So what did the (Romans) Labour government ever do for us?

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  • So what did the (Romans) Labour government ever do for us?
  • reduced access in some cases to the countryside due to the NERC act, downgrading Row to footpath with very little evidence, often in the face of overwhelming evidence of higher Row access. Pandered to the redsocks again!

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    Scottish devolution does not create an extra layer – what now happens is the scottish office is now overseen by democratically elected people not unelected bureaucrats. The same number of layers of government. Now some is thru holyrood some thru Westminster

    There is obviously another layer of government – before there were 650 MPs, now there are 650 MPs + 129 SMPs. This costs more money. And quite why you think Scottish parliament civil servants are more democratically elected than the Westminster ones, I don't know – AFAIK both are employed staff overseen by democratically elected politicians.

    (Note that I'm not arguing as to whether the Scottish parliament is a good idea or not, it's not something I've really looked into.)

    konabunny
    Member

    Freedom of Information act
    Operational independence for the Bank of England
    Smoking ban

    All good things.

    – Licensing of the security industry (including private investigators, eventually)

    – Data Protection Act

    – Minimum wage (reduces the state subsidisy of cheap labour for employers through benefits)

    – Human Rights Act

    – Bribery Act – this might actually be the most significant act of the last parliament, if it is correctly and enthusiastically enforced; it has great potential to increase growth, expand freedom and reduce poverty in developing countries.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Labour were not bad for supporting UK science – miles away from what could have been achieved in times of prosperity, but better than what we had before. They had the best science minister in years with David Sainsbury, who was a convincing voice for sci and eng interests in the cabinet. Full economic funding of research has and will do a lot for university infrastructure and the science base.

    Science policy is so far down the priority list of government manifestos that it's hard to know what will happen under the Tories. Their science minister knows how to make money, but doesn't seem to know anything about science. Actual scientific knowledge is not necessarily a requirement, but it's not clear that he has much of a view on how best to support science research in the UK as a whole. It may not make much difference, as the immediate future is going to be difficult for everyone involved in trying to fund science, across the board.

    Evan Harris, one of the strongest lib-dem MPs, was a great advocate for science but unfortunately failed to hold his seat in Oxford.

    Spongebob
    Member

    Sold off the nation's gold reserves at half price.

    Ran up the public debt from £6,000,000,000,000 to £157,000,000,000,000 with it set to peak at £1,300,000,000,000,000 by 2012.

    Welcomed "with open arms" (Quote by Jack Straw) unchecked immigration causing horrendous pressure on hospitals, schools, and welfare support. Undermining the livelyhoods of many working class Britons.

    Gave Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland their own hugely expensive assemblies, thus allowing them to increase public spending to the injustice of tax payers across England.

    Committed the tax payer to an uneccessary 20% increase in the number of people employed in the already top-heavy public sector, thus putting more pressure on the public purse.

    Signed us up to hugely wasteful inefficient private public partnerships.

    Detrimentally interferred with the way schools are run and wasting a spectacular sums of money in the process.

    Created their highly paid unelected quangos to wreak damage, misery and injustice in almost all areas.

    Surrendered the hard won rebate we used to receive from the EU, leaving the UK with one of the worst deals out of all the EU countries.

    Gave away billions of UK public money to foreign causes with no requirement for recompense, or accountability.

    Destroyed a private pension industry that was already in a perilous state. The effect of this was for responsible people to seek alternatives for their security in retirement. Buy-to-let created a property bubble which now excludes first time buyers from the property market.

    They presided over a period of unchecked irresponsible lending whilst rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the resulting huge tax receipts. This fueled an overcooked housing market where all but the most wealthy are locked in to their homes (or locked out). People are seriously over leveraged, but had little alternative. Personal borrowing is at record levels and only a low interest rate is preventing carnage.

    Deregulated the financial sector and set up the near useless, but expensive FSA – you have their incompetence to thank for the banking crisis (amongst other things).

    Increased a raft of benefits for those who are not inclined to contribute, making them less likely to contribute. DOn;t we all need to work?

    Created huge amounts of red tape to the detriment of British industry.

    Created a system where young people feel compelled to run up an average of £25000 debt in pursuing a higher education, but not recognising that the business world does not really value the degrees acquired at these newly formed universities. There simply aren't the jobs for the thousands of graduates, so the £25k debt cripples these people before they have even started out in life!

    They have done nothing to address the north south divide. The opposite is true infact.

    Erroded civil liberties and privacy. Gave power to local authorities to waste huge sums spying on people by using anti-terrorism laws, but for minor indiscretions like trying to get their child into a decent school!

    It's nice to have benefits, privilges and rights, but they need to be
    a) affordable and b) fair.

    Labour seriously hurts the people of Britain through sheer financial incompetence and unfairness. They undermine our rights. All because of their misguided socialist ideals.

    Ideals need to take a back seat and pragmatism needs to come to the fore.

    We need dynamic pragmatic leadership and now we might just have that.

    Perhaps with Liberals working alongside Conservatives, we might see some benefits.

    Time will tell!

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    What I hate the most about them is the concept of wealth redistribution. This is not right and not sustainable. I just don't see how it's fair to take one persons hard earned away from them to give to someone else who hasn't earnt it. Ludicrous. What they should have been doing and have completely failed to do was to ensure that working people on lower incomes had access to a decent standard of living because they earnt enough and living costs were low enough for the market to sustain it. True they did bring in the minimum wage and i'll applaud them for that (I didn't initially agree with it but I do now) but they have allowed the housing market to completely overheat, allowed unsustainable personal borrowing all of which inevitably ended in rescession and increased costs of living just at a time when employers aren't even giving basic cost of living rises. The more the state interferes with sciety the more the system becomes destabilised and the more intervention is needed. Downward spiral which eventually ends up with the state unable to pay for the continued intervention which is where we are now.

    Surely it's better for someone on a low income to be able to support themselves on their own income and not need state handouts just to maintain a basic standard of living. of course it's easier short term to 'redistribute' wealth than it is to pursue subtle policies that guide society in everyone's best interests. Rewarding those that contribute more into society, supporting those that are unable to support themselves without penalising those who are working. Left wing redistribution policy is fundamentally incompatible with the way people are motivated.

    konabunny
    Member

    What they should have been doing and have completely failed to do was to ensure that working people on lower incomes had access to a decent standard of living because they earnt enough and living costs were low enough for the market to sustain it.

    Tell me more about how the government achieves this.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    I don't know, I haven't put myself forward for parliment and haven't screwed the system for every penny I can get. They're the politicians, their problem, they have been promising they can fix everything for months.

    Edit: actually I do have a couple of ideas.

    1. They should have regulated the personal lending market, the supply of houses was finite, whilst credit was finite prices stayed under control, when credit was unlimited people just got into a bidding war and everybody was worse off.
    2. Stop wasting money on social engineering projects (Sure start etc.)and put tax payers money into physical assets that will be around for a few years, plenty of things to choose from, transport, power, hospitals (i.e. not PFI).
    3. Stop generally wasting money on pointless stuff like trident and foreign wars, then they don't need to take so much tax so everyone has more money.
    4. Spend more time suppotying those who are economically active at whatever income level, they're the ones powering the economy, not the ones sat at home on benefits.
    5. Reduce benefits to a minimum (for those that don't deserve them, I'm not talking about those genuinely unable to work) and deliver them in a more cost effective way, e.g. stuff maternity cash grants, if you're on benefits why should you have a Mamas and Papas pram / cot etc. You should be allocated an NHS glasses equivilent of a cot, it'll serve the purpose it's intended for, reduce costs dramtically and ideally stigmatise you a little so maybe you'll think more before doing something else anti-social and expecting everyone else to pick up the bill.
    6. Slim down the state, more jobs in the public sector does not equate to a sustainable economy.

    There's a few ideas, not very cuddly admittedly but then not everybody is deserving in our society and it's about time we woke up to the fact. Everybody should not be treated equally, everybody should have the same equal opportunity of a good education / health care etc. but if you decide to piss it up against the wall then you should be a second class citizen.

    Junkyard
    Member

    What I hate the most about them is the concept of wealth redistribution. This is not right and not sustainable. I just don't see how it's fair to take one persons hard earned away from them to give to someone else who hasn't earnt it. Ludicrous.

    You would have loved the feudal system then
    The argument is something like this we have a cleaner who works 60 hours a week and gets £250 take home, we have wayne rooney taling home about £250 K a week and we have the Duke of Westminster inheriting £8 billion. It is not as simple as sayimg those at the rich end of this are hard working and deserve it and the cleaner is simply lazy. Some may say the richer people were also somewhat fortunate to be rich. Some also think that it is better and fairer for the wealth/income of the country /world to be more equally distributed as they are uncomfortable with multi billionairres whilst some peoepls children stave for the sake of a £3 injection. Some of us are just mot comfortable with such ludicrous higb levels of wealth that the money can never be spent and it could perhaps be used in a wiser way.

    You should be allocated an NHS glasses equivilent of a cot, it'll serve the purpose it's intended for, reduce costs dramtically and ideally stigmatise you a little so maybe you'll think more before doing something else anti-social and expecting everyone else to pick up the bill

    yes only the unemployed are anti social and break the law. Stigmatiing those on the margins of your society will improve their behaviour and respect for your values how exactly? Do you not think they may be more anti social in your general direction as a result?

    6. Slim down the state, more jobs in the public sector does not equate to a sustainable economy

    is mass unemployment a more sustainable option?

    hh45
    Member

    Labour regularised our relationship with EU. Until 1997 it was a nightmare of endless tacky arguments over Europe. And all due to be re-started soon.

    I think their worst habits were too much spending, too much spinning and too slack re immigration. I do accept they meant well most of the time.

    noteeth
    Member

    without realising the impact it will have in the not so distant future as PFI built trusts struggle to make the repayments.

    This is something I especially despise about the NuLab administration, and the way they screwed NHS procurement (effectively, allowing a bunch of consultancy **** and big show accountants to dictate public policy). It's **** galling to see frontline staff putting in 110% effort – whilst Trusts piss away money on PFI contracts. The same is true of MOD.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    Junkyard

    I'm probably coming across as complete right wing ****, I'm not (well maybe I am but I don't intend to be).

    I'm trying to articulate some pretty unpopular views and I'm trying to put them across in a non-stereotypical way and I don't think I've managed it yet.

    is not as simple as sayimg those at the rich end of this are hard working and deserve it and the cleaner is simply lazy.

    That's not what I'm saying at all and I certainly don't believe it either. I personally have a major problem with the wages of a minority at the top of the pay grades, there is no way they are actually worth what they are paid, it's just a case of the extremes of the market. I'm also not saying someone on a low wage is lazy, the fact they are working, probably in a less than glamorous job shows they have some sort of work ethic. What I want to see is that anyone who is prepared to work is markedly better off than those whose 'choose' not to, sometimes that's a concious decision, sometimes it's a result of the local culture they live in. This is one of the reaons I've fundamentally changed my mind about the minimum wage, I now think it's a very important mechanism to curb the excesses of the market, it's a shame we can't come up with something similar that will curb the top end of the wage market in the same way, taxes don't work there are two many loop holes.

    yes only the unemployed are anti social and break the law

    That's a bit unfair, I didn't mention breaking the law and I meant anti-social in the broader context of being a member of a society rather than the ASBO, getting pissed in the street type of anti-social.

    Stigmatiing those on the margins of your society will improve their behaviour and respect for your values how exactly?

    Now that is a fair comment and something I do see, I don't want to return to the 1950s and young unmarried mothers being forced into abortions or having their children forcibly taken away at birth. We're better than that as a society. I think the respect pendulam has now swung to far the other way. If someone is behaving in a way that is putting a burden on others then some gentle stigmatisation of the person (if that's possible) might be a good way of getting them to reconsider the way they behave. At the moment the way I see it is that people are almost rewarded for their behaviour and this too leads to a long term alienation of people in this position, the old benefits culture dependacy conumdrum.

    I suppose my over all take on this is that you let the market generally dictate peoples standard of living based on their work contribution. There are then two ways of getting paid more, work harder / longer or have skills or abilities that are in short supply (and the fairness argument kicks in here, I think the government has a duty to makesure anyone with skills, talents, work ethic or is just prepared to graft should have the opportunity to do so regardless of where they come from). Either way you are contributing more to the country economically than other people so should see some benefit from that. The state is vital though to curb the excesses of the market, to support those who genuinely fall through the net and to stop those with power (political or financial) abusing it.

    A lot of the left / right wing arguments are far to polarised and idealogically based, it's about time we were prepared to put the ideaology aside, be a bit more pragmatic, face up to a few unpalatable truths about human nature and take the best both idealogies have to offer.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    mogrim – Member

    "Scottish devolution does not create an extra layer – what now happens is the scottish office is now overseen by democratically elected people not unelected bureaucrats. The same number of layers of government. Now some is thru holyrood some thru Westminster"

    There is obviously another layer of government – before there were 650 MPs, now there are 650 MPs + 129 SMPs. This costs more money. And quite why you think Scottish parliament civil servants are more democratically elected than the Westminster ones, I don't know – AFAIK both are employed staff overseen by democratically elected politicians.

    Clearly you don't understand.

    The issues that Holyrood looks after do not go thru westminster, the issues Westminster looks after don't go thru holyrood. No extra layer there. Just different people. Holy rood has no second chamber – decreased layers of government for devolved matters.

    It used to be the case that the civil servants in the scottish exec were answerable only to the scottish secretary – now they answer to Holyrood – greater democratic accountability.

    Still – don't let your ignorance get in the way of your prejudices.

    mefty
    Member

    But there are 129 SMPs with no corresponding reduction in the number at Westminster so that is a cost, I think that was the point being made.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    No cost to the English that was claimed. No extra layer of government that was claimed.

    mefty
    Member

    I don't have an axe to grind on this but no one said it cost the English anything, they merely stated that there was an extra layer of bureaucracy. 129 SMP using the normal definition of bureaucracy don't count but the point that it costs money is without doubt, £100 million or so a year according to the budget.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Mefty – several people have claimed exactly that on this thread – which is simply wrong. MSP BTW

    Spongebob – Member

    ………………………………

    Gave Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland their own hugely expensive assemblies, thus allowing them to increase public spending to the injustice of tax payers across England.

    The scottish parliament does not cost the English anything – either in construction or in running it. Read up on the Barnett formula for Scottish funding.

    The scottish government has a fixed amount of money that is a smaller % of the UK spend each year. This is exactly the same post devolution as pre devolution.

    Scotland post devolution is a net contributor to the UK economy in that it generates more money than it gets to spend. An independent Scotland would be wealthier

    Just one bit of total rubbish amongst many in your rant spongebob

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    An independent Scotland would be wealthier

    Provided they got the right bits on book and got rid of the bits they didn't like. For a few years at least – would the plan be to come begging when the oil runs out?

    mefty
    Member

    Did not see Spongebob's, his post was rather long, so I have no problem (and never had) any problem with the assertion that there is no direct cost to the English. Although some of course argue on both sides that Barnett is unfair.

    However, are you saying that Scottish pays more in tax that it receives under Barnett? This doesn't mean that Scotland is a net contributor because you have to allocate a proportion of non devolved budgets, some of which are spent in Scotland.

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