General News/Current Affairs Thread

ayase

State Alchemist
britguy said:
I dont have much faith in cameron but I have more so than in miliband. Id rather Cameron be pm again than let miliband in. I always liked David Milliband and wanted him to be the labour leader, then Ed slipped in with his slimey ways and with the unions backing and stabbed his brother in the back. My dislike of miliband is more personal than political.
Interesting, I'm completely the other way around. Everyone presumed David was going to be leader and essentially become Blair 2.0, and I hated Blair for what his government did to civil liberties, the money (not to mention lives) they wasted propping up America's wars and failing miserably to address inequality. The fact that the likes of Blair and Mandelson seem to have been trying to sabotage Ed just make me like him more. I didn't expect him to become leader at all, it gave me a slight glimmer of hope for the future of the party that they wouldn't just carry on being watered down Tories.

If I put myself in his position, would I have fought my own sibling if I thought I stood a chance to become leader of the party and potentially the country and do things my way instead of theirs? The answer is yes, definitely. Those circumstances would almost make me more likely to want to do it.

@neptune - While our political beliefs seem to align to some extent, I think it's a little unfair to presume to know why others think or believe the things they do. While I would certainly be interested to know what policies would-be Conservative and UKIP voters find appealing and why, I don't think it's right to tar them with one brush and presume they're all alike.
 

Y-San

Shinki
I don't think I could ever vote Conservative again either, even if they promised something really neat to every voter, like a free horse after the sale of Royal Mail. What an utter shambles, not only was it undervalued but twelve of the sixteen so called 'long term investors' sold their stocks the minute the company went on the market, one of which was the company also responsible for advising the Government on the sale, Lazard, who made a clean £8m from their share of the stocks.

I wouldn't mind but it isn't as if the company is any better off now, if anything, it's slower. Most of my second class deliveries seem to take closer to a week now rather than 48 hours or sometimes even 24 hours as it was before the sell off. I don't know if the quality of service has decreased for anyone else but either way, it's still a rip off for the tax payer, given that the stocks are now worth about 150p-200p more than they were sold for.

I also don't believe that the country will be better off under Conservative government anyway, yesterday Cameron said he wanted to get two million more people back to work, so he could reduce the cost of benefits. I realise that on paper it sounds great but where does he plan to find another two million jobs? It isn't as if you can just waltz into a job center and sign on anymore, you really have to look for work and prove it or your benefits are cut there and then. It's not as if signing on for benefits is the ticket to an easy life like the Conservatives make it out to be, in fact, if anything, the party's negative depiction of the unemployed has only breed shame rather than instilling a sense of work ethic. The unemployed are made to feel inferior for something out with their control, they can't help the lack of work but when so many targets are painted on their back by a Government that fails to champion their plight, some people do begin to question their self worth. I've seen it happen, people who slowly sink into depression because they're treated as 'scroungers' but fail time and time again to find work and eventually come to the inevitable "realisation" that nobody will hire them because they are worthless. Is that the kind of government you want? One that belittles the people and leaves them destitute while ensuring that the city's demands are met?

I can't say I'm particularly fond of Miliband either though, he said last night that he wouldn't scrap trident which I thought was a little disrespectful, since it feels like he's making a decision that effects Scotland without actually consulting the people. Anyone who is actually paying attention to Scottish affairs at the moment would know that the sentiment towards Trident is pretty sour. At this point, Labour seems like a lost cause anyway but it definitely didn't do anything to ease the issue by promising the exact opposite of the SNP. Like, way to fuel the fire.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Lawrence said:
I can't say I'm particularly fond of Miliband either though, he said last night that he wouldn't scrap trident which I thought was a little disrespectful, since it feels like he's making a decision that effects Scotland without actually consulting the people. Anyone who is actually paying attention to Scottish affairs at the moment would know that the sentiment towards Trident is pretty sour. At this point, Labour seems like a lost cause anyway but it definitely didn't do anything to ease the issue by promising the exact opposite of the SNP. Like, way to fuel the fire.
English voters just seem to love their tens of billions of pounds of tax money being spent on nuclear submarines which have no use beyond potential genocide (because they're not a deterrent - I don't remember Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, any of the Scandinavian, Balkan or former Eastern Bloc counties being nuked recently). Don't ask me why, but they do. Just another reason I'd rather the Scots took these decisions for us.
 
ayase said:
English voters just seem to love their tens of billions of pounds of tax money being spent on nuclear submarines which have no use beyond potential genocide (because they're not a deterrent - I don't remember Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, any of the Scandinavian, Balkan or former Eastern Bloc counties being nuked recently). Don't ask me why, but they do. Just another reason I'd rather the Scots took these decisions for us.
Indeed, Trident should be decommissioned. It is a waste of money and resources which could be put towards public services. If it is too dangerous for London to keep then it is too dangerous, full stop.


ayase said:
@neptune - While our political beliefs seem to align to some extent, I think it's a little unfair to presume to know why others think or believe the things they do. While I would certainly be interested to know what policies would-be Conservative and UKIP voters find appealing and why, I don't think it's right to tar them with one brush and presume they're all alike.
Okay, fair enough. I just like to understand what makes people vote for these parties. It's perfectly valid. I was only pointing out the usual reasons people vote for Tories.


Just don't get why people would vote for such an out of touch party that oppressors the weak, poor and vulnerable.

Lawrence said:
Conservatives make it out to be, in fact, if anything, the party's negative depiction of the unemployed has only breed shame rather than instilling a sense of work ethic. The unemployed are made to feel inferior for something out with their control, they can't help the lack of work but when so many targets are painted on their back by a Government that fails to champion their plight, some people do begin to question their self worth. I've seen it happen, people who slowly sink into depression because they're treated as 'scroungers' but fail time and time again to find work and eventually come to the inevitable "realisation" that nobody will hire them because they are worthless. Is that the kind of government you want? One that belittles the people and leaves them destitute while ensuring that the city's demands are met?
Couldn't agree more. All they care about is £££££ which is going into eye-watering bonus for the bankers. Multi-national companies are still not being taxed properly. If they were, the deficit would surely fall. The companies can pay up or leave. Others will take their place.
 

Y-San

Shinki
ayase said:
Lawrence said:
I can't say I'm particularly fond of Miliband either though, he said last night that he wouldn't scrap trident which I thought was a little disrespectful, since it feels like he's making a decision that effects Scotland without actually consulting the people. Anyone who is actually paying attention to Scottish affairs at the moment would know that the sentiment towards Trident is pretty sour. At this point, Labour seems like a lost cause anyway but it definitely didn't do anything to ease the issue by promising the exact opposite of the SNP. Like, way to fuel the fire.
English voters just seem to love their tens of billions of pounds of tax money being spent on nuclear submarines which have no use beyond potential genocide (because they're not a deterrent - I don't remember Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, any of the Scandinavian, Balkan or former Eastern Bloc counties being nuked recently). Don't ask me why, but they do. Just another reason I'd rather the Scots took these decisions for us.
I could be wrong but I suspect that some people like to believe that genocidal weapons entitle us to a seat at the 'big boy' table when it comes to geo-political issues. That or everyone still resents Russia that much for encouraging socialist values.

If the Green party or UKIP really wanted to succeed though, they should have simply pledged to try Blair as a war criminal, imagine how many potential votes could be eaten up that way. The fact that no-one has made it a core policy is a little disappointing in that sense.

neptune2venus said:
Couldn't agree more. All they care about is £££££ which is going into eye-watering bonus for the bankers. Multi-national companies are still not being taxed properly. If they were, the deficit would surely fall. The companies can pay up or leave. Others will take their place.
Yeah, that's another thing that definitely needs to happen. Taxing of Nondoms, mansions and especially multinational companies. The Government's lackluster rebuttal in the wake of the HSBC scandal is pretty pathetic. If you or I had charges brought against us for tax evasion, we'd surely end up in jail but for the wealthy, it's merely a slap on the wrist and the demand to pay the due tax. Talk about hypocrisy.
 

theirsbailiff

School Idol
neptune2venus said:
If everyone voted for the 'fringe' parties, then they might actually get in power. However, people are blinded by Lab/Con that they have to 'tactically' vote. Ah well.
To be fair, the current voting system (First past the post) isn't in favour of anyone who isn't Lab/Con. There was a chance to change the system, but various issues (Alternative Vote instead of Single Transferable Vote, "Yes" campaign was a shambles, vote was after a Royal Wedding and May Day weekend, Lib Dems were the faces of the "Yes" campaign) stopped that from happening.


I still can't believe the Tories won that argument when the only other party that would support them in that argument was the BNP
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
Apparently my constituency is an ultra marginal, and have been informed that voting for green could edge a tory victory here, so I've kind of been convinced to not vote with my heart and instead vote for labour. Also Russell Brand said to vote Labour, and I would blindly follow that man into the pits of hell.

I just hope I'm registered. I remember them making a fuss about the new registering system a while ago. But I haven't done anything. How do you know if you're on the register? I have that voting card thingy, does that mean I'm registered?
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
I'm not a fan of Brand but I think he played that interview with Ed really well - and it was good to see him presenting in a relatively 'straight' style, compared to how surreal he can get at times. It's definitely a major coup for Labour to have his endorsement, anyway.
 

Y-San

Shinki
If you have a polling card, you should be on the list, I think. If you also got any leaflets from any of the parties delivered by Royal Mail then you're definitely on the register, for better or worse ;___;.
I think most people got automatically shifted onto the new list though, so that helps.
 

Kite

Magical Girl
Apart from a leaflet from the new Tory candidate introducing himself (current MP retiring), I've had pretty much sod-all else in the letterbox from other parties. Seems this being a super-safe seat the other parties can't be bothered trying to get people to vote for them.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
They finally sent us a bunch of leaflets in the last few days. Unfortunately this is 2015 and I voted already using the information available on the Internet, so no matter how much they spent on glossy paper the words of my local candidates fell on deaf ears. You'd think they'd at least time the leaflets to coincide with postal ballot cards going out.

It's strange how few candidates have websites, or even Twitter/Tumblr/anything accounts run by their kids to appeal to people who like their data digital.

R
 

Zin5ki

Railgun
I, for one, have not been the recipient of so many personally addressed letters since the days when I paid utility bills directly.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
We've had loads of leaflets and canvassers including our sitting MP. I think they're concerned / excited (delete according to party) about the possibility of a bit of the red North East going blue, given the margin of victory last time. But I don't think there's really much chance of that - UKIP are here to split the right and stop that from happening, ha. Thanks Nigel.

If you got a polling card (I presume you mean in the last couple of months vash, rather than last time there was an election) then you're registered. Loved the online reaction to the Russell Brand situation from the wonderful British public. Apparently it's bad to tell people voting doesn't matter, but changing your mind after being persuaded you might have been wrong is even worse.

"Bloody Russell Brand, voting is important! Oh, he's changed his mind now has he? Bloody flip-flopper, can't stick to what he believes!"

I think Homer Simpson said it best when describing the voting public.

Rui said:
It's strange how few candidates have websites, or even Twitter/Tumblr
Jesus, Rui, you must really want politicians to suffer. Reading political posts on tumblr is almost enough give me an aneurysm - My politics might lean to the left but if there's anything that winds me up more than the hard right, it's the soft left. Someone check Lenin's mausoleum to see if the combined whiny insignificant first-world bollocks of tumblr has caused him to start rotating yet.
 

Y-San

Shinki
I suppose no-one paid much heed to what he actually said then? I mean, from what I gathered, he urged people to vote Labour because he wanted to prevent the Conservatives from admonishing the country but not necessarily because he had actually retracted his views. I mean, his belief that people should abstain from voting to make a statement is rather controversial and at this point carries insufficient backing to really make a mark. If anything it makes sense to ensure that the country survives another day so that he has time to better co-ordinate the disenfranchised and actually establish a proper challenge to the political establishment. Conversely, I don't blame anyone for giving up if the Conservatives get back in power, I'm in half a mind to leave for Germany, depending on how TTIP negotiations end (right now the Scottish government are fielding an inquiry into the value of TTIP, so there's still hope for part of the country).

To be honest though, the next couple of weeks are going to be very interesting. No-one wants to address the issue of Scotland but as long as it's passed back and forth for potential political gain, it has the potential to blow up in someone's face. On one hand, an empowered SNP could help stabalise a minority Labour government and prevent a renewal of Trident (if Labour don't stab the SNP in the back and vote it through parliament with Conservative aid). The ensuing government helps to dispel fears that Labour are incompetent and overall detracts from the momentum behind the Conservative campaign.

On the other hand, the Conservatives could try to undermine said potential government before it has time to establish a track record with the help of the press and force another election. The right wing press have already began sowing the seeds of doubt in preparation for such an eventually. Owen Jones puts it better than I could though, so it's probably worth checking the link below. He does a rather nice job of outlining the potential risks facing a left leaning Government after the 7th.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/20 ... itish-coup

That or in the longer term, the Conservatives may seek to aid Labour in pushing through the Trident renewal deal in spite of the obvious Scottish objection - something that occurred to me last night during the leaders' debate when Nicola refused to answer if the renewal of Trident would be worth holding a second referendum over. Partly because it would sabotage her own attempts to woo the English electorate by admitting it was a possibility but also because there's a real risk that the Nats can't actually stop the renewal. Admitting such in the short term serves to depower them but in the long term, may fuel the cause for another run at independence if the UK is seen to be imposing itself on Scotland. This would remove a thorn in the sides of both parties by removing Scotland in such a way, more so the Conservatives because it would again present them with a majority in a diminished United Kingdom.

On the other hand, the Conservatives getting back into power could lead to a similar end anyway (as addressed above) as the nationalistic sentiment has only been fanned in recent months for the sake of destabalising Labour, making a bid for independence far more likely to succeed, especially as the Conservative's policies are relatively unpopular in Scotland as is. I guess what I'm saying is that the issue of independence is far from over, if anything it's only worse and the SNP are only a symptom of the growing disparity between north and south.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Lawrence said:
On the other hand, the Conservatives could try to undermine said potential government before it has time to establish a track record with the help of the press and force another election. The right wing press have already began sowing the seeds of doubt in preparation for such an eventually. Owen Jones puts it better than I could though, so it's probably worth checking the link below. He does a rather nice job of outlining the potential risks facing a left leaning Government after the 7th.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/20 ... itish-coup
I'm not convinced the Tories would even go to the trouble when a minority Labour government or Lab/SNP pact would be an easy target in five years time, and would they really want to stick by a leader who can't (and hasn't been able) to deliver them a majority? There are plenty of knives at the ready for Cameron already, I think they'll be drawn regardless of the result (unless there's a terrorist attack tomorrow and he somehow manages a majority against all odds).

I think they'd just boot Cameron, and have Boris bash Miliband relentlessly for five years. On the bright side at least we'd be in for some proper old-fashioned left vs. right political theatre.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
ayase said:
Rui said:
It's strange how few candidates have websites, or even Twitter/Tumblr
Jesus, Rui, you must really want politicians to suffer. Reading political posts on tumblr is almost enough give me an aneurysm - My politics might lean to the left but if there's anything that winds me up more than the hard right, it's the soft left. Someone check Lenin's mausoleum to see if the combined whiny insignificant first-world bollocks of tumblr has caused him to start rotating yet.
I can't entirely deny the first accusation, but you have to admit it would be kind of fun to judge these puppet politicians by how well they try to adapt to that side of things and how good they are at making animated gifs :D

In all seriousness though I was just proposing it as a mainstream service where anyone can set up a basically functional website within 5 minutes if they choose to. The fact that my local candidates couldn't even be bothered to do that much as part of their campaign is a little sad; I may be a weirdo for not watching television or reading newspapers now but I'm sure having zero web presence is becoming more outdated by the minute.

R
 

Y-San

Shinki
Apparently there are still MEPs that have their secretaries print out their emails because they are afraid to engage with the internet, so it's a little scary to think that these people also posses the ability to pass legislation that affects our usage of the internet. I think some MPs are starting to get there though, like some, especially around these parts have social media accounts but don't make the effort to advertise it effectively and thus don't really engage their target audience because it isn't obvious that they're so close at hand.

As an aside, I notice that websites like Twitter are more popular with the left leaning voter but not so much with the right. In fact, when it comes to polling, Labour tend to move ahead on internet polls but by contrast, the Conservatives are slightly more popular when polling is done via the phone. Perhaps a reflection of the age gap between parties?
 
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