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slowdive

Ed Miliband

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After leaving the Labour Party in 1994 following 12 years as an active member, I was seriously considering rejoining the party. However, todays policy announcements on welfare, the hypocritical acceptance of a tax avoiding donation, hot on the heels of Ball's unilateral decision to abandon the principle of universal benefits, I am now further away from that decision than since Blair called an illegal war. I would think there are also many members tearing up their membership cards.

How the party think that there is electoral advantage in trying to be nastier than the Tories and forgetting the reasons why their core support vote Labour is beyond me. Despite deep emotional ties to the party I'm not sure I could even stomach voting Labour at the moment. Very sad and very angry.

 

You'll have to forgive me, I'm not in the UK.

 

What has been said?

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Interesting.  I'm not sure what the points in the Miliband link actually mean for real people. 

 

On the Balls link, I think the benefits of universal payments mean that it's probably better to keep them in some circumstances, but it really depends on the circumstances.   Free schools are an incredibly daft and divisive idea and very expensive so good riddance - hopefully most of the current government's barking education policy will follow.  The idea of police commissioners was always laughable and noone will notice if they're canned anyway.

 

On child benefit in particular, the current government policy hits me absolutely squarely.   Personally I face a very high marginal tax rate as a result of it, but the really annoying thing is that I *still* have received nothing at all about it from the government despite being told months ago that I should have received an explanatory letter.

 

The tax thing is so obviously stupid that I can't believe they were naive enough to let themselves be caught out by it.   People expect the Tories to fiddle their tax, they expect the Labour Party to be pretty straight (although they're probably naive to think that).  

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Many natural Tories dislike Cameron and the current party.

Many natural Labour people dislike the current party.

Many natural Lib Dema dislike the current party.

Too many people feel the only alternative option is a party that is only against things.

 

I do think that parties lose elections rather than win them. " I've had enough of this lot..lets give someone else a chance."   add to that what seems to be a growing trend to abstain from voting. 

 

there is also maybe a feeling that the electorate is not catered for. Party 1 has this  plat du jour. Party 2 has that plat du jour. if you don't like fish, or chicken , you've had it. 

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Steve, I know you're a staunch Labour Party man and you honestly believe that the Party has the best interests of the working man at heart.

 

However, no matter how you dress up its policies, no one will agree with you so long as the leadership themselves never look like (i) they are being entirely honest and/or (ii) actually believe these policies are viable when they air them on TV.

 

Miliband and Balls come across as being just as straight and credible as Mandelson and Hewitt appeared in the previous Labour regime. Their policies change every week depending on the outcome of the latest opinion poll.

 

Ignore the polls, Cameron will repeat John Major's resurrection performance at the next election. Like Major, he'll not get in because his party's any good, but because Miliband and his leadership team are seen as a shifty lightweights.

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Steve, I know you're a staunch Labour Party man and you honestly believe that the Party has the best interests of the working man at heart.

 

In the main, yes.

 

Too many people, both inside and outside the Labour Party, would like it to be an organisation with some kind of magical ability to be all things to all men.   And so you get a policy announcement and suddenly everyone's ripping up their membership cards and flouncing off.

 

One of the reasons why I stick with Labour pretty staunchly is because the choice isn't between this Labour Party and a perfect Labour Party, it's between this Labour Party and the Tories.  And I think the Tories are appalling.

 

The reality is, if you believe in some sort of equality, some sort of fairness in the way society is organised, then the Labour Party really is the only game in town.   For all it's maddening inconsistencies, policy lurches and moments of outright stupidity there really is no other organisation that has had such a profound effect as the Labour Party and the broader Labour movement that moves along with it. 

 

Sure, you could join one of the myriad little parties on the left, but you may as well stay at home playing Sim City for all the influence you'll have on the real world.

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I do think that parties lose elections rather than win them. " I've had enough of this lot..lets give someone else a chance."   add to that what seems to be a growing trend to abstain from voting. 

 

there is also maybe a feeling that the electorate is not catered for. Party 1 has this  plat du jour. Party 2 has that plat du jour. if you don't like fish, or chicken , you've had it. 

I agree with you on that.  If there were a general election tomorrow, I doubt I'd bother voting.  This would be the first time I'd not voted in my life.  Even since living in a Tory enclave where my non-Tory vote is barely noticed against the blue tide I've gone out of my way to vote.

I accept that parties will never fully match what I want.  When I switched from Labour to the Lib Dems I did it knowing that they were wildly out of line with my views in many ways but there were other like minded people as me in the party and my views were accepted.  Now, the Lib Dems have "professionalised" in that they're far less tolerant of loudly dissenting internal voices; someone like me who thinks that nuclear power is the only viable long-term guaranteed power source used to be tolerated, now they're hushed up to ensure that there's an undiluted party line.  The sole time I was REALLY comfortable with my views being aligned were with Labour under John Smith in the 1990s.

 

As far as I'm concerned, the current Labour party aren't far away from the Tories of the 80s in terms of political views.  The Tories are not sure what they want to be, half of their policies try to drag them to the centre, the other half drag them towards swivel eyed lunacies.  The Lib Dems are a soulless bunch of opportunists, they'd happily switch to supporting Labour tomorrow if it got them a wee bit more time in power while being nothing more than a "me too!" squeak tolerated by the Labour leadership.  UKIP are just against things, they have no policies of their own to deserve such a large opinion poll percentage.  The Greens are the swivel eyed loonies of the left.  The BNP are the pustulent boil on the backside of UK politics.  Screaming Lord Sutch is dead.

 

On my original paragraph, the only way I'd vote if there were an election tomorrow would be to keep a UKIP or BNP candidate out.

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Too many people, both inside and outside the Labour Party, would like it to be an organisation with some kind of magical ability to be all things to all men.

The people guilty of that Steve are the coterie of Whitehall Spads and paid PR gurus who think they know how to catch swing voters in marginals but know little of the party, even less of the people the party should represent and will never knock on a door in any constituency, marginal or otherwise.

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Steve, I know you're a staunch Labour Party man and you honestly believe that the Party has the best interests of the working man at heart.

 

However, no matter how you dress up its policies, no one will agree with you so long as the leadership themselves never look like (i) they are being entirely honest and/or (ii) actually believe these policies are viable when they air them on TV.

 

Miliband and Balls come across as being just as straight and credible as Mandelson and Hewitt appeared in the previous Labour regime. Their policies change every week depending on the outcome of the latest opinion poll.

 

That argument can apply to any political party in any given election. 

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That argument can apply to any political party in any given election. 

 

You are from a working class background? Do you think that Miliband or Balls would happily blend into your social circle, or your family's? Could you blend with theirs?

 

I think, in my case ... Balls possibly, Miliband never. But, at an official reception,  both would trample over you to get to someone with more influence. And not give a backward glance.

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You are from a working class background? Do you think that Miliband or Balls would happily blend into your social circle, or your family's? Could you blend with theirs?

 

I think, in my case ... Balls possibly, Miliband never. But, at an official reception,  both would trample over you to get to someone with more influence. And not give a backward glance.

 

Does that matter in a senior politician? As long as they either have some idea of what it is like for their constituency or failing that, as long as their policies have their best interests in mind then I don't think mixing socially with a politician is up their in the list of priorities.

 

FWIW I reckon I could enjoy a pint with Balls, Milliband and also Cameron for that matter. Osbourne on the other hand may be a different matter.

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If you wait for a political party to come along that aligns with every single one of your own personal beliefs and aspirations, you'll wait forever.

 

In our political system, you can only really pick the least worst option available, or opt out altogether which will only strengthen the voices of those you probably disagree with the most.

 

I tend to agree with Steve May's analysis.

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If you wait for a political party to come along that aligns with every single one of your own personal beliefs and aspirations, you'll wait forever.

 

In our political system, you can only really pick the least worst option available, or opt out altogether which will only strengthen the voices of those you probably disagree with the most.

 

I tend to agree with Steve May's analysis.

I don't think people are waiting for a party like that, but it's clear that a lot of Labour supporters feel let down by the direction the party is taking. People aren't expecting a New Jerusalem but they at least want the Labour leadership to be challenging the Tory narrative and, more importantly, coming up with alternative strategies.

The least worst for UK government? Perhaps, fractionally, but only because the membership and support might just keep them in check, and might just steer the leadership away from such policies as the bedroom tax.

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A lot of people in the centre and the left feel let down since the last general election. I vowed never to vote for Labour again after taking us into Iraq and voted Lib Dem in the last two general elections. However, they go and throw their hat in with the devil and we have this shower of in charge mucking things up. I'm now finding myself going back to Labour because this country is steering to the right and it worries me, however Labour aren't exactly on the left these days.

Edited by Severus

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I don't think people are waiting for a party like that, but it's clear that a lot of Labour supporters feel let down by the direction the party is taking. People aren't expecting a New Jerusalem but they at least want the Labour leadership to be challenging the Tory narrative and, more importantly, coming up with alternative strategies.

The least worst for UK government? Perhaps, fractionally, but only because the membership and support might just keep them in check, and might just steer the leadership away from such policies as the bedroom tax.

 

Of course, the leadership of a political party have to walk a thin line between keeping the party members happy and appealing to enough people who aren't party members to win elections. 

 

And winning elections matters.   National politics is an all or nothing game.  You are in government, or you are one level above playing Sim City.

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A classic Guido non-story if you spend two minutes digging into it.

 

 

Yes, that's why a Labour Party  constituency secretary wrote a letter of objection and complaint to Labour HQ about the cynical practice of the neighbouring constituency's election-candidate trying to interfere in the election of its own parliamentary candidate.

 

Steve, I'm sure you are a decent bloke but, when it comes to defending the Labour Party, you are the equivalent of Melanie-Phillips-discussing-Israel.

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pro Europe, wishing to see a decent  housing policy incl CGT on sale of first homes as well as second home, anti-HS2, pro-Heathrow extension, free enterprise with effective safety net, atheist who wishes disestablishment of Church,  pro elected 2nd chamber,  advocate of smaller govt except as above, happy with current immigartion polici if not execution, pro nuclear and wind/tide energy, seeks political party. No liars, fools, idiots, Burhnams, Milibands, Dromeys, UKIP-lite Tories or random Lib-Dems need apply.

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Steve, I'm sure you are a decent bloke but, when it comes to defending the Labour Party, you are the equivalent of Melanie-Phillips-discussing-Israel.

 

Harsh but probably fair...

 

My actual point was that the story as presented by Guido on his website doesn't quite match up to the reality of the rules of the Labour Party.  He seems to be confusing the AGM, at which the constituency officers are appointed with a selection meeting, at which candidates are appointed.   That business about lots of new members joining up has nothing to do with trying to fiddle the election for parliamentary candidate - you have to be a member for several months before you're allowed a vote in such matters.  You cannot join one day and vote for your mate the next.

 

It's not really a political story, it's just tittle-tattle of almost no-consequence.  Par for the course on that website.

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Partial quote from the article: ".... it shows a government can be remembered in difficult times for doing great things."

 

Of course they can. If they put country before party. I don't think any British government since Attlee has done that, which is partly why they are so despised.

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A solid policy for Labour should be "Look at the state of the Tories.  Go on... look at them!  Frothy mouthed idiots, and that's the sensible sort, the rest give swivel-eyed loons the world over a bad name.  Would you really trust them with your vote just so they can give even more tax cuts to the rich while their NHS policy is to dump you in a skip if you get too ill?"

 

What an article like that does is create more questions than answers.  For example, if he accepts the Coalition spending plans but also wants to transfer more power to local government, is he going to reverse the cuts to councils?  From 2010 to 2013 there have been 40% cuts in grants to councils on average and a further 10% cut to come by 2015 at the least.  Councils can barely operate these days, never mind take on more responsibilities.

Come on Ed... give us something we can hang our hat on that's not waffle like this or trying to out-right the Tory right.

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