1. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    what is your opinion of the political "situation" in the UK

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by dave_c, Apr 8, 2011.

    in my opinion, labour dug us a hole and the conservatives have to dig us out of it. yet people seem to think that the conservatives are the bad guys in this whole thing.

    there was a hug headline in my local paper (sponsored by labour) that the conservatives are destroying the country and disregarding the working class person, i personally think that they are attempting to lower national dept the only way they can.

    discuss :)
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Way I look at it John Major and Kenneth Clarke did similar methods which made them unpopular before but they handed over a country in a good state to Mr Blair. He and his party destroyed it and used money even selling off the gold so we have no fallbacks.

    When Cameron and Clegg got the country back it was in an even worse state than in 1992 so they are now doing what they can using similar measures that have to be more drastic.

    HOWEVER I will not understand why they destroyed the Nimrods which were already paid for and mostly built - even the training was complete. They are now closing two airforce bases which have been strategic and neccsary in what is going on in Libya. We cannot cut the military and carry on three wars at once. Not to mention all the people it will make redundant. They now need to keep two of the old Nimrods in service which makes a mockery of getting rid of the old fleet for safety reasons.

    They do need to put more thought into things than they are doing and stop panicking. I think their level of panic though shows how bad it could become.

    I always deeply distrustful of governments that go for higher education as well - that to me has always made room for dictatorship it feels like these politicians climbed up a ladder they are now pulling up behind them.

    There are other basic measures that can save money by looking at government with common sense, cutting red tape etc.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Warning: this thread will be subject to close supervision.

    We have had political threads in the past, and they have ended very badly. This thread will be closed at the first sign of trouble, and anyone behaving inappropriately will be infracted.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Having said that, I think my view of things is diametrically opposed to yours, dave.

    The biggest mistake Labour made in government was failing to regulate the banks properly (as Ed Balls said, they should have ignored George Osborne and the Tories when they were calling for less regulation). The global financial crisis was not Labour's fault, and it's been documented that the reason for the deficit was 1) the fall in tax revenue as a result of the crisis, and 2) the need to bail out the banks to prevent the whole system going under.

    As for the actions of the Tories in government, I think it's apparent that some cuts need to be made, and there is no mainstream political party which denies that. But so too there is an ideological element to the way the Tories are doing it. The poor are being hit the hardest, whereas the banks have been let off (the bank levy brings in less than Alistair Darling's bonus tax, despite what Osborne might claim). The coalition want to cut tax for the richest, whilst increasing VAT. They've dramatically increased tuition fees, whilst cutting the financial provision for universities (and are now looking surprised that most universities are charging the maximum). They're privatising the NHS by the back door. And they're handing Sky over to Murdoch as a thank you for giving them a partial victory in the election.

    I don't think it's any accident or surprise that less than a year after the Tories get back into office, we see the largest protest march in British history.
     
  5. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    I'm under no illusion that any party is perfect. they are only human after all....even if they don't seem to have ears :)

    A friend told me that china was once in the same situation and all they did was completely stop tax (except on the very wealthy). This brought in business from around the world making their economy boom.

    Do you think this could work in the UK?
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I really don't think so. China is a heavily controlled economy, and for the most part is massively poor. Aside from the fact that we're trying very hard to raise all people out of poverty here, China was largely unaffected by the financial crisis, because of just how controlled their economy is.

    Besides, if we got rid of tax (or rather cut it dramatically- I'm assuming the get rid of is a bit of an exaggeration) then we would lose vast amounts of income, and the debt problem would only get worse.

    Personally, my solution would be to lessen the rate of cuts, in order to have more money to invest in industry and job creation. To withdraw the public sector at the rate the government is doing, and with the utter disdain for its employees that they are showing, before the private sector has recovered adequately from the crash is poison for the economy. Which is showing from the awful growth figures.
     
  7. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    From my very limited understand on the Chinese economy i believe that the "average Joe" pays no tax, but earnings over a certain level receive a flat 15% tax. I know this only from word of mouth so really shouldn't be quoting on it.

    Personally i have nothing against the rise in student prices. If we compare ourselves some where like America then we still have it REALLY good and id hardly refer to America as third world. (just watch the flames fly now :)) I think in the UK we have a massively over qualified work force, I say this because I'm sitting here with a degree and cant even get a job in a store because there are so many graduates available.

    As for labours biggest mistake being not to regulate the banks, yep, that's a doozy, but i would have said it was their attempt to "spend" their way out of dept that really lost my faith in them. Be honest, you must have seen that one coming back to bite them.

    I will totally agree with you on this though. they are going about the cuts in the wrong way. the issue is that no matter which party they are in, they are elitist. I cant think of a single politician that has really worked from the dregs of society up to where they are now. There may be some, but the point is, no one knows who they are.
     
  8. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Eh. I've looked at a flat tax before, and I'm not really wild about it. It tends to favour the rich and penalise the poor. I'd much prefer a detailed, and independent, review of the tax system, looking at how to make it truly progressive.

    I'm not sure whether this is an issue of an overqualified workforce, or just not enough jobs. The fact is that people are living longer, and the population is larger, so there just aren't the jobs for newcomers to the world of employment. With that in mind, since we have the time (in terms of portion of total lifetime) and the money as a society (speaking generally, not as a snapshot of any moment in time) then why shouldn't people devote more time to the pursuit of knowledge?

    And since we have reached the stage where an undergraduate degree is becoming the standard, is it really right to be creating a situation where the poorest in society are dissauded from it, whereas the richest can just toss their pocket change at universities and get in.

    I'm not really sure what you mean by that, to be honest. Could you elaborate?

    Well, I'd suggest maybe Alan Johnson, but that's not the point. I agree that there aren't enough real people in parliament, in any party. Too many policy wonks. That's not necessarily a big problem when their policy-wonk-ness has a practical application (i.e. if they were an economist in an economic advisory role), but I have serious issues with PR wonks as MPs (and Ministers).

    But the elitism of the cuts and the way they're targeted at the poor and vulnerable, protecting the rich; that's why the Tories and the government in general is so unpopular.
     
  9. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    What gets me is this;

    We are told that this country is in such a financial mess (almost a trillion in debt ) therefore drastic measures have to be taken to turn the situation around and each and everyone of us have to share the burden - fair enough on the surface - but if we are in such a mess (which I am sure we are) then how can we pay out millions of pounds to bail out other countries that have gone or are on the verge of going bankrupt?

    Oh yes! and bailing out the banks.

    And I still can't see the sense in selling off our gold reserves, when the price of gold was LOW?
     
  10. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that the need to tackle the mounting debt was openly recognised by all parties at the General Election, but there was a difference in philosophy, with the Conservatives wanting to tackle it head on through substantial cuts and achieve the desired end result in minimal time, whilst Labour appeared to favour dealing with it over a longer period, requiring much less severe cost-cutting in the meantime.

    What does annoy me though is that we are all being asked to suffer our share of the pain whilst the ConDem coalition insist that every penny is valuable, yet I understand that we're spending £50 million every day in order that our military can assist the rebels (somewhat inefficiently) in Libya, without a time limit or an end-plan for withdrawal, whilst we conveniently turn a blind eye to government-sponsored persecution in many other parts of the world.
     
  11. jack744
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    jack744 New Member

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    I'd just like to point out that the Coalition went for shock and awe cuts because that was the only way to appease the credit rating agencies and thus keep government bond interest rates as low as possible. Imagine how many people would struggle with a 3% hike in mortgage rates and then apply that to nearly £200bn!

    The second Portugal voted against austerity measures, their credit rating went to junk status and they were forced to come to the EU, cap in hand. Even though the press dub it a "bailout", the stringent conditions attached will be hurting for decades to come and will make the Coalition's measures look like a bargain.

    Personally, I work in the private sector and have seen my income fall considerably because of inflation and tax. I'm lucky enough to still be clinging onto a final salary pension but, due to market crises and,yes, more taxes, I'm paying in twice as much, have to work 7 years longer and will receive approximately half what I was promised when I joined in '92. Sound familiar? I'd love a Utopia where a job was for life and T&C's guaranteed but that isn't the world we live in anymore. Nobody wants pay cuts or worse conditions but these marches smacked of the Public Sector sticking two fingers up to the rest of us and saying, "we agree cuts need to be made, but we're buggered if it's coming from us!"

    Anyway, rant over! :rolleyes: The worst thing about all of this, like everything else in life, is that we will never be able to categorically say which party was right. Turn a different corner......
     
  12. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    The extraordinary thing in all this - I think I'm right in saying..not certain - is that in spite of these 'cuts', government spending is still set to rise over this year and those to come.
     
  13. jack744
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    jack744 New Member

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    You are right indeed. All the 'cuts' will do is put a cap on the runaway increases. They're relying on weak Sterling and high inflation to do the rest! :eek:
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Although in Scotland I am wondering where the cuts are happening. Well that isn't true I am seeing jobs going - however we now have free prescriptions.

    My area is suffering because of Westminster cuts not decisions made in Edinburgh. Mind you I kind of like that the houses at the back of me aren't selling.
     

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