« Previous | Main | Next »

Election speak

Post categories:

Jennifer Tracey | 17:10 UK time, Saturday, 24 April 2010

Mapping support 1951

What's the election campaign like in your area? Have the leaders' debates changed anything?

Is it likely to be a close call between candidates as in the constituencies of Poplar and Limehouse in London or Montgomeryshire in Powys?

We want to get a picture of the election from where you live through your observations and experiences. So if you've something you like to share with us, comment below, email ipm [at] bbc.co.uk or tweet. We might just come knocking on your door...

Comments

  • 1. At 6:17pm on 24 Apr 2010, DiY wrote:

    What's the election campaign like in your area? Have the leaders' debates changed anything?

    Yes, yes and YES!

    Although I live in a Tory heartland, and despite the changes so that we are now Broadland, a lot of fair minded peeps that used to vote for Labour as a protest against thye Tories and Mrs T's policies have now decided that there maybe a real new dawn in British politics with an emerging and strong LibDem leader!

    Nick C has Dave the Bland and Gordon the Lost Cause rattled and against the ropes!

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 7:07pm on 24 Apr 2010, RxKaren wrote:

    The only comments that we had as we put the world to rights on our first aid duty today were as follows:

    The candidates in our area all seem to be new to Parliamentary politics - partly in an attempt to do the "clean start" we thought - but this made us worry about experience. The Tory bloke that I nearly met was seen by my mate to be ambushed by a baker asking about parking spaces and seemed flummoxed. Fortunately Edwina Currie was on hand to advise the candidate and baker on the correct course of action but it highlighted his inexperience.
    The issue that we felt that the debates had highlighted was the weak argument in each manifesto. We speculated as to whether there was some House of Commons Christmas party at which everyone had to draw out a rubbish idea and include it in the manifesto. Normally we wouldn't pick up on this in quite the same way.
    We also bemoaned the loss of the BBC key issue checklists that two of us had used to decide how to vote - it's all far more complicated now so we're using the Civitas list.
    None of us have seen anyone except the Tories out and about. We are a Tory safe seat despite a boundary change but none of us have even had a leaflet from any of the other parties.
    My colleague has also decided to use a postal vote this time. He said that he's due to get his in the next couple of days and will send it off straight away and commented that 10% of the population are supposed to have postal votes now. If we're not getting the information from them, how are we supposed to make an informed decision?
    The other comment from the debates was that the Lib Dems now look credible but it seems unfair that a 30% vote will give them only about 120 seats. We discussed PR - is there any value voting in a safe seat in a FPTP system? - but decided that we might not want the extreme or one issue minorities necessarily getting representation and wondered how the independent candidates would fare. The debates have made Clegg look credible but the reality is that in our constituency it is still a wasted vote.

    At this point the discussion stopped - someone wanted a plaster.

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 7:42pm on 24 Apr 2010, Robert Pattinson wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 8:39pm on 24 Apr 2010, DiY wrote:

    RxKaren 2, The debates have made Clegg look credible but the reality is that in our constituency it is still a wasted vote.

    Not so if the good peeps in your constituency grasp the mettle, take the bull by the horns and kick out your Tory incumbent that has done so little for the good of the parish!

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 9:49pm on 24 Apr 2010, Joel_Cooney wrote:

    I have a whole bunch of leaflets through my door including a rather glossy one from the err... Green Party (printed on recycled paper, natch). Unfortunately it would appear that the ever-so-cuddly BNP are standing in my seat of Glasgow South (not coincidentally home to a large proportion of Glasgow's Asian population) - it will be interesting to see what their leaflet consists of (perhaps a variation on the theme Peter Griffiths used successfully in the past?

    The most obvious (and slightly creepy) manifestation of electioneering is in the enormous billboard advert for the East Kilbride Labour Candidate Michael McCann - I pass his beaming grin every day on my way to work... I guess they have more money that we perhaps thought!

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 10:00pm on 24 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    Have watched both but they have no bearing on me whatsoever. I do not live in an area that is allowed to take part as I live in Scotland and there is a 15 mile exclusion zone round the debate site so only people living in these favoured parts of England are welcome.

    I am not allowed to ask a question in the debate because I live in Scotland and this also is limited to a 15 mile exclusion zone so no questions about our circumstances.

    Most of the subject matter is not relevant to me because it is England only with comments on health, education, budgets for England only services. However, it is not always making it clear which parts are relevant to me. Although the first debate stated as much before each question, the second debate did not give any guidance.

    So when GB says he is going to protect education budgets, for instance, he is lying to me, because he has no control over that budget. If DC says he is looking at creating more choice in schooling, this also does not apply to me, because we work in catchment areas and choice is not an issue.

    The last debate was meant to be about foreign policy, but this was abandoned before the end and returned to English domestic policies. Yet there was still time to discuss Palastine, aid for war torn areas, and help for natural disasters, help for African countries such as Malawi which has such a cultural and financial link with Scotland. But these areas seem not to concern any of the audience or the leaders.

    One thing that did come over clearly was that the LD's want to send immigrants to 'lesser populated areas'. From most of the comments on websites and blogs it seems that England is full, and Scotland has been chosen. But he has not yet said how this is to be funded. Does this raise the block grant, or is it funded by Westminster. My school is at 95% capacity at present. Is he going to build me a new school for the new pupils that will inevitably be included in the new influx (a school which is badly needed)? How many houses is he going to build for us - this is also a devolved matter so he has no durisdiction here - his parties previous reputation does not look good though - in a coalition with Labout over 5 years of the last parliament, they build 6 houses - in the whole of Scotland. How will he do this if he is not in control of the budgets for education or housing?

    I have nothing against imigration in Scotland, they are still needed in some areas, but we need to be able to integrate these people in these areas without putting too much strain on the wellbeing of these localities.

    I would like to discuss these and other items more, but we are not invited to the debates, and the only blog which seems specific to Scottish items has been closed - funnily about an hour after the BBC decided it did not have to include the SNP/Plaid parties in the debates (not that I'm into conspiacy theories, but it is quite convenient). It is usual for this blog to be closed these days, since about the start of the election proper. However, with the election now only 2 weeks away, why would the democracy of having your say be taken away from you. I notice that all the other blogs are still open, indeed the Welsh one has at least three threads running at any one time. Sadly Brian Taylors blog has been closed since 4.29pm on the 22nd April so now over 53 hours of political blackout.

    Coupled with this and both the Labour and Tory parties keeping telling us up here that our votes are wasted unless we vote for them (something denied by GB on the last debate strangely) you could say, no, not a great deal in it for us up here.

    Fed up to the back teeth of them all and their lack of democracy. Fed up of their usual lies or fabrications of the truth. Fed up of their constant bickering - they are trying to tell me that I need to keep good discipline and manners with the pupils in my class and yet they will not even answer simple questions between each other. In Scotland Labour have a party political broadcast that last for 5 minutes which mentions the Conservatives about 50 times but does not once mention Labour, New Labour, Old Labour or any other type of Labour throughout the whole broadcast. Not one of there own policies is mentioned in the whole programme. The only way you know it is them is because the wee emblem is at the end of the programme. The Lib Dems are showing that it is OK to through paper all over the place and then walk through it. What sort of anti-social example is that? 'If you vote for me I will make 100,000 new bin men/women jobs just to clean up after me'

    I have decided that the debates are a waste of time, the sitting MP's are a waste of tax payers money through expense claims and I will vote for anyone who has not had to pay back expenses, and who says that, actually, your vote is valued and I will go to London to work for your good. That, I imagine, rules out the 3 usual suspects.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 05:51am on 25 Apr 2010, Luffy Portgas wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 10:56am on 25 Apr 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    we have had leaflets from UKIP saying imigration is a big problem but no photo, information, or mention of any candidate standing in this constituency.

    A leaflet from the new young Tory candidate that had more photos of David Cameron on it than anything else. Its thrust was that the election is a choice between Browne and Cameron basically. The only thing that it said about the candidate was that he had been in the army and done some overseas voluntary work with poor people. Nothing more. I went to his Website and there was no information about his background business, or political interests, schooling,etc. No CV in other words. Just a facility about being able to tell him what my concerns were. Well he himself was my biggest concern by the fact I was being asked to vote for a stranger who gave no personal details.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 11:19am on 25 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    highlandarab well there is a Scottish leaders debate going on right at this moment on Sky, all for just for you.

    PS Do you think we like having a Scottish elected MP Lairding it over English home policy in these debates, especially when he has been a key figure in discriminating against the young, sick and old people of England? Wear our shoes for a moment and you might see that we have dammed sight more grievance than you over these debates!

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 11:40am on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    • " highlandarab well there is a Scottish leaders debate going on right at this moment on Sky, all for just for you."

    Typical!

    Highland Arab, I second all you say. Shameful situation, but certain to speed independence.

    A Lowland Immigrant

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 12:15pm on 25 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    "Typical!"

    Typical of what?

    There is or was a Scottish leaders debate, it was a statement of fact.

    But the Scots will be soon given an independence vote, please don't waste that opportunity to vote for independence, this Englishman implores/begs you to vote for independence.

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 12:16pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #9. IMOORE wrote:
    "well there is a Scottish leaders debate going on right at this moment on Sky, all for just for you."

    Yes, but it does not make up for the original omission - the 3 UK debates are for us a regional southern debate being transmitted into our living rooms, which has no bearing on us, but with the advantage given to the parties who decided the rules and wanted to keep us out.

    The debates on now ALSO include the three parties from the last debates - they are not excluded like the Scots, Welsh and Irish were - therefore an unfair advantage.


    "PS Do you think we like having a Scottish elected MP Lairding it over English home policy in these debates, especially when he has been a key figure in discriminating against the young, sick and old people of England? Wear our shoes for a moment and you might see that we have dammed sight more grievance than you over these debates!"


    Wear your shoes for a moment? Oh Please! give me a break - We are funded by a block grant decided by a parliament made up of over 500 English MP's, as are the other devolved areas. We spent so many years being used as lab experiments by the last bunch of Tory MP's (remember that we had the grand total of ZERO Tory MP's elected, but they still sent us all the crap). How much is the English block grant these days? How do you know how much you have to spend each year? I am afraid the answer is that Gordon just makes it up and if he runs out he just steals more from other places. Is the Olympics in London out of your block grant - or did you take our commonwealth games money from our pot?

    The great 'high speed rail link' is being paid how? Is this out of your block grant or are we paying our 10% for it - remind me - how close is it getting to me?

    The solution is in your own hands. Vote for independance. Let mother England stand on her own feet. We will support you ALL the way. We may even send support for your quest. Please! You know it makes sense. Expel all the aliens from your country and go it alone. You will be so much better off than having us ruin your day by wasting your money and parliamentary time.

    Unfortunately until you do that - or let us do that - the Scottish elected MP that you speak about is actually a UK elected MP and the English home policy in the debates is actually UK home policy because we also fund the 'England only' debating times in parliament.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 12:34pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    • "Typical of what?"


    English folk.

    A complete diversion. Sky is not BBC, Not everyone has access to it - possibly proportionate to the number of Tory MPs in Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 12:52pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    • "(remember that we had the grand total of ZERO Tory MP's elected, but they still sent us all the crap)."

    Salaam, my friend, but during the last Tory regime, there were actually a few elected Scottish Tory MPs, Rifkind being one. The advent of a Tory-free Scotland was the Blair landslide in 1997.

    Your point, however is valid. Scotland has long been ruled by a distant gentlemen's club, whether it's MPs are simple lobby fodder or ignored.

    It must be admitted that Alex Salmond has the distinct advantage of playing his A-Team against the other parties' B-Squads, and the disparity is obvious to anyone who cares to look.

    ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 12:59pm on 25 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    " We are funded by a block grant decided by a parliament made up of over 500 English MP's, "

    No its decided by a generous Barnet formula.

    "We spent so many years being used as lab experiments by the last bunch of Tory MP's (remember that we had the grand total of ZERO Tory MP's elected"

    No, in 1979 the Conservatives won 22 seats in Scotland in 1997, 21 in 1983, 11 in 1987, 10 in 1992. And it was rubbish that Scotland was used as an experiment, this is just all in the dreams of paranoid Scottish nationalists. Here I presume you are talking about the poll tax. Well Scotland was getting the rate revaluation a year earlier than England, so need a new local tax put in place a year before England. The people most keen to implement the poll tax in Scotland were the Scottish elected Conservative MPs.

    But the fact is that in this constitutional dogs dinner that the Scots voted for means that we have matters devolved to the Scottish parliament that aren't up for election, but English education , health, etc does remain part of the election, and whether you like it or not they have to be debated in the election. Like it or lump it its you Scots who voted for devolution, so its pretty rich of you to complain about the mess its created.


    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 12:59pm on 25 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    These debates are between the men who are likely going to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    As far as I know the leaders of the scottish nationalists, welsh nationalists and the northern Irish parties are not aiming to be PM.

    Therefore it is purely logical that only these men are to be in the debates.

    I have heard Salmond and his bigots message often enough when I have been in Scotland and he speaks for less than the number of people in an English city.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 1:01pm on 25 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    " A complete diversion. Sky is not BBC, Not everyone has access to it "

    No its no freeview. If you have got a digital box you can get it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 1:05pm on 25 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    12. highlandarab

    "The great 'high speed rail link' is being paid how? Is this out of your block grant or are we paying our 10% for it - remind me - how close is it getting to me?"

    It won't be going close to many people in England either and those it does run close to are going to have a reduced quality of life.

    Why should I pay for anything that I will not be using?

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 1:07pm on 25 Apr 2010, DiY wrote:

    Spot on the gentleman from Luton. It begs the West Lothian question does it not?

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 1:17pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Why is debate closed In Scotland?

    • "No its no freeview. If you have got a digital box you can get it."

    Not everywhere.



    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 1:34pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    • "The people most keen to implement the poll tax in Scotland were the Scottish elected Conservative MPs."

    A distinct minority, by your own figures. The ONLY people "keen to implement the poll tax".

    Wiki:
    • "The review defined 30 burgh constituencies and 42 county constituencies, with each electing one MP. Therefore Scotland had 72 parliamentary seats."

    of which one seventh were held by Tories. I call that a minority.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 1:47pm on 25 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    " of which one seventh were held by Tories. I call that a minority."

    In 1979 the Conservatives won 31% of the Scottish vote with 916k.

    Labour got 41% with 1.2 million.

    Libs got 9% with 262k

    SNP got 17% with 500k.

    Even in 1997 the Conservatives got 493k votes 17% of the vote but no seats.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 1:48pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    So you're a fan of PR?

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 1:52pm on 25 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    "So you're a fan of PR?"

    Nope, I have no wish to further empower the party machines, PR would do that. I also think that it is better to vote for coalition parties under FPTP on a manifesto, rather than narrow political parties on a manifesto which is the first thing to get ripped up, and for a political system where minority parties get to blackmail the majority.

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 1:57pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    • "I have no wish to further empower the party machines, PR would do that."

    Sad but true. If I ruled the world, parties would be outlawed.

    ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 2:04pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #11 IMOORE wrote:
    "There is or was a Scottish leaders debate, it was a statement of fact."

    Actually it is not a statement of fact.

    As a UK election it is the UK parties that are involved in trying to gain votes.
    The leaders of these parties are Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg all of whom are absent from the debate. Alex Salmond will be the only leader of a party involved.

    Labour don't actually have a Scottish branch. Ian Grey is the leader of the MSP's but not of the party here and Jim Murphy is Secretary of State for Scotland but is the leader of no one so there is clearly a job description problem here.

    These UK party leaders also decided not to become involved in the Scottish part of the debate and sent 'stand in's'.

    The standin for the Labour party has a 'Scottish' manifesto aimed at the election here in another years time and bears little resenblence to the UK manifesto.

    As an example - Gordon Brown is saying he will make 25000 new jobs in Scotland. Jim Murphy is promising 4 times this level in his manifesto. Maybe a debate with the true leader will tell us up here which 'leader' is telling the truth and which 'leader' is doing the usual Labour thing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 2:12pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    On reflection, I would observe that, while PR inherently depends upon parties, it also strengthens the abilities of smaller parties and thus undermines the dominance of the major "party machines".

    The experience in Scotland is of a welcome diversity of representation and the extreme unlikelihood of any single party machine achieving a majority of seats. A very healthy situation in comparison to Westminster (IMO).

    Slainte

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 2:19pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #11 IMOORE wrote:
    "But the Scots will be soon given an independence vote, please don't waste that opportunity to vote for independence, this Englishman implores/begs you to vote for independence."

    Ah! well you are ahead of the game on us then, because the three main unionist parties have said no.

    Labour say no referendum.
    Torias say no referendum.
    Lib Dems say no referendum.
    Labour say no independence.
    Torias say no independence.
    Lib Dems say no independence.

    So with them having so much say because of their bulk size it seems that the answer is no vote, no freedom.

    Of course, the same call could come from your end. If you lobbied your unionist parties down there witht he idea that yhey would gain your vote if they gave us independence that that would strengthen our claim and we would be on our way.

    Again you can see that we are over-ruled by the majority of the UK and the English unionists will have the casting votes on our future.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 2:35pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #15 IMOORE wrote:

    "But the fact is that in this constitutional dogs dinner that the Scots voted for means that we have matters devolved to the Scottish parliament that aren't up for election, but English education , health, etc does remain part of the election, and whether you like it or not they have to be debated in the election. Like it or lump it its you Scots who voted for devolution, so its pretty rich of you to complain about the mess its created."

    You will find up here we have no problem about you discussing matter thst only relate to England, such as your Health Service and Education. However, it is NEVER made clear that this only applies to particular regions of the greater UK, and without mentioning this the parties leave themselves open to misunderstanding and complete dishonesty. In fact you will find that most of the parliamentary people and media people frequentl (all of the time) mix up England, the UK, GB and all other terms for the union, so we always hear up here of UK education, UK health, etc.

    If GB says that education is protected, he only means one of the education systems in the union. He has no control over the others and should make this clear in his statement.

    In the budget statements, it is never made clear which parts are UK and which parts are regional.

    If a good idea ever surfaces, but is limited to only one areas, the other areas may vote for that party on a misunderstanding of events and plans. This is dishonest.

    The dog's dinner that we voted for was the second one you tried to temp us with. We never made the rules because it came from the HoC with its top heavy weighting to English MP's so if it was not the right policy for England why did you offer it? The first one was done in such a way that even the dead were voting to stay with the UK union - how bizarre is that?

    Everything works through evolution. If this was the best that was on offer, then we accepted, but in the past 10 years there have been things that have changed, moved on, and needed to be updated. this is the same all over - the Thomson sub machine gun was a good idea in its time but the unionists have updated there thinking to that of complete nuclear armagedon - this I think can still be classed as evolution and shows how thinking changes.

    I thought at the time we should have gone for full independance. Still do. It is just that more folk are evolving their thinking to a similar view point. There is no harm is trying to better yourself in life, and independence to me would be a huge major step in bettering myself.

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 2:39pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #16 Looternite wrote:
    "These debates are between the men who are likely going to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland."

    Are you sure they will all be realected?
    If Gordon wins, will the 'storm in a teacup' members of his party resurface and force a new leader.

    Are you sure they are likely to be the Prime Minister?
    In a hung parliament, might it be that the Lib Dems will support the Labour party only if the leader is changed to one they can work with?


    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 2:42pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #16
    "I have heard Salmond and his bigots message often enough when I have been in Scotland and he speaks for less than the number of people in an English city."

    Considering London is bigger than Scotland population wise it would be hard for him to talk for more than that city even if he talked for the whole nation.

    As for the bigited point- you would need to add references for that. I personally have no references to him being bigited - he only votes in UK or Scotland issues at westminster, he wants independence but to work with England in the same way as we would work with France, Germany, Spain, etc. Seems quite fair and civilised to me

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 2:44pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #18. Looternite wrote:

    Why should I pay for anything that I will not be using?


    You'll be pretty hacked off about the £100000000000 for Trident then.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 2:49pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    From the BBC News site: SNP launches bid to raise £50,000 for a legal challenge regarding the debates

    Here's freedom to him that wad read,
    Here's freedom to him that would write!
    There's nane ever fear'd that the Truth should be heard,
    But they whom the Truth wad indite.
    ==Robert Burns

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 4:24pm on 25 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    highlandarab and Big Jim

    I heard Salmond say he wants Scottish independence and remain in the EU.

    No country that is in the EU is really independent.
    The SNP blame game will just shift from blame the English to blame the Europeans. Salmond makes promises about post independence Scotland that is not in his gift. The English may decide to set up border posts for instance. The English may decide to treat citizens of Scotland like citizens of new countries that join the EU. Never assume anything because during the negotiations the Scottish MPs will be excluded from these discussions.

    We are one people divided by accent and petty bigoted politicians out for the main chance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 4:29pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Let's hear it for Choice!

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 4:38pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    34. Looternite
    "No country that is in the EU is really independent."

    Quite true. Also no country that it is in the UN is really independent. While many Unionists have not moved on from the early 20th century situation where countries were fully independent and wars ravaged the globe, Nats recognise that this is an interdependent world. Why should we want to restrict ourselves to a pretendy wee Union in the UK, when we can co-operate with the rest of the EU.

    Unlike the UK, the EU is not massively over dominated by one of its members, which runs things to its own advantage.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 4:58pm on 25 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    30.

    " Are you sure they are likely to be the Prime Minister?"

    Well Salmond sure as hell isn't, he isn't even standing for the UK parliament, which guarantees him not being in the Westminster parliament, so he has no right what so ever to be heard in the PM debates.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 5:05pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    37. IMOORE
    "so he has no right what so ever to be heard in the PM debates."

    Now that raises an interesting question. Once the English Parliament is established, do you want to run it along Parliamentary democracy lines where the debates should run within constituencies; or where the Executive is directly elected by the whole nation, and candidates to head that Executive debate on English national TV; or do you want some bastardised system in which the parties control the people.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 5:13pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #34 Looternite wrote:

    "I heard Salmond say he wants Scottish independence and remain in the EU."

    To us this is not a problem or an issue. At present we are about 17% independent in funding and in policy making (the devolved bit) but in Europe it would certainly be nearer to 100% and probably in the 90% range. All of our funding we would control, including levels of tax, levels of business control, etc. At preset we hold very little power for ourselves. I find it hard to think that you consider Germany, France, Spain ... not independent because they are in the EU. The follow on from that arguement is that we are as free now in the UK as the independent countries would be because we are currently in the EU. With one level of government removed we would not be any less free. As it is the UK that is a member state are you sure that England could be in any different position to Scotland. If we have to reapply, so would you as the member state of the EU would no longer exist. The feeling up here from the ones on blogs who argue the legal case is that both would be included and would not need to renegotiate but I am sure you will try find a way to stop us while continuing yourself.


    "The SNP blame game will just shift from blame the English to blame the Europeans."

    I think if you read the words more closely the SNP and Alex blame the UK government for the current situation and have no problem with England. The SNP want to get independence from the Union of the countries, not from one individual country. Obviously you feel that England is the controlling party here and that is why we would need independence from England. The treaty joining the two countries being discussed was meant to be on an equal footing - not taking over one of them - they are meant to be EQUAL partners.


    "Salmond makes promises about post independence Scotland that is not in his gift."

    But that would be our problem if we were on our own. It is something we would want to deal with. There are some up here who think that a short time after independence the SNP would disband because the main objective would have been delivered. I think and hope that this is wrong and that they will still be active to lead the country, but that would be in the future. We are not lacking talent and if that was the way things went then so be it.


    "The English may decide to set up border posts for instance. The English may decide to treat citizens of Scotland like citizens of new countries that join the EU. Never assume anything because during the negotiations the Scottish MPs will be excluded from these discussions."

    Fine, but it is a dodgy line to take. All EU borders are open so it would be against the treaties signed to limit travel and em/imigration for EU natives - although if you are still in the process of applying then it would be a reasonable thing to do. Assuming you are funding your borders, who are we to complain - feel free. It doesn't stop us getting about. I seem to remember, was it Ted Crocker, banned us from Wembley a few years ago! But we have international airports and ferry ports. We will still be able to fly over you and round you. We are nothing if not cunning and inventive and if the only thing stoping us being free is a border control I think we could manage. I think it would be a one way border though. I can't see us wanting to go to these extremes.


    "We are one people divided by accent and petty bigoted politicians out for the main chance."

    I would suggest that there is more of an accent in difference. Try the Welsh language or Gaelic language stations on the radio and television. As I have said I don't consider Alex Salmond in your terms of bigited, but I cannot comment on the polititions from other parties. There are certainly some very questionable remarks on blogs by a Labour councilor in the Lanark area which has never been dealt with, and the Scottish Secretary does have a habit of putting his foot in it from time to time. As for the English, Welsh and Irish polititions I have no real information about them so would not really like to comment on them.

    As they say in the accent from my end of the world.

    Tapadh leibh, feasgar math dhuibh

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 5:16pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    welcome to the debate oldnat.

    I have to warn you Looternite and IMOORE that I am an amateur in the blogging game when people like oldnat, brownedov and the other Brian's bloggers are about.

    We are refugees here because Brian's blog has been censored for the past three days due to it not being nice to unionist policies.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 5:21pm on 25 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    38.

    I am not sure of youe point. Salmond is not standing for the Westminster Parliament, so he has about as much right as Boris Johnson or any other Council leader to be heard in the PM debates.

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 5:22pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #37. IMOORE wrote:
    " Are you sure they are likely to be the Prime Minister?"

    Well Salmond sure as hell isn't, he isn't even standing for the UK parliament, which guarantees him not being in the Westminster parliament, so he has no right what so ever to be heard in the PM debates."



    Actually, being new to blogs I am not aware of all the little decisions that go into chosing PM, but the discussion on some of them contradicts what you say.

    There is no absolute right for a party leader to be PM. They (or the monarch) can choose anyone, and this means you, me or AS could be chosen. OK it seems a bit unlikely, but it is in recent history that this happened (the 1960's I believe) where a PM was chosen from the Lords and then acted as PM while he resigned, was elected to a seat and took his place.

    The only reason for resigning from the Lords was because he was not allowed to be in both places. He could quite easily have resigned and stayed at home gardening but still held the post of PM.


    You will still think that Nick Clegg has a chance of being PM then?

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 5:24pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #37 IMOORE wrote:
    "....so he has no right what so ever to be heard in the PM debates."

    But they are leaders debates!
    Surely there is a difference.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 5:30pm on 25 Apr 2010, Steve Wallis wrote:

    Take an average of the Sunday polls, both Labour and the Liberal Democrats are on 28%, if this stays the same on May 6th, then Labour would end up with 185 more constituencies then the Lib Dems. How can this be democratic? Even worse for the Tories, who would have 34% of the vote, but with one fewer seat than Labour.
    How can anyone defend this nonsense? It surely must be time for electoral reform.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 5:33pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #41. IMOORE wrote:


    "I am not sure of youe point. Salmond is not standing for the Westminster Parliament, so he has about as much right as Boris Johnson or any other Council leader to be heard in the PM debates."


    But as it is billed it is a LEADERS debate - not a PM debate.

    Anyway I am not electing a Prime Minister, I am electing a member of pariament for my own constituency. I am force fed with the views of three of the parties from their leaders, but I am not being given the same choice of listening to or getting information from the other posibilities. I might like to see what the Greens, the SSP, and Solidarity parties are saying and which would look after MY interests in London.

    The PM will not look after my interests.

    The PM job is to look after party loyalties and to be in a position to be re-elected in 4 or 5 years time.

    I want to know what my proposed MP is going to do for me and force feeding me the same three parties is giving them unfair advantage and air time and is bad for democracy.

    In a hung parliamnet you will not know what the policies are from the parties haggling to get their own views accepted for that final vital vote.

    Does that not worry you - just a little?

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 5:43pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    44 - Steve - I think that's common ground but getting the Labour and Conservative parties to seriously contemplate electoral reform is a bit like expecting turkeys (ahem) to vote for Christmas.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 5:47pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Electoral reform was considered good enough for Scotland's "pretendie wee Parliament" which was expected to spike the SNP's guns.....

    Here's tae unexpected consequences!

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 5:48pm on 25 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 49. At 5:50pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    47 - I'll drink to that...

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 5:54pm on 25 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    42. highlandarab

    you said "but it is in recent history that this happened (the 1960's I believe) where a PM was chosen from the Lords and then acted as PM while he resigned, was elected to a seat and took his place."

    Is that Sir Alex Douglas Home you are referring to? Although born in London it was claimed that he was a Sottish toff.

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 5:54pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    • "...he referred to England as "south of the border" and the English as "those down south" or those "south of the border".
      Now that my friend is a give away for a racist."

    I repeat what others have frequently said:

    The argument is with the Union, not with England (or the English). The terms are not interchangeable.

    "Those down South" includes the current PM.

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 5:57pm on 25 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    45. highlandarab
    In Scotland it may be viewed as a leaders debate but I for one understood that it was the future Prime ministers debate. Otherwise all the loopy parties would insist on their leaders being part of the debate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 5:59pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    45 - Highlandarab. Trouble is, neither the leader of the SNP nor the leader of PC has a national platform. It would be like having Boris Johnston on the debate.

    You have to draw the line somewhere and it seems to me that excluding regional parties - SNP, PC and the whole raft of NI parties - is as good a place as any. Arguably UKIP and that nice Mr Griffin have a stronger claim, but let's not go there.

    I suspect that the people in the areas to which the nationalist parties speak know all about them. In any case it saves us from having to hear from the Mebyon Kernow as well. Look upon it as a public service.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 6:00pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    • "Although born in London it was claimed that he was a Sottish toff."

    in possession of considerable Scottish acres....and some rather fine Scottish trees. Not entirely an absentee, compared to the owners of the source of a certain widespread spring water....

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 6:01pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    41. IMOORE
    "I am not sure of your point."

    My apologies. It's sometimes difficult for those of us who have been debating constitutional issues for 50 years or more, to remember that the debate in England is still pretty much at the stage Scotland was at in the 1930s when the SNP was founded.

    Basic points, therefore.

    In a Parliamentary democracy, constituents select a representative to represent them, and also to form an Electoral College to decide who the PM (or equivalent) should be. In different parts of the state, or even in single constituencies, a range of candidates stand. Countries like Canada and New Zealand have debates, but give equal time to all parties with a significant presence in the state, or political units within the state, regardless of whether their leader is a candidate for the Premiership or not. For example Parti Quebecois is represented in Canadian debates.

    In Presidential systems the electorate select the Head of the Executive directly, so all electors are entitled to see the candidates that they will be directly voting for. UK style "leader debates" are appropriate for such a system.

    A bastardised party system is one in which three parties collude with three broadcasters to exclude all other candidates from equal publicity, to guarantee that only minimal change is presented as a possibility to a sheep-like electorate. Obviously there are no constitutional limits to the manipulation that can occur as the rules are made up by the elite on an ad hoc basis. This appears to be the one you support, since you rabbit on about Salmond not being a candidate (no big deal), when the whole party he leads is being excluded.

    I just wondered what system you envisaged being adopted for the English Parliament. Since when you set it up, you'll be able to make the rules yourselves instead of being told by someone else.

    Or maybe you just haven't thought things through yet.

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 6:02pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    51 - BJ - Yeah but all those English are paranoid ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 6:05pm on 25 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    So which of you believers in free speech has referred my #48

    Can't take free discussion so shut down the opposing voice.

    Well I'll be off for awhile as I am annoyed somewhat (or an Anglo-Saxon expression of similar meaning).

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 6:07pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Was'nae me!

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 6:11pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    No. Don't do referring.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 6:16pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    55 - Oldnat - I might be wrong but I have a feeling that you have to be polling over a certain level to get included in the US presidential TV debates. Ross Perowne did them one year, but all he managed to do was split the democrat vote.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 6:22pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #50. Looternite wrote:

    "Is that Sir Alex Douglas Home you are referring to? Although born in London it was claimed that he was a Sottish toff."



    As far as I am aware it is but I am sure if oldnat came back with another message he would know more of the detail.

    Scottish toff? Nah! we don't do these up here in our classless society.
    If he was Scottish anything he was just Scottish.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 6:22pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    I think it was the Repugnants he split and let Slick Willy beat the squeaky-voiced Bush. In early 2008 they had a debate with about eight of them on-stage at the same time.

    Madness!

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 6:27pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    60. Alan_N
    "I have a feeling that you have to be polling over a certain level to get included in the US presidential TV debates."
    I don't know the exact limitations either, but you are correct. The difference is, however, that all US citizens are voting for their President. I have no opportunity to vote for Brown, Cameron or Clegg.

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 6:31pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    • "I have no opportunity to vote for Brown, Cameron or Clegg."

    Which I'm sure you would do, if the opportunity was only there.

    Pity

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 6:40pm on 25 Apr 2010, Steve Wallis wrote:

    Comment 46, Alan_N Thanks, but I am not sure if either the Conservatives or Labour can dodge the electoral reform question any longer. People just will not vote in a future general election if they feel their voice counts for nothing thanks to a tired old system that leads to unrepresented governments. Additionally with so many parties on the ballot paper these days, is it not right that smaller parties have a voice in the House of Commons if they win a fair percentage of the vote?

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 6:44pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    52. Looternite wrote:

    "In Scotland it may be viewed as a leaders debate but I for one understood that it was the future Prime ministers debate. Otherwise all the loopy parties would insist on their leaders being part of the debate."

    It depends on what day of the week it is and whether it is sunny or not at times.

    It started off as a 'leaders debate' and then because of all sorts of legal debates they changed the name to PM debate. In various media programmes it seems to be an interchangable title, although the original was a leaders debate.

    The problems seem to centre round the BBC charter and what defines a 'major party'. In Scotland, Wales and Ireland there are 4 defined in writing in the charter in each country and the BBC have an obligation to give equal publicity to each in election times.

    By broadcasting the debates here in Scotland they are in danger of breaking the charter (the SNP claim) - hence the SNP probably taking the legal action against BBC only. With Sky and ITV being independent they have slightly different rules, but as we pay for our BBC coverage it has more stringent rules.

    The parties names in the charter would be the only ones involved in the debates, so any very minor parties would not be able to argue the same causes through the courts (and this would also include the parties that have become bigger since the naming of these parties - such as UKIP).

    The Labour party used this in the past to block an election broadcast going to Scotland by the then Tory PM, so the courts have been used before sucessfully. This resulted in the programme only being debated in England and Wales. If it was possible then, I am sure it would be equally possible now in the digital age, although the fallout in the newspapers the next day might give the game away. In Scotland we have no effective 'national' press. Most of the serious papers only have Scottish versions, printed in England or are owned in England. The less serious ones are more interested in the extra curricular activities of Jordan or the Old Firm footballers on a night out.

    If there had been some joined up thinking by the TV companies, there could have been 4 programmes staged. One in Scotland using the leaders of the current 3 plus the SNP.

    The next the same 3 parties with Plaid held in Wales.

    The next one in NI with the 4 main parties in Ireland.

    And a final one of only 3 participants in England.

    Probably too sensible for them to work that one out (or maybe some of the unionist parties worried that the SNP or Plaid could do a Lib Dem and steal the show).

    This arrangement would get away from the feeling on the Celtic fringes that the election does not apply to you. You were only allowed to be in the audience if you lived in a 15 mile radius of the event. You could only ask questions if you lived in the same catchment area.

    The format means that 3 debates dealing with local English issues, with an English audience, with English questions is what we have all had to endure. With the alternative we would all have felt part of the process, nobody would feel disenfranchised, and at least some of the content would be applicable to our own situation.

    As an example, none of the 'major' parties are planning to get rid of Trident. The only party of any size are the SNP, but there are other minor parties in Scotland with the same vision. But the debates have all agreed that Trident should stay in some form, should be located in an area (region/country) that does not particularly want it and will be the target for whichever rogue state wants to start off the battle. Is this democracy. Should the people who are going to have to live with the effects of the £100000000000 weapons on their doorstep not be allowed to air their views about the plan?

    Just a few thoughts

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 6:51pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    53. Alan_N wrote:

    "You have to draw the line somewhere and it seems to me that excluding regional parties - SNP, PC and the whole raft of NI parties - is as good a place as any."

    But by definition Scotland is a country not a region. And also by definition, if each of the parties have a 'Scottish' branch, such as Scottish Labour, Scottish Conservatives, and Scottish Lib Dems, then the main owners of that party becoming regional as well.

    If Tavish talks for the Scottish branch of the Lib Dems then Nick talks for the English region of the same group.

    As it happens, Labour are the only ones with a national party, because although Ian Grey is the leader of Scottish Nu Labour, he is only leader of the MSP's elected and nothing to do with the running of the party in Scotland or its supporters. The others all have their own headquarters and organisational setup in Scotland.

    The conclusion would be that Labour should be the only party involved if it is to include national parties.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 6:58pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Steve,

    You are indeed on common ground, and as I noted far above, this may be the last chance to force the issud in a balanced Parliament, because when Scotland gains independence (soon or late) the inbuilt English Tory majority will ensure decades or more without any hint of electoral reform.

    For that alone, it's worth voting LD in England or SNP in Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 7:01pm on 25 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    9. IMOORE
    "Do you think we like having a Scottish elected MP Lairding it over English home policy in these debates, especially when he has been a key figure in discriminating against the young, sick and old people of England? Wear our shoes for a moment and you might see that we have dammed sight more grievance than you over these debates! "

    MAYBE that would have been discussed if the SNP had been invited to the leader's debate. You obviously have no idea what Mr. Salmond's position is. What is pitiful is that you SUPPORT not having the right to find out what his position is. That is the truly sad part.

    When did hatred toward Scotland become so great that you actually want your own rights destroyed in order to hurt us?

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 7:01pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    61. highlandarab

    Betty asked the Earl of Home to become PM and then Home resigned his peerage, ceasing to be a member of the House of Lords on 23 October 1963.

    He continued to be PM while a member of neither House until a rapidly arranged by-election allowed him to become MP for Kinross and West Perthshire on 8 November 1963.

    Of course, it could never happen nowadays. A Tory thinking that Perthshire would give them a safe seat!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 7:11pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    • "The conclusion would be that Labour should be the only party involved if it is [only] to include national parties."

    An interesting point.

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 7:17pm on 25 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    65. Steve Wallis
    "is it not right that smaller parties have a voice in the House of Commons if they win a fair percentage of the vote?"

    Yes.

    Both Canada and New Zealand have systems very much like ours with a parliament, MPs, and a prime minister. Both have started having party leader debates. In both, any party that has any MPs must be included. Yes, that includes parties such as Bloc Quebecois that only run in part of the country.

    That is the only way to make a fair debate in an election in an election in which one elections members of parliament and not a president or prime minister. 'We' (by which I mean the three parties involved) simply decided to do a stitch-up and ignore all the other parties and the people of the UK have let them get away with it.

    It is the people of the UK who are being hurt. Now I think that ALL parties with MPs should be included (and it would make the debates a heck of a lot more interesting) but at the very LEAST all parties which are considered "major parties" by Ofcom in each nation should be included. That those three are the major parties in only ONE of the FOUR nations of the United Kingdom is being totally ignored.

    And remember, if there IS a hung parliament, one or more of those smaller parties you aren't hearing from may well hold a balance of power. It isn't just domestic matters which are concerned. They have major differences over issues such as Trident and ID Cards--maybe you should know what those differences ARE.

    By the way, you had Mr. Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and head of the SNP, been at that debate you MIGHT would have heard someone stand up for England. Instead the word England was not spoken once in the entire debate any more than the words Scotland or Wales were.

    Are you REALLY all right with that?

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 7:19pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    67 - I entirely get what you are driving at but in this particular context I think that whether we refer to Scotland as a region or nation is not strictly relevant. Whatever we call it, it is a part of the country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A rose by any other name…

    Also, it would seem that the Scottish Lib Dem Party (for example) is a wholly owned subset of the Lib Dem Party (other parties available) and not some independent organisation standing alone. Thus while Tavish may well be the leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, Nick is the leader of the national (ie UK) party, not the (non-existent) English bit of it.

    We started this talking about who should have been in the debate. My suggestion is that, rather than be offended because Alec S wasn't invited, push for a leaders' debate focusing on what is of relevance to the area of the United Kingdom in which you live.

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 7:28pm on 25 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    73. Alan_N
    "Alec S wasn't invited, push for a leaders' debate focusing on what is of relevance to the area of the United Kingdom in which you live.

    "

    His name is Alex Salmond and he is the First Minister of Scotland. Please have the respect for Scotland to spell his name correctly.

    And since WHEN is how the SNP might vote on Trident or other issues that the SNP DO vote on (since they do NOT vote on English only matters) a matter that only concerns the Scots?

    Do you think TRIDENT which is on MY doorstep in the Clyde and which the taxes I pay is supposed to buy (but won't since we don't have enough money to actually pay for it) isn't relevent to me? Immigration is AT LEAST as relevant to me as it is to you.

    Why should the party which I support and which has a vote on these matters not be heard? As for a separate debate WITH THE OTHER PARTY LEADERS, this has been suggested and campaigned for. No one is interested in "being offended".

    We want the situation redressed. The SNP is going to court to try to REDRESS the issue of our license fees being used to discriminate against the parties (I include the PC) which we support.

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 7:39pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #57. Looternite wrote:
    "So which of you believers in free speech has referred my #48

    Can't take free discussion so shut down the opposing voice.

    Well I'll be off for awhile as I am annoyed somewhat (or an Anglo-Saxon expression of similar meaning)."


    Sorry you have been moded. Wasn't me. I would rather disuss things than report then. I work in a school and am used to bad language. I have attended football matches and have become used to non-PC comments. If I am unhappy about it I would just move somewhere else. It would have been interesting to see your comments but in complaining about them it also affects us by not knowing what your side of the story is.

    I would rather build up some discussion and see all the different view poonts. If I convince you of a different view from your current one I win that discussion. If you get me to change my view you win on that night. I would imagine most of the time it would be a draw, scoring or otherwise.

    Personally I would rather keep moderation to childrens sites and let the adults self-regulate, but the BBC - certainly in Scotland - don't seem to take that view.

    Sorry about your circumstances.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 7:42pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    My humble appologies for misspelling Alex as Alec. I have every respect for Scotland having been born there.

    What makes you think that replacing Trident (something which I personally believe would be a criminal waste of money) will come to a vote anywhere? That's not how our constitution works. Similarly I accept that you pay for Trident but donb't like it, but again that's how our system works. We don't get to pick the taxes we want to pay.

    The situation which I describe is pertinent only if, like me, you believe in the preservation of the Union. If you want to break up the Union then of course you will disagree.

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 7:47pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #70. oldnat wrote:

    "Betty asked the Earl of Home to become PM and then Home resigned his peerage, ceasing to be a member of the House of Lords on 23 October 1963.

    He continued to be PM while a member of neither House until a rapidly arranged by-election allowed him to become MP for Kinross and West Perthshire on 8 November 1963.

    Of course, it could never happen nowadays. A Tory thinking that Perthshire would give them a safe seat!!!"




    I knew I could count on you knowing the real account.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 7:50pm on 25 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    76. Alan_N
    "What makes you think that replacing Trident (something which I personally believe would be a criminal waste of money) will come to a vote anywhere?"

    So you think the MPs you vote for have NO voice in replacing the Trident. I sincerely hope you are wrong.

    That is not MY understanding of our constitutional system.

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 7:58pm on 25 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    76. Alan_N
    "The situation which I describe is pertinent only if, like me, you believe in the preservation of the Union. If you want to break up the Union then of course you will disagree."

    This has nothing to do with independence or 'preserving the union' unless you think that denying a voice to citizens of the UK will preserve the union. If you believe such, let me inform you that the opposite is the truth.

    Scotland is currently a member nation of the United Kingdom. As such, it should be treated within the existing laws and regulations of the UK. (Look up Ofcom) Amongst those are laws and regulations that the parties of the various nations are to receive equal treatment in elections.

    This is not happening.

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 8:03pm on 25 Apr 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The other worrying one is MacMillan after Eden resigned.

    Betty was expected to call Rab Butler, but the Tory kingmaker, Salisbury, told her to call Harold M. instead. Churchill was involved i nthat too, so 'tis said, but already by 1951 he was 'ageing fast'

    Butler was refused again, this time by Hailsham (though that is contested these days) and by MacMillan himself who advised Betty who to kiss.


    These precedents date from before Tory leadership rules.

    However they do suggest that, technically, the Queen does not have to call a party leader when one party hasn't got one.
    Even so, with Labour third in the popular vote and with the largest number of seats, someone like Alan Johnson could only expect to be called to get a kiss from Betty after Gordie had chucked it in.

    For Cleggie that would have the advantage of the Leader-in-Waiting of the largest party - Labour - not being Brown.

    Just what is supposed to happen whilst the Labour PARTY elects Johnson (say) I dinna know.

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 8:05pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    76. Alan_N
    "The situation which I describe is pertinent only if, like me, you believe in the preservation of the Union. If you want to break up the Union then of course you will disagree."

    Preserving the UK Union is a perfectly respectable position. What I find odd, is that there are seldom positive arguments given for your stance.

    I'm in favour of preserving Scotland as part of the European Union, and have always been happy to debate the issues involved. Whether you are Europhile, neutral or Europhobe, I don't know (though you sound too reasonable to be the latter!)

    Constitutional options are available and deserve to be openly and thoroughly explored.

    Even though I might well lose referenda on both these issues, I believe passionately that the actions of a closed political class of Unionists (who do quite nicely out of pretending there are fundamental differences among the Tweedles) exclude the people of all the nations of the UK from having these sensible debates.

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 8:05pm on 25 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Having missed the leaders' debate on Sky this morning due to a prior commitment, I was able to watch it on STV in six meaty chunks starting with Immigration and taxes. Us emigrés from BwB may find it illuminating and anybody else here with a chink of open-mindedness might also. STV also have Bernard Ponsonby's unsurprising verdict which does remind us that Ponsonby is interviewing the FM tonight on STV at 22:40 BST.

    STV's opinion of the result is clear from the fact that they had an online poll during the debate which seems now to be "lost". Unfortunately for them, it was picked up by many local news outlets such as the Maghull & Aintree Star with Poll: Salmond ahead after TV debate telling us that: "An online poll for STV asking voters which of the leaders had performed best put Mr Salmond in front, with 45% opting for the SNP leader. Mr Carmichael came in second with 33%, ahead of Mr Mundell on 18% and Mr Murphy with 5%."

    A voodoo poll, as UKPR would call it, and my own view would be that it flatters Mundell at the expense of Carmichael, but there you go.

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 8:11pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    75 - Highlandarab - If I recall rightly, his comment was not particularly offensive. I can't imagine why it was deleted. I know that the thought police are under special instructions to stamp down on anything appearing to be too overtly party political. Maybe it fell foul of that. Shame.

    79 - GrannieAnne, I think that those who disagree with your position would argue that the political parties of the member nations, as you put it, are being treated exactly the same. These particular debates were limited to the leaders of the national parties. All regional (however we choose to define that) parties were excluded.

    Incidentally, I had never heard the term 'member nation' before. I thought we were one nation. My mistake!
    :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 8:15pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    81 - Oldnat - I fear that I am in violent agreement with you!

    My sole argument for the preservation of the union is that I sincerely believe that we as one nation are greater - a lot greater - than the sum of our parts. Maybe the solution is greater federalism within a national framework against the backdrop of the EU.

    Should be something there to offend nearly everyone!

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 8:15pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    80. ExpectingtheEnd

    In 1963, Betty gave Home just 24 hours to decide whether he would be able to form a Government. If she sticks to precedence ........

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 8:17pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    83. Alan_N
    "Incidentally, I had never heard the term 'member nation' before. I thought we were one nation."

    You've been furth of Scotland for too long!

    There of course 5 nations (6 if you include Cornwall) in the UK. The Brits are just one of them.

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 8:25pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #73. At 7:19pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:
    "We started this talking about who should have been in the debate. My suggestion is that, rather than be offended because Alec S wasn't invited, push for a leaders' debate focusing on what is of relevance to the area of the United Kingdom in which you live."


    My comments at #66
    "If there had been some joined up thinking by the TV companies, there could have been 4 programmes staged. One in Scotland using the leaders of the current 3 plus the SNP.

    The next the same 3 parties with Plaid held in Wales.

    The next one in NI with the 4 main parties in Ireland.

    And a final one of only 3 participants in England.

    Probably too sensible for them to work that one out (or maybe some of the unionist parties worried that the SNP or Plaid could do a Lib Dem and steal the show)."

    I thought I had done that.



    "I entirely get what you are driving at but in this particular context I think that whether we refer to Scotland as a region or nation is not strictly relevant. Whatever we call it, it is a part of the country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A rose by any other name…"

    Mmmmmm! But this shows that you don't quite get what we are driving at. In fact you could not be further away if you tried. Scotland is NOT a region and for Scots the world over it is as relevant as anything else could be. There are many things that will upset Scots, but as soon as you say we are not a country, you have upset our whole reason for being, our pride, our history, our culture. Strathclyde is a region. Highland is a region. I am sure there are regions in England such as Northumberland although I am not sure they are the same type of region as the scottish ones - Strathclyde is the local government region rather than the geographical region - I am not really sure of the local goverment make up of England. Scotland is a very proud country and nation. There is no debate over this point and there will be no disolving of this position.

    It appears from up here that the people who class themselves as English as equally happy to be referred to as British. Mostly in parliament and in the media this is taken for granted - only a parlaiment of unionists could possible refer to 'the north' as a point geographically below the mid point of their united nation. This is carried on with the Ango/American or Anglo/European this and that. England and Britain are somehow interchangable.

    Now I know of recent years that this may be changing slightly with the reclaiming of the St George cross, but the union flag is still regarded up here as an English flag.

    I have difficulty understanding the mindset of how anyone could abandon their own country for a joined up union and thinking more of this than their own. Up here amongst a lot of people we are Scots or we are Celts, or we are European. There is no love of the union or of UK/GB or any other unionist name. If asked abroad if we are British the answer is a very very definate NO and if someone insists on using the phrase it will lead to a feeling of major insult.

    The rose I can live with. It is a small white delicate rose brought to the shores of Eriskay in the Western Isles by Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1745 and in my opinion has more call to be the national emblem of our nation than the thistle does.

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 8:26pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    84. Alan_N
    "I sincerely believe that we as one nation are greater - a lot greater - than the sum of our parts"

    An interesting assertion. Some evidential support of that assertion would be greatly welcomed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 8:32pm on 25 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #40 highlandarab

    Thanks for the dewdrop but you're doing fine.

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 8:35pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #83 Alan_N wrote:
    75 - Highlandarab - If I recall rightly, his comment was not particularly offensive. I can't imagine why it was deleted. I know that the thought police are under special instructions to stamp down on anything appearing to be too overtly party political. Maybe it fell foul of that. Shame.


    that's good to hear.
    I still fall back on my own preference. I'm old enough to vote, old enough to drink, old enough to chat up young ladies and old enough to know when to stop in the case of the last 2. I am also old enought to pay a BBC fee for its services and old enough to regulate my own viewing of the content. If it is too much I move on else where, if not, I enjoy sitting down and having a discussion. Moderation should only be aimed at children's sites for protection reasons. The BBC runs football supporter sites with some comments way over the top. Stamp on them first and let us discuss the time of day in peace.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 8:37pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    I'd heard nation, of course. Can't watch rugby for this long and not instantly remember Bill McLaren rolling the word around. It was specifically 'member nation' that was a new one on me. Sounds like a club - we should get jackets made.

    As for the wild assertion - evidence have I none, I'm afraid. Just a feeling. Of course, I could suggest that there are those 'member nations' who would be more able to stand on their own feet than others, but I don't want to upset anyone else!

    Not sure of the maths with the number of nations though. I guess it depends on when you count!

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 8:44pm on 25 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #69 GrannieAnne
    "You obviously have no idea what Mr. Salmond's position is. What is pitiful is that you SUPPORT not having the right to find out what his position is. That is the truly sad part."

    Extremely well put, and sad indeed.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 8:48pm on 25 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #70 oldnat
    "Of course, it could never happen nowadays. A Tory thinking that Perthshire would give them a safe seat!!!"

    ROFL and spot on.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 8:53pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #89. Brownedov wrote:

    "#40 highlandarab
    Thanks for the dewdrop but you're doing fine."

    With all this 'life long learning' these days I have been using BwB as an inservice. The tutors over there are good.

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 9:14pm on 25 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #73 Alan_N
    "My suggestion is that, rather than be offended because Alec S wasn't invited, push for a leaders' debate focusing on what is of relevance to the area of the United Kingdom in which you live."

    That is precisely the proposal which the cabal of the the three Tweedles, the BBC, Sky and ITV came up with in an effort to provide the "impartiality" which Ofcom and the BBC Charter are supposed to guarantee in matters political, in setting up separate Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh debates. Northern Ireland is arguably different in that not a single elector there has the opportunity to vote for any of the Tweedles' parties, let alone their "prospective PMs".

    But in Scotland and Wales, this results in each of the Tweedles having two bites at the cherry to the national major party excluded from the kingdom-wide debates' one.
    Do the math, as our american cousins would say.

    Had you pointed out that in the case of Scotland, the electorate's having the opportunity to witness both Duff Gordon and nice Mr C as well as their respective viceroys would give the SNP an inestimable electoral advantage, you'd have had a point. But Cleggmania shows us it is a different matter in the case of straight fights with the L-Ds.

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 9:25pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    91. Alan_N
    "Sounds like a club"

    It is. Unfortunately some members have more voting rights than others!

    Like any club, if the Management Committee is a partial little clique, members find that their fees increase and their services received decline.

    Of course, if the Management Committee were to look at its arrangements and see that the excessive consumption of port in the Committee Room was part of the problem, they might institute fundamental reform and the club might rejuvenate.

    The track record of the various Committees seems to suggest that this course of events is unlikely.

    Alas, this club is fated to decline and its members see the benefit of the bigger club down the road. The present club building does have a useful future - as a hostel for the indigent.

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 9:29pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #91. At 8:37pm on 25 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    "I could suggest that there are those 'member nations' who would be more able to stand on their own feet than others, but I don't want to upset anyone else!"


    I would imagine England would cope OK because of the number of inhabitants and the skills available. It is also near enough to Europe for trade etc.

    Scotland would certainly cope with its rich natural resources and its wealth from its shore line, whisky, tourism, academics, etc.

    I would be surprised if Northern Ireland didn't cope also because of its natural resources for the forthcoming rush on tidal and wind and wave energies. I know that the coast is not an Atlantic coast but there is still a fair wee tide and wind comes round the coast that could be harnessed. I would not expect it to be any worse than Eire, which despite the financial problems is doing well.

    I would have a concern about Wales, but this is because I don't really know a lot about their country and commerce. There may be something there that would produce a living - if places like Luxemburg, Monaco, Leichtenstein, etc can survive then I am sure the Welsh could figure something out.

    However, the important thing is do these countries want to go down this road. If the answer is yes, then who are we to stand in their way.

    In Scotlands case I am not actually that bothered if it is not a positive to begin with. I think the boost from being able to do it for ourselves, and not have to ask permission, or ask for some of our housekeeping money back is the spur we would need to survive. We would have bad times - but then the current UK debt and war position is not exactly a good time for the current set-up - but at least we would be in it for ourselves. We need to set loose and fly ourselves. we would make new friend, and maybe argue with some, but I don't really see the current countries in the UK being that different because we leave. I think the talk of border posts and passports to go from Carlisle to Gretna is a bit over the top and would be pretty childless if it happened. I doubt it would happen from this end, you would need to decide yourselves if it happened from south of Hadrians wall.

    What is most gauling at present is not being allowed to. The UK governemnt have in recent years sent out many letters of support and congratulations to many new countries (or unions broken apart). They will wish them well and offer support when needed, but will not think of offering its own people the same chance.

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 9:37pm on 25 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    83. Alan_N
    "I think that those who disagree with your position would argue that the political parties of the member nations, as you put it, are being treated exactly the same. These particular debates were limited to the leaders of the national parties. All regional (however we choose to define that) parties were excluded. "

    No, they were not. Those parties in the UK party leader debates are NOT "major parties" in Northern Ireland. That makes all them regional parties.

    And, sir, *I* do not define it. Ofcom does.

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 9:48pm on 25 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    Right guys (and gals). I need to go ben the hoose and get on with some work. We have a second graphics prelim tomorrow and I need to get overheads and marking schemes worked out for the questions.

    Its been a good days conversations so thanks for your time.

    Special thanks to the mods. I havn't seen the posts go up this quick in Brians blog and apart from one none have been refused. This is unheard of in Scotland. Well done.

    To Eddie Mair. Thanks for the space. Brians blog has been closed for the past 3 days now and although we maybe didn't stay on task all of the time, it gave us a place to expand our horizons. Yourself and Beslan in Wales have been most hospitable. Cheers for that.

    I hope that Looternite has calmed himself (herself?) is back back in the flow of things.

    Oidhche Mhath

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 9:55pm on 25 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    I saw on another blog that the "war chest" for an appeal of the BBC debate is up to over £32,000. I think some people really do misunderstand what it means.

    The right to be heard

    Understand, I disliked the exclusion on ITV and STV. I thought opinions that people across the UK such as an absolute opposition to more nuclear weapons and ID cards should have been heard. People would have had a much better understanding of what is at stake in this election and it was wrong to exclude ANY party with MPs.

    But they were not the national broadcasters.

    What BBC is doing in trying to shut down national debate by closing Scottish blogs and excluding parties from the BBC debate is quite different.

    Scots have fought and died for the right to be heard at least as much as our English brethren. How dare the BBC try to deny it to us?

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 9:57pm on 25 Apr 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Browndov (95)- "Northern Ireland is arguably different in that not a single elector there has the opportunity to vote for any of the Tweedles' parties..."

    Unfortunately electors in Northern Ireland this election DO have the opportunity to vote Conservative. But don't hold your breath. On second thoughts, if you are a Conservative, DO hold your breath.

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 10:07pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    On how big a nation should be to be autonomous, see here and scroll down for some comparisons.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 10:10pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    101. The Intermittent Horse

    I presume Cameron's pronouncements on the public sector in Northern Ireland mean that the Tories are going to need to hold their breath for some years to come?

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 10:10pm on 25 Apr 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    I join highlandarab in the thanks for a good debate here. Even when we have strongly disagreed, it has been a pleasure to exchange opinions. After all, what point is a debate if we all agree?

    Oidhche Mhath

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 10:14pm on 25 Apr 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    oldnat - I'm not much of a tipster, but if the Ulster Unionists/Conservatives win a single seat I'll buy everyone pint.

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 10:21pm on 25 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #91 Alan_N
    "Not sure of the maths with the number of nations though. I guess it depends on when you count!"

    Four, actually, in the supposedly united kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If you want to understand the polity of your own nation or the kingdom which you seem to want to be united in perpetuity, the House of Commons Library is a pretty good place to start.

    ... Sorry to fellow emigrés for repeating this information, previously posted by me but sadly not by the BBC ...

    For example, their Standard Note PC/03354 on Party Election Broadcasts [a PDF easily Googled] states very clearly: The four nations of the UK will be considered separately.

    Helpfully, it goes on to define major parties: Major parties in Great Britain are defined as: Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats and, in Scotland and Wales respectively, the SNP and Plaid Cymru. Major parties in Northern Ireland are defined as Democratic Unionist, SDLP, Sinn Fein and Ulster Unionist.

    If interested, you can confirm for yourself that this definition is entirely consistent with OfCom's broadcasting code on Elections and Referendums. It's remarkable how much hard information you can find on this interwebby thingy nowadays. For all I know there might even be some good, positive arguments out there somewhere in favour of current polity of the UK. All I can confide is that I've been using it since the days of the gopher and am still empty-handed, but good luck, anyway!

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 10:30pm on 25 Apr 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Orange_Book:_Reclaiming_Liberalism


    With about three quarters of the Lib Dem MPs supporting Labour rather than the Tories (if they reflect their party membership and their voters accurately - otherwise Lib Dem selection procedures may need electoral refoem as the first thing the party itaself does) bringing across 3/4 of the Lib Dem vote, that's an abolute Labour majority in the country and in the House. On even current polling figures.

    The Lib Dems are run by a Clegg clique which has fudged party policy on Trident and seems only to agrre on the market economics of the Orange Book. Their party and voters are far more inclined to Beveridge and Keynes. Which is Labour Party territory.

    By the time the Tory press has finished with Clegg, he'll have made Cameron's Tories the middle ground party by his rapid right turn.

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 10:53pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    107. ExpectingtheEnd

    Malcolm Bruce on the BBC Scotland debate on the economy at the moment making clear that Scotland does not want a Tory Government.

    Hardly news in itself, but the LDs in Scotland would be committing electoral suicide if they entered into any kind of formal arrangement to support a Tory government on any issue that affected Scotland.

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 10:59pm on 25 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Complicated, ain't it?

    ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 110. At 10:59pm on 25 Apr 2010, Sid wrote:


    "Half the Lib-Dems want to cosy up with Cameron and half with Labour."

    "With about three quarters of the Lib Dem MPs supporting Labour rather than the Tories..."

    Wake up, mac - which is it? Or is it neither?

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 11:06pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    110. Sid
    "Wake up, mac - which is it? Or is it neither?
    "

    Obviously one quarter of LD MPs have seen the truth - there is little difference between Cameron and Labour.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 11:06pm on 25 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #101 Intermittent Horse
    "Unfortunately electors in Northern Ireland this election DO have the opportunity to vote Conservative."

    Mea culpa, and thank you for pointing out my error. It's no defence, but as a plea in mitigation may I respectfully point out that I share the error we the HoC Library, possibly because of ennui by the "official" unionists in the last Westmidden.

    I fully accept that the "Ulster Unionists" are no longer a major party and have transmogrified themselves into the "Ulster Conservatives and Unionists", thus giving the three other major parties of Northern Ireland - Democratic Unionist, SDLP and Sinn Fein - the same right to be horrified at the anti-democratic action of the BBC as PC and the SNP.

    An aside, but I note this brings them into parity with Scottish "officials", who stand as Scottish Conservative and Unionist. Oddly, this is in contrast to Wales and England where they stand as Conservative Party Candidates and Welsh Conservative Party Candidates respectively. Some mistake, surely, or is this a quiet disavowal of unionism? I think we should be told!

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 11:26pm on 25 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    112. Brownedov
    "An aside, but I note this brings them into parity with Scottish "officials", who stand as Scottish Conservative and Unionist. Oddly, this is in contrast to Wales and England where they stand as Conservative Party Candidates and Welsh Conservative Party Candidates respectively. Some mistake, surely, or is this a quiet disavowal of unionism? I think we should be told!"

    As a rare mark of reflecting reality, the Beeb on its candidate lists calls all the Unionists parties Labour, Conservative, or Liberal Democrat - regardless of what prefixes (or Tory suffixes) they use outwith England to pretend that they are what they clearly are not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 11:56pm on 25 Apr 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The MPs are dominated by a Clegg claque, so they split 50-50

    But the members are overwhelmingly pro Beveridge and Keynes and anti the Thatcherite market economics of the Orange Book

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Orange_Book:_Reclaiming_Liberalism

    In fact it's the Lib Dem Leadership selection methods most in need of electoral reform!!

    As Charles Kennedy and Ming know, but also as the whole membership knows, presented as it was with a choice between Huhne and Clegg, both Orange Book disciples.
    The one personable, hard for a party to resist with so little electoral support, the other hugely off-putting but anti - Trident (a policy Clegg doesn't agree with and is busy scuppering)


    The membership want an electoral system not in the pocket of Clegg's Oxbridge claque.


    Go back to sleep, fella.

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 00:08am on 26 Apr 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    One other thing we are re-learning.

    The Brownite Labour Party's compromise with capitalism, indeed its capitulations, are not because of belief.

    It's because a socialist left in this country gets mauled and savaged as it gets nearer power

    The Clegg Pepper's Ghost of this election 'He's wonderful' to 'He's dead' in a week seems almost custom built to undermine Labour.

    Still, with straight talk on the economy this Thursday, Brown might yet pull the wool away from the eyes of the Lib Dem New Romantics deceived by Clegg and his 'savage cuts', and the absurd policy of forcing the banks to lend in a Keynesian downturn where FIRMS don't want to BORROW.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 08:56am on 26 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    An interesting drive yesterday from Montgomeryshire (Lembit Opikshire) through Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire (David Cameronshire), Berkshire, Surrey, and into our home county. The competition between the various campaign posters always intrigues: Lib Dem orange triangles the size of sails from the Cutty Sark, letterbox-size Tory posters for David Cameron, while in neighbouring, non-Tory, constituencies their posters are huge .... UKIP for the farmers, a sprinkling of independents - and not a Labour poster to be seen anywhere along the way.

    Mr. Opik was doubtless out campaigning somewhere with his Cheeky Girl, but in Newtown he is now a damp squib. Or should that read 'squid'? ;o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 09:03am on 26 Apr 2010, JesseBigg wrote:

    Ukip leaflets. Straight away, put mine in the recycle bin, as it will do far more good there.

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 09:29am on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Be careful what you say over here because if you are less than reverential about Salmond, a chip laden Anglophobe will get upset and get you sent into moderation.

    My #48 is still, as I write, in limbo.

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 09:31am on 26 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Looternite: Is it true that you've got Esther Rantzen posters up in your windows? ;o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 09:33am on 26 Apr 2010, Sid wrote:


    EtE - where do you get your info re Lib Dem members?

    "The membership want an electoral system not in the pocket of Clegg's Oxbridge claque."

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 09:40am on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    119. Big Sister
    No I have not, you have been listening to someone from St Albans.
    I have no, I repeat NO posters in my windows. In my street there are no political posters in any windows.

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 09:45am on 26 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Looternite, the smiley said it all - and, no, I haven't heard any whispers. I just rather enjoyed another of your posts in which you spoke of her as a consumer heroine (or something of the sort).

    If she campaigned with that dog who said 'sausages', I'd probably vote for her myself ;o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 09:48am on 26 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    PN 4, Isn't it 'grasp the nettle' and 'show your mettle'? Or was it a typo?

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 09:51am on 26 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    I haven't looked at all the messages here, but am I the only person who watched the second debate FREE! on BBC 2?

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 09:52am on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    122. Big Sister
    I know you were jesting and I feined getting the hump. :-)

    So far we have not recieved any literature regarding Esther. Obviously we are not her target area. Her pollsters must be reporting back "No funny vegetables zone".

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 09:53am on 26 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    AN 56, I met a pair of noids once and they weren't British.

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 10:02am on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    122. Big Sister
    Come to think of it maybe Esther tried to be humourous and printed her literature on card in the shape of a "funny" root vegetable and has fallen foul of the obscene publications act.

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 10:04am on 26 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #113 oldnat
    "As a rare mark of reflecting reality, the Beeb on its candidate lists calls all the Unionists parties Labour, Conservative, or Liberal Democrat - regardless of what prefixes (or Tory suffixes) they use outwith England to pretend that they are what they clearly are not."

    Quite so - a rare example of calling a spade a spade, although it must be said that the BBC's ELECTION 2010 pages seem to have be constructed by individuals working quite independently of each other with occasionally bizarre results.

    I cannot for the life of me understand why - if they cannot make "national" versions of the page - the Parties and issues page cannot provide links to the different "national" versions of the manifestos of the three Tweedles. Even complaints meet with total lack of understanding, perhaps because the author of that page would not dream of clicking on one of the national pages to discover that multiple manifestos really have been launched.

    OTOH, the author of the Where They Stand page, after a number of complaints, has provided the national flavours, so that you can compare the policies of, say, "Conservative" with "Conservative (Scotland)" and "Conservative (Wales)". Or, rather that you may be able to if the latter two sub-parties status ever changes from "Awaiting Manifesto"!

    That, however, is only at the "top" level, and on individual policies, one really can compare "national" flavours of their policies, and so we can see nuances in their positions on Race Relations & Immigration, for example, where the "England" policies "Apply controls on migrants next time new countries join the EU, Enforce English language test for anyone coming to the UK to get married; Crack down on student visa abuse; Improve availability of English language instruction for migrants" are all watered down or missing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 10:11am on 26 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 166, Orange triangles?! Couldn't Lemony Toothpick afford diamond-shaped posters like the rest of us? I annoy our local party by using a very old rectangular yellow (?gold) poster in our window. One of our local councillors said that I bring it out every election like a Christmas decoration.

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 10:12am on 26 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    OK, BS 116...

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 10:15am on 26 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #114 ExpectingtheEnd & #115 ExpectingtheEnd

    Other than that Clegg's sycophants can be distinguished from "regular" toadies by being paid, I didn't get any of that, putting me in mind of Morecome's (or was it Wise's?) wisecrack that his partner had "played all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order".

    Elucidate please.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 10:16am on 26 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    124: Perhaps a 'no consumer of heroin'(es) zone? ;o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 10:17am on 26 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Sorry, for 124 read 125 in my 132 .....

    David - you are right, they weren't triangles at all. But we didn't see any for Lemsip - it was in Worcestershire and Oxfordshire where we saw LibDem 'diamonds'.

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 11:11am on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    104 - GrannieA - Personally, I'm loving the debate and I have a feeling that we're not as far appart as it might appear.

    Horse your money is safe, I think.


    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 11:14am on 26 Apr 2010, Jennifer Tracey wrote:

    Thanks for your comments, but this isn't a thread to debate the national picture.

    We're asking for your take on your local area. What's the campaign like? Who have you spoken to or what have you noticed about it? Are you in a contested seat being inundated with leaflets and campaigners on your doorstep or the exact opposite?

    Thanks.

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 11:15am on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    106 - I think you're right. I was referring to the old days when, if I remember rightly, there were herds of nations in these isles.

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 11:18am on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    116 - Big Sis - down here in darkest Wiltshire the tory boards are the size of the average house. Lib Dem ones are a more tasteful foot squared or so and we don't know what the labour ones look like because there aren't any. And welcome back.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 11:20am on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Looternite and Big Sis - I'd vote for the dog. Other pets available.

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 11:20am on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    We have been inundated with Tory and Lib/Dem leafltes but so far I have not seen any posters in windows.

    Where do they get their money from?

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 11:45am on 26 Apr 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #135 Jennifer Tracey
    "Thanks for your comments, but this isn't a thread to debate the national picture."

    A slip of the keyboard, surely, Ma'am?

    If you mean the kingdom-wide picture, you're absolutely right, as Nick Robinson's Newslog has at least one thread open at the time of writing.

    Regarding national pictures, I'm unaware of any BBC blog being dedicated to the politics of England, but Betsan's blog and The Devenport Diaries are open to comment as normal for Wales and Northern Ireland respectively. The reason you have had a number of posts on the politics of Scotland is that Blether with Brian has been closed completely for nearly four days - an important week-end of the UK general election for the credibility of the BBC in that nation.

    Betsan was kind enough to provide a welcome to Scots, but are you suggesting that we can post here, for example, on how the campaign is going in the constituency of the former Labour MP for Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath but not on the "local" issues in Scotland as a whole?

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 11:46am on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Interestingly all our junk leaflets have been delivered by the poor postman. Not s volunteer in sight.

    Complain about this comment

  • 142. At 11:52am on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    135 - Jennifer - Point taken. Where, then, can we debate the issues that we've been talking about above? It's been a while since there was quite such an exchange of views on a particular topic on the blog.

    Complain about this comment

  • 143. At 12:05pm on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    142 Alan_N
    Only if you worship Salmond, it seems.

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 12:10pm on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Well, there's no denying that a pattern has emerged. Orders from on high do you think?

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 12:30pm on 26 Apr 2010, X_Sticks wrote:

    BwB has opened.

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 1:08pm on 26 Apr 2010, Sid wrote:


    Well, Jennifer - I've been out delivering leaflets - most exciting thing so far, being asked to look out for a runaway ferret. We thought we'd found it, but it turned out to be a squirrel in distress, trapped up a tree by a cat.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 1:45pm on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    I have reworded my #48 to avoid mentioning any names.

    39. highlandarab

    As I have said before and it seems that I have to repeat it again, my surname is of Highland origin and my father was an economic migrant after the war into England.

    I have family in Scotland and some while ago I was watching BBC Scotland and a spokesman for the SNP was spouting off. I said to my Scottish family "That man is a racist".
    The Scottish side of the family said "why do you say that".

    I said I have met many racists in my long life and there is one characteristic that identifies racists. They can never call the object of their bigotry by their correct name.
    That is how that man was, never in his discussion could he refer to England or the English by name, throughout the interview he referred to England as "south of the border" and the English as "those down south" or those "south of the border".
    Now that my friend is a give away for a racist.

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 2:13pm on 26 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Coming out of a shop this morning, I caught the tail end of a conversation along these lines: ".... they haven't a hope in hell" - and I knew they were discussing the Labour Party. Not that I agree with the sentiment, but because in all the years I've lived in this area it has never returned anything other than a Tory MP. Yet, in all the years I lived in this area (around 25) I've yet to meet any of the MPs who've held the seat and, when I tried to see the current encumbent over a matter that needed his attention I could not get a meeting (and there were no surgeries). I tried over a period of six months to arrange this and got nowhere. Is it any surprise that I don't feel represented?

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 2:45pm on 26 Apr 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Looternite (14&) - Well, I've met plenty of racists and bigots and they haven't been at all shy about naming the object of their derision - Blacks, Jews, Protestants or Catholics. And of late, Poles, Romanians and the general catch-all - foreigners. Oh, and the English and the Irish, of course.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 2:52pm on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    149 - Horse
    Absolutely. In fact, they are usually falling over themselves to identify the object of their hatred. I fear that sometimes what is in fact simple disagreement is incorrectly identified as racism simply because the two debaters are of different races. Plenty of examples of that above, sadly. Yesterday I was accused of racism because I (apparently) hate the English and then again an hour later because I also (apparently) hate the Scottish. In fact, I just happened to disagree with both speakers on the particular points which we were discussing at the time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 3:23pm on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    149. The Intermittent Horse and 150. Alan_N

    Well in this part of England everone knows they have to moderate their language, yes bigots try to appear PC, and so they do not speak directly using racist names.

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 3:51pm on 26 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Looter, Regarding 48 I refer you again to my 51.

    Jennifer, For many of us, Scotland is our "local area" And many are smarting from the uneven-handed she has been receiving from Aunty Beeb.

    I'm sure all the disenfranchised from Brian Taylor's blog are grateful for the general hospitality they/we have received, both here and with our Welsh friends. Our discussions have had some bearing on wider (even English) matters

    On a personal (and truly local) level, I am doubly disfranchised, receiving only English ITV. and with even BBC Scotland only entertaining the leaders of the three "British" parties to the exclusion of the party currently governing Scotland.

    There are NO posters of any sort locally, but expect our constituency to elect a member of the above-mentioned (but debate-excluded) party anyway.

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 3:58pm on 26 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    147. Looternite
    "there is one characteristic that identifies racists. They can never call the object of their bigotry by their correct name.
    That is how that man was, never in his discussion could he refer to England or the English by name
    "

    Oh! So that's why Brown or Cameron never refer to England when they talk of health, education etc etc. They talk about "this country", when these policies apply to England - but they "never call the object of their bigotry by their correct name".

    We should have guessed. Brown is a Scot, and Cameron has a Scottish name, and you have now successfully explained the origin of their odd phraseology - at least to your own satisfaction. :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 4:01pm on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Wasn't Blair also Scottish. :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 4:02pm on 26 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    153. oldnat
    I thought Brown says "Our Country" meaning the whole of the UK.

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 4:09pm on 26 Apr 2010, oldnat wrote:

    155. Looternite
    "I thought Brown says "Our Country" meaning the whole of the UK."

    For all his faults, Brown (like Cameron) knows full well that the Westminster Government does not decide education, health policy etc outwith England.

    In political terms one can see the embarrassment that Brown must feel (being the candidate in Kirkcaldy) when he talks about the control he wishes to exert over purely English matters.

    However, that wouldn't apply to Cameron. Consequently, I am happy to defer to your extensive experience in these areas, and accept that your explanation is the correct one.

    Sad, but your logic is inescapable. :-(

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 4:53pm on 26 Apr 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    "There of course 5 nations (6 if you include Cornwall) in the UK. The Brits are just one of them."

    You mean the English? Welsh and Cornish people are "Brits". Come to that, so are most of the people of Cumbria, Strathclyde and Pictland as well, genetically, as a good deal of the territory of the later invaders "Engl"-land and "Scot"-land.

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 5:00pm on 26 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Ln 139, Ashcroft and Brown.

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 5:02pm on 26 Apr 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    111. Obviously one quarter of LD MPs have seen the truth - there is little difference between Cameron and Labour.

    Difference is, Brown committed to review electoral reform. But Clegg has to outflank the Con. strategy; that "vote for Clegg, get Brown".

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 5:17pm on 26 Apr 2010, RxKaren wrote:

    Jen (135)

    Here in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich I have now heard from 2 of the 7 candidates.

    The Greens have put two copies of the same leaflet through my letterbox today (I'm looking for the bit where they pledge to reduce waste).

    The Tories came round last week and one of the team was questioned about aspects of policy. He promised to get the candidate to write to me. The candidate now has no chance of me voting for him! Apart from marrying me off he has also failed to address any of the points I put and seems to have completely missed the point. He alludes to decriminalising pharmacy dispensing(!) and then starts off on NHS Litigation which was totally unrelated. The final paragraph basically says that it is "a two horse race" between Labour and Conservatives. I'm afraid his letter has left me with the impression that he really doesn't deserve my vote. Good Lord - I even suggested he looked at the iPM blog...!

    Still waiting to hear from Labour (dissed by the Tories last week), UKIP, The New Party, Lib Dem and the Independent candidate who seems to be a man of mystery.

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 6:40pm on 26 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #118. Looternite wrote:
    "Be careful what you say over here because if you are less than reverential about Salmond, a chip laden Anglophobe will get upset and get you sent into moderation.

    My #48 is still, as I write, in limbo."





    You said yesterday that you did not know who reported you to the mods and you were asking anyone trill posting if it was them. (#57)

    There were various replys to that - #58, #59 and my own at #75 and #99.

    I see that today you moved to the now reopened (after a 5 day democracy blackout) Blether with Brian with much the same post as here.

    I gave you an answer in that blog as well.

    Do you now know who it was that sent a report to the moderators.
    My own views are shown above about moding. I wouldn't report, I would just move on. But you obviously know that it was someone who dislikes Anglo's and are linking this in somehow to a supporter of Alex Salmond. How did you find this out or is this just a stab in the dark.

    If the mods agreed with the referral then they must also become included in this general bracket of Anglophobe or must have found something that - for instance - broke the house rules.

    You seem to be taking the referral personaly. But if you are just taking a stab in the dark about identity it may have been content that embarassed or caused upset to an Anglo, who thought that it might not put their own position in a good light. I don't know because it had been removed before I got round to reading that far down - grandchildren / nappies and feeding frezies becoming more of a pressing issue.

    Here are cut and pastes from your own quotes.

    #16 "...I have heard Salmond and his bigots message

    #34 "...We are one people divided by accent and petty bigoted politicians out for the main chance."

    #52 "...all the loopy [implied as SNP by the discussion] parties ..."

    Now, we are pretty thick skinned in Northern Britain, and we did not have a problem (nor did the moderators) with being called bigots and loopy, so it would be unlikely it was us thst did the referral.

    The only reference to the word 'Anglo' was from me when I suggested that it seems that England (as the country name) tends to be interchangable in the press and in pariament with the terms UK / GB / Anglo European / Anglo American, etc.

    However, I dont think that would lead any one to call me an Anglophobe. I am not frightened of England, although their political parties can be a bit scarry at times. To be honest, my attentions would always be to Scotland and I would not really give many thoughts at all to England - probably not unlike yourself in the opposite direction. But it hardly makes me frightened of you or them.

    So, is it just a stab in the dark, or did you actually find out who the rotter was?

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 6:54pm on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    118, 161, Play nicely children. It might help if we bear in mind that actually we are not each other's enemy. If there is a problem with the system, then let's work together to fix it. Let's not call each other names along the way.

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 7:17pm on 26 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #147. Looternite wrote:

    I have just reached down to your 147 reposting so I now at least know what you said. Thanks for reposting.


    I have also just read our telling of from one of the writers of the blog about being off message, so maybe this is not appropriate and I would now appologise, however.



    "As I have said before and it seems that I have to repeat it again, my surname is of Highland origin and my father was an economic migrant after the war into England."



    You have me at a loss, because I don't know what your surname is, but yes there were many economic migrants from Scotland not only after the war but throughout the clearances all over our country from the mid 1800's right up to and including now. This is one on the reasons why, wherever in the world you go, you will meet Scots and their extended new families - England, USA, Canada, Australia, ... Corby is a good example of this social displacement. You are not unique and there are probably more people on planet earth outwith Scotland that regard themselves as Scots than there are living in the country. I would imagine the same goes for our Celtic cousins in Ireland. It seems to come from diversity and the scattering of the clans.





    "I have family in Scotland and some while ago I was watching BBC Scotland and a spokesman for the SNP was spouting off. I said to my Scottish family "That man is a racist".
    The Scottish side of the family said "why do you say that".

    I said I have met many racists in my long life and there is one characteristic that identifies racists. They can never call the object of their bigotry by their correct name.
    That is how that man was, never in his discussion could he refer to England or the English by name, throughout the interview he referred to England as "south of the border" and the English as "those down south" or those "south of the border".
    Now that my friend is a give away for a racist.



    It is telling that your Scottish family, who would have had more exposure to the SNP message, had to ask for a explanation of why you thought it was racist. Considering a well known ex football reporter and ex England footballer cannot mention Scotland without calling it 'Chilly Jockoland' I would imagine that he would also come into your definition then.

    Because a lot of people up here regard themselves as Scottish rather than Brittish, it is not unusual you would class anyone in a neighbouring country as 'over the border', 'down south' or 'south of the border. I could understand you getting upset if you were located north east or west, but is not 'South' geographically correct and the fact that between the two locations there is a national border would seen to make the statement factually correct. If the TV news says we are going 'up north' to Newcastle for this report, or 'down south' to London for the main news, surely you are not sying that they too are racist.

    There may also be a cultural language difference here. Any one who emigrates from here or works in England but is resident here is normally regarded as 'having gone down south' and can be applied to Scots as well as anyone else. It is just a term that indicates that they are no longer in the midst of their own family and have geographically relocaed 'further south than they once were'. I dare say if they had moved to Iceland we would say 'up north'. For America and Canada they have gone 'across the water' or 'over the puddle'.

    I think we explained yesterday (or at least tried to while you were with us) that the SNP problem is not with England (whatever its geogaphical location). The problem we have is the union of the parliaments. We want to be independant from the Westminster parliament. We have no interest, one way or the other, if you make England like Las Vegas or Tirana once we are gone. We wish you the best on your own way in life. We hoped you would wish us the same on our own wee way in the world.

    I hope this clears up your points.
    If it is any consolation - that post was neither better or worse than your other ones and I can't see why it would have been moderated.

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 7:44pm on 26 Apr 2010, highlandarab wrote:

    #162. At 6:54pm on 26 Apr 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    "118, 161, Play nicely children. It might help if we bear in mind that actually we are not each other's enemy. If there is a problem with the system, then let's work together to fix it. Let's not call each other names along the way."


    Well, you also were online yesterday when we were all asked if we had moderated his posts.

    You replied, and I replied, both saying no.

    He still seems to be upset so I was just trying to reason with him and ask how he knew so much of the identity of the 'cuprit'.

    I don't know your background but mine would be a Scottish SNP supporter and I have a distinct feeling that, wrongly, I am close to the top of his suspect list.

    I was just clearing my name. I am chilled, I am relaxed, and I am happy with life with my big team in the cup fianl agin my wee team. The arabs and the Staggies will be a great day out.

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 00:07am on 27 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 166. At 09:53am on 27 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    JT 135, The Lib Dems and Tories have both been plying their trade in the market in St Albans, but no appearance by Labour yet. We have had leaflets from nearly everybody more than once and there are some posters in windows and posterboards, but not as many I would expect. A Tory told me that some of their posterboards had been vandalised and my Lib Dem one was partially knocked down. Nobody has knocked on our door when we were at home. Not even Sid.

    Complain about this comment

  • 167. At 10:14am on 27 Apr 2010, RxKaren wrote:

    DavMcN (166) - I think I'd welcome a visit from Sid telling me who the local Lib Dem candidate is and what they're going to do. Haven't seen that many posterboards in my area but there are a few in Ipswich itself.

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 11:08am on 27 Apr 2010, Jennifer Tracey wrote:

    RXKaren(160) and davmcn(166) - thanks for your comments.

    BigJim (152), Alan_N (142) and Brownedov (140) - wasn't aware of temporary closure of other blogs. At iPM we create a programme based on the suggestions and experiences of our listeners. This thread offers a space for people to talk about their experience around an idea we're developing for the programme and went off on a tangent.

    And Sid (146) - mind those squirrels.

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 12:03pm on 27 Apr 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    168. Jennifer Tracey
    "mind those squirrels."

    Eh?

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 5:00pm on 27 Apr 2010, RxKaren wrote:

    Another day, two more leaflets.

    Labour have sent a leaflet which actually tells me very little but invites me to contact my candidate if I want to find out more. The leaflet seems to be telling me what Labour have done and what the Tories will do but not what Labour will do. It also tells me nothing about the background of my Labour candidate.

    The New Party have sent me a leaflet with what can only be called an unfortunate photo of the candidate on the back! Lots of words but not much clear communication.

    Sid - still nothing from the Lib Dems! Also nothing from the Independent.

    I remember, as a child, having all three major parties come round the houses canvassing. For the last two campaigns I've only seen the Tories. Is this because I'm in a safe seat?

    I'm also noticing that all the leaflets have addresses, phone numbers, emails, websites - some have Twitter accounts and Facebook groups. It's not a substitute for having a chance to talk with the candidate or their team though. I may have been hard on the Tories but I do respect them for at least coming out and visiting their constituents.

    Still can't get over "decriminalising pharmacy dispensing" though! What a lawless life he must feel I lead...

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 5:11pm on 28 Apr 2010, RxKaren wrote:

    Sid - Still haven't heard from the Lib Dems! I've now got leaflets from everyone else including the Independent candidate and UKIP. No posterboards and no canvassers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 1:27pm on 29 Apr 2010, counterfeitcopyright wrote:

    Really sorry if this is a repeated point, genuine mistake if it is.

    Did anyone else notice the blatant contradiction in what David Cameron said in his radio 4 phone in?

    The biggest problem with the country = the deficit/debt

    The solution = Get banks lending

    In other words Cameron thinks the best way out of debt is more debt. Well done Cameron, clearly you’ve been thinking about shoe laces or something.

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 1:38pm on 29 Apr 2010, pamela moss wrote:

    My family and I were strong labour supporters. Recently I have been disheartened and dismayed with not only how the country is run but also how the Labour party has conduced themselves. I was of the opinion that i lived in a democratic society which respected freedom of speech. Obvioulsy i am deluded or residing in another country. Gordon Brown's disrepectful, unfair and unreasonable comments rearding his opinion of Mrs Duffy, behind her back, just confirms my belief that he is untrustworthy, two faced and dismissive of people who try to discuss and debate issues of relevance. i will not be voting for Labour and have volunteered to not only campaign on behalf of Nick Clegg but also subscribe to the Lib Dems. Gordon Brown i think has sealed his own fate - the demise of the labour

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 2:25pm on 29 Apr 2010, David Hurford wrote:

    Gordon Brown's off Mic comments were certainly questionable but even more questionable is should the BBC have used that story to dominate the Election news coverage both yesterday and for some of today. On one hand it can be deemed as prolonged exposure, potentially damaging, to the Labour party and on the other advantageous to the other two parties.
    I think it proves that Gordon Brown is as human as the rest of us, surely he should be allowed to vent his frustration in what he believed was private. Never mind what Sky and the others are doing lets stay focussed on the issues and party policies' please.

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 3:36pm on 29 Apr 2010, RxKaren wrote:

    I found out more about my candidates today from a piece in the EADT than I have from their election information. The New Party is only standing in my constituency (which is what I suspected). The independent candidate wasn't covered in the article.

    I have been aware of more negative campaigning in this election than in previous ones. I'm also aware of a lot of "new" prospective politicians.

    In terms of how it's changed we seem to be talking about the election a lot more and my colleagues have been invited to a wine and cheese nibbles night by their Tory candidate. They're not going as they don't think it's really them. Still haven't heard directly from the Lib Dems - my only information has come from this piece in the local paper. Apparently he was a lieutenant in the TA. I think he's cutting it fine.

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 5:00pm on 29 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    175. RxKaren

    "I have been aware of more negative campaigning in this election than in previous ones. I'm also aware of a lot of "new" prospective politicians."

    You obviously are young and don't remember the 1980s elections and 1992 election.

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 6:42pm on 29 Apr 2010, RxKaren wrote:

    (176) During the 1980s my role at election campaign time was to go to the door and tell the candidates that my dad was at work and my mum was in the bath! Apart from a mock election at school I didn't pay a great deal of attention. 1992 was the first election I could vote at - we were living in the middle of nowhere - no canvassers - and I was working in financial forecasting. We spent the election campaign all day trying to work out what the party policies meant for our forecasts so didn't really listen to any mudslinging. I had overload by the end of that.

    During the 1997 campaign I was working in IT support and had a colleague who kept quoting his Labour pledge card at us all day (until it mysteriously ended up with screwdriver holes through it). I don't remember negative campaigning on that one - I remember telling the Tories to leave and never return when a smug party worker said "Obviously you're going to vote for us as you're young, pretty and intelligent."

    2001 I was at Uni, wasn't going to be there much longer so wasn't that engaged with that constituency. Don't recall much negativity but I was busy being a student... Didn't see any party workers. Thought it was quite amusing that my local polling station was at the pub (good way to get the student vote out!)

    2005 still seemed fairly positive with the local parties sending out leaflets in a timely way with clear information.

    2010 It seems too little, too late and a lot of telling me what horrors the others are going to inflict upon me if they get in. Maybe this is the trend if the results are looking close? We had a conversation about this at work today - the consensus was that there isn't the same hunger for votes from the candidates, which is sad. We also considered each of the seven candidates and thought we didn't want any of them but we don't want to abstain. A Scottish friend of mine who used to live locally used to put an additional box on the bottom labelled "SNP" and put his X next to that because he thought it was a positive indication of what he wanted. Never really followed the logic as it just becomes a spoiled ballot. I've kept the six leaflets here but will probably decide tonight after the debate - the dilemma we had is that we quite liked the comments that the independent candidate has but the only information comes from one leaflet and we felt it would be a wasted vote - he won't get in and it will just be viewed as a protest rather than a positive choice.

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 7:33pm on 04 May 2010, Steve Wallis wrote:

    I understand that both Gordon Brown (Radio 4 pm programme) and David Cameron (Channel 4 news) have pulled out of interviews with Eddie Mair and John Snow. Why? Surely being grilled by broadcasters is part of the election process? What are they so fearful of? Millions of people would of heard their respective messages. Unless that was what they were worried about!

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 10:23am on 09 May 2010, Steve Wallis wrote:

    Is a rainbow coalition totally out of the question? After all 64% of the country did not vote Conservative. If we add all the centre left parties seats together the total is 329.

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 10:40am on 09 May 2010, Cash Hughes wrote:

    178. Steve Wallis

    • "Millions of people would of heard their respective messages. Unless that was what they were worried about!"

    Nail on head, Steve, but it's would have.

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 11:54am on 09 May 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    179 - We could call it the coalition of the loosers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 12:48pm on 09 May 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    From the News page:

    "206: Newly-elected Labour MP and former union chief Jack Dromey says Britain "is not a Conservative country", despite the election results."

    Much as I wish he were right, Mr D perhaps needs to look at a map.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.