Comments for en-gb 30 Sun 20 Apr 2014 21:18:19 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at davmcn BS 102, Turns a blind eye to it, does he?BS 103, I saw Lenska on that womens' program on Ch 3/4 the other day. Still quite nice looking, she is. Tue 04 May 2010 10:29:42 GMT+1 Big Sister Sid: Because it was Rula Lenska and he fancied her. ;o) Tue 04 May 2010 09:06:58 GMT+1 Big Sister David: Nick Griffin lives in Wales, so is clearly not too bothered over the domicile business - just as long as it is he who has the choices. Tue 04 May 2010 09:04:16 GMT+1 Sid Surely the telling pivotal question for George Galloway is: Why a cat? Tue 04 May 2010 09:01:39 GMT+1 davmcn MoC 84, From a Deborah Ross interview in The Indy:"But he does have a glass eye, which is something. The eye is blue and spookily opaque, giving him the look of a dead fish that's been rather too long on the slab. He lost it while doing up a derelict house in France. He'd been burning rubbish on the fire when a shotgun cartridge, concealed in the rubbish, exploded in his face. "Ouch!" I say. "Didn't hurt at all," he says. What? Your eye is blown out and there is no pain? Pull the other one, although, I should warn you, it is just as Jewish as the first. He says: "It's like when someone has been stabbed, and they don't feel it. I guess it's a natural reaction when you've been injured."Makes you wonder what Griffin was doing in France. Tue 04 May 2010 08:56:23 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd During the Leicester South By Election I saw George Galloway getting off the Respect double decker bus.From way across Highfield's widest street I yelled'George Galloway, George Galloway, if you hadn't been chucked out of the Labour Party would you have stayed to fight?'He looked at me, so I yelled it again. It crossed my mind, him an ex boxer 'n' all, that I might be in trouble. But he was a pussy cat. He smiled broadly and shouted Respect.I'd ask the same of Dave Nellist.With the increased fluidity in the London and other inner city constituencies, what would they have lost?Scarcely the flamboyant and effective Iraq War dissent. Scarcely the flexible reallocation of MPs best suited to the particular radical traditions of each constituency.For a Labour Party that did not expel Galloway and did not expel Nellist would have found itself willy nilly open to powerful dissenting factions. They would have done the party nothing but good.Part of the problem as to how to keep such big figures in the Labour Party is the way small fry like me behave.If we don't press continually for political tolerance, the right to form pressure groups within the party, the right totally to dissent from impositional leadership, but gather round the great men outside the party, I think we fail in our political duty.For it seems to me a part of our job is to keep open paths for the great men to find their way back into the Party.If the Party hadn't indulged in expulsions and had the other small fry stayed in the Party, advantages would have included less rigid and doctrinaire patterns of extra-Party dissent, stronger articulation of total dissent within the Party and a far clearer assertion of the need for an unambiguous class basis of left opposition within the party (a blessed relief from Bennism)There is a telling pivotal question to be asked in all this. It applies to people who think they're being so radical in throwing in their lot with Liberal Democrats as well as to anyone. It is not 'Why are you still in the Labour Party?' asked of people like me, delivered along with a list of truly appalling Labour outrages against socialism, democracy and humanity. Rather it is 'Why are you outside the Party?' delivered along with a list of truly appalling Labour outrages against socialism, democracy and humanity.I am willing to accept I am wrong about this. May 6th will provide important insights. Tue 04 May 2010 00:47:32 GMT+1 Big Jim 97. ExpectingtheEnd"The Labour Party would say 'That's ours, mate. End of story. Hop it'"Like they handed absolute direct ownership to the landowners of Scotland under the guise of ending the Feudal system?A parcel o' rogues Mon 03 May 2010 21:35:47 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd Watch your inner city parks, the aristo Tories are about.Lots of inner city parks were estate land taken in lieu of death duties.The families that paid their dues still hanker after what they see as their lands, still.One duke, still with huge estates and a mosaic map on his terrace of a London park, formerly part of his fiefdom, regularly tells his Head Nurseyman, that park is his.History is being re-written too.Now we sometimes learn the Dukes, etc, did not own the then future park lands, but rented them.At which the mind boggles.Do you think Cameron would insist the Dukes pay their death duties with their own resources this time?Or that he will refuse the return of the park lands to the Duke's cousin's great grand daughter or whatever other close blood line that the reconstucted family history says they belong to now.Then there's the land the schools are built on, the swimming pools, the libraries, the hospitals, even the cemeteries.Would Cameron resist their transfer back to the aristo families? Or Nick Clegg resist it, him with his family's treatment in Russia as the Czardom collapsed, and his party the first one to want to up inheritance tax allowances.In return for the Proudhonesque property transfer and the rents we, the people, would have to start to pay, we get the Duke's name as chief of the Friends of What Used To Be Your Park/Hospital/Cemetery/School.Noblesse Oblige, eh! The Labour Party would say 'That's ours, mate. End of story. Hop it' Mon 03 May 2010 20:38:56 GMT+1 Cash Hughes 93. Cash Hughes"PALIN: SPILL PROVES THERE'S PLENTY OF OIL OFF OUR COASTS.."REMINDER Don't drill for oil and text.Don't drink and drill Mon 03 May 2010 20:20:18 GMT+1 Cash Hughes 94. lucien desgai"I suspect there may be something very strange in the water"They shouldn't be allowed to dilute their whisky! Mon 03 May 2010 20:14:50 GMT+1 lucien desgai 93 I suspect there may be something very strange in the water(the Gulf of Mexico and Kircaldy) Mon 03 May 2010 20:11:03 GMT+1 Cash Hughes 91. lucien desgai"There once was a man from Kircaldy"Isn't that Broon's stomping ground?There once was a Lass from AlaskaPALIN: SPILL PROVES THERE'S PLENTY OF OIL OFF OUR COASTS... Mon 03 May 2010 19:57:07 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus Volunteering and the Big Society?I've volunteered over 500 hours since February 2009. I can afford to do it as I didn't buy into the bubble by mortgaging myself at 20 times what my imagined earnings may one day be. I am one of those people that doesn't get turned on by a mountain of debt. I'd rather live within my means.There are upsides and downsides. One of them is get to feel smug about all those MPs on the take fiddling their expenses and I've made a contribution, a difference for free. Mon 03 May 2010 19:15:56 GMT+1 lucien desgai 90 BOI fully take the point that Thatcher used Scotland as a test-bed for the poll tax, however the Scots don't have entirely clean hands ...There once was a man from Kircaldy Mon 03 May 2010 18:38:01 GMT+1 Innocuous Nickname 7. IMOORE"It is where English home policy, such as schools, hospitals, policing, pensioner care, etc can be dictated to English people by politicians not elected by them, and"Poll tax, anyone? Mon 03 May 2010 18:08:16 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd 70No. There are far more equitable policies.Which involve helping the poor and not the rich at all.Or would that lose the Lib Dems oftheir support? Mon 03 May 2010 17:58:48 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus Brown being photographed with serving police officers in London?Have they charged that Labour Twitter Tsar that Tweeted the result of that Bristol postal ballot yet? Mon 03 May 2010 16:53:46 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus Has Nick Griffin been to central Nairobi?No, but Des Browne has seen a video of downtown Basra and he said it looked OK, but then again a video of most UK towns wouldn't show drug dealing, poverty and persecution would it? Mon 03 May 2010 16:43:34 GMT+1 RxKaren re Education - I'd be happy if I had 18 year olds applying for placements/jobs with me who knew how to do basic multiplication and division without a calculator (2x7 is not 12), who can multiply and divide by 10, 100 and 1000, who aren't flummoxed by basic fractions and who know how many cm are in 1 metre. I'd also love it if their knowledge of grammar was slightly further advanced than referring to parts of speech as "naming words, doing words and describing words." On a positive note my most recent student could produce a poster explaining climate change... Mon 03 May 2010 16:41:46 GMT+1 Lady_Sue Did anyone hear Nick Griffin say on WatO that he would need to see someone (he was on the phone) before he could judge whether or not they were 'British' despite having three British grandparents. The way he was arguing, a lot of Aussies would also be entitled to be British and they aren't. Not that I'm complaining. Mon 03 May 2010 16:40:17 GMT+1 MoC davmcn@ 77 tell us all.I wonder if I've been modded for:naming an MP, referring to documented behaviour of that MP or.. using the outrageous term 'numptie'?or misspelling numpty? Mon 03 May 2010 16:39:12 GMT+1 davmcn Ln, If it looks like I'm reading posts from bottom to top,I am. I read the newspaper from back to front as well. Mon 03 May 2010 16:38:35 GMT+1 davmcn Ln 42, I'd like to know how many MPs of all colors had to pay to go to university. Mon 03 May 2010 16:37:15 GMT+1 davmcn Ln 44, Yep, definitely Labour. Mon 03 May 2010 16:34:46 GMT+1 Lady_Sue No PM Glass Box? Do they disappear if it rains? We can't get Channel 4 if it rains so I'm longing to hear what happened with Carolyn et al on Friday - also hoping to hear a repeat of Eddie falling about laughing. Mon 03 May 2010 16:34:18 GMT+1 davmcn Ln 48, Uh oh, sounds like you're leaning towards voting Labour. I'll send a Lib Dem around, but not Sid. Mon 03 May 2010 16:33:18 GMT+1 davmcn EtE 64, Strike up the bands! Mon 03 May 2010 16:29:20 GMT+1 davmcn MoC 66, Have you heard the story about Griffin's glass eye? Mon 03 May 2010 16:28:11 GMT+1 MoC This post has been Removed Mon 03 May 2010 16:28:05 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn MOC my previous is a reply to your (54) Mon 03 May 2010 16:12:06 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn MOC It sounds like your looking for somebody like this? Mon 03 May 2010 16:11:08 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn Sid (53)Apart from the fact I believe it to be a typically patronising middle class statement about 705 quid being of more value, or somehow have more worth to the low paid (spending power) than it would be to a rich bod. In percentage terms, what that means in reality is, WE ALL PAY THE SAME PRICE FOR THE SAME THINGS AND WE ALL PAY THE SAME AMOUNT OF VAT ON THE SAME THINGS. We don't pay in percentages according to our income or indeed our tax status. No this tax rebate is a gimmick to lure poor people to vote whilst not upsetting the status quo it seems to me. Yea, that'll be the fair society then...the big society fair for all but a bit less fair if you only earn ten grand or less...or unemployed, or a full-time career, or disabled and can't work. Thats before we get onto the taboo subject of council housing to quote Mr Gleg. Mon 03 May 2010 16:00:37 GMT+1 Alan_N Wouldn't it be interesting if he ran into Billy Bragg who is, I understand, Dagenham's most (only?) famous son. They would have so much to talk about... Mon 03 May 2010 15:57:44 GMT+1 Andrew Long Could Eddie ask Nick Griffin what he is doing buggering about in Dagenham for? He's already got a job as my MEP (rather against my will, but that's PR for you) - tell him to get back to Brussels and do some work. Mon 03 May 2010 15:49:15 GMT+1 Sid 64 - you are falling for the 'if you can't do everything, you shouldn't do anything' trap. Mon 03 May 2010 15:48:33 GMT+1 Alan_N An inspired choice/ Mon 03 May 2010 15:42:21 GMT+1 MoC Shurely a nice chianti, Alan_N? slurp Mon 03 May 2010 15:38:56 GMT+1 Alan_N Excellent - fresh meat. That's twice in one day, after Evan made Michael Gove sound ever so slightly silly this morning. Glass of something crisp and white called for perhaps. Mon 03 May 2010 15:35:29 GMT+1 MoC Aargh - Griffin is on PM tonight. Ediie, treat him as reasonably as he deserves please. Mon 03 May 2010 15:31:46 GMT+1 MoC Thanks for the link EtE. Scary. My favourite quote from it: DaveBoy is "Pledging to act in a big-hearted way" . How generous, how patrician, how jolly decent of the master to have compassion for all us plebs!Obviously, we are NOT all in this together. Mon 03 May 2010 15:29:18 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd You are neglecting the fact that the bands will be raised by the same amount. So less to pay at the highest rate of tax.53 is playing with numbers, in my view.Even on that view the rich do absolutely as well as the poor. It also neglects the attacks on Tax Credits to which the 'policy' is linked. Mon 03 May 2010 15:28:38 GMT+1 Alan_N 62 - EPO - I share your disappointment. The only sniff we have had here was a very nice chap earlier on handing out leaflets for the tory the next constituency. Mon 03 May 2010 14:59:54 GMT+1 Ellis P Otter I answered a knock at the door all excited because I thought it might be my first canvasser of the campaign. My visitor was very polite, came inside, read my electric meter and left without mentioning the election once.:-) Mon 03 May 2010 14:53:29 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd months?My goodness they and the Lb Dems will come up with some really savage ones in all that time.'Lay out' cuts. As in a funeral parlour for the welfare state, the BBC and decent public sector pay and salaries.And this way, instead of making the rich paying the backlog of taxes they should have been hit for, they'll never have to pay anything but standard rate again. If that.Goodnesss, the photograph is typical Toryism. They aren't having one - they ARE the nitemare.Still, the Grauniad plumpimg for the Lib Dems should give Labour a few more votes. Mon 03 May 2010 14:52:36 GMT+1 Lady_Sue Just scrolling down this thread I can nearly hear the strains of 'Land of Hope and Glory' belting out behind some of the comments. Why do I keep hearing people say "I'm not voting because my vote would be a 'wasted vote'"? How can a vote be 'wasted'? If you live in a constituency which historically has an overwhelming majority voting for one particular party, how will you ever make the politicians sit up and pay attention to some of the constituency wanting something different unless you do get out there and cast your vote? You only waste it by apathy and not voting. Voting should be compulsory for everyone over the age of 18 - I hope this election has more people going to the polls than ever before. Mon 03 May 2010 14:50:30 GMT+1 MoC Sid@56 - I don't see that point about 'who you know' versus 'what you know' as being about class envy. It is in fact at the root of much of the decline in our society. If we could manage to judge and reward people on their capabilities and competence instead of their image and shiny faces, we may even deserve a political class that works for us instead of posing for us. It starts with private schooling - privileging the 'cream of society' (cream is rich and thick) over the intelligent and hard-working, then permeates Oxbridge, the good old BEEB and many other insitutions. It's our responsibility to put the effort in to judging genuine intellect and application against spin and polish. Mon 03 May 2010 14:49:36 GMT+1 MoC Looternite, suspect it was the direct personal reference. If it's a close result, BBC need to be careful. Hence their current nervousness. Mon 03 May 2010 14:43:22 GMT+1 Looternite Who referred me, I am sure I was careful in my use of language.Oh dear critcal of Lib/Dems so not allowed free speech. Mon 03 May 2010 14:37:35 GMT+1 Sid Looternite: that would indeed be unfair. However, there are more pressing concerns facing us - like how to get out of the mess 13 years of Labour have left us in, without subjecting the country to the vacuous promises of the Tories. That's what the Lib Dems are busy trying to do right now. When that's all sorted, we'll deal with your class envy. Mon 03 May 2010 14:28:48 GMT+1 Looternite This post has been Removed Mon 03 May 2010 14:20:30 GMT+1 MoC I would like to vote for the party that will: raise taxes on wealthy people like me so that I can make a bigger contribution to society; protect poor people from the injustices of capitalism; reward the wealth-creating working classes; hunt down the welfare-dependent upper classes and systematically take away all their scrounging opportunities. Can anyone advise me how to vote please? Mon 03 May 2010 14:17:59 GMT+1 Sid 49: "But if you look at it on an individual basis – how the policy affects single people – then the cash gains are a uniform £705 for everyone earning between £10K and £100K (after which the personal allowance is withdrawn). This means that in percentage terms the gains are highest for those earning just above £10K – ie the low-paid – and get steadily smaller as you move up the income distribution. Looked at in this way the policy is much more progressive. As the IFS acknowledge in their report, “clearly £705 would be less valuable to those on higher incomes than to those on lower incomes”." Mon 03 May 2010 13:48:45 GMT+1 Sid 49: These are what Ben Goldacre calls zombie arguments. No matter how many times you knock them down, they always get up again. Mon 03 May 2010 13:38:21 GMT+1 lucien desgai I've been modded for advocating tactical voting! So to use less 'campaigning' terminology ...I live in a marginal seat and will be supporting the candidate who is best placed to keep Shamron's man (it is a man) out. Where I live that happens to be the (unattractive in all other respects) Labour candidate. I've never voted LibDem before and won't be doing so this time but I certainly wouldn't let 30 year old tribalism prevent me from voting for the most credible non-tory. Mon 03 May 2010 13:37:08 GMT+1 lucien desgai This post has been Removed Mon 03 May 2010 13:21:28 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd Reminder: NIC progressive, VAT regressive Reminder: Lib Dem under 10 thou. tax policy does more for the rich than the poor. They're going to move all the bands up!!! The people at the top get relief from higher rate tax on the same amount. They'll render tax credits irrelevant too. How redistributive is that?Memo to Clegg: Some old people are very rich. Compare notes with Cameron on grandparents' wealthAh, the old Labour Party. Not Old Labour, but the one that had Shirley Roy Rogers and Dr David in it.With Shirley refusing university status to polytechnics (Can't have too many youngsters know they've got ability, can we Shirley? There's be no one to push the tea trolley round in the House of Lords lounges).Dr David giving Zimbabwe the impression she would never get independenceRoy losing control of the BoT (Trade) statistics, thus losing Labour an election.The gang of four leaving the Labour Party and condemning it to electoral defeat by the Tories.Yep, things are really going backwards.The forunate thing is that there isn't another Unreality TV Game Show host opportunity for the glamour guys to caress us with their Oxbridge tones, now. Mon 03 May 2010 13:08:53 GMT+1 Looternite Just been canvassed by a representative of the Labour party.He spoke such sense and explained policy, no reliance on presentation skills.I have not been canvassed by anyone else. Mon 03 May 2010 12:51:24 GMT+1 Looternite 46. MadnessOfCrowdsI worked night shift at Vauxhall in early 70's and if "Oily DaveBoy" Shamron turned up he would have heard a lot of Anglo-Saxon language. Mon 03 May 2010 12:31:45 GMT+1 MoC DaveBoy is planning to fly around visiting bakers and other night-workers on a frantic 24 hour all-nighter of campaigning. Any idea of the carbon footprint of that jet of his? So much for the bicycle and that PR trip to the arctic.Oh - and god help all the night-workers who hve to put up with his oily automaton personality. Mon 03 May 2010 12:28:30 GMT+1 Looternite I know of people who took advantage of the "free socialist education" during the 60's and as soon as they got their degrees scarpered to the USA or Australia. So they individually benefited but there was no benefit for the refuse collector whos taxes and gone to pay for this advanced education. Mon 03 May 2010 12:27:11 GMT+1 Looternite Listening to Cameron and Clegg and knowing their life experiences, I am led to the belief that they are "B" Arkers. Mon 03 May 2010 12:22:18 GMT+1 MoC Looternite, it was interesting to listen to Helena Kennedy and Jennie Murray on Woman's Hour this morning - both from working-class backgrounds - who were able to attend university as a result of free socialist education in the 60s via student grants. Not supporting student grants is one of the (many) things that have horrified me about the Labour government. It was done to appease the middle-classes on spending. It will only be corrected by a Labour government. Building on your point above, I think we should return to the days of fewer people attending university and increasing support for genuinely meaningful subjects. Some of us have been successful in helping get rid of nonsense courses like degrees in flaky alternative medicine. It can be done. Mon 03 May 2010 12:21:42 GMT+1 Looternite 37. IMOOREIt is interesting that the people most vocal about student tuition fees are the middle classes. It is a fact that if you earn less than a certain amount then the student does not pay tuition fees.The debt that is quoted, yes including the Lib/Dem candidate in Luton South, is the Student loan. These students are adults and so why should the bin collector on low wages have to pay extra taxes so some middle class students will get paid to study "History of Art" or "Art History" at Oxbridge.No, I do support student loans for students who's parents have a disposable income over a certain amount. If the parent has income below a certain level then grants should be available.Very much the situation we have now.By the way I do not have a degree and so I have never earnt the income that graduates can get. Mon 03 May 2010 12:04:22 GMT+1 Looternite 35. IMOOREPlease don't peddle the drug companies propaganda. You said "Do you not care about the English cancer patients dying for the want of medicines, medicines available elsewhere in this dis-United Kingdom?".No English cancer patient has been denied life saving treatment. The drugs you are confused with are drugs that might extend life by months.They are not cures.The essence of cancer treatment is speed of diagnosis and treatment not drugs that may extend life at the end. Mon 03 May 2010 11:53:50 GMT+1 MoC Big Society: Mon 03 May 2010 11:52:00 GMT+1 Looternite 34. MadnessOfCrowdsOh yes England winning the World Cup in 1966. We all sat in front of the telly including my dad and we all cheered on England.It has been said in my family "oh god if England win with the Tories in power we will never hear the end of it. The Sun will no doubt say it was the Tories wot won it". Mon 03 May 2010 11:48:57 GMT+1 Sid A reminder:Lib Dem tax policy - progressive.Tory & Labour tax policy - regressive. Mon 03 May 2010 11:47:56 GMT+1 IMOORE 36.It was Labour who brought in tutition fees for English students, and used their Scottish MP's to carry the vote when they found that they couldn't command a majority for the policy amongst English MP's. Now why would anybody consider Labour a solution to this problem when they are the ones who created it? Mon 03 May 2010 11:46:45 GMT+1 MoC IMOORE - I care about ALL of those. If you do, make sure you vote Labour, join the Labour party and then fight for a socialist agenda. Mon 03 May 2010 11:39:26 GMT+1 IMOORE 29.An irrelevance? Are you really that uncaring? Do you not care about English students buried under debt? Do you not care about the English cancer patients dying for the want of medicines, medicines available elsewhere in this dis-United Kingdom? Or pensioners driven to penury? Surely this is more relevant in an election than some election anoraks talking about undecideds. Mon 03 May 2010 11:28:44 GMT+1 MoC Looternite, I am completely with you on an internationalist outlook and the common interests of the working classes but please don't tell me that IMOORE and his ilk have any notion of what they are really talking about. It's just hot air.Anyway, 4 days of Labour revival in the air... and, remember, as far as supporting the English football team goes: England only ever win the World Cup under a Labour government - support England by voting Labour! Mon 03 May 2010 11:27:31 GMT+1 Alan_N 29 - MOC - Ah yes. Disolve the union so that the Scottish MPs can't vote on English welfare policy. Pass me that sledgehammer, would you please?;-) Mon 03 May 2010 11:18:32 GMT+1 Big Sister Yes, Alan, it is not very appealing, and interesting how little the Tories wish to discuss it at the moment. Very much a half baked notion. Mon 03 May 2010 11:15:25 GMT+1 Alan_N 27 - Big Sis - Sounds a lot like national service without the military element which is an option in many countries. Makes me shiver just to think of it! Mon 03 May 2010 11:12:51 GMT+1 IMOORE 14."So I will be voting Labour as they are the only party that can be trusted to steer our economy through the storms ahead."As Gordon Brown and Labour steered the economy onto the rocks can you have any faith in them taking the economy anywhere other than sinking it? Mon 03 May 2010 11:12:28 GMT+1 MoC Alan_N - it doesn't add another parliament if it accompanied by Scottish independence :)IMOORE (weary sigh...) I cannot begin to unravel your meanderings. However, I'd be interested in understanding the differences between Englishness and Britishness.But, to be honest, I'm bored with talking about irrelevancies when the really big unexplored story of this campaign is the number of undecideds. 40% or so are undecided in marginals! That means Cashcroft spent all those milllions just to double the proportion of undecideds!!! LOL Mon 03 May 2010 11:12:14 GMT+1 Looternite 21. MadnessOfCrowds"Trouble is, it has to be based on something other than a chippy envy of the Scots." Well my support is most certainly not "a chippy envy of the Scots".It is fairness as simple as that "Fairness".I know that Clegg talks about fairness but in my opinion he is a hypocite as he has benefited from unfainess that meant that a powerful family friend pulled strings to get him a job at the European parliament. Now that is bloody unfair and Clegg is not proposing to change the "old boy network".No, I am wanting fairness that says if devolved government is good for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Then it is unfair and undemocratic to deny the English this same opportunity.In no way can I be described as a "little Englander" as my dad was from the Celtic fringe.I never noticed at any time a clash of culture between my dad and my mum.Working class English and working class Scots, Welsh or Irish have more in common with each other than with the toff classes in their respective nations.As an anti-racist I look for what we have in common not what is different. I have never noticed anything that is different between the English, Scottish, Irish or Welsh that matters. Foreigners do not see any difference between us and are genuinely mystified by the "chippyness" of some Scots or Welsh or Irish. They cannot understand why when England play football the other British Isles nations support the opposing teams, for instance. Mon 03 May 2010 11:11:55 GMT+1 Big Sister A PS to my 26: It did cross my mind that perhaps the Tories will move towards some form of press ganging people into these activities. That won't work, either.Even where you have organised a group of people to steer something through, there will be the usual problems of co-ordination, getting people to turn up for meetings, activities, etc., and ongoing commitment. Of course, there are always those who like to 'head' such activities, but not always for the right reasons. Mon 03 May 2010 11:09:46 GMT+1 Big Sister The 'Big Society' .... If the Conservative Party win, they will be in for something of a shock. Having worked for several years in the voluntary sector, both with volunteers and recruiting them, I can assure Mr. Cameron that things will not pan out in the way they hope. By this, I don't mean any disrespect to those who give of their time to volunteer. His plan will have to address a number of problems, but in particular:(1) Spare time - in short supply for most people these days, particularly those below retirement age. This means that those who can afford time to volunteer are drawn from specific sectors (in partaicular, the retired and the unemployed) and there will inevitably be a lack of true community representation as a consequence. (2) Inclination - even where people DO have spare time, a significant minority (at the very least) will not want to volunteer for, or wish to engage in activities, relating to this Big Society. (3) Lack of money - unless reasonable expenses are paid, many people will not have the spare income to fund any expenses relating to their volunteering.In reality, listening to Michael Gove this morning, I was struck by the thought that what is being proposed is hardly any different from what has been happening over the years of the Labour administration. I was also struck by his inability to answer Evan Davies' specific questions, for example, over how a 'bank' might be set up under this proposal. The only instance that seems to have been given any in depth thought is the option to set up new schools, and I don't see how these could really function without significant involvement with both local and national government. Mon 03 May 2010 11:05:50 GMT+1 Alan_N 23 - Looternite - I think they were trying to establish a centre left party, as opposed to one that was 'tory lite', in the face of a labour party which was somewhat to the left of many continental communist parties and looking as though it was going to move yet further. Ah - Militant Tendency. Them were the days, huh? Mon 03 May 2010 11:04:58 GMT+1 Alan_N 21 - MOC - That's definitely what we need - another parliament. Solve the problem (the West Lothian/West Glamorgan (?) question) rather than introduce something that will cost a fortune whilst addressing no gap in current provision.Altogether now:"What do we want?""A solution to the problem removing the inherent democratic inequality of what has come to be known as the West Lothian Question but which should perhaps also include reference to other devolved parts of the United Kingdom and which has the unintended consequence of allowing a party with reduced support in England to carry unpopular policies by relying on the votes of MPs from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland but without recourse to the introduction of a separate parliament for England which is distinct from Westminster and which will merely perpetuate the existing problem on a smaller scale, causing yet further exchanges on the PM Blog.""When do we want it?"" As soon as reasonably practicable as clearly it would be nice to sort this problem out once and for all but surely there are more pressing priorities."Catchy, huh? ;-) Mon 03 May 2010 10:59:42 GMT+1 Looternite 19. GillianianA few years ago the good folk of Luton voted Lib/Dem in the local elections.After the Lib/Dems were elected they were like scared rabbits caught in the headlights. This inactivity lasted a good two years. The following two years they held back spending to keep the council tax low.So after 4 years in charge the local election campaign from the Lib/Dems was them bragging about how low they had kept the council tax. They lost control of the council and the new admin was able to get things done and so Luton is having long over due construction projects begun.The Lib/Dems are like russian dolls, underneath the first layer is a Tory waiting to get out.Don't forget the "Gang of Four" left the Labour party because Labour was too left wing. They wanted to form a Tory lite party, during the Thatcher years. So the SDP merged with the Liberals not to form a new party of the left but to form a new party of the centre. Mon 03 May 2010 10:48:03 GMT+1 IMOORE 13. No you didn't ask for an explanation of Englishness, to quote your 1/ 'There is a cohesive entity called "English home policy"' I believe I adequately explained that when pointing out the issue of tuition fees and home care for the elderly, after all an English parliament, which is what I am arguing for, will be legislating on policy for England, not Englishness.And your 2&3 'That people's lives should only be influenced by those whom they directly elect & That politicians actions are only legitimate insofar as they can be shown to affect (not 'effect' - that would be bizarre!) their own constituents' was covered by my two. But if you do want a debate about Englishness then I am happy to engage on that subject as well, here I presume you mean culture and civilisation, culture being the manifestation of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively, or civilisation, the advanced stage or system of social development. Here we can say there is Englishness in Parliamentary democracy, local democracy with the Parishes and Counties. English Law, (which under pins much of the worlds commercial law). The agricultural revolution, the age of enlightenment, the industrial revolution, and in English cuisine where would the world be without our roast meats, pies and puddings, and as for drink, there is hardly a drink the English haven't invented, from Champagne to Guinness, its all English, let alone the thousands of beers England has, and the pubs in which we drink them. An Englishman would be at home in a pub in Cumbria just as much as he would be in London. Mon 03 May 2010 10:47:54 GMT+1 MoC Looternite @15I want an English parliament too. Trouble is, it has to be based on something other than a chippy envy of the Scots.for a bank holiday laff is really funny on the 'sympathy for Brown' vote is that the Tories' sole strategy has been "get rid of Brown" and the more they use the nasty bullying approach, the more they'll hurt themselves ... but they have nothing else to say.and, just to add to the positives, my elderly mother has also benefitted enormously from Labour ppolicies - more than that, their provision of various services that keep her active probably means that, in the long run, it saves NHS costs, Think long-term, think Labour. Mon 03 May 2010 10:44:42 GMT+1 Looternite 18. GillianianMy mum soon to be 86 has said it was Gordon Brown who gave her the winter fuel allowance, free bus pass, most of her rent paid, most of her council tax paid and most important of all not having to wait 2 years for her cataracts to be dealt with.My mum is also eternally grateful for the Labour party for setting up the NHS it has been very, very important in our lives. Mon 03 May 2010 10:34:51 GMT+1 Gillianian In my opinion, the Lib Dems are more like the Labour Party used to be than New Labour is now. Mon 03 May 2010 10:29:30 GMT+1 Gillianian My mother, aged over 80, will be forever thankful to Gordon Brown for increasing her pension, paying towards her rent, giving her the winter fuel allowance, and helping her to have a small amount of "disposable" savings for the first time in her life. Mon 03 May 2010 10:28:02 GMT+1 RxKaren Looternite -my nana has just declared that she is voting Labour because she feels sorry for Gordon Brown. She thinks he's had enough and she wants him to know that she still thinks he's ok "despite everything." In discussion she sounds more like a natural Tory but she won't vote Conservative because "Cameron is like that damn Jeremy Vine, he's everywhere!" I wonder how important the pity vote will be. Mon 03 May 2010 10:18:04 GMT+1 MoC I have reached the same conclusion, Looternite. Let's hope a significant proportion of the 40% undecideds do the same.Then, after they win the election, perhaps we could all take action to return the Labour party to socialism. Mon 03 May 2010 10:16:43 GMT+1 Looternite IMOORE, 7 and 12; MadnessOfCrowds 11 and 13Englishness is difficult to define because English culture is copied and taken in by virtually all the rest of the world.Just because you find it difficult to define Englishness doesn't mean that it is right to deny the English their democratic rights.What do we want: An English ParliamentWhen do we want it: Now Mon 03 May 2010 10:15:08 GMT+1 Looternite Well it's now decision time.I have heard all I need to know about the policies from the parties and I will not vote Tory. I will also not vote Lib/Dem. Esther has a convincing argument but, no I will not vote for her.So I will be voting Labour as they are the only party that can be trusted to steer our economy through the storms ahead. They are the only party that has at its heart concern for the ordinary people of this country.Labour are not perfect but they are the least worst.In these times its better the devil you know than the devil you don't.So Labour will get my vote. Mon 03 May 2010 10:07:16 GMT+1 MoC IMOORE@ 121. On the contrary, I was asking you to explain to me what you mean by Englishness. I have no objection to it - though I certainly wouldn't give it a "curtsey" - as you will have guessed, I'm not keen on feudalism. The invitation to explain rather than shout abuse remains open - unless you are telling me that a characteristic of Englishness is being abusive and lacking ability to explain things, which I find impossible to believe.2. Yes, but that doesn't answer my point. Incidentally, your prose style does suggest Prescott. Are you perchance related?3. And what about 3? Mon 03 May 2010 09:51:30 GMT+1 IMOORE 11.Ah the old left wing racism that seeks to claim there isn't such a thing as Englishness, would they say the same for any other nation? No, in fact they have been in the vanguard for independence movements, so why not give English people the same curtsey? That the left are so viscerally opposed to an English identity, as I say, really makes you think they are anti English racists. Anything that you say about Englishness can equally be said of Scottishness or Welsh identity yet we didn't hear a peep out of the left when their party was setting up a Scottish Parliament! As for an English home policy, has it slipped your mind that all English students pay tuition fees and English pensioners don't have home care? 2. No you fail to understand the give and take that occurs in a democracy. In a democracy there is a mutual self interest, a case of you don't have your MP crap in my back yard I will ensure my MP takes regard of yours. Here there is the case of Prescott, MP for Kingston upon Hull East, who decided upon the development of Heathrow, breaking all undertakings given to the local communities living in that area. Now when the people of Kingston upon Hull East need to ask others for consideration about something they may want or not want, they aren't going to find much sympathy to their problems in SW London. The West Lothian Question though breaks this reciprocal accountability, here they can act as mercenary agents for the executive without any fear there is any comeback for the policies they vote on English people, as their constituents won't suffer the consequences of the policies they vote for, and the Scottish Parliament acts as a barrier for any English MP interfering in their affairs. Mon 03 May 2010 09:45:04 GMT+1 MoC IMOORE @7 - lol - I suppose it would be a waste of time to ask you to explain it without the high emotion.However, let's try to engage with it as you have posited it... There seem to be a number of underlying assumptions:1. There is a cohesive entity called "English home policy"2. That people's lives should only be influenced by those whom they directly elect3. That politicians actions are only legitimate insofar as they can be shown to affect (not 'effect' - that would be bizarre!) their own constituents.I'm happy to examine each of these:1. Would you argue that the geographical boaundaries of England delineate a homogeneous group of people with shared needs, values and culture? For example, should London have the same 'home policy' as, say, Cumbria? Or should London constituency MPs only vote on a separate policy for London and ditto for Cumbrian MPs?2. Many people would have some sympathy with that view. I suggest you do a good bit of background reading on the constitutional underpinnings of representative democracy. I'd also ask for your opinion on what we should do about undoubtedly the most powerful and least accountable influencer of people's lives and public opinion today: Rupert Murdoch? Shall we ban all his media? I'd vote with you for that. Let's make that the first step in ensuring that our lives are not interfered with my those whom we didn't elect to positions of influence. Then I have a list of 100 others before we get close to the MP for Auchtermuchty.3. Again, I can see the superficial attractiveness of this. My concern is much more with the practicalities. How? You see, DaveBoy tells us the answer is 'Big Society' so - should my MP only vote on those things that affect local wellbeing or should he/she also vote on things that affect 'Big Society'?Perhaps there is an alternative system that would satisfy your desires. I think it was called feudalism. Local landowners and barons would call on local 'volunteers' to do their dirty work for them in return for a subsistence livelihood. I think that is the real idea behind 'Big Society'. Of course, we won't see DaveBoy or his patrician mates actually getting their hands dirty, because we are NOT all in this together. It may be a good experiment though - let the Tories bomb us back to feudalism - eventually, its inherent contradictions led to the Enlightenment. We need a 21st Century Enlightenment not a Tory Endarkenment. Mon 03 May 2010 09:05:04 GMT+1 H Lib Dems and immigration.It is important for Lib Dems to point out a simple fact: Lib Dem immigration policy is almost exactly co-incident with both Labour and Tory practice - never mind what they claim.Since 1950, UK borders have been extremely porous. Successive governments, Labour and Tory, have operated laissez faire regimes that are in practice policies of rolling amnesty.That includes, most recently, the Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown governments; illegal immigrants have arrived in high numbers, probably in high tens of thousands - they have departed in very low numbers indeed. Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown have all accepted rolling amnesty; it is important for the electorate to know that.Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown governments have made no de facto changes to this policy. At this election, Labour and Tories both claim a commitment to tougher border controls, allied to minimal enforced repatriation, and Lib Dems can agree to endorse that line of policy. It is the policy of all three major political parties, so the Lib Dems should not allow themselves to be painted as the pro-immigration party; the reality is that Labour, Tory and Lib Dem policies on this matter are virtually identical. Mon 03 May 2010 08:57:55 GMT+1 darkdesign Since you asked Nick Clegg to justify his atheism, any chance you could question Philippa Stroud about her belief? Mon 03 May 2010 08:46:48 GMT+1 DiY Another 'home grown' terrorist? Mon 03 May 2010 08:19:09 GMT+1 IMOORE 6. It is where English home policy, such as schools, hospitals, policing, pensioner care, etc can be dictated to English people by politicians not elected by them, and where these politicians actions do not effect their own constituents, such as the democratic obscenity when Gordon Brown marshalled Scottish elected MP's to vote tuition fees on English students, comfortable in the knowledge that Scottish students would not be subject to the same treatment they were handing our to English students. Mon 03 May 2010 08:17:44 GMT+1 MoC IMOORE @5 - could you please articulate the English question for those of us who don't know what it is? Thank you.BTW - any luck with understanding those numbers yer? Mon 03 May 2010 07:50:41 GMT+1 IMOORE Only three days to go and then BBC can congratulate its self for keeping the English Question out of the election debate, then is will be a total of three months of electioneering since the devolution policy was implemented 2001, 2005 and now 2010 and not one question on the English Question. The BBC should be given a medal for services to the British establishment. Mon 03 May 2010 07:46:37 GMT+1