UKBouldering.com

Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
1
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by seankenny on Today at 08:07:10 pm »
I think western support for the Euromaiden revolution made the situation worse for Ukraine, played into the hand of Russian Imperialism and generally is an example of how military and quasi-military intervention needs to be avoided whenever possible.


Whatís your source for this statement? Not even the Jacobin article you posted claimed there had been military support for the Euromaidan protests. I notice also the typical bigotry of the far left in the suggestion that the Russians didnít choose to act from their own motives and desires, but are instead still at heart beholden to the west, who are the only nations with any real agency.





I do see a continuity between current interventionism and colonialism. It is all part of the same misguided idea that we should be violently controlling people across the world.

Flesh this out with a little more information for those of us who donít swim in the same waters. Current interventionism? Where are you talking about?
2
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by Oldmanmatt on Today at 08:01:15 pm »
🤷🏻‍♂️ I lived for a few months in Lagos in 92.
It was chaos.
Used to hang out in a shantytown down by the sea, on weekends. Totally against ďthe rulesĒ. Started out as a strong desire to surf the breaks we could see from the rooftop bar at the Hilton.
Most of my time there was spent in an armed convoy, moving from compound to compound.
Iíve spent a fair bit of time in places that were in the throws of Civil war or states of emergency.
Part of the reason Iím so aggressively, militantly, moderate, I guess.

Edit: I liked the Nigerians I met and talked to. Mostly they were sad, really. Iím fairly sure they were more worried about where the next meal was coming from than which mad general was in power at that moment.
3
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by seankenny on Today at 07:44:27 pm »

My view about democracy was massively influenced by chatting with a Nigerian guy at work. He was griping at what a state Nigeria was in. I commented that all Nigerians always seem to say that, so clearly loads of Nigerians want their country run better and they have elections there so why don't decent Nigerians join political parties, chose good candidates (or even stand themselves) and get the political paties into representing what they'd like to see. He explained to me that in Nigeria the political parties don't offer different ideological or political stances. They just represent lines of patronage. If a party gains power, it will reward its supporter base. The parties there are very resistant to change and basically do everything to protect their current insiders and patrons.

At the time, I felt very superior, thinking that Nigerians were incredibly remiss in letting their system fall into such disfunction. Now I can see all too clearly how hard it is to hold back such a slide out of democracy.

So a couple of things strike me about this post. Thereís a bit of I guess naivety around what people are telling you, which was also apparent in the comments about China above, with the key thing being that the people youíre talking to are not necessarily giving you the full picture: in a lot of developing countries politics is often very violent. Politicians may well have underworld links, elections can come with a big dose of rioting or civil disturbance, the members of civil society groups may be at risk of a beating or worse. It is unlikely that this is going to come out in a regular work chat, for all sorts of reasons - pride, embarrassment, the assumption that you knew this already, they may just not know you well enough. Iím guessing youíve never had a conversation in a restaurant or cafe where you ask a question and the other person looks around the room and quietly says ďI canít answer that in publicĒ, which certainly helps one make the mental leap - hard for English people - to imagine a world where expressing oneself means youíre followed, there are silent phone calls in the middle of the night, life at work suddenly gets a bit tougher, all that stuff. But you may be talking to someone who is used to giving perhaps only a partial picture when it comes to politics (in my experience many people from various sub-saharan African countries are often fairly direct in general).

I think using Nigeria as an example of the risks to the U.K. is also just a really poor comparison based on a kind of faulty analysis. If you look at something like the Economist Democracy Index, the U.K. is at number 18 with a score of 8.28, considered a full democracy, whereas Nigeria is at 104 with a score of 4.23. Itís classed as a ďhybrid regimeĒ:

ďThese nations commonly have governments that apply pressure on political opposition, non-independent judiciaries, widespread corruption, harassment and pressure placed on the media, anaemic rule of law, and more pronounced faults than flawed democracies in the realms of underdeveloped political culture, low levels of participation in politics, and issues in the functioning of governance.Ē

Now Iím sure there are plenty of political science-y critiques of the metrics, ranking, etc, but the point is - we are talking systems that are really miles apart. Britain is not a post-colonial nation which had a civil war and military rule within the last sixty years. Our politics really are not systems of patronage networks based on ethnic, linguistic or sectarian lines. If they were then the Conservatives would be doing just great, when to my mind part of their problem really is ideological.

In fact, itís telling that you wrote their system had ďfallenĒ - because in terms of democratic participation, this sort of thing is much better than rule by the generals. On the same Democracy Index you only have to go back to 2015 to find Nigeria classed as an authoritarian regime, one where ďpolitical pluralism is nonexistent or severely limitedĒ. So even to talk of ďa slide out of democracyĒ is to totally misunderstand whatís going on. Obviously Nigerian politics and society are far, far more complex and multilayered than can be gleaned from just a couple of numbers, and assessing any nationís politics is very difficult, never mind a country as large and as important as Nigeria. But Iím surprised that you can write about a country that had decades of military rule like this. Itís not as if Nigeria is a completely obscure place, it is an anglophone ex-colony.

In case anyone thinks Iím being down on NigeriaÖ where else would you find someone like William Onyeabor?

https://youtu.be/xyL4c_LDCl0?si=y18zXGqw4d2XtJtx
4
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by Oldmanmatt on Today at 07:17:29 pm »
How did that go?
In some ways, it went well for the SDP. They almost upset the nations politics. If Labour had done what the Tories are doing now, and pandered to their extreme wing, the momentum might have carried the SDP and the Liberals through and decimated the Labour movement. Labour then, as now, were pragmatic enough to flex in the wind.
5
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by Oldmanmatt on Today at 07:02:36 pm »
That "Liberal" step up in the 1980s was when a chunk of Labour split off as the SDP.
And?
That was exactly my point. Labour had lurched left (Foot etc), Thatcherism seemed to be working, Labour lost a fair chunk of itís base.
Hence the near flip.
The extreme of both Labour and the Tory party have never been their ďbaseĒ.
Which is why/how Blair saved Labour; by dragging it back into the centre, recapturing the loss.
Iím sorry Stone, the majority of people simply donít share your worldview. They donít and probably never will. If the Labour party today, ran on a platform that you could endorse, despite all that has happened with Tory rule, they would lose the up coming election.
Centrists win elections.

Edit: actually Iíll rephrase for accuracy. Moderates, moderates win elections. Moderates arenít afraid to switch, if the other side seems more sensible.
Ironically, this is because the British people are conservative ( donít like drastic change, as opposed to Tory).
6
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by Will Hunt on Today at 06:41:09 pm »
How did that go?
7
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by stone on Today at 06:29:36 pm »
That "Liberal" step up in the 1980s was when a chunk of Labour split off as the SDP.
8
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by Oldmanmatt on Today at 06:18:54 pm »
Actually, you can see where Labour began to lose their way in the 70s and some diehard Labour voters began to shift to the Liberals, rather than go full Tory. You can see again, in the 80s there was almost a flip, a whole sale switch, from Labour to the Liberals in the 80s. Thatcherism seemed to be working, Labour was too militant. Foot was a mistake, much like Corbyn. Sorry guys but Blair probably saved Labour from third party status entering the 21st C. 🤷🏻‍♂️
9
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by Oldmanmatt on Today at 06:02:27 pm »
We have FPTP, people realise their votes will only count if they vote for a genuine contender for their constituency. A classic example is Bath where polling found that most people had a preference for Labour but voted tactically for LibDems because that was a seat where LibDems won. Sheffield Hallam was like that, a safe LibDem seat but a lot of work managed to break the spell.

Consequently, genuine democracy in the UK comes by way of what happens with the two main contender parties. Labour only managed to displace the Liberals after initially having a reciprocal pact where they didn't oppose each other in certain seats.

I'm always puzzled by the "centrism always wins" and "any party is free to win" arguments. If so, how come the Liberals ever slipped to third and how come they stay there?

Voting in general elections is a crucial keystone of our democracy but it is only one step in the process. Candidate selection and policy development are at least as significant. Evidently it has been deemed more advantageous to convert Labour to occupying LibDem territory than to support the LibDems.

My view about democracy was massively influenced by chatting with a Nigerian guy at work. He was griping at what a state Nigeria was in. I commented that all Nigerians always seem to say that, so clearly loads of Nigerians want their country run better and they have elections there so why don't decent Nigerians join political parties, chose good candidates (or even stand themselves) and get the political paties into representing what they'd like to see. He explained to me that in Nigeria the political parties don't offer different ideological or political stances. They just represent lines of patronage. If a party gains power, it will reward its supporter base. The parties there are very resistant to change and basically do everything to protect their current insiders and patrons.

At the time, I felt very superior, thinking that Nigerians were incredibly remiss in letting their system fall into such disfunction. Now I can see all too clearly how hard it is to hold back such a slide out of democracy.

I think your assessment of most peopleís knowledge of and attitude to elections and government in general, reflects your own, rather than that of ďThe PeopleĒ.
Humans are just so tribal.
Centrists do not vote centrist.
They switch sides.
When one side is too much to that side, they vote the other way.
People like a black or white choice, they do not, in general, like extremes.
Occasionally, a new idea crops up and a wholesale switch occurs, such as the rise of Labour.



Then, of course thereís quite a few who simply like to back the winnerÖ

Edit: The Tory mistake, these last few years, electorally, has been to chase the extreme of their voter base, as it drifted into more extreme territory, leaving their more moderate (and much larger) voting base adrift. All Starmer really has to do to win, is not be Tory. Controversial view: Labour would have won in 2019 but Corbyn was just too Labour.
10
shootin' the shit / Re: UK General Election 2024
« Last post by TobyD on Today at 05:25:03 pm »
Labour now advertises how large donations grant a seat at the table for policy development. Shadow ministers have aids who are working directly on the behalf of outside sponsors. And we wonder why eg tax increases on high earners aren't on the table despite favourable polling for such policies.

High earners already pay the lion's share of the income tax take; and there are many,  many policies which might poll well,  but they usually lose all support once people look at how they actually might be paid for and deem them completely unrealistic. 
Free broadband,  for example.  I'd really like free broadband,  because it's a significant cost to me; but it would be hugely expensive not only directly,  but in buying out the entire existing industry,  and then managing a nationalized network.  It would make a lot of people redundant... I'm sure there are other barriers.  Things like that make parties look ridiculous and not worth voting for. 
(National service may, to some extent be in the same category now, but I haven't thought about it very much)

High earners may well pay in absolute terms the bulk of the tax take but they donít pay anything like the same overall percentage in terms of wages and earnings as ordinary people like me and you. Indirect taxes such as VAT etc really hit the average person. Also for high earners the basic cost of living such as food, rent, broadband etc hardly make a dent in their income levels. Whereas for the rest of us the bulk of our income is used up in just living. Personally I see no difficulty with high earners paying substantially more in income tax and also there being significant wealth and inheritance taxes. Unfortunately if Labour ran on these policies I just donít see them getting in on these policies.

This point depends on who you mean by high earners though, the mega wealthy get away with paying very little, the ones who pay are the higher end of the more 'normal' income scale.
Essentially, itís actually not that the system prevents it, itís that the ideology is not popular.

Though I'd caveat to this that I think voting isn't just about how people view particular policies; they also have to be sold on whether a party is capable of running a government and a country, not to mention whether it's capable of implementing and paying for its policies.

Much of what's tanking the Tories right now is that they visibly aren't passing that threshold of baseline competence and haven't been for some time.

Well, yes, but that was really my point to a great extent. People donít vote for candidates/parties that they do not believe capable of running the country. If any of the left wing parties I listed, or the Tories, or reform, or whoever, had a platform that a substantial number of people could believe in, people would back them. The rise of the Labour party to eclipse the Liberals, way back when, is a great example.
Over the years Iíve heard an awful lot of very left wing friends protesting/complaining that people who wonít support more extreme left wing policies are ďvoting against their own interestsĒ. Itís not true, itís just that those peopleís interests are not what my friends think they ought to beÖ

I've heard similar stuff, or that too many people are taken in by the campaigns of the right, or of business/ industry. In general, most people probably vote in their own interests, which tend to involve stability, employment, having a decent home, not being taxed excessively and being left alone to get on with their own lives.
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2024, SimplePortal