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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

this is my final (ish) word on the subject.

You're still not going to vote next year, then?

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

I started to read to this thread, but it was soon apparent that it turned into a slagging match.

For me, he had so much integrity, even though I didn't agree with a lot of his ideas. I can't think of anyone that stuck to his principles as he did. Can the same be said of any politician these days? What I liked about him, was the way he could make one look at things from a different angle. When the protesters at Greenham Common were being arrested for tresspass (or whatever), he said "Are you mad? There are enough nukes here to blow up the world" (not a word for word quote, but you get the drift) Kinda puts things in perspective? An amazing man, love him or loathe him. At least he was honest. And most of all, a very nice man.

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

He alone is responsible for my apathy, for my almost nihilistic attitude, so don't blame me for not voting, blame the man you think did such a great job. 

Sorry, but you alone are responsible for your actions. You can say it's someone else's fault all you like, but you are the one choosing your actions, and you alone are responsible for them. If by encouraging others to engage in your own apathy those actions lead to a Tory government (or god forbid worse), which implements policies far more abhorrent to you than any Liberal or Labour government, then in my opinion, you cannot absolve yourself of some of the blame. You can clamp your eyes shut, cover your ears and sing "la la la" if you like of course. And who knows, maybe you can even convince yourself - people do it all the time.

I will always vote, no matter how pointless it may seem in some respects, because it is literally the one way I have any say in what happens to this country. So far, every vote I've made has been "wasted" due to the ridiculous method by which votes are counted. By forever living in a borough which has a "safe" Tory majority, not once has my vote had any outcome on the general election. But I will still make my way to the ballot box every 4 to 5 years, so I can say I did my part to try and prevent a government which in no way stands for my political beliefs, even if that's by voting for one which doesn't quite fit my beliefs.

Democracy is a marvellous idea, but flawed in practice. However, it's still a damn sight better than the alternatives.

 

The owls are not what they seem...

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

professorhat wrote:

Democracy is a flawed concept, but it's a damn sight better than the alternatives.

 

Really? There was a lovely interview at the end of last year with the rulers of Dubai and the BBC on the above. The Dubai government had a simple reply. He said the public aren't interested in a vote. What they are interested is schools with a high standard of education, hospitals that treat you properly, council facilities that work and roads that are regularly maintained. That is what the Dubai government supply.

What do we get with democracy? Basically a choice of who will rip us off. So whether it is Call Me Dave or Ed Mili-bandwagon it won't matter. We will be ripped off.

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

I agree entirely with the good prof.

It is, in no small part, people who didn't vote (and those who decided to punish Labour, though I have some sympathy with them) that got us into our current predicament. I really don't want another situation in which everyone's vote is wasted, and our government decided on behind clsoed doors.

So, even though it might be with a very heavy heart, knowing I'm just choosing the lesser of the evils, I'll vote next time, and every time.

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

BIGBERNARDBRESSLAW wrote:

There wasn't a happier person in the country when Labour won the 1997 election, I even went to Downing Street the morning after, and was interviewed by CNN singing the praises of Mr Blair. He alone is responsible for my apathy, for my almost nihilistic attitude, so don't blame me for not voting, blame the man you think did such a great job. 

I hear you. Honestly, I do. 

I loathe Blair for more reasons than I care to list. I also think the two Eds are fundamentally unelectable and lack the charisma and competence, respectively, to run the country.

However, the alternative is a party with a sociopathic commitment to inequality. Its leaders believe with absolute conviction that this is the natural order. This isn't caricature.

Their entire lives (through privileged, cosseted upbringings, education, and every rite of passage) have been informed by this belief. And they will do everything possible to cement their position and re-establish this order. This means systematically dismantling post-war freedoms. Worker rights are being abolished. Civil rights have been greatly eroded (New Labour were good at this, too). The welfare state is being cut back, to the detriment of the genuinely needy. (I'm not even convinced the NHS is safe.) These processes are taking place incrementally, and lost ground is very difficult to claw back. (Try re-nationalising the railways or postal service, for instance.)

So, if the choice is between incompetents trying to do some good and people who are very effective at causing most people profound harm, I'll opt for the former, even though neither prospect is appealing.

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

jjbomber wrote:

professorhat wrote:

Democracy is a flawed concept, but it's a damn sight better than the alternatives.

 

Really? There was a lovely interview at the end of last year with the rulers of Dubai and the BBC on the above. The Dubai government had a simple reply. He said the public aren't interested in a vote. What they are interested is schools with a high standard of education, hospitals that treat you properly, council facilities that work and roads that are regularly maintained. That is what the Dubai government supply.

What do we get with democracy? Basically a choice of who will rip us off. So whether it is Call Me Dave or Ed Mili-bandwagon it won't matter. We will be ripped off.

So you would rather have a dictator without choice who will rip us off, like Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong Un.

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

jjbomber wrote:

professorhat wrote:

Democracy is a flawed concept, but it's a damn sight better than the alternatives.

Really? There was a lovely interview at the end of last year with the rulers of Dubai and the BBC on the above. The Dubai government had a simple reply. He said the public aren't interested in a vote. What they are interested is schools with a high standard of education, hospitals that treat you properly, council facilities that work and roads that are regularly maintained. That is what the Dubai government supply.

What do we get with democracy? Basically a choice of who will rip us off. So whether it is Call Me Dave or Ed Mili-bandwagon it won't matter. We will be ripped off.

And the Dubai government of course is totally impartial and would never say the above just because it serves their interests would they?

A benovolent dictator, who genuinely only has the interests of the majority of his people at heart, and will do anything to achieve this, and will not respond to bribery, coercian or any other outside influences which might threaten this. That would probably work out okay. I would still be against it, as I don't believe it provides true freedom.

Assuming the above was possible though, the issue is Angel how do you ensure someone like that gets in power and not some lunatic if there is no way for the people to decide on the government; (b) how do you ensure this person remains in power and isn't overthrown my some military commander / warlord who only wants to serve his own interests and those of his men; and (c) what do you do when this amazing human being dies and you need a replacement who will also act in this way if there is no way for the people to decide on the government?

Power draws the corruptible and the self serving generally, because it allows them greater rewards to be corrupted and to serve themselves.

 

The owls are not what they seem...

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

RIP Tony Benn.  A decent and principled man with integrity. 

I spelt integrity incorrectly ("intregity") when writing this and when I highlighted it, there was no replacement suggested.

A bit like the man.

 

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

bigboss wrote:

jjbomber wrote:

professorhat wrote:

Democracy is a flawed concept, but it's a damn sight better than the alternatives.

 

Really? There was a lovely interview at the end of last year with the rulers of Dubai and the BBC on the above. The Dubai government had a simple reply. He said the public aren't interested in a vote. What they are interested is schools with a high standard of education, hospitals that treat you properly, council facilities that work and roads that are regularly maintained. That is what the Dubai government supply.

What do we get with democracy? Basically a choice of who will rip us off. So whether it is Call Me Dave or Ed Mili-bandwagon it won't matter. We will be ripped off.

So you would rather have a dictator without choice who will rip us off, like Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong Un.

 

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum actually. He did the second interview with the BBC. He was asked how, without democracy, he could tell if the people where unhappy. Simple, he replied. I have 2 telephones in my home, one private and one for the public. Every single Emerati has my phone number. If they are unhappy they phone me up and I speak to them personally. 

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

jjbomber wrote:

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum actually. He did the second interview with the BBC. He was asked how, without democracy, he could tell if the people where unhappy. Simple, he replied. I have 2 telephones in my home, one private and one for the public. Every single Emerati has my phone number. If they are unhappy they phone me up and I speak to them personally. 

You do realise that he loves camel racing and employs child jockeys.

Here's part 1 of the documentary:

http://youtu.be/G51lJ-0L2eA

Check part 2 as well, by the same user.

There's nothing you can do, apart from exert international pressures (which doesn't work, as explained in the video). People of Dubai cannot do anything to help this. Can they telephone him to request to stop this, without fear of being thrown in prison or get killed?

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

Add in the lack of basic human rights - freedom of expression and religion is sort of tolerated, but not exactly encouraged, outdated laws which mean rape victims can be sent to prison for "engaging in extramarital relations", while homosexuals and cross dressers can be punished with long death sentences, deportation and even the death penalty.

For me, the Dubai government is quite a long way away from the idealistic viewpoint you're presenting. I'm pretty sure Tony Benn would not have agreed with you.

 

The owls are not what they seem...

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

The children are starved, so they remain small and light (enabling camels to run faster). They're severely punished for smallest of things, by tying them up in chains and whipping them. They sleep on the desert sand without any protection from the elements. And worst of all, they are raped on a regular basis. They're some of the worst child abuse cases you'll ever know about. And they continue to happen.

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

"Democracy is the worst form of government, apart from all those other forms that have been tried from time to time"

Winston Churchill, 1947

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RE: Anthony Wedgewood Benn passes

professorhat wrote:
long death sentences

< Dailymail >

Not long enough!

< /Dailymail >

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