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Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

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Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by tlttf on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:16 am

Fantastic article from the "New Statesman", sums up politics as is?

Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

All parties love the easy, polarising rhetoric of “us” against “them” – but how distinct are their ideas?

By Rafael Behr, Published 31 January 2013

There is a reliable way to tell if David Cameron is rattled. When the Prime Minister is on shaky ground, he hurls the charge of being “left-wing” at Ed Miliband as if it were the foulest thing he could say within the bounds of parliamentary protocol. The “Red Ed” label has never been a plausible line of attack but it is a comforting fiction for senior Conservatives who deride the Labour leader’s agenda as a slide into unelectable socialism.

Take time out from tribalism and read the article!

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:54 am


Sounds like the poisonous pollution with which George Walker Bush and Barack Hussein Obama Jr. were/are inundated. Such juvenility obscures focus upon issues of national survival, both there and here.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:33 am

The dividing line is pretty clear and simple. If you're on the side of ordinary people, especially the most vulnerable, you can vote Labour, or perhaps Green.

If you don't give a stuff for them, and actually rather like a bit of bashing the disabled, unemployed etc - and of course you think the rich are entitled to keep as much of their wealth as they can get away with, no matter what's happening to 'the 99%', then you'll vote Tory, or perhaps UKIP.

The rest is detail.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:22 pm

There could be no clearer illustration of claimant-bashing than the current discussion of them perhaps being issued with a payment-card that could be used to purchase groceries and other essentials, but specifically NOT valid for luxuries like booze and fags or SKY subscriptions.

An unscientific MSN Poll reveals that a majority of the population agree with the proposed restrictions.

Should the government be allowed to block benefit claimants from spending the cash on alcohol and cigarettes?


Strongly agree 55 % Strongly agree 16,758 votes
Agree 18 % Agree 5,571 votes
Disagree 13 % Disagree 4,165 votes
Strongly disagree 14 % Strongly disagree 4,413 votes

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:50 pm

oftenwrong wrote:There could be no clearer illustration of claimant-bashing than the current discussion of them perhaps being issued with a payment-card that could be used to purchase groceries and other essentials, but specifically NOT valid for luxuries like booze and fags or SKY subscriptions.

An unscientific MSN Poll reveals that a majority of the population agree with the proposed restrictions.

Should the government be allowed to block benefit claimants from spending the cash on alcohol and cigarettes?


Strongly agree 55 % Strongly agree 16,758 votes
Agree 18 % Agree 5,571 votes
Disagree 13 % Disagree 4,165 votes
Strongly disagree 14 % Strongly disagree 4,413 votes

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It's no surprise, sadly. It shows the massive disconnection of the government from the lives of ordinary people - and the lack of thought that's being ingrained into people by the media.

If you're stuck on some sink-estate with few prospects of any kind of work, or if you're lucky a low-paid, part-time job, cigarettes and alcohol are probably the only prospect of distraction from despair and tedium that are within reach.

We provide methadone for drug addicts free of charge, because it's obvious that if they don't have access to something, they're never going to rise above their circumstances and are highly likely to turn to crime. Depriving people of a couple of basic treats is 'cruel and unusual'.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:30 pm

skwalker1964 wrote:The dividing line is pretty clear and simple. If you're on the side of ordinary people, especially the most vulnerable, you can vote Labour, or perhaps Green.

If you don't give a stuff for them, and actually rather like a bit of bashing the disabled, unemployed etc - and of course you think the rich are entitled to keep as much of their wealth as they can get away with, no matter what's happening to 'the 99%', then you'll vote Tory, or perhaps UKIP.

The rest is detail.

I wonder skywalker if any of the right wingers have seen themselves in the last two lines of your post, more than likely not that is something else they do not see.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by blueturando on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:48 am

It's no surprise, sadly. It shows the massive disconnection of the government from the lives of ordinary people - and the lack of thought that's being ingrained into people by the media.

Skywalker and Red....Have you ever thought that it may be you who are out of touch with ordinary people? It looks by the votes cast that 'ordinary people' who are probably struggling to afford luxuries themselves resent the fact that their tax money is being spent on fags and booze, rather than helping the jobless or disabled feed, clothe and house themselves. I would put money on it that some of these people would buy such luxuries ahead of buying food and clothing for their children too.

Maybe you guys should start to live in the real world and not some fantasy land of plenty for all

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:33 am

As Jersey was occupied by the Nazis during WW2, It seems that some of the seed was left behind. I find it frightening just how easy it is for Tories to become totalitarian, just like it was in Germany. Is this just the very thin edge of the wedge, First cut their benefits, then tell them just how you will allow them to spend it. How long before Ze Tories want to introduce rationing in order to make their cash last a bit longer. Zeig Hail.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by blueturando on Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:54 am

I dont pay UK tax so it doesn't affect me, but if I did could I then say to a Tory or Labour government that I dont want to pay the amount of tax they are asking....afterall who are they so say what I should spend my money on, isnt that totalitarian....zieg heil

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by tlttf on Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:56 am

Who changed the title of this thread without having the courtesy of informing the originator. Bad manners whoever they/he/she is!

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:59 am

tlttf wrote:Who changed the title of this thread without having the courtesy of informing the originator. Bad manners whoever they/he/she is!

What about the Mealy Mouthed gov't that moved the goal posts as soon as they got into power, I have not heard you say they where bad mannered, but of course in your eyes they are not, but in the rest of the UK they are not either BUT they are a Nasty shower of Ideology ridden Evil Backstuds, watch this space come April.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:51 pm

tlttf wrote:Who changed the title of this thread without having the courtesy of informing the originator. Bad manners whoever they/he/she is!

I asked for it to be done so that it could be a repository for other posts on related topics.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:53 pm

blueturando wrote:I dont pay UK tax so it doesn't affect me, but if I did could I then say to a Tory or Labour government that I dont want to pay the amount of tax they are asking....afterall who are they so say what I should spend my money on, isnt that totalitarian....zieg heil

Is a landlord being 'totalitarian' when he sets the rent on his property? Tax is just 'rent' for the privilege of living in a decent, stable country - and the government, on behalf of the people, is entitled to set it at whatever amount necessary to cover costs of maintenance, furnishings etc.

It's 'sieg', by the way.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by blueturando on Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:21 pm

Thank you for correcting me Skywalker, but I am a little concerned that you would know how its spelt Suspect

I never signed a contract to pay 'Rent' for the 'Privilage' of being born in one country or another...where is my human rights???? Surely what I spend my money on is my right and my choice, not a totalitarian government. Isn't this the argument?

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:53 pm

Blueturando said: Thank you for correcting me Skywalker, but I am a little concerned that you would know how its spelt

Hiya Bluey almost the same as I was going to say to you after my original spelling error and not realising you too had made a similar mistake.

I really find it difficult how what I have always thought to be a reasonable man could defend such a policy, are you saying that a person who after a lifetime of working hard and is now thrown onto the scrapheap by this, your rancid Government, should then suffer the indignity of doing their weekly shopping with a Government token/voucher only to be taken to task by a cashier for purchasing the items not favoured by this Fascist Government, next you will want the unemployed to only be permitted to shop is a store owned by a registered Tory member, and all other stores to have a cross on their front doors, or maybe even a star. Think about it Blue one is just a small step from the other. First the Benefit claimants, then the pensionere the who will be next.

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:03 pm

blueturando wrote:Thank you for correcting me Skywalker, but I am a little concerned that you would know how its spelt Suspect

I never signed a contract to pay 'Rent' for the 'Privilage' of being born in one country or another...where is my human rights???? Surely what I spend my money on is my right and my choice, not a totalitarian government. Isn't this the argument?

I speak fluent German. 'Sieg' just means 'victory', and isn't bad per se - the name of the mythical German hero, Siegfried, means 'victory peace'.

Why should you have to sign a contract? You pay for food, for lodgings etc - and the more luxurious, the more you pay. Likewise with tax - the rich, who enjoy a 'premium' quality of life here, should pay more for the privilege.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by sickchip on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:39 pm

If one draws a line in the sand and looks to either side of that line one will see sand.

What distinguishes either side of the line? Does the tide cause one side of the line to to get a little wet on occasion - it depends on where the line is drawn.

British political parties are all sand. There is a dearth of courage and fear of change in british politics. The seats in government, or opposition, have become too comfortable for the asses that occupy them.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Ivan on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:40 pm

blueturando wrote:-
Surely what I spend my money on is my right and my choice……….I never signed a contract to pay 'Rent' for the 'Privilege' of being born in one country or another.
So do you think you should be allowed to spend your money on a gun if you so choose? Is it moral to spend your money on queue-jumping in the NHS, perhaps causing someone in greater need to suffer longer than they otherwise would and maybe even to die? Should you spend your money on sending your son to Eton when you look at how much damage that place has done to this country?

Just count yourself lucky that you weren’t born in a country such as Somalia, where there is something akin to anarchy. The word ‘civilised’ means to be capable of living in cities or communities, in contrast to being a nomad and fending for yourself. It implies a two-way commitment, from the community to you and vice versa. Therefore you pay to live in that community and take from it what you require to have a safe and reasonable existence. Where people start to disagree is if some of us are greedy and don’t accept the concept of “to each according to their need, from each according to their ability”.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by blueturando on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:52 pm

Dont worry Bobby, I am just being a bit of an arse......

The reason I am mocking this proposal is because in reality it would never, ever work...for a good number of reasons and senarios

Example 1. I am a full time carer for a disabled relative, which in itself is a fulltime job. Why would I not be allowed to have a beer or ciggie iF I wanted to. I am not a scrounger...I work fulltime

Example 2. What happens if I loose my card or it gets stolen? Do I starve before another is issued

Example 3. I try and eat healthy and in a cost effective way, but the best food prices are at my local market who in 99% of cases are cash only business. So are the government telling me I have to spend more money on food than I can afford in a supermarket.

Example 4. I make sure all my bills are paid so I do not falll into debt. The best way for me to control this is to pay everything by direct debit, but with this card I have no cash to pay into the bank to pay my bills

Example 5. I have a disabled child who has specialist needs, none of which will be covered on this benefit card

Example 6. I cannot buy clothes with this card and my child need a new school uniform....Do I send my child to school naked. I may need some shoes to go for an interview...Is the government stopping me from getting a job?

And the list goes on I'm sure

The concerning thing is that this idea seems to have cross party support...Maybe I am wrong on that and will stand corrected if I am wrong

Bobby I assure you I am a 'light blue' Conservative and would not support proposals like this for one second. We have a problem in this country at the moment where many working class people are fed up with career benefit claimants and people who play or defraud the system are having a big impact on hard up families who work hard for 'not enough' money and therefore the resentment sets in.

If the political parties could come together and tackle the problem areas of benefits, then I would hope that those in genuine need would not get stigmatised time and time again

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by tlttf on Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:02 pm

Being a right sided libertarian with a (tiny) bit of social conscience, I find myself agreeing (again) with the logic given by both bobby and Blue (strange).

Those that need help should receive it via coin of the realm (liberty). Those that are swinging the lead, let them starve or work (liberty).

As Ivan explained "each according to their need and ability".

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:14 pm

Have I entered an alternate reality without realising it?! Smile
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:38 pm

Blueturando saidDont worry Bobby, I am just being a bit of an arse......

Sorry about that bluey, but I can not see the smile under those plasters, so can only react to the written word.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:59 pm

Bluey, firstly I am sorry to hear about your child, it must be very difficult to deal with. Icertainly hope your Childs disability is not to serious and that he/she can enjoy life and be happy, and as for being a full time carer for a needy relative, you have my full respect.

I fully agree that career benefit claimants should be dealt with, what I wont accept is this Governments one size fits all mentality. They seem to think that if out of ten thousand benefit claimants and if 9,950 are genuine, they will get the cheats by damaging the lives of them all. It really is a shame that they can not put the same efforts into ending tax dodging loopholes as they seem to on ruining the lives of those worst off. Everything they do smacks of ideology, as none of their policies are working, and if there is a small rise in those employed, the vast majority are low paid part time jobs, created by the very same tax dodgers they are allowing to flourish.

They have achieved bugger all and have worsened our economy, so how can anyone want to keep them in power.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by boatlady on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:14 pm

I'm still waiting to meet a career benefit claimant - appreciate, on first sight, some look like that, but once you know the 'back story' I don't think I ever knew a single one
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:21 pm

boatlady said: I'm still waiting to meet a career benefit claimant - appreciate, on first sight, some look like that, but once you know the 'back story' I don't think I ever knew a single one
Boatlady, I wish I could put claim to the same, but one of my employee’s sister and her family are exactly what I mean . They are a partnership couple in that they are not married and have at the last count 5 kids between them. I had the information given to me by my employee as he is disgusted with his sisters behaviour, he says “every time they need a pay rise, they knock out another sprog. They live in a 4 bedroom housing association property, and as far as my employee is aware do not do anything other that attend the Job Seekers office, to regurgitate the same answer given to the same questions as their last visit. They openly admit they have no intension of going to work. Some years ago, my employee asked me if I could give the lazy bugger a job, As he was totally unskilled I invited him over for an interview, and offered him a job as cleaner odd job man, he wasn’t capable of doing anything else. He accepted the job, but failed to turn up for work on his first morning. My employee/friend went round to see him to find out why he didn’t turn up, he was told the pay wasn’t good enough. This lump of lard didn’t even have the common decency to call me and tell me himself. I cant say he kept someone else a job as I created the post specifically for him. So it is true Boatlady we do have some albeit in a minority professional benefit claimants, and they are the ones that need to be looked into by using the same staff the Government are using to wreck the lives of the genuine claimants. I am sure that the lazy git I use, is not on his own, there must be others.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:36 am

bobby wrote:I am sure that the lazy git I use, is not on his own, there must be others.[/color]

Of course there are benefit layabouts. As I point out in another post in this section, they're absolutely irrelevant while there are more than 5 people per available vacancy - and as long as we don't have full employment, or close to it. If you force one of them to work, you just deprive someone of a job who wants to work. It may be annoying, but letting them starve would inflict the same on their children, whose fault it is not.

The government just uses them as a complete red herring.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:24 am

bobby wrote:Blueturando saidDont worry Bobby, I am just being a bit of an arse......

Sorry about that bluey, but I can not see the smile under those plasters, so can only react to the written word.

Two good posts bobby, and thank you for your honesty surely blue can understand what you are saying or perhaps knows what your saying is true but because of Tory Ideology turns a blind eye. You might not have seen a smile underneath the plasters but I bet there was a Smirk.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:38 am

A 'must read' - what was being reported about Cameron three years ago; it's a shame that all those people who were being brainwashed by Murdoch's unrelenting attacks on Gordon Brown didn't see this and take notice of it:-

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:04 am

Ivan wrote:A 'must read' - what was being reported about Cameron three years ago; it's a shame that all those people who were being brainwashed by Murdoch's unrelenting attacks on Gordon Brown didn't see this and take notice of it:-

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Just read your link Ivan !!!!!!!!!!!!!! O.M.G. It is a pity the people of the UK have not seen this report after me thinking that Jeff Randall was a Tory (so sorry Jeff) I wonder if the right wingers on this forum will have the GUTS & BACKBONE to read this but as you know they will POO POO it as LEFTY LIES .

Thank you once again Ivan for taking the blinkers off the eyes of the great British public.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by astradt1 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:14 am

Interesting article.....Answers a lot of questions about the way Cameron does not answer questions at PMQ's ....

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:19 am

Steve, I know that the clown I mention had a job to start, because I let my heart rule my head and offered him one, The wage I offered was well above minimum wage as I believe in paying a living wage. I fully expected him to earn every penny, yet he admitted to my employee/friend that the pay wasn’t good enough. In my business I need to employ very skilful and able specialists and they all earn extremely good money, I guess this no nuffin cnut thought he was worth as much as his Brother in law for parts washing, steam cleaning and keeping my workshop tidy. This man has to me proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is not fit to look after a family and to then hear you say “what about the kids, its not their faults” and you are of course quite right, if he is unable to look after his kids and show the necessary responsibility needed for such an important duty, perhaps the kids life chances would be enhances if they went to a responsible loving home and where adopted. By the way the eldest of these kids is now 19 and hasn’t done a stroke of work since leaving school because his parents are showing him on a daily basis you don’t need to. To these kids it becomes the norm to do bugger all, as it will be for their kids if this situation is allowed to continue. For the sake of future generations, this cycle needs to be broken. If after so many years and a proven record this lump of shit should now be made to do some community service. Anyway isn’t he committing fraud by the very act of signing on, as he should actively be looking for work not sitting on his arse poncing.

As I said before the likes of these people should be sorted out, and if they where this rancid Government would lose any credibility they may feel they have with regards to calling all benefit claimants scroungers. These professional ponces are the allies of the Tory Party and the enemy of the true benefit claimants.

By the way I believe the argument of "what about the kids" is not very different than the Bankers argument "if we don't get our massive bonuses and what we want we will bugger off elsewhere"..
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by skwalker1964 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:26 pm

Don't disagree in principle, mate. But there are nowhere near enough adopters even for the kids who need homes now - and keeping them in care would cost more than paying benefits to the family, with poor outcomes to boot. It's pragmatic rather than soft.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:10 pm

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And it all came true - not a surprising word in any of that - now he's in a position of power, he hardly bothers to dissemble, so the truth of the piece is quite obvious.
A very nasty man, who should never have been elected into a position of such power.
Shame on the Tory party for not ejecting him years ago.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:13 pm

astradt1 wrote:Interesting article.....Answers a lot of questions about the way Cameron does not answer questions at PMQ's ....


It tells us a lot astradt1 what a nasty piece of work he really is, so the next time he talks about the cuts it had to be done I will think EFFING LIAR
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by sickchip on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:40 pm

Maybe it would help people understand british politics more clearly if we didn't refer to parties - labour, tory, etc..............but simply referred to 'the government'?
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Ivan on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:33 pm

sickchip. If you can't see any differences between what has been going on since May 2010 and what happened previously, I feel sorry for you. It's a pity that you can't be more positive.

Did anything this bad happen under Labour?
"John Nash gave £300,000 to the Tories - then IDS gave a him £73 million workfare contract, Gove made him a schools minister and Cameron gave him a peerage."

The BBC is now being censored. Did you hear any reports of Ed Miliband's plans to tackle youth unemployment? I didn't.
"Last week Ed Miliband outlined his plan to tackle youth unemployment. First, firms who get big government contracts must take on apprentices. Second, government departments would hire and train apprentices to work in its offices. Finally, he said that he would broaden the education system to meet the needs of those who do not go to university and go straight into the labour market."
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Was this speech by Andy Burnham on Labour's plans for the NHS reported by the BBC? No.
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The Tories love to hear people with your negative attitude. They'll agree with you if you say "they're all the same" or "they're all as bad as each other". Then they'll go and vote Tory again, and the nightmare will continue.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Redflag on Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:52 pm

You're quite right Ivan and sickchip you are definitely wrong, Ivan is right about the BBC this Tory gov't has bound and tied the BBC hand and foot with threats of taking more money off them if they show the Tories in a bad light in other words do not dare to tell the TRUTH about what we are doing, and do not give the opposition any air time to show there policies, Ivan has given you links I suggest you read them and then come back and let us know what your opinion is then.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by Ivan on Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:14 pm

This link, posted on another thread by Steve Walker, shows how the BBC betrayed the NHS:-

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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:23 pm

Well lets face it, you only need to look at the geezer who runs the BBC Chris Patton, One of the nearly dead Bitch Maggie Thatchers arse lickers, If his interests are those of the BBC and not Tory Ideology, I will eat a tramps titfer.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

Post by bobby on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:38 pm

skwalker said: Don't disagree in principle, mate. But there are nowhere near enough adopters even for the kids who need homes now - and keeping them in care would cost more than paying benefits to the family, with poor outcomes to boot. It's pragmatic rather than soft.

Steve, I’m not sure what it is you are telling us, are you saying there are so many of the people I mentioned that we as a Nation could not deal with the backlash of putting these wretched kids out to adoption to families who would greatly enhance their life chances, and because there are too many we couldn’t afford to deal with the problem. The very fact there are the numbers you imply means that we most certainly need to break the circle, and need to treat it with some urgency and when the children are young enough to make such a transition, with minimal mental upheaval.

The very fact that if there are too many to deal with for pragmatic or any other reason, tells me that its more of a problem than many are led to believe.
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Re: Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics

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