The 2019 General Election - Campaign Debate and Discussion

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DynamicSpirit

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IMO the root cause is successive governments taking us deeper into the European project without bothering to ask the people what they thought about it.

By the time they were given a vote, resentment had built up such that 17.4m voted leave. To continue with further EU integration without consulting the people would have simply led to even bigger problems further down the road.
Whereas I would completely disagree. I would say the root cause was decades of most of the Press continually presenting the EU in the worst possible light they could, always presenting every EU decision as a malicious attempt to infringe on our precious sovereignty, without ever attempting to explain the often good reasons for those decisions. And sadly, successive British Governments compounded the problem by never bothering to explain what the point of being in the EU was, or the benefits of international collaboration - meaning that most people had no idea of what being in the EU was about and had a very distorted picture of the nature of the EU. Then Nigel Farage jumped on the bandwagon, add in a dose of anti-immigrant sentiment and a largely coincidental housing crisis mainly caused by decades of failure to build enough houses (but which is very easy for people to incorrectly blame on immigrants). And to be fair, there was a sudden influx of migrants that changed some communities faster than some people were comfortable with. And now we are living with the results.
 

ainsworth74

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And sadly, successive British Governments compounded the problem by never bothering to explain what the point of being in the EU was, or the benefits of international collaboration
And being quite happy to blame their own failings at the door of the EU...
 

EM2

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Whereas I would completely disagree. I would say the root cause was decades of most of the Press continually presenting the EU in the worst possible light they could, always presenting every EU decision as a malicious attempt to infringe on our precious sovereignty, without ever attempting to explain the often good reasons for those decisions.
And do you know who was responsible for a lot of that made-up anti-EU press coverage?
Step forward, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson!
https://www.theguardian.com/politic...nson-brussels-bashing-stories-shaped-politics
Johnson did not invent British Eurosceptic reporting, Guilford said, but “took it to new heights. It delivered him the profile and publicity that he craved.”

Guilford later became spokesman for Leon Brittan, one of two British European commissioners in the early 1990s. He recalled Johnson was often trying to stand up stories of “a German plot against a British commissioner; he was always playing off second world war themes”.

Bruno Dethomas, spokesman for the then European commission president, Jacques Delors, said Johnson’s stories were not very different from those of his tabloid rivals. “Boris was of course exaggerating, but more smartly than the others,” he said.

Dethomas discovered this when he invited the young reporter to his house in Brussels for drinks. The soiree later provided inspiration for a Johnson report that Dethomas lived in a castle. “He knew perfectly well that I lived in a normal house with a small garden,” he said. “I was surprised; I found it not absolutely fair, but I knew Boris.”
...
Rolf-Dieter Krause, a former correspondent for Germany’s ARD public broadcaster, recalled Johnson slumped in his chair at the European commission’s daily midday briefings. “If he asked a question, it was to create a laugh … When we read his articles, we always felt he had been to a different event from the one we were at,” he said.

This approach came to a head with a narrow rejection of the EU by angry voters in a referendum, stoked by fears of rule by Brussels and fuelled by Johnson’s writing in the Daily Telegraph. This was 1992 and – almost 25 years before the Brexit vote – Denmark voted down the Maastricht treaty with a majority of 50.7%. Johnson would later claim his front-page story “Delors plans to rule Europe” had helped swing the result.

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, Denmark’s then foreign minister, thinks Johnson’s writing – picked up by the Danish press – helped influence the result. “It definitely had an impact,” he said. “The story was that once the Danes had voted yes then we would have much more Europe, much more union and all that stuff. When I said it was nonsense, I was called a bloody liar.”
...
Many in Brussels found Johnson funny. One British official spoke of a “hilarious exchange” between Johnson and the agriculture commissioner’s spokesman about how bent a banana had to be. Another said: “He was great company, he was great fun, but I used to be very angry with the way he just wanted to ridicule the institution and was clearly misleading people.”

The Daily Telegraph was delighted. Guilford said there were enthusiastic letters from the Telegraph’s then editor, Max Hastings – now a fierce critic – pinned to Johnson’s office wall. For the Telegraph foreign desk, he was “as exasperating as he was brilliant”, Wade said in an unpublished memoir. “On many nights, I would be on the phone begging Boris for the piece he had promised to deliver an hour ago. There was a lot of ‘oh gosh Nigel, golly Nigel’ and ‘for godsakes Boris!’”

Nobody imagined where Johnson’s “annoying” stories would lead, said one of the British officials: “He was more seen as a colourful buffoon figure. But we didn’t realise it was going to set the tone of the British debate.”
 

EM2

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By the time they were given a vote, resentment had built up such that 17.4m voted leave. To continue with further EU integration without consulting the people would have simply led to even bigger problems further down the road.
But Cameron's renegotiation would have led to the UK being less integrated with the EU, giving us more opt-outs and exclusions than any other member state.
 

Enthusiast

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But Cameron's renegotiation would have led to the UK being less integrated with the EU, giving us more opt-outs and exclusions than any other member state.
I don't recall any radical proposals being agreed by the EU. In fact as far as I can remember Mr Cameron asked for next to nothing and got slightly less than that. Looking at the pamphlet sent to every household, this is what it says about the UK's "Special Status" within the EU:

The UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU:

• we will not join the euro [already secured]
• we will keep our own border controls [already secured]
• the UK will not be part of further European political integration [very nebulous and remained to be seen]
• there will be tough new restrictions on access to our welfare system for new EU migrants [until the EU decided it was "illegal"]
• we have a commitment to reduce EU red tape [which has been promised - to all members - for years and so remained to be seen]

Leaving aside the fact that I don't recall the EU being "reformed" as a result of Mr Cameron's interventions, it's true this may have meant the UK being granted more opt outs and exclusions than other EU nations. But they were hardly much to write home about. As well as that, what The Lord giveth, The Lord can certainly take away and the EU is well known for removing "privileges" once they have been running a while. The only way to be sure to secure the UK's special status is to leave the EU.
 

EM2

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Leaving aside the fact that I don't recall the EU being "reformed" as a result of Mr Cameron's interventions, it's true this may have meant the UK being granted more opt outs and exclusions than other EU nations. But they were hardly much to write home about. As well as that, what The Lord giveth, The Lord can certainly take away and the EU is well known for removing "privileges" once they have been running a while. The only way to be sure to secure the UK's special status is to leave the EU.
Reform of the EU is not what was being discussed, it was our supposed further integration, which, as you have shown, we don't have.
 

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She deserved to remain unknown. By comparison, Tim Farron was an intellectual colossus. Her latest disastrous, live interview on 'Woman's Hour' this morning plumbed the depths, it was so embarassing. She cries 'sexism' whenever she is challenged on anything, despite some of her severeist detractors being other women, many of a feminist persuasion. The more she's interviewed, the lower the LD ratings go. Prime Minister? She might not even get back into parliament.
Farron was a good and thoughtful man. The Liberal Democrats ensured his position as a Christian (who had a belief that gay sex was a sin) was incompatible with being in the party. This was a profoundly illiberal thing to do.

The Lib Dems’ positions of unilaterally reversing a democratic vote, and relentless unpopular, sanctimonious policies about gender (see: removal of women’s sex-based rights) and identity mean they are better thought of as centrist authoritarians. Thoroughly unpleasant; Swinson has come across as a desperate harpy throughout the campaign and they have struggled to move away from the Challenor paeodphile scandal. Another party I hope burns down to be reborn as something more palatable.

I hope all the parties lose. I hate all of them.
 

433N

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... sanctimonious policies about gender (see: removal of women’s sex-based rights) and identity mean they are better thought of as centrist authoritarians. Thoroughly unpleasant; Swinson has come across as a desperate harpy ...
So to prove your point that we don't need 'sanctimonious policies about gender' , what it the male equivalent of a 'harpy'. ?
 

Busaholic

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Farron was a good and thoughtful man. The Liberal Democrats ensured his position as a Christian (who had a belief that gay sex was a sin) was incompatible with being in the party. This was a profoundly illiberal thing to do.

The Lib Dems’ positions of unilaterally reversing a democratic vote, and relentless unpopular, sanctimonious policies about gender (see: removal of women’s sex-based rights) and identity mean they are better thought of as centrist authoritarians. Thoroughly unpleasant; Swinson has come across as a desperate harpy throughout the campaign and they have struggled to move away from the Challenor paeodphile scandal. Another party I hope burns down to be reborn as something more palatable.

I hope all the parties lose. I hate all of them.
I wasn't particularly knocking Farron - I don't dislike him, and he refused to be hypocritical about his beliefs, which I can respect. It's just unfortunate that he could never command the electoral support that a careerist hypocrite like Clegg could before his mask slipped.
 

edwin_m

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Farron was a good and thoughtful man. The Liberal Democrats ensured his position as a Christian (who had a belief that gay sex was a sin) was incompatible with being in the party. This was a profoundly illiberal thing to do.
Farron continued as a LibDem MP and is standing for re-election as such, so it's wrong to say that his beliefs were incompatible with membership. More that the conflict between his beliefs and party policy provided an easy stick to beat him when he was leader.
The Lib Dems’ positions of unilaterally reversing a democratic vote … mean they are better thought of as centrist authoritarians.
The principle in the UK is that a manifesto commitment of a party that wins a majority is regarded as the will of the people, although ironically with their commitment to electoral reform the LibDems are less in favour of that principle than the larger parties are. The LibDems were always clear that they would only seek to revoke if they achieved a majority government, which would have satisfied that test. It may have been a bad move politically, mainly due to inviting accusations like yours, but it wasn't in itself anti-democratic.
 

Enthusiast

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Reform of the EU is not what was being discussed, it was our supposed further integration, which, as you have shown, we don't have.
Indeed not. But Mr Cameron's £9m pamphlet explained to the electorate what life would be like under a "reformed" EU which presumably he was seeking to renegotiate. In fact no such animal existed nor was it ever likely to. It was not (and still is not) at all clear that the UK would be exempt from any attempts at further integration. On the contrary it seemed to be emphasised during the Cameron "renegotiations" that we'd got all we were going to get and that the days of "opt outs" and "exemptions" for any member were gone. That's why he returned with far less than the very little he asked for.
 

DynamicSpirit

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It was not (and still is not) at all clear that the UK would be exempt from any attempts at further integration. On the contrary it seemed to be emphasised during the Cameron "renegotiations" that we'd got all we were going to get and that the days of "opt outs" and "exemptions" for any member were gone.
Surely any further substantial integration would require a new treaty - and in that case, the UK would have an obvious opt out if it wished: Simply refuse to sign any new treaty.
 

EM2

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https://fullfact.org/europe/explaining-eu-deal-ever-closer-union/
“It is recognised that the United Kingdom, in the light of the specific situation it has under the Treaties, is not committed to further political integration into the European Union. The substance of this will be incorporated into the Treaties at the time of their next revision in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties and the respective constitutional requirements of the Member States, so as to make it clear that the references to ever closer union do not apply to the United Kingdom”
 

DerekC

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Indeed not. But Mr Cameron's £9m pamphlet explained to the electorate what life would be like under a "reformed" EU which presumably he was seeking to renegotiate. In fact no such animal existed nor was it ever likely to. It was not (and still is not) at all clear that the UK would be exempt from any attempts at further integration. On the contrary it seemed to be emphasised during the Cameron "renegotiations" that we'd got all we were going to get and that the days of "opt outs" and "exemptions" for any member were gone. That's why he returned with far less than the very little he asked for.
It was a major tactical error for Cameron to suggest "renegotiation" in the first place. It was clear from the start that he wasn't going to get much and that the Mad Brexiteers were going to rubbish whatever he came back with anyway.
 

Cowley

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It was a major tactical error for Cameron to suggest "renegotiation" in the first place. It was clear from the start that he wasn't going to get much and that the Mad Brexiteers were going to rubbish whatever he came back with anyway.
Yep.
It seems like a long time ago now doesn’t it?
 

AlterEgo

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The principle in the UK is that a manifesto commitment of a party that wins a majority is regarded as the will of the people, although ironically with their commitment to electoral reform the LibDems are less in favour of that principle than the larger parties are.
They aren’t in favour of that principle at all which is the problem they have when promising to overturn a direct answer to a referendum.

Better start your own, then. What would your policies be?
Better still not to vote for any of them. I can’t bring myself to vote for any of them. They are all so horrendously bad and so completely detached, at a level unprecedented in my lifetime.
 

bussnapperwm

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I really fear for this country if Boris gets a majority.

Why? Simple.

Imagine this: You're under 30. You've been working since you're 16. You're a public sector employee and morale is low. Jobs with your skillset are few and far between. You find out you might have to work until you are 70, or even older. You get a payrise each year of something averaging £10/week, only just covering the cost of living.

Imagine this: You're disabled. You suffer from something such as arthritis or another problem that is similar. Some days you can't even hold a pen, let alone walk 5 yards. Every 5 years you are subject to a humiliating assessment by a company such as Capita, when you risk losing your personal independence payment because someone who does not understand your condition thinks you're fit to work.

Imagine this: You're a woman born in the 50s. You were expecting to retire at 60 as that was what you were told. You're 59. Now you're told it could be 65, 66 or 67 before you can claim your state pension.

Imagine this: you're a student, having to pay £9k a year to get a degree in order to get a decent job. You're burdened with nearly £30k or more of debt over your working like.

Imagine this: You're a businessperson. You own a bus operation. Because of the reduction of funding from local councils, you're forced to either close up and make staff redundant or make cuts, resulting in whole areas being stranded.

Imagine this: you've had your house robbed. You call police but they don't turn up till the next morning. They took around and say "We'll look into it". You find out later that the police have NFA'd it due to lack of police.

Imagine this: you're a Muslim woman. You are subject to daily Islamaphobic attacks with people calling you a "bank robber" or a "letter box" just because of the way you wish to dress. Or you are even called a terrorist, just because you are Muslim.

These are real examples which have happened under the last 9 years of Tory and Coalition rule. I honestly don't know anyone with any compassion, with a heart, with even a ounce of morality can vote Lib Dems or Tories. I don't know how anyone who supports small business would vote Tory either.

In one West Midlands town, a Tory administration gave 2 hours free parking all day every day in that town, a town which is littered with takeaways, coffee shops and charity shops. And look at it now - 2 car parks are near empty, rampant abuse of the 2 hours free parking, with one car park soon to be built over by a Leisure Centre and another one with a Tory metro mayor's addiction to playing trams.

Even though I'm a labour supporter, what I'm saying is to use your vote to either vote Labour, the Greens, or even an independent, at this election
 

AlterEgo

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I honestly don't know anyone with any compassion, with a heart, with even a ounce of morality can vote Lib Dems or Tories.
I read things like this from Labour supporters so often and it drives me further and further away from ever identifying as one again. How can you possibly think that so many of your fellow citizens are devoid of morality or compassion? How can you possibly think you have the monopoly on righteousness?
 

DynamicSpirit

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They aren’t in favour of that principle at all which is the problem they have when promising to overturn a direct answer to a referendum.
So, out of interest, if the LibDems policy had been something more like, that they would revoke Brexit, but only if they formed a Government and also won more than 50% of the votes in the election, would you regard that as democratic and OK?
 

AlterEgo

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So, out of interest, if the LibDems policy had been something more like, that they would revoke Brexit, but only if they formed a Government and also won more than 50% of the votes in the election, would you regard that as democratic and OK?
No, it would still be undemocratic to unilaterally reverse a referendum. To reverse it, the government must go back to the people and ask them again.
 

ABB125

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Imagine this: you're a student, having to pay £9k a year to get a degree in order to get a decent job. You're burdened with nearly £30k or more of debt over your working like.
Except it's not a "normal" debt. If you don't earn enough money, you don't pay it back. It should really be renamed as "graduate tax": 9% of your income above £25000.
 

FelixtheCat

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Imagine this: You're disabled. You suffer from something such as arthritis or another problem that is similar. Some days you can't even hold a pen, let alone walk 5 yards. Every 5 years you are subject to a humiliating assessment by a company such as Capita, when you risk losing your personal independence payment because someone who does not understand your condition thinks you're fit to work.
Or, paid less than the minimum wage because you "don't understand how money works".

That's a real thing Sally Ann Hart advocated and defended. She is the Conservative candidate for Hastings & Rye.

https://mobile.twitter.com/HastingsInPress/status/1202954158518816768
 

DarloRich

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I read things like this from Labour supporters so often and it drives me further and further away from ever identifying as one again. How can you possibly think that so many of your fellow citizens are devoid of morality or compassion? How can you possibly think you have the monopoly on righteousness?
Becuase magic grampa, right side of history, good bloke etc

They have spent ages telling people not utterly committed to the cult of Corbyn to f off and vote for someone else. Then when we do they complain!

The people who support and facilitate Corbyn are to blame for what comes next. They have made labour completely unelectable.

But then that doesn't really matter to them does it?
 
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507021

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I read things like this from Labour supporters so often and it drives me further and further away from ever identifying as one again. How can you possibly think that so many of your fellow citizens are devoid of morality or compassion? How can you possibly think you have the monopoly on righteousness?
I'm a Labour supporter and I agree with this completely.
 

DerekC

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I read things like this from Labour supporters so often and it drives me further and further away from ever identifying as one again. How can you possibly think that so many of your fellow citizens are devoid of morality or compassion? How can you possibly think you have the monopoly on righteousness?
I agree with the principle - but funnily enough I had ten minutes from a Tory supporter yesterday about how anyone who votes for Corbyn must be completely round the bend, off their trolley, completely devoid of any understanding etc etc. It's a general problem that zealots in one party think that anyone who supports one of the others is less than human and I don't think you can just beat Labour up about it.
 
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