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MHoC Leader's Debate 2015 watch

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    (Original post by hazzer1998)
    Thank you for your detailed response , I fully support this policy however I just have a few more questions

    1) If you are going to increase spending to 3% of GDP ,How will you fund this ( would the money saved by leaving the EU go towards this )

    2) If we are increasing RAF aircraft numbers where will we store them ? We would need to build / re-open some RAF Stations to cope with high aircraft numbers and we would need to recruit more pilots , ATC Controllers , Engineers , Loadmasters ETC ( How would you fund building new bases and increasing personnel numbers ?
    I have a question:
    Why?
    In God's name, just why?
    This isn't Cold War Europe, there are no significant threats to the UK apart from Islamists who can be defended against by an increase in spending on security forces rather than military, and we have more important things on our shopping list.
    Now if New Labour had remained left wing and not invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, we wouldn't have these problems.
    The US would still have them because they don't learn, but we wouldn't.
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    (Original post by DMcGovern)
    I have a question:
    Why?
    In God's name, just why?
    This isn't Cold War Europe, there are no significant threats to the UK apart from Islamists who can be defended against by an increase in spending on security forces rather than military, and we have more important things on our shopping list.
    Now if New Labour had remained left wing and not invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, we wouldn't have these problems.
    The US would still have them because they don't learn, but we wouldn't.
    I shall come to your post replying to my questions, and I am aware that you have no real formal leadership, when I get back to my room, and having not read your replies I imagine that this will cover your response to the relevant question, three is memory serves me correctly, but your response seems rather short term, just because right now the major threat is islamists does not mean that in 5, or ten, or twenty years years this will still be the case; as I eluded to in other questions, there is a very real threat of war between the United States and China in the coming decades over economic and military supremacy on the global stage. This, if it does happen, will be a major stress point for NATO, and we need to be prepared in case this is to happen; I'm sure you're well aware how long it takes for a military plan of action to be put into place if not massively urgent, especially if a weapons platform, and thus we should act now. Better safe than sorry.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    I shall come to your post replying to my questions, and I am aware that you have no real formal leadership, when I get back to my room, and having not read your replies I imagine that this will cover your response to the relevant question, three is memory serves me correctly, but your response seems rather short term, just because right now the major threat is islamists does not mean that in 5, or ten, or twenty years years this will still be the case; as I eluded to in other questions, there is a very real threat of war between the United States and China in the coming decades over economic and military supremacy on the global stage. This, if it does happen, will be a major stress point for NATO, and we need to be prepared in case this is to happen; I'm sure you're well aware how long it takes for a military plan of action to be put into place if not massively urgent, especially if a weapons platform, and thus we should act now. Better safe than sorry.
    It's not that we don't have a real formal leadership, its that we choose to work collectively rather than under a single leader. We might have commissars for certain areas of their expertise, but we ultimately work as a collective.

    Again, we do not intend to cut defence spending apart from Trident, which is a waste of essential resources. If there is a threat from China then we need to act sustainably, which is what we are doing by not cutting the armed forces.

    Another hypothetical point - Does the phrase 'neutrality' mean anything to the Liberals? Surely they would support such a policy?
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    (Original post by DMcGovern)
    It's not that we don't have a real formal leadership, its that we choose to work collectively rather than under a single leader. We might have commissars for certain areas of their expertise, but we ultimately work as a collective.

    Again, we do not intend to cut defence spending apart from Trident, which is a waste of essential resources. If there is a threat from China then we need to act sustainably, which is what we are doing by not cutting the armed forces.

    Another hypothetical point - Does the phrase 'neutrality' mean anything to the Liberals? Surely they would support such a policy?
    But given just how little of the defence budget our nuclear deterrent is, and given that it is, in terms of public knowledge, the ultimate deterrent in the world right now, what is to be really gained from getting rid of it? I know that the British armed forces are some of the best in the world, but do you really believe that they stand a chance against Chinese armed forces, supposing that there were to be war between the UK and china? Given the size of their standing army alone, we can have potential firepower about 4 times theirs per man and it would still end in, at best for us, a statelemate
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    But given just how little of the defence budget our nuclear deterrent is, and given that it is, in terms of public knowledge, the ultimate deterrent in the world right now, what is to be really gained from getting rid of it? I know that the British armed forces are some of the best in the world, but do you really believe that they stand a chance against Chinese armed forces, supposing that there were to be war between the UK and china? Given the size of their standing army alone, we can have potential firepower about 4 times theirs per man and it would still end in, at best for us, a statelemate
    I really doubt the UK will do anything to provoke China into military action. The USA, yes. By withdrawing from NATO and maintaining neutrality, there will be no threat from any other country. Extremist threats will be dealt with by increased expenditure in security/government/civil service.
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    (Original post by DMcGovern)
    I really doubt the UK will do anything to provoke China into military action. The USA, yes. By withdrawing from NATO and maintaining neutrality, there will be no threat from any other country. Extremist threats will be dealt with by increased expenditure in security/government/civil service.
    How does expanding the civil service help? After all, after you expand it you cannot easily undo that move?
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    (Original post by DMcGovern)
    Just to inform you in case you claim I have no legitimacy, the Socialist Party is run as a collective and therefore all members of the Party have equal status.

    Q1:
    We've come a long way since Labour's Aneurin Bevan founded modern council housing in the aftermath of WW2. Above all, his aim was to create mixed communities, the reasoning behind this being that it would mix people of different backgrounds together, helping them to understand one another, breaking down the sort of prejudices we see today.
    "It is entirely undesirable that on modern housing estates only one type of citizen should live," he argued. "If we are to enable citizens to lead a full life, if they are each to be aware of the problems of their neighbours, then they should all be drawn from different sectors of the community. We should try to introduce what was always the lovely feature of English and Welsh villages, where the doctor, the grocer, the butcher and the farm labourer all lived on the same street."

    This laudable principle has been fatally undermined by policies introduced in the Thatcher era which New Labour have happily kept in place. Council estates now display the exact opposite result to that originally intended by Bevan. As the 1970s drew to a close, before the Thatcher government launched the 'right to buy' scheme, more than two in five of us lived in council housing.
    Today the figure is closer to one in ten, with tenants of housing associations and co-operatives representing half as many again. Councils were prevented from building new homes and, over the last fourteen years, the party of Bevan has refused to invest money in the remaining houses under local authority control. As council housing collapsed, remaining stock was prioritised for those most in need. 'New tenants coming in, almost exclusively in order to meet stringent criteria, will either be single parents with dependent children, or people out of institutions e.g. prisons', explained the late Alan Walter, chairman of Defend Council Housing. 'Therefore they are, almost by definition, those without work.' Many of those who remain in council housing are too poor to take advantage of the right to buy scheme.

    New evidence has emerged that the Government’s Right to Buy scheme is an abject failure and is leading to a significant reduction in vitally needed social housing. It has been revealed that 80% of councils replying to a Local Government Association survey said that the system does not allow them to replace homes that are sold. Last year 10,000 homes were sold under the Right to Buy scheme but only 1,662 new homes were built.
    The government itself was also forced to admit the 'right to buy' scheme had failed. The Government has been forced into an embarrassing climbdown after admitting the number of homes financed by Right to Buy sales money is just over half the amount it initially claimed.
    Social housing experts poured scorn on the Department of Communities and Local Government after it slashed official figures of houses being built using council house receipts from 4,795 to 2,712.

    Right to Buy isn't aspirational, it's a club that's battering the needy and increasing inequality.
    Social housing is in crisis as right-to-buy continues to deplete stock.
    I shall try to keep my reponse a bit shorter than yours (not hard) by making two primary points:
    First, you cite that the failings in right to buy are that the councils are unable to replenish the lost stock, this is not an inherent failure in right to buy, it is, instead, supposing the claims are correct, a failing in other legislation, the legislation that prevents the replenishment of the housing stock.
    Secondly, you say that it is failing because it means that social housing does not now do the same thing that Bevan originally intended it to do, now, this is the case for a great many things that came about in the early post war years. Given this line of argument, does this mean that you also support massive reform of the welfare state to significantly ut its costs and return it to its original state of being there to help those in need, as a safety net, and not being something there for the majority of the population as a political tool? Thought not.

    I shall finally add, does this mean that you do not believe that it is not an aspiration of many ot be able to own their own home, and that right to buy, given the discounts involved, does not help many of the less well off to achieve this aspiration?

    [quote]Q2: We believe in nationalisation because it is proven that under democratic public ownership, public services can be run in the interests of the people and not solely for profit. London Underground, for example, is state-run, and nobody can argue that it isn't bloody brilliant. All of LU's profits are pumped back into the system to provide a more efficient service.
    And don't be a cheeky sod, we all know the meaning of free healthcare - slightly more taxes mean a more well-funded, better-run healthcare service, which we'd all rather have than having to buy health insurance and that labyrinth of inequality.[quote]

    You claim that nobody can claim that LU isn't brilliant, yet many do claim that. You cite the London Underground, yet conveniently ignore the leaps and bounds made by our overground rail infrastructure since the end of British Rial, a truly awful network. On the matter of the NHS, we seem to be totally fixated by this idea that totally public operation and control is the best for the NHS, yet this is a truly laughable suggestion. There has been a single experiment in the private operation of a large scale NHS project, and it was a resounding success; in almost all instances issues with the 'privatisation' of the NHS do not come about from the private operator, no, they tend to come from the staff who have become indoctrinated to believe that it is the worst thing that could possibly happen to the NHS, they don't eve need the unions to indoctrinate them any more. The RL Government wants the NHS to make £22bn of efficiency savings over this parliament, and they believe they can make at least £15bn of efficiency savings; were politicians not so opposed to the so called 'privatisation' of the NHS these savings would not need to be made now, they would have already have been made. Time and again, we see the benefits of private enterprise, where the profit incentive gives them a reason to improve service and/or find savings, something that the public sector simply does not have to worry about.

    Q3:
    Really? Then where are the UK's nuclear weapons? Have they been launched at Ukraine or something? Do us a favour, we all know that nuclear weapons will never be used and no longer work as a deterrent, this isn't about lines on a map or flags anymore, the UK's biggest threat is terrorists that don't work as a conventional army or for a country.
    Additional to earlier comments, last I checked, you didn't collect dust under water, and warehouses aren't silos.

    Q4:
    I'm not even going to respond to that.
    So you don't deny it?

    Q5:
    Which human rights? Well how about Freedom of thought, conscience and religion?
    How exactly do the proposals in the question breach these so called rights?

    Interestingly, when looking up our 'universal human rights', the aims of socialism run contrary to these rights, namely the right to private ownership (Article 17).
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    Liberals - on Q1 you say that you want to make it easier to build on greenfield sites. While I agree that we desperately need more houses, my problem with that is that many greenfield sites that are not being used for agricultural purposes are a vital part of local ecosystems. So how do you plan to reconcile this policy with not having a disastrous effect on the environment?
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    You're go away for just a little bit, finally get to your computer and there's so much to read. *sigh*
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    I'll try and do one for each party

    Q1. Conservatives - "we should address the issue more generally, for example through education, job opportunities and affordable mortgages." This is a surprisingly vague answer, other parties have suggested distributing workers more evenly, changing right to buy or simply building more homes. Your answer suggests that you back right to buy, leaving it open to free market economics and private lending. How does "education" benefit low wage earning Londoners who have to nurse the hospitals, sweep the streets etc,

    Q2. Liberals - supporting a "mixed economy" is a good argument, however, in the instance of increased internet access, how do you plan on running this, allow private firms to invest in cities thus giving them super fast broadband and leaving rural areas lacking, or will you back nation wide roll out of improved access to internet everywhere?

    Q3. Socialists - as I understand it, you support cutting our defence budget immensely, never mind cutting Trident, but are additional defense cuts truly justifiable while Putin continues to push his agenda in Ukraine and Syria, is a totally pacifistic attitude fair, and how will we protected?

    Q4. Labour - you back apprenticeships in equal measure as degrees, however, while graduate unemployment rises, is it not fair to say that apprenticeships need further investment, while we should be simultaneously tackling high graduate unemployment? How would you do the latter?

    Q5. Greens - you support the right of individuals to have their own choice about the values that they hold. However, in communities where clear divides exist, where there are concerns about the inability to integrate, due to language, religion or personal choice. We have different communities co-existing, but not integrating. Is it not fair that people raise concerns on this, rather than simply saying "everyone is different?"

    Q6. UKIP - we still have coal, oil prices are at their lowest level, why should we risk millions investing in renewable energy, when we can continue to produce energy cheaply and regulate the energy firms. Are you a Green party in disguise?

    Soz guys, tried my best to challenge you all on one question each. GL
    Hello TBM, hope you're well.
    Going back to the original question I noted that as individuals neither those receiving vocational qualifications nor those receiving traditional degrees should discriminated against. A compassionate government like the one TSR Labour envisions needs to support both for both are vital to the economy. That isn't to say we can't invest in one type of qualification more than the other or encourage one over the other as required. Do you see what I'm getting at? In order to tackle graduate unemployment I think it simply goes back to fitting our education system to the skills that are actually in demand. That's why a National Education Service (focusing on vocational qualifications) is such a good idea - people will be able to access the skills as they are needed regardless of educational background and everyone will reap the rewards of a high-skill economy as a result. Improving the quality of vocational qualifications would also help remove any stigma attached that presses people into the university route regardless of wether that's what they really want to pursue.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    So, in cities complementing the surface world, and in extreme conditions, so let's get back to the original question, do you really believe that people who want to live in rural areas want to live underground?
    yes I do, I certainly would and I feel that it would be very exciting.

    They're completely different? How is one deterrent completely different from another just because you would be even more cautious about using it? Ultimately, we have three phases of deterrence, the first is diplomatic, embargoes and the likes, and the one most often used; the second is military, the one we rarely have to use, but do if necessary, i.e. most wars; then finally we have our nuclear deterrent, which hopefully we do not use. At the end of the day, all three systems are in place to try to stop other people doing things we don't want to
    trident woudl only be used after we have nearly been completely crippled and using it would likely result in massive civilian casualties. The wepons shouldn't be used and as such we shouldn't have them. Investing properly in conventional forces and making sure they can deal with threats is a much better use of the money.

    Go read the definition again and point out where there is the necessity of uniqueness to talk about culture belonging to a group of people.
    to say that people have to assimilate British culture suggests that there is a British culture which can be defined and as such it should be uniquely identifiable as British. If is isn't unique then it cannot be exclusively british.

    That your claim that we do not know what is at the bottom of the ocean is largely irrelevant; we are talking about fairly well explored regions of the ocean, and unless we have missed just shy of 98% of life that lives on the sea bed at 6000ft the point still stands, there is way more sea life that would be affected by energy production on the surface, which you seem to care little about, compared to transporting it across the sea floor, something you seem strongly opposed to. There is blatant hypocrisy here when you want to drive up costs to protect very little from EMFs, but are perfectly happy to expose that same 'risk' on an amount of life nearly two orders of magnitude greater in number, and that of course assumes that, per species, the density of life per unit volume is the same, which is isn't, so you're likely looking at several orders of magnitude of life forms being exposed with wave than with that big cable that you seem so against.
    is talking about animals getting disoriented which use EMF to navigate or hunt. Animals in the shallows tend to use light but at depths most animals use electro magnetism so it will do a lot of damage.
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    As I was not on this forum until today can I ask an additional question?

    What will you do to increase the staff numbers in the NHS and provide a better service for the tax payers?
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    (Original post by Aph)
    yes I do, I certainly would and I feel that it would be very exciting.
    As someone living in a rural area, I can assure you that the thought of living underground is not an attractive prospect to say the least.


    (Original post by Aph)

    to say that people have to assimilate British culture suggests that there is a British culture which can be defined and as such it should be uniquely identifiable as British. If is isn't unique then it cannot be exclusively british.
    I've been to I think 10 other countries and met people from several more, and there's definitely a uniquely distinct British culture. In what other country is it common for around 50% of conversation to be weather-related?
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    (Original post by cranbrook_aspie)
    As someone living in a rural area, I can assure you that the thought of living underground is not an attractive prospect to say the least.



    I've been to I think 10 other countries and met people from several more, and there's definitely a uniquely distinct British culture. In what other country is it common for around 50% of conversation to be weather-related?
    Ahh yeah. I think obsession with the weather is in the British culture, and maybe willingness to queue?

    The government says that British values are:
    • democracy
    • rule of law
    • individual liberty
    • respect and tolerance of those with different faiths
    • chalenging people who don't hold British values


    I'm not sure I'd agree with that.
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    James Milibanter, former TSR Labour MP and current member.

    It's been about a week since I was last online, been a bit busy.

    I don't know why nobody's picked up on the fact that "British values" don't exist, it implies that everyone in Britain is virtually the same, which is not the case, values and cultures change depending on what side of the street one lives on. We each have our own set of values and in many cases these are shared between ourselves, these don't exist because we're British, they exist because we're human. "British culture"is another thing that's highly varied, curry and kebab are as dominant as fish and chips depending on whereabouts you are, pubs are closing down all over the gaff, and there are churches turning into Tesco's.

    The point I would like to make is that, I believe that my party is on the same page as me on this, that integration relies on integration. Forcing immigrants to follow a culture that doesn't really exist and have values that they would either have anyway or are too vague to actually force on someone anyway is just absurd. Instead we should be focussing on aspiration and opportunity, which we have been doing both in and out of government, if we can increase employment, and help out enterprising individuals, encourage people to work together, then local communities will thrive. We've been attempting this with the introduction of the British investment bank, the Worker's cooperative grants, and just before parliament was dissolved we managed to pass through a bill that abolished business rates.

    When it comes to the private and state sectors, it seems that people are under the impression that these are paralleled, but they don't have to be. We in Labour would like to see the state and private sector working together to create a sustainable and strong economy which will be to the benefit of workers, employers, kids and pensioners, we believe that it's only when the state and private sector work together that we can have an economy that works for everyone. Personally, I strongly believe that TSR Labour that can offer this to the greatest extent because of how broad a church we are, having "Marxists" alongside "neoliberals" in constructive debate allows us as a party to develop balanced sensible solutions to problems faced by the people of Britain, the left of our party's strength means that we will be tough on businesses that don't pay their fair share, and the right of our party's strength means that we can provide an economic structure that allows business to thrive.

    So that's pretty much all I have to say right now, well other than VOTE LABOUR of course.
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    (Original post by James Milibanter)
    James Milibanter, former TSR Labour MP and current member.

    It's been about a week since I was last online, been a bit busy.

    I don't know why nobody's picked up on the fact that "British values" don't exist, it implies that everyone in Britain is virtually the same, which is not the case, values and cultures change depending on what side of the street one lives on. We each have our own set of values and in many cases these are shared between ourselves, these don't exist because we're British, they exist because we're human. "British culture"is another thing that's highly varied, curry and kebab are as dominant as fish and chips depending on whereabouts you are, pubs are closing down all over the gaff, and there are churches turning into Tesco's.

    The point I would like to make is that, I believe that my party is on the same page as me on this, that integration relies on integration. Forcing immigrants to follow a culture that doesn't really exist and have values that they would either have anyway or are too vague to actually force on someone anyway is just absurd. Instead we should be focussing on aspiration and opportunity, which we have been doing both in and out of government, if we can increase employment, and help out enterprising individuals, encourage people to work together, then local communities will thrive. We've been attempting this with the introduction of the British investment bank, the Worker's cooperative grants, and just before parliament was dissolved we managed to pass through a bill that abolished business rates.

    When it comes to the private and state sectors, it seems that people are under the impression that these are paralleled, but they don't have to be. We in Labour would like to see the state and private sector working together to create a sustainable and strong economy which will be to the benefit of workers, employers, kids and pensioners, we believe that it's only when the state and private sector work together that we can have an economy that works for everyone. Personally, I strongly believe that TSR Labour that can offer this to the greatest extent because of how broad a church we are, having "Marxists" alongside "neoliberals" in constructive debate allows us as a party to develop balanced sensible solutions to problems faced by the people of Britain, the left of our party's strength means that we will be tough on businesses that don't pay their fair share, and the right of our party's strength means that we can provide an economic structure that allows business to thrive.

    So that's pretty much all I have to say right now, well other than VOTE LABOUR of course.
    Are you kidding me? I've been in a really long drawn out debate with jammy about there being no such thing as British values.
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    (Original post by Aph)
    yes I do, I certainly would and I feel that it would be very exciting.
    So because, you, an individual, would want to means that the average person on the street would? Well then, by the same logic, I would not want to, ergo very few would.

    trident woudl only be used after we have nearly been completely crippled and using it would likely result in massive civilian casualties. The wepons shouldn't be used and as such we shouldn't have them. Investing properly in conventional forces and making sure they can deal with threats is a much better use of the money.
    And our armed forces are generally only used after we have exhausted diplomatic means, which hardly irregularly involve sanctions, which tend to be with the aim of crippling the country, so again, should we not get rid of our standing forces?

    And I come back round to a human level, again, suppose you were a burglar, who are you more likely to rob, the old lady who leaves her door unlocked, or the strapping young lad down the road with a locked door, guard dog, alarm, and rifle next to their bed? I guess he shouldn't have that rifle to defend himself and his property because he will hopefully never have to use it [directly]? He shouldn't have it because the dog will have quite possibly already dealt with the issue? I really do get tired of trying to explain the whole point of a deterrence system every other week.

    to say that people have to assimilate British culture suggests that there is a British culture which can be defined and as such it should be uniquely identifiable as British. If is isn't unique then it cannot be exclusively british.
    And this seems to be your problem, you are constantly making this statement, that runs contradictory to definitions, not that you seem to care about definitions, that a value or cultural element can only belong to a group of people if it is unique to those people. One of those wonderful things about sets are subsets, you are declaring that the subset, British Values/cultures, cannot exist because some of it's elements are in another subset. Okay then, so are you saying that we cannot define the even numbers as a subset because some of those elements also belong to others?

    is talking about animals getting disoriented which use EMF to navigate or hunt. Animals in the shallows tend to use light but at depths most animals use electro magnetism so it will do a lot of damage.
    Just because they use light to see does not mean that they can navigate according to it, for example, Salmon use magnetic fields to find their way around, even though they perceive the world around them using light. Also reading a study here into the effects of EMF on marine life, and they're looking at shallow water fish; in Salmon, exposure puts them on edge, although that could be due to other factors, and Rainbow Trout, late exposure to EMF significantly increases birth defects; with Atlantic Halibut, slightly arrested development, shorter too. Many fish, use electroreception. Again, you're looking at over 50 times as many species, and those species being in much much greater numbers.


    (Original post by Aph)
    Are you kidding me? I've been in a really long drawn out debate with jammy about there being no such thing as British values.
    James Milibanter. Since we have now come to the explicit words 'British Values', I think it's time to quote Hannan:
    "Name a British Value? Easy: liberty."
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    How do each of the parties propose to reduce domestic violence?
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Why is it that you focus in your answer on destroying the greenbelt, despite in many cities there being very large brownfield sites, much of which can be developed on?
    As Petros said really, obviously we’d like to build on brownfield sites as well but I think that’s a no brainer and everyone is happy with that to the point where it’s not even worth mentioning as a ‘strategy’ as such. I’m more interested in outlining what needs to be done in addition to the more obvious catch-all solutions. Essentially, I think we need to do more than cram people into cities and instead start evening things out a bit. We can’t be scared about making difficult decisions to house a fast growing population and I honestly think we’ll be at breaking point unless we get started on the greenbelt. This is somewhat continued further down in my reply to Cranbrook.


    Q2: Unless you believe that, for all intents and purposes, the public sector should not exist beyond the civil service, on what basis can you reasonably make the claim that "the state exists to provide services the private sector cannot reasonably provide well”?
    I don’t see why that’s in contravention with wanting a state that actually does things beyond a civil service. Sometimes markets fail to deliver what is right for people. I don’t want the state doing something when the market can do it better, that’s basically what I was saying. But a country without some sort of safety net for its people or a guarantee on healthcare is not one where I want to live. And those are the types of things we have a state for because all of the private solutions I’ve heard on those are either completely unethical, unworkable or both.

    Q3: a sound answer, no questions.

    Q4: Now you're starting to make me think I should defect, no questions.

    Q5: No questions

    Q6: Okay, maybe not defecting now, no questions.
    Thanks man, just remember if you change your mind… :flutter:

    (Original post by barnetlad)
    Local government in my view has been gradually strangled and restricted over the last 30 or so years. How would the parties seek to reverse this trend?
    On the things where it makes sense: I’d like decisions to be made as close to the people that affect them as possible. The problem I see with local government though that I’ve tried to describe in the manifesto is that there’s just too much repetition over geographically homogeneous locations. We’ve got loads of tiny authorities serving tiny places providing all of the same services and inevitably there’s going to be big inefficiencies in that kind of approach. I mean just look at this map for instance. I imagine if it were ever possible to quantify inefficiency of government against size there’d be something of a bell curve shape. Once it gets too big its a bloated mess but too small and you’ve got another mess. Local government districts would do well to be a bit more disparate in location. So in a nutshell, we want there to be fewer (but larger) councils and of those, we’d like them to have more powers over their affairs than they had before. We’d need to iron out exactly what those extra powers would be though. I’d be keen to see a lot of what DCMS already does handed down to councils, and maybe a lot of the things involving transport and DEFRA too.

    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    supporting a "mixed economy" is a good argument, however, in the instance of increased internet access, how do you plan on running this, allow private firms to invest in cities thus giving them super fast broadband and leaving rural areas lacking, or will you back nation wide roll out of improved access to internet everywhere?
    I think Petros has handled this one perfectly. We’re very keen not to see the non-urban areas held back at all. As a similar example I’m still waiting for 4G in the areas that I live, and I think that’s pathetic. In fact I’d say that’s the whole point in expanding to super fast connections, it’s all about making geographic location less of a hindrance and in connecting people together, the countryside shouldn’t be left behind in that.

    (Original post by cranbrook_aspie)
    Liberals - on Q1 you say that you want to make it easier to build on greenfield sites. While I agree that we desperately need more houses, my problem with that is that many greenfield sites that are not being used for agricultural purposes are a vital part of local ecosystems. So how do you plan to reconcile this policy with not having a disastrous effect on the environment?
    That’s a decent point and one we’d definitely need to consider when actually deciding which greenfield sites we go for. It’s not necessarily a reason to hold back on going for greenfield sites in general though. It just needs to be carefully managed by people who understand it more than any of us do.


    (Original post by ZZTop1)
    As I was not on this forum until today can I ask an additional question?

    What will you do to increase the staff numbers in the NHS and provide a better service for the tax payers?
    In the Liberals we’ve committed to spending an extra £8bn on the NHS with at least £3.5bn of that going towards mental health services, which is the area that is really failing people right now. This extra money will really help improve services in all areas of the NHS and inevitably lead to the higher staff numbers that you talk about too. We’ll see if there are any inefficiencies worth tackling in the NHS as well to see if we can get even more out of it for patients.
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    (Original post by Jarred)
    As Petros said really, obviously we’d like to build on brownfield sites as well but I think that’s a no brainer and everyone is happy with that to the point where it’s not even worth mentioning as a ‘strategy’ as such. I’m more interested in outlining what needs to be done in addition to the more obvious catch-all solutions. Essentially, I think we need to do more than cram people into cities and instead start evening things out a bit. We can’t be scared about making difficult decisions to house a fast growing population and I honestly think we’ll be at breaking point unless we get started on the greenbelt. This is somewhat continued further down in my reply to Cranbrook.
    But, as in my response to Petros, there is currently believed to be capacity for about 1m homes on brownfield sites that can currently be used for development, that is sufficient for getting on fort a decade of population growth at current rates, even longer if we are to leave the EU in 2 years and cut population growth, and that's before considering land that becomes available.


    I don’t see why that’s in contravention with wanting a state that actually does things beyond a civil service. Sometimes markets fail to deliver what is right for people. I don’t want the state doing something when the market can do it better, that’s basically what I was saying. But a country without some sort of safety net for its people or a guarantee on healthcare is not one where I want to live. And those are the types of things we have a state for because all of the private solutions I’ve heard on those are either completely unethical, unworkable or both.
    The point being made was that, if I recall your initial answer correctly, you said something along the lines of the state should only provide what the private sector cannot do reasonably well, but as my reply states, is this not restricted to the civil service, and even then not really, thinking about it, only because it is part of government; does the statement being referred to not run contrary to the suggestion that we should have just a smaller state, to me it suggests there should be, for all intents and purposes, no state beyond legislature.
 
 
 
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