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The National Mood


brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 8:44PM
'twas me he was accusing of bias and blinkers gc, as you say, a well considered and elegantly justified argument Wink

As I think you may remember I've moved from real poverty and neglect in childhood to relative comfort in old age through my own efforts and during my life have moved through various stages of belief including radical socialism, nihilistic anarchy ending up in a sort of "Least Worst case Tory" bracket

All these views have been based on my experiences of life, much reading and debating so - do I give a stuff about comments such as the above - you guess Grin

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6 Oct 2012 11:52PM

Quote:I don't think I can remember reading such a politically blinkered & biased post for some I'm lol ...
I'm politically blinkered and biased? Any fool can say that - and they may be right or wrong - but an intelligent person would be able to demonstrate and explain why.



An intelligent person may indeed be able to demonstrate and explain but indeed realises its futility so may not bother.

Just to humour you I will give you a few to keep you going ... You mention that our economic ills have gone continually ever worse since Thatcher and Regan but take no responsibility for the fact that since Thatcher the Labour Party has been in power for MORE than half of that period and in terms of majority government the Labour Party have had almost twice as long with majority government than the Tories - being in coalition for the last 2.

Murder and Mayhem ... I would cite Tony Bliar as having a huge amount of blood on his hands, being the leader that conned us into an illegal war we are still paying for in foreign civilian sacrifice and our own armed forces.

"Labour didn't cause the economic problems, they just exacerbated them" - JUST exacerbated them ?? I think to say Labour not didn't put the problems right but actually made them WORSE is a little more than 'just' ... Lol ...

Oh and if you say the reason successive labour governments failed is because they carried out Tory policies then that is not mitigation for failure in ANY way .. They are Labour policies if they implement or run with them ... It's easy to criticise a policy out of government - the reality comes in the fact that you then don't adopt the same policy when in government - the LibDems should take note that unreasonable unrealistic promises may bite back in the real world.

Have things improved since union imasculation -you say NO. I say that the country is not being strangled to the point of unburied dead, waste piling in the streets and unions with the power to cripple an industry without any ballot, not to mention the violence and intimidation and closed shop union control. I say yes, they probably have.

Anyway that's enough, got back ache and headache typin ths in the dark and trying to watch Match Of The Day ..... Come on City !!!!!!!! :0)
gcarth e2
10 2.3k 1 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 11:27AM

Quote:Just to humour you I will give you a few to keep you going ... You mention that our economic ills have gone continually ever worse since Thatcher and Regan but take no responsibility for the fact that since Thatcher the Labour Party has been in power for MORE than half of that period and in terms of majority government the Labour Party have had almost twice as long with majority government than the Tories - being in coalition for the last 2.


But have you actually read what I've posted or just selected what your personal bias tells you to select.
In no way do I support a Labour government - I'm Green. I do hold some respect for the old Labour of Clement Attlee because they actually did something for the under-privileged. However, I don't think Labour has ever been allowed to be Labour because of the Tory dominated establishment who support the super rich and privileged. I actually think the Tory governments of McMillan and Heath were sometimes quite well meaning, if a bit patronising, and probably weren't any worse than Labour governments in practice.
Thatcherism was the last straw, in my opinion: Thatcherism de-regulated everything, destroyed industry and jobs at a stroke and made us far too dependent on the financial sector. Crucially, this financial sector was also de-regulated and New Labour simply continued to encourage this crazy and irresponsible policy.

Quote:Murder and Mayhem ... I would cite Tony Bliar as having a huge amount of blood on his hands, being the leader that conned us into an illegal war we are still paying for in foreign civilian sacrifice and our own armed forces.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on the fact that Bliar has a huge amount of blood on his hands and that is why I despise New Labourism so much. I think it is important, however, to note that the Tories gave New Labour huge support for the illegal war in Iraq.
"Labour didn't cause the economic problems, they just exacerbated them" - JUST exacerbated them ?? I think to say Labour not didn't put the problems right but actually made them WORSE is a little more than 'just' ... Lol ...
What I meant was that New Labour didn't cause our original economic problems. Thatcherism/Reaganism introduced de-regulation of the market. Of course Labour is just as culpable for not attempting to put things right and that's because they followed the "Free Market" principles.
So please don't think I'm an apologist for the Labour Party as it has existed for some decades - I agree with you that they should have tried to put things right. They should have had the guts to face up to the Tory madness even if it meant risking not gaining power in government: At least they would have been sticking to their principles. That's why I support the Greens - because they're as yet uncorrupted.

Quote:Have things improved since union imasculation -you say NO. I say that the country is not being strangled to the point of unburied dead, waste piling in the streets and unions with the power to cripple an industry without any ballot, not to mention the violence and intimidation and closed shop union control. I say yes, they probably have.

I agree that the postal ballot was one reform that was necessary for the unions to take on board but everything else that Thatcher did to the unions was unforgivable. The idea that it was the "nasty" unions that brought down Callaghan's Labour government that was incompetent is open to question: I think we have to also consider (in the interests of impartiality) how the likes of Ford management helped to undermine Callaghan's incomes policy at the time.
I would like to agree with you that overall, things have improved but I don't think so - I think things are far more precarious now in Britain and globally. If that precariousness could be mitigated, then maybe I would agree with you. So really I'm saying I think the jury is out on that. Smile
7 Oct 2012 5:24PM
I think we may agree on some things BUT my issue is that you lay the blame at the Tories feet yet constantly avoid mentioning Labour's culpability unless challenged to do so. You now take on what I said about national ballots and add that everything else that Thatcher did to them was unforgivable, I suspect until someone suggests something else bad about rampant unionism then maybe you will concede that and say that "everything else was ... " and so on ..... I haven't shown bias as I haven't been defending the Tories (please cut and paste a couple of examples if I have) ... I was merely pointing out your bias (not toward Labour) but against the Tories in the way you airbrush everyone else out of culpability unless you are challenged to acknowledge shared culpability. You say Thatcherism caused our original economic problems ... That is as ridiculous a statement as can be .. Did we have no economic problems before Thatcher, did we not have a strike crippled country, a 3 day week, economic collapses, power blackouts etc before Thatcher ... Did economic failure REALLY begin with Thatcher or, as many may say, the state of the economy, when Tony Blair took control was quite buoyant and certainly in as good a state as any economy could be as a government is voted out ..... It certainly was in a better state than the last two times Labour were voted out and the Tories took over. You seem to think the Tories are somehow more culpable than Labour but in truth they are not. Oh and the Lib Dems are an indication of the Greens future if they were to gain any part of power. Don't be naive enough to think the Greens could run a country without causing as much damage to one sector or another as any previous government. Government is a painful and a thankless task and the one thing that allows the greens to retain their dignity and integrity and trust is that they haven't been tested. I have no reason to suspect they won't manipulate, lie, cheat and tax was us to the hilt to force through their own potentially misguided and damaging agendas at whatever cost. I am genuinely more afraid of what a Green government would do than any of the other major parties. Anyway I think we agree on some things and not on others .. What's new ;0)
gcarth e2
10 2.3k 1 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 6:55PM

Quote:I haven't shown bias as I haven't been defending the Tories
I certainly haven't been defending Labour. How many times do I have to say that in practice, I think they are as bad as the Tories?
How can you say I'm biased in favour of Labour when I'm continually saying all three main political parties are alike and are answerable to big business.
I suggest that is showing an lack of bias, is it not?

Look, I'm almost obsessed with...almost my whole raison detre is to remain as impartial as I can on all issues.
Because much of the mainstream media might not agree with my views doesn't necessarily make me unreasonably biased. The mainstream media is almost exclusively orientated in favour of the "ruling class". Now that may sound emotive but it is fact - verifiable fact.
The only bias we should be discussing is the actual bias that is found in the media and the overwhelmingly unfair and unjustified balance between rich and poor.


Quote:You say Thatcherism caused our original economic problems ... That is as ridiculous a statement as can be .. Did we have no economic problems before Thatcher, did we not have a strike crippled country, a 3 day week, economic collapses, power blackouts etc before Thatcher
Yes, I was clumsy with words - what I should have said is that Thatcherism caused our present economic problems, or if you like exacerbated the ones already created by Labour before that with her deregulation.
However, it needs to be said that Thatcherism/Reaganism free market dogma really started way before Thatcher and Reagan gained power and the so yes, in that sense even the Callaghan government was probably severely limited by that fact: Britain has always been too closely tied to the US big business and it's war machine. At least Wilson refused to enter the Vietnam War - Oh, and he introduced the Open University, I believe (however, I wouldn't call him a good Labour leader)
Callaghan made the big mistake of going to the country before he needed to. If he hadn't lost the 1979 election his economic woes might would have eased considerably because North Sea Oil and Gas were on the brink of coming on stream and our economy would presumably have benefited greatly. However,Thatcher won the election and squandered this revenue on things like benefits to pay the masses that were made unemployed by her policies. However, I think the single most important factor in the lasting damage to our economy was done by Thatcher with her deregulation. How else would people have been allowed to get into such debt?

So am I biased? Yes, I'm biased against greed and unbridled market forces but believe me, if those market forces actually helped the poor I would be all in favour.
I just hope you're not going to say something extremely silly and say that the free market has been and is a good thing...
jondf e2
8 2.7k
7 Oct 2012 8:41PM

Quote:The only bias we should be discussing is the...........overwhelmingly unfair and unjustified balance between rich and poor.


The above yardstick has been well researched and documented and without doubt has led to many of the ills we suffer as a society today.

Let's look at some related research carried out during Thatcher's 'reign of terror' -

During the 1980s, the number of people living on less than half the average national income doubled from 5 to 10 million (Institute for Fiscal Studies - 1990). There were 1.9 million more children living in families with less than half the national average income (Institute for Fiscal Studies - 1990). Almost 2 million families had incomes that fell below the income support safety net (Institute for Fiscal Studies - 1990). For the poorest 20% of households, annual disposable income fell by 4.6%. This was in marked contrast to those on average incomes which rose by nearly 30%, whilst the wealthiest 20% of households saw their income rise by 40% on average (Statistical Monitoring Unit, Bristol University - 1991)

There is more, much more. Health inequality due to income disparity and poor education (something the Tories tried to cover up). Widening income disparity between rich and poor which had actually hit an all-time low during the period of union dominance in the mid-70s
7 Oct 2012 11:34PM
Evening gcarth ... sorry, my post made it really sound like I thought you were completely defending Labour which obviously you are not. I re-read my post at the time and I can see it goes some way to making it look like that but I had left the page so I couldnt edit it, although I did say this in the post, "I was merely pointing out your bias (not toward Labour) but against the Tories", but this scentiment was lost in the post really. Lets call this a stalemate on friendly terms :o)


@jondf - you switched me off when I got to the ridiculously sensational, "Thatcher's reign of terror", bit - I didnt read a word further ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
7 Oct 2012 11:49PM

Quote:However, I don't think Labour has ever been allowed to be Labour because of the Tory dominated establishment who support the super rich and privileged.


This begs the question 'What is Labour?'. The Labour of the 1910s? 1930s? 1950s? 1960s? 1970s? And if you say 'socialist', you only need to compare the French and Swedish 'socialist' parties of the 1970s to see that 'socialism' is a very flexible concept with the British party of the time being one of the weirder and more militant.

I would venture that Labour has not been allowed to be Labour because people realised that the policies of 1970s Labour were not realistic and voted to Thatcher. Labour were horrified by the exit polls that showed how many lifelong Labor supporters abandoned the party for 10 years or more because of nothing more than the impracticality of their policies - even a majority of union members hated what the unions were doing and saw they needed to be controlled. John Smith saw the writing on the wall and started the shift in Labour ethos from 'British socialism' to more of a Social Democrat line in the Swedish tradition and his untimely death robbed the Labour Party of (what I saw as) a man genuinely concerned about the country and his party - what they ended up with was a carbon copy of the WIlson government in the 1960s: a huge landslide wastefd by someone more concerned with keeping power than managing the country (in fact, two wasted landslides). I believe he was right to commit the Labour Party to maintaining Tory policy for 2 years to avoid a shock to the financiers but ended up rather liking the dividends.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
8 Oct 2012 12:17AM

Quote:We are not now living through the first crisis of globalisation. On the contrary, what Gordon Brown has actually documented is the first crisis of his own deeply flawed British model of political economy, which socialised risks and privatised profits. The paper explores how Gordon Brown’s attempts to modernize the politics and political economy of the United Kingdom, using the City of London’s liberalized markets as a blueprint, has left the United Kingdom facing an age of austerity that was politically self-inflicted rather than financially imposed by external global market forces.

From this reference

Its a French Uni paper so I have no idea of their political bias, but it makes interesting readin - I think



That link had me agog, Brian. Part of the conclusion is quite damning:

Quote:In short, in the twelve year period between his two great speeches at Harvard University, where he had identified the limitations of liberalized global financial markets, Gordon Brown had possessed the opportunity and major public offices to put those principles into practice. He chose instead to become, with Alan Greenspan, the champion of a ‘risk-based’ model of financial governance. Both the United Kingdom and the global economy are now paying the huge economic, political and social cost for that error of judgement.


I agree he built on deregulation started by Thatcher/regan but that reads as though much of what he implemented was in fact his own choice. A massive economic experiment that went very badly wrong.
Reminds me of a company called Long Term Capital Management that had brilliant algorithms for financial investment which worked brilliantly. The only problem was that the algorithms did not account for human nature and the 'stampede reaction' of investors of the Pan-Asian crash in the early 90s.
strawman e2
11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
8 Oct 2012 12:29AM
I was reading some old books the other day, the Wellsian utopia was one of the topics. In their view of the future people would spend less time working and machines would do more of the work. And in a way that is relatively true, but while some parts of technology have delivered their promise we have not managed to re-distribute the wealth. In fact we look to be heading towards a less even distribution of wealth.

I cannot help but feel we have missed a trick in the past decades. We had the chance to live more modest lives and work shorter hours. Instead we have increased the rich to poor gap and also increased the number of hours some people are working. Do we have the appetite for a significant change in how we are paid and taxed? I do not see a solution coming from the existing political system or any of the parties.
8 Oct 2012 2:51AM
or indeed in human nature in all sections of society ... which is the one factor that prevents utopia.I do think however, that there is one political candidate suitably matched to a utopian political system - Rainbow George Weiss ... :o)
gcarth e2
10 2.3k 1 United Kingdom
8 Oct 2012 8:46AM

Quote:Do we have the appetite for a significant change in how we are paid and taxed? I do not see a solution coming from the existing political system or any of the parties.
You're absolutely right.
I think only the Greens have the answers but the media, including the BBC, tend to kick the Greens into touch.
The fact that the main parties take on some Green policies, take credit for them and then abandon them shows that Green policies are attractive and make sense but nobody has the cajones to face down the big business counter-lobbies whose donations etc. help to keep the main parties in power.
gcarth e2
10 2.3k 1 United Kingdom
8 Oct 2012 9:19AM

Quote:Or indeed in human nature in all sections of society ... which is the one factor that prevents utopia.I do think however, that there is one political candidate suitably matched to a utopian political system - Rainbow George Weiss ... :o)
Hi, monstersnowman. You're right about "human nature in all sections of society" preventing Utopia. I think society is like the big corporations - the big corporations as a body are psychopathic but their individual workers are probably mainly decent. Even Sir Thomas More, the writer of "Utopia" was far from being a saint - he is said to have had people tortured or sent to be executed...
When it comes to understanding human nature, I reckon old Will Shakespeare knew pretty much everything about human nature all those years ago.


Quote:
@jondf - you switched me off when I got to the ridiculously sensational, "Thatcher's reign of terror", bit - I didnt read a word further ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Well, of course, even Thatcherism in this country wasn't quite on the same scale as the French Revolution reign of terror but let's not forget it was pretty terrible if you were a miner or almost any other worker. Communties were ripped apart - the country was ripped apart in the name of the "Free Market".
That said, I think I agree with mikehit when he laments the loss of John Smith. I can't believe John Smith would have allowed the rampant and insane policies of Blair, Brown and Manelson to prevail. I have the impression that John Smith would not have kow-towed to George Bush either...
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
8 Oct 2012 9:34AM

Quote:Well, of course, even Thatcherism in this country wasn't quite on the same scale as the French Revolution reign of terror but let's not forget it was pretty terrible if you were a miner or almost any other worker. Communties were ripped apart - the country was ripped apart in the name of the "Free Market".

Come on...Scargill was spoiling for a fight as much as Thatcher was because he saw himself as the champion of the working class. But Scargill deliberately abused NUM rules and by doing that he caused internecine warfare between mining families in more moderate areas such as Kent and Nottinghamshire. If he had accepted the will of the miners and moderated his actions then you can see a scenario where public mandate for Thatchers union reforms would not have been as strong.


Quote:I think only the Greens have the answers

I don't believe that for a minute. Many of their policies have done the rounds for decades between the various parties but they always come up against the realpolitik every time. Yes, I agree they are 'attractive' but so were Miss World contestants saying how the believed in World Peace.
I do like your analogy of society/corporation.Smile
newfocus e2
8 644 2 United Kingdom
8 Oct 2012 9:40AM

Quote:while some parts of technology have delivered their promise we have not managed to re-distribute the wealth


...or the promise of increased leisure time. Many people working in technology-heavy industries building the machines that do more of the work are themselves working under increased pressure to do more and more. The machine builders are increasingly well paid but over-worked while the 'benefit' of being able to spend less time working goes elsewhere.

Just look to silicon valley for an example of how the folks building tech are increasingly wealthy but working round the clock.

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