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Protest Marches

Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by HS Thomas:

It seems to me that knowing who decides someones fate leaves a lot of room for pre-meditation on the part of the public. Ultimately, we need a process that protects the public. The US is huge ; there are so many states, therefore electing lower ranked judges seems a good idea for the US. At elections the UK votes for local party representatives .... but that's about it I think.
Some people prefer to keep it simple.


Simple, HS?!!! The national government of the UK is intimately involved in a huge range of issues which the national government of the US is not, simply because power is not devolved in the UK to any significant extent!
The UK government is involved with negociations with firemen, teachers, coal-miners, and tube-drivers. I wouldn't call that simple at all. The opposite if anything....


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HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Alfred, if the UK government tries to emulate the US government by devolving power there'll be a huge hole in the budget, IMHO. It sounds hugely expensive. I doubt there'll be sufficient manpower.These aren't kinds of jobs created to pull the unemployed off the streets either.
If the UK joins the EU there may be need for it then, if not the funds.....
[ November 30, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Steve Wink
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Joined: May 13, 2002
Posts: 223
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Alfred, if the UK government tries to emulate the US government by devolving power there'll be a huge hole in the budget, IMHO. It sounds hugely expensive. I doubt there'll be sufficient manpower.These aren't kinds of jobs created to pull the unemployed off the streets either.
If the UK joins the EU there may be need for it then, if not the funds.....
[ November 30, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]


I thought the current government was trying to devolve more power - NI, Wales and Scotland have their own ( limited ) assemblies, and they're talking about having regional English assemblies with devolved powers.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
The problem with a centralized authority is that the further they are away from the problem the less likely they are to clearly see the problem. Why should a federal official decide what day the streets should be cleaned or how much the city bus driver should make? These are local issues that should be left to locally elected officials. If my garbage pickup sucks I can vote of my town supervisor. If this was handled in Washington, would I vote out George Bush because my garbage pickup sucked?


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Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Alfred, if the UK government tries to emulate the US government by devolving power there'll be a huge hole in the budget, IMHO. It sounds hugely expensive. I doubt there'll be sufficient manpower.These aren't kinds of jobs created to pull the unemployed off the streets either.
If the UK joins the EU there may be need for it then, if not the funds.....

What to me seems hugely expensive is having a national labor contract which
links the salary of firefighters in Westminster to firefighters in Bradford. The same wage can be excellent in Bradford and starvation-level in inner London. Even with the rather small weighting allowance thrown in.
This kind of thing is done at city or country level in the US. The nominal pay of teachers is much higher in New York city than it is in rural Wisconsin, though the latter probably has the higher quality of life even so. It makes absolutely no sense to link them.
Axel Janssen
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Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
The problem with a centralized authority is that the further they are away from the problem the less likely they are to clearly see the problem.

What's when iraqies think that way...
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
What's when iraqies think that way...

That is why the US wants to get out as soon as possible. Only the Iraqis can solve their own problems.
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

That is why the US wants to get out as soon as possible. Only the Iraqis can solve their own problems.

Speak for yourself, Thom. I personally am only in it for the oil, like all us greedy Yanks. And because the Jewish puppet-masters are manipulating my strings of course!
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:
Speak for yourself, Thom. I personally am only in it for the oil, like all us greedy Yanks. And because the Jewish puppet-masters are manipulating my strings of course!

Shhh! That is supposed to be our secret! Do want to let everyone know? Let the cat out of the bag and the French and Russians will be demanding their share!
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
On further examination, I am happy to report that devolution is in ...everywhere.....health , finance , medecine.
That way, no one is friggin' responsible or accountable ?
I'd be glad if someone could throw some light on responsibility and accountability. Bush has taken full responsibility and accountability on some issues, granted (perhaps we can forgive Tony ), but how about the rest......
As mentioned earlier , we vote for local party officials or we don't vote for them if their services suck. The Party with the most votes gets in. Blair doesn't go campaigning , his local Party councillors do.

Prices have shot up generally in my borough, medical care is one of the best in the country but the de-nationalised railways ( under the Tories) services are a joke. Taxes have shot up considerably. We can blame poor garbage collection and poor services of tram links and some buses on local councils. But railways are definitely a national issue especially now that they are privatised. It's expected that these private companies or someone would invest in new train and track systems eventually. A Japanese one perhaps. That would be a culture shock for the Brits Could we cope ?
Alfred was talking about devolving judicial power. I don't think that's going to help gun control - if anything we'll end up with something similar to US gun control. And the jury is back in on that issue
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
As mentioned earlier , we vote for local party officials or we don't vote for them if their services suck. The Party with the most votes gets in. Blair doesn't go campaigning , his local Party councillors do.
So the assumption is that if the party does a great job on local issues that they will be great on federal issues? That is an odd assumption. What if you like Blair but the local guy is screwing everything up? What if you hate Blair but the local guy is the greatest thing since canned beer?
I vote for the person who is responsible. I vote for president, senator, congressman, governor, county executive, town supervisor, etc. Each person has particular responsibilities. If he does a bad job I can vote him out of office without voting out the people who do a good job.
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
So the assumption is that if the party does a great job on local issues that they will be great on federal issues? That is an odd assumption. What if you like Blair but the local guy is screwing everything up? What if you hate Blair but the local guy is the greatest thing since canned beer?

The local guy follows the party line.So if he/she is screwing things up , it's the party that is at fault. That's the general reasoning. So the party doesn't get the vote and the voter votes for another party's local rep , probably some unknown if they really want to null their vote...We've had some good local guys lose because their party was screwing up seriously. Maggie Thatcher cost my borough one pretty good Tory chap (now Lord Weatherhill). Of course some blindly vote for the same party regardless. It's Middle England that shifts and shapes elections time and time again.
Middle class values hate ostentation and waste - and like things like (relatively ) free, good education, the ability to be upwardly mobile and good family moral values.
Oddly enough Maggie Thatcher did quite a lot for the middle class in retrospect. It must have been her (upper) middle class background shining through.The rich Tories didn't quite like the hoardes of middle class moving into their neighbourhoods and got rid of her.. The time of the property boom when owner-occupied homes soared.
Hope that's as clear as mud. All my own perspective,of course, which will be challenged forthwith.
[ December 01, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
The local guy follows the party line.So if he/she is screwing things up , it's the party that is at fault.
That seems to be a huge difference between the US and Great Britian. Politicians in the US do not follow the party line 100% of the time. A typical politician might hit the 80% mark with a really reliable party guy hitting around 90%.
But this begs the question... isn't it possible that one party might be really good at solving local problems and an absolute bust at national issues?
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
That line Thomas quoted above is a bit of a generalisation. A few odd ones stick out for what they believe in.

Here's the story of Red Ken - Kenneth Livingstone once described as the most odious man in Britain. He complained so much about the state of London they gave him the job of Mayor of London. Here's his story :

Red Ken

Some of his policies made him a tabloid hate figure; the Sun newspaper once described him as "the most odious man in Britain."
But he has been able to point out that many of the measures he pursued in the 1980s have since become acceptable government policy.
He was in favour of talking to Sinn Fein and the IRA. He was a strong supporter of the recognition of gay rights and measures to address inequality faced by women and ethnic minorities.
His time at the GLC also saw campaigns against its abolition and in favour of its "Fares Fair" policy which pioneered the use of modern advertising techniques in political communication some time before the wider Labour Party discovered their effective use.

[ December 01, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
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