POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 17 May 2017, 07:01

I know I keep banging on about the anti-Labour bias in the rightwing press, a quick glance at Googles news features under 'Corbyn' will show about 18 negative out of 20 selected headlines. Now we have Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, highlighting the bias and then going on to say a 20 seat drop should be seen as success. Resulting headlines... Labour to lose election. What did he expect form such a statement? You will never get any Tory to say Boris or for that matter Mrs May is thick even though its as plain as your nose on your face.
Labour's Manifesto may be full of good stuff but at 123 pages it reads like a War and Peace epic. Who is going to read all this? Its all a bit galling when everyone knows that 100 words is about the most people will read in one bite. Time to get their act together.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 17 May 2017, 09:00

Good posts from you both. And thanks for the English version of the German press report, Richard. From the day of the referendum result I've been saying that we may yet find that Brexit is, in practice, impossible and I'm beginning to believe it even more so. We could find that the result would be so damaging that it would be suicidal to continue. My fear is that we have fanatics in charge who would try to drive us over the cliff edge rather than admit defeat. Arguably, that is what's already happening.

There was an interview with Prof Richard Dawkins in The Times on Saturday and it touched briefly on Brexit and Trump. Dawkins is enraged by the referendum result and the prospect of Brexit...not so much because he's a Remainer but rather that the decision to leave was made by people who are not experts. When asked if he thought Brexit was a good or bad idea he said: "How should I know, I'm not an expert!" That could be the same for most of us, yet we were expected to make the decision. On Trump, he's flabbergasted and depressed that so many Americans can elect `a buffoon' to be President of the most powerful country in the world.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 17 May 2017, 09:33

plaques wrote:
17 May 2017, 07:01
Labour's Manifesto may be full of good stuff but at 123 pages it reads like a War and Peace epic. Who is going to read all this? Its all a bit galling when everyone knows that 100 words is about the most people will read in one bite. Time to get their act together.
Can't win really, if you publish a proper manifesto with everything costed you get slated that it's unreadable. If you chucked out 100 words it would be rubbished as flim flam. I'm fairly certain that most folk will be able to grasp the main salient points. The biggest problem is getting folk to listen to those points rather than judge the party solely on whether the man looks presidential enough. Any way we can but try.

Barlick Labour Party meeting last night.

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It should have been our AGM but thank to May it was a campaign meeting for our candidate Wayne Blackburn. You can meet him on the Town Square tomorrow from 10.30am he will be pleased to answer any questions.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 17 May 2017, 10:07

PanBiker wrote:
17 May 2017, 09:33
If you chucked out 100 words it would be rubbished as flim flam
I agree entirely. Each Chapter has a heading in 'bold'. But there are 13 chapters. If you collated these as a summary it would still come to over 3 pages. It would have been worthwhile spending some time compressing these headings into hard hitting soundbites that sat near the front of the manifesto. Presentation is everything that's why the Tories spend £millions on professional PR people. The Tories response will be full of 'doom, chaos, debt and black holes'. Of course they will be at great pains not to mention the biggest black hole that is set to swallow us up. Ref: the Brexit.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 17 May 2017, 10:26

I do take your point P. When I was producing propaganda for the party back in the day, the golden rule for a leaflet was the 4 second rule, (the time it takes from the letter box to the bin). How it is folded and falls on the mat is important also. Throwaway's such as these should have no more than five or six bullet points, one two or three may even register during it's midge lifespan. A manifesto is a slightly different beastie though and the devil is in the detail as they say. The golden ticket there is whether you can successfully defend what you have written.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 17 May 2017, 10:44

I like the general idea of many of the things that Labour is claiming it will do, although like many people I'm not convinced they would do it effectively even if they were elected. To be fair I feel the same about the Tory promises (and probably all parties). But I'm not an average voter, I'm very sceptical and I analyse what I'm being told and search for independent information. The big difference between the Tories and Labour is that the Tories have taken on board the lessons learnt from recent elections and referenda, here and abroad, but Labour hasn't. Whether we like it or not, much of the population, having been brainwashed by TV shows and the Web, now pays more attention to Trump-style celebrity and promises than to evidence-based claims. May is taking Trump's approach, say whatever it takes to get in power then go your own way; Corbyn is sticking to the moral high ground and avoiding the celebrity-style politics. I wish that Corbyn's approach could win voters but I believe too many voters have already fallen into the `Trump trap'. :sad:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 17 May 2017, 22:19

I've been thinking that the time between announcing an election, and actually holding it was decided in an age when there was no 24hr News, email, phone in radio talk shows, blogs, Facebook etc etc. Do we really need another three weeks of this. I've had enough. Lets do it tomorrow, or maybe next Thursday, and get it over with. :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 18 May 2017, 03:02

I don't agree David, I'd like to see the campaign last another six weeks. My reason for this is that the longer it is until the vote, the more chance there is of the economic disaster we are heading for becoming more obvious. I really do believe that this is the Tories great fear. I can remember Tebbitt saying in 1992 that only a fool would want to win that election as governing was going to be so difficult that whoever won would lose the next election and be out of power for years....
My eye was caught yesterday by the Private Eye report that according to the register of MP's interests, Andrew Stephenson (Our local MP) was one of a party of three Tories who went to Saudi Arabia courtesy of that repressive regime for five days in mid April at a cost of £6,700 a head for flights and hospitality. The purpose of the visit was "to strengthen British/Saudi Arabian diplomatic relations..... The arms trade with Saudi Arabia becomes more important as May drives us towards the cliff edge of 'hard Brexit'.
See THIS for a Washington Post overview of the latest state of play in Trump v. The Rest. The US stock market has fallen in response to these latest ramifications. The White House is not doing well and eventually this has repercussions for the UK.
PE has some interesting facts about the use of Windows XP in the NHS and also the police services. Up to 2010 the government paid Microsoft £65million annually for the licenses in the NHS and also extended support. The Tory government stopped this. Step forward the culprit, one Andrew Lansley. Did that bloke ever get anything right?
Later.... Read THIS for the latest developments in the US. A Special Prosecutor has been appointed with wide ranging powers and significantly, independent from the Justice Department. The bottom line is that Trump has much less room for manoeuvre now and is in serious trouble. His reaction has been to announce that 'he is standing tall'. That could be a mistake, it makes him an easier target for his adversaries who are growing in strength and now includes some Republicans. Impeachment is unlikely with both houses controlled by Republicans but in effect he could be sidelined. What a bloody mess!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 18 May 2017, 12:22

Tizer wrote:
17 May 2017, 10:44
May is taking Trump's approach, say whatever it takes to get in power then go your own way; Corbyn is sticking to the moral high ground and avoiding the celebrity-style politics.
I'm not sure about the "say whatever" bit but she is certainly going for the Presidential approach. Trust me I'm a woman, Talks about having diabetes, not being able to have children, both very touching conditions that require a sympathetic hearing. But going back to 2005 she implied, without any substance or proof, that a very prominent Labour MP had taken advantage of his position to adopt a child. Not a very sympathetic approach to others it would appear.
Corbyn looks like he is going for the conditional approach, Re: I know you may not like my beard, haircut or my cap but look at my proposed agenda and manifesto. Those who think he can't stand the pressure of leadership have probably already closed their minds to anything he says. Definitely a different approach to leadership which tends to grow on you the more you hear.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 19 May 2017, 03:17

If Corbyn can stand the heat he has had since first being elected leader he can stand anything.....
President May (unelected) is sounding like a one trick pony. When she does approach policies she reels of a list of Tory 'achievements' all of which are spurious. She must think the voters will swallow anything.
I saw the Tory bus for the first time, Wouldn't have known what it was, seems to be advertising a 'B' List celebrity called May..... We need radical policies and real change not a personality cult. I wonder if there is enough anger out there to start a swing?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 19 May 2017, 10:26

I see the latest dictate from the Tory manifesto is to rob you when you are dead. You can have any assets that you like for which you will pay tax on in the normal manner but they will take everything above £100k to pay for social care that you may have received in you later years when you die. Funny, I thought that the taxes and National Insurance you have already paid throughout your working life was for that. How does that work for those in rented accommodation or those like us who are holding investments for our grandchild who's father was killed when she was 4 years old? In the eyes of the law the money is ours and it will be robbed like the rest so she could end up with nothing. It's disgusting, and totally avoidable if the NHS and social care network is properly funded.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 19 May 2017, 11:42

This is the Daily Express's front page today - if this is how the Brexiteers think you go about negotiating we can say goodbye to any future trade deals and quickly start stockpiling food and fuel!

'We'll put Juncker back in his box!' Davis warns EU UK will NOT put up with silly games LINK
EXCLUSIVE: THERESA May has shown the EU that Britain means business, David Davis declared today.
The Prime Minister’s no-nonsense approach to negotiations had proved we will not be bullied into accepting a bad Brexit deal and put European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and his allies “back in their box”, he said. Mr Davis also revealed half his time at the Department for Exiting the EU is spent preparing for the possibility of the Government walking away from Brexit talks without a deal. “We’ve shown we mean business. We won’t engage in silly games but neither will we put up with silly games,” Mr Davis said.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 19 May 2017, 14:45

When is the penny going to drop that it's 27:1, do they actually think they are going to have a say in the proceedings. A belligerent attitude is no way to enter what should be civilised and cordial exit negotiations, you can be firm and stand your corner without wielding a battleaxe.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Big Kev » 19 May 2017, 16:48

PanBiker wrote:
19 May 2017, 10:26
I see the latest dictate from the Tory manifesto is to rob you when you are dead. You can have any assets that you like for which you will pay tax on in the normal manner but they will take everything above £100k to pay for social care that you may have received in you later years when you die. Funny, I thought that the taxes and National Insurance you have already paid throughout your working life was for that. How does that work for those in rented accommodation or those like us who are holding investments for our grandchild who's father was killed when she was 4 years old? In the eyes of the law the money is ours and it will be robbed like the rest so she could end up with nothing. It's disgusting, and totally avoidable if the NHS and social care network is properly funded.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 19 May 2017, 17:11

Precisely Kev.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 19 May 2017, 17:22

Received a nice letter today from the Prime Minister Theresa May asking me to support her candidate for Pendle Mr Stevenson. If I did this I would get a say in a strong and stable government. I always fancied myself as a government advisor especially going over to Brussels and having a chinwag with the other bigwigs. Must brush up on my french and german.
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19 May 2017, 11:42
'We'll put Juncker back in his box!' 'Mr Davis'.
Dead easy. Don't invite him for dinner any more. That'll show him we mean business.
I see Mrs May is intending to make savings by cutting back on who gets the winter fuel allowance. No details yet who will be hit the implication being that its just the wealthy. Corbyn's crowd think the wealthy earn more than £80,000 per year. ie: to top 5% of earners. If this was applied to pensioners earning £80,000 the numbers would be minimal. Even at £45,000 very few would fall in this bracket. To make any real saving it would have to be restricted to those receiving benefit. Then you could cap the total and make further savings. All the above is guesswork because the Tories won't tell us what its all about for fear of upsetting the grey tops.
Now when they have a strong and stable government they can do what the hell they want.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 20 May 2017, 03:22

And they have all the mechanisms in place to make future cuts in addition to the Osborne measures that haven't kicked in yet but are in the pipeline.
Squarebasher in PE says that the four Trident subs all have XP OS systems and commercial kit. He also says that the committees who work constantly on plans for possible conflict scenarios have been told to plan on the assumption we have no air cover. He or she is usually accurate on these matters.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 20 May 2017, 07:17

I read that after we (GB) had developed the Atom bomb and things had calmed down at little between ourselves and Russia the two Ambassadors were engaged in a chat about how many bombs they had pointing at each other. Our man indicated that we could have as many as six aimed at Russia but didn't say that our thinking was that four Russian bombs would take out GB.The Russian ambassadors reply was that they had 160 aimed at us. Just doesn't bare thinking about.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 21 May 2017, 03:29

I heard President May attacking Labour last night on the grounds they wouldn't defend us. Brass Neck when you consider that all the Type 45 frigates (12 of them) have bum engines and these were a one off and can't be replaced so they are putting diesels in to supplement them which means they will be grossly underpowered. The 4 Tridents have obsolete OS systems. The Chinooks they ordered without the proper computer systems and then refurbished at great expense didn't work and are now being converted back to bog standard helicopters , lessening their effective use but are being mothballed together with most of the others anyway because we can't afford the maintenance charges. The new plane we have ordered from the US for the carriers is likely to be axed by Trump because they are too expensive and anyway there is a slight problem with them. Their incredibly complicated avionics systems report automatically back to the manufacturers and the data, which includes details of their use and role is included, which means that commercial companies hold all of it. The US defence department is currently arguing with the manufacturers about this. The same thing applies to ours and if the data isn't held by the company it will be in the possession of the US.
Add to this small things like endless complaints about the married quarters which the MOD sold off and the complaints about treatment of casualties in Civvy Street and recruitment in all branches of the armed forces is down to the point where we can't man all of the kit anyway. As I reported the other day, Squarebasher says that the strategic planners have been told to plan on the assumption that in any role we don't have air superiority, an essential of warfare since the Second World War.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 21 May 2017, 19:36

Probably a bit too heavy for most people with an opening introduction RE: Noam Chomsky is not just one of the world's most famous academics, he is also one of the world's most famous supporters of the political left. Evan Davis talked to him about Donald Trump, gig economy, populism in Europe, Jeremy Corbyn and Julian Assange. (23 minutes) Interview. . A very quiet spoken person (you may have to turn your sound up) covers a range of subjects at very basic levels. Makes some very interesting observations about how we have got into the position where we are today. On the gig economy he is in no doubt that that whole purpose is to instil a factor if insecurity so that the worker will hold back from pushing for improved conditions so that the real organizers can enjoy greater profits and more control. One can draw a parallel with how the white working class in America is sinking below living levels that has not been seen for decades. Mrs May's attack on winter fuel payments, social care capital clawback, Triple Lock reduction and school meals removal are just the top layer of actions to get the working class back in their box. Strong and Stable is crumbling minute by minute.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 21 May 2017, 19:47

I do hope that when Andrew Neil interviews the Prime Minister tomorrow night, he gives her a good grilling on costings of the Tory manifesto proposals. Something on a par of Nick Ferrari's grilling of Diane Abbott would do. Ask for detail Andrew - ask for the net benefit of means testing the winter fuel allowance.

I've just looked at the manifesto, and it reveals -

So we will means test Winter Fuel Payments, focusing assistance on the least well-off pensioners, who are most at risk of fuel poverty. The money released will be transferred directly to health and social care, helping to provide dignity and care to the most vulnerable pensioners and reassurance to their families. We will maintain all other pensioner benefits, including free bus passes, eye tests, prescriptions and TV licences, for the duration of this parliament.


We have been told many times that the cost of means testing made a universal benefit the best plan. They have not yet specified which group would be deprived of the benefit, Higher rate tax payers have been mentioned as a possibility by commentators, as have claimants of supplementary benefits. I've seen no estimate at all of net benefit to the exchequer. It is quite possible there will be none.
I must confess a vested interest - and I can see the logic of not paying it to those who can do without it, but years of being told the best way to enure the needy get it, is to pay it to everyone, actually got me to believe that to be true. If it's good for this benefit - why not the others? These days a manifesto 'promise' is not enough to convince me that we are safe. I take some comfort from the fact that reducing the triple lock to a double lock, by taking away the 2.5% element will probably have little effect in the next five years.

It's almost enough to make me a socialist. :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 22 May 2017, 02:52

"..... whole purpose is to instil a factor of insecurity so that the worker will hold back from pushing for improved conditions so that the real organizers can enjoy greater profits and more control."
Spot on P. I shall listen to that interview later.... You strengthen my conviction that the real Tory agenda is to get us back to the 19th century......
David, you are a social democrat now, no shame in that!
I can't remember her name but the woman who contradicted the Labour Manifesto on Trident is either thick or a traitor. Dianne Abbot's faux pas the other day was incompetence, this was malicious.
17 days until the vote. I was fearful of a Tory landslide and it could still happen but now I see a glimmer of light because President May has become so arrogant she is now upsetting many Tory MPs and voters as well. As far as I can see Jeremy hasn't put a foot wrong up to press and seems to be enjoying himself. Did you see him straightening the bloke's hair before he had his pic taken with him? That was human and humorous, when did you see May look likeable.....
The White House must be holding its breath as Trump addresses the pan-Arab conference...... At home in the US I hear nothing but good about Mueller and his investigation. One can but hope!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 22 May 2017, 10:21

Stanley wrote:
22 May 2017, 02:52
I can't remember her name but the woman who contradicted the Labour Manifesto on Trident is either thick or a traitor. Dianne Abbot's faux pas the other day was incompetence, this was malicious.
That would be Emily Thornberry otherwise known as Lady Nugee. She's a former member of the armed forces (Volunteer Reserve). I've got a picture somewhere.

Found it - here it is. . .
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 23 May 2017, 04:02

I watched President May with Andrew Neill last night. I don't think I heard a single fact or straight answer, just a constant regurgitation of key words and not a single 'we', It was 'I' All the way. I think the word is stonewalling.....
Will the terrorist attack in Manchester be seen as a further opportunity to ram home the Tory Presidential message?
I saw this comment in the Guardian; "The leader of Manchester city council, Richard Leese, has said it is “impossible to imagine a worse night in the history of the city”" This illustrates one of the difficulties we labour under today. No sense of history. Manchester has had much worse nights during WW2, in 1940 the city was a Luftwaffe target. There was also the massive IRA bomb that destroyed most of the Arndale Centre area causing many more injuries. This not to diminish the shock and horror of last night's attack but I wish people would get their heads in gear before getting their sound bite in. I admit I have an advantage over Mr Leese, I can remember the 1940 bombing.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Sue » 23 May 2017, 06:50

And I can remember the IRA bomb , I had a number of students who were caught up In that. That was far more devastation. This however was a concert full of teenage girls and children, so evil.
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