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Author Topic: The Political Thread  (Read 1324160 times)

The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1605 on: 12 April, 2011, 04:00:39 AM »
After watching Zeitgeist: Moving Forward I think I can say that the movement is not proposing anything like Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Consumerism or any other "ism." The main idea seems to me to be about creating the best framework we possibly can for society to exist in.

I like this idea because it doesn't tell people which god to follow or political party to vote for or anything like that - rather, it relies on individuals themselves to live their lives as they wish without worrying about hunger or poverty. With mankind's basic life-needs catered for, society would be free to evolve in whichever direction it collectively chooses with each individual participating in as great or small a capacity as they desire. I guess it's like saying that it doesn't matter if you're living in a Communist society, a Capitalist society or a strict religious society - if the structure of that society is falling apart you're going to be just as hungry, impoverished or dead as the next guy.

At the very least Zeitgeist: Moving Forward presents an intriguing and attainable vision for the future and I'd love to hear the thoughts/criticisms of it on this thread.
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Dandontdare

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1606 on: 12 April, 2011, 08:46:45 AM »
I watched some of the Zeitgeist stuff a while ago and my first thought was: "these guys have watched way too much Star Trek". I don't think Utopianism is an unfair description, it all seemed very idealistic and wooly.

Most of their arguments seem to boil down to "wouldn't it be great if....", when the answer is obviously yes, but they provide very little detail on how to get from here to there, or how to overcome mass apathy or entrenched powers.

The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1607 on: 12 April, 2011, 12:13:36 PM »
"...very little detail on how to get from here to there, or how to overcome mass apathy or entrenched powers."

Well, that's kinda' up to us, isn't it? The third film does explore this in a little more detail.
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The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1608 on: 12 April, 2011, 07:02:32 PM »
"FREEZE MURDOCH'S DEAL

"Rupert Murdoch's media empire has finally confessed to widespread phone hacking.

"Sign the petition - build pressure, stop Murdoch's takeover."

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/Murdoch_BSkyB_takeover_phone_hacking_petition
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Robin Low

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1609 on: 12 April, 2011, 07:22:43 PM »
To me humans do not work well when herded/clustered into large homogenised groups where consensus cannot be reached with within walking distance but are at their best in mutually beneficial small communities.

I'm suddenly reminded - possibly inappropriately - of Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction.

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JOE SOAP

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1610 on: 12 April, 2011, 08:05:10 PM »
but of course there's a world dictatorship in the Star Fraction.

Robin Low

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1611 on: 12 April, 2011, 08:17:20 PM »
but of course there's a world dictatorship in the Star Fraction.

I think I was thinking of the way London was broken up into lots of smaller communities. It's a good ten years since I read it, though.

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JOE SOAP

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1612 on: 12 April, 2011, 08:18:16 PM »
Microstates.

chilipenguin

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1613 on: 13 April, 2011, 11:16:16 AM »
So, any thoughts on the Scottish election campaign so far? I recognise that most forum dwellers are from South Britain so it might escape your notice (particularly if you're watching the BBC), but North of the border it is a reasonably big deal. So far we have seen manifestos from the Torys, the Lib-Liars and Labour, the only one of which to really consider is, of course, Labour's. The SNP have yet to release, as have the Greens, but that didn't stop the BBC holding their own poll on election policies last week.

So far we have seen some leader debates, Iain Gray (Scottish Labour leader) running away from a handful of protestors in Glasgow Central train station and Tavish Scott (Lib Dems) have a mini meltdown on Newsnight.

What's your opinion then? I'm personally looking forward to seeing the Lib Dems absolutely annihilated, hopefully for SNP and Green gain. The Tory vote probably won't change a great deal, as the same old die hard Torys have been voting for their handful of MSPs for years. Labour were ahead in the polls but are rapidly losing ground with Iain Gray as a leader so ineffectual, he makes Ed Milliband look like Winston Churchill.


House of Usher

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1614 on: 16 April, 2011, 10:05:56 AM »
The Conservatives are using Department of Health money to produce party political propaganda.

Ben Goldacre writes in The Guardian that they have just produced a leaflet full of misleading and fake statistics to justify their plan to privatise the NHS. As you might expect, this involves inventing false stories about how the NHS was inefficient under Labour and how things have improved since the May 2010 general election.

The leaflet claims: "If the NHS was performing at truly world-class levels we would save an extra 5,000 lives from cancer every year." Where they get their data from is an academic study that analysed data from 1985 to 1999, which found that in that time, 7,000 deaths per year were unavoidable. Note that for 12 out of those 14 years the Tories were running things. Note also that those 7,000 people per year are already dead and cannot be brought back to life again, so have no bearing on future survival rates, and that changes made by Labour in 2000 have markedly reduced the number of unavoidable deaths from cancer. So the Tories are using statistics from 1985 to 1999 to make claims about avoidable cancer deaths for a ten year period since 2000, when a major government initiative to reduce deaths from cancer was implemented. They are not interested in considering data for the past 10 years because it doesn't support the message they want to communicate, which is that Britain is lagging behind other European countries on cancer survival, which it was twelve years ago!

They are claiming that if we improved cancer survival now we would save 5,000 deaths per year. In fact, Labour did improve cancer survival rates and we have saved 5,000 avoidable cancer deaths per year already, but to acknowledge that wouldn't support the Tory case for dismantling the NHS.

The Tories also claim that since the Coalition, by their own admission, didn't win the election, the number of doctors has increased by 2,550. This is true: however, they were trained or recruited in the first place under a Labour government. It is also true that the total number of doctors increased from 88,693 to 132,683 between 1999 and 2009, but because that happened before May 2010 the Coalition can't take credit for that. That's 4,399 extra doctors per year for 10 years under Labour, and the Coalition boasts of an additional 2,550 doctors in a single year as if it summoned them up by magic. It didn't. Labour paid for their training.

The Tory propaganda leaflet also claims that 95% of patients want more choice over their healthcare. Choice is that old Tory favourite. Look at schools: parents want more choice over what schools their kids go to. They don't want good schools for all children; no, that would cost too much. What they want instead is the choice to send their own kids to a good school and let other people's kids go to failing schools. Choice fixes everything, doesn't it? Because nobody would choose a failing school or an under-resourced hospital.

Anyway, this leaflet claims to have got its 95% statistic from the British Social Attitudes Survey, which doesn't even ask if people want more choice. And the Tories love the British Social Attitudes Survey so much they are going to scrap it after 25 years of comparable data.

Is there any chance, since this leaflet serves party political interests and not the interests of the public or the NHS, that we could have a refund from Conservative Party funds of the cost of producing it?
« Last Edit: 16 April, 2011, 10:18:11 AM by House of Usher »
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The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1615 on: 16 April, 2011, 02:51:04 PM »
Ah, Tories - confusing freedom of choice with freedom. Numbskulls.

Anyhoo.

"Save The NHS: What Next?

"Let's decide together what we should do next to Save The NHS. Please fill in the survey at: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/what-next-nhs#petition   "
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The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1616 on: 16 April, 2011, 03:09:55 PM »
"The disastrous proposal to extend the term of copyright protection for sound recordings to 70 years is back on the European Council's agenda.

"There is a chance to stop this. You can help by writing to your MEPs now to tell them about your concerns, and ask them to make sure the Directive gets proper scrutiny from the European Parliament."

This is going on all over the world, even in the UN. They're starting with music and such, but it's basically a way of giving corporations more power over the things they create (drugs, new technologies etc), thereby extending the amount of time they can extract over inflated profits from stuff that could be produced cheaply by smaller companies once the copyright has run out.

http://action.openrightsgroup.org/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=1422&ea.campaign.id=10288
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The Legendary Shark

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1617 on: 16 April, 2011, 07:29:22 PM »
"Local politics -- schools, zoning, council elections -- hit us where we live. So why don't more of us actually get involved? Is it apathy? Dave Meslin says no. He identifies 7 barriers that keep us from taking part in our communities, even when we truly care."

(7m06s)

http://www.ted.com/talks/dave_meslin_the_antidote_to_apathy.html?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2011-04-12&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email
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House of Usher

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1618 on: 16 April, 2011, 10:42:55 PM »
People like me who prefer to absorb information at our own pace by reading must be the internet film maker's nightmare.
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chilipenguin

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #1619 on: 22 April, 2011, 10:07:29 PM »
I've compiled my thoughts on the Scottish elections so far into a new blog. Rather than post it (it's a bit on the long side), I'll just post a link: http://chillypolitics.blogspot.com/