General Election

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Liquid Gold, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Grendel

    Grendel Well-Known Member

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    My memory must be blurred. I thought we had a vote on PR and decided it was an unsuitable voting system.
     
  2. Grendel

    Grendel Well-Known Member

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    So if a vote went 52 to 48 you'd accept they view and just move on?
     
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  3. chiefdave

    chiefdave Well-Known Member

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    That's what the Lib Dems wanted but we got a referendum on alternative vote instead. Problem was apart from the Lib Dems there was little campaigning, that whole thing was a bit of a waste of time.

    Proportional representation is the way to go for me. Every vote counts.
     
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  4. Brighton Sky Blue

    Brighton Sky Blue Well-Known Member

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    What are you on about?
     
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  5. theferret

    theferret Well-Known Member

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    What is happening now? What is this big right wing idea you think they are pushing through that they couldn't if there was somebody keeping them in check? You hear this sort of thing parroted endlessly, but I'm not sure what it refers to.

    As for tuition fees, it is the biggest political myth out there. My wife went to University. She had a free education in effect, qualified as a teacher and now pays £15 per month for her student loan - taken direct from her salary. It is not a 'debt' in the true sense - she may never pay it back, and if she stopped work tomorrow she'd have zero obligation. It amounts to an effective 1% in income tax, and as the Tories keep increasing the personal tax allowance, is pretty much wiped out anyway as it stands.

    Scotland has free University education, and has a far more elitist system. People from poorer backgrounds are far less likely to go to University, places are capped, and the overall proportion of people entering further education is substantially less than in England.
     
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  6. Brighton Sky Blue

    Brighton Sky Blue Well-Known Member

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    Let's see shall we. The Tories have announced plans to sell off student debt to third parties and to raise interest on it to be in line with inflation. Maintenance grants will also be scrapped meaning that student debt will go through the roof. I am becoming a teacher at the moment, for which I am charged £9,000 on top of the 5 years spent earning my integrated Masters in Scotland to bring my total student debt to over £30,000. When I enter the profession properly my pay rises will be capped at 1% and I will be teaching classes of over 30 in classrooms not built for that purpose because Theresa May values the military more than education. Furthermore I will be blamed if I can't pull rabbits out of hats with the resources I am given to do my job.

    My Scottish other half meanwhile will not have a slice out of her pay cheque for pursuing higher education and to boot the Scottish government guaranteed her an NQT position in return for training there. I have not had such opportunities down here. Don't sit there and tell me how great Mrs May is and how hard work gets you what you want.
     
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  7. RegTheDonk

    RegTheDonk Well-Known Member

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    I suppose its the perception of tuition fees that hit the headlines ferret, regardless of weather or not they are repaid. Many voters latch onto what the press tell them and take it as gospel. I'm heartened to see such healthy debate here, but most people I talk to haven't a clue of the ins and outs of what their vote will mean (and I'm certainly no expert either).

    I actually like the idea of PR - it seems fairer and more representative of the vote. It would encourage compromise, more thought, and more concensus rather than steamrollering by whoevers got the biggest balls. Like Dave said, we had the chance to change things (a little) with the AV vote - how much of it went to FPTP not because that was the better system, but a backlash against Clegg for his u-turn on tuition fees?
     
  8. theferret

    theferret Well-Known Member

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    Equally, don't sit there and lecture me on the challenges facing teachers. I hear it for two hours a night every night. I get it.

    We're talking here about tuition fees. Not every graduate is a teacher, and teachers are not adequately compensated for what they do (agreed) - but the 1% cap is misleading because that will not stay in place permanently, and there are plenty of opportunities to progress through the pay grades, my wife has seen a 20% increase in two years. Regardless, this is reflected in the rate at which graduate teachers repay students loans - a system tiered based on earnings which is far from crippling.

    Many people who graduate go on to earn very large salaries - good for them - the very people who we are often told should contribute more. Ultimately they'd pay for it anyway one way or another - somebody has to.

    Scotland - a perfect example of how people value ideology over reality. Their 'free' system has shut out many people from poorer backgrounds, it is decidedly more elitist than the system in England because it is underfunded and universities there are increasingly taking on fee paying students from England and overseas at the expense of Scottish youngsters who would otherwise operate on a level playing field if this system was structured like it is in England.

    As for May valuing defence over education, that is just emotion talking. All she has done is committed to the 2% of GDP target, no more no less (which is lower than it was throughout the last Labour government). It's like saying she values deprived children in India (with its ever growing collection of billionaires) more than the UK because she has chosen to maintain the foreign aid budget.

    I don't think May is great, I'm not even a Tory really, but my politics are in the centre ground, and despite lame and baseless claims of a lurch to the right, the Tories dominate that territory. They're all over it. Which is why they will win. It is where elections are always won.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  9. Brighton Sky Blue

    Brighton Sky Blue Well-Known Member

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    My point to you is that the Conservatives want to sell student debt to third parties and raise interest on the loans. This is clearly going to have an impact on how these loans are repaid and combined with the scrapping of maintenance loans, is going to significantly raise the cost of higher education. The 1% cap has been in place for years now and Home Secretary Rudd told police officers it is going to stay for the foreseeable. I don't see any MPs volunteering for such a cap on their own salaries.

    As for Scotland, I don't know if you lived there or went to university there, so apologies if you have. But I saw few affluent Scots in my 8 years at uni there. Just a load of people, including the OH, who emerged from university debt free and with a high quality degree. I spent most of my student career perennially maxing out my overdraft to stay afloat and that was with the maximum financial support available. While I have no time for identity politics I agreed with my Scottish friends on nearly everything else, and saw the Labour Party go into oblivion over its cosying up to the Tories. We have accepted the narrative that austerity is simply being responsible and that the Tories know what they're doing and cannot be questioned. If the Scottish tuition fee system isn't to your liking, the German one is arguably even better. Though they tend to do a number of things better, so it should be no surprise.

    And no, she has not just committed to the existing NATO target. They have vowed to increase military expenditure by 1.5% above the rate of inflation. They have also removed commitments to not raising particular taxes, which will give them a green light to do so in the future. The woman herself is a vacuous robot who continuously repeats slogans fed to her by focus groups in the knowledge that the media is never going to put her or her party under scrutiny. A chancellor who makes cock ups bigger than Abbott gets away with it. A manifesto commitment to building more grammar schools, which will cement and widen inequality, is seen as being in the 'centre ground'. All the while, a man proposing policies which have the backing of most voters is derided as a 'hard left' extremist who is out of touch with the average Joe.

    What the hell is centrist about this party? How can anyone believe that the 'centreground' has not shifted to the right over the past few decades? What does it matter, I'm just a brainwashed liberal in any case.
     
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  10. Earlsdon_Skyblue1

    Earlsdon_Skyblue1 Well-Known Member

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    Well that does fit in with the theory that uni's are liberal brainwashing strongholds. 8 years as a student!

    How many degree's do you have?
     
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  11. Brighton Sky Blue

    Brighton Sky Blue Well-Known Member

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    I have one integrated Masters and will soon have a PGCE. Was working on a PhD but decided to enter education instead.

    By all means though my fellow brain washed liberals and I will all be very happy to leave you to it. My degree was in physical science, didn't have much time for Che Guevara shirts or campaigning against micro-aggressions. Even if I wanted that, I went to a university where the Tory society outnumbered the Labour one by at least 10 to 1. I do wonder though about the link between lack of education and voting against policies you like-who has done the brain washing job there? Do let me know if you ever want to meet in Earlsdon to discuss it.
     
  12. Monners

    Monners Well-Known Member

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    You missed my point. Taking it from all means removing from those who need it. Those that pay for breakfast clubs (and I am one of them) don't need it - we get by, and there are childcare vouchers that take the edge off.

    My wife is better than your wife by the way.

    Edit; I work in the public sector and have a 1% pay rise cap with now no chance of moving up the pay scale (recently stopped) with very little chance of moving up a grade. Not to worry though eh.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  13. oakey

    oakey Well-Known Member

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    There is no doubt that TM is using the rhetoric of the centre ground. The words are those of Blue Labour and a few of the policies are straight out of Brown's and MIliband's manifestos.
    However, I don't think that is really why she will win big. She will win big because of Brexit, pure and simple. Her promise to deliver it appeals to those who voted Leave plus that very British sense of fair play in many who voted Remain, since they believe that it's only fair to deliver what a majority voted for.
    I believe she will try to carve out the centre ground later but she will leave many of her own supporters disgruntled as these are not true blue policies at all. She will also be shown up as not truly progressive as she seems an old fashioned one nation Tory to me. I think she will more than likely get in a right muddle and will not be PM for more than one term. The Tories will oust her for someone else when things turn sour.
     
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  14. rob9872

    rob9872 Well-Known Member

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    Can we all just agreen that Sturgeon is an awful woman and Leanne Wood has massive ears?
     
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  15. rob9872

    rob9872 Well-Known Member

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    Also, is it just me who first thinks of Tony Mowbray whenever I see TM on this debate? Ok probably is :)
     
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  16. Monners

    Monners Well-Known Member

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    I hope JC wins
     
  17. Captain Dart

    Captain Dart Well-Known Member

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    Unless you have a pension fund silly.
     
  18. Philosorapter

    Philosorapter Well-Known Member

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    So, to get this right. The centre ground is to cut universal free dinner meals for infants to fund the cuts in the education budget.

    Nice one.

    Excuse me for pointing out the obvious here but isn't the cause of cuts originate from the banking sector.

    Seems a well balanced argument.

    Let's take away universal school meals from infants in part for paying for the misfortune of corporate greed.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  19. Philosorapter

    Philosorapter Well-Known Member

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    Hell, why don't we just means test the NHS as well. After all, the rich can afford to go private.

    Make universal health care a thing of a past like they've done with prescriptions.

    Free by the way up in the Scotland for all.
     
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  20. Ian1779

    Ian1779 Well-Known Member

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    Of course yes - how daft of me.

    Ignore the fact of course that ultimately the actions of a few greedy/incompetent individuals will decide whether those people even see that pension when they need it.

    This is the Tory way - make you think that you should care about these things, whilst someone is creaming off the money for very little effort.
     
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  21. stupot07

    stupot07 Well-Known Member

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    I'm so angry about this in particular, in order to do the free school meals Primary schools and infant schools have all had to have kitchens built if they didn't aleady have them. My kids school had theirs installed about 6 months ago, cost around £100k. The breakfast idea is a shit one, the kids that need a proper breakfast and are being neglected, parents struggle to get them in for 9 o'clock, they aren't going to get them in for 8.00-8.15 so they can have breakfast first.



    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  22. Ian1779

    Ian1779 Well-Known Member

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    Free breakfast would be far more effective in Secondary schools.
     
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  23. theferret

    theferret Well-Known Member

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    The increase in defence spending is so that we can maintain the 2% of GDP target. Defence spending under the last labour goverment, as a % of GDP, was higher that what is proposed. You do acknowledge that?

    The party is firmly in the centre ground on many issues. Sorry if you don't like that, but it is true I'm afraid. No matter how many times people parrot this stuff about a 'lurch to the right' it doesn't stack up.

    Our system of income tax is the most progressive of all the major European economies. The top 10% are contributing a bigger % of the income tax take than they have ever done. The minimum wage is rising way above inflation. The Institute of Fiscal Studies has recently criticised the government for it's £9 an hour target by 2020 because they say it is too high.

    Despite some tough years and a programme of cuts following a financial crisis and recession, something not unique to the UK as left-wing governments across Europe had to implement stinging austerity measures, key services have been protected as much as possible, but not as much as some people would like of course. There is a great deceit here, because if you look back to the 2010 election, the programme of cuts proposed by the Tories back then wasn't too dissimilar to that proposed by Labour.

    On social issues (where I personally lean to the left), there has been no regression. It took a Tory led government to legalise gay marriage. There has been nothing that has widened social inequality. Perhaps I have missed something.

    This lazy rhetoric about right-wing or left-wing shifts isn't helpful. I'd extend that the the Labour manifesto, which while representing a step to the left, isn't as out there as some would have you believe. The issue is perhaps the people at the top of the party - Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbot - who people perceive to have extreme tendencies, which is hard to deny.
     
  24. theferret

    theferret Well-Known Member

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    Why a people getting so precious about the removal of a measure that didn't exist under any Labour government of the past. Kitchens won't suddenly become obsolete and useless as a result of this measure unless you think no children outside of reception and year 1 classes have hot meals at school? Most of these children will continue to get hot meals, especially those most in need because they will get them for free, like they always have. If facilities have recently been improved - good - that will benefit all children, including older children from deprived backgrounds.
     
  25. theferret

    theferret Well-Known Member

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    Given that this is the removal of a measure that was implemented AFTER the banking crisis, I'm not sure how you are making that link. And there are no cuts in the education budget - money saved from this measure won't be taken out of the education budget.

    As for your other point about means-testing, it's odd how much of a muddle the left get into on this issue. They talk about being progressive, redistributing wealth etc., but seem horrified at the suggestion child benefit and winter fuel payments be taken from millionaires. Funnily enough though, I don't see them advocating that tax credits be handed out to high earners. They are given out based on household income - that's means-testing isn't it? So make your mind up. Should state hand-outs be given to those most in need or should they be universal. Which is it?

    No serious politician has ever advocated NHS means testing. It remains universal and free - despite baseless claims before every election about sinister Tory plots. Let's forget about Labour and the PFI fiasco. Can you imagine the outrage had the Tories done that?

    Prescription charges, quite right. Why shouldn't I pay prescription charges. I can afford it, so do so happily. 88% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge. If I have to subsidise that, fine.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  26. clint van damme

    clint van damme Well-Known Member

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    No cuts to education budget? Serious?
    Are we talking about the same thing here because every teacher and teaching assistant I know tells me their heads are making redundancies with the exception of someone I know who works in a special needs school and that class sizes will increase next school year.
     
  27. theferret

    theferret Well-Known Member

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    Spending per pupil has increased over the last 10 years, is now stagnating and may fall in real terms going forward. This is the biggest issue I have with the government - I would like to see a greater commitment in this area.

    There is a slight deception here by the government - it is certainly true that education spending is at record highs - but when you factor in increasing pupil numbers (a combination of immigration and a baby boom), there is a danger of spending declining in real terms.

    Anecdotally you here different stories - one like you describe, and the other of a teaching shortage where schools are desperately trying to recruit. This brought about in part because of the number of teachers who leave the profession, a sad indictment of how teachers have been treated by successive governments.

    The question I suppose comes back to the economy I guess. In order to be able to support a real-terms increase in investment, you need to have a successful economy and buoyant private sector to fund that. We clearly differ on who will think is most likely to deliver that, but ultimately there is only so much you can achieve by shifting money from one department to another - you still need growth and wealth generation to sustain the investment. I don't mind borrowing to fund infrastructure investment when you ramp up borrowing to fund essential services, you're just deferring the problem and creating even bigger issue further down the line. It's all got to be funded somehow. Politics eh?
     
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  28. clint van damme

    clint van damme Well-Known Member

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    Your last couple of sentences pretty much agree with my philosophy - every one pays a bit more towards health and education and further down the line we all, and more importantly, all of our children and grand children benefit.
    A healthier more educated population will create a more wealthy country in the long term and a better living environment for everyone.
     
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  29. Ian1779

    Ian1779 Well-Known Member

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    Our schools budget for next year has been cut by 25% - through a combination of reduced income and also the increase of costs - a big one being NI and pensions.

    That is consistent with pretty much every secondary school in the county.
     
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  30. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    Yup. I find it very sad that raising taxes has become an unspeakable act.

    Raising taxes for a purpose that benefits us all certainly isn't.
     
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  31. NorthernWisdom

    NorthernWisdom Well-Known Member

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    It's worth noting where I work us not a school but has an education arm. Our cuts are something crazy like 65%.

    Somebody will have to pick up what we can't do anymore.
     
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  32. Ian1779

    Ian1779 Well-Known Member

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    I have to respectfully disagree here - that cohort of students is no longer the group that is most in need. The FSM calculation is based on household income and/or access to benefits. It doesn't take into consideration what are now monumental factors such as private rent, council tax, and quite often pre-payment commodities. These outgoings are more often than larger than any income received. This is where the system lets so many people down.

    Factor in that generally the system is far too slow to react when children are hit by these factors and you have kids only eating 1 meal a day. A horrific statistic in any 21st Century developed country.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  33. Grendel

    Grendel Well-Known Member

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    How would raising taxes for state education benefit everyone.
     
  34. Ian1779

    Ian1779 Well-Known Member

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    School cuts back on non-teaching staff in first instance both in and out of classroom. This then takes away from the teachers ability to work effectively in and out of the classroom.
    Teachers then leave profession as they don't have the capacity to just do the job they were employed to do.
    Student classes get bigger - effectiveness of provision decreases significantly.
    Kids get a shit deal and then go into world without the skills to contribute to it.
    Then they breed and 5 years later it starts again.


    Meanwhile Tories blurt out the same line ad infinitum..... 'Education spend is at it's highest levels'

    Utter bullshit.
     
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  35. Ian1779

    Ian1779 Well-Known Member

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    Investment in teacher training
    Schools adequately funded to deliver the courses/qualification that employers want
    Young people have skills to access areas and vocations where there is a shortage in the workforce
    The reliance on looking abroad for people to fill those shortages - more roles taken on by people from the UK
     
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