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CJB
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:07 am

It's pretty safe to say modern politics in the West is merely right-liberalism vs. left-liberalism.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:20 am

Or - a bunch of ignorant bastards lining their own pockets at the expense of the rest of the population.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:27 am

Sharky wrote:
Well, the incumbent government is hardly right-wing when you get down it. It's just Nu Labour 2.0 with a slightly misleading name. Still center-left, as always.
Gotta disagree here. New Labour had a sense of social conscience, regardless of how much of the rest of their identity they shed to worship at the alter of Thatcher.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:02 am

HJackson wrote:
New Labour had a sense of social conscience,

So does Cam0on. "Big Society" anyone? And lets not forget his notorious "hug-a-hoodie" quote, and the recent proposal to curb internet porn.

It's all empty gestures.

HJackson wrote:
regardless of how much of the rest of their identity they shed to worship at the alter of Thatcher.

There was nothing Thatcher-worshiping about their polices. At best you could say they were complacent in not reverting some of her's (and John Major's), but not actively conservative by any meas. They were ultimately socialist with a small "s."


Last edited by Sharky on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:08 am

Who's going to vote for socialists with a big 'S'?
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:11 am

Quote :
Or - a bunch of ignorant bastards lining their own pockets at the expense of the rest of the population.

If the St. Pauls/Wall Street protesters had any real guts, they'd be marching to the Houses of Parliament, 10 Downing Street etc. .
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:12 am

Ravenstone wrote:
Who's going to vote for socialists with a big 'S'?

Exactly. That's what the whole "Third Way" is about. Sneaking in a Trojan Horse.
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HJackson
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:23 am

Sharky wrote:
So does Cam0on. "Big Society" anyone? And lets not forget his notorious "hug-a-hoodie" quote, and the recent proposal to curb internet porn.

It's all empty gestures.
That it is all empty gestures is precisely my problem. It never was under Blair and Brown. They had a conviction towards social justice, and their time in government saw it brought into actuality.

Sharky wrote:
There was nothing Thatcher-worshiping about their polices. At best you could say they were complacent in not reverting some of her's (and John Major's), but not actively conservative by any meas. They were ultimately socialist with a small "s."
They were very actively neoliberal - moreso than Thatcher herself, in many areas. Simply consider New Labour's immigration politics, which is one of the most perfect expressions of the principle of free movement of labour as you will find anywhere in practice.
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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:38 am

+


Last edited by Erica Ambler on Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:41 am

HJackson wrote:
Sharky wrote:
So does Cam0on. "Big Society" anyone? And lets not forget his notorious "hug-a-hoodie" quote, and the recent proposal to curb internet porn.

It's all empty gestures.

That it is all empty gestures is precisely my problem. It never was under Blair and Brown. They had a conviction towards social justice, and their time in government saw it brought into actuality.

Not it didn't. Crime flourished under NuLabour, and the judicial system became watered down by bureaucracy and PC legislation (and since the current bunch of moppets in office are their ideological brethren, that's not going to change anytime soon).

Anyway, I don't give out marks for effort. It's what you bring to the plate that counts. Since Bliar coasted his way through by being a masterful snake oil salesman, I think it's paramount that we look to everything the political classes do, not simply promise and wax lyrical about.

HJackson wrote:
Sharky wrote:
There was nothing Thatcher-worshiping about their polices. At best you could say they were complacent in not reverting some of her's (and John Major's), but not actively conservative by any meas. They were ultimately socialist with a small "s."
They were very actively neoliberal - moreso than Thatcher herself, in many areas.

You're proving my very point point here, Harry. I'd call Thatcher many things, but neoliberal ain't one of them.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:56 am

Sharky wrote:
I'd call Thatcher many things, but neoliberal ain't one of them.

How come? Her economic views were neoliberal to the core, surely?

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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:06 am

CJB wrote:
Sharky wrote:
I'd call Thatcher many things, but neoliberal ain't one of them.

How come? Her economic views were neoliberal to the core, surely?

I'd call her more of a monetarist and a right-wing libertarian.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:14 am

While I'd call her the Spawn of Satan.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:17 am

No one asked you.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:37 am

I'm sure Satan found the comparison insulting as well.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:45 am

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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:37 am

Sir Antony Jay's (creator of YES, MINISTER - among other things) blistering attack on the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Unsurprisingly, I agree with every word of it.

Quote :
Foreword to Christopher Booker’s GWPF report: The BBC and Climate Change: A Triple Betrayal

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has a duty of impartiality, as we all know. But what exactly does ‘impartiality’ mean? If it simply means giving equal time to Labour and Conservative politicians on matters of party contention, the BBC fulfils its duty fairly well. But if it means not having, or at least never revealing, any views of its own on any subject of public debate, well, that is quite another matter.

Anyone familiar with large organisations knows that over the years they develop and perpetuate their own ethos, their own value system, their own corporate beliefs and standards. The police, the Army, the National Health Service, the Civil Service – they all subscribe to their own central orthodoxy, even if not every member accepts every item of it. Connoisseurs of Whitehall are aware that different Ministries have different and even conflicting attitudes – the conservatism of the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Trade and Industry contrasts with the liberalism of the Departments of Education, Health and Social Services and the Department of Environment, though they are united in their belief in a large and well remunerated Civil Service. Those at the top of the tree are the custodians of corporate orthodoxy; they recruit applicants in their own image, and the applicants are steadily indoctrinated with the organisation’s principles and practices. Heretics tend to leave fairly early in their careers.

It would be astonishing if the BBC did not have its own orthodoxy. It has been around for 85 years, recruiting bright graduates, mostly with arts degrees, and deeply involved in current affairs issues and news reporting. And of course for all that time it has been supported by public money. One result of this has been an implicit belief in government funding and government regulation. Another is a remarkable lack of interest in industry and a deep hostility to business and commerce.

At this point I have to declare an interest, or at least admit to previous. I joined BBC television, my first job after university and National Service, in 1955, six months before the start of commercial television, and stayed for nine years as trainee, producer, editor and finally head of a production department. I absorbed and expressed all the accepted BBC attitudes: hostility to, or at least suspicion of, America, monarchy, government, capitalism, empire, banking and the defence establishment, and in favour of the Health Service, state welfare, the social sciences, the environment and state education. But perhaps our most powerful antagonism was directed at advertising. This is not surprising; commercial television was the biggest threat the BBC had ever had to face. The idea that television should be financed by businessmen promoting their products for profit created in us an almost spiritual revulsion.

And when our colleagues, who we had thought were good BBC men, left to join commercial broadcasters, they became pariahs. We could hardly bring ourselves to speak to them again. They had not just gone to join a rival company; they had sinned against the true faith, they were traitors, deserters, heretics.

This deep hostility to people and organisations who made and sold things was not of course exclusive to the BBC. It permeated a lot of upper middle class English society (and has not vanished yet). But it was wider and deeper in the BBC than anywhere else, and it is still very much a part of the BBC ethos. Very few of the BBC producers and executives have any real experience of the business world, and as so often happens, this ignorance, far from giving rise to doubt, increases their certainty.

We were masters of the techniques of promoting our point of view under the cloak of impartiality. The simplest was to hold a discussion between a fluent and persuasive proponent of the view you favoured, and a humourless bigot representing the other side. With a big story, like shale gas for example, you would choose the aspect where your case was strongest: the dangers of subsidence and water pollution, say, rather than the transformation of Britain’s energy supplies and the abandonment of wind farms and nuclear power stations. And you could have a ‘balanced’ summary with the view you favoured coming last: not “the opposition claim that this will just make the rich richer, but the government point out that it will create 10,000 new jobs” but “the government claim it will create 10,000 new jobs, but the opposition point out that it will just make the rich richer.” It is the last thought that stays in the mind. It is curiously satisfying to find all these techniques still being regularly used forty seven years after I left the BBC.

The issue of man-made global warming could have been designed for the BBC. On the one side are the industrialists, the businessmen, the giant corporations and the bankers (or at least those who are not receiving generous grants, subsidies and contracts from their government for climate-related projects such as wind farms or electric cars), on the other the environmentalists, the opponents of commercial expansion and industrial growth. Guessing which side the BBC will be on is a no-brainer, but no one has documented it in such meticulous detail as Christopher Booker. His case is unanswerable. The costs to Britain of trying to combat global warming are horrifying, and the BBC’s role in promoting the alarmist cause is, quite simply, shameful.

So what do we do about the BBC? One course of action that would be doomed from the start is to try and change its ethos, its social attitudes and its political slant. They have been unchanged for over half a century and just about all the influential and creative people involved in political programme commissioning and production are thoroughly indoctrinated. So do we abolish the BBC? After all, we do not have any newspapers or magazines that are subsidised with nearly four billion pounds of taxpayers’ money; why should broadcasting be different? If broadcasting were to start now, with all the benefits of cable and satellite technology, I cannot see anyone suggesting a system devised for the era of restricted wavelengths in which the BBC was born in the 1920s.

Of course no government would actually face up to the problem of privatising the BBC. And there are strong arguments for keeping it: some of its production units are among the best in the world. There is also a case for leaving its news and current affairs operation alone; it may have a built-in liberal/statist bias, but there are lots of other news channels which are commercially funded, so there is no great damage done if one of them is run by the middle class liberal elite.

No, what really needs changing is the size of the BBC. All we need from it is one television channel and one speech radio station – Radio 4, in effect. All its other mass of activities – publishing, websites, orchestras, digital channels, music and local radio stations – could be disposed of without any noticeable loss to the cultural life of the country, and the licence fee could probably be cut by two-thirds.

Could it happen? As the economic squeeze tightens, the case for a drastic slimming down of the BBC gets stronger every day. Cash-strapped households might be glad of the extra £100 a year, even at the expense of repeats, movies, imported programmes, quiz show and panel games – not to mention the sporting events we would see on other channels if the BBC hadn’t outbid them – that the BBC currently uses to fill out its schedules. But in some ways, the strongest case of all is made by Christopher Booker: if the BBC is to be paid to propagate the opinions of a liberal elite minority, it should not be allowed to dominate the national airwaves as it does today. Its voice should be heard, but it should not be allowed to drown out the others.

Sir Antony Jay

December 2011


.
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Vesper
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:38 am

Quote :
The issue of man-made global warming could have been designed for the BBC. On the one side are the industrialists, the businessmen, the giant corporations and the bankers (or at least those who are not receiving generous grants, subsidies and contracts from their government for climate-related projects such as wind farms or electric cars), on the other the environmentalists, the opponents of commercial expansion and industrial growth. Guessing which side the BBC will be on is a no-brainer, but no one has documented it in such meticulous detail as Christopher Booker. His case is unanswerable. The costs to Britain of trying to combat global warming are horrifying, and the BBC’s role in promoting the alarmist cause is, quite simply, shameful.

Good article (and parts of it can be applied to the ABC in Australia, even) but I'd nitpick that the bankers are on the same side as the environmentalists because they can smell the money to be made exploiting it.

Lawyers too, the moment Kevin Rudd came to office here with a committment to an ETS the number of 'green departments' that started to pop up in major law firms were astounding.

Another one of the great ironies of the issue.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:10 pm

I'm greatly amused by the notion that the money saved by slashing the BBC's budget would find its way back to the pockets of average Britons. If you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you. laugh
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:15 am

I think dropping the license fee and making the BBC voluntary would be more beneficial. Give us a choice.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:20 am

Sharky wrote:
I think dropping the license fee and making the BBC voluntary would be more beneficial. Give us a choice.

I'd be fine with that if it wasn't limited to state broadcasters but all government expenses. There's a lot I'd opt out of. laugh
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:36 pm

Any thoughts on this article from those closer to the action?

Quote :
Reverse snobbery underpins phobia of Eurosceptics

by: Frank Furedi
From: The Australian
December 17, 2011 12:00AM

AS I am driving along listening to the BBC's The World At One, I am left in no doubt about this program's hostility to Prime Minister David Cameron's vetoing of the changes to the EU Lisbon Treaty.

When the usually sensible Martha Kearney, the show's host, asks Andrus Ansip, the Estonian Prime Minister, whether he thinks there is increasing anger in the EU regarding Cameron's action, I realise something very weird is going on. Why ask the leader of a small Baltic state how he feels about the British PM?

Since when is the emotional state of a foreign political leader a serious topic for a program titled The World At One?

Kearney prefaces her question with illustrations of how other EU leaders are angry.

The attempt to incite the interviewee to reinforce the BBC consensus on the state of EU emotionalism does not succeed. "I am not angry," replies Ansip.

Possibly he is too "old Europe" and too old school to be conversant with the values of the communication clerisy's emotional correctness. He disagrees with Cameron, but he does not suffer from the emotional incontinence demanded of him.

At first sight, it is difficult to understand the intense level of anger and outrage directed at Cameron by opinion leaders and cultural entrepreneurs.

Since when has the EU and the Lisbon Treaty acquired such a sacred status among the clerisy? The EU is many things but it has never been a much-loved institution. So why is it that all of a sudden scepticism directed towards it is posed as the moral equivalent of Chamberlain's act of treachery in Munich?

The criticisms directed at Cameron verge on the hysterical. When I listen to the hyperbole about the consequences of his behaviour it sounds as if he committed an act of political betrayal to appease a handful of incorrigible reactionary Eurosceptics.

Outwardly, the anger of the communication clerisy is directed at Cameron's alleged appeasement of Tory Eurosceptics. The term Eurosceptic has a special meaning for adherents of cosmopolitan policymaking. From their perspective, Euroscepticism is associated with values they abhor: upholding national sovereignty, Britishness and a traditional way of life.

The moralistic devaluation of these values was communicated by New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, who characterised the Tory Eurosceptic as the "pinstriped effluence of an ex-imperial nation". He conveys the imperative of dehumanisation when he writes of how this "specimen's ascendancy" was reflected in Cameron's behaviour. Cohen's moral devaluation of the Eurosceptic from the ranks of humanity is to dismiss them as a "bunch of insular snobs who seem to have a hard time restraining their inner fascist."

The language used towards Eurosceptics indicates that the venomous anger directed at them cannot simply be driven by the clerisy's love affair with the European ideal. Rather, what is at issue is its preference for the technocracy-dominated and cosmopolitan-influenced institutions of Brussels.

From their standpoint, the main virtue of the EU is that its leaders and administrators talk the same language as the British clerisy. They read from the same emotional and cultural script which they believe to be superior to the values of national sovereignty influenced. That is why it is not surprising that a BBC journalist can casually ask an Estonian PM to have a go at her own national leader. The British communication clerisy actually has a greater affinity to the outlook of EU technocrats and political administrators than to that of their own people.

Cameron may be isolated in the corridors of power in Brussels, but the clerisy is not a little out of touch with popular sentiments in Britain. So their visceral castigation of Eurosceptics is actually a roundabout way of morally condemning what the old oligarchy used to call the "little people". The main sin of Euroscepticism is that it can mobilise popular sentiment. And, certainly, the anger of the cosmopolitan elite does not resonate with people getting on with their lives in Birmingham, Newcastle or Leeds.

Those who want to expose this heinous Eurosceptic plot should remember that opinion polls demonstrate the majority of Britons do not like the EU; when the Mail on Sunday published a poll that asked, "was Cameron right to use the veto?", 62 per cent of respondents said yes.

In Britain, even at the best of times the EU has rarely been conceptualised as anything more than a pragmatic convenience. Historically, significant sections of the Left and Right have been critical of the bureaucratic ethos of this institution. And even those of us who love Europe, its history and culture, and strongly value the coming together of its people, have never had affection for this institution.

A final point: the values of the clerisy have no progressive content. It contains no real universalist aspirations but reflects the sectional outlook of a cultural oligarchy that revels in drawing distinctions between itself and the great unwashed.

Its alternative to national sovereignty is not some form of alternative democratic decision-making.

On the contrary, it is a fervent advocate of insulated decision-making. It attempts to establish institutions that insulate decision-makers from citizens, and prefers the rule of technocrats and experts to elected representatives.

EU scepticism is a legitimate, democratically informed standpoint. Scepticism against Europe is not. We need to reach out to our fellow citizens on the Continent, to show Europe is not an artificial institution, but is its people.
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:11 am



I love the fact that Sandwell police released this to the public as a PR campaign. laugh
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:55 am

"Community Reassurance"??? Wow, that's one hell of a euphemism.....
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PostSubject: Re: British Politics thread   Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:05 am

I think it applies more to Baker Street.
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