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Politics Thread

Villan Of The North

Vital Football Legend
#21
The Fear - 22/9/2013 11:12

I'd need to see the structure of the plan BBJ, but instinctively against the house of lords and the ruling from hereditary peers, people of privileged and indeed, the Church.

Should really have gone years ago or seen a more radical reform.
I think a second house is more or less essential to temper executive power. I also like the fact that they are not elected. I know that some will see this as anti-democratic but as executive power lies with the elected parliament I see no issue with this. The fact that it's not elected means that the Lords is in a unique position to be the conscience of government, not dependant on either contributions for business or unions or concerned with re-election.

I do think there is room for reform though, I totally agree that there should be a separation of state and Church, so no bishops should be in there, and I also am dubious about hereditary peerages voting. Similarly, life peerages can be stacked by the sitting government so that has its flaws too.

In essence I think it's good to allow hereditary peers to sit in the Lords as an independent voice, they will have their own views, admittedly many politically biased, but will not be beholden to anyone, their input could be invaluable but for them to vote purely by right of birth is on morally unstable ground as they have done nothing to earn it. Life peers should be the voting members of the Lords but there should be some sort of control on the appointments process to prevent a government "stacking" the Lords with former MPs and other party members.

Alternatively, members of the second house could be elected for life, meaning that we would have a fixed number of seats and when one dies or retires (should there be a mandatory retirement age from the Lords?) a new mandate is elected. These elections could be directly geographically elected, like the commons, or based on a national vote, when two or more mandates are being elected a form of PR being used. It can be useful to avoid local interests and using a PR system would be a good way of keeping things on a national interest level.

Just a few thought there, not too radical but certainly more democratic tan the current system whilst, I believe, maintaining an independent check on the Commons.
 

OnMeHeadFred

Vital Reserves Team
#22
Scottish independence, would seem like a good idea but I am not sure it is workable.

The problem with Scotland is that it is geographically disadvantaged and lacks the natural resources to compensate for that disadvantage, when compared with the Scandinavian countries.

It just seems impossible to believe that economic policies put in place to deal with realities of the economy in the south east of England are also suitable for dealing with the problems of the Scottish economy.

It has to be said that a decade of solid economic growth under New Labour did almost nothing to solve the problems of, high unemployment, poor health and the shockingly low life-expectancy, in places like Glasgow East.

In fact there doesn't seem to be a better example of the failings of the neoliberal model than Scotland, with its massive economic and health inequalities concentrated into such a small area.

This inequality is not that much greater than the rest of the UK but where as the poor and disenfranchised English are stuck with their predicament, Scotland does have the chance to try something different, if it can control its own tax system and interest rates.

This comes with some incredibly difficult problems of its own, but it would seem a better way forward than waiting for Westminster to get round to doing anything about it.

Not as though I think it likely to happen.



 

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
#23
Villan Of The North - 23/9/2013 05:15


I think a second house is more or less essential to temper executive power. I also like the fact that they are not elected. I know that some will see this as anti-democratic but as executive power lies with the elected parliament I see no issue with this. The fact that it's not elected means that the Lords is in a unique position to be the conscience of government, not dependant on either contributions for business or unions or concerned with re-election.
But I want anyone deciding the fate of this country and it's laws (albeit, they can only hold up not totally block) to be accountable.

Church/state agree.

Hereditary, it is just not right. It is backward thinking of this country that this even still happens. If the House was full of people who knew what it was like to walk in all walks of life, fair enough, these toffs at the top don't have a clue and have a natural leaning to the Conservatives.

 

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
#24
Good point re: mandatory age.

The House Of Lords did become a gravy train, many would go and sign in, go home but still get their expenses. It is very antiquated and with proper reform could work better.

But this country is run by the old school tie so no proper reform will happen, too much self interest.

Come the revolution.........!
 

Villan Of The North

Vital Football Legend
#25
OnMeHeadFred - 23/9/2013 11:10

Scottish independence, would seem like a good idea but I am not sure it is workable.

The problem with Scotland is that it is geographically disadvantaged and lacks the natural resources to compensate for that disadvantage, when compared with the Scandinavian countries.
Other than the Norwegian oil and gas reserves I fail to see which natural resources Scandinavia has that Scotland is lacking. Yes, Norway is blessed but that is of very little benefit to Sweden, Denmark and Finland. OK so 2 of the other 3 have forests in abundance, far more than Scotland but Denmark has very little other than it's population. In the end the only resource that really matters is the people. Perhaps Scotland need to work on this with programs of social and educational reform?
 

Villan Of The North

Vital Football Legend
#26
The Fear - 23/9/2013 12:15

Good point re: mandatory age.

The House Of Lords did become a gravy train, many would go and sign in, go home but still get their expenses. It is very antiquated and with proper reform could work better.

But this country is run by the old school tie so no proper reform will happen, too much self interest.

Come the revolution.........!
"Power to the people!" Jonathan"Wolfy" Fear :17:

 

James06

Vital Football Legend
#28
It seems mad that so many scots want independence, yet I know of many irish people, a country staunchly republican from the united kingdom, who would welcome back british rule following the last few years of financial devastation.

By signing a declaration of independence, scotland may aswell sign their own death certificate. Although I fear Britian will be on hand to subsidise and bail them out before long - in the meantime taking in half of Glasgow as the desert the sinking ship.

It's an accident waiting to happen.
 

OnMeHeadFred

Vital Reserves Team
#29
Villan Of The North - 23/9/2013 11:18

OnMeHeadFred - 23/9/2013 11:10

Scottish independence, would seem like a good idea but I am not sure it is workable.

The problem with Scotland is that it is geographically disadvantaged and lacks the natural resources to compensate for that disadvantage, when compared with the Scandinavian countries.
Perhaps Scotland need to work on this with programs of social and educational reform?
Scotland is not a poor country and it is certainly richer than the West Midlands if you use GDP per capita as a measure of productivity.

But like the rest of the UK the economic inequality is glaring compared with other major countries.

The ratio of how much the richest 10% get in the UK compared with the bottom 10% is double that of the Scandinavia countries and even Europe's capitalist power-house Germany.

Despite all the propaganda the UK is not a fair country and the distribution of wealth guarantees that our poor are poorer than most other European countries with similar GDPs.

The neoliberal promise of trickle-down never happened.

The only way Scotland can possibly remedy the English passion for unfairness is independence.
 

James06

Vital Football Legend
#30
If Scotland get independence that ratio of rich to poor int he UK will be massively reduced. We'll probably have a better ratio than anywhere else!
 

BBJ

Father Of The Forum
#31
I'm not sure that a passion for unfairness is unique to England. One of the effects of the Celtic Tiger was that the difference between the wealthiest and poorest in Irish society grew.
 

OnMeHeadFred

Vital Reserves Team
#32
BBJ - 23/9/2013 18:20

I'm not sure that a passion for unfairness is unique to England. One of the effects of the Celtic Tiger was that the difference between the wealthiest and poorest in Irish society grew.
I am very fond of a bit of Google Map tourism and some of the Street View scenes of Ireland show shocking evidence of social deprivation.

But some parts of Scotland are not much better.

Scottish independence would be a very brave experiment but if they understand the fates of Iceland and Ireland, it would seem that the risks are huge and potentially catastrophic.

 

BBJ

Father Of The Forum
#33
I think a lot of wind was blown out of the sails of the Scottish Independence movement when the Celtic Tiger slunk back into the fiscal jungle. Ireland had until then been hailed as a model of how a small economy could punch above its weight.
 

The Fear

A Wise Man (once sat next to him)
#37
Wurzel - 23/9/2013 20:25

I see Mr Balls wants to get spending again if he wins the next election. Lets hope the public have other ideas.
But surely more debt to clear debt is the obvious answer to all our solutions?

Hope so, I owe £200 000 on credit cards having listened to Labours plans.

:37:
 

kefkat

Vital Football Legend
#39
Another 'balls' up going to happen then. It is really difficult to see who will win the most votes. I doubt we will have an outright winner. It will be another coalition
 

OnMeHeadFred

Vital Reserves Team
#40
The Fear - 23/9/2013 21:06

Wurzel - 23/9/2013 20:25

I see Mr Balls wants to get spending again if he wins the next election. Lets hope the public have other ideas.
But surely more debt to clear debt is the obvious answer to all our solutions?


:37:
What I would like to see is for government debt to be either banned or set at a maximum of 10% of GDP, so that spending is more directly linked to taxation.

Government borrowing just feeds the delusion that the country can have Scandinavia-type social services but without having Scandinavian-type taxation.

The electorate needs to understand that if they want a Swedish-style welfare state they need to tax at Swedish levels. At the moment people in the UK have the delusion that they are heavily taxed, but they are not.

New Labour thought they could maintain artificially low taxes and borrow 40% of GDP and pretend it was not deferred taxation, just as John Major did when he increased government spending in the hope of clinging to power.

It is no good governments preaching about the evils of debt if they don't actually do something to prevent future governments putting the country in debt for their political convenience.