MattP

The Politics Thread

3,388 posts in this topic

Posted

3 hours ago, leicsmac said:

Can't speak for the other fields, but for public transportation there are two issues.

 

First, we "won the war but lost the peace" in terms of infrastructure; we have never had to build road and rail infrastructure from basic in the last half century in the way most other OECD countries have, which leaves us with a lot of antiquated networks no longer fit for purpose and unable to update them in the way they need for fear of the disruption it would cause.

 

Second, privatisation hasn't worked as companies aren't competing over routes: they're each monopolising different ones and charging what they like for them. Why the hell do I need to go with two different bus companies just to get across Leicester, for instance?

The first issue is valid when comparing against 'new money' countries who have built entire networks almost from scratch with modern technology, but it's not valid for comparing against the likes of France and Germany who have just as much old infrastructure to work with and around as we do.

 

The second issue should be solved by strong regulation. Again I'm pretty sure Germany at least has a very similar hybrid public/private financing model to ours. Network rail is also wholly owned by the government so track maintenance is basically nationalised.

 

For me it comes down to the government taking money from tax payers and not reinvesting anywhere near enough of it back into the networks. It's the same story on the roads and the government's excuse for that is that they prefer other forms of transport. Then when you look at other forms of transport you see they're not investing there either. Where does all the money go? 

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Posted

2 minutes ago, Barky said:

The first issue is valid when comparing against 'new money' countries who have built entire networks almost from scratch with modern technology, but it's not valid for comparing against the likes of France and Germany who have just as much old infrastructure to work with and around as we do.

 

The second issue should be solved by strong regulation. Again I'm pretty sure Germany at least has a very similar hybrid public/private financing model to ours. Network rail is also wholly owned by the government so track maintenance is basically nationalised.

 

For me it comes down to the government taking money from tax payers and not reinvesting anywhere near enough of it back into the networks. It's the same story on the roads and the government's excuse for that is that they prefer other forms of transport. Then when you look at other forms of transport you see they're not investing there either. Where does all the money go? 

I'm not sure you can even make a valid comparison with France and Germany. Both of their transportation infrastructures (not to mention lots of other things) were bombed, shelled and otherwise detonated into mush. Ours, while there was a fair bit of damage, were not.

 

I certainly agree with the need for strong regulation, though.

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Posted

21 minutes ago, Barky said:

The first issue is valid when comparing against 'new money' countries who have built entire networks almost from scratch with modern technology, but it's not valid for comparing against the likes of France and Germany who have just as much old infrastructure to work with and around as we do.

 

The second issue should be solved by strong regulation. Again I'm pretty sure Germany at least has a very similar hybrid public/private financing model to ours. Network rail is also wholly owned by the government so track maintenance is basically nationalised.

 

For me it comes down to the government taking money from tax payers and not reinvesting anywhere near enough of it back into the networks. It's the same story on the roads and the government's excuse for that is that they prefer other forms of transport. Then when you look at other forms of transport you see they're not investing there either. Where does all the money go? 

The country is running a budget deficit, if it's not being spent on transport it's being spent on something else the electorate want.

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Posted

16 minutes ago, Webbo said:

The country is running a budget deficit, if it's not being spent on transport it's being spent on something else the electorate want.

Not a penny of it is wasted?

 

The question remains about how other countries who have just as many financial constraints as us seem to do so much better. The government scratch their heads over why productivity in the uk is so much lower than everywhere else, probably because we're all sat in traffic jams and on trains that never move while all the money goes 'somewhere else'

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Posted

1 minute ago, Barky said:

Not a penny of it is wasted?

 

The question remains about how other countries who have just as many financial constraints as us seem to do so much better. The government scratch their heads over why productivity in the uk is so much lower than everywhere else, probably because we're all sat in traffic jams and on trains that never move while all the money goes 'somewhere else'

A huge proportion of all govt spending is wasted. It's not like the govt is deliberately starving the railways of money.

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Posted

3 hours ago, bovril said:

I've met very few Italians who'd like to leave the EU despite sharing many concerns with British people.

 

But that's anecdotal evidence and people tend to spend time and converse with those who share their point of view.

Sadly this is true, often when expressing opinion people nod along even if in disagreement. I do it all the time, in my head I'm just calling them wankers all through it.

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Posted

3 minutes ago, Strokes said:

Sadly this is true, often when expressing opinion people nod along even if in disagreement. I do it all the time, in my head I'm just calling them wankers all through it.

tumblr_lesewbCi2J1qaqaiy.gif

You're right mate.

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Posted

Lates Yougov poll puts Labour on 24% - a 33 year low - https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/upts71m2pt/TimesResults_161219_VI_Trackers_EndofYear_W.pdf

 

I have to say I'm a bit baffled by this and how it can still keep going down, if you are still going to vote for Jeremy Corbyn after what he has shown over the last 18 months, surely there is absolutely nothing he can possible now do for you to lose his vote?

 

Question for the Corbyn supporters on here, did you prefer it when the media attacked him every day like they were at the start, or prefer it now where they just ignore him as he becomes irrelevent?

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Posted

6 minutes ago, MattP said:

Lates Yougov poll puts Labour on 24% - a 33 year low - https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/upts71m2pt/TimesResults_161219_VI_Trackers_EndofYear_W.pdf

 

I have to say I'm a bit baffled by this and how it can still keep going down, if you are still going to vote for Jeremy Corbyn after what he has shown over the last 18 months, surely there is absolutely nothing he can possible now do for you to lose his vote?

 

Question for the Corbyn supporters on here, did you prefer it when the media attacked him every day like they were at the start, or prefer it now where they just ignore him as he becomes irrelevent?

 

Think you answer your own question with the last paragraph really.

 

I would imagine the voters that are drifting away are those that might have stuck with him when he was under fire, might have liked his politics, but are underwhelmed by his lack of presence now that he's becoming an irrelevance.

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Posted

Good post, enjoyed that.

 

I can't really understand why they don't have any policy yet, it's been long enough now and we are told by John McDonnell that the party is on a General Election footing? It clearly isn't true.

 

The bookmakers have Copeland neck and neck, I think Labour might just hold on as I still find it impossible for a government to win a by-election off the opposition (not happened in my lifetime!) - if he does lose it he should do the honourable thing and step down, no one would be able to put a serious argument across that they would be heading for anything but a massacre at the next election whatever happens.

 

We talk about the Tories not being in a strong position but in reality they are whilst he is there, I tested myself over Xmas to write down a list of scenarios where Corbyn could be elected, I couldn't do it, even with a drop of living standards, mass unemployment, Brexit being a total shambles - it still wouldn't send any centre ground voter into the arms of Corbyn,I think a lot would rather just hope the Tories can sort it out than seriously put any faith in him to do so, he's already lost, he just refuses to realise it or he doesn't even care as the real issue was turning the Labour party into what HE wants it to be rather that an option for the country to vote for as a potential government.

 

It occured to me on NYD just how irrelevant he has become, I read the MoS and the Sunday Times and I don't think there was a single mention of him, that's two papers that are pretty much 80% politics on that day of the week as well and no mention of the opposition leader all while Farron, Farage and Sturgeon rack up column inches.

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Posted

On 1/5/2017 at 10:49, MattP said:

 

The bookmakers have Copeland neck and neck, I think Labour might just hold on as I still find it impossible for a government to win a by-election off the opposition (not happened in my lifetime!) - if he does lose it he should do the honourable thing and step down, no one would be able to put a serious argument across that they would be heading for anything but a massacre at the next election whatever happens.

 

 

Article here on potential Labour candidates for Copeland: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/elections/2017/01/who-will-be-labour-party-candidate-copeland-election

 

The "Cumbrian Woman of the Year" who set up a homeless charity and whose husband is a policeman at Sellafield sounds a good option, though I've no idea about her personal qualities or political views. Another article stated that she'd been involved in helping ex-servicemen and running homeless football teams, having been homeless herself as a teenager, so not yer usual greasy-pole-climbing political adviser on the conveyor belt from Oxbridge to Westminster.

 

I can't imagine Ed Balls wanting a seat up there, when parliament is in London, he comes from Norwich and his wife's seat (and family life, I presume) is based in West Yorks. Would be intriguing if he did stand. A year ago, he'd have been a guaranteed loser as a carpetbagger with an unappealing personality, but Strictly has probably changed all that. Funny old world!

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Posted

57 minutes ago, Alf Bentley said:

 

Article here on potential Labour candidates for Copeland: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/elections/2017/01/who-will-be-labour-party-candidate-copeland-election

 

The "Cumbrian Woman of the Year" who set up a homeless charity and whose husband is a policeman at Sellafield sounds a good option, though I've no idea about her personal qualities or political views. Another article stated that she'd been involved in helping ex-servicemen and running homeless football teams, having been homeless herself as a teenager, so not yer usual greasy-pole-climbing political adviser on the conveyor belt from Oxbridge to Westminster.

 

I can't imagine Ed Balls wanting a seat up there, when parliament is in London, he comes from Norwich and his wife's seat (and family life, I presume) is based in West Yorks. Would be intriguing if he did stand. A year ago, he'd have been a guaranteed loser as a carpetbagger with an unappealing personality, but Strictly has probably changed all that. Funny old world!

She does sound like the best on that page, I'm not sure if Ed Balls would return to politics anyway, I got the feeling watching him on This Week that he might just feel a career in TV and Radio might just be a better call now like the guy who sits next to him, a lot more money, makes you far more likable and you don't have to deal with the game of politics. Not to mention Balls economics now are probably far closer to the Conservative party policy than they are to the Labour party.

 

If Labour pick anyone who supported remain though I'd back them to lose the seat, it's just to much of the issue of the day at the minute. It could even come down to who can avoid losing most of their vote, i.e Tories to UKIP or Labour to the Lib Dems.

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Posted

By this time next year he might even be trailing among Labour members lol

 

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Posted

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/12136316/Sadiq-Khan-Zero-days-of-public-transport-strikes-if-I-am-elected-Mayor.html

 

That went well....

 

 

Quote

 

Sadiq Khan, Labour's candidate for mayor of London, has pledged to ensure there are "zero strikes" on public transport if he is elected in May.

Mr Khan said that the 35 days of strikes during Boris Johnson's tenure as mayor were a "disgrace" and that any strike was a failure of government.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union hold a picket line outside the entrance to the London Underground at King's Cross station  Photo: OLI SCARFF/GETTY IMAGES

Challenged on Boris Johnson's accusation that Mr Khan should "man up" and condemn this week's cancelled strike action, he replied that there had been an unacceptable number of strikes under the mayor's watch.

Speaking at West Thames College in Isleworth, the Labour MP said: "Strikes are ultimately a sign of failure. Every day there's a strike it caused huge misery and inconvenience to Londoners."

He added that there had been 16 days of strikes when Ken Livingstone had held the position.

"As mayor what I'd do is roll up my sleeves and make sure that I'm talking to everyone who runs public transport to make sure there are zero days of strikes. 16 was too many and 35 is a disgrace," he said.

 

 

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Posted

19 hours ago, MattP said:

 

It was a silly promise for Khan to make. If he'd promised to aim for zero strikes and to guarantee to halve strikes under Boris, he might have had a chance.

 

Still, could be worse. At least he didn't promise to pay off the deficit by 2015 ("er, I mean 2020, er, er"), to bring net immigration below 100,000, to cap care payments for the elderly at £72,000, to build a "big society" and to win an EU referendum, as Cameron and May did. Neither did he promise to give an extra £350 per week to the NHS or to help Turkey join the EU, "er, I mean avoid that disaster, er, I mean help it join", as Boris did. lol

 

Meanwhile.....signs of a strategy from the Corbynistas?  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-copy-donald-trump-labour-leader-new-strategy-aggressive-populist-poll-ratings-a7517351.html

I'm not convinced either that it's a workable strategy or that he's the right man to make a success of it, but at least they're starting to realise they have a problem and need to find a solution.... :rolleyes:

 

"Jeremy Corbyn is to attempt to copy Donald Trump as he aims to get his leadership of the Labour Party back on track.The left-winger’s advisers have adopted a new strategy that includes many of the tactics used by the US President-elect, including attacks on the media and intentionally drawing attention to negative stories. [...] During the US presidential election campaign, Mr Trump frequently highlighted attacks on him by mainstream media outlets, such as CNN and The New York Times, as evidence of him taking on the establishment – a tactic Mr Corbyn is expected to adopt. [...] Labour also plans to use Trump-style rallies to get its message across and secure media coverage. Mr Corbyn’s previous rallies have frequently attracted thousands of supporters but were dismissed by opponents as preaching to the converted and having little impact on the wider electorate.As part of a potential speaking tour, Mr Corbyn’s team want to use promises of infrastructure investment to win over voters across the country. Mr Trump’s pledges of new spending in various US states helped convince swing voters in key states, and Labour hopes its promise of a £500bn investment boost will be similarly successful".

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Posted

If he promises a £500bn investment boost in a reasonable time scale and actually means it then I'll be voting labour for the first time in my life. 

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21 minutes ago, Barky said:

If he promises a £500bn investment boost in a reasonable time scale and actually means it then I'll be voting labour for the first time in my life. 

Might want to ask him where he's getting the money from first, and where this £500bn would be spent. 

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Posted

9 minutes ago, Barky said:

If he promises a £500bn investment boost in a reasonable time scale and actually means it then I'll be voting labour for the first time in my life. 

 

 

I'd certainly support an investment boost - and wouldn't be against some of the cash coming from borrowing, provided the investment paid off economically and didn't just add to the debt burden.

£500bn seems an awful lot, though (equates to increasing national debt by 30%+). As I understand it, the cash would be borrowed as interest rates are low. If that creates medium-term growth and employment, that's great. Otherwise, it could be a big risk if interest rates start to rise and the budget is hampered by high interest repayments. It doesn't sound as if interest rates will rise soon but it could easily happen within a couple of years.

 

I'd want to see some expert opinion about potential impact on inflation and currency rates, too. If Labour is going to make this proposal, they'll need some bloody convincing expert support, economic arguments and campaigning, as the Tories and the media are bound to lambast such proposals as reckless and economically unrealistic.

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Posted

Ludicrous stuff from Corbyn. It is a shame that we have no opposition to this dire Conservative government.

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Posted

Some signs that Corbyn is starting to think through a strategy on Brexit and freedom of movement here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38561501

 

"Britain must not become a "bargain basement economy" after Brexit, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said. He told the BBC high-skilled jobs and trade must be protected outside the EU.

Mr Corbyn was asked about his stance on immigration ahead of a speech in which he is to say he is "not wedded" to free movement as a matter of principle.

Asked what this meant, he said EU migrants should be able to continue to travel to the UK, but the right to work would be part of Brexit negotiations.

The focus, he said, should be on ending the exploitation of low-skilled workers and more local recruitment - which he said would reduce overall numbers".

 

I'm still not sure it's enough, but given the Labour policy/strategy vacuum until now, it's good just to see some thinking going on!

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Posted

21 minutes ago, Innovindil said:

Might want to ask him where he's getting the money from first, and where this £500bn would be spent. 

It would be borrowed.

 

I supported the tories cost cutting programme but you can only cut corners for so long before it becomes a false economy. We should have been borrowing to invest at practically zero finance costs for the last few years really. We missed a bit of an opportunity there. But it's not too late and a big spending programme over the next decade is exactly what we need to a) catch our infrastructure up with our competitors and b) give the economy a boost while brexit uncertainty lingers. If there's ever a time to borrow to invest it's now. The return on the investment should easily cover the finance costs.

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47 minutes ago, Alf Bentley said:

Some signs that Corbyn is starting to think through a strategy on Brexit and freedom of movement here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38561501

 

"Britain must not become a "bargain basement economy" after Brexit, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said. He told the BBC high-skilled jobs and trade must be protected outside the EU.

Mr Corbyn was asked about his stance on immigration ahead of a speech in which he is to say he is "not wedded" to free movement as a matter of principle.

Asked what this meant, he said EU migrants should be able to continue to travel to the UK, but the right to work would be part of Brexit negotiations.

The focus, he said, should be on ending the exploitation of low-skilled workers and more local recruitment - which he said would reduce overall numbers".

 

I'm still not sure it's enough, but given the Labour policy/strategy vacuum until now, it's good just to see some thinking going on!

Might need more thinking if he's under the delusion the EU would sign off on us allowing Europeans to come here to holiday and spend their money but not be able to work here lol

 

46 minutes ago, Barky said:

It would be borrowed.

 

I supported the tories cost cutting programme but you can only cut corners for so long before it becomes a false economy. We should have been borrowing to invest at practically zero finance costs for the last few years really. We missed a bit of an opportunity there. But it's not too late and a big spending programme over the next decade is exactly what we need to a) catch our infrastructure up with our competitors and b) give the economy a boost while brexit uncertainty lingers. If there's ever a time to borrow to invest it's now. The return on the investment should easily cover the finance costs.

 

Again, what would corbyn be investing in exactly? 

 

I think it seems pretty mad to be worried the sky is falling and the economy will crash yet want to slam us with another £500bn worth of debt for the labour gang to waste frivolously (again). 

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Posted

1 minute ago, Innovindil said:

Might need more thinking if he's under the delusion the EU would sign off on us allowing Europeans to come here to holiday and spend their money but not be able to work here lol

 

He's not proposing that NO Europeans would be allowed to take up jobs here, just that the employment of EU citizens arriving in the UK would be an issue for the Brexit negotiations. In theory, we could negotiate for some EU citizens to be able to work here, but others not (e.g. only if they already have a job arranged or will be filling vacancies that can't be filled locally) - and we could negotiate partial single market access in exchange for that. 

 

It may be the case that the EU will not be prepared to make any concessions on the right of EU citizens to work in the UK, but we won't know that until the negotiations take place.

Given widespread concern over immigration, Corbyn's in a better place vis-a-vis the electorate arguing that the employment of EU citizens should be up for negotiation, rather than arguing for complete freedom of movement.

It would also leave him in a better position to challenge any unpopular compromises that May has to make.

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3 minutes ago, Alf Bentley said:

 

He's not proposing that NO Europeans would be allowed to take up jobs here, just that the employment of EU citizens arriving in the UK would be an issue for the Brexit negotiations. In theory, we could negotiate for some EU citizens to be able to work here, but others not (e.g. only if they already have a job arranged or will be filling vacancies that can't be filled locally) - and we could negotiate partial single market access in exchange for that. 

 

It may be the case that the EU will not be prepared to make any concessions on the right of EU citizens to work in the UK, but we won't know that until the negotiations take place.

Given widespread concern over immigration, Corbyn's in a better place vis-a-vis the electorate arguing that the employment of EU citizens should be up for negotiation, rather than arguing for complete freedom of movement.

It would also leave him in a better position to challenge any unpopular compromises that May has to make.

"but we won't know that until the negotiations take place."

 

So corbyn has stopped being the opposition and started being the parrot. Even though he's expressed multiple times his whole UK plan is along the lines of "we'll borrow money and pay for it through immigration" 

 

That quote is exactly what May has been saying all along, she wants control of movement and to be outside eu courts but doesn't yet know what access to the single market would be available, yet she's been getting grilled for not having a complete rock solid idea of what we will get. 

 

Why is it good enough for corbyn but not for may? 

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