Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by chimera, Mar 18, 2005.

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  1. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    We have discussed this before on here, but just to remind ARRSE readers that the Labour Party has a helpful FREEPOST address:


    You can therefore drop a line to Tony Bliar, TCH, or any of your favorite Labour people, giving them your views on how the election campaign should be fought COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE. (Incidentally it costs the Labour Party 37p everytime they receive a freepost letter)

    Of course resist any temptation to recyle those old envelopes, junk mail, etc to this address as that would be unethical wouldn't it.
  2. You mean duck-taping envelopes with "Freepost Labour Party" to bricks is un-ethical? Now how much do ethics concern me? :?

    :twisted: :twisted:
  3. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    Of course ethics are very much a personal thing....

    now where's my duck tape.......
  4. Having read some of the right wing Tory bo**ocks on ARRSE I'm glad I really do live in a paralell universe called "the real world". I can't bring myself to vote for any of them I just pity those amongst you who suffer from the delusional idea that voteing in Howard will make any difference.

    All the three leading parties will rasie taxes - they have all promised to do this.
    All the three leading parties will stay in Europe - they have all said they will.
    All the leading parties will speak to Sinn Fein/IRA - They have all said they will.
    All the leading parties will keep us in Iraq - they have all said they will.
    All the leading parties will closely align UK foreign policy with whatever the US says - they have all said they will.
    All the parties will spend about the same on the defence - there is no evidence to the contrary.
    All the parties will cut the Jock Regiments as planned.
    All will buy the expensive and totally useless white elephant that is Typhoon - Oh and please, Anti-Europeans stop calling it the "Euro-Fighter" and trying to blame this waste on NATO/Brussels as if they had anything to do with the decision to keep it. Even if was called the "Bull Dog/John Bull /Land of Hope and Glory Stelth attack/Isn't Cricket the most civilising game ever - Fighter" we would still be buying it. Its has to do with keeping British workers in jobs in Fulton and not anywhere else in Europe.
  5. If you can't be bothered to vote:

    1. Don't whine when the winning party do something you don't like.
    2. Many have died so that people can have a free vote and you can't be bothered.
  6. I will be posting the steam off my p1ss. I hope it does not evaporate before it gets there.
  7. Bad tempered exchanges edited or deleted.


  8. Tony loves you

  9. sorry but thats just pish!

    The tories (as far as im aware) have not said they will put up taxes, nor have they said that they will allow the jock regiments to be cut!

    As for all three parties will still pander to sinfein, i think you will find that good old tone and his merry bunch of men are the only political party that are not broadly condeeming Mr Adams and his gang, and are not looking to impose sanctions on them because of their criminality.

    As for the eurofighter, what variety of potato is that chip on your shoulder made of? :twisted:
  10. RC Sigs,

    No love lost between me an Tony. The point of my post is that I can't understand why so may people seem to think replacing Blair with Howard is going to make any difference. I have nor particular view on fox hunting for example but I do recognise that whether we have it or not is hardly a major constitutional issue. But the reality is that this kind of issue is all that really separates them. When it come to major constitutional issues, the econmoy, taxaton and the protection of the basic rights we have enjoyed in this country for hundreds of years you can't tell them apart, the differences are miniscule. Yes I know we had a freedom to hunt foxes since the year dot and this has now been taken away. But people had to fight for the establishment of rights such as habeas corpus, and both parties are commited to introducing legislation which undermines it. Today we have heard Howard say that he will change the law to ensure that travellers cannot just turn up and set up camp. Yeh great we can all agree on that cant we, I don’t want these people on my back lawn either. But just remember, this law will also be used to stop those who want to turn up on land protest legitimately. I had no sympathy for the Greenham Common women’s objectives, but they certainly had the right to protest in the way they did. Introduce a law that’s meant to control a group the majority of us fine abhorrent - the criminal element of the traveller community - a minority in itself - and at the same time have a laws in you back pocket which could also be applied to a recalcitrant group who want to legitimately demonstrate - say supporters of fox hunting?

    No if there is any love in this situation, it's between Michael and Tony and those who actually believe there is a choice between the two major parties. Oh and no I'm not a Liberal Democrat. I have been a life long supporter of one of the two major parties. Not all Conservatives are crypto-facists not all of labour are crypto-communists.
  11. A-S,

    The chip on my shoulder is about having my money wasted. What I object to is people attributing the blame to the wrong people. The cold war ended in the 1990-1993 period the conservatives could have cut the Euro-Fightre project then, Labour came to power in 1997 and conducted the SDR, the project could have been cut then. No we stayed on board for purely UK political reasons which had nothing to do with our allies.

    You are right, The Conservatives have not directly said "will cut the Jock regiments", neither have they said "we won't cut the Jock regts" What Michael Howard has committed himslef to is "taking the professional advice of the CGS in the size of the infantry". That advice has been cut to 36 Bns and have the Scottish regiments form up as one or two 'super regiments'. So where's the difference?

    The Conservatives have said they will increase taxes but not as much as by Labour. The £35 billion figure much talked about is not a cut in taxes but a cut i the rate by which they will increase.
  12. Howard was as quiet as the grave during SDR. Malcolm Rifkind was certainly not.
  13. Some of the points made by RiojaDOC are valid. I agree with the potential for abuse of the laws Howard talked about creating to use against travellers (we used to call them gypsies when I was a kid!).

    However, on many other things he is just plain wrong. Economically the two parties could not be further apart, short of re-nationalising industries. (Oh sorry, they have already done that to the railways!) When labour came into power, jobs in manufacturing were increasing and had done year on year for 3 years. This changed within 3 years. Not something Tony can blame the Tories for then. I am also sure that the Tories would not have placed a tax on pensions. Clear blue water there too then.

    Also, although it might seem a pedantic point to make, but the Tories have NOT said they will increase taxes, but less so than Labour. And for one very good reason - Labour have yet to admit that they will have to increase taxes in the first place. In fact, they have gone on record as saying they will NOT increase taxes post the election. (Paul Daniels eat your heart out!) What the Tories HAVE said is that they will increase public spending, but less than Labour proposes to and in an affordable manner. I believe this to be a pretty fundamental difference.

    Now if you want to talk about waste, then you need look no further than this government. The same government that presided over the decimation of the private pensions industry and thus condemned thousands of hard working (middle class) voters to poverty, that has ignored manufacturing (strange, as much of their political power did originate from there), that turned the immigration process into a minefield of human rights (but only if you are british, foreigners come on in - you are bound to vote labour! :twisted: ) and then handed that mess over to the EU (bet most of you missed that last November didn't you?) and has fiddled the unemployment figures by pushing lots of middle aged unemployed people onto the disability benefits - none of that is wasteful then?

    Or how about straight forward failure then? Remember these? 'Education, Education, Education' That was a good one. I do as much to teach my daughter how to read as her teacher. Apparently, teachers have too much paperwork and bureaucracy to deal with to teach all day! Or what about the promise of NHS dentists for all by 2001? Remember that one? My wifes dentist just sent out letters saying she is going private. So, not too successful there either! But my personal favourite is 'Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime!' What an absolute hoot! Electronic tagging is a failure - even a Home Office report admits to that. And the same Primeminister who spouted the utter cr@p quoted above is the very same man who introduced legislation legally obliging any policeman stopping any person to fill in a form. This form takes about 7 minutes to fill in. So, when your local PC stops a gang of 7 or 8 teenagers, he will then spend the next hour or so filling in the forms for it. (You have to fill one form for every one person). Call me a cynic, but this will only decrease police efficiency. For every minute they are filling in paperwork, the police are not stopping criminals. Just ask the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, who said as much last Sunday. Now, Michael Howard has said that amongst other changes in policing, he will bin that legislation - that seems like a pretty big distinction to me. And that is a choice few of the differences. (The Tories have also proposed changes to Immigration, education, and the benefits system, amongst others).

    As it stands, I have never trusted labour and most especially not this government. And so far, I have been proved right. This crowd got in because the country were tired of Tory sleaze and wanted a change. I hope they have now had enough of labour sleaze and want a change. We could do with it. I don't know that Michael Howard will do what he says - but I would like him to get the chance.

    Now I don't know which party you have voted for in the past, and I don't really care. But if you don't vote in the next election, you can hardly complain that the government is doing things you disagree with, or that the opposition are ineffective if you have not yourself ticked the box for some political party or other. It doesn't even have to be one of the big parties. But, if you want to criticise those in government, you must place your own vote.

    I've said it before and, at the risk of being a boring g1t, I will repeat myself - you get the government you deserve and the more people who fail to exercise their democratic right to vote, the more we will get cr@p governments and MPs in general. So - vote for the party that comes closest to what you think is right for the country. If there isn't one, you have a lot of thinking to do. People died to keep our democracy alive and we have an obligation to them, as well as our children to exercise our right to democracy.
  14. E-G,

    Most of the criticisms you launched at the Labour Party I cannot disagree with but they were not points I raised. However, as you have mentioned a couple I feel qualified to comment upon I will reply

    You are correct about the growth in manufacturing jobs over roughly a six year period around the time Blair came to power. This has to be offset against the largest decline ever manufacturing during the 15 years prior to that. The decline in manufacturing jobs you mention were due to economic factors beyond the control of any UK government….. unless you want socialist intervention in the economy during periods of world economic down-turn – which from the overall tone of your post I suspect you don’t then such things are inevitable. The policies espoused by any of the major parties would not have changed this.

    My children are beyond school age so I can’t really comment upon what is happening in the classroom now. But… all the admin you describe has resulted in people able to make some judgements on which schools are performing well in their area and which are not. When my children were at school during the 80’s and 90’ this information was not collected and what was, was a state secret. Now that it is available guess who’s making use of all this information on behalf of their kids? The educated articulate and largely British born white middle class - and mainly Conservative voter – I have no problem with that, that’s just how life is. I don’t try to deny that this is the case. As a health economist I can tell you this has always been the way it has been in the NHS and Social Services since they were created – the middle classes DO get more out of them than the poor and dispossessed. Again, I have no problem with this –it is they way of all societies.

    Turning specifically to dentists: The current government has failed abysmally in this area I agree and the contract they tried to offer dentists were frankly pants. However, far too many dentists also want to spend their time doing what? Well frankly straightening the teeth of … well guess who again… middle-class kids whose parents know how to manipulate the system and whose oral hygiene is generally good to start with! Dental practice makes its greatest contribution to long-term contribution to public-health when it’s doing a lot of the niff-naff trivia amongst the most disadvantaged. There is a major shortage in the UK any rectification of this situation will cost money and is likely to involve (at least in the short term) recruitment from abroad. This applies to all health care – by the way did you know there are more doctors who qualified in Mozambique working in Manchester than in…… Mozambique….. the British and their demand for cheap health care; moral giants eh?

    Finally (if you haven’t fallen asleep), as you say except for the Lib Dems none of the official campaigns have conceded they will raise taxes. But, no party can achieve their public spending plans without at least a 2% increase in the overall tax burden based upon the projections they themselves have used for the growth in the economy. Either they are lying about how fast they expect the economy to grow or they are lying about their public spending plans or they are lying about the taxes.

    Finally finally... I will vote and on the basis, and for the very reasons you have given. But I will admit I'm finding my decision hard as to where to place the cross because I see a morality gap in the current UK political discourse.
  15. El gringo,

    that was beautiful!

    Never before have i seen all the reasons i want rid of labour put down on paper (virtual paper :D ) so succinctly.

    welldone that man