/ Tim Farron speech (sex!)

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Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2016

No, I don't actually find him at all sexually attractive, but that was the only way I could get anyone to click on a thread about the Lib Dem conference.

If you're wondering what the hell to do now that Labour has officially imploded, (or it's suddenly dawned on you that conservative policies serve to protect those with privilege while denying opportunity to the rest, and are built upon self-serving, fallacious logic that can only be held together if evidence and reason are ignored) it's worth checking out. I found the policies completely sensible:

- Raise taxes to fund the NHS
- Abandon SATS and the box-ticking approach to education to allow teachers to actually do their jobs
- Take more child refugees from Syria
- Don't leave the EU

Obvious stuff if you ask me.

Let's face it, Labour are f*cked, and we do not want our society rotted and divided by decades more of destructive right-wing policies. It's very rare that I'm persuaded by a political speech, and while Tim wasn't exactly polished (not that it matters one jot) I did quite like his jokes and I think he has integrity.

Anyone who opposes Tory policy should at least give the guy a hearing. The policies are sensible and based on reason and pragmatism, not misguided ideology. The "wasted vote" argument no longer applies now that the Labour vessel has capsized.
Post edited at 21:55
Rob Exile Ward on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I can't support the Lib Dems until I have finally resigned from the Labour Party, and that won't happen until Saturday evening.
Greasy Prusiks on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Same here. I'm not giving Corbyn my money to fund him making a complete joke of the party.
Trevers - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Thing is, those are nice easy ideals for them to hold, now that they're (once again) absolutely nowhere near power. I wholeheartedly agree with all those things, but that doesn't mean they'll be easily implemented.
beardy mike - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers: unlike leaving the eu, killing the nhs and keeping refugees out despite them need a bit of help.
Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

They're just sensible policies. It might be hard to get people to vote for them (because your average voter is a self-serving arsehole who doesn't have any idea what's going on, hence the current government and Brexit), but there's nothing difficult about implementing them.

Why do you think those policies are difficult to implement?


bouldery bits - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I live in big Tim's constituency and he'll be getting my vote!
JEF on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> They're just sensible policies. It might be hard to get people to vote for them (because your average voter is a self-serving arsehole who doesn't have any idea what's going on, hence the current government and Brexit), but there's nothing difficult about implementing them.

> Why do you think those policies are difficult to implement?

Aren't you "an average voter" ? What makes you think you're better? Sounds like you are talking out of your arse.
Timmd on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:
If you can see past what he possibly thinks of the average voter (I can see why his turn of phrase has annoyed you), what do you think of the Lib Dems (and the policies Jon is keen on)?


Post edited at 23:04
Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

No I'm not the average voter, I support ideas that aren't popular!

I think that Tory policies are very bad for society; I'm appalled by what the Tories have done since they've been in power, particularly making the poor and disabled pay for the errors of the privileged. They have attacked the weakest in society, and on Brexit, they gambled with the economy for the sake of their personal ambitions. This is what the average voter votes for. They're arseholes.
Postmanpat on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> They're just sensible policies. It might be hard to get people to vote for them (because your average voter is a self-serving arsehole who doesn't have any idea what's going on, hence the current government and Brexit),
>

I wish you well but this may not be a great way of to attracting "your average voter". Indeed, it's partly why Labour has lost the vote of the "average voter."

Demanding the referendum result be reversed has, at one stroke, restricted your potential support to under half of the voting public.
Post edited at 23:06
Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Postmanpat:

Haha. I don't consider posting unadulterated personal opinion (with a hint of exaggeration, possibly, to get a reaction) on an internet forum to be political campaigning on behalf of the Liberal Democrats. True blue Tories who voted Brexit are beyond redemption, we both know that - I have better things to do with my time than try to persuade them to vote for sensible policies!
JEF on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No I'm not the average voter, I support ideas that aren't popular!

> I think that Tory policies are very bad for society; I'm appalled by what the Tories have done since they've been in power, particularly making the poor and disabled pay for the errors of the privileged. They have attacked the weakest in society, and on Brexit, they gambled with the economy for the sake of their personal ambitions. This is what the average voter votes for. They're arseholes.

And breathe!
FactorXXX - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

True blue Tories who voted Brexit are beyond redemption

The problem with that thinking, is that it wasn't just 'True Blue Tories' that voted for Brexit...
Timmd on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to JEF:

I guess the poorest and the disabled being squeezed the most, does rather go against 'We're all in this together...Let those with the broadest shoulders take the majority of the burden'
Trevers - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> They're just sensible policies. It might be hard to get people to vote for them (because your average voter is a self-serving arsehole who doesn't have any idea what's going on, hence the current government and Brexit), but there's nothing difficult about implementing them.

> Why do you think those policies are difficult to implement?

- Raise taxes to fund the NHS
Raising taxes is never popular, even though it's the right thing to do. Hence the Tories' continuing popularity. Pledge tax cuts come election time to sweeten the deal, remind the voter that Labour like to raise taxes in order to waste money on stuff and taxes are theft and boom, easy election victor

- Abandon SATS and the box-ticking approach to education to allow teachers to actually do their jobs
Education definitely needs a major overhaul, not new grammar schools or opening up to free market economics. But this isn't a defined policy yet, just a vision. The actual changes would be vast, and would presumably need to be delivered along with a range of other economic policies to help disadvantaged regions in the country. Not an easy job.

- Take more child refugees from Syria
This could be easily implemented and I hope would be popular.

- Don't leave the EU
That's a whole can of worms you're opening. You can't simply overturn the result of a referendum, even one as nasty and undemocratic as the one held earlier this year.
Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to FactorXXX:

> The problem with that thinking, is that it wasn't just 'True Blue Tories' that voted for Brexit...

Very true. That comment was for quite a specific audience!
balmybaldwin - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

These are pretty much the same policies they had at the last General election.

Unfortunately I'm in Jeremey Hunt's constituency with a big ol' majority so no chance my vote will count (even if the lib dems don't withdraw the candidate at the last minute and spoil my vote)
Robert Durran - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Demanding the referendum result be reversed has, at one stroke, restricted your potential support to under half of the voting public.

A party attracting anywhere near 48% of the vote would almost certainly win a general election with a big majority. The only way that the disaster of Brexit can now be avoided is the election of a government in time with a mandate to either not trigger article 50 or hold a second referendum. In any election before Brexit happened I would definitely vote for the party giving the best chance of avoiding Brexit. So would many others. I think that it is a massive vote winner of a policy, the urgency of the situation meaning it would trump most others.

Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Trevers:

> Raising taxes is never popular, even though it's the right thing to do.

I agree. This is a fundamental problem with progressive policy and boils down to the simple, ugly truth about what people vote for.

> Education definitely needs a major overhaul...The actual changes would be vast

In education, you could make quite a lot of progress by simply taking bad things (e.g. SATS) away and not replacing them. Decrease the amount of intervention and as for the pupil premium, just target funding where it's most needed. Well-funded schools with a well-trained, motivated, effective workforce will deliver better outcomes without oodles of new policy.

> - Take more child refugees from Syria

> This could be easily implemented and I hope would be popular.

> - Don't leave the EU

> That's a whole can of worms you're opening. You can't simply overturn the result of a referendum, even one as nasty and undemocratic as the one held earlier this year.

The result was very close, and there were enough people who didn't have the first clue what it was about to swing the vote. I agree you can't just ignore the result, but you can give people some actual information and ask them to vote on that rather than the pile of shit they got last last time. You can't outright lie to people about what they're voting for and then once the votes are counted say "actually, all that was bullshit - but you had your chance, that's democracy, sorry". Well, Farage et al seem to think you can...
Xharlie on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I sort of agree... BUT ... aren't the Lib Dem's also split on the EU issue? And don't they also have a bit of a track record of absent mindedly forgetting the things they promised to do?

His suggestions sound reasonable, except for the first. Raising taxes to fund the NHS is not only a vague idea (who, specifically, should be paying more tax? the above-average income earners paying 40% or more already, excluding additional taxes such as stamp duty, sales tax, fuel levies and sin-taxes, etc? The poor, earning much much less than those? the super rich paying a pittance in comparison to their earnings?) one could argue that the NHS won't be fixed with money alone and, if it could be fixed by throwing money at the problem, that money could be sourced from other areas of the budget - Trident and those useless new fighter jets, for example.
Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2016
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> These are pretty much the same policies they had at the last General election.

They didn't lose horrifically at the last election because of their policies...

> Unfortunately I'm in Jeremey Hunt's constituency

I wouldn't be able to look my neighbours in the eye.

I like climbing - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I wonder how much discussion has taken place between disaffected Labour MPs joining the Lib Dems ? If Jeremy Corbyn wins this weekend which looks certain, Labour MPs who don't support Corbyn should either form a new party, join the Lib Dems or the Tories. Tim Farron comes over like the nicest bloke in the world but he lacks charisma even though his policies are OK to most people. It's kinda funny that the image conscious Lib Dems ended up with him.......
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Xharlie:

> I sort of agree... BUT ... aren't the Lib Dem's also split on the EU issue? And don't they also have a bit of a track record of absent mindedly forgetting the things they promised to do?

My understanding is that LDs have always been pro-EU. The mistake on tuition fees was making the promise, not reneging on it. And they never had any mandate - no one voted for them, as usual - when they ended up in league with the devil, so there was never an option of "keeping their promises"...although their voting records make grim viewing, which is what stopped me voting for them last time.

> His suggestions sound reasonable, except for the first. Raising taxes to fund the NHS is not only a vague idea (who, specifically, should be paying more tax? the above-average income earners paying 40% or more already, excluding additional taxes such as stamp duty, sales tax, fuel levies and sin-taxes, etc? The poor, earning much much less than those? the super rich paying a pittance in comparison to their earnings?) one could argue that the NHS won't be fixed with money alone and, if it could be fixed by throwing money at the problem, that money could be sourced from other areas of the budget - Trident and those useless new fighter jets, for example.

You've got to get revenue rather than bits of diverted capital expenditure to fund the NHS. The policy is a specific tax for NHS and social care, not sure on the details but I assume it's probably just income tax.
Robert Durran - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> ......although their voting records make grim viewing, which is what stopped me voting for them last time.

Wasn't voting for some tory policies they didn't agree part of the coalition agreement?
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to I like climbing:

> I wonder how much discussion has taken place between disaffected Labour MPs joining the Lib Dems ? If Jeremy Corbyn wins this weekend which looks certain, Labour MPs who don't support Corbyn should either form a new party, join the Lib Dems or the Tories. Tim Farron comes over like the nicest bloke in the world but he lacks charisma even though his policies are OK to most people. It's kinda funny that the image conscious Lib Dems ended up with him.......

Yes, leave the hard left out in the cold while a cosy coalition of LD, the rest of Labour and Greens form to defeat the Tories. One problem here is that the Greens have more in common with the hard left than the centre, but one would hope they could have a think about how much they want to be associated with that lot. In this ideal world, the left wing of the Tory party would defect too, so we'd get Ken Clarke on our side. This would leave the scumbags like Fox and Hunt positioned as far away from the moderate centre ground as Corbyn and McDonell, and completely without any influence on public policy. Just imagine it!
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Wasn't voting for some tory policies they didn't agree part of the coalition agreement?

Probably. The coalition agreement was a display of LD incompetence, the critical element being electoral reform on which they were royally shafted.
I like climbing - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I know ! I'm fascinated by it all and look forward to seeing how it all plays out......
Xharlie on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Fair point on 1 and fair point on 2. Personally, as income tax approaches half my earnings, I start to wonder why I'm working in a country and paying taxes. More income tax on the "realistic" tax brackets is not a palatable option.

If they meant closing tax loop-holes and tackling non-doms and other non-contributors, they'd have my vote. (Ok, fair enough, they've always had my vote anyway - although, in Surrey, that meant nothing last time round.)
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Xharlie:

I'd pay a bit more income tax, and I'd also be happy to pay more tax on unnecessary stuff I buy like wine, steak, etc.
Oceanrower - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Unfortunately I'm in Jeremy Hunt's constituency

> I wouldn't be able to look my neighbours in the eye.

Err, wouldn't your neighbours also be in Jeremy' Hunt's constituency?
Lusk - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Xharlie:

> Personally, as income tax approaches half my earnings, I start to wonder why I'm working in a country and paying taxes.

50% tax? How much are you earning? No wonder you're worried about the low interest rate on your enormous savings!
Shit, it's a hard life! Best leave the UK now.
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Oceanrower:

My neighbours would likely have voted for Hunt, for this reason I would not be able to look them in the eye. Voting Tory is one thing, but voting for that piece of shit personally is beyond the pale.
Xharlie on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:
You're a pillar of society, then, a position to which I lay no claims. I will never bemoan the obligation to pay one's taxes but I know where my pain-threshold lies.

EDIT: I never said I paid 50% tax. I said "approaching half". I am not going to name the exact figure but, once you've added the levies I mentioned in my post, council tax and bureaucratic charges like 1100 for my Wife's five-year visa, you don't have to be in a very high bracket to be approaching half. Sales tax alone is 20%!

EDIT 2: I realised I said "income tax" in my original post - that was an error.
Post edited at 01:04
deepsoup - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> - Raise taxes to fund the NHS

After the Cameron had said "No more damaging top-down reorganisations of the NHS", the 2012 Health and Social Care act was the biggest reorganisation of the NHS in its history, and paved the way for a massive acceleration in NHS privatisation. By removing responsibility for the peoples' health from the Secretary of State for Health for the first time since 1948 it's arguable that it actually abolished the NHS as it was originally conceived. (At that point it ceased to be a National Health Service.)

It wasn't in the Tory manifesto, wasn't in the coalition agreement, was clearly contrary to everything the Lib Dems would have had us believe they stood for prior to 2012 but the f*ckers still voted it through.

Nah. Sorry. Not going to trust them again any time soon.
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to deepsoup:

> It wasn't in the Tory manifesto, wasn't in the coalition agreement, was clearly contrary to everything the Lib Dems would have had us believe they stood for prior to 2012 but the f*ckers still voted it through.

This was the reason I didn't vote LD at the last election. Hard to know exactly what deal was struck here as it wasn't in the coalition agreement.

> Nah. Sorry. Not going to trust them again any time soon.

I guess everyone has their red lines or whatever. For me and Labour it was Iraq (although "the end of boom and bust" and, as a civil servant, helping them piss money away 2008-10 didn't help either).
Baron Weasel - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Farron has his own agenda and doesn't listen to his constituents. Here's an extract of his response to my letter to him urging him to vote against military action in Syria "I decided to fulfil my commitment to international responsibility and humanitarian concern rather than to take the advice from friends and supporters in the hundreds of letters that I have received to vote against the Government."

He's lost my vote, not that he ever had it anyway and he's totally unelectable.
RomTheBear - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:
> Farron has his own agenda and doesn't listen to his constituents. Here's an extract of his response to my letter to him urging him to vote against military action in Syria "I decided to fulfil my commitment to international responsibility and humanitarian concern rather than to take the advice from friends and supporters in the hundreds of letters that I have received to vote against the Government."

> He's lost my vote, not that he ever had it anyway and he's totally unelectable.

Well he has mine. We need politicians who have the balls of doing what they think is right based on evidence, instead of what is easy and popular.
Post edited at 06:54
summo on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to RomTheBear:

> , instead of what is popular.

there in lies the problem. Too large a proportion of the population have been brainwashed over the past 30 years into thinking they can have their education, education, education, save the national treasure of the NHS etc.. all with ever decreasing tax rate. Even if their own education and common sense says it's not possible, but insufficient people want to vote in tax rises for better services. The internal optimism of human nature, makes them think they can take the lower tax option and it'll be ok in the end, what the worst that can happen.
Dave Garnett - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

> He's lost my vote, not that he ever had it anyway

Well, he was right to ignore you in favour of people who might vote for him based on his decision then, wasn't he?
andyfallsoff - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Xharlie:

> If they meant closing tax loop-holes and tackling non-doms and other non-contributors, they'd have my vote. (Ok, fair enough, they've always had my vote anyway - although, in Surrey, that meant nothing last time round.)

Interestingly enough, the last 5 years or so has actually seen leaps and bounds in closing loopholes and expanding the tax base - e.g. with the general anti-abuse rule, the "diverted profits tax" (which is essentially a tax directly on the Google / Amazon type tax arrangement) and the "offshore developers / transactions in land" legislation, which tackles people who hold and develop / trade in UK land from offshore so as not to pay tax. I don't know how much of this agenda to reform the tax system was driven by the lib Dems as opposed to the Tories, as this legislative drive has continued since the election.

I don't think this excuses the disastrous state the Tories have left the country in generally, but when people say tax needs reform, they should be aware that this is something that isn't being ignored as things stand.
Dave Garnett - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Xharlie:

> I sort of agree... BUT ... aren't the Lib Dem's also split on the EU issue?

The Lib Dems have always been overwhelmingly and enthusiastically pro-EU. Having a party that is prepared to be unambiguous about this has to be a good reason to support them. I have a few reservations about Farron but they are nothing compared to how I feel about Corbyn.
Rob Parsons on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I can't support the Lib Dems until I have finally resigned from the Labour Party ...

You can support whomever you like, whenever you like.
wbo - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply deepsoup:
> Nah. Sorry. Not going to trust them again any time soon.

How long then. They have a different leadership now, and would hopefully have learnt from the experience
wbo - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Is that exactly what he wrote? But anyway, as Rom says sometimes you need to follow your principles and make some constituents unhappy. You can't please all the people all the time
ads.ukclimbing.com
RyanOsborne - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:
> he's totally unelectable.

What do people mean when they say this? He's obviously not 'totally unelectable' otherwise he wouldn't have been elected as an MP.
Post edited at 09:02
RyanOsborne - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Labour has officially imploded,

What makes you say that? Surely if they'd imploded, they'd be polling badly and yet they're polling at the same level as they were at the general election - high twenties / low thirties.

http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/

The chances of the Libdems getting more than 10% vote share at the next GE seems pretty slim, however sexy you think Tim Farron is. And Labour, despite all the recent in-fighting and leadership election BS is still polling at 30%. The only way for the left to get back into power seems to be a progressive alliance.
galpinos on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to RyanOsborne:

"Unelectable" is usually used to mean "I don't like him/her".

I'm happier now he's stopped wearing the Ichthys pin badge all the time.
krikoman - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Well he has mine. We need politicians who have the balls of doing what they think is right based on evidence, instead of what is easy and popular.

But then they aren't really representing are they?

If their constituent want one thing but they decide otherwise, how does that help democracy?
krikoman - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> Same here. I'm not giving Corbyn my money to fund him making a complete joke of the party.

Surely it's the PLP and NEC that's making the joke, a very bad one.
MG - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

Why do you keep asking the same question? You have had it explained to you numerous times that an MP is not a delegate. We elect and "employ" them to act in what they see as our best interests. After fives years or so, if we don't think on balance they have done that, we elect someone else. We don't expect them to take a poll of their constituency on every issue and vote accordingly.
Trevers - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

> But then they aren't really representing are they?

> If their constituent want one thing but they decide otherwise, how does that help democracy?

Because to let democracy boil down to tyranny of the majority is dangerous and a subversion of what it's supposed to achieve. In this case I agree with you, but democratic votes would also probably bring back hanging.
Greasy Prusiks on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

I think that's debatable depending on your perspective!

Regardless I'll be glad when the party has a clear direction again.
galpinos on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> Regardless I'll be glad when the party has a clear direction again.

When do you see that happening? Even after the weekend's result gives them a leader, it's not going to a united front going forward.

Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to summo:

> The internal optimism of human nature, makes them think they can take the lower tax option and it'll be ok in the end, what the worst that can happen.

Or, they know someone will suffer, but it won't be them, so they don't give a f*ck.
summo on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Or, they know someone will suffer, but it won't be them, so they don't give a f*ck.

but the number of people who can afford to bank offshore, privately educate their kids, pay for medical care etc.. is so small. If even an modest percentage of the population who would benefit from better public services voted for a party that funded them properly through taxation, it would be landslide victor.

instead perhaps 70,80,90% vote for two main parties that promise the world, whilst trying to low taxes up front.

The future demise of the labour party, then people turning their backs on the rampaging tories, might bring about a whole new look at actual policies, or people will just keep on voting red and blue, because they always have.
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to RyanOsborne:

> What makes you say that? Surely if they'd imploded, they'd be polling badly

They're unable to make policy because the leadership and members support one political philosophy, while the rest of the MPs believe in something else entirely. That's not workable!

> The chances of the Libdems getting more than 10% vote share at the next GE seems pretty slim, however sexy you think Tim Farron is. And Labour, despite all the recent in-fighting and leadership election BS is still polling at 30%. The only way for the left to get back into power seems to be a progressive alliance.

In FPTP it doesn't matter what % you're polling at. Following the boundary changes, can Labour win seats from the Tories? Honestly? The LDs - or a newly formed party along their policy lines - must play a crucial role in taking seats from the Tories.
Baron Weasel - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to wbo:

> Is that exactly what he wrote?

Cut and pasted.
krikoman - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

> Why do you keep asking the same question? You have had it explained to you numerous times that an MP is not a delegate. We elect and "employ" them to act in what they see as our best interests. After fives years or so, if we don't think on balance they have done that, we elect someone else. We don't expect them to take a poll of their constituency on every issue and vote accordingly.

Because we live in a democracy. I've had it explained to me that they are NOT my delegate, but they are my representative, but who's representative are they? Or are you now telling me they are neither delegates nor representatives?

I happen to think 5 years is too long, what if my conservative MP was a closet lefty, who voted against the wishes of their constituents at every opportunity? Is it fair that I should wait 5 years to vote them out?

I'm not saying they need to take a vote on every issue, there are some issues more important than others, and some where they SHOULD follow their constituents wishes.

Are they not in their position to SERVE, the people, rather than themselves?

Isn't this part of the sickness of modern politics that the majority of MPs are NOT seen as representing the electorate any more?
Greasy Prusiks on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to galpinos:

Tbh I have no idea. Probably sometime after corbyn looses the general election would be my guess.
Postmanpat on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:
> Because we live in a democracy. I've had it explained to me that they are NOT my delegate, but they are my representative, but who's representative are they? Or are you now telling me they are neither delegates nor representatives?

>
They are representatives of their constituency. Think of it as a bit like your local cricket club. At the beginning of the season the players vote in a captain who they think is a sensible bloke and will do the best for the team. He is then captain of the whole team, not just those who proposed or voted for him. The players don't have the right to demand that he gets support for every decision he makes. They have voted him in because they trust him to make decisions, albeit that MPs (and good cricket captains) are expected to listen and consider the wishes of their players.
Post edited at 10:54
MG - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

> I'm not saying they need to take a vote on every issue, there are some issues more important than others, and some where they SHOULD follow their constituents wishes.

Well clearly there are or they would be voted out of office but it is not done on an issue by issue basis. It is by taking an overview of activity of the MP and the party they affiliate to over a parliament. That is why we have general elections. If an MP has not represented constituents' well on a sufficient number of matters, they will lose. I really don't see why this is so difficult to grasp.
RyanOsborne - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> They're unable to make policy because the leadership and members support one political philosophy, while the rest of the MPs believe in something else entirely. That's not workable!

> In FPTP it doesn't matter what % you're polling at. Following the boundary changes, can Labour win seats from the Tories? Honestly? The LDs - or a newly formed party along their policy lines - must play a crucial role in taking seats from the Tories.

I think following the boundary changes, it'll be hard for any one party to win enough seats off the tories, who'd have to get less than 30% vote share, which at the moment seems pretty unlikely. If, in four years, the tories have really screwed up the country (feasible) or Scotland wakes up to 'vote SNP, get tory' then perhaps that'd be possible, but I still think the the progressive alliance will be necessary, with tactical voting in swing seats - labour voters voting lib dem where they can swing it from blue to yellow, and lib dems backing labour where it's a red/blue battleground.
SenzuBean - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

> Because we live in a democracy. I've had it explained to me that they are NOT my delegate, but they are my representative, but who's representative are they? Or are you now telling me they are neither delegates nor representatives?

With a bit of thought you'll see that it's totally unsustainable to let the management of the country be to the whims of those who vote. Various reasons (in no particular order):

- If all people voted to empty the treasury, and let each person of voting age take a lump sum - should that be allowed?
- Children are not allowed to vote, but they have the greatest stake of all in the health of the country. Their interests need to be looked after.
- The environment is not allowed to vote - it also needs to be looked after.

What we have now barely does this, but what you are proposing (mob rule) does it even worse.
MG - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

Add in the certitude of contradictory votes: lower taxes; spend more on the NHS, for example.
krikoman - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

> That is why we have general elections. If an MP has not represented constituents' well on a sufficient number of matters, they will lose. I really don't see why this is so difficult to grasp.

Because they don't lose, at least in a great number of cases. I've lived all my life in either Labour or Conservative strongholds where if you dressed a dog in the right coloured tie they'd have been elected. Where's my democracy? Why is this so difficult to grasp?

And while I agree that everything shouldn't be up for a vote, as was pointed out that's why we pay them in the first place, a lot of the issues we have in politics are to do with people feeling disenfranchised and meaningless.

Also, five years is a long time to wait to change things if you thing you've made a mistake and voted for the wrong person or the person you THOUGHT you were voting for wasn't what they appeared to be, god forbid that might happen.

krikoman - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to SenzuBean:

> With a bit of thought you'll see that it's totally unsustainable to let the management of the country be to the whims of those who vote. Various reasons (in no particular order):

That's ludicous though, if that's what you thought I was suggesting then your dafter than you look

> - If all people voted to empty the treasury, and let each person of voting age take a lump sum - should that be allowed?

> - Children are not allowed to vote, but they have the greatest stake of all in the health of the country. Their interests need to be looked after.

> - The environment is not allowed to vote - it also needs to be looked after.

> What we have now barely does this, but what you are proposing (mob rule) does it even worse.

First of all, I was suggesting that the MP should listen to their constituents on the possible issues affecting them.

I wasn't suggesting they should do everything they ask for.

There's usually a choice, renew trident or not, we then have a number of consequences for and against each choice and the outcome of those choices. Given the facts and possible outcomes why can't the man in the street make the decision?

Robert Durran - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to RyanOsborne:

> What do people mean when they say this? He's obviously not 'totally unelectable' otherwise he wouldn't have been elected as an MP.

In a general election most people are really voting for a party and its leader. In the next general election they might have the chance to vote for the Labour Party with Corbyn as its leader............
alastairmac - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart: While what Farron said in his speech looks reasonable, both his voting record and that of his party contradict the principles he now promotes. In short the Lib Dems can't be trusted if they even get a sniff of power. Which why they are in such a mess. Tuition fees? Alisdair Carmichael? Need I go on?
summo on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:
> Also, five years is a long time to wait to change things if you thing you've made a mistake

it is also a very short length of time for any meaningful change to show, national economics is usually the tortoise and rarely the hare. So your MP who makes changes for the better could still be voted out because people only felt the pain and didn't wait for the pleasure?
SenzuBean - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

> That's ludicous though, if that's what you thought I was suggesting then your dafter than you look

Then you did a crap job of explaining yourself. You pretty clearly said you want politicians to do as they're told.

> There's usually a choice, renew trident or not, we then have a number of consequences for and against each choice and the outcome of those choices. Given the facts and possible outcomes why can't the man in the street make the decision?

Because the man in the street doesn't understand the context in which "the facts" exist. Neither of us have anywhere near enough information (including classified information) to make a rational judgement for most of these things.
summo on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to alastairmac:
> Tuition fees? Need I go on?

if you enter a coalition, as the vastly minority party, then you can't possibly have everything your own way. That is the nature of coalitions. Also Labour started tuition fees, so pretty much every party has blood on their hands there. It was pretty staggering for Clegg to be Deputy PM, given how few seats they brought to the coalition, I think most LibDem bargaining power was given up just getting him there.
Post edited at 12:12
MG - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

> Because they don't lose, at least in a great number of cases. I've lived all my life in either Labour or Conservative strongholds where if you dressed a dog in the right coloured tie they'd have been elected. Where's my democracy? Why is this so difficult to grasp?


That's an entirely different point about the FPTP system. Your MP clearly has more support than other candidates, or they would be removed.
Robert Durran - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to RyanOsborne:

> I still think the the progressive alliance will be necessary, with tactical voting in swing seats - labour voters voting lib dem where they can swing it from blue to yellow, and lib dems backing labour where it's a red/blue battleground.

I agree, but I think the best prospect to oppose the Tories (and hopefully Brexit) is an alliance between the LibDems and a new party breaking away from a rump Corbyn led Labour party. It is hard to see anything other than a tory landslide if the Labour party remains "united" under Corbyn. And I would, in some ways wish a Corbynite Labour rump well; there is clearly a demand and role for a leftist protest party in British politics.

galpinos on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

> Because they don't lose, at least in a great number of cases. I've lived all my life in either Labour or Conservative strongholds where if you dressed a dog in the right coloured tie they'd have been elected. Where's my democracy? Why is this so difficult to grasp?

The Lib Dems sold their soul to the devil in order to let people change that but unfortunately, they decided they didn't care.
RyanOsborne - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I agree, but I think the best prospect to oppose the Tories (and hopefully Brexit) is an alliance between the LibDems and a new party breaking away from a rump Corbyn led Labour party. It is hard to see anything other than a tory landslide if the Labour party remains "united" under Corbyn. And I would, in some ways wish a Corbynite Labour rump well; there is clearly a demand and role for a leftist protest party in British politics.

But that 'rump' will likely still get the lion's share tribal labour voters (as well as the people who like Corbyn, like all the new labour members), which is probably enough to make them a necessary component of any alliance. I think a Labdem coalition with JC and Ned Flanders at the helms could be a pretty good representation of most of the left. Especially if the labour party gets more democratised as JC is attempting.
Postmanpat on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

> There's usually a choice, renew trident or not, we then have a number of consequences for and against each choice and the outcome of those choices. Given the facts and possible outcomes why can't the man in the street make the decision?
>
Well given your own confusion between the problems created by FPTP and those created by the concept of representative democracy I think you've answered your own question.

damhan-allaidh on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to galpinos:
Here is just a small list of things that the Lib Dems did:
Prevented passing of the 'Snoopers Charter'
Prevented scrapping of HRA
Prevented scrapping of depts dealing with climate change
Stopped reduction in employment rights
Stymied Tory plans for a boundary review
Stonewalled BBC charter review (strictly speaking, not against the concept, but you know the Tories just want to wreck it)
Were against EU referendum

Since the end of the coalition, there's been an attack on renewable energy (and a return to general energy policy cluelessness not seen since Labour's 2003 white paper), Lib Dems set up free school meals (what happened to that earlier this year?).... I could go on.

And they almost, almost got us on-board with coalition politics. Only the electorate was not politically mature enough to twig how they work.

For a nation enamoured of Borgen, we have showed an appalling lack of awareness of how coalition politics work. The Lib Dems were able to curb the worse Tory excesses (not perfectly, but those who live in glass house, i.e., all of us, should not throw stones). We punished them, and in turn, perhaps got what we deserved for being so numpty about the whole thing.
Post edited at 14:16
krikoman - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Well given your own confusion between the problems created by FPTP and those created by the concept of representative democracy I think you've answered your own question.

Thank you, me too. But it key to the issue of why politics is such a put off for so many people.

The whole JC phenomenon has highlighted that people are looking for change and they do care about who's in charge and they do want a voice.
MG - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

> There's usually a choice, renew trident or not, we then have a number of consequences for and against each choice and the outcome of those choices. Given the facts and possible outcomes why can't the man in the street make the decision?

Because they are not (and can not be expected to be) very well informed on complex subjects like that but are pretty good at judging the overall success or failure of government. We've just seen what happens when the population is given a choice on a "simple" question.

rocksol - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:
Read The Times opinion today !nuff said
Pete Pozman - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to alastairmac:

> While what Farron said in his speech looks reasonable, both his voting record and that of his party contradict the principles he now promotes. In short the Lib Dems can't be trusted if they even get a sniff of power. Which why they are in such a mess. Tuition fees? Alisdair Carmichael? Need I go on?

The tories and Labour have had a really good sniff at power over the years . How are you liking that at this moment in time?
Dauphin on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

King stroker of the closet Tory party.

Hmmmmn, they always said Lib Dems were a wasted vote, I can't think of a time when that was more apposite. Although I guess, as ever it depends on what you actually want. Social Democracy was postwar co-opted by U.S. elites and European old money to ameliorate the influence of the left in European politics, specifically pro NATO, anti trade unions, pro free trade and privatisation of public services i.e Pro American. The Lib Dems do exactly what it says on the tin and you expect by voting for these starry eyed class quislings Friedman worshipping capitulators we will somehow arrive at adifferent result than the one we have now? Well didn't the evidence of the last five years tell you anything.

D
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Dauphin:

I wouldn't organise the world the way it's organised now, but nor do I think that any revolutionary movement is remotely worth devoting energy to. From government in this country, I want simple stuff: collect taxes (and plenty of'em) and provide good public services.

I think you vastly underestimate just how much damage the Tories specifically have done to society with policies that their opponents would never have followed.
Dave the Rave on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Didn't the country vote for Brexit? If it doesn't happen then voting isn't a valid method of choosing how the country is run?
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave the Rave:

I refer you to my earlier comments:

> The result was very close, and there were enough people who didn't have the first clue what it was about to swing the vote. I agree you can't just ignore the result, but you can give people some actual information and ask them to vote on that rather than the pile of shit they got last last time. You can't outright lie to people about what they're voting for and then once the votes are counted say "actually, all that was bullshit - but you had your chance, that's democracy, sorry". Well, Farage et al seem to think you can...
Dave the Rave on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I refer you to my earlier comments:

And? Most manifestos have been a pack of lies but the results still counted.
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Is that justification?!

I don't understand how you can be so very keen on the idea of democracy, but at the same time have absolutely no interest in the integrity of it. Your position makes no sense.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Yes, but if they were, we can always vote the liars out ar the next General election if we want. As the lib dems will testify.

We can't vote 'vote leave' out. The lying liars lied their lying way to a marginal win, in a one-off vote with no come back. It's hardly a surprise that many people are troubled by that.
Dave the Rave on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Yes, but if they were, we can always vote the liars out ar the next General election if we want. As the lib dems will testify.
Aren't 'the liars' trying to change constitutional boundaries in order to favour their party, so that it's more difficult to vote them out?

> We can't vote 'vote leave' out. The lying liars lied their lying way to a marginal win, in a one-off vote with no come back. It's hardly a surprise that many people are troubled by that.
Some are trying to overturn it and I doubt it's for others benefit.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Dave the Rave on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Is that justification?!

> I don't understand how you can be so very keen on the idea of democracy, but at the same time have absolutely no interest in the integrity of it. Your position makes no sense.

Because politicians have been disingenuous in the past and the outcome has been fine as long as it suits those that have voted for them.
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave the Rave:

I don't want to leave the EU, I think it's the wrong policy for the country. I think it will be bad for investment, for science, for social progress, for opportunities for the next generation. I think it's a stupid, unworkable policy that makes no sense for hundred of different reasons, which have been rehearsed countless times in other threads.

So, I would vote for a party which was for remaining in the EU. There's no law stopping a political party having that as a policy - indeed, there's nothing legally binding about the referendum (Parliament could decide to ignore it but that would obviously be politically disastrous). No one can can implement this without being voted into government, so there is no abuse of democracy; standing with this policy is just giving voters the opportunity to exercise their buyers remorse.
Dave the Rave on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I respect your opinion and the fact the out vote wasn't legally binding, but to overturn that vote is immoral for the people that voted to leave.
It was a vote given to the country by the governing body, by a leader who was voted in, and they should honour it.
Failure to do so makes a mockery of the voting system.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave the Rave:
No; in the circumstances where a party stood on a manifesto commitment to have a second referendum, and won a majority in a general election on the back of this ( or indeed a commitment just not to brexit at all), then it would be an abuse of democracy *not* to set aside the referendum result.

Sadly, that's not going to happen, but as an exercise in hypothetical situations, is correct.
Post edited at 22:57
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> I respect your opinion and the fact the out vote wasn't legally binding, but to overturn that vote is immoral for the people that voted to leave.

You can't invoke a moral argument when you've already agreed that the vote was made on the basis of a pack of lies!

> Failure to do so makes a mockery of the voting system.

The campaign made a mockery of the voting system.

I agree that it would be wrong for the government who gave the referendum to not honour the result (but then they'd get voted out). But a perfectly democratic u-turn could be made if the country voted for a different government with different policies. There is no moral, nor legal, nor any case at all for saying "we got this in a vote, therefore it cannot be taken away". If our democratic system, such as it is, sanctions a u-turn, then a u-turn we shall get, and I can't see why that would be problem for anyone who claims they care about democracy.
RomTheBear - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:

> But then they aren't really representing are they?

They are.

> If their constituent want one thing but they decide otherwise, how does that help democracy?

The idea is that we put out trust in a party or a person to use their best judgement, and the expertise they have access to, to take decisions on our behalf.

The problem is years of Tory politicians who use their best judgment to do what's best for them, and almost systematically distorted, rejected, or ignored the evidence they are given, as long as it gets them votes.

It's cynical, and it works, and with a parliamentary system based on on a set archaisms that belong to the 16th century, there are no safeguards.

krikoman - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to RomTheBear:

> They are.

But then you contradict this below.

> The idea is that we put out trust in a party or a person to use their best judgement, and the expertise they have access to, to take decisions on our behalf.

> The problem is years of Tory politicians who use their best judgment to do what's best for them, and almost systematically distorted, rejected, or ignored the evidence they are given, as long as it gets them votes.

Then how can they be representing their constituents?

> It's cynical, and it works, and with a parliamentary system based on on a set archaisms that belong to the 16th century, there are no safeguards.

Which is why we need to change the system.

summo on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to RomTheBear:
> The problem is years of Tory politicians who use their best judgment to do what's best for them, and almost systematically distorted, rejected, or ignored the evidence they are given, as long as it gets them votes.

Sounds like 3 terms of labour and Blair. I don't think any main political party was left out of the expense claims scandal, members of all parties just happen to fall into lucrative board level posts in large corporations during or after office.

Proportional representation, 25% less MPs, 50% less Lords, but give them better support (permanent staff etc..) to work more efficiently and prevent them only employing each others families as aids, advisors or assistants. Corbyn and McDonnell are classic examples of this, employing each others families.



RomTheBear - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:
> But then you contradict this below.

no

> Then how can they be representing their constituents?

By doing what their best judgement is, usually within the broad limits of the mandate the were elected on.
Not a bad system, but it has been corrupted by cynical politicians prepared to screw the country and lives as long as it puts them in a position to win the next election.

> Which is why we need to change the system.
I agree - I'd be a favour of a mixed PR/FPTP system designed to encourage coalition governments, because right now what we have is more a populist electoral dictatorship than anything else.
And also scrap the House of Lords, which has served no other purpose in recent time than providing an excuse and shifting blame when a promised policy can't be held, rewarding donors and friends, and are just ignored the rest of the time.
Post edited at 09:32
krikoman - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to RomTheBear:

> no

> By doing what their best judgement is, usually within the broad limits of the mandate the were elected on.

> Not a bad system, but it has been corrupted by cynical politicians prepared to screw the country and lives as long as it puts them in a position to win the next election.

Then how come it's "not a bad system", given with what we have to work with or are you saying we need a whole lot of new MPs?
winhill - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> I respect your opinion and the fact the out vote wasn't legally binding, but to overturn that vote is immoral for the people that voted to leave.

> It was a vote given to the country by the governing body, by a leader who was voted in, and they should honour it.

> Failure to do so makes a mockery of the voting system.

Also recent polls suggest there is little buyers remorse from those who voted Brexit, figures still 52-48%.

So by tying the vote to a general election. it is a hope that people might prioritise other concerns and vote against Brexit even though they are in favour.
winhill - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Tim Farron on gay buggery:

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has insisted critics need to respect his views as a Christian. Mr Farron said he did not understand why some people were concerned by his continued refusal to say whether he believes gay sex is sinful. Asked if he understood why critics are irked by his repeated reluctance to clarify his stance, Mr Farron told the Press Association: "I think itís a peculiar one.

No, is the honest answer, because I think people look at my liberalism, my desire to support peopleís rights to make whatever choices they want, and I kind of also expect in the same way people Ė maybe itís a naive expectation Ė to respect my beliefs as a Christian."


https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/politics/tim-farron-says-respect-beliefs-christian-gay-sex/

Fairly disgracefully hiding behind religion and not worth a vote.
GrahamD - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to winhill:

It is a tough one. Just because you respect and support peoples rights to do something does not mean you have to like it. Most people have the luxury of being able to keep their private thoughts in this respect private.
RomTheBear - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to krikoman:
> Then how come it's "not a bad system", given with what we have to work with or are you saying we need a whole lot of new MPs?

Maybe I wasn't clear, when I say it is "not a bad system", I'm referring to what I would like to see happening, not to the current situation.
Hence why I'd like to see the current system changing to a situation where the government would have to convince parliament, with evidence, to get any policies through, instead of the current situation where winner takes all and policies are designed with the only purpose to get another majority at the next GE, no matter how harmful and destructive they are.
Post edited at 12:10
wbo - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to RomTheBear:
I can see your point, but I can also see situations where a government would need to ram through an unpopular policy for long term good. You also run the risk of falling into a trap of mediocrity. If we were to imagine an example where a government wanted to introduce a radical 'good' policy, that could also fail to get majority support. I guess all systems have their pluses and minuses - to paraphrase - it's a terrible system but better than the alternatives.

The problem at the moment is that there is no effective opposition that can credibly hang out the more dubious proposals for public derision, effectively removing the limits
MG - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Hence why I'd like to see the current system changing to a situation where the government would have to convince parliament, with evidence, to get any policies through

That is what we have!

> , instead of the current situation where winner takes all and policies are designed with the only purpose to get another majority at the next GE, no matter how harmful and destructive they are.

Nonsense, in general. Except in the very broad sense that the government gets assessed on its record.

Jon Stewart - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to winhill:

> Tim Farron on gay buggery

It makes me like him slightly less, but I don't find what he said disgraceful really. He's keeping this as a personal matter, not trying to foist repressive policies on me due to his misguided and arbitrary version of morality.

RomTheBear - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:
> That is what we have!

No it's not.
It is particularly obvious on many of the policies the Tories have implemented, such as welfare cuts for the poorest, family migration rules, help to buy, cuts to social housing, If you had followed the various debate in parliament or evidence review, or reports from the civil service, or what the house of lords said, most of these policies were found to be useless and counter productive, and in some cases, harmful - but it's popular, it gets Tory vote, and when there is no other party to convince - it goes through.
Post edited at 13:59
Jon Stewart - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to MG:

> That is what we have!

If you wanted a lesson in the objective evaluation of evidence, would you really consider going to the Houses of Parliament? I for one would not.


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