The British Politics Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by DarthKarde, Apr 8, 2003.

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  1. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Well, it can't be that many. Perhaps something like 5?
  2. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    I would guess 0?

    I have to say, the Tories seem to have peaked against Labour. Michael Howard made an excellent start, but Blair seems to 'win' against him in PMQ's pretty constantly. And the fact that the Tories have been scared away from coming up with radical ideas by fear of Labour's success. I only got a brief chance to watch things as Butler unfolded, but Howard really didn't seem to land punches on Blair from what I could tell.
  3. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Well, it can't be that many. Perhaps something like 5?

    Close.

    It is in fact 4 (Uxbridge, Beckenham, Eddisbury and Kensington & Chelsea) and they all took place between 1997 and 1999. In those 15 years Labour have won 38

    An even more astonising fact is that it is 22 years since the Conservatives won a by election in a seat that they were not defending.

    I would guess 0?

    Surely you remember a certain chap called Portilo who returned to parliament via a by election.
  4. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    Portillo... name sounds familiar... hmmm

    :_| I just thought it was a trick question, so I didn't bother to engage brain!
  5. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    I just goes to show how desperate the Conservative's have been doing in the last 15 years.

    As regards the Tories position now, I think it's true that things have become a little stale again. As we reach election time, it's obvious New Labour's popularity will start to grow-as long as the economy remains healthy.

    The next election is all about limitng Blairs majority, so the Tories have a spring board to government in 2010. I don't think anybody ever seriously thought that Michael Howard could win the next election, did they?
  6. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    But that's the problem, Fett the Tories aren't trying to win - they've given up. Their policies are too similar to Labour, and they aren't belting out the fundamental Tory creed - smaller government and less taxes - because they are allowing Labour to set the agenda.

    That being said, it is to Howard's credit that they are now an effective opposition, and actually able to influence labour - such as over 'efficiency' savings and the EU referendum.
  7. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I have been deeply disapointed with the tories for the last month or so. During the local elections coverage Labour ministers kept coming out with 'no big ideas from the tories', no problem was the reply, radical policies to be unvailed this summer.

    Then we get the 'big idea'. The conservative party will increase spending on health and education by £49 billion. That was the point when I realised that any slim hope of victory at the next election was completely gone. Firstly the policy is incompatible with the parties purported ideology and a craven political surrender and secondly for the tories to try and fight on health and education is suicide.
  8. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    Yup, I agree with everything you've just said, Karde

    Indeed, what makes it more frustrating is that the almost-certainty of defeat would be an excellent chance for the Tories to try radical policies. Instead, they've made a fundamental mistake in allowing Labour to dictate the terms of battle.

    I'm also deeply disappointed with their Euro stance. For the simple reason I get the strong feeling that the Tory party's divisions could well resurface. I may not want a Labour government in power - but I also don't want a John Major 2.
  9. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    but I also don't want a John Major 2

    Indeed, the conservative party still hasn't recovered from his time as leader.
  10. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Come on people lets not dis Major. He was in the unfortunate position of having a strong cabinet full of strong and ambitious MPs who were not afraid of airing their views. Shame our present cabinet doesn't have the same qualities.
  11. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    Whether Major was personally cupable or not, his government was disasterously badly managed.
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Has there been any public fallout over the fact that Quadafi himself is trying to buy a football team in the UK?

    I guess the owner of the Chrystal Palace is trying to sell, and Qadafi wants to buy the team for his son..

    Is the public concerned at all over the overship of a team, from anationalistic sense, or is the focus simply on the team itself?

  13. Darth_MacDaddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2003
    star 4
    Come on people lets not dis Major. He was in the unfortunate position of having a strong cabinet full of strong and ambitious MPs who were not afraid of airing their views. Shame our present cabinet doesn't have the same qualities.

    Couldn't agree anymore D_A. Major inherited a very powerful cabinet that did something that no-one or nothing had done before - topple Margaret Thatcher!

    [face_monkey]
  14. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Come on people lets not dis Major. He was in the unfortunate position of having a strong cabinet full of strong and ambitious MPs who were not afraid of airing their views. Shame our present cabinet doesn't have the same qualities.

    Do I have to remind you of the fateful day, 16th September 1992. Major was to blame for that, as Chancellor he convinced Thatcher to take us into the ERM and as Prime Minister he over ruled his chancellor and dithered while the Bank of England was haemorrhaging billions in reserves. The party reputation for economic compotance (one of it's most valued assets) was shattered and still hasn't been fully recovered. Nothing Major did after that could have made ammends.

    Has there been any public fallout over the fact that Quadafi himself is trying to buy a football team in the UK?

    I guess the owner of the Chrystal Palace is trying to sell, and Qadafi wants to buy the team for his son..

    Is the public concerned at all over the overship of a team, from anationalistic sense, or is the focus simply on the team itself?


    I think that it's safe to say that most football fans only care about how much money the owner of their club is willing to spend. Given a choice between a rich foreigner and a rich local they would go for the latter but a rich foreigner is vastly preferable to a poor local.
  15. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    "Do I have to remind you of the fateful day, 16th September 1992"

    No, no you don't. But Major was a nice guy and I've always felt sorry for him. Not much of an argument I know but he always came across as a guy who wasn't in it for himself unlike the present occupier of No 10.
  16. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    No, no you don't. But Major was a nice guy and I've always felt sorry for him. Not much of an argument I know but he always came across as a guy who wasn't in it for himself unlike the present occupier of No 10.

    I actually agree with most that. He was a decent bloke who did his best. Unfortunately his catastrophic leadership left the conservative party crippled.
  17. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    I see on today's news that 'some conservatives' are questioning Michael Howards leadership...

    :rolleyes:

    I see that they've still not worked out that they've not been elected to parliament to fight each other...

    For the forst time today, I found myself seriously wondering whether the Tories will ever recover - or whether something new is/will be needed...
  18. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Here is another general question..(well, 2 actually)

    Janes Defence is reporting that the MOD is increasing the overall military budget to some 34 billion ps, yet the entire structure of the UK armed forces are being drastically cut back.

    The Royal Navy is getting some 1,500 sailor positions cut, as well as massive reductions in submarines, destroyers and mine sweepers.

    The RAF is loosing 4 complete squadrons, including the entire Jaguar fleet.

    The Army is suffering a reduction in 9,000 troop positions, as well as a reduction in armored forces.

    Most interesting of all is that Hoon announced an even larger reliance on the US, in UK defense operations

    For example, the UK will almost exclusively rely on USAF transport planes to move their forces.

    My questions:

    1)If the overall budget is being increased, yet the forces are being reduced, does anyone know where the mony is going?

    2)If the UK is going to rely on the US even more than it does, won't autonomy issues creep in?

    Not that I object on this end of the pond. It certainly represents a strengthening of an already strong bond.
  19. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    Well, allegedly all this nice money thats being poured in is going on nice shiny new technology - 'Transformation'. What they main critisisms are is that the UK has probably reached its maximum stretch with its armed forces - or near to it. Not only is a lot of the technologies unproven and not available now, but you do actually need numbers as well - especially for the peace-keeping operations that the UK does. Most people seem to agree that the changes to the Army are resonably okay (but we probably needed more not less boots on the ground now). But the air-force and navy are greatly diminished. The UK has been more miltarily involved than at any point since (possibly) Suez. And yet the miltaries numbers are cut again and again.

    This makes us far, far too reliant on the US. What if there is a conflict (like the Falklands) where the US wishes to remain neutral? We're knackered then. This smells of a 'keeping up with the Joneses' attitude to the US. Frankly, if the US is going to get snobby about British involvement with them miltarily because our troops are not all equipped with personal computers that can inform central command of exactly when each soldier is going for a piss or whatever, than thats the US's problem, not ours.
  20. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    1)If the overall budget is being increased, yet the forces are being reduced, does anyone know where the mony is going?

    New technology is part of the answer but the real problem at the MOD is it's complete inability to achieve budget on it's big projects. The absolute farce that is the Eurofighter has and will continue to cost a fortune while it's benefits remain questionable at best.

    Of course you need to understand that the increase in spending is only 1.4% in real terms.

    2)If the UK is going to rely on the US even more than it does, won't autonomy issues creep in?

    I can only respond with an appauled yes.

    The uncomfortable truth is that for 20 years or more HM armed forces have been treated disgracefully by both Tory and Labour governments. It is a testement to them that they have continued to produce such effective results given the lack of resources. It is largely down to excellant training (possibly the best in the world) and the ethos and discipline of the services. These things however can only go so far and I fear that we are rapidly moving to a point where too much will be asked of those who have too few resources. No sovereign nation that it is fit to call it's self such should become totally reliant on another power.

    It certainly represents a strengthening of an already strong bond.

    I disagree. Part of the strength of the US-UK relationship is that unlike many other allies of the US, the UK has a reasonable military capacity. The more that that is reduced the less value the UK is as an ally to the US. Such a scenario will also cause resentment and feul the already growing anti-US sentiment in this country.
  21. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    I fear the break up of our Regimental system. This system is one of the strengths of our armed forces.
  22. danmcken Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2003
    star 3
    at least we can discuse the goverment in our great country we will never have a dictatorship in the uk
  23. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    No, just a bunch of lackies in the Commons who want rid of Blair but don't thave the balls to do it! [face_plain]

    The Commons has become a rubber stamp factory.....
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