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New Labour Leader

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3 minutes ago, littleyellowbirdie said:

 

We've been there before. PR was explicitly mentioned in Labour's 1997 manifesto. Labour will never adopt PR as a majority government because it's against the interests of the party.

A cynical voice in the back of my mind wonders if the Conservative self-destruction we're seeing is a calculated move to give Labour a majority, avoid a Labour-led coalition, and keep the electoral system in place.

There is undoubtedly an argument that they would be more than happy to have a term out of office having handed Labour an impossible hand

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10 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

You've had centre/left governments ever since 1990. Why do you think one more would be any different?

And if you don't want to see lunatic fringe grotesques ever again, I suggest you don't support PR because that is exactly what you'll get.

FPTP has not stopped "lunatic fringe grotesques" determining Tory government policy. The ERG is a fringe extremist grouping in the Tory Party, yet they have had an overwhelmingly disproportionate influence in establishing a far-right agenda. The vast majority of Tory MPs were against a hard Brexit, but the ERG was nonetheless able to enforce its position. The ERG is essentially a UKIP entryist grouping that actually gained more political "credibility" by clothing itself in Tory colours. At least under a PR system they could have nailed their colours to their true mast and tested their popularity in a sincere election. "Lunatic grotesques" both left and right do not disappear under FPTP, they simply secrete themselves within mainstream parties and subvert their agendas.

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An interesting conference speech from Starmer (in terms of content, he'll never be a particularly appealing orator on account of his annoying, slightly nasally voice).

Headline will be Great British Energy, a state-owned energy generation company. Whether it will go as far as becoming a household energy provider or focus only on generation I'm not sure, but it's an eminently sensible idea that has only been ignored for so long because of the strength of the energy lobby. Despite it being an obvious policy, I didn't expect Starmer would have the backbone for it.

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2 hours ago, horsefly said:

FPTP has not stopped "lunatic fringe grotesques" determining Tory government policy. The ERG is a fringe extremist grouping in the Tory Party, yet they have had an overwhelmingly disproportionate influence in establishing a far-right agenda. The vast majority of Tory MPs were against a hard Brexit, but the ERG was nonetheless able to enforce its position. The ERG is essentially a UKIP entryist grouping that actually gained more political "credibility" by clothing itself in Tory colours. At least under a PR system they could have nailed their colours to their true mast and tested their popularity in a sincere election. "Lunatic grotesques" both left and right do not disappear under FPTP, they simply secrete themselves within mainstream parties and subvert their agendas.

Exactly. Prime example - Trump. His cabal basically took the Republican party for a ride and went hard right.

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Conservatives got into this mess by trying to emulate Labour in the centre ground. Starmer offers nothing new except a continuation of the same old policies that are failing us now

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7 hours ago, littleyellowbirdie said:

The problem is that manifestos are largely works of fiction these days. It used to be that the manifesto was at least a rough guide of the thrust of a government in the term of office, but we have a new PM who has thrown the last Conservative manifesto out of the window while refusing to go to the public. She could not do this if she was relying on the support of other smaller parties.

Post-election in Germany, coalition agreements take some time to hammer out, but each party is attempting to produce something that will go some way to satisfying its voters. The agreement is published and the public and all the parties in it can measure against it.

FPTP was okay when you could count on politicians behaving with a modicum of honour and decency, and some still do, but the days where that could be relied on ended decades ago.

The problem as I see it Birdie is that coalition agreements are hammered out post election as you quite rightly state. So my response is what did the electorate actual vote for if they don't actually know what they're getting until the men in suits have done their horse trading. 

Again the point you make about governments not holding to their manifesto promises is well made, but I think I would prefer to at least have a set of promises made before I vote and not after. 

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6 hours ago, canarydan23 said:

I think this is what terrifies people like SKS. Millions of people vote Labour because they are the best of the worst. Some people even become members on that basis; they're not massive fans of the party's approach but stomach it because the alternative is much worse. They (Starmer, Blair, possibly even Corbyn who shamefully ignored electoral reform) know this.

We'll never be short of two things; self-interested rich people and idiots. Therefore there will always be a solid base of people that vote Tory whether in PR or FPTP. Labour, however, have a more informed demographic of voters and in PR they would abandon them in their droves for parties more aligned to their viewpoint.

I voted Labour under Blair and will almost certainly vote for them under Starmer but I despise the pair of them; pro-establishment shills more interested in preserving a status-quo that has served them both very well thank you very much rather than actually instigating the reform our anarchic systems that routinely dumps on the majority desperately need. If they wanted my vote under PR, they'd need to come up with proper policies that will make lasting and meaningful change, rather than just shifting one gear down from what the current Tories are doing. Corbyn had the policies, but a leader of the opposition needs to act like they're more than a sixth-form activist to earn the trust of the nation in order to enact the policies we needed.

Yes, there's a lot of talk now about how there is clear daylight between the Tories and Labour, but that's got f-all to do with Starmer's radicalism and everything to do with the fact that two actual idiots in Truss and Kwarteng have gone in a direction that even a Blair-idolising Knight of the Realm won't follow.

Well that was a totally honest post. Being in the other camp, I won't say more as it might sound condescending, but yes, brutally honest. 

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36 minutes ago, Rock The Boat said:

Conservatives got into this mess by trying to emulate Labour in the centre ground. Starmer offers nothing new except a continuation of the same old policies that are failing us now

Do you seriously think this Conservative government is in the centre ground? 

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24 minutes ago, Rock The Boat said:

The problem as I see it Birdie is that coalition agreements are hammered out post election as you quite rightly state. So my response is what did the electorate actual vote for if they don't actually know what they're getting until the men in suits have done their horse trading. 

Again the point you make about governments not holding to their manifesto promises is well made, but I think I would prefer to at least have a set of promises made before I vote and not after. 

The 'men in suits' negotiating are in fact the 'democratically elected representatives', weighted in standpoints by the relative proportions of votes different parties got.

This in contrast to the 'commitments' made in manifestos of the Conservative and Labour parties. PR promised by Labour in 1997. Where is it? Voting rights for those living outside the UK more than 15 years promised in the 2015 Conservative manifesto. Where are they? Where is the mandate for Liz Truss actions this week in the 2019 manifesto?

A coalition agreement agreed by different factions of weighted democratically elected representatives is of more value in my eyes than the worthless promises of the Conservatives and Labour in majority governments.

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The country's foremost political analyst, Andrew Marr, is convinced that Labour is pretty much nailed on for victory at the next election. Starmer's performance today was head and shoulders above anything we have seen by a Tory leader in God knows how many years. There is now clear blue sky between the reckless far-right ideological driven Tories under Truss' leadership, and Starmer's Labour party driven by the interests of the ordinary worker.

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9 minutes ago, horsefly said:

The country's foremost political analyst, Andrew Marr, is convinced that Labour is pretty much nailed on for victory at the next election. Starmer's performance today was head and shoulders above anything we have seen by a Tory leader in God knows how many years. There is now clear blue sky between the reckless far-right ideological driven Tories under Truss' leadership, and Starmer's Labour party driven by the interests of the ordinary worker.

Yup, and there's some good stuff in there, like publicly-owned renewables initiative... that will promptly get sold off again once the Conservatives get back in power, which they will, because Labour still won't have reformed Westminster. 

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Which reforms do we want first? The way to elect people or the institution we elect them to?

Surely the Lords has to go. How can there be an institution that allows clerics to take part yet only CoE Bishops are allowed.

So should we allow these people a vote on electoral reform? Unless there is a referendum.

Edited by keelansgrandad

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4 minutes ago, keelansgrandad said:

Which reforms do we want first? The way to elect people or the institution we elect them to?

Surely the Lords has to go. How can there be an institution that allows clerics to take part yet only CoE Bishops are allowed.

So should we allow these people a vote on electoral reform? Unless there is a referendum.

There was no referendum for the Representation of the People Act 1948 that introduced First Past the Post; there's no reason to require a referendum to replace it. 

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https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/starmer-cuts-different-figure-as-he-faces-real-opportunity-to-reach-no-10-beth-rigby/ar-AA12jTYu?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=9517294577484937a074c7174319c73d

Starmer cuts different figure as he faces real opportunity to reach No 10 | Beth Rigby

This was a leader placing Labour firmly in the centre ground and taking aim at Tory territory, pitching to be the party of economic competence, business and aspiration. And Sir Keir was so different too: I remember back in May 2021 when Labour suffered that not just a humiliating by-election defeat in Hartlepool - the former heartland town electing the first Tory MP for the first time in 62 years - but also a slew of losses in local elections across the red wall. But on Tuesday, the Labour leader cut a different figure. He was serious, assured and definitely not second-guessing himself. He became increasingly confident throughout the summer as his nemesis Mr Johnson was deposed, and the new Conservative administration's woes seem to have shifted to the next gear. 

Hope has given way to belief. If you take one thing away from this conference, it is that this is now a party that believes - from top to bottom - it can win the next general election.

This is what Angela Rayner, the deputy leader, told me when I asked if she had a message for Liz Truss: "Do not completely trash the country before we take over and make it better."

Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary, told me that this was the best party conference he'd ever been to, and he's been coming since 1999.

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On 27/09/2022 at 13:31, Van wink said:

There is undoubtedly an argument that they would be more than happy to have a term out of office having handed Labour an impossible hand

That might make sense if it was only one term, but voters will know Labour has been handed a near impossible task and make allowances come the election after the next one. If I bet on politics I would put money on the Tories losing the next two elections.

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On 27/09/2022 at 16:32, Herman said:

Do you seriously think this Conservative government is in the centre ground? 

The Truss government is just a few days old but appears so far not to be in the centre. We need more time to be sure. Prior to Truss all were in the centre. 

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14 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

That might make sense if it was only one term, but voters will know Labour has been handed a near impossible task and make allowances come the election after the next one. If I bet on politics I would put money on the Tories losing the next two elections.

One election, two elections, three elections... doesn't matter. Without electoral reform, sooner or later they'll be back, and any positive changes will be reversed. 

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14 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

The Truss government is just a few days old but appears so far not to be in the centre. We need more time to be sure. Prior to Truss all were in the centre. 

The left is the only one has she hasn't been although she does want rid of the Monarchy.

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On 27/09/2022 at 16:39, littleyellowbirdie said:

The 'men in suits' negotiating are in fact the 'democratically elected representatives', weighted in standpoints by the relative proportions of votes different parties got.

This in contrast to the 'commitments' made in manifestos of the Conservative and Labour parties. PR promised by Labour in 1997. Where is it? Voting rights for those living outside the UK more than 15 years promised in the 2015 Conservative manifesto. Where are they? Where is the mandate for Liz Truss actions this week in the 2019 manifesto?

A coalition agreement agreed by different factions of weighted democratically elected representatives is of more value in my eyes than the worthless promises of the Conservatives and Labour in majority governments.

You are actually making the case for manifestos for me. In your second paragraph you are asking where are all these manifesto promises from the parties, and why haven't they been implemented. Well that the point, you've actually got a promise in writing, you can even tell me the date when that promise was made, and quite rightly as a result you can demand an answer from the politician. You can do none of that if no promises are made and its all decided in secret. Instead of you being able to complain that the politician you voted for isn't delivering what he/she promised, under a coalition you have to accept whatever they come up with.

So here's an example. In 2010, one of the main manifesto promises of the LibDems was for no university fees for undergraduates. A voter wanting that policy then votes for the LibDems only to see the party join a coalition with the Tories and that promise gets negated. So under coalition governments, which is what will happen with some form of PR, we the voters end up with some hybrid policy that none of us voted for. And as far as I can tell puts all the power in the hands of the politicians and none in ours. While FPTP is not an ideal system, and no system can align to all the possible permutations of policies of government, what you propose is far less democratic than what we have today.

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16 minutes ago, Rock The Boat said:

You are actually making the case for manifestos for me. In your second paragraph you are asking where are all these manifesto promises from the parties, and why haven't they been implemented. Well that the point, you've actually got a promise in writing, you can even tell me the date when that promise was made, and quite rightly as a result you can demand an answer from the politician. You can do none of that if no promises are made and its all decided in secret. Instead of you being able to complain that the politician you voted for isn't delivering what he/she promised, under a coalition you have to accept whatever they come up with.

So here's an example. In 2010, one of the main manifesto promises of the LibDems was for no university fees for undergraduates. A voter wanting that policy then votes for the LibDems only to see the party join a coalition with the Tories and that promise gets negated. So under coalition governments, which is what will happen with some form of PR, we the voters end up with some hybrid policy that none of us voted for. And as far as I can tell puts all the power in the hands of the politicians and none in ours. While FPTP is not an ideal system, and no system can align to all the possible permutations of policies of government, what you propose is far less democratic than what we have today.

All very well. But where the hell is what Truss is doing in any manifesto!

She hasn't even been voted in - except by an unrepresentative minority. Many who probably have vastly sized lawns.

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20 minutes ago, sonyc said:

All very well. But where the hell is what Truss is doing in any manifesto!

She hasn't even been voted in - except by an unrepresentative minority. Many who probably have vastly sized lawns.

They probably have bigger d**ks than you, but I don't think either are relevant.

Why are you even commenting on how Truss became Prime Minister? You understand perfectly well that we are not in a presidential system but in a parliamentary party system and it is up to the parties to choose their own leader. Of course, the utter cluelessness of the Labour Party allowed me, a Conservative voter, to vote for Jeremey Corbyn as leader of his party, but I think even there the penny has dropped.

So come on Sonyc, drop the dumb and dumber act,  a clever chap like you can do so much better than this. Raise your game!

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2 minutes ago, Rock The Boat said:

 

So come on Sonyc, drop the dumb and dumber act,  a clever chap like you can do so much better than this. Raise your game!

Blah, blah, blah something about kettles being black. I lost focus during that diatribe. 

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2 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

You are actually making the case for manifestos for me. In your second paragraph you are asking where are all these manifesto promises from the parties, and why haven't they been implemented. Well that the point, you've actually got a promise in writing, you can even tell me the date when that promise was made, and quite rightly as a result you can demand an answer from the politician. You can do none of that if no promises are made and its all decided in secret. Instead of you being able to complain that the politician you voted for isn't delivering what he/she promised, under a coalition you have to accept whatever they come up with.

So here's an example. In 2010, one of the main manifesto promises of the LibDems was for no university fees for undergraduates. A voter wanting that policy then votes for the LibDems only to see the party join a coalition with the Tories and that promise gets negated. So under coalition governments, which is what will happen with some form of PR, we the voters end up with some hybrid policy that none of us voted for. And as far as I can tell puts all the power in the hands of the politicians and none in ours. While FPTP is not an ideal system, and no system can align to all the possible permutations of policies of government, what you propose is far less democratic than what we have today.

If it's something you're interested in, you've got a broken 'promise' in writing, which is only relevant if the alternative party happens to be offering that; if not, which will usually be the case, you can go hang. It may be in writing, but theres nothing binding about any of it; it's worthless as anything other than a broad idea of a government's intended direction. In Truss' case, the most recent manifesto is n't even that.

As it is, about 40% of the electorate voted for the Conservatives, but the Conservative party commands a majority of parliament; it's not representative of the public in any way, shape, or form, and if Labour win a majority it will be no more representative than what we have now, unless they do actually get over 50% of the popular vote, which is unlikely.

Edited by littleyellowbirdie
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An Observation

Has anybody else noticed that the very last 'attack line' line left on Starmer, usually from those of a naturally blue bias, is to grasp for some nebulous 'He hasn't any policies' or 'He's bland' or some-how hasn't quite closed the 'deal' (for them).

It's a common self-defense mechanism - they know its all over with their pet Tories as a competent party of government but can't quite bring themselves to admit to themselves that Starmer has nailed them - any old half-excuse will do to explain their unease even if they can't see it in themselves.   

The right wing papers and media play on this - it's their only hope it seems however false.

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He is bland and he hasn't really made any big policy announcements!

 

Edited by Barbe bleu

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Being bland isn't necessarily a criticism in my book. On balance It's probably a bad thing to be in a leadership role but sometimes it's more important to be a capable manager and administrator than a great leader.

I dont think 2 years away from a GE we would be getting full manifesto policies so probably can't be criticised for putting party politics above vision right now.

There are some policies emerging that are creating genuine choice,  some bits around, for instance, railways and business rates and some positioning happening on matters like the environment.  Not anything like a corbyn style blitz and what there is being lost in the noise, but there is still time for this to mature and to be heard.

I'm interested in what happens with income tax.  Basic rate back up to 20% but Labour were content with 19%.   As it stands labour seem to have pledged lower tax levels than the conservatives, when did that last happen?!

Edited by Barbe bleu

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If Starmer is bland which is true, but is cruel to judge someone on that on things so important and if Starmer is bland what is Truss.

Just remember we had George Bush Jnr going "ye harr" and talking big  things. Surely not bland, but we needed Obama who was not that exciting, but you knew the plumbing would be looked after.  - I.e. Boris going "of course we must go to Peppa Pig world" to Starmer going an appriorate diameter for the anti-backflow gavinised valve connecting pipe should be 12mm with margin for defect of 0.02 %

Edited by KiwiScot
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