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Frank Skinner on Gordon Brown watch


    (Original post by dannymccs)
    So, no there's nothing wrong with being Etonian/Oxbridge educated and becoming Prime Minister- but apathy will continue to grow in this country until at least an element of our MPs represent the face of certain sections of our society.
    I have no problem with the other elements of society becoming MPs or Prime Minister. Well done to Gordon Brown to be one of the few PMs who doesn't have an Oxbridge background. However, I do think that the emphasis on educational background is somewhat flawed. Wouldn't it be better to try and improve state education rather than worry about which school Cameron went to.

    (Original post by SamTheMan)
    Right, Labour are to blame for image-based politics :rolleyes: That's a good one. Maybe Cameron could use it in the next Prime Minister's Questions "It is the Prime Minister's fault I maintain this shiny hair, prim and proper look, nothing to do with wanting to be elected".

    You would have to go back to Ancient Greece? Where do you get this kind of twaddle? What baffles me endlessly in any political debate, any newspaper commentary in this country is this total absence of desire to look at any other country and compare. If they do, it's only to compare to the US and Obama. Most modern European countries have leaders who are not particularly attractive and of the academic type. I'd recommend some of you to actually watch a few political debates on foreign TV (probably something you've never done) and see the difference before making such erroneous claims about what politics are about.
    Thanks for the recommendation for something that I have already done. I watched the French television debate between Royale and Sarkozy - yeah two total fuglies who put policies ahead of image. Yeah I'm also seeing the same with Berlusconi and Tymoshenko. Let us conviently forget Merkel's makeover on the journey from small-time minister to Chancellor.

    But at the risk of being accused as insular, if I could divert your attention back to England - let us talk about Tony Blair. Are you telling us that Tony Blair was an ugly academic type who didn't like to go on television and talk about being a "straight kinda guy"? We must be living in parallel worlds. Because in my world, Cameron claims to be the 'heir to Blair', and also in my world in 1997 the electorate ditched the grey academic John Major for Tony Blair who was a Labour PM.

    What really baffles me, is how anyone can say that Labour is not just as 'image-obsessed' as the Tories if not more so?

    We have endless debates on issues that are simply non-issues: you have people criticising certain proposals with arguments that have been dispelled a hundred times in implementations of these proposals abroad. But the typical middle-class England, Little Islander attitude is "oh yeah but that doesn't really matter. That's foreign stuff".
    Shock horror! The majority in this country voicing an opinion. Well that will not do, when will Labour introduce legislations that forbids people to have an opinion about their own country?!

    The middle-ground? We live in the UK not France. Left-wing and Right-wing concepts died long ago. If you really wanted to use those terms properly (and in the UK they are mostly misused), most British politics is right-wing anyway.
    Which part of "the British has outgrown the ideological battles and clashes" did you not get? Although I can see how "the consensus in the electorate now for a centre-right moderate style of politics" might confuse an idiot who doesn't read posts properly.

    What New Labour aimed for was social justice and they had figured out that the way to get there was not through socialist economic measures, mass nationalisation etc. as had often failed in other countries, but more liberal and capitalist measures: there's little point in redistribution of wealth if not enough wealth is being created in the first place. That idea, is neither left-wing nor right-wing but its aim is clear: we want a society with more equality, more social justice, more fairness. Sure, there are people who will scoff "Haha and look at how Labour cocked that up, inequality has increased". Certain measures of inequality do indicate that it has risen (and even then it's no so clear-cut) but if you look at improvements in the NHS and the School system, you can clearly see what Labour has been aiming for.
    I don't need a lesson in Social Democracy, nor do I need lesson in Labour's record in power from 1997 to 2009. Thanks.

    I want to support a party who believes in more people going to university, more people from lower-income backgrounds managing to get top jobs, not out of some altruistic sense but because those kinds of concepts are what maintain a solid country together and allow it to thrive: a system that allows lower-income people to achieve in life is one that is good for the whole of the country.
    I'm certainly not interested in just looking as the UK maintains the highest levels of inequality in the developed world and join the ignorant middle-class with their attitude "Well as long as my people are protected and get access to the good jobs without demonstrating the necessary skills and talent..."
    I want to support a party that believes that the British public are quite capable of making decisions for themselves and does not need the state acting as some kind of unwanted father figure making those decisions for us. What is it that makes you think that Oxbridge educated Labour MPs (because whether you realise it all not, they are all cast in the same mould) know better than us how we should live our lives? Are you really so incapable of making your own choices without the government doing it all for you?

    Yes, yes, mostly measures that have been taken in most modern countries. How about reading a foreign newspaper for once? It would do a world of good to broaden your horizons.
    How do you know which newspapers I read? You know nothing about me at all, stop making assumptions. It just makes you looks ignorant and petty that you have to resort to ad hominem attacks because you are unable to debate effectively with the issues at hand.

    Yes the people who are accepting of the idea of cuts are the middle-class who know that they'll be protected by a party that has always protected them first and foremost.
    The middle-class pay their taxes just likes everybody else. Why shouldn't the middle-class have an opinion on where it is spent?

    I'd like to know what Britain will actually get out of having the Tories as the ruling party... Because the main motivation I see is just the middle-class venting their frustration out on a single individual who bears little responsibility for the things they're mostly angry about.

    That is why politics where image and personal issues are the main concern are incredibly dangerous: people no longer vote with their country in mind but only to have a go at this or that person.
    Yet it seems that the whole basis you choose to vote for Labour is just to have a go at the middle-class. Class war is over, move on.

    It's amusing how you've sent several posts about how Cameron would make a good Prime Minister and how it would be a good thing yet you have only really looked at the persona and not at any real ideas and I even worry that you don't actually realise your lack of proper clarity.

    Better-suited Prime Minister? Wait until he actually becomes Prime Minister then we can all have a good laugh at your expense.
    It's almost touching, your false concern for my sympathies to the Cameron project. I say touching because mainly it's condescending and I can't be bothered to debate with you any more after this. One last thing I will note though, is that Gordon Brown has shown himself to be a totally ineffective Prime Minister that I have no doubt a monkey could do a better job. That's not to say that I don't think that Cameron is a man of statue, I think he is. But it's pointless trying to convince you that as you're clearly partisan Labour supporter who will refuse to rationally look at the policies of the Tories or the principles of Cameron.

    (Original post by SamTheMan)
    Um ideas which are?
    I don't know that much about the intricacies of Gordon Brown's ideas but I would certainly not struggle to give a few ideas without any real effort: a potential constitution, social justice, continuing with the improvement of the NHS, spending to kick-start the economy (so clearly following Keynesian theory)... I do not struggle in any way at all to understand what Brown stands for. Maybe if I knew what Cameron stood for, I could have some respect for the guy.

    It's actually a bit absurd (and strangely revelatory!) to say that someone has good ideas, without automatically mentioning a couple of them. But when it becomes quite a hard effort
    How about you read Built to Last: The Aims and Values of the Conservative Party or, for more fundamental principles, the Prague Declaration.

    If you ask me though, it's all a bit of a red herring. You know as well as I do the sort of principles that British Conservatives stand for. Meanwhile your presentation of Labour's principles are a bit, well, lacking in substance. Improving the NHS? Are you seriously suggesting there are any political parties out there who actively seek to make public services worse by their own standards? I suspect not, but that does reduce your statement to meaninglessness.

    Oh yes, wait they're eurosceptic. That'll be fun: make a right mess of our international relations. Good on you David.
    The Tories are not a Eurosceptic party - and it's rather rich to have a Labour supporter suggesting that they are when it is the Tories who have a consistent and positive stance towards the EU whilst the Labour Party were only a few years before their regeneration demanding that the UK withdraw from it.

    David Cameron is perhaps less pro-Europe than other Conservative Prime Ministers, but that is only the case because European integration is moving forward and becoming deeper. He does not oppose the EU, he simply believes in the old Tory mantra of being in Europe, not run by Europe - which I imagine is the position of the vast majority of the British public; albeit myself not included, being that I am a Europhile.

    There's also another issue - what Daniel Hannan describes as 'Hannan's First Law of Politics' - that parties are often professedly Eurosceptic in opposition, but that never lasts when they get into office. If you seriously think Cameron is going to rock the boat and destabilise the British economy when he is PM, then you're quite mistaken.

    The average person would not understand most economic and legal issues, that's a fact.
    I think they understand enough about basic policy to know what's going on and what they agree with. That's rather the foundation of democracy, isn't it?

    (Original post by libertin)
    I have no problem with the other elements of society becoming MPs or Prime Minister. Well done to Gordon Brown to be one of the few PMs who doesn't have an Oxbridge background. However, I do think that the emphasis on educational background is somewhat flawed. Wouldn't it be better to try and improve state education rather than worry about which school Cameron went to.
    Yeah, sorry I should have been clearer- I wasn't directing my comment at you specifically, thinking you had a problem with it.

    And time will tell with Cameron and the Conservatives can sort out state schools...
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