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Politics and Economics-2017 Election
Prof Eman
Posted: 20 May 2017 16:14:03(UTC)
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A student asked me a question, and I could not think of an immediate answer. It was-
Why should I vote and if so how? He explained-
First we had conservatives sell the family silver, called it privatisation. Labour continued it.
Labour also sold the family gold.
Next we had the coalition, continuing the privatisation, plus cuts.
Then came conservatives, gave us Brexit, This resulted in a sharp fall in the value of the pound resulting in foreigners buying up our companies at a discount. Called inward investment of which we should be proud. The only problem with this is that these foreigners are likely to export the work abroad to cheaper wage areas. So is employment about to rise?
I was lost for words. Can anyone suggest an answer?
Mostly Retired
Posted: 20 May 2017 17:37:02(UTC)
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The easy part is "why vote" : The right to vote in a democratic process is a hard won liberty and the envy of many countries around the globe. People die for the right to vote, even if sometimes "none of the above" is our reaction to the inane antics of politicians. The second part is less clear!

Manifesto pledges are as solid as fog. One looks at general tenor of argument and direction, and then accepts that they are surprisingly fallible - stupid decisions are no respecter of political belief or original intention. The reality of our world in the UK is that we are buffeted by forces outside our narrow political environment and a "pledge" will be rapidly eviscerated on the altar of international developments. Terminology is invented to hide the truth or flatter the listener, rarely does it reflect the reality of the proposed action.

Equally, every decision made by political leaders can be heavily criticised with the benefit of hindsight (though I remain perplexed by the decision by one GB to sell gold at the strike price he did). My view is that one takes the broad direction and emphasis as the way to choose; but like all when we are really honest, I admit to being at least a little selfish for me and my family when voting!

(P.S. Feeling especially cynical this week :) )
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Mr Helpful on 24/05/2017(UTC), banjofred on 16/06/2017(UTC)
Recently Redundant and Retired
Posted: 20 May 2017 22:13:07(UTC)
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I've been eligible to vote for many decades and can't remember a time when I haven't been appalled at the poor quality of politician and choice we are faced with each time to such an extent I rarely vote, the main exceptions being when my children asked about elections so I took them to the polling station to vote for me, quite a discussion ensued with four of us in the booth usually resulting in voting Monster Raving Loony or Natural Law, sometimes "none of the above".
With so many people these days studying politics, PLE etc. at university (about half the audience on any Question Time it seems) I would have expected our system to throw up something better than the spineless, incompetent and self-promoting charlatans we get on our ballot papers. Where are the alternatives ? Could anyone envisage Diane Abbott as Home Secretary ? Is she and her ilk the best our system has to offer as an alternative ? Or perhaps this is how our education system makes them, as compliant stereotypes rather than radical thinkers, as puppets of the system rather than leaders of our nation.
Prof.. ask yourself, is a bad vote any better than no vote ?
Prof Eman
Posted: 21 May 2017 11:44:39(UTC)
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One further point was made in terms of economic management.
Where is the investment that should have accrued from North Sea Oil?
dyfed
Posted: 21 May 2017 14:02:48(UTC)
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Prof Eman;46975 wrote:
One further point was made in terms of economic management.
Where is the investment that should have accrued from North Sea Oil?


Indeed: where is our equivalent of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund? Long gone....
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Alan Anderson on 28/05/2017(UTC)
xcity
Posted: 21 May 2017 19:32:52(UTC)
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Prof Eman;46953 wrote:
First we had conservatives sell the family silver, called it privatisation. Labour continued it.

The majority of what was sold constituted a money pit whilst in public hands. Politics got in the way of active management and necessary investment was hard to justify.
Personally, I think that the privatisation (and later sale) of the building societies by Boards and members was much more malign.
Performance of most of the privatised industries has been much better since their sale.
Keeping them and making them perform better in the public sector might have been a better trick, but not one that governments have been good at.
Prof Eman;46953 wrote:
Labour also sold the family gold.

Well, 'sold' is a word for it; at the time, most thought GB had virtually given it away.
Prof Eman;46953 wrote:
Next we had the coalition, continuing the privatisation, plus cuts.

Not really true. Massive nationalisation of the banks with sales of other assets to help pay for the nationalisation and massive borrowings.
And much though our politicians can be blamed for the insufficient regulation etc, the same problems were there throughout the developed world. And rather than simply having cuts there was also QE; unlike the EU.
Prof Eman;46953 wrote:
Then came conservatives, gave us Brexit,

Again untrue. Offered the opportunity for Brexit, but it was voters who decided to go for it - all political parties, apart form UKIP, were against.
Prof Eman;46953 wrote:
Brexit, This resulted in a sharp fall in the value of the pound resulting in foreigners buying up our companies at a discount. Called inward investment of which we should be proud. The only problem with this is that these foreigners are likely to export the work abroad to cheaper wage areas.

Sharp fall in the pound - true, but only partly because the £ is still higher than it was in the financial crisis.
Foreigners buying our companies at a discount - well no. Companies have often been sold to foreigners and there is only a discount if you think the £ should be higher. If you think it should be lower, and that the UK's future is grim, then we're stealing money from them.
And not many companies have changed hands (yet). And how many of those that have been sold are able to export jobs? ARM? It's mostly IP companies that have gone, not a lot of jobs to go to cheap wage areas.
Prof Eman;46953 wrote:

Why should I vote and if so how?
I was lost for words. Can anyone suggest an answer?

Advise him not to. That means he can blame all the dumb voters for anything the government does that he doesn't like, like his friends do.
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dd
Posted: 21 May 2017 20:51:28(UTC)
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dyfed;46979 wrote:
Prof Eman;46975 wrote:
One further point was made in terms of economic management.
Where is the investment that should have accrued from North Sea Oil?


Indeed: where is our equivalent of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund? Long gone....


I fear that much of it went on current expenditure, increased salaries and pensions for and expanded public sector under Labour, not sure what under Coalition/Conservatives.
Prof Eman
Posted: 22 May 2017 08:36:12(UTC)
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The advice so far is-
Register to vote, i.e "to-day" which is the last day.
Then at least you have the option of voting, should you decide to vote.
Prof Eman
Posted: 22 May 2017 14:51:33(UTC)
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Please do not forget, last day to register to vote to-day.
Martina
Posted: 22 May 2017 16:49:33(UTC)
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Purely out of interest, how many companies since the Brexit vote and the subsequent fall in sterling have fallen into foreign hands a d how many jobs have been transferred?
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Alan Anderson on 28/05/2017(UTC)
Prof Eman
Posted: 27 May 2017 22:29:18(UTC)
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Back now after the Manchester break.
Mostly Retired and R R and Redundant.
Is a bad vote any better than no vote? Good question.
Let us consider what choices there are.
Under the 1st past the post system, there are 4 choices-
Vote Conservative, vote Labour, vote Liberal, vote UKIP.
You should look at their manifestos and consider two things-How do they affect me? and How do they affect the UK, consider long term rather than short term.
Under Conservatives you can expect U turn May, more cuts. So what exactly is going to happen is a question mark, and Brexit means Brexit whatever that means.
Under Labour you can expect Jeremy Corbyn, as described by some who are seen by some as the nasty party, and Dianne Abbott. ~The point about her is that she can be ditched more easily in a reshuffle than manifesto commitments.She should not be seen as a very serious consideration.
Their policies are based more on state intervention as markets are imperfect, lesser cuts and softer Brexit.
The Liberals are pro Europe but unlikely to be a major force in parliament unless it is a hung parliament.
UKIP - They have achieved Brexit and now are searching for a new role. However some of their policies such as one in, one out on immigration, are frankly bonkers. How can that equate supply of labour with demand? Secondly the choices seem to be to be have some immigrants to help pay for the retirees, or have retirees lose their homes for care.
So there you have it-
When you have thought through the above, you might select Conservatives or Labour, as one or the other will be the largest party, under first past the post.
If you voted remain you might consider Liberal, if and where they have a chance of winning, and/or like their policies anyway. Otherwise you will waste your vote under the 1st past the post system.
If you are still at a loss, remember that this is more than a normal election, it will affect your families, kids, and their kids for a long time so think which Brexit or otherwise do you want. i.e.consider the long term not the short term gain over the next five years or so.
xcity
Posted: 27 May 2017 23:55:50(UTC)
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Prof Eman;47226 wrote:
Under Labour you can expect Jeremy Corbyn and Dianne Abbott. ~The point about her is that she can be ditched more easily in a reshuffle than manifesto commitments.She should not be seen as a very serious consideration

You do realise how close they are, don't you?
sandid3
Posted: 28 May 2017 03:18:25(UTC)
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I am distant from all this but it seems to me the 'only five point gap' story is just media hogwash. Yes, there has been one poll, but it's a YouGov poll - a rubbish system if ever there was one.

Looking at the Guardian poll tracker graph it seems obvious that what has happened is that the Ukip vote has suddenly sunk like a stone and been distributed between the two main parties. It's not clear what effect that will have on the number of seats for each.
Mickey
Posted: 28 May 2017 08:01:34(UTC)
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Unfortunately I thought the Prof's analysis was light-hearted rather than anything serious. As for Jeremy ditching the hateful Abbott, that's not going to happen.
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Jon Snow on 09/06/2017(UTC)
sandid3
Posted: 28 May 2017 08:09:17(UTC)
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Given that Cameron gained absolute power with only 37% of the popular vote and May is sitting at 47% in the polls, I think it would be significant if May actually managed to obtain 50%. That could happen given the way votes for the minor parties are disappearing.
dyfed
Posted: 28 May 2017 08:48:25(UTC)
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From where I am sitting, Corbyn is suddenly looking like a leader! He has a clear sense of direction even if you disagree with it. For the first time I see why he got elected by Labour, and why he has loyal fans.
In contrast, May handled the "dementia tax" very badly from start to finish, and her only message seems to be to knock Corbyn.
Drogue
Posted: 28 May 2017 09:38:11(UTC)
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I do not know about Corbyn looking like a leader, a figurehead more like for the union bosses rubbing their hands at the complete control of the UK that he is giving them, together with his wild promises of a Utopia for all at little cost except for the "rich".
Richard Lambert
Posted: 28 May 2017 09:55:18(UTC)
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Corbyn, for all his dedication to his principles is a career leftie politician. His ideals are totally outdated and his loyalty to Abbott is misguided at best. I tremble at the thought of him leading our country, and despite her faults May doesn't make me tremble as much. Just my opinion.
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sandid3
Posted: 28 May 2017 11:03:18(UTC)
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If people have decided there is no point in voting for Ukip or the LibDems or the Greens in this election, both May and Corbyn could come out as winners - in as much as Ed Milliband only received 30% of the vote in 2015.
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dyfed on 28/05/2017(UTC)
Prof Eman
Posted: 28 May 2017 16:39:53(UTC)
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Some aspects of conservative policy make me tremble see to-day's Citywire -Sunday Papers: Pounds fall "the worst devaluation in history" from a source most of you are unlikely to label left wing.
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