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How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

A forum for any Off Topic Games / Polls / Quizzes. All registered members are able to start their own polls in this forum

How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Conservative
1
9%
Labour
4
36%
Liberal Democrat
3
27%
Green Party
0
No votes
BNP
0
No votes
UKIP
0
No votes
Other
0
No votes
I won't vote - can't be bothered
0
No votes
I won't vote - politics doesn't interest me
2
18%
I won't vote - I feel disenfranchised from the whole damn system!
1
9%
I'll be voting - but I'd prefer not to say who for
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 11

How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Mr Blue Sky » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:39 am

Simple question really. I don't expect to see a huge turnout for this one (sign of the times eh? :wink: ) but I'd be really interested to see in particular who will actually vote and who won't come May the 6th.

This will be my 5th General Election and I'm voting Tory this time around. So far I've voted Labour twice ('97 and '01), Lib Dem once ('92) and Conservative once ('05).
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:11 am

Jeez, I'm really going to have to think about this one! I'll get back to you. :scratch:
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Moon-Crane » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:10 pm

I still haven't decided yet. I've got problems with each of them, but i will be voting.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:37 pm

I've just done a quick Which party should you vote for? quiz. It's only short, and only includes summaries of some policies, so it doesn't give a definitive outcome by any means. It also concerned me that apparently one of the major parties doesn't have a policy on education, which does make me wonder about how well the quiz was thought out! Like the 'Political Compass' test though, I was just interested to know what my results would be. They were:

28% Conservative
38% Labour
33% Liberal Democrat

So if there's any merit in the quiz at all, that could explain why I'm so undecided. :lol:

At any rate, it was fun to do and got me thinking about a few issues.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:56 pm

I got a bit quiz-addicted there for a while, and did three others too. They all came out as pretty neutral, so I give up. :lol: So tell me why I should vote Tory, BS? One of my other friends is going to try and convince me to vote Lib Dem, so now I just need to find someone who's pro-Labour.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby woggle » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:23 pm

I gave the i wont vote politics dont interest me answer so im guessing this will be my only post in this subject .
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Moon-Crane » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:13 pm

Dorset Girl wrote:I've just done a quick Which party should you vote for? quiz. It's only short, and only includes summaries of some policies, so it doesn't give a definitive outcome by any means. It also concerned me that apparently one of the major parties doesn't have a policy on education, which does make me wonder about how well the quiz was thought out! Like the 'Political Compass' test though, I was just interested to know what my results would be. They were:

28% Conservative
38% Labour
33% Liberal Democrat

So if there's any merit in the quiz at all, that could explain why I'm so undecided. :lol:

At any rate, it was fun to do and got me thinking about a few issues.


I think they must've made a fuck up on the Education question. Obviously the Conservative party has a policy for Education :lol:
I got:
48% Conservative
34% Labour
18% Liberal Democrat
but i don't think it really told me much except that some of the policies were pretty vague and i had to pick a speculative least worst. I wasn't really seeing something i agreed with or thought went far enough to mean anything useful under some of the policy outlines.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:36 pm

Well, I've ruled Lib Dem out of the equation, as I won't be voting for our local candidate after what I learned today.

A teacher at our local school made a complaint against one of the cleaners, saying that he assaulted her. From her description, after months of verbal assault, he made unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature with her. She reported him, he disappeared for two days - no one knew where he'd gone - then he turned up again and denied the claims. I don't know if he did it or not - it's her word against his. The case has been through court, and he has been found 'not guilty' due to lack of evidence.

The local Lib Dems posted a campaign leaflet through our door this week. The headline was something like 'We have supported a local man through his legal hell.' The article then went on to say about how the teacher had lied, and how the man had now been found totally innocent.

Unsurprisingly, it's emerged that our local candidate has a personal connection to the accused. I don't think it's right that a political party should get so involved in a case like this, and I really don't understand them using it as a major part of their election campaigning.

So, no Lib Dem vote from me. I definitely wouldn't vote BNP or UKIP. The Green Party seem to me to be more about ideals than reality. So that just leaves Tory and Labour - I'm siding towards Labour at the moment.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby CatNamedRudy » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:45 pm

I don't know enough about your candidates to make an informed decision. Not that that usually makes a difference with a lot of voters!
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Mr Blue Sky » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:54 pm

Dorset Girl wrote:Well, I've ruled Lib Dem out of the equation, as I won't be voting for our local candidate after what I learned today.

A teacher at our local school made a complaint against one of the cleaners, saying that he assaulted her. From her description, after months of verbal assault, he made unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature with her. She reported him, he disappeared for two days - no one knew where he'd gone - then he turned up again and denied the claims. I don't know if he did it or not - it's her word against his. The case has been through court, and he has been found 'not guilty' due to lack of evidence.

The local Lib Dems posted a campaign leaflet through our door this week. The headline was something like 'We have supported a local man through his legal hell.' The article then went on to say about how the teacher had lied, and how the man had now been found totally innocent.

Unsurprisingly, it's emerged that our local candidate has a personal connection to the accused. I don't think it's right that a political party should get so involved in a case like this, and I really don't understand them using it as a major part of their election campaigning.

So, no Lib Dem vote from me. I definitely wouldn't vote BNP or UKIP. The Green Party seem to me to be more about ideals than reality. So that just leaves Tory and Labour - I'm siding towards Labour at the moment.


Ooh, we'll have to sort that out! :D

You asked previously for me to try and convince you to vote Tory this time around. Well, this is my shot. I'm certainly looking at the bigger picture for this election. Every election campaign we'll get lots of sloganeering and manifesto launches (like the one today) which highlight small policy differences, in the grand scheme of things. On the whole, the MAJOR difference between the two parties has always been that Labour are the party that likes to tax high and spend that money on public services and big government. The Tories traditionally stand for small government and more money in voters' pockets rather than in the chancellor's coffers. That's highlighted this time around with the NI rise - you and I will most likely get a wage cut next April as anyone earning over 20K a year will have to pay more tax under Labour. The Tories will not introduce that rise. Now, we've already seen the tax burden for middle income families rise considerably under Labour these last 13 years and we'd definitely be getting more of the same if they got another 5 years in power. Personally I now think we're at a point where we need more of the Tory philosophy of small government and a reduction in the tax burden. We've had 13 years of it and we've seen some great improvements (that first Labour term was particularly successful between '97 and '01). However, I remember very well the Tories being voted in for a fourth consecutive term back in '92 and that was a complete disaster. They had a really small working majority in the Commons (about 17 MPs I think) and they just couldn't govern properly, plus they were beset by in-fighting and 'Euro Rebels' that term as well as being mired in scandal. I feel we'd get exactly the same scenario now if Labour were voted back in. Gordon Brown's had trouble enough trying to keep his job for his unelected 3 years as PM - what will it be like by the end of the next Parliament? Every other week one of his former ministers tries to stab him in the back and initiate a leadership contest - we certainly don't want 5 more years of that.

So yep, in summary, we've had 13 years of tax and spend under Labour (although investment was definitely needed after 18 years of Tory frugality) and now we need another 5 years of the Tories now times are tough and the national debt's at a record level.

Convinced? :wink:
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:29 pm

Hmmm, no, in a word, but I appreciate you trying. :lol: I'm thinking things through as I write this post, so apologies if it doesn't 'flow' too well, it's just my verbal diarrhea coming out. :lol:

You and I agree on some points. The thought of five more years of Gordon Brown makes me depressed. IMHO he's not the right person to lead the party. I'm not sure who is, but there most definitely needs to be a change. That's the main reason why I'm still 'on the fence'. We also agree that spending needs to be reigned in, before national debt becomes even more out of control.

Ideally, maybe I should step back and look at the bigger picture, but I can't do that. Too many local issues and my personal circumstances are making that impossible for me to do.

You're hoping to appeal to me on a personal level regarding tax increases, but actually, now that I'm working part time, no one in my family is likely to earn more than 20 grand anyway, so it's unlikely that we would be affected. I suppose that means that we're now a 'low income' family for the first time since we've been married, so perhaps that's why my outlook has changed. We're not on Income Support or anything of that nature, but our child tax credits, for instance, are now much more important to us than they used to be.

The Conservatives seem to me to contradict themselves more than any other significant party (Plaid Cymru excepted). For instance, the headline on their campaign leaflet for South Dorset - "Dignity and Respect for the Elderly". Yes, I agree with some of their policies. The one-off 'insurance' payment that they propose people make at the age of 65, to cover their fees in case they need to move into residential care, is a great idea. However, they have chosen the issue of care for the elderly as a campaign priority, and pushed their campaign leaflet through every door in a town where the current major issue is the closure of a large care home - and the decision to close it has been taken by a Conservative council. The area has already seen the closure of three care homes in the past five years, leaving us with only one, for which there is a huge waiting list.

Another area of contradiction is that they pledge to keep the Sure Start Centres open (for use by families with young children). Yay! Great news for parents. However, if you dig a bit deeper, you find that it's not that simple. What they don't mention on their campaign leaflet is that they plan to introduce charges to use them for the first time. This somewhat goes against David Cameron's claims about open and honest politics. In fact, the more I look into it, the more I can't help but think that most people with children would be worse off under a Tory government. They give tax benefits to married couples with one hand, then take them away by cutting child tax credits and trust funds with the other - it's just shallow rhetoric, and as with all Parties, they're careful only to mention the good bits! Promises of tax cuts win over voters, but do they make sense in the long run, when the country is so deep in debt?

In Dorset, the Torys are also responsible for causing a huge fiasco with our schools. To outline it briefly, they want to scrap Middle Schools and move to a two-tier system. Fair enough, but the way they want to do this in my area is by scrapping an OFSTED 'excellent' rated school and expanding a 'satisfactory' school. Why? Because the satisfactory school is C of E and partly funded by the Church. This means that we will have no non-faith schools, and that the school are entitled to lay off any teachers who are not practicing Christians. It also means that children will have to make a twenty mile round trip to school every day from the age of eleven.

I can't discuss Tory policies without mentioning fox hunting, which will come as no surprise! I know that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is important to me. The Torys have stated that they wish the ban to be reversed, and I find that abhorrent. If that were the only thing standing in my way of voting for them, then I'd overcome it and go ahead. But alongside all the other doubts I have, it only serves to strengthen my doubts.

I've just touched the surface of why I don't think I can vote for them there - and I haven't even got around to mentioning Anne Widdecombe, Boris Johnson, William Hague and John Redwood! What a truly revolting collection of people, and all Torys. I just don't think I can do it. At the end of the day, I come from a working class background, went to State schools, and every working member of my family except myself is in a 'blue collar' job. I can't help but equate the Torys with a widening of the gap between rich and poor.

Historically, I'm a Lib Dem voter, as are my parents. However, as explained in my last post, I don't feel that they're an option for me. Local issues aside, since Nick Clegg took the helm, the party seems to have moved further Right. Many of their policies are in line with the Conservatives, and on top of that, there seems to be a lot of infighting within the party. Why oh why did they stab Charles Kennedy in the back? IMHO, they lost their best chance when they did that.

So it's the lesser of two evils for me - I have to choose between the Conservatives and Labour. I could probably come out with almost as many reasons why I feel doubtful about Labour too, so my mind is still far from made up.

Blimey, this has turned into an essay! Your post was succinct and looked at the wider picture, BS. Mine has looked at details and waffled on forever. :lol: Most likely, that reflects the different ways in which we're looking at this election?!
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Mr Blue Sky » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:44 pm

Hehe, no worries, that was an interesting read. I don’t blame you for concentrating on local issues – you are, after all, voting for your local MP.

I think Cameron may have lost a few voters when his views on Fox Hunting were exposed the other morning on 5Live Breakfast by Nicky Campbell. He explained that he was a country boy at heart as he grew up there and used to shoot rabbits – I imagine lots of potential voters turned off in horror when they heard that! :lol: It’s nowhere near the biggest issue for me but it’s certainly something I don’t agree with.

I’ve got to just mention the Child Trust Fund too, as you brought it up. Yes, the Tories would scrap it but in my opinion it’s a complete waste of time and a HUGE waste of public money anyhow, and I say that as someone who’s benefitted from it. We got a £250 voucher for both our kids in 2004 and 2005, but because it has to be invested in stocks rather than ‘cash in the bank’ the value of both funds has massively declined in the last 5 years. The last statement I got revealed my son’s CTF account had halved in value since 2005. Considering how expensive this scheme was to bring in, and the fact that even people who haven’t chosen to have children must contribute to this through their taxes I think it’s high time it was scrapped anyway. Again, that scheme typified Labour’s laissez faire attitude of ‘Spend, Spend, Spend!’ in the mid-00s rather than perhaps paying down some public debt with that money. That one policy perfectly highlights the difference between the philosophy of the two major parties IMO. The Tories stand for self-reliance and responsibility for your own actions, whereas Labour want much more state intervention in people’s lives. Personally the missus and I took the decision to open separate bank accounts for our kids and just pay money in via direct debit each month, which will hopefully accumulate to a tidy sum by the time they’re 18. I think by introducing a bit of ‘nanny state’ into the equation Labour have fooled many parents on low incomes into thinking their children’s financial future is sorted thanks to that wank Child Trust Fund.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:42 pm

The manifesto launches over the past few days have given me further food for though, so I still haven't selected a poll option above.

As for the 'wanky' Child Trust Fund - again, I think perhaps we've been swayed by our own experiences. We invested Keren's about a month before the voucher ran out. We deliberately waited as things were so uncertain with the economy. It paid off - it has almost doubled already. But yes, I can see why it would actually put people off voting Labour, particularly people without children.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Mr Blue Sky » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:00 pm

Dorset Girl wrote:The manifesto launches over the past few days have given me further food for though, so I still haven't selected a poll option above.

As for the 'wanky' Child Trust Fund - again, I think perhaps we've been swayed by our own experiences. We invested Keren's about a month before the voucher ran out. We deliberately waited as things were so uncertain with the economy. It paid off - it has almost doubled already. But yes, I can see why it would actually put people off voting Labour, particularly people without children.

I think part of my problem with it is that we as parents have no control over the fund. Legally it belongs to your child when they're 18 no matter what their personal circumstances may be. It could be they are emotionally immature at that age and will just piss a 20 grand fund up against the wall. Not all 18 year olds can handle such a huge large amount of money at that age and it may well be the minority that spend it on something like a deposit for a property, for example. I'm generalising here but you get my point? The way the missus and I have done it we can happily transfer money to a fund the kids won't even know about and when the time comes when they need help with something 'big' (i.e. first house, first car, help with Uni fees, etc. so they're not saddled with debt forever) we know there's some money there for them.

I think the danger of pumping money into the CTF is that your child knows what's coming to them and will simply indulge in a massive 18th birthday binge! You'd obviously do your best to bring your kids up so they make the right choices but I know from experience that my sister and I were brought up exactly the same yet have completely different outlooks in this area.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:09 pm

Yes, that sounds like good common sense. We've got a separate account that we pay into for Keren, we haven't added anything to the Trust Fund account ourselves.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Moon-Crane » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:30 pm

Mr Blue Sky wrote:That one policy perfectly highlights the difference between the philosophy of the two major parties IMO. The Tories stand for self-reliance and responsibility for your own actions, whereas Labour want much more state intervention in people’s lives.


If it were as straight dforward as that, i'd probably vote Conservative without a second thought. In reality, i find that they simply want to interfere in slightly different things to that of Labour (although there is huge crossover). I don't think there's one party in this country that i know of that stands on a pledge of minimal goverment interference in your life. All parties, as far as i can see, like to tell people how they should be living their lives, and implementing laws that take away different parts of that self-reliance and responsibility. Obviously Labour are more direct in this tactic.

All parties are scared to death of anything that involves seriously cutting the level or types of handouts we give in this country. The Tory party will skirt around cutting certain things that aren't really significant, but if they said, for example, that they were completely scrapping income support for people who are able to work but choose not to (which doesn't seem to be seen as too terrible an idea either around here or in the odd unscientific straw poll) they'd be lambasted and various groups would start kicking up a stink. Surely that would save a signicficant amount of wasted tax and spending?
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Mr Blue Sky » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:43 pm

Dorset Girl wrote:Yes, that sounds like good common sense. We've got a separate account that we pay into for Keren, we haven't added anything to the Trust Fund account ourselves.


Same here. Which begs the question, why bother with it then? It's very costly and surely that money can be better spent elsewhere right now? If we're talking about cutting government spending that's the first thing I'd go for - billions of pounds spent annually on something that, may, possibly, given the right stock market conditions benefit people 18 years down the line.

Have I convinced you at least one Tory policy makes sense yet? :wink:
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:46 pm

Moon-Crane wrote:The Tory party will skirt around cutting certain things that aren't really significant, but if they said, for example, that they were completely scrapping income support for people who are able to work but choose not to (which doesn't seem to be seen as too terrible an idea either around here or in the odd unscientific straw poll) they'd be lambasted and various groups would start kicking up a stink. Surely that would save a signicficant amount of wasted tax and spending?


Yep, you wouldn't get any complaint from me about that! In fact, if someone came out and said that was a definite policy, then it might sway me towards voting for them.

I might email my local Tory party and ask them about their policy on the Environment. I take it that conserving resources isn't high on their agenda. They've just posted another leaflet through our door. I wouldn't mind so much, but it's identical to four others we've received this week!
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Mr Blue Sky » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:57 pm

Moon-Crane wrote:If it were as straight dforward as that, i'd probably vote Conservative without a second thought. In reality, i find that they simply want to interfere in slightly different things to that of Labour (although there is huge crossover). I don't think there's one party in this country that i know of that stands on a pledge of minimal goverment interference in your life. All parties, as far as i can see, like to tell people how they should be living their lives, and implementing laws that take away different parts of that self-reliance and responsibility. Obviously Labour are more direct in this tactic.


I agree that no party offers completely Libertarian policies but then they'd basically be standing on a platform of "Vote for us - you don't need us!" :lol:

I'm also broadly on your side over small government and less regulation but there are certain areas where this has proved a disaster. Look at the banking sector over the last three years - capitalism run amok. Action was needed (as Vince Cable famously said back in 2003) to prevent the huge casino operations large investment banks were running bankrupting the country, but even the Labour government at the time was unsympathetic to this view, and remember Labour had the banks down as a target of their proposed Nationalisation program back in their 1983 manifesto. The Tories were calling for even less regulation during this period (DG's favourite politician John Redwood even held the post of 'Shadow Minister for Deregulation' back in the mid 00s even when no government post mirrored this position.) So yes, on the whole I do believe the Tories stand for less rules and regulations and more emphasis placed on self-reliance, even when it sometimes leads to detrimental consequences.

All parties are scared to death of anything that involves seriously cutting the level or types of handouts we give in this country. The Tory party will skirt around cutting certain things that aren't really significant, but if they said, for example, that they were completely scrapping income support for people who are able to work but choose not to (which doesn't seem to be seen as too terrible an idea either around here or in the odd unscientific straw poll) they'd be lambasted and various groups would start kicking up a stink. Surely that would save a signicficant amount of wasted tax and spending?


Again, the principle of paying benefits to only those people who are unable to work is sound, but some people are in situations that aren't quite that cut and dried. For example, a single mother could be offered work but can't take it up due to childcare commitments. A man of, say, 60 years of age may choose to be at home to look after his wife with Alzheimer’s rather than bring carers in (which saves the tax-payer billions each year). Unfortunately (again, I've had personal experience of this) people who care for relatives are treated very poorly by the state and can claim a pittance of a carer's allowance to enable them to continue looking after loved ones. If you deprived them of income support as well they'd be in real trouble. There are all sorts of people in situations like this (as well as the well-documented 'spongers' ) but in a modern, caring society you have to put up with a few people who will inevitably abuse the system.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:09 pm

Mr Blue Sky wrote:Again, the principle of paying benefits to only those people who are unable to work is sound, but some people are in situations that aren't quite that cut and dried.


That's a good point. How would you determine whether someone is capable of working?

A while back, I mentioned a man I know who had to leave his manual job due to physical disability. I explained that he wanted to work, but that he was finding it exceptionally difficult to find a non-physical job that he could do. He was in his fifties at the time, and attempted to learn to use computers - but try as he might, he really couldn't get his head around how even the basics worked. That ruled out office work and any shop work where EPOS systems were used. Besides, he wouldn't have been physically able to stack shelves or anything. So reluctantly, he went on to benefits, and stayed on them until he reached retirement age.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Moon-Crane » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:47 pm

Mr Blue Sky wrote:
Moon-Crane wrote:If it were as straight dforward as that, i'd probably vote Conservative without a second thought. In reality, i find that they simply want to interfere in slightly different things to that of Labour (although there is huge crossover). I don't think there's one party in this country that i know of that stands on a pledge of minimal goverment interference in your life. All parties, as far as i can see, like to tell people how they should be living their lives, and implementing laws that take away different parts of that self-reliance and responsibility. Obviously Labour are more direct in this tactic.


I agree that no party offers completely Libertarian policies but then they'd basically be standing on a platform of "Vote for us - you don't need us!" :lol:


hehe, I'd vote for them in a shot. You realistically need some sort of governement for Law and order - and i admit i have a certain conflict when it comes to managing nationally affecting commodities; a monetary system, power, water, a national transport system, etc. But, i think any party would find a pretty popular footing by repealing a number of laws, and maybe allowing someone akin to the plain english society to reel back the overly complicated niches in law that expensive lawyers have funneled into the system :lol:

i guess everyone who supposedly wants less government regulation wants it until they've lost something that they take for granted as being there. It would take a while to get back to a generation who didn't believe so many things were a right to possess.

I'm also broadly on your side over small government and less regulation but there are certain areas where this has proved a disaster. Look at the banking sector over the last three years - capitalism run amok. Action was needed (as Vince Cable famously said back in 2003) to prevent the huge casino operations large investment banks were running bankrupting the country, but even the Labour government at the time was unsympathetic to this view, and remember Labour had the banks down as a target of their proposed Nationalisation program back in their 1983 manifesto. The Tories were calling for even less regulation during this period (DG's favourite politician John Redwood even held the post of 'Shadow Minister for Deregulation' back in the mid 00s even when no government post mirrored this position.) So yes, on the whole I do believe the Tories stand for less rules and regulations and more emphasis placed on self-reliance, even when it sometimes leads to detrimental consequences.

Admittedly it's not straight forward, but I think we can streamline so many areas, without turning it into a free for all market. I've always said it's overly idealistic to get to get to a completely self-regulated world, but i think more can be self-controlled by removing the system of running on invisible money. And you've got to change the mentality of greed that pursues a goal of success and growth being attainable by destroying others in the same sector. It's certainly complex, and going off topic here, so somethign for another day.

All parties are scared to death of anything that involves seriously cutting the level or types of handouts we give in this country. The Tory party will skirt around cutting certain things that aren't really significant, but if they said, for example, that they were completely scrapping income support for people who are able to work but choose not to (which doesn't seem to be seen as too terrible an idea either around here or in the odd unscientific straw poll) they'd be lambasted and various groups would start kicking up a stink. Surely that would save a signicficant amount of wasted tax and spending?


Again, the principle of paying benefits to only those people who are unable to work is sound, but some people are in situations that aren't quite that cut and dried. For example, a single mother could be offered work but can't take it up due to childcare commitments. A man of, say, 60 years of age may choose to be at home to look after his wife with Alzheimer’s rather than bring carers in (which saves the tax-payer billions each year). Unfortunately (again, I've had personal experience of this) people who care for relatives are treated very poorly by the state and can claim a pittance of a carer's allowance to enable them to continue looking after loved ones. If you deprived them of income support as well they'd be in real trouble. There are all sorts of people in situations like this (as well as the well-documented 'spongers' ) but in a modern, caring society you have to put up with a few people who will inevitably abuse the system.


Of course, again it's not a straight forward situation to sort out, but i think we all know the area i'm talking about. Those factors you mention certainly go towards being unable to work rather than unwilling. If a household has two fit and healthy people who are not working and have been drawing benefits since leaving school, i don't think their situation is that difficult to work out. You have to start somewhere to start cutting things back. i do bear your points in mind.

[edited it for some spelling and crappy punctuation]
Last edited by Moon-Crane on Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Moon-Crane » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:25 pm

Dorset Girl wrote:
Mr Blue Sky wrote:Again, the principle of paying benefits to only those people who are unable to work is sound, but some people are in situations that aren't quite that cut and dried.


That's a good point. How would you determine whether someone is capable of working?

A while back, I mentioned a man I know who had to leave his manual job due to physical disability. I explained that he wanted to work, but that he was finding it exceptionally difficult to find a non-physical job that he could do. He was in his fifties at the time, and attempted to learn to use computers - but try as he might, he really couldn't get his head around how even the basics worked. That ruled out office work and any shop work where EPOS systems were used. Besides, he wouldn't have been physically able to stack shelves or anything. So reluctantly, he went on to benefits, and stayed on them until he reached retirement age.


I remember you mentioning him, and i'm full of sympathy. There are other non-physical jobs out there that don't need computer skills. Working on a shop counter? A store checkout? It seems that supermarkets and large retail stores have learned their lesson and actively pursue more mature people to fill the roles nowadays. I'm sure we went through this before. Either way, in his case he's actively seeking work. It's not like he's being offered work and is turning it down for no real reason.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Dorset Girl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:29 pm

Sorry, my last post made no sense as I posted it when it was only half finished. Blame my daughter and my cat - daughter went into the garden, found a dead mouse and screamed for me. Instead of closing the forum Window, I clicked 'submit' because the Day Nurse are still making me a little ditsy. :lol:

Anyway - yes, he was actively looking for work until he turned 65. The people that annoy me are the arseholes who don't want to work - for instance, people who claim Disabled Living Allowance, but only get their crutches out of the cupboard when they're expecting someone from the Benefits Office to call round. Or even worse, in a way - people who are working for cash in hand but claiming Jobseekers anyway.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Mr Blue Sky » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:13 am

Moon-Crane wrote:Of course, again it's not a straight forward situation to sort out, but i think we all know the area i'm talking about. Those factors you mention certainly go towards being unable to work rather than unwilling. If a household has two fit and healthy people who are not working and have been drawing benefits since leaving school, i don't think their situation is that difficult to work out. You have to start somewhere to start cutting things back. i do bear your points in mind.


It's a tricky one as I'm in total agreement with the principle of not paying people who simply don't want to work. But the grey areas we've discussed means the only workable way for that to be implemented would be to set up some kind of 'benefit watchdog' that come out and assesses people on a case by case basis. We've only to look to the example of the Child Support Agency to realise something like that would probably cost more money to implement than it ever could save. I totally agreed with the principle of the CSA too - forcing absentee fathers to pay towards their children seems only right and proper. But after a few years it became clear the CSA was costing far more to the taxpayer than it ever recouped in money from absentee fathers, which is why the laudable scheme was dropped a couple of years back.

Above all, I'm a pragmatist. I'd love to be able to completely eradicate false or unworthy benefit claims from the system but if it's going to cost more money to the taxpayer than simply putting up with a few benefit fraudsters (and I still believe that's a small minority) I'd prefer to leave things as they are. An easy to implement single rule such as 'refuse three job offers and your benefit is stopped' takes no account of the grey areas mentioned previously so would be too hard line, in my view.
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Re: How Will You Vote in the Forthcoming UK Elections?

Postby Moon-Crane » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:01 pm

Mr Blue Sky wrote:We've only to look to the example of the Child Support Agency to realise something like that would probably cost more money to implement than it ever could save. I totally agreed with the principle of the CSA too - forcing absentee fathers to pay towards their children seems only right and proper. But after a few years it became clear the CSA was costing far more to the taxpayer than it ever recouped in money from absentee fathers, which is why the laudable scheme was dropped a couple of years back.

I believe that's more down to the implementation of the CSA, and the human mentality that comes in to place when a government/council run system tenders out to build/finance such a scheme, rather than being an unworkable principle. Maybe a private, for-profit organisation would make a better job of such things? Of course you need the right managers in charge from the outset. All parties still lean towards their network of usual suspects rather than picking a suitable candidate/company for the job, so i've little doubt anything was different with the CSA set up. People see such things as a golden egg (and it usually is). It's a fundamental mindset that needs to be overcome.

Above all, I'm a pragmatist. I'd love to be able to completely eradicate false or unworthy benefit claims from the system but if it's going to cost more money to the taxpayer than simply putting up with a few benefit fraudsters (and I still believe that's a small minority) I'd prefer to leave things as they are. An easy to implement single rule such as 'refuse three job offers and your benefit is stopped' takes no account of the grey areas mentioned previously so would be too hard line, in my view.


Fair dos. I think everything has to be reviewed and changed at times. There are always winners and losers during those transitions, and of course we need to make sure the truly needy don't get screwed. I guess we all view these things from our own perspective, and i've used the net of JSA, or whatever it's called now, for a couple of months in the past. I know i'd get less help coming to them from a self-employed situation nowadays, though.

Of course, your worthy involvement as a helper opens your (and so helps open our) eyes to many people and their experiences of living within the system. I certainly appreciate the point of view of things i've not considered as a bulldoze towards slashing everything without a thought for the riot it would cause :lol:
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