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Late Doors

General election 2015

Ah Go on then.

First of all i have finally come to the conclusion that not voting is criminal. This concept that it is somehow a valid statement of opinion is shite, pure laziness and a massive insult to anyone ever who has fought for that right to distinguish us from third world shithole dictatorships. If you have that view get your sorry arse into the poling booth and spoil your paper.

So who to vote for?. I still haven't sussed put wether stopping in Europe is a good thing or bad thing. 90% of the debate appears to be about immigration and its difficult to find informed intelligent objective views on the other issues like trade, freedoms, economic,cultural and stability. My inclination is to stay in. All the so called trade benefits with non eu nations are still available anyway and i actually like Europeans, so there

Neither has my own financial situation ever dictated how to vote. Its always been a case of asking what kind of country do i want to live in and who is most likely to try and make it like that. The trouble is that as time moves on there doesn't seem to be any party that seem able to do that or even represent me. Maybe its me that hasn't moved on.
bearing

I agree that not to vote is an awful smack in the face for those folk that stood up for the right.  As for who to vote for I have no fecking idea, similar to you there doesn't seem to be one party that pushes the ideals that I'd like to see.

I've a feeling that I may well end up voting on both the local and national issue of our hospitals and put my cross next to this lady.

http://nhap.org/karen-howell/
fartcatcher

Last election was the first time ever that I haven't voted Labour. Partly a protest vote and partly tactical as most people round here would vote for Gary Glitter if he was wearing a blue rosette.

The LIb-Dems won't be getting my vote again as they have done nothing to thwart Cameron's attempt to return Britain to feudalism.

Will probably vote Labour again. Would vote Green in local elections though.
Dalek

I have always voted in the General, European and Local elections.

In my opinion, if you do not vote, you forfeit any legitimacy to your subsequent criticism of the elected ruling body.
Cutsyke

A bit taken aback by these comments. If nobody is offering what you are looking for why is not voting a bad thing? Voting Labour because they're not the Tories doesn't really strike me as very intelligent. Not after an argument, I just don't understand how you could vote for someone you didn't wholeheartedly agree with just because they weren't the party you couldn't get on with at all.

I vote democrat and sometimes it hurts me. I vote democrat because I am an immigrant and I believe the republicans would like to close the doors on more immigrants. I don't feel I have the right to let the ladder to a better life be pulled up behind me if I can do anything to avoid it.
Forest

I didn't vote last time in the local elections, not even sure I'm going to bother in the general election. I just couldn't bring myself to vote for anyone just because they're the lesser evil. Fuck that

Surely my right not to vote is as valid as the right to vote as is my right to complain about the government if I don't vote.
fartcatcher

I'd happily go back to the two party system. It was a lot easier to make your mind up. Those days are gone for ever over here and there are five parties trying to get your vote. More in Scotland and Wales.

Policies inevitably overlap as they are all aiming for the middle ground, where elections are won and lost.

Whatever their principles, a lot of people will vote for whoever they think will put more money in their pocket.

We're likely to have another hung parliament. The good thing about this is that it curbs some of the more extreme elements in each party. The bad thing is that legislation is likely to be muddled and ineffective.

The only certainty is that whoever gets a majority will go back on most of their election promises.
Late Doors

Nah, not having that at all . Why is it alright to not vote ?

Well, because I think democracy is not just about putting a cross in a box every five years. I don't believe for a single minute that there is a party that represents every ideal an individual holds. In fact if anybody can say they are perfectly represented by a particular party they ought to be excluded from voting on insanity grounds. For instance I'm a natural Labour leaning voter but I've got issues with their welfare and education policies. It's got to be a compromise, how can it not be? Compromise and consensus is at the very heart of democracy which in turn demands tolerance of things you don't particularly like. Therefore it becomes a choice of what is available or start something yourself just like the labour party, the lib dems, green party and now ukip. To not participate in some way is futile lazy and a little bit disingenuous to give it some nobility. Like i said, if you really mean it go in and spoil your vote or start another party.

Another key element of democracy is also to choose what to reject. If you do not exercise that right you are going somewhere along the lines of advocating the things you do not like. These are all things we seem to take for granted but blimey haven't we seen enough already that there are lots of people only too willing to take away the freedoms we have been taking for granted.
Dalek

You can write anything on your voting slip - but it is registered as a voter who spoilt their paper.

Thus, you have taken part in the legitimisation process of our elected representatives that our system recognises.

Of course, you are free not to take part in the process, just as you are free to criticise the government if you don't vote.

If you choose not to take part with your important significant right to vote, and you are criticising the government about whatever, if someone asks you if you voted, and your reply is along the lines of I couldn't be bothered to vote, then where is the basis for your criticism (i.e. criticising something that you had the opportunity to make your wishes felt, but chose not to do so)?

If there is no party that represents at least some of your core values, and you register this on your paper, you gain more credibility for your criticisms as you can then answer the above question - even if it is along the lines of that there was no candidate worth my vote, so I registered my views on my paper.

Instant legitimacy for your views and kudos for you.

However, I do not think that voting should be compulsory either.  If people choose not to take part and influence their own future, then that is their right.  What they are really saying is that they have no real views on who should govern them and they will accept the policies of the party that gains power without reservation.

If non voting was criminalised, then sometimes 80% of the population of the constituency could become criminals during the parliament. If these people were made to vote, then the result could be affected by people voting for the first, or last, or funniest name on the paper.


I do think that the voting system needs to be reformed though.

I have, for a long time, said that there should be two rounds of voting.  The first round should be for the full candidate list.  If any candidate gets more than 50% of the first vote, then they are elected without the requirement for a second round.

In the second vote (14 days later to allow for postal votes), only the first two candidates from the primary vote are listed - so it becomes a straight choice between candidate A or B (or spoil your paper!!!).

At least this way, (whilst not pretending that it is perfect), the candidate with the majority of the constituency vote would be elected.

Got to be worth a try, or I think that we face a succession of weakened coalition governments and the politicians will become more and more faceless and opinionated.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

It'll be very very close and another coalition - either Cons + UKIP + Unionists or Cons + Libs or Lab + Sinn Fein + SNP + Greens + Respect or Lab + Libs + SNP

And then possibly another election 6 months later which the Tories will win outright with either Cameron or Boris as leader

That's my prediction anyway
fartcatcher

Miliband seems to have upped his game a bit over the last couple of months. Cameron looks jittery at PM's question time.

Making a bit of an arse of himself over these televised debates as well.
Late Doors

Maybe coalition and consensus is the future. Maybe it's time we abandoned this oscillation between various shades of blue and red. Five years is not sufficient for proper government anyway. A nation needs a twenty year plan even a fifty or a hundred year plan. I think we probably do have these but they are created and executed by non elected bodies with their own interests at heart rather than the nations. It's time for a change and that change is proportional representation in some way and consensus long term policies. I'm thinking something along the lines of the German model but can't help thinking the real power brokers want an American type system. They want two parties both of whom they can control rather than a real democracy
Heyho

There should be 'none of the above' on the voting paper.

Until british politics is rid of the safe seat public schoolboy 'politics is my lifelong career' brigade I would not vote.

I would make the running of the country attractive enough to be able to ban or seriously reduce the amount of income these chaps get from other sources. do that and the lure of politics might be not that attractive to the eton and harrow brigade.

The other problem is that british politics is defined by the 15 or so cabinet front benchers and their opposing counterparts. There are a lot of decent and hard working types on the back benches of all parties, they just don't get the media.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

Heyho wrote:
There should be 'none of the above' on the voting paper.

Until british politics is rid of the safe seat public schoolboy 'politics is my lifelong career' brigade I would not vote.


Like Ed Balls and Harriet Harman then

All the parties are riddled with people whose only career has ever been in professional politics - and thats why increasing numbers of ordinary people can't relate to them and vice versa

HOWEVER I do believe we should raise the basic pay of MPs so they don't feel the need for second jobs and trade union sponsorship and its high time we give parties state funding so they aren't susceptible to union barons oligarchs and billionaires
fartcatcher

There was a time when a disingenuous internet scammer like Grant Shapps would never have got selected as an MP let alone end up as Tory chairman.

Cameron can't sack him now. Too close to the election. There's as much honour in politics as there is in banking.
Late Doors

Well I didn't mean literally criminal not to vote, just a figure of speech but thanks for the considered response Dalek I think I kinda agree with it.
Still think you should vote. If you like what the Tories are doing and think they will benefit you fine vote for them. If you think their brand of government is better for the country in general, also fine vote for them. I happen to disagree but ho de ho. If you want them out and you don't vote then im sorry I think that is absurd and that apathy will keep them in
fartcatcher

I don't believe this 0% inflation. Energy, housing and food prices all still rising.

Perhaps it's based on the cost of vintage cars, wine and fine art
Dalek

Late Doors wrote:
Well I didn't mean literally criminal not to vote, just a figure of speech but thanks for the considered response Dalek I think I kinda agree with it.
Still think you should vote. If you like what the Tories are doing and think they will benefit you fine vote for them. If you think their brand of government is better for the country in general, also fine vote for them. I happen to disagree but ho de ho. If you want them out and you don't vote then im sorry I think that is absurd and that apathy will keep them in


Voting is compulsory in some countries - e.g Australia, where you can be fined or summonsed for not taking part.

What are they going to do next - ship all the buggers who don't vote back here?    
Heyho

I may well vote after all. But it certainly won't be Labour.

Any party that can flaunt the rules and build on green belt will never ever get my vote. Especially when that green belt is the bottom of my garden and the plan is for social housing.

Apparently that will knock at least 20 grand off the value of my house. And they won't give compensation.
Frazier Cranium

Isn't Alec Shelbrooke your local MP though, H?  He seems alright, and that's ME praising a Tory

From Wiki - Metropolitan district council of the City of Leeds .... responsibilities from the ruling Labour group, and the leaders the two biggest .... a minority Labour administration with support from TWO GREEN PARTY councillors.  

The irony eh.
Heyho

Frazier Cranium wrote:
Isn't Alec Shelbrooke your local MP though, H?  He seems alright, and that's ME praising a Tory

From Wiki - Metropolitan district council of the City of Leeds .... responsibilities from the ruling Labour group, and the leaders the two biggest .... a minority Labour administration with support from TWO GREEN PARTY councillors.  

The irony eh.


I've not met Shelbrooke but am having regular email conversations with him. Ok probably one of his little helpers but they are very efficient and helpful.

Maybe I should write to the Green Party councillors. In fact I will just to stir it.

Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Cabbage Patch

Do you know that your mates in the Labour team that you are supporting have identified areas of green belt land and are proposing to undertake an enforced purchase order from the farmer so that they can build social housing on it.

Interesting though that an adjacent field that would have better access is not being proposed because one of your friendly labour councillors lives right next to it.

LOL
Frazier Cranium

Get organized and get that letter written!
If I can help, you know where I am.  Our local MP is Hillary Benn, and he's been alright too.

Shelbrooke btw, has written to one of those wanky car park companies, the ones who 'run' Crown Point, on behalf of my g/f's mother who is registered disabled.  She went shopping in Crown Point a few weeks ago and parked in a Disabled space, as is her right.  IT's FREE parking there anyway, remember.  She got back to the car to find a ticket attached, alleging that she had 'illegally' parked in a Disabled space without showing her badge on the dashboard.  The badge had slipped off into the footwell, incidentally.  £65 fine they're trying to charge.  Shelbrooke is the MP in her area so I wrote to the company and to Alec Shelbrooke to say we will fight the fine (also because the company is a shithouse co ) and he has written to them on her behalf too.
Heyho

To me that highlights the problem with British politics.

Probably 80% of all MP's (of all parties) are conscientious and hard working (back benchers).

Sadly overshadowed by the minority of cabinet 'career' MP's who are always in the headlines
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

I shall be voting for the party most likely to deliver economic competence, lower taxes, zero inflation, interest rates at zero, and who most know how to hold a fish fork and ride to hounds in the correct manner

HUZZAH!!!!
Frazier Cranium

I shall be voting and it's no one else's fecking business who
smiling badger

I shall not be voting and prolly havent for many a year.
Yep, i know, wasted vote and all that..
fartcatcher

I shall vote for whoever Rupert Murdoch tells me to.
fartcatcher

So. It's another five years of the patronising chinless fop. Huzzah!
Grind

The never ending Tory.
Late Doors

Friday morning and the people around were just getting on with things in the main. It's as though nothing of significance had permeated. I guess that's what we do, us normal working people, just get on with things. I pondered that this stoic momentum  (aka apathy) is what has cost us and i looked a little deeper to find a sinisterly induced sadness.

Two lads huddled and smirked around a laptop. Two lads I've known for decades. Not quite friends but likeable colleagues I've laughed with a lot over the years. They are new UKIP I'm sure. They've hinted at it many times, occasionally and randomly emitting pronouncement as they talk about immigrants, scroungers and more recently bloody Jocks. They look momentarily almost apologetically at me for they know me. They shouldn't, I agree with a lot of what they say and certainly understand it. The fundamental differences between us is the Cause -Effect-Magnitude of the equation we all live with.  Nonetheless, we remain in this limbo of cordial rapport.

"That Nob" they refer to Miliband as. He isn't a nob any more than Cameron is a nob. Osborne, Gove, Hunt, IDS are nobs, Balls' a nob but the two leaders aren't. Miliband was the wrong  choice of leader Cameron the right one for their parties. I knew at the time, most did but by some invisible but all encompassing force of process Ed became leader. The ineluctable appointed the unelectable. The same force that gave Brown the arse end of government before him to sign off the death warrant of a labour government who'd had its time.

These two colleagues of mine that I pondered are the people divorced from labour and i struggle to find a culpable party. Ed was thrown to us and fed to the pack of the right wing press to gorge on his awkwardness. like hapless and obedient saps these two have swallowed it all here in this marginal borough of Colne Valley. I was briefly quite ashamed of where I live and love, but we get on with things don't we.

Now as the total deconstruction of our NHS, already begun, takes a step further and the words of Osborne pronouncing they have a clear mandate to finish what they started chills the bones I ponder something else. Maybe we have the country we deserve
Heyho

Late Doors, there has been a move in the past 20 years to change the way the NHS run into a business. This policy has been taken up by successive governments in that period.

The trouble is the salaries on offer can never attract business men so the NHS is having to put up being managed in the main by people who are indoctrinated into the NHS way. If you want to run the NHS as a business then allow the right people be able to get rid of the dead wood and red tape and bring in a more lean service.

Here is an example of it all gone wrong.

A patients who is in care and who is suffering from Parkinsons gets picked up by transport for his 2pm appointment. Ward clerk says when he arrives at 1:55pm that as he doesn't need bloods he will be in and out in 5 minutes so can you (transport) wait please. No they can't do that.

What happens - he gets picked up at 7pm!!! In between that he has to be found a bed, fed and assigned a carer.

I rest my case.
Late Doors

Anyone can throw anecdotal stories of inefficiencies in any organisation. Mine is a model of private limited company activity and for every tale a NHS worker throws out i guarantee i can match it. Ill let you into a little secret shall i. Fucking idiots are everywhere at all levels.

Its about funding, running and access. There is lots of evidence out there that our NHS runs as efficient as any organisation of that size and certainly matches the USA system if not beats it on efficiencies. Yes there is always internal continuous improvement to do.

The funding is done collectively fairly and proportionately. Yes there are lifestyle choices but health is often random or genetic. Do you want it funded and run by these business people you laud  who make life and death decisions based purely on bottom line profit  where they assess your ability to pay and your likelihood of continued health based on market data. I don't, but I do agree that your case is laid to rest
Grind

Is this over two legs?
Heyho

Late Doors. What you say is sensible and true. I totally agree with you

Would love a pint wirh you in the d and d one day to discuss it further
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

A few observations about Labour

They picked the wrong Miliband due to the union block vote negating the choice of the members and MPs by a fraction of a percentage point and drifted leftward but an incoherent leftwards which didn't come up with enough policies and a coherent narrative early enough if at all

David Miliband is smarter, slicker, more experienced, more palatable leader and they junked him and let him go off to New York

They made Balls shadow chancellor and he wouldn't own up to any mistakes, told a lot of fibs, made a lot of doom-laden predictions that didn't materialise, opposed every cut/saving but wouldn't say where he'd cut and tax

They appointed first Arnie Graf and then David Axelrod - Americans who were totally out of their depth, didn't put in enough effort or time on the ground to justify their huge tax-free fees. This resulted in no clear chain of command. Who was in charge? Lucy Powell (out of her depth and a crap media performer), Douglas Alexander (who had a massive campaign in his own seat), Ed (who's zen-like silences when strategic decision were needed led to chaotic responses from his lieutenants) or Axelrod (who was never there and more interested in basketball if his Twitter timeline is anything to go by)

They made a massive mistake by identifying themselves as a unionist party by uniformly opposing Scots independence (mainly because they realised late on that they had to oppose it to keep their Westminster seats - which they lost anyway) this then made any floating voters and scots libs, labourites and probably a few cons realise that ONLY the Scots Nats took independence seriously. Also made them look like they were cosying up to Tories and just another part of Westminster establishment

Loads of Kippers then went back to Conservatives on polling day because it was obvious from polling that Scots Nats were going to sweep up in Scotland and Labour would've needed coalition with them - SNP would've extracted a high price for that from English taxpayers/democrats

Also - and the figures bare me out - if you put the UKIP and Conservative vote together you have to admit that more than 50% of English voters are right-wing/Eurosceptic/conservative. Soooo much of what Labour have spent the last five years doing has thumbed their nose at this fact rather than embraced it with policies and an agenda that recognised the aspirations and concerns of those WHO ACTUALLY GO AND VOTE

Lib Dems didn't help themselves by spending 5 years like spouses who'd entered a marriage by duress who complained rather than proudly and strongly defending their achievement in government.

The campaign was also incoherent and gimmicky with a lot of vitriol about the NHS, a great big stone that had a load of wishy washy aspirations on it rather than the letter Miliband earlier sent me and millions others which had very specific policy priorities listed on it.

Never mind the Tory-papers we had papers and publications that had endorsed earlier Labour Parties abandoning them. The FT Economist Sun had all supported Labour before. Labour still had the Guardian, Mirror, Star etc supporting them. But when The Times and Independent rejected Labour they were in trouble.

Edited to say they still had the BBC, Channel 4 on their side making subtle anti-Tory digs and angles all the way through the campaign

Finally as Clinton staffer James Carville memorably said - "Its the economy stupid!" There were just too many stats endorsing the Coalition's approach. All Labour's policies and announcements either failed to recognise this and adapt policies to fit in with it - their policies ended up looking like a change of direction a country still recovering could barely risk
fartcatcher

I think Cameron got re-elected because he hadn't made things any worse, rather than made things better. Helped by Labour forgetting what had made them so successful in the late nineties.
Our prime ministers are expected to behave more like presidents now, and personalities count as much as policies. Miliband never even convinced his own party, let alone the electorate.
I fear the worst over the next five years. Much of what we expect the state to provide (education, health services, transport infrastructure) is likely to be outsourced to Sercos. Once this has happened, it is expensive and challenging to reverse engineer as the intellectual property behind the service is lost.
Frazier Cranium

Labour were never going to win, Scotland was their undoing in the main. IMHO
Grind

They got their bannocks burned.
bearing

fartcatcher wrote:
So. It's another five years of the patronising chinless fop. Huzzah!


That's no way to talk about Craggers!
Late Doors

Thanks for taking the time and consideration to write that and put it on here Bully. Things to both agree with and take issue with.

The trade unions are an integral part of the labour party and working people. Most of the benefits, conditions and decent wages working people enjoy today has been fought for and won through this partnership, representation and negotiation. Anybody who thinks these have been granted to working people via the magnanimous good will of employers is being a tad generous with their trust. Any inference  as  yours surely was that the defeat is the fault of the unions is the usual right wing slur to undermine the democracy within the trade union ELECTED representatives in order to weaken  trade unions and hence open working people up to more erosion of their rights and benefits. If the wrong leader was elected he and they have had five years to make him the right leader and failed. I happen to agree however that David would have been more electable and that we should have been more cohesive with policies sooner. The sad fact  though is that the party didn't have many and that ingrained itself into the electorate a long time ago. That isn't just retrospective revisionism on my part either as i was saying the same thing three years ago when i predicted last Thursday. Three years ago the party was anticipating a hung parliament and that arrogant certainty has cost us.

The yanks were brought in to counter the inevitable personal and dirty tricks slurs on Ed. This they did very well as each piece of muck thrown blew back as the electorate became more savvy and indeed sick of it. Credit to the Tory machine for recognising this and actually ceasing that tactic. Unfortunately, yes, that is all the yanks had and the party can only look to themselves for blame. I find it ironic though that a party led by people who make their wealth through carefully exploited tax free income choose to latch on to that element of their fee.

Surely no one still believes this continued accusation of left bias in the BBC. One of the highlights if the whole coverage was seeing Farage getting mightily slapped by Dimbleby during one of the debates when he made the same redundant inference. You are right about channel 4 though. The only TV channel with any objectivity whatsoever. As for those other papers you mentioned being labour supporters/ anti Tory we will just have to agree to differ on that, especially as I've stopped reading them all a while ago and just take the occasional research peep at them.

Agree about Balls who epitomized four years of labour party inertia as well as being a prickly media face and completely ignoring his own constituents on a regular basis.

Not quite sure what you mean with the Scots Nats bit. Are you saying Ed could have done more to persuade Scots labourites not to vote SNP? J don't. You could put Braveheart himself in charge of the labour party and they still wouldn't have voted fie them. He did right to uniformly oppose independence ( just as he does about Europe). Where he slipped up was not reinforcing it and explaining with any conviction why. He should have taken the consequences of democracy face on. That way  SNP could not have "extracted a high price for  from English taxpayers/democrats"  . They might have forced another election but that would have worked in Ed's favour. The Scots all had a chance to take independence seriously in the vote. They didn't and gave him the mandate to oppose yet now they appear to want it and hang limply between two camps. Ironically Sturgeon has pissed her advantage away by whipping up blind nationalism and frightening  potential English labour voters into the Tory camp who are even more opposed to what the SNP stand for. I think the tipping point has been reached for independence and it will happen. Maybe its all a cunning plan brilliantly executed by them? It will be a lot harder and more painfull for them under the Tories and the non referendum route. I'm glad it will be the Tories who break the union and bit the labour party though. . A turn out of 90 % in the referendum said no. A turn out of 60%  at the election said yes (not sure of statistics but you get the drift)

Which brings us nicely to the point about the electorate and those " WHO ACTUALLY GO AND VOTE "

Most are rightwing/Eurosceptic/conservative you say . I prefer another description i heard from another astute political commentator you know. Masochistic. This country feels bad tasting medicine must be good because its bad. I put that down to Henry 8th and the protestant church.

Labour was never going to win without winning over those that don't usually vote. It didn't do enough to persuade them rather than fail to woo the middle ground. Ironically it is likely to be those very same people that don't vote who will most likely bare the brunt of the next five years and beyond but sadly a part of me is saying fuck'em they've had their chance. I hope this feeling will pass.

So the "economy stupid" I wont pretend i understand it and anybody who says they do is either a serious scholar or a liar. The whole issue of the "economy" is thrown at us like some mysterious artefact we pretend to understand and nod along to with the experts.

What i do know is that you cannot compare a nations budget with a household budget and this simplistic analogy has been rubbished almost universally. As Keynes for instance said the boom is the time for austerity not the slump. I know you can't use Greece as an example either due to their situations uniqueness and i do know that Germany, quite a successful economy by all accounts chose stimulus rather than austerity when the crash came. All austerity does is channel a rich countries wealth even further towards the already absurdly wealthy elite.

As for the Lib Dems they can disappear forever and be missed by no one. There legacy forever etched in the nations memory and their pathetic leader remembered for just what he is. Jeez the Tories are what they are but he is truly despicable. I see now that what is collectively left if them are already wheeling out the word liberal and dripping any reference to LibDem.

If the Tories think they have a clear mandate and the trust if the nation they are mistaken. Hate to use the analogy but they bear all the hallmarks of a certain Leeds united after 1992.
bearing

Great post LD, with regards to the Unions I think that Craggers was referring to their huge say in who was elected as leader of the party due to the way the vote was executed. Obviously the party have learned by that mistake and have changed to one member one vote.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

bearing wrote:
Great post LD, with regards to the Unions I think that Craggers was referring to their huge say in who was elected as leader of the party due to the way the vote was executed. Obviously the party have learned by that mistake and have changed to one member one vote.


yes that is what I meant

LP members and MPs wanted David but the massive percentage of union votes for Ed (which counted as a third toward the total) meant that Ed sneaked it by a fraction of one per cent

To be fair to Ed after the scandal of McCluskey bullying local associations to take on his preferred candidates (including his girlfriend) there was fallout and I believe Ed to his credit broke the link between TU power deciding candidates and the leader - it was his 'clause four' moment

I'm convinced a Blairite-revisionist Labour led by David Miliband would've held up the Labour vote in England and increased it meaning a coalition Labour govt or outright win

Went for dinner with old school friends and Red Ed as we called our mate Eddie whose always been Labour and from a Labour family said it was this 'snarky coup' that caused him to vote Conservative for the first time in 22 years
Heyho

I joined a union against my own principles about 3 years ago after being advised to. I had been going through a particularly bad time at work where I was subjected to a prolonged period of mind games which were akin to bullying and harassment. I built up a dossier of 'events' and rang my union rep (this is a managers union - a subset of Unison). Anyway I never got to see the representative as she is based darn saaaarf and rarely got up north. I was far from impressed especially as I am paying £18 a month for the privilidge.

After being deluged with letters from its big sister Union telling me to vote Labour I shall be putting that £18 to other use shortly.

Once Cameron has swatted (hopefully) that Scottish woman the Tories are going to have an easy time of it as their austerity measures coincide with a world wide uptake in the economy and they can boast 'oh aren't we good we can remove all these unpleasant measures'. Yeah right.

There is one big gripe I have and that is 'stealth tax'. An example:

Somebody I work with is a managers banding above mine. His partner also has a good job in the civil service. Estimated household income - over £100k. Good on them I say. They also have investments. But one thing - they have no kids!!!

Me, well yesterday I spent two hours filling in my tax self assessment. That is despite being PAYE. They want to know every last detail of any interest I get (which is actually on a joint account) plus any stock and shares etc etc. End result - I owe £200. It's not a lot I know but our household income is far less than my colleagues and he doesn't have to do a self assessment. Whats the difference - oh I have kids and claim child benefit.

What's the incentive to save in this world. I might as well go out and piss it all up. Interest rates sub 2% yet all we are hearing is that people are going to find it hard when they retire. Well where's the f'ing incentive if you are in a fortunate position to have a little spare cash at the end of the month to save. Naf all.

So what's that got to do with the Unions. Bugger all. I just fancied getting it off my chest that's all lol

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