Frankie Boyle's take on the leadership election.
"Every photo of the candidates looks like the staff room of a failing comprehensive feigning amusement at being photobombed by the janitor."
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Posted by Martyn Sadler on 07 August 2015 - 08:58 AM
Absolutely, therefore there are no votes to 'get back' and that's why Labour should not focus on switching the 24% of the electorate who voted Tory but the 76% who didn't - those red and grey columns under Lib Dem and UKIP together with engaging those who didn't vote.
You're assuming that the Labour party will find it easier to persuade LD and UKIP voters to vote Labour next time than Tory voters.
You may be right, but it's a big assumption.
You're also assuming that the non-voters, if they can be persuaded to vote, are most likely to vote Labour.
But non-voters, it seems to me, may not vote because they are broadly happy with the status quo. So if they did vote they may be more likely to vote for the status quo, which wouldn't be for the opposition.
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 06 August 2015 - 03:52 PM
One of the misleading things about polls in this context is that people may support policies individually, policy by policy, but when they are faced with all of them taken together in a single manifesto, they spot the fact that the cost is going to be beyond what they think they can afford.
So they vote for the party that promises not to take us into more debt, even if that party subsequently does so.
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 16 June 2015 - 05:24 PM
###### all to do with us anyway.
You must be joking!
Let's look at clauses 38, 39 and 40 of Magna Carta.
(38) In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.
(39) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.
(40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.
Clause 38 makes it clear that you can't be accused of anything without evidence to support the accusation, and Clause 39 makes it clear that you will be judged by your peers, while Clause 40 says that you can't be denied justice.
And yet the crazy thing is that the government has signed up to the European Arrest Warrant, which directly overrides clause 38.
Any member state of the EU may now demand, without any evidence, that our government arrest a UK citizen and hand him over to await possible trial for a crime he is suspected of having committed.
The key thing is that no evidence is required to be provided with the request for extradition.
So if an EU government decides that it wants to accuse Methven Hornet, JohnM, CKN or any other member of this forum of having committed a crime in its country it merely needs to request their extradition and they will be whisked off to face trial and possible financial ruin.
It may seem far fetched, but it has already happened to a significant number of British citizens.
If you want to know more, google the case of Keith Hainsworth, a 64-year-old tutor in Ancient Greek who was returning from a weekend in Paris when he was handed over by British Customs in Calais to the French police, on the basis of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Greece. His story is a horrifying one.
The fact that the government has overridden the provisions of Magna Carta in agreeing to this state of affairs should worry all of us.
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 16 June 2015 - 05:04 PM
One member one vote is a good way to determine who the leader should be, but the Labour Party is taking a big risk allowing people to pay £3 to become registered supporters of the party between now and 14 August, when the ballot forms go out.
I would have thought that it should have closed the voting roll on Monday, at the same time as the candidates were announced.
It's not hard to imagine plenty of people who are not sympathetic to Labour paying their three quid and voting for Corbyn to lead the party.
I could almost imagine our colleague JohnM deciding to do that, although I realise that in making this suggestion I may be impugning his integrity, and before he sues me I apologise for that.
But if anyone can register and cast a vote it goes without saying that there is little control over who will be voting.
In adopting this system Labour seems to be going from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 13 May 2015 - 11:00 AM
Douglas Carswell is being disingenuous and quite selfish in refusing to take the money that UKIP (along with all the other elected parties) is entitled to.
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 12 May 2015 - 09:35 AM
That was the point I was making on the last page. So many people just think it's an EU law when in fact it's 100% British. If we stepped away from the ECHR then we'd be the only country in mainland Europe to do so. For those who doubt it's values, I'd strongly suggest reading it's history and WHY it got everyone in Europe to sign up to it.
To walk away because it inconveniences politicians in their rush to look good on the front pages of newspapers is outrageous and shameful. For me, it should almost be a disqualifier from holding public office having that level of narcissism.
I don't think anyone has proposed withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights.
And if you have signed the convention, then you are subject to the European Court of Human Rights.
The question is whether the human rights outlined in the convention could be extended to include other rights that they currently don't encompass.
For example, one of the issues that directly impinges on human rights is the issue of extradition, particularly to the United States.
The USA spent several years trying to extradite Gary McKinnon, for example, who suffered from Aspergers Syndrome.
McKinnon appealed to the ECHR, but it didn't prevent his extradition.
Theresa May stepped in personally in 2012 to block his extradition on the basis that there was a very good chance that McKinnon would commit suicide in jail in the USA.
In my view it shouldn't have needed to go so far.
Along the same lines, there have been several cases of British people being extradited using European Arrest Warrants where the evidence has been patchy, to say the least.
I would hope that some of these issues, and no doubt some others, would find their way into a British Bill of Rights.
How the legislation would be enacted is, of course, the crux of the problem.
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 10 May 2015 - 07:55 PM
From my experience, most independence supporters have a great deal of sympathy with Northerners. It's a bit of a nonsense but there is a petition on the go at the moment asking for the Scottish/English border to be redrawn south of Sheffield. It is being circulated amongst the online Scottish independence community, and signed enthusiastically, not through any expansionist sentiment but through a genuine sense of fellow feeling. People look at the vast swathe of non-Tory areas across the north and recognise a people in trouble.
But what do we do? Our votes almost never count. If the rest of the UK votes Labour, we get a Labour government. If rUK votes Tory, we get a Tory government even when we send just one MP to Westminster. IIRC I think there have been just two occasions since ww2 where we have made a difference 1964 and Oct 1974. And at this election we extended the hand of friendship to the party that represents most communities in the north, and it was rejected in the most ill-mannered way.
Should we give up the fight to govern ourselves because we can't affect the lives of people in other lands? Give us something to support, like the Catalans, and we will give help and show solidarity. As someone who is half-northern, part of my motivation for working for the independence/autonomy/self-determination of Scotland was to be an example of what a people could achieve. There is an alternative to Tory nihilism but it has to be fought for. Where Scotland stands today is the result of decades of hard work, campaigning, fighting. When do the people of England begin? When doe people in the north begin to think about taking control of their destiny.
We only hear snippets about what is going on south of the border, but certain groups have identified themselves to the self-determination community in Scotland. Groups like Yorkshire First, the North-East Party and the Northern Party sound very much like our Campaign for a Scottish Assembly and Scotland United of 20 to 30 years ago, or even like the early SNP. Ordinary people can change their political culture, can gain power and use it for the common good. It takes imagination, organisation, hard work, guts, resilience and time.
Don't rely on the Labour Party to do it for you, though. They are no longer agents of change.
What I struggle to understand about the Scottish independence campaign is not the wish for independence itself, which will happen if enough people want it.
I can't understand why some Scots are so keen to cast off the supposed tyranny of the United Kingdom, while wanting to embrace the European Union.
By definition you can't be an independent country if you're part of the EU, and of course that applies to the UK and to Scotland.
If you leave the UK but remain in the EU you'll find that most of your laws are made in Brussels, as indeed they are already.
Whatever that is, it isn't independence.
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 08 May 2015 - 10:38 AM
That's exactly the attitude that has brought the Labour party to where they are. Instead of addressing issues, however uncomfortable, it is easier to pretend they don't exist and ridicule those who raise them.
Take immigration as an example. Those who are most at risk from influx of eastern Europeans aren't those in cosy office based jobs. It is the cleaners, the labourers, the retail assistants that they pose an economic threat to. In other words your traditional Labour voter. Yet the Labour party seems unwilling or unable to face their concerns head on.
One of the things that is striking about some Labour figures is that they blame the electorate for being somehow scared into voting Tory by Cameron or the media or both.
Even if that were true, it sounds arrogant, and Labour would be better to take a step back and think hard about why they have lost so much support.
Having said that, in Scotland I think their candidates were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whoever the leader was would have led them to defeat north of the border, regardless of the policies they might have adopted.
In England, on the other hand, they seem to find it much easier these days to connect with vacuous celebrities than with working people.
Miliband's 'interview' with Russell Brand was an example of that.
One final thought.
When I heard the exit poll result at 10.00pm last night, I thought there was no way the Tories would get to 316 seats.
What would we have thought if the exit poll had been even more accurate and predicted 330 seats?
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 07 May 2015 - 09:19 AM
It's true in many ways though. None of Cameron, Clegg or Miliband wold stand a chance of bettering the likes of Thatcher, John Smith, Tony Blair, Heseltine, Ashdown and so on in a 1 on 1 debate. Political pygmies compared to that of even 15 years ago. The most telling example of this is how Labour have to keep pulling Gordon Brown back to fight their fights for them, in this election he seems to have declined the invitation though. Even Cameron has to pull back John Major to have an elder statesman on his side. Two unpopular and defeated prime ministers, one on either side, yet they still make Cameron and Miliband seem like lost little boys.
I don't agree with that.
Margaret Thatcher wasn't a great debater. She knew how to give a speech, but her debating successes were much rarer. She had a hectoring style that put people's backs up. Heseltine also couldn't stop his arrogance shining through.
Tony Blair was good at debating and at making speeches. He was a great politician for the modern age - too good, as it turned out, because he persuaded the Labour Party to back him when it should have put the brakes on him.
Yesterday I watched the BBC2 Daily Politics debate on Trust in Politics.
There were five politicians being interviewed by Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn and effectively debating with each other.
Sarah Grinton, the President of the Liberal Democrats, was outstanding. She is a far better debater than Nick Clegg and explained the LDs position in a clear, coherent style. I had never seen her before, but the LDs should roll her out more often.
William Hague was also excellent. He is a far better debater than all the politicians you cited, maybe even including Blair. The Tories will suffer a massive loss when he is no longer among them.
Alyn Smith of the Scot Nats and Diane James of UKIP also performed well. But the disappointment was Harriet Harman, who was all too easily tied in knots by Neil and Hague. I've never been too impressed by her, and the debate reinforced my doubts.
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 05 May 2015 - 03:56 PM
The above is all Tory claptrap. Private participation may be 6% now but the Tories have set up their reforms so that they can really make privatisation crack should they get a majority. As for the recovery, the reason our economy is doing better than most of Europe's is because Gordon Brown kept us out of the Euro. The only winners from the Euro are the Germans. It was set up to benefit Germany and it is doing so to the detriment of the rest of its member. Had we stuck with Labour in 2010 our economy would be doing even better than it is today, but thanks to George's 2010 budget we had three years of stagnation. As for the other points you've made them all before. Just because New Labour did it doesn't make it right.
Miliband is being attacked on this forum for being Tory "lite" and for being too left wing. Which is it? Or is he just wrong whatever he does because basically he's Jewish and anti - Semitism is in bred in the UK press.
The only person who keeps mentioning that Miliband is Jewish seems to be you.
Posted by Martyn Sadler on 28 April 2015 - 08:21 AM
he's done it again this week, randomly giving peacock the 1 point, if you're giving points out for efforts then Sims had his best game by far, a Clark and asotasi, in a year and a half.
With respect, Phil Caplan had his Albert Goldthorpe points spot on for the Leeds-Warrington game this week.
If you look at the Opta stats that were printed on the same page, you'll see that Peacock made 46 tackles (only Stevie Ward made more in the game), while Sims made 19 and Asotasi made 13.
Peacock also made 147 metres, which was the highest figure for any player in the match. Sims made 92, Asotasi made 42 and Clark made 98.
Peacock also made five offloads, the highest figure of any player in the game.Clark made two, Asotasi one and Sims none.
And Peacock made nine passes, while Sims and Asotasi made one each.
Peacock also made the Opta Team of the Week, and was the highest scoring forward to do so with 772 Opta points.
In fact there was a strong correlation this week between the Opta Team of the Week and the Albert Goldthorpe points, as of course you would expect.
So I think your criticism of Phil Caplan is very hard to justify.
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