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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 06/11/2009 : 16:16
Interesting to hear the boss of RBS on the radio this morning trying to justify payment of bonuses as shares. Evan Davies kept pushing him to admit that it was just the same as paying them money because they could convert the shares to cash, but he wouldn't discuss it, let alone admit it. He just gabbled around the subject. Why can't they be paid all they are due in monthly salary like the rest of us? We are talking about bank clerks doing a routine job, not astronauts.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 07/11/2009 : 06:07
I know it sounds over simplistic but the basis for the refusal of the banks to modify their behaviour is because they can! There is nothing to stop internal remuneration committees subject to minimal scrutiny encouraging those parts of the enterprise which are making the money by paying them bonuses. Regardless of political posturing, nothing has been done to alter the basic structure or practices inside banks. The root cause is that the government is totally in thrall to the financial sector because they hold the capital and generate a major part of the tax take. What we are looking at is capitalism triumphant and we can't pull them down without taking us with it. The same syndrome exists on a global scale. The large international corporations have more power than the countries they operate in at times and become, in effect, an arm of foreign policy. I shall have to stop, I could go on for hours.

If you want to see exactly the same thing happening and the consequences, look back 200 years to what the landed magnates did when the growing economic power of the industrialists made them more important that income from land. They let them into the club because they couldn't fight them and if they legislated against wealth as the basis for social advancement they attacked the roots of their own power. Exactly what is happening now with the financial sector but this time it isn't social advancement but political power. It's what Naomi Klein calls 'hollow government'. It will only get worse.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 07/11/2009 : 08:31
How can it change when you have MPs who want to be Ministers and hold High Office in Goverment.  When the only way they can achieve that aim is to be yes men to the Current Ministers and Prime Minister. If you stand up and be counted, tell the Whips No, you are noticed so no promotion for you. You are stuck on £60k whilst us Ministers jet around the World and have Ministerial cars AND a much bigger salary than You.
Are you going to rock the boat even thou you know the boat is sailing along in the wrong direction. Not when your future prospects in your chosen careeer are on the line No your Not.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 07/11/2009 : 11:02
Substitute `bank' for government and `executive' for minister in Frank's statement and you've got the situation that has prevailed in the banks. Well demonstrated in the case of RBS and Fred `The Shred' Goodwin.

I've been reading a historical novel set in London in about 1190 and revolving around the coroner to the king at Westminster Palace. The author has done a neat job of describing the tension between the City of London and the monarchy and it seems nothing much has changed in the last 800 years except that now it's between the City financial institutions and the government. By the 12th century the London merchants had become almost as powerful as the king. They had to be careful of going a step too far and being accused of treason because then heads would roll (literally). But otherwise they made their demands for freedom in the way they went about their business and the monarch had to give in because he needed the money to fight his wars. Sound familiar?


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2009 : 06:21

From Lord Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

There is a corollary in that the acquisition of power stimulates the appetite for more and the refusal to give any up. This is why we have an antagonistic model of politics where rival parties fight for power using the excuse of policy difference. They never admit that the pursuit of power is an end in itself. The only curb is legislation in respect of institutions like banking and an effective Bill of Rights to manage the politicians.

The only political factions that advocate sensible revision of the system to curb the excesses of government are those who have no realistic chance of siezing power. This is why the Liberals sound so reasonable and advocate things like proportional representation which would cut down on majorities and encourage cooperation in policy making. The question is would they be as keen on change if they had the power?

 

 




Stanley Challenger Graham




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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2009 : 08:32
It was proportional representation that landed us with Nick Griffin? I prefer first past with the post, with a guaratee we can get rid of them at intervals.  Perhaps more frequenly than now.


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Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2009 : 09:29
It depends what you want tripps. PR is closer to "true" democracy, allowing eveyone's vote to count but meaning that if extremists have enough support they can win seats - hmmm, that seems like dmocracy to me!!

Alternatively you can have the first past  the post as we have now and have MP's and governments elected where in the vast majority of instances the majority vote against them ie for alternative candidates.

I'm not sure about shorter terms of office either do you not think this would mean MPs and governments spending more time that they do now on concentrating on getting re-elected ? Nolic


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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2009 : 10:02
Yes you are right in all you say there.I don't claim to know what the answer is.  We do need more altruistic MP's though, and a longer term view from them.  That's really naive isn't it?

Edited by - tripps on 08/11/2009 10:04:45 AM


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Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2009 : 10:28
tripps, don't get me wrong, I'm nowhere near the answer. I'm just saying that there is a counter argument to every point of view in  British politics. I've long believed, and I think said so before on here, that the ideal form of government for me would be the early Marxist/Hegelian view of social democracy - which will never be achieved due to those that govern always becoming corrupted through power and using that power to maintain their status. So the next best thing is a benevolent dicatorship similar to what Bonaparte was being pushed to in his very early years as First Consul. The problem for him though was that in order to maintain power he had to maintain war on all fronts.
Mind you being an island it might be easier for us? What about Col. Tim Collins, Boris Johnson or me?. Nolic


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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2009 : 12:29
Nolic, I look forward to you standing on a "early Marxist / Hegelian" ticket. You'd get my vote.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/11/2009 : 05:57
Just to make it clear, I wasn't advocating PR although I suspect it would be at least as good as what we have now. I heard a political commentator saying that under the present system a party gatting 40% of the vote is guaranteed a good majority but by the time you have factored in local conditions and low tirnout they actually get in with slightly more than 20% of the popular vote expressed as a percentage of the number on the electoral role.

We talk about democracy but in truth it has never existed and doesn't work as it should in theory due to human failings in the political classes. I suppose the main argument for say a ten year experimant with PR is that it's hard to see how it could be worse than what we have now. Perhaps we fear the extremist parties too much? 

I'm heartened by what looks like the first cracks in the dam in the US as Obama's health care reforms are passed in the House of Representatives. He seems optimistic that the Senate will pass it as well. I hope so and wish him well.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 09/11/2009 : 20:32
Tripps, you might not get Nolic standing on a "early Marxist / Hegelian" ticket but a Bonaparte instead...now, who do we know who started out like Boney did in the artillery?


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 10/11/2009 : 07:08
I always thought his 'Whiff of grapeshot' was a refreshing change in attitudes towards public order! One of theings I love about the threads on OG is that light-hearted discussion is so effective in stimulating thought and expressing some complicated concepts better than all out argument. It struck me while I was reading this page that one of the fundamental paradoxes in the 'democratic' system is that the people who seek power are, by definition, seeking control. The problem is that absolute control is impossible in our system. Even Cromwell couldn't manage it.

The new planning/permission procedures are a case in point. In order to achieve the level of control needed to speed the process up the government have had to invent a procedure which looks democratic but is structured in such a way that once the initial stages of 'consultation' are passed the only way to affect the outcome will be to take the incredibly expansive route of challenging decisions in the courts. I think they are right to make the alterations, we need speed and clarity but I wish they had been a bit more honest with us.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/11/2009 : 07:43
I've been listening to reports on R4 about the latest stage in the CofE internal struggle over women bishops. In effect, the church has decided to withdraw the concessions to parishes they were considering to make it possible for women bishops to operate under a separate structure. In other words they are going back to the original position of allowing woman bishops. (I do hope I've got that right!)

The 'traditionalists' so called are up in arms and this would seem to strengthen the possibility of the Pope's tanks on the lawn winning the day and the dissenting clerics tergivisating to Rome.

It seems to ne that the description of 'traditionalists' should be clarified because from the outside it seems to me they are picking a period of development in the church which fits their position and adopting that as their position.

It's worth remembering that 'tradition' has it that it was women who first discovered the open tomb in the Garden of Gethsemane and even more important, in the two centuries of gospel writing and revision that followed to create what we now kn ow as the New Testament this important event was never taken from the women. This status was only eroded when the church went through the phase of declaring itself a Monarchical entity and the church of Rome as we know it was born. This included repression of women's roles in the system. I suspect this is the 'tradition' being espoused.

Apart from all this nit-picking it is an indisputable fact that the development of Christianity as we know it today is a series of schisms, sects and breakaway movements which continues today. The survival of Christianity depends on how these disagreements are managed. In the 21st century I don't see how any reasonable person can dispute thefact that discrimination on the grounds of gender, whilst 'traditional' is not logical. Both Rome and Canterbury need to recognise this. If they don't they are doomed to u8nending strife and this can only damage both.

(Yes, you're right. My current reading is having an effect. I have somewhere to start from with my opinions.)


Stanley Challenger Graham




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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 15/11/2009 : 08:36
Well done - you,ve got tergivisating in again. Sure sign of the "pseudo intellectual"  Smile   My favourite word at he moment is egregious.
I have just started a James Lovelock to see what he has to say. I think you are right to draw comparisons between religion and global warming.


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