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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    I think Brand connects secularism with consumerism and the cynical exploitation of the working class by their oppressors. As I'm an atheist and a lefty I obviously disagree. Morals and religion (or spirituality in Brands case - I'm pretty sure he isn't actually religious) not being dependant on each other.

    To be honest I've come to terms with the establishment. That's probably why I'm Labour rather than Socialist. I'm the kind of 'practical' Socialists Paul Foot would hate.
    I agree with you that morals and religion (or spirituality) are independent of one another. I'm not an atheist, but I am not religious either, and I know people of many faiths and none, from different countries, who all have the same core morals. We can be influenced by external forces, though - the people around us, wider society, our education, the media, politics, and to what extent we internalise all this is open to debate. Still, I think that deep down, we all have that feeling in our gut when we know something's wrong.

    The more I learn about the establishment, the more I fall out of love with it. I used to be at peace with it, and have faith with it, but that's gone out of the window. I don't want riots in the street, or a violent revolution, but I do believe that we need a significant change.

    (Original post by Rakas21)
    He's a libertarian and like many of them I think that he has far too much faith in humanity. You take down the establishment and you'll either get amateurs who can't purchase a prostitute in a brothel or people will rally behind somebody they perceive as strong.. Just look at Cubans because of Castro as even a tame example.

    I'm also not a fan of his. Bar drugs I've never heard anything remotely pragmatic from him.
    I don't think that Brand being an idealist is a problem. I think that he's meant to be an idealist - he's not a politician, or a social scientist. He's not a philosopher along the lines of a Hume, or a Foucault, or even a Chomsky. Brand is a comedian/writer/actor who is exploring politics and society, just like we are doing here. I think that people expect too much of him and that the criticism that he has no real answers is unfair. For him to have answers, he'd have to read up on history, explore the law, and have an inside view of our political system. I just see him as a social commentator, the same as I am when I publish articles. The difference is that when I write pieces, I research one issue at the time. To delve into political reform and find workable solutions would take many years, and even then I couldn't do it on my own - I'd need the help of a wide variety of experts.
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    I agree with you that morals and religion (or spirituality) are independent of one another. I'm not an atheist, but I am not religious either, and I know people of many faiths and none, from different countries, who all have the same core morals. We can be influenced by external forces, though - the people around us, wider society, our education, the media, politics, and to what extent we internalise all this is open to debate. Still, I think that deep down, we all have that feeling in our gut when we know something's wrong.

    The more I learn about the establishment, the more I fall out of love with it. I used to be at peace with it, and have faith with it, but that's gone out of the window. I don't want riots in the street, or a violent revolution, but I do believe that we need a significant change.
    I agree.

    I also believe the country needs significant change but I also believe this can only be realistically achieved from within the 'establishment' in a broad sense.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    I agree.

    I also believe the country needs significant change but I also believe this can only be realistically achieved from within the 'establishment' in a broad sense.
    The problem with that is that, at this moment in time, the establishment has no real reason to make any significant changes, and without these changes we'll keep on seeing a widening of inequality, and fewer and fewer people having a political voice. A good starting point would be the introduction of the PR voting system. That would open the door to fresh voices in politics - voices I won't always agree with, such as UKIP or the BNP, but that's preferable to the two main parties just swapping seats in the House every term.
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    The problem with that is that, at this moment in time, the establishment has no real reason to make any significant changes, and without these changes we'll keep on seeing a widening of inequality, and fewer and fewer people having a political voice. A good starting point would be the introduction of the PR voting system. That would open the door to fresh voices in politics - voices I won't always agree with, such as UKIP or the BNP, but that's preferable to the two main parties just swapping seats in the House every term.
    Interesting, I wholeheartedly believe that FPTP is a necessary evil if the alternative is 20 UKIP MPs (more in the coming election) and 6 BNP MPs...

    Obviously we need politicians for whom morality is a 'real reason'. We've had them before, I hope we get them again. Ultimately I believe that change will come from Labour.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    Interesting, I wholeheartedly believe that FPTP is a necessary evil if the alternative is 20 UKIP MPs (more in the coming election) and 6 BNP MPs...

    Obviously we need politicians for whom morality is a 'real reason'. We've had them before, I hope we get them again. Ultimately I believe that change will come from Labour.
    With those UKIP and BNP MPs, though, would come other MPs from other parties that currently don't stand a chance, and new parties may be created. It would mean greater representation all around, and the main parties would have to work a lot harder to win over voters and return to their core values (or reevaluate them). This might lessen the disenchantment anyway, and therefore impact the votes that protest parties receive. It's a gamble, but one I think is worth taking.

    I agree with you that we need people who enter politics because of a drive to serve the public, who truly represent their constituents and vote according to their morals. Unfortunately, I don't have as much faith in (real life) Labour as you do. They've ventured too much towards the right for my liking, and their agenda is too similar to that of the Conservatives. I do see them as a slightly lesser evil, but that isn't saying much. Of course, if they returned to their roots, my opinion would be open to change.
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    With those UKIP and BNP MPs, though, would come other MPs from other parties that currently don't stand a chance, and new parties may be created. It would mean greater representation all around, and the main parties would have to work a lot harder to win over voters and return to their core values (or reevaluate them). This might lessen the disenchantment anyway, and therefore impact the votes that protest parties receive. It's a gamble, but one I think is worth taking.

    I agree with you that we need people who enter politics because of a drive to serve the public, who truly represent their constituents and vote according to their morals. Unfortunately, I don't have as much faith in (real life) Labour as you do. They've ventured too much towards the right for my liking, and their agenda is too similar to that of the Conservatives. I do see them as a slightly lesser evil, but that isn't saying much. Of course, if they returned to their roots, my opinion would be open to change.
    Working harder to win votes isn't always the best option. Look at the the general shift towards UKIPness. I also fear that coalition compromise can disenchant voters.

    I guess my position is that Labour have roots it can return to. There is a very strong, positive, progressive voice within the party and it has a unique power to once more get that voice in No. 10. And Labour are already turning back to the left. It'll take a few years of course but diverting support to other parties and movements will only, I believe lengthen the time the British public need to wait for a progressive, leftists government to take the reigns.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    Which is why you vote Labour and get a party that both knows how to govern and has compassionate policies.
    I do think that the loud minorities in the Tories and Labour do make us think that the parties are much more rabidly ideological than they are. I mean Cameron and either Miliband can hardly be described as militants.


    (Original post by Kittiara)
    I agree with you that morals and religion (or spirituality) are independent of one another. I'm not an atheist, but I am not religious either, and I know people of many faiths and none, from different countries, who all have the same core morals. We can be influenced by external forces, though - the people around us, wider society, our education, the media, politics, and to what extent we internalise all this is open to debate. Still, I think that deep down, we all have that feeling in our gut when we know something's wrong.

    The more I learn about the establishment, the more I fall out of love with it. I used to be at peace with it, and have faith with it, but that's gone out of the window. I don't want riots in the street, or a violent revolution, but I do believe that we need a significant change.



    I don't think that Brand being an idealist is a problem. I think that he's meant to be an idealist - he's not a politician, or a social scientist. He's not a philosopher along the lines of a Hume, or a Foucault, or even a Chomsky. Brand is a comedian/writer/actor who is exploring politics and society, just like we are doing here. I think that people expect too much of him and that the criticism that he has no real answers is unfair. For him to have answers, he'd have to read up on history, explore the law, and have an inside view of our political system. I just see him as a social commentator, the same as I am when I publish articles. The difference is that when I write pieces, I research one issue at the time. To delve into political reform and find workable solutions would take many years, and even then I couldn't do it on my own - I'd need the help of a wide variety of experts.
    I agree that's its not a problem but it does not endear me to him.

    I like to hear pragmatism from those who enter the political arena. The ability to acknowledge the strengths of other ideologies and weaknesses of your own is something that I respect.

    That's not to say you should not have your principles of course. For all the hate he gets on TSR I think that Blair genuinely believed in military intervention and I think that his approach to healthcare was genuinely pragmatic. This among other reasons means that I have great respect for the man. Much more than I do Brand.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I do think that the loud minorities in the Tories and Labour do make us think that the parties are much more rabidly ideological than they are. I mean Cameron and either Miliband can hardly be described as militants.
    Yes it's the myth of the strong leader. Both need to hold together large parties that inevitably have various factions.

    I agree that's its not a problem but it does not endear me to him.

    I like to hear pragmatism from those who enter the political arena. The ability to acknowledge the strengths of other ideologies and weaknesses of your own is something that I respect.

    That's not to say you should not have your principles of course. For all the hate he gets on TSR I think that Blair genuinely believed in military intervention and I think that his approach to healthcare was genuinely pragmatic. This among other reasons means that I have great respect for the man. Much more than I do Brand.
    I agree with a reasonable amount of that.
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    I agree with Ray here, I used to be sympathetic to PR but I'm of the opinion that as dull as the establishment is, its the lesser evil. I also don't think populism is a good thing and that would be encouraged by perpetual coalition government, if people knew what was good for them we'd have direct democracy.

    I also don't think consensus is the reason for political disengagement in itself, turnout was still high during the postwar consensus. Rather I think that the faith in politics from the working classes has been destroyed by large organizations. On the one hand they saw the unions in the 70's shaft so many people that the country happily reelected a government that destroyed industries to deal with them and then on the other they see large multinationals avoiding tax while while giving them pay rises that barely beat inflation.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    Working harder to win votes isn't always the best option. Look at the the general shift towards UKIPness. I also fear that coalition compromise can disenchant voters.

    I guess my position is that Labour have roots it can return to. There is a very strong, positive, progressive voice within the party and it has a unique power to once more get that voice in No. 10. And Labour are already turning back to the left. It'll take a few years of course but diverting support to other parties and movements will only, I believe lengthen the time the British public need to wait for a progressive, leftists government to take the reigns.
    I do agree to a certain extent. Both the Conservatives and Labour are trying to win over potential UKIP voters, and the way they're going about it is not doing either of them any favours. Voters see right through it anyway. By working harder to win votes I mean to figure out what they stand for, to be honest, be transparent, give genuine answers to questions, serve their constituents to the best of their ability, run election campaigns that aren't centered around smears of their opponents but set out what they are planning on doing and how they will go about it, to work with other parties when necessary, and to stand up for their beliefs when necessary. No more spin, no more scapegoating, no more politics of fear.

    I am glad to hear that there is a strong, positive, progressive voice within Labour. They need to share that voice with the public. Right now, Labour should be further ahead in the polls than they are, but many people are waiting for Labour to show strength and determination and fairness.

    I understand that you won't favour something that can risk a split vote, but if Labour were to return to its roots, that wouldn't be a real risk as they would be the left-wing alternative many people are looking for.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I agree that's its not a problem but it does not endear me to him.

    I like to hear pragmatism from those who enter the political arena. The ability to acknowledge the strengths of other ideologies and weaknesses of your own is something that I respect.

    That's not to say you should not have your principles of course. For all the hate he gets on TSR I think that Blair genuinely believed in military intervention and I think that his approach to healthcare was genuinely pragmatic. This among other reasons means that I have great respect for the man. Much more than I do Brand.
    That is fair enough.

    I don't think that Brand is looking to enter the political arena, though, is he? I do agree, however, that it is good to acknowledge the strengths of other ideologies and the weaknesses of your own. I may not be a big fan of the Conservative Party, for example, but they have done some good things, such as the introduction of marriage rights for same-gender couples.
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    I do agree to a certain extent. Both the Conservatives and Labour are trying to win over potential UKIP voters, and the way they're going about it is not doing either of them any favours. Voters see right through it anyway. By working harder to win votes I mean to figure out what they stand for, to be honest, be transparent, give genuine answers to questions, serve their constituents to the best of their ability, run election campaigns that aren't centered around smears of their opponents but set out what they are planning on doing and how they will go about it, to work with other parties when necessary, and to stand up for their beliefs when necessary. No more spin, no more scapegoating, no more politics of fear.

    I am glad to hear that there is a strong, positive, progressive voice within Labour. They need to share that voice with the public. Right now, Labour should be further ahead in the polls than they are, but many people are waiting for Labour to show strength and determination and fairness.

    I understand that you won't favour something that can risk a split vote, but if Labour were to return to its roots, that wouldn't be a real risk as they would be the left-wing alternative many people are looking for.

    I agree, but I'm not sure changing the electoral system will bring about that internal change - at least not without a lot of damage.

    That's a fair point.
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    That is fair enough.

    I don't think that Brand is looking to enter the political arena, though, is he? I do agree, however, that it is good to acknowledge the strengths of other ideologies and the weaknesses of your own. I may not be a big fan of the Conservative Party, for example, but they have done some good things, such as the introduction of marriage rights for same-gender couples.
    One does not have to be a politician to enter the political arena. Simply by writing and using his status to express his views, he has done so. Going further by going on QT.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I agree with Ray here, I used to be sympathetic to PR but I'm of the opinion that as dull as the establishment is, its the lesser evil. I also don't think populism is a good thing and that would be encouraged by perpetual coalition government, if people knew what was good for them we'd have direct democracy.

    I also don't think consensus is the reason for political disengagement in itself, turnout was still high during the postwar consensus. Rather I think that the faith in politics from the working classes has been destroyed by large organizations. On the one hand they saw the unions in the 70's shaft so many people that the country happily reelected a government that destroyed industries to deal with them and then on the other they see large multinationals avoiding tax while while giving them pay rises that barely beat inflation.
    I just believe in offering people genuine options. Right now, whatever party a person votes for, they are voting for the continuation of the establishment, and this has at least contributed to a disenchantment with politics and the rise of UKIP - many people don't feel that they are being represented. Not that every person who feels that way agrees with UKIP, of course. They are merely one visible symptom.

    I do agree with you, though, that large organisations are another problem, and a big one at that. Quite naturally, many people don't think it's right that the wages they work hard for need a government top-up just to be able to pay their bills and put food on the table. Most people, I think, don't want to be reliant on government support. They just want a fair wage in exchange for their labour.
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    Pretty sure most countries with PR have quotas set for the percentage of votes you need to enter Parliament, so the likes of the BNP and possibly even 2010 UKIP still don't get any seats, but there's a fairer split amongst the parties with larger amounts of support.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    I agree, but I'm not sure changing the electoral system will bring about that internal change - at least not without a lot of damage.

    That's a fair point.
    I do admit that it is risky and could have its downsides. I don't know how else to even begin the process of genuine change, though. What do you reckon would help? I know that you have faith in Labour, but it takes more than one party to affect true, lasting change.

    (Original post by Rakas21)
    One does not have to be a politician to enter the political arena. Simply by writing and using his status to express his views, he has done so. Going further by going on QT.
    I guess you are right about that. It might be interesting if he were to actually engage in politics in a more formal capacity, though. How much would his views change once he learns the inner workings of politics? I don't know. Perhaps it would be a disaster, or perhaps he would become more pragmatic and find some workable solutions.
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    I do admit that it is risky and could have its downsides. I don't know how else to even begin the process of genuine change, though. What do you reckon would help? I know that you have faith in Labour, but it takes more than one party to affect true, lasting change.



    I guess you are right about that. It might be interesting if he were to actually engage in politics in a more formal capacity, though. How much would his views change once he learns the inner workings of politics? I don't know. Perhaps it would be a disaster, or perhaps he would become more pragmatic and find some workable solutions.
    He did have an awful lot of praise for Caroline Lucas. I could see some awkward occurrence in the future where he aligns himself somewhat with the Greens and they're not so sure that's a good thing!
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    I do admit that it is risky and could have its downsides. I don't know how else to even begin the process of genuine change, though. What do you reckon would help? I know that you have faith in Labour, but it takes more than one party to affect true, lasting change.

    I guess you are right about that. It might be interesting if he were to actually engage in politics in a more formal capacity, though. How much would his views change once he learns the inner workings of politics? I don't know. Perhaps it would be a disaster, or perhaps he would become more pragmatic and find some workable solutions.
    To create lasting change you need to win the arguments and force consensus. Atlee won the arguments on welfare and health, even now the most the right has done is fight the concept of universality. Thatcher won the arguments on the economy by expanding home ownership (effectively expanding the middle class) and generally won the argument that the market can be better than government (only really convinced people that government was useless at running utilities rather than the market being better), even today no mainstream party wants to nationalize industry.

    The problem Labour have today is that they have not really won the arguments, at least on the economy. They've been forced to concede to the Tories on the deficit and welfare and the fairness argument is not a very strong one given economic circumstances. Now if they can scrape a government together they may be able to win arguments and force a new consensus but I,can't see Miliband being the guy to do that.
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    (Original post by Green_Pink)
    He did have an awful lot of praise for Caroline Lucas. I could see some awkward occurrence in the future where he aligns himself somewhat with the Greens and they're not so sure that's a good thing!
    That would be awkward... and entertaining . It's true that if I were a leader of a small political party, I wouldn't welcome the endorsement of someone like Brand with open arms, because it could be a very mixed blessing indeed.
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    That would be awkward... and entertaining . It's true that if I were a leader of a small political party, I wouldn't welcome the endorsement of someone like Brand with open arms, because it could be a very mixed blessing indeed.
    Agreed! Brand obviously has a whole lot of history before his 'political awakening', not all of it pleasant, and doesn't actually seem to have many political ideas beyond "legalise drugs" and "the establishment is crap". I thin that's if anything in contrast to the Greens who like them or loath them do have a huge set of llogicaland thought-out policies. Not to mention that I doubt they'd be too pleased to see him grab the spotlight away from the actual leaders who are far more respected in the party and consistently progressive than him, which would be an inevitability.
 
 
 
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