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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    Shame about the Centre Party really.
    I missed most of their tenure however i don't think there needed now anyway and their absence shifted the Liberals away from the center-left anyway.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I missed most of their tenure however i don't think there needed now anyway and their absence shifted the Liberals away from the center-left anyway.
    They weren't so much useful for their partisan positioning as they were useful for the knowledge and expertise that was contained within their active membership. Whether or not you particularly agree with the various things they did you can't deny that they knew what they were on about much of the time.
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    They weren't so much useful for their partisan positioning as they were useful for the knowledge and expertise that was contained within their active membership. Whether or not you particularly agree with the various things they did you can't deny that they knew what they were on about much of the time.
    Fair point. I don't remember many members although Smack is usually on the ball.
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    They weren't so much useful for their partisan positioning as they were useful for the knowledge and expertise that was contained within their active membership. Whether or not you particularly agree with the various things they did you can't deny that they knew what they were on about much of the time.
    Except on the issue of workers' rights. It was a shock to me when I discovered that a party claiming centrism could take such a hard-right position on the right to industrial action.
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    They weren't so much useful for their partisan positioning as they were useful for the knowledge and expertise that was contained within their active membership. Whether or not you particularly agree with the various things they did you can't deny that they knew what they were on about much of the time.
    That were pretty poor on union rights, let's be honest.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Congratulations to all your MP's.

    Has Smack joined recently or has he always being in the Lib Dems/Liberals?
    I only very recently joined the Liberals, after the re-branding, in fact. Contrary to what TopHat has said, the Centre Party did not merge with the then Lib Dems. It was discussed, but there was no official deal made. The Centre Party collapsed, and some (many?) members may have immediately joined the Lib Dems, whereas others, like myself, took a break from TSR politics.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    That were pretty poor on union rights, let's be honest.
    That depends on where you draw the line between 'rights' and 'taking the piss' !
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    That depends on where you draw the line between 'rights' and 'taking the piss' !
    Oh God, please don't say that we have another "Liberal" opposed to workers' rights... :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I only very recently joined the Liberals, after the re-branding, in fact. Contrary to what TopHat has said, the Centre Party did not merge with the then Lib Dems. It was discussed, but there was no official deal made. The Centre Party collapsed, and some (many?) members may have immediately joined the Lib Dems, whereas others, like myself, took a break from TSR politics.
    Has anything in particular tempted you back?

    What is the most important issue to you?
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    That depends on where you draw the line between 'rights' and 'taking the piss' !
    Since the person who formulated their attitudes towards trades unions was a fella who self-confessed to not liking unions one bit, they tended towards the 'taking the piss' model of trades union legislation whereby those with power wet themselves all over working people. On other aspects the Centre Party deserved a lot of credit in being the single party in this House that has ever listened to both sides and made up their mind on the issue at hand.
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    (Original post by JPKC)
    Oh God, please don't say that we have another "Liberal" opposed to workers' rights... :rolleyes:
    Again, that depends on how a socialist like you is defining 'workers' rights'. In my experience, the hard left has insisted on excessive union strength to the detriment of wider society; those 'rights' I would not support or even define as 'rights' at all.

    Additionally, we should distinguish between union power and workers' rights. The two are not the same. Last century taught us the awful bullying tactics unions are prone to over their members.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Has anything in particular tempted you back?
    Well I never fully stopped commenting on threads and bills so I never truly left. I just felt like coming back, really.

    What is the most important issue to you?
    Education and skills, and energy.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    Again, that depends on how a socialist like you is defining 'workers' rights'. In my experience, the hard left has insisted on excessive union strength to the detriment of wider society; those 'rights' I would not support or even define as 'rights' at all.
    I'm going for the same definition as the UN on this one. Under their definition, the UK is well below standard and actually in breach of several conventions. As Blair said, "we have the most restrictive union laws in Europe", and yet you Rightists seem intent on decimating those rights yet further. The idea of working people having any power over employers disgusts you, no doubt. Typical Daily Mail trash.
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    (Original post by JPKC)
    I'm going for the same definition as the UN on this one. Under their definition, the UK is well below standard and actually in breach of several conventions. As Blair said, "we have the most restrictive union laws in Europe", and yet you Rightists seem intent on decimating those rights yet further. The idea of working people having any power over employers disgusts you, no doubt. Typical Daily Mail trash.
    You're more than capable of presenting a strong argument; there's no need to resort to this baseless, distorting abuse. I'm not a rightist, and I abhor the Daily Fail. Being progressive and being wary of the power of the unions are not mutually exclusive.

    Please can you explain how you think exactly we are 'well below' the UN definition, (I presume of 'workers' rights')?

    As I said in my edit, union power and worker power are not to be confused. The last century showed us all too clearly that empowering the unions and their domineering leaders more often leads to a decline in actual worker empowerment than otherwise. It is out of a concern to individual workers as much as to the efficient running of wider society that I am cautious about further union empowerment.
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    (Original post by JPKC)
    Except on the issue of workers' rights. It was a shock to me when I discovered that a party claiming centrism could take such a hard-right position on the right to industrial action.
    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    That were pretty poor on union rights, let's be honest.
    To be honest I can't really remember what they did on this.
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    (Original post by Tuerin)
    You're more than capable of presenting a strong argument; there's no need to resort to this baseless, distorting abuse. I'm not a rightist, and I abhor the Daily Fail. Being progressive and being wary of the power of the unions are not mutually exclusive.

    Please can you explain how you think exactly we are 'well below' the UN definition, (I presume of 'workers' rights')?
    Can you please explain why you keep referring to workers' rights in inverted commas? Are you implying something by that?

    And I'm happy to answer your question. The ILO's Committee of Experts has, since 1989, found the United Kingdom to be in breach of conventions 87 and 98. One of the biggest concerns of theirs is the finding that the total ban on solidarity action violates the right of trade unions to defend the economic and social interests of their members, as outlined in Convention 87. The Committee also takes strong exception to the rule that prevents unions from expelling members on the grounds of them working to undermine the union, stating that it contradicts the unions right to free association and autonomy. Concerns were also raised about the new recognition procedure introduced by the Employment Relations Act 1999. Four questions in particular were raised, three of these relating to the exclusion of small businesses from the procedure; the fact that an application for recognition under the procedure can be blocked by an employer voluntarily "recognising" a non-independent trade union; and the failure to provide adequate protection for workers from anti-union conduct by employers. The other concern raised by the Committee was that recognition can only be granted where the union can show majority support, whereas under ILO jurisprudence a trade union should be entitled to bargain on behalf of its members, even where the union does not have support from a majority of the workforce.

    As I said in my edit, union power and worker power are not to be confused. The last century showed us all too clearly that empowering the unions and their domineering leaders more often leads to a decline in actual worker empowerment than otherwise. It is out of a concern to individual workers as much as to the efficient running of wider society that I am cautious about further union empowerment.
    All of the above paragraph is senseless, baseless nonsense grounded in a narrative constructed by the Daily Mail and other anti-worker establishments. How is union power separate from workers' rights?
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    Just to keep the house posted, Jsb has stood down as Liberal deputy leader. An election is underway to choose his successor.
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    Just to keep the house posted, Jsb has stood down as Liberal deputy leader. An election is underway to choose his successor.
    Interesting! Any reason given?
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    (Original post by CLS94)
    Interesting! Any reason given?
    He's taking a break from TSR to focus on his exams I think.
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    http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=71782

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