/ Secret Tories; hiding in plain sight?

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charliesdad 04 Dec 2019

The Conservatives seem to have ca. 40% of voters willing to vote for them.

But I have yet to meet one; everyone I speak to, everyone I overhear, is united in loathing BOJO and his army of the living dead.

Where, exactly, are the 40% hiding?

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john arran 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

They're out there in different bubbles. I saw a group discussion on TV earlier and the way the participants had lapped up and regurgitated all of the lies and hype surrounding Brexit and Johnson was both astonishing and depressing. Felt like the bastard offspring of Stepford Wives and politics!

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balmybaldwin 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Well, a lot of them are old, and don't leave the house much anymore for a start

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Trevers 04 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

> They're out there in different bubbles. I saw a group discussion on TV earlier and the way the participants had lapped up and regurgitated all of the lies and hype surrounding Brexit and Johnson was both astonishing and depressing. Felt like the bastard offspring of Stepford Wives and politics!

I presume you're referring to this:

https://www.channel4.com/news/focus-group-can-tories-win-over-people-who-voted-labour-and-leave

It's one of the most depressing things I've ever watched. I don't know where to begin to formulate a response to it, beyond feeling immense gratitude at the fact that I effectively won the postcode lottery and received an education that imbued me with critical thinking abilities, and anger towards the politicians and media that encourage and applaud this.

Post edited at 13:37
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Hardonicus 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

You are probably filtering out Tory voting tw*ts as part of your socialising, it's a natural self-preservation measure kicking in.

I for one don't tend to gravitate to people who do not hold considered political views, it indicates a lack of awareness/intelligence. I'm more likely to be matey with a right winger than a fence-sitter who tends to vote for their own self-interest.

Post edited at 13:28
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neilh 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Its a secret vote and alot of people just keep their opinions to themselves. Surely you have figured thta out?

Hardly rocket science.

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neilh 04 Dec 2019
In reply to balmybaldwin:

You might be surprised if you could be bothered to take your head out of the sand.

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gurumed 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

> [Tory voters] lap up and regurgitate lies..

> [Tory voters] are old and don't leave the house much..

> [Tory voters aren't] imbued with critical thinking abilities..

> ..Tory voting tw*ts..

I wonder why they're shy?

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Hat Dude 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

> Where, exactly, are the 40% hiding?

Remember the old adage "You're never more than 6ft away from a rat!"

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MonkeyPuzzle 04 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> I wonder why they're shy?

Because they're stupid with low self esteem?

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stevieb 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Well, since everyone to the right of Jeremy Corbyn is a Tory (yellow Tory, red Tory, green Tory etc) it’s actually 97.8% tory. 

A lot of normal Tory voters do seem to be rejecting Boris, but that is more than made up for by the people who believe the betrayal myth, and think that Brexit will be done by Christmas if we only give Boris the parliament he wants. 

edit: oops I've slipped into the insult a tory trap without trying to. But, the tory vote is being buoyed by brexit voters, and is held up by the vast number of people who still think all the economic decisions of the past 9 years were forced on the government.

Post edited at 14:04
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Stichtplate 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Tory scum, tory tw*ts, old, thick and gullible. Same shit day in day out and all coming from the side that likes to position itself as the champions of tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens, no matter their background or creed. Funny that there is zero equivalent opprobrium being heaped on labour supporters, I would have thought such intemperate language would be one of the hallmarks of 'twats' and 'scum'.

I've got plenty of friends and relatives who'll be voting tory (most while holding their nose). No wonder tory voters keep their heads down. No wonder there's so many natural lefties, me included, loathe to lump ourselves in with what Labour has become.

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pasbury 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Strange lack of blue placards round my (conservative held) way too. There are a few red ones.

My theory is that people are more reluctant than ever to declare their voting intentions.

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pasbury 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Tory scum, tory tw*ts, old, thick and gullible. Same shit day in day out and all coming from the side that likes to position itself as the champions of tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens, no matter their background or creed. Funny that there is zero equivalent opprobrium being heaped on labour supporters, I would have thought such intemperate language would be one of the hallmarks of 'twats' and 'scum'.

Calm down dear.

Signed; a remoaner, undemocratic, marxist, traitorous enemy of the people.

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tjdodd 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Hasn't it largely always been the case that it is ok to admit in public you are a labour or libdem voter but cannot admit being a tory voter?  So whilst people may feel even less inclined to admit in public they are voting tory this time around due to the increasing polarisation of politics, I do not think this is anything new.  I think we would have a much healthier politics and debate if people were able to be more open about their views and who they vote for.

With growing access to information and new sources I think there is also a growing trend for people to only seek out views and news items that fit with their current thinking.  So we tend to become more and more blinkered to reinforce our current views.  You only have to look at how many copies of the likes of the Mail, Express, Telegraph and Times that are sold to have some indication of numbers of tory voters as a proportion of the country.

In my view the UKC forum community are broadly on the left and is probably a largely self-selecting group of people.  I am sure if you go to other forums you will find the opposite.

I have to agree with the points made above that it is interesting that the left (and left leaning members of UKC) want to appear to be tolerant, embracing free speech and open to discussion but in reality they are at fault as much as anyone of wanting to shut down views they do not agree with and being reduced to insulting the other side.  Unfortunately a lot of this is human nature.

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Al_Mac 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

In Scotland there'll be a lot of Tory votes as they're really the only credible alternative to keep the SNP from having an overwhelming majority and therefore likely a run of another independence referendum from them. The issue with this election is that it is a Brexit referendum by another name, and that means that as a Pro-EU unionist I am totally stuffed and don't have anyone to support my views. This means I am left to vote for the least worst option as I am sure many others are too.

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Trangia 04 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Strange lack of blue placards round my (conservative held) way too. There are a few red ones.

> My theory is that people are more reluctant than ever to declare their voting intentions.

Yes, because our broken politics have become so polarised that people are genuinely scared  to nail their colours to the mast.  There is a simmering threat of violence in in the air and putting a political banner in your window may well be perceived as inviting a brick to be thrown through it.

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Ciro 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Working in Newcastle, I'm in a completely different bubble to you (and any bubble I've been in before) with brexiters openly championing Johnson everywhere I turn.

One thing that's interesting, is how many people I strike up a conversation with, and seen pretty politically aligned with until Brexit comes up.

A great many people with socialist leanings around here blame Brussels for everything that I blame the Tories for.

I feel like I've fallen through a wormhole into a parallel universe - no doubt the people and me think I have come from a parallel universe too.

We're all social animals, and the perceived wisdom of our peer group is strong.

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skog 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Al_Mac:

> In Scotland there'll be a lot of Tory votes as they're really the only credible alternative to keep the SNP from having an overwhelming majority

Convincing people of this is Ruth Davidson's one big success.

It's nonsense, of course - if your main objective is keeping the SNP out, you should simply vote for the party most likely to beat them; this is the Tories in some seats, Labour in many, and Lib Dem in some more. And while the Tories are obviously against EU membership, the other two aren't.

> The issue with this election is that it is a Brexit referendum by another name, and that means that as a Pro-EU unionist I am totally stuffed and don't have anyone to support my views.

Not true, this is pretty much the entire thrust of the Lib Dem campaign in Scotland - they're the only real pro-EU membership, pro-UK union party. Although Labour have also become a valid choice for this now that they've committed to offering an EU referendum on the deal (even though they may well not campaign for Remain as a party), - they're bitterly against Scottish independence, of course (and won't support another referendum on it unless there's a Holyrood majority for it).

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Stichtplate 04 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Calm down dear.

Perfectly calm dear.

> Signed; a remoaner, undemocratic, marxist, traitorous enemy of the people.

None of which are labels commonly applied to Labour voters and if that's the best you can come up with then you've proved my point.

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The New NickB 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

It’s self selection to a certain extent. The electoral ward I live in has three Tory councillors and although I am quite active in the local community I personally know very few Tories. They are around you, you probably just don’t talk to them.

For example, I’m involved in Scouting locally and all the leaders have at some point recently expressed pro-Labour and anti- Conservative sentiment to me. I don’t know the political views of most of the parents. One I do, because he is a former Labour Councillor, but more significantly the Brexit Party candidate at the upcoming election.

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In reply to gurumed:

Postman Pat was probably the most sympathetic to the tories on UKC, needless to say he has disappeared from here...which is a shame I think.

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Toccata 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

In my social circle the vast majority are intelligent, caring people and there is a broad political spectrum. It is my genuine belief that the ones who continue to vote Tory simply haven’t thought that deeply about the socioeconomic and political consequences of their choice. 

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laurie 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Working in the public sector FFS!

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neilh 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Toccata:

And that sums it up nicely why those people do not bother to speak to you. They just have a different view.

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birdie num num 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

It’s easier to hide in plain sight and be universally agreeable than to have to suffer yet another patronising lecture on greed and the indifference to human suffering 

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skog 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Tory scum, tory tw*ts, old, thick and gullible. Same shit day in day out and all coming from the side that likes to position itself as the champions of tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens, no matter their background or creed. Funny that there is zero equivalent opprobrium being heaped on labour supporters, I would have thought such intemperate language would be one of the hallmarks of 'twats' and 'scum'.

Not that it's any excuse, but the notion that the same isn't happening to Labour supporters is a curious one. Maybe start with the Daily Mail comments, or pretty much any Tory or Brexit-leaning Twitter or Facebook account, and go from there? You'll be up to your armpits in accusations of stupidity, terrorism-sympathising, treason, communism and general scummery before you can say 'social media bubble'.

I think it has been a long time since the vitriol was quite as widespread and public, but it's certainly not just coming from one side.

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timjones 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Have you considered the possibility that your social circles may be a little stunted?

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In reply to Trevers:

I just watched the channel 4 link. 

A group of ex labour voters say that they won't now vote for Labour because of Jeremy Corbyn (hardly controversial) The don't believe he can spend the money he is promising because they have not been convinced where he will get it from (again not controversial)

It's been obvious for yonks that Corbyn is toxic to vast swathes of the electorate, so much so that they convince themselves that there is something loveable about BJ's buffoonary. They accept he's a liar, yet he's less toxic than Corbyn. All that tells me is that if Labour changed their leader and turned a bit less leftward, they would probably clean up. But we all knew that already didn't we? So why was this so depressing?

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john arran 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Could it be that many people feel they would be unable to articulate and justify their support for Brexit if challenged, and therefore prefer to keep quiet for an easy life?

After all, we've had plenty of highly intelligent and articulate posters on here over the last few years espousing support for Brexit and even they have been notably short of convincing rationale for it once the discussion moves away from emotional attachment to the idea.

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In reply to skog:

I think the point is that it would be nice if the bar was set a little higher than the DM comments section for UKC?

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skog 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Yeah, s'pose.

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pasbury 04 Dec 2019
In reply to timjones:

> Have you considered the possibility that your social circles may be a little stunted?

What a charmless comment.

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gavmac 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

The fact that group of voters found Blair a bastion of truth and honesty, whilst Corbyn was considered untrustworthy, left me utterly befuddled.

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Eric9Points 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I just watched the channel 4 link. 

For me the most depressing thing about it is that no one mentioned climate change. It just doesn't even appear on the election radar.

I don' think I ever met anyone who admitted they voted for Thatcher, ever.

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Bob Bennett 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

People rarely admit being Tory supporters because deep down they are ashamed of their selfish motives

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In reply to john arran:

More likely that through experience, people have realised that trying to argue is pointless. A remainer has the status quo as his position and the burden of proof falls to the challenger of the status quo (Brexiteer) 

As there is no adequate or agreeable proof yet (Brexit hasn't happened), it puts the remainer in the enviable position of having the advantage of the known status quo as a vantage point and weapon that a Brexiteer simply does not have so cannot deflect with proof. As such, it is why remainers are far more ubiquitous in demanding answers and explanations as they are bouyed by the courage of knowing that nothing concrete can be thrown back at them so they should look smart in the debate.

That's not to say they are right though ;-)

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Bob Kemp 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Tory scum, tory tw*ts, old, thick and gullible. Same shit day in day out and all coming from the side that likes to position itself as the champions of tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens, no matter their background or creed. Funny that there is zero equivalent opprobrium being heaped on labour supporters, I would have thought such intemperate language would be one of the hallmarks of 'twats' and 'scum'.

That just shows that you're in your own bubble. Check out the comments BTL in the Tory press. Similar intemperate language. ('Brainwashed' seems to be one of the favourite insults - must go back to those old cold-war films like The Manchurian Candidate.)

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Stichtplate 04 Dec 2019
In reply to skog:

> Not that it's any excuse, but the notion that the same isn't happening to Labour supporters is a curious one. Maybe start with the Daily Mail comments, or pretty much any Tory or Brexit-leaning Twitter or Facebook account, and go from there? You'll be up to your armpits in accusations of stupidity, terrorism-sympathising, treason, communism and general scummery before you can say 'social media bubble'.

For evidence you're pointing me towards the Mail comments section and explicitly political twitter and FB accounts. I don't engage with such stuff and I'm certainly not going to go and seek it out. Social media wise, I'm on here and on Facebook. On UKC the insults are very much all in one direction, any anti labour stuff is generally directed at the political leadership, not normal voters. Same on FB, those on the right are posting the usual 'humorous' anti-Corbyn/Abbott stuff, while those on the left are continually posting derogatory stuff aimed purely at people for voting Tory.

There seems to be something of a vogue at the moment for targeting working class tories with clown and moron memes especially popular. Nice bit of downward punching from some of my decidedly middle class friends and when challenged on this the defence has been that this is all in fun. Oh the irony.

> I think it has been a long time since the vitriol was quite as widespread and public, but it's certainly not just coming from one side.

You're probably right that it's not 100% coming from one side but, as you've pointed out, you have to go searching for people being ridiculed merely for voting Labour. There simply isn't an equivalent for the entirely commonplace label, Tory Scum.

Post edited at 16:12
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john arran 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> More likely that through experience, people have realised that trying to argue is pointless. A remainer has the status quo as his position and the burden of proof falls to the challenger of the status quo (Brexiteer) 

> As there is no adequate or agreeable proof yet (Brexit hasn't happened), it puts the remainer in the enviable position of having the advantage of the known status quo as a vantage point and weapon that a Brexiteer simply does not have so cannot deflect with proof. As such, it is why remainers are far more ubiquitous in demanding answers and explanations as they are bouyed by the courage of knowing that nothing concrete can be thrown back at them so they should look smart in the debate.

> That's not to say they are right though ;-)

I'm not convinced. The government's own economic assessments portray the picture that sunny uplands are a fiction and the reality will be somewhere on the scale between sustained drizzle and violent storms. Yet that doesn't seem to sink in. Neither, disturbingly, does the prospect of striking a deal with a US that's very keen on reducing the strength of all its competitors - hence encouraging EU fracture - so that it can take advantage of the bones that are left. Even when considering the future of environmental or social welfare issues there's precious little been suggested as reasons why we'd be in any better position after Brexit.

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Stichtplate 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> That just shows that you're in your own bubble. Check out the comments BTL in the Tory press. Similar intemperate language. ('Brainwashed' seems to be one of the favourite insults - must go back to those old cold-war films like The Manchurian Candidate.)

Nope, not reading the comments sections in the Tory press doesn't put me in a bubble. It puts me squarely outside a particularly tiny bubble, along with 99% of the rest of the population.

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MG 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

He seemed to go from thoughtful interesting rightwing to populist nationalist almost overnight. A bit like the Tory party, unfortunately. 

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Al_Mac 04 Dec 2019
In reply to skog:

Oh I don't disagree, but sadly in many seats that involves voting Tory. Labour barely exists as a blip in Scotland as the SNP have stolen those votes, and the Lib Dem are also similarly low, although they came close in more seats than their total number of MPs up here would suggest. Luckily my local seat is Lib Dem so for me to vote for my preferred party I'm not throwing away a vote in such dramatic style as it would be in some constituencies.

When I say I don't have a party to vote I am of course being a little dramatic.  I do, it's the Lib Dems. But the best I can hope for from them is a coalition of some sorts. I can't vote Labour because I don't believe many of the mickey mouse promises they're making, I don't believe in their handouts and I don't think they're credible in their current guise (I was much closer to New Labour who were further to the right). Also, if they were to form a coalition it would very much be with the SNP if claims are correct and that would probably be at the price of a further Scottish referendum which would be even more divisive up here than Brexit. I also don't want to vote Tory as I don't think any of the front bench are credible or capable. But I'd still vote for them if it was a choice between them or the nasty nationalism of the SNP.

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skog 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> On UKC the insults are very much all in one direction, any anti labour stuff is generally directed at the political leadership, not normal voters. Same on FB, those on the right are posting the usual 'humorous' anti-Corbyn/Abbott stuff, while those on the left are continually posting derogatory stuff aimed purely at people for voting Tory.

I hadn't realised you specifically meant UKC and Facebook. I'm pretty sure your Facebook experience is just down to your bubble there, that's what it does.

UKC - yes, I think you're right - but that's just because of the general leanings of the participants. I imagine you'll get an altogether different experience on a golfing or horse-riding forum, or on, say, AARSE...

> You're probably right that it's not 100% coming from one side but, as you've pointed out, you have to go searching for people being ridiculed merely for voting Labour. There simply isn't an equivalent for the entirely commonplace label, Tory Scum.

This really isn't true. Or, at least, of course I believe you if you say it's true for you - but it wouldn't be hard to find someone with a very different experience.

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In reply to john arran:

Right. My point was it would be impossible to convince you. Until you see for yourself proof that you were wrong, you will be convinced you are right. A brexiteer cannot provide proof, so unless they want an argument for the sake of it, far better to avoid confrontation and await for proof (which may never come). 

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Eric9Points 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Al_Mac:

> Oh I don't disagree, but sadly in many seats that involves voting Tory. Labour barely exists as a blip in Scotland

Hardly. I think Scotland has 7 Labour MPs at the moment? Anyway, you seem to be happy voting Lib Dem, fine.

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skog 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Al_Mac:

> But I'd still vote for them if it was a choice between them or the nasty nationalism of the SNP.

I can't really argue with anything else you've said (despite supporting the SNP myself) - but I find it incredible that you could think the Tory nationalism is somehow less nasty than the SNP's.

I imagine it's down to individual experience; mine comes from having an EU-national wife and quite a few EU-national friends.

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In reply to MG:

Maybe he was just reacting to the taunts? I have no idea, but I enjoyed his posts and I think his contributions definitely added something to the forums and helped in curbing the forums becoming an echo chamber. 

Are you glad he's disappeared?

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Stichtplate 04 Dec 2019
In reply to skog:

> I hadn't realised you specifically meant UKC and Facebook. I'm pretty sure your Facebook experience is just down to your bubble there, that's what it does.

My mates and acquaintances on FB are across the left/right spectrum and it's their posts I'm referring to. Politically speaking, I can't see any reason why UKC shouldn't be broadly politically reflective of the UK either. Day to day experience, I work in the public sector and my job takes me into peoples homes in a situation where normal chat is just part and parcel of what I do. So where's the bubble?

> UKC - yes, I think you're right - but that's just because of the general leanings of the participants. I imagine you'll get an altogether different experience on a golfing or horse-riding forum, or on, say, AARSE...

Yep, familiar with AARSE. Still visit occasionally and while it's very much to the right and stuffed with anti Corbyn crap, I've never come across anything ridiculing or insulting people for simply voting Labour. Have you?

> This really isn't true. Or, at least, of course I believe you if you say it's true for you - but it wouldn't be hard to find someone with a very different experience.

Well that's easy to prove or disprove. What's the right winger's analogy for "Tory Scum"?

Post edited at 16:48
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Al_Mac 04 Dec 2019
In reply to skog:

Oh no, I find the anti-EU and anti-any-other-nation rhetoric from the Tory utterly abhorrent. However, I find the SNP hits closer to home with the sadly growing attitude amongst some that Scots as a people are somehow better than everyone else. The Tories are at least tempered with the opposition of many sides in a large house, but in Scotland it seems that the SNP has no opposition, or at least not any that's truly linked well enough to do any real opposing. I find both pretty woeful but if we end up out of Europe as looks likely the last thing I want is for Scotland to then go it alone. I don't want that anyway, and I find nationalism to be a particularly evil scourge driven by those who wish to control those they see as different or of less value than themselves. I guess I just see more of the rabid  Scottish nationalism at close quarters than I do the rabid English nationalism. Also, at heart I'm probably closer to right wing than left wing (despite being in the centre, hence New Labour/Lib Dem) and that will in no small part colour which I see as the lesser of the two evils.

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topper133 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

I'm a tory voter.....

I voted remain and stick by that, but the majority didn't so I have to get over it. If I were a party member would I have voted for BoJo, No, but it's about a party not just the leader (as many labour voters keep telling everyone since Corbyn is universally the most disliked party leader in history).

Post edited at 16:57
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The New NickB 04 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

I’m seeing far fewer posters generally. Maybe it is greater reluctance of people to advertise their political affiliations, maybe it is down to great focus on social media.

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skog 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Well that's easy to prove or disprove. What's the right winger's analogy for "Tory Scum"?

I see what you're saying, there may be no direct "Labour Scum" equivalent where you are (although up here it'd maybe be "Red Tory", which is interesting itself in this context I suppose). I listed several insults above that I've seen or heard used against Labour folks, though.

But you don't appear to believe me, and I know well enough I won't convince you otherwise even if I spend time going off looking for examples, so I'll leave you to it!

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Eric9Points 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Al_Mac:

> Oh no, I find the anti-EU and anti-any-other-nation rhetoric from the Tory utterly abhorrent. However, I find the SNP hits closer to home with the sadly growing attitude amongst some that Scots as a people are somehow better than everyone else.

Two sets of Nationalists feeding off each other.

Agree about the hubristic nature of many Scots, ugly.

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timjones 04 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> What a charmless comment.

It may be blunt but it's far from unfair.

If you aren't encountering a range of political opinion as you go about your life there has to be some underlying reason and I suspect that you would have judged the  other likely reason even more harshly.

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Stichtplate 04 Dec 2019
In reply to skog:

> I see what you're saying, there may be no direct "Labour Scum" equivalent where you are (although up here it'd maybe be "Red Tory", which is interesting itself in this context I suppose). I listed several insults above that I've seen or heard used against Labour folks, though.

> But you don't appear to believe me, and I know well enough I won't convince you otherwise even if I spend time going off looking for examples, so I'll leave you to it!

No, I believe you. I believe exactly what you've posted. You've found someone having a froth in the Mail's comments section, you've found some distasteful stuff on political sites and accounts. If you go trawling you can find horrible stuff written about just about anyone.

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skog 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Al_Mac:

Thanks - it's good to see your thoughts and there's plenty for me to think about in there.

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skog 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> No, I believe you. I believe exactly what you've posted. You've found someone having a froth in the Mail's comments section, you've found some distasteful stuff on political sites and accounts. If you go trawling you can find horrible stuff written about just about anyone.

I don't go trawling on the mail or on political sites (other than here, which is definitely left-leaning, socially-liberal-leaning and remain-leaning - not at all representative of the UK, and Twitter, which is certainly a bit of a mire, and not somewhere I'd try to discuss much), and I hear plenty of it from Tory types and SNP types at work, plus a colleague that doesn't vote because he thinks they're all as bad as each other, but does love a rant. And I hear it from some people when I help out with canvassing and the like.

My mates don't tend to describe people as scum, but I imagine that's because I don't generally get on with people who do.

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john arran 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Right. My point was it would be impossible to convince you. Until you see for yourself proof that you were wrong, you will be convinced you are right. A brexiteer cannot provide proof, so unless they want an argument for the sake of it, far better to avoid confrontation and await for proof (which may never come). 

I don't want proof, I just want some justified reasoning as to how it's even possible, let alone likely, for things to be better after Brexit. It's simply not credible to dismiss the huge weight of evidence that things are going to go downhill fast and stay there for some time, with the reasoning that such evidence doesn't constitute watertight proof.

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MG 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Are you glad he's disappeared?

I don't miss the later incarnation. Earlier versions, I do. 

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In reply to charliesdad:

> The Conservatives seem to have ca. 40% of voters willing to vote for them.

> But I have yet to meet one; everyone I speak to, everyone I overhear, is united in loathing BOJO and his army of the living dead.

> Where, exactly, are the 40% hiding?

Where you are likely to go climbing, as the Derbyshire Dales has been Conservative for 50 years or so and increased their vote to 60% in 2017. I moved out here 5 years ago from Sheffield, and it’s like a time warp back to the ‘50s. Diversity is only achieved through the Amazon drivers on their delivery rounds. 
Talking to local business owners and tradesmen, they’re naturally remainers on the whole but think a Corbyn Government would be even worse than Brexit, so I’m guessing the blue vote will increase again next week. I’ve been disenfranchised from my party by Corbyn, can’t vote for the Lib Dem’s because they are truly useless, so am voting for a Green candidate who will likely lose their deposit but at least I can listen to Caroline Lucas and not want to vomit.🤮

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Wiley Coyote2 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

The Tories are the only party likely to get a majority which also promises an 'over-ready Brexit'. That means they start off with much of the Leave vote in the bag.  We know that in 2016 that was 52pc.   Some of those will be siphoned off to the Brexit Party, where it fields candidates, but some of those will be replaced by Tories who voted Remain but will never vote for Labour (and especially not a Corbyn-led  Labour). Given all that I am surprised the Tory support is as low as 40pc.

I personally know two people who definitely voted Leave. One did so in a fit of pique about a particular restriction on exports from their business, the other has never explained why but remains resolutely a Leaver and if challeneged simply keeps insisting 'It's democracy!'

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DenzelLN 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Hardonicus:

> Tory voting tw*ts 

> it indicates a lack of awareness/intelligence.

What if the person has considered political views, but still votes Tory?

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Ecce Homer 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Trevers:

Mate, I like you dude, but that’s effing bigoted.

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Ecce Homer 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

I’ve lost 2 friends this week because I told them I was gonna vote Tory (for the first time in my life). One was a friend of 40 years, the other 16 years. If the personal abuse I received from them is an indication of some people’s intolerance and lack of respect for differing opinions, it’s no surprise people aren’t going public.

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MG 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

I'm curious why you will vote tory for the first time in this election (rather than many previous ones).

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Ecce Homer 04 Dec 2019
In reply to MG:

To hopefully see Brexit done and Corbyn done for.

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MG 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

I see, but why not tory before?  

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pasbury 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> I’ve lost 2 friends this week because I told them I was gonna vote Tory (for the first time in my life). One was a friend of 40 years, the other 16 years. If the personal abuse I received from them is an indication of some people’s intolerance and lack of respect for differing opinions, it’s no surprise people aren’t going public.

As you sow so shall you reap.

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bouldery bits 04 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Calm down dear.

> Signed; a remoaner, undemocratic, marxist, traitorous enemy of the people.

You forgot snowflake!

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balmybaldwin 04 Dec 2019
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Well, a lot of them are old, and don't leave the house much anymore for a start


Ok, so this is wrong then is it?

https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/10/31/2019-general-election-demographics-dividing-britai

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Jon Stewart 04 Dec 2019
In reply to birdie num num:

> It’s easier to hide in plain sight and be universally agreeable than to have to suffer yet another patronising lecture on greed and the indifference to human suffering 

Thing is though, if you do choose to vote for a party who attempt to balance the books off the backs of the disabled, cut taxes for the most wealthy and then unleash Brexit on the nation by accident, then I think asking that you stand up and offer some justification for what looks looks a like grossly irresponsible choice (or total lack of judgement, whichever) seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Requests that we don't hurl insults like "Nazi" or "scum" are completely reasonable, and this kind of language is hugely detrimental to discussion. But why should anyone get off the hook? 

You voted Tory? Why the f*ck did you do that? Look at the f*cking state we're in now. There is nothing unreasonable about asking you to justify your grossly irresponsible actions.

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bouldery bits 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

A classic UKC slagging match. Chapeau.

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Jon Stewart 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I just watched the channel 4 link. 

> A group of ex labour voters say that they won't now vote for Labour because of Jeremy Corbyn (hardly controversial) The don't believe he can spend the money he is promising because they have not been convinced where he will get it from (again not controversial)

> It's been obvious for yonks that Corbyn is toxic to vast swathes of the electorate, so much so that they convince themselves that there is something loveable about BJ's buffoonary. They accept he's a liar, yet he's less toxic than Corbyn. All that tells me is that if Labour changed their leader and turned a bit less leftward, they would probably clean up. But we all knew that already didn't we? So why was this so depressing?

You didn't notice any Brexit content in the focus group then?

What I found depressing was that people who'd in past elections would have an instinct that the Tories are out to screw them over and Labour are trying to stick up for them now have no such feelings. Instead, they think that Europe was screwing them over, and Boris Johnson, by screwing the whole of the UK in a hard Brexit which will benefit those who profit from reduced regulation, is somehow standing up for them.

I think it's obvious that these guys have been lied to. They've been sold a pup. A pig in a poke. They've been f*cked up the ass. That's why it's depressing.

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Stichtplate 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You voted Tory? Why the f*ck did you do that? Look at the f*cking state we're in now. There is nothing unreasonable about asking you to justify your grossly irresponsible actions.

Except the state we're in now isn't soley the fault of the Tories is it? To my eyes, its very much been a collaborative effort. Right from Liam Byrne's 'there's no money' exit note, providing the perfect Tory excuse for austerity, Blair's disastrous PPI programs and opening the borders to new EU members when Germany and France didn't, and Brown selling off the gold reserves just as gold hit bottom. And don't get me started on Blair's fictitious WMDs and subsequent disastrous Middle East adventures trapping us in 20 years worth of a foreign policy and domestic terrorism nightmare.

To most of us derided fence sitters, experiencing the UK's current political climate feels much as I'd imagine an adult child feels, trapped between insanely angry divorcing parents, both parties insisting its all the others fault. Christ, but I wish both sides would grow up, simmer down, and try to do what's best for everyone.

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Jon Stewart 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Except the state we're in now isn't soley the fault of the Tories is it?

No it isn't. Which is why it is relevant that there are more than two political parties.

Don't like right-wing political philosophy that the poor deserve to be poor, so it's fine to screw them? Doesn't mean you have to vote Labour, if you think they're arseholes too. Vote for someone else. I would recommend either the Greens or Liberal Democrats. But if you're a total bell-end, you could vote UKIP.

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tjdodd 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> I’ve lost 2 friends this week because I told them I was gonna vote Tory (for the first time in my life). One was a friend of 40 years, the other 16 years. If the personal abuse I received from them is an indication of some people’s intolerance and lack of respect for differing opinions, it’s no surprise people aren’t going public.

Sorry to hear that.  Friendships and family should always be more important than politics.  I have friends and family with whom we have completely different views on certain issues including brexit.  We have either had sensible discussions or avoided having discussions on the issues but never let it get in the way of the relationship. Ultimately our similarities and overall respect for each other has been more important than one or two differences.

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pasbury 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I think that unfortunately the habitual labour voter is as susceptible to bigotry as the habitual Tory voter. Neither of them think too much. So populist pronouncements will appeal. 
Some nasty but clever bastards are manipulating our democratic process to get their own way.

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Ecce Homer 04 Dec 2019
In reply to MG:

> I see, but why not tory before?  

Because my MP was a great MP. However, two things have changed my vote. Firstly, Corbyn (I didn’t vote in 2017). I hate his ideology, which is to force equality of outcome. This will not be done by raising the lowest up but by depressing everyone else to the lowest common denominator. His is the politics of envy and the weak (of spirit). Secondly, my MP said that not only was it right that Marcus Meechan (Count Dankula) was convicted, but that he should also have been prosecuted for cruelty to animals.

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Stichtplate 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No it isn't. Which is why it is relevant that there are more than two political parties.

> Don't like right-wing political philosophy that the poor deserve to be poor, so it's fine to screw them? Doesn't mean you have to vote Labour, if you think they're arseholes too. Vote for someone else. I would recommend either the Greens or Liberal Democrats. But if you're a total bell-end, you could vote UKIP.

Even a total bellend would have a job voting UKIP. Are they even a thing anymore? certainly not standing in my own constituency which is a swing seat, so I don't even think I can, in all good conscience, throw my vote away as a pointless protest. It'll have to be Lib Dem, despite the deeply unimpressive Swinson. Has the country ever been so cursed with such a crop of political pygmies?

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jkarran 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> None of which are labels commonly applied to Labour voters and if that's the best you can come up with then you've proved my point.

Remoaner and Marxist quite obviously aren't, the rest are thoroughly bidirectional. I know I've weathered all of them on numerous occasions and I'm definitely one of the liberal elite pinko snowflake libtards.

Jk

Post edited at 22:14
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Ecce Homer 04 Dec 2019
In reply to MG:

I also want to see Brexit done. The Tories are the only Party realistically offering this. I’m not going into the reasons why, you will have heard them all before. Many people on UKC (including your good self) totally reject that others may have valid reasons to think differently to them. So I’m not going to waste your or my time.

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Lord_ash2000 04 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

> Where, exactly, are the 40% hiding?

Outside of your bubble

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gurumed 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> unleash Brexit on the nation by accident,

Anti-EU sentiment wasn't invented by the tories.  It could be argued Cameron offering a referendum and trying to get a remain win was less chaotic than what would've happened if you had a 100 odd UKIP MPs in 2015.

> You voted Tory? [...] There is nothing unreasonable about asking you to justify your grossly irresponsible actions.

This isn't persuasive.  Berating the voter is just going to cause them to hunker down and be more resolute into their position.  If you want to win hearts and minds you need to demonstrate why the Tories suck.  Or better yet, present a better alternative.

Do you want to feel righteous while smiting the evil doers, or do you want to win?

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Ecce Homer 04 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

You sir, are a bigot.

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MG 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> . Many people on UKC (including your good self) totally reject that others may have valid reasons to think differently to them. 

I don't know what gives you that idea. But thanks for the replies.

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Jon Stewart 04 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> Anti-EU sentiment wasn't invented by the tories.

No, Nigel Farage was instrumental, and the Tories buckled to him because half of them have a similar political orientation to Farage.

> It could be argued Cameron offering a referendum and trying to get a remain win was less chaotic than what would've happened if you had a 100 odd UKIP MPs in 2015.

It would be a bad argument. You're giving Farage far too much credit - most people, as we know, just won't go that far as to vote for such an extreme political position. The UKIP brand has always drifted around BNP-lite. I think that the "EU/foreigners are to blame" thing ignited by Farage got as big as it did because the country was (is) a mess, and outsiders are the most natural scapegoat. It's the easiest political trick in the book and shouldn't be given any credence. Mainstream politicians with a gram of integrity wouldn't have caved in to it, but we've got people like Johnson, Gove, etc who didn't blink an eye at exploiting that crap for personal gain.

> This isn't persuasive.  Berating the voter is just going to cause them to hunker down and be more resolute into their position.  If you want to win hearts and minds you need to demonstrate why the Tories suck.  Or better yet, present a better alternative.

It's not my job to win hearts and minds. I'm not a General in the war in Iraq! The reasons already given are balancing the books on the backs of the disabled (you can take that to mean the both the broad economic policy of keeping taxes low while cutting spending that hits the most vulnerable; and the tactic of demonising people on benefits which is foul and divisive) and unleashing Brexit by accident (no more to add, it's so obvious). Did you just ignore that?

I've recommended voting Green or Lib Dem, which I consider better alternatives. I'm not campaigning for them. Decide what you think's right and vote that way, paying careful attention to what's going on in your constituency. But whatever you choose, if you come onto an internet forum to talk about politics, don't expect, if that choice is instrumental in driving the country into the shit, to be treated with respect or politeness, for no reason. Be prepared to justify it.

> Do you want to feel righteous while smiting the evil doers, or do you want to win?

I'm not standing to be PM, so no, I don't want to win. I'm not campaigning for any party. As it happens, I'd prefer policies mixed between Green, LD and Labour to be implemented. I'm not sure why you think that changing the tone of what I post on UKC will have much bearing on this.

If you think that posting on UKC is active political campaigning that's going to make a difference in the election, you need to start thinking more realistically about what's actually going on.

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Jon Stewart 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> Because my MP was a great MP. However, two things have changed my vote. Firstly, Corbyn (I didn’t vote in 2017). I hate his ideology, which is to force equality of outcome. This will not be done by raising the lowest up but by depressing everyone else to the lowest common denominator. 

I'm no fan of Corbyn, but what you believe about his policies simply isn't true.

How would Labour policies depress everyone to an equal, low level of outcome? Can you explain that, or are you talking total bollocks?

> His is the politics of envy and the weak (of spirit).

What does this even mean? If you want high public spending and nationalisation of natural monopolies, that makes you "weak of spirit"? How do I take that seriously? If I want to be "strong of spirit" do I have to believe in the face of all the available evidence that a no-deal Brexit will be good for the economy? Isn't that just being a total f*cking moron?

> Secondly, my MP said that not only was it right that Marcus Meechan (Count Dankula) was convicted, but that he should also have been prosecuted for cruelty to animals.

As much as no charges should ever have been brought against Dankula, is that really an General Election kind of issue? F*cks sake. This is a good argument for PR...

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gurumed 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> More likely that through experience, people have realised that trying to argue is pointless. A remainer has the status quo as his position and the burden of proof falls to the challenger of the status quo (Brexiteer) 

EU membership isn't a static situation.  The UK joined the EC (7 members, 213M people), which grew into the EU (28 members, 515M people) encompassing many more policy areas.   We know that many people that voted Yes in the '75 EC referendum vote Leave in the 2016 EU one.  There's no predicting what will become of the EU, so it's not quite status quo.

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gurumed 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No, Nigel Farage was instrumental,

> It would be a bad argument. You're giving Farage far too much credit

Which is it?

> most people, as we know, just won't go that far as to vote for such an extreme political position.

Voting to leave the EU is not an extreme political position, do you really think 52% of the electorate are extremists?

> It's not my job to win hearts and minds. [list of bad tory things] Did you just ignore that?

No, but I'm suggesting that if you wanted to persuade someone you might try leading with that instead of directly insulting the voter and asking them to justify the actions of the last party they voted for.

> I'm not sure why you think that changing the tone of what I post on UKC will have much bearing on this.

I'd made the naive assumption you weren't playing a character on UKC, and your posts might be a reflection of your views and style of advocacy in real life.  My bad

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Jon Stewart 04 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> Which is it?

Farage was instrumental in stirring up anti-EU sentiment, I don't believe that there was a really significant movement for this without him.

Farage could not have won a hundred seats, because his brand is too far from centre, too BNP-lite.

These statements are not mutually exclusive.

> Voting to leave the EU is not an extreme political position, do you really think 52% of the electorate are extremists?

No. When rebranded as mainstream by Johnson and Gove, rather than UKIP/BNP-lite, leaving the EU was popular. Follow the argument!

> I'd made the naive assumption you weren't playing a character on UKC, and your posts might be a reflection of your views and style of advocacy in real life.  My bad

I'm not a political campaigner, I don't go around trying to convince people of my political viewpoint. I post on UKC because it's an opportunity to interact with people with totally different views, for fun. It is a weird kind of fun, but I kind of like it.

Post edited at 23:39
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pasbury 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> You sir, are a bigot.

Explain yourself. I don’t like being called a bigot.

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gurumed 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> How would Labour policies depress everyone to an equal, low level of outcome? Can you explain that, or are you talking total bollocks?

Labour want to scrap the marriage tax allowance. This currently applies to married couples and those in a civil partnership where one is a non-taxpayer and the other is a basic-rate tax payer, meaning they earn £50,000 (£40,000 odd in Scotland) or less.   It allows couples to transfer 10% of personal allowance (the pretax bit) between them in order to reduce their annual tax bill.  So that's an extra £250 tax for married couples.

That's pulling down the long term coupled, rather than uplifting those that are single.  It's also a mildly anti-family policy.

> As much as no charges should ever have been brought against Dankula, is that really an General Election kind of issue? F*cks sake.

It's fundamental.  If we don't have freedom of speech we don't have freedom of thought.  Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom and liberty.

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Jon Stewart 04 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> Labour want to scrap the marriage tax allowance. This currently applies to married couples and those in a civil partnership where one is a non-taxpayer and the other is a basic-rate tax payer, meaning they earn £50,000 (£40,000 odd in Scotland) or less.   It allows couples to transfer 10% of personal allowance (the pretax bit) between them in order to reduce their annual tax bill.  So that's an extra £250 tax for married couples.

> That's pulling down the long term coupled, rather than uplifting those that are single.  It's also a mildly anti-family policy.

It's reversing a pathetic Tory cash-waster. 

If you remember the history, David Cameron was trying to detoxify his by party with a new, hip, unhomophobic look. So he (well, more likely some advisor who'd done a lot of focus group research) came up with the wheeze of introducing gay marriage while "standing up for traditional family values" - the marriage tax break, so as not to alienate the traditional Tory base and the raging homophobes in the right wing of the party. It was just politics, but it looks like you were suckered. Bad luck.

Scrapping it is just getting back a few wasted quid. No more, no less.

And as an answer to my question, no that absolutely will not depress everyone to an equally low level of outcome. 

> It's fundamental.  If we don't have freedom of speech we don't have freedom of thought.  Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom and liberty.

Oh god. Count Dankula the emblem of all our liberty. F*ck me, I hope I die before I hear the election result, 'cause the world has turned to utter shit. To be fair, it always was.

Post edited at 23:58
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gurumed 04 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Farage was instrumental in stirring up anti-EU sentiment, I don't believe that there was a really significant movement for this without him.

This is the same mistake the Democrats in America are currently making.  Farage, Trump, and co are symptoms not causes.

Five minute video of Mark Blyth talking about "Trumpism" and how every country has a version of it, really worth watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zzl4B3mrKQE

> Farage could not have won a hundred seats, because his brand is too far from centre, too BNP-lite.

UKIP came third in 2015, with 12.6% of the vote (Labour got 29.0%, and 258 seats).  It's not unrealistic to think they could've got 100+ seats if the Tories didn't offer a referendum.

> I post on UKC because it's an opportunity to interact with people with totally different views, for fun. It is a weird kind of fun, but I kind of like it.

It is fun, isn't it

Post edited at 23:59
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Ecce Homer 05 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

I’m sure you could have manage to do this:

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/bigot

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gurumed 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Oh god. Count Dankula the emblem of all our liberty.

It will always be like that, they won't try an awful precedent setting case on a wholesome person that everyone can unreservedly rally around.  It needs to start with someone that most people find distasteful so they can try and slip it by without people resisting it.

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DancingOnRock 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

The married tax allowance only applies if one of them was born before 1935. That’s hardly anti-family! And how many people does it actually affect?

The big question though, is why is it even in the manifesto or part of their policy? How much extra tax will that raise? I assume it’s just because the Tories introduced it therefor it must be bad. 

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> This is the same mistake the Democrats in America are currently making.  Farage, Trump, and co are symptoms not causes.

I agree with the argument. Farage mobilised that dissatisfaction with the way the economy works against foreigners and the EU. Half the Tories (the pricks in power now) got on board. Ironic - the dissatisfaction is being used to pursue policies that will turn out even worse for those who already got screwed. As I said, pig in a poke/f*cked in the ass.

> UKIP came third in 2015, with 12.6% of the vote (Labour got 29.0%, and 258 seats).  It's not unrealistic to think the could've got 100+ seats if the Tories didn't offer a referendum.

Alright, if FPTP worked in their favour (I don't think it would have). I don't see how that's anywhere near as chaotic as the f*cking shambles we have had on our hands for 3 years now.

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> It will always be like that, they won't try an awful precedent setting case on a wholesome person that everyone can unreservedly rally around.  It needs to start with someone that most people find distasteful so they can try and slip it by without people resisting it.

I think the whole thing's bollocks. There just isn't any policy intention to silence certain political views by criminalising them. Cases like Dankula's are motivated by the authorities trying to demonstrate to the public that the law is on the side of the right-on, not the bigots - and are misguided. But the idea that legitimate political viewpoints are seen as threatening to the status quo and thus criminalised to neutralise their impact is conspiracy-theory bullshit of the highest order.

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gurumed 05 Dec 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> The married tax allowance only applies if one of them was born before 1935. That’s hardly anti-family! And how many people does it actually affect?

No, you *can't* claim it if you were born before 1935.  It affects about 3 million couples.

> The big question though, is why is it even in the manifesto or part of their policy? How much extra tax will that raise?

I don't know, Jon was just asking for an example of a policy that pulls one group down instead of lifting another group up.  I wasn't claiming that policy was the entirety of Labours fiscal plan.

> I assume it’s just because the Tories introduced it therefor it must be bad. 

Probably.  Which might be a useful heuristic for checking what needs revision but it'd be intellectual sloth to decide that anything they do must be axiomatically bad.

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gurumed 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> There just isn't any policy intention to silence certain political views by criminalising them.

Yet.  When you give the state tools to do it, the current government may not abuse them but you can't account for subsequent governments.

> Cases like Dankula's are motivated by the authorities trying to demonstrate to the public that the law is on the side of the right-on, not the bigots - and are misguided.

It doesn't matter what the motive is, it's still tyranny.  I'm sure every dictator has seen themselves as benevolent.

> But the idea that legitimate political viewpoints are seen as threatening to the status quo and thus criminalised to neutralise their impact is conspiracy-theory bullshit of the highest order.

Assuming it's a conspiracy and shadowy individuals are moving it all according a long multi decade plan would be paranoid, yes.  But I reckon we shouldn't give the state the tools to do it lest we end up like this guy:

https://twitter.com/IntyPython/status/1200466904734785536

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pasbury 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

I know the meaning of the word, please explain why I am one. 

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mullermn 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> Yet.  When you give the state tools to do it, the current government may not abuse them but you can't account for subsequent governments.


Vaguely related : 2 things that the Lib Dems propose to eliminate in their manifesto that Labour don’t even comment on:

* bulk collection of communication and internet records

* facial recognition surveillance  

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DancingOnRock 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

Ok. There are two allowances. 

marriage allowance

married couples allowance. 

I wasn’t aware of the marriage allowance. Seems only 1.7m claim it. Looks like I may be missing out there. Looks like I can transfer some of my wife’s allowance to mine. Happy days. Backdated a couple of years. That’s a few quid! 

Post edited at 08:46
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Ecce Homer 05 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

Because of your implication that I deserve to lose friends because I have a different view to them and you. Don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone on here. It’s why I usually avoid these posts. The level of middle class self-righteous scoffing of many on UKC is truly appalling and truly bigoted. Just look above or at any posts about politics.

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neilh 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

From all I have read it was his wife who kicked him up his backside and said you need to sort the homohpobic issue out ( it was not some focus group). .So it was a balancing act between two sides...between traditional and at that time a more metropolitan outlook from DC and GO.DC was incredilbly nervous about gay marriage, but I think m,ost commentators consider it one of his better points. So thank his Mrs.

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to neilh:

> So thank his Mrs.

What have I  got to thank her for? Gay rights came with civil partnerships, not with equal marriage. The latter is just fluff, marketing - the motivation was DC wanting to improve his and his party's image, I'm afraid I can't credit him with actually wanting to improve anything in society.

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> It doesn't matter what the motive is, it's still tyranny. 

Tyranny my arse.

> But I reckon we shouldn't give the state the tools to do it lest we end up like this guy:

You see, I think what you're saying is deeply insulting to those who actually don't have political freedom. You live in a democracy with an independent judiciary. Using language like "tyranny" is just acting like a spoilt brat and demonstrates an utter lack of regard for what political freedom means and what it's like when it's taken away.

Post edited at 10:12
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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

Cuts both ways I'm afraid.

You can't say 

> His is the politics of envy and the weak (of spirit).

And then expect people to be nice to you!

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Ecce Homer 05 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

Lessons were learned with Brexit. Why expose yourself to the vile bigotry of others? Your question has been answered in this thread, honestly by some and by example by others.

In 2016 there was debate on here about Brexit, but that quickly descended into people who supported it being mobbed by the majority on here who didn’t. The better your arguments the greater the mobbing. Many just gave up, I don’t see any of them posting now.

The insults and accusations of stupidity are the norm for anyone who doesn’t follow the UKC consensus, which is unerringly the agenda of left-wing media outlets. Anti-Brexit, anti-Tory, anti-Trump, pro-Globalist authoritarianism and all their hidden agendas. And many have the temerity to call others gullible sheep! There is very little in way of genuine debate or any attempt to understand the other, except for the intricacies of what is deemed acceptable doctrine. It’s not just bigotry, it’s also hypocrisy. Many are guilty of the very thing they accuse others of and that is their predisposition to “other” those they disagree with - just place them in the basket with the other deplorables. They have no desire to understand that others may have valid viewpoints, much less engage with them respectfully.

Some will understand what I’m trying to say, others will carry on with their bigotry totally unaware that is exactly what they are. The mob moves with a collective conscience of which none of its individual are aware. It is not the solution to division, it is the cause.

So, it is no wonder people don’t stick there heads above the parapet, (as I’m certain you will find out the reason why in the responses to this below).

Edit: Or just above. ^

Post edited at 10:22
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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

Jesus Christ. Can you not see the irony of acting all victimised and oppressed, when we've got BJ in power, on track to win the GE - so hard Brexit - Trump in power...? So the right wing are not in the majority on UKC and that's reason we should all get the violins out for you? Give us a break.

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LastBoyScout 05 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> Strange lack of blue placards round my (conservative held) way too. There are a few red ones.

> My theory is that people are more reluctant than ever to declare their voting intentions.

Where I live, the only placards I've seen outside houses are Lib Dem ones (I did see a house literally covered in Brexit Party ones yesterday, but that wasn't anywhere near where I live). I've not seen any other party ones this time around.

I am basically stuck between the devil and the deep - it's a Conservative stronghold (usually >50% of the votes over the last 4 elections), with Lib Dem losing ground over the years and Labour gaining it, but were still only 25% in 2017. It would take a seismic shift for that to change.

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Ecce Homer 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I rest my case.

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WaterMonkey 05 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

As someone who has voted Tories all my life and will this time not vote for them, I suspect the polls show what I (we) voted for previously and don't show that we are fed up with the Tories and would rather have another hung parliament.

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DancingOnRock 05 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

It’s probably because Conservatives are still on for a Majority in the polls. The Labour supporters will be shouting the loudest while Cons are quietly watching the situation. There’s the odd right winger taking the pop at Labour’s crazy policies but in the main there’s not a lot going on. 
 

I think everyone recognises the need for higher taxation but Labour’s policies have spectacularly identified what needs to be done but completely missed how to do it. Then when the manifesto was actually released we find all these stealth taxes that will actually hit ‘the many’ after all. 
 

Wolf in sheep’s clothing. 
 

Would be nice to see some honesty from both sides. 

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ClimberEd 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You're picking apart arguments when, for the most part, it is about ingrained ideology. 

I have a strongly held belief that taxes should be low, you shouldn't pay twice (capital gains tax) and you most certainly shouldn't have to give the government a chunk of your assets when you die. You work hard and you get to keep the results of that hard work. 

That is my overarching belief in how a country should be run whatever my other views are on the poorest in society, the NHS, education, infrastructure, the environment etc.

For that reason I will always vote conservative, despite often disliking their leader, and the minutiae of their policies. 

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

> You're picking apart arguments when, for the most part, it is about ingrained ideology. 

I absolutely agree. There is absolutely no point in making a rational case for what policies to vote for. There are very few "Dr Spocks" out there. It is just about emotion and identity. It's a game. It's marketing. It's a depressing heap of shit, but the alternatives are worse.

> I have a strongly held belief that taxes should be low...

Can you see how someone else might find reason to look down a little a bit on an ideology that ranks "taxes should be low" as of greater importance than "society should be better"?

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Frank4short 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> The insults and accusations of stupidity are the norm for anyone who doesn’t follow the UKC consensus, which is unerringly the agenda of left-wing media outlets. Anti-Brexit, anti-Tory, anti-Trump, pro-Globalist authoritarianism and all their hidden agendas.

I work in an environment where i'm surrounded by a lot of Trumpets. This type of talk is something i see a lot of, the politics of victimisation by those in control. Typically talking about the leftist hidden agenda.

I always find it funny, cause whether or not you choose to believe it, the agenda you talk about is pretty simple (if it actually really exists). It's about everyone having more or less the same opportunity, rights, and access to services no matter what their background, sex, sexual orientation, religion or race (except the welsh of course they deserve what they get!). And no one being able to deny them those rights or abilities using specious arguments like religious freedom. Are there occasional instances where people whose ultimate goal is this overdo it? Sure of course there but mostly its as simple as i've said. 

Mean while there is very definitely a right wing agenda controlled by the ultra wealthy which more often than not also happens to happily coincide with their own corporate interests and is generally based around less government. So that's lower wages, more pollution, lower taxes for the wealthy and a side helping of persecution, and intolerance thrown in to sell it all.

It'd be funny if it wasn't so sad and scary.

Post edited at 11:12
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ClimberEd 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I absolutely agree. There is absolutely no point in making a rational case for what policies to vote for. There are very few "Dr Spocks" out there. It is just about emotion and identity. It's a game. It's marketing. It's a depressing heap of shit, but the alternatives are worse.

> Can you see how someone else might find reason to look down a little a bit on an ideology that ranks "taxes should be low" as of greater importance than "society should be better"?

All fair.

However that is where ideology comes in, I believe society overall would be better if taxes were low and the economy was allowed to flourish, the rising tide lifts all boats argument. Economically conservative, socially liberal, get the economics right first. You I am sure would say that there is plenty of evidence that that concept is rubbish and that you need higher taxes and an appropriate policy framework to 'make society better'. We will never agree. I just thought I would chip in as this thread seemed to be asking where all the conservative voters were (and an underlying implication of why would they be voting conservative.)

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

> You I am sure would say that there is plenty of evidence that that concept is rubbish and that you need higher taxes and an appropriate policy framework to 'make society better'. We will never agree.

This is true. When someone shows me how the trickle-down fantasy used to support a me-first ideology actually works, there might be some chance of me entertaining the thought that it's not just a cloak for self-interest. But until then.

> I just thought I would chip in as this thread seemed to be asking where all the conservative voters were (and an underlying implication of why would they be voting conservative.)

And we couldn't ask for a more straightforward and honest chipping-in!

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JimR 05 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

the basic problem is that its the worst of two evils, a lying obnoxioustory on one side and an earnest old protestor backed by unions and extremists on the other. The media is all on Boris's side or being coerced into not being anti him .. social media  is grinding away. The masses are being manipulated and only you and I can see the wood from the trees.

In summary, a joke of a democratic process and a joke of a constitution.

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David Riley 05 Dec 2019

If everybody was paid £100K / year, working or not, and was taxed £70K / year.  It would be very bad.

The most important thing is generating the money, not spending it.

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> If everybody was paid £100K / year, working or not, and was taxed £70K / year

Have you been drafting election manifestos again? Back to your room!

Post edited at 11:23
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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

> I always find it funny, cause whether or not you choose to believe it, the agenda you talk about is pretty simple (if it actually really exists). It's about everyone having more or less the same opportunity...

> Mean while there is very definitely a right wing agenda controlled by the ultra wealthy 

> It'd be funny if it wasn't so sad and scary.

That's what I'd have posted if I had the patience and strength of spirit.

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David Riley 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Back to your room!

Yes, close it down. Why post if you're not going to say anything ?

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mullermn 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

> It's about everyone having more or less the same opportunity, rights, and access to services no matter what their background

Equality of opportunity is a very easy thing for most people to agree with as an objective. The policies to achieve it tend to rely on equality of outcome as a measure of whether they’ve worked, and that’s where I think the disagreement with people who prize individual liberty develops. 

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> Yes, close it down.

I don't have the power to close anything down. I didn't report you to the mods for being a plonker.

> Why post if you're not going to say anything ?

Because it was a joke.

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David Riley 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

How was it a joke ?

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Ecce Homer 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

That’s kind of my point. There is not much real dialogue or understanding being attempted at either end of the identitarian horseshoe. People have fallen into ideological camps, where the ideology suppressed free thinking. The majority of UKC posters are in the left camp.

I would say however, there are elements just as power hungry and control freakish on so-called “left” who are every bit as fascistic as the loonier elements on the right. I totally agree that the equality of opportunity is an incredibly important and just cause, a necessity for the betterment of our society. But there are some on the left that are pushing for equality of outcome, which can only be achieved through the most draconian state suppression of the competent. At the moment, this is the difference I see between Labour and the Tories. The Labour Party’s Race & Equality Manifesto is a truly horrific piece of work from Orwell’s worst dystopian nightmares.

As EdClimber says, the rising tide lifts all boats and though I’m not convinced by the Tories, I believe them to be more in this vein than Labour. And just like Trump was, the far lesser of two evils. I am voting to keep Labour out. In fact, I would rather see Brexit not happen than see a Corbyn government - and I truly despise the authoritarian globalism of the EU.

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Pan Ron 05 Dec 2019
In reply to charliesdad:

They're hiding, because the leftie reaction to them is so out of whack with reality that its far safer to just shut up about their political views and wait until voting day.  At which point the Labour supporters (like the Democraft v Trump supporters) howl in derision at what could possibly have gone wrong.

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timjones 05 Dec 2019
In reply to pasbury:

> As you sow so shall you reap.

What a charmless comment ;)

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

There's nothing worse than having to explain a joke, but I'm doing some serious internet procrastinating just now, so why not.

You said

> If everybody was paid £100K / year, working or not, and was taxed £70K / year

Which isn't anyone's policy. It's totally ridiculous, just a crap strawman of something you think is vaguely what other people want. It obviously doesn't appear in any election manifesto, so clearly you had come up with it yourself, and given the context there's kind of an implication that it's maybe a Labour policy (or something).

So I said, 

> Have you been drafting election manifestos again?

Now, because you'd have to be mentally ill to think that any such policy was a policy, I added 

> Back to your room!

To imply that you were interned in some sort of asylum, or that you were a child who was in breach of a parental curfew, but had sneaked out and started drafting election manifestos. This is kind of absurd, which is part of the joke.

So now any fun that I had making that joke has been completely decimated and I've wasted a few more minutes, sinking ever deeper into the inescapable well of procrastination.

Happy now?

Post edited at 11:55
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john arran 05 Dec 2019
In reply to mullermn:

> Equality of opportunity is a very easy thing for most people to agree with as an objective. The policies to achieve it tend to rely on equality of outcome as a measure of whether they’ve worked, and that’s where I think the disagreement with people who prize individual liberty develops. 

But nobody, as far as I'm aware, is even remotely proposing equality of outcome on an individual level; that would measure up to even the most laughably simplistic communist stereotype. Rather, outcome is a spectrum shown across a group of individuals, based on such factors as effort, intelligence, investment, privilege, genetics and luck. And the equality comes in by seeking to achieve similar spectra for each group in society, thus reducing or eliminating such factors as privilege, race, gender and social class.

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Pan Ron 05 Dec 2019
In reply to bouldery bits:

> You forgot snowflake!

Might be a point there.  A Tory gets equated with fascist, racist, nazi, bigot, elitist and essentially everything that is wrong with society.

Labour supporters get tarred with snowflake, marxist and remoaner.  

The epithets attached to the left seem to stir a far more visceral reaction in them, despite being a hell of a lot softer.  It is afterall fine to call yourself a communist but not fine at all to call yourself a fascist.

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DancingOnRock 05 Dec 2019
In reply to mullermn:

Equality of opportunity is fine on paper but as people get older you have to restrict their opportunity as those that do well start to appear to have an unfair advantage.
 

That is why it’s unfair to tax people on wealth if they have spent years earning it. 
 

The tax system should take this into account. Labour’s policies won’t. Hence a number of people who own property having paid mortgages for 35+ years being taxed to fund university leavers. That’s not a fair approach. Tax people on what they spend. Encourages saving and investment and ensures those that fritter away money are investing in the country.  

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Might be a point there.  A Tory gets equated with fascist, racist, nazi, bigot, elitist and essentially everything that is wrong with society.

> Labour supporters get tarred with snowflake, marxist and remoaner.  

> The epithets attached to the left seem to stir a far more visceral reaction in them, despite being a hell of a lot softer.  It is afterall fine to call yourself a communist but not fine at all to call yourself a fascist.

I really struggle to see the world through your weird filter. 

On here, we've got people from left and right putting forward their views in different styles: from perfectly calm and reasonable on both sides; to sarcastic and deeply bitchy (me); to butthurt toddler (Ecce) and in betweens and variations on both sides.

What you say about THE LEFT and the right just doesn't correlate to the reality in front of my eyes. I don't get how you can retain the same view, year in, year out, when the world is completely different to how you describe it.

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David Riley 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> There's nothing worse than having to explain a joke, but I'm doing some serious internet procrastinating just now, so why not.

> you'd have to be mentally ill to think that any such policy was a policy

> To imply that you were interned in some sort of asylum but had sneaked out

So how is that different to saying  "Go back to the jungle" to someone black.   Implying that they were not fit to be out ?

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> So how is that different to saying  "Go back to the jungle" to someone black.   Implying that they were not fit to be out ?

It's not racist.

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David Riley 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

And racist is bad because ?

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

I feel like we're getting a little bit off topic here, and I can't follow your argument. I think you might be saying that the vague implication about you being in an asylum is somehow the equivalent of being racist, but I've no idea how you got to that conclusion.

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David Riley 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You are constantly swearing and accusing people of being immoral.  But don't seem to have an understanding of morality or how to treat people yourself.

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> You are constantly swearing

True

> and accusing people of being immoral.

Not really true

> But don't seem to have an understanding of morality or how to treat people yourself.

Matter of opinion! If people can't cope with the stuff I write on here and find it hurtful and abusive, they must be very sensitive little flowers. You're very welcome to have a pop back, believe me, I don't give a f*ck!

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gurumed 05 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Rather, outcome is a spectrum shown across a group of individuals, based on such factors as effort, intelligence, investment, [...] the equality comes in by seeking to achieve similar spectra for each group in society

Seeking to get equality of outcome between two people where one is more intelligent, or puts in more effort, or invests more of their life into their career is the problem people have with the left wing extremists.

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David Riley 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

If you post on here intending to be hurtful and abusive, then I think you should be removed from the forum.

Post edited at 12:35
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Frank4short 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

>  And just like Trump was, the far lesser of two evils.

I'm not going to get into the rest as i've no skin in the game with UK politics (and there are enough leftists here to defend that point. However that notwithstanding do you actually believe that Donald Trump the walking lying scandal merchant is still the better of 2 evils compared to Hillary Clinton? And if so i'm curious to wonder as why you still believe this to be the case inspite of everything catastrophic he's done since getting into power.

Post edited at 12:36
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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

I know I should try to stay out of politics, but:

> Rather, outcome is a spectrum shown across a group of individuals, based on such factors as effort, intelligence, investment, privilege, genetics and luck. 

Given what you've just said, ...

> And the equality comes in by seeking to achieve similar spectra for each group in society, thus reducing or eliminating such factors as privilege, race, gender and social class.

Why would you expect, in an ideal world, a similar spectrum for each group? 

Let's suppose that -- on average -- men tended to prioritise their careers, targetting work-all-hours, high-status jobs.   Whereas women -- on average -- tended to prioritise their families and a better work/life balance. 

Then we'd expect a substantial "gender gap" in things like pay levels, wouldn't we?      And that would be a good thing, because everyone is getting what matters to them, wouldn't it?

Similarly, take social class.  In a society with a lot of social mobility, to quite an extent "social class" would be a marker for "effort, intelligence, genetics, luck".  So why would you expect a similar outcome spectrum from different "classes"?

Post edited at 12:38
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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

I don't. And if what I write reaches the threshold for being "hurtful and abusive" then UKC is clearly way too soft and dainty a place for me.

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john arran 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> Seeking to get equality of outcome between two people where one is more intelligent, or puts in more effort, or invests more of their life into their career is the problem people have with the left wing extremists.

Maybe we have a different view of 'left-wing extremists' but I've never heard such an outcome as being a goal of the current Labour Party, for instance, which is often accused of having extreme left-wing policies.

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Ecce Homer 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

Yes, I believe Clinton to be a warmongering hawk who would have gone into Syria and potentially set the Middle East and the possibly the world alight.

Edit: Trump is merely a boorish buffoon.

Post edited at 12:49
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john arran 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I agree to an extent, and there definitely will be some exceptions to take into account, such as maybe your example of maternal priority choices. In the social class example, however, it would be the initial social class, presumably from sometime in childhood, that would be relevant to define the group, rather than the social class resulting from personal endeavours. 

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Why would you expect, in an ideal world, a similar spectrum for each group? 

Because the idea that say, white people might naturally make better judges or politicians or CEOs or whatever isn't very convincing.

> Let's suppose that -- on average -- men tended to prioritise their careers, targetting work-all-hours, high-status jobs.

> Then we'd expect a substantial "gender gap" in things like pay levels, wouldn't we?

The case for "naturally" different average outcomes is more convincing than for, say, race or sexual orientation. Your attempt to use gender and then generalise it is being called out here. The sound arguments for policies that attempt to level difference are that *unfair* distribution of opportunity should be identified and addressed, and presumably you wouldn't be against that, would you?

Often the disagreements come when we try to decide what we think is an *unfair*. I think there is an implicit belief underlying John's position that the "natural" say, male and female distributions are hugely overlapping, so to expect divergence (your position) is to create a self-fulfilling prophesy.

> Similarly, take social class.  In a society with a lot of social mobility, to quite an extent "social class" would be a marker for "effort, intelligence, genetics, luck".  So why would you expect a similar outcome spectrum from different "classes"?

This is just weird, and I can't follow it. How does the distribution of resources in a theoretical meritocracy relate to what we're actually talking about, which is the real world? Sounds like you're invoking the naive fantasy that underpins right-wing political philosophy that we actually do live in a meritocracy, when all the available evidence shows that to be completely untrue. 

Post edited at 12:53
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gurumed 05 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Maybe we have a different view of 'left-wing extremists' but I've never heard such an outcome as being a goal of the current Labour Party, for instance, which is often accused of having extreme left-wing policies.

That's why I said "left wing extremists" and not "the left wing".  It's not a position held by the average left wing person, just like the average on the right aren't nazis.

Under Corbyn/McDonnell/Momentum Labour is perceived as straying into extreme left positions which is why the electorate is rejecting it.

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john arran 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> That's why I said "left wing extremists" and not "the left wing".  It's not a position held by the average left wing person, just like the average on the right aren't nazis.

> Under Corbyn/McDonnell/Momentum Labour is perceived as straying into extreme left positions which is why the electorate is rejecting it.

You appear to be, at the same time, accepting that the Labour Party harbours no such absurd notions, while simultaneously implicating Corbyn/McDonnell/Momentum as having introduced such notions into the Labour Party.

Looks like having cake and eating it, from where I'm sitting.

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TobyA 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> It is afterall fine to call yourself a communist but not fine at all to call yourself a fascist. 

Maybe because there is a long tradition of anti Soviet and anti Stalin communism.  You can be a believer in Marx's economic theory and think the end of capitalism will bring about the emancipation of the human spirit and loath everything that happened in Russia from Lenin onwards.

But even if someone say they follow the Italian fascist tradition or are a neo-fascist, not a nazi, is that really any better?

Post edited at 13:02
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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

> In the social class example, however, it would be the initial social class, presumably from sometime in childhood, that would be relevant to define the group, rather than the social class resulting from personal endeavours. 

OK, agreed, but then -- again assuming a society with sufficient social mobility:

Those who are in the "successful middle class" would be expected to have -- on average -- genes for intelligence, diligence, application, ambition, caring about education, and general wherewithall to be successful.

And those people will pass their genes to their children.  So you'd expect those kids to have -- more so than average -- genes for intelligence, diligence, application, ambition, caring about education, and general wherewithall to be successful.

So, again, even if you go on "initial social class in childhood", you'd expect a substantial disparity in outcome based on that alone. 

One of my problems with leftist ideology on such topics is that it just assumes that any difference in group outcomes is a result of a biased and defective society that needs fixing.

And that arises from the assumption that people are "blank slates", and that the social groups you point to (race, gender, social-class etc) are all "social constructs". 

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gurumed 05 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

> You appear to be, at the same time, accepting that the Labour Party harbours no such absurd notions, while simultaneously implicating Corbyn/McDonnell/Momentum as having introduced such notions into the Labour Party.

No, I wrote it's *perceived* as that by the electorate.  I didn't argue on whether current Labour holds those notions or not.

As an aside, though.  Claiming that Labours positions have changed in the last few years is not having your cake and eating it.  In 2015 they had 292,505 members, then Momentum started and by 2017 membership had risen to ~552,000 members.  Is it unrealistic to posit that might have caused changes in party policy?

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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Your attempt to use gender and then generalise it is being called out here.

Gender was an example given by John.  (And is directly relevant to the "gender pay gap" which is a real-world issue.). I was not "generalising" my argument to any greater extent than what I indeed did say. 

I fully accept that for *some* groups one might not expect a between-group outcome difference. But for some groups we would.    Male vs female is one obvious one.  So, we need to decide on the specifics of each case, not automatically take an ideological position. 

> The sound arguments for policies that attempt to level difference are that *unfair* distribution of opportunity should be identified and addressed, and presumably you wouldn't be against that, would you?

Correct, I would not be against that. What I *am* against, is the automatic assumption "there is an outcome difference; therefore there must be unfair treatment".  

That claim is often made, for example in policies to "eliminate the gender pay gap".   I don't think that that would be a good thing. 

If it is indeed the case that -- on average -- women tend to prioritise families and work/life balance, whereas men tend to prioritise careers and high-earning roles, then we should not try to social engineer a different outcome that goes against people's natures. 

> I think there is an implicit belief underlying John's position that the "natural" say, male and female distributions are hugely overlapping, so to expect divergence (your position) is to create a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I would also expect hugely overlapping distribution. But with different means.  

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john arran 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

We were talking about a specific policy objective. If you have any evidence that the Labour Party has such a policy then please present it as it will your position appear very much more credible. Falling back on the 'some people might say (but not me, guv)' defence of a slur is unworthy of serious discussion.

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Harry Jarvis 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> If you post on here intending to be hurtful and abusive, then I think you should be removed from the forum.

So, not a fan of free speech? 

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john arran 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Like I said, there may need to be some allowances made for particular situations, and I agree that it's quite possible that many people advocating such things may be taking an overly simplistic view of a complex environment. But that doesn't discredit the overall objective of striving for a roughly similar range of outcomes among different groups in society wherever there is not a credible and fair justification for expecting otherwise. 

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> One of my problems with leftist ideology on such topics is that it just assumes that any difference in group outcomes is a result of a biased and defective society that needs fixing.

> And that arises from the assumption that people are "blank slates", and that the social groups you point to (race, gender, social-class etc) are all "social constructs". 

That's an horrifically butchered misreading of the theory that underpins social democratic politics. 

Let's take a sensible understanding of humanity as a starting point: that we are biological organisms and as such are the result of complex interaction of genes and environment. Let's take another sensible starting axiom that's based on empirical evidence: that the societies delivering the best outcomes in terms of wellbeing are those with high levels of absolute resources and low levels of inequality.

Put these together and what have you got? A recipe for increasing wellbeing that's based on generating resources (the market does a good job here); distributing them more equally (but not too equally, we still need market forces); and building a social environment in which each person's potential can be best achieved. Rawls is pretty close to this theory, approaching it a slightly different way.

If you want to argue against left-wing political ideology, then please don't misrepresent it as "blank slate/social construction" stuff, which it absolutely isn't. That's an extreme corner which mirrors the type of sinister eugenics you find on the right, and which you hint at above.

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gurumed 05 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

> We were talking about a specific policy objective.

I wasn't.

> If you have any evidence that the Labour Party has such a policy then please present it as it will your position appear very much more credible.

I don't have to, right now, it looks like the electorate is rejecting Labour policy.  What is more likely: the electorate changed or Labour changed?

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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

> But that doesn't discredit the overall objective of striving for a roughly similar range of outcomes among different groups in society wherever there is not a credible and fair justification for expecting otherwise. 

I guess a difference between us is that I'd put the burden of proof on anyone claiming that there is a bias that needed fixing, whereas you would take unequal outcomes as prima facie evidence that there is a bias that needs fixing, with the burden of proof on those arguing that there isn't. 

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I fully accept that for *some* groups one might not expect a between-group outcome difference. But for some groups we would.    Male vs female is one obvious one.  So, we need to decide on the specifics of each case, not automatically take an ideological position. 

Agreed. I don't think that we should expect a zero gender pay difference for the same reasons as you. 

> Correct, I would not be against that. What I *am* against, is the automatic assumption "there is an outcome difference; therefore there must be unfair treatment".  

And that's fair enough. It's just not a valid argument against a broader leftist ideology.

> I would also expect hugely overlapping distribution. But with different means.  

Yes, that's what I meant, different means but fairly close, huge overlap. Such that a reasonable heuristic would be "we don't want to see a big gap opening up between the means". Since there'll never be any evidence of what the "natural" distribution might be, it will always boil down to political intuitions.

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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> A recipe for increasing wellbeing that's based on generating resources (the market does a good job here); distributing them more equally (but not too equally, we still need market forces) ...

I think we are broadly agreed on that.  And I'd have no problem with someone like Tony Blair who might put the balance a little differently from where others would; I do have a problem with people like Corbyn/McDonnell who are more "smash the system" types.

> If you want to argue against left-wing political ideology, then please don't misrepresent it as "blank slate/social construction" stuff, which it absolutely isn't.

That blank-slate comment was not really about left-wing politics in general, it was more specifically about the gender pay gap, which is predicated on the assumption that there is no actual difference between men and women, and thus that any "gap" is the result of societal bias. 

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AllanMac 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Al_Mac:

the last thing I want is for Scotland to then go it alone

But hopefully they won't be. Remaining in Europe, post indyref2, would hardly be 'going it alone'.

Arguably, Brexit is largely an English problem rather than a Scottish one. Scottish nationalism is not 'nasty' as you put it, and could more accurately be regarded as a defensive backlash against increasing English isolationism. Why on earth should Scotland be lumped in with, and dragged down by, England's political crisis?  

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

The thing is, you responded to a very broad and overarching statement of a leftist position with arguments that are only valid with respect to the gender pay gap.

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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The thing is, you responded to a very broad and overarching statement of a leftist position with arguments that are only valid with respect to the gender pay gap.

I also gave valid arguments with respect to social class.  

And I can address the others also, if you wish. 

Just for example, American schools are currently struggling with the consequences of an Obama-era decree.   This decree assumed that, if the number of black kids getting disciplined is greater than the number of white kids (in proportion to overall numbers) then the school is biased and treating the kids in a racist way.  So the decree imposed draconian sanctions for any school or school district out of line. 

The problem is that, for whatever reasons -- and you can have a long debate about the underlying reasons for this -- black kids are -- on average -- more likely to misbehave than white kids.   Thus the result of the decree is that the bad-behaviour threshold for getting sanctioned is markedly different depending on the race of the kid.   And that has all sorts of knock-on consequences.  

In effect the school is being held accountable for, and being expected to sort out, the whole set of reasons which might underly why one group of kids might tend to have a systematic difference from another group of kids.  

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gurumed 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Let's take another sensible starting axiom that's based on empirical evidence: that the societies delivering the best outcomes in terms of wellbeing are those with high levels of absolute resources and low levels of inequality.

This is really spot on and I don't think anyone could disagree with this.  This is probably exactly where the left/right split happens.  Everyone should agree that high resources, low inequality is good.

Perhaps the left minded focus on the low inequality part of the goal, and the right minded on the prioritise the high resources part?  Maybe the non-extremist left and right folks actually have the same goal, just different ideas on how to get there?

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The New NickB 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> If everybody was paid £100K / year, working or not, and was taxed £70K / year.  It would be very bad.

> The most important thing is generating the money, not spending it.

Actually, as any economist will tell, spending money is really, really important.

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I also gave valid arguments with respect to social class.  

I couldn't quite grasp how the argument relying on a theoretical meritocracy related to policy in the real world. In the real world, people born into poor backgrounds have poorer access to opportunities - anyone can see this. So there's no questionable reliance on an assumption that the difference in outcomes are a product of unfairness. We can see precisely how access to opportunities is handed from generation to generation, and if there is some background genetic component to outcomes, who cares - we're nowhere near seeing whether that's the case or not because the environmental component is so drastically different between social classes.

> And I can address the others also, if you wish. 

Do you think we should expect different outcomes for gay and straight people, opportunities being fair? Where does that take you in terms of policies that see sexual orientation as a "protected characteristic"?

> Just for example, American schools are currently struggling with the consequences of an Obama-era decree.   This decree assumed that, if the number of black kids getting disciplined is greater than the number of white kids (in proportion to overall numbers) then the school is biased and treating the kids in a racist way.

I can see the problems with that policy. I agree that there are examples of policies which mean well but have unintended consequences by way of "over-correction". I am generally very suspicious though when such examples are used as an attempt to undermine the broad underlying political aim of correcting for unfairness in the way opportunity is distributed along lines of innate characteristics .

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to gurumed:

> Everyone should agree that high resources, low inequality is good.

> Perhaps the left minded focus on the low inequality part of the goal, and the right minded on the prioritise the high resources part? 

Yes, I think that's true. However, I struggle to buy the centre-right's story because no one can tell me how the mythical trickle-down magically benefits the poor. How does it actually work if the government doesn't take in higher taxes and redistribute via public services such as high quality education and healthcare for all? All I get is glib bullshit about rising tides lifting everyone's spirits, or something.

> Maybe the non-extremist left and right folks actually have the same goal, just different ideas on how to get there?

I occasionally get a glimpse of how right-wing economics can seem to work towards the same goal of a better society, but it ain't turning up on this thread, nor anywhere in the current political debate.

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mullermn 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> no one can tell me how the mythical trickle-down magically benefits the poor.

Well, I think the principle is pretty simple. The idea is that the rich use their wealth to hire people and invest in things and that involves passing money to less rich people. 

I think the flaw in it is that it assumes that people actually do that, like there’s some cap on personal wealth beyond which people feel obliged to spend their money. This clearly doesn’t exist though, people will sit on steadily growing hoards of money forever.

Another divide between left and right is whether that’s automatically immoral or not (assuming the wealth is acquired morally in the first place).

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to mullermn:

> > no one can tell me how the mythical trickle-down magically benefits the poor.

> Well, I think the principle is pretty simple. The idea is that the rich use their wealth to hire people and invest in things and that involves passing money to less rich people. 

It's all very well having opportunities in the labour market, but if you've had a crap education because the state doesn't provide good quality and if you want your kids to do well you send them private, you're still going to be left doing low-skilled work. That's bad for wellbeing (I reckon that surgeons probably feel better about their lives than unskilled workers), and where's the incentive for the business owner to pay good wages?

Do we think that the wealthy will invest in community schools and hospitals for everyone, just as philanthropists? How is everyone going to get access? 

It's just bollocks, I'm afraid, it's not a convincing story.

> I think the flaw in it is that it assumes that people actually do that, like there’s some cap on personal wealth beyond which people feel obliged to spend their money. This clearly doesn’t exist though, people will sit on steadily growing hoards of money forever.

> Another divide between left and right is whether that’s automatically immoral or not (assuming the wealth is acquired morally in the first place).

I don't think it's necessary to invoke much of a moral argument. What do we want? A society with the minimum of misery and the best chances for people to fulfil their potential. The question is a matter of practical policies that deliver outcomes towards that goal. Lowering taxes as a primary strategy (as one poster above said squarely was his ideology in line with the Tories) just ain't on that path!

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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I couldn't quite grasp how the argument relying on a theoretical meritocracy related to policy in the real world.

The argument is: (1) the societal-standing ("class") of adults depends, at least to some extent, on their innate abilities, (2) their children inherit, so some extent, those innate abilities.  Therefore we would expect a tendancy such that children of high-societal-standing parents have greater innate abilities. And this would then tend to lead to them having higher societal standing when they grow up.

> In the real world, people born into poor backgrounds have poorer access to opportunities - anyone can see this.

Yes, it's both.  It's a mixture of innate abiltiies *and* environmental effects.   But, because of the effect on innate abilities, we would not expect equal outcomes from the different class groups, even if environmental effects were zero. 

> if there is some background genetic component to outcomes, who cares

It is likely to be just as important as the environmental component.  That's why we should care.  

And again, I was just pointing out that we wouldn't necessarily expect similar spectra of outcomes from the different groups mentioned by John.

> we're nowhere near seeing whether that's the case or not because the environmental component is so drastically different between social classes.

I'm not convinced that the environmental effects are so dominant.

> Do you think we should expect different outcomes for gay and straight people, opportunities being fair?

In which outcomes?    (I can think of some outcomes where we might expect a difference, such as mean number of children they have, and others where we would not.)

> Where does that take you in terms of policies that see sexual orientation as a "protected characteristic"?

Nowhere at all.  Recognising such things does not take you even one micron in terms of such policies. 

For example, we should definitely NOT allow discrimination against women at work.  But if, as a result of different on-average preferences, there ends up being a "gender pay gap", then that is not a problem and does not need fixing.

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Al_Mac 05 Dec 2019
In reply to AllanMac:

Except we will be alone because the current budget deficit is over what the EU will accept, and the SNP have no credible plan to overcome it. Nor do they have any ability to run the country beyond shouting 'independence' and relying on the nationalists to keep them in power, irrespective of what they do to the fabric of the country. Education is crumbling, as is the NHS. The SNP handed back welfare powers to Westminster because they weren't able to manage them. Unlike a good number of Scots I simply don't see Westminster as 'them' against 'us', instead viewing all of us as in it together and thus any issues in that fabric is a problem for everyone to resolve.

As someone who grew up in Scotland to an English mother I have seen the anti-English rhetoric from many and abhor it. I do not see myself as different to those of similar political/social views to me across the UK. Indeed Scotland is frequently seen as a country with a deeply socialist history because of relative wealth and that isn't how I see the world; equal opportunity yes, but as someone else said, not equal outcome that seems to be how the SNP push the 'helping hand' attitude. I have greater similarities to friends across Europe than I do my next door neighbours and therefore I feel drawing more and more dividing lines in the ground a negative and exclusory act that we should be trying to reverse as much as possible. The more differences we highlight between people the more hatred we end up with in the world. What next? The central belt secedes from the Highlands as they are the ones paying the most into the economy?

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The argument is: (1) the societal-standing ("class") of adults depends, at least to some extent, on their innate abilities, (2) their children inherit, so some extent, those innate abilities.  Therefore we would expect a tendancy such that children of high-societal-standing parents have greater innate abilities. And this would then tend to lead to them having higher societal standing when they grow up.

> It is likely to be just as important as the environmental component.  That's why we should care.  

I don't think we mean the same thing by 'care' here. You seem to 'care' in some abstract sense of what would be the actual results if environmental factors were eradicated - and I think you're probably correct that there would be non-uniformity for the reasons you give.

What I mean by 'care' is, what sort of society do I want to live in? I want to see lower inequality between "classes", so increased wellbeing. This means lessening the environmental factors that drive up inequality as opportunity is handed down from one generation to the next. It matters not one jot to me if the result of a levelled playing field is uniformity of outcome, because we'll never see it and we'll never know. What I 'care' about is having policies that reduce rather than increase that inequality, because the reduction in inequality is what we know empirically makes for better outcomes for people.

> I'm not convinced that the environmental effects are so dominant.

I spat my tea out at this! 

A kid grows up in a household where mum's a heroin addict and the state provides no support. There's no aspiration, no resources, just misery and chaos. That's not much different to being molly-coddled in an upper-class environment where you grow up expecting to be prime minister? It's so intuitively obvious that environmental factors such as parental expectations in education are vastly influential on outcomes - I'm at a loss as to what to say. 

We don't live in a society where most people are in the middle, and this argument is just about the extremes. The difference between my upbringing (mum's a teacher, dad's a university librarian) and my classmates from across town was vast. We can't do anything about genetic inequality, but we can do something about social inequality.

I find your attempt to minimise the influence of social inequality really sinister (as usual).

> In which outcomes?    (I can think of some outcomes where we might expect a difference, such as mean number of children they have, and others where we would not.)

Let's say, likelihood to be a victim of crime, to have a criminal record, to suffer physical or mental health problems, education, household earnings, etc. Usual social indicators, QoL stuff.

> Nowhere at all.  Recognising such things does not take you even one micron in terms of such policies. 

So, if you crunch the data and find a disparity of outcomes gay vs. straight, you don't think that has any implications for policy? Just recognise that maybe it's natural gay people might be more prone to being victims of violent crime or suicide. Genes innit. Great.

Post edited at 15:28
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DancingOnRock 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Most people are in the middle though. It’s just the extremes are really stretched. The difference between being in the top 39%, 5% and 1% are huge. This gives an illusion that those in the middle aren’t in the middle. 

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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> It matters not one jot to me if the result of a levelled playing field is uniformity of outcome, because we'll never see it and we'll never know. What I 'care' about is having policies that reduce rather than increase that inequality, ...

I think we're pretty much agreed on that.   (We may not fully agree on the extent of state intervention to reduce inequalities.)

> It's so intuitively obvious that environmental factors such as parental expectations in education are vastly influential on outcomes - I'm at a loss as to what to say. 

Yes, they are influential.  But vastly more influential than innate factors?    I'm not convinced of the latter.

What people might presume to be the effect of "parental expectations in education" could well be the parent having genes for "caring about education" and so passing on genes for "caring about education".

As we've discussed on other threads, studies show that "shared environment" (= environmental effects that would be shared by siblings) are vastly less important than most people suppose. 

> The difference between my upbringing (mum's a teacher, dad's a university librarian) and my classmates from across town was vast.

So both your parents were degree-educated and cared about learning and education?  So was it their genes or their parenting that made the bigger difference? 

> I find your attempt to minimise the influence of social inequality really sinister (as usual).

I'm just trying to get to the truth of such matters.

> We can't do anything about genetic inequality, but we can do something about social inequality.

Why sure, we should indeed have policies to reduce social inequality.  But we should not then say: "... and because of that, let's pretend that innate factors are insignificant".

> Let's say, likelihood to be a victim of crime, to have a criminal record, to suffer physical or mental health problems, education, household earnings, etc. Usual social indicators, QoL stuff.

On that list, my answer would be "not as far as I'm aware".

> So, if you crunch the data and find a disparity of outcomes gay vs. straight, you don't think that has any implications for policy?

What I'm saying is that you don't leap automatically from the finding of a disparity in outcomes to an assumption of what the cause of the disparity is.  You need to have an evidence-based think about that.

After that evidence-based think, the result may have implications for policy, or it may not. 

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, they are influential.  But vastly more influential than innate factors?    I'm not convinced of the latter.

I'm not arguing that they are vastly more influential than innate factors. I'm arguing that there is no need to consider innate factors when thinking about policy, because you can't change them. It would matter if you couldn't make any changes to outcomes through policy due to genetic determinism (a conclusion which you seem to be diluting only a little) - but that's so obviously false we don't need to consider it seriously.

> What people might presume to be the effect of "parental expectations in education" could well be the parent having genes for "caring about education" and so passing on genes for "caring about education".

Theoretically possible but totally uncompelling. Intuitions that stem from normal life experience contradict this idea.  E.g., knowing my friend who grew up in an every-so-nice foster home with a lovely C of E middle class family after her mum was totally unable to raise her and who achieved top grades and went straight into teaching drama. Yes, it's possible that if she'd been raised by her mum the outcome could've been the same due to her genes, but that's just intuitively utterly unlikely. 

> As we've discussed on other threads, studies show that "shared environment" (= environmental effects that would be shared by siblings) are vastly less important than most people suppose. 

I'm not sure we've got the studies (e.g. adoption studies) that look at these sorts of social differences.

> I'm just trying to get to the truth of such matters.

The truth isn't really available. This is social science - you don't get to run experiments that show you the counterfactual.

> Why sure, we should indeed have policies to reduce social inequality.  But we should not then say: "... and because of that, let's pretend that innate factors are insignificant".

There's no need to say that. I'm not arguing for policies to deliver equality of outcome, and then getting pissy because innate differences thwart my aims. I'm arguing for policies that reduce social inequality because that's working in the right direction. 

Conversely, minimising the influence of social inequality is an argument against reducing it. Bad for outcomes. The wrong political path for our society.

> What I'm saying is that you don't leap automatically from the finding of a disparity in outcomes to an assumption of what the cause of the disparity is.  You need to have an evidence-based think about that.

There's no real theoretical difference between you and I here, it's how we approach the problem. I can see clearly from my life experience and having looked at some data in the past that if you fall into certain minority groups you've got unfairly lowered opportunity. I take that as a given, because it's because it's been so f*cking obvious for my entire life. There is no theoretical reason that determines that there's a policy implication, but given my experience of the world, it seems like a very reasonable heuristic to assume that if you're seeing lowered outcomes in a minority group we know gets shat on, then the lowered outcomes are probably something to do with the fact they're getting shat on.

Your arguments all seem to follow a similar direction: "here's some uncompelling reasons why making life better for the disadvantaged is probably a waste of time and money".

Post edited at 16:11
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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I'm arguing that there is no need to consider innate factors when thinking about policy, because you can't change them.

That doesn't follow. 

One way it matters is, as we've discussed, if there are no innate factors then unequal outcomes are prima facie evidence of a problem that needs fixing. If there are innate factors then you have to understand the whole issue more before deciding what to fix.

Second, understanding the various influences helps to target interventions better.   For example, if parenting were a big effect, then you might target intervention at improving parenting, by intervening with the parents. But, if you discovered that parenting were not that significant (and that such effects were actually genetic), then you might target intervention at the kids themselves. 

Kids, parents, and society are all complex systems interacting in complex ways.  Ignoring any part of our understanding of such systems is a bad idea. 

> Theoretically possible but totally uncompelling. Intuitions that stem from normal life experience contradict this idea.

Not a rebuttal!  Intuitions are often found to be wrong.

> Yes, it's possible that if she'd been raised by her mum the outcome could've been the same due to her genes, but that's just intuitively utterly unlikely. 

Again, just declaring it "intuitively unlikely" doesn't convince me.

> I'm arguing for policies that reduce social inequality because that's working in the right direction. 

Again, no-one is disagreeing.    What I'm adding to that is that understanding things better can help design better interventions and policies. 

> I can see clearly from my life experience and having looked at some data in the past that if you fall into certain minority groups you've got unfairly lowered opportunity.

Yes, agreed. 

> Your arguments all seem to follow a similar direction: "here's some uncompelling reasons why making life better for the disadvantaged is probably a waste of time and money".

Except that I haven't said that.   How about: "here's some fairly compelling reasons why properly understanding things, and producing evidence-based interventions -- instead of designing them purely on  intuition -- is likely to work better and be the most effective use of time and money".

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Jon Stewart 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You're right to say the my intuitions about how the social world works don't disprove anything. They can't, they're intuitions about the social world. 

But if you throw out all intuitions about the social world, you don't have any understanding of it. The data that's available doesn't tell you what you want to know about, say, how much influence upbringing has on educational outcomes. You're not getting any closer to the truth by throwing out all intuitions and instead trying to determine causes of huge social trends out of tiny scraps of barely relevant data.

> One way it matters is, as we've discussed, if there are no innate factors then unequal outcomes are prima facie evidence of a problem that needs fixing. If there are innate factors then you have to understand the whole issue more before deciding what to fix.

That's fair enough - and in the case of the gender pay gap it's relevant. I don't see the general relevance since there aren't good reasons to think that black or gay people, say, should achieve less.

> Second, understanding the various influences helps to target interventions better. 

That's theoretically a good point. It's just a pity there isn't a reliable science to help target policy in this way, so it's practically a moot point.

> Kids, parents, and society are all complex systems interacting in complex ways.  Ignoring any part of our understanding of such systems is a bad idea. 

I too would love to see a usable science that could inform policy, it just doesn't exist, so I'm not going to pretend it does.

> Except that I haven't said that.   How about: "here's some fairly compelling reasons why properly understanding things, and producing evidence-based interventions -- instead of designing them purely on  intuition -- is likely to work better and be the most effective use of time and money".

I missed that then. Because all I've seen you argue is that interventions to decrease disparities are not needed; in fact I've never seen you argue for a policy to improve outcomes at all! 

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Pefa 05 Dec 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> If you post on here intending to be hurtful and abusive, then I think you should be removed from the forum.

Guh that comment makes me feel sick, grow up and don't be so horrible please ! And wrong. You shock me with that comment as I thought better of you. 

Jon Stewart is and always has been a shining beacon of intelligence and humanity on ukc who's unique and brave voice shows a deeply caring and wise man. 

So back off with that nonsense please, have a reconsider and maybe apologise. 

Post edited at 17:04
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Trevers 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> Mate, I like you dude, but that’s effing bigoted.

I'll start by saying that you're not wrong, and I respect you for calling me out on it. I've made an assumption about the social backgrounds of the people in the group based largely on their demographic and voting history. I've not tried to judge them but I've done so anyway by expressing my arrogance, and I've shared that on a forum full of people who I know mostly think like me, with a characteristic lack of self-awareness.

My despair is not over the fact that these people hold different views to me, or that they're turning away from Labour and embracing a party I vehemently disagree with. Labour have long taken for granted the votes of many people they presume to represent.

It's impossible for me to believe that some of the views expressed are their own, arrived at from a critical and objective thought process, and I realise that I'm exposing some of my own prejudice in saying that. In particular:

- The guy who says that Brexit will be a disaster for the super rich, but won't affect ordinary people.

- The guy who says he doesn't trust Corbyn (fair enough), then later claims Johnson is straight-talking and honest.

It's impossible for me to understand those viewpoints. I can't really attribute those views to anything other than complete apathy, the result of being taken for granted and ignored. It makes me sad that their experiences and opportunities and mine appear to have differed so widely that there's such a vast gulf in our viewpoints to the point where we can't even begin to understand each other.

As I said, I'm struggling to begin to understand how to respond to it, but that response needs to include self-awareness of my privileged background.

The thing is that the same assumptions I've made have also been made by the bespectacled guy leading the discussion. But instead of being concerned and trying to understand the problem, he's only interested in cynically exploiting and manipulating it.

Well, those are my reflections on it. Make of that what you will.

Post edited at 17:14
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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> That's theoretically a good point. It's just a pity there isn't a reliable science to help target policy in this way, ...

And maybe there's no science because too many people in the social sciences discount the role of innate genes, and so don't do the science?

> Because all I've seen you argue is that interventions to decrease disparities are not needed;

Where did I do that?

> in fact I've never seen you argue for a policy to improve outcomes at all! 

Well, primarily, I come to this sort of issue as a scientist.  That is, I'm only trying to understand how things work.  I'm not primarily a policy maker (partly because any making evidence-based policy in such areas is not easy).

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Blunderbuss 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> Lessons were learned with Brexit. Why expose yourself to the vile bigotry of others? Your question has been answered in this thread, honestly by some and by example by others.

> In 2016 there was debate on here about Brexit, but that quickly descended into people who supported it being mobbed by the majority on here who didn’t. The better your arguments the greater the mobbing. Many just gave up, I don’t see any of them posting now.

> The insults and accusations of stupidity are the norm for anyone who doesn’t follow the UKC consensus, which is unerringly the agenda of left-wing media outlets. Anti-Brexit, anti-Tory, anti-Trump, pro-Globalist authoritarianism and all their hidden agendas. And many have the temerity to call others gullible sheep! There is very little in way of genuine debate or any attempt to understand the other, except for the intricacies of what is deemed acceptable doctrine. It’s not just bigotry, it’s also hypocrisy. Many are guilty of the very thing they accuse others of and that is their predisposition to “other” those they disagree with - just place them in the basket with the other deplorables. They have no desire to understand that others may have valid viewpoints, much less engage with them respectfully.

> Some will understand what I’m trying to say, others will carry on with their bigotry totally unaware that is exactly what they are. The mob moves with a collective conscience of which none of its individual are aware. It is not the solution to division, it is the cause.

> So, it is no wonder people don’t stick there heads above the parapet, (as I’m certain you will find out the reason why in the responses to this below).

> Edit: Or just above. ^

What a barrel of shite... 

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Andy Hardy 05 Dec 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

> However that is where ideology comes in, I believe society overall would be better if taxes were low and the economy was allowed to flourish, the rising tide lifts all boats argument.

But we currently have historically* low levels of income tax, low unemployment and yet the use of food banks is at an all time high.

Capitalism *can* lift people out of poverty, but it requires regulating. Left to it's own devices it seems to increase the gap between rich and poor.

* meaning since WW2.

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Pefa 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And maybe there's no science because too many people in the social sciences discount the role of innate genes, and so don't do the science?

Perhaps because too many scientists ignore the effects of the environment on people. 

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Ecce Homer 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Your eloquence and erudition is astounding. Sorry for being so completely wrong in my assumptions.

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Ecce Homer 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Trevers:

That’s better Matt. But I think if you thought about it a little more you might know that you have answered the conundrums you have stated within your post.

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rogerwebb 05 Dec 2019
In reply to AllanMac:

> the last thing I want is for Scotland to then go it alone

> But hopefully they won't be. Remaining in Europe, post indyref2, would hardly be 'going it alone'.

I think you have to accept, as Nicola Sturgeon does, there is no 'remaining in Europe', there never was. 

If a territory leaves a member state it leaves the EU. 

We will have to apply to join and following independence we would be outside the EU and the UK.

One can only hope that the requisite trade deals etc will be dealt with speedily. 

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bouldery bits 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> Your eloquence and erudition is astounding. Sorry for being so completely wrong in my assumptions.

You're a smelly bum bum. 

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Coel Hellier 05 Dec 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Perhaps because too many scientists ignore the effects of the environment on people. 

Do they? Can you give examples?

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Pefa 05 Dec 2019
ClimberEd 06 Dec 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Yes, the market requires appropriate frameworks in which to function.

No, that still won't make me vote labour, I believe the conservatives are still a better fit for executing this. 

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john arran 06 Dec 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

You do realise that, were enough voters to share your opinion and vote accordingly, by this time next year the UK will be facing the harsh reality of WTO terms? And you'd be ok with that? And with the many UK companies staring down the barrel of viability as a result? And with the many employees as well as entrepreneurs who'd be facing joblessness, some also homelessness?

Presumably you'd also then be happy to see Johnson lie to you again, just as he's lying to the electorate now? Except that this time it wouldn't be about how he'd never privatise NHS services, lower food or environmental standards, or further cut employment rights in the name of market 'flexibility'. It would be about how he hadn't already done so, to strike deals very much less in the interests of the people of the UK than the deals and rights we enjoy already as one of the principal drivers of the EU.

Well as long as you're happy with that...

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Andy Hardy 06 Dec 2019
In reply to ClimberEd:

Unfortunately the current leadership of the Tory party want, very much, to remove any kind of "appropriate framework"; so voting Tory would not get what you want. 

The following popped up on my newsfeed the other day: "voting for a party is not a marriage, it's public transport. You aren't looking for "the one" you're looking get somewhere, and if there isn't a bus stopping at your destination, get on the one that's going closest"

The Tory "direction of travel" is 180° from what I want for the UK, so I'm getting on another bus.

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Coel Hellier 06 Dec 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Yes. 

> And

You're asserting that those are examples of "scientists ignor[ing] the effects of the environment on people"??

They seem to me to be the exact opposite. 

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ClimberEd 06 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

Don't conflate voting choices with leave/remain - although I appreciate in some cases that is what it may be about. 

I never mentioned my view on Brexit, as it happens it is firmly remain, but that doesn't stop me believing that the conservative party is the best party to run the country. Also, as it happens, that doesn't mean I believe they are any good, but I do believe that the other parties are worse.

(n.b. same point to Andy Hardy - I won't get what I want, no party will give me what I want, but the conservatives are closest)

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Trevers 11:07 Fri
In reply to ClimberEd:

May I ask out of curiosity, why do you think this? Is it the manifesto policies, or the leadership, that makes you say that? And do you see Brexit as a minor issue?

As I see it, Brexit is the only issue right now, because of its far-reaching consequences into so many other aspects of government. My hope is for a minority Labour government, with help from the Remain Alliance, gets the second referendum over the line. Once it's been held and (hopefully) won, the government will find itself unable to effectively govern, which would precipitate another general election. But this one would be fought on the actual issues, and hopefully with a new and more moderate leadership in both main parties.

Do you think that's a plausible chain of events? And would that not be preferable to a majority Johnson government pushing through a hard (likely no deal) Brexit?

Post edited at 11:11
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ClimberEd 11:27 Fri
In reply to Trevers:

> May I ask out of curiosity, why do you think this? Is it the manifesto policies, or the leadership, that makes you say that? And do you see Brexit as a minor issue?

Brexit is a major issue. 

However, IMHO,  the green party doesn't have a clue how to actually run a country, the lib dems are far too marginalised - I wouldn't risk my vote to give labour the chance of getting into power, and for me labour are bat shit crazy, with their tax ideas and nationalisation of industry, clamping down on private schools and so forth. 

So the conservatives it is then. As I said originally it isn't really about the minutiae of this and that but an overall ideology. No one will change my mind (unless somehow in the distant future  the status quo is totally changed and the parties stop representing their current ideas) and I don't expect to change anyone else's mind. 

edit - so in a nutshell, even as a strong remainer I would prefer brexit to the current labour government offering. The previous labour government would be better than brexit, but I would never vote for them.

Post edited at 11:30
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timjones 11:47 Fri
In reply to john arran:

> We were talking about a specific policy objective. If you have any evidence that the Labour Party has such a policy then please present it as it will your position appear very much more credible. Falling back on the 'some people might say (but not me, guv)' defence of a slur is unworthy of serious discussion.

Do you disagree that many voters perceive labour as a party that want to tax those who work hard in order to reward others that work less hard?


We have 2 major parties that are pulling in opposite directions, the one that is perceived as making the biggest move towards the centre is likely to come out the winner.

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Harry Jarvis 12:06 Fri
In reply to timjones:

> Do you disagree that many voters perceive labour as a party that want to tax those who work hard in order to reward others that work less hard?

Can I ask where you get the idea that the Labour party wants to reward others that work less hard? How do you define 'those who work hard', and are you conflating working hard and being paid well? There are many thousands of people who work very hard, with more than one job, and are still poor. Indeed, our entire system requires many people to be paid very low wages. Do you think that's fair? 

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mullermn 12:08 Fri
In reply to Trevers:

> hopefully with a new and more moderate leadership in both main parties.

If Corbyn ‘wins’ this election, by which I mean Labour end up in government even as a minority, surely that will be received as evidence that he’s the right man for the job by the crowd that keep pushing him forward?

Not that I think it’s our most pressing issue or anything, but I’m curious how we get from a (relatively) positive result in this election for Labour to Corbyn resigning in any short timeframe. 

edit: to answer my own question, one idea that comes to mind is if Labour are in a position to form a minority govt with Lib Dem etc support and they stand firm on their refusal to put JC in no.10. Then we’ll have a game of brinksmanship as to whether the LDs would risk going back to the polls or whether JC would fall on his sword to let Labour be the leader of a govt. 

Post edited at 12:15
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Ecce Homer 12:10 Fri
In reply to Trevers:

Would you be happy with best of 3 or 5 or 7?

There are many big problems with a second referendum. However, if it were to take place and be honest it would have to be in 2 stages. First stage as it was before, a straight leave or remain. If it’s leave then the second stage should be deal or no deal. If the result of the first stage was remain what if it was 52/48 or with less than 17.4 million voting remain? Both of which are highly likely.

But in truth, we all know what a second referendum would be. It would be remain or leave light (very light!). And many would feel they’ve been stitched up.

Post edited at 12:11
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ClimberEd 12:56 Fri
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> Can I ask where you get the idea that the Labour party wants to reward others that work less hard? How do you define 'those who work hard', and are you conflating working hard and being paid well? There are many thousands of people who work very hard, with more than one job, and are still poor. Indeed, our entire system requires many people to be paid very low wages. Do you think that's fair? 

What about ' tax those that succeed financially in order to reward those that are less successful financially'. 

Rather makes a mockery of trying to accumulate wealth doesn't it.

(but fits nicely with a socialist outlook.......)

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Harry Jarvis 13:11 Fri
In reply to ClimberEd:

> What about ' tax those that succeed financially in order to reward those that are less successful financially'. 

I don't know, what about it? Where does that come from? 

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ClimberEd 13:50 Fri
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

It's a flip on what you said. About defining 'working hard'.

Anyway, I'm getting dragged into the minutiae which was not the point of my contribution to this thread so I'm not going to engage further on details.

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Harry Jarvis 13:55 Fri
In reply to ClimberEd:

> It's a flip on what you said. About defining 'working hard'.

Ah, with you. I thought your use of apostrophes meant you were quoting from somewhere, which had me googling the phrase. Needless to say, it doesn't appear anywhere. 

> Anyway, I'm getting dragged into the minutiae which was not the point of my contribution to this thread so I'm not going to engage further on details.

A shame. I'd be interested to know why you think that taxing the rich is somehow rewarding the poor. Is a small increase in disability allowance a reward? Is a small increase in carers allowance a reward? Is a better funded NHS a reward? 

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ClimberEd 14:40 Fri
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> Ah, with you. I thought your use of apostrophes meant you were quoting from somewhere, which had me googling the phrase. Needless to say, it doesn't appear anywhere. 

> A shame. I'd be interested to know why you think that taxing the rich is somehow rewarding the poor.

I didn't say that, I just just playing with your phraseology. 

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Andy Hardy 15:07 Fri
In reply to ClimberEd:

> (n.b. same point to Andy Hardy - I won't get what I want, no party will give me what I want, but the conservatives are closest)

If you want a rising tide to lift all the boats, you'd be better off voting for any other party. I can't think of any measure which shows the Torys lifting people out of poverty since they've been in power (including the coalition)

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ClimberEd 15:43 Fri
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> If you want a rising tide to lift all the boats, you'd be better off voting for any other party. I can't think of any measure which shows the Torys lifting people out of poverty since they've been in power (including the coalition)

I don't need advice how to vote, I will be voting conservative as I believe they are the least worst option. You can't change that belief. As per your example, 'lifting all boats' is not of the top of my list, low taxation is top of my list. I won't give you the rest as you will try and tell me why other parties are better on all those factors as well and I won't believe you.

Post edited at 15:47
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timjones 15:58 Fri
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

I didn't say that I thought it, but you would have to be shortsighted not to have noticed that plenty do.  If they could address those concerns they would increase their chances.

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Jon Stewart 01:13 Sat
In reply to ClimberEd:

> I don't need advice how to vote, I will be voting conservative as I believe they are the least worst option. You can't change that belief. As per your example, 'lifting all boats' is not of the top of my list, low taxation is top of my list. I won't give you the rest as you will try and tell me why other parties are better on all those factors as well and I won't believe you.

Gotta say, I admire your honesty, and this gets to the heart of the OP.  Most people just won't wear "f*ck the poor" on a t-shirt (to extend the clothing metaphor, they actually will wear it, just under their cloak of trickledown bullshit), but they'll vote for it in the polling booth. There's very few like you who'll say it how it is.

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WaterMonkey 07:45 Sat
In reply to ClimberEd:

> low taxation is top of my list. 

If saving money is your priority you should vote for a party that has a chance of stopping Brexit.

you'll be worse off after brexit regardless of how you are taxed.

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Jon Stewart 10:58 Sat
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> If saving money is your priority you should vote for a party that has a chance of stopping Brexit.

> you'll be worse off after brexit regardless of how you are taxed.

Is there an irony here that some people would prefer everyone to be worse off, so long as the undeserving poor don't get their grubby little mits on any of my hard earned dough, in the form of timely cancer treatment or a reasonable education?

Post edited at 10:59
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PaulScramble 11:09 Sat
In reply to charliesdad:

Why don't they talk to a charming fellow like yourself?

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Timmd 12:36 Sat
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Tory scum, tory tw*ts, old, thick and gullible. Same shit day in day out and all coming from the side that likes to position itself as the champions of tolerance and respect for our fellow citizens, no matter their background or creed.... No wonder tory voters keep their heads down. 

Reading things of a scientific slant which point towards how we vote being (at least in part) determined by our biological inheritance set me thinking that a degree of tolerance is desirable, even if I strongly disagree.

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Trevers 12:38 Sat
In reply to Ecce Homer:

> Would you be happy with best of 3 or 5 or 7?

> There are many big problems with a second referendum. However, if it were to take place and be honest it would have to be in 2 stages. First stage as it was before, a straight leave or remain. If it’s leave then the second stage should be deal or no deal. If the result of the first stage was remain what if it was 52/48 or with less than 17.4 million voting remain? Both of which are highly likely.

> But in truth, we all know what a second referendum would be. It would be remain or leave light (very light!). And many would feel they’ve been stitched up.

Just one, so long as it's carried out properly and responsibly. For me, the crux of the issue is still that "Brexit" wasn't defined back in 2016. Three and a half years later, Johnson and Farage, the two most prominent architects of Brexit, still don't agree publicly on what it actually is. In fact in January 2016 Leave.EU attached their branding to a document proposing a slow careful withdrawal with single market membership as a stopgap. It was abandoned shortly after and never became their official campaign position, but it shows that the suggestion that there is only one "true" version of Brexit simply doesn't hold water.

Given the lack of a clearly defined policy and the closeness of the vote, I think that the 2016 referendum mandates only for the government to negotiate a withdrawal from the EU and put it back to the electorate for approval or rejection. So the second referendum isn't about overturning the result of the first, as its detractors often claim, for me it's the logical and democratic consequence of it.

I actually think both Labour's soft deal + referendum and Lib Dem's revoke positions are condescending to voters. As much as I would certainly prefer a soft Brexit to a hard one, I think the most honest position would be to put the current WA to a referendum, along with a white paper fleshing out the negotiating priorities for the future relationship with the EU. I agree that a soft Brexit vs remain referendum would be seen as a stitch up and would disenfranchise millions.

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Jon Stewart 12:52 Sat
In reply to Trevers:

> I think the most honest position would be to put the current WA to a referendum, along with a white paper fleshing out the negotiating priorities for the future relationship with the EU.

I can't think of a more ridiculous thing to put to a public vote. I'm well educated and politically engaged, and I don't want to read documents about trade policy, it's not my area of expertise, I can't understand their implications. If you want an opinion about ocular examination, by all means ask me, since I'm an optometrist. But please don't ask my opinion about trade policy because all I can give you is some vague feeling that I've picked up from the media, my peers, etc. Yes, it seems pretty obvious to me that leaving the EU is a f*cking stupid policy, but I can't back that opinion up with any compelling credentials. Basically, people I respect think that to be the case, whereas people I think are idiots believe the opposite.

Like I say, that's from someone who watches the news a lot, has worked in government for a decade, got a couple of degrees, blah blah. And I consider my opinion on this matter to be totally uninformative, merely a reflection of my cultural circumstances. Asking people like me to chip in on trade policy is not a good idea, is it? And I'm not even the most stupid, nor least informed, nor most easily manipulated person around.

> I agree that a soft Brexit vs remain referendum would be seen as a stitch up and would disenfranchise millions.

Me too. What a ridiculous mess we find ourselves in. Can't we bury David Cameron alive in the same grave as Tony Blair and just start again?

Post edited at 12:53
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ClimberEd 13:02 Sat
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Gotta say, I admire your honesty, and this gets to the heart of the OP.  Most people just won't wear "f*ck the poor" on a t-shirt (to extend the clothing metaphor, they actually will wear it, just under their cloak of trickledown bullshit), but they'll vote for it in the polling booth. There's very few like you who'll say it how it is.

Ha, you've made quite a few assumptions there.

I've never said 'f*ck the poor' or that I don't care about the poorest members of society, or a multitude of other social justice related issues. Simply that I believe that a country is run best on a low tax burden and I don't want a party in power that have an ideology  against wealth creation. 

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Timmd 13:12 Sat
In reply to ClimberEd:

> Ha, you've made quite a few assumptions there.

> I've never said 'f*ck the poor' or that I don't care about the poorest members of society, or a multitude of other social justice related issues. Simply that I believe that a country is run best on a low tax burden and I don't want a party in power that have an ideology  against wealth creation. 

You haven't said such things, but Boris Johnson seems to hold those kinds of sentiments.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-poor-working-class-chav-loser-burglar-drug-addict-a9227941.html?fbclid=IwAR17xbF6y2hnMWhD-eXyAIrYEqLuyhzZcLIUQPqDI49zplOCJXVV3lEkmoU

Edit: Following the resignation of the Conservative's Brexit diplomat in the US because she doesn't want to peddle half truths and lies...it could seem to be a grim picture forming.

Edit 2: I'm definitely not having a go at Conservative voters however...

Post edited at 13:17
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neilh 13:16 Sat
In reply to Timmd:

From 2005? So what.its like saying JC is a supporter of terrorist groups.......kettle calling pot black

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Timmd 13:17 Sat
In reply to neilh: How do you know I'm a labour supporter? I'm neither a pot or a kettle. It's of a similar 'shade' to what his Dad seems to think about the populace of the UK, when he said that the general public wouldn't know who Pinocchio was or be able to spell it (!).

What about Boris Johnson advocating an insurance based health care system like we have in the US, can we really trust our NHS to be looked after between him and Trump?

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Jim Hamilton 13:39 Sat
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> you'll be worse off after brexit regardless of how you are taxed.

I thought the economic forecasts are that you wouldn't do as well as you would have done by staying in the EU? Being worse off is what the anti Corbyn vote think would happen with his government.  

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Jon Stewart 14:32 Sat
In reply to ClimberEd:

> I've never said 'f*ck the poor' or that I don't care about the poorest members of society, or a multitude of other social justice related issues.

I'm not sure how else you might expect

> 'lifting all boats' is not of the top of my list, low taxation is top of my list. 

to be interpreted. That just says "f*ck the poor" to me.

> Simply that I believe that a country is run best on a low tax burden and I don't want a party in power that have an ideology  against wealth creation. 

So what do you mean by "run best"? What's the underlying goal of policy?

For me, the underlying goal is to create a society with minimum misery/maximum wellbeing, with all people having equal value regardless of the circumstances of their birth. So policies that work in this direction, e.g. high taxes redistributing opportunity through services like education and healthcare, get my support, whereas policies that work in the opposite direction, e.g. reducing benefits for the disabled and offering tax cuts to the wealthy, don't.

What is the underlying goal that your preferred policies drive towards? And how do they do this?

Post edited at 14:32
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Timmd 17:23 Sat
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I'm not sure how else you might expect

> 'lifting all boats' is not of the top of my list, low taxation is top of my list. 

> to be interpreted. That just says "f*ck the poor" to me.

It rather does to me as well. What gets me about the Conservatives being 'the party of business' narrative, is the business people who aren't conservatives who also do well. I know of a multimillionaire who saw it as entirely reasonable for them to be paying 45% tax on their earnings before retirement, and they've always voted Lib Dems - and rather disliked the Conservatives and their treatment of the poorer and more vulnerable in society. It's always gone against their view that 'all boats should be lifted'.  

Post edited at 17:48
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