The 2005 UK General Election thread

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Blue Velvet, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #1
    Somehow I can't see this getting as heated as the U.S. presidential election threads but I guess there's no harm in starting one especially as the Prime Minister is expected to announce the election date this week (announcement apparently delayed because of events in Rome).

    To me, despite the best efforts of the Conservatives and the press to push a few inflammatory hot buttons, there seems to be a general air of apathy about this upcoming election... last election's turnout was down and the campaign never really captured the public's imagination until John Prescott punched somebody.

    Myself, I've been a life-long Labour voter, both here and in New Zealand. But for the first time in my life, I'm starting to get more than a little pissed-off with taxes -- particularly council tax. Once, I would have never imagined myself saying this but it's also not quite enough for me to consider switching my vote. I see the last two terms of this Labour government as almost wasted opportunites despite some good things like the minimum wage.

    Tony Blair is also starting to get up quite a few people's noses and is even being thought of in some quarters as a liability -- certainly the war in Iraq has had a damaging effect.
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/politics/story/0,6903,1426456,00.html

    Yet, I see no appetite for Prime Minister Howard but I also think that the Lib Dems will make some ground at the expense of both parties...
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    I try my best to keep my nose out of politics, so I'm not the best informed person. However...

    As much as it seems to be the fashion to knock Labour (and it's not without cause I know), I *think* things have been a lot better for most people since they came to power (though the whole Iraq thing is another kettle of fish).

    The Lib Dems seem OK, but don't stand a hope in hell of winning, so they're out of the question. Which leaves us with Labour, or Conservative. Blair, Howard. Personally, the thought of PM Howard is a horrible idea! Yes, Blair has got plenty of faults, but I'd still take him over Howard any day, plus, I can't see him staying for long if they win anyway, it'll be PM Brown before long, and from the little I know, I think he would make a good PM.

    Just my - fairly uninformed - opinion on it all.
     
  3. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    Aug 1, 2004
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    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    #3
    Prime Minister Howard. Ugh. Sends a chill down your spine.
     
  4. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #4
    I still think it's surprising that Blair is again calling the election a year early... I can't help but think he'd be better off serving the full term and then stepping down... you know, milk their period in office for all they're worth like the Tories did. :p

    Not sure who I'll vote for... traditionally I'm a Labour voter, and for the most part I don't think they've done all that bad a job in their period in office.

    I like some of the stuff I'm hearing from the Lib Dem camp, especially concerning their stance on Council Tax, even though myself and my lady are far in excess of the income brackets that'd land us with an increased Council Tax bill, I'm also very much aware that people like my mum pay compareable amounts, even though she's only on a private and widows pension, I don't think it's right that she should pay similar amounts even though her income isn't a fraction of either mine nor my lady's nevermind both of them combined.

    I refuse to vote for the Tories though... especially Howard who would do nothing except take us back to 1980's UK... he's a f'in moron of the highest order, a cast off of the Thatcher period.

    So yeah, traditionally I'm a Labour voter, who for the most part think they've done a reasonable job during their time in office, but I'm dissatisifed with the effectiveness of some of their policies and decisions.

    I'd consider voting Lib Dem, some of the policies they're discussing are certainly interesting, but I'm concerned that a vote for them would be a wasted vote and that this would allow the Tories to sneak up and shaft the country good and proper from behind.

    I do look forward to reading some manifesto's (for what they're worth) in the coming month though. ;) :p
     
  5. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    The Lib Dems will pick up a lot of the protest vote but I'm not sure whether those protest voters are fully aware of the Lib Dems policy on Europe, which if I understand it correctly, is the most overtly pro-EU stance of the 3 main parties.

    Labour seem to do everything not to mention the EU issue for fear of the tabloids. It also seems that the Tories are completely split and in fear of the UK Independence party and other fringe right-wing parties and so they seem to be reverting to type... much as William Hague handled the last election, despite his baseball cap. :) :rolleyes:
     
  6. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    The problem I have with the state of British politics is discerning which party is which, we now have three broadly central parties all pretending to represent core support, but all knowing they have to appeal to the most apathetic bunch of voters out there, the "floating" voters.

    Too many people vote on micro issues, I'm genuinely concerned we will see a split parliament with a coillition government over the Iraq war, it could be enough to tip the balance, and I'm sure the tories will make as much capital out of it as they can, even though the supported the whole debacle in the House.

    I think the country is in as good a state as I remember it, even given the tax levels and the amount of intrusion of state into everyday lives, I think Blair is thought of much more highly abroad than he is here, and he will be seen as a truly great Labour leader in years to come. He's already achieved more than almost any post-war Labour Premier.

    The thought of Howard in No.10 makes me retch, if you think the taxes are bad under Labour, just let the tories back in... :eek:

    I lived and protested through the Thatcher years, I watched her send my generation to a spurious war to keep her in Downing Street, at least Blair believed he was doing the right thing, and was not mearly trying to save his political skin.

    It worries me that a whole generation of voters have forgotten what this country was like under the Tories, bitter and divided, angry and frustrated, dead and buried. Thankfully, I do believe the Tories are still unelectable, and that if Labour can motivate it's core support, then the third term is there for the taking.

    It's the best of a poor bunch of choices, though.
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #7
    can someone fill in this ignorant yank on the ins and outs of the council tax?
     
  8. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #8
    A quick summary is here... best to read about the Poll Tax (Community Charge) too which lead to riots in central London. The main problem with the Council Tax is that's it's not based on your ability to pay and hits certain people quite hard.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_tax
     
  9. Brize macrumors 6502a

    Brize

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    Jun 13, 2004
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    Europe
    #9
    You mention this like it's a bad thing...
     
  10. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #11
    Not at all. You're reading far too much into my post... I'm half-Dutch, live here courtesy of my EU citizenship and fully support the introduction of the Euro.

    It's just that I see a lack of real debate on the issue (particularly the proposed EU constitution) with the bulk of the press so rabidly hostile. I think Labour could have been more bold here but they're aware of the resistance there is in the country at large thanks to the distorted coverage from the tabloids.
     
  11. Brize macrumors 6502a

    Brize

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    Europe
    #12
    Absolutely. Labour don't want to risk losing the Little Englander vote, which is disappointing, although undoubtedly a wise strategy.
     
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #13
    Labour have had their chance. They have done very little I am happy with and lots I am not happy with. So no vote for them

    I cannot vote for the Torys. I remember the last time they were in and they stand for so many things I despise.

    Which leaves the Lib Dems. They mostly stand for the same things as me, although not normally tough enough on the rouge elements in society who do not react well to their education and help strategy. Sometimes you need to lock people up! But apart from that they are cool so it looks like them.

    I live in Tower Hamlets (Oona King is my MP) and the chance of Labour not winning is almost zero. I might see a bit more media coverage around here than normal as George Galloway (the one who was accused of being in Saddams pay) has come down here to stand against Oona. Could be interesting!
     
  13. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #14
    UK citizens are not big on change and the lack of debate is deliberate on the part of labour (see 'foxhunting', 'ID cards', 'top-up fees', 'Iraq war' etc). These issues are so sensitive and the chances of losing votes are so real that the last thing those in power want is to draw attention to them with appropriately extensive public debate.

    It's the politics game. Swift wrote about stuff like this almost 300 years ago, and it's still relevant today.
     
  14. Brize macrumors 6502a

    Brize

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    Jun 13, 2004
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    #15
    Depending on your constituency, it could be a Labour vote that's wasted. Check out www.tacticalvoter.net.
     
  15. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #16
    Ha ha ha.

    This is what it said for me (Bethnal Green and Bow):
    "This is a safe Labour seat, very unlikely to change hands at the next election. So whichever party you support, it's hard to make your vote count for anything even by voting tactically."

    Which I knew anyway!
     
  16. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #17
    Three missing words? Ummm... chance, losing, votes?

    But don't get me started on I.D. cards... :mad:
    It's not so much the concept, although that's reason enough, more the proposed implementation and the overall cost.
     
  17. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

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    Location:
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #18
    Ooh close ... it was "of" instead of chances. Instead of the winnebago you'll have to settle for the matching luggage;)

    It won't even gain the result that they are saying it will. The purpose is just to smokescreen the 'outsiders' and advertise that we will soon have further levels of beaurocratic guff that shows the UK to be less of an immigration pushover. Fight against terror??? Pah, there are bound to be one or two UK-born psychos who hate the government.....probably someone with a surname of Fawkes.;)

    Another two I've just thought of ... '24 hour boozing' and 'mega Casinos' ..... Man what are they putting in the tea at Westminster???
     
  18. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #19
    What are they putting in the tea? Copious lobbying and possibly some hefty donations from the alcohol & leisure industry?

    I'm a bit ambivalent about casinos (never been in one and prob. never will) but I'm all for the extending of drinking hours. I know there are plenty of good arguments against it but in all my time here I've never got used to last orders at 11pm... a simple extension to 12 or 1 would have been OK with me.

    One thing that's puzzled me is how authoritarian this Govt could be at times. Absolutely detested David Blunkett and was shocked at the stifling of protestors when the Chinese premier dropped by...
     
  19. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

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    Location:
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #20
    I don't mind a simple extension. Once I heard a quote relating to gun ownership in the UK, is that the sort of person who wants to own a gun is the very person who shouldn't be allowed one. With drinking, the sort of person who wants to be drinking at 7 in the morning is the person who shouldn't be drinking in the first place.
    That incident was very hollowing. This govt (though I doubt any other would be entirely different) has shown it can turn it's back on the people that put them there. Tsk Tsk!
     
  20. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #21
    Re: ID Cards

    Just found this... some realism after all. Even if it's temporary...

    Controversial plans to introduce ID cards and new laws on making incitement to religious hatred a criminal offence are expected to be sacrificed to force through other key pieces of legislation before Parliament is dissolved.

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1451333,00.html
     
  21. VincentVega macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    I voted Labour in 1997 and, reluctantly, in 2001. I've always been "to the left", so voting Tory is a no-no - they represent too many things I disagree with - their anti-European bent and their language and rhetoric on asylum (though some of their policies, such as having a points system aren't that bad - they have point systems in New Zealand and Canada, for example).

    Labour have lost my vote:

    Iraq war. I was against it from the get go.
    Crime. Not getting much better. Too many yobs.
    Transport. Too much congestion - it's got noticeably worse in my area over the last four years.
    etc, etc, etc

    My #1 bugbear is the attitude of the Labour Government. They think they're just so much better than the rest of us. Arrogant (especially Blair, Blunkett, Straw), patronizing (Blair again, also Ruth Kelly, who really gets on my nerves). They are solely interested in spin and satisfying the primitive desires of the tabloid press.

    I can't see Labour getting my vote until they shed this whole "New Labour" thing, replace Blair with someone more substantial and less prone to lying and outright distortion and start treating the voters with respect. So I shall be voting for the Lib Dems. I know they won't win but they are a whole lot more palatable than Labour and I find myself agreeing a whole lot more with their platform.
     
  22. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #23
    Do you think that any government can realistically have an impact on this?
     
  23. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #24
    Perhaps. I think a lot of people who might be categorised as yobs are basically not scared of the consequences. Lets say they commit some "petty crime" and end up in court. No doubt they will not be sent to prison as it costs too much and the government want to reduce prison population so they are offered the alternative of community service or a fine. They choose community service as they are unemployed work dodgers and then basically never turn up! I have heard of people managing to get away with doing 1 hour in 6 months on a 200 hour order. Is that a punishment?

    Obviously this is a gross over simplification and stereotypes these offenders but the thing to remember is that they are criminals. They have chosen to do something that society does not like and then laugh at society when it lets them away with it. Even worse many of them are supported by the society they so obviously do not care for or even contribute to.

    But as I said, I'll be voting Lib Dem :)
     
  24. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #25
    Oona's my MP as well but there's no way I'm voting for her. I think she was rated 47th least effective MP by the Standard. I'm trying to think of anything she's done in the last 8 years. I don't like his politics but "Gorgeous George' will be getting my vote. I also have a feeling that this is not such a safe Labour seat. 55% of the population are Muslim and they're definitely not happy about Iraq. OT has anyone else been getting personalised letters from the Labour Party? I was under the impression that having signed the opt out on the electoral roll that only authorised government agencies had access to my details and it wasn't to be used for political gain. I can't remember the exact form but I haven't had any from any of the other parties.
     

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