The Queen's Speech - Newsnight would like to know what we think of it

(358 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Nov-09 10:15:09

Good morning Mumsnetters,
Newsnight's Michael Crick is coming to visit grin and wants to know about what we all think of the government's plans as to be revealed (but of course already heavily trailed) in the Queen's Speech Today.

Here's a helpful summary from the BBC.

So what are your thoughts please?

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 10:23:56

Good to see clampdown on bankers' bonuses but I'm deeply cynical about whether they are planning something that will have a real effect. Bet there's plenty of wriggle room.

And it's about far more than bonuses anyway. We need to bring the banks into line and make them recognise that 'too big to fail' means they are social goods with a responsibility to the public, not solely private sector enterprises to make money for bankers and shareholders. (And that includes the ones that weren't officially bailed out - none of them would still be standing without public intervention and a massive injection of funds into the market as a whole.)

Home care for elderly - good in theory but again need to see the details. Social care is already being increasingly restricted to those with the most extreme needs leaving everyone else without support - will this make it worse? Will it actually be something that is helpful, or just spin? Is Niall Dixon right that it will just conflict with existing policy?

The Tories are probably right that most of this won't make it onto the statute book anyway, especially as they are planning to hold it all up in the Lords.

CMOTdibbler Wed 18-Nov-09 10:35:39

It's all just hot air and posing isn't it ? The political equivalent of 'my tonker is bigger than your tonker".

I'm all for free social care - but it needs to be high quality, consistent care, not patched together by private companies who are all trying to make money out of it. Social care should be an integrated part of health care, and therefore should be run by teams who cover health and social needs both in the community and in residential settings. With their own OTs, physios etc who can be called on to make rapid changes and treat when necessary.

And not more new school initiatives please !

colditz Wed 18-Nov-09 10:39:15

I've never heard it and not one of my peers has either.

I'm not sure who she thinks she is addressing, but it's not the Great Unwashed because the Great Unwashed aren't listening.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 10:39:30

I have already ROFFLED at the 'right to a good education'. It is totally barking up the wrong tree. Education is never improved by establishing more procedures against which users can give feedback and complain. And making it a legal requirement will simply make it much more difficult to recruit teachers and good headteachers I imagine.

Am I being dim here? In what circumstances is taking a school to court going to improve the education my kid gets?

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 10:41:23

Argh! Thatch is back.


policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 10:43:53

WHere?? <spills tea>

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 10:47:01

I like Mandelson's point that he made in the pre-speech press conference about the Tories objections to this as being a divisive speech were GOOD, in that it shows that there IS a big division here between the two main parties and it is not a matter of voting for the Tories because you are bored of the current government. hmm

I hope that Cameron's banging on about the diviseness of the speech is something that people note - there IS a huge division, particularly over things like elderly care/the Social Care Bill.

I do worry a bit about the promise to halve the budget deficit though - would like to know how that is going to be achieved, exactly, as it's rather a massive plan...

Am NOT impressed with the Tory peers announcement that - hohoho they plan to scupper everything - how arrogant to happily play games by blocking the plans of a democratically elected Government!!

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 10:47:53

Colditz - there's a very funny blog post by Danny Finkelstein (Times) here that pretty much makes that point:

'In Westminster there is fevered discussion of so and so’s prospects given the latest to-ings and fro-ings. Out there? Recently the Times pollster Andrew Cooper, of Populus, asked a group to name another prominent Tory apart from David Cameron. “Ed Balls,” replied someone. “Yes, and his brother, Ed Miliband,” said another.

A group in Nottingham were probed on Michael Howard’s Jewishness. Did it matter? When asked if they could recall any Jews in British public life there was a long silence. Then came one confident reply: “Whoopi Goldberg.” '

PerArduaAdNauseum Wed 18-Nov-09 10:48:07

"Bribery Bill - make it offence to bribe foreign officials and for business to fail to prevent bribery". Nice idea, not sure how it will work in practice, but very likely to spike some of the arms traders' marketing plans.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 10:48:35

Oh but I agree that most people pay NO attention to this.

My local MP (who I sort of stalk on Facebook) has been getting loads of furious complaints from people who think that Nick Clegg and Cameron want to BAN THE QUEEN'S CHRISTMAS SPEECH!!!

<falls about laughing>

MmeLindt Wed 18-Nov-09 10:50:09

To dismiss it as a 'political exersize' is a bit off though. It is not as if the Government coudl just say, "Oh, we are going to be voted out next year so we just not bohter. Lizzie, stay at home and have a cup of tea."

Yes, to the banks being held responsible for their actions. I agree wiht Edam that we should review our whole thinking on the banking sector. Who decided that RBS is so big that we cannot allow it to fail? What happens with other big companies who go into receivership? Do we go in an rescue them all? DH's company is having a terrible year due to the crisis caused by the banks. They are getting not one dollar of financial assistance from the US Government. Why should the banks?

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 10:50:17

Lol MP. Harsh.
I'm finding all this mutual kidnapping and pomp vairy buttock-clenching. Like when you have to watch them pretending to wassail at Hampton Court Palace.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 10:51:52

Policing, Crime and Private Security Bill - DNA of more sex offenders added to database

Agree with this one.

Isn't the Equality Bill up, including Positive Action measures? Will look out for that. All for it.

Aubergines Wed 18-Nov-09 10:52:43

Pledge to halve the deficit in four years (Fiscal Responsibility Bill) – I do not agree with this at all. This is going to be a pledge enshrined in legislation and therefore if the target is missed the Government could be sued. That is crazy. Political aspirations have no place in any legal framework. Of course the Government should work to reduce the deficit but I am very much against the new trend for enshrining economic rights in legislation. There are three reasons for this: (1) it carries a great risk that the courts will interfere with political/parliamentary judgments about priority setting (Government must be responsible for economic policy, the courts lack expertise and are not elected); (2) it means one Party trying to hold future Governments to its own aims by enshrining them in legislation and (3) if the target is missed then there will be a long and expensive judicial review process - more public money into the pockets of lawyers.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 10:52:46

They've modernised this year. Jack Straw's going to wear just black tie instead of the full panto dame.

LOL at banning the Queen's xmas broadcast.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:05:29

You can watch it live now, it's quite interesting:

Top tiaras on display, where's Swedes?

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:05:46

THAT was weird. THe QS crashed MN?

"Am NOT impressed with the Tory peers announcement that - hohoho they plan to scupper everything - how arrogant to happily play games by blocking the plans of a democratically elected Government!"

no precisely MP. Particularly since Cameron has been having a go at GB for politicking with this QS

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:07:38

Seriously policywonk, it would be funny it it wasn't so tragic. My local MP got this message posted on his wall: "after yesterdays tv blunder saying the Queens speech is a waste of time???? they just lost pretty much my whole neighbourhoods support aswell as everyone i know at work"

they think it's THE CHRISTMAS SPEECH

seriously, it's a worry....

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:07:55

Pol, Thatch is in the audience, looking all healthy in an ermined robe. God, Dave's gonna roll her out in the election isn't he and we're all going to have to wear garlic round our necks.

MN Crashed: it's all the journos registering to see what the Bellends Bellweatherettes think grin

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:09:19

Is it wrong to snurk every time Black Rod is mentioned?

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:11:06

it's SO wrong and probably illegal

I found myself thinking "Why HAVEN'T Labour got rid of the House of Lords? Wasn't that The Plan?" but then I remember that we DO have Mandelson trilling cheerily about his ermine robes and I'm sort of glad they didn't

Aubergines Wed 18-Nov-09 11:13:31

Would you really want them to get rid of it MP? Not just reform it?

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:16:00

I know it's not really funny MP but can't stop hooting nevertheless.

There is supposed to be a constitutional reform bit in the QS - hereditary aspect of current hereditary peers will die with them.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:16:07

Queenie is looking resplendent.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:16:55

Oh and possibly allowing Lords to resign from HoL (meaning Mandelson cd come back to the commons)

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:16:56

If not a touch Christmassey, that's the spirit Liz.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:17:44

BBC Parliament are covering this in the style of a royal funeral

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:18:15

are we all on BBCNews24
Ive got Speakie on

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:18:22

Oh yes, do let's get rid of hereditary peers once and for all.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:19:03

Mmmm I fancy a turkey sandwich

(Am in favour of reform for HoL, actually.)

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:19:12

BBC Democracy Live online. The commentary is fantastic.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:20:12

yes hereditary full stop is good news I think.
I agree Mandy's silver slippers make it all worth while.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:21:23

Oh yes, News24 more politics and less fashion

gizmo Wed 18-Nov-09 11:22:43

I like my father's idea that hereditary lords be replaced by a national lottery...might give the population a reason to pay attention to politics if they thought 'it could be you'.

Aubergines Wed 18-Nov-09 11:23:38

I love all the pomp. It is so much more interestig than the way most countries announce new legislation. It very much adds to the gaiety of nations.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:23:51

I thought Dejevsky in Indie yesterday about fact that dramatic deficit reduction IS poss without massive social damage was interesting - report from CentreForum

<takes off hat, is stranger>

gizmo Wed 18-Nov-09 11:23:56

Many laughs at MPs MP (hmmm, an MP squared?) and his irate constituents.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:23:58

Oooh I love a bit of pomp and a handsome policeman

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:24:28

love'the gaiety of nations' aub.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:24:53

Couldn't be any worse than current arrangement could it?

Bercow's not wearing silk stockings. Well, not today anyway.

gizmo Wed 18-Nov-09 11:25:06

Of course, what it really lacks is a Malcolm Tucker...

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:25:33

lol 'less fashion' pw.
Though mace was illegal?

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:25:59

<aubergines, did you used to be another vegetable?>

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:27:01

hope no-one emerges from Robing Room with dress tucked into tights..

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:27:03

'You don't see that procession at any other event' - well no Huw. Because it's floridly insane.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:27:13

it is lovely and gay

I was once taken around the houses by Lord Rogers of Quarrybank

I kissed Tony Blair's seat (all true)

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:28:16

Were chambers entered mp?

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:29:23


onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:31:21

Keep expecting Darcy to ride up the centre aisle

Aubergines Wed 18-Nov-09 11:31:40

Maybe PW, just maybe.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:31:58

It's all so blackadder. Did someone just make a joke about expenses? It was the Beast!

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:32:35

What do DC and GB small-talk about as they walk out I wonder?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:32:57

Lots of white men in suits...

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:32:58

God Brown and Cameron HATE each other don't they: you can tell from the body language.

Why haven't the BBC got a professional lipreader on. Or is that a bit too Sky News?

scarletlilybug Wed 18-Nov-09 11:33:19

"how arrogant to happily play games by blocking the plans of a democratically elected Government!"

Since when did Peter Mandelson = democratically elected government?

In any case, it has always been the case that the House of Lords has had the power to challenge and revise legislation originating in the commons.

In any case, much of the criticism of the contents of this QS is that it contains much policy which is highly unlikely ever to make it onto the statute books, given the proximity of the next General Election. In other words, it's all just wishful thinking and electioneering.

I don't think it's right that it should be like this - but, to be fair, I doubt the Conservatives would have turned the opportunity for a bit of propaganda, had the boot been on the other foot.

Some very quick thoughts about the contents - move to curb Bankers bonuses is blatant populism. Let's blame the bankers for the mess we're in and conveniently forget that it was Brown's failure to regulate the banks properly which led to the almighty mess we're in.

How on earth do they plan to halve the budget deficit within 4 years, whilst keeping on with the "investments" that GB is always banging on about?

How are they going to pay for free social care for the most needy pensioners?

As for school report cards - aren't they simply going to be replacing one set of eague tabvles with another? But whereas the existing ones focus on academic results, the new ones will also be about pastoral care and wellbeing.... no doubt leading to yet more lowering of educational standards. I wish schools could just get on with educating children, rather than trying to be surrogate parents and social workers.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:33:27

I think DC was ignoring poor old Gordon, who looked like he was trying to make Polite Conversation

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Nov-09 11:33:41

Neil from Newsnight is coming on to ask a few questions shortly.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:34:02

Queen looks a bit tired, old and poorly. Will I cause a constitutional crisis saying that?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:34:03

It's all heightist, fascists!

Bramshott Wed 18-Nov-09 11:35:28

Frankly I am struggling to summon the energy to care blush. Can't we just have the election and get it over with [sigh]?!

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:35:35

Liz sounds like she's had a cold.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:35:47


"move to curb Bankers bonuses is blatant populism. Let's blame the bankers for the mess we're in and conveniently forget that it was Brown's failure to regulate the banks properly which led to the almighty mess we're in."

er. Wot?

'Brown failed to regulate the banks properly, so now let's not regulate the, um, banks?'

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:36:33

I bet she's looking forward to her trip to Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago!

gizmo Wed 18-Nov-09 11:37:02

Must say I'm not keen on any more fucking about with tweaks on the school system. If I were a teacher I'd be praying for just a couple of years without a major government initiative, tbh.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:37:59

Are we going to be fined if our kids play up?

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:38:11

Give that woman a Locket

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:38:25

What's the digital communication stuff all about?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:38:46

Totally, she sounds poorly.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:39:07

Equality Bill and pay audits, spot on.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:39:10

Yay to closing the gender pay gap!

How, though, exactly?

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:39:24

ooh agency staff thing unexpected>

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:39:24

Good stuff on agency staff.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:39:38

She looks uncomfy and a bit under the weather doesn't she? It feels a bit bad to make her do all this work. She probably wants to book herself into an old people's home and just sit down and drink tea for the rest of her life...

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:39:55

Pay audits Wilf.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:40:20

Lenin: committment to rolling out broadband

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:40:22

DC has scrubbed up nicely (unfortunately).

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:40:53

Equality bill is carried over from last session - think it's the one that will require firms to publish data on their own gender pay gap

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:40:56

"Estimates for the Public Services will be..."

...much less than you could possibly imagine.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:40:58

banning cluster bombs

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:41:29

Ah. OK. Yes. I assumed that was already policy?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:41:29

Cute page boys! How did they get this gig?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:41:47

Well done Liz, go and have a hot toddy.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 11:41:53

OOh, the 0.7% GDP on international development aid is still there - people thought that was going to be dropped. Hurrah!

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:42:13

No the pay audits are coming in soon I think.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:42:22

Where do the small boys come from? And why?

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:42:34

Not much been done practically on the pay-gap audits etc. yet. Except in Leeds, but now no one can get rid of their rubbish (think we discussed that before...)

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:43:10

Oh I see. To hold the train. Why she couldn't just have a smaller one though. grin

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:43:10

Thought there was going to be surprise announcmenet on youth unemployment?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:44:35

All good stuff imo. Let's hope they get as much through as possible without the Lord's sitting on stuff for weeks on end. I agree there needs to be checks and balances but don't like the make up of the current system. Hereditary absolutely has to end.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:44:50

All this pomp and nonsense is so much more thrilling than the crap wonderful Level 1 essays I am currently marking <sigh>. Who'd have thought?

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:45:01

0.7% Int Dev good eh?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:45:29

DC looks like an arrogant tosser not talking to GB. Maybe he's nervous - has he been through the procedure before. GB came across well, agree he was told to look jolly and it worked.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 11:48:20

Nick Robinson said that GB had been briefed to be cheery and smiley. He was probably saying "... and THEN I bought the Foxes Selection Pack!" and David Cameron was thinking hmm

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:49:08

Lol! Probably...

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:49:43

Crikey, everyone thinks the Queen looks poorly (on Twitter etc).

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:49:45

Back track on blocking in Lords?
Anyone know any detail on funding Social Care through reduction in disability benefits?

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:50:37

which was nicely spun by thingy on News24

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:51:04

Dreadful response by Labour woman...waffle, waffle, waffle.

The Queen is having a little fiddle with it, Huw, honestly!

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 11:51:28

fiddling with her purse? Good grief/

scarletlilybug Wed 18-Nov-09 11:51:58

'Brown failed to regulate the banks properly, so now let's not regulate the, um, banks?'

That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that going on about bankers bonuses is a good way for GB to deflect attention from the fact that he was one of the primary architects of the banking crisis.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:52:18

Yes Tory bloke bit overenthusiastic in his backtracking but he made a valid-ish point. I'd argue there is money for both initiatives if we chose to prioritise them.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:54:18

Queen's health will prob get a mention on the main news tonight. Whichever bit she croaked the most on will get shown.

Newsnight Wed 18-Nov-09 11:55:02

Hello - It's Newsnight here

What did you make of the Queen's
Speech ?????

We're interested in the idea that it is the people who use this site that the politicians of all parties are targeting at the next election? Are they right to think you're swing voters? Have you decided who you'll vote for yet?
Do you think it is crucial that Labour or the Conservatives make families and child care central at the next election?
Does this Queen's speech seem very political to you? Are you convinced by the Conservative Party?

If you fancy responding to any or all of these questions, we'd be very grateful.

Thanks for taking part in this with us - it's very useful feedback for our report which will be on Newsnight tonight at 10:30

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:55:05

Look, sell that crown and fund some care home places. Simples.

cakeywakey Wed 18-Nov-09 11:55:13

I'm gald to hear that local authorities will be given the lead responsibility for managing the risk of future flooding - makes sense to have this work done locally where people know the lay of the land and problem areas an can react quickly.

BUT - will there be fair and sufficient funding for it? This government is very fond of bringing in whizzy new ideas, or devolving responsibilities down, but not backing it up with the cash. Will councils have to cut money from other budgets to pay for it?

manfrom Wed 18-Nov-09 11:55:13

isn't it all basically a bit too late to have 15 new bills? I mean, there has to be an election by June so how would they all go through parliament in that time?

Or am I just being naive?

I think maybe they could have had the pre-budget report a bit earlier so we could find out just how dire/dreadful the economy is...

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:55:25

Is it treasonous to point out that Crown might chip away a bit at the budget deficit? We all know the ones in the Tower are paste. American tourists would be none the wiser.

SleepCountSheep Wed 18-Nov-09 11:55:36

Gordon Brown was nearly sleeping......

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:56:22

Lenin, we are of ONE mind grin. Except that you are quicker than me.

It's like we're in some scary socialist Borg commonwealth or summat.

Kathyis12feethighandbites Wed 18-Nov-09 11:56:59

Oh I'm sure they cashed in the real one years ago Wilf.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 11:58:49

I'm not a swing voter. I would NEVER vote Tory in a million years. But I think that's probably fairly clear grin

No reason not to tantalise and poke them though. A govt gets the opposition it deserves. The Labour party need to sharpen up.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:59:38

If you believe the movers and the shakers and the MN poll on the undecideds on here we could very well have an influence. Women discuss their voting habits with others and influence each other is the theory.

I'm not just interested in parent and children issues. Social equality issues exercise me as much which includes promoting the interests of less powerful groups of which we and kids are I think.

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 11:59:39

Have no idea whether the idea that we are all the 2010 version of 'Worcester Woman' is true. I am a swing voter despite my family having a long history of activism in one particular party. But I live in a very safe seat indeed so my vote will have little impact, tbh.

Families and childcare will have a big part to play at the election, I'd have thought. Are parents a key group of swing voters in marginals, do you think? (Marginals as in likely to be decisive in this particular election.)

I'd like to see the next government, of whatever complexion, being less bossy about families who are doing OK. Fine, fund Dundee and Family Nurse Partnerships for people who are struggling, but stop all the nanny state stuff for people who are perfectly capable of making their own decisions, thanks very much.

playdoughfree Wed 18-Nov-09 11:59:46

Hi Newsnight!

(have they offered you a biscuit yet at MNHQ?)

Yes, I DO think families and childcare should be central to the next election - and about time!

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 12:02:29

Sorry Newsnight but you need better questions shockgrin

"Do you think it is crucial that Labour or the Conservatives make families and child care central at the next election?"

Labour OR Conservatives? Or AND?

Of course the answer is yes. These are very important issues. But contrary to journalistic popular opinion, mothers do have brains and principles too. Read the thread. Gender pay gap, climate change, international development, constitutional reform: it's all there


JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Nov-09 12:03:08

They brought their own biscuits - Hobnobs, Rich Tea and Digestives!

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 12:03:28

Oh, agree with Lenin that my decision will be about far more than 'family' issues such as childcare vouchers. Social equality, sorting out the banks, civil liberties are far more important IMO (although DNA and other databases are also family issues - I have no wish to see ds when he's a teenager put on a bloody register if he gets thumped by some other teenagers).

Would also like to see a party that will address the democratic deficit in the EU - not just grandstanding about the EU but actually making parliament scrutinise EU directives just as it considers UK law (and do something about the lack of financial controls at EU level, too).

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 12:04:55

I think parents and work will be a big issue. More flexibility, equal pay and sabbatical systems would benefit all. Why the dragging of feet over this, get on with it, it's 2009 in an extremely prosperous country fgs!

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 12:05:33

Hello Neil
Personally NOT a swing voter, but my feeling is that many are.

As for families and schools being crucial, I think most swing voters are in the parenting demo aren't they? Both Cs and L have big beady eyes on us and bloody sensible on both parties parts I think.
Personally, schools v important. Not convinced by Tories' opt-out schooling - think many will be left behind to rot. But equally not sure that Lab's populist idea of annual parental surveys is actually useful.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 12:05:49

And sort out electoral reform and electronic voting. The participation rates are shocking.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 12:06:16

Hello Newsnight

I'm broadly in favour of what the gvt's proposing (but then I am a lefty, and only a swing voter in that I'm not sure whether to go Labour or Green in my rock-solid Tory seat). I like Miliband's energy proposals, I like the constitutional reform stuff (tho there should be a PR referendum). Agree with the financial services stuff - GB should have done it all ten years ago of course, but better late than never. Will be interesting to see whether Cameron wants the Tories to vote against those provisions.

I think it's fair enough for Gordon to try to create clear red water between him and the Tories - whining about the QS being 'political' is plain weird I think.

I'm not personally at all bothered by all the families and child care stuff, but suspect I am alone in that on here grin

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 12:06:52

Yeah, but it's not voting methods that mean people don't bother. It's disillusionment. Tinkering around with new ways to vote just opens up vast opportunities for fraud.

CMOTdibbler Wed 18-Nov-09 12:07:11

Hello Newsnight smile I might just watch you tonight if you promise to mention some MN names..

What did you make of the Queen's
Speech ????? Well, the fact that it's leaked all over the place ahead of time makes it a bit of an anticlimax

We're interested in the idea that it is the people who use this site that the politicians of all parties are targeting at the next election? Are they right to think you're swing voters? Have you decided who you'll vote for yet?

I'm a swing voter in that I'll vote labour or lib dem depending on who might win against the conservatives in my area. Would take an awfully good performance on here by DC tomorrow to change that view !

Do you think it is crucial that Labour or the Conservatives make families and child care central at the next election?
No. Amazingly, my status as a parent doesn't mean that it is the only thing, or indeed the main thing, that concerns me.

gizmo Wed 18-Nov-09 12:08:10

See the thing, all of this stuff - gender pay gap, energy issues, constitutional reform, overseas development, the whole kit and caboodle - it affects families. Some issues have more impact over a shorter timeframe, sure. But I can't imagine a more fundamental issue for my children and my future than keeping the planet viable and the lights turned on. Or making sure that other nations develop into fully functioning and participative members of the world community.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 12:08:27

Look, this is a proper bellweather thread I think This kind of thing demonstrates why MN is important in political discussion. No-one does watch/read the Queen's Speech, but that doesn't mean 'ordinary' people don't engage with political 'climate' in an everyday sense: they know what they think etc..

The piece by Turner really focused my mind, not because of what she said, but the massive response in support of her position. Shaping the opinions around the rejection of a populist notion of the 'culture of entitlement' convinces me, depressingly, that the Tories will win.

As ever, it isn't about policies; it's about ideologies.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 12:09:55

Generally, I like the fact it was short and to the point with no soundbites. Policitians' speechwriters should be forced to always adopt this style.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 12:10:02

Oh, and what REALLY gets people going on here - and something that politicans of all parties should pay attention to if they really want the MN vote - is special needs provision. Which doesn't seem to feature in the Queen's Speech at all, but is a huge concern on here.

Lots of parents of/carers for children with special needs on Mumsnet, and those of us who don't have any direct experience of it have had our eyes opened by the experiences of those who have.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 12:10:23

And therefore, what the LP need to do is to engage voters on policies that pick on emotional climate. I think the justification of empathy is an important ideological position but I suspect that moment has passed for many as they feel the heat of competition for resources.

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 12:10:52

Tories would have to do an awful lot to convince me all their fine words in opposition won't be instantly forgotten once they are in power. It's clear they are in bed with Murdoch (junior) and already rowing back on crown jewels sports thing. Not that I give a toss about sport on TV, but an indication of the way the wind is blowing - and very worrying wrt the future of the Beeb, which given the way the newspaper industry is going will be increasingly important in terms of funding decent journalism.

Tory front bench are a bunch of elite ex-public school boys. How on earth can they convince the electorate that they have a clue what our lives are like? Especially as they don't seem to think they have any women or any ordinary comp-educated people with enough talent to be on the front benches?

cakeywakey Wed 18-Nov-09 12:11:10

Hello Newnight,

I certainly won't be voting for the shower that are in at the moment, but am yet to be convinced by the Tories. And can we hear a bit more from the Lib Dems please? Come on guys, speak up a bit!

On the issue of making families and child care central at the next election - is it crucial? No, I don't think it is. It's very important, but no more so than the economy, care of elderly people and climate change. All of these issues are interlinked, I don't see that families are more 'crucial' than any of these others.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 12:11:15

Beyond my personal interest in schools - child poverty, social mobility v important. Looks like the child poverty targets will be legally binding so future govt will be boxed in - good.

Re too political? Not for me, I think a line in the sand is a very good idea (but am biased). I don't want any muddiness come the GE, any perception that they're all much of a muchness and 'it's someone else's turn'. They're not much of a muchness AT ALL.

MmeLindt Wed 18-Nov-09 12:11:17

Hello Newsnight.

I am not a voter at all, due to the fact that I live in Switzerland but if I were then I would not reduce the deciding issues to those affecting parents.

I am not 'just a mum' so would not vote with only my Mum hat on.

The issues that are important to me are varied and so I would look to see which party is closest to my political viewpoint.

gizmo Wed 18-Nov-09 12:12:12

Quite right Wilf.

Newsnight, what you've got here is a small and self selecting group of policy geeks (sorry ladies) - the type of people who read manifestos and white papers. Not exactly representative. However, there are frequently threads about the impact of politics on people's lives which are much more revealing about the way they decide how to vote.

tattycoram Wed 18-Nov-09 12:12:42

This focus group mumsnet thingy thing is all a bit odd. Newsnight, No, I don't think that people on mumsnet are more likely to swing voters than anyone else. Why would we be? We are just people who happen to have children.

I'm not as concerned about extra funding for childcare as I am about funding for long term care for the elderly but that's because I have frail in-laws. So of course ones priorities are determined by circumstances to some extent.

Hell will freeze over before I am convinced by David Cameron.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 12:13:02

Jowell is awful. It's all about how shit things are and how they're going to crack down blah blah.

We want plans for good news. Positive human endeavour. Perhaps they have run out of ideas.

Still won't vote for Dave though.

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 12:13:06

Wilfsell is right, although I wouldn't have picked that particular thread out. There is a lot of political discussion on here but not labelled 'Queen's Speech', it's in our everyday conversations about all sorts of other stuff.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 12:13:11

What onebat said.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 12:14:35

> We're interested in the idea that it is the people who use this site that the
> politicians of all parties are targeting at the next election? Are they right to
> think you're swing voters?

On a site like this it tends to be the non-swing-voters that make all the noise. When it comes to matters of internet argument, half the fun is interacting with people who are VERY opinionated and watching people argue like a dog with a bone. Bear in mind that at home, most of us only argue about who-dolly-belongs-to, then a bit of argy-bargy on here is fun and stimulating. There probably are a lot of swing voters who enjoy watching arguments on here and use them to make up their own minds about issues of the day.

> Have you decided who you'll vote for yet?

Personally I'll vote for anything to keep the Tories out, because their policies will inevitably be bad for families, for the elderly, and for the vulnerable in society. The Tories have never been about fairness and they never will be.

Initiatives such as tax credits make the difference for lots of working mums as to whether it's worth going out to work at all (bear in mind that if you have pre-school children, you will need to be earning £24k pro rata just to pay the nursery fees).

And projects such as Sure Start - which have come into a huge amount of criticism - do excellent work in my local area, bringing in mums who are living in a lot of social and economic isolation and giving them access to professionals that they would not otherwise have. I've seen young mums start cooking sessions with their toddlers and they don't notice when their children go off to play - the mums are too busy making pizzas or learning about how they can make bread at home. It's such a great opportunity but it is likely to come to an end because it is virtually impossible to qualitatively measure the success of that sort of initiative.

Personally I'm also very concerned about the future of the third sector - charities are going to be massively hit by spending cuts in the next few years, and I'm sure those will accelerate under the Tories. Labour have been brilliant at funding the voluntary sector but it is drying up now that grant-making bodies are losing income due to the economic downturn. Charities are a huge opportunity for working women because they often offer part-time and flexible hours.

As a post-script, I know that financially, it is probably inevitable that every family is going to be worse off to the tune of thousands of pounds in a couple of years, and that would be easier to accept if Labour had taken more steps to cut tax loopholes for large companies so we could see that it wasn't just us suffering...!

Sorry that's all a bit rambly... good luck with your report!

tattycoram Wed 18-Nov-09 12:14:35

Bloody hell Nick Robinson let his political allegiance slip somewhat there on News 24 I thought "look in their eyes and ask who you want leading the country at the next election - Gordon Brown again, (pause) or David Cameron".

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 12:20:16

I think what is interesting about Mumsnet as a focus group (and I know a lot of MNers hate being thought of as a focus group) is the political split revealed by the census results: 17 per cent Labour, 16 per cent Cons, 16 per cent LibDem, 11 per cent Green (this is from memory) and everyone else not telling/undecided/mad UKIP

It's a much more even split than in the country at large, and much more to the left I suspect, and much more support for smaller leftish parties.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 12:20:30

Beginnings of a list of Things I'm worried about come the Cameron revolution:
the BBC
Failing schools without cohort of middle class parents to whoosh their kids up into a little church hall and get back to basics.
Third sector taking the place of govt bodies with, you know, money.

Hm, Newsnight, you might want to do a crash course on putting questions clearly.

So basically the NN hook is that sites like MN are prime targets for politicians to engage with because the majority of us on here are swing voters? That can't be right, surely? Did the Times not say that on 37% of us are undecided (admittedly that is a large proportion, but not the majority? oh and btw, MNHQ did I miss the Who Will You Vote for Thread that must have been based on?)

Do you mean that sites like MN have become important because it is possible to address a wide range of political opinion at the same time? And so possible to lure the undecided to your side?

And what do you mean it is crucial to make families and child care central at the next election? Do you mean should they stuff their manifestos pull of family and child friendly policies and initiatives because they have little else to offer? Or that it is only families and parents who are going to be bothered to engage actively in the election, so they might as well focus on them?

As for being convinced by the Conservatives, what do you mean? Am I convinced they are a bunch of idiots/the saviours of the country? Did you mean that are we convinced that they are capable of running the country?

Of course they are capable of it (that's the point of the civil service, after all, the hand hold all the newbies) but to answer your question, I suppose I think that they are still entrenched in opposition politics, and have no coherent vision of how they would change the systems holistically for a better future.

As for does the Queen's speech being political, of course it is, she is just delivering the government's wish list, as she has always done. That's what its for.

What did you make of the Queen's
Speech ?


We're interested in the idea that it is the people who use this site that the politicians of all parties are targeting at the next election? Are they right to think you're swing voters?

From what most people talk about on here, I'd say that's very much the case. You get the odd staunch Conservative or Labour voice, but in the main chatters on here are centralist (maybe slightly to the left), and waiting to be impressed by the policies of one or other of the parties.

Have you decided who you'll vote for yet?

Yes - it was never in doubt who I would vote for.

Do you think it is crucial that Labour or the Conservatives make families and child care central at the next election?

I think if policy is allowed to come into an election that is mainly going to be overshadowed by the economy and recent events in Westminster, welfare and family policy will be a key consideration. It has always been something Labour feel comfortable fighting on, but given the work Iain Duncan-Smith has been doing with the Centre for Social Justice, I think the Tories will feel happy talking about it too.

Does this Queen's speech seem very political to you?


Are you convinced by the Conservative Party?


onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 12:24:40

Yes PW and tattycoram sure I saw something which said that the greatest number of swingers (arf) are parents in the 25-45 age group.

Also there's a perception that parents can be 'got' with directed policy. They are more selfish (in the sense that they vote according to the outcome for them, and less on principle), are often edging right - partic amongst liberal middle class.

Aubergines Wed 18-Nov-09 12:26:35

Hi NN,

I do not think it was a particularly political Speech. As somebody said earlier the Government had to announce new legislation, they had no choice. As it is they announced very little that was new. Half those measures are in Bills already. The measures don’t seem particularly populist to me. A couple are, others are necessary (flood management, file sharing legislation etc). I think legislating to cut the national debt is the prime example of a populist move and a terrible idea to boot (see my earlier e-mail).

I think education must be central to any Party’s election strategy. Education, education, education. It is key and is a prime concern for all parents and hopefully all citizens. However I am far from sure the measures in this Speech are enough to convince me that there will be any changes for the better, it sounds like further bureaucracy to me. I want simple, targeted changes like: flexibility for summer borns in when they start school, an end to schools discriminating on the grounds of education, an end to needless testing and most importantly MORE MONEY FOR SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS. Neither of the other Parties have convinced me of the validity of their education plans either. In fact I would struggle to say what the other Parties’ policies are on education. Maybe Cameron can clarify that when he does his next chat.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 12:27:30

I think none of the parties are really dealing properly yet with inequality and lack of aspiration. As the recent threads on the BNP show, the failure of the metropolitan elites to really address issues facing diverse and less diverse communities is creating a vacuum which fascists are filling.

It is NOT about migration or immigration, it is about providing respect for self and others through work and education. But more than this, I think work needs to be done in communities on identity, belonging and neighbourliness. The real issue is the sense of 'not belonging' that leads to disaffection. I can recommend an extensive reading list to any politician who wishes to do a PhD with me do more than have a knee-jerk response. grin

domesticextremist Wed 18-Nov-09 12:27:39

Agree with your list of things to worry about under the Tories onebat and would like to add the NHS as well [shudders].

Aubergines Wed 18-Nov-09 12:29:16

And I am afraid I totally disagree with OneBat that binding child poverty targets are a good thing.

I repeat from below: pledges enshrined in legislation are a bad idea. There are three reasons for this: (1) it carries a great risk that the courts will interfere with political/parliamentary judgments about priority setting (Government must be responsible for economic policy, the courts lack expertise and are not elected); (2) it means one Party trying to hold future Governments to its own aims by enshrining them in legislation and (3) if the target is missed then there will be a long and expensive judicial review process - more public money into the pockets of lawyers.

Ewe Wed 18-Nov-09 12:30:38

I am a swing voter and have yet to decide who I will be voting for - not convinced by the tories, but not convinced by anyone else either at this stage. For me, the family and childcare policies along with fiscal policy will decide who I vote for but as I say, there is nothing overwhelming me either way at the moment.

If the tories outlined what they are actually going to do with tax credits that would go a long way to help me decide whether or not to vote for them. That is a big stumbling block for me at the moment and I found all of the tory reform documents so vague they may as well have not even existed.

I think the reason that politicians are targeting this site is because of the equal split between supporters of the three main parties, assume you've seen the census?

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 12:31:33

We need a few famous MN rightwhingers here for balance.

Where is SomeGuy? smallwhitecat? Even <cough> daftpunk grin

domesticextremist Wed 18-Nov-09 12:39:20

I could also add the Tories stance on Europe to my list of worries making how I feel about the next election:

Tax credits - need to stay.

Surestart, the NHS, the BBC and the Royal Mail left alone.

Primary school rankings/SATs plainly barking and divisive - get rid.

Europe - needs to be engaged with properly.

Taxes - need to be targeted at the rich/big business, tax avoidance needs to be stopped.

Flexible working - needs to be men as well as women if we are to get anywhere at all.

We need more council housing and a proper policy on immigration that leaves no room for the BNP.

I would vote for the Tories if they promised all these things...

colditz Wed 18-Nov-09 12:47:17

My opinion hasn't actually been swayed by anything locally. I have seen no party political broadcasts. I have met no MPs, and have had no leaflets. The only conclusions I can form is that my vote does not matter.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 12:47:48

Aubergine, I take your point. In this instance was hoping that the T's would be nudged into signing up before that point though.
Hmm. I am also slightly going lalala to the argument around whether targets encourage a focus on those who hover around the target, at the expense of those even further in pov.

scarletlilybug Wed 18-Nov-09 12:49:34

Notwithstanding the results of the MN poll suggesting a fairly even split between Labour and Conservative voters, I think any threads dealing with politics and current affairs on this sirte tend to be dominated by those of a laftish persuasion. Maybe they're just a bit more vocal here.

As a mother, I don't see "family and children" issues as a primary concern dictating my voting intentions in the next election. I'm interested in education, sure, but less so in paremtal leave and childcare. I'm afraid every time I see new initiatives in those areas my first thought tends to be "how much will all that cost?". What I am interested in is the economy, civil liberties, Europe (still fuming about GB sloping into a back room to sign the Lisbon Treaty), immigration, pensions, crime, poverty, social mobility and welfare dependency.

I'm far from convinced by the policies put forward by either of the main parties regarding any of these issues. I am, however, 90% certain to vote Conservative at the next election in view of GB's terrible economic management, and the fact that I haven't yet noticed any improvement in any of those policy areas during the last 12 years. So, for me, it's picking what I see as the lesser of two evils, rather than a positive vote in one direction. I suspect many voters feel the same way, regardless of who thay finally decide to vote for.

scarletlilybug Wed 18-Nov-09 12:51:27

Sorry about the types above! blush

(Note to self: Must preview next time before posting.)

scarletlilybug Wed 18-Nov-09 12:54:50

Typos blush blush

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 12:55:55

I'd be interested to hear what the C's propose wrt childcare tax relief. Maybe tomorrow?

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 12:58:22

colditz - if you're not a swing voter in a marginal, the truth (at one level anyway) is that your vote doesn't matter.

Yes, I agree, the tax WFTC and CTC are vital to so many of us being able to remain in the workforce. If it is removed, then it will be back to being on the dole for many. Not a good outcome, surely?

cakeywakey Wed 18-Nov-09 13:00:58

I'd like to echo Colditz that she hasn't seen any local MPs or had any local info.

Yes, MPS and canvassers are probably going to get flack on expenses but that's tough.

Rather than just wait for the General Election, I'd like to see my local politicians out and about more locally - and trying to keep in touch with me - on a more regular basis.

manfrom Wed 18-Nov-09 13:01:19

To be brutally honest the tories have the next election in the bag anyway. The whole debate strikes me as somewhat of an irrelevance given that the only question remaining is the size of their majority, and that will be decided by a selection of marginals across england.

Unless you're one of the lucky ones who lives in, say, Harrow East, Redditch, Gloucester or Sefton, Gordon and his chums couldn't give a toss about you.

The Labour party are currently engaged in a scorched earth policy to make life as difficult as possible for Cameron and co after the election. By enshrining targets in law, they can tie the Tories up in knots in court and point to their callous lack of consideration when unrealistic targets are met.

The whole thing is a sickening display of short-termist politicking and makes a total mockery of Labour's pretensions to be the party of social justice. The sooner these cretins get thrown out, the better.

colditz Wed 18-Nov-09 13:02:41

I hope whoever gets in does not remove tax credits. If they do I will turn against them in the next vote, and will actually get off my arse to vote them out.

I'm yet to be convinced of any of the parties being effective enough to be worth voting in, TBH.

justabouttoturn35 Wed 18-Nov-09 13:06:57

To answer onebatmother's point. I think that parents of young children are deffo more selfish than others - particularly around childcare, tax credits, child benefit etc.

I think what happens is that almost everyone who has a child finds that life is much more expensive and that income has to go an awful lot further suddenly, so the counting pennies becomes very important, and you REALLY NOTICE what a tax credit or the lack of it will do to your finances, whereas as a working couple or single person it didn't make THAT much diference.

I'm with Colditz, inasmuch that the abolition of tax credits is an absolute vote loser, and they need to get their act together about what they will replace it with pdq.

Ewe Wed 18-Nov-09 13:12:19

I'm not entirely convinced that they do have the election in the bag. Granted, it's likely that they will get in but I think there are still an awful lot of people out there can't/won't allow themselves to vote Tory.

I think whether or not young(er) people get out and vote will be quite key.

FlorenceandtheWashingMachine Wed 18-Nov-09 13:16:15

Are they right to think you're swing voters?
I am, but only between Labour and the Lib Dems. I live in a Tory heartland and a Labour vote may well be a wasted one.

Have you decided who you'll vote for yet?

Do you think it is crucial that Labour or the Conservatives make families and child care central at the next election?
No. I am insulted if anyone imagines that I care more about free nursery places than foreign policy or the NHS. I do think that Labour need to get the message out on how much things have moved forward regarding families and child care under Labour rule. They are failing in that and I think that we have forgotten just how bad things used to be.

Does this Queen's speech seem very political to you?
Highly. Buying votes (but who can blame them...) Where is the funding coming from?

Are you convinced by the Conservative Party?
No. Cameron has charisma, charm and can sound convincing, but I don't see any depth. Also, I remember the last time the Tories were in power (disastrous for the region I grew up in) and I have seen nothing that proves that the party as a whole has changed.

Thanks for asking, Newsnight!

colditz Wed 18-Nov-09 13:25:22

My generation of working poor very clearly remember leaving school to work for £1.51 per hour. That's £60 a week for a full time job.

This was 1996, by the way, not the 1960s. There was no minimum wage. Employers had young people by the bollocks, as far as wages were concerned.

Then suddenly, there was a minimum wage, practically as soon as labour got into power. Suddenly, there seemed to be a point in getting a job! Small businesses hissed and bitched that it would put them out of business, and they would have to sack everyone, but this not in fact happen. They were simply forced to pay a dignified wage. Until they were forced to, many wouldn't and didn't.

It was the Labour government, it was Tony Blair, who forced this change. It was the Labour government who yanks many of my peers out of unlivable slave wages, into the land of feeling like a human being who is paid for labour rather than a donkey who is fed for donkey work.

And my peers remember that. That's why they 'seem' to have a block about voting for the Conservatives - the Conservatives were quite happily leaving us to fucking starve! They didn't give a CRAP about us.

And we are scared of the same thing happening again if the Conservatives get in. We are still mostly working poor, but now we have families and houses to run. Are the Conservatives going to pop the lifeboat Labour gave us in the form of the minimum wage and tax credits? They were happy to see us sink before, what would stop them this time?

FlorenceandtheWashingMachine Wed 18-Nov-09 13:26:49

Well said, Colditz.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 13:29:13

Actually, it has just struck me that this thread should be/should have been stickied as a Chat thread...

Most of us ranters regular posters on these matters will pick it up, but presumably lots of people (who are the real swing voters) will have hidden the politics topics from Active Convos and/or will never venture in the Topic heading?

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 13:33:09

ye-es good point wilf..

GentleOtter Wed 18-Nov-09 13:33:51

Re Flood & Water Management and giving councils more power for said management - this is a real bugbear and the councils already have the power yet through sheer laziness mismanagement people are subjected to enormous upheaval and distress. What would it take to coax the council workers out of their warm vans and attempt to unblock drains etc?
Sorry but the jaded old 'climate change' excuse is a bit tired now.

(Sorry- in the middle of entertaining toddler with hand paints and glitter....)

Hassled Wed 18-Nov-09 13:36:03

Are they right to think you're swing voters? Have you decided who you'll vote for yet?

I don't know how the MN census stats compare to the national average for swing voters so impossible to say how critical "internet mums" are to Lab, Con or Lib Dems. My experience of MN is that people have very strong views one way or the other - not necessarily well-informed, but strongly felt.

Do you think it is crucial that Labour or the Conservatives make families and child care central at the next election?

I'd struggle to say that childcare issues are more important than healthcare issues, or banking issues, or national security issues. Yes, childcare and family strategies warrant serious consideration by all the parties, but the job of Government is to look at the big picture. If I were a swing voter, I'd look at the competency in dealing with all issues, rather than just those that directly affect my day to day life. I think most people would.

Does this Queen's speech seem very political to you?
Well yes. Isn't that the point?
Are you convinced by the Conservative Party? No.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 13:37:19

Colditz <wells up>

LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 13:38:10

I just wish someone would get rid of the Queen, the old hag. And we wonder why we have such inequality in this country, when we have an apparent acceptance of an entire family of freeloaders of the highest proportions. Join to politically oust the arseholes here:

On the politics - yes - way too political - she should not be even here, never mind trying to influence politics - God help us should jug ears ever get in, with his arrogant and short sighted views.

I am not a swing voter either - anything to keep the toffs out, which currently would be someone who is honest and himself (GB) despite everyone trying to tell me in the media that he is an animal of some kind.

A question for Newsnight - why do you never discuss how the media control news and agendas - indeed why would you not discuss rumours that Cameron has done a deal with Murdoch? Why won't you ask him? Why won't anyone criticise Murdoch?? He is just an old narcissistic alcoholic after all.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 13:38:20

well said Colditz

<scoffing secret biscuits after serving up a gluten-free lunch to granny>

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 13:39:51

<gluten-free lunch to granny> oatcakes and marge again? The poor wee dear.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 13:40:38

Ladyblablah grin

But is that libellous <sweats> about Murdoch?

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 13:42:55

But <frowns> LadyB, you do know she only reads out what the govt give her, right? Because <overly loud and eager laugh> a MNer could never mistake the State opening of parliament, for the Xmas speech. Oh no. That would never happen, us being political bellweathers and all.

LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 13:44:02

Well, if it is I would enjoy the court case.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 13:45:17

Do you know, I'm so thick that I've never heard the phrase bellweather before. Is that a terrible admission?

I'm going to have to Google it.

<No, you numpty, oatcakes have OATS in which will make Granny melt. Don't try them. She subsists on rice and lettuce and glasses of whinge with every meal)

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 13:47:20

We've been spelling it wrong. It's bellwether. According to Dr. Google etc. Wiki say (NB This article is about bellwethers in general):

"A bellwether is any entity in a given arena that serves to create or influence trends or to presage future happenings.

The term is derived from the Middle English bellewether and refers to the practice of placing a bell around the neck of a castrated ram (a wether) leading its flock of sheep. The movements of the flock could be noted by hearing the bell before the flock was in sight."

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 13:47:43

I am a mother but really I feel insulted that any political advisor idiot thinks that I will vote according to who flings the most money at my children.

I want to see our elderly looked after properly by people who can speak the same language as them. It dosent matter where they come from but it is shit that I watch old people struggle to get by because of a carers lack of English language skills.

I would like to see a real debate on immigration. I would like somebody to stand up and sorry, we know you didnt want your lovely little village to turn into a mini Somalia,Poland, Romania, Nigeria etc etc, but this is what we will do to help everyone live TOGETHER.

I would like to know just how, exactly we are going to save our next generation from paying more tax than ever before because of mistakes made by THIS GOVERNMENT and this Prime Minister when he was Chancellor.

I want to see a good education for every child, in EVERY school. Regardless of where it is in the country they live.

I would like to see alot more effort put into renweable energies. Did anyone watch spooks?? I know it is made up TV nonsense but it could be closer to the truth than we like to think!

I want to see less people going to university then maybe we wouldn't have a whole generation of stupid twenty somethings thinking that a 3rd in Media studies guarantees them a 100K job.
Right I have a baby to get out of bed and children to pick up from schoolgrin
Ps I will vote conservative because I would rather die than vote for a government who thinks it is ok to let that power hungry turncoat Mandelson into our lives again.

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 13:49:12

V. good points about other issues beyond family-friendly policies being important - for me personally the NHS is pretty darn near the top of the list but I can't say which party is best on that, unfortunately, as Labour have done an awful lot of mucking about/hidden privatisation as well as putting in the resources needed after decades of starvation.

The money that has been and will continue to be wasted on PFI and independent sector treatment centres is just staggering.

Would also like to see the public sector pay bill at the top brought under control. It is ridiculous that there are so many people paid from our taxes earning more than the flipping prime minister. Let alone those further down the scale - my council has six directors paid well over £100k. Including those who manage failing departments.

Making councils give a toss about their electorate would be a good start. No-one round here ever voted for such inflated pay especially when SS are cutting back support for the elderly - and contracting out work to companies that don't bother to turn up, leaving vulnerable people without anyone to get them up or feed them all weekend.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 13:51:04

There's something strangely comforting in the idea of MN as a horny animal with no bollocks making a noise to lead a herd of docile sheep...

Its the younger Mr Murdoch who has decided to out-do his pa in king-making.

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 13:54:40

I'm sure you mean horned

but as you were

FlorenceandtheWashingMachine Wed 18-Nov-09 13:54:54

They're all a load of numpties. Shall we stage a bloodless coup and introduce the might of Mumsnet to the international poltical arena?

Women (and Uniquiet Dad) of Britain, unite and take over!

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 13:55:27

I don't think her maj is particularly to blame for inequality, tbh - it's the bankers/management consultants/PFI fat cat nouveau riche and some members of the upper middle classes who bother me. With their sense of entitlement and being far more important than anyone else. Your genuine aristocrats aren't too powerful these days and generally have better manners to boot.

Will any party promise to tackle the shocking growth in pay inequality over the past two decades? A chief exec used to be worth X times the average wage in his (and it is usually his) company. That multiple has shot up to something like 40x instead of 20x. (Can't recall exact figures). The bosses award themselves fat pay rises even in years when profitability and performance are down.

See Adam Crozier - the highest paid public employee, who is bitching about workers paid tuppence ha'penny. Sacking him might do an awful lot for industrial relations AND save the Royal Mail a pretty penny as well.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 13:55:58

The idea of Cameron running the country while James Murdock whispers in his ear makes me want to... <strangles cat>

slug Wed 18-Nov-09 13:56:07

Are they right to think you're swing voters?

Have you actually read some of the political threads here?

Have you decided who you'll vote for yet?

My only decision is definitely not Conservative.

Does this Queen's speech seem very political to you?

Given that the queen's speech is an integral part of the parlimentary session, making a fuss about it's existence this time round seems jut blatant electioneering.

I also wish they would just leave schools alone. It may seem like a good vote catcher, an issue parents would be interestedin, but honestly the system has been tinkered with enough. All these changes cost money and take years to embed, just in time for the politicians to introduce another vote fishing tinker.

Are you convinced by the Conservative Party?

You are talking here about a party whose front bench is less than a quarter female, who are predominantly privately educated millionaires, who honestly think there is nothing wrong with expecting the taxpayers to fund the cleaning of their moats, the draining of their tennis courts and the provisional of housing for birds that is, quite frankly, more luxurious than a fair amount of social housing.

How on earth an I supposed to be convinced by these people? How many of them really have an inkling of what life is really worth for the vast majority of the country? Look at how they villify a woman for daring to have an affair yet practically cannonise Alan Clark?

They don't represent me, my friends, my family, my colleagues nor anyone I know. I've yet to be convinced they are anything other than a group of public school boys with a well disguised disgust of women and a secret belief in their divine right to rule.

ZephirineDrouhin Wed 18-Nov-09 13:56:34

Agree with others that "family issues" only form a small portion of the political concerns of parents. We probably have a more pressing interest than most in issues of social and environmental sustainability, given that we are generally more concerned about our children's future than anything else.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 13:56:36

Sorry, I do know how to spell Murdoch, honest...

FlorenceandtheWashingMachine Wed 18-Nov-09 13:57:48

I heart Slug.

lankyalto Wed 18-Nov-09 13:59:15

> We're interested in the idea that it is the people who use this site that the
> politicians of all parties are targeting at the next election? Are they right to
> think you're swing voters?

Why would you think that? Because we're just a bunch of mums who are swayed by whichever politican wears the prettiest tie? We'll vote for anyone who votes our child "prettiest tot on Facebook" or whatever?

I think you seriously need to establish what you want from us and check out the Mumsnet Census so you know what demographic you are dealing with. Sorry to be harsh but why should you fill up your programme with a lot of no doubt biscuit-related sniggery stuff about "what mums think"? I'd like to think that politicians of all parties were targeting their policies at everyone with a vote, actually.

> Have you decided who you'll vote for yet?

I live in a relatively marginal Labour constituency. I know my MP is a man who wants to make a difference to people's lives and he doesn't make bones about making things better for everyone whether they voted for him or not. My grandfather was for 30 years a Tory local councillor who was Sheriff and deputy mayor. Despite his party's politics, many people in his ward voted for him because he got things done for them without any huge political spin. I would like to see all parties agree on a few basic non-political policies which they will all follow, and stuff arsing about being rude and childish to one another in the Houses of Parliament. People are quite rightly put off politics by all that juvenile baying and frankly infantile behaviour.

I will probably vote Labour because I am socialist with a small s by temperament. I do not agree with all the Labour party's policies but their general intention seems to be to suit what I believe in and choose to stand up for.

> Do you think it is crucial that Labour or the Conservatives make families and child care central at the next election?

Again, just because we are mums does not mean we vote according to whoever promises to give our nursery more Duplo.

> Does this Queen's speech seem very political to you?

No I feel sorry for her having to be the mouthpiece every year of things she probably does not believe in. I don't see the point of all this dressing-up and pretence.

> Are you convinced by the Conservative Party?

I would like to think that David Cameron is as sincere as he appears, however I could not vote for him as his party does not stand for the things I believe in.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay!

lankyalto Wed 18-Nov-09 14:00:40

P.S. Slug for President!

GentleOtter Wed 18-Nov-09 14:04:28

Very little if any of it was relevant to Scotland...

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 14:12:43

What's wrong with them all soliciting our opinion? We're a large, opinionated community. They should absolutely all be on here listening to the chatter.

Well said Slug! grin

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 14:15:49

wonder whether Newsnight is also asking other 'internet mums' on places like <gulp> netmums.

Would hate to think ickle fluffy bunnies with tickers will decide the fate of the country!

CiderIUpAndSetIFree Wed 18-Nov-09 14:20:29

Am I a swing voter? I'd probably consider swinging beween labour and lib-dem (ooer). But like many of my demographic (ie anyone who was a student in the 1980s) don't think I'll ever be able to bring myself to vote tory.

Ishoos that are important to me would include initiatives that would make it easier for parents to work from home.

You might consider this a 'parenting' issue, but actually it touches on a lot of other stuff.

Benefits being:

- it's eco-friendly

- massively reduces stress of childcare/school drop-offs and pick-ups, improving health (eg more likely to walk than take car)

- reduces car accidents

- reduces peak time traffic

- parents have more time to engage with their local community (having saved heaps of time which otherwise would be spent commuting)

- engaging with local community increases social cohesion

- engaging with local community affords networking opportunities for those seeking additional work

- less time spend with odious colleagues, thereby reducing stress and NHS bills

Sorted innit.

Netmums Wed 18-Nov-09 14:21:28

We ickle, fluffy bunnies resent that remark, hon, anmd we're mildly cross.

We have the right to decide if that lovely David Cameron with his nice hair gets to be the boss of us.

<<<<Hugs>>> to Paxo.

CiderIUpAndSetIFree Wed 18-Nov-09 14:23:10

Actually scrub 'parents to work from home' - that should read 'employees to work from home'. Not just a parent issue at all.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 14:27:18

I'm liking CiderIUp. On several levels.

TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 18-Nov-09 14:27:19

By LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 11:09:19
Is it wrong to snurk every time Black Rod is mentioned?

haha I'm shamefully reminded of a thread I started this time last year asking if black rod was hot. I was dozing in front of the tv when state opening was broadcast and had a rather rude dream.

The new one is marginally hotter, but no I still wouldn't.

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 14:33:44

oops, sorry Netmums! And yes, you do get a vote. But I'd be interested to know whether anyone does ever discuss politics over there on the fluffy side...

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 14:34:24

and grin if you are merely taking the mick

CiderIUpAndSetIFree Wed 18-Nov-09 14:38:16

<passes Policywonk a lovely pint>

FlorenceandtheWashingMachine Wed 18-Nov-09 14:40:47

Edam, my BF Netmums says that yes, she was definitely taking the piss, hon wink

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 14:42:32

though the point about democracy was well-made wink

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 14:59:20

The Guardian is watching us: see gizmo! Watch gizmo swear!

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:03:28

I note the Sun thread has been unstickied.


WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:10:16

edam, busy threads on Netmums 'News, Current Affairs and Topical Discussions' board currently are:

Man marries his daughter to stay in the country

Do you think it is ok to keep having kids while your (sic) on benefits?


Wife's anger over soldier's arrest (something to do with AWOL over anti-war protest)

I just went to have a look.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 15:10:53

QS debate now properly underway (Frank Dobson having mercifully stopped making 'jokes') - can watch here

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:11:42
morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 15:11:53

The Times have already covered this thread here

Hassled Wed 18-Nov-09 15:12:11

Bloody hell, they don't piss around over at The Guardian, do they ?

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:12:26
Twit Wed 18-Nov-09 15:12:26

I am very much undecided on who I will vote for - I only really know who I will not be voting for.
Ideally I would like to be wowed by some-one so that I can finally choose - and strangely I'm not merely looking out for family issues. hmm
How ever I am fully expecting to have to vote to keep some-one out rather than voting for some-one I truly believe in.

And what [or who] is Worcester Woman?

morningpaper Wed 18-Nov-09 15:13:26

oh sorry that was the Guardian - Times is covering tomorrow's Cameron webchat live

That's like a webchat on a webchat <internet explodes>

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 15:13:41

Gah got to go and pick up ds
It'S his birthday today - I have boys coming for cake. (cake in shape of British Isles 2010, Red/Blue/yellow)

I'm really not getting DC's 'ta-daah' thing about the Kelly report.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 15:15:09

Swearing mandatory at the Guardian. One in ordinary articles, twice in front page articles and a lovely big 'cunt' in editorials.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:18:06

MNHQ Tweets: Oh, and Michael Crick didn't make it: childcare problems (yep, happens to us all)

Except men usually get a: head cocked to the side with an 'oh dear. Aren't you good?'

And we get a: 'lazy bitch not doing her job properly'

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 15:18:11

lol pol
she's right you know it's their usp

Deadworm Wed 18-Nov-09 15:18:15

That's no way to talk about Polly Toynbee., PW.

Hassled Wed 18-Nov-09 15:18:44

The British Isles 2010? What's going to change between now and then? What do you know?

We seem to have had more press coverage in the last few hours than the last few months combined. Take BiscuitGate out and it's more than in the past year. Yay!

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 15:20:17


'Stoats for GOATs'. Worst. Catchphrase. Ever.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:20:20

Deadworm shockgrin

Twit Wed 18-Nov-09 15:20:31

[looks around paranoid]
They're watching us...
Who the smeg are the alpha mummys? I bet they don't judge.

ABetaDad Wed 18-Nov-09 15:21:16

Is it me or has MN become an instant polling organisation of 5000 conveniently profiled parents giving instant feedback on Labour policy announcements?

Deadworm Wed 18-Nov-09 15:23:46

Exactly, ABD. The Times article the other day said Lab would use MN to test out policy announcements. We are a focus group of 500. Or rather in this case of the 40? or so posters on this thread. Perhaps I am too old. I remember the doctrine of the manifesto, and, you know, organised policy formation.

What's wrong with that, ABD? I'm not saying I agree, but if it were, I can't see a problem with it.

I think one could equally argue that it is an instant polling opportunity for any political party, given the political demographics of MN.

And there are a good deal more Mnetters than 5,000. but as a percentage of the MN cohort, it would make any market researcher cry with happiness, tis true.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:26:30

What nonsense the idea of 'breaking open the state monopoly on education' is. Which organisations, exactly, other than the state will be 'suitably qualified' and wealthy enough to deliver education?

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 15:27:55

Crazy millionaire cultists, Wilf, that's who!

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:28:36


And actually it is an extremely cost-effective and efficient way of gauging public opinion, and its that we want? politicians who at least look like they are listening?

Looking forward to DC tomorrow.

I meant, isn't that what we want...(along with lots of other things)

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:32:23

What's the husky/Cameron thing about?

Deadworm Wed 18-Nov-09 15:32:26

Focus group politics is a nasty Blairite introduction that converts political discussion into market research.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 15:33:28

Dunno - GB made his one and only joke and I wasn't paying attention

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:35:16
Hassled Wed 18-Nov-09 15:37:09

I have no problem with converting political discussion into market research. I'd rather threads like this are read and absorbed by policy makers than not.

ABetaDad Wed 18-Nov-09 15:40:21

Well my opiion is that the sooner Labour are chucked out of office the better.

That is all they need to know. Stick that in your focus group analysis pack!

succinct and to the point ABD!

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 15:56:47

yy re Kerayzee millionaire cultists.
This is also part of the Tory plan to deal with young offenders.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 15:57:13

Red-faced Tory brings up Europe in the debate. That's brave.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 15:58:17

Crazy millionaire cultists to deal with feral kids? <strokes beard> I like it. It's fucking mad, but it just might work.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 15:58:22

Poor old Clegg. They all leave when he steps up.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 15:58:42

small sitting-room, five boys, one nerf gun.

not my alternative plan for asbo youth buy my life, right now.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 16:00:07

Yes. The Scientologists are after a new gig I hear.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 16:00:35

I thought that Wilf (about everyone leaving). Snurk at 'Dobbo for Mayor' site still being live.

PW, we already have them! isn't that what the academies are all about?

<<admits to rather liking the academies round our way. Lots of shiny hair and good quality uniforms...dum de dum....>>

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 16:05:00

Yes MD I think I'm missing the fine distinction btw academies and Tory plans tbh - probably something arcane to do with funding?

scarletlilybug Wed 18-Nov-09 16:06:18

"Stoats for GOATS"??

That one went right over my head. Could someone explain to me? Please?

CMOTdibbler Wed 18-Nov-09 16:06:20

Well, I am Worcester Woman, but not quite in the way they mean I think.

It's a description of the group who a party think they need to target most to gain votes - like Mondeo Man.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 16:07:12

Academies are no longer culty though are they? They have to stick to national curriculum and teach true things now.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 16:09:33

did anyone hear anything abou tht Byron report?

JuanMoreTime Wed 18-Nov-09 16:09:41

wel SOME of us have no idea what is says as we have been at chuffing WORK all day s- newsnight can report that if they like.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 16:09:49

Well, and some grammar schools are run by voluntary weirdo organisations too.

But it's all a bit, um, medieval isn't it? Like dying of bubonic plague, we kind of know how to do things better now...

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 16:10:49

removes nerf bullet from eye socket

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 16:11:13

Some of us chuffing work in between and alongside MN, Juan. grin

<hmmm, ponders why everyone Mandy has it in for universities>

<comes up with answer rather too quickly>

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 16:11:25

Teaching true stuff? How un-thrusting.

Stoats for GOATs was about how all GB's government of all the talents (GOATS) bods have gone to the Lords (hence stoat = ermine <bit hazy on details here>) Basically was tremendously laboured joke.

JuanMoreTime Wed 18-Nov-09 16:11:59

we narrolwy escaped an academy recently.

SOME OF US CANT get mn at work and a good thing too imo

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 16:12:01

you wanna sort out working from home Juan wink

manfrom Wed 18-Nov-09 16:13:38

I'll be voting for the party that introduced "gulags for slags" during their leader's party conference speech. That must be the tories, right? Oh, err....

JuanMoreTime Wed 18-Nov-09 16:15:28

i not only dont know who I am voting for i cant remember who i voted for in the past.

scarletlilybug Wed 18-Nov-09 16:17:00

Well, you could argue that the state educating all children according to a nationally agreed curriculum is a bit Stalinist...

Cannot agreee that educational standards have improved in the last 20 or so years. It's not all about money - its about educational orthodoxy and the celebration of mediocrity.

Teaching true stuff? Nah, my credo is Never Let the Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story...

I mean, it did me no harm...according to my history A level,absolutely nothing happened outside Europe during the Middle Ages, but heaven's what did happen was stirring stuff!

And I even got told that there was some old Beardy bloke who could see me even when I was on the loo. Very creepy.

policywonk Wed 18-Nov-09 16:18:40

A swing-voting MN-posting teacher... there'll be camera crews on your doorstep by tomorrow morning Juan.

scarletlilybug Wed 18-Nov-09 16:18:44

Thanks, policywonk. Got it now. grin

We need to get Max Clifford to thrash out the best newspaper deal for her....

JuanMoreTime Wed 18-Nov-09 16:24:02

and sentencer wink
i know
i can be a test tube voter.

JuanMoreTime Wed 18-Nov-09 16:25:34

as long as i dont have to go into the jungle.wink
I have NO MEMORY of havign voted for anyone - altho' in these 'ere parts the current guy has been in since they signed the magna carta so it makes no difference.

Maybe i'll be disaffected and spoil my paper - take it ona day trip, but it things you know,

JuanMoreTime Wed 18-Nov-09 16:26:20

"buy" it things

i dont think Butts come into it. At least only in the tory party.

baboom tish

...let it stay up late on a school night and eat biscuits in bed....

JuanMoreTime Wed 18-Nov-09 16:32:36

oh yes
serve it alcopops at family dos.


let it play Call of Duty when it really should be doing homework.

Deadworm Wed 18-Nov-09 16:36:20

give it Ferrero Rocher

...and not make it tidy it's bedroom because it's "tired".

Deadworm Wed 18-Nov-09 16:37:18

"Mr Disaffected Voter, with these random swearwords and crossings out you are really spoiling us."

deadworm, do you also take it to the ambassador's receptions?

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 16:40:28

Can't believe the press we're generating, must work on a more media-friendly moniker. Oh, and say witty things, or swear.

It is rather marvellous,Lenin, and I have to say that with hindsight it is probably a really good thing that the official relationship with a certain paper came to nought.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 16:45:37

my nerfs are in tatters

if you put mumsnet into google news you get Polish websites.

TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 18-Nov-09 16:45:40

My vote goes to Dizzie Rascal

Peachy Wed 18-Nov-09 16:45:53

Whilst it (or rather a lot of it) sounds good, the reality is that like most things it's all definition dependant.

So child poverty is entirely down to definition; most people would agree that famillies such as ours (one student/ PT worker, one carer as parents) shouldn't have to refuse school trips because of finances (I mean at primary level,not those ski trips etc that crop up later on)- but whether we are poor depends entirely on where you sett that bar. I'd say borderline myself, we cope but it wouldn't take much to lose everything.

Likewise enabling people to access those services to which they are entitled; great aim, but all services do (IME, and I have quite a lot of it sadly) is change their definitions- disability does not cover autism, or someone without learning disabilities, or blind people..... they find get out clauses. It needs to be enshrined in legislation exactly what a disability / poverty / etc is- and the only term that will suffice for disability is 'in receipt of DLA' (as that is neeeds assessed rather than all on a label).

Cluster bombs- hurrah.

Pensioners- so important to enable the delivery of good socialcare services, but I suspect that whilst this remains a SocialServices responsibility the same tactics re definitions etc will exist.

But the test will be what actually is done. I do not want to see the Labour Government end whilst it means a Conservatie one gets in, but I'd be surprised if much of this were ever deliverd.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 16:47:15

lol DWP

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 16:53:14

yes peachy - relative definitions are never going to really work are thye?

Does this now make us "The Voice of Britain" rather than the Daily Express?

Peachy Wed 18-Nov-09 17:46:51

sadly, I rather fear it makes us the voice of dumb questions post-biscuits- and a sure fire way to get coverage.

(I am sure we can show them otherwise though)

I disagree Peachy, it seems to be much more a case of no publicity is bad publicity....MN is now even more out there and being taken seriously as a sounding board of public opinion...few will remember biscuitgate as the catalyst, but they might well remember MN as a force in British political life....

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 18:00:42

They know we are going to vote, one way or another.

bossykate Wed 18-Nov-09 18:10:23

i hope the MN feature is not going to be smirky, knowing, patronising, sexist shoite like the "biscuitgate" debacle...

OmicronPersei8 Wed 18-Nov-09 18:15:21

Lenin, That's the crux of it, isn't it? The things that makes MN great - intelligent women (and a few men) who argue, take an interest, ask questions etc - make us so attractive to politicians and journalists. Just like we get the excitement of talking to GB/DC etc, they get the thrill of having a direct, real-time conversation with people who actually do and will vote. Add in the frisson of the undecided voter...

Of course, that's not exactly how it is, but how it can be construed.

Deadworm Wed 18-Nov-09 18:24:10

The things that are great about MN -- wit and wisdom etc -- aren't what appeals to politicians surely. The demographic is the appeal.

OmicronPersei8 Wed 18-Nov-09 18:26:21

In the face of apathy though, it must be nice to 'meet' people who actually care/vote though.

OmicronPersei8 Wed 18-Nov-09 18:27:11

Could I say though a few more times?

FlorenceandtheWashingMachine Wed 18-Nov-09 18:37:31

Go on then. If it makes you happy.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 19:12:56

Is it Paxo tonight? I do hope he is intelligent enough not to patronise us. Reports indicate <from a random cabbie grin> that he is lovely and on the side of People in the Ethernet Street by asking the questions we can't.

I lay down my gauntlet in front of his stellar intellect.

Otherwise, I'll 'ave 'im.

LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 19:20:01

Secret crush on Paxo. Despite the nose.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 19:42:01

not sure about the bouff mese'n

gothicmama Wed 18-Nov-09 20:09:37

it seems to be good ideas that could be achieved through other means. It is in effect a campaign manifesto which seeks the votes of an older population

LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 20:23:58

bouff mese'n ? Qu'est que c'est?

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 20:25:11

I love Paxo. I really love the way he made Tony Blair squirm.

midnightexpress Wed 18-Nov-09 20:32:39

It all looks like a load of old bollox to me. Firstly they have next to no time to do any of this, and secondly, it's all just blah really - how exactly do they propose to halve the budget deficit?

Am struck by this too:
'The Flood and Water Management Bill, following the disasters of summer 2007, would give local authorities in England and Wales the lead responsibility for managing the risk of future flooding.'

In other words, pass the buck to them. There seem to me to be key national and indeed international issues connected with climate change which need to be addressed in this regard. And some serious discussion of home-building policies (ie on flood plains) needs to take place at a national level too.

midnightexpress Wed 18-Nov-09 20:36:46

But I still won't be voting for Dave.

herbietea Wed 18-Nov-09 20:40:29

Message withdrawn

Twit Wed 18-Nov-09 20:40:43

LadyBB - myself in Yorkshireish (Yorkish?)

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 20:44:24

I think the burning question is
Gordon or David.
Which one would you??????

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 20:57:05

Sarah or Samantha?

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 21:13:06

But of course. I certainly didnt mean to exclude anyone.

To be honest I would take either Samantha or Sarah over Gordon.wink

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 21:21:41

That's interesting re core environmental issues being played out at a local instead of national levrl midnight.

LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 21:36:47

Twit <whispers> I am from Yorkshire and didn't get that

The shame

justabouttoturn35 Wed 18-Nov-09 21:41:31

I saw Paxo at the Oxford Union once. He is a rubbish debater.


LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 21:46:10

Paxo a rubbish debater.......this cannot be true? What was the debate about??? I remember him doing the weather on Newsnight and he was hilariously bad........but it was clearly because he thought it was pointless and irrelevant.

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 22:20:04

It must have been the confusing juxtaposition with 'bouff' (which should prob have been spelt bouffe) which threw you, LadyBB

onebatmother Wed 18-Nov-09 22:21:28



LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 22:22:49

I didn't like to say 1B, but yes, indeed it was smile

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 22:35:39

It's not live online is it now? Can't watch TV at the moment.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 22:35:57

Newsnight that is.

tattycoram Wed 18-Nov-09 22:36:49

Oh my word. We're on. Put on Newsnight now!

LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 22:37:19

Should be online now

Just a quick mention on MN. Don't think there will be much more said TBH

DC looks really tangoed on the footage from today

Ronaldinhio Wed 18-Nov-09 22:37:53

I always thought mumsnet towers was some spotty teenage boy's bedroom

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 22:40:09

Hello Justinegrin

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 22:40:11

Bugger - precis/highlights please. Will have to wait for iPlayer tomorrow.

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 22:40:55

Lenin, edam, I saw you on the tv.

Lenin on Newsnight!, Well, Lenin's name in a screen shot....

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 22:42:41

Felt a bit of sick in my mouth when I saw Mandy in his shiney robes gurning at the Queen & Prince Phillip.

LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 22:44:40

lol ronshar

Mandy is the epitome of repulsive

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 22:45:53

No way! Bugger, bugger, bugger, can't see, doing like childcare and stuff.

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 22:46:01

Mandy for example is a Twat.

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 22:47:11

Childcare Lenin. But it is 10.45pm. Get those children into bedgrin

Ronaldinhio Wed 18-Nov-09 22:48:04


I love Mandy
love love him

I wish we could decide who gets to be PM by having a Strictly competition
Week by week the nation votes to keep who we like
Last man standing is PM
revenue raised can be spent on something decent like funding the 4 nappy rule.

Mandy would win though

LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 22:48:28

Lenin - Ben Bradshaw and Paxo just arguing about pointless opinions atm. Missing nothing MN

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 22:48:56

what? Blimey, they put my post up or something?

Wow. I've been on TV as me, I've been on TV as job title representing X organisation, now I've been on TV as an internet pixie!

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 22:49:27

Only because he would stick out his ridiculously shiney shoes and trip up every other contestant. Then he would turn his back and pretend it wasnt him!

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 22:50:54

Is that the only thing labour can moan about. Inheritance tax?

ooh edam, you media whore, you! wink

LadyBlaBlah Wed 18-Nov-09 22:53:20

It was a screen shot of the thread and Edam and Lenin were flashed up - didn't talk about the post but you were definitely there. On the telly shock

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 22:53:40

They are in bed ron, I just happen to be next to the smallest one.

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 22:54:08

Yup, that's me! (Only re. boring stuff, though, nothing particularly glam or interesting.)

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 22:54:11

Haha, fantastic!

ronshar Wed 18-Nov-09 22:57:38

Thats ok then. How can you concentrate upon these very important issues we are debating tonight.

By the way
Sarah Palin for example is a Twat.
Yes twice tonight.sadsad I know.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 22:58:39

And me, and me! My name was there too <am watching a bit delayed on Sky+> OK, someone elses post was actually on the top of the screen but...

Opinion formers, that's what we are <preens>

Ronaldinhio Wed 18-Nov-09 22:59:46

Love all the Palin stuff on the Daily Show..tis excellent

edam Wed 18-Nov-09 22:59:46

I wonder whether Mandy is so puffed up with his own importance that he doesn't realise most people think he's an oily creep. Or maybe he does, and couldn't care less because he's got money and power?

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 23:01:32

Headphones, Len. Wireless headphones. The flashing lights just send 'em to sleep.

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 23:02:30

Missing apostrophe there Wilf, you've now been relegated.

<glides over fact has Xmas name already because too lazy to change twice>

LeninGrotto Wed 18-Nov-09 23:04:20

No TV in this room Wilf. Might have to get a Freeview dongle for my laptop.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 23:05:12

I know. You know what? <fuckwit> I left it out deliberately because I can't work out whether the italics work with an apostrophe. Sad, huh.

WilfSell Wed 18-Nov-09 23:05:35

I meant I'm the fuckwit, not you btw.

LeninGrotto Thu 19-Nov-09 00:06:20

smile I'm sure they do, try it and preview.

justabouttoturn35 Thu 19-Nov-09 07:44:27

I know this is ages too late, but Paxo IS a rubbish debater, I can't remember what the debate was about now, but the thing is that he is great at interrogating and interrupting rudely, but had absolutely no idea of how to put together a strong argument. He's not actually a very good "presence" unless he's got someone to bully interview. It was the same on the Daily Show. Jon thingie kept trying to make him be funny and he just sat there smirking.

LeninGrad Thu 19-Nov-09 13:25:35

Saw the prog on iPlayer, I particularly enjoyed edam's clearly visible post which began, '...agree with Lenin...' smile

Did you notice that screenshot at 7m10s in had big red B and D buttons, for ban this bugger and delete this dross I presume. grin

Bramshott Thu 19-Nov-09 13:44:44

Didn't manage to stay awake long enough for the programme [yawn], but did you see this thread appearing in the guardian??

edam Thu 19-Nov-09 14:23:21

grin Leningrad

Pound Sun 04-Mar-12 14:51:29

There is a marvellous send up of the Queen's speech on the website: Well worth a look. In fact this boring and totally irrelevant speech by Britain's premier politician, had dropped to just three millions viewers within the last five years. And yet Mastermind was removed because it also had reached this low point. The BBC asked why the Queen's speech remained, failed to give any sensible answer to this question. Prejudice???

EdithWeston Sun 04-Mar-12 15:11:16

The Queen's Speech, in the context of this (three year old) thread - ie the address to Parliament in which the Government's forthcoming legislative programme is laid out - is very relevant.

AFAIK, other than the rolling news channels, it is not broadcast in total and I expect the viewing figures are low. But it would be deeply remiss of the ordinary news channels if they ceased to cover it.

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