyvie 10 Jun 09 - 09:52 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 10 Jun 09 - 06:42 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 10 Jun 09 - 06:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jun 09 - 02:16 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Jun 09 - 12:48 PM
Ringer 10 Jun 09 - 11:34 AM
Ian Fyvie 10 Jun 09 - 11:06 AM
Gurney 09 Jun 09 - 07:39 PM
Riginslinger 08 Jun 09 - 10:45 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 08 Jun 09 - 07:08 PM
akenaton 07 Jun 09 - 06:26 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 07 Jun 09 - 04:56 PM
akenaton 07 Jun 09 - 07:18 AM
Riginslinger 07 Jun 09 - 12:58 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 06 Jun 09 - 09:51 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 06 Jun 09 - 05:33 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Jun 09 - 12:42 PM
The Sandman 05 Jun 09 - 09:48 AM
manitas_at_work 05 Jun 09 - 08:35 AM
The Sandman 05 Jun 09 - 08:23 AM
The Sandman 05 Jun 09 - 08:19 AM
Ringer 05 Jun 09 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,DMcG at work 05 Jun 09 - 07:22 AM
The Barden of England 05 Jun 09 - 03:53 AM
Richard Bridge 04 Jun 09 - 11:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jun 09 - 08:03 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 Jun 09 - 06:29 PM
The Barden of England 04 Jun 09 - 02:10 PM
DMcG 04 Jun 09 - 02:00 PM
Ringer 04 Jun 09 - 01:15 PM
The Barden of England 04 Jun 09 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Ringer-who's-lost-his-cookie-AGAIN 04 Jun 09 - 09:22 AM
GUEST 04 Jun 09 - 09:21 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 06:03 AM

I'm certainly not asking you to vote Labour Don, I'm trying to say that the Tories are there for the rich in our society, and that certainly isn't you, I or Richard - and once again I'll point out that the present govenment is Tory in all but name in my mind and I would never vote for them. Was it Labour who took away MIRAS (mortgage interest relief at source)? - no - it was the Tories, so much for the caring, and if that wasn't a stealth tax, then of course nothing else is. The fuel price only coming down by 10%, well now isn't that what big business does in a capitalist society? Would the Tories ever have given the Bank of England its freedom? Never in a million, it took away some of their power, which when they had it led directly to boom and bust - and before you say it's bust now, it's a world recession we're in now - General Motors demise has nothing to do with the present British government for example. I could go on at length, but I just want you to know that I'm no 'New Labour' enthusiast either. Bring me a just and social form of government please, and that sure as hell ain't tory.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 05:22 AM

""Don, if you still had the pensions created by Barbara Castle (snatched back by Thatcher) you'd be in clover.""

Thank you. I said I needed a good laugh, and you came up trumps.

The pensions of which you speak, had that Labour government continued, would by now be worth about a couple of quid a week.

Back then, the majority of firms didn't even HAVE company pension schemes for blue collar workers, who were paid so little that they couldn't have afforded them anyway.

When those schemes became the norm, we were able to put some money in and increase our chances of having a life after retirement, instead of merely existing. Gordon put paid to THAT idea.

Then this wonderful government enacted the age discrimination legislation, which, among other things protects us against being refused jobs on grounds of age.

At least that's the theory.

The FACT is that it protects everybody against age discrimination, EXCEPT THE OLD.

It does NOT apply to anyone 65 years of age, or over.

So I can't even realistically continue to earn. Since the firm I WAS working for ran out of funds and dismissed me, and five other drivers, I have applied for thirty jobs, without getting one single interview. They are all looking for "a younger person".

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 09:08 PM

Don, if you still had the pensions created by Barbara Castle (snatched back by Thatcher) you'd be in clover.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 08:38 PM

I'm not in the habit of lying Richard. The 70s under Wilson and Callaghan were far leaner times for me and my family than the Thatcher years.

Nothing will satisfy you and John other than complete capitulation and a statement that All tories are intrinsically evil and Labour is the one true religion.

Step forward a few years and examine how the current government looks after the poorest people in this country, most of whom are pensioners who had half their pensions stolen. By Thatcher?......NO! BY GORDON BROWN, who wiped five billion pounds off the value of all our pensions, including yours, I might add.

What has he done to help pensioners negotiate the credit crunch, and deal with rising costs across the board?

1. After fuel cost increased by 40% (when oil went up to over 100 dollars a barrel), and only dropped 10% (when oil went down to 40 dollars), he gave us an extra winter fuel payment of £50 per household, per year.

My wife and I paid separate National insurance and tax all our working lives (45 years), but we receive this benefit between us.

2. He gave us a one off payment of £60 in the first three months of 2009. Bully for him! We'll starve three months later than we would have otherwise.

3. He increased our tax free personal allowance by £2000, which, as far as the poorest are concerned, he needn't have bothered doing.

We didn't have enough pension income to pay any tax on the previous lower allowance, so this empty vote winning gesture is of zero value for those most in need of assistance, and those who DO benefit are probably outside the poverty zone.

4. He bashed the motorist again, and I can't afford to use my car for leisure. The fourteen mile round trip by bus to Maidstone involves 40 minutes on the bus, each way.

A trip to Ashford (fifty miles round trip) takes two hours each way, and Canterbury three hours each way via Faversham (miles off route).

I can't go out in the evening using public transport. There isn't any after 8 o'clock.



Tell me again how the Tories are my enemy, and I should vote Labour. I'm very much in need of a good laugh just now.

Don T


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 03:44 AM

PS - of course, some governments don't want to save everybody.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 09:17 PM

Well, I don't understand that Don.

I know what Nigel Lawson did for my mortgage repayments, and I know what the Thatcher deliberately engineered recession did for me. I know what the Thatcher years did for millions of people.

And I know that from 1976 when I graduated until the Thatcher recession, I had some tight months but never any disasters.

I know that the grant financing of higher education from 1967 to 1973 (plus working, both here and abroad, in the vacations) enabled me to get two degrees that my parents could not have paid for. I made £12 per week as a humble clerk in 1966/7, before I went to university, and my rent was £5. Chucking logs in a papermill in Sweden paid well by student standards. Being a fitter's mate in the Maidstone papermills, working 12 hour days, was more than OK. I drove a van for a well-known electrical chain (loved that job but the pay was only so-so). I collected rent for a local council. And I was a car-body preparer for a while. The only job that really didn't pay adequately was assembling fluid control valves in Alsace. I wasn't a lawyer then, and I saw hardly anyone struggling.

One of Jacqui's old flames, made enough in 6 months truck driving to take every summer off and go hitchiking in France.

None of these were special jobs.

The people whose incomes typically failed to keep up during inflationary times were those on fixed or state controlled incomes.

During the Wilson period, for example, post-tax incomes of the lower deciles grew considerably faster than those of the upper deciles.

No government can save everybody, but you seem to have been a statistical anomaly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 10:31 AM

""Incidentally, inflation erodes savings not earnings. It harms the rich more than the poor.

All I know is that MY earnings never kept up with the mess that Labour produced in those years, and I was , and am one of those you would classify as poor, never having achieved a wage half the national average.

Please don't try to tell me WHAT Labour did for me.

I'll tell YOU! As a working man with four mouths to feed, Labour bloody near DID FOR ME!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 04:30 AM

I wondered to myself if you would answer these parts Don:-

That still doesn't answer the 'Tax cuts for the rich' though Don. That's where I'm coming from. The Police cuts, the pensions freeze, the nurses derisory less than inflation awards.

and noticed that you didn't. Also the value of the pound dropping to parity was between 6 and 7 years into Tory rule. Once again I believe you can answer that, but have chosen not to. Am I correct?

John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 07:25 PM

And house inflation seems to be widely regarded as a good thing - in fact when house prices stop rising it gets treated as disastrous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 07:23 PM

It can be quite handy sometimes if you can pay off your debts in devalued currency...


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 07:02 PM

"Harold Wilson devalued the pound to $2.40 at the time. I remember in 1985 or was it 1986, that the pound reached parity, $1 = £1. Now let's see who was in power then - oh yes. MAGGIE!!! "

Precisely, John.


Incidentally, inflation erodes savings not earnings. It harms the rich more than the poor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 06:50 PM

""Regarding inflation, what was it under Ted Heath? I remember that it got so bad I got a 2% rise every month.""

No Fair John. You know very well that:-
1. Ted Heath inherited that rate from Wilson
2. Ted Heath didn't have a majority which allowed him to do anything.
3. Ted Heath was in any case not in power LONG enough to do anything.

""The interest rate at 17.9% I believe was after July 1980 (when I first moved to Maidstone) so it could well have been 1981, and maybe even higher. I will check.""

Once again No Fair.

The figures were as I stated in 1979 when Maggie took over. Almighty God couldn't have improved them significantly in just one year.

However, if you go back to the earliest days of Labour in power, they have always inherited a better financial situation than they have left, and they have ALWAYS presided over rising inflation and rising interest rates.

Even in the period 1997 to 2007 they went from an inherited 2.5% to an eventual 5.0% and rising. Only a global economic crisis saved them from yet another session of spiralling inflation.

Not once in their history have Labour been responsible for a period of fiscal stability.

An examination of public record will quickly confirm this.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 03:03 PM

That still doesn't answer the 'Tax cuts for the rich' though Don. That's where I'm coming from. The Police cuts, the pensions freeze, the nurses derisory less than inflation awards. Harold Wilson devalued the pound to $2.40 at the time. I remember in 1985 or was it 1986, that the pound reached parity, $1 = £1. Now let's see who was in power then - oh yes. MAGGIE!!! Regarding inflation, what was it under Ted Heath? I remember that it got so bad I got a 2% rise every month. Great strategy that. The interest rate at 17.9% I believe was after July 1980 (when I first moved to Maidstone) so it could well have been 1981, and maybe even higher. I will check.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 07:24 AM

""And of course in 1978 the Liberals decided they weren't goimg to prop up the then Labour Government (because they refused to 'rubber stamp' the policies) and we ended up with 18 years of Tory rule.""

In fairness to my argument, it should be pointed out that in 1978, the Rock of Gibraltar couldn't have propped up the severely incompetent Callaghan government. With rampant inflation over 20% and interest rates approaching 15% (by 1979 when they lost the general election, they left 17.9% interest rates, and 21.9% inflation), and that AFTER Harold Wilson had devalued the pound by some 10% (by some miracle, "without affecting the pound in your pocket", according to him).

Of course we knew that devaluation wouldn't affect the pound in our pockets. But when we took it out to buy food...............

On every OTHER occasion when there was a hung parliament it was as I stated. Labour said "Jump", Liberal said "How high, and how often?", which of cours meant that only an overall majority would deprive labour of control, whereas Labour NEVER needed overall majority.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 03:55 AM

Don - I don't believe that the Lib/Dems will always 'rubber stamp' New Labour policies, no more than I believe that New Labour will 'rubber stamp' Lib/Dem policies, and yes it is a two way thing otherwise why get into bed with them? And of course in 1978 the Liberals decided they weren't goimg to prop up the then Labour Government (because they refused to 'rubber stamp' the policies) and we ended up with 18 years of Tory rule. That may have been fine for you, but not for me. Plenty of tax cuts there for the rich, leading to enormous pay rises for the bosses, whilst all the time police services were severly cut, nurses were told they couldn't have pay rises and pensioners had to put up with no increases at all. Such a caring lot the Tories really are (and I count New Labour as a Tory part by any other name). That is exactly the reason why I want PR, as it will give us government by concensus and stop us 'normal' folk being sh*t upon from a great hight. Power back to the people is what it's all about.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: GUEST,Allan
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 11:01 AM

"Bottom line the country is effectively run by the party that polls the least votes"

That isn't the current experience in Scotland. The Nats polled the highest number of votes but don't form a majority. They are a government who are governing effectively but have to govern by consensus, hence some of their more individual policies had to be shelved for the time being.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:03 PM

The maths isn't that complex, but I'm not doing it now during my usual 4 am prowl. To illustrate, assume first a uniformly distributed population and two parties. The party with 51% of the vote gets 100% of the seats. Next assume a randomly distributed ("normal" bell-curve) population - the same effect is present but less so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 09:52 PM

Don

PR is not one system, its a number of systems which aim to produce a more representative reflection of the voters' wishes. The principle alone is infinitely superior to that behind First Past the Post.

But they differ in their effectiveness to reflect voter choice. Manipulation by 'thresholds' can virtually ensure the same effective result as First Past the Post. That's to say, a House of Commons packed with the same three benefit slashing, privatising parties, but in a more reflective mix just among the three.

These thresholds in a badly constructed PR system can be used to exclude all the parties that offer a real alternative just as now, so you end up with a Parliament (English seats at least) packed with a bunch of Big Business grovellers who distinguish themselves only by who's got the prettiest Leader.

Anyone voting for a real alternative party (and a huge percentage did in the 2009 Euros) could be wasting their vote again, as now, if they get away with insalling a con trick variation of PR.

Ian F


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:42 PM

Scrub that.

There's a flaw in my figures, certainly in this election, but in most elections over the last forty years the result would have been as described.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:38 PM

""First past the post results in a dictatorship by small majorities. I don't know of a PR system that achieves that.""

On last week's results, Richard, PR would mean:-

Tories 38%
LibDems 17%
Labour 15%


We all know that what is the end result of that, going by past experience, is that the least unpopular party with the highest percentage of votes is powerless, since the LibDems will, as always in the past, prop up labour by rubber stamping their policies.

Bottom line.....The country is effectively run by the party which polls least votes.

Well, bloody hooray for PR.... the fairest system? I don't THINK so, and neither would the majority right now.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 02:16 PM

All governments are coalitions (with the possible exception of some dictatorships). Under the first-past-the-post system the coalitions tend to be disguised by the fact that the competing factions tend to be inside the major parties, rather than having a formally separate existence. This reduces the power of voters to pick and choose between the various factions.

First past the post results in a dictatorship by small majorities. In fact it results in a dictatorship by a small controlling minority within a larger party which may or may not have received more popular votes than its opponents. In 1951 Labour received a million more votes than the Tories, and lost the election; in 1974(February) the Tories got 200,000 more votes than victorious Labour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:48 PM

First past the post results in a dictatorship by small majorities. I don't know of a PR system that achieves that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Ringer
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:34 AM

"any system of PR is better than First Past the Post."

No it isn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:06 AM

Just dicovered this thread - lots to read!!

On PR - any system of PR is better than First Past the Post. But some are better than others. Look carefully at the pluses and minuses of each PR system.

And once the PR priciple is accepted for Westmister elections, all who care should must make sure our rulers don't foist on us the sort of PR that gives vurtually the same result as we have now - a House of Commons full of three Benefit slashing, privatising, lackeying to Big Business parties.

My guess is that PM G Brown and chums are up to something that looks good - but means Business as Usual for the usurers and global gamblers.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Gurney
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 07:39 PM

On your original question, John, I live in NZ, which has a Mixed Member Proportional system of voting. This means that we have two votes, one for a local MP, and one for a political party. The party vote is counted nationally, and a further group of MPs are appointed, who are selected by the specific political party.
The appointees have, and are, selected as Ministers, and seem to have as many powers as elected MPs.
The original electorates remain. The appointees are additional.

Leading figures in political parties are both on electorate and party lists, so that EVEN IF VOTED OUT, THESE PEOPLE ARE STILL APPOINTED.

Unfortunately, since the system was introduced, most political parties have not had the figures to govern alone, and have had to form alliances with smaller parties, who have then seized the opportunities to push their agendas, some of which have proved widely unpopular.

We currently have a National (similar to Conservative) Government, who can govern alone, but have still formed coalitions anyway.
We have a government minister whose party has ONE seat in parliament.

I wouldn't recommend this system of election. However, politicians love it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Riginslinger
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 10:45 PM

"By then, Ake, the Scots will most likely have left the Union too, and they can all be happy presbyterians together. Thank God, when THAT day comes, we'll also be rid of Gordon Brown."


                When was the Bishop's war, 1635 or somewhere there abouts?


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 07:08 PM

Some of them might be English problems though, and maybe we too will be able to afford free prescriptions.

Don T


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: akenaton
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 06:26 PM

Oh I think you English will have more than enough probs with race riots, BNP, the unemployed etc, to keep you busy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 04:56 PM

By then, Ake, the Scots will most likely have left the Union too, and they can all be happy presbyterians together.

Thank God, when THAT day comes, we'll also be rid of Gordon Brown.

Don T


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: akenaton
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:18 AM

Yes thats right Don, and the problem is likely to be transfered to Scotland with the Northern Irish Loyalists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Riginslinger
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:58 AM

And California will likely join Mexico for the same reason. It must make Protestants hate Catholics even more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 09:51 PM

""[imo]if you believe in the peaceful unification of Ireland ,this is a reason not to vote Conservative,because you are in effect voting unionist.""

With respect Dick, that statement is nonsense.

A conservative vote in England, has no bearing on what happens with the Northern Irish vote in Stormont.

At the moment, there are more loyalists in Northern Ireland than republicans. It is supposed to be a democracy, so the majority carries the day, and just now the majority chooses to remain part of the UK.

That balance, though, is changing, and before long there will be more republicans than Loyalists, and when that day comes the majority will unite with the south (assuming that Eire wants them, and that's by NO means certain), and if the loyalists can't accept that, they will be free to leave and go to England or (more likely) Scotland, just as today's republicans could, if they chose move south.

This, unless somebody starts up the violence again, is what IS going to happen, and it is right that it should.

And for those who continually castigate the British government for its interference, I am certain that the British government LONGS FOR THE DAY that it sheds the responsibility to intervene, when Northern Ireland leaves the Union.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 05:33 AM

Poem 41 of 230: EVEN AFTER LINCOLN, STEINBECK, AND KING

Written at a public toilet by the
    Statue of Liberty:
"What of Equality, Fraternity;
    And Democracy!?"

The U.S.A. has aided dictators -
    Right-Wing leaders, of course;
So some's bestowal of democracy
    Is hypocrisy.

From http://walkaboutsverse.sitegoz.com (e-scroll)
Or http://blogs.myspace.com/walkaboutsverse (e-book)


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 12:42 PM

As I have said on the other thread on which that statement from Cameron was pasted in, it is a statement worthy of Goebbels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 09:48 AM

100.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:35 AM

I've got a sense of deja vu about this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:23 AM

Site last updated
5th June 2009

New_euro_election
Voting For Change

Ahead of the European Election on Thursday, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party Sir Reg Empey and Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron have issued the following joint statement.

"Change is needed across the United Kingdom.

Gordon Brown's Government has taken the UK to the brink of bankruptcy, and now we have a Parliament that has lost the trust of the people.

Public confidence in our institutions and in our politicians is at rock bottom.

David Cameron said last week that "big change and a new politics is exactly what people can expect from a new Conservative government…with people in control of the things that matter to them, a country where the political system is open and trustworthy and where power is distributed from the political elite to the man and woman in the street."

We want the people of Northern Ireland to be part of this process of change and new politics. As citizens of the United Kingdom they should have the same political and Parliamentary standards as their fellow citizens in England, Scotland and Wales.

The Ulster Unionist Party and Conservative Party, standing together as 'Conservatives and Unionists,' have already taken the first important step towards change and new politics. We have jointly endorsed Jim Nicholson as our candidate for the European Parliament.
[imo]if you believe in the peaceful unification of Ireland ,this is a reason not to vote Conservative,because you are in effect voting unionist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:19 AM

there is an important difference between the Labour and the Conservative party:foreign policy towards the unification of Ireland.
the Conservative party was until recently Conservative and Unionist party.
investigate the Conservatives recent decisions in running candidates in Ulster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Ringer
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 07:46 AM

Barden of England: I refer to your post Date: 04 Jun 09 - 02:10 PM

Aren't you confusing PR and whipping? I should have thought that if PR yielded small or no majorities then whipping would be more prevalent, not less so. If a party has a majority of 50 or so (as now) a few MPs voting against the whip makes no difference at all, but if the majority were small then those few MPs could well lose the government's vote.

It seems to me that constitutional reform is being used by the unscrupulous as a smokescreen to hide the recent disclosures of just how deceitful MPs are. But I repeat: it's not a better method of electing MPs that's needed, but better MPs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: GUEST,DMcG at work
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 07:22 AM

Thanks for that comment, Richard.   In some ways the system I suggested is not that different to the US system, where some Presidential appointments have to be confirmed by the Senate (?); I assumed that the appointments would be effective on an acting basis where necessary before the formal confirmation, but I accept this could lead to the parties allowing long delays between acting appointment and confirmation, so it would need some mechanism to prevent that.

My main objections to my own idea are twofold: (a) how do we ensure anyone is ever confirmed, because almost by definition the majority of the population does not want that party in power and (b) how could we stop the media having undue influence on the selection panel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 03:53 AM

I do remember that time Don, but that was Italy and not here. They still have the PR system by the way, so what about mentioning 1970 to 2009?
I also remember the Ted Heath years and 3 day weeks, The Labour winter of discontent, and yes the Liberals were in bed with them and should have done much better than they did, but at least there was mostly full employment. I also remember the Thatcher years and what that did to my pension prospects. The Unions needed reigning in without a doubt, but if you want to mention places like Italy, then why not places like France and Germany? Germany for example has taken on and integrate what was the basket case of East Germany. Would this country have been able to do that? Those 3 countries have the Euro by the way - done them great harm hasn't it. Our politicians will never let go of the Pound, because without it they lose some of the power they hold, and of course I trust them with that power - not.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 11:55 PM

It is certainly true that a system with no constituency boundaries would reduce the inherent gerrymander in setting constituency boundaries. Am I not right that in every election since 1945 more votes were cast for a party or parties other than the winning party?

The delays in DMcG's system would render it unworkable - as indeed is not likely to be demonstrated over the coming weekend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 08:03 PM

"Proportional representation" tends to be used for a whole range of different systems of voting, which would have different consequences. (And some of them, such as the single transferable vote shouldn't properly be given that name). Opponents of electoral reform tend to point to the systems which have major disadvantages, and ignore the ones that do not. And at the same time they brush aside the very major flaws in the first-past-the-post system.

One major flaw with the existing system is that it can entail giving a job for life to some pretty shady characters, because it's impossible to vote against an individual MP without also voting against the party that is unfortunate enough to be lumbered with him or her.

Another is that people feel compelled to vote for people and parties which they would prefer not to in order to keep out people and parties they like even less.

And another is that in many/most constituencies the margins between candidates are so wide that there is no realistic likelihood of the sitting member losing, so there is no real point in voting.

All those are flaws which could be reduced or even eliminated with a better voting system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 06:29 PM

John, you should be able to remember the period from about 56 to 70, during which the Italians went through a similar period of political turbulence.

The standing joke of the time was "Hi there, who is prime minister THIS week?"

The Mafia wound up running the country, and it took years of assassinations and terrorism to clean them out.

Do we really want that?

Also, whenever your Lib/Dems have had the chance to make a difference during a hung parliament (at least three times in MY lifetime), instead of cherry picking the best ideas from both sides, and making them reality, what did they do?

They rubber stamped Labour Party decisions, good or bad (and plenty WERE very bad).

Do we want THAT again, Gordon Brown propped up by Nick Clegg?

I don't think so.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 02:10 PM

Ringer - The reason I say that it may well bring us MPs with integrity is that not one party will end up with a stonking great majority, something we have suffered from for almost the last 30 years - a generation by any measure. When MPs are not 'whipped' to within an inch of their seats (for look what's happening now with 'resignations' and de-selection, as if that matters to me!) they have to start thinking about what they're there for. Will they ever be able to get away with the scandalous behaviour that some of them have exhibited? They were just fodder, and PR should stop that in its tracks. It will probably mean some years of political instability, but in my mind that is a small price to pay for the benefits to come. Now, I just wonder what your take is on this?
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 02:00 PM

Here's an idea that has no chance of being implemented! Ministeral appointments to be confirmed using a panel of 120 people selected using the existing jury selection systems. If a nomination is not confirmed the nominee is barred from any ministeral post for the rest of the session ,but there are two more attempts, then the PM becomes barred in turn and Parliament as a whole must propose a new PM to a similar panel. If the new PM is not confirmed it triggers a full election.
There are various refinements, but there is the core idea to be shot down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: Ringer
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 01:15 PM

Why do you think that "PR could well bring us MPs with integrity?"

I seriously doubt it, but would like to hear your arguments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: The Barden of England
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 10:24 AM

You're right 'Ringer'. It's debateable that we've ever had a true democracy, but then again it wasn't that long ago that if you were a woman, or didn't own property, you weren't allowed to vote either. So things have changed, and I believe they should do again. PR could well bring us MPs with integrity, and something really must be done to get rid of this (essentially) one party system. Have you any ideas?
John Barden


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: GUEST,Ringer-who's-lost-his-cookie-AGAIN
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 09:22 AM

Damn. The above is from me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Bring back Democracy to the UK
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 09:21 AM

I've just re-read your opening post again, Barden of England. Couple of points:

1) Your thread-title is "Bring back democracy..." The implication is that the UK once had democracy but has it no longer. Comments?

2) I don't think that the way we elect our representatives is at fault -- the problem is with the representatives we elect. Sure, you can argue that this or that PR method would be "better" or that the Lords should be elected, but nothing will improve things until we have MPs of integrity rather than those seeking to be first at the trough.


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