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Ian McColgin
05-07-2010, 07:40 PM
I guess we know names mean but little, yet one wonders how "Liberal Democrats" can even entertain this Tory wooing.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-08-2010, 02:59 AM
The Liberal Democrats are a very very broad church - having sufficient space for both the adherents of John Stewart Mill, and the rejects from the Labour party.

downthecreek
05-08-2010, 03:10 AM
We don't have much experience of this coalition building business. But if the Lib Dems can exploit the situation by swallowing hard now in order to push through the electoral reform they want in the future (which would benefit them greatly), then maybe that's what they will do.

Clegg is in a terrifying position. Scylla and Charybdis have nothing on this!

SMARTINSEN
05-08-2010, 05:43 AM
Something about strange bedfellows.

seanz
05-08-2010, 05:49 AM
Something about strange bedfellows.


Tories it is then.
:)

seanz
05-08-2010, 03:59 PM
Do not assume that the Labour Party are closer to the Liberal Democrats than are the Conservatives.

The Labour Party have assaulted civil liberties, with their extraordinary "anti-terror" legislation culminating in the absurd ID cards. The Labour Party led us into the Iraq War and extended our committments in Afghanistan.

Nick Clegg said that he would talk first to the party that won the most seats and that won the popular vote; that is the Conservative Party on both measures.

There is a problem that has not been much discussed yet - Britiish political parties are not well adapted to coalitions in terms of their party structure. Even if the two parties' Front Benches can agree on a programme, that programme must be carried by a majority of each party. This is one place where things could get very sticky - if for instance Nick Clegg cannot persuade three quarters of his MPs the question must then be put to the federal structure of the Lib-Dem party and should it not be carried on a two thirds majority there it would have to be put to the membership. This is very unwieldy, and I doubt if the Tories are much better.

Then there is the elephant in the room - the state of the public finances. We have had the most profligate government in our peace time history. Whoever comes to power now will have to do things that will render them unelectable for quite a while.

Ya wot? This is 'peace time'? You won't be needing all of those submarines and fighter planes then, will you?

Candyfloss
05-08-2010, 05:24 PM
I don't see how Labour can bolt anything together that will come even close to flying.

So if the LibDems can't get it together with the Tories it's back to the polls, and no-one is going to be happy about that, except maybe the would-be voters who got shut out.

This is a two-way street also. There are plenty of Conservatives who will be very uneasy about getting into bed with Nick Clegg.

maxcampbell
05-08-2010, 05:38 PM
Come on guys, where's the wisdom we sailing folks are famous for?

Clegg's got to be seen to have a go with the most popular party. Then he'll be seen to fail gracefully. Then he's left with the only person he can talk to - Brown - who's already announced his new-found enthusiasm for Electoral Reform, a couple of steps away from the ideal (Lib Dem) idea. What's Clegg to do then?

He'll swallow hard, take what Brown can offer - be seen to be trying to co-operate, take a second place in a Progressive Alliance.

It's better than the Tories, but it's a damned shame of a missed opportunity - all because people didn't have the guts to do what they actually fancied a day or so before they faced the paper & pencil.

English are cowards.

Candyfloss
05-08-2010, 05:56 PM
I"m not saying that Labour & LibDem can't get it together, but that's not enough. There are a couple of Irish MPs who could be sweet-talked into coming on board & it's still not enough. Now we are down to the real lunatic fringe.

seanz
05-08-2010, 06:55 PM
Roughly speaking:

Deficit: £126 Bn

Total defence procurement programme: £ 38 Bn

There is another factor; the Labour Party in coalition with the Liberal Democrats would not have a working majority; the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats would easily have one.

Given the state of economic affairs, a minority administration might not create confidence in the financial markets.

Both Scotland and Wales have coalition Governments. They seem to take a couple of weeks to bolt together.

Look, you can cut you're deficit by a third......now, what's it costing the UK to have all of those troops in peaceful Iraq and Afghanistan?

It's not a peacetime deficit, is it?

Hwyl
05-08-2010, 07:53 PM
They're nothing but Tories, and the hoodwinked. Such a shame.

Keith Wilson
05-09-2010, 04:25 PM
we left because the Labour Party had, under the influence of the Trotskyite entryists of the Militant Tendency, adopted a programme correctly described as "the longest suicide note in political history" - out of Europe, tax the rich at a 98% marginal rate, nationalise everything in sight and disarm It's very good for those of us on the other side of the Atlantic to remember what was new about "New Labor" - and for our excitable friends on the US right, here's a genuine example of what "far left" really means.

It seems very odd to this American that it's the Tories who are defending civil liberties against the left. Well, somebody had better do it.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-09-2010, 04:31 PM
......

It seems very odd to this American that it's the Tories who are defending civil liberties against the left. Well, somebody had better do it.

I'd be very, very, hesitant about suggesting that the Tories are defending Civil Liberties.

obscured by clouds
05-09-2010, 04:48 PM
I"m not saying that Labour & LibDem can't get it together, but that's not enough. There are a couple of Irish MPs who could be sweet-talked into coming on board & it's still not enough. Now we are down to the real lunatic fringe.

I beg your pardon. I take exception to your last sentence. I don't think that the SNP are Plaid Cymru can be described as 'the real lunatic fringe', rather than a centre left grouping who have backing in their respective countries because the 'fringe' in this case have been marginalised for over a century and would like to see power devolved from the far south east of England out into the regions.

Far from being nationalists in the narrow sense both the SNP and PC support a more federalist approach of devolution within the European Union.

PeterSibley
05-09-2010, 05:03 PM
I would not want anyone to think that there is any closer relation between the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats than there is between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats. Both the big parties dislike the Lib Dems because we take votes from both.

Furthermore, the "democrat" wing of the Liberal Democrats consists of people who like me left the Labour Party and formed the SDP in the late 70's, and who have been blamed as the "traitors who let in Thatcher" for thirty years - the fact that we left because the Labour Party had, under the influence of the Trotskyite entryists of the Militant Tendency, adopted a programme correctly described as "the longest suicide note in political history" - out of Europe, tax the rich at a 98% marginal rate, nationalise everything in sight and disarm - is conveniently forgotten.

On civil liberties, the Tories are actually closer to us than the Blair-Brown Labour Party with its surveillance cameras, detention without trial, trials without juries and ID cards.

We opposed the invasion of Iraq and we foresaw and called for strong measures to deal with the banking crisis.

On the basis of the complete absence of leaks from the Lib-Con talks, I guarantee that these are going well. Politicians leak in order to put pressure on their opposite numbers. Evidently there has been no need for this.

My cautious prediction is that either a Lib-Con coalition or, more likely, a confidence and supply agreement, both for a limited time and with limited objectives (sorting out the financial mess) will result.

The biggest difficulty that I foresee will be David Cameron's, rather than Nick Clegg's.

Most of the Liberal Party MPs have been around for quite a while and know how the party constitution works, the same goes for the federal executive. There are no pronounced fissiparous tendencies in the Lib Dems today. It's a pretty solid bloc.

Cameron on the other hand has fully 50% of new MPs; these have in general been selected from amongst Thatcherite activists, are well to the Right and are violently anti-EU. They lack both experience and discipline, and there is a risk of the Tory Right repeating the antics of the "bastards" who undermined John Major.

On this basis look out for fireworks following the meeting of the Conservative Parliamentary Party tomorrow evening.

Thank you Andrew for an insider's perspective .

downthecreek
05-10-2010, 10:57 AM
All in all, I'm quite impressed with the sight of our political class behaving seriously and I suspect I may not be alone.

No, you are not alone......

It's a rocky road, but I suspect we will end up with some sort of Tory/Lib coalition. Despite all, I can't see Clegg propping up the defeated, demoralised and despised Labour party, even if Brown goes sooner rather than later. I just hope he doesn't find himself ditched by Cameron as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Weasel Salmond is enjoying himself.

elf
05-10-2010, 11:00 AM
A friend of mine in London just sent me this:

http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2010/05/10/martian-conquest-of-britain-thwarted-after-aliens-demand-take-us-to-your-leader/


An alien conquest of the United Kingdom has been averted after nobody could fulfil the invaders’ initial ultimatum to ‘Take us to your leader’.



Hundreds of alien spacecraft descended on Kent and Sussex early yesterday, hurling huge fireballs to earth and burning thousands to death, before landing to round up survivors. ‘This twelve-foot alien warrior marched down a gangway from his spaceship and insisted that my husband and I take him to our leader,’ said survivor Marie Foulkes, 56, of Tunbridge Wells. ‘But when I told him that we couldn’t until we’d heard the results of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition talks, he just tutted, got back in his ship, and off they all went.’

Mrs Foulkes was later horrified to learn that the aliens had been overheard referring to her as a ‘bigoted human creature’ as they sped away into orbit.

peb
05-10-2010, 11:19 AM
It seems very odd to this American that it's the Tories who are defending civil liberties against the left. Well, somebody had better do it.
I don't know why this would seem odd. The more liberal a government becomes, the more oppresive. That has been shown to be true throughout the last 200 years over and over again. France, Mexico, USSR, Germany, China, (the list could go on and on).

downthecreek
05-10-2010, 11:33 AM
A new development; Gordon Brown has just offered to resign in order to allow formal talks to begin between the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party (Brown's resignation has been a precondition to Liberal-Labour talks).

It's all very eighteenth century!

Heavens! I shall listen to the 6 o'clock news with great interest. I wonder what Clegg said to him in their widely discussed secret meeting.....

Little Milliband. Hmmm. He always seems to me to be playing at politicians. Well, anything's better than Balls!

Kaa
05-10-2010, 11:36 AM
Now, if I were a very diabolical Tory, I'd quietly sabotage the Tory-LibDem talks so as no leave no ill-will residue, then let Labour assemble a very shaky coalition and allow it to commit harakiri by starting to implement the unpopular austerity measures. When that coalition implodes which should be soon enough, force another election with the hopes for an outright majority.

I don't think Cameron is diabolical enough, though.

Kaa

downthecreek
05-10-2010, 11:43 AM
I don't think Cameron is diabolical enough, though.

Kaa

Maybe aye, maybe no - but he's certainly got some suitably diabolical sidekicks.

I'm sure you are right about the poisoned chalice awaiting the next government, whatever it is. The fact is that all three big political parties lost this election. Politicians of all flavours got a kicking. That certainly reflects "the will of the British people" but it's a short lived satisfaction. :(

PS Just heard that Brown is definitely resigning and formal talks with Labour have begun. Well, if nothing else, it's interesting.

Ian McColgin
05-10-2010, 03:40 PM
Easy for the Liberal Democrats to know what to do. Just remember that the pellet with the poison's in the vessel with pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that's true.

Kaa
05-10-2010, 04:08 PM
Easy for the Liberal Democrats to know what to do. Just remember that the pellet with the poison's in the vessel with pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that's true.

Actually, I think the trick is to spend some time building immunity to iocane powder... :-)

Kaa

Ian McColgin
05-10-2010, 04:16 PM
Close, as an oblique homage forty years later.

PeterSibley
05-10-2010, 04:57 PM
Now, if I were a very diabolical Tory, I'd quietly sabotage the Tory-LibDem talks so as no leave no ill-will residue, then let Labour assemble a very shaky coalition and allow it to commit harakiri by starting to implement the unpopular austerity measures. When that coalition implodes which should be soon enough, force another election with the hopes for an outright majority.

I don't think Cameron is diabolical enough, though.

Kaa

Precisely , but politicians seem to want power under any circumstances .:rolleyes:

Presuming Ed
05-10-2010, 05:18 PM
The Tories have just decided that they can stomach a referendum on the Alternative Vote system after all!

Is AV proportional enough for the Lib Dems? Or would they demand AV+ at the very least?

AV I can live with. AV+ absolutely no way.

And I'm not much of a fan of having the government decided by the party that came third, with a small increase in their vote and a net loss in seats compared to the party that came first.

Candyfloss
05-10-2010, 06:05 PM
Well, that's what we've got & I can promise you I don't like it at all. The minority gets a hugely disproportionate amount of the power.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-11-2010, 05:00 AM
Well, that's what we've got & I can promise you I don't like it at all. The minority gets a hugely disproportionate amount of the power.

Really? - We've suffered from the "First Past The Post" system for centuries - and taken in the round it has been a disaster - I don't think we've had a government in my lifetime where the people who took office took more than 40% of the popular vote -

That's 40% of a 60% turnout - perhaps not quite 25% of the electorate......

Define: minority.




Well, I got that wrong!

Clegg is having much more trouble with the left-leaning Old Guard of the Libdems than I anticipated and Cameron is having less trouble with the Tories.

"Further on up the road - Just you wait and see".

downthecreek
05-11-2010, 05:13 AM
Really? - We've suffered from the "First Past The Post" system for centuries - and taken in the round it has been a disaster

The answer is now clear. We should reinstate an Absolute Monarchy forthwith and let Lizzie run the country. She would do a much better job than the rabble we have now. She's seen it all.

Then, when Lizzie was no longer up to it, we could identify and invite in a suitable monarch to take over, as we did with William of Orange. Not Charlie, methinks.

What a mess....... :(

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-11-2010, 05:18 AM
The account of who was in which team held its own peculiar fascination.

downthecreek
05-11-2010, 05:33 AM
It reminds me strongly of negotiating to buy, or to sell, a ship - a process which I have always enjoyed immensely so long as I am the one doing the negotiating!

Well, having some knowledge of the kinds of mess you have negotiated into resolution, I think maybe Nick should be calling on your services now. :)

SMARTINSEN
05-11-2010, 06:03 AM
The answer is now clear. We should reinstate an Absolute Monarchy forthwith and let Lizzie run the country. She would do a much better job than the rabble we have now. She's seen it all.

Either that or a two party system and an Electoral College.

The Bigfella
05-11-2010, 06:06 AM
What's this I hear that the Australian proportional representation system seems to be favoured?

downthecreek
05-11-2010, 06:16 AM
Either that or a two party system and an Electoral College.

An electoral college in a parliamentary system? Not sure how that would work.

Not sure you can enforce a two party system either.

downthecreek
05-11-2010, 08:54 AM
If I am reading this right, Nick Clegg has broken off with the Tories and gone into discussions with Labour with two objectives; firstly, to tweak a concession on electoral reform out of Cameron, and, secondly, to convince his own party that a Lib Lab pact is not viable.



Just been listening to the news. there seem to be a lot of irate Tories gnashing their teeth about "two faced Clegg" etc., but if you are correct, I think his strategy may be paying off. Certainly sounds as if the pendulum is swinging again.

Much as I dislike the Tories, I can't see the Lib/Lab/Oddsandsods coalition working for more than a few months at most.

TomF
05-11-2010, 08:57 AM
If I am reading this right, Nick Clegg has broken off with the Tories and gone into discussions with Labour with two objectives; firstly, to tweak a concession on electoral reform out of Cameron, and, secondly, to convince his own party that a Lib Lab pact is not viable.

At least, that is what I would have done.

The first objective has been achieved. The second looks to be well on the way.

The bonus question is - can Clegg tweak a tax reform concession out of Cameron? The "income tax threshold at £10K" idea was a good one, and would benefit a lot of Tory voting pensioners.It is so satisfying to see the progress of coalition talks going on rationally. Even to the point of discussing electoral reform in a real way.

If the Mothership of the Westminister tradition can do it, there's hope for Canada too.

Kaa
05-11-2010, 01:38 PM
Yep. Seems like the Tories struck an accord with Clegg. It's going to be interesting to watch the ConLibDem majority in action :-)

Kaa

Peerie Maa
05-11-2010, 01:57 PM
Well, we shall have to see if the new government sees sense and changes their two stated positions on Trident:


A Conservative government could put off replacing the Trident nuclear deterrent to save money, risking a row with the Royal Navy.

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent The Telagraph
Published: 11:00PM GMT 14 Jan 2010
The five-year delay in the programme would allow the Conservatives to meet their promise to renew Britain's nuclear deterrent but defer the cost, estimated at more than £20 billion.
The decision could see the Royal Navy’s four Vanguard submarines remaining in service as late as 2029. That is likely to face resistance from Navy chiefs, who argue that the Vanguards should not be used beyond 2024.


Election: Clegg right to scrap Trident II, says Owen

Meirion Jones
BBC Newsnight

On the eve of the Leaders' Debate on foreign policy, Lord Owen has backed Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg's call to scrap Trident II, while the former Chief of Defence Staff Lord Guthrie has called for a rethink.

Newsnight's Mark Urban on post-Trident options and where the parties stand

Lord Owen has told Newsnight that a perfectly adequate nuclear deterrent could be produced for a tenth - or even a twentieth - of the price of the planned Trident II nuclear submarines

Or whether they destroy the UK's ability to build submarines by leaving the shipyards and the supply chain with no work for five years.

Hwyl
05-11-2010, 02:03 PM
The only hope is that such an unlikely coalition fails to last. A sad day indeed.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-11-2010, 02:15 PM
So it's to be Cameron and Clegg - the Ant & Dec of British politics?

Candyfloss
05-11-2010, 02:47 PM
I'm impressed with how quickly & cleanly that has gone. Nice speech by Gordon Brown too.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-11-2010, 02:51 PM
... Nice speech by Gordon Brown too.

Nothing in his premiership, Became him like the leaving it

John Meachen
05-11-2010, 03:41 PM
Nothing in his premiership, Became him like the leaving it
It was an effective speech and it will be interesting to see what he does next.A cynical part of me wondered whether the process of taking the initiative to go and further to recommend Cameron was to deny the LibDems the chance to extract maximum benefit from any ongoing negotiations.

Hwyl
05-11-2010, 04:06 PM
A great quote

Lib Dems entering government with the Tories will be "like vegetarians who've got jobs at McDonald's - they'll be chewed up and spat out", Labour MP Stephen Pound tells Sky News.

Peerie Maa
05-11-2010, 04:36 PM
That was quick. Cameroon has moved himself into No 10 already.

Presuming Ed
05-11-2010, 04:37 PM
According to Nick Robinson Clegg will be deputy PM!

My hope is Cable as chief sec to the treasury.
David Laws in education - might dent the powers of local education authorities.

+ 2 more.

PeterSibley
05-11-2010, 05:12 PM
Clegg and Haige around the same table discussing Europe ? How long are the bookies giving this coalition ?

Candyfloss
05-11-2010, 05:13 PM
Agreed. Please don't change it.

Candyfloss
05-11-2010, 05:16 PM
With the current chaos in Europe I imagine Britain will be stepping as far away from the EU as it possibly can.

Peerie Maa
05-11-2010, 05:46 PM
With the current chaos in Europe I imagine Britain will be stepping as far away from the EU as it possibly can.

The EU is still an important source of trade. Many companies came here to get easier access to the EU market, Nissan being the most noteworthy. However as I am not sure that the Tories really know how to run an economy, their instinct being to stand back and not to intervene, I am not sure that they understand the advantages to the UK bought by the EU.

downthecreek
05-12-2010, 03:19 AM
More generally this is a huge re-alignment of British politics - this is a 1924 or an 1845. what's in it for the Tories? No more "Nasty Party"

What's in it for the Liberal Democrats? We get a huge chunk of our agenda into law, and we neutralise the Tory Right.


I do hope so.....but I'm not sure that I share your optimism. The potential is there both for the making of the LibDems and their undoing.

Certainly a good result and better than we might have hoped for. The alternatives of a struggling coalition with the rejects and weasels or a struggling minority Tory government would have been appalling.

I'm sure your reading of Clegg's strategy was correct. But there are still a lot of powerful Tory "nasties" lurking behind the smiling face of Thomas the Tank Engine (sorry, but that's what he looks like) and a lot of Lib Dem voters who cast their votes specifically to try to keep the Tories out. For the time being the most vicious Tory tendencies will be held in check, but after the honeymoon, I wonder how long it will hold together.

Clegg's fortunes are in Cameron's hands (both in how he manageds the coalition and in how the government performs) to a frightening extent. Still a dangerous road. Things are going to be very interesting! :)

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-12-2010, 03:53 AM
......

It looks rather comfortable!

The cynic in me thinks - aye, like a DFS sofa - no doubt we'll find its faults later.

But for the moment I can hope that the nasty wing of the conservatives will be held in check, along with the "Irresponsible Tendency" from the old L.D. grouping.


Does leave the "What next" question....

The House of Lords - some meaningful change? mix of life-cronies and a party list proportional fixed term members?
House of Commons electoral reform.... the same cynic would want twenty to one....
The poisoned housing market and related topics....

My guess is that they wind up like the Major Government - incapable of effective action on any topic.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-12-2010, 05:45 AM
....
Why five years? Because both partners have agreed to a bill bringing in five year parliaments.
....

This one is interesting - what, exactly, changes?

Five years is already the maximum span of a parliament.

The single point I can see is that it would have prevented the 1966 general election, where Wilson, after two years with a majority of four, went back to the country for a fresh mandate.

What happens when through natural causes a prime minister loses his working majority - is the opposition to be constrained to form a fresh government within the same parliament????

I remember driving down the A1 in 1977 listening to Radio 4 as the Lib-Lab Pact emerged blinking from the ruins of the second 1974 election.
There were few real options but one of those was to call another election - and perhaps this should have been done.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-12-2010, 06:19 AM
It was an effective speech and it will be interesting to see what he does next.A cynical part of me wondered whether the process of taking the initiative to go and further to recommend Cameron was to deny the LibDems the chance to extract maximum benefit from any ongoing negotiations.

Interesting. I suspect that the negtiations had in fact just finished and that he had been told this. He evidently chose his own timing (as was his right) so as to go last night, rather than this morning, thus depriving Cameron of the optimum photo- opportunity. This meant that he went to the Palace before the Liberal and Conservative parties had ratified the agreements reached by their representatives, but in the event this did not matter, as the agreements were ratified overwhelmingly.

Peerie Maa
05-12-2010, 06:26 AM
What happens when through natural causes a prime minister loses his working majority - is the opposition to be constrained to form a fresh government within the same parliament????

My worry also. A 55% vote of no confidence helps, but I am still worried that the Government might still behave like the Rump parliament whilst it can.
ACB, have the Tories abandoned their position of delaying Vanguard Successor by 5 years? That five year delay can all too easily destroy our submarine building capability.

elf
05-12-2010, 07:27 AM
You guys can afford to build submarines????? When you're complaining about the belt tightening that will be needed in your social services???

What are you thinking about?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-12-2010, 07:54 AM
You guys can afford to build submarines?????
....

What are you thinking about?

We izz worrying about what to put on the possible submarine - last time around we got the poodle version of an "Independent Deterrent".

Frankly if it can't hit Washington, on demand, there's eff all point in having it.

Presuming Ed
05-12-2010, 08:58 AM
The agreement:

http://www.libdems.org.uk/latest_news_detail.aspx?title=Conservative_Liberal _Democrat_coalition_agreements&pPK=2697bcdc-7483-47a7-a517-7778979458ff

Peerie Maa
05-12-2010, 10:24 AM
You guys can afford to build submarines????? When you're complaining about the belt tightening that will be needed in your social services???

What are you thinking about?

£800million circulated through the UK economy in ten years, much of which goes back into the Treasury as taxation. This and the taxes raised from the jobs supported by our and our supply chain's employees helps fund all of the welfare and education that we need.

elf
05-12-2010, 11:20 AM
Sure, but you could be building schools and public transportation systems and National Parks and turbines and community centres for teens and programs to get kids out of London for the summer and sailing centres and a million other things not related to pretending to "protect" yourselves from land wars. Not to mention environmental awareness programs from grade 1 and communal gardens and oh, so many things that would be good for your society. Even putting the compass directions on your highway signs would be more useful than submarines.

Peerie Maa
05-12-2010, 11:59 AM
Sure, but you could be building schools and public transportation systems and National Parks and turbines and community centres for teens and programs to get kids out of London for the summer and sailing centres and a million other things not related to pretending to "protect" yourselves from land wars. Not to mention environmental awareness programs from grade 1 and communal gardens and oh, so many things that would be good for your society. Even putting the compass directions on your highway signs would be more useful than submarines.

Elf,
Whenever the UK government considers renewing its deterrent, the peace brigade commision a "swords into ploughshares" study. Nothing has come of any of those studies yet. Furthermore that £800m represents four submarine orders through only one shipyard.
There is no way that adding to the facilities in your list (most of which already exist) will generate that turnover of revenue over the extended time-scales that we can sustain. We employ over 4500 at our yard, there are about 815 suppliers in the UK supply chain all providing highly skilled high value jobs. There is no way that your suggestions would employ that many people, and as skilled as gardeners and nature wardens may be, they work for love not for big wages.

elf
05-12-2010, 12:05 PM
They work for love because the public doesn't consider them worthy of more reasonable pay. They'd gladly get paid a reasonable wage if the wider society valued their work as much as it values the work of the clerks pushing purchase orders for submarine parts through computer systems.

Clearly, submarines are more important that environmental education, health care for all and preparing underpriviledged youth for a decent life. It's true here and true there as well.

You pay for what you value.

Peerie Maa
05-12-2010, 12:30 PM
They work for love because the public doesn't consider them worthy of more reasonable pay. They'd gladly get paid a reasonable wage if the wider society valued their work as much as it values the work of the clerks pushing purchase orders for submarine parts through computer systems.

Clearly, submarines are more important than environmental education, health care for all and preparing underpriviledged youth for a decent life. It's true here and true there as well.

You pay for what you value.

No we do do both.
Don't forget, without a manufacturing industry there is no wealth generation to pay for the unprofitable stuff. Because China can undercut all of our consumer manufacturing, the UK defence manufacturing industry is the most valuable part of our manufacturing sector.

PS our clerical workers don't get paid that much. The high value jobs come with a craft apprenticeship, a technical apprentice ship and day release to college, or a graduate apprenticeship followed by a Masters degree. You don't expect a vessel carrying a nuclear reactor, that has the same level of complexity and safety certification as a space shuttle to be designed and built by people paid peanuts do you?:D

Kaa
05-12-2010, 12:35 PM
Don't forget, without a manufacturing industry there is no wealth generation to pay for the unprofitable stuff.

If you don't believe the next generation of nuclear subs is useful, then there is no wealth generation here. It's actually pure waste as you take valuable resources and valuable labor and convert them to something of zero worth.

Quite similar to hiring a bunch of people to dig holes and another bunch of people to fill them back up. They got jobs, don't they? They pay taxes, that's good, right?

Kaa

Peerie Maa
05-12-2010, 12:43 PM
If you don't believe the next generation of nuclear subs is useful, then there is no wealth generation here. It's actually pure waste as you take valuable resources and valuable labor and convert them to something of zero worth.

Quite similar to hiring a bunch of people to dig holes and another buch of people to fill them back up. They got jobs, don't they? They pay taxes, that's good, right?

Kaa

What a massive over simplification. :D
I suppose that you are suggesting that Electric Boat and Newport News be closed down and the workers set to laying tarmac?

Kaa
05-12-2010, 12:52 PM
What a massive over simplification. :D

The massive oversimplification is only in the first part -- in the belief that nuclear subs are worthless.

If you believe that to be so, the rest follows inexorably :-)


I suppose that you are suggesting that Electric Boat and Newport News be closed down and the workers set to laying tarmac?

Yep. Not laying tarmac, though, but producing manufactured goods that have value :-P

Kaa

Peerie Maa
05-12-2010, 01:36 PM
Tell me, do you pay for insurance on your house and contents, or fund a fire brigade through your taxes? Do you think that those services have any value?

Kaa
05-12-2010, 01:51 PM
Tell me, do you pay for insurance on your house and contents, or fund a fire brigade through your taxes? Do you think that those services have any value?

I, actually, haven't expressed an opinion on the worth of military hardware. I was just clarifying the consequences of elf's positions since it seems fairly clear that elf doesn't believe the nuclear subs have much value. And if they don't, all this talk about jobs and tax base is meaningless.

We can, of course, have a discussion about the value of one's military and how much resources it's optimal to allocate to it.

Kaa

Peerie Maa
05-12-2010, 02:03 PM
I, actually, haven't expressed an opinion on the worth of military hardware. I was just clarifying the consequences of elf's positions since it seems fairly clear that elf doesn't believe the nuclear subs have much value. And if they don't, all this talk about jobs and tax base is meaningless.

We can, of course, have a discussion about the value of one's military and how much resources it's optimal to allocate to it.

Kaa

Nah, I'll take a rain check on that.

I don't want to argue with Elf, but I believe that the arguments put forward were a bit naive, although I respect the pacifism behind them.

Captain Blight
05-12-2010, 02:16 PM
But apart from that, Mrs Lincoln...oh, sorry, wrong tape...

Now let's return to our muttons and get back to our interesting new Government - do our American friends call this "bipartisanship" or is it something different?
WHat you have there is very different from our version of 'bipartisanship' which seems to consist of the Right complaining that those mean Lefties aren't letting them have their way unopposed. You lot actually stand a chance of reaching workable compromise.

Is there room in the Sceptered Isle for one more? I don't take up much more room than one of the smaller Fiats.....

Peerie Maa
05-12-2010, 02:21 PM
Is there room in the Sceptered Isle for one more? I don't take up much more room than one of the smaller Fiats.....

There are one or two American accents to be heard around Barrow, you would fit right in. Just don't wear loud checks, three cameras and a large hat.;):D

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-12-2010, 02:24 PM
......
Is there room in the Sceptered Isle for one more? I don't take up much more room than one of the smaller Fiats.....

We don't need no freakin wetbacks.

Kaa
05-12-2010, 02:25 PM
There are one or two American accents to be heard around Barrow, you would fit right in. Just don't wear loud checks, three cameras and a large hat.;):D


http://www.emmaclarke.com/media/7142/a-reminder-for-american-tourists.mp3

:D

Kaa

Captain Blight
05-12-2010, 02:28 PM
There are one or two American accents to be heard around Barrow, you would fit right in. Just don't wear loud checks, three cameras and a large hat.;):DI was thinking elastic-band short pants, white trainers and black socks, an aloha shirt, and a mesh-backed ballcap advertising one of the seed-corn conglomerates. All the while braying about "Limeys," bad food and warm beer.

I think I must not be a REAL 'Murrikin.

Ian McColgin
05-12-2010, 03:03 PM
This thread has been quite a wonderful education in British politics. THank you all.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-12-2010, 03:17 PM
Ian, we British are in a self-congratulatory mood at the moment - we have had the pleasure of watching our political leaders behaving honourably and even, I suggest, wisely, and this experience, over five days, has wiped out the bad memory of the Parliamentary expenses scandal.

For the enthusiast, the full text of the coalition agreement is here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8677933.stm

There is no doubt that there is a new mood.

We now have a monstrous deficit and rising unemployment to worry about.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-12-2010, 03:56 PM
.....

For the enthusiast, the full text of the coalition agreement is here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8677933.stm

There is no doubt that there is a new mood.
..


Cautious optimism.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-12-2010, 04:06 PM
"The Dave and Nick Show"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8678278.stm

Incidentally it has just struck me that the British Government is not run out of a palace; it is run out of a house. It's an old, untidy, badly built and much patched up house, in which people can get lost in odd corridors, but its just a house.

Candyfloss
05-12-2010, 07:27 PM
This bit is interesting.

Quote:-

The coalition government was committed to introducing elected police commissioners.....

Anyone care to comment? We make a mess of electing school boards, but Police Commissioners?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-13-2010, 01:25 AM
As you know, we don't have a national Police force. We have, in fact, 42 police forces. Labour had a plan to reduce the numbers of police forces and increase their powers but this was seen off.

At the moment, Police Authorities have appointed boards and Chief Constables are appointed. It is not quite clear how, or to whom, they are answerable.

The idea is to make them accountable to their electors. The downsides to this idea are pretty clear, of course - we are not quite comfortable with the idea of people outbidding each other in "toughness". But that's the general idea.

Candyfloss
05-13-2010, 05:05 AM
No, I didn't know you don't have a national Police force, and the down sides are very clear to me. Thank you Andrew.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-13-2010, 05:29 AM
On a "traditionalist" view of the UK constitution, a national police force is unconstitutional, as it tends to increase the power of the Crown (in the sense of the State, not in the sense of the Monarch) and thus to reduce the liberties of the individual.

For this reason, policing has always been kept at a regional level (roughly, county-based) although the creation of the Metropolitan Police by Sir Robert Peel as Home Secretary in the Liverpool Ministry (1830 from memory) changed things somewhat as the Met. were given the capacity to act outside London if invited by the local force (never otherwise). This power to act outside London probably descends from the Bow Street Runners, the original detective force, established by Sir Henry Fielding in the 1760's.

Blair had a pronounced tendency to increase the power of the Crown, to the detriment of civil liberties. The new administration has promised a Great Repeal Act to correct this.

Peerie Maa
05-13-2010, 07:02 AM
This bit is interesting.

Quote:-

The coalition government was committed to introducing elected police commissioners.....

Anyone care to comment? We make a mess of electing school boards, but Police Commissioners?

I am profoundly unhappy with this. I want a Chief Constable to be selected as the most competent person for thr Role, not because they can spin a story that chimes with the predudices of the electorate.
This is how we do it now :http://www.mpa.gov.uk/foi/acpo-selection/

The selection panel:


The membership of the selection panel

5.3

The current statutory provisions contained in Schedule 3 to the Police Act 1996 provide for there to be a separate selection panel for each police area, and that each selection panel shall consist of three members.

One member is appointed or designated by the police authority for the area; a second is appointed by the Secretary of State (the Home Secretary’s nominee or appointed person); and the third member of the panel is chosen by the other two members. The legislation provides that the member of the selection panel designated by the police authority shall be appointed from among the councillor or magistrate members of the police authority, and shall not be an existing independent member of the police authority.


The elected counsillor sitting on the selection panel assures public scruitiny and accounatability, as does the appointment of a panel member by an elected Minister of Government.
I don't think it is broke, so there is no need to fix it.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-13-2010, 08:40 AM
I have a rather definite feeling that this bit of the joint programme is going to fall by the wayside. There are plenty of other things to do and this would just annoy both parties' local government activists.

20% VAT, however, is something that I reckon will happen!

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-13-2010, 01:48 PM
......
20% VAT, however, is something that I reckon will happen!

Nobody noticed the change from 17.5 to 15 and back.....

22.5% would be no surprise and 25% not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
05-16-2010, 06:44 AM
Today's item of good news, from my point of view, is the appointment to the Government of Frank Field. I met him a few times almost forty years ago long before he was an MP when he was running the Child Poverty Action Group and he has, in the course of that time, remained quite consistent in both his understanding of his subject and his approach to it.

I don't know much about Will Hutton - does anyone?

Peerie Maa
05-16-2010, 06:51 AM
Today's item of good news, from my point of view, is the appointment to the Government of Frank Field. I met him a few times almost forty years ago long before he was an MP when he was running the Child Povert Aaction Group and he has, in the course of that time, remained quite consistent in both his understanding of his subject and his approach to it.

I don't know much about Will Hutton - does anyone?


In the 2010 General Election Field retained his Birkenhead seat with an increased majority, and has been given the role of "poverty czar" in David Cameron's coalition government -- the first, and so far only member of the Labour Party to have a role within Cameron's team.
from Wiki.
Really odd, would never have thought to see this. True principals of coalition government.