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Westministenders: Tell Boris it should be more Stokenders and Copenders

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RedToothBrush Wed 22-Feb-17 16:17:54

FINALLY this is the thread of the Copeland and Stoke By-Elections.
In the next few days we will be subjected to a whole pile of analysis from the media most of which will completely miss the point, and will waffle on about Brexit as if it’s the only issue ever and this is what matters to everyone.

Its bollocks.

This is the ‘Westminster Bubble’ that doesn’t report what is on the ground. It includes the media and the politicians who ran into town for the election, never to set foot there ever again. In one case pulling faces at the local children. In another desperately trying to prove how local he is.
Is it any wonder some think that all politicians are all the same?

You can learn far more about what really matters by reading the Stoke Sentinel and The Whitehaven News than reading The Sun or The Mail, those great champions of Leave. (Fancy that local papers being more relevant to a community than a national ones).

The by-election in Stoke has been a particular display of pond life style campaigning. We’ve had Hillsborough, ‘dodgy addresses’, arrest of a candidate, text messages saying you’ll go to hell for voting ‘wrong’, letters that say that MPs voted differently to the way they did, an activist being hunted by the police for trying to enter someone’s house and then pissing on her property, crying candidates, faked photos on twitter, dodgy sexist tweets from candidates dragged up, photographs with known far right activists, egg throwing and vandalism.

The word that keep coming out? Not ‘Brexit’. But ‘Change’.

What have the main parties in either election really added in terms of positive change?

Tomorrow’s weather will not help matters. The chances are that it will keep turnout down, making those postal votes more important. It will drive out the angry to vote whilst the apathetic and hopelessly disillusioned will stay home. The result will not be decided by the 60%+ of the electorate who voted to leave the EU. It will be decided by a fraction of that.

Someone has to lose. There will be political blood shed. Friday will see the political blame and finger pointing I doubt anyone will get it.
The real story is about how few people will vote and how few people think their vote counts for anything.

Immigrants and ‘benefit scroungers’ are not to blame for this. Nor is it even the ‘cultural elite’. Politicians have a duty to the whole country, to do the best for them all. Not to merely do the ‘will of the people’. Popularism does not help people. It merely starts a runaway train of the tyranny of the majority. You don’t give children sweets because they demand them. You educate children, and nurture them. If they are unaware of real issues, you make sure they learn and you explain why you are making unpopular decisions honestly, rather than feeding them a crock of shit. Because that’s your job as a PM, as MP, as a MEP, as an elected mayor, as a county councillor, as a borough councillor, as a parish councillor. To step up.

We need politicians with the back bone to do the right thing for all, rather than just worrying about their electoral strategy and how to con people to vote for you this time. We need politicians to actually take the responsibility of office rather than see it as a career opportunity.

The issues that matter most to people ultimately are not about the EU. They are not about immigration. It’s too easy to blame on immigration rather than tackle the infrastructure problems of the country and admit where you have gone wrong in the past. It’s easier to drive an hysterical fear of terrorism and cultural values being in danger from an enemy far away rather than look at who is really responsible.

If people don’t think that others are unaware of the problem, and don’t care about them and how they are being thrown under the bus, they are wrong. Plenty of people on both sides of the EU referendum debate get it.

Plenty on both sides don’t and are indulging the fantasy land excuses for domestic political failure.

The question is how do you get that message out, in a way that makes a difference and does change things? How do you break the stereotypes of the stupid and the patronising? How do you get people like the Nathan from Stoke to be heard and to believe in politics. Not believe in Brexit. Believe that politics can help them.

LurkingHusband Wed 22-Feb-17 16:22:15

.

SemiPermanent Wed 22-Feb-17 16:25:01

Haven't read the intro yet, sorry; will do later smile

CarelessWispas Wed 22-Feb-17 16:26:08

wine

Kaija Wed 22-Feb-17 16:27:04

Great post, red, thank you

Badders123 Wed 22-Feb-17 16:35:58

.

Peregrina Wed 22-Feb-17 16:41:17

Just placemarking.

HashiAsLarry Wed 22-Feb-17 16:47:05

Thanks again rtb

howabout Wed 22-Feb-17 16:56:46

Place marking really but a quick note for mother on Scottish free tuition fees. Because the overall loan amount is lower many more middle class families choose to self fund Scottish students. Also Scottish students start paying back at £17k rather than £21k. This means that the right off amount for Scotland is much lower than England to the extent that I am sceptical that free tuition fees actually cost the Scottish government anything relative to the English system.

The Guardian did some interesting analysis on why the £9k fee does not raise extra money in England.

www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2012/oct/15/tuition-fees-government-taxpayer-savings

unicornsIlovethem Wed 22-Feb-17 17:04:03

Thanks RTB.

There was an interesting comment on Rafael Behr's opinion piece in the Guardian today on politicians not listening from UltraLightBeam which I've pasted below :

But no one was left behind. The same people have always been here. The problem is not enough people listening.

Listening to what?

This idea of politicians ‘not listening’, and Brexit being a plea for attention, has no substance. It’s just another empty bromide like ‘the left behind’ and the ‘just about managing’. We’re all listening. The problem is, nothing remotely coherent is being said.

No, the issue is not a lack of ‘listening’. The issue is that no one has the answers that these attention-craving voters want to hear. They want safe, well-paid jobs: everyone hears that. But those jobs aren’t coming, not now, not ever. If you work with your hands, if it takes less than a month to train for your job, then you’re surplus to requirements. Someone in China or India will do your job for much less money. Humans are the most abundant resource in the world. Sorry.

They want less foreigners around, speaking foreign and that. We heard that too. It’s not going to happen. David Davis is already back-pedalling on any decrease in immigration. The fact is, we need these people. That’s why they’re here in the first place. British unemployed people would rather be on JSA than be sponge-bathing old people or picking cabbage for minimum wage.

Time to move on from the ‘listening’ nonsense. Everyone’s listening. Now these people have the stage, it’s time to do some actual talking.

The comment picks up that the media are portraying the Brexit vote as a cry for help to which politicians need to listen, but actually they're listening, they just don't like what they're hearing so they're ignoring it and ducking the big questions.

lalalonglegs Wed 22-Feb-17 17:09:12

Thank you for another thoughtful OP, Red. Hello to everyone else.

boredofbrexit Wed 22-Feb-17 17:18:02

This comment is an interesting response to your opening salvo RTB

twofingerstoEverything Wed 22-Feb-17 17:24:13

We need politicians with the back bone to do the right thing for all
Good luck with that!

woman12345 Wed 22-Feb-17 17:25:58

smile

Kaija Wed 22-Feb-17 17:35:59

I'm afraid I'm fast running out of patience for the idea that left-leaning liberals have never cared about inequality while Rees-Mogg, Gove, Johnson, Fox et al are champions of the people.

RedAndYellowStripe Wed 22-Feb-17 17:37:32

They want safe, well-paid jobs: everyone hears that. But those jobs aren’t coming, not now, not ever. If you work with your hands, if it takes less than a month to train for your job, then you’re surplus to requirements.
That's very true. I just don't believe that the aswner is to say that they ar a surplus and forget about them. This is where society has to step in to find an innovative way of dealing with that
Thee has been plenty of things tried before. You can have a minimum wage for all, regardless of whether you are working or not (and so it's not a JSA where you have to prove that you actively looking for that elusive job that doesn't exist anymore)for example.
Whatever it is, we will have to do something because it will only get worse and worse.

British unemployed people would rather be on JSA than be sponge-bathing old people or picking cabbage for minimum wage.
Actually I think that in the near future we won't need that many people in the fields anymore anyway. But we will need carers etc.. and maybe the answer there is t about telling people that they are asking too much but about valuing that sort of work (also nursery workers etc...) and paying them more.....
e.g. There are a lot of piss taking in the caring world. Things like expecting the workers to pay for the petrol with their own money or travelling time not being counted as working time even though they have no choice but to travel quite a way to go to see one person to the next. None of that would be accepted in other professions.

woman12345 Wed 22-Feb-17 17:38:05

David Davis is already back-pedalling on any decrease in immigration

It's lucky that brexiteers have such fine economic and legal plans up and ready to go.

By 2019 it will be a people's palace of a country, and have they have no need or desire to exorcise long held racist and sexist prejudices.

If you want some one to listen, call the Samaritans.

If you want to get involved in politics, get a clip board and a pen.

woman12345 Wed 22-Feb-17 17:41:50

There are a lot of piss taking in the caring world

Really agree here, redandyellow

It's gendered piss taking, a bit like the authoritarians trying to take unpaid childcare work off women.[grin}.

woman12345 Wed 22-Feb-17 17:42:02

grin

Motheroffourdragons Wed 22-Feb-17 17:48:16

Thanks again Red

Howabout - sorry wasn't able to reply on the other thread.

We will have to agree to disagree on education then. I have read in countless articles that poorer children are less likely to attend universities in Scotland than the equivalent in England, and that standards are dropping for all ages at school. The lack of access to decent maintenance loans is an issue that has been here for a long time. I know my niece and nephews were just about funded entirely by my brother as they were entitled only to a tiny fraction due to his salary. At least with my own kids they got enough to make a start on, similar salaries here too.

Health - again, I would disagree that it is any good in Scotland either, whether it is worse than in England is anybody's guess, the whole NHS seems to be falling into a black hole at the moment.

I think if the SNP could concentrate on the jobs that need doing instead of whining on about independence then I may have more respect for them. A bit like how TM and her bunch of cronies are ignoring everything else and concentrating on Brexit. Perhaps TM and NS are more alike than they realise.

Peregrina Wed 22-Feb-17 17:50:36

Theresa May incenses me about a lot of things, but particularly going on about the 'Just about Managing'. What about those who aren't managing?She makes much of being a Vicar's daughter - it's about time she remembered what Jesus taught.

Motheroffourdragons Wed 22-Feb-17 17:54:19

Sorry - missed your other post, how about -can't keep up.

Just as an aside, I hate tuition fees altogether but yes I take your point about self funding. However it has a knock on effect, if my kids hadn't had access to the minimum maintenance loan in England, we would really have struggled to get mine through uni, and possibly not been able to send them at that time because there were four of them. As it was it was enough just paying for accommodation for them to allow them to use the loans to look after themselves. From memory, my nephew got a maintenance loan in Scotland of something like £800, which really doesn't work for students trying to live away from home for the duration of their course.

Motheroffourdragons Wed 22-Feb-17 17:55:58

The question is how do you get that message out, in a way that makes a difference and does change things? How do you break the stereotypes of the stupid and the patronising? How do you get people like the Nathan from Stoke to be heard and to believe in politics. Not believe in Brexit. Believe that politics can help them.

Not with a Tory govt hell bent on fiddling while Rome burns.

prettybird Wed 22-Feb-17 17:58:02

Howabout: flowers** (and wine/gin which, despite our different viewpoints, I am sure we could enjoy a good debate over a glass or two, should we ever meet! grin) for your very reasoned support of Scottish education and NHS. It's not perfect by any means but I know which system I'd prefer to be in!

My dad, a retired doctor, has to remind himself, for the sake of his blood pressure, that many of the things he's reading about in the BMJ don't apply in Scotland wink. I haven't had to use A&E recently but we can get a GP's appointment quickly smile

You've already explained to lalalonglegs about the number of exams sat. There is indeed a disparity amongst schools about the number of Nat 5s kids can can take in S4 (age 15/16) but there is consistency in what they take (if they are Higher material) in that 5 Highers in a single sitting (in S5) is the norm. And then there is flexibility in S6 to sit more Highers/more or resit Nat 5s --if there is one you still need for Further Education, eg Maths--/ Advanced Highers (or even A Levels wink)

There is an argument that under CfE they have done a wider range of subjects up to S3, so can then pick up other subjects in S6 if they want to.

I will admit to being happy that ds' (state) school (mixed demographic - another one, like Howabout's dd's school, benefitting from a large amount of extra "attainment" money because of the high number of pupils from very poor households) allowed 8 Nat 5s. He's doing 5 Highers this year and planning on 2 Advanced Highers (in the subjects he wants to do at Uni) and one crash Higher (a subject he enjoyed while in the Broad General Education phase). I'm slightly worried it will be too light a timetable - especially as if he gets the results he's on course to get, he'll get unconditional acceptances to the Unis he wants to choose from (also concerned that he'll then suffer from the dread disease unconditionalitis hmm) but he's also wanting to spend some time concentrating on his rugby and helping to coach.

howabout Wed 22-Feb-17 18:24:46

wine pretty. Always up for a good debate. Very likely have passed each other on Buchanan Street at one time or another. smile

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