UKC

/ New centre-ground party. Would you...?

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Pursued by a bear - on 08 Apr 2018

The vacuum in the political centre ground is attracting interest, it seems; and the example provided by Macron in France, allied to the nature of modern politics to provide unexpected twists, shows that there may be opportunity.

So would you vote for a new party in the centre ground of British politics, or are you allied to one of the two main parties as they veer further to the edge of their political landscape?  Is this just an diversion along the lines of the SDP in the 1980s that will ultimately subside, or the start of something new and vital?

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/07/new-political-party-break-mould-westminster-uk-brexit?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Copy_to_clipboard 

T.

Eric9Points - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

What exactly would this centre ground party stand for? If you have no idea what policies it favours then how can you decide whether you're going to favour it over any of the existing parties?

1
Philip on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Closest thing to that is the LD, now tainted. A replacement would be good.

Without proportional representation, no small party can progress to mainstream. Look how long it took LD to get close to % of L or C votes but no where near % of seats.

Two huge groups of society are tied to L or C, and breaking looks almost impossible. As PR doesn't suit either, which is stupid - we had 25 years split between the two in which the other party had no say for 10+ years, PR would have moderated both periods.

In fact, the more I think about it, PR is the only way to get a centre government as it averages out extremes.

 

1
MG - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Quite possibly given that the current parties have lurched to extremes and are appallingly led right now. Sane policies and decent leadership would be very attractive.

1
summo on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Any centre party could take a reasonable proportion of votes and form a strong coalition either right or leftwards. They already exist, the lib dems. But because the UK voters doesn't understand coalitions, only I won I should get everything I want, the weaker coalition member gets punished for breaking it's word. UK two party politics is here to stay. 

Eric9Points - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

What would you regard as sane policies?

Big Ger - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

A centre ground party which was strong on supporting  the NHS and social services, pro policing and justice, while balancing that with individual personal responsibility, and national financial prudence, (pro-Brexit of course,) would be an enviable, but possibly impossible party.

5
MG - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

Blair without the wars, or Cameron without UKIP pandering. Focus on future possibilities/problems, not fighting battles from 1970s. Moderate, positive approach to Brexit. That sort of thing.

1
summo on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> A centre ground party which was strong on supporting  the NHS and social services, pro policing and justice, while balancing that with individual personal responsibility, and national financial prudence, (pro-Brexit of course,) would be an enviable, but possibly impossible party.

That is pretty much what the lib dems ran on. 

3
Eric9Points - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

..and would you support increased taxation to better fund the NHS?

tom_in_edinburgh - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

SNP is already centre ground: pro-EU, reasonable public spending while staying financially prudent, good on public health and environment.    The Scottish Parliament is already PR.   We don't need a new party.

It's the two party Westminster system and the state of politics in England with the toxic UKIP/Brexiter influence that is the problem.    I don't think a new party will help: the first past the post system is rigged against it.   The only mechanism that works at Westminster is for one of the major parties to f*ck up so badly it implodes and gets reconstructed.

Post edited at 12:11
7
Philip on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

To be pro-Brexit would make their candidates as dumb as the ones we have already.

6
marsbar - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

I actually think the Green party might find they are taken more seriously as an alternative as the reds and blues go ever more extreme.  

They managed to make the only party political broadcast worth watching in any case  

So funny.  Except for small Theresa which was quite  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2dNEQiHUUo

Post edited at 12:11
2
Dax H - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

I would vote for a center party if I liked and believed what they were saying. 

To be honest I can't understand how some people just vote blue or red every time because it's what they have always done. This country and the rest of the world is evolving every day and I vote for whatever party I think will be the best party for the current conditions. 

Rob Parsons on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> SNP is already ... good on ... environment.   

Is it? What about its approval for the Menie Estate golf course?

 

1
Stichtplate on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

What's the likelihood of this new party just attracting a shed load of power hungry, political opportunists, seeking to capitalise on post Brexit chaos?

Edited to redact a load of superfluous waffle.

 

Post edited at 12:34
Luke90 on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Dax H:

> To be honest I can't understand how some people just vote blue or red every time because it's what they have always done.

There are certainly people who do that but I think they're outnumbered by people who would be willing to consider other parties but draw the rational conclusion that under our ridiculous FPTP system, a vote for anyone other than the two major contenders in their local race is largely wasted.

I'm still gutted that we rejected a change to the voting system in the referendum. It wasn't perfect but it was a step in the right direction that mostly seemed to be rejected for stupid reasons.

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Is it? What about its approval for the Menie Estate golf course?

Trading off economic benefits against ecological consequences is always difficult and doing so on a case by case basis is a sign of a pragmatic centre-ground party of government.    The golf resort was supposed to be a $1Bn investment and would have been a big thing for Aberdeen.  Trump lied to the local planners and the national government.   I think it was a hard call and I don't blame them for going the way the did based on the information they had.

Also, I wouldn't vote for or against a party for the Holyrood parliament based on a golf course planning application.  It's too small an issue relative to other things they have responsibility for.

11
skog on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Philip:

 

> In fact, the more I think about it, PR is the only way to get a centre government as it averages out extremes.

I think so, but as we have a system essentially rigged to be two-party just now, and it is not in the interests of either of those parties to change that, I can't really see how we could get PR in the UK.

For some time I've been unable to see how the UK situation can be fixed, short of hoping for the total collapse of the Tories or Labour. And I think that even if that happens, pretty much the same party will just reform around part of the remains, perhaps with a smaller one spinning off for a while, but being unable to get past the FPTP problem.

The new party idea is interesting, but I suspect it'll mostly just split the Labour vote and keep the Tories in for longer. And I don't really care about that - I can't support either the Tories or Labour, they're two sides of the same coin and as bad as each other, albeit in different ways.

Eric9Points - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to skog:

We had a referendum on PR and we decided not to adopt it.

In what way would you like a new party to be different from either Labour or the tories?

5
Doug on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

SNP have always been weak on environmental issues, although I don't really know why. At least at the moment they are in a coalition with the Greens which helps make up for their lack of interest

timjones - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

We have a centre ground party, unfortunately their supporters have thrown their toys out of the pram because they fail to comprehend the realities of coalition government.

Doug on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

I don't understand why that article in the Observer didn't look a big more at the difference in political systems. Macron won a presidential system with two rounds and once president then won a majority in elections for the Assemble Nationale, again with two rounds. Such a system allows for new parties to get established quickly, or old parties to decline (look at the PS). I can't see anything changing in the UK until FPTP is reformed - Blair talked about that before getting elected but lost interest when he won a large majority. And stupidly the LibDems allowed a referendum on a half hearted reform which was barely any improvement.

skog on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

 

> We had a referendum on PR.

No we didn't.

 

 
Post edited at 13:38
skog on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

There are a host of reasons I can't support the Tories or Labour; boiled down, it's simply that neither are remotely close to what I believe in, as a moderate centre-left social liberal.

And I appreciate that this isn't a big deal to a lot of people, but it's a huge one to me - the way that both of these parties have treated EU nationals living here in the wake of the referendum has opened my eyes to how quickly they'd let things go very bad if it suited them, and I don't see how I could ever support either of them now.

 
1
Eric9Points - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to skog:

Fine, but what I'm trying to understand is what it is that you do believe in?

Baffled by your comments about the treatment of EU nationals by the way.

Rob Parsons on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Trump lied to the local planners and the national government.   I think it was a hard call and I don't blame them for going the way the did based on the information they had.

Trump did what he has a history of doing, and the local planners rejected his proposal. It was the the SNP government which then overruled their objection, and agreed to the plan.

> Also, I wouldn't vote for or against a party for the Holyrood parliament based on a golf course planning application.  It's too small an issue relative to other things they have responsibility for.

That's a separate matter. I was simply countering your claim that 'the SNP is good on the environment.'

skog on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

 

> Fine, but what I'm trying to understand is what it is that you do believe in?

I've posted at great length at times, and I'm not sure anyone's going to be particularly excited to hear it again.

Nothing too exciting, really, just a social/liberal democracy where those who need help get it, those who want to innovate and push on have the chance to do so, individual rights and freedoms are protected and enhanced, foreigners aren't treated as sub-human, our country works with its neighbours in the spirit of cooperation, and we drop the fantasy of being able to wade in and 'fix' foreign problems by bombing people. Pure fantasy, I know, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth aspiring towards.

When MG said "Blair without the wars" above, not quite - but yeah, I could live with that. I'd also want rid of his creeping authoritarianism, and would prefer things a little to the left of New Labour, ideally!

> Baffled by your comments about the treatment of EU nationals by the way.

In what way? They've been shafted by the Tories, with Labour either helping vote through any relevant legislation without amendment, or abstaining - it wasn't a priority for them, so they didn't risk spending any political capital on it. There were a number of Labour MPs who did not do this, but they had to break with the Labour Party stance and even the whip, to do so. More credit to them, but none to their party.

1
summo on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Having lived in scotland for a while we have quite a few friends there and the one thing they agree on is that the snp have taken they eye off the ball for years, just focussing on indef1/2.... schools, health etc have suffered and They even ran over budget, hence the tax rises. I think the only thing keeping snp in seats is the lack another Scottish party, as many people won't vote for a Labour or Tory mp etc.. if there was another party challenging the snp locally, it would really force them to work more. 

And Yes, they saw dollars with Trump and were well and truly suckered in. 

Post edited at 15:22
2
skog on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

As a (cautious) supporter of the SNP I'd have to agree - the environment isn't a very high priority for them. They tend to support development over conservation; whether this is a good or bad thing depends on the circumstances and your point of view.

The electoral system in Scotland pretty much forces inter-party co-operation, and they're currently dependent on the Greens, which I think should moderate this to some extent.

 
skog on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to summo:

 

> Having lived in scotland for a while we have quite a few friends there and the one thing they agree on is that the snp have taken they eye off the ball for years, just focussing on indef1/2.... schools, health etc have suffered

I think health's doing better than anywhere else in the UK; there is some truth in the rest of that.

> and They even ran over budget, hence the tax rises.

You know they were tax cuts, or neutral, for anyone earning a little under £33,000, right? The Scottish Tories have spun this as a tax increase, but that isn't true for a significant majority (the median wage in Scotland was £23,150 last year: https://sp-bpr-en-prod-cdnep.azureedge.net/published/2017/11/21/Earnings-in-Scotland--2017/SB%2017-80.pdf )

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-43116476

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/family/2017/12/scottish-income-tax-shake-up---how-what-you-pay-will-change

I think the only thing keeping snp in seats is the lack another Scottish party, as many people won't vote for a Labour or Tory mp etc.. if there was another party challenging the snp locally, it would really force them to work more. 

Maybe. But there are already the Scottish Greens, who have now overtaken the Lib Dems.

 

Robert Durran - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> SNP is already centre ground: pro-EU, reasonable public spending while staying financially prudent, good on public health and environment.    The Scottish Parliament is already PR.  

Just a shame about that independence thing.

The SNP only exist to promote independence and just blow with the wind with little principle on other issues. In some ways I quite like their current position, but I wouldn't trust them an inch if the wind changes direction.

Scotland needs a principled centre party as much as the rest of the UK.

 

2
Big Ger - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to summo:

> That is pretty much what the lib dems ran on. 

True, but very pro-Brexit.

2
Big Ger - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> ..and would you support increased taxation to better fund the NHS?

That would be one consideration.

1
Big Ger - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Philip:

> To be pro-Brexit would make their candidates as dumb as the ones we have already.

Well to someone with a very narrow view of what constitutes intelligence it would, but their views are hardly worth considering.

7
summo on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to skog:

Yeah I understood it as a decrease in tax for low earners, but an increase in the overall tax take. 

Edit. Or another Scottish party that's not so nationalist? Scoop up all those voters who said no in indef1 etc.. 

Post edited at 17:31
summo on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> True, but very pro-Brexit.

I could forgive them that(perhaps surprisingly), as I think they are the only party to acknowledge fixing the NHS, education etc.. will cost money from tax rises, rather than endless promises that will never deliver from the main two parties. 

Pursued by a bear - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to everyone:

Thanks for your thoughts. Much to consider.

T.

Pete Pozman - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> A centre ground party which was strong on supporting  the NHS and social services, pro policing and justice, while balancing that with individual personal responsibility, and national financial prudence, (pro-Brexit of course,) would be an enviable, but possibly impossible party.

And led by Boris Johnson? Now you're talkin'! 

1
Pete Pozman - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Just vote Liberal Democrat  

2
Trangia on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Pete Pozman:

That's what I thought, but it didn't work. They desperately need strong and charismatic leadership.

(I nearly slipped up there and said "strong and stable leadership......")

Post edited at 07:26
Big Ger - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> And led by Boris Johnson? Now you're talkin'! 

Perfect!

3
jkarran - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to summo:

> Any centre party could take a reasonable proportion of votes and form a strong coalition either right or leftwards.

Then be as tainted as the LibDems. Single use political parties aren't much of a step forward.

> They already exist, the lib dems.

Debatable at the moment whether they exist as a force. Their electorate is large but diffuse, unable to elect representatives now they've lost the one key asset they had, student support.

But because the UK voters doesn't understand coalitions, only I won I should get everything I want, the weaker coalition member gets punished for breaking it's word. UK two party politics is here to stay.

Not necessarily. The connectivity the internet offers between campaigners and disparate groups of voters allowing them to potentially act in blocs (ironically) and the disenchantment when brexit fails to return control will provide a real opportunity. Remember UKIP voters were even more disenfranchised by FPTP than LD. Opportunity exists in chaos.

jk

jkarran - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to skog:

> There are a host of reasons I can't support the Tories or Labour; boiled down, it's simply that neither are remotely close to what I believe in, as a moderate centre-left social liberal.

Genuine question: how doesn't that fit with Labour and what they'll realistically be able to achieve in power?

> And I appreciate that this isn't a big deal to a lot of people, but it's a huge one to me - the way that both of these parties have treated EU nationals living here in the wake of the referendum has opened my eyes to how quickly they'd let things go very bad if it suited them, and I don't see how I could ever support either of them now.

As much as I hate it I think the foamy brexity populism has to be looked past. Whether we eventually do leave or remain there will be a world after brexit and it'll likely still be a world with a FPTP rigged Lab-Con power split and all the old problems plus some new ones. There might be opportunity for electoral reform but for now we must work with the tools we have.

That's not intended as a PP broadcast for Labour, I have voted for my Labour MP this time around because I like her and she's been on the right side of this mess so far but I don't habitually.

jk

Post edited at 09:30
Neil Williams - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

FWIW I'd vote for something like the SNP were it to run in England - a centrist/slightly left of centre progressive social democratic party.

Just a pity its almost-namesake is a bunch of far right racists.

Labour are sort-of there and I have voted for them, but I find the trade unionist "baggage" to be undesirable.  I would vastly prefer a more modern forward-looking party.

Post edited at 09:51
doz generale - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> A centre ground party which was strong on supporting  the NHS and social services, pro policing and justice, while balancing that with individual personal responsibility, and national financial prudence, (pro-Brexit of course,) would be an enviable, but possibly impossible party.

 

Financial prudence and pro Brexit doesn't make sense. Also, Brexit is the one thing that seems to be pushing people to the extremes. The center ground by definition is pro EU. 

I think there is a growing void in the center and seeing as the majority of the electorate want a government who is centrist it's only a matter of time.

Doug on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Genuine question: how doesn't that fit with Labour and what they'll realistically be able to achieve in power?

As someone who would probably vote Green if there was a fairer voting system (& I was allowed to vote as I've been outside the UK for >15 years), I struggle to vote Labour as they seem to have little concern for the environment and seem to be authoritarian and centralising (& yes I know it was under Blair that the Scottish Government came back, I suspect as a calculated bet that it would decrease support for the SNP). Unfortunately the SNP are also poor on environmental issues which only really leaves the LibDems - who happen to have the MP for my 'old' constituency.

 

john arran - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to doz generale:

> Financial prudence and pro Brexit doesn't make sense.

It does if it's made of cake. And we can eat it too.

 

 

JimR - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to john arran:

I'd vote for a centre ground party. The Lib Dems have no momentum and too much baggage. The two main parties are being pulled to the extremes by their left & right wings respectively leaving a huge gap in the middle. Time for a new party that is working for the nation rather than to tired and introspective agendas.

Mark Bannan - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

I thought this "new Centrist Party" was the Lib Dems under Vince Cable - definitely a more "centrist" and indeed more left-wing party than Nick Clegg's traitors. Quite appropriate that he is named after an especially annoying biting insect!

M

3
Eric9Points - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

The SNP are not social democratic or left of centre, rather they're a populist party with the intention of harvesting as many votes as they can in order to further their only core value.

Of course the populist approach does inevitably result in a middle of the road manifesto which may well coincide with your views as that's what it's designed for but that's not a good way of running the country.

3
Big Ger - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to doz generale:

> Financial prudence and pro Brexit doesn't make sense.

Yes it does. The will of the party (and people,) can be both for Brexit and financial prudence.

> Also, Brexit is the one thing that seems to be pushing people to the extremes. The center ground by definition is pro EU. 

Utter hogwash.

> I think there is a growing void in the center and seeing as the majority of the electorate want a government who is centrist it's only a matter of time.

I agree.

 

10
jkarran - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Yes it does. The will of the party (and people,) can be both for Brexit and financial prudence.

It can. Unfortunately stepping for a moment back within the constraints of reality government policy apparently can't.

jk

tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Of course the populist approach does inevitably result in a middle of the road manifesto which may well coincide with your views as that's what it's designed for but that's not a good way of running the country.

Most populist politicians are very far from the middle of the road.   They generally take things far beyond what is prudent or compatible with real world constraints to appeal emotionally to their base.  Trump/Corbyn/Farage/Johnson etc are not middle of the road.

The SNP are 'very slightly left of the middle of the road' on economic issues like taxation, slightly further ahead on environmental issues like renewable energy, slightly further ahead on public health issues like smoking bans and alcohol taxation.   That's an excellent way of running a country and compatible with an election system which makes coalition government likely.   

Westminster could learn a hell of a lot from the Scottish system but since England is 10x larger in terms of population it is as if Scotland didn't exist and we get comments like 'the UK doesn't understand coalitions'.  Actually it is England that doesn't understand coalitions,England which has the polarised far left/far right winner takes all politics of Corbyn and May and not coincidentally England which has the Brexit problem.

 

3
Robert Durran - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Mark Bannan:

> I thought this "new Centrist Party" was the Lib Dems under Vince Cable - definitely a more "centrist" and indeed more left-wing party than Nick Clegg's traitors.

Describing Nick Clegg's Lib Dems as traitors for going into a coalition is to completely misunderstand how coalition government works - an attitude which will condemn us to the Labour/Conservative duopoly in perpetuity with little chance of a strong centre party emerging again.

1
skog on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Genuine question: how doesn't that fit with Labour and what they'll realistically be able to achieve in power?

A different Labour party might have, more or less.

I don't trust Corbyn, and (particularly) the rest of his crew not to try to turn the UK into a far-left protectionist, isolationist authoritarian state.

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Describing Nick Clegg's Lib Dems as traitors for going into a coalition is to completely misunderstand how coalition government works - an attitude which will condemn us to the Labour/Conservative duopoly in perpetuity with little chance of a strong centre party emerging again.

Nick Clegg wasn't a traitor for going into a coalition government.  He was a traitor for making a completely specific signed promise and then immediately abandoning it. 

Clegg chose to make a promise on student loans: the whole point of a promise is that you are voluntarily limiting your future options in return for something (in this case student's votes).    Once he made that promise his position on the student loan issue in coalition negotiations was fixed.  When concessions had to be made they needed to be somewhere else.  There's plenty of things would have been more important to Cameron than student loans.  If not the Lib Dems could have negotiated with Labour.  Or Clegg could have resigned and let someone else lead the party.  What he couldn't do was simply abandon his promise as soon as it became inconvenient.

Eric9Points - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to skog:

> A different Labour party might have, more or less.

> I don't trust Corbyn, and (particularly) the rest of his crew not to try to turn the UK into a far-left protectionist, isolationist authoritarian state.


I'm honestly baffled by this. Which one of Labour's policies or last manifesto promises worried or worries you? Don't you think you've just succumbed to the propaganda?

2
jkarran - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to skog:

Outside of the EU that's a possibility though far from a probability, certainly not in one term so not without public scrutiny and ultimately consent and there's no indication they're on course for that currently. I don't buy the authoritarian bit at all. Obviously these things are relative, we all have different ideas about the amount of freedom and privacy (ours and others') we're willing to trade for security and stability but the whole Corbyn as a Stalinist trope is nonsense.

jk

Post edited at 14:54
1
Big Ger - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> It can. Unfortunately stepping for a moment back within the constraints of reality government policy apparently can't.

> jk

Why not?

skog on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Don't you think you've just succumbed to the propaganda?

I don't think so, really. He's had time to show his colours, and I don't like them at all, despite having been cautiously positive about him initially.

As I see it, Corbyn's either a buffoon or quite sinister. My money's on the former, and it isn't so much Corbyn himself I'm concerned about as those around and behind him.

I don't really have time to talk about this just now, though, sorry - and I'm saying how I feel, not trying to persuade anyone else, as I no longer have a strong preference for either Labour or the Tories being in power, they both seem very bad choices.

Only if you want to, you could instead point me at what Labour have tried to do recently that you think -does- match what I'd like and which might outweigh the negatives, and I'll read it later.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Obviously these things are relative, we all have different ideas about the amount of freedom and privacy (ours and others') we're willing to trade for security and stability but the whole Corbyn as a Stalinist trope is nonsense.

I don't think it is possible to go as far left as Corbyn wants economically without becoming authoritarian.   When you start worrying the markets, large companies and the rich those people defend themselves by moving assets abroad or hiding them.  At that point you either accept the limits on your power or you get authoritarian and start limiting people's freedom to do what they want with their money with things like exchange controls.

 

jkarran - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

Because in probability the politically deliverable versions of brexit all do more harm than good economically. We've exhaustively covered how and why.

jk

jkarran - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I don't think it is possible to go as far left as Corbyn wants economically without becoming authoritarian.   When you start worrying the markets, large companies and the rich those people defend themselves by moving assets abroad or hiding them.  At that point you either accept the limits on your power or you get authoritarian and start limiting people's freedom to do what they want with their money with things like exchange controls.

He still has to take the party with him. I see no sign of the centre leaning mass of the PLP following Corbyn or someone else down a Marxist rabbit hole. If whichever sinister force you perceive behind Corbyn wishes to seize power, deselect the moderate MP's en masse and replace them that requires public approval. Fine.

jk

1
Big Ger - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

Ah, so you weren't speculating on the possibilities of government policy, just imposing your imagined limitations, narrow viewpoint, and prejudices on them.

Post edited at 15:36
4
Bob Kemp - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> [...] the whole Corbyn as a Stalinist trope is nonsense.

> jk

Maybe not Corbyn, and it's a bit of a stretch to say they're full-blooded Stalinists, but Seamus Milne and others in his inner circle are certainly admirers of many of Stalin's supposed achievements.

Pete Pozman - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Perfect!

Big..., you don't really admire Johnson do you? It's your dry, dark sense of humour, isn't it? 

Postmanpat on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Murray_(trade_unionist)

https://www.politico.eu/article/stalinist-voice-of-labour-seumas-milne-jeremy-corbyn-putin/

 

  It's the equivalent of Theresa May drafting in David Irving and John Tyndall into her cabinet.

 

PS. Boris is horrid.

Post edited at 16:11
Pete Pozman - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Philip:

> Closest thing to that is the LD, now tainted.

How are the Tories and Labour not "tainted" given all the crimes they are both guilty of? Why is it such an irredeemable taint ? 

Is because the LibDems are expected to be perfect  

Post edited at 16:13
jkarran - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Ah, so you weren't speculating on the possibilities of government policy, just imposing your imagined limitations, narrow viewpoint, and prejudices on them.

Just applying DEXEU's own economic forecasts to the EU's steadfast and rational negotiating position. Time will tell whether we get to see which of us is right.

jk

The New NickB - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

What is failing us at the moment is FPTP, it means that politics is dominated by the two big parties* and smaller parties, be it the Lib Dems, Greens or UKIP, or new parties such as this being mooted, either don’t get the representation that reflects their support, or worse are just seen as a wasted vote.

If I was being cynical to the point of requiring a tinfoil hat, I might suggest that is new party is a plot of the Conservative Party to split the Labour Party.

*I appreciate things are a little different in Scotland, Wales and NI.

Eric9Points - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to skog:

> Only if you want to, you could instead point me at what Labour have tried to do recently that you think -does- match what I'd like and which might outweigh the negatives, and I'll read it later.

Wellll...

It's been a long day and I'm a bit knackered but I'll have a go.

First, bear in mind that Labour are not in Government, either in Westminster or Holyrood.

What really pleased me lately was that Labour were able to drum up enough support to get a vote in Parliament on the Brexit deal. I think it's very important that Parliament has the power to veto whatever the Government has negotiated. I'm not saying Labour will automatically oppose it but the deal will now be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

If Labour had been elected last year, we would have seen some increases in taxation, both personal and corporation tax in order to better fund the NHS, reduce the cost of childcare which is currently the highest just about anywhere in the world, abolish tuition fees and recruit another 10000 policemen - note that this was all fully costed unlike the tories' manifesto and you can read an analysis of it by the IFS if you're inclined.

Labour would eliminate the exploitative gig economy in which many of the poorest workers are trapped. While I think it's unlikely that zero hours contracts would be made illegal their use would be very much curtailed.

Labour promised to build 500000 new homes a year. We need to change the housing market to allow young people to get out of over priced rented accommodation and into their own homes.

 An end to the bedroom tax.

Internationally I think Labour would be much less likely to take military action unless sanctioned by the UN and a little more sceptical of calls to arms from the US. Labour has learned from its mistakes.

Thinking of Scotland you will remember that it was Kezia Dugdale that stood in the last Holyrood elections on a platform that included tax rises that would have raised £500 million a year for our public services. The SNP made a manifesto commitment not to raise taxes and have only done so now because they were unable to pass a budget without doing so. Even then they are still imposing £167 million of cuts on our local councils and those cuts come after five years of no funding increases and a freeze on council tax only lifted now but with a 3 1/2% [?] limit. Scottish local government was unique in the world as having no control of raising its own revenues. Under Labour the average tax payer would have paid IIRC between £1 and £2 a week more in income tax.  In Scotland a Labour Government would not have allowed any sub contractor to use zero hours contracts on government contracts. I know the SNP say that employment law is reserved but there are ways around that and Nicola Sturgeon knows that. You'll also remember that when labour were the majority party in Holyrood it brought in land reform, the ban on hunting with dogs, free health care for the elderly and the smoking ban. I'm struggling to think of things the SNP have done in their time in office, certainly nothing that has redistributed wealth from the rich to the poor.

I have my doubts about Jeremy as well and his press officer is a balloon but he is surrounded by responsible adults. I don't think it's a certainty that he will be leading the Labour party into the next election, he's too old, but if he does so he will have the likes of Keir Starmer and Emily Thornbury keeping him in line.

Martin Hore - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> A centre ground party which was strong on supporting  the NHS and social services, pro policing and justice, while balancing that with individual personal responsibility, and national financial prudence, (pro-Brexit of course,) would be an enviable, but possibly impossible party.


I'm late to this, but what makes you think that a centre-ground party would be pro-Brexit? Brexit has very little appeal to those in the centre ground. The majority of those on the moderate wings of both main parties are pro-Remain, as are almost all those in the centre-ground party we already have.

Martin

 

skog on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

Thanks Eric.

There's some good stuff in there, to be fair.

I don't trust Labour any more, so doubt whether all of those things would have happened with them in power; I imagine some of it would, though.

> Internationally I think Labour would be much less likely to take military action unless sanctioned by the UN and a little more sceptical of calls to arms from the US. Labour has learned from its mistakes.

I think it's more than a little bit cheeky to claim this bit - Labour have been more warmongering than the Tories in recent(ish) times, if anything; the second Iraq war and the lies around it were the main thing which turned me away from voting Labour, in fact. Perhaps they have learned, perhaps they haven't; I think it's probably just that the current leadership is less that way inclined (to be fair to Corbyn).

> I'm struggling to think of things the SNP have done in their time in office, certainly nothing that has redistributed wealth from the rich to the poor.

Free university education (Labour introduced fees in the UK in the first place, and then replaced up-front fees with a pay-later model in Scotland), free prescriptions (I don't actually like this one!), banning smoking in public places, reduced drink-driving limits, allowing votes for 16-17 year olds, abolishing the "bedroom tax" in Scotland (I actually think the spare room supplement, or whatever it was called, was a good idea implemented very badly, but hey-ho), same sex marriage, a genuine push for greater gender equality, keeping pressure on the UK government to keep Scotland relevant and stop it having its share of revenues slashed, standing up for the rights of non-British EU citizens while the Tories and Labour waffle but do nothing to help.

And like it or not, they just amended income tax to leave those on lower incomes with a little more money, and tax those on higher incomes more. As Labour are complaining it's too little, and won't allow proper funding of public services, while the Tories are complaining it's an unforgivable tax hike which will cripple the Scottish economy, I think they probably got it about right.

You kind of acknowledged above that the SNPs current stance and policies were reasonable (certainly, I mostly like them), but that you feel they only care about one thing and will just shift as suits them later. While I don't think this is entirely fair - they've had to mature as a party, and many care about quite a lot more than independence - it isn't entirely incorrect, either.

I have similar concerns about Labour, particularly just now. I think they'll say whatever they feel gives them the best chance of getting into power and putting Momentum's ideas into practise, and that there's little actual principle in play. Similarly, while I don't trust the party at all, there are clearly many decent individuals involved who do care and do have principles - but I don't see much evidence of them being in control.

 
tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I'm struggling to think of things the SNP have done in their time in office, certainly nothing that has redistributed wealth from the rich to the poor.

The fact is that England is 10x the size of Scotland in terms of population and people and businesses are free to move between them.   Scotland is already disadvantaged economically by its distance from the concentration of wealth and power in SE England.  With a Tory government in Westminster any government in Scotland has little scope to be radically further to the left on taxation. 

If the Scottish Government put up taxes too much more businesses would put their headquarters in London and the very rich would call a house in England their main address.   The SNP have got the right idea with putting the focus on economic growth rather than redistribution.

 

 

Post edited at 01:31
Big Ger - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> Big..., you don't really admire Johnson do you? It's your dry, dark sense of humour, isn't it? 

Now that would be telling.

Big Ger - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

> I'm late to this, but what makes you think that a centre-ground party would be pro-Brexit? Brexit has very little appeal to those in the centre ground. The majority of those on the moderate wings of both main parties are pro-Remain, as are almost all those in the centre-ground party we already have.

That is your perception of things. I believe there is far more, and growing, support for Brexit in the middle ground, especially after the way the EU has behaved, (throwing toys out of the pram,) since the referendum.

 

But just to clarify, I was giving an example of a centre ground party that I would fine appealing.

 

Post edited at 07:22
5
jkarran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> That is your perception of things. I believe there is far more, and growing, support for Brexit in the middle ground, especially after the way the EU has behaved, (throwing toys out of the pram,) since the referendum.

They've done exactly what they said they'd do pre-referendum, if that's come as a surprise to anyone perhaps the blame lies with the Leave campaigns rubbishing and belittling their warnings.

jk

Big Ger - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> They've done exactly what they said they'd do pre-referendum, if that's come as a surprise to anyone perhaps the blame lies with the Leave campaigns rubbishing and belittling their warnings.

Now where did anyone claim it was a surprise? That damn invisible writing, we're lucky we have you here to reveal it for us!

For most of us, it was far from a surprise, the EU dictatorial leadership acting true to form and confirming what we already suspected.

7
doz generale - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> That is your perception of things. I believe there is far more, and growing, support for Brexit in the middle ground, especially after the way the EU has behaved, (throwing toys out of the pram,) since the referendum.

The middle ground are at best towing  party lines but I very much doubt that anyone has fundamentally changed their mind over brexit. The chances of any new center ground political movement being pro brexit is slim I understand that as an aspiration that's what you would like but it's unlikely. The EU are sticking to their own rules about membership and dealing with non member states this was always going to be the case, hardly throwing toys out of their pram! 

> But just to clarify, I was giving an example of a center ground party that I would fine appealing.  

 

Perhaps their logo could be a golden unicorn with perfectly round bananas stacked on it's horn? 

 

 

Neil Williams - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to doz generale:

Slightly OT for the thread, but I think the EU has behaved perfectly reasonably since the referendum.  They *could* just say right, get lost, we refuse to trade with you, all borders closed.  And they'd be just fine if they did; they really don't need us one little bit.

Post edited at 09:58
Martin Hore - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> the EU dictatorial leadership acting true to form and confirming what we already suspected.

The EU leadership is either elected by us or appointed (and if necessary dismissed) by people elected by us. Not sure how you can call this dictatorial. The "us" of course is all the people of Europe. Perhaps that's your difficulty. 

By the way, I just looked at your profile - no climbing/mountaineering history and no posts in your "recent posts" list on anything relating to climbing/mountaineering. Are you a climber? Nothing to stop you posting on here if you're not, of course, but it would be good to know. I generally come on here to see what fellow climbers are thinking - it's often very interesting.

Martin

MonkeyPuzzle - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Screw the centre ground, if any major party started making a point of rising above the current disinengenuity endemic in British politics (Rudd on police numbers, Gardiner/Corbyn on Brexit, Johnson on absolutely everything), I’d be hard pushed not to vote for them, short of them selling off the poor for meat.

Yanis Nayu - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

Exactly. It was completely obvious to anyone not blinded by petty nationalism and xenophobia that we needed the EU more than they needed us. They’ve been remarkably conciliatory given the circumstances. 

2
Big Ger - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to doz generale:

> The middle ground are at best towing  party lines but I very much doubt that anyone has fundamentally changed their mind over brexit.

Well, I'd like to see the population sample you derived that understanding from.

> The chances of any new center ground political movement being pro brexit is slim I understand that as an aspiration that's what you would like but it's unlikely.

Again, I'd like to see where you get your understandings from

> The EU are sticking to their own rules about membership and dealing with non member states this was always going to be the case, hardly throwing toys out of their pram! 

The demands for money, the threats to make the UK suffer, the general anti-Brexit rhetoric has been shocking.

> Perhaps their logo could be a golden unicorn with perfectly round bananas stacked on it's horn? 

Or a nurse Bulldog with a police swan

 

1
Big Ger - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

> The EU leadership is either elected by us or appointed (and if necessary dismissed) by people elected by us. Not sure how you can call this dictatorial. The "us" of course is all the people of Europe. Perhaps that's your difficulty. 

That is the difficulty, we have 72 out of 750 MEPs to maintain British interests. Not even 105, however we are one of the minority of countries who pay in rather than take out of the EU coffers.

> By the way, I just looked at your profile - no climbing/mountaineering history and no posts in your "recent posts" list on anything relating to climbing/mountaineering. Are you a climber? Nothing to stop you posting on here if you're not, of course, but it would be good to know. I generally come on here to see what fellow climbers are thinking - it's often very interesting.

I'm an ex climber, one who will be buying a pair of rock boots in the coming weeks. Unfortunately due to circumstance I'll be reduced to bouldering.

 

1
jkarran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> The demands for money, the threats to make the UK suffer, the general anti-Brexit rhetoric has been shocking.

Is shocking different to surprising in this context? I'm surprised you've been shocked yet you assure me you weren't surprised. Or should I be shocked you're shocked but not surprised you weren't surprised...

All that stuff you were told would happen eh, shocking when it happens but no surprise.

jk

Big Ger - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

Shocking in this context refers to the degree and scale of their actions, not the effect on the individual.

1
Ex Poster 666 on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Neil Williams:

> They *could* just say right, get lost, we refuse to trade with you, all borders closed.  And they'd be just fine if they did; they really don't need us one little bit.

Come on now, behave yourself.  You know that's not true, take cars for example (I know, I know! )

https://fullfact.org/europe/german-cars-uk/

jkarran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> That is the difficulty, we have 72 out of 750 MEPs to maintain British interests. Not even 105, however we are one of the minority of countries who pay in rather than take out of the EU coffers.

13% of the EU population has 10% of the EU's MEPs. Disgraceful! Bear in mind some of the other EU nations are so small they'd have no representation or be grossly underrepresented if MEPs were allocated strictly on a per capita basis at an average 677,000 citizens/MEP. I'm not sure what your problem is with this figure, nor how you believe it justifies your spurious claim the EU is a dictatorship.

Being a nett budget contributor does not mean we don't significantly benefit indirectly in a number of ways we've discussed ad nauseam.

jk

Post edited at 12:10
jkarran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Shocking in this context refers to the degree and scale of their actions, not the effect on the individual.

Actions you were fully forewarned of by your own admission since they apparently didn't surprise you? Yet you're arguing those 'shocking' actions we were expecting will have swayed remain voters against the EU. It's a curious line of argument.

jk

Post edited at 12:17
john arran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

His point seems to have been that paying more money into the EU should entitle us to more political influence.

 

stevieb - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> A centre ground party which was strong on supporting  the NHS and social services, pro policing and justice, while balancing that with individual personal responsibility, and national financial prudence, (pro-Brexit of course,) would be an enviable, but possibly impossible party.


Come on, you've got the two biggest parties in the country and the biggest party in Northern Ireland, at least let us remainers have the new party.

The political horizon is currently two parties dominated by two brexit-supporting ideological fantasists. I wouldn't mind if the new party was led by Gordon Brown and Philip Hammond's least charismatic love child as long as they aimed for good governance and economic competence ahead of rabble-rousing slogans and impossible dreams.

Eric9Points - on 11 Apr 2018

In reply to

 

> The SNP have got the right idea with putting the focus on economic growth rather than redistribution.

I'm sorry but you've got be joking, surely? Growth in Scotland is currently half what it is in the rest of the UK. Also, redistribution of wealth does not have to damage economic growth.

1
thomasadixon - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Well, I'd like to see the population sample you derived that understanding from.

The question here is what does "centre ground" mean.  I don't think it has much to do with what people want, it seems more akin to the political consensus that had us pushing EU expansion and so on.

Given the last few years I don't see why people think that they'd get anywhere near enough votes to win anything.

jkarran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Given the last few years I don't see why people think that they'd get anywhere near enough votes to win anything.

16M odd 'Remain' votes would provide a crushing victory in a general election if someone could harness them. Simplistic for sure but the point is there's a *huge* and disenfranchised feeling constituency in Britain today, that could easily prove disruptive and not necessarily for the better.

jk

thomasadixon - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

That's a vote on a single issue based on various reasons, and won't translate into a vote for a party any more than the 17M odd leave voters would all vote for a particular party.  As we saw at the last election.

Is that what "centre ground" means?  Remainer?

jkarran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

My statement was in response to yours:

> I don't think it has much to do with what people want, it seems more akin to the political consensus that had us pushing EU expansion and so on.

You won't find many pro-EU voters at the outer fringes of either main party's ideology, they tend to the middle ground and there is currently an issue about which a large body of center-left and center-right voters can coalesce while putting their relatively small differences aside thus making the formation of a pro-EU centrist party potentially viable at the moment when in other times tribal loyalty and FPTP induced apathy and tactical voting tends to prevent it. Not saying that's a good or a bad thing it's just where we are, the EU is the uniting issue as it is for brexiteers of all persuasions. Problem is for brexiteers of the left, right they're so far apart otherwise that the coalition of voters can't hang together around the necessary other policies of a single party.British politics may for now have swung some way off its left-right axis onto more of a nationalist-internationalist one but the nationalist electorate be more fragmented when it comes to social and economic policy. Or maybe normal service will resume at the next election, who knows.

jk

Post edited at 14:30
tom_in_edinburgh - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> In reply to

> I'm sorry but you've got be joking, surely? Growth in Scotland is currently half what it is in the rest of the UK. Also, redistribution of wealth does not have to damage economic growth.

Oil and financial services are cyclical industries and if you look at the growth numbers for Scotland vs UK over time you see big dips in UK GDP vs Scottish GDP during the financial crisis and dips of Scottish GDP vs UK GDP when the oil industry is struggling.   

The other factor is that government from Westminster is resulting in the value and talent in the UK economy draining towards SE England.  That's the primary problem Scotland has and the biggest reason for Independence.  

Redistribution of wealth may not 'have' to damage economic growth, but it probably will.   Scotland can't 'redistribute' wealth to any significant extent because the people with the wealth can easily stop their wealth being redistributed by keeping it in England.

thomasadixon - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

Saying centre ground is the same as middle ground is the same as centrist doesn't mean anything at all.  Still no wiser as to what centre ground means, except that you think it's pro EU.

The EU is central to neither party's main ideology, and while I'm unsure whether left and right are terms that have much meaning at all it doesn't seem to be central to left or right either. 

Martin Hore - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Is that what "centre ground" means?  Remainer?

Well it would be interesting to see some research. We've already been directed to research from these forums that shows pretty conclusively the positive correlation between Remain voting and youth, and Remain voting and higher levels of education. My guess would be that if the research were done it would show a positive correlation between Remain voting and "centre ground" views on a variety of issues. Only a guess of course.

Brexit is I suggest the biggest dividing issue in the country at this time and on this issue we are not being well served by our current two largest political parties.  There is almost certainly a majority for Remain in the current Commons, particularly if you include those MP's who believed in the Remain case but now say they must follow the "will of the people". We need these MP's to show leadership, and less subservience to party dictat. It's the more extreme wings of both parties that current seem to be wagging the dog and this is not healthy.

Martin

Pete Pozman - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Saying centre ground is the same as middle ground is the same as centrist doesn't mean anything at all.  Still no wiser as to what centre ground means, except that you think it's pro EU.

> The EU is central to neither party's main ideology, and while I'm unsure whether left and right are terms that have much meaning at all it doesn't seem to be central to left or right either. 

Maybe not Centrground but Sensible ground. We need a party that believes in th best outcomes for the most people achieved through pragmatic policies and reactions. Oh! And there should be no loonies in it. So Ayn Rand enthusiasts, if you're wondering, that means you. And Empire Loyalists; go back to dressing up and taking part in 1940's re-enactment festivals. Socialist Workers; are you still here?

Post edited at 14:52
jkarran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Saying centre ground is the same as middle ground is the same as centrist doesn't mean anything at all.  Still no wiser as to what centre ground means, except that you think it's pro EU.

It's the ground covered by policies on which the major political parties and their supporters in a given nation at a given time may be able to compromise, negotiate an agreement and work together to achieve something. It's the ideas about which grand coalitions can be built, ideas like adequately funding a health and social security system through reasonable progressive taxation of work and wealth.

I could be wrong that the support for the EU has tended to come largely from political moderates* and for a number of reasons I don't actually believe anyone will be successfully launching a new political party into the gap left by the LibDems but if they do it's not going to be anti-EU.

*seems likely skewed somewhat to young, left liberal but still I doubt there's much support to be found for the EU at the more radical fringes of Labour or Conservative thinking.

jk

Post edited at 15:09
thomasadixon - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

Remainer certainly seemed to correlate with huge support for JC amongst my (relatively young) friends, so that's pro nationalisation for example.  Is that centre ground?  How do we determine what counts as centre ground?

> We need these MP's to show leadership, and less subservience to party dictat.

We need these MPs to go against what they specifically promised at the last election?  I'd say promises should be kept, personally.  If they didn't want to keep those promises they shouldn't have made them, and it's those promises that bind them not party dictat.  If they want to not keep them they should stand down and seek re-election on their new policies, given that they're opposite to what they said they would do.

jkarran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Remainer certainly seemed to correlate with huge support for JC amongst my (relatively young) friends, so that's pro nationalisation for example.  Is that centre ground?  How do we determine what counts as centre ground?

I think you might find you're confusing the correlation between: young-Remain, young-Labour and the distorting effect of a two party system where one party is hell bent on policy half the electorate abhors. The other party, Labour is potentially still biddable on some issues, the EU included.

Re-nationalisation of assets like power and rail operations by non-renewal of expired leases is hardly radical, it's not exactly asset seizure by state force. Our rail network infrastructure is already essentially publicly run already under a fairly rightward-leaning Conservative government.

> We need these MPs to go against what they specifically promised at the last election?  I'd say promises should be kept, personally.  If they didn't want to keep those promises they shouldn't have made them, and it's those promises that bind them not party dictat.  If they want to not keep them they should stand down and seek re-election on their new policies, given that they're opposite to what they said they would do.

MP's have more than one master. They're responsible to not just their voters but their wider electorate, their party and 'the national interest'. In a representative democracy we expect them to make informed choices on our behalf, those may not be choices we always agree with. They work for us, that doesn't mean they should just parrot the ideas of the loudest among us.

jk

Post edited at 15:25
thomasadixon - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> I think you might find you're confusing the correlation between: young-Remain, young-Labour and the distorting effect of a two party system where one party is hell bent on policy half the electorate abhors. The other party, Labour is potentially still biddable on some issues, the EU included.

I've no idea what you mean by this.  Martin Hore said that "centre ground" views on one subject would correlate with "centre ground" views on another.  I'm trying to figure out what centre ground means.

> Re-nationalisation of assets like power and rail operations by non-renewal of expired leases is hardly radical, it's not exactly asset seizure by state force. Our rail network infrastructure is already essentially publicly run already under a fairly rightward-leaning Conservative government.

So, to you, centre ground includes renationalisation of the railways and other essential services?  Perhaps a better question would be what isn't included in the centre ground?  Other than leaving the EU and not being in favour of mass immigration.

> MP's have more than one master...

MPs are their own masters.  You really think they should just promise whatever they need to in order to get elected, even if it is the opposite of what they intend to actually do?  You don't think that might just cause people to lose all faith in the democratic system?

Big Ger - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> 13% of the EU population has 10% of the EU's MEPs. Disgraceful! Bear in mind some of the other EU nations are so small they'd have no representation or be grossly underrepresented if MEPs were allocated strictly on a per capita basis at an average 677,000 citizens/MEP. I'm not sure what your problem is with this figure, nor how you believe it justifies your spurious claim the EU is a dictatorship.

 

The EU is a dictatorship as it over rides and over rules UK law.

> Being a nett budget contributor does not mean we don't significantly benefit indirectly in a number of ways we've discussed ad nauseam.

The indirect benefits are just remainer piffle.

 

11
Big Ger - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to john arran:

 

> His point seems to have been that paying more money into the EU should entitle us to more political influence.

Of course it should, "he who pays the piper calls the tune," except in bonkers EU land

5
Big Ger - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> The question here is what does "centre ground" mean.  I don't think it has much to do with what people want, it seems more akin to the political consensus that had us pushing EU expansion and so on.

You should ask P-B -A B (the OP,) what he saw it as.,...

> Given the last few years I don't see why people think that they'd get anywhere near enough votes to win anything.

I have to agree.

 

mutt - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

"So would you vote for a new party"

perhaps its more of a 'would they'. The current sitting Labour MP's hate Corbyn and his left wing policies and are facing deselection. Add to that pretty much all of those MP's are anti brexit. If a Progressive Centre Left anti-brexit party is formed before brexit 'would they' jump ship to their old captain. Thereby depriving Corbyn of the official opposition status, the right to question Prime Minister May at the dispatch box won Wednesdays, and would gain the right to put forward amendments to the brexit bill. I wouldn't be at all surprised if that is Blairs plan as Corbyn has no inclination to stand up against Brexit. 

I suspect though that jumping ship, and opposing the 'will of the (52%) of the people' is too much for the Labour MPs but, then again, as they have no future in the  Labour parlimentary party after the next election (having been deselected by Momentum) then perhaps they have nothing to loose.

I hope they do.

 

 

The New NickB - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Of course it should, "he who pays the piper calls the tune," except in bonkers EU land

You want to hand more power to Germany! I must say, you surprise my.

Ramblin dave - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> Of course it should, "he who pays the piper calls the tune," except in bonkers EU land

And when a bunch of pensioners vote for Brexit.

RomTheBear on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Big Ger:

> The EU is a dictatorship as it over rides and over rules UK law.

It is sad that you don’t even have the most basic understanding of the UK constitution.

The EU does not override and does not overrule laws made in any of the UK's legal systems.

EU directives (which we contribute to make) have effect in the UK's legal systems only because EU law has been actively transposed via acts of parliaments into them.

Incidentally, laws made in the U.K. Parliament can override and overrule laws made in the Scottish or Welsh Parliament, I guess that makes the U.K, according to your own reasoning, a dictatorship. 

Even not considering this really obvious constitutional argument, a dictatorship occurs when a country or a group of countries is ruled by a single party or individual.

That is clearly not the case of the EU, nobody even "rules" the EU. It is just, at heart, a platform to allow a bunch of countries to do things together on a voluntary basis.

Post edited at 16:47
jkarran - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I've no idea what you mean by this.  Martin Hore said that "centre ground" views on one subject would correlate with "centre ground" views on another.  I'm trying to figure out what centre ground means.

Oh dear, keep at it. Perhaps someone else can have a go where I've failed.

> So, to you, centre ground includes renationalisation of the railways and other essential services?  Perhaps a better question would be what isn't included in the centre ground?  Other than leaving the EU and not being in favour of mass immigration.

I don't think Labour's gradual piecemeal rail nationalisation plan is especially radical in the grand scheme of things but nor do I think it would realistically make the cut when it comes to picking a set of core policy ideas which overlap sufficiently across the major parties well enough for a party or government to form around. That said, it actually finds significant voter support across the political spectrum when it's not presented as a 'Labour' idea so who knows. I don't think it's a very important policy either way to be honest.

> MPs are their own masters.  You really think they should just promise whatever they need to in order to get elected, even if it is the opposite of what they intend to actually do? 

They are directly answerable to their electorate and their grass-roots supporters at election time and and their party at all times. I think they should stand for a party who's ideals they broadly support while being honest about their differences where they exist, they should act in the interest of their electorate, party and in the national interest (not necessarily always in that order) doing the best to resolve the conflicts between those that may occasionally occur as they see fit. We can ultimately hold them to account for their choices. You're assuming MP's are elected to merely toe the party line and as a proxy votor for the mob but they aren't. I know mine has rebelled several times and has vowed to do so again when she see's necessary, it's the main reason she won my vote, she acts to the best of her ability in the interest her electorate even when it is not popular and to her career's detriment, I trust and expect her to do so while accepting I may not always agree with her. She secured a huge increase in public support at the last election having established that track record. No, I don't think MP's in a representative democracy doing their job diligently in the public interest even when it is unpopular or against the short term party interest destroys faith in the political process, quite the opposite.

jk

 

 

thomasadixon - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> Oh dear, keep at it. Perhaps someone else can have a go where I've failed.

I'm going to take that as meaning you don't have an answer.  I don't really think centre-ground has much meaning at all, personally.  It seems to be one of those phrases that is essentially tribal.  I'm in the centre, I'm normal, I'm not one of the crazies like you guys.  The detail doesn't matter, it's the label that matters.

> I don't think Labour's gradual...

That's definitely a non answer.

> I know mine has rebelled several times and has vowed to do so again when she see's necessary, it's the main reason she won my vote, she acts to the best of her ability in the interest her electorate even when it is not popular and to her career's detriment

She does what she does and that's caused her to increase her vote share, which sounds like what she does has been both popular and not to her detriment, it's secured her position.  You're not being specific enough to say whether she's actually gone against what she promised she would do, so I've no idea if your example is relevant.  I'm not at all saying that MPs are elected as proxy voters for the mob, I'm saying that they should stick to specific promises made, but then you know that.

> No, I don't think MP's in a representative democracy doing their job diligently in the public interest even when it is unpopular or against the short term party interest destroys faith in the political process, quite the opposite.

Are you a politician yourself?  Cause that's a politician's answer, full of vague phrases and entirely devoid of meaning.  As I said, should politicians lie and say that they will do one thing at election time in order to get elected and then do the exact opposite once they're in power?  Do their promises have any bearing on what they should do at all?

4
jkarran - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I'm going to take that as meaning you don't have an answer.  I don't really think centre-ground has much meaning at all, personally.  It seems to be one of those phrases that is essentially tribal.  I'm in the centre, I'm normal, I'm not one of the crazies like you guys.  The detail doesn't matter, it's the label that matters.

I've answered the question to the best of my ability. Politics does tend to be tribal, there are sets of ideas people gravitate toward that have little overlap, that's not to say the 'others' are crazy, they just have different needs and priorities. If I'm saying there is a center ground where conflicting ideologies do overlap and I am then I'm doing so from the long grass at the edges with the other 'crazies', wondering if I could be lured back. My guess is I'm running into so much resistance getting through to you because you consider yourself a moderate and feel challenged by my idea that a moderate center ground party at the moment could coalesce around opposing brexit, something you support IIRC. You consider that idea me branding you an extremist but that would be an ecological fallacy.

> That's definitely a non answer.

No, not when you snip the answer part of the answer off it isn't.

> She does what she does and that's caused her to increase her vote share, which sounds like what she does has been both popular and not to her detriment, it's secured her position.  You're not being specific enough to say whether she's actually gone against what she promised she would do, so I've no idea if your example is relevant.  I'm not at all saying that MPs are elected as proxy voters for the mob, I'm saying that they should stick to specific promises made, but then you know that.

At times she has voted against her party and arguably against 'the will of the people' as you might see it. I don't think politicians should lie to get elected but a lot changes in five years and I value pragmatism and flexibility over dogma.

> Are you a politician yourself?  Cause that's a politician's answer, full of vague phrases and entirely devoid of meaning.  As I said, should politicians lie and say that they will do one thing at election time in order to get elected and then do the exact opposite once they're in power?  Do their promises have any bearing on what they should do at all?

Covered above, the world isn't simple, realities change. Politicians shouldn't lie to their electorate but some pledges become undeliverable as realities change, some pledges made by party are beyond what individual MPs can support. I'm ok with messy, it's how life is. If you want simplistic certainty talk to someone else.

I'm not smart enough for politics and my people skills are as you might expect from our conversation.

jk

Post edited at 09:24
MG - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

>I don't really think centre-ground has much meaning at all, personally.  

That's because you are at an extreme and see the world in ridiculously simplistic black and white terms. 

In reality things are complicated, messy and there isn't one right answer to any political or social question.  The centre ground accepts and understand this situation.  People at the centre are pragmatic, take ideas  from various sources,recognise political solutions will be imperfect and that the best option will change over time.  By contrast those at extremes believe they have *the* solution, that the ends justify the means, and aren't open to pragmatism or compromise.

Post edited at 09:53
gravy - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

"New centre-ground party. Would you...?" vote for Bliar? Nope.

thomasadixon - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> My guess is I'm running into so much resistance getting through to you because you consider yourself a moderate

That's partly true, but the reason you're not getting through is that you've not explained how this centre ground thing works.

> No, not when you snip the answer part of the answer off it isn't.

I snipped it because otherwise I'm just quoting a block of text.  You weren't answering the question, which was a general one, you were saying that nationalisation is now part of the "centre ground", I think anyway.  That doesn't match at all with the belief above that Tony Blair, the Lib Dems and Cameron represent the centre ground.  If you can redefine centre ground to mean whatever you think is reasonable then it has no meaning at all.

> At times she has voted against her party and arguably against 'the will of the people' as you might see it. I don't think politicians should lie to get elected but a lot changes in five years and I value pragmatism and flexibility over dogma.

The 'will of the people' is irrelevant, what's relevant is whether she has specifically promised something and then directly gone against it.  Or, closer to what you guys think MPs should do, promised something while intending/planning to do something else.

> Covered above, the world isn't simple, realities change. Politicians shouldn't lie to their electorate but some pledges become undeliverable as realities change, some pledges made by party are beyond what individual MPs can support. I'm ok with messy, it's how life is. If you want simplistic certainty talk to someone else.

I'm not asking for certainty, I'm asking for some sort of idea as to how this thing works.  As far as I can see (still) centre ground is whatever the speaker decides it is, and can include whatever the speaker thinks is reasonable.  Of course things change, and of course you have to change what you do to match the new reality, but that doesn't answer the question.

2
In reply to skog:

> I think so, but as we have a system essentially rigged to be two-party just now, and it is not in the interests of either of those parties to change that, I can't really see how we could get PR in the UK.

> For some time I've been unable to see how the UK situation can be fixed, short of hoping for the total collapse of the Tories or Labour. And I think that even if that happens, pretty much the same party will just reform around part of the remains, perhaps with a smaller one spinning off for a while, but being unable to get past the FPTP problem.

> The new party idea is interesting, but I suspect it'll mostly just split the Labour vote and keep the Tories in for longer. And I don't really care about that - I can't support either the Tories or Labour, they're two sides of the same coin and as bad as each other, albeit in different ways.


We do have PR in the UK - except in England, which is in dire need of it. PR has worked in the rest of the UK for nearly 20 years. PR leads to compromises and people who disagree having to work with each other - just like in real life!!

thomasadixon - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

So it just means reasonable then.  Does this centre ground party support free tuition, or paid fees, or a graduate tax, or the mixed current system?  All are reasonable depending on your priorities.  NHS free at point of use, or partially paid up front, part insurance system?  Etc.

2
MG - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> So it just means reasonable then.  Does this centre ground party support free tuition, or paid fees, or a graduate tax, or the mixed current system? NHS free at point of use, or partially paid up front, part insurance system?  Etc.

That would depend on the situation.  It wouldn't be dogmatic about any of those possibilities being absolutely right or wrong.  Centre ground doesn't refer to specific policies but to a approach to politics and running a country, as I explained.

jkarran - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> That's partly true, but the reason you're not getting through is that you've not explained how this centre ground thing works.

I think I clearly have but I'll have another go. Take taxation and public spending: broad brush approach here but it'll do. Typically the 'left' version is high progressive taxes, high public spending', the 'right' version is 'low flat rate taxes, low spending'. The middle ground between those is clear: 'adequate public spending to cover essentials give or take a little more funded through adequate reasonably progressive taxation'. It's not complicated, it's where British politics hovers much of the time anyway, we only tend to get small excursions away from there at extremes of the economic cycle which coincide with dominant majority governments.

> I snipped it because otherwise I'm just quoting a block of text.  You weren't answering the question, which was a general one, you were saying that nationalisation is now part of the "centre ground", I think anyway.  That doesn't match at all with the belief above that Tony Blair, the Lib Dems and Cameron represent the centre ground.  If you can redefine centre ground to mean whatever you think is reasonable then it has no meaning at all.

You totally miss the point I and others have been making, the center ground shifts over time and from place to place. Blair, Cameron and Clegg were all relatively moderate, if they didn't have to bring the wings of their parties with them they could easily have formulated a set of policies on which they agreed that was broad enough to build a functioning centrist (in its time and place) government around. I really don't understand the difficulty you're having with a relatively simple concept.

> The 'will of the people' is irrelevant, what's relevant is whether she has specifically promised something and then directly gone against it.  Or, closer to what you guys think MPs should do, promised something while intending/planning to do something else.

I've been clear about this, twice.

> I'm not asking for certainty, I'm asking for some sort of idea as to how this thing works.  As far as I can see (still) centre ground is whatever the speaker decides it is, and can include whatever the speaker thinks is reasonable. 

Let's try a simple example because I really don't get which bit you're struggling with

If you have a group of people facing a problem they'll have a range of views on how to solve the problem. Say there's 10 people locked in a room with a box and a loose snake, they need to agree on how to solve the problem: 2 of them want to hit the snake with the box to kill it, 2 more think that sounds like a good idea but they don't really like the idea of killing the snake. At the other end of the spectrum 2 think the snake should just be left alone, it has every right to be there. 2 more sort of agree but they don't much fancy getting bitten. That leaves two people open to persuasion who've heard the arguments but aren't really swayed by either of them so instead seek out the compromise, trap the snake in the box so it can't bite anyone but doesn't have to die either. They'll never get the 2 'snake hitters' on board or the two 'snakes have rights' proponents but they can persuade the 4 who liked the more extreme ideas but with reservations to form a middle ground coalition of 6; people with disparate inclinations who can agree on a compromise solution that adequately solves their problem.

In a different parallel room the opinions might be significantly skewed maybe it's 3 want to kill the snake, 1 wants to ignore it and the compromise policy required to build that majority is to rough it up a bit on the way into the box. A shift in the middle ground but it's still the middle ground between the extremes of opinion available in that time and place.

jk

Post edited at 11:42
thomasadixon - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> I've been clear about this, twice.

I don't think you have, I think you've avoided the straight question but never mind.

> Let's try a simple example because I really don't get which bit you're struggling with

Okay, now we're getting somewhere.  So let's try a real world example.  Polls over decades show that the UK public want immigration reduced.  This is even before the massive increase in numbers under labour.  Your "centre ground" party, the lib dems, want more immigration.  That's not, following your definition, the centre ground view, it's an extreme.

So the lib dems are extreme?  Or do the extremes depend on what politicians think rather than the public?  If it's politicians then nationalisation is extreme and Clegg, Cameron and Blair are moderates, if it depends on what the public think then it's centre ground (from polls I've seen that is).

thomasadixon - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

> That would depend on the situation.  It wouldn't be dogmatic about any of those possibilities being absolutely right or wrong.  Centre ground doesn't refer to specific policies but to a approach to politics and running a country, as I explained.

Okay, totally different to what jkarran's said.  The situation is right now, the UK.  It's not a hypothetical.  Is the OP expecting us to vote for a party whose policy on the NHS is that they'll do whatever they see fit to do?  If so I can't see it getting many votes.  The "centre ground" following jkarran's definition is free at the point of use, not potentially charging people or making us pay for insurance, and that's where the votes lie.

MG - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Okay, totally different to what jkarran's said. 

On the contrary, pretty much identical.  He had "t's the ground covered by policies on which the major political parties and their supporters in a given nation at a given time may be able to compromise, negotiate an agreement and work together to achieve something.", which my outline above matches closely.

 

 

MG - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

>  Polls over decades show that the UK public want immigration reduced....the lib dems, want more immigration. 

This is exactly why you don't understand the idea of centre ground politics.  You take two absolute statements without any context, nuance or consideration of real world complexity and try and use them to assert a lib dems are extreme.

In reality the public both want and don't want immigration, depending on the context .  The situation is further complicated by other desires, such as an effective economy and healthcare staffed with sufficient qualified people,.  The Lib Dem policy is certainly not "more immigration" it is again nuanced and talks about fairness and satisfy demand and benefiting the economy.  That you miss all this and see the world as binary black and white with a single, simple answer to questions is why you don't understand the answers you are getting.

thomasadixon - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

Jkarran is referring to specific policies, you've said "Centre ground doesn't refer to specific policies but to a approach to politics and running a country".  Which certainly seems to indicate that no specific policies are centre ground.  Or do you just mean that the policies that are in the centre vary over time?

1
thomasadixon - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

If you're just going to start with the insults I'll leave it there.

2
MG - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> If you're just going to start with the insults I'll leave it there.

Eh?

 

thomasadixon - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

black and white, binary, blah blah blah.  Your standard stuff any time anything you hold dear is questioned.

2
MG - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> black and white, binary, blah blah blah.  Your standard stuff any time anything you hold dear is questioned.

Well, if you don't want to engage and find being challenged an "insult", fine.  But you've had your answer.

Post edited at 14:15
thomasadixon - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

Being challenged would be you asking a question I find difficult to answer, or answering a question in a way that makes me think.  You've done neither of those things, you've just told me that I'm wrong because you've decided that I think in a way that I don't actually think.  It's just boring.

1
jkarran - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I don't think you have, I think you've avoided the straight question but never mind.

> Okay, now we're getting somewhere.  So let's try a real world example.  Polls over decades show that the UK public want immigration reduced.  This is even before the massive increase in numbers under labour.  Your "centre ground" party, the lib dems, want more immigration.  That's not, following your definition, the centre ground view, it's an extreme.

Link to LibDem policy document for 'more immigration' please.

Pick any single issue, immigration in this case then there are extremes: Open borders, closed borders, perhaps with deportations and something in between, controls that loosen as the economic differences between the source and destination decline for example. Obviously if you want to shift that mid ground a little you can tighten or loosen the restrictions or change the economic development metric or redesign the poilcy to achieve similar results via a different means like a points based system but they're all mid-ground between the dysfunctional extremes.

Now immigration is but one issue, there are many others and not everyone who's centrist on one issue is on all, indeed very very few will be but what people who are center ground on many issues are is, in general, willing to compromise. People with relatively extreme policy views in a few areas find few who fit with them and cannot cooperate with those that aren't a perfect or very close fit, extreme positions preclude compromise.

Like voters with mostly centrist views but a few outliers, parties can have too, we can have a relatively centrist party like the SNP with outlying/polarising approaches to one or more issues, independence in their case. Minimising the voter loss caused by a seriously polarising policy position they can't give up is a problem. So are they truly centrist? Clearly debatable but IMO it's a loose fitting tag that could reasonably be applied. A pro-remain centrist party would face similar issues, it would clearly alienate most centrist brexit voters but I'm not sure it matters, what matters (assuming I'm right which I may not be) is that remain voters are broadly moderate/centrist voters. It seems to me valuing a cooperative approach is key to belonging to both groups hence a centrist party could be potentially be pulled together around a unifying anti-brexit message thereby drawing from a vast pool of disenchanted voters willing to get along to achieve their goals. Still, I doubt it will happen, our voting system tends to select for stability, change where possible has been glacial, even disruptive forces like UKIP and the SNP are decades old movements.

> So the lib dems are extreme?  Or do the extremes depend on what politicians think rather than the public?  If it's politicians then nationalisation is extreme and Clegg, Cameron and Blair are moderates, if it depends on what the public think then it's centre ground (from polls I've seen that is).

While occasionally politicians lead public opinion, death penalty abolition for example mostly they tend to follow. Either can shift the center ground. Nationalisation has been way off the cards, relatively left field for years but disenchantment with poor privatised services rightly or wrongly perceived to be transferring wealth up away from the masses has shifted public opinion significantly, we might expect policy from the various parties to reflect that shift in time. Each party's populist offering will tend to retain a flavour of the party's underlying ideology.

jk

Post edited at 14:48
MG - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Being challenged would be you asking a question I find difficult to answer, or answering a question in a way that makes me think.  You've done neither of those things, you've just told me that I'm wrong because you've decided that I think in a way that I don't actually think.  It's just boring.

Rather than immediately being "insulted", try considering what's being said to you.  For example, you wrote "the lib dems, want more immigration".  Leaving aside that's not what the LibDems want, that is binary thinking  - on or off.  That you actually think it is the case, along with your many other similar statements, shows you do indeed see things simplistic binary ways.  That you see the world this way is why you struggle with the idea of centre ground politics. 

thomasadixon - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to MG:

Their policy at the last election was no limit on numbers and continuing free movement.  Tory policy was reducing numbers.  So the Lib dems want more rather than less.  It's not binary because it's not open as opposed to closed, because they aren't the only options.  You've added that bit in in your mind.  I can ignore insults, it's the tedious nature of having to correct you continually when you rewrite what I say that I can't be bothered with.

jkarran - I'll reply later when I get a chance.

5
Mark Bannan - on 12 Apr 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

They could always have gone into coalition with Labour.

M

BnB - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Mark Bannan:

> They could always have gone into coalition with Labour.

I cant find RD's post to which you're replying but, assuming you're talking about the LibDems, they entered discussion with Labour at the same time as the Tories, only to declare the Labour leaders utterly arrogant and intransigent on any policy discussion. I seem to recall that at the time, Clegg and Cable declared Cameron far more constructive to work with than Brown in particular.

jkarran - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to BnB:

The numbers never stacked up for a Labour-Liberal coalition, together they were still 11 seats short, even bringing SNP and Plaid on board and relying on Sinn Fein to not take their seats (a fair bet!) they'd have had a majority of 1 on day 1. I suspect that has far more to do with the decision than Brown's notoriously difficult persona.

jk

Post edited at 09:13
BnB - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

No doubt that was a big factor as well. They did nevertheless explore all options.

krikoman - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to BnB:

> I cant find RD's post to which you're replying but, assuming you're talking about the LibDems, they entered discussion with Labour at the same time as the Tories, only to declare the Labour leaders utterly arrogant and intransigent on any policy discussion. I seem to recall that at the time, Clegg and Cable declared Cameron far more constructive to work with than Brown in particular.

Probably because Labour were honest and told Cleggy their boundaries, whereas Cameron said, "yes" to everything, only to later shaft them in the arse. Seemed to have worked out well for Clegg.

Cue Cher, " If I could turn back time......."

Post edited at 10:52
2
Postmanpat on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> Probably because Labour were honest >

  Hahaha, Nulabour's famous reputation for honesty......

You're quite the wag, Kriko

Post edited at 11:02
1
Eric9Points - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

A damned sight more honest than the lying bastards that came before or after.

"We're all I this together", my arse.

1
krikoman - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Hahaha, Nulabour's famous reputation for honesty......

and integrity, don't foget that. I know it's a nasty word for you but try your best.

> You're quite the wag, Kriko

You might well laugh, but that's exactly what happened in the end. Cleggy was taken in by Cameron, who later reneged on what he'd said, but it was Clegg who ended up suffering, and the LibDems of course (they've still not recovered, so they might have been better with Labour in the first place, even considering the limitations). Meanwhile to Tories carried on until Cameron shot himself in the foot with his Brexit bravado.

Postmanpat on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Eric9Points:

> A damned sight more honest than the lying bastards that came before or after.

>

  Cameron, the heir the Blair. Learnt at the feet of the masters.

1
Postmanpat on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> and integrity, don't foget that. I know it's a nasty word for you but try your best.

>

   Fake integrity you mean, something that your lot has mastered. Personally I prefer the real thing

1
jkarran - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> (they've still not recovered, so they might have been better with Labour in the first place, even considering the limitations).

They weren't limitations that could be worked around, Labour needed a 4 way coalition at the very least to achieve even the slenderest majority. I don't suppose in the circumstances the Conservatives would have consented to a minority government, they were on a roll and the LibDem's credibility would already have taken a hit having been seen talking to both larger parties they'd be easily attacked from both sides in a subsequent election.

jk

Dr.S at work - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

Oh I don't know, nothing wrong with talking to other parties, its the actions that count.

would have been interesting to see a minority Govt.

krikoman - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

> They weren't limitations that could be worked around, Labour needed a 4 way coalition at the very least to achieve even the slenderest majority. I don't suppose in the circumstances the Conservatives would have consented to a minority government, they were on a roll and the LibDem's credibility would already have taken a hit......

I know it was difficult, but I still have a nasty suspicion the Tories promised them the earth and then walked away from most of what they'd agreed too.

As for credibility taking a hit! Did you type that with your tongue wedged in you cheek?

 

jkarran - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> As for credibility taking a hit! Did you type that with your tongue wedged in you cheek?

Nope. The 'They'll talk to anyone, they have no ideals!' attack would have been easily used against them by Conservative and Labour campaigns alike if the coalition talks had broken down or resulted in a short lived minority coalition. A short lived weak coalition would itself have likely triggered a swing back to two part politics anyway.

Obviously a whole term in office disappointing their core supporters left them further tainted!

jk

Post edited at 13:41
Postmanpat on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> I know it was difficult, but I still have a nasty suspicion the Tories

>

  Who'd have thought? Kriko has a nasty suspicion about the Tories! Must be right then.......

1
BnB - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> Probably because Labour were honest and told Cleggy their boundaries, whereas Cameron said, "yes" to everything, only to later shaft them in the arse. Seemed to have worked out well for Clegg.

That's a rather strange take on what transpired. The LibDems had two key demands: a vote on an alternative voting system and the raising of the income tax nil rate threshold to £10k. They achieved both in their negotiations with Cameron. Labour, in a show of solidarity with the lowest earners, told Clegg to sod off with his fancy progressive nonsense.

 

krikoman - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to BnB:

> That's a rather strange take on what transpired. The LibDems had two key demands: a vote on an alternative voting system and the raising of the income tax nil rate threshold to £10k. They achieved both in their negotiations with Cameron. Labour, in a show of solidarity with the lowest earners, told Clegg to sod off with his fancy progressive nonsense.


Sorry, I thought there was something about tuition fees.

1
David Cohen - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to krikoman:

I would not only vote for such a party but join and support financially but only if it was for Brexit in name only at the very least.

BnB - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> Sorry, I thought there was something about tuition fees.

Which Cameron from the outset of the negotiations made quite clear was a red line. Your comment suggested Cameron somehow changed policy after securing power with the cooperation of the LibDems. He did not. 

Had he been so shifty, it would almost be like promising to cancel tuition fees in the run-up to an election and only admitting it couldn't be done when it became safer to do after losing the poll.

The New NickB - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to BnB:

> That's a rather strange take on what transpired. The LibDems had two key demands: a vote on an alternative voting system and the raising of the income tax nil rate threshold to £10k. They achieved both in their negotiations with Cameron. Labour, in a show of solidarity with the lowest earners, told Clegg to sod off with his fancy progressive nonsense.

Is this all documented?

1
krikoman - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to BnB:

 

> Had he been so shifty, ....

You're right I don't know how anyone could possibly call Cameron shifty, or Boris, Gove, or May, it's beyond belief.

2
BnB - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> Is this all documented?

 

I have it from the horse's mouth.

if you cast your mind back, the big policy wasn't tuition fees. Those were a side issue. It was the raising of the tax threshold. That was the cornerstone of the Liberal  manifesto. This timeline tells the story very accurately and it is the comments on Labour's attitude to Clegg's progressive ambitions that are most damning 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8677552.stm

Post edited at 20:55
1
The New NickB - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to BnB:

Your description sounds a little too Michael Wolff for my tastes. A few too many twiddles and swirls as you join the dots.

jkarran - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to BnB:

> if you cast your mind back, the big policy wasn't tuition fees. Those were a side issue.

Not for the students who were key to bumping the LibDems with their otherwise diffuse support base over the line in a hand full of constituencies. Treating them with so little respect was foolish in the extreme no matter what they secured in return.

jk

Post edited at 09:37
krikoman - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to BnB:

> I have it from the horse's mouth.

> if you cast your mind back, the big policy wasn't tuition fees. Those were a side issue.

They might well have been a side issue, but for many people, this is the issue which sticks, not so much the issue as the "read my lips" type assertion, which went unfulfilled. However you may want to rationalise it, this played a major part in their poor results at the last election.

thomasadixon - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to jkarran:

Sorry, meant to reply and just forgot.

All that seems reasonable, but it leaves the question as to why you and others think there isn’t a centrist party in your sense right now.  The thing the Lib Dem’s offer is staying in the EU.  Why are they centrist and labour and the Tories not?  That position isn’t a centrist one in the sense you’ve described.

The New NickB - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

You are confusing centrist with populist. Support for remaining in the EU comes from the Lib Dem’s, the centre and right of the Labour Party and the left of the Conservative Party.

thomasadixon - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

I'm responding to what was said.  Remaining in the EU is not a compromise position.  I'd ask what you think populist means but I can't see that going anywhere.

The New NickB - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

It seems to be you that is confusing compromise with centrist, although on some issues the centrist position will be a compromise position. Regarding the EU, the compromise position is probably negotiating a new relationship in the EU, which was the position of the Government prior to the referendum. The centrist view is in support of remaining in the EU. The populist view is that leaving the EU is sticking it to the man! Use a dictionary if you don’t know what populist means.

thomasadixon - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> It seems to be you that is confusing compromise with centrist, although on some issues the centrist position will be a compromise position.

It's me that's trying to figure out what people mean by it when they use it.  I don't know for sure what you think it means but I reckon it means whatever you approve of.  jkarran seems to have a more meaningful explanation.

1
The New NickB - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

> It's me that's trying to figure out what people mean by it when they use it.  I don't know for sure what you think it means but I reckon it means whatever you approve of.  jkarran seems to have a more meaningful explanation.

Again I have been quite clear, I honestly am struggling with your lack of comprehension. Centrist politics sit between the relative extremes of any political system. In the U.K. that means the left of the Conservative Party, the Lib Debs and the right and centre of the Labour Party. In that respect, centrist politics is pro EU. What I approve of is irrelevant. On some issues I hold a centrist position, on others I am more left or right orientated.

Having looked at what jkarren has said, I can’t really see much we disagree on.

Post edited at 12:25
thomasadixon - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

You're just asserting, again, that one pole of the spectrum of possibilities (remaining in the EU) is "centrist".  That's an extreme given the options available (leave no deal, leave with deal, remain entirely).  It's an extreme given the stated positions of the main parties.  You've not done anything to explain why you call it centrist.

4
The New NickB - on 24 Apr 2018
In reply to thomasadixon:

I’m going off what the parties campaigned for and the opinion of the population based on opinion polls, not the lunacy of the Government and to a lesser extent the official opposition since the referendum.

Post edited at 14:43

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