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The Britland Election

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  • The Britland Election

    It's strange, but I realised the other day that I was far more interested in the American election than I am in my own country's. I'm not sure if that's just general apathy, or if I feel that whoever we elect will be over-shadowed by Mr Bush. I can't really see any of the opposition parties making Labour sweat too much, although you should never say never...

    What I find especially strange is parties accusing each other of "playing politics", or making promises that they can't keep. Pointing out how duplicitous and low politicians can be isn't really the best way to combat voter apathy, in my humble opinion.

    It's interesting how much access to politicans the media in this country get, and you can be sure they'll come in for some serious grillings, but they still manage to say nothing of any interest. I was listening to a radio show this afternoon with representatives of all three major parties, and I quickly lost track of which was which.

    Oh dear, I'm coming over all apathetic again. :(
    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

  • #2
    Its amazing how irrelevant British politics seems at times. We're so used to mediocrity from our elected officials that its difficult to muster up any sort of ethusiasm for them.

    Blair will win again I don't doubt, though to be fair Michael Howard would likely be a lot worse. The Lib Dems really need to get their act together and find a way to appeal to the public on a broader level and mount an effective challenge to the two party dominance we've had over the last few decads.

    Of course none of this changes the fact that most people feel it is more important to vote for the latest Pop Idol contestants rather than who runs the country.

    The public gets the leaders it deserves I suppose...
    Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

    Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by devilchicken
      Its amazing how irrelevant British politics seems at times. We're so used to mediocrity from our elected officials that its difficult to muster up any sort of ethusiasm for them.
      True. Bush was stirring up a great deal of ill will, and still managed to get voted back in, so I think it's safe to say that Tony "Lesser of Two Evils" Blair will get in for his final term. As you say, it would be more interesting if the Liberals could really put some fear in to the other parties. It's possible that they're building some momentum? I don't know. They've just announced "free eye tests" as one of their manifesto promises, and that's certainly appealing to a four-eyes like me! :)

      Originally posted by devilchicken
      Of course none of this changes the fact that most people feel it is more important to vote for the latest Pop Idol contestants rather than who runs the country. The public gets the leaders it deserves I suppose...
      I guess so. You do actually get a wider variety of choice in Pop Idol contests, and the winners always do what they promised to do in their campaigns (i.e. sing awful cover versions and keep 'Smash Hits!' in business), so it's understandable that people would want to support these candidates.

      I actually voted for Labour in the election that brought them to power, but at the time I thought I was voting for real Labour, not just Tories-in- red-sheeps'-clothing. It's hard not to feel cheated really.
      "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm pretty appalled by how the race card is being played in this election. Just had a disgusting leaflet delivered by UKIP - listing immigration, pensions, GM crops, crime, hospital matrons and (I kid you not) "moral issues like capital punishment and genetics" as top priority, along with a pledge to "scrap political correctness so people can speak their mind" - presumably to legalise hate speech.

        This is right-wing populism of the worst sort. I despair of trying to convince people that there are genuine problems with the European constitution when there's a risk of being bracketed with this rancid bunch of semi-fascists. At least it will split the Tory vote, though (and possibly the BNP, although they have been known to do deals in places - judging by this leaflet, there's no difference...).

        I did extract some humour from the small print at the bottom, though: We are a non-racist party with a firm line on immigration. Hmmmmmm....

        It's all negative, this election. The faintest sniff of a possibility that any party may dare to entertain the vaguest possibility of increasing taxes for the wealthy in order to increase public spending is enough to send the media into a baying frenzy; did anyone hear Charles Kennedy lose the plot this morning when trying to explain his policy of a local income tax?
        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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        • #5
          Isn't the UKIP just the conservative party for people who don't think its right wing enough?

          Apparently they were too right-wing for Kilroy. Glad he's not running this year - the sanctimonious little prick.
          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by devilchicken
            Isn't the UKIP just the conservative party for people who don't think its right wing enough?

            Apparently they were too right-wing for Kilroy. Glad he's not running this year - the sanctimonious little prick.
            Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politi...ge/4444513.stm
            I think his 'dispute' with UKIP was just a case of rampant ego. If anything, he seems even more right wing (if that's possible). Let's just be grateful all these fascists aren't united!
            \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

            Comment


            • #7
              I've got to say it will be an utter disaster if Michael Howard got voted in. Just listening to some of the stuff he says I get the impression he's essentially a jewish Adolf Hitler, with the snidey vindictiveness of a public schoolboy who was always last to be picked for football.

              http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/p...ge/4447377.stm
              Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

              Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

              Comment


              • #8
                *Sigh*

                We've got the same problem over here as well..
                Our liberal party and even the Social Democratic are really not favouring immigration or asylum for people working for any other political faction.
                So called "terrorists", or "agitators" by others. The media has been acting like political actors more than producing "fair and balanced" broadcasting.

                I've been having some personal problems because of my new political orientations as well.. When talking about these problems you become, either a hated 'activist'(?), or a 'commie'(?).. Drawing much critic and getting into verbal fights with my brother, which made me very sad.
                He keeps saying that "I scare him" and so on..

                I keep saying that i'm scared for him because he relies on free health benefits from the government (diabetes). And that privatization would be detrimental to him..

                The one who understands me is 'Mom'.. And she voting for the right..

                What is going on?.. :(

                BTW.. Why do people always think you would want a CCCP government if you voted for the left?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Crikey, you have my sympathies. I would never try to enter in to a political discussion with my family. I've heard enough of their rants at the TV and the newspapers to know I'd soon go mad. My father keeps describing Tony Blair as a "Socialist", which gives you some idea of how keen his observational skills are. :x

                  Obviously there's no such thing as an entirely unbiased media, but I do enjoy shows such as "Question Time" on BBC TV (or "Any Questions?" on BBC Radio 4) where politicians and speakers from all sides are sat down and forced to answer questions posed by the public. There isn't always enough time to get to the meat of the issues, and a lot of the guests just stick to their prepared statement regardless of the questions, but overall it does give some insight in to how various issues are perceived.

                  As we've all seen first hand on this site, and elsewhere, it's often hard to discuss serious issues without nerves being struck, and it probably doesn't help that I don't understand half the issues that I'm theoretically voting on. Economics goes straight over my head, but I know how important it is. So I'll be voting on important issues, without really understanding what's at stake... and that's how democracy works, apparently.
                  "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                    Economics goes straight over my head, but I know how important it is.
                    It goes over many heads.. Apparently over the economists head too. They percieve only what is happening 'up front' and what mechanisms, convictions or theories are being used "at the moment".

                    I find economic theory to be somewhat interesting, although i SUCK at math, I understand the ideas if explained plainly. All i know is that, i think a 'mixed economy' is better for everyone than a plan or freemarket economy on it's own.

                    There where better economists in the White House before Reaganomics (Or rather Hayek's ideas) took hold. And i know of a real good one who argued with Reagan about his economic agenda. I tend to look at the older school of 'Keynesianist economists' with much more reverence. Because I think they really knew what unstable economics does,
                    and how it can provoke the people towards extreme political ideologies, or behaviours.

                    I can't agree on Hayeks view that the 'US was just another version of Nazi Germany'. just because the government had a slightly bigger role than the companies.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think economics is supposed to go over our heads. Theocrat's right - the big secret is that the economists don't understand it either! But it's good for making the proles feel that that things are so complicated they couldn't possibly question them. But then, isn't it funny how the outcome is that the rich get richer and the poor stay poor?

                      I wouldn't worry too much about the maths. Frank Wilkinson, who teaches a very critical view of economics on my course, says that when the economists start drawing up equations is when they're really trying to confuse you!

                      What worries me slightly about the elections is the number of people vowing to vote against Blair because of the war. Understandable in a way, but have they really forgotten what the Tories are like? I mean, some of us quite appreciate having a health service, for instance (even if it is run by Rentokil or whoever New Labour sells it off to)...
                      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What worries me slightly about the elections is the number of people vowing to vote against Blair because of the war. Understandable in a way, but have they really forgotten what the Tories are like? I mean, some of us quite appreciate having a health service, for instance (even if it is run by Rentokil or whoever New Labour sells it off to)...
                        If he got elected I think Michael Howard might have to re-evaluate the 'special relationship' - he might find GWB et al a tad left wing for his tastes...

                        Seriously I would prefer Blair in power for 20 years than have Howard in charge for 5. 8O
                        Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                        Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mikey_C
                          What worries me slightly about the elections is the number of people vowing to vote against Blair because of the war. Understandable in a way, but have they really forgotten what the Tories are like? I mean, some of us quite appreciate having a health service, for instance (even if it is run by Rentokil or whoever New Labour sells it off to)...
                          Similar problem over here too! See the pattern? :x
                          The people think that it would bring more jobs. I seriously don't think so!

                          I hope it does though.. Because "the more the merrier" etc.
                          Parties claiming 'leftism' although 'right'. 'Left' parties making weird statements and restructuring of unemployment policy.

                          I'd rather that the European people meet and decide democratically. Rather than big business 'fucking up' Europe... Again!. I hope South America can state an example as well as the other EU countries who scream out at their governments incompetence and neoliberal economics.

                          Freedom? My ass.. Are we really ever 'free' when living in a society?
                          I think it's funny when people claim more liberal freedom for themselves. But you are only 'free' until you get in the way of another more powerful persons 'freedom'. And where is the 'real' freedom in that?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mikey_C
                            I wouldn't worry too much about the maths. Frank Wilkinson, who teaches a very critical view of economics on my course, says that when the economists start drawing up equations is when they're really trying to confuse you!
                            It's like this really..

                            The Economist and the Sociologist:

                            E: -It's gonna rain soon... I know it!

                            S: -We are in the desert you idiot!

                            E: -Well? Isn't there an tunnel underground with water flowing beneath us?
                            We could get the workers to dig for us! Or perhaps dig for oil so we could BUY som water.

                            S: -*Pointing to a pile of skeletons holding up a sign saying 'Sick leave!'*

                            Please feel free to elaborate more if you guys like?
                            I'm out of ideas.. Change the story if you like..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've been telling everybody to vote Liberal Democrat! Break the two party addiction and help pave the way for a slightly more representative, system of Proportional Representation. You know it makes sense.

                              Tony Blair and his NewLabourâ„¢ spin-cyclers should never have misled Parliament, or kissed up to a RightWing NeoConâ„¢ thug, like GW Bush. Sorry.

                              Of course, the Tories, under MIchael 'Something of the Night' Howard, are even more likely to pucker up and kiss GW's posterior, they'd be disasterous for British society, but arguments about choosing one party over another, because it's less bad, don't cut it for me any longer. What are OAP pensions and balance of payment plans, set against, perhaps, a hundred thousand dead, in a probably illegal and unsanctioned War?

                              I saw that little snit, Blair and his fawning, snidey, chums coming, back in 1997. I'd been a mature student, just long enough to see the sort of sly, filibustering, manipulative, careerist, vote-fixing, young scum, that the NewLabourâ„¢ Students were recruiting, in the early Nineties. Not a pretty sight.

                              Comment

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