Socialists Question Time AKA 'Ask a Socialist' Watch

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UniOfLife
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#201
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#201
(Original post by smalltownboy)
As a Socialist, I would like to see private schools and healthcare phased out and eventually abolished.

Private healthcare takes doctors away from the NHS, as alasdair said, and private education nullifies any idea that our society is a meritocracy.
And presumably you also agree that private transport should be abolished as well.
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Nothos
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#202
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#202
Socialists believe in redistribution of wealth, and Labour seem to be doing it by pumping money into the benefits system.

Don't you feel that a better way of making the poor better off is just making the welfare state more efficient allowing lowered taxes, rather than flogging the proverbial dead horse?
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Grape190190
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#203
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#203
(Original post by UniOfLife)
So is it Socialist Party policy to destroy the private healthcare sector and force all those willing to pay for their own treatment to receive it for free from the state?
Absolutely. At least, it's my view.
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SuperhansFavouriteAlsatian
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#204
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#204
Where does "private teaching" end, though? Would one abolish Private schools? Presumably. What about private tutors, whose full time job is to help students enrolled in other schools? What about those who do it part time, ie A-Level students who tutor SAT or GCSE students to earn a bit of pocket money to get blasted in a club? What about teachers who want a bit more dough who tutor for a few hours weekly? What about private music teachers? What separates music from, say, Art, as it is taught at school? Or Geography, or English? What about older siblings or parents helping students? They might not charge, but they're still affording a child a certain advantage that another student (with no siblings and busy/stupid parents) do not have.
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SuperhansFavouriteAlsatian
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#205
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#205
(Original post by The Humble Mosquito)
Absolutely. At least, it's my view.
For what reason is the labour of doctors and other healthcare professionals not theirs to choose who to sell it to? Why are they forced to sell to the government and no one else, presumably through threat of force? What gives the government the right to dictate how they use their labour, and why are doctors and other healthcare professionals the only ones demanded of this?
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Grape190190
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#206
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#206
(Original post by UniOfLife)
How do you plan to enforce this equality of standards.Surely you accept that some teachers are better than others?
Yes, but there are ways to ensure that the good teachers are distributed evenly.

What about the possibility of rich parents paying for extra private tuition? Would you ban this in the name of equality?
Well, no, but we want to remove as much income inequality as we can, anyway, which would remove this problem.

At any rate, it's a pretty lame criticism: no, we can't stop people paying for tuition, but how does that mean that our aim of making all schools equal any less valid? It won't solve the problem completely, but it'll put a big dent in it. After all, there aren't enough hours/tutors for everyone to get private tuition.

I don't quite see why you think that the us wanting equal standards would mean that every syllabus would be the same.

(Original post by UniOfLife)
And presumably you also agree that private transport should be abolished as well.
Huh? That makes no sense at all. I think, given the fuss Tories kick up when there's even a hint of stereotype attached to them, you might use a little more logic when you "presume" our policies. Private transport is a practicality of day-to-day life, and it's also a choice that doesn't remove other people's choices. The same cannot be said of healthcare: as I have already explained, you being treated privately directly affects the quality of NHS care for everyone else. A similar argument can be made about schools: if a lot of the best teachers and students are in one place, that hinders the rest of the country's school students.

(Original post by BruceTaylor)
Don't you feel that a better way of making the poor better off is just making the welfare state more efficient allowing lowered taxes, rather than flogging the proverbial dead horse?
Okay. How?
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UniOfLife
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#207
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#207
THM you're efforts are valiant but doomed. The fact that you practically cannot implement it doesn't make it a less valid criticism. Your aim is one day to force everyone to be carbon copies of each other. Your stated aim is to ensure that no child gains an advantage over any other. This necessitates moulding every child in the country to be identical save for themselves. As Dan pointed out, influences over them come from everywhere and the only way to ensure equality is to take away any and all uncontrolled influences. This is what is normally referred to as totalitarian and is frankly sickening.

As for private transport, yes it does impact on public transport. If the best drivers drive private minicabs they are not driving public buses. If the best designers are designing private cars they are not designing public transport. And if people spend money on private transport they are not helping out public transport. And if people are clogging the roads with their private cars that impacts on public transport.

If private healthcare is "paying to skip the queue" surely private transport is even more so!

If these are Socialist Party policies I sincerely hope no one ever votes for you. Your vision is a totalitarian state in which no one has any freedom because their choices impact on others and only the select few decide what everyone else must do. All in the sickeningly Orwellian notion of equality.
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SuperhansFavouriteAlsatian
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#208
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#208
I'd like to steal a phrase from everyone's 2nd-favourite quote-victim, Churchill, originally said in favour of grammar schools (though that's not really the context in whcih I mean it right now):

"We must not choose by the mere accident of birth and wealth, but by the accident – for it was equally an accident – of innate ability.”

All things are accidents, all things are uneven. From the desire of ones parents to help you, to their ability to pay for help on your behalf, to your natural ability.
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oriel historian
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#209
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#209
Okay. The problem of how to solve 'privatisation' is a complex one and it cannot simply be achieved by a whitewash of nationalisation. Because, as Unioflife's logic points out how do you ban private hospitals when people have their own cars to take them to national hospitals. The obvious answer, it seems, is either to have full blown competition or a half-way house such as providing those who most obviously need it with free public transport. So, the senior citizens now have free bus passes. The problem, of course, is that this solution pushes up the price for others, for me it's £4 to travel 8 miles round trip on my local bus because there is a private monopoly on the bus services. So, what is needed in this instance I think is a reversion back to public ownership of essential services so that everyone has the same basic services close to them. Public transport run cheaply for all, public healthcare that's free at the point of use, public education on the same basis etc. We have elements of this system at the moment and what really causes the problems is the now essential tenet introduced by parties of every colour, namely that of choice.

In a town where there is two schools serving equally half of the population, one hospital, and one bus company there is little choice. The choice comes from having to travel miles and miles elsewhere. In real terms, choice for the richest, no choice for the poorest. Now, this means that no matter how much money you plough into a hospital or a school that's exactly what there is. Say that school A is in a lower socio-economic area and the culture of the pupils that go there is anti-intellectual and that school B is in a more affluent catchment area but LEA guidelines forbid migration across catchment areas what's a parent to do? For the real equality to be improved we need not to say that everyone should have exactly the same things because that does not bring equality. Rather, it is important to recognise different cultures and seek balance that way. So, if there is a culture of anti-intellectualism amongst lower socio-economic groups appealing to intellectual endeavour is likely fruitless yet appealing perhaps to manual skill is a better approach. So to bring equality to schools its about making sure schools have all of the skills to balance both cultures. This is how we bring about equality in the first place. Then no one is made to feel left out.

This appeals to my cultural marxism as I outlined above...so apologies if it clashes with other views amongst the party. So, disclaimer is that these are my views and not the party's. Call me a trotskyite or whatever!

We do not need a thermidorian reaction [bureaucratic turn] within the socialist movement. It merely serves to undermine the good that marxist criticism can achieve.

Does that make any sense UoL?
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Grape190190
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#210
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#210
:tsr2:
(Original post by UniOfLife)
THM you're efforts are valiant but doomed.
Heh. Maybe we should be a political party without policies? Then we'd be more successful.


The fact that you practically cannot implement it doesn't make it a less valid criticism. Your aim is one day to force everyone to be carbon copies of each other. Your stated aim is to ensure that no child gains an advantage over any other. This necessitates moulding every child in the country to be identical save for themselves. As Dan pointed out, influences over them come from everywhere and the only way to ensure equality is to take away any and all uncontrolled influences. This is what is normally referred to as totalitarian and is frankly sickening.
Utterly ridiculous. Did Skipper write that passage for you? We don't want everyone to be carbon copies of each other. We want everyone to have equal opportunities. That isn't actually possible in the current climate, but that obviously doesn't mean we can't reduce the inequalities between how children are educated. Your argument is analogous to: "Well, world peace is impossible, so who cares if we bomb thousands of innocent people?"

I think it's pathetic that when we say: "We don't want some people to go to Eton and live in mansions will others live in abject poverty", you translate that to, "ZOMGZ, UR TRYNA MAKE US ALL TEH SAME!"

As for private transport, yes it does impact on public transport. If the best drivers drive private minicabs they are not driving public buses.
Again, logically ridiculous: we have surplus of bus drivers.

If the best designers are designing private cars they are not designing public transport.
So, poor people have to walk because the people who engineer the best buses were too busy making cars? That's laughable. Therefore, I shall laugh. *laughs* The same people manufacture them, and the PT operators by their vechiles and car companies by their cars.

And if people spend money on private transport they are not helping out public transport. And if people are clogging the roads with their private cars that impacts on public transport.
Slightly more reasonable point, but still not a good one. Poor people drive cars, too; the roads are for public use. Cars are a part of how society operates, and PT is not practical in every circumstance. It's like saying, "No one should eat brown bread because this damages the white bread industry."

And you skipping ahead of me to get major surgery is slightly different to you holding up my bus while on your way to work, wouldn't you say?

Still, as a socialist, I think we should be encouraging people to use the PT available to them, when possible. (Bus lanes and such are good examples.)

If private healthcare is "paying to skip the queue" surely private transport is even more so!
No, it's paying to get in your car and drive somewhere on the same roads as the buses. (Also, rail services are entirely separate from the private vechiles.)

I really think you're intelligent enough to see the distinctions here...

If these are Socialist Party policies I sincerely hope no one ever votes for you. Your vision is a totalitarian state in which no one has any freedom because their choices impact on others and only the select few decide what everyone else must do. All in the sickeningly Orwellian notion of equality.
LOL. And you're racist, homophobic, sexist snobs, who want to see the poor suffer while you sip tea in you mansions and invade little countries to rob them of their oil. And you all look like Michael Howard. Yay for intelligent debate.
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oriel historian
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#211
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#211
(Original post by The Humble Mosquito)
Again, logically ridiculous: we have surplus of bus drivers.
THM, not quite true of all areas in the country. In the part of the world I live in there are a lot of Estonian, Latvian, and Polish bus drivers coming over here to fill the gaps because there is a shortage of drivers. This exemplifies the ability of EU members to move across the union in search of work, which is great, but I would be careful in presenting everything as being the same everywhere in GB.

I think you're possibly also forgetting that a lot of working-class people confound the Labour Party and vote Conservative, which is why we've not yet seen 'the century of Labour' as there was the century of Liberalism and the century of Conservatism. Of course you could make the 'false consciousness' argument but it's an electoral reality. And, I think, a large part of the problem is that there's a lot of scorn thrown across the political table between Left and Right without getting to the core of the problems we face.

If the Tories live in their big mansions fine, let them. What we should be doing is bringing down the privilege that enables them to walk out of those mansions and run the country so easily. After that is done, those mansions will have little value.
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Socrates
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#212
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#212
(Original post by oriel historian)
What we should be doing is bringing down the privilege that enables them to walk out of those mansions and run the country so easily. After that is done, those mansions will have little value.
QFT.
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Skipper
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#213
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#213
(Original post by The Humble Mosquito)
Utterly ridiculous. Did Skipper write that passage for you?
"Burn"
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Alasdair
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#214
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#214
I'm hungover and tired, and THM's doing a pretty good job here, but I'll just jump in quickly on the private tutors point - yeah, it's still unfair, but at least the tutored kids are then going to the same schools as the kids who don't get tutored, which drags up everybody, as opposed to rich kids going to schools with other rich kids, allowing poor kids to fester.
UniOfLife
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#215
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#215
Oriel - yes your position makes perfect sense, but it seems entirely at odds with the basic principles of your party or at least their policies as presented here.

As for THM, I would have responded to your post had you not concluded "And you're racist, homophobic, sexist snobs, who want to see the poor suffer while you sip tea in you mansions and invade little countries to rob them of the oil." I hope your Party Leader has a quiet word in your ear about it.
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Grape190190
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#216
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#216
(Original post by DanGrover)
For what reason is the labour of doctors and other healthcare professionals not theirs to choose who to sell it to?
Well, mainly because I'm a socialist, and we believe in sharing assets.

But if you want something with less finality, chew on this: who pays for their university education?

Why are they forced to sell to the government and no one else, presumably through threat of force?
Utilitarianism.

Yes, they could achieve more personal pleasure from using their gifts selfishly. Maybe that's freedom for them, but it's not for the people they pass over in favour of money. And society has created a system in which people are able to accumlulate wealth for treating people. Why are we not allowed to make sure that they use that gift responsibly?

Is it fair that people are given the limited spots in medical schools just so that they can do breast enlargements for millionaires rather than give a little poverty-stricken kid heart surgery. I'm sorry for not jumping on board your great liberty train, but unfortunately I believe in compassion.

What gives the government the right to dictate how they use their labour, and why are doctors and other healthcare professionals the only ones demanded of this?
Well, we're socialists, so really we'd like it to extend beyond healthcare professionals; but they're the priority because they hold the cards of life and death in their hands.
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Grape190190
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#217
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#217
(Original post by UniOfLife)
As for THM, I would have responded to your post had you not concluded "And you're racist, homophobic, sexist snobs, who want to see the poor suffer while you sip tea in you mansions and invade little countries to rob them of the oil." I hope your Party Leader has a quiet word in your ear about it.
Um, I was quite clearly satirisng your assertion that we wanted to create a totalitarian state.

Yes, Alasdair, come and have a word in my ear about it. :laugh:
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Skipper
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#218
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#218
(Original post by The Humble Mosquito)
Is it fair that people are given the limited spots in medical schools just so that they can do breast enlargements for millionaires rather than give a little poverty-stricken kid heart surgery.
Not everyone who wants to, can become a heart surgeon you know. Training places are limited as it's a popular speciality...
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UniOfLife
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#219
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#219
(Original post by The Humble Mosquito)
Um, I was quite clearly satirisng your assertion that we wanted to create a totalitarian state.

Yes, Alasdair, come and have a word in my ear about it. :laugh:
You do want to by your own admission. You wish to see a system in which parents have no choice over where to send their kids but are forced to send them to State run schools. You wish to see a system in which people have no choice over who to seek medical aid from but are forced to seek it from State run institutions. That alone, without any extension, already appears totalitarian.
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Alasdair
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#220
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#220
(Original post by UniOfLife)
You do want to by your own admission. You wish to see a system in which parents have no choice over where to send their kids but are forced to send them to State run schools. You wish to see a system in which people have no choice over who to seek medical aid from but are forced to seek it from State run institutions. That alone, without any extension, already appears totalitarian.
Not really. How is that different from 'forcing' people not to steal stuff? Society makes laws to protect itself. Stealing stuff harms society. Private schools and private hospitals harm society...

EDIT: And yes, I could have a word, I suppose. Or you could take it like a man and get on with it.
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