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Author Topic: The Political Thread  (Read 1017435 times)

IndigoPrime

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14520 on: 12 September, 2018, 10:10:57 am »
It does not help that every (quarter?) the press publicise the latest unemployment figures at face value.
Given that I'm a journalist, I'm increasingly angry with the way in which stories are presented. We had some BBC journo banging on about post-Brexit figures yesterday, parroting some bullshit shat out by a right-wing thinktank. Without context, this is all meaningless. The way headline are written is increasingly dangerous: "Opinion dressed up as fact, says person". Yeah, great. Most people (as in, literally a majority) don't read past headlines online any more. Reporters MUST do better, both in writing headlines and also on microblogging services where each post may as well be a headline.

Also, regarding employment figures alone, the government's going to have a hell of a spin job next year. The current estimates are, what, that we'll lose about two million jobs? That's about one in 17 people suddenly without a job. Still, I'm sure those zero-hour contracts can be forced on a few million more, and conveniently hacked in half for meaningless job shares. That'll work. Give it a few years and we'll have no unemployment at all – but food bank use will have somehow skyrocketed. Mind you, as Tory MPs have pointed out, that's only because people love free handouts, and not, say, because they can't afford to live.

Old Tankie

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14521 on: 12 September, 2018, 10:27:37 am »
“Current estimates”. Oh please! Project fear in full flow.

Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14522 on: 12 September, 2018, 10:37:33 am »
or how many people have died from the cruel and pointless poverty that chasing these metrics has created.

You liberal luvvies will spin anything to be bad news - 120,000 people who'll never be unemployed again and you only see the downside.

Hawkmumbler

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14523 on: 12 September, 2018, 10:38:12 am »
“Current estimates”. Oh please! Project fear in full flow.

Guys, stand back, we have a free thinker here!

 ::) ::) ::)

Steven Denton

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14524 on: 12 September, 2018, 10:39:54 am »
'Current estimates' needs citation.

'Project Fear' is just a buzz word used to dismiss any criticism of fact that do not fit into a particular world view. often the favoured retort of the braxier. their is no project fear beyond the one created by the people citing project fear every time they see something they disagree with or would like to whish away.

Old Tankie

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14525 on: 12 September, 2018, 10:47:02 am »
What like you guys, trying to wash away the unemployment figures.

Hawkmumbler

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14526 on: 12 September, 2018, 10:52:33 am »
What like you guys, trying to wash away the unemployment figures.
Figures you've yet to quote? The statistics already discredited several times over?

Steven Denton

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14527 on: 12 September, 2018, 11:09:19 am »
What like you guys, trying to wash away the unemployment figures.

No. The exact opposite in fact. if someone had just responded with 'project spin' and then refused to elaborate or back their argument up then maybe, but as the pages of responses, reasoned arguments and cited information not only don't fall into that category but represent the antithesis of 'project fear' as a response I would have to say you analogy is a particularly poor one.

IndigoPrime

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14528 on: 12 September, 2018, 11:24:12 am »
I've not tried to wash away any unemployment figures. I and others have stated that in isolation and out of context, they are meaningless. If you can't afford to live, being employed isn't enough. Yet too many people see unemployment figures as the be all and end all. You must know this.

As for project fear, that's the most ridiculous ongoing slogan. It's project reality now. At best, the UK will come out of Brexit diminished. Even its biggest proponents say any benefits might not be felt for 50 years. That means people coming of voting age now would work for their entire lives earning less than they otherwise would have, just so a handful of rich people (some of which are moving their businesses to… the EU) can get richer. In the meantime, the ERG seeks to drive the country off of a cliff and renege on every single promise made prior to the referendum. (The latest zinger from Rees-Moog: a belief EU/EEA citizens should be treated no differently form the second we leave. That'll be fun for the estimated four million people in the UK who are either EU/EFTA/Swiss nationals, or who are married to/in a relationship with one.)

In terms of employment alone, we've already seen EU agencies move out (the most obvious of things that would happen, despite the arguments of idiots like David Davis), and companies are relocating staff. Many businesses simply won't be able to exist. Without the CU/SM, JIT manufacturing is dead. Agriculture will be wrecked if we want a deal with the US or Australia. Services will be bulldozed by our lack of a deal with the EU (and the knock-on effect is the UK then becomes less interesting to other third countries regarding trade.) Investment in the UK has dropped sharply, and no-one is talking about benefits anymore. Brexit more or less went like this:

- Sunlit uplands! No downsides!
- Easiest deal ever with the EU – done in an afternoon
- We never said it was going to be easy
- Always said there would be an adjustment period before the benefits
- Won't be like a Mad Max dystopia
- May not see any benefits for 50 years
- Won't be the end of the world

The last of those is something May quoted recently. That is the lowest possible fucking bar to set for no-deal. Although, arguably, it will be the end of the world for some people, because under a no-deal scenario, people will die. That's not hyperbole. Unless we can guarantee the flow of medicine and food, there are going to be colossal problems in this country. Of course, Brexiters wave such problems away, or lay groundwork for blaming the EU. "Surely, they wouldn't be so CRUEL as to stop insulin medicine coming into the UK?" It's nothing to do with the EU. We've flung up barriers entirely unnecessarily, and this government is so ideological and stubborn that it won't walk back.

I hope that something changes. Either something happens to call this shitstorm off, or the Irish border forces the UK into a semi-permanent transition state within the CU and SM, and that holds until such a point that enough old people die to get us back into the EU. The first of those I think is vanishingly unlikely. (Sorry, second referendum fans, but that just isn't going to happen.) The second is reasonably possible, albeit under massive spin. The third I suspect is very likely, albeit not in the timescales pro-EU people hope. (I'm in my early 40s. I don't imagine the UK will be in the UK again before I hit retirement age, and possibly not within my lifetime, assuming I live to an average age for a person born in the UK.)
« Last Edit: 12 September, 2018, 11:26:36 am by IndigoPrime »

sheridan

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14529 on: 12 September, 2018, 12:55:27 pm »
So come on then, Headmaster, tell me what I said that isn’t true? Unemployment is down, vacancies are up.
You know full-well it's all about context. Unemployment being down isn't in and of itself a benefit if people aren't earning enough money to support themselves. We have an economy that's increasingly having people be self-employed (removed from unemployment figures)


Anybody remember Job Clubs being brought in in the late 1980s / early 1990s?  People who were previously classed as unemployed go to a local job centre or other organisation, spend an hour or two looking at the job sections of newspapers and magically they're not counted as unemployed any more (the one morning a week is the only actually difference).

Quote
(See also the looming disaster of shifting the electoral boundaries and reducing the number of MPs to 600 under some batshit arguments about fairness and efficiency. In reality, all this does is sew up England for the Tories forever, and kick out the single Green MP as her constituency is carved in half and shared between a Tory and a Labour MP. As ever, it's a fucking disgrace, but people see "fewer MPs" and "money saved" and start cheering.)


Reminds me of the 'bonfire of the quangos', which got rid of such evil organisations as:
  • National Tenant Voice
  • Hearing Aid Council Executive
  • Disability Employment Advisory Committee
  • Cycling England
  • Renewable Fuels Agency
  • Advisory Committee on Packaging
  • Air Quality Expert Group
  • Young People's Learning Agency
Y'know, not anybody who tried to make the country a better place - nobody's interested in excessive packaging, clean air or young people learning things, are they?

IndigoPrime

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14530 on: 12 September, 2018, 01:08:36 pm »
I get furiously angry about the state of electoral reform in this country. The Tories simultaneously go with "it's so unfair and biased in favour of Labour" and "we need to save money" as excuses for stitching up boundaries to the point they'll be able to command a sizeable majority on about 35% of the vote. Labour fucks about as well, with Blair kicking the Jenkins Report into touch (presumably labouring under the misapprehension that they'd be in government forever, rather than thinking that they could eventually form coalitions with the Lib Dems), and Corbyn bangs on about PR for the Lords but – SHOCK! – thinks it's a terrible idea for the Commons. Hmm. I wonder why? Could it be that FPTP also benefits Labour, and they'd rather have a third or so of elections go entirely their way (and the rest not) rather than consider a mature voting system that would require some compromise on the part of ideology? Perish the thought! (As for the Lords, all those pesky crossbenchers and Lib Dems. Best be getting rid of them, to transform the UK's political landscape into one that mirrors the USA's, only without a president.)

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14531 on: 12 September, 2018, 03:37:32 pm »
.
Quote
Of course, Brexiters wave such problems away, or lay groundwork for blaming the EU. "Surely, they wouldn't be so CRUEL as to stop insulin medicine coming into the UK?" It's nothing to do with the EU. We've flung up barriers entirely unnecessarily, and this government is so ideological and stubborn that it won't walk back.

This is one of the most ludicrous arguments arising from the whole pantomime.

'I quit my job last year. Now I have no money to buy food, and my former company REFUSES to pay me.'

I can't help wondering whether such a sense of self-importance arises from tribal memories of the Empire - Brexiteers simply can't understand what it's like to live in a small and economically insignificant country.  Maybe it's time to start getting used to it.

(There's also the hypocrisy issue regarding immigrants from the East too - when you use force to smash down long-established borders to make your own big Empire, you can't really complain when people start wandering across them).

'
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

IndigoPrime

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14532 on: 12 September, 2018, 03:59:37 pm »
I suspect it's a combination of factors. The fag-end of empire. Massive arrogance combined with shocking laziness. An unwillingness to even learn about the basics of the EU, despite hating it. (Remember David Davis said on day one after the referendum, we'd be in Germany making deals, seemingly unaware that you don't deal with one EU country – you deal with them all.)

There's also, perhaps more worryingly, the people using this to usher in disaster capitalism and make millions off of betting against the UK. In other words, crash the economy and make a fortune. Beyond that, eradicate worker rights but also their free movement opportunities, making a subservient workforce that has no choices. (This extends to those few EU migrants who'll want to come here. Instead of being able to move around, they'll get visas for a specific job. Which is shit.)

The blame game warrants watching, though, and calling out. If there's no insulin that'll be because of the British government deciding against retaining our place in the single market while simultaneously not ramping up British production (which currently accounts for a massive two per cent of demand). Now expand this problem out to other non-British pharmaceuticals and things like cancer medication (which we cannot provide). And energy (ditto). And food (ditto). But it'll all be the EU's fault, for some reason, when everything goes to hell.

TordelBack

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14533 on: 28 September, 2018, 12:28:01 am »
I honestly can't decide what spectacle has made me want to vomit more today: the Kavanaugh debacle or BBC Question Time.  We're all fucked.  Where would we be without large volumes of cheap whiskey, and ageing cats.

At least our own presidential campaign debate was a bit of light relief - piss off home,  you collection of freaks.

Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14534 on: 28 September, 2018, 12:07:55 pm »
I honestly can't decide what spectacle has made me want to vomit more today: the Kavanaugh debacle or BBC Question Time.

We knew exactly what was coming from the GOP because they've done this before, but the BBC uncritically putting a wife-beating racist on QT claiming they need "someone from the left" for balance is very... American.