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Walsingham

UK election special

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Without being complacent, and whether you want to look at it from 1215 (Magna Carta) or 1801 (Act of Union, which created the UK), or any point inbetween, our political and parliamentary systems have worked reasonably well.

 

It enabled the UK to rule most of the known world, sustain a monarchy and never suffer a violent internal uprising or revolution. I'm not including Ireland of course, they are proper mad. Not bad for a very small, usually wet island full of eccentric drunkards.

 

British systems and practices work because they manage the tautology of being both hidebound and elastic at the same time. This is usually achieved by absorbing radical new ideas and people into the fold and convincing them they were part of the natural way of things all along. It drives some people mad. Again, it seems to work.

 

Now we have the situation we're in. Part of this is due to communications - we all now belong to many simultaneous groupings that transcend any single political party or doctrine. I can choose from three hundred TV channels but only one Member of Parliament. As those pesky Millenials like to say, WTF?

 

We've got identikit career politicians, all fighting over the same centrist ground. We've got a culture, as Wals says, of infantile stubbornness when it comes to acknowledging the consequences of debt. We've got a five-second news cycle.

 

None of these things strike me as being fertile ground to grow anything other than angry, strident and (worst of all) utopian political solutions. Down that road madness lies, it's been a typically mainland European disease but maybe its our turn now.

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Without being complacent, and whether you want to look at it from 1215 (Magna Carta) or 1801 (Act of Union, which created the UK), or any point inbetween, our political and parliamentary systems have worked reasonably well.

 

It enabled the UK to rule most of the known world, sustain a monarchy and never suffer a violent internal uprising or revolution.

From 1215 England certainty had plenty of violent rebellions and even one successful revolution.

And I could argue that even from 1801 UK social order is more a case of good colonial safety valve rather than any achievement of political system.

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Without being complacent, and whether you want to look at it from 1215 (Magna Carta) or 1801 (Act of Union, which created the UK), or any point inbetween, our political and parliamentary systems have worked reasonably well.

 

It enabled the UK to rule most of the known world, sustain a monarchy and never suffer a violent internal uprising or revolution. I'm not including Ireland of course, they are proper mad. Not bad for a very small, usually wet island full of eccentric drunkards.

 

British systems and practices work because they manage the tautology of being both hidebound and elastic at the same time. This is usually achieved by absorbing radical new ideas and people into the fold and convincing them they were part of the natural way of things all along. It drives some people mad. Again, it seems to work.

 

Now we have the situation we're in. Part of this is due to communications - we all now belong to many simultaneous groupings that transcend any single political party or doctrine. I can choose from three hundred TV channels but only one Member of Parliament. As those pesky Millenials like to say, WTF?

 

We've got identikit career politicians, all fighting over the same centrist ground. We've got a culture, as Wals says, of infantile stubbornness when it comes to acknowledging the consequences of debt. We've got a five-second news cycle.

 

None of these things strike me as being fertile ground to grow anything other than angry, strident and (worst of all) utopian political solutions. Down that road madness lies, it's been a typically mainland European disease but maybe its our turn now.

 

Geez Monte those are very powerful words..I have to say I don't necessarily agree or understand everything you are saying but they resonate, you have a gift with words no doubt 

 

But why so depressing, you can't put a more positive spin on things? It can't be all bad...because thats what I get from your post 


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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OK, on to the interesting stuff. What do you guys think of the FPP voting method and its impact on election results and feelings towards the British democracy in general?

 

Proportional voting methods tend to enable a plurality of parties (which makes it easier for everyone to vote for someone they agree with), compared to the current British situation which encourages two big parties - kind of similar to the US system for voting for Congress but not exactly as awful.

 

I would for sure feel hopeless if my voting system was rigged towards a non-proportional voter representation. Even more so if both the leaders of the big parties were twats.

 

Now even though the FPP system is rigged to enable strong governments it looks as if the only possible governments are either minority governments, unholy alliances or include the SNP. I guess the joke is on you, you get the worst of both worlds.

 

All foreigners, and many Britishers get this totally wrong. The key point is that we don't actually need to vote for parties AT ALL. We vote for a person. Parties are supposed to form when the monarch asks a given person if they can form a government. The government doesn't even technically need to have the majority of MPs.

 

Hence what I'll end up doing is voting for the bugger I like, rather than the party they are in.

 

 

Sorry, in scando-land such a thing is incomprohensible, as we inhale socialism and exhale solidarity. Can this "person" you speak of have thoughts and form opinions of their own? Well, i never! Either you belong to a group or become shunned by all, that's what i say!

 

 

You can vote person even in such scando-land systems, but because one person and form minority government/cabinet, but that is usually just waste of time, because one person don't have power in parliament of hundreds of people, so they need to create alliances (in other words parties) to get anything done and minority governments/cabinets have bad habit to fall soon as there is issue that MP in opposition don't like (we have had several minority cabinets that weren't very long-lasting). Although our voting system favors parties especially bigger parties because of usage of D'Hondt method.

 

In parliament votes parties can use issue party discipline, meaning demand to vote as party sees best instead of what individual MP sees best if there is discord in party by threatening its members with different punishments (closing them out from party's functions or in some case even by threating firing them from the party), which usually would make MPs in question job much harder (although not impossible  but rarely MPs go against them, at best they just don't vote), which is not necessary best way to do democratic politics, but such things are hard to prevent in any political systems that are based on cooperation between large number of people.  

 

 

I wasn't that serious :)

 

Currently the system bogged by drunkards "tapping into the conciousness of the little people", inner city-activists trying to tell farmers on how to grow their lands and various celebrities messing it up for everyone else. Thankfully they are too incompetent to touch the constitution.


"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Uh, when is the UK election btw?


"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Every time I see Mr Milliband i'm slightly more repulsed, he doesn't seem quite human, and i've got to admit I almost lost my dinner when watching the Brand interview. Then again I usually do when Mr Brand appears, I think it's something to do with his weird skull.

 

May 7th Mr Meshugger.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Without being complacent, and whether you want to look at it from 1215 (Magna Carta) or 1801 (Act of Union, which created the UK), or any point inbetween, our political and parliamentary systems have worked reasonably well.

 

It enabled the UK to rule most of the known world, sustain a monarchy and never suffer a violent internal uprising or revolution.

From 1215 England certainty had plenty of violent rebellions and even one successful revolution.

And I could argue that even from 1801 UK social order is more a case of good colonial safety valve rather than any achievement of political system.

 

 

The Civil War doesn't count, it really doesn't. The general consensus amongst historians, and what I am implicitly referring to, is that Britain has never had a popular grass-roots revolution of the 1848 / Napoleonic coup / Hitler / Franco / Mussolini / Stalin variety.

 

Cromwell was a creature of Parliament.

 

As for your last comment, yes you could make that argument. You'd be wrong, though.

Edited by Monte Carlo
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The Civil War doesn't count, it really doesn't. The general consensus amongst historians, and what I am implicitly referring to, is that Britain has never had a popular grass-roots revolution of the 1848 / Napoleonic coup / Hitler / Franco / Mussolini / Stalin variety.

So a more modern revolution then?

Fair enough.

Otherwise you'd have to make exceptions for peasants revolt and catholic uprisings.

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The Civil War doesn't count, it really doesn't. The general consensus amongst historians, and what I am implicitly referring to, is that Britain has never had a popular grass-roots revolution of the 1848 / Napoleonic coup / Hitler / Franco / Mussolini / Stalin variety.

So a more modern revolution then?

Fair enough.

Otherwise you'd have to make exceptions for peasants revolt and catholic uprisings.

 

 

* sigh *

 

I'm talking about uprisings that result in a change of regime and / or government. Neither of those count. The peasant's revolt was relatively insignificant and the Mary Queen of Scots through to the Gordon riots were about Sectarianism, not regime change.

 

The point is this - Britain has never fundamentally changed it's course of Government through violent revolution. Cromwell, for example, fought to maintain the rights of an existing political entity - Parliament. He is notable because of his Regicide.

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Cromwell is a story of his own really. Committed regicide, told the Scots to doubt their own religion, managed to be curse a in Ireland ("Mallact Chromail ort!") and executed after his own death.

Edited by Meshugger

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Every time I see Mr Milliband i'm slightly more repulsed, he doesn't seem quite human, and i've got to admit I almost lost my dinner when watching the Brand interview. Then again I usually do when Mr Brand appears, I think it's something to do with his weird skull.

 

May 7th Mr Meshugger.

Ed_Miliband_and_his_740921a.jpg

 

You're welcome.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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Here's a Youtube video explaining the first-past-the-post voting system. It's with cute animals so that forumites who don't find voting systems very interesting can manage to keep attention.

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"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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Like Monte I'm contemptuous of the choices on offer. 

 

Perhaps like Monte I'm tempted to vote for the biggest ****hole because this is emphatically what the British public deserve for even pausing to listen to that sack of hairy oddments, Whosit Brand.

 

that senselessly and seductively stupid sack of hideously hirsute and olfactorily offensive oddments, forsoof.

 

 

But why so depressing, you can't put a more positive spin on things? It can't be all bad...because thats what I get from your post 

 

 

We're British. We've been convinced the country is going to the dogs since the Romans landed.

 

The Civil War doesn't count, it really doesn't. The general consensus amongst historians, and what I am implicitly referring to, is that Britain has never had a popular grass-roots revolution of the 1848 / Napoleonic coup / Hitler / Franco / Mussolini / Stalin variety.

 

The so-called Glorious Revolution? Still not on the scale you're talking of, I suppose. And I imagine you'd discount the Pilgrimage of Grace for being monumentally gullible.

 

Still, I'm not sure it's a good thing that major sociopolitical changes have been imposed by a determined, highly-positioned clique rather than by a mass uprising.


This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.

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All foreigners, and many Britishers get this totally wrong. The key point is that we don't actually need to vote for parties AT ALL. We vote for a person.

 

But wouldn't you rather vote for an ideology, a set of political opinions? .

 

 

No I f***ing wouldn't. I don't mind voting for a set of standards, but ideologies are for people who struggle with complex problems.

 

No one can be more surprised than me to find that I regard Chris Rock as making the definitive point:

 

Republicans are ****ing idiots. Democrats are ****ing idiots. Conservatives are idiots and liberals are idiots.

 

Anyone who makes up their mind before they hear the issue is a ****ing fool. Everybody, nah, nah, nah, everybody is so busy wanting to be down with a gang! I’m a conservative! I’m a liberal! I’m a conservative! It’s bull****!

 

Be a ****ing person. Listen. Let it swirl around your head. Then form your opinion.

 

You wouldn't buy a car because it was red or blue or yellow. Don't spend your vote buying a politician that way.

Edited by Walsingham
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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Problem is you're usually making decisions based on insufficient information. This is where ideology helps, since it's a set of principles believed by those who hold them to have worked in the past.


"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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Still, I'm not sure it's a good thing that major sociopolitical changes have been imposed by a determined, highly-positioned clique rather than by a mass uprising.

 

A fair point. I'm take a Hobbesian view of the world: I take the world as it is, not as I'd like it to be. This, I think, makes me a small 'c' conservative.

 

However, sociopolitical change by clique isn't necessarily a good thing. Then again, if that clique absorbs change by osmosis and implements it eventually anyway, albeit slowly (which is the British experience) then it's better than the alternative.

 

You see, every single violent uprising offering a Utopian alternative for 'The People' ends the same way. The Committee for Public Safety and Robespierre, The NKVD and Beria, the NSDAP and Himmler. Every. Single. One. Gulags and train tracks running into lonely woods. Whether it's students pulled from their beds in Chile or dissidents being jailed in China it's all the same in the end. It's as if ideological perfection needs the blood of heretics to function. I think the Left call this 'othering' which is ironic, given the political Left have 'othered' more people in Siberian prisons over the course of history than just about anybody else.

 

Which is why in an imperfect world a jaded conservative with a gut-belief in small government and self-reliance is less of a threat to his neighbour than a I-know-what's-best socialist who wants to distribute your wealth and re-educate you if you don't agree with their views.

Edited by Monte Carlo
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"ideological perfection needs the blood of heretics to function"

 

Sorry, i have to cut you off there, but that phrasing is metal as ****. The election may come and go and the results may vary, but so far, the sentence above makes it all worth it.


"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Hey thanks. Were I to re-write it on the second draft I'd probably replace 'needs' with 'demands.'

Edited by Monte Carlo
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Demand implies that they don't require it. I think your point is that they have to have it.

 

I'd echo your point and develop it slightly.

 

Change requires energy. Huge change requires greater energy. Energy is attractive. Purity is also attractive. Combine the two, and you have quite a hit.

 

Revolutionaries are just junkies. And all junkies hurt people.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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You see, every single violent uprising offering a Utopian alternative for 'The People' ends the same way. The Committee for Public Safety and Robespierre, The NKVD and Beria, the NSDAP and Himmler. Every. Single. One. Gulags and train tracks running into lonely woods. Whether it's students pulled from their beds in Chile or dissidents being jailed in China it's all the same in the end. It's as if ideological perfection needs the blood of heretics to function. I think the Left call this 'othering' which is ironic, given the political Left have 'othered' more people in Siberian prisons over the course of history than just about anybody else.

 

Which is why in an imperfect world a jaded conservative with a gut-belief in small government and self-reliance is less of a threat to his neighbour than a I-know-what's-best socialist who wants to distribute your wealth and re-educate you if you don't agree with their views.

 

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you a few facts that you'll most likely ignore anyway!

 

Well, yeah. The "left" murdered more people in Siberian prisons that anyone else because only the "left" could use the prisons in Siberia to murder people in. If, however, you are talking about genocide in general, your info is a bit out of date, I'm afraid. And, at any rate, more people died outside of the camps due to famine and disease, engineered or otherwise, than within. But do we really always have to end up comparing **** size? Jeez.

 

Regardless, it's at best disingenuous to continue to try and place Bolsheviks and Nazis in the normal left/right spectrum as they had more in common with each other, despite obvious differences, than they did with more moderate political alternatives (go go totalitarianism). Hello, this isn't 1920 anymore, maybe it's time to cut the Red scare tripe out. Ironically enough, the politics of inequality continue to create and nurture the fecal culture in which the bloody grassroots revolts you (rightly) fear are born.

 

The suggestion that wealth redistribution is somehow an exclusive practice of the political left is also pretty lol-worthy.

Edited by 213374U

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Sorry if I moved your cheese, but I think my post was unambiguous in it's condemnation of authoritarians across the political spectrum. The Left does seem to enjoy something of a free pass for it's ideological peccadilloes vis-a-vis repression and murder, though, hence my comment.

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Hold on, Numbers. I know you're both man enough to speak yourselves, but be fair.

 

The point Monte's making is that for inexplicable reasons it is considered perfectly fine for Lefties to advocate criminalising owning stuff and locking people up for being enemies of the people.

 

The dictatorship of the proletariat is still a ****ing dictatorship.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Sorry if I moved your cheese, but I think my post was unambiguous in it's condemnation of authoritarians across the political spectrum. The Left does seem to enjoy something of a free pass for it's ideological peccadilloes vis-a-vis repression and murder, though, hence my comment.

 

Yeah, I saw that. However you couldn't resist taking a potshot at your friendly neighbourhood commissar (seriously, outside of philosophy and polsci undergrad circles, WHERE are these people?), hence my comment.

 

I don't really agree that "the left" (I guess you mean contemporary leftards) get a free pass. Left-leaning totalitarian regimes do enjoy the advantage of not having been utterly destroyed in a world war, so there's generally much less open debate and criticism going on in countries that suffered said regimes where their heirs are still directly in control. Other than that, I think just about anyone with half a working neuron outside of those countries will agree that statist genocide and oppression are bad, regardless of what banner you wrap it in. Using "the left" label to lump together everyone who isn't happy with the status quo and then pulling the Red scare card is just cheap, man.

 

Anyway, I thought this was about UK elections (a discussion I find way more interesting), and not a thinly veiled attempt to rehash the same old topics for the billionth time. Can we let old ghosts in the past and discuss the present situation instead? I understand if the left really are as pathetic in the UK as they are in my country you'd be right to point and laugh. You don't need to drag Uncle Joe out of his grave for that, right? Right?

Edited by 213374U

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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The point Monte's making is that for inexplicable reasons it is considered perfectly fine for Lefties to advocate criminalising owning stuff and locking people up for being enemies of the people.

 

The dictatorship of the proletariat is still a ****ing dictatorship.

 

I know the point he was making, but it's a specious point. The average "leftie" isn't for criminalization of private property and internment in camps anymore than the average "righty" is for the revival of a caucasian-centric Roman Empire and phrenology-enabled subjugation of "sub-humans".


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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I know the point he was making

 

 

Yet you still de-railed the thread more egregiously than I did, presumably because I pressed your ideological funny bone.

 

No, I don't think the mainstream centre left is about to build a Gulag in East Anglia. I do think, however, they are utterly capable of using the law to shut down debate about their pet concerns. I do think they care more about 'social justice' than freedom of speech. I do think they will import client voters from overseas. In fact, I know these things. I'm an evidence-based chap and I've lived through several centre left governments (in fact, as a small child, I remember the lights going out and bodies left unburied. The British left was still packed with fellow travellers with interesting off-duty links to Russian 'diplomats.').

 

This is what they call 'a direction of travel.' One only has to see the mob mentality of the Scottish National Party (nationalism and socialism smashed together, as if by some grotesquely political version of the large hadron collider) to see where it can all end up.

 

Gulags? No, unlikely. Soft authoritarianism, a sort of leftish McCarthyism? Absolutely.

 

I like reminding the Left of where they came from. Their political DNA is mired in blood in a way Western liberal conservatism manifestly is not.

 

 

 

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