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    Looks like my sparring partner is the opposition leader as well.

    Such fun!
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    The Labour Cabinet is as follows:

    Leader of the Opposition, Chief Whip, Shadow Secretary for Local Government, Shadow Minister for Constitutional Reform - davidmarsh01

    Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Minister for Wales - TopHat

    Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer - MaddogJones

    Shadow Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Secretary and Shadow Minister for International Development - DebatingGreg

    Shadow Home Affairs Secretary and Shadow Minister for Equalities - LPK

    Shadow Business, Work, and Pensions Secretary and Shadow Minister for Scotland - Mr Dangermouse

    Shadow Defence Secretary - Indievertigo

    Shadow Justice Secretary and Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland - xXedixXx

    Shadow Education Secretary - mevidek

    Shadow Energy, Environment and Climate Change Secretary - gmseahorse

    Shadow Transport Secretary - RoryS

    Shadow Culture, Media, and Sport Secretary - WhatTheFunk

    Members of the backbench: rockrunride, big-bang-theory, Agent Smirnoff
    Why are the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland Secretary positions reduced, by Labour, to "ministers"? Does the Labour Party not care about them or something?
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    It's more that in TSR, there's no "Model Devolved Governments", meaning a) the Ministers for the Devolved Areas can't legislate, and b) they can't negotiate legislations with anyone. Given what the TSR executive can do about the devolved nations is fairly limited, Minister seemed enough.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    It's more that in TSR, there's no "Model Devolved Governments", meaning a) the Ministers for the Devolved Areas can't legislate, and b) they can't negotiate legislations with anyone. Given what the TSR executive can do about the devolved nations is fairly limited, Minister seemed enough.
    Well that's not wholly true! If there are no devolved administrations then you have direct rule from Westminster. That means that the Secretary of State for Scotland and for Northern Ireland have quite poweful portfolios (given that quite a lot of responsibility was devolved to that office prior to devolution proper - especially for Scotland) and the Secretary of State for Wales also has a sizeable portfolio of responsibility. Clearly Labour haven't checked up on what those positions did in the past. Pity really since TSR Labour are, historically, the only party to ever care about the Celtic Fringe. Even if I do say so myself.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    QFA
    How do you feel that a) you have performed as stand in leader of the Opposition and b) Labour has performed in their first week of Opposition?
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    I wouldn't like to say how well I've performed, that's for the rest of the party to decide, so you'd be better off asking them. I'm looking forward to David's return, though - leader is a fair bit of responsibility and I'm looking forward to being able to focus more closely on my position as the Shadow Health Secretary and the internal reforms of the Labour Party I'm working on.

    As far as the Party is concerned, I'm really happy with everyone's in put, genuinely very pleased with all of the Labour members. As a whole, we put up a very strong defence of civil liberties that received cross party support and caused the Home Secretary to effectively have to run away and hide from the clear majority opinion, we've submitted a quarter of the non-joke bills and one third of the party-affiliated bills, and we have authored a very strong motion which has the backing of several parties and is only waiting for Socialist confirmation to be released. Once they've done so, we'll have authored a third of all motions and half of all party-motions. Sadly, the bill we have submitted has been withdrawn, but that was because of information we didn't have at the time, rather than any great dissent from the House.

    In addition to that, the Labour Party is internally extremely active, and I think everyone is really contributing now. There's at least 5 bills currently being worked on in our sub forums, and quite a few motions to go with them. That's probably an understatement too.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    Well that's not wholly true! If there are no devolved administrations then you have direct rule from Westminster. That means that the Secretary of State for Scotland and for Northern Ireland have quite poweful portfolios (given that quite a lot of responsibility was devolved to that office prior to devolution proper - especially for Scotland) and the Secretary of State for Wales also has a sizeable portfolio of responsibility. Clearly Labour haven't checked up on what those positions did in the past. Pity really since TSR Labour are, historically, the only party to ever care about the Celtic Fringe. Even if I do say so myself.
    Is that the case? I was very much labouring under the apparent misconception that the Devolved Secretary of State positions in TSR were effectively powerless, with their only ability being to grant or take away powers from the devolved bodies? If they're not, I will be very happy to upgrade them, and start working on some bills immediately. I'll check with the Speaker - thank you for bringing this to my attention, although it would perhaps have been nicer if you'd couched it in a slightly less passive-aggressive manner. As a Welshman, I very much care for the Celtic Fringe and have many things I'd like to do for Cymru.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    I wouldn't like to say how well I've performed, that's for the rest of the party to decide, so you'd be better off asking them. I'm looking forward to David's return, though - leader is a fair bit of responsibility and I'm looking forward to being able to focus more closely on my position as the Shadow Health Secretary and the internal reforms of the Labour Party I'm working on.

    As far as the Party is concerned, I'm really happy with everyone's in put, genuinely very pleased with all of the Labour members. As a whole, we put up a very strong defence of civil liberties that received cross party support and caused the Home Secretary to effectively have to run away and hide from the clear majority opinion, we've submitted a quarter of the non-joke bills and one third of the party-affiliated bills, and we have authored a very strong motion which has the backing of several parties and is only waiting for Socialist confirmation to be released. Once they've done so, we'll have authored a third of all motions and half of all party-motions. Sadly, the bill we have submitted has been withdrawn, but that was because of information we didn't have at the time, rather than any great dissent from the House.

    In addition to that, the Labour Party is internally extremely active, and I think everyone is really contributing now. There's at least 5 bills currently being worked on in our sub forums, and quite a few motions to go with them. That's probably an understatement too.
    Thank you for your answer. If I may, what reforms do you intend to make to the Labour Party?
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    Is that the case? I was very much labouring under the apparent misconception that the Devolved Secretary of State positions in TSR were effectively powerless, with their only ability being to grant or take away powers from the devolved bodies?
    The entire notion of governments and oppositions in TSR is effectively powerless but that hasn't ever stopped people going overboard with them. The Secretary of State for Scotland is the last port of call for most domestic matters relating to Scotland, for example.

    although it would perhaps have been nicer if you'd couched it in a slightly less passive-aggressive manner.
    Meh. It was couched as it was couched. If you didn't like the question, you could just as easily have ignored it.

    As a Welshman, I very much care for the Celtic Fringe and have many things I'd like to do for Cymru.
    As a Welshman, I live in Wales not Cymru and have many things that I would happily do for Wales (notably the Valleys) that I would not do for Cymru. If you understand me...
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    The entire notion of governments and oppositions in TSR is effectively powerless but that hasn't ever stopped people going overboard with them. The Secretary of State for Scotland is the last port of call for most domestic matters relating to Scotland, for example.
    You know precisely what I meant by "powerless", you're just quibbling unnecessarily by now.

    As a Welshman, I live in Wales not Cymru and have many things that I would happily do for Wales (notably the Valleys) that I would not do for Cymru. If you understand me...
    Yes; instead of focusing on the Welsh language and Welsh culture, although they are important, you'd prefer to see the revitalization of the Welsh valleys, with jobs and opportunities brought back to places still scarred by the events of the 1980s as the main priority. Snap.
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    (Original post by toronto353)
    Thank you for your answer. If I may, what reforms do you intend to make to the Labour Party?
    Apologies, but that's a party private matter.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    You know precisely what I meant by "powerless", you're just quibbling unnecessarily by now.
    I assure you, I don't quibble unnecessarily.

    Yes; instead of focusing on the Welsh language and Welsh culture, although they are important, you'd prefer to see the revitalization of the Welsh valleys, with jobs and opportunities brought back to places still scarred by the events of the 1980s as the main priority. Snap.
    No, Welsh "culture" isn't exclusive to the world of the language. Welsh culture is a cosmopolitan mixture of the Valleys, of the multi-ethnic world of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and so much else besides. To suggest that focusing on those things and the economic difficulties of the former coalfield is to sidestep Welsh culture is insulting. Besides which those places were scarred long before the 1980s though that remains a flashpoint for most people given its proximity. If anything, I agree with Gwyn Thomas - that Wales would be a more confident nation, a more vibrant nation, a healthier nation all round if the Welsh language had been left to die an honourable death. By now we could be dealing with the real issues not faffing with crap as we are.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    No, Welsh "culture" isn't exclusive to the world of the language.
    I didn't say it was, hence I listed them separately.

    Welsh culture is a cosmopolitan mixture of the Valleys, of the multi-ethnic world of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and so much else besides. To suggest that focusing on those things and the economic difficulties of the former coalfield is to sidestep Welsh culture is insulting. Besides which those places were scarred long before the 1980s though that remains a flashpoint for most people given its proximity. If anything, I agree with Gwyn Thomas - that Wales would be a more confident nation, a more vibrant nation, a healthier nation all round if the Welsh language had been left to die an honourable death. By now we could be dealing with the real issues not faffing with crap as we are.
    I quite agree there is too much focus on the language, although I'd be very much at a loath to see it go because I do think that language helps define us and the Welsh language does have a place in defining Wales. I'm also aware that Welsh culture isn't just one place. Look at me - I'm a Monmouth boy, but I spend vast amounts of my time in Cardiff and Newport and used to live in Brecon. I know that Wales is more than just dw i'n hoffi toffi a coffi and the Red Dragon. I'd say the biggest part of getting Welsh culture back and roaring is to revitalize the economy - because when people have jobs, when they have money, when they have time and effort to spend elsewhere, that's when you see the explosion of literature and music and above all discussion that is culture. That's why I said earlier we don't focus on culture, because trying to focus on culture is pointless when people are more worried about whether they can pay next month's mortgage. You take that away, and people solve culture themselves.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    II quite agree there is too much focus on the language, although I'd be very much at a loath to see it go because I do think that language helps define us and the Welsh language does have a place in defining Wales. I'm also aware that Welsh culture isn't just one place. Look at me - I'm a Monmouth boy, but I spend vast amounts of my time in Cardiff and Newport and used to live in Brecon. I know that Wales is more than just dw i'n hoffi toffi a coffi and the Red Dragon.
    The Welsh language hasn't defined Wales for over a century. It has defined parts of Wales but nothing more than that since before the Great War. The more we surrender what actually made Wales into the nation that it is today - its progressive stance on health, education, sexual well-being and so forth - the more we regress into that conservative, rural and xenophobic land that Saunders Lewis so desired to create. May it die and may confidence rise in its place.



    I'd say the biggest part of getting Welsh culture back and roaring is to revitalize the economy - because when people have jobs, when they have money, when they have time and effort to spend elsewhere, that's when you see the explosion of literature and music and above all discussion that is culture.
    Erm, no. That's a really middle-class way of understanding culture. Music and literature aren't restricted to economy security, they're produced by people who lots of money and people who have none at all. Promoting the diversity of Welsh culture and accepting that to be Welsh isn't to speak Welsh is fundamental. It's not an antagonist to job creation, hell it might even help create some.

    That's why I said earlier we don't focus on culture, because trying to focus on culture is pointless when people are more worried about whether they can pay next month's mortgage. You take that away, and people solve culture themselves.
    I don't agree with you but ask me again tomorrow and I'll get you a more useful answer.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    The Welsh language hasn't defined Wales for over a century. It has defined parts of Wales but nothing more than that since before the Great War. The more we surrender what actually made Wales into the nation that it is today - its progressive stance on health, education, sexual well-being and so forth - the more we regress into that conservative, rural and xenophobic land that Saunders Lewis so desired to create. May it die and may confidence rise in its place.
    I have no intention of surrendering that. I know Wales has always been the hotbed of progressive thought, right from the Chartists.

    Erm, no. That's a really middle-class way of understanding culture. Music and literature aren't restricted to economy security, they're produced by people who lots of money and people who have none at all. Promoting the diversity of Welsh culture and accepting that to be Welsh isn't to speak Welsh is fundamental. It's not an antagonist to job creation, hell it might even help create some.
    I think to a certain extent it is. I accept some people produce and observe art regardless, but I think the daily mundane reality eclipses the average person's desire. It's the old knife and fork question, right?
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    Where does Labour stand on the Foreign Secretary's plan to repatriate powers from the EU?
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    I have no intention of surrendering that. I know Wales has always been the hotbed of progressive thought, right from the Chartists.
    Right from even before that. The whole Tom Paine - Edmund Burke debate? Kickstarted by a Welshman. The Merthyr Rising - the first time the red flag was flown in Britain and so forth. Chartism isn't the starting point.

    I think to a certain extent it is. I accept some people produce and observe art regardless, but I think the daily mundane reality eclipses the average person's desire. It's the old knife and fork question, right?
    No it's not. If you sing, you paint, you write, you whistle, you draw, it doesnt matter how much money you have but the fact you do it. To see culture as something separated from those who haven't money or economic security is to ignore the fact that education and culture was once at the very heart of what it meant to be Welsh. Miners discussing Marx or reading Pravda in the workmen's hall, putting on shakespeare and other drama and music in the local chapel. We have the first national youth orchestra in the world for the simple reason that music was a universal medium of expression. Culture is not a middle-class luxury.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    Right from even before that. The whole Tom Paine - Edmund Burke debate? Kickstarted by a Welshman. The Merthyr Rising - the first time the red flag was flown in Britain and so forth. Chartism isn't the starting point.
    I know! I did my 4000 word history coursework on Welsh radicalism 1750-1850. I know it probably doesn't match about to your PhD, but I can talk to you about William Jones and Morgan John Rhys, the Merthyr Rising, the Newport Rising, the effect Wales had on radical movements throughout Britain like the Luddites and the London Corresponding Society, and the Marxist historiography of Wales (particularly Engels side). I named Chartism because that's the one most people know about.

    No it's not. If you sing, you paint, you write, you whistle, you draw, it doesnt matter how much money you have but the fact you do it. To see culture as something separated from those who haven't money or economic security is to ignore the fact that education and culture was once at the very heart of what it meant to be Welsh. Miners discussing Marx or reading Pravda in the workmen's hall, putting on shakespeare and other drama and music in the local chapel. We have the first national youth orchestra in the world for the simple reason that music was a universal medium of expression. Culture is not a middle-class luxury.
    Marxism, for the miners, wasn't cultural, it was profoundly socio-economic. They saw Marx as an answer to the knife and fork question, in the same way they did the Chartists. I think that people create art and culture regardless of circumstance. However, getting that to be sustained is much easier when economic times are good. Staging a national youth orchestra costs money. Buying books and visiting theatres costs money. It becomes vastly easier to access these things when either they have money, or when these things are provided free of use.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    I know! I did my 4000 word history coursework on Welsh radicalism 1750-1850. I know it probably doesn't match about to your PhD, but I can talk to you about William Jones and Morgan John Rhys, the Merthyr Rising, the Newport Rising, the effect Wales had on radical movements throughout Britain like the Luddites and the London Corresponding Society, and the Marxist historiography of Wales (particularly Engels' side). I named Chartism because that's the one most people know about.
    I'm not so much interested in the period before 1850, to be honest with you but am quite happy to talk about it if you like. Interesting that people rarely talk about Rebecca these days though.


    Marxism, for the miners, wasn't cultural, it was profoundly socio-economic. They saw Marx as an answer to the knife and fork question, in the same way they did the Chartists.
    This is one of those profound disagreements historians have but to me this statement is wholly wrong. Marxism, as with Labourism, was both. It provided cultural as well as soci-economic answers and helped to forge different solutions to contemporary problems. To see the miners as operating only from the point of view of economics is to misunderstand, quite profoundly, the direction of Welsh history since the industrial revolution.

    I think that people create art and culture regardless of circumstance. However, getting that to be sustained is much easier when economic times are good. Staging a national youth orchestra costs money. Buying books and visiting theatres costs money. It becomes vastly easier to access these things when either they have money, or when these things are provided free of use.
    The NYOW was set up in 1945, hardly a time of lavish luxury! Workmen's libraries sustained by a penny a week stoppage on your wages; theatres, cinemas, concert venues, hospitals and hell even the university sustained by similar means. Again, these things do cost money but not so much money as the Waitrose lot would have you believe. Or is it suddenly the case that in 1900 people had vast sums of money?
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    (Original post by Morgsie)
    I asked a question and I am still awaiting a response to that question 1 Hour later.
    What the **** is wrong with you at the minute?

    You asked it at one in the morning and expect an immediate response?

    You're sapping all the fun out of this place man.
 
 
 
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