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Stuart H

The Politics Thread

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Thought I'd create a nice little place for Dave to abuse students in public rather than his 'I hate foxes' hideaway ;)

Anyway, there're a lot of bright sparks on the forum, some of whom showed a lot of interest in the election thread which has since become rather defunct. There are tons of political discussions brewing at the minute with the cuts, student protests (riots) and even worldwide stuff like North Korea going nuts with nuclear stuff.

So, feel free to post topic starters, respond to comments (argue the point not the person) and listen to Izod ranting :)

If we don't get a spark I'll read into the student protests and get a post up. We should have some good sides to the coin with the large student population on the forum and a few old folks who like to moan ;)

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Re: The Politics Thread

mexican-flag-history.jpg

A friend in need?

maggie_thatcher_40x40.jpg Baroness Thatcher says ......I would just like to make one thing clear I love the Irish, well most of them ( some of them of course should have been hung years ago , but that’s a different story). Known for their famous Cracks(?), I like many around the world admire their warmth, wit, humour and tenacious sprit, in short I wish the Irish people nothing but well…..BUT should I be expected to pay for THEIR mistakes ?, hmmm not so sure about that one.

With the country in the grip of a dreadful economic down turn caused by YEARS of mismanagement, waste and ideological folly by the corrupt Socialist government is it really justified to for the UK to bail the Irish out with a 7 to 9 billion pounds ( that’s 300 notes each) loan which may or may not be paid back?. I know George has made the case that British banks are owed billions by the Paddy’s, and how we export Billions of blah blah blah…But lets be clear, the blame for the Irish mess is to be firmly found ( sorry) at the feet of the Irish themselves and their stupidity ( again sorry) in joining the Eurozone. Of course go back to the 1990’s things were all so different, the Republic of Ireland was the fastest-growing economy in Europe, with growth around 8-9 percent for many years. . The boom years followed , lets build everywhere !! , slash corporation tax to pennies !!, lets give our unemployed £200 a WEEK, and double it at Christmas !! . After all, for every Euro that the Irish Republic paid into the EU they got six Euros back (whereas the British pay more into the EU than they get back). What enthusiastic Europeans the Irish were, remember 2008 ? When the Irish people torpedoed the Lisbon treaty ( could have changed the course of the EU forever) only to change their minds and indorse it a little while later.

Sadly all good things come to an end and Ireland’s economy, has been devastated by the collapse of its banks and the bursting of a real estate bubble fuelled by the very construction boom they so eagerly embraced. Suddenly things are not so rosy in the emerald isle….the cost of bailing out the country’s banks pushed this year’s Irish budget into the red by at least £16 billion as their budget deficit rose to 32 per cent of GDP, a record for post-war Europe. And now of course the real kick up the bum, after tossing their sovereignty aside the Irish cannot help themselves and must turn to the IMF and the other countries within the Eurozone. And that is exactly my point Ireland is part of the euro because it wanted to be ( at least they did ?) and so the lead authority over the Irish banks is the European Central Bank , so it’s their responsibility to make sure the Irish banking system keeps its house in order, not ours. Why should we prop up the Irish? Let the French and the Germans do it, after all they are the ones that profit from the EU not us. I mean who next the Portuguese ?, the Spanish? The Italians ?….Think of the debts the Labourites have saddled the country with , and what 7 billion pounds could achieve for the UK ? …perhaps we could even use it to buy a few Harrier jump jets so then we do the Iranians before they attack us :)

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Who are we going to bail out next ?

.....and for your information you lazy STUDENT, ' I hate Foxes' is not full of rants, more considered observations and prophecies for the future... B)

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Re: The Politics Thread

Wouldn't be hugely surprised if Merkel tests the water by making a few noises about possibly taking them out of the Euro in the future. She seems to have been adopting a few more populist opinions recently (multiculturalism doesn't work? lulz) and I think leaving the Eurozone is looked upon favourably in polls. In general I find it hard to have a completely unbiased opinion on Ireland given that the missus is from just outside of Dublin, so unsurprisingly I'm happy enough to support the 'loan' we've afforded them.

I'm going to be completely self-indulgent now and drone on about my indoctrination into political shenanigans over the last few months. I decided to join the Labour party during the leadership elections, partly because I was a bit flat about the Lib Dems and ideologically Labour are probably closest to my opinions despite the New Labour butchery but mainly due to the fact that it's only a quid for under 25s and I really like voting a disproportionate amount, so fancied a (miniscule) input into who should be the new leader. Serious biznis. Anyway it's taken all of 3 months for me to have become relatively disengaged from party politics. I still find it fascinating and continue to be an interested observer but the blind partisanship at ground level is staggering. On attending my second local young labour meeting I was chastised for having the temerity not to arbitrarily disagree with a few of the Coalition policies and fairly unimportant ones at that. I was also informed we should be voting against AV to stick it to the Coalition despite the fact it's a more democratic system and that's sort of what the Labour party should be standing for. In short I told them to stick it where the sun don't shine and won't be renewing my membership in 12 months time unless I have a pretty major change of heart, even for a pound.

Also, Student fees - good on the protesters and all that, because it's nice to see a group that are passionate about something actually mobilise themselves to protest it (although less fire extinguishers, k?) but I find it hard to care all that much when I've already got my degree. All the best but really, sucks to be you. And too many people go to Uni anyway really don't they? It's one I can see both sides of, still think a rise to £9k or whatever is a bit extreme, mind. Especially given that Worcester Uni who were one off the bottom of the Sunday Times Uni rankings have already confirmed they'll be charging the maximum for some courses. If bottom feeders like this will do it then most will follow I suspect.

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Re: The Politics Thread

My initial thoughts concur with Dave's on Ireland. What's the point in them being in the EU if they're going to bypass it and come to a neighbour for support? I think the EU is generally vastly underrated. People obviously only pick up the negative sides but for each there is a number of positives in return. I do think the whole thing could be far far better organised though. Policies like the CAP take up around half of the EU budget and have far too much waste for my liking. Free migration between EU countries is great in theory for multiculturalism but surely some kind of limits need to be introduced? At the moment the countries which give the most into the EU are getting increasing populations from the countries that the money they're pumping into the EU is going to help. Seems daft.

I have mixed feelings about the student protests. Of course, I'm very biased but is a trebling of fees really sensible? You're piling the financial issues of the country onto students who aren't the most well off and will leave uni heavily in debt. Now they'll be in stupid amounts of debt, you'll have a less skilled work force as university places will go to those who can afford it rather than those who merit it and much of the population around 2020 will owe thousands to the banks. Seems that one areas failings are being dumped onto those who are considered to have less say. Students generally irritate the older generations; I'm sure many of whom don't have a problem with the proposed change.

I don't have a problem at all with an increase in fees. Cuts have to happen and they have to be done across the board. Is any other institution facing such a large change though? It feels like we've come out much worse off. Regarding the protests I agree with peaceful protests but unfortunately what happened was pretty disgusting. I understand that a lot of those protesting weren't students at all but if we're looking for any kind of sympathy that's hardly the way to go about it.

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Re: The Politics Thread

I worry that the change isn't going to add any prestige back to largely devalued (basically all the humanities) degrees, once you create a system whereby half of the people go to uni it's difficult to reverse it. It's possible that rather than the prospective benefits the outcome will be a more defined two-tier education system that potentially excludes an awful lot of working class kids and more young people owing more money. I, for example, would be over £35,000 in debt under this increase, mind blowing.

I'm becoming increasingly fearful for the prospects of the AV vote next summer. It's likely to suffer due to being seen as the Lib Dems pet project at a time when they're popularity has plummeted. Not to mention for some baffling reason people from within the Labour party like the ever odious Margaret Beckett are going to campaign against it. Horrible time for a vote on it anyway given the economic woes, it's going to look like a political self indulgence for Clegg and his cronies.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Thinking about it more, are the government actually going to create much more by raising fees so drastically? If uni were going to cost me 9k a year then I'd be seriously looking at other options. I do a very academic degree and, whilst I'm not particularly well off, I'm not poor. If I'd be reconsidering then the number of applicants is going to reduce by a great amount. Will this decrease in students outweigh the profit gained from those who choose to go? A fairly large rise but not a stupid one would have probably still been protested but wouldn't be met with half as much resilience. Say 5k a year and you'd get a very similar number of students.

If you're actively looking to cut applicants then the education system needs sorting. Glance at the school league tables and it's pretty obvious the top grades don't mean a thing. Other options also need to be made available. At the moment you finish college and, aren't pressured per se, into university. There's no other routes offered to you. Those who finish at secondary school usually go straight into work but there's nothing like apprenticeships or work placement systems any more.

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Re: The Politics Thread

It's easy for the people who are already at Uni to say that they're not bothered about the increase in tuition fees. It remains stable for you. I think the rise kicks in in 2012? So the year after next. Hopefully, I'll be at Uni by then, I've got 3 offers so far so looks like I'll be there in about a years time. Luckily that means that I'll just miss the increase.

Now I'm no genius at politics and don't usually pay that much interest but raising the tuition fees to upto about £9,000 is bizarre. I know that cuts have to be made and prices have to be put up but it seems unfair that a lot of people will miss out on Uni because they can't afford it. Cuts surely can be made elsewhere. Like I said, I'm no expert at politics but this is a ridiculous way to make money.

Educational Maintenance Allowance (or EMA) has been scrapped, thank God. So many people at my college get it, who spends £30 a week on education? Most probably goes on alcohol, so that was a good decision. Shouldn't have brought it in in the first place though.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Second paragraph (Stuart's) is spot on. Secondary education needs reforming, it's become a little archaic. You're pushed toward the academia route and the belief that if you work hard and go and get your A-Levels and a degree you'll have a good job at the end of it. That's just not true any longer. More emphasis needs to shifted from academic ability because at the moment you can have a boat load of potential in all manner of things but if you don't fit the academic way of learning you're basically told you aren't very clever.

We have to move with the times and even question things that are taken for granted such as kids being taught in age groups, teach them according to how they learn and what they excel at. Less standardisation is needed, at the moment we're failing too many kids by holding Uni up as the ideal route.

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Re: The Politics Thread

It's easy for the people who are already at Uni to say that they're not bothered about the increase in tuition fees. It remains stable for you. I think the rise kicks in in 2012? So the year after next. Hopefully' date=' I'll be at Uni by then, I've got 3 offers so far so looks like I'll be there in about a years time. Luckily that means that I'll just miss the increase.

Now I'm no genius at politics and don't usually pay that much interest but raising the tuition fees to upto about £9,000 is bizarre. I know that cuts have to be made and prices have to be put up but it seems unfair that a lot of people will miss out on Uni because they can't afford it. Cuts surely can be made elsewhere. Like I said, I'm no expert at politics but this is a ridiculous way to make money.

Educational Maintenance Allowance (or EMA) has been scrapped, thank God. So many people at my college get it, who spends £30 a week on education? Most probably goes on alcohol, so that was a good decision. Shouldn't have brought it in in the first place though.[/quote']

Whatever you think about their opinion there will be a great deal of people who believe the taxpayer shouldn't be contributing as much as they currently are towards Uni-goers education, especially given the increasing number of devalued degrees and the belief that a large number of students go as much for the social aspect as the academic.

By rising the contribution of the individual in theory you're putting the education system in a market based arena in which the best ones will thrive and the worst will contract, putting more emphasis on informed choices for the individual and excellence for the establishments. People who back the rise will also argue that there's no evidence the rises in 2006 put poorer people off going to Uni and that nobody has to pay the fees up front and indeed only start paying it back once you're earning £21k a year.

The truth is that this is basically a social experiment and nobody really knows what will happen. It does mean we'll have the most expensive state Universities in the world and I for one would have preferred a graduate tax, but basically we'll just have to wait and see.

What I would say is it's far from bizarre, there's a clear logic to the decision, I just don't happen to agree with it.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Whatever you think about their opinion there will be a great deal of people who believe the taxpayer shouldn't be contributing as much as they currently are towards Uni-goers education' date=' especially given the increasing number of devalued degrees and the belief that a large number of students go as much for the social aspect as the academic. [/quote']

A degree is only devalued if people say it is. There will be people wanting to study every degree and if there isn't then the degree will no longer run.

If people are willing to be in serious debt by the time they finish their course then I very much doubt that they are going for the social side. I haven't talked to anyone at my college who wants to go to Uni for the nightlife, parties etc. They, me included, want a degree to help in future life and often if they are going then they think it is the best way to halpe with future ambitions and that going to Uni is 100% necessary.

By rising the contribution of the individual in theory you're putting the education system in a market based arena in which the best ones will thrive and the worst will contract' date=' putting more emphasis on informed choices for the individual and excellence for the establishments. People who back the rise will also argue that there's no evidence the rises in 2006 put poorer people off going to Uni and that nobody has to pay the fees up front and indeed only start paying it back once you're earning £21k a year.[/quote']

We weren't in as much of an economic recession in 2006 as we are now. Trebling the tuition fees won't weed out the people who aren't committed, it will stop thousands of students from applying purely because they can't afford it. Being £15,000 in debt is one thing, to come off a degree with £27,000 worth of debt would be a nightmare. Yes, you don't have to pay it off until you're earning a certain wage but the prospect of having to face that much debt would deter a huge portion of committed students from going to university.

The truth is that this is basically a social experiment and nobody really knows what will happen. It does mean we'll have the most expensive state Universities in the world and I for one would have preferred a graduate tax' date=' but basically we'll just have to wait and see.

What I would say is it's far from bizarre, there's a clear logic to the decision, I just don't happen to agree with it.[/quote']

Trial and error, basically. This government doesn't have a clue.

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Re: The Politics Thread

A degree is only devalued if people say it is. There will be people wanting to study every degree and if there isn't then the degree will no longer run.

If people are willing to be in serious debt by the time they finish their course then I very much doubt that they are going for the social side. I haven't talked to anyone at my college who wants to go to Uni for the nightlife' date=' parties etc. They, me included, want a degree to help in future life and often if they are going then they think it is the best way to halpe with future ambitions and that going to Uni is 100% necessary. [/quote']

Well, no. A degree is devalued when it doesn't become advantageous to your career prospects when you leave, with how saturated the job market is becoming certain degrees have already reached that point. I've got friends who graduated with solid 2:1's and now can't find work. You might well very much doubt it but I've seen it with my own eyes. I managed to wrack up £15k when I went because I was lucky enough to go the year before fee's rose and people were there for a glorified knees up, my girlfriend went after 06 and is even more debt and there were still people she lived with who attended about 20% of the lectures and spent the majority of their maintenance loan on beer and class a's. Uni has become a life experience for some as much as an educational facility.

We weren't in as much of an economic recession in 2006 as we are now. Trebling the tuition fees won't weed out the people who aren't committed, it will stop thousands of students from applying purely because they can't afford it. Being £15,000 in debt is one thing, to come off a degree with £27,000 worth of debt would be a nightmare. Yes, you don't have to pay it off until you're earning a certain wage but the prospect of having to face that much debt would deter a huge portion of committed students from going to university.

Like I said the counter argument will be that anybody can afford it because you don't have to pay your fee's up front. Your postulation that it's going to deter a huge portion of students is just as hypothetical as the Governments position that it won't. For what it's worth I don't actually think we'll see a huge drop off in numbers of people going to Uni, I do however think the rise could potentially make the disparity between working class and those from more privileged backgrounds who go to a top tier University even wider. However even we do see a drop off, if that leads to secondary schools having to diversify the information they give to leavers about their careers choices and championing different routes like apprenticeships more vociferously then it'll arguably be a good thing.

As I've already stated I personally don't agree with the rises and believe that a graduate tax would be preferable but looking at it objectively you'd have to bury your head in the sand not to be able to see the logic behind the decision, even if you don't necessarily agree with the outcome.

Trial and error, basically. This government doesn't have a clue.

Bit harsh. They are working off the recommendations of a review a year in the making commissioned by the last government, in fairness. Around 1 in 3 applicants are already being turned away thanks in part to a lack of funding, so something needed to be done either way.

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Re: The Politics Thread

The thing I don't get with the protests is what 99.9% of those going there are actually protesting about. They are all at university paying the current maximum fee of £3290 a year or the overseas fee if they are overseas students (is this also rising?). I've asked myself after both protests, why don't you have a lot of year 12s, year 11s and year 10s there or parents? It just seems like the protests were a good excuse for some guys to cause a lot of criminal damage. Sure, most of the protests were peaceful but you have to question whether the message would be stronger if people that are actually going to be affected turned up? I did hear that sixth formers turned up to protests on Wednesday, though.

From a personal point of view I am in year 13 and I sent my application to UCAS yesterday so if I get into one of the universities I applied for I'll only have to pay 3x£3920 plus I have a year in industry where I'll probably earn all that back anyway, and if I get into Queen Mary or Brunel (my preferred choices) I wouldn't have to shell out on accomodation for three years. I think that this year, you'll get a massive surge of people applying so they don't have to apply next year and end up paying the rising fees.

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Re: The Politics Thread

maggie_thatcher_40x40.jpgBaroness Thatcher says…The whole subject of tuition fees resonates with what has gone wrong with this once proud country of ours. I refer of course to this socailist ‘ the state owes me a living ‘ attitude which has crept into the nations psyche. Help an old lady out here please my dears, a young person decides he/she wishes to gain a degree so..

Students are to choose where they wish to study, with government financing the up-front costs. Support for living costs is to be available through an annual loan of £3,750, with poorer students eligible for grants of up to £3,250. Graduates are to make payments of 9 per cent of annual incomes above £21,000. If earnings drop or they stop work, payments are to drop or be stopped. The earnings threshold is to be kept in line with earnings. The interest rate is to be the same as the government’s, with a rebate for low earners. Then, after 30 years the balance is simply to be written off.....

Post degree the young person in question not only benefits from the broader horizons an education brings but more tellingly earn £100,000 more (on average) over their working life net of taxation than an individual whose highest qualification is two or more A-levels increasing to an average of £160,000 over a working life when compared to an individual who has less than 2 A-levels ( rising to £340,000 extra gained in medicine). Obviously the graduate is also more likely to have a greater choice in where they work, access to a wider job market and the ability to form their own specialist companies. Now that does not seem such a bad deal to a down trodden tax payer of 25 years , who currently coughs 8k a year in tax and NI whilst paying a mortgage (whimper), supporting a wife and two children ( sob) etc etc. I left school with no qualifications ( of any merit) and instead have had to jump through hoops and work my nuts off in vocational training to gain what little I have, no one has stuck their hand in their pocket for me. Now whilst happy to pay towards the betterment of others and all the advantages they bring to the country , why should I be expected to provide for others who to be perfectly frank seem determined to reap the rewards but contribute as little as possible to the costs....B)

Educational Maintenance Allowance (or EMA) has been scrapped, thank God. So many people at my college get it, who spends £30 a week on education? Most probably goes on alcohol......

......... attended about 20% of the lectures and spent the majority of their maintenance loan on beer .....

As someone who has just taken a 2k P/A pay cut and works in an industry that has seen a 50% cut in funding and faces huge potential changes in how it is able to collect future revenue, i feel any sympathy i had for Students rapidly slipping away.....

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Re: The Politics Thread

^^poster above me apparently doesn't realise that Great Britain isn't so great anymore on the world scene. its not just about working from within anymore, its about jobs that can be dealt out to foreigners or foreign corporations and, even more importantly, about being the most advanced. the uk doesnt set the standard anymore, unfortunatly that standard is set in the us. and the standard is that to get a good job, a degree is needed

you hear people say that some theories came wayyy before their time, but thatcher is the opposite. she wouldve made a great theorist/leader in the 1800s, when it was about force and power and survival of the elite. nowadays, thats not the case. its about having the brightest minds, not the most intimidation/fear. look at the us loosing its influence over the world, thats because they are still stuck with a governance model that was effective in the 60s

if the uk wants to restrict the number of university students, perhaps a increase in tuition will help, as long as it is accompanied by an increase in scholarships for those who have shown through grades, involvement and leadership that they are the true leaders of tomorrow. the uni system is not broke, dont fix it. there are only adjustments to be made. and to be honest, if we want a better school system, its the rich kids who drink their way through that need to be kicked out, not those who are trying to get their way to a better living.

thatcher. lol. that ideology stopped being relevant even before thatcher came to power.

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Re: The Politics Thread

maggie_thatcher_40x40.jpg Baroness Thatcher says…What a truly despicable man Ed Miliband is….stabbed his autistic brother in the back to nick the labour leadership, at the beck and call of the swivel eyed lefty unions, openly sucking up to the normal hard working people he and his foul socialists mates did so much to alienate, awful at PMQ’s, falling over to distance himself from anything mildly related to New Labour, terrible hair, doing deals with the Jocks and now happy to climb into bed with the rioting students. The mans a charlatan, asked about the most recent protests, he said…..

'What I am not in favour of is, obviously, violent demonstrations. I applaud young people who peacefully demonstrate. 'I said I was going to go and talk to them at some point. I was tempted to go out and talk to them.' Asked why he had not, he added: 'I think I was doing something else at the time, actually.'

So Ed supports children playing truant from school does he? Young students bunking off of lectures?, dangerous anarchists attacking Policemen with fire extinguishers ?..what a blatant and cheap political stunt, the mans a reptile..

ed-miliband-460_1010697c.jpg

Red ED..what a total Git you are

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Re: The Politics Thread

maggie_thatcher_40x40.jpg Baroness Thatcher says…What a truly despicable man Ed Miliband is….stabbed his autistic brother in the back to nick the labour leadership' date=' at the beck and call of the swivel eyed lefty unions, openly sucking up to the normal hard working people he and his foul socialists mates did so much to alienate, awful at PMQ’s, falling over to distance himself from anything mildly related to New Labour, terrible hair, doing deals with the Jocks and now happy to climb into bed with the [b']rioting students. The mans a charlatan, asked about the most recent protests, he said…..

So Ed supports children playing truant from school does he? Young students bunking off of lectures?, dangerous anarchists attacking Policemen with fire extinguishers ?..what a blatant and cheap political stunt, the mans a reptile..[/b]

excuse me if it sounds like i am calling you out for manipulating words and spreading lies (i am, but still excuse me for it), but where do you get him encourage the anarchists and the violent ones from that words that he said. he said he support the peaceful demonstators

do you know what democracy means, good sir? in case you dont, let me explain to you one of the key aspects. in a democracy, you have the right to contest a point and a right to disagree. those students who are protesting peacefully are exercising that right and reinforcing british democracy.

its fascinating how people like you can spread lies from something so innocent. im not in agreement with the students or with the government, would go a different way myself, but by GOD these people have a right to let their views be heard by those in power.

also, excuse the english. not my 1st language

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^^poster above me apparently doesn't realise that Great Britain isn't so great anymore on the world scene. its not just about working from within anymore' date=' its about jobs that can be dealt out to foreigners or foreign corporations and, even more importantly, about being the most advanced. the uk doesnt set the standard anymore, unfortunatly that standard is set in the us. and the standard is that to get a good job, a degree is needed[/quote']

maggie_thatcher_40x40.jpg Baroness Thatcher says......Oh i don't know i think we more than punch our weight on the global stage, but that's perhaps for another day. As i stated i recognise the benefit to the uk and I am not disagreeing with the importance of education just how it is paid for...( read the post again)

you hear people say that some theories came wayyy before their time, but thatcher is the opposite. she wouldve made a great theorist/leader in the 1800s, when it was about force and power and survival of the elite. nowadays, thats not the case. its about having the brightest minds, not the most intimidation/fear. look at the us loosing its influence over the world, thats because they are still stuck with a governance model that was effective in the 60s

Anybody with any knowledge of the 1980's may well argue with there, the state of the UK economy, the victory in the Cold war, the Falkland islands mean anything?.

.....thatcher. lol. that ideology stopped being relevant even before thatcher came to power.

What ideology do you refer to in particular?

excuse me if it sounds like i am calling you out for manipulating words and spreading lies (i am' date=' but still excuse me for it), but where do you get him encourage the anarchists and the violent ones from that words that he said. he said he support the peaceful demonstators

do you know what democracy means, good sir? in case you dont, let me explain to you one of the key aspects. [b']in a democracy, you have the right to contest a point and a right to disagree[/b]. those students who are protesting peacefully are exercising that right and reinforcing british democracy.

its fascinating how people like you can spread lies from something so innocent. im not in agreement with the students or with the government, would go a different way myself, but by GOD these people have a right to let their views be heard by those in power.

also, excuse the english. not my 1st language

No offence taken my dear fellow but to be perfectly honest ( and be they peaceful or not) the demonstrations are made up of children playing truant from school, Young students bunking off of lectures and dangerous anarchists. Miliband is cynically and blatantly looking to capitalise on student dissatisfaction ( as did that weirdo Clegg before him) without mentioning any viable alternative to the planned reforms ( please don't tell me he is a fan of the graduate tax )..Excellent English BTW :)

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Re: The Politics Thread

maggie_thatcher_40x40.jpg Baroness Thatcher says......Oh i don't know i think we more than punch our weight on the global stage' date=' but that's perhaps for another day. As i stated i recognise the benefit to the uk and I am not disagreeing with the importance of education just how it is paid for...( read the post again)[/color']

Anybody with any knowledge of the 1980's may well argue with there, the state of the UK economy, the victory in the Cold war, the Falkland islands mean anything?.

What ideology do you refer to in particular?

No offence taken my dear fellow but to be perfectly honest ( and be they peaceful or not) the demonstrations are made up of children playing truant from school, Young students bunking off of lectures and dangerous anarchists. Miliband is cynically and blatantly looking to capitalise on student dissatisfaction ( as did that weirdo Clegg before him) without mentioning any viable alternative to the planned reforms ( please don't tell me he is a fan of the graduate tax )..Excellent English BTW :)

Blah blah blah, lie lie lie - o look the Tories are talking :P

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Re: The Politics Thread

maggie_thatcher_40x40.jpg Baroness Thatcher says......Oh i don't know i think we more than punch our weight on the global stage' date=' but that's perhaps for another day. As i stated i recognise the benefit to the uk and I am not disagreeing with the importance of education just how it is paid for...( read the post again)[/color']

Anybody with any knowledge of the 1980's may well argue with there, the state of the UK economy, the victory in the Cold war, the Falkland islands mean anything?.

really? victory in the cold war? UK takes credit for victory in the cold war? that is actually quite funny. without the cias interventions in countless state politics and us making a joke of democraty, things wouldve been much different. the uk was nothing more than a passerby, just waiting for the big protector to take care of things.

and no. to anyone not in the uk or argentina, the falkland islands dont mean anything

What ideology do you refer to in particular?

the conservative ideology that pretends that the adam smiths invisible hand still applies today and that doesnt take into account that everything is global now, that people are more aware of whats going on in the world and that social equity is a big issue to a lot of people. thatcher and reaghan are symbols of the "5% of the people holding 95% of the wealth" (numbers off the top of my head, cant be bothered to find the real ones which are close) situation, a situation that people are more aware of due to access to media that wasnt available before. corporations no longer control what you see and know.

im not a conspiraty follower myself but i do have access to knowledge that there is no way i wouldve had in the 70s or earlier about mega corportations and there unethical operations and about media manipulation. its not hard to see when you experience something, go home and are told that something else happened entirely by cnn international

No offence taken my dear fellow but to be perfectly honest ( and be they peaceful or not) the demonstrations are made up of children playing truant from school, Young students bunking off of lectures and dangerous anarchists. Miliband is cynically and blatantly looking to capitalise on student dissatisfaction ( as did that weirdo Clegg before him) without mentioning any viable alternative to the planned reforms ( please don't tell me he is a fan of the graduate tax )..Excellent English BTW :)

yes, but democraty allows that. it is a RIGHT that must be granted. im not saying i agree with them, but as a follower of democraty we must defend there right to speak and listen to the concers they raise as im sure some of them are valid.

----

thanks. i have to speak english for what i do but writing is not a strong point.

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Re: The Politics Thread

really? victory in the cold war? UK takes credit for victory in the cold war? that is actually quite funny. without the cias interventions in countless state politics and us making a joke of democraty' date=' things wouldve been much different. the uk was nothing more than a passerby, just waiting for the big protector to take care of things.

[/quote']

maggie_thatcher_40x40.jpgBaroness Thatcher Says.....Undeniably yes the UK takes some ( I didn’t say all) credit for victory in the cold war. Its different now of course but as a child of the cold war we lived in constant fear of the Eastern Bloc and its stated ultimate goal of world wide communism by any means. It perhaps hard to appreciate nowadays but basically from East Germany onwards, a huge military machine had for best part of the century stood ready to attack us. Our only defence was resolute defiance of their false ideology and the willingness to take up arms to defend our way of life . Thatcher was key in standing up to Soviet aggression by making it clear Britain stood foursquare with the United Sates and the Reagan policy of standing up to the dirty Reds wherever they threatened the free world.

Its worth remembering how far left the Labour Party was at the time and how lacking the West was in resolute leadership, the party advocated a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament. Led by the scarecrow like, Michael Foot ( along with Blair a card carrying member of CND) the Socialists were keen supporters of the ridiculous Greenham Common women and acted on the advice of some irresponsible clergymen ( Bruce Kent) whose notion of morality was happy to see half of Europe being permanently subjected to totalitarian rule. Could you imagine that shower standing up to hundreds of T-52’s pouring across the border?. Whenever the USSR pushed the USA / UK and others pushed back. For example was it not the UK who allowed / supported the 1986 bombing of Libya whilst the cowardly French did their usual appeasing act and refused to allow the American bombers to fly over their territory on their way to attack the USSR sponsored terrorist state that was Libya ?.

This defiance forced the USSR to its knees as slowly but surely their outmoded financial model ground to a halt trying to keep up with the cost of matching the West, and led to the emergence of political reformers notably Mikhail Gorbachev. History tells us that it was Thatcher’s recommendation of Gorbachev that made it much easier for President Reagan to sell the idea of arms talks to a sceptical Republican Party at home, which inturn finally sunk the USSR and freed millions from the evil Communist yoke. To describe Britain as a passer-by, is to be perfectly frank totally ridiculous and somewhat ill informed..( sorry) :)

and no. to anyone not in the uk or argentina, the falkland islands dont mean anything....

yes, but democraty allows that. it is a RIGHT that must be granted. im not saying i agree with them, but as a follower of democraty we must defend there right to speak and listen to the concers they raise as im sure some of them are valid

I am some what confused by these two statements ?, as they appear to contradict each other. Was the Flaklands war not fought in defence of freedom and democracy?. Whilst it might seem irrelevant to you now, you need to remember in the 1980's it showed the world that the free West would not be held to ransom by a dictatorship who felt it could take what it wanted by force. Does that example still not stand today? what a sad world it has become if it doesn't....

And of the protesters, i don't query their right to complain etc but i do wonder how they manage to have time to carry it out. Should Children not be at school? Students at college ? Lecturers at work? and likewise i do get somewhat peeved at the thought of a marauding band of professional anarchist's happy to distroy the state but joyfully accepting JSA and the reams of other benefits which incidentally I and millions of other hard working taxpayers furnish them with...:)

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Re: The Politics Thread

maggie_thatcher_40x40.jpg Baroness Thatcher Says..... This superb piece from last weeks Moscow times saves me the bother of committing on the foul antics of that creature Julian Assang...

logo.gif

WikiLeaks Is Fighting the Wrong Enemy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is wanted in Sweden to face rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion charges, was driven by one noble principle — that good should prevail over evil. The computer genius — aka the “Robin Hood of hackers” — founded WikiLeaks to expose evil and injustice throughout the world.

But Assange’s guns were aimed at the wrong target. Instead of being used to fight North Korean dictators, al-Qaida or the drug mafia, Assange fired on the U.S. military. In July, WikiLeaks published more than 76,900 documents on the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, and in October it released about 400,000 documents connected with the war in Iraq.

The documents make for an interesting read, although the majority contain no classified information. The only problem is that Assange’s leaks make it easier for the Taliban to capture, torture and kill the secret informants in Afghanistan who are working for the U.S. military. For this, al-Qaida counterintelligence should bestow Assange the Bin Laden Award for outstanding service in the fight against U.S. infidels.

Making his contribution to the fight against the global center of evil and tyranny, Assange decided not to linger long in any one place. In September, he flew from Stockholm to Berlin, checking his bags containing three laptop computers with encrypted information. The computers disappeared, and the computer wonder boy was shocked.

“We have been attacked by the United States,” he complained to a New York Times reporter.

What Assange didn’t take into account was that he had attacked the United States first. It actually never occurred to the infantile self-proclaimed champion of truth and justice that a person who had aided al-Qaida counterintelligence should never pack laptop computers into his checked baggage. Neither should the Australian-born Casanova sleep with any young Swedish beauty who bats her eyes at him. It could easily be a trap.

There is a simple reason why Assange targeted his attacks on the United States, not on tyrants and butchers, who are not known for their computer literacy. Imagine that instead of exposing tens of thousands of detailed, technical documents about U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Assange had decided to expose cannibalism in the Congo. Not much would have come of it because, unfortunately, Jean-Pierre Bemba — a former vice president of the Congolese provisional government in 2003-06 and a man who is now being tried in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity and war crimes — did not keep computerized records of the number of pygmies his troops ate for dinner. What’s more, Congolese cannibals probably don’t even know what a computer is.

The syndrome from which Assange suffers is the same problem afflicting most members of the infantile left. They start with the self-absorbed goal of becoming famous by declaring a noble fight against tyranny and evil. They then proceed into battle without ever once tearing their faces away from the computer screen. They forget that, in the first place, the same battle is already being fought by professionals working for Mossad and the CIA.

For someone in the public eye and without any significant credentials, that path leads more often to shame than fame. That is why it is much easier for a computer wizard like Assange to fight against democratic nations that document their actions on computers rather than fighting against real tyranny and evil in the world.

24 November 2010

By Yulia Latynina

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Re: The Politics Thread

I hate the Tories and Clegg for not standing up for what the Lib Dems stand for...

I've been chatting through the Brown review with my mate (probably the most intellectual conversation Facebook chat has ever witnessed) and we've come to the conclusion that the proposed cuts are a complete farce. This is probably going to be very similar to my previous post on the matter but hopefully much better put across and far far angrier :P

The cuts have been proposed to cut the number of University students and to bring value back to degrees as we as a country are falling behind other European institutions of education. But do we really want the richest getting those degrees ahead of those who deserve them most and would prosper most off the back of them? The current situation is pretty easy to explain as a big vicious circle:

16547p.jpg

There are however far better ways to cut the number of university students than taking it out of most peoples' price range. Alternative options need to be offered to students coming out of college. I remember when I was in 6th form a friend of mine informed his tutor that he wasn't planning on attending university and she asked him why he was doing A-levels. Doesn't that striker you as a bit ridiculous? All students doing further studies from GCSE are channelled into even further education as there is nothing available that couldn't have been done if you didn't take A-levels.

Taking a short history lesson, the UK apprenticeship tradition fell apart in the 1970s with the collapse of many heavy and craft industries. The system didn't adapt to the change in the job market at all and now the idea is pretty dead. Look through some job ads in your local paper: companies advertising for secretaries and receptionists want people with university experience. Surely someone who's come out of college and has had 2 years training for the job is better qualified? Apprenticeships still half-exist as NVQs but these sit next to A-levels in college course guides and those who have the grades are pushed towards academic options. The education system is shooting itself in the foot.

Then there is also the element of grading. Obviously A-levels and university are pushed on those with good grades but how hard is it really to attain those grades? In 2010 over a quarter of those taking A-levels achieved A or A* grades. 97.6% got an E or above which is enough to get you a university place. It's easy to see why degrees are becoming devalued when so many people go to university and it's because universities have no other option than to give people offers and students have nowhere else to go but higher education.

In short, the whole education system needs reforming. If the proposed massive cuts come in then you'll either have a ton of smart kids leaving school at 16 because they can't afford uni and there's no point in A-levels without going to uni or you'll have the next generation of doctors/teachers leaving uni with £50k debts. The only people this change serves to benefit is the rich folk who can afford the hiked prices and, as a token, the very poor end of students who get a lot of their education covered. The middle class are completely screwed.

Don't really like Labour either so I'm going to have to go Green B):rolleyes:

greens.png

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Re: The Politics Thread

Educational Maintenance Allowance (or EMA) has been scrapped' date=' thank God. So many people at my college get it, who spends £30 a week on education? Most probably goes on alcohol, so that was a good decision. Shouldn't have brought it in in the first place though.[/quote']

I also agree with this, why do you all of a sudden need money to go to school when your have gone 12 years of your life without it? I do not know one person who uses it for school.

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Re: The Politics Thread

Only just seen this thread and I wanted to add my two cents to the tuition fees debate:

For starters, I want to put this out there - the increase in tuition fees is too severe. However, I support the notion 100%. Why so? Well, I am currently undergoing my final year at Sheffield Hallam University, where I am studying Architectural Technology. During the recession, the building trade was royally crucified with redundancies becoming ten a penny across the country. I know this for a fact as, despite sending out what felt like one million applications last year for my year out in inudstry, I got zero positive feedback. Indeed, only 2-3 members of my course were able to fulfil a full 36-week placement, and I don't even think they were paid. The brutal fact of the matter is, that when I have completed my degree next summer, I shall be contesting 50+ graduates for every job I apply for.

Now, of course, the recession itself has caused a lot of this unrest, yet the thousands upon thousands of students who are coming out of university every single year only compound the misery I am no doubt bound to face. The previous Labour governments sent out a highly positive message over the past 10-15 years by greeting every student coming out of sixth form or college with the opportunity to go to university, but the fact of the matter is that there are too many graduates vying for too few jobs.

So, how do we decrease the number of graduates? We increase tuition fees. Pure logic can see the consequences: you increase tutition fees, meaning less students apply to university; less students apply to university, meaning less graduates come out of university; less graduates come out of university, meaning there is less competition for jobs; less competition for jobs, means that the degrees that are now deemed largely worthless (2:2's, some 2:1's) are actually useful.

"But what about those who still wish to go to university but can't afford it?" Nobody can't afford to go to university. When you apply for university, you apply for two loans; one to cover your tution fees and one to cover your living expenses. I see no reason to suggest that the increase in tuition fees will all of a sudden force the Student Loans Company from denying "poor" people the right to apply for a loan. Somebody, please correct me if I'm wrong here, because by my reckoning, there is not a single soul in this country coming out of sixth form or college who can't afford to go to university. That argument is null and void.

"But what about all the debt you acquire when you graduate?" Brutal answer, but you've got to accept it and live with it. There is no way of going to university without acquiring some amount of debt (unless you are filthy rich); it's just something you have got to deal with and get on with. Besides, the increase in tuition fees means that you won't have to begin paying debts off until you are begin paid a wage of £21,000 per annum. And remember, with less students applying for university, your degree will have a higher value and the liklihood of getting a well-paid job shall increase dramatically.

I do feel for those students who shall be affected by these increases, as I had to feel the brunt of the last increase of tuition fees. But the key thing is to remain philosophical and concentrate on working hard, getting a good degree that will lead to a good job.

----------------------------------------------------

A couple of side points:

1. Like I mentioned before, I do think the increase is too severe - to virtually treble the tuition fees is rather drastic. Personally, considering we are coming out of the worst recession the country's ever experienced (?), we should be taking other measures to get out of the hole we're in. The banks, who hold a huge portion of the blame on their shoulders for the world being in this dire situation in the first place, should be punished in some way or another. I'm not well read in the political world as much as most others, so I can't suggest anything completely forthright, although the last I heard, Osbourse was going to go soft on the banks (that was a week or two bank, mind).

Also, and I know many wouldn't be in favour of this, but I'd raise taxes. The recent cuts have been devestating to so many people, as well as forcing local councils to review their spending nationwide (among other points). For example, I read that one council (can't remember where) was planning to close a large proportion of libraries in the area, which is a terrible move. If we raised taxes, things like this wouldn't have to happen. Even an extra 2p in the pound, and more for high-earners (£50,000+) and the government would have a lot more at their disposal.

Point is, moves to affect those that aren't likely to feel the heat from the recession's fire as much as Joe Bloggs, means people like Joe and his mates won't lose his job etc.

*I'd also abolish Trident for the time being, but that's a touchy subject.

2. Secondly, I've been dismayed with the negative press that the Lib Dems have been receiving. Of course, going back on their pledge to resist any increase in tuition fees is a disastrous party move and one that will anger a large proportion of their voters, I understand that. But other than that, I fail to see how they can be held responsible for as much as they are being accused of. People seem to be forgetting that it's the Conservatives in power, not the Lib Dems. Sure, this may be a hung parliament, but the Lib Dems have very little say in what the Tories pass through government. Jokes that Nick Clegg has become David Cameron's lap dog, and the such, are pathetic.

Like I said, failing to convince the Tories to stop the increase in tuition fees was a poor move after the pre-election vows, but the Tory-biased press is simply passing the buck with all the, albeit tough, decisions that have to be made.

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Re: The Politics Thread

I broadly agree with what you're saying on tuition fees, enough to make me reluctant to pick through the minutiae anyway.

I do think the Lib Dems are getting their just desserts in a lot of ways though. Yes some of the issues they're taking stick for are a little unfair, but frankly given that they went into an election vociferously championing a disingenuous, populist policy that by all accounts many of the Orange Bookers didn't really believe in and that they were reportedly already preparing to dump even before the election then you make your own bed.

The coalition shouldn't be a stick to beat them with, the decision they made in May was realistically the only credible move they had up their sleeve and they got the odd reasonable concession out of it (although the Alternative Vote will now likely suffer due to their own loss of credibility). But signing that pledge and going with a policy they knew they'd have to dump in order to gain votes then hiding behind the coalition government line is a poor show. I don't like this talk of abstaining either, if you don't like the policy then vote against it for goodness sake. It's disappointing that a coalition that looked like it might be heading toward grown up politics is in danger of falling apart if any of them should dare vote against each other.

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