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Monday 18 April 2011

Verity Murphy | 12:07 UK time, Monday, 18 April 2011

Here is what we are planning for tonight's programme:

Politicians from opposing parties have joined forces as the battle over the way Britain elects its MPs intensifies.

David Cameron teamed up with Labour heavyweight - and anti-Tory attack dog - Lord Reid to support the status quo. Labour leader Ed Miliband and Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable together argued for the alternative vote system - after Mr Miliband refused to share a platform with Nick Clegg on the issue.

David Grossman will be looking at the level of nastiness that the campaign has engendered and what the long term effect on relations, particularly within the coalition, is likely to be.

Michael Crick will be reporting on who is more worried about losing the vote - the Liberal Democrats or the Conservatives.

Paul Mason will be looking at the questions raised over Portugal's EU bail-out by the strong showing in Finland's election by the nationalist, Euro-sceptic True Finns party.

We have the next instalment of Citizen Smith, Stephen Smith's attempt to become a Big Society co-ordinator. This time we see how Stephen fares when he tries to combat the financial squeeze at the Hastings Museum and Art by opening it up himself.

And we will be examining the hinterlands which line our motorways in the wake of Friday's fire at a scrap yard, which has resulted in the closure of a seven-mile section of the M1 in north London.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    ON the issue of AV and Mr Clegg, nastiness is the right word.

    IMHO many people who voted LibDem are furious about what has happened and feel that their votes were stolen, so will do anything to get back at Mr Clegg - and that means voting NO on AV even if they broadly support electoral reform.

    Here's how I see what has happened.

    The LibDem Manifesto is clearly opposed to the Tories on quite a number of issues - but we now know from LibDem leaks that Clegg had already decided to do a 180 degree on issues like student fees and the speed and depth of spending cuts BEFORE the election, but Clegg allowed me and many others to go into the polling station and vote LibDem KNOWING he was going to do the exact opposite of what the Manifesto said.

    Clegg is therefore by definition untrustworthy - contrary to the way the media reports it, Clegg did not decide to support the Tories budget plans once he'd seen the books - the evidence is there that he had decided to go back on the official LibDem Manifesto BEFORE polling day.

    There was a hung Parliament - so there was a negotiation over the Coalition Agreement. Mr Clegg's Orange Book Cabal now used these negotiations to put the LibDem Manifesto in the bin, whilst retrieving their "Orange Book" from the bin where their Party had put it, and write swathes of it into the Coalition Agreement.

    So we have a minority faction from the smallest of the three main parties using the situation of a hung parliament to stage what is in effect a coup against their own party and deny the will of the electorate to team up with the libertarian right in the Tory Party to inflict a whole host of policies on us that the LibDem manifesto specifically opposed.

    I therefore hope all those that share my outrage at the deceit going into the election and the procedural coup of the Coalition Agreement will make the referendum as NASTY AS POSSIBLE to Mr Clegg by using every opportunity to damage him personally and politically as much as possible.

    There will be major collateral damage to the LibDem Party - this is unavoidable - they face meltdown at the polls and another generation in the wilderness as a result of allowing Clegg to behave in this way.

    My only advice to them is this - take the medicine - limit the damage and get rid of Clegg as soon as possible.

  • Comment number 2.

    Mindy_windy friday
    Only the Liberals would defend the wearing of a burka whilst denigrating the wearing of their own western clothing. The Libs are always the first to bow down to another culture and the Libs are always the first to commit cultural suicide. And they always insist in telling everybody else to do the same. The Libs are always incapable of seeing the dangers ahead..and are always incapable of defending themselves.
    And when the slaughter starts, the Libs are always the first-up.

    Liberalism is a mental disorder and should always be treated as such.

  • Comment number 3.

    Now then I wish to make a comment about my past views on hire styles.

    The diagonal line of hair running past the eyes as a visual device to attract attention to the eyes. Now then the angle of the diagonal is all important - it must be more than 33 degree's otherwise one might find oneself being compared with Hitler. I was reminded of this while viewing Shami Chakrabarti just now, of-course I wouldn't make any such comparisons.

    http://history1900s.about.com/library/holocaust/blhitler55.htm

  • Comment number 4.

    Here's a German view of the Finnish election.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,757702,00.html

    One of the most interesting comments is: "Soini's success comes primarily as a result of support from young men with average to low levels of both education and income..."

    So it has been throughout the history of far-right movements in Europe. The machismo and frustration of disadvantaged males has been harnessed as a means of both gaining power, and repression.

  • Comment number 5.

    If Finland can sabotage the 'bailouts' - great

    -------------------------------
    Marc Faber - 'intrinsic value if the $ is precisely zero'

    http://www.businessinsider.com/marc-faber-the-dollars-value-in-the-future-will-be-zero-2011-4

  • Comment number 6.

    Remember ladies and gentlemen 33 degrees diagonal on your head = Hitler. Avoid it at all costs, shoot your hairstylist if this horror happens to you.

  • Comment number 7.

    #4 after reading that - NOT that I agree with the far right of course. Bailouts = debt servitude of the public, enrichment for those doing the 'bailout'

  • Comment number 8.

    Hey Dave golds knocking on 1500

    http://thoughtstate.blogspot.com/2011/01/examples-of-austerity-in-modern-history.html

    "Then Chancellor Brüning slashed and burned what remained of the German economy with austerity programs. In theory, austerity was meant to deal with the financial problems of debt and the Great Depression while avoiding a return to inflation. But it was those austerity efforts and their side effects that collapsed the Weimar Republic and the launched Germany into fascism. "

  • Comment number 9.

    @1 Richard: "So we have a minority faction from the smallest of the three main parties using the situation of a hung parliament to stage what is in effect a coup against their own party and deny the will of the electorate."

    - A masterly analysis and summary of Clegg and Co's betrayal.

    You could add, as Peanuts' Linus did in a letter to the Great Pumpkin after his non-appearance:

    "If I sound bitter, it's because I am!"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Pumpkin

    Perhaps the Great Pumpkin is a metaphor for an honest political system.

  • Comment number 10.

    Chris Hedges speech Union Square NYC - April 15th 2011

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GYlSsLafR0&feature=player_embedded#at=35

    'Not their concern'

  • Comment number 11.

    how do I annoy Nick....vote No? How do I end the coalition? Vote No? Cannot fail....vote NO! No brainer....

  • Comment number 12.

    #1 richard bunning

    PATHOCRACY

    Have you ever considered the following analysis for the reasons behind the behaviours of the person(s) in question?

    Beware the Psychopath, My Son
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2008/05/beware-the-psychopath-my-son/

    'During the past fifty years, psychopaths have gained almost absolute control of all the branches of government. You can notice this if you observe carefully that no matter what illegal thing a modern politician does, no one will really take him to task. All of the so called scandals that have come up, any one of which would have taken down an authentic administration, are just farces played out for the public, to distract them, to make them think that the democracy is still working.'

  • Comment number 13.

    For relative levels of nastiness, one might do worse than simply compare two paras from this BBC report..

    '...the level of nastiness that the campaign has engendered ... after Mr Miliband refused to share a platform with Nick Clegg on the issue.'

    Still figuring my voting preference out, but given who is weighing in on which side, and with what shenanigans in support from the in-theory impartial glee-clubs, it's getting easier by the day.

  • Comment number 14.

    Regarding M1 closure, the UK is the only so-called developed country where a fire off the motorway can cause the motorway to be shut this long. The UK is a laughing stock when it comes to getting things done quickly. And no it's not about the money. In the earthquake-hit area of Japan, a complete road was rebuilt WITHIN 2 weeks of being completely destroyed.
    Instead of examining hinterlands, why doesn't Newsnight ask why it takes 4 days for a 7 mile section to be re-opened & even then not fully?

  • Comment number 15.

    PR
    The referendum mechanism is anti-parliamentary (no politician was sacked through one). Recently in Wales despite only 65 out of 100 participating the payroll devolutionists claimed they won. If PR is such importance then we should have a general election on it. Electors can follow the singular but right advice of the Common Representation Campaign and abstain. commonrepresentation.org.uk

  • Comment number 16.

    AV
    It would be useful to know which constituencies would have changed hands at the last general election had AV been in operation ... would we still have been likely to have had a coalition govt?
    also ... AV is not such an advantage; if most voters did not allocate a voting to preference to their least preferred candidate ... then the result might be that the electorate is permamanely stuck with the likes of Clegg and Cable as permamnent power brokers in a permament or indefinite coalition govt?

    If there is any chance of the Liberal Party becoming permanent power brokers, in UK govt then I'm a definite 'NO' on AV

    Libya
    Surely it is time for a UN humanitarian aid mission to be sent into Misrata to relieve the civilians under fire there ... under the supervision and security and protection of UN armed combat troops ... with a defensive right of fire against anyone threatening unarmed civilians?

    This could be used as the first phase in the strategic ring fencing of Tripoli to 'kettle in' and arrest the the mad dog Gaddfai's for their war and other terrorist crimes - until a solution to the conflict can be resolved.

    In other words ... the only way to end the Libyan crisis is to go in an get Gaddafi in order to put him on trial.

    This is the time for NATO to ask for a further UN resolution on:

    1) Humanitarian aid and defence of Misrata with a 'bridging position' on the 'ring fencing' of Tripoli

    2) The arrest and trial of Gaddafi ... this would not be regime change as the purpose of the move on Gaddafi would be for his arrest and trial. The resolution itself would mean that Gaddafi would be finished and taken to 'The Hague' ... and out of the equation ... for a few years.

    As for fires under M-way bridges ... what about all those railway arches full of old cars and calor gas etc?

  • Comment number 17.

  • Comment number 18.







    Some ‘fawtz’ for Monday 18th April 2011.

    If the Alternative Vote is so ‘good’ then why is the result to be decided by fifty per cent of the ‘vote’ rather than fifty per cent of the constituency ‘electorate’?



    Has anyone considered that come May 5th the Lib Dims may not - for many years to come - be the ‘mop heads’ of british politics?

    One thing is pretty much certain the Con-alition, and Deity in particular, will not go easily! Mr C. Lowalim will ultimately have no-where to go, he has lost the trust of the ‘people’ and nothing he can do - not even all the current sham histrionics of public ‘spats’ defining ‘differences’ with the Big Con partners - can save him! Come to think of it, can the Lib Dims even save themselves?



    Finland’s election has resulted in twenty per cent of the legislature being of the “far right” due to increased fears concerning the consequence of immigration. .... Do the Finns know something we don’t? Perhaps it the case that the UK government chooses, prefers, wishes not to consider ‘possibilities’? (Or should that be ‘eventualities’?)



    Shock, horror, probe! Teaching unions are not happy with Con-alition plans to train teachers on the job as opposed to the present process of ‘Teacher Training Colleges’.
    The ‘offered’ reasoning ..... ‘It ‘aint broke, don’t fix it!’

    Are they, the unions, so out of touch with the reality of what’s going on on the ground that they really don’t know that it is ‘broke’!

    The con-alition plans are pretty far from perfect. Add to this that the recent OECD report screams that the system is in a steep decline which clearly indicates - IMHO - that teacher training, teaching and secondary education in general really need to be thoroughly - and urgently - reviewed stroke overhauled if only to “give the kids a chance”!



    Really, isn’t it about time C. Smith esquire gave up on the “Big Society”? ....

    Everyone else has!




  • Comment number 19.

    AV
    #1 richard bunning wrote:
    “I therefore hope all those that share my outrage at the deceit going into the election and the procedural coup of the Coalition Agreement will make the referendum as NASTY AS POSSIBLE to Mr Clegg by using every opportunity to damage him personally and politically as much as possible.
    There will be major collateral damage to the LibDem Party”; and
    #11 stevie wrote:
    “how do I annoy Nick....vote No? How do I end the coalition? Vote No? Cannot fail....vote NO! No brainer....”

    Isn’t this just an advocacy of Misuse the Noes to spite the face?

    My take remains the same:
    AV was an imperfect coalition compromise for PR – as used widely, including the EU elections, where it allowed the election of some minor parties, rather than the millions of FPTP wasted votes and non-voters.
    #15 CONNELL wrote:
    “The referendum mechanism is anti-parliamentary”
    What referendum mechanism? It is more anti-people: our governments have always refused us referenda on issues of great importance to the public, as the Whips and Toffs ‘know best’ how to ‘represent’ our needs.

    For heaven sake don’t throw away this opportunity to demonstrate that we don’t want to be forever ‘represented’ by the Big 3 parties - with over 400 MPs who polled more votes against them than for them. Let’s get a few radical MPs who recognise our anger, unlike the bunch who have wrecked our society and economy.

    We don’t need a hollow anti-Lib gesture.
    A ‘YES’ to AV will demonstrate our dissatisfaction with the whole bunch of posers who are again busy uttering pre-election sound-bites that will be forgotten again after May 5th.
    It will also set a precedent for further referenda on important issues, including further electoral changes if WE decide they are necessary.

  • Comment number 20.

    I have just got halfway through the current Private Eye, and have had to stop to protect my blood pressure. Right at this moment I would like to sentence the entire British ruling class to the guillotine, not as a punishment, but to protect the rest of society and future generations from their rapacity. I would allow individual appeals, and internal exile to St Kilda, on the grounds that a particular person poses no further threat.

    I might have calmed down by the morning.

    @17 London didn't start as an English city or even a British city of course: it started as Londinium - a trading post founded by the Romans, and occupied by all sorts of races. Ironic that John Cleese has moved to Aquae Sulis!

  • Comment number 21.

    @19 Eloquently put, and I agree. I shall be voting Yes. AV will not save Clegg's version of Liberalism - and it might even ensure his personal demise

  • Comment number 22.

    #19 PARLIAMENT Vs REFERENDUM
    Parliamentry representation means that electoral authority is transmitted by the elector through the ballot paper into the MP. The elector then has a "hostage" until the next election. If the MP breaks his word (personal manifesto)
    with the elector then the elector can vote for someone else. A referendum is a paper survey (a cold snapshot) it contains zero electoral authority - it allows the MP off the hook.
    All referendums in the UK have been about one thing - avoiding the electorate - EEC/DEVOLUTION/PR
    also If you do not like the big three parties then simple vote for another - there are over 300 to chose from.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    #20 "London didn't start as an English city or even a British city of course: it started as Londinium"

    I think you're splitting heirs there ; )

  • Comment number 25.

    @Connell, your explanations of the ideology of parliamentary democracy merely highlight that it is unfit for purpose. I'm sick of waiting for five years, merely for the chance of replacing one mendacious illegitimate with another.

    I'm sick of all these illegitimates who in reality get a plurality on the basis that they are the lesser of evils, then claiming that they have a mandate for all their policies, including the ones they said "we have no plans to" implement before the election.

    The system is useless, and leads to useless people being able to STEAL absolute power on the basis of minority support.

    Give me the Swiss system any day. I hereby forswear my allegiance to the British Parliament. Off with their heads!*

    *Or at least adopt the rule of Terry Pratchett's Foureks, as explained to a puzzled visitor:
    ............." "We put all our politicians in prison as soon as they're elected. Don't you?" "Why?" "It saves time." -Terry Pratchett, "The Last Continent"

  • Comment number 26.

    GREAT STUDIO WALL - SHAME ABOUT THE PROGRAMME (12 link)

    Limited Ed says this referendum will show "WHAT KIND OF POLITICS WE WANT". But it won't get within a stretched-truth of WHAT WE NEED.

    As museV's link asserts: the lunatics have taken over the asylum. They have made the world their stage, and its all a game. We NEED politics of integrity, altruism, selflessness and (what a joke) HONOUR. If we fail to dismantle Westminster and its self-preserving ethos - maintained through the Machiavellian party system and the linchpin monarchy, the psychological squalor of life in these islands will continue to deepen.

    The monetary mess is only a SYMPTOM. While we focus on that (or on angels-on-a-pin party politics) the descent continues.

    How utterly perverse that John Reid declares AV "too important for party politics". I don't remember him saying that about the Iraq War. He is up to something.

    The 'ideals' sought, fostered, and rewarded, in a Westminster MP by their party, are EXACTLY those we hope will never be displayed by our children: deceit, cunning, deviousness, disingenuousness, manipulation, dishonesty, lying, deception, underhandedness, denigration and the like. THIS IS SICK BRITAIN.

    George the Conservative (did he really have 8/10 votes against him - he would make very poor cat food) come over as a 'consummate parliamentarian'.

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 27.

    WISDOM - AWARENESS - COMPETENCE - ASSUREDNESS - INTEGRITY

    There is a Westminster mantra that the first duty of government is to protect the people. Ironic that, while we flail against insubstantial Terror, the true threat is corruption - cultural, governmental and individual.

    I assert that the first duty of government is INTEGRITY, and the second is to raise every individual to their optimum, in terms of my list above.

    Nothing remotely like this goal is in the minds of those we are currently duped into elevating to power. It's the Matrix - low tech style. It gave us a series of barking PMs and WE HAVE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE.

  • Comment number 28.

    AV isn't the best voting system, but neither is the present one where a party can be elected into power without receiving the majority of votes.

    Anyway AV would be good because politicians would spend even more time bickering among themselves for power and thus have even less time to actually pass any ludicrous ideological legislation. In this way the country would run far more efficiently.

    You think I'm joking!

    Why the facile CBBC style piece on 'the big society'? Why was this presented as if we're all five year olds? Always a sure sign that even the programme maker doesn't think the basic subject matter is interesting. And it wasn't. Stick with your instincts.

    The only exception is Watchdog, where the subject matter is actually interesting - and still they present it as if we're all five year olds.

    That's the limit of my attention span. Must go and rest.

  • Comment number 29.

    @25
    The past winter has seen the greatest attack on the British constitution since 1997/1998 not least the Fixed Parliaments Bill (which if passed will declare that a majority of one is not a majority). It is not our parliamentary system that is the problem - it is the policy of government that has created the mess. For a traditional political viewpoint on representation visit commonrepresentation.org.uk.

  • Comment number 30.

    '28. At 00:24am 19th Apr 2011, restassured - a party can be elected into power without receiving the majority of votes.'

    As we head towards a system of 'one person, one party' as the options proliferate, one imagines that while the potential for ideal proxy representation increases, so do the chances of gridlock in the absence of simple choices to clear, if inevitably not cross-policy agreeable leadership.

    The 'best' system's flaws do seem to be making things trickier. Especially in a media culture where compromise ranges from weakness to simply not being allowed to exist.

    Maybe the the next voting form should simply be a local telephone directory, so instead of NOTA, I can at last just vote for me. If we all did it, just imagine how great the feeling to find one's vote is truly a reflection of your will across all political topics?

    Mind you, Parliament might get a bit packed, unless most remain at work earning a living and generating an income as opposed to finding new and improved ways to blow others' money whilst on a nice little earner.

    I find myself erring not so much for who I don't mind, but more against who I dread. Maybe that is what AV is all about. Seems... backward, mind.

  • Comment number 31.

    NO CALL FOR RADICAL THOUGHT IN 'DEMOCRACY 26'

    Why does the discussion of education never look past schooling? Why does the discussion of governance never look past universal suffrage? Why does health support start with sickness? Why is Justice a psychology-free zone? Why is Johnnie Foreigner precious when here but bomb-fodder at home?

    Our current system of governance is fundamentally corrupt and our governments ensure little changes except the bamboozling of the electorate - proceeding apace.

    As a few other posters point out: RADICAL change is needed, if we are to climb out of the vile pit of Westminster's making. But we are told AV will eliminate EXTREMIST (AKA Radicals?) so it's: vote NO and keep the whole corrupt, self-serving FPTP system.

    DO YOU THINK WE MIGHT BE BEING STITCHED UP - AGAIN?

    In passing: the Police have acknowledged my official notification of the Conservative Liar Flyer (contravention of section 115 Representation of the People Act - false instrument/undue influence). Now we wait to see just how deep the stitch-up goes . . .

  • Comment number 32.

    The petulant side of Chris Huhne hasn't been on public display since before the General Election. It was a timely reminder that LibDem offensiveness is not confined to Vince badmouthing his colleagues.

  • Comment number 33.

    19

    AV was quite rightly described as a "miserable little compromise" by...

    NICK CLEGG.

    All it does is to cement the three party system in place, effectively ostracising the minority parties by swiping their votes to top up those of the main parties to provide some sort of legitimacy to the political process that the British people trust less and less as time goes on.

    Those who realise they are being had by AV's veneer of legitimacy simply don't use their preferences at all so defeating the objective of AV, but many don't realise this, thinking they HAVE to use preferences, or just don't care.

    I don't like FPTP and would be keen on full blown PR, but the main parties won't go down this road because it would cause their "broad churches" to split, redrawing the political landscape and ending the Whitehall Party Political machine.

    All AV would do as it stands is to hand the LibDems a hell of a lot more influence over elections than their active support in the country would justifiy. We Brits would wander down the polling station and being the good eggs were are, we'd play the AV game and feel he should use our preferences. The LibDems would tend to get second preferences SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE SEEN TO BE MIDDLE GROUND - so attracting 2nd votes from left and right as another way for committed voters from both poles to reject the opposite end of the spectrum.

    This would not be an active vote FOR the LibDems - it would simply be another way to vote AGAINST the opposite point of view from your own. It has nothing to do with ensuring that the winner on AV really has ANY more positive support - it has everything to do with making sure that the early losers are the most disliked.

    This voting system in effect asks voters to vote backwards from the candidate THEY MOST DISLIKE by giving that candidate the lowest preference. The result is therefore what can only be described as "the least worst compromise" - and the removal of any vestige of conviction politics, the end of politicians having any principles or policies likely to be objectionable to any of the electorate and the further homoginisation into the "soggy centre" of British politics.

    As a system therefore AV cements this polarisation around the centre ground into the process - it does nothing to ensure that those that govern the country on our behalf positively represent the broad range of our views.

    All those LibDem second preferences wouldn't represent any belief or commitment to their policies, leadership or capabilities by committed Le

  • Comment number 34.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm voting NO to AV.
    Winston Churchill said that "AV means the most worthless votes for the most worthless candidates"
    Source: http://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/winston-churchill-said-av-means-the-most-worthless-votes-for-the-most-worthless-candidates/

    Besides anything, it will keep Clegg out :p

  • Comment number 36.

  • Comment number 37.

    HAVE YOU HEARD? LIBYA IS 'VERY TRIBAL' AND IT AFFECTS THINGS, APPARENTLY.

    When defence weapons finally prevail on the hot-headed Arabs, all we have to do is explain all the advantages of Western Democracy, to all of the different tribes (and give them a choice of FPTP or AV).

    Any problems - Dave'll give 'em a talking-to.

  • Comment number 38.

    repost for kevsey: "60. At 19:27pm 19th Apr 2011, You wrote:

    @mistress and sasha: i couldn't give a flying its restrictiveness - either for the wearer, or culturally. Its NOT the role of the State to determine what citizens can and cannot wear - and most certainly when those clothing are cultural customs. And whether or not you can see the connection to the 'western business suit' concerns me not in the slightest: the fact is that the connection is there. No-one in their right minds would design a piece of clothing like it if given a blank page to draw, and its symbolic representation is that of a slave. It even has a "tie", which symbolically is representative of the old slave-chain around the neck. The behaviour of many of those who wear it is also representative of slavery - the giving up of individuality to the collective - usually corporations. Horrendous, and far more enforced than the hijab is.

    but EVEN SO - i would defend the right of individuals to choose this offensive piece of clothing if they wish (although i would like to end the enforced wearing of it), because i am a LIBERAL, who believes in Freedom of Choice. I realise basic human rights are currently under enormous assault across the spectrum of the media, but i in no way feel the need to join in with this lemming-mentality."

    i'm so sorry Kev, that you find Liberalism, the basis for Human Rights and freedoms that your ancestors died to achieve, the notion that not everyone else has to agree with YOU, the value that change can come peacefully - i'm sorry that you find that evidence of "mental disturbance". I tend to think that absolutists, like the Taliban and other far-right fascists and racists, are the ones most people should be concerned about. Whatever swings your boat, eh?


    on AV - i couldn't give a monkeys on this either. It will change almost nothing. It is a fig-leaf the Corrupt-Ones hope can distract the population from more important issues, actual PR being on that list. But 2 quick points: electronic voting is NOT a 'terrible beastie' - if done well (ie open source coding software, and a paper copy, as in Belgium), then it can speed up elections. If done badly (as in America), then the source code is copyrighted by the owning corporations, and has been shown in many ways to be vulnerable to tampering. And there is no paper copy to check the results against what the computer spews out. And yes, the US system has had MANY complaints of blatant election-tampering since it was introduced, and the Belgium system has had none. Hmmm!

    so electronic voting is not a reason to go 'NO AV', despite the arguments on last night's show.

    and it is possible that osborne's criticism of the 'election company' is valid. Possible the first time EVER i have heard a true word from him though, so i don't trust it. But i don't trust his opponents either. Corruption is not limited to one 'side'.

    AV is a slight improvement on FPTP, a "miserable little compromise" indeed. Yes or No will not affect Clegg one way or the other. Only the LibDims deciding they want to remain a viable political party and dumping Clegg (in favour of the LD Party Chairman?) would change his position. His position? The Tory cuckoo in the LD nest.

    btw, voting against AV because of a terror of "hung parliaments" is utterly ridiculous from a democratic perspective. Why shouldn't numbers of MPs reflect the numbers of votes cast? Otherwise, we could just have elections, and then decide the wealthiest Party should rule unhindered, never mind the actual election result. Karzai understands this. Given a functioning media, and a functioning transparent Parliament, what is wrong with multi-party Govts? Works well for the Scots. Could it be because the Tories would like a complete mandate with only 30% of the popular vote? And could the LibDims desire for AV be because they want to remain as the 3rd Party, the 'kingmakers'? Yes, to both. Self interest rules for them both, and why should it not?
    The choice is up to the voters. More important is independent and critical media, and a transparent Parliament. What is the point of even being able to vote when the candidates and Parties lie through their teeth to us, and there is no come-back?

    i recommended that we have 2 referendums - one to vote for AV or PR as the alternative vote - and then the result of that referendum or FPTP. It has just occurred to me, why not just have a 1, 2, 3 choice (AV style) for voters in this referendum? So for example people who want PR *or* FPTP can vote:

    PR: second vote.
    FPTP: first vote.

    and then if FPTP is knocked out as a voting scheme by having the fewest votes, then the vote is transferred to PR.

    (still only one final vote per person, BTW!!)

    oh yes, because ALL 3 main parties are more interested in maintaining their Power rather than having a democratic voting system.

    AV = miserable little compromise.
    FPTP = guaranteed to keep the same untrustworthy troglodytes in Westminster.
    PR = not on the table.

    the sheer amount of fertiliser being thrown by both 'sides' in this debate ONLY makes me want to get rid of the lot of them. If they behave like this, when the issue is so unimportant, how do they behave when it IS important? Oh yes, they make an agreement behind the scenes, and then offer a false choice in front of the cameras.

    Av or not? Meh, frankly.

  • Comment number 39.

    on Finland: the media there are pushing the notion that the Euro 'bail-outs' are for lazy Southerners, as Hanlon made clear last night, nothing could be further from the truth. Northern banks have been inflating their lending practices (the deregulation we are all now familiar with), and using that cheap debt to indebt the South tremendously. Exactly what has happened here. The far-right are claiming to be "anti-Bank", that the mainstream parties are not. Exactly like here. The far-right are claiming to be defending the welfare system (against banks and immigrants) - and that will happen here (and this is a lie, btw, the Danish People's Party has been at the front of cuts with their political influence).

    in other words, the Fins are also without a decent independent media telling them the truth of the situation, and they also have lying gits as politicians - and those lying gits are happy to see the far right turn public outrage against "immigrants", rather than the corrupt wealthy few who are tax-avoiding. They need "Finland-Uncut", but instead they voted for the far-right. The story of every country that has voted far-right has been universally dismal, because the far-right believe in "trickle-down" and all the rest of it. Privatisations, welfare cuts, and centralised, KKKorporate power. A shame that 19% of the Finns have fallen for this scam, but then, as das speigel says in sasha's link:

    "Soini's success comes primarily as a result of support from young men with average to low levels of both education and income..."

    --"So it has been throughout the history of far-right movements in Europe. The machismo and frustration of disadvantaged males has been harnessed as a means of both gaining power, and repression."

    exactly sasha. Most amusing the far-right are trying to use women's rights as a weapon against European Muslims, when the far-right has an APPALLING record of women's rights. Kinder, Kurche, Kuche anyone? At least in Islam women have guaranteed rights to vote, and divorce. The european far-right are still living in the Christian Dark Ages, when women were property. The Finns will regret this, but what can you do? Ignorance may be bliss - but its hell for those around them that are not.


    hanlon was excellent, wish he was more EURO-REFORM, rather than EURO-SCEPTIC. Or has he changed on that? Prefer him to Cameron, at least he is aware (and will talk publicly) of the mass fraud being perpetrated upon us by the Banks.


    libya: anyone else notice something very odd about last night's report? All the talk was about defending and evacuating the FOREIGN workers in Mizerata, NOT defending the locals! Plus, the images - all we saw was a bunch of nondescript men running around and firing weapons *completely* at random down the street. In front of the camera team. I would love to hear an interview with the Ghaddafi loyalists holding the 2/3rds of the city, what are the chances of a cease-fire in the city? What are they fighting against?

    so FROM the reports, i got: the foreign workers are being evacuated, presumably because the neighbouring countries would be unhappy about their citizens being in the firing line. But when they are gone... are we supposed to see Ghaddafi firing indiscriminately into the city? Like Saddam after GW1, when the US prevented the uprising against him, and later let him massacre the locals to justify the UNSC "no-fly zone"? Would such a slaughter be used to justify the use of ground troops of UK/F? I would be more interested in evacuating the Libyan civilians who want to leave, but i imagine Western 'leaders' couldn't give two farts about them, - after all they never have before. Leave the foreign workers there - it is unlikely the Ghadafi regime will imprison and torture *them*.

    if i was one of the REAL rebel leaders, i would mine the oil facilities and use that to blackmail the ex-ministers and ex-generals to accept a democratic settlement in the East, and to blackmail the West to give them defensive weapons, such as anti-tank and even anti-aircraft. 'The Oil Must Flow' - but people's blood doesn't have to! Hopefully, for once, the UN can actually DO something that isn't JUST in the interests of the most powerful nations, as well.


    oh, one more point from last nights show: the Australian elections cost so much more because they threaten non-voters with prison. You are legally FORCED to vote, even if you wouldn't trust ANY of the choices to take care of a goldfish. Funnily enough, such enforcement costs more money. Getting sick of such blatant BSing by our 'elected representatives'.

 

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