/ What kind of society do we want?

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Hugh J - on 18 Oct 2016

I started this train of thought in the "Prediction-Brexit will be an economic disaster for UK" thread yeaterday, but think perhaps it needs a thread of it's own. Below is a response to a short discussion I was having with Pete Pozman about Jacob Ress-Mogg.

In reply to Pete Pozman:

> Who's he talking to?

> You are being fooled by his oily tones and donnish manner. I used to think "This is a reasonable Tory..." Now I believe he is the worst kind of Tory. Like Bojo, he treats politics as a debating competition. He sounds reasonable but he lacks principle.



Can you supply evidence concerning his lack of priciples?

And what is wrong with politics being about debate? I thought that was the point of it. You know, to come to arrangements peacably for the greater good rather than the one-up-manship, the personal insults, the intolerance and the incitement to hatred that we are now witnessing from all corners of society, including those, you would hope, who should know better.

Like I said, JRM appears to be intelligent, principled and courteous. Unlike BoJo, he doesn't appear to have changed his stance to suit his needs or for personal gain. I said I don't agree with many of his views, but appreciate the way he delivers them. If I look at this and many other threads on this forum, I don't see a lot of courteousy (including your "You are being fooled" comment) and this is a forum of people who share a common interest! The bickering, the knee-jerk reactions and the name calling is a snapshot of the UK society right now, but is nothing compared to the shitstorm that is happening across the pond. Just WTF is going on in the world?

A conspiratory theorist might say the "Zionists" are orchestrating a divide and conquer policy. (And no, I don't mean the Jewish by the word Zionists).

Wouldn't it be a pleasant change to have someone like Jacob Rees-Mogg facing someone like Hillary Benn across the dispatch box? Shouldn't we have leaders like this? Before the barbs being thrown turn into rocks, which turn into Molotov cocktails, which turn into bullets, which turn into bombs.





Well there you go. The disussion is not about JRM or HB, but about the title of the thread. I'm heading for cover now (back under my rock!) ;)
Post edited at 08:05
KevinD - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

> And what is wrong with politics being about debate? I thought that was the point of it.

Pete Pozman said "debating competition". Which is something different from what you suggest.
Competitive debating is about winning the argument and not at all to do with the "greater good".
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Pete Pozman - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

When I was at grammar school "debating" was on the timetable. We were encouraged to develop our skills by being tasked with defending motions we disagreed with. Watching Rees Mogg in action takes me right back.
I suggested you were being fooled because I was once taken in by his emollient manner, thinking him scholarly and courteous, as you say. (Michael Gove had a reputation for being the most polite man in parliament.)
I was astonished to hear him when on the subject of Trump say that he would vote Republican if he were an American citizen.
How could this be reconciled with his urbanity and apparent thoughtfulness? When Mogg changed his stance following increasingly damaging publicity for Trump it made me examine the actual content of his utterings. He tends to generalities and oils his words in the style of a patrician populist. He probably feels his time has come. I hope he is wrong.
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Hugh J - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J: Thanks for the replies. I accept the points you make as being valid, but they don't answer the question I have asked here.

"The disussion is not about JRM or HB, but about the title of the thread."

It is more about what kind of leaders do we want. How do we want to be percieved by the outside world and within our own society. Do we want the people who represent us, both actually and metaphorically to be like Donald Trump or Jeremy Corbyn? (No I don't want the pros and cons of either, they are just examples of polar extremes).

RyanOsborne - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

> It is more about what kind of leaders do we want. How do we want to be percieved by the outside world and within our own society. Do we want the people who represent us, both actually and metaphorically to be like Donald Trump or Jeremy Corbyn? (No I don't want the pros and cons of either, they are just examples of polar extremes).

I want a Clement Atlee style leader, one who thinks about what would be best for the country and then tries to get it implemented.

I don't want a Donald Trump / Boris Johnson style leader who will say anything they think will further their own career, despite whether they think it is for the good of the country or not.

At the moment, Jeremy Corbyn is my favourite contender, and the person I'd most like to lead the country from the current crop of high ranking politicians.
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digby - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

Being principled is all very well but what if the principles are unethical?
I thought Rees Mogg rather quaint until the interesting documentaries on TV about parliament. On some point of principle, important to himself and no one else, he wrecked by talking out a private members bill. His point had nothing to do with the bill. The bill was non political and was about improving in some way that I forget, the lives of people. It had been worked on for a long time and was crucial to some people's lives. Rees Mogg talked it out in an utterly selfish exercise of 'principle' unrelated to the bill.
So b*gger him!
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balmybaldwin - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

I'm actually beginning to think we want a dutch-style system where the parties are not adversarial in the same way you see in the UK and the states (an aside: I find it interesting the ground covered by panorama last night that the US system was designed for 2 parties that could work together - perhaps a bit of naive idealism from the founding fathers?).

This way you get parties that better represent their electorate by being forced to work together to form governments and pass legislation - that way you get more moderate approaches that offend fewer people, and they are better thought through because all of the parties involved have to be able to justify them to their supporters (it can of course instead lead to deadlock in some case)
Yanis Nayu - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to digby:

> Being principled is all very well but what if the principles are unethical?

> I thought Rees Mogg rather quaint until the interesting documentaries on TV about parliament. On some point of principle, important to himself and no one else, he wrecked by talking out a private members bill. His point had nothing to do with the bill. The bill was non political and was about improving in some way that I forget, the lives of people. It had been worked on for a long time and was crucial to some people's lives. Rees Mogg talked it out in an utterly selfish exercise of 'principle' unrelated to the bill.

> So b*gger him!

I remember that. He came across as an utter prick.
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jethro kiernan - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

Id like to see a parliamentary politics that, recognises its not the be all and end all of democracy, we seemed to have lost sight for democracy to work we need an knowledgeable civil service recruited from among the best and brightest the country has to offer, that other organisations have a part in representing constituents such as the BMA, unions and trade organizations (but that some other means other than a bloated and amoral lobbying business needs to be found)
It would be nice to see political parties show their "workings out" so much like a scientific paper it can be taken away and "constructive" criticism could be offered.
A large part of the problem seems to be media driven in as much the complex debate, thought and planning required for major and minor policies isn't given the space to happen. How this is solved I don't know, who fact checks the fact checkers?
Hugh J - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:
FFS.

Just reading the headlines! That goes for Brexiters and Bremainers. I've given a dislike to those who have missed the point.

As I said at the start, this is not about individual personalities like JRM or JC or whoever or indeed their beliefs. It is about how we think politians and indeed ourselves should behave towards one another (just feel the atmosphere on here since 23rd June). It's the way in which our politians put forward their policies. For example, (and I think that's maybe why JRM has had a change of mind in regards to Trump), for all we know President Pussygrabber maybe be actually right about a lot of what he spouts, that's not important, it's the delivery that is an issue and the fact that he's utterly reprehensible on so many levels.
Post edited at 20:50
Pete Pozman - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to jethro kiernan:

The most principled politician of recent years is Nick Clegg who sacrificed himself and his party for what he perceived to be the greater good. He seems to be regaining his self belief. All strength to him and other right minded democrats.
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Hugh J - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Pete Pozman:
I totally agree with you there Pete (and have given you a like).

The public (because of the media) gave him and his party a right good kicking in 2015. It was IMHO undeserved, as it was NC and his colleagues that put the brakes on the Tory juggernaut that is now approching full speed.

Sacrifice is the right word, he must have known what would have been instore for him in 2015.
Post edited at 20:53
stevieb - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

We hold 'principled' politicians to account far more strictly then we do the characters.
I think this is a known psychological effect, but we accept lies from jokers like boris and Nigel, but expect serious politicians to never lie, never be wrong and never compromise.
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jethro kiernan - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to stevieb:

Maybe we should bring back pillory for lying politicians, large scale lies like the 350 million lie or an poor accumulated fact check score would result in a day in the pillory
stevieb - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to jethro kiernan:
We could start by just not voting for them again
jethro kiernan - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to stevieb:

That seems to hit liars less, bojo will write his columns, Trump will market himself, the only thing they value is their ego (not their dignity or integrity)
wavydavy - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

Could they not have done a deal with Lab/LibDem rather than fuel the juggernaut?

A kicking deserved maybe!
Hugh J - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to wavydavy:
No they couldn't. Though because of the Lib Dems revulsion of Conservatism (note the capital C), they still had a chat with Brown.

Firstly, a Lib-Lab coalition still would not have commanded a parliamentary majority, so it would of had to have been a "rainbow" alliance. Secondly, Clegg knew what trouble that would have caused in the streets and also said that it would be undemocratic for the largest party not to form some kind of government.

So left with the choice of going into opposition to an unstable minority government or giving the country a stable coalition government in a time of economic crisis, he had little choice if he was to do the right thing for the country. To then get blamed for things like tuition fees etc and have his party decimated in 2015 seems more than a little harsh to me.

BTW, I voted Labour at both elections because of the candidate and not the party. Besides, it was only going to be Labour or Tory in my constituency. In 2010 the country lost one of it's best parliamentarians in David Drew, a principled Politian who voted against the government on several occasions including The Iraq War and as a result, got nowhere near a ministry. I would however consider myself politically central .
Post edited at 22:53
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wavydavy - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:



> he had little choice if he was to do the right thing for the country.

I think that may have backfired!

Britain out of Europe,Scotland out of Britain,although not blaming NC or Libdems for the situation we find ourselves in, I just think things could have been rosier (puts his glasses back in pocket)

Hugh J - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to wavydavy:

> I think that may have backfired!

> Britain out of Europe,Scotland out of Britain,although not blaming NC or Libdems for the situation we find ourselves in, I just think things could have been rosier (puts his glasses back in pocket)


Yup. But then, isn't that all due to events after the end of the coalition government?
The Ice Doctor - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

Lets face it, the political system is just as defunct as capitalism, but there is nothing to replace either system that could improve things. Therein lies the problem.

Debate does not improve anything, its action and behaviour that changes things.
krikoman - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to stevieb:

> We could start by just not voting for them again

And what about the people who've never voted for them, they are still suffering. Which only goes to show what a shit system we have.
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Mark Bannan - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> I'm actually beginning to think we want a dutch-style system where the parties are not adversarial in the same way you see in the UK and the states

Agreed. I would like to see Proportional Representation brought in, which would undoubtedly help this process. Failing that, French-style second ballot would also help.
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cragtaff - on 21 Oct 2016
In reply to Hugh J:

Perhaps we need a referendum on it?
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