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  1. #321
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    It's good news for those of you in the southeast, who get to benefit from the conservative policies you prefer no matter who wins.

    But I've just left after a month in Cheshire, while my Lancastrian neighbours were flooded due to cuts to the flood defences budget. The north has to consider whether it gains from perpetual Conservative governments, or whether it needs to secede with Scotland. Not that the current price of oil makes that very attractive.
    We had some nasty flooding down here in the last couple of years too, you know. This is caused by EU regulations which don't work well in the UK, and people slabbing over their gardens.

    The North is not going to secede. In any event, there are a lot of Tory seats there.

  2. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    We had some nasty flooding down here in the last couple of years too, you know. This is caused by EU regulations which don't work well in the UK, and people slabbing over their gardens.

    The North is not going to secede. In any event, there are a lot of Tory seats there.
    Remember, I ham it up but I'm from a part of Cheshire as True Blue as anywhere in the Home Counties. Politically I'm pretty centrist and thought the Coalition was virtually identical to a Blair government, but that the accidental election of a pure Tory government - due to the SNP replacing Labour north of the border and Clegg signing the suicide pact with the Conservatives - has left us a government which is radical and dogmatic due to an almost sexual devotion to Margaret Thatcher.

    I actually do believe that austerity politics led to a 20% reduction in the flood protection budget - even the Mail and Telegraph have published that - and, like all governments of all persuasions, the cuts have been deepest in areas where the government would always be unelectable anyway. Like Lancashire.

    Where you and I differ is where we perceive Scotland as going. The oil price is very low currently because Sunni Saudi Arabia is trying to bankrupt Shiite Iran. That makes Scotland economically vulnerable currently.

    I don't know whether the UK will vote for a Brexit but I do know that if it did, Scotland would leave. If you travel much in the north you see that most infrastructure projects are EU and not Westminster-funded and there is no way that the Scots would feel more loyalty to London than the EU.

    So the one certainty that I have overall is that Scotland will remain in the EU, whatever the overall UK chooses to do.

    I return to the UK regularly, I read British papers and I have British TV at home. Even though I'm based in Australia, I've never really left.

    At the risk of sounding crass, from 2010 to 2015 whenever I went back to northern England people would say "the Tories didn't win, it's a hung parliament and a coalition government."

    But now the reality has sunk in that a sick and unrepresentative electoral system has given the Tories unbridled power while, for example, disenfranchising all those millions who voted UKIP.

    For people in the north, Scotland and Wales there is a gradual recognition that they have as much democratic power as the people of North Korea, Saudi Arabia or China. A mixture of demographics and mathematics means that they are going to live under Conservative rule until they die, whether that rule is administered by the Tories or Labour with Tory policies. Don't forget, it was Tony Blair who introduced university fees.

    I wish I shared your certainty about the future. Funnily enough, as an avowed centrist I believe that the one thing which would hold your country together is New Zealand-style proportional representation.

  3. #323
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Maybe the average Labour voter has not heard of them. The statement that they are Labour Friends of Israel reveals your personal prejudices. So much for the broad church!

    The concern to the Labour leadership here should be the loss of ability and experience in senior positions. Of course Corbyn can replace competent Oxford-educated right-wingers with fellow ideologues. That will please his supporters but not necessarily impress the centre ground of floating voters which he needs to attract to form a Government.

    It's interesting that the Bullingdon Bruiser is now using high-handed ridicule and questioning of competence as a PMQ tactic. Corbyn can expect years of variation on "You don't know what you're doing".
    I half agree, actually.

    The problem lies with just how far Thatcher re-calibrated English - as opposed to British - politics to the right.

    It seems to me that Jeremy Corbyn is not the mad Derek Hatton/Dennis Skinner/George Galloway figure that he is being painted as. His views are basically to the right of Tony Benn and even Michael Foot, and are traditional Labour beliefs - the sort that made David Owen, Shirley Williams, Woy Jenkins and Bill Rogers leave to form the SDP.

    Those views are views that would win the majority of seats in normal times everywhere in the UK except England south of Birmingham. Probably even now his platform would sweep seats in Scotland - if there was no SNP - Wales, Northern Ireland and northern England.

    But not only has southern England moved far to the right, mass immigration by Poles and Lithuanians is having the exact same effect that the Russian Jews had on Israeli elections - it is adding an extra 5-20% to the Conservative vote in each constituency where they live, and it is making marginal Labour seats into safe Conservative ones. Every nutty faith schools policy nails down more of the Polish Catholic vote, even at the cost of producing brainwashed Christian, Jewish and Muslim bigots for society.

  4. #324
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    It seems to me that Jeremy Corbyn is not the mad Derek Hatton/Dennis Skinner/George Galloway figure that he is being painted as. His views are basically to the right of Tony Benn and even Michael Foot, and are traditional Labour beliefs - the sort that made David Owen, Shirley Williams, Woy Jenkins and Bill Rogers leave to form the SDP.
    Woy from Wowwington! Blimey, not heard that name for a while.

    Unilateral disarmament and withdrawal from the EU don't sound like trad-LAB beliefs to me. Labour ran on a unilateralist ticket in 1987 and got obliterated by Thatcher. I can still remember The Sun's front-page cartoon of Kinnock under the boot of a gigantic Russian stormtrooper.

    And remember that the brains behind the Corbyn leadership is Seumas Milne (First in PPE from Baliol, son of a BBC Director-General) who is a Communist from what I read.

    But not only has southern England moved far to the right, mass immigration by Poles and Lithuanians is having the exact same effect that the Russian Jews had on Israeli elections - it is adding an extra 5-20% to the Conservative vote in each constituency where they live, and it is making marginal Labour seats into safe Conservative ones. Every nutty faith schools policy nails down more of the Polish Catholic vote, even at the cost of producing brainwashed Christian, Jewish and Muslim bigots for society.
    How so? Please elucidate.

  5. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Woy from Wowwington! Blimey, not heard that name for a while.

    Unilateral disarmament and withdrawal from the EU don't sound like trad-LAB beliefs to me. Labour ran on a unilateralist ticket in 1987 and got obliterated by Thatcher. I can still remember The Sun's front-page cartoon of Kinnock under the boot of a gigantic Russian stormtrooper.

    And remember that the brains behind the Corbyn leadership is Seumas Milne (First in PPE from Baliol, son of a BBC Director-General) who is a Communist from what I read.



    How so? Please elucidate.
    I've two main comments to make here.

    In terms of Corbyn, I'm the first to agree that he is unelectable. My point really is that apart from wealthy northern enclaves like where I'm from, his policies are what most people outside the southeast support, but that a combination of a first-past-the-post system, sheer numbers in the south and the rise of the SNP ensure that a true Labour government cannot win a British election ever again.

    It was quite striking for me on my recent trip home to the UK to see how Americanised labour relations have become, with most of the protections workers enjoy in Europe and even Australia having been stripped away by governments of every persuasion this last 35 years.

    And as a former British junior doctor who works in a properly funded and resourced seven day system in Australia, it was horrifying to see the British government trying to move to a seven day service with five day resourcing. It would actually make the weekdays dangerous without making the weekends safer, but also makes a misery of the lives of junior doctors who, in contrast with people like myself 20 years ago, graduate with huge debts and are now in effect being told that they won't see their spouses or children for the first 12-15 years of their careers. I do the rosters for my junior doctors, and with British resourcing levels the shifts worked would be incredibly family-unfriendly not to mention so tiring as to be illegal here.

    Some things cost money. It costs us in Australia 7/5 times as much to run a 7 day health service as a 5 day one. But Britain has become a mini-America in which the solution is always to do more with less, and even a true blue group like doctors gets clobbered.

    Anyway, on to the Poles!

    By and large, as you know they are hard workers with a General Jaruselzki induced hatred of socialism. And with deeply conservative Catholic faith. Their obvious home is in the bosom of the Conservative party, but 2015 was the first time that most of them had the vote, and I believe that that was what misled the pollsters. They tend to be cash-poor upon arrival but to quickly move out of the very worst suburbs into slightly better, more respectable ones which are marginal Labour seats. But 3000 Polish Conservative votes - and in some cases up to 15,000 - swing those seats the other way.

    I've seen a very similar phenomenon with Israel. As you know, until the 1980s it was a progressive, collectivised Western European socialist state - think of kibbutzes for example!

    But the arrival of the Russian Jews when the USSR collapsed - many of whom weren't even really Jewish, they were just opportunists wanting to live in a mini-America - has shifted Israeli politics massively to the right. They tend to be implacably anti-Arab and their own limited funds on arrival generally meant that they settled in cheap housing in the West Bank rather than Israel Proper.

    So in Israel the whole political landscape has lurched to the right because of mass immigration from Eastern Europe.

    And I think that the same phenomenon is taking place in England.

  6. #326
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    Hey, @Robert,

    Here is a side of Roy Jenkins which had me giggling for hours when I read it......

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...e-friends.html

  7. #327
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    It was quite striking for me on my recent trip home to the UK to see how Americanised labour relations have become, with most of the protections workers enjoy in Europe and even Australia having been stripped away by governments of every persuasion this last 35 years.
    Hmmm. As a manager in a large FM firm I would argue that it is actually very hard to sack underperforming staff. They are heavily protected by employment and case law. One has to have one's ducks in a row.

    Though I deplore the rise of the zero-hours contract. It might suit some people but no mortgage lender will ever take a risk on a so-employed customer.

    The other thing that concerns me is that housing prices in the SE put property out of reach of young people. Decades of NeoLib government have done nothing to control the price inflation and as you say Labour are probably finished as a serious political force.

    By and large, as you know they are hard workers with a General Jaruselzki induced hatred of socialism.
    Ah, of course. Well observed, Dr Junaids.

  8. #328
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    @Robert, yes, I was largely alluding to Zero Hours contracts.

    But another big step backwards in my opinion has been the sell off first of council housing and now even of Housing Association property.

    I really enjoyed the recent dramatisation of Danny Baker's memoirs as "Cradle to Grave". I'm probably deep down an old-fashioned One Nation Tory, which is why I despised Thatcher and why I think that things like the NHS, Grammar Schools and the uplift that council houses give to kids who would otherwise live in squalor due to feckless parents are all so important.

    What Thatcher couldn't understand is that many people are too dumb or uneducated or disadvantaged to lift themselves out of poverty, and her policies condemned their children to live the same lives.

    I actually think that Eden, Macmillan and Heath ran One Nation Conservative governments which were to the left of the Blair and Brown governments.

    And now governments of both sides need to stop letting big corporations get away with zero hours contracts and paying no tax. And as for "Non-Dom" status, don't get me started......

  9. #329
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    @Robert,
    I only answered your housing comments obliquely.

    My comments are:

    1) Council house sell-offs leave more people competing for private rentals, inflating prices.

    2) Unchecked EU immigration (thanks Tony Blair) which no other EU state allowed after EU expansion has sucked in huge numbers of Poles and Lithuanians. It's great that they work hard, do high quality work on your bathroom and take cash. Terrific. But they also need a home, and send prices higher still.

    3) Top tax rates are ridiculously low. In Australia I pay 48.5% above around £30,000 per year. Plus a 1.5% levy for the equivalent of the NHS. But the Thatcher government, whose economic progress was really due to North Sea oil, somehow spun that low taxes were the solution. They weren't and they aren't. There is a reason why I don't see homeless people at Bondi Beach but I do at Santa Monica Beach in LA.

    What has that got to do with house prices? In Australia my extra taxes go on things like social housing. In London that money appears to stay in your pocket, but in reality just inflates house prices.

    My sister lives in Kew on a street where house prices are around £1.5-2 million. Yet the cars on the street are what you would find in the north on a street of £200,000 houses. The money just goes on inflated mortgages and rent.

  10. #330
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    Robert and Junaids, I am a manager also.

    I am afraid that sacking people for capability-based underperformance in a large company is next to impossible nowadays. The current HR philosophy in the United Kingdom is one of extreme caution expressed through huge lenience.

    Now only conduct / disciplinary reasons can provide a viable route through to dismissal really; even this is incredibly difficult, relying on a combination of note-perfect paperwork and brave leadership to be successful - and even then such an outcome can just be quashed 3 months later at some ridiculous tribunal.

    Behave yourself and do your best, and a job in a large company nowadays is a job for life, barring redundancies / closure.

  11. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    I actually think that Eden, Macmillan and Heath ran One Nation Conservative governments which were to the left of the Blair and Brown governments.
    This is true, though I see parallels with Eden and Blair's catastrophic adventures in the Middle East. At least Eden had the shame to resign unlike Blair.

    Despite being a Labour voter, I have respect for MacMillan and Heath (putting aside the latter's alleged "extra-curricular activities") in that they grew up during the Depression and saw the horrific effects that the economic downturn had on working-class communities, and were part of a political generation that saw unemployment as a great evil.

    When unemployment hit 1 million, Heath despite being elected on a right-wing, even Thatcherite agenda, did his famous U-turn and poured money into Britain's industries to save jobs. Heath and MacMillan knew you can't just destroy these industries that many communities were often solely reliant on as a source of income and jobs, without replacement jobs, and that the social effects could be devastating. We see this now with generation unemployment, welfare dependency, high crime rates and high rates of substance abuse evident across the post-industrial North of England. Yet Thatcher showed no remorse when 3 million were on the dole in the early 80s and were told to "get on their bikes".

    Heath and MacMillan were part of a generation that actually did something in their lives before entering politics, serving in the war fighting fascism alongside working-class lads or working down the pits. Same on the Labour side - Benn, Healey, Callaghan - all giants among men in comparison to the different flavours of SPAD we now have to choose from, damp squibs devoid of any charisma or set of values, none of whom ever have had a job outside a think tank or politics.

    Denis Healey before he died last year said it best - "I never wanted to be Prime Minister because I wanted to DO something, not BE something" - Hallelujah. Say that to this current lot and they'd think you're speaking a foreign language.

  12. #332
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    I really enjoyed the recent dramatisation of Danny Baker's memoirs as "Cradle to Grave". I'm probably deep down an old-fashioned One Nation Tory, which is why I despised Thatcher and why I think that things like the NHS, Grammar Schools and the uplift that council houses give to kids who would otherwise live in squalor due to feckless parents are all so important.

    What Thatcher couldn't understand is that many people are too dumb or uneducated or disadvantaged to lift themselves out of poverty, and her policies condemned their children to live the same lives.

    I actually think that Eden, Macmillan and Heath ran One Nation Conservative governments which were to the left of the Blair and Brown governments.
    I think we're on pretty much the same page here. My father was a working-class Tory. He worked for the same oil firm for 27 years and bought their shares at every chance he could. I got onto the social ladder through grammar school and then university grants, and the oil firm helped me.

    But the ladder has been pulled up.

    Thatcher's policies enabled some of the skilled-labour working class to get up that ladder with the council house sell-offs and share ownership schemes, at least in the SE, the lower working class have been condemned to the perpetual underclass we see today.

  13. #333
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    @James and @Robert
    I do share your frustration at not being able to get rid of lazy or incompetent staff.

    So I choose to view it as the price of having a more civilised society than our American friends.

    We provide people with security of tenure and a decent minimum wage so that they don't have to work two or three zero hours jobs like poor Americans, whose under-supervised kids turn to drugs and crime.

    But the flip side is that a small number of useless employees take the p!ss. It's a price worth paying.

    I'd like to follow up @Robert's comments about the ladder being lifted up with no more university grants or grammar schools.

    I think that low taxes promote greed but that highish taxes build a country and a society.

    I don't mean insane 90% tax rates for professionals. I would say something like:

    £35,000+ = 35%
    £45,000+ = 45%
    £75,000+ = 50%
    Income in the £75-150K range taxed at 55%
    Income in the £150-250K range taxed at 60%
    All income over £250K taxed at 70%

    I grimaced as I wrote the last two lines. But if it was accompanied by aggressive taxation of big companies you would audibly hear London house prices ease.

    And you would have the money to re-introduce the things that made Britain great- free university for all, an NHS as good as the Australian and Canadian systems, Grammar Schools and council house building.

    Until 1945 the UK was largely run for the elite. From 1945-1979 there was massive development and I believe that union excesses and Thatcherite excess turned us into a country of managed decline.

    Sure, the car industry was a no-hoper. But the coal and steel industries were demolished for reasons of political dogma rather than economic unviability.

    Here in Australia, a right-wing government recently put up my taxes to manage the minerals downturn's effect on the economy.

    But Thatcher's mindless housewife economics homilies still hold the British hostage. By her "don't spend what you haven't got" claptrap logic, nobody would ever take out a mortgage or a home loan or go to university.

    Yet silly little star struck boys like Osborne, Gove and Cameron are too dazzled by her to challenge her cretinous logic.

  14. #334
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    Sorry meant mortgage or car loan!

  15. #335
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    I think that low taxes promote greed but that highish taxes build a country and a society.

    I don't mean insane 90% tax rates for professionals. I would say something like:

    £35,000+ = 35%
    £45,000+ = 45%
    £75,000+ = 50%
    Income in the £75-150K range taxed at 55%
    Income in the £150-250K range taxed at 60%
    All income over £250K taxed at 70%
    In 1971 under a Tory government we had a top rate of income tax of 75%. In the US under Eisenhower, a Republican President, it was 92%.

    The modern day right-winger's heads would explode when you tell them that conservative administrations either side of the Atlantic were perfectly accepting of such high rates of tax on the wealthy.

  16. #336
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    @Markhor
    That was a top post!

    I'd just like to address your equation of Suez and Iraq.

    Blair was out of control and undemocratic and had no right to start the Iraq adventure. But I can't fault him for Sierra Leone or Afghanistan.

    Hillary Benn's recent speech harked back to Internationalism during the Spanish Civil War. I have no problem with the international community fighting evil like the Taliban or ISIS.

    I personally despair of where modern English politics is going. You have a fabulous SNP government in Scotland which wins almost every seat because Scottish Tories and socialists alike support free university and a quality, free NHS.

    But English politics has gone so far to the right that I half-wish that Corbyn could somehow win and restore those things! We are becoming a mini-USA and I don't like that. (I love America and Americans, I just prefer the European cradle-to-grave model for a society).

  17. #337
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    @Junaids more than 50% tax is immoral in my view. in any case It's not a fair compliance system. Those that pay with PAYE system are forced to pay the proper rate but those who get paid via ltd company entities ..... Different case altogether.

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    The new Labour Party leader...

    Yes, @Eagle_Eye, that's why I flagged that company taxes need a major change.

    Remember, I grimaced too when I wrote those tax rates. But there simply isn't enough tax revenue currently, and the people in the middle are doing the heavy lifting while the wealthy just lie there without contributing enough.

  19. #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Sure, the car industry was a no-hoper. But the coal and steel industries were demolished for reasons of political dogma rather than economic unviability.
    Concur on both points.

    The unions had too much influence by the 1970s. A dozen unions were on the car plants and when one struck they all came out. What cars they did build were rubbish. By 1979 the people were sick of the communist unions barons with their bloc votes and turned to the emergent New Right.

    Now 75% of Britain's coal reserves are still underground, and Thatcher imported it from China! Madness. There has to be a better way, where the unions and managers cooperate. They seem to work fine together in Germany.

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    @Robert, my mother came from a working class Yorkshire background, passed her 11 Plus, then went to Grammar School and Medical School.

    Last year to ensure that my kids don't get too entitled I took them to the National Coal Mining Museum to understand their roots.

    Down at the bottom of the shaft I was horrified to hear that when the Thatcher and Major governments closed the mines, with 75% of the coal left, their parting act was to destroy the shafts and destabilise the ground to ensure that it could never be mined again.

    So now the British import coal and pay the residents of mining towns unemployment benefits. As you wrote, madness!

  21. #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Yes, But there simply isn't enough tax revenue currently, and the people in the middle are doing the heavy lifting while the wealthy just lie there without contributing enough.
    The top 1% of earners in the UK account for almost 1/3 of our total tax revenue. If taxes are increased to 70% for those earning more than 250k these people will just leave the country. I mean why would they bother working so hard just so the state can keep such a large chunk of their income.

    Then where will the money for public services come from?

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    @Gabbar Singh, that "leave the country" line has been trotted out for years. In multiple countries.

    And when the UK previously and France and Germany now had such taxes on extreme wealth, the only people who left were basically footballers and a handful of pop stars.

    If you earn £2 million plus a £1 million bonus in the City - which a few of my friends do - where are you going to go? The equivalent jobs in Wall St are already taken.

    And if you do go, any number of equally smart people will gladly do your job, and possibly better.

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    @Junaids

    These days at the end of tax year we get a breakdown on how our tax is spent. Nearly 50% is welfare and health. I can see why those two holy cows are targeted. The real problem is that we are not making and selling enough things round the world.

    We follow a pseudo capitalist model which has winners and losers but no real competition. Ultimately replace one monopoly for another. What was the point of privatising utilities and railways which consumed a lot of subsidy and ended up delivering a more expensive product for the consumer. And worse of it all, make them too big to fail.

    We need investment in ideas and innovation and translate that to making stuff. How on earth France has a car industry and we do not. We proclaim to be an industrialised nation without a decent manufacturing base. I cannot think of anything I own that is made by a British company.

    What happens when Asia climbs higher up in the industrial value chain. We have fattened up on the back of crooks round the world (sorry I mean overseas investors) pouring money into the UK, but at some point that will stop as the focus shifts to Asia.

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    @Eagle_Eye
    At the risk of sounding like Donald Trump, you are highlighting the insanity of allowing cheap imports from China to keep inflation low.

    I don't really have a problem with an extensive system of tariffs and taxes on imported goods.

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    Now Corbyn has gone on national telly and said that he wants the nukes taken out of the Trident boats, but to keep the boats so as to protect jobs!

    What earthly use is a SSN without ballistic missiles? If you want rid, just scrap the whole system! The latter course would be galactically dumb, because I guarantee that nobody else will give up their nukes and more nations will acquire them in time, but at least it would be ideologically consistent.

    You couldn't make it up.

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    Encouraging to see many contributions to the nuclear debate from the Right all coming out in support of Corbyn

    Portillo, Simon Jenkins, Crispin Blunt, Peter Hitchens, Tim Montgomerie

  27. #347
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    Hitchens

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co....-of-money.html

    The bearded pacifists are right...Trident IS a waste of money


    The Soviet Union collapsed. I watched it happen, before my eyes. Its armies and navies melted away and its empire dissolved. Modern Russia, for all the silly nonsense about a ‘New Cold War’, would be our friend if we let her be, and has no interest in attacking us or any conceivable reason for doing so.
    The USA, meanwhile, has ceased to be the arsenal of freedom and has become instead the headquarters of a bumbling neo-liberal policy whose main achievement has been to turn the Middle East into a war zone, which we could easily stay out of if we wanted to.
    The principal threat to this country’s prosperity, liberty and independence has been, for many years, the European Union, whose agents work tirelessly inside our borders to subjugate us, our laws, economy, trade and territorial seas, to foreign governance. Trident is useless against this, just as it is against the mass migration now transforming our continent, and against the terrorism of the IRA (to whom we surrendered, despite being a nuclear power) and Islamic State.
    WE do not even control Trident, relying on the USA for so much of its technology and maintenance that we could never use it without American approval. How independent is that?
    Meanwhile the Army is visibly shrivelling, demoralised, ill-equipped, historic regiments hollowed out and merged, experienced officers and NCOs leaving. Something similar is happening to the Navy, saddled with two vast joke aircraft carriers whose purpose is uncertain, even if they ever get any aircraft to carry. The RAF is a little better off, but not much.
    This is caused mainly by the giant bill for renewing Trident, which will probably end up more than £100 billion, at a time when we are heavily in debt already. If there were any obvious or even remote use for it, then maybe this could be justified. But there isn’t. We could easily maintain a small arsenal of H-bombs or nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, just in case, for far less.
    It is not just bearded pacifists who doubt its use. Senior civil servants, serious military experts, senior officers in all branches, privately and in some cases publicly reckon it is simply not worth the money. Even if we decide to go ahead with it, I confidently predict we will have to cancel it (at great cost) when the long-awaited economic crisis finally strikes.
    It would be a great shame if we failed to have a proper debate about this, just because it was easier to take cheap shots at the Labour Party. A grown-up country, and a grown-up government, would address it now.

  28. #348
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    Simon Jenkins

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...-corbyn-labour

    Renew Trident? It’d make more sense to put Dad’s Army on the case


    Today Trident’s chief enemy is neither Corbyn nor the Treasury. It is technology. Renewal is besieged by questions about cyber security.

    More severe is whether these giant manned weapons have any future anyway. It is stupid enough spending billions on carriers when bombing wars are increasingly conducted by drones. It now appears that submarines will be vulnerable to squadrons of underwater drones, armed and able to read their every move. A seaborne missile may be as obsolete as a medieval warhorse in the age of the rifle.



    Historians such as Richard Rhodes and Andrew Alexander have catalogued the Nato mendacity and fear-mongering that was the cold war arms race with Russia. Rhodes’s Arsenals of Folly showed such recklessness raised rather than lowered the risk of nuclear miscalculation. The blatant use of fear by Cameron and others today is no less disingenuous. Any thinking person must know that the only defence against any sensible risk to British security today is a well-equipped ground force. Implausible and unusable weapons are pure waste.

    When, back in 2007, Tony Blair was first pondering the renewal of Trident, he wrote in his memoir that he found the case dubious – and Gordon Brown agreed. Switching the money to something else “would not have been stupid”. But he then tried to imagine getting up in parliament to say he was giving up the British bomb, and merely thought, “We’re not going to say it, are we?” In other words, why bother with the right thing, when you can go on buying toys with other people’s money?

    Given the history of nuclear scepticism within Labour, where Trident was long seen as a virility symbol of soundness on defence, it is bizarre of Corbyn’s foes to use this, of all policies, as a stick with which to beat him. For once he is right. Support him.

  29. #349
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    You didn't read what I posted, did you?

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    This is brilliant. Corbyn and Sanders.


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    Let's have a sensible debate on the British nuclear deterrent. I am particularly keen to know what @Markhor and @Junaids have to say.

    Trident is reaching the end of its useful life. It was designed to help NATO deter nuclear war, which was starting to look more likely in the eighties. Now the Cold War is over (though it is getting chillier again as Putin probes Britain's air and submarine defences).

    If we don't need a vastly expensive like-for-like replacement for Trident, what do we need in the modern world?

    - the ability to defend the oil rigs out in the North Sea from the Russians
    - the ability to project force in the Middle East and North Africa, assisting NATO against Islamist incursions

    We have the two big new carriers, and by 2018 the aircraft to make them effective. We have a lot of hunter-killer (HK) submarines.

    Corbyn's option of keeping defanged Trident boats is utterly ludicrous and pointless. Scrap them altogether, and equip the existing HKs with nuclear cruise missiles for 1% of the cost of a replacement SLBM system. Supplement the HK-based deterrent with nuclear stand-off missiles to be deployed on the new carriers and deliverable by the JSF fighters.

    This would maintain a British deterrent capability more in like with the modern world, and free up vast sums to be able to build up the Army and RAF to deployable levels again.

    With lots left over for new schools and hospitals.....

    Sorted?

  32. #352
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    With lots left over for new schools and hospitals.....
    If only that were true.

    Some seem to think that scrapping Trident will magically free up lots of money and our public services will then thrive when the Trident money is diverted there.

    Yet the upper estimates (from the IMF) for the cost of Trident is £167bn over it's lifetime (2028 to 2060) which is £5b a year. The government estimates it will cost between £2-£2.5b a year. That (the upper figure) would cover our debt interest payments for about a month or pay to run the NHS for two and a half weeks.

    I would not lose any sleep if Trident was done away with however the difference that it would make to our economy would be a drop in the ocean.

  33. #353
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbar Singh View Post
    If only that were true.

    Some seem to think that scrapping Trident will magically free up lots of money and our public services will then thrive when the Trident money is diverted there.

    Yet the upper estimates (from the IMF) for the cost of Trident is £167bn over it's lifetime (2028 to 2060) which is £5b a year. The government estimates it will cost between £2-£2.5b a year. That (the upper figure) would cover our debt interest payments for about a month or pay to run the NHS for two and a half weeks.
    Sobering!

    But at least we could afford a decent Army and RAF.

  34. #354
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    Labour win Thanet from UKIP



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    Quote Originally Posted by s28 View Post
    Labour win Thanet from UKIP
    That's a Tory Parliamentary seat isn't it? Craig MacKinlay narrowly beat Farage there last year.

    Hard to know which of the main parties loses more votes to UKIP.

  36. #356
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    An interesting report on why Labour lost in 2015:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35392319

    Overseen by the former Cabinet minister, Dame Margaret, it summarised four main reasons for Labour's defeat, indicating:

    - Mr Miliband was not judged to be as strong a leader as David Cameron
    - A failure to shake off "the myth" that Labour was responsible for the financial crash
    - Inability to "connect" and, in particular, failing to convince on benefits and immigration
    - The fear of the SNP "propping up" a minority Labour government

  37. #357
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I think we're on pretty much the same page here. My father was a working-class Tory. He worked for the same oil firm for 27 years and bought their shares at every chance he could. I got onto the social ladder through grammar school and then university grants, and the oil firm helped me.

    But the ladder has been pulled up.

    Thatcher's policies enabled some of the skilled-labour working class to get up that ladder with the council house sell-offs and share ownership schemes, at least in the SE, the lower working class have been condemned to the perpetual underclass we see today.
    Unfortunately, I've spent enough time in the USA to realise that the creation of a permanent underclass in the UK was by design, not accident.

    American executives freely talk of how ultra-low wages, no job security and poor education guarantee them a neverending supply of ultra-cheap unskilled labour. To them that is a good thing. Wal-Mart is perfectly happy for staff on absurdly low wages to also work full-time at McDonalds or to get government support.

    I simply don't understand the Labour argument against Grammar Schools. Or Direct Grant schools.

    Manchester Grammar - where I was a contemporary of Michael Atherton - had until a few years earlier been a Direct Grant school, with 50% of the pupils on 100% scholarships. When Athers and I went four years later - yes, just four years - the fees were the equivalent of around 15,000 pounds now and the educational privilege the school conferred was now entirly provided to the children of the wealthy.

    To me, selling off council (or Housing Association) houses is a stupid, short-term way to give people upward social mobility. For goodness sake get rid of comprehensive schools and bring back the Direct Grant system, and then you really give people a ladder to climb up.

  38. #358
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    An interesting report on why Labour lost in 2015:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35392319

    Overseen by the former Cabinet minister, Dame Margaret, it summarised four main reasons for Labour's defeat, indicating:

    - Mr Miliband was not judged to be as strong a leader as David Cameron
    - A failure to shake off "the myth" that Labour was responsible for the financial crash
    - Inability to "connect" and, in particular, failing to convince on benefits and immigration
    - The fear of the SNP "propping up" a minority Labour government
    I thought that the Beckett report was self-serving nonsense. I'm sticking with my "Polish Tories" theory!

    Sorry for the delay in replying about Trident. I've always had twin interests in international relations and the armed forces, and here are my comments.

    Firstly, the supine response to the Litvinenko poisoning shows that even with a nuclear "deterrent", Britain cannot even stand up to Russia even when they poison people on the streets of London. The recent events with Hong Kong booksellers being abducted to China show that Trident gives us no influence there either. So what exactly is it for?

    Secondly, I would argue that the two new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers are anything but white elephants. Their construction employed thousands of British people, but more importantly if properly armed they are what can keep British citizens in the Falkland Islands safe from foreign invasion. We didn't resort to nuclear weapons last time the Argies invaded the Falklands and, for that matter, Polaris clearly didn't deter them from doing so.

    Germany and Australia and the Netherlands and Italy and Spain and Canada appear to be safe without a nuclear "deterrent".

    My military priorities would be as follows:

    1. Scrap Trident.
    2. Cancel the order for the ludicrously performing F-35 Lightning II fleet because it is a lemon. Read this: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stori...18/3690317.htm

    3. Invest properly in the Army, Air Force and Navy.

  39. #359
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    To me, selling off council (or Housing Association) houses is a stupid, short-term way to give people upward social mobility. For goodness sake get rid of comprehensive schools and bring back the Direct Grant system, and then you really give people a ladder to climb up.
    The Tories won't do that and I don't think Corbyn will either - he'd prefer to pull the middle class down than enable the poor to better themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Secondly, I would argue that the two new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers are anything but white elephants. Their construction employed thousands of British people, but more importantly if properly armed they are what can keep British citizens in the Falkland Islands safe from foreign invasion. We didn't resort to nuclear weapons last time the Argies invaded the Falklands and, for that matter, Polaris clearly didn't deter them from doing so.

    Germany and Australia and the Netherlands and Italy and Spain and Canada appear to be safe without a nuclear "deterrent".

    My military priorities would be as follows:

    1. Scrap Trident.
    2. Cancel the order for the ludicrously performing F-35 Lightning II fleet because it is a lemon. Read this: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stori...18/3690317.htm

    3. Invest properly in the Army, Air Force and Navy.
    Germany, Italy and Spain have avoided invasion by sheltering under the US / UK / French nuclear shield, I think.

    I have an idea that a Polaris boat was cruising around the South Atlantic during the Falklands War, just as a frightener. It's interesting how quickly the Argies capitulated when put under pressure.

    Russia still has 4000 warheads on paper, but one wonders how many of them still work given that their GDP is lower than ours. More countries are acquiring nuclear ballistic missiles so I think we need something, if not a successor SSBN system. I'll stick with my nuclear cruise missile armed SSN fleet and nuclear bomber carriers, I think.

    What would you purchase for the carriers if not the F-35? Dassault Rafales?

  40. #360
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    @Robert,
    If Britain is going to have a nuclear deterrent - which is fine by me - then be like the French and design and build it yourself.

    In post-war "real" austerity Britain we built the H bomb, Comet, Vulcan, Victor, Valiant and Concorde. But then we made some awful decisions - scrapping TSR-2 would be the worst, followed by scrapping the Ark Royal prematurely in the late seventies.

    Buying off the shelf from the Americans carries a huge price in terms of our own industrial base. In the case of the F35, it means buying absolute garbage.

    I'd reluctantly go with the Rafale, but if you can navalise the Rafale then you can navalise the Eurofighter Typhoon, and defence procurement should carry huge incentives for buying British and huge penalties for buying non-EU weaponry when an EU equivalent exists.

  41. #361
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    @Robert,
    In post-war "real" austerity Britain we built the H bomb, Comet, Vulcan, Victor, Valiant and Concorde. But then we made some awful decisions - scrapping TSR-2 would be the worst, followed by scrapping the Ark Royal prematurely in the late seventies.

    Buying off the shelf from the Americans carries a huge price in terms of our own industrial base. In the case of the F35, it means buying absolute garbage.

    I'd reluctantly go with the Rafale, but if you can navalise the Rafale then you can navalise the Eurofighter Typhoon, and defence procurement should carry huge incentives for buying British and huge penalties for buying non-EU weaponry when an EU equivalent exists.
    Labour's decision to scrap TSR-2 and buy the F-111 was mental.

    Ark Royal was near the end of her life. The Admiralty came up with the idea of small "Harrier carriers" and called them Through-deck Cruisers to con Labour into paying for them. I'm so glad the RN is going to get proper carriers again, for the first time in forty years.

    Rafale is already carrier-capable. Navalising Typhoon would cost shedloads and take much time. What's so bad about F-35? Given that it is the USAF/USN/USMC's main strike fighter, I mean.....

  42. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Labour's decision to scrap TSR-2 and buy the F-111 was mental.

    Ark Royal was near the end of her life. The Admiralty came up with the idea of small "Harrier carriers" and called them Through-deck Cruisers to con Labour into paying for them. I'm so glad the RN is going to get proper carriers again, for the first time in forty years.

    Rafale is already carrier-capable. Navalising Typhoon would cost shedloads and take much time. What's so bad about F-35? Given that it is the USAF/USN/USMC's main strike fighter, I mean.....
    Press the button to read the transcipt of the F35 article that I put up a link to. It is truly horrifying.

    It doesn't fit very well on a Pakistani board, but I am a vehemently pro-American person. But I recognise that since the first Reagan administration the Republican Party had fundamentally changed the US economy by putting big companies and their lobbyists in charge of the economy.

    The F35 was a terrible idea in the first place: land-based, VTOL (Marines mini-carrier) and STOL (Navy carrier) fighter aircraft require different airframes of different weight and performance.

    The F35 is fundamentally incapable because it tries to be all three. But the development program is a disaster due to "Concurrency" - being built and sold before it is tested - because it was not worked up to fully working prototype status first and is being band-aided as it is built, with early generation frames being absolute lemons. But worse, Lockheed has engaged in a program of lobbying (a la Asif/Amir/Butt) foreign governments to buy the aircraft without tender processes and has basically fired anyone who points out problems with the aircraft.

    The end result is that the flight control software doesn't work, and instead of fixing it when this was pointed out the company simply fired the engineer who pointed it out.

    If you think of the Volkswagen/Audi/Skoda diesel engine scandal, this is much worse, because every western nation apart from France is buying an aircraft which not only doesn't work, it presumably can't work.
    Last edited by Junaids; 24th January 2016 at 20:00.

  43. #363
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Press the button to read the transcipt of the F35 article that I put up a link to. It is truly horrifying.

    The F35 was a terrible idea in the first place: land-based, VTOL (Marines mini-carrier) and STOL (Navy carrier) fighter aircraft require different airframes of different weight and performance.

    The F35 is fundamentally incapable because it tries to be all three. But the development program is a disaster due to "Concurrency" - being built and sold before it is tested - because it was not worked up to fully working prototype status first and is being band-aided as it is built, with early generation frames being absolute lemons. But worse, Lockheed has engaged in a program of lobbying (a la Asif/Amir/Butt) foreign governments to buy the aircraft without tender processes and has basically fired anyone who points out problems with the aircraft.

    The end result is that the flight control software doesn't work, and instead of fixing it when this was pointed out the company simply fired the engineer who pointed it out.
    I read your link, and a few others. There appears to be a deal of negative press around the F35 at present. It's not necessarily a problem in the medium to long term. The F-111 had trouble early on but evolved into an excellent strike plane. Tornado was awful to begin with but evolved into a capable strike jet and in modified form a long-range interceptor. They get the bugs out over time.

    There have been plenty of carrier fighters that did well on land too - the F-4 and FA-18 being prime examples. I'm less convinced by the F-35B VTOL which uses the same airframe as the regular F-35C. I think the RN should have gone for the F-35C, but the ski-jumps on the new carriers will extend the range of the F-35B, so ours will be more effective that the USMC jets.

  44. #364
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    A farewell gift from Clive James to @Markhor @Robert and @James

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...peace-students

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    Despite the Tories' mishandling of the junior doctors new contracts and Cameron's duplicity over the EU negotiations, Labour under Corbyn are still miles behind. Iain Duncan Smith, has a better net approval rating than Jeremy Corbyn, yes IAIN DUNCAN SMITH!.

    Tories take 14-point lead over Labour Party in latest ComRes poll

    The Tories take a 14-point lead over Labour in this month’s ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday. Labour’s 27 per cent support equals the party’s lowest level since just before the 2010 election.



    Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, remains the least regarded of leading politicians, with 21 per cent having a favourable and 50 per cent an unfavourable opinion of him. While the favourability ratings of leading Tories has fallen over the past three months, Mr Corbyn’s has not changed significantly.

    Despite the Prime Minister’s difficulties over Europe, the favourability rating of the Tory party has improved. With a net score of minus 14 points, the Tories have overtaken Labour as the most favourably regarded party. Labour is on minus 21, Ukip on minus 26 and the Lib Dems on minus 27.

    Of the politicians tested, only Michael Gove, the Justice Secretary (minus 2), and John McDonnell, the shadow Chancellor (minus 1) have a negative score among supporters of their own parties. However, Mr Gove’s overall score (minus 29) has improved from when he was Education Secretary, when it stood at minus 38.

    The poll also included Iain Duncan Smith for the first time: 16 per cent had a favourable and 38 per cent an unfavourable opinion of him, a net score of minus 22. This illustrates the problem faced by the Leave campaign in the EU referendum, as he and Mr Gove could be the most senior cabinet ministers to declare for Brexit.

    Boris Johnson is the only politician with a positive score (plus 10), even though it has fallen from plus 17. If he could be persuaded to lead the Leave campaign, it would give it a boost.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a6872481.html

  46. #366
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    Well here is Corbyn's opportunity to land some proper blows on the Tories. The Tories appear more divided than first though over the EU - Labour should make the most of this.

    On a related note this childish moment from parliament the other day made me laugh - and Andy Burnham too by the looks of it.


  47. #367
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    Pathetic stuff you hear week in week out on the football terraces.

    "who are ya?"

  48. #368
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbar Singh View Post
    Well here is Corbyn's opportunity to land some proper blows on the Tories. The Tories appear more divided than first though over the EU - Labour should make the most of this.
    Cameron made Corbyn looked rubbish at PMQ again today - ill-informed and not very bright. Corbyn is seriously intellectually outgunned by the PM.

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  50. #370
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    Even the right wing Daily Mail saying Corbyn did well and Cameron is a prat

    Name:  Screenshot 2016-02-25 at 1.58.36 AM.jpg
Views: 248
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    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...hree-days.html

  51. #371
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbar Singh View Post
    On a related note this childish moment from parliament the other day made me laugh - and Andy Burnham too by the looks of it.
    That is quite funny, to be fair.

  52. #372
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    I have come to the conclusion that the 2015 election was a very bad one for the Tories to win.

    Whatever the outcome of the EU referendum, the party is going to be at war with itself.

    Labour would have the same problem if they were in power, and Corbyn is probably protecting them from that fate!

  53. #373
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    Ellie Goulding condemns the Tories as well.

    I think more and more people are realising how utterly vile and fascist our leadership has become.

  54. #374
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    Quote Originally Posted by s28 View Post
    Ellie Goulding condemns the Tories as well.

    I think more and more people are realising how utterly vile and fascist our leadership has become.
    May I suggest that you look up the definition of fascist?

    Miss Goulding is young enough to have come up in the warm glow of the Blair-Brown era. They inherited a strong economy and had a bit of money to spend on services.

    But I've been round this merry-go-round twice now. This country is addicted to low taxation, so the people want things they are not prepared to pay for. Taxation does not raise enough for what we want, so Labour borrows money. Then the Tories get in and pay it back. I would prefer a high taxation model with a strong public sector such as that of Norway. But people here won't accept the tax bill. We owe £1.4T. I've not heard a credible repayment option other than the Tory one, sadly.

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  56. #376
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  57. #377
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    So Osborne misses his deficit target, fails to ensure debt is falling as % of GDP and borrowing is up yet still gets a free press whilst "Tory economic competence" myth continues to be perpetuated.

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    Corbyn did pretty well today - his best PMQs performance for a while followed by a decent budget response.

    But, he does seem to struggle to land that killer blow at times - a memorable one liner or a witty repartee.

    I wonder what he really thinks about the EU referendum. He's been a eurosceptic for decades yet has now found himself with the in campaigners. For his own career a Brexit vote would be more desirable because Cameron would have to resign (his position would be untenable) and the Tories could end up electing some nutter like Michael Gove. Then it really would be game on for 2020.

  59. #379
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    Quote Originally Posted by s28 View Post

    ICM themselves admit this poll is inaccurate.

    The poll, coming as it does amongst a series of weak opinion polls for Labour, is by definition an outlier – and would have to be backed up by further surveys if it were to signal a true shift in support

    It comes amid confusion about the accuracy of voting intention polls – and an industry-wide inquiry into why they failed to correctly measure public opinion in the run-up to the last election.

    Some pollsters have already made tweaks to their methodologies which they say will go some way to fixing the problems at the last election.

    ICM said it had not applied its latest turnout tweak to the new poll and that it expected methodological changes would likely result in a Conservative lead.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a6930721.html

  60. #380
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbar Singh View Post
    ICM themselves admit this poll is inaccurate.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a6930721.html
    It is interesting. The Tories seem to have lost support sharply in a few weeks. Could be their infighting over the Europe vote.

  61. #381
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbar Singh View Post
    Corbyn did pretty well today - his best PMQs performance for a while followed by a decent budget response.

    But, he does seem to struggle to land that killer blow at times - a memorable one liner or a witty repartee.

    I wonder what he really thinks about the EU referendum. He's been a eurosceptic for decades yet has now found himself with the in campaigners. For his own career a Brexit vote would be more desirable because Cameron would have to resign (his position would be untenable) and the Tories could end up electing some nutter like Michael Gove. Then it really would be game on for 2020.
    The Chancellor would more likely get it. Unless Boris runs - they might back him because at least he has a bit of charisma.

  62. #382
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    The FT reckons that Mr Corbyn's plan for the state to buy controlling shares in the Big Six energy suppliers and National Grid will cost £124B. Looks like the opportunity cost from not replacing Trident won't be enough.

    I like his idea to pour £1B into HRMC to give them the resources to pursue the corporate tax-dodgers, though. Spending £1B might rake in £6B or so. It won't amount to much in the scheme of things as £6B is about what the NHS spends in one week, but is at least vote catching.

    He will have to raise income tax.

  63. #383
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    The Chancellor would more likely get it. Unless Boris runs - they might back him because at least he has a bit of charisma.
    I don't think the Tory party members will back someone who campaigned to stay in the EU - Osborne is probably the most popular choice to replace Cameron among Tory MPs however the party membership will have other ideas. Hague over Ken Clarke, IDS over Clarke and Portillo, and Michael Howard - the Tories have history of electing strange characters to lead their party.

  64. #384
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    He will have to raise income tax.

    Scottish Labour are going into the Holyrood election in May with a pledge to increase income tax by 1p in order to avoid cuts to education and other local service. Corbyn and McDonnell will do the same imo - although tbh if they really want to be the anti-austerity party then it will take more than a 1p rise to raise the money needed.

  65. #385
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    More economic grumblings today. The IFS has given Osborne a 50% chance of hitting his target of a £10bn surplus on the public finances by 2020. They've also warned of lower wages and living standards. Osborne's tax plans though are so cynical. Give a tax break to middle-class Tories whilst thin gruel for the poor.

    From April 2017, no one will start paying income tax until they earn £11,500 - up from £11,000 from April 2016. And the threshold for the higher rate of tax will be raised from £43,000 to £45,000.

    The Resolution Foundation said that would mean the poorest 20% of households gaining just £10 a year on average, while the richest 20% would gain £225.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbar Singh View Post
    Corbyn did pretty well today - his best PMQs performance for a while followed by a decent budget response.

    But, he does seem to struggle to land that killer blow at times - a memorable one liner or a witty repartee.
    Did you see the Labour MPs behind Corbyn during his Budget response ? Barely any noise, half of them ruffling through their papers and the other half on their phones ! The PLP really don't hide their disdain for him.

  66. #386
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    Oh dear seems the ICM Poll wasn't a 'one-off'



  67. #387
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    Quote Originally Posted by s28 View Post
    Oh dear seems the ICM Poll wasn't a 'one-off'


    As I wrote, it was a disaster for the Tories to win a majority in 2015 having committed to an EU referendum.

    It's amazing that we have:

    UK: lame duck Cameron v unelectable Corbyn
    USA: nutty Trump or nuttier Cruz v leftie Sanders or despised Hillary.

  68. #388
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    Re: the PLP's behaviour - it seems that both parties are riven at present.

    IDS has just quit - so much for "We're all in this together!" - looks like even he has his limits in terms of inflicting pain on the disabled. Unless he is happy with the policy but sick of #10 and the Treasury messing him about with last-minute changes, leaks and sending his Deputy on telly instead of him.

  69. #389
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    The Tories suddenly find themselves in their first seriously challenging, heavily ridiculed and widely detested moment since they got elected last year.

    It needs some strong leadership from Cameron immediately, or they risk becoming the joke-a-minute clown school that Gordon Brown's short-lived non-government was often (correctly) perceived as.
    Last edited by James; 20th March 2016 at 04:37.

  70. #390
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    To be fair, ones expects the sitting government to be behind in the polls, especially one applying medicine as strong as this one. As long as their support hardens up in the last few months before election time, they will be re-elected. The Tories appeared to be losing in the 1992 and 2015 elections and returned with a majority in each.

  71. #391
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    Khan vs Corbyn (again).

    Sadiq Khan: Labour leadership must be retrained in what anti-Semitism means



    Labour's leadership does not understand anti-Semitism, the party's London mayoral candidate has said as he criticised Jeremy Corbyn for not stopping “unacceptable” racism against Jews from some members.

    Sadiq Khan said recent high-profile incidents of anti-Semitism in Labour should be a "badge of shame" for the party and called for members of the ruling body to be retrained in what constitutes discrimination.

    The Tooting MP also directly challenged his leader to take a "tougher stance" on the issue, saying he was “embarrassed” by the party’s record and demanding it was time not just to "talk the talk" but "walk the walk"


    The comments marked a concerted effort by Mr Khan to win over Jewish voters concerned at a spate of anti-Semitic rants from Labour members and rows among students have made recent national headlines.

    Baroness Royall is leading a party inquiry into anti-Semitisim after the chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club resigned claiming that a "large proportion" of its members had "some kind of problem with Jews.”

    Mr Khan joined Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond Park & North Kingston, and other London mayoral candidates for a hustings with the Jewish community in north London.

    Before the event, co-hosted by the London Jewish Forum and Jewish News at JW3, some attendees distributed printouts attacking Mr Khan's alleged links to anti-Semites titled "do you know what Sadiq Khan said?"

    Addressing concerns in his opening remarks, Mr Khan said: "It is unacceptable for 2016 that there is anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. It is with sorrow that I wear that badge of shame.

    "We need to walk the walk not simply talk the talk. There should be no hierarchy when it comes to racism. Racism is racism.

    "And if it means members of my party - senior members including members of the NEC - being trained on what anti-Semitism is then so be it."

    Labour's National Executive Committee is the party's ruling body as includes Jeremy Corbyn, the leader, and Kev Livingstone, the former London mayor, among others.

    Mr Khan later went further, calling on Mr Corbyn himself to do more to tackle anti-Semitism in the party, when candidates were asked if their leader was a “help or hindrance” to getting elected.

    Mr Khan, who nominated Mr Corbyn for leader but has put distance between themselves since becoming Labour’s candidate for mayor, said: “Jeremy Corbyn is not on the ballot paper. Nor is David Cameron. Nor is Boris Johnson. ..."

    He added: "Let me be absolutely clear. I am embarrassed and sorrowful about the state of our party. I think the Labour leader could have taken a tougher stance and needs to take a tougher stance."

    The comments increase pressure on Mr Corbyn to take swifter action against members who are found to have made anti-Semitic posts on social media.

    Louise Ellman, a Labour MP and vice chair of Labour Friends of Israel, made a similar call during a broadcast interview on Sunday.

    She said: “The leader has spoken out clearly that he is against anti-Semitism but it is not just about words, there has got to be some action, and we haven't seen enough of that."
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...hat-anti-semi/

  72. #392
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    Sadiq Khan turns a question on his personal 'anti-semitism' into an attack on his own party.

    What a desperate unprincipled man he is.

  73. #393
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    Quote Originally Posted by s28 View Post
    Sadiq Khan turns a question on his personal 'anti-semitism' into an attack on his own party.

    What a desperate unprincipled man he is.
    Sadiq Khan the Shabbos Goy. The term anti-semitic is devoid of any real meaning, in itself it's a misnomer as very few Jews are actually semitic. Israel in murdering Palestinians are actually the biggest anti-semites in the world.

    The correct terminology should be used rather so if hatred is directed at someone for the sole reason that they are Jewish than that is anti-Jewish or Judeophobia; opposition to the Zionist entity of Israel does not qualify as such.

  74. #394
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    Quote Originally Posted by s28 View Post
    Sadiq Khan turns a question on his personal 'anti-semitism' into an attack on his own party.

    What a desperate unprincipled man he is.
    To me that says his principles are higher than the "members of the NEC" to whom he refers.

    For example, Mr Corbyn is regrettably associated with Holocaust deniers and deployers of the Blood Libel. Now I don't think for an instant that he holds these views himself but he has overlooked anti-Semitic nastiness perpetrated by pro-Palestinian groups. Thanks to him the Labour Party has expanded but the new members include anti-Semitic individuals. Which is not good for their election chances, given that British Jewry traditionally supports Labour.

  75. #395
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    To me that says his principles are higher than the "members of the NEC" to whom he refers.

    For example, Mr Corbyn is regrettably associated with Holocaust deniers and deployers of the Blood Libel. Now I don't think for an instant that he holds these views himself but he has overlooked anti-Semitic nastiness perpetrated by pro-Palestinian groups. Thanks to him the Labour Party has expanded but the new members include anti-Semitic individuals. Which is not good for their election chances, given that British Jewry traditionally supports Labour.
    I don't think Mr Corbyn need anti-Semites in his party to lose him an election. He's quite capable of doing that himself.

    This is the same Mr Corbyn who once voted against a motion to ban Al Qaeda, being one of only 17 MPs to do so. Granted that was before 9/11 but it's just another example of his total lack of judgment.

  76. #396
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usman View Post
    This is the same Mr Corbyn who once voted against a motion to ban Al Qaeda, being one of only 17 MPs to do so. Granted that was before 9/11 but it's just another example of his total lack of judgment.
    He's a nice man but he has a student union president's understanding of the world. Not an Oxford Union understanding either - more a provincial ex-poly union.

  77. #397
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    Cameron is in dire trouble over the Panama Papers. Wonder if he will go.

    But who would take his place?

    Osborne is so universally despised that I don't think he'd be permitted by his own party to take over. Boris meanwhile is much less unpopular - then again, he would take the party down the Brexit route.

    Theresa May perhaps.

  78. #398
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Cameron is in dire trouble over the Panama Papers.

  79. #399
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Cameron is in dire trouble over the Panama Papers. .
    He's handled this whole thing terribly by drip feeding the news to the media but at the end of the day we're talking about a bunch of shares which were worth £30,000 - it's hardly anything to write home about.

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    Yeah, he'll just tough it out. In a week something else will turn up and the media will forget.

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