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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  28/04/2011  :  07:37
Political comment is a high risk activity on the site these days so I thought I'd try again to give those who are interested in politics a safe haven!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 18/05/2011 : 16:11


quote:
Stanley wrote:
A question for you. Am I alone in getting the impression that the ConDem coalition (or loose opportunistic association) believes its own publicity more than reality? Can they really be that stupid? Or are they callous, is the long term goal more about protecting the status quo of the establisjment rather than serving the electorate.

They say what they think will serve their own ends, regardless of all else. They are little different to New Labour....or any Labour for that matter.

It is just like an angler changing his bait when he has  not had a bite for a while. He is not interested in serving the fish.....other than on a plate.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Sandy46
Regular Member


57 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 00:49
The subject of politics is far from my area of expertise, but I felt compelled to 'put my spoke in'.  I suspect that the timing of the AV referendum was deliberately designed to make people think negatively about it. After all we had already been bombarded with how tough it was going to be and that proposed cuts would hurt etc. Then all at once we are given the opportunity to change the voting system at a cost of so many million pounds? (Huh?) They already knew it would be rejected 'cos the majority would be reluctant to incurr further cost to their already diminishing pockets.  Had the economy been stable, we wouldn't have been given the referendum because the AV system is the only way the elections can be changed from a perpetual 'three horse race'.  On the subject of 'cuts'  it dismays and upsets me to see how much funding has been withdrawn from small but vital help groups on which so many vulnerable people depend. I find this unforgiveably cruel and heartless. Also I strongly believe that the NHS, the Military forces and Emergency services should be exempt from such cuts. Cuts have to be made and I think they should come from source, the Banks, who are largely responsible for this mess in the first place, (Ban all bonuses)  All politicians to take a reasonable salary ( not the 'high blown figures' they expect) and 'expenses' abolished totally! ( If I, and many others are expected to live on a pension decreed by them, why shouldn't they suffer a little!)  Local councils should not be allowed to bring in 'advisors' or 'consultants' etc. ( If they can't do the job themselves, they shouldn't be there in the first place!) Our council recently spent a vast amount on 'consultants' concerning a 're-generation' project, imagine the cost if this kind of thing is happening nationwide!  David Cameron and his 'ilk haven't got the sense to realise that if you want anything to grow, you prune the top, not cut off it's roots!

Sorry for 'going on' folks, but I feel so strongly about this, thanks for letting me having my 'rant'

I'll leave you in peace now,   night night to all,  Sandy. 


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 00:54
Dennis has his say......and good for him !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ER3R0Jg4do

 


BRADDERS BLUESINGER Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 04:20
" if you want anything to grow, you prune the top, not cut off it's roots!"  That wasn't a rant Sandy and you do yourself a disservice, you know more about politics than you think. I agree with everything you say.

 It struck me yesterday when listening to the account of the police conference giving Teresa May the cold shoulder that the ConDem government have managed to upset at least three of the main sectors which actually run this country. Once again Sandy hit the nail on the head, " the NHS, the Military forces and Emergency services should be exempt from such cuts" I don't think the Civil Service are too happy either. Not too sure about them being exempt from cuts but there is a limit to how far you can antagonise the supports which are essential to any government. Too much of the policy making is driven by political dogma. In the end this raises the tide of opinion against them and isn't productive.

There's another aspect to Sandy's mail.  Someone who normally doesn't post on politices "felt compelled to put my spoke in" There is a silent majority out there and sooner or later they will be heard.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 04:27
Just watched Dennis....  His crtitics keep saying he's past it but he is still a force. Cameron's reply was typical misuse of statistics, nothing about the long-term unemployed, the actual employment rate for school leavers or the quality and pay of the 'jobs' being created. What the figures actually show is that the strategies adopted to gather and mainipulate the statistics are working. You can't fool all the people all of the time.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Bruff
Regular Member


479 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 13:04
''All politicians to take a reasonable salary ( not the 'high blown figures' they expect) and 'expenses' abolished totally!''

 
The question then is what is 'reasonable'?  At the moment, an MP gets about 65 grand a year, which is essentially the salary of the civil service Senior Principle grade and to which it's been pegged for some time.  This places MPs comfortably in the top 5% of earners (that is 95% of folk earn less than this a year) and on a par with such folk as very experienced teachers, senior police officers, a solicitor in a market town, marketing managers and senior university teachers.  It's way less than a GP, a chief exec/senior director in a medium sized company, a head teacher or indeed the more senior civil service grades.

 
Is that reasonable?  Should MPs earn the median wage, which is about 23 grand, or the average which is a bit less?  Or just be in the top 10% of earners and so get a bit over 40 grand?  Should they get a heck of a lot more than they do now?  Which brings me to my second point.

 
Expenses.  Most decent employers pay appropriate expenses for their staff.  Certainly if I have to travel away through work, I get my travel costs paid, a hotel bill (if appropriate) and a nominal sum for an evening meal.  I also get incidentals - tube/bus/taxi fares as appropriate, car parking fees, tolls and so on.  This seems right to me.  So I wouldn't say MPs should have no expenses as well, just to take one example, a trip home to Pendle every weekend for constituency work would take up a healthy chunk of a 65 grand salary and that's without a place to stay while you're up there (as well as having accomodation in London during the week).  It'd be a greater chunk obviously of anything less.

 
The craven abuses exposed by the 'expenses scandal' as well as the 'odd' claims which showed many as simply dupes of a busted system, should not stop a sensible discussion of 'politicians' renumeration packages - salary and expenses.

 
Richard Broughton



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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 13:36


quote:
Bruff wrote:
''All politicians to take a reasonable salary ( not the 'high blown figures' they expect) and 'expenses' abolished totally!''

 
The question then is what is 'reasonable'?
 
Richard Broughton
I would suggest abolishing M.P.s.....and peers..

There seems to be no shortage of Prospective M.P.s, so they do "very well, thank you" at present.  They have not always been paid, and again there has never been a shortage. So there must be gains to be made by become an "Honourable Friend".

Currently the "common or garden" MPs are basically lobby fodder and cheer leaders for the big boys, simply sitting up and begging to order.

Take a look at our justice system. We have a panel of twelve men/women from any walk of like who are deemed to be able to make a combined sound judgement BASED ON THE TRUE FACTS LAID BEFORE THEM . Their remuneration is loss of earnings pleus expenses for the time they sit on the jury panel. They do not volunteer they are required to do it.

They "get it right" more often than do the Honourable Fiends". So why do we not have a similar system for our parliament (with the emphasis on "parle").. Let a "jury" debate a matter and then offer their recommendations to the electorate in a monthly referendum.

It will work and will give all the people in the country a say in it's running without dishonourable party politics being involved at all.

Of course to achieve this we would need a revolution before the dogs will let go of their bones. All those  who say it will not work are only interested in the continued slavery of the population.. If 12 people off the street can be trusted to find a man guilty of murder, then 300 people should be more than enough to come up with reasonably thought out schemes for the whole of the country to acceot or reject.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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panbiker
Senior Member


2300 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 14:58
Richard, you beat me to it. I was going to contribute more or less the same argument regarding the salaries of back benchers. You have said it all so I will not expand other than to say that most MP's also maintain an office in their constituency often staffed to cover the contituency business while the MP is down in London. This also has to come out of the salary. there may well be allowances to help out with some of the requirements but I know from conversations with our last MP that the bulk of the funding comes from their own pocket.

Interesting concept Catty but the biggest pitfall I could see is that it would cost an absoloute fortune to organise monthly referendums. Is this not the reason we actually elect representatives for in the first place? to make descisions on our behalf. Whether they do or don't comes down to the calibre of the person you elect in the first place. Our last MP here in Pendle was well known for not nescessarily toeing the party line, he resigned himself to a life on the back benches because he was always willing to speak his mind or carry a local argument to the house and put it up for debate even if it went against the grain. That was the main reason he got my vote when we elected him as our Parliamentary Candidate for the Constituency Party in the first place.

I don't take Sandy's point either that  AV was the only alternative to a perpetual 3 horse race. In a free electoral system, anyone can stand for whatever causes they think fit. There is nothing to stop anyone from putting themselves forward as an alternatve electoral system candidate, however it does seem clear from the recent vote that there is only around 30% of the voting population that want to change it. It has nothing to do with the cost involved although this may have had some influence for some.

I have said this more than once in this thread, the only way to make the system fairer is to increase the turnout so that whatever ideas you put to the electorate is returned with a proper mandate when contested. Once you have the majority of the  voting population involved you can then canvass to make changes if it is still seen as a requirement.


Ian Go to Top of Page
frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 16:21
Maybe a way forward would be for MPs to be on "The Council " of the area they represent, say 6 months in London,  6 months Local. Then at least they would be responsible locally for what they have passed in Westminister, and we would save 6 months expenses at least. They could also be the Leader of the Council saving another chunk of cash !!!
With ultra fast broadband they could always be in touch with the Office Home or Away.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 16:24
Stanley the "Silent Majority " starting to be heard.
They  just may voice something which you may not wish to hear !! 



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


6502 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 19:16
Never mind MPs lets start with the councils, what is being exposed in every borough is that people who claim to be serving their communities are serving themselves librally first. The news is full of councils shutting down libraries, day centres, care homes, children's playgrounds, all with the councils involved bleating "the cuts have made us do it".... where are the stories of councillors giving up perks, selling off these ridiculously ornate council offices, etc, their gut reaction  is to swipe out at the disadvantaged as soon as it seems their life style is under threat ! This attitude is endemic in "Govt" and goes to prove that many of those who have a yen to run society are most likely ruthless by nature.


Life is what you make itGo to Top of Page
catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 19/05/2011 : 19:21


quote:
panbiker wrote:


Interesting concept Catty but the biggest pitfall I could see is that it would cost an absoloute fortune to organise monthly referendums. Is this not the reason we actually elect representatives for in the first place? to make descisions on our behalf. Whether they do or don't comes down to the calibre of the person you elect in the first place. Our last MP here in Pendle was well known for not nescessarily toeing the party line, he resigned himself to a life on the back benches because he was always willing to speak his mind or carry a local argument to the house and put it up for debate even if it went against the grain. That was the main reason he got my vote when we elected him as our Parliamentary Candidate for the Constituency Party in the first place.

The model is already there.....the national lottery. It would not need 630 MPs half that would suffice, and look at the saving there in saleries, expenses and sleaze.

The communication of t6he matters to vote on coul;d be transmitted by TV and, so long as the current commercial Electoral  Reform Society were kept out of it, it could be run quite economically.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 20/05/2011 : 05:18
Always possible Frank but the evidence is that they think like me.

Richard, I agree. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys. My worry about politicians has never been about pay and legitimate expenses but competence. The model for selecting candidates  has more in common with selection for a gentlemen's club rather than a head hunt based on experience and track record.

Catty, I occasionally have the same fantasy but then I pull myself together. If we abolished them we'd have to reinvent them and call them politicians. The model we have now has grown for over a thousand years. (Thanks Iceland) I doubt if we'd do any better.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 20/05/2011 : 08:29


quote:
Stanley wrote:


Catty, I occasionally have the same fantasy but then I pull myself together. If we abolished them we'd have to reinvent them and call them politicians. The model we have now has grown for over a thousand years. (Thanks Iceland) I doubt if we'd do any better.

For a thinking man, like yourself. to say, in effect, that the present system is the best that can be achieved is truley mind blowing. You remind me of a man boldly walking backwards into the future with his gaze firmly fixed on the past. It is the past that has put us into the position we are in at present....and that position is one that shows that the past had some enormous errors in it.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Bruff
Regular Member


479 Posts
Posted - 20/05/2011 : 10:02
What would the first referendum be on catty?  Or would we need a referendum to decide this 'first' one?  Who decides the questions on this referendum, to inform the first referendum? 

 
Essentially, how would it work?  Perhaps you could outline it with respect to 'the 300' passing a Budget.  And for something more simple, I don't know, say a Water Quality Bill, or a Statutory Instrument for control of an emergent carcinogen.

 
Would these 300 folk be paid?  Get expenses?  How much?  Why would they be less sleazy?  I would have thought 300 folk picked at random would contain a number of wrong 'uns, albeit not many.  Am I wrong?  Why?

 
Richard Broughton 



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