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TheSage

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TheSage last won the day on December 10

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About TheSage

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    Travel, reading, most sports, walking my dogs, theatre

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    I'm a semi-retired teacher

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  1. Finish as you started eh? And we were all told how much better he was at campaigning than May. I suppose it's clever tactics by Cummings isn't it? They know they're ahead and have been since the start so do nothing, absolutely nothing, to rock the boat. Avoid scrutiny. Turn down Andrew Neill. Don't go on the climate change debate because your record is crap. Don't do Newsnight. Lock up Mogg and IDS because voters hate them. Release our manifesto on a quiet Sunday and don't put any costings in it. And if you can tell a few porkies along the way... But don't do more than you have to. Shy away from people and stage manage everything you can. It's worked hasn't it?
  2. I tend to agree with the general thrust of your comment. We are not far apart. Naturally I'd prefer a hung parliament (Corbyn hasn't a chance on his own), a people's vote and a sustained programme of investment to attack austerity and revive the NHS and public services. That would tame Corbyn. I think/hope Corbyn would soon go. He can't continue for much longer. And the ruthless Tories would ditch Johnson. My fear though is that Labour will stick with hard leftie and the Tories with a hard right leader and we'll continue this polarisation and nasty political discourse for years to come. Ideally - tongue in cheek - I'd like a government of Grieve, Clarke, Starmer, Cooper, Swinson, Cable, Lucas, Stewart & Burnham, taking advice from Major, Heseltine & Blair. A centre government would suit me fine and I want a system of PR to prevent what is now happening. But I also want a villa in Nice, one of those brand new Tesla cars and a date with Liz Hurley, but I doubt it'll happen.
  3. I suspect that's right and I don't support that at all. Fair point. But the current lot have had 10 years in power so what have they done about it? We can't keep blaming what occurred 22 years ago on the state of the NHS in 2019. Surely to goodness 10 years in power is long enough to start addressing these issues but everything has got much much worse! We didn't have the NHS missing all their key targets back then and overall the NHS was in a far better state then than now. Labour invested in it. It was a golden age for the NHS then.
  4. Just a reply about immigration. It's not open house for any old Tom, Dick or Harry to come here, contrary to populist opinion. Of course, there is an issue to be addressed. We are a small country. Allowing an over concentration of too many immigrants in certain parts of the UK has upset the population balance for many. I agree. Places like Boston and the West Midlands and northern towns. A lot of people feel as if their culture is being eroded and if these people do not speak English well and dress differently it can be disconcerting. For older folk especially. I get that. We haven't addressed these issues ever and things like that have been sliding since the nineties. I understand why [mainly older] voters feel that way. Remember that immigration from non EU countries is far greater. We have always been able to control that 100% but have never chosen to do so. Leaving the EU will not make a difference. So if you think leaving the EU will mean we'll have less from Iran, Iraq,Turkey, Libya, Syria, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, you are sorely mistaken. Most evidence suggests that it will rise if EU numbers drop. Even May said that. And we know that people are more likely to integrate here if they come from places like France, Germany, Eire or Spain. But we'll lose them and get more from the places above. In terms of the EU, yes there is a issue and there is FOM but we do have a number of rules and regulations that we don't enforce. I'd guess that 90% of people don't know that and think anyone can walk in here but it's not true. The 2004 FOM act said that for new countries (like Poland) joining the EU we could restrict or ban movement for up to 7 years. We did not do that. Austria had a ban. I think Holland says 22,000 annually and no more. But we did nothing. We should of course turn away illegal immigrants (not to be confused with asylum seekers), criminal gangs, thieves, fraudsters and those who abuse the system. They can all be legally expelled and so they should. We already have the power to do it but again we don't enforce it because border staff and customs staff have been cut and we don't track people coming here. We don't register people and we don't have ID cards. Belgium makes immigrants prove they have jobs, housing, money, etc and tracks them. We don't. We could do all of these things under the current rules. But it was our choice not to do so. Nowt to do with the EU. It's down to government inaction. EU workers who come here should have a job, money and health insurance within three months or we can deport them. We don't because we don't know where they are and don't make them register. Cameron negotiated an emergency brake but because we don't track everyone we haven't the foggiest how many are here. But that's all our fault. Article 45 TFEU states that, "If overriding reasons of public interest make it necessary, free movement of workers may be restricted by measures proportionate to the aim pursued." (copied and pasted). So we do have more ability than you might think if we wanted to restrict immigration. But not registering and tracking everyone and cutting our border force is all our own fault. I'm unsure of the figure now but we did cut 5-8000 border staff in the years after 2010. FOM of course works both ways and means we too can live, work, study and retire in Europe, with reciprocal benefits, as over 1 million UK citizens do. It's a good thing. But I'm not convinced that every voter understands the current system and I'm sure many believe we don't have any control of our borders which is untrue.
  5. Believe it or not had I voted in 59 I would have voted Macmillan. I then liked Wilson. I went for Thatcher to re-balance things! Yes. But she then went too far. I have voted Liberal and Green and Tory again because the bloke was a brilliant local MP. I voted for Blair three times. So I'm not the revolutionary Castro that you think I am. However, I do try to examine the facts and don't get swayed by some of the daft propaganda we see and read. Some of you on here have gone crazy at times, comparing Corbyn to Stalin or indeed the Nazis. And telling us all to remember what happened fifty years ago with a selective rendition of history, omitting Heath and his problems and Major and Black Wednesday, and not giving the 45 Labour government much credit either, Bill apart. Nor admitting that Blair's first term was outstandingly successful economically, though of course some of those foundations had been put down by Clarke (but I'm not telling you about that!) In economic terms every government has successes and failures and Labour does tend to spend more on public services and Tories hold tighter purse strings but as the pendulum swings we often need to reset our priorities in different ways. It is true to say that all governments increase the debt. All of them. Not just Labour. And it's also true that Tories borrow more money. Labour is not without its own faults but it isn't fair and objective to push this narrative that Tories always run the economy well. That's all I'm saying.
  6. You haven't give me any real evidence though, that's the problem. I agree the deficit has come down as has unemployment (dodgy though the stats are) but all you've shown is that there has been a small reduction in recent figures. And yes there has. But overall since 2010 the national debt has soared. It's over £1.8 trillion. How much evidence do you want? https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_debt_analysis https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/847641/PSF_bulletin_October_2019_HMT.pdf https://fullfact.org/economy/public-debt/ https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/334/uk-economy/uk-national-debt/ We agree on some things and a lot of your post I'm with you all the way but this myth that the Tory economic record is wonderful and marvellous isn't sustainable. On 90% of the economic data it simply isn't true. Growth has stagnated, Look at today's figures. Investment is not much better. Sterling has wavered on a downward track. But, as I say, forget the arguments over data and take a look at wages and living standards - ground to a shuddering halt for ten years. That's the real measure of economic health, not figures on a page. Let's just beg to disagree.
  7. The problem is when I keep on posting a mountain of factual evidence some of you reply with an odd snippet and think you've won the game. But in reality you have a poor hand and are playing 4s and 5s, while I've got the aces. Borrowing has just recently come down from what it was 12 months ago but it's still at record levels. Yes, the deficit has come down but the national debt has doubled to close to £2 trillion. That's because Tories always borrow more than Labour. And they've borrowed more because they choked off growth through austerity and flat-lined the economy for ten years. And rather than swapping statistics think about what's happened to living standards and wages. Static at best. Barely back to 2006 levels. And yet the debt has doubled and growth collapsed! I've posted this three times now but I don't know why I bother. It was a world wide recession that began in the housing and banking sector. It wasn't Labour's fault although I appreciate the right wing narrative on here is to blame them. With hindsight, yes, a tighter fiscal policy would have helped, so too tighter regulations on the banks. But the Tories matched Labour's 2005 spending manifesto and wanted even fewer rules for the banks! So we can place some blame, yes we certainly can, on Labour but not the stupid hysterical and untrue story that it was all their fault and so austerity was a necessity. Every single economist worth his salt will tell you that you slowly invest in a depression to boost economic growth. Like FDR in the US. You don't choke it off and cut too far, too deeply. But that is what Osborne did and he now admits it was wrong.
  8. If you don't know the Labour created the NHS in the forties you need to get out more. Before then people had to pay to see a doctor or went sick or died. The same with education. It's a national system, countrywide, and the first time we had free secondary schools for all was 45. The three day week was 74 with Edward Heath. Forgotten that too? But it gets a bit tedious when the only thing you keep repeating parrot fashion is what went on nearly 50 years ago. I can spend ages like you quoting Heath and power cuts, and the three day week and Black Wednesday when millions ended up losing their homes and more in negative equity. That hadn't happened before. Nor the poll tax fiasco. But I see little point in going back 30-40 years to try and make a silly political point that has nothing at all to do with 2019. The scandal at Stafford was dreadful, agreed. But the deaths of 5,500 people on trolleys in A&E in the last two years is truly appalling, as is the NHS missing all its targets, as is selling our personal data to Amazon, as is criminally under-funding it. As is the shortage of doctors and nurses and health workers and cutbacks to the care system. Blair spent far more of our GDP on health than any Tory government has done and improved it massively. It didn't miss all its targets then all the time. Read what the King's Fund says if you want some facts. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/default/files/field/field_publication_file/independent-audit-nhs-under-labour-1997–2005-sunday-times-march-2005.pdf The weight of evidence is against you.
  9. It's been a shocking example of Cummings' manipulating the media and trying to take the heat off Johnson's lack of concern for the little boy. It's a clever nasty tactic. But what we should also focus on today is the appalling fact that over 5000 people have died on trolleys in A&E since 2016. I reckon it's the fault of the Labour Party. Or Sturgeon. Or the EU.
  10. Using words like communism and socialism as synonyms is incorrect. And I would agree with you that communists regimes don't work well and tend to fail, though I suppose China, and the USSR after 1917, and Cuba, might argue differently. But communism doesn't work as well as capitalism. And I'm not arguing for a communist country. It depends how you define "socialism" doesn't it? I still maintain that the 45 government was a socialist one, so we'll disagree, but most commentators I think would tend to favour me! But there are lots of definitions and strands and varieties. Doesn't the word come from the Latin meaning cooperation? I'm not 100% sure about that, though. And my understanding of Labour is that they support the Keynsian model of investing public money to get the economy going as occurred after WW2 and also under FDR. Most Scandinavian countries since 45 have tended to have more state control than us yet their living standards are probably higher. But a mixed economy would be the way to go for me. I'm not arguing for blanket state control and Castro in Downing Street. Personally I see nothing wrong with the state owning some of the staple industries on which we all rely. Why should private companies profit from them? We all need education, transport, schools and health. But we never invested in them properly and never ran them efficiently, so they weren't as successful as they should have been. But running them for profit is not without its problems too. Money before service. The railways are a mess and nationalised railways elsewhere in Europe are much better. Bus services are cancelled and cut because private companies don't do it for the public good but money. Surely some things we should invest public money in to make life better for everyone. To attack climate change we will have to cut down car ownership and invest more in public transport. But I'm now going off the subject.
  11. Now that is fake news and complete speculation. Blimey, going back 50 years is rather silly don't you think? But if doing that means you don't have to defend ten years of Tory cuts and austerity..... Nationalising the health system was really daft wasn't it? Providing us all with free schooling and nationalising education was stupid. The 45 Labour government also built over 1 million houses and introduced a stream of insurance schemes to attack poverty. Introducing the minimum wage was barking mad. Yeh, all these things were completely mad, done nothing for any of us, and ruined our lives. I can remember the late 80s and the early nineties? Can you recall Tory management of the economy then? Clearly not? Negative equity for millions. A million lost their homes. Interest rates up x3 in one day. Black Wednesday. Give me a break. All governments achieve successes and all of them run into economic problems. All of them. As NoF has noted above the economic record of this government is abysmal. The right wing press won't tell you that but it's been a shocking record. Low growth. Today's figures reveal the lowest growth for 7 years. Investment has stagnated. Production flat-lined. Balance of payments deficit awful. Living standards stood still or gone backwards. The national debt has doubled to £1.8 trillion. Tories borrow more than Labour - always. And the biggest threat to our economy is a hard/no deal Brexit. Every economist will tell you that. So, again, let's keep pretending that the Tories are wonderful in running the economy and if anyone dares question that faith then we can go back fifty years and quote from the seventies, though Heath was as bad as Callaghan and a Tory PM. The economy was its best for the last 30 years under Labour and Tony Blair. I
  12. Yet again those on the right on here who struggle to accept the truth and rely on the Mail and Boris Johnson for their "facts" spend all their time smearing and mud slinging in preference to debating reality and discussing the facts in a rationale way. But I suppose it's hard to do that if you don't have a leg to stand on. The Tories have had ten years in power so it's about time they accepted their responsibilities and stopped blaming everyone else, from Corbyn to the EU, Sturgeon to immigrants. But it's all they do. Every time they profess to come up with a fact it's fake nonsense and a pack of lies. Or so hilarious it doesn't cut the mustard. No border in the Irish Sea. Cobblers. 40 new hospitals. Garbage. If Labour had said things like that the biased right wing media would be all over it like a rash. And the hard right on here would be purple in the face with outrage. They are all lies. You know it and I know it. The leaflet I got through my door yesterday said that the Tories will increase police numbers by 20,000. No <ovf censored> Sherlock. They've cut numbers by 21,000 while being in power. It's completely disingenuous, like the new nurses and all their other policies that are un-costed and hidden from scrutiny. Forget the last ten years of running down the country and leaving the NHS in crisis. Air brush that from history and trust every word the Tories say. Good luck with that.
  13. I'm surprised you have become a fully paid up member of Cummings' hard right propaganda campaign. It's ridiculously silly to start using words like communist to describe the Labour manifesto. Making up nonsense, talking about Stalin who murdered millions of people and comparing him to Corbyn does your case no good at all. I might as well retort by saying the Tories are fascists and show me a fascist regime that hasn't ended badly. We can't elect Johnson or Rabb. It'd be like electing Hitler and Goering. It's completely childish and silly. The 45 Labour government was a socialist government. Fact. It was a very successful government, by general consensus the most successful government we've had since the War. Another fact. Setting up the NHS and free education were marvellous achievements and have lasted to this day. But if you think it wasn't a successful administration and doesn't have achievements to its name then you are telling porkies and ignoring the facts. Take a look at some of the Scandinavian countries. Mixed economies but heavy state intervention Very successful and in many cases higher and better living standards than we have here. Wouldn't it be nice if we all stuck to factual reality?
  14. I wouldn't go quite that far but I'm supportive of much of that, TT. I think your estimation of the outcome is about right too because for all our huffing and puffing on here Brexit remains the big issue and many people still feel it is a good thing and will benefit them. It remains to be seen but I doubt it very much and when you weigh up the evidence on both sides of the scales I still find it difficult to fathom why it remains popular when it will damage our economy and risk the future of the UK. Every economist will tell you the same and it's a risk I would not want to take bearing in mind how successful and prosperous we've been in the EU. But that debate came and went. I do, however, point to the fact that 5 ex PMs all think that Brexit is bad (Blair, Brown, Major, Cameron & May) and even if you don't listen to me then please bear in mind what they all say. They are not unintelligent fools. Blimey, even Mr Tory party himself, Micheal Heseltine, has told voters not to vote for Johnson. They clearly think he's dangerous and would gamble with the future of the UK. It's basically Johnson or not Johnson. Corbyn won't win and never could do. So it boils down to what you want - a hard/no deal Brexit that will damage Britain and make us poorer and weaker, together with a government led by the clown prince of dishonesty and his equally mendacious pals Mogg, Rabb, Patel, Javid and the rest. The alternative is perhaps a hung Parliament where parties will have to come together with the possibility of negotiating a less damaging Brexit and the final details being put back to the people. Under those circumstances there's a good chance of avoiding more austerity and the most right wing government in our history. We'll have to live with the consequences of Thursday, as will our children. The good news is that we can close this thread and get back to talking football instead of ripping each other's heads off!
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