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That's really nice of him isn't it!
playing keyboards in some EDM act don't they?
splitting the left vote isn't it
and were shocked when they actually got into power.
SNP possibly deserve it the most of all the fringe parties, and I like PC, so.
won't get to vote for. Why not Northern Irish parties as well?
It's just a debate let's have an actual variety of opinions. If anything the fact English people can't vote for SNP might simply serve as a good influence on the main parties if they did well in the debate. We largely know what they're all going to say anyway, just wanted to add a bit of unpredictability.
Also, the Scottish Green Party should be involved, too, seeing as they're a legit and autonomous separate party to the Green Party of England & Wales, target than a branch office like Scottish Labour etc.
PODIUMS FOR ALL!
But seriously, the BBC & co are running out of what minimal cred they had on this, surely. Now that the Greens are out-polling the Lib Dems and have beaten then in the Euro elections, they have gotta be in there if UKIP are. It's gonna undermine the BBC's line, too, if/when the SNP beat the LibDems on the UK MP count in May. It's not as if it'll have come from nowhere seeing as they also beat the Libs in the Euro election and are even coming close to out-polling them on a UK-wide basis on some occasions.
the establishment are all too afraid of the Green spring!
"Ofcom said the Green Party had not demonstrated significant support in previous general elections to be considered a "major party" ahead of May's election."
UKIPs zero MPs and sub-million votes, however, apparently represents significant General election support. Gotta love it.
But obviously the whole rationale of using recent General Elections is a load of bollocks. Lots has changed since then.
Personally I favour abandoning the debate aspect, but keep the podiums, invite everyone and decide the next election with a one-off edition of fifteen to one (bringing back WGS obviously).
they have their own set of parties, so should have their own set of debates covering all topics. The SNP and Plaid are more tricky as they're standing on the same stage, yet the majority of voters the debates are aimed at won't be able to vote for them. I can see arguments cutting both ways there.
They don't debate anything at all. It would be a novelty to see them take part in such debates.
separate TV debates for all 3 regions please
do that again?
Yeah, it's either that or vote for Jeremy hunt in my area. Even if there were a labour candidate I wouldn't vote for the war monger party
decimated at this election
there's a surprising amount of people I know who think Clegg has done a good job at keeping the tories in check.
He's not gonna let them try and get around it by slipping in any old Natalie Bennett. He's wise to that move.
Though his reasons are obviously political- he either gets damage to the Labour vote or gets to avoid them happening which also suits him. Similarly, Labour can't really call him chicken because they won't want the Greens to take part.
SNP and Plaid should also be involved in some sort of Scotland/Wales debate too. Would be ironic if the party currently on track to come third in seats doesn't take part.
although obviously not with the leaders of the UK parties.
Nothing for DC to lose really from debating with Greens, he gets to look all reasonable and pious by making the demand now and has the perfect exit strategy if they (the Green Party) aren't included. He doesn't want to do the debates.
It's just an excuse for him not to take part.
not really though most people will think he just bottled it
I can't see that many conservative supporters or even people wavering over the Tories are going to lose much sleep if he kills the debates. Even if he does, he can't really win if he does take part... too much is expected of him, so may as well take any minor hit and not bother.
can kind of get away with saying he cba going on a dickhead tellyshow
are capable of any PR masterstrokes
From my own perspective, it'd be good to have them because it's the format Miliband will probably work best in. He often comes across well in PMQ's but no-one ever sees that so...
His personal ratings can't get any worse, so it'd be beneficial to him for them to go ahead.
Also pretty sure Labour are haemorrhaging more votes to UKIP than the Greens, with the Greens being bolstered by disenchanted Lib Dem voters so... it's all a bit moot. Cameron's shooting himself in the foot. Liklihood is if he wants to govern again, he'll need another Coalition with the Lib Dems... The Greens harm their vote more than anyone elses at the moment.
The big problem for Labour is in Scotland.
a YouGov poll conducted last Thursday and Friday found an extraordinary level of support across the whole of Britain for Nicola Sturgeon to be included in the leaders' debates - 53% thought she should be in the line-up, while only 30% did not, and 17% didn't know. What's particularly striking is that there is an absolute majority in favour of her inclusion in every single region of England and Wales...
Sturgeon should be included : 52%
Sturgeon should not be included : 29%
South of England (excluding London ) -
Sturgeon should be included : 53%
Sturgeon should not be included : 33%
English Midlands and Wales -
Sturgeon should be included : 52%
Sturgeon should not be included : 30%
North of England -
Sturgeon should be included : 51%
Sturgeon should not be included : 28%
Sturgeon should be included : 66%
Sturgeon should not be included : 24%
Over 50% of people who are planning to vote Tory, Labour or Lib Dem support Sturgeon's inclusion, with the opposition coming disproportionately from UKIP supporters. In Scotland itself, the percentage who think Sturgeon is entitled to a place in the debates is almost identical to the percentage who think Nigel Farage and Natalie Bennett should be included.
they should be doing these debates in Wales, NI and Scotland, with the `5 main parties` (I'm using this as a point of over simplification, don't jump on it going `BUT THE SNP ARE LARGER THAN UKIP/GREENS` etc.) plus the large `nationalist` parties from Wales, NI and Scotland in them.
This is what the debates should look like. Although 6/7 people/parties in a debate will probably make it horrible affair to watch. But then again democracy is boring ennit.
they were quite good
the head-to-head debate between the two main party leaders was a total snorefest by comparison
in Wales, NI and Scotland (and London?). As there were in 2010. Not England, though. Just a UK one. Based on English politics.
But why are there separate debates? There's no such thing as a Welsh MP or a Scottish MP. They're all UK MPs innit.
Dunno why a 6/7 person debate should be expected to inherently be any worse than 2/3/4. Borgen fans know it's perfectly possible.
And don't confuse my position here. It's not so much to lobby for SNP representation as it is to point out the hedgemonic nonsense underpinning the whole mismanaged fandango.
1. Parties which could realistically provide the next Prime Minister:
2. Parties which could decide who forms the next government:
3. Parties with significant UK-wide representation:
4. Parties which contest seats in every part of the UK:
NONE (or, at a push, Greens if you consider them to collectively represent a singular party)
5. Parties which are projected to comfortably have more than 10 seats in the next Parliament:
6. Parties with seats in the current Parliament
Greens of E&W
It's a glorious mess.
Still think tailoring the debates to include largest `nationalist` parties in different countries makes sense but... there's no way to slice it which means everybody wins.
Forgot that BITT had pointed out the 8 way Swedish ones before. Could be good craic.
Also reckon the Greens turning up will actually reduce their vote share because The Natalie Bennett isn't The Caroline Lucas/national sweetheart.
Could actually lead to Labour votes. The SNP have a far better chance of splitting the left imo.
The Natalie Bennett might just be a car crash, especially pitched against Farage, she's a really poor speaker.
:-) Would like to see this stick.
Designed to get any interest going if at all possible in the GE, to go against public opinion as to who should be in is ludicrous.
Surely folk who watched the last set and saw the differences between what the leaders said and did can’t possibly think they’re worth bothering with again? The Scottish referendum debates a few months ago were exactly the same, so I’m surprised anyone thinks these are going to be remotely worthwhile. Simpleton, reality-show style stuff.
By coincidence, was just reading about this question asked of Dukakis in the 1988 presidential debates v. Bush Sr.:
"By agreement between the candidates, the first question goes to Governor Dukakis; you have two minutes to respond.
Q. Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?"
Such a good deal for them, sucks for us. Ah well.
Kinda reminds me of:
if these stories are correct.
"The Democrat Unionist Party has indicated it will be writing to the BBC and other broadcasters to ask why it is not being included when it has more seats than the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens."
to make any sort of difference i.e. steal votes off labour via left wing populist soundbites.
Debates are the worst anyway. I hope everyone that goes to them is locked up for being awful/turned into cybermen
Ed "tough on immigration" Miliband.
Its not the smaller parties fault that there's nowt but dogma tying anyone to Labour anymore.
would also advise you not to speak on behalf of millions of people about the reasons behind their voting intentions.
And will, if/when they get in, to get on with the same pointless austerity capitalism we've had in the last five years, but telling us its for our own good and they're fighting our corner and its what we voted for and I hope they all feel ill.
also, the last labour government was hugely different to the current coalition one and if you can't see that then you're quite blinkered noffence. There are a lot of labour MPs who are good people and want to do good things. There are a lot of others who clearly don't fall into that camp but, again, that's out of the hands of the 'good' people and is just a symptom of something bigger.
Then there's the fact that their grassroots still have a large portion of good, left wing people. Kind of find it tragically funny how the SNP have been almost canonised recently when they're around the same place on the political spectrum as the lib dems except, y'know, they're also nationalists and therefore even worse. You might find a higher proportion of marxists in the greens but then you're kind of in a trade off with its' organisational shambles and administrative inexperience/incompetence. Not convinced the greens are some sort of haven for the good sort of radical leftism at all anyway. Basically if there was a revolution and i was its HR manager i would go straight to labour grassroots and groups within labour for my recruitment cheers.
You're right that Labour were different but they've become closer and the context of austerity is conducive to the New Labourites continuing the job, as they've basically admitted they'll do (sugared with a bleat of mansion taxes). Attacking the other parties is one thing but if they listened to what the other leftists wanted Labour might have my sympathy but they choose to listen to what the right wants instead and for the party, grassroots and upwards, to ignore that is a pretty poor show.
Dave Cameron has said he will not appear in televised debates if the Natalie Bennett isn't invited as well
Dave Cameron has said he will not appear in televised debates if Screaming Lord Sutch isn't invited as well.
...based on The Natalie Bennett's Sunday Politics performance yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32aqb167NkE
Notwithstanding Andrew Neil's always ghastly approach to interviewing, it was chilling how ~3 months away from a general election she didn't have a firm grasp of the economics of their policies. Also notice how she was as evasive in sticking to a core script in lieu of answering questions just like... um, every other senior politician. Some alternative eh?
The Greens ain't gonna be `splitting the left` on that performance. Or maybe it doesn't matter, and maybe they will. Who knows anymore.
But this wasn't just a display of poor public address, which is forgivable, it was one of a paucity of understanding of the impact/realism of flagship policies. Which is *really* scary this close to an election.
how she talked in exactly the same way as all the other leaders
is exactly the kind of loopy policy I expect from the Greens tbf. It's easy to come up with lots of nice ideas when you've never actually been in power.
who have an endless bee in their bonnet about money spent on welfare. That'll work.
should pay taxes to give money to millionaires.
but the concept of introducing a universal basic income has been around for centuries and trialled in a handful of places - the idea itself is not really much loopier than the NHS, which would be similarly ridiculed if someone tried to introduce it in the current political climate.
rely on faith over reasoning, can be dismissed.
Sad to see.
A Citizen's Income sounds alright, admittedly. So far, the only political party who are endorsing it as a flagship policy can't tell us how they're going to pay for it.
`Alternatives to the status quo` are all very well and good but they have to be paid for no?
It'll pay for everything ever.
The vast majority of the population aren't very rich - the £80 (or whatever) would go straight back into the economy (rather than to sit in bank accounts in Belize)and be largely recouped through income tax and VAT. It's trickle up economics.
`Largely recouped through income tax and VAT`.
How does that work? The government gives someone an extra £72 a week and then TAXES them on it? Right.
Also, the Greens want to abolish VAT in favour of `Green Taxes` don't they?
So how does this all add up?
I might be wrong, but I was sure that was the case when I was signing on.
Assuming you're over the tax threshold, obviously.
but isn't that netted out over the course of a tax year? As in say if you were getting paid £30k for 8 months, then lost your job, then claimed JSA for the remaining 4, you'd pay income tax on your gross tax year income?
So a Citizen's income in this regard would push more people into taxable income brackets. Ok. But that's just robbing Peter to pay Paul isn't it?
it always seems more sensible to me to just tax people less on their income in the first place.
Using made up numbers, say you want to give each individual £80 a week, it will actually cost £100 per person because of the administration involved in taking the money in the first place (through taxation) then arranging the paying back of a portion of the same money. Just don't take it in the first place and everybody wins.
The same is true of the EU and rebates.
Analysing figures from the 2012-13 financial year, the cost of such a scheme is projected at around £276bn per year – just £1bn more than the annual welfare budget that year –making the implementation of a citizen’s income close to revenue and cost neutral.
Taking the Trust’s figures, it also appears unlikely that £3,692 per year would dissuade people from working or replace income from employment. Rather, it would prevent the poorest sections of society falling into dependency on state welfare and being discouraged from entering paid employment for fear of losing benefit entitlements. This welfare trap would be eliminated; a citizen’s income would be paid, tax-free, regardless of an individual’s working status or income level.
A common objection to universal income is its potential to deter a population from working by creating a “money-for-nothing” culture. But in a 1970s pilot study called Mincome in Canada, establishing a citizen’s income didn’t produce a workshy population. In fact, the only people who stopped working or worked less were young mothers, teenagers in education and those due to retire soon.
Did you really think the idea was just to add it on top of all existing government expenditure?
From that article: "Disability and housing benefits would remain intact, but the scheme would replace all other benefits including child benefits, income support and jobseeker’s allowance, national insurance and state pensions."
But it's a false comparison to say that it costs `just £1bn more than the current cost of welfare` when £29bn is unaccounted for from other benefits to top the Citizen's Income up. From the trusts own report:
`The Citizen’s Income scheme outlined here has ignored
Housing and Council Tax Benefits, which cost around £29bn
annually. We are aware that housing-related benefits need radical simplification and reform but we believe that to be a
separate debate and not directly related to the implementation of a Citizen’s Income scheme`.
So... the attractively idea of cost-neutrality is an inaccuracy here. Unless the figures have become more refined since then, of course...
This can get very boring very quickly. The simple answer is that of course no-one knows because no-one has ever attempted to implement this type of scheme on an entire economy and the impacts of it would likely be huge and completely unpredictable in countless ways.
to make predictions on how it will add up, when there are hundreds of variables. The principle is that if everyone had a basic income, that money would be spent in local businesses, rent, bills etc allowing those companies to employ people (who'd be taxed and who would spend that income). The money goes back into the economy and is taxed and spent many times over. I assume the initial investment would be covered by borrowing money (at historically low interest rates).
The idea isn't substantially different to QE, but would be putting money into the economy at the very bottom, where it actually moves around and...*drum roll* stimulates stuff!
She won't have said this because a) she sounds a bit crap and b) political discourse on these sorts of things is based around the geoffs of this world going 'hur dur how you gonna PAY for it??!'
"The principle is that if everyone had a basic income, that money would be spent...". Would it though?
Sure for some people this would be the case, but I know i'd just set the money to go straight into a savings account each week/month and not touch it. As would be the case for a lot of people that earn in the middle/upper bracket that don't really need the money. So I get your principle, but I don't think it's right to assume that this money would automatically be spent (by a sufficient amount of people to justify it).
because you Tories already all left and took your banks with you out of disgust for this new equitable system where you couldn't look down on people because they stopped letting you keep score of how impressive someone is based on how much imaginary money they 'owned'.
want to abolish. Doesn't make sense to me.
There are hundreds of variables to any potential policy. And you're saying that those are two more likely reasons for her not explaining the policy than simply because it hasn't been thought through properly at this juncture? Maybe their March policy document will reveal all.
`b) political discourse on these sorts of things is based around the geoffs of this world going 'hur dur how you gonna PAY for it??!'` - bit catty. Although can you explain what is so wrong with this approach?
Good answer :)
They want to abolish Value Added Tax and replace it with a 'green' tax that is based on the environmental impact of your purchase. Plenty of VAT-affected goods would still be affected by that new tax. Some might not while others would be that aren't VAT-hit.
VAT is already ludicrous given it's meant to refer to luxury goods but clearly affects other things.
is to encourage people to adjust their spending habits to buy more green things and, ergo, pay less tax.
So if their policy works they'll have even less coming in from VAT, no?
(By the way I'm a fan of the idea of indexing VAT to environmental impact as a policy. Like it.)
But it's one policy out of entire philosophy, which is why this kind of political interview doesn't help the party. We're used to traditional parties who don't really want to change our country much.
The greens want us all to be looking to farm and be self-sufficient, etc. They want to completely change how we live. I don't know if it's possible but their aim isn't to keep the UK as some massive powerhouse economy, a big player in the political world. They want to turn us into the backwater island we deserve to be (on those terms) and instead just, you know, live our lives and have a good time (maybe).
But I doubt the majority of people in the UK would like that to happen.
And getting to that self-sustaining utopia would need years and years of contracting the economy whilst a) looking and b) needing to increase public spending and immigration. You think the impacts of THIS government have been harsh? Wait until you see the result of that...
The real point about trying to vote Green is to force the system to change. They'll never have a majority at all, but we need PR and once you have that then you would hope to get the effect of many policies in accord.
£72 a week or whatever it was... It's shit.
It's unlikely to stay the same. Look, maybe if Labour weren't entirely and utterly shit we wouldn't be in this position. As it is there are about 5 MPs they have that seem to know what left-wing means.
They just haven't tries the *right type* of communism yet."
How many people have to die at the hands of your ideology, Theo?
this doesn't make the policy better. I'm just a bit surprised that this is the Greens policy for tackling rising inequality. Bit amateurish.
I mean the Coalition have pegged household benefit entitlement to the national median wage, which seems substantially a more generous offer than a (seemingly) arbitrary weekly payment. You'd need a household of 8 people getting the Citizen's Income to hit £26k (where the household cap is, citation needed).
Maybe you've given up on them too, now?
Picking holes in a single issue is, again, not really worth it with the Green Party. As I said up there, they have a whole philosophy to their policies so one on its own can't just be compared blanket to now.
You mention the EU below but the Green Party aren't really in favour of it as it stands http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/eu.html so would likely seek to remove us from there at the earliest opportunity. I state this without a comment on whether or not that's a bad idea, I'm just saying that making direct comparisons is an issue with this sort of policy.
And every party has to compromise on it if it is to win elections. Why are the Greens any different?
They shouldn't be asked to compromise their beliefs. The Green party is an extreme party. Their place exists as a leverage tool, to make governments consider what people are attracted to in the party. If the compromised on these policies that would destroy the whole point they're campaigning on.
When I say they have a philosophy I mean something bigger than, "Get as many of my public school mates into power and money by making facile lowest-common-denominator soundbites".
Although for their policies to have `leverage` (lol) they have to have a level of socio-economic competence in them. No point in being in the game to shout out empty promises.
Although look what happened in Greece etc. etc.
without a scrap of economic credibility.
But you can see how getting 'ideas' into the political discussion has an impact. I don't think we'd be seeing as many energy companies making price cuts if it weren't for Labour's pledge on a price freeze. Shifting the debate affects the actual outcome.
I think we're all largely in agreement here to be honest about the Green's value to the political landscape. I'll just leave the voting for them to other people for now.
A big part of their appeal for me is that once you've ruled out voting Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem or UKIP, they're all that's really left.
"General grandstanding" like below where I say their record is very weak and propose things that aren't current labour party policy?
If the Greens policy is to get us out of Europe then they really are having a laugh (don't think it is...)
I don't really get how that's dealing with the issue of the EU implication of this policy too? Do they want every EU citizen to get this money?
If they fulfilled certain criteria then EU citizens would be eligible, yes. It would replace large parts of our social security system and this comes under EU competence.
concerning our current welfare system: http://openeurope.org.uk/intelligence/immigration-and-justice/eu-migrants-access-to-benefits/
"In EU law, welfare benefits are generally divided into two broad categories: ‘social security’ benefits and ‘social assistance’ benefits. The EU’s Free Movement Directive establishes that EU member states are not obliged to provide ‘social assistance’ (e.g. housing benefit and council tax benefit) to nationals of other EU countries during their first three months of residence, or if their only grounds for remaining in the UK for longer than three months is that they are actively looking and have “a genuine chance” of finding work.
Confusingly, ‘social security’ benefits (e.g. sickness benefits, maternity/paternity benefits, and others) are covered by a separate EU Regulation, which establishes that these benefits must be made available to all nationals of EU member states without discrimination but can only be claimed by people who are ‘habitually resident’ in the member state.
The EU’s distinction of ‘social security’ benefits and ‘social assistance’ benefits does not sit well with the UK’s ‘universalist’ welfare system, where payments are not directly linked to an individual’s tax contributions. This issue has been exacerbated by the extension of free movement rights from solely workers to the economically inactive, jobseekers, students and family members.
The UK applies its own ‘right to reside’ test as part of a wider habitual residency test to establish whether EU migrants have a right to reside and therefore claim certain benefits in the UK. The ‘right to reside’ test is currently the subject of legal action by the European Commission. The Commission argues that the test discriminates against non-UK EU migrants and places extra hurdles for EU migrants trying to claim social security benefits, which should be available to UK and EU citizens on the same basis.
all of which does complicate this "citizen's income" thing. If they don't set out what they plan to do wrt other EU nationals then I can't see how it's gonna work. Will they try and get into an argument with the commission about it? By the sounds of it it would be social security (which is what I was saying). Obviously it's never gonna happen so its moot...
- there's been no scrutiny of it until this week and yeah, of course it's moot.
But even so, it's only a massive (new) problem if the small guaranteed income is significantly more appealing than the universal benefits which already apply to a Romanian or whatever weighing up whether to move to the UK, which I doubt.
And the argument already exists. As that link states, there are already at least 13 (wealthy) European nations keen to soften that particular commitment anyway, which I suspect will happen sooner or later.
parts of Spain still have a 70% youth unemployment rate. This could mean being able to come to the UK and not having to worry about long term employment prospects. Obviously nobody having to worry about their long term employment prospects is a situation we should all be striving for. But I also think we should be doing more to create jobs across the whole of the EU as a priority right now and trying make all of Europe fairer for workers and people out of work. It's an interesting idea...
Full disclosure: I wrote my MA dissertation on the existing theories of universal basic income schemes and what impact they might have on welfare systems/our understanding of work/employment in the broader sense, and so on. (So cutting edge I was a whole decade ahead of this very minor news item.)
I have major doubts about workability, but at the very least it's an idea that allows us all to challenge our assumptions - in particular the social stigma attached to not having paid employment when no society ever actually delivers full employment of that kind - and the debate could just lead to some more achievable positive steps of the kind you describe.
in the following ways, amongst others...
Why is it free to all? What about those who are unemployed and don't contribute to taxation, why should they be included? What about those who are rich and can pay for their own healthcare, why should they get free healthcare? What about foreigners? What about convicted criminals? Etc, etc, etc.
You're kidding yourself if you think the only question anyone would raise is how to pay for it.
The electorate in 1945 is a very different beast to the 2015 electorate. For a multitude of reasons. And most of them rather shameful, to be honest.
The economics behind policy are very important though obviously.
I mean, I am with umlaut on that but oddly the current population, despite so many being in dire straits for cash, don't seem to realise there are ways round it.
kind of way you're talking about though.
It relied on massive borrowing from the Americans, which it was pretty remarkable to secure as it was supposed to be money to stop the spread of socialism in Europe. It only happened because of huge political will, based on the fact that it was the right thing to do and the only way to work out how was to determine to make it happen.
It was funded through borrowing. Problem is, owing to the size of the deficit, borrowing is less of an option for the next 5 years. That will change obviously in the medium term.
`Huge political will` - yes, correct. The political zeitgeist of the time seemed to be to, after the war, build a better, fairer Britain. That zeitgeist is less evident today for a variety of reasons (and its absence is what I refer to I say `shameful` upthread).
There is a balance to be struck between the idealistic and the pragmatic. And the utopian and the achievable. And I don't think The Green Party are the answer here.
but even if some of Greens' policies are still on the idealistic side, they provide a valuable balance to the other options available and it can only be a good thing that they get a decent hearing, both during the election and ideally as a portion of our elected representatives in the HoC afterwards.
Frankly put, if I rejected every party that had some stupid policies, there'd be no-one to vote for anyway.
To reaffirm what I said last week, I don't have the stomach to vote for them... but what they bring to the democratic table is pretty important. There should always ALWAYS be a pressure on incumbent political forces to answer difficult questions on inequality, poverty, the environment. Always. The eternal nagging of `Why can't we build a better world` needs to be there. Sadly, I think fewer and fewer are asking the question...
sounds very nice and there are some advantages (namely decoupling income from wage labour). But
1. It would have to apply to EU citizens, not just UK citizens. This alone would make it unworkable.
2. It is essentially a tax break for the rich and even if you counteract that with an increase in income tax on the wealthy, it's still a wry cumbersome way of redistributing wealth.
You really need to consider the European dimension for something like this. Many of the Green's colleagues in their sister parties in Europe have considered this and not adopted it. It seems attractive on paper but it doesn't actually address poverty in any significant way.
What we should be arguing for is a Europe wide minimum wage (or at least working towards a standard framework) in conjunction with abolishing welfare conditionality. This is one area where labour has been very weak on challenging the prevailing narrative. The sanctions regime is totally out of control and that itself needs to be fixed.
as a matter of course.
After all, there's no way Miliband can campaign on it/be seen as being softer on welfare etc.
Guess it comes down to who you `trust` more in essence to make these calls once in office.
means everyone would have to get it?
Free movement of labour.
The DUP and The Sinn Fein aren't invited as well: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jan/26/david-cameron-northern-ireland-parties-tv-debates
I'm quite looking forward to seeing where this one ends up actually. Presumably with Dave Cameron saying he will not appear in televised debates if The Romanian Dentist that Loui_T voted for in the Euro elections and The Roman Party are not invited as well.
so it's not just him vs Farage.
but given that the broadcasters called his bluff it seems a fair strategy now.
1) Broadcasters decide UKIP shouldn't participate because Greens aren't = Cameron doesn't have to face Farage. Win.
2) Greens participate = less airtime for Farage + Miliband's position weakened by Greens. Win.
Even (especially) now it's backfired spectacularly, it's one of my favourite bits of Cameron. Such shameless, transparent, spineless politics.
and he could take a "principled" stand to avoid turning up without getting too much bad press out of it.
The fact they called his bluff means trying to make a mess of the format is now his best option to water down the impact of inevitably appearing as a loser.
I wouldn't be surprised if he knew from the outset that he wasn't going to be able to back out of them - given they happened last time round and he was one of the lead cheerleaders for them.
So if he's going to have to do them he's putting himself in the strongest possible position in the circumstance. By diluting the threat with loads of leaders involved it will make it hard for any individual to shine above the rest in the wider debates, and then he can smash Miliband in the head-to-head debates where he is consistently seen as the stronger performers.
Assuming this is/was the strategy, he's actually played a blinder.
Cameron's an accomplished communicator, but Miliband often gets the better of him at PMQs (well, according to the commentators I read anyway) but no-one watches that so no-one knows about it.
Seems 50/50 to me. Dave knows Miliband would come out of any debate with improved ratings unless he did something unremittingly daft. Reason being is that Milibands public image can't get any worse, and the only way the Tories can win is keeping it that way.
In pretty much all the characteristics that matter in a live one-on-one TV debate, Cameron is convincingly on top.
and yet Brown still came out of them better than he did. He came out worst last time around because of the expectations game, and in a head to head debate he may well do so again.
was quite as clear cut as you suggest. The only clear winner was Clegg, i'm not sure the case can be definitively made that Cameron came out 'worst' - he did go on to be Prime Minister after all, even it is in coalition.
There was a huge spike in the polls for the Lib Dems but as I remember the final voting went back to pretty much 'pre-debate' levels.
suggests the Tories were down a couple of points after all the debates (from roughly 39 pre-debates to 36.7 in the election), the Lib Dems up a few (from about 20 to 23.9) and Labour down about a single point (from about 31 to 29.7).
How much of that movement was down to the debates is down to conjecture.
What were the post-debate polls like? Out of interest...
Lib Dems were polling at about 27, and the Tories/Labour/Others were all polling down about a point from the actual result.
After the first debate, the Tories took a fairly sizable hit and the Lib Dems had a big boost (actually leading in a couple of polls where they were in the lead). Over the next two debates that effect faded a bit to the final position.
I also remember a shitload of pre-debate hype and column inches, glad we've avoided that this time around.
which he clearly didn't anticipate (a lot of it due to the surge in green support). I suspect the next polling on him personally will reflect even lower confidence in him as a leader.
If it he ends up in watered-down debate, then quite possibly he'll have got lucky and ultimately done well out of it though.
he played it terribly by only talking about the Greens and got incredibly lucky with the response - he should have been arguing in favour of the SNP as well as a minimum.
Ocrams razor suggests to me it's unlikely that Tory HQ would try that one in such a half-arsed way and rather they're now responding to events in the most logical way possible.
and every question is followed up with a static shot of his empty chair and 60 seconds of awkward, uncomfortable silence.
so would someone mind giving me a short, glib reply on why cameron's doing this and why he doesn't seem to mind looking absolutely terrible over it?
it made Nick Clegg look good and he wasn't so it's now seen to not help the party out.
But by putting UKIP in the frame to be on them, that put the Tories in a particularly hard place. Labour and the Lib Dems will only really roll out policy ideas that the Tories can easily counter/dismiss from an ideological standpoint, but UKIP can press them on stuff that's far right. Labour and the Lib Dems will never as the Tories to explain why they're not getting out of Europe or not being tougher on immigration, etc.
He wants to dilute it with as many other voices as possible so the debates fail to really achieve anything.
All in all this is a good thing. They're a shit idea and should be abandoned.
but yet, this has totally backfired hasn't it? are they just keeping it up out of bloodymindedness?
I'm not sure what the swing vote is this time round. I think there is that huge "fuck Westminster" contingent but they weren't going to care anyway.
The other swing voters probably use more than these debates. The boost to Nick Clegg I think was largely people who had decided not to bother voting then deciding that Clegg seemed genuinely like a different option. With all the new voices I'm not sure that effect will be too big for any party.
In 2010, pre-debate expectations were that Cameron would comfortably win because he was perceived as a much stronger public speaker than Brown or Clegg (remember all the fuss about him speaking without notes a few years earlier?) He simply couldn't live up to those expectations, so even though objectively speaking he did ok, he ended up coming out of the debates as the loser (Clegg benefiting massively and Brown doing alright by not being the disaster he was billed as in the press).
This time around he's got the same problem - Miliband will inevitably benefit because he's had so much bad press that unless he implodes spectacularly he can't help but do better than expected by many - plus as Theo says, he's being squeezed on both sides now. He also won't want to give any of the other leaders the benefit of being seen on the same stage as the Prime Minister.
it's not a very nasty party thing to do
I care just as little about them as I do about Wales & Scotland.
so arguably the debates themselves are of limited relevance there . They had their own debates in 2010, which I'd argue makes far more sense for voters in NI. I can see why the SNP and Plaid wanted into the national debates, but no idea why the DUP seem so keen.
The DUP want to use their status as a prospective coalition partner to hold the big parties to ransom for their cooperation. Their threat to take legal action if they are excluded from the debates comes across as merely posturing though.
was that the DUP want the rub of appearing on the national stage, while knowing that the chances of Sinn Fein being invited/turning up if they were are approximately nil.
Finding the response to the Citizen's Income thing quite interesting:
Some bizarre conclusions in that article. Conveniently ignores that the Greens are also calling for a £10 minimum wage, but the 'it would stop people going on strike' thing is barmy. If anything, having a guaranteed supplemental income would make it easier for people to go on strike, which would be beneficial to labour relations.
Kind of feel like Cameron's hopes that a more prominent Green party would act as a 'UKIP' on the left are starting to be fulfilled.
Assuming we see an extreme party as a means to force a mainstream party to take on board less middle-of-the-road bullshit policies.
If it splits the vote sufficiently for a Tory/UKIP coalition to romp home then that's bad. Tbh, I don't know of a comparable election in terms of both major parties having their votes cut into, so who knows what will happen. It is weird how determinedly Labour sympathisers are to take Green Party policies apart compared with their more confused attempts to take on the obviously awful coalition.
Surely D-Cam is going to take part? It'll be good if he doesn't though
if he refuses to participate they should just go down the Have I Got News For You route: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9cgjfhjMc1rq5bx3o2_400.gif
will be less harmful than getting shown up in them. As much as not being willing to defend their record should be poison for them, I can see the neutered debates becoming a bit of a non-issue - no-one will watch if it's basically half a dozen minor parties, Clegg, Miliband and no Cameron.
getting a majority at the last election by the leadership/strategy team.
No idea what you're doing as party leader (or indeed Prime Minister) if you think ducking this kind of debate is necessary though.
i mean, they want to have the debates before they announce their manifesto. What on EARTH are they going to put in that?!
appear much better than Mr Cameron in a televised debate, and is therefore fearful of loosing voters to him.
Interestingly I have not heard back from the BBC after I suggested that it would be educational and informative to have myself, or someone similar, also up there, not to put forward policies, but to act as a peoples advocate.....because the problem with having a bbc person chairing or refereeing, is that they will be required to take the BBCs interests and future into account.
Do you suppose they have had many other unsolicited people volunteering to help with the debate?
I know you will find me ridiculous in this, but the point is.....why should the debate run on the rails of the lines they have all prepared.........of extant argument and debate?