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UK Politics

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Bronco, May 5, 2021.

  1. Offcomedun

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    Based on the fact that he's a Labour politician. I've been in or around Labour politics since I was at junior school in the 60s. I've never met a single Labour party member or politician who believes in Tory monetarist nonsense.

    No. What I'm saying is that Thatcher/Reaganomics revolution made Friedmanite monetarism the default economic approach and, at the same time, globalised the money markets. These two things mean that governments are now much more exposed to being scuppered by the markets than they were before the 80s. Any attempt to step out of the conventional market wisdom (which is deeply conservative, with a small c) in a dramatic way is likely to lead to the kind of reaction that Liz Truss experienced. Therefore, Labour has to work within much narrower parameters than it would like. Which is why Starmer keeps knocking back any policies that could be criticised as 'unfunded' (and therefore likely to incur the wrath of the money markets) and emphasising growth as the way forward. He's hoping that once in power, by avoiding the deflationary mistakes the Tories keep making, the economy will eventually turn and allow him the wriggle room to spend more money on public services and other Labour priorities

    Nah, that's ridiculous. Of course they wouldn't. Yes, they'd have tightened their belts initially, as all governments did after the bankers crashed the world economy in 2008. But no one else kept cutting and cutting again for years, long past the point where it was sensible, except our Tory government. That's because their cuts were not really about 'balancing the budget', which they spectacularly failed to do - like every Tory government, they ended up borrowing more than Labour has ever done. Osborne's cuts were purely ideological. The budget balancing stuff was just a cover story to 'shrink the state' as hard and fast as they could get away with.
    Most other developed countries emerged from recession much faster than us and with far less damage. Even the IMF and the World Bank were advising for reflationary policies by the mid teens, but the Tories just kept on cutting, decimating public services, depressing the economy and creating the biggest fall in real wages since the great depression. The idea that Labour would have done the same is utter nonsense. If you really believe that then I can't help you.
     
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  2. Aaron Baker

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    But he’s never stated it. Not every member of a political party believes the same things. Corbyn doesn’t believe the same as Blair and Sunak doesn’t believe the same as Truss.

    We can only judge him on what he says and he hasn’t said what you think he believes.

    So that still means that he’s offering exactly the same as the Tories for a lot of things at this election. He’s not giving anything to avoid the deflationary “mistakes” but that’s the bit where we need the differential. Unsubstantiated hope isn’t good leadership. We’re back to actual policies being the same with your assumptions being different.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/mar/25/alistair-darling-cut-deeper-margaret-thatcher

    “The IFS used its post-budget analysis to spell out what was in store for Whitehall departments, but said there appeared to be only a modest difference between the plans of the two main parties”

    I’m not actually sure when they kept cutting to be honest and I think the timeline of recovery was very similar to most counties, especially in the context of the UK having a large exposure to financial services.
     
  3. Offcomedun

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    So what do you want him to do? Promise the earth like Corbyn did and get ripped to shreds by the press. We've seen how that goes often enough. The first step is to get into government. And then you suss out what is doable and what is not.
    If you really believe that Starmer believes the same things as the Tories and wants to be as ultra cautious as he is being then I'm flabbergasted. This is the guy who worked for Doughty Street Chambers, the absolute epitome of the 'lefty' human rights lawyers that the Tories hate so much; the man who, pro bono, took on the corporate might of McDonalds in the 'McLibel' case and won. He may be a pragmatist but he's no closet Tory.
     
  4. Aaron Baker

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    I don't particularly want him to do anything apart different. He's doing what he should do and that's telling us what he will do if he gets elected.

    I already a bit skeptical about what he says given that (a) he's a politician, and (b) the amount he changed his tune from what he promised to win the leadership context to his current stance on things. But what I don't want to do is become even more unsure about what he's telling us to the point where I vote for him based on his sensible, centrist, views only for him to unleash some ridiculous spending/taxation outlook which had never been mentioned once he's in power. I think that's fair......just tell us what you're going to do and when he does tell us, not have a load of people go "yeah but he doesn't really mean it, he means something different and that okay cos he's a red"

    Being on the left socially doesn't necessarily mean he's on the left economically. I don't think he's a Tory but equally if he keeps telling us things that he won't change that the Tory's already do then he's not massively different. That's okay for me but terrible for political choice and maybe even disappointing for people who want to see a "proper" Labour government.
     
  5. Tony Wilkinson

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    Get on it folks, this is where you can hear/see the unbiased truth......
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Impact Sub

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    More things that Labour won't change when they win. Someone somewhere must be making a list of these.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-66634187

    Once again making themselves more electable to me but it's not quite going to be a revolution is it?
     
  7. Offcomedun

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    Who ever said it was?
     
  8. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Impact Sub

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    Nobody. Why?
     
  9. Offcomedun

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    Because you raised it
     
  10. ahar964

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    Anybody feel like the world is a safer place now Grant Shapps is Defence Secretary o_O
     
  11. Tony Wilkinson

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    It'll only be for a week or two, doesn't tend to keep a post for too long ....
     
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  12. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Impact Sub

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    I raised it because the implication has been that it will be a completely different type of government under Labour.

    Kier himself - a man of apparent honestly - campaigned for the leadership on a relatively radical set of propositions. Would you not agree? And everything he's done since being appointed is row back from that and get closer to the Tories. Would you not agree again?

    So while nobody has specifically said the words I mentioned do you not think the rowing back of promised towards a borderline Conservative book of policies is worthy of comment. Or will you just support the reds no matter what they do?
     
  13. Offcomedun

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    Britain's economic circumstances have massively deteriorated since those promises were made.

    Starmer was elected leader:
    - before Covid hammered our economy, necessitating unpredictable and unprecedented levels of government spending/debt;
    - before inflation went into levels not seen for many years;
    - and before a few weeks of Trussonomic madness shattered our international economic reputation and caused a mortgage/interest rate hike that has massively increased business costs and exacerbated the cost of living crisis for millions of Britons.

    It's blindingly obvious that if Labour win the next General Election they will be faced with an extremely bad economic situation that will severely curtail their room for manoeuvre. In these circumstances, many of the more radical things that Starmer would like to have done in a first term will now be impossible without either
    a) borrowing heavily (to add to the already huge national debt that the Tories - as they always do - have racked up) or
    b) raise taxes on the better off to raise money for their spending plans.

    We all know that either of these options would be seized upon and wheeled out ad nauseum by the predominantly right wing press to suggest that Labour's economic policy is reckless, unfair on cash-strapped hard working people etc etc. We've been here so many times before.
    Not to mention that the Truss/Kwarteng debacle makes it even more likely than usual that the international money markets would come down on a Labour government like a ton of bricks at any sign of borrowing/spending that they would see as reckless.

    So, much as I would like a more radical agenda in an ideal world, I completely understand why Starmer & co are being ultra cautious. They know that this government is paralyzed in its death throes and that the next election is Labour's to lose.

    I expect that the manifesto, when it comes out, will contain a few interesting policy ideas that they are keeping up their sleeve. But for now they are keeping their powder dry, playing a straight bat, avoiding any hostages to fortune etc (pick your own cliché).
    They have to pick up seats in socially conservative, but economically liberal ex- Labour northern areas and in socially liberal but economically cautious southern areas (that normally vote Tory). It's a difficult balancing act. And whilst ever this incompetent government keeps digging its own grave on a repeated basis, the sensible thing is to keep fairly schtum and let the Tories keep on digging.

    Yes, in my book ANY Labour government is preferable to more years of this appalling shitshow we've we've had to suffer for the last thirteen years. Even a timid, lukewarm, pale pink Labour government will do more good things, and cause far less harm, than more years of Tory rule. So the absolute priority is to get these bastards out and to do so with a big enough majority to make a second labour term a likelihood. Because it's going to take at least two terms to begin to undo the damage that Cameron, Osborne, May, Johnson, Patel, Truss, Kwarteng, Sunak, Braverman & co have caused.
     
  14. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Impact Sub

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    You just make excuses for him changing his tune and the constant use of "he'll be criticised if he sticks to his principles" is the worst kind of straw man argument - all politicians get criticised, they have to be string enough to push what they believe will be beneficial.

    And I get that the economic outlook has changed (although we should probably stop even mentioning the Truss effect at this point) but some of the things he was elected on were idealistic and should stand regardless of the situation. You shouldn't really make excuses for him lying to get in power.

    This is why it's a largely pointless discussion though, you'll always view Blue=bad and Red=good even when they're promising the same things. You'll defend lying when it's done by the right politicians.
     
  15. Offcomedun

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    Yes, of course, as a matter of principle I'll always believe in the ideas of social democracy/soft left socialism over the 'me first, private good, public bad' Tory ethos. That's baked in. It's who I am, since I first worked on a general election at 7 years old, in 1964. But the suggestion that the two parties are now promising the same things is nonsense.

    The Tory party has never been more right wing. It's now dominated by small state, anti - 'woke' culture warriors who, if they get back in next year, will drive this country further into social division and economic inequality. The direction that influential Tories like Braverman want to take us in are a million miles away from what a Labour government wants/would do.
    A Labour government may be economically constrained from repairing the damage to the social fabric of our society wreaked by the last thirteen years, but it would at least stop us hurtling further in the direction of division and inequality. That alone is sufficient reason to do whatever it takes to get elected. Yes, Starmer is being a bit more cautious than I would like, or think is strictly necessary. But I'd rather that than than see us make a false move that ends up scuppering our chances of winning a decent majority. This is realpolitik. Sometimes pragmatism has to prevail. Staying in principled opposition is pointless. If reining back on some of the things he said he do to gain the leadership is what it takes, then so be it.

    You say that 'all politicians get criticised'. This is true, but far more so for Labour than the Tories. Our press is overwhelmingly conservative, both with a large and a small C. Labour has always had to work much harder to get its ideas accepted and is always much more likely to get hammered for economic recklessness. Despite copious evidence to the contrary there is a baseline assumption that the Tories are the party of good economic management and that Labour will upset the apple cart. This is the context in which Labour, and Starmer, are working. Couple that with our electoral system, which means it takes on average 12,000 more votes to elect a Labour MP than a Tory (because Labour tends to have large majorities in big urban constituencies so many more Labour votes are 'wasted'). So, the idea that it's a level playing field is a fiction. Labour always has to work much harder to get into power than the Tories do. This has been the case for all of my lifetime and more. Hence the caution not to blow it when within striking distance of a win.

    Getting into power with a decent majority is all that matters at the moment. Like every opposition in history, of either persuasion, Labour will have things it plans to do that it's keeping under its hat for the time being. Once in power it will assess how far it is able to go, based on the size of its majority, the mood of the country and the economic realities it faces. As the economy eases it will be able to do more of what it would like. A second term manifesto would undoubtedly be more radical. But that's all academic unless we win. Getting into power, by hook or by crook, to get these bastards out, is all that matters at the moment. And I don't care one jot if you don't like that. It's a means to an end.
     
  16. Tony Wilkinson

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    Said no one ever ......
     
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  17. Offcomedun

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    You really are hilarious.

    Braverman, Patel, Badenoch, Rees-Mogg, Dowden, Coffey, Truss. These people are miles to the right of MacMillan, Heath, Major, Cameron and even Thatcher. Then factor in the headbanger backbenchers in the ERG and people like Philip Davis and Esther McVey and it's blatantly obvious that the current makeup of the Tory Party is way to the right of what it has ever been in my lifetime or yours. No one with any grasp of modern political history could seriously dispute this. The more moderate 'One Nation' Tory faction, which dominated the party for four decades post war and remained influential until recently, has now been reduced to a rump with little influence.
    The fact that there is an even more extreme party called Reform, further to the right of it, which you support, does not alter the fact that the Tories are more right wing than they've been in most people's living memory. Many of the current Tories would happily fit into the Reform Party but only haven't joined for fear of splitting the right wing vote.
     
    #497 Offcomedun, Sep 13, 2023
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023
  18. Tony Wilkinson

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    What I am sure of is that all the Tory supporters/voters that are pi55ed off with this current useless lot are NOT criticising them for being too right wing...quite the opposite, but of course that would be lost on reality deniers such as yourself...
     
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  19. Aaron Baker

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    Absolute madness that you believe these. They've never been more tax and spend than they currently are - the rhetoric doesn't match the actual policies.

    Even if you mislead on the way eh?
     
  20. Offcomedun

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    They may be taxing, but what are they spending on? Certainly not on the social fabric of this country, which they're ripping to shreds. They are certainly more socially right wing than they've ever been in my lifetime.

    Who are they misleading? They're being completely honest about the fact that they don't know how bad the books really look until they get into office so they're not going to make promises that they may not be able to keep.
     

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