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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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Lord Muck oGentry
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#21 Postby Lord Muck oGentry » September 9th, 2012, 1:51 am

Latest post of the previous page:

Alan H wrote:
Lord Muck oGentry wrote:What is effective and efficient need not be efficacious. But as long as we take seriously the illiterate and mendacious buffoons who confuse one effing word with another, things will get no better.
I think a lot of people use either word interchangeably (and I'm sure I have at times). But I'm sure many quacks either don't know the difference or don't care.

I'll need to go away and look it up, but I think the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee in their Evidence check on homeopathy, said something about effective v efficacious. I'm not sure I remember it very well, so I'll find it first...


Alan, you are quite right about the Select Committee:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... /45/45.pdf
See page 9.

As for your own use of the words, I suspect you are doing yourself an injustice. :)

If, by the bye, you catch me ranting about submanagerialist illiterate bullshit you have my permission to restrain me until the fit passes. :D
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

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

#22 Postby Alan H » September 9th, 2012, 11:07 am

Toss up between putting this here or in the welfare thread...
Our children go hungry for want of Tory compassion

Nick Cohen
The Observer, Sunday 9 September 2012

British children are begging for food and what do the Conservatives say? That's not real hunger

'Compassionate conservatism" turned from a slogan into an oxymoron on the day when Save the Children launched an appeal to feed the British poor. For what it is worth, that was also the moment when I understood that removing the Conservatives from power is now a national priority.

The charity had launched its first appeal for British children in living memory. It asked the public for £500,000 to help provide them with "the essentials – a hot meal, blankets, a warm bed". I know what you're thinking. Why so little? The average Manchester City player earns £500,000 in six weeks. The average FTSE-100 company boss takes £500,000 from shareholders in two months. £500,000 will not buy you a decent flat in a smarter part of London or semi in the home counties. Last month, property journalists gasped like porn actresses at the size of Heath Hall, a 14-bedroom mansion just north of Hampstead. The agent's asking price for the most expensive home ever to go on sale on the open market was £100m – or 200 times the £500,000 Save the Children want to relieve the suffering of British children.

The modesty of last week's appeal did not enrage Conservatives, however. Rather, the charity's insistence that British children needed the public's help to provide them with "hot meals" drove them wild. Conservative newspapers denounced Save the Children as "obscene" for implying that British children were as needy as African children. I won't waste your time or mine by refuting their arguments in detail. Their main evidence that the charity was now a leftwing propaganda outfit was that Justin Forsyth, its chief executive, was once an aide to that notorious socialist Tony Blair.

Better to look at how Conservative MPs with elections to win responded rather than listen to the yapping of their followers. For it is there that you see the true sickness. Douglas Carswell said Save the Children did not know "what really needs to be done about the welfare system". Brian Binley said it risked doing "awful damage". Christian Guy, director of the Centre for Social Justice and a close associate of the work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, dismissed the notion that the poor are poor because they do not have enough money. "Instead of trying to direct a few pounds in their direction, Save the Children should be fighting family breakdown and welfare dependency," he opined.

For a generation, Conservatives have been able to make these arguments with some force. When liberals defined poverty as "relative poverty" – households living on below 60% of median income – their opponents could reply that an inability to afford a car or satellite TV was not true suffering. The British "poor" were not truly poor. They could manage, if they did not waste their money on booze and drugs or have children they could not afford to bring up. It is not as if they were going hungry, or so ran the line.

Now they are – in shamefully large numbers. Their hunger makes Conservative arguments appear absurd and I think in their hearts Conservatives know it. The ferocity of their attack on the benign men and women of Save the Children betrays an underlying nervousness. Food banks are expanding faster than Tesco. The Trussell Trust, the Christian charity that has taken on the role of feeding the hungry, is opening three a week. Chris Mould, its director, says he wants to have one in every town. Food banks will be for the great stagnation of the 2010s what hunger marches were for the great depression of the 1930s: an unavoidable demonstration of the negligence of the British government for all with eyes to see.

Hunger is not relative. Hunger is the same the world over. "A Briton who hasn't eaten for three days is no different from an African who hasn't eaten for three days," Mould tells me and he is not the only one saying it. FareShare, a charity that provides food parcels and hot meals from food donated by supermarkets, says that it is experiencing a "ridiculous growth" in demand. The acclaimed Kids Company, which looks after 13,000 children in London, said children were arriving at its centres, not in search of shelter or a safe haven from abusers, but a decent meal. A survey of teachers for the Prince's Trust said they were seeing pupils coming to school "hungry", "dirty" and "struggling to concentrate". Children were not there to learn but to stay warm and be fed.

The identity of the hungry destroys the assumptions of Tory England as thoroughly as the fact of hunger itself. Four out of 10 people who visit the food banks are unemployed, but they were not all the scroungers of Conservative nightmare. Services for the poor become poor services and the bureaucracy treats the unemployed with an insouciant incompetence it would never dare inflict on the middle class. It fails to pay benefits to eligible claimants and leaves them with no choice but to beg for food. The unemployed do not vote, do not know how to protest to MPs and councillors or write to the press, so it can ignore their legitimate protests.

The remaining six out of 10 users of food banks are from working households. Although they or their partners are trying to provide for themselves, as Conservatives say they should, they still cannot get by. Part-time working, inadequate wages and the extraordinary rise in British food prices – up by 40% since 2005, according to Oxfam – have pushed them into hunger. We no longer wait for news of the harvest with trepidation. Perhaps if we understood our new economy, we would behave as our ancestors did and treat reports of droughts on the prairies or fires on the steppes as the most important stories of the year.

The collapse in living standards means that those who once lived comfortably now worry about filling their cars and those who once scraped by worry about filling their bellies. You cannot generalise about them or fit them into a comforting Conservative cliche. People of all backgrounds need food parcels: small businessmen and women who can't get invoices paid; parents who are living on toast or potatoes and spending what little money they have on better food for their children.

To use old-fashioned language, the Conservatives who fail to acknowledge their distress are no longer patriots. Instead of asking how their government can stand by while their fellow citizens go hungry, they denounce the charities, which in however small and pathetic a manner, try to take on the responsibilities of a failed state.
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
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#23 Postby Alan H » September 9th, 2012, 11:09 am

I think this comment hits the nail on the head:
They can't have it both ways. This is surely an exaqmple of the 'Big Society' in action. Clearly thay have assumed that the Big Society would only ever tell them exactly what they wanted to hear, and to have a charity confront the absolute failure of coalition policy appers to be a contingency which they had not previosly considered.
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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Dave B
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#24 Postby Dave B » September 9th, 2012, 11:27 am

I often wonder if politicians actually think before deciding on these sort of policies! Do they listen to the civil servants and, one has to ask, are the civil servants actually qualified to answer every question/contingency?

Then does the proper answer get to to the top - remember "The Plan" that |I posted here some time ago, I am sure that it has its roots in reality.

And before nick jumps up and down about Labour not doing any better I fully agree - politicians are politicians whatever their colour and should all be viewed through the same sceptical lenses!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Nick
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#25 Postby Nick » September 9th, 2012, 12:58 pm

Dave B wrote:And before nick jumps up and down about Labour not doing any better I fully agree - politicians are politicians whatever their colour and should all be viewed through the same sceptical lenses!

Thanks, Dave. Saved me the trouble...

Well, Mr Cohen, apart from blaming the Tories for the disaster which happened on Lie-bore's watch, what is your solution.....?

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

#26 Postby Alan H » September 9th, 2012, 1:14 pm

First, identify that there is a problem; then get all involved to realise/appreciate/admit there is a problem so that the problem can be fully defined; then look to resolving that problem as identified and agreed. Promoting a solution long before you really have much idea about the problem and its root cause might just work, but we've really had enough of gambling with people's lives and futures - and such a haphazard and ideological way is not a very rational way to resolve problems.
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 C.
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#27 Postby Alan C. » September 9th, 2012, 4:09 pm

This was one of the many good comments on this Guardian article
Though you have to admit the reshuffle does pass the WTF test pretty masterfully: I lost count of the number of times I said "what the actual FUCK" as the appointments were announced.

A justice secretary who isn't a lawyer and who supported B&B owners in their illegal desire to discriminate against a gay couple.

A cabinet-level minister for faith who can't abide secularism in a secular society, who scaremongered that Britain was being "threatened" by a "militant tide of secularism". Way to go on community-building, Baroness Warsi.

An equality minister who voted against gay adoption rights and whose portfolio includes women who also voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' roundly denounced proposals to impose faith-based counselling on women seeking abortions, which would have made access to abortion more difficult.

A health secretary who believes in homeopathy.

And a transport secretary who's afraid of flying.

You couldn't make it up. Top marks in the WTF test, Dave
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Dave B
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#28 Postby Dave B » September 9th, 2012, 4:12 pm

Ticks just about all the boxes labelled, "Stupid" then?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Nick
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#29 Postby Nick » September 9th, 2012, 5:41 pm

Alan C. wrote:This was one of the many good comments on this Guardian article
Though you have to admit the reshuffle does pass the WTF test pretty masterfully: I lost count of the number of times I said "what the actual FUCK" as the appointments were announced.

A justice secretary who isn't a lawyer and who supported B&B owners in their illegal desire to discriminate against a gay couple.

A cabinet-level minister for faith who can't abide secularism in a secular society, who scaremongered that Britain was being "threatened" by a "militant tide of secularism". Way to go on community-building, Baroness Warsi.

An equality minister who voted against gay adoption rights and whose portfolio includes women who also voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' roundly denounced proposals to impose faith-based counselling on women seeking abortions, which would have made access to abortion more difficult.

A health secretary who believes in homeopathy.

And a transport secretary who's afraid of flying.

You couldn't make it up. Top marks in the WTF test, Dave


At least he has a Chancellor who has some idea of what is required, instead of someone devoid of any policy initiative except those which would not make the problems worse, is directly responsible for the some of the catastrophic mess left to the incoming Coalition, and more anxious to sabotage any possible recovery and try to win cheap political points by repeatedly and outrageously misleading the electorate, than to contribute to the recovery. At least Brown meant well.

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

#30 Postby Alan H » September 27th, 2012, 7:22 pm

Warsi was Tweeting from her jolly to the UN with Dave yesterday:
Three components intrinsic to freedom of religion ; freedom to choose, to express and worship #UNGA

There can be no freedom of religion without the freedom to choose that religion #UNGA #faith

In a free and democratic society one must be able to display or wear religious symbols #UNGA #faith

I replied to her asking if she believed the same applied to not choose a religion.

She has just Tweeted, as an afterthought:
"There can be no freedom of religion without the freedom to choose" < that of course means the freedom to choose no religion

I replied:
Do you think religions or religious people should be given special privileges or rights?

I'll let you know if she replies.
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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Fia
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#31 Postby Fia » September 27th, 2012, 8:22 pm

Good on you Alan :kiss:

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

#32 Postby Alan H » September 28th, 2012, 1:10 am

A further Tweet:
Have just signed Cooperation Framework which marks closer dialogue between the UK and OIC. http://twitter.com/SayeedaWarsi/status/ ... 88/photo/1

So I replied:
What's your views on the OIC's call for a global blasphemy law?
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
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#33 Postby Alan H » September 28th, 2012, 7:04 pm

Warsi:
Lunch w/ Rabbi Bob Kaplan. Fascinating discussion about grass-roots projects which build cohesion between communities.

Me:
Do you think religious schools increase or decrease social cohesion, or make no difference?
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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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#34 Postby Dave B » September 28th, 2012, 7:26 pm

:popcorn:

Good game, this!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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

#35 Postby Alan H » October 6th, 2012, 1:40 am

Oh FFS.

Our esteemed Health Minister wants to see the time limit for abortions changed from the current 24 weeks to...

Spoiler:

But it's OK, the new Minister for Women doesn't agree.
Spoiler:
She wants it changed to...20 weeks.
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?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24011
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#36 Postby Alan H » October 6th, 2012, 11:21 pm

C.E.O.’s and the Pay-’Em-or-Lose-’Em Myth
...a study released last week pretty much drives a stake through that old “pay ’em or lose ’em” line — what you might call the brain-drain defense. It also debunks the idea that companies must keep up with the Joneses by constantly comparing their executives’ compensation with that of similar companies.
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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Tetenterre
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Joined: March 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#37 Postby Tetenterre » October 11th, 2012, 9:37 am

Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Dave B
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#38 Postby Dave B » October 11th, 2012, 10:57 am

Brilliant article - says it all!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Woody Duck
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Joined: September 30th, 2012, 12:43 am

Re: The future of Government (if any)

#39 Postby Woody Duck » October 13th, 2012, 8:10 am

Government is and always has been no different in reality to the group of barons in 1215 who held King John to task and created the magna carter to safeguard their own privilege and property. Right now in this government the similarities are striking.
A man with a ukulele is a man with nothing to prove.

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lewist
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#40 Postby lewist » October 13th, 2012, 8:41 am

Interesting that the English events to which you allude happened during our Golden Age, Woody, which ended with the death of Alexander III. Whereas we had much the same sort of thing, our concept of kingship is radically different. The monarch in Scotland is 'of Scots' whereas the English monarch is 'of England', the former leader of the people, the latter owner of the land. That's a difference that is largely forgotten nowadays, but which should be re-embraced when we gain independence.

Yep, The Daily Mash is a satirical hoot, but they have 'call me Dave' bang to rights. In my view, the last of the Institute for Studies interpretations of Dave's character is the correct one.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Dave B
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Re: The future of Government (if any)

#41 Postby Dave B » October 13th, 2012, 9:44 am

Woody Duck wrote:Government is and always has been no different in reality to the group of barons in 1215 who held King John to task and created the magna carter to safeguard their own privilege and property. Right now in this government the similarities are striking.
And that charter was ignored, broken, revised, weakened etc. by the monarchy for the next couple of hundred years.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015


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