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Ed Miliband

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.

 

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.

 

Attlee (the greatest 20th century PM IMO) put country before party, and instituted earth shifting social change, lost his majority in the 1950 General Election and lost power a year later.  Labour were not in government again for 13 years.  The Tories took advantage of the years of austerity and reamained in power on the crest of the post war boom, whilst running with Attlee's changes. "Never having it so good" thanks to Attlee's post war policies.

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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?"

As someone who is probably going to vote Labour at the next GE I really hope Labour don't start negative campaigning. I want them to develop policies that are deliverable and unlike the other lot have the best interests of the country in mind rather than pointing out that the Tory's really are a crazy bunch.

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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.

 

 Councils can barely operate these days

 

That because too many of them ###### your money away on the wrong things. 

 

I give you the arrogant. incompetent, undemocratic, secretive  wasters at Cheshire East as just one example out of many. see http://www.creweguardian.co.uk/news/10489935.Special_Report__Cheshire_East_and_Lyme_Green/ for a heavily "redacted" version. 

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Par for the course on that website.

Ever since he fell in love with Ukip and started writing columns in the proper press it's gone beyond parody. Shame, really.

Still, it provides gainful employment for the otherwise unhireable Harry Cole.

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Attlee (the greatest 20th century PM IMO) put country before party, and instituted earth shifting social change, lost his majority in the 1950 General Election and lost power a year later.  Labour were not in government again for 13 years.  The Tories took advantage of the years of austerity and reamained in power on the crest of the post war boom, whilst running with Attlee's changes. "Never having it so good" thanks to Attlee's post war policies.

 

I am struck by the similarity with our great game. Fantastic game with awful P.R. vs Fantastic government with awful P.R.?

 

As a game, we deserve better. As a nation we deserve better. Hope we find it.

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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.

 

Well, if he's going to 'decentralise' and give power to councils, he'll be giving them the ability to raise their own finances. Surely?

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As someone who is probably going to vote Labour at the next GE I really hope Labour don't start negative campaigning. I want them to develop policies that are deliverable and unlike the other lot have the best interests of the country in mind rather than pointing out that the Tory's really are a crazy bunch.

So you're going to vote for something despite not knowing what their policies are? That, right there, is the problem with voters in the UK.

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So you're going to vote for something despite not knowing what their policies are? That, right there, is the problem with voters in the UK.

That's true, many voters vote because their politics agree generally with the politics of the main political parties. Being a leftie I was a labour voter until the Iraq war where I switched to lib dem. I will never vote lib dem again after they enabled the Tories to take charge.

Edited by Severus

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That's true, many voters vote because their politics agree generally with the politics of the main political parties. Being a leftie I was a labour voter until the Iraq war where I switched to lib dem. I will never vote lib dem again after they enabled the Tories to take charge.

So you're not voting for actual policies then. It's because you don't like the Tories.

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So you're going to vote for something despite not knowing what their policies are? That, right there, is the problem with voters in the UK.

he said probably, not that he was going to

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So you're not voting for actual policies then. It's because you don't like the Tories.

nobody has to justify voting for whom they vote for.

 

to ge back on topic

 

the things that Milliband and the labour party are saying right now are entirely perdictable. They have neither the ability nor the desire to present the country with even a remotely left of centre, ethical alternative to the coalition.

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the things that Milliband and the labour party are saying right now are entirely perdictable. They have neither the ability nor the desire to present the country with even a remotely left of centre, ethical alternative to the coalition.

Unfortunately, that's true.

 

A competent opposition would be challenging the government rather than blindly agreeing with it on many things that have so many holes in it.  Take today's news for example, the Chancellor has dropped a serious hint that the next Parliament would see the Tories means test winter fuel allowance and bus passes.  A competent opposition would challenge the government to show how much means testing would cost using past examples rather than academic wishful thinking, also show how the government would protect vulnerable old people who may have difficulty in completing any means testing forms along with a robust oversight body.  I'd expect to see any means testing have an automatic presumption of benefit grant rather than withdrawal with withdrawal only authorised after definite proof of means test failure, this would be a significantly more expensive form of means testing with fewer withdrawals of benefit.

 

What would the means test be?  Would it be the simple measure of higher tax band means no benefit?  If so, that's not going to save a lot.  Would it be income support level qualification?  If so, then that level currently leads to fuel poverty now and removing fuel allowance from those who bring in just over it would be a brutal travesty given the current cost of winter heating.  Would it be somewhere inbetween?  If so, who makes the judgement and are there regional exceptions for differing local costs?

 

See how simple it is?  Each one of those points would force the government to be far more careful about random soundbite policies and maybe even stop the worst excesses of idiot government policy.  Yet I've seen absolutely nothing of that kind of coherent thought from the Labour shadow cabinet, never mind just Miliband.

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Labour's problem I suppose is that assuming they win power in 2015, they'll have to start from where they are, not from where they would have been if their policies had been pursued over the last few years. Ed Balls predicted in August 2010 what the results of Osborne's policies would be and he's been proved right. Unfortunately voters probably won't take this into account when deciding who should govern. I'm all for  radical alternative policies, but they have to be credible, because the Tories will distort whatever Labour say, and they'll have a much bigger war chest than Labour have.  Milliband's line about the Attlee government dealing with post war bankruptcy but still instituting social change is a good one.  Those of us with left wing views presumably hope he can make a coherent case of  it when the time comes.  TBH I'm not ruling out a big give-away budget next year to try and win in 2015.  It wouldn't be the first time the Tories have done this. After all if they win they can always take it all back afterwards - a not unprecedented move by Tory governments in the past.

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What sort of serious hint? What words did he actually use? keen to see how they means test the bus pass!   It has no intrinsic value unless you have one and no cost unless you use it. Round here, the bus company logs  each free ticket issued and claims the money back from the county council at the end of the year.  

 

If they want to  save a bit o fmoney, they could just increase the bus pass eligibility age in line with the state pension age, rather than the 60 is is at present. Ditto with free prescriptions for pensioners, too.

 

There are of course, areas where huge savings could be made, but only in no-go areas for governments of any persuasion.

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So you're not voting for actual policies then. It's because you don't like the Tories.

Probably. It's a sad state of affairs as you said.

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nobody has to justify voting for whom they vote for.

 

to ge back on topic

 

the things that Milliband and the labour party are saying right now are entirely perdictable. They have neither the ability nor the desire to present the country with even a remotely left of centre, ethical alternative to the coalition.

Indeed they don't.

 

However, if you're going to vote Labour, try not to pretend it's from some moral high ground compared to the Tories.

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Ed Balls predicted in August 2010 what the results of Osborne's policies would be and he's been proved right.

What did he predict? Plus, if he made these remarkable predictions, how is it he's now decided to carry on Osbourne's "work"?

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What did he predict? Plus, if he made these remarkable predictions, how is it he's now decided to carry on Osbourne's "work"?

 

He predicted exactly what would happen in a speech in August 2010.  Who says he'll carry on Osborne's work?  All they are saying is that given the mess the Tories have got the economy into there may not be an alternative at first. As I posted it's no good saying "well we wouldn't be starting from here"

http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/2013/01/the-bloomberg-speech-by-ed-balls-27th-august-2010

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He predicted exactly what would happen in a speech in August 2010.  Who says he'll carry on Osborne's work?  All they are saying is that given the mess the Tories have got the economy into there may not be an alternative at first. As I posted it's no good saying "well we wouldn't be starting from here"

http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/2013/01/the-bloomberg-speech-by-ed-balls-27th-august-2010

So, the economy is in such a mess that the only thing to do is carry on doing what the Tories have done that got us into this supposed mess? Really, he's not got the nous to come up with something different?

 

Still, a nice little excerpt from this speech where he came over all Nostradamus..

And there was no significant structural deficit in the public finances until the collapse of tax revenues from the City of London in 2008.

 

 

Which we now know is a lie.

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So, the economy is in such a mess that the only thing to do is carry on doing what the Tories have done that got us into this supposed mess? Really, he's not got the nous to come up with something different?

 

Still, a nice little excerpt from this speech where he came over all Nostradamus..

 

Which we now know is a lie.

 

Or perhaps not:

IMF's Fiscal Adjustment in an Uncertain World (April 2013, Methodological Appendix, Table 3) shows that only three other countries – Iceland, Ireland and Greece – are mounting public spending cuts that are proportionately larger over the same period. No large country in the eurozone is being asked to deliver spending austerity on this scale"

 

"Together, this means we have the best protected public debt position of any country in the world top 30, the least likely to suffer any speculative attack. We do not have to rival the Greeks in a crash austerity programme. All the stuff about tough but necessary hard choices, not passing on too much debt to the next generation, is hogwash. It is a highly selective marshalling of facts to support an ideological crusade against the state."

 

I said at the beginning that the austerity was an ideological policy to shrink the state - it seems I was correct.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/23/blame-austerity-old-plight-young-hutton

.

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Indeed they don't.

 

However, if you're going to vote Labour, try not to pretend it's from some moral high ground compared to the Tories.

people can pretend what they like. I see no evidence of anyoneon this thread saying anything other than what they truly think

but I agree it's certainly aclose run thing in the moral high ground stakes, with perhaps the tories winning by a short head on account of we expect it of them and the liberals left at t3e start.

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Or perhaps not:

IMF's Fiscal Adjustment in an Uncertain World (April 2013, Methodological Appendix, Table 3) shows that only three other countries – Iceland, Ireland and Greece – are mounting public spending cuts that are proportionately larger over the same period. No large country in the eurozone is being asked to deliver spending austerity on this scale"

 

"Together, this means we have the best protected public debt position of any country in the world top 30, the least likely to suffer any speculative attack. We do not have to rival the Greeks in a crash austerity programme. All the stuff about tough but necessary hard choices, not passing on too much debt to the next generation, is hogwash. It is a highly selective marshalling of facts to support an ideological crusade against the state."

 

I said at the beginning that the austerity was an ideological policy to shrink the state - it seems I was correct.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/23/blame-austerity-old-plight-young-hutton

.

So, when the Labour party said it could cut spending by £70bn, was that an idealogical policy to shrink the state?

Edited by archibald

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Unfortunately, that's true.

 

A competent opposition would be challenging the government rather than blindly agreeing with it on many things that have so many holes in it.  Take today's news for example, the Chancellor has dropped a serious hint that the next Parliament would see the Tories means test winter fuel allowance and bus passes.  A competent opposition would challenge the government to show how much means testing would cost using past examples rather than academic wishful thinking, also show how the government would protect vulnerable old people who may have difficulty in completing any means testing forms along with a robust oversight body.  I'd expect to see any means testing have an automatic presumption of benefit grant rather than withdrawal with withdrawal only authorised after definite proof of means test failure, this would be a significantly more expensive form of means testing with fewer withdrawals of benefit.

 

What would the means test be?  Would it be the simple measure of higher tax band means no benefit?  If so, that's not going to save a lot.  Would it be income support level qualification?  If so, then that level currently leads to fuel poverty now and removing fuel allowance from those who bring in just over it would be a brutal travesty given the current cost of winter heating.  Would it be somewhere inbetween?  If so, who makes the judgement and are there regional exceptions for differing local costs?

 

See how simple it is?  Each one of those points would force the government to be far more careful about random soundbite policies and maybe even stop the worst excesses of idiot government policy.  Yet I've seen absolutely nothing of that kind of coherent thought from the Labour shadow cabinet, never mind just Miliband.

 

 

The idea of asking the government to justify its position using past examples is a great one.  But if you think Nick Robinson would cover that on the BBC News you're kidding yourself.

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So, when the Labour party said it could cut spending by £70bn that an idealogical policy to shrink the state?

 

If it was, they'd have my vote. Too much "state" as it is.

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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.

 

Almost no consequence?

Tom Watson has obviously been made aware of the consequence in Falkirk.

B)

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