Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Fun Online Poll

I admire a good protest, demonstration or publicity stunt as much as the next man, but somehow, all the shenanigans going on outside the Tory Party Conference seem a bit out of place, staged, inappropriate, whatever you want to call it.

By all means, protest against 'the government' if you don't like what they are doing, but party conferences are a purely private event and have no legal status or legislative power whatsoever.

Your thoughts?

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19 comments:

Antisthenes said...

I would say they are grossly inappropriate not a bit. There is a mechanism to make a political protest and that is at the ballot box. Ok it is not a perfect way but until we have direct representation it is the best designed so far. Of course whilst we have morons like those demonstrating at Manchester and much of the population subjective and not objective in their opinion forming then being able to introduce direct representation is goal that is not going to be achieved any time soon.

Bayard said...

Mark, I think you should have another voting option, "What protests?"

The Stigler said...

It's thuggery. To echo Antisthenes, these are people who can't stand that democracy produced a result they didn't like, so are, in their own small way, trying to overrule it.

I'm not even opposed to some peaceful protesting of it, but when people start spitting, you arrest them, detain them, prosecute them and make sure they have criminal record that makes them unemployable pour encoragez les autres. There's something particularly vile about spitting on people.

The Stigler said...

And they wouldn't have had this problem in Bournemouth. There's no Trotskyites for at least 100 miles and beyond that, they wouldn't have bothered.

Random said...

"arrest them, detain them, prosecute them and make sure they have criminal record that makes them unemployable pour encoragez les autres."
Isn't this a waste of police resources?

Ralph Musgrave said...

Demonstrating outside a political party’s conference and so soon after an election is essentially a demonstration against democracy. But no surprises there: many lefties have the same scant regard for democracy, free speech and the rule of law that Hitler and Stalin did.

Random said...

"There's something particularly vile about spitting on people."
All about freedom and liberty aren't you lot.
Compare:
I find something particular vile about smoking. Especially smoking in cars with children. Let's make it illegal!
Smoking causes harm to yourself and others and is a hell of a lot worse than spitting on people.
And yet it remains legal.
Spitting is unhygienic and nasty, but there is no need for disproportionate measures.

Bayard said...

"There is a mechanism to make a political protest and that is at the ballot box"

Under our present electoral system that is about as futile as the demonstrations outside the Conservative Conference. The government only listens to two things, the influential rich and mass violent protests. They know that everything else can safely be ignored.

"Demonstrating outside a political party’s conference and so soon after an election is essentially a demonstration against democracy."

It would be if we actually had democracy in this country. We don't even have democratic elections to our elective dictatorship, let alone democratic rule. Governments are routinely elected by a minority of the electorate, and not even a large minority at that.

The Stigler said...

Random,

"Smoking causes harm to yourself and others and is a hell of a lot worse than spitting on people."

You want to legislate against the harm people to themselves. Aren't you quite the fascist?

Random said...

Bayard and MW, remember they said they wouldn't cut tax credits before the election but then they broke their promise. Can't you see that the protests are at least somewhat justified? People stand to lose a lot.
RM, pot kettle. You support PM, who want to take control of money out of "democracy"
"essentially a demonstration against democracy. "
Well no not really.
Most "lefties" including myself are not extremely authoritarian/groupist or extremely libertarian. We are I'm the middle.

Random said...

TS, depends on your definition of "fascist." I don't support coercive measures, but agree that it is a good idea to get people to quit smoking through voluntary means.
Name one upside of smoking.

The Stigler said...

Bayard,

"Under our present electoral system that is about as futile as the demonstrations outside the Conservative Conference. The government only listens to two things, the influential rich and mass violent protests. They know that everything else can safely be ignored."

Sorry, but that isn't true and I say that as someone who wants a change from FPTP.

We are having an EU referendum because people voted UKIP and scared the Conservatives. Immigration is on the political agenda for the same reason. New Labour happened because the SDP/LDs were hurting them (and so they became more like the LDs). And the SNP taking Scotland shows that actually, even with FPTP you can overturn vested interests.

The most notable thing though is that every party of every colour of rosette has a triple lock pension rise (either a percentage, inflation or wages, whichever is the higher) because pensioners vote at a rate of about 2 to 1 compared to under 25s.

Switching system might improve things, I don't know. But I doubt it would radically change where we are on the political spectrum.

The Stigler said...

Random

"Name one upside of smoking."

Gives poor Cuban women a living. Do you hate poor Cuban women?

Random said...

That's not an upside to smoking though is it. It is just a waste of resources.

Mark Wadsworth said...

R: ""Name one upside of smoking."

It's enjoyable, helps you relax, helps you concentrate.
It's a social-communal activity (starting with school kids behind the bike sheds)
Raises oodles of tax money
On average, smokers are healthier and cost the taxpayer less than non-smokers - because they die younger and quicker shortly after retirement age.

That's four pretty major upsides. You haven't really given us one argument against smoking apart from the petty waving your hands in the air shouting "Meh! Me no like!"

The only downside I can see is increased fire risk.

Bayard said...

TS, agreed to your points, but a control system that works only once every five years and, even then, doesn't work very well (R's point about broken promises being a good example), is not much of a control system. Once the government has its feet under the cabinet table, it can pretty well ignore everything for the next four years except the two things I mentioned.

"The only downside I can see is increased fire risk."

And non-smokers being forced to breathe smoke when they don't want to. This is why the bansturbators made damn sure that mandatory segregated smoking areas in pubs and the like were never an option, because it would have removed their largest chunk of support.

The Stigler said...

Bayard,

In the case of broken promises, you can take your vote elsewhere. One of the reasons Miliband lost is that the people wanted good economic management, Brown's "end to boom and bust" and they failed at that and people haven't forgotten it.

5 years? Do you want more elections than that? I don't. But what would help would more markets. Giving people more individual choices more often. My kids get NHS spectacles, but really, they get Specsavers spectacles paid for by the NHS. There's no minister for spectacles, no political promises on spectacles, no moments of Michael Crick chasing a minister for an explanation about lens production. All the government has to do is to make sure that sight testing is done well by regulation, and reimbursing the likes of Specsavers. If Specsavers let me down getting my kids spectacles, I might not go to them again. I might go to someone else. I might tell my friends how useless they are.

This does mean they'll still run the military, courts, police and other things expensively and badly. And that's always been the case, and from what I can tell, is the case in every country.

DBC Reed said...

You are missing the point re. smokers. Because they are a minority (or where they are a majority, nobody is going to represent them,) the whole "the ballot box is the answer to all discontents" argument falls down: minorities, however significant, are always going to be unrepresented .And then the government might not have a majority of the popular vote, as now.

Bayard said...

TS, well no, of course we don't want elections more often than five years, which is why the ballot box is such a lousy form of control.
Actually, a better system would be to abolish general elections altogether and simply have by-elections when each MP comes to the end of their five-year stint. It would be about one a week.

Agreed though as to individual choice, but unfortunately that's about as unlikely a move as electoral reform.

DBCR, agreed, the "ballot box as a form of control" always mean that minorities get kicked in the teeth. Look how much notice the government took of the Countryside Alliance protests: bugger all.