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The future of Government (if any)

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Dave B
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2161 Post by Dave B » July 19th, 2015, 8:43 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

:headbang:
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Altfish
Posts: 1821
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 8:46 am

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2162 Post by Altfish » July 20th, 2015, 6:21 am

Alan H wrote:
thundril wrote:Bastards! Utter, detestable bastards!
But life on a salary of just £1,731 is so dreadfully, dreadfully difficult... £1,731 a week, that is: Tory minister says £90,000 salary left him "counting the pennies"
Do they wind people up on purpose, is it a bit "Loads of money" sort of attitude or are they really dumb and callous?

thundril
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Joined: July 4th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2163 Post by thundril » July 20th, 2015, 2:28 pm

Dave B wrote:Er, £100/hour? That'if he worked 24/7.
24X7=168 hours.
168 hours @£10 per hour = £1,680.
See, at £1,731 per week, he's not that much better off than a person who actually does something useful for a living!
(The Tory govt statistician has checked this over, and declares my method is perfectly valid!)

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Alan H
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2164 Post by Alan H » July 20th, 2015, 2:57 pm

Freedom of information under threat?
The Government have just announced a cross party Commission on Freedom of Information to review the use of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It is hard not to be cynical when governments review Freedom of Information provisions, particularly when one of the members, Jack Straw is a very vocal critic of the Act. Freedom of Information can be challenging for governments and it is not surprising that politicians across the political spectrum have been proposing restricting the Act for as long as it has been in place.

However as the detailed review carried out by the Justice Select Committee found, the Act works well and is a significant enhancement of our democracy. You can read the evidence I gave to the committee here. The particular concern raised by the government is that there needs to be a safe space for the government to discuss and debate policy without fear that the discussions will then be made public. However as the Justice Committee report states, this protection already exists in section 35 of the Act. As Sir Alan Beith said when the report was published

“The Act was never intended to prevent, limit, or stop the recording of policy discussions in Cabinet or at the highest levels of Government, and we believe that its existing provisions, properly used, are sufficient to maintain the ‘safe space’ for such discussions.”

A better focus for the Commission would be to examine how governance has changed since the Act was passed and where there are gaps in Freedom of Information coverage. Increasingly government functions have out sourced to private companies who are not subject to the Act. This creates several challenges in terms of how, as members of the public, we can hold service providers to account. A commission that looked at how we can meet these challenges and deepen the culture of Freedom of Information at all levels of government would be one we could get excited by.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2165 Post by Nick » July 20th, 2015, 3:34 pm

"You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop," Blair wrote of himself in his autobiography "A Journey" last year, recalling his adoption of the [Freedom of Information] law, which took effect in 2005. "There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it."

thundril
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Joined: July 4th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2166 Post by thundril » July 20th, 2015, 4:37 pm

Nick wrote:
"You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop," Blair wrote of himself in his autobiography "A Journey" last year, recalling his adoption of the [Freedom of Information] law, which took effect in 2005. "There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it."
Exactly, Nick. Knowledge is power. Government Ministers rarely give away any power, if they can help it.
And although information, in itself, is not knowledge, in the 'wrong hands' it can quickly become so. Helping the public to investigate the Government is indeed a stupid thing for a Minister to do.

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Altfish
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2167 Post by Altfish » July 20th, 2015, 6:20 pm

Nick wrote:
"You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop," Blair wrote of himself in his autobiography "A Journey" last year, recalling his adoption of the [Freedom of Information] law, which took effect in 2005. "There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it."
If Blair thought it was a mistake it supports the fact that the FoI law is correct and should not be repealed or reduced in anyway, in fact it should be strengthened.

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Alan H
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2168 Post by Alan H » July 20th, 2015, 6:46 pm

+1
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2169 Post by Alan H » July 20th, 2015, 7:03 pm

Lower benefit caps 'will exclude poor families from large parts of England'
Unemployed families will not be able to afford to live in large parts of England as the government’s benefit cap plans threaten at least 100,000 households with homelessness and poverty, research finds.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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jaywhat
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Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:53 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2170 Post by jaywhat » July 21st, 2015, 6:53 am

only from England ?

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Altfish
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2171 Post by Altfish » July 21st, 2015, 7:35 am

Alan H wrote:Lower benefit caps 'will exclude poor families from large parts of England'
Unemployed families will not be able to afford to live in large parts of England as the government’s benefit cap plans threaten at least 100,000 households with homelessness and poverty, research finds.
Isn't that their plan, eliminate the poor from the south east?
Oh, wait a minute.... who will serve at my club, take my empty bottles and other rubbish away, service my Chelsea tractor, clean my hotel room, iron my shirts, do my garden....???

Nick
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2172 Post by Nick » July 21st, 2015, 8:46 am

Altfish wrote:Isn't that their plan, eliminate the poor from the south east?
Oh, wait a minute.... who will serve at my club, take my empty bottles and other rubbish away, service my Chelsea tractor, clean my hotel room, iron my shirts, do my garden....???
If people want such services, then they will just have to raise the amount they pay people to do them. Rather than being effectively subsidised by the tax-payer.

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Altfish
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2173 Post by Altfish » July 21st, 2015, 10:39 am

Nick wrote:
Altfish wrote:Isn't that their plan, eliminate the poor from the south east?
Oh, wait a minute.... who will serve at my club, take my empty bottles and other rubbish away, service my Chelsea tractor, clean my hotel room, iron my shirts, do my garden....???
If people want such services, then they will just have to raise the amount they pay people to do them. Rather than being effectively subsidised by the tax-payer.
Sounds like a great plan, the likes of Michael O'Leary will be rushing to up their staff's wages.
Meanwhile whilst we wait for these businesses still set in Dickens's days to join the 21st century it is the 'hard working families' that have to suffer. Great plan :deadhorse:

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Alan H
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2174 Post by Alan H » July 21st, 2015, 10:41 am

+1

I'm still waiting for the plan for VirginWorkHouses™ to be announced.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Altfish
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Joined: March 26th, 2012, 8:46 am

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2175 Post by Altfish » July 21st, 2015, 11:56 am

Nick wrote:
Altfish wrote:Isn't that their plan, eliminate the poor from the south east?
Oh, wait a minute.... who will serve at my club, take my empty bottles and other rubbish away, service my Chelsea tractor, clean my hotel room, iron my shirts, do my garden....???
If people want such services, then they will just have to raise the amount they pay people to do them. Rather than being effectively subsidised by the tax-payer.
Just to add to my earlier comment, Nick, I have spoken to two people on tax credits in the last 2-weeks, one a relative and the other a bloke I occasionally see in the pub. Both are frightened to death of the changes, one is a self-employed plumber with an estranged wife and child, the other is some sort of caretaker/janitor. If they lose their tax credits both say it won't be worth working as they can make more claiming benefits. 2 more on the dole - RESULT!

I know this is a very small sample but I suspect it may turn out to be representative.

thundril
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Joined: July 4th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2176 Post by thundril » July 21st, 2015, 4:06 pm

Altfish wrote:
Nick wrote:
Altfish wrote:Isn't that their plan, eliminate the poor from the south east?
Oh, wait a minute.... who will serve at my club, take my empty bottles and other rubbish away, service my Chelsea tractor, clean my hotel room, iron my shirts, do my garden....???
If people want such services, then they will just have to raise the amount they pay people to do them. Rather than being effectively subsidised by the tax-payer.
Just to add to my earlier comment, Nick, I have spoken to two people on tax credits in the last 2-weeks, one a relative and the other a bloke I occasionally see in the pub. Both are frightened to death of the changes, one is a self-employed plumber with an estranged wife and child, the other is some sort of caretaker/janitor. If they lose their tax credits both say it won't be worth working as they can make more claiming benefits. 2 more on the dole - RESULT!

I know this is a very small sample but I suspect it may turn out to be representative.
The Tory mentality has it that people must be kept close to real poverty, otherwise the unpleasant, difficult, but necessary jobs wouldn't get done. If people want their sewers to function, people with contagious diseases treated safely, dead cats scraped off the road and taken away, and such like, then they have to pay somebody enough to make it worth their while.
But, as Nick puts it "I don't think any system could be effective if there were no consequences if the able-bodied were not obliged* to work." I don't think there is any truth in this statement, , but I do perceive a kind of brutal Tory logic.
If your children are hungry, you don't operate freely in the food market; ie, you don't have the option of not buying food.
If your children are too young to live out on the street, you don't operate freely in the housing market; ie you don't have the option of refusing to rent a house. And if you are in danger of homelessness or hunger, you don't operate freely in the jobs market; ie you don't have the option of not accepting a lousy job for lousy wages, if that's all that's on offer to you..
If nobody was threatened with homelessness or poverty, then all 'workers' would enter an actually free market for labour, and the prices demanded for jobs done would begin to reflect the true value of the work. This would be completely unacceptable to any Right-thinking person.
Just imagine if a sewage worker got paid more than a celebrity chef! Disaster!
*(My emphasis)

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Alan H
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2177 Post by Alan H » July 21st, 2015, 6:44 pm

For information and comment: Competing on the same tracks
I'm on a train, in case you're wondering. It departed Glasgow Central platform 2 at 13.40, bound for London Euston.

At platform 1, another train was preparing to depart 20 minutes later. It's also run by Virgin trains, identical in every way - as you might expect.

But what if it were a rival service, with different pricing, a different configuration of seating and coaches, perhaps quieter or perhaps more crowded, free coffee, free wifi, a cinema carriage and a different approach to customer service?

I could have made a choice on cost or on service levels, and not just between First Class and Standard.

A Ryanair of the west coast line, or an Emirates? That's the question the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been asking
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2178 Post by Alan H » July 21st, 2015, 7:02 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2179 Post by Alan H » July 21st, 2015, 7:40 pm

More trouble for the Tories?

House of Lords vote casts doubt on Tory plans to extend right to buy
Government plans to extend the right to buy to housing association tenants face a major setback after the House of Lords voted in favour of a crossbench amendment to the charities bill which seeks to block the measure.

Peers voted vote 257-174 in favour of an amendment that seeks to ensure charities are not “compelled to use or dispose of their assets in a way which is inconsistent with their charitable purposes”.

Although the amendment does not mention housing associations, many have charitable status and it would block Tory plans to force them to sell their housing stock to tenants at a discount, which will be included in the housing bill and presented to parliament later this year.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

thundril
Posts: 3607
Joined: July 4th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2180 Post by thundril » July 21st, 2015, 10:29 pm

Alan H wrote:More trouble for the Tories?

House of Lords vote casts doubt on Tory plans to extend right to buy
Government plans to extend the right to buy to housing association tenants face a major setback after the House of Lords voted in favour of a crossbench amendment to the charities bill which seeks to block the measure.

Peers voted vote 257-174 in favour of an amendment that seeks to ensure charities are not “compelled to use or dispose of their assets in a way which is inconsistent with their charitable purposes”.

Although the amendment does not mention housing associations, many have charitable status and it would block Tory plans to force them to sell their housing stock to tenants at a discount, which will be included in the housing bill and presented to parliament later this year.
When Thatcher's govt announced the Right to Buy, I thought it might be a good idea. Then I realised she wasn't including farmers whose families have rented land from aristocrats for centuries. Wasn't include villagers whose families have rented cottages from those same aristos for centuries. Wasn't including any private landlords, no matter how many times over their tenants had repaid the cost of the house. In fact she wasn't including anything that might do any harm whatsoever to anyone wealthy.
La plus ca change....

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Alan H
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#2181 Post by Alan H » July 23rd, 2015, 11:16 pm

David Cameron's vow to lead 'greenest Government ever' lies in tatters as Tories axe Green Deal home energy efficiency schemeMinisters have scrapped the Government's flagship Green Deal home energy efficiency programme as part of their austerity drive.

The announcement comes weeks after The Independent reported that the scheme was at risk of falling victim to the Government’s plans to significantly scale back the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s £3.3bn budget.

It leaves David Cameron’s vow to lead the “greenest Government ever” in tatters, a phrase he even used in a speech at the Royal Welsh Show today.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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