Parliament Again

If you have an overwhelming urge to explore the weightier theological ideas, this is the place to seek fellow-travellers.
Post Reply
User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3652
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Ernest » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:30 am

Events in Parliament on Saturday and continuing this week are both confusing and worrying.

There appears to be so many "vested interests" employed that I no longer know who believes what and what is the best way forward for the UK or Europe. The rest of the world must be looking on in amazement at the mess we have managed to make of our Governance and reputation in the past three years or so.

The way forward is complicated by a determination by Government to force legislation through, while various shades of opposition want varying things from a General Election, to a complete abolition of Brexit and to continue in the EU as if we had never decided to leave.

We might have another referendum, or a general election or both or none, nothing to help the public to voice their thoughts or frustration apart from taking to the streets.

Division between people, nations and those people from Europe settled here, who no longer feel welcome. No wonder many people are feeling alienated from all politics.

I feel that a General Election is needed, whether or not it results in a hung parliament. It seems to me that having a Government of National Coalition might be a simpler way forward. But of course the vested interests won't allow that. And the last coalition gave us Austerity, The bedroom tax and Universal Credit. All of which has increased poverty, homelessness and as always with these things, made the poor suffer the most.

I note the number of MP's who have decided that they have had enough and will leave at the next General Election, no longer wanting to be party to the shambles that is the current Parliament. Our local MP (Labour) who has served us well for 15 years is standing down, which we are sad about. She has been a faithful constituency MP and responsible for initiatives locally, alongside the Council to make life a bit easier for many of us.

We need strong, compassionate government, not the self serving policies coming from the current parties in power or opposition. I pray that we might actually have that soon. :votive1: :votive1:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 1099
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: Antigua, New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Joe Parrish » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:33 pm

:praying: Praying for wisdom for all for this very serious problem :votive2: :votive1:
Peace and blessings,
Joe

PaulMcP80
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:16 pm

Parliament Again

Post by PaulMcP80 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:01 pm

I just hope we'll find a way to get on with the EU even after Brexit... If we're looking at the large picture, our economies are interdependent and a hard Brexit with no compromise on the free circulation of goods and funds is going to hurt everyone's economy.
And if we look closer, it's going to be a hurdle for many people, be it all of the Britons who retired to France or Spain, all of these French and other European people in London playing a big role in keeping the city active... I mean, even I was looking at these houses in Greece for the holidays not that long ago!

So, I'll pray for the Parliament to find a solution that will both be acceptable to the public and that will not hurt us too much, although I'm not sure that such a solution exists...

User avatar
Joyce
Posts: 2061
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:54 pm

Parliament Again

Post by Joyce » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:44 pm

Many of us who remember life before we joined The Common Market and have listened to the grumbles over 40-odd years about why we never should have joined, are cynically prepared to listen for the next 40 years, if our time on Earth lasts that long, to the moans and groans about why we never should have left the EU.
What I find interesting is that so much publicly-expressed worries in the media is only about our relationship with the original six. It's almost always the countries nearest to us that people seem anxious about. Hardly anyone I've heard who worries about the consequnces of Brexit even mentions the other twenty one who joined over the years - seventeen more since we became part of the ten. Not only did movement and trade work well enough before 1973,it worked for decades with the non-Soviet countries before they joined too.What travellers and traders here who went to or dealt with Spain, Poland or Cyprus found it excessively difficult to take a holiday or do business ?

In other words,there's little or nothing to fight about when it comes down to it. The trouble is, most MPs are far too young. They should have sent the Bill to the Lords and let them do their job of scrutinising and suggesting amendments. Peers are far more fitted for that sort of thing than all those twelve-year-old
politicians traipsing through the lobbies.

:votive2: :votive1: :minicandle: For an end to unnecessary conflict.

User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3652
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Ernest » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:04 am

Thanks for the input.

I lived in Europe from 1971 to 75 and again from 1980 to 1984 with the Army and often deployed to European countries during my service career. I loved being there, because the people we lovely and learning to communicate in their language helped. Although to our shame, most places spoke very good English.

We have nothing to worry about from the people, but for some reason Europe, which was the Common Market when we joined morphed into something much bigger and quite authoritarian. I'm sure we got more out than we put in, but perhaps our obstinate wish to go our own way with delusions of an Empire long gone being trotted out. In the end, we are European, detached by 20 miles of the channel, and we need to get used to the fact.

But having decided to leave, we have made a complete mess of it. That makes me sad as does all of the rhetoric, from wherever it comes, which contributes to the divided community we have become.

The idea of a British Character of tolerance and compassion seems to be missing and we have become inward looking and abrasive. We need to sort our ideas of who we are as a nation, to try to restore a level of debate and conversation that listens, disagree's well - a bit like the CofE perhaps? :votive1: :votive1:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 1099
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: Antigua, New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Joe Parrish » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:37 pm

:praying: Still praying for wisdom to resurface :praying:
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3652
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Ernest » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:54 am

No change in Parliament. Boris wants a General Election but Labour in particular are whipping against it, hoping that No Deal will be taken off the agenda. Other opposition parties are jockeying for position too have an election, but on their terms and conditions being build in.

I have a feeling that he won't get his way, until he shows some humility and puts the Brexit deal on hold, and treat the General Election as another confirmatory vote. The issue will be that unless the question is actually on the ballot paper, which is impossible as it isn't a referendum.

In the meantime the Speaker, Mr Bercow is due to resign on Thursday (31st) the day that we were due to leave and speculation on who will succeed him is rife.

It appears that there are two leading candidates, the current deputy speaker who is respected or a Former Labour Government minister, Harriet Harman, who is an outspoken supporter of remain, and surely can't be objective?

I expect that we will have some more infighting before that particular task if completed and given the voting vagaries on the current Parliament, we might have a surprise candidate winning.

But surely those current MP's whatever their particular persuasion can see how much damage is being done to the country? Division and the growth of extremist political groups, all intending to stand for Parliament, which has the potential to create even more division and chaos.

Someone said we "Live in Interesting Times", and how right they were.

Prayers continue for a solution that unites and rebuilds our damaged relationships both at home and with Europe. :votive2: :votive2:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3652
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Ernest » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:55 am

So, now the "Die" is cast and we are on track for a General Election on 12 December. Parliament rejected attempts to allow 16 and 17 years old people to vote, and no doubt there will be accusations of the younger generation being disenfranchised while older voters will be accused of everything from being ignorant, ill educated and lots more.

The elite who live in the Bubble of Metropolitan London will cast aspersions on anything that puts their wealth and comfort at risk, so voting Tory will be keeping them in the comfort they are accustomed too, and will give, if they win, the opportunity for their policies which have been so damaging to the poor, vulnerable and communities, distant from London to continue and to be escalated.

I honestly don't know who I will vote for, because each party seems tarnished in one way or another or damaged by the Brexit rhetoric. And the spectre of Mr Farage and his Brexit party hangs over everything.

Liberals are wanting to cancel Brexit completely, and I know that in our urban, North Kent community their policies will appeal to some, but not that many, an example there isn't a single Liberal representative on our local authority and hasn't been for over 10 years. The contest locally is between Tory and Labour with Tories having been in the top party locally. From four MP's in our borough, our local MP (leaving Parliament now) is from Labour.

I will just wait patiently to see how they engage locally, but really wish that we had proportional representation which would give the opportunity for more parties to share their policies and more chance of consensus politics.

As for the Green Party, who I have supported solidly for some years, now I wonder about a wasted vote, but they might just get ours by default.''
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

User avatar
Joe Parrish
Posts: 1099
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm
Location: Antigua, New York City, and New York and New Jersey and Connecticut and Tennessee, USA
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Joe Parrish » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:16 am

:praying: Continuing in prayer for the best solution to come forth. "Let not the hope of the poor be taken away." :praying:
Peace and blessings,
Joe

User avatar
Joyce
Posts: 2061
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:54 pm

Parliament Again

Post by Joyce » Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:25 pm

"I will just wait patiently to see how they engage locally, but really wish that we had proportional representation which would give the opportunity for more parties to share their policies and more chance of consensus politics."

We had a referendum which overwhelmingly rejected the very idea of Proportional Representation. That was eight years ago at the behest of the LibDems who made the promise of a referendum a condition of the coalition.
At that point there had never been a chance of PR working effectively. At least not for long. That was because ever since universal franchise, political parties functioned not on co-operation but on the basis of seriously opposing principles - roughly the belief that profit was wicked and the government should own everything versus the belief that private enterprise and competition were better for commerce and revenue-raising. Both beliefs were sincerely held by men and women who wanted the best for the counntry and thought being chosen to serve in Parliament or Local Authorities was an honour to be respected. Both views realised, except at the extremes, that you had to generate wealth somehow before you could redistribute it and that a good way of giving everyone a bigger slice of the cake was to make the cake bigger. We ended up with a 'mixed' economy, with the mixture varying somewhat according to which party was in power and how big or small a majority it had. The better off the taxpayer, the more tax the treasury could get in and the more it could spend. The ideals at basis, though, of how that could be accomplished were so far apart they fell a long long way short of consensus. It would have been no good putting boxes for second and third choices on a ballot paper. Almost every voter liked only one. Consensus wasn't something that the public wanted, generally speaking. The British wanted His or Her Majesty's Government to know what they were doing and to see Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition waiting in the wings to take over and reverse whatever HMG eventually messed up.
However, that all might be changing. Eight years is a long time nowadays. Much in life is not what it was. IIRC we didn't even have Netflix or smart phones then. The positions of centuries, especially the twentieth's, evidenced by the benches of the Houses being two swords'- lengths apart, might be moving. Since the aforementioned referendum we've had two more parliamentary elections and are about to have our third and we're on our third Prime Minister and Opposition Leader. ( Forgive me if I've miscounted. ) Something newer voters have said to me is that when they watch the electoral debates on TV they can't tell the difference between the parties.When the leaders all begin each pitch with 'I agree with Mr X and Mrs Y' it makes discrimination between them difficult.
Moreover, as each generation of MPs retires or goes to The Lords,we are gradually getting new ones who can't remember de-nationalisation aka privatisation let alone nationalised industries or prices-and-incomes-policies and who see politics as a career in itself rather than something one goes into after half a working lifetime among other people. They get money now ( aka 'expenses' ) for a second home in London so they can be in the House for 9 am instead of travelling to get there for 2pm. Hence the development of what's called by the BBC 'The Westminster Bubble'. It's often said that London is a country in itself. What they see around them is how they think things are everywhere. Just as the ballot papers in the forthcoming election won't bear boxes for putting candidates in order of preferece for a PR vote, there won't be a box for 'None of the above'. I'd certainly consider putting my cross in that one. I wonder how many other voters would do the same ? Beam me up, Scotty, I want to go home.

User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3652
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Ernest » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:21 am

Thanks Joyce, for quite a comprehensive reply.

I still believe that PR is workable, although it isn't on the agenda of the parties who believe that "First Past the Post" is the best way of electing our Government. Vested interests abound and the voice that shouts loudest seems to be the one that people will choose.

But this time around we have a whole raft of younger voters who felt let down by the Referendum for Brexit and will go for a remain vote. People in speak to, young or old, locally in church or out of church will still vote for leave, our borough was the single borough in outer London that voted leave.

There is disappointment among the young and old that Parliament has made such a mess of things, and I believe that even our council wards might have a Tory for the first time in over 30 years, as our local Labour MP is retiring. The preferred Labour candidate has been parachuted in from Essex, where she is has a council seat. The Tory candidate for our constituency is well known, lives in our area and has been on the borough council for 15 years and is a former Mayor. The council is solidly Tory as well with quite a feeble Labour opposition, the leader of which, recently left the labour group over policies and the culture :votive1: of Labour which he didn't like. So, sadly, Labour has taken a hit here and is in disarray.

We always vote by post, so make our choices in advance, which means that we have to wait a week or so for the results, but we don't regret doing so. When we were both away a lot with the services, postal voting was the preferred way to register and to vote and we have stuck with that. In fact, I can only remember going into a polling booth once in the last 55 years, since I was eligible to vote.

I am hoping and praying for a clear victory, with a substantial majority, whoever wins, to stop the continuing disruption to our parliamentary democracy in the future. :votive1: :votive1:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

User avatar
Joyce
Posts: 2061
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:54 pm

Parliament Again

Post by Joyce » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:30 am

:votive2:

User avatar
Pam
Web Pastor
Posts: 2092
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Pam » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:32 am

I prefer to vote in person so that I can take the whole campaign into consideration, but I know a lot of people prefer a postal vote.

I think PR does imply that parties will have to work together, since there are likely to be several different parties represented, with no clear majority. There's no reason parties can't work together on policy - the committee system for bringing forward and scrutinising legislation and the workings of Government is collaborative, with many able politicians chairing in a way that enables people to work productively across party lines. I've heard the argument several times that what has really gone wrong with the implementation of Brexit is that there was no effort made to include the whole range of parties and opinions in the drawing up of the agreement with the EU on the terms we left on. A deal was presented for Parliament to vote on on a yes/no basis, with many reasons for voting no among MPs. The real reason Boris Johnson, as PM, has had to call an election is because he withdrew the whip from a number of his own MPs and so has no majority and can't guarantee on getting any legislation voted through, which is not a tenable position for a Prime Minister.

I'm sure we're all praying for a healing of the tensions this has created, and of course, as Joe reminds us, for those who are most likely to lose out in any situation: "Let not the hope of the poor be taken away."

User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3652
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Ernest » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:36 am

Thanks Pam.

If we have a hung Parliament after the election, than people will have to work together for the greater good. The danger is though that we will descend into just another mess like the one we have now?

So, many, good, experienced MP's are not standing, or have been excluded by their Party from standing as they disagreed with and voted against their leadership's plans. A lot of experience resides in those MP's, which is now lost to government.

I am not sure that a fresh mandate for either Mr Johnson or Mr Corbyn is the solution the resolve the difficulties. So, perhaps we will end up with a minority government once again if no party has an overall majority. More of the same perhaps.

The worrying thing in my mind, is the enormous spending promises based on borrowing huge sums from where? I don't quite know. But interest rates might be low for such borrowing at the moment, but might not be in years to come, burdening our children and grand children with huge debt, which has to be repaid.

Whatever happened to "living within your means"?
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

User avatar
Pam
Web Pastor
Posts: 2092
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Pam » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:25 am

I think austerity has been an attempt to "live within our means", and has led to a lot of deprivation and the starvation of systems many of us rely on, like the NHS and public transport. Of course, this is my personal view.

No, I don't know where the borrowed money comes from, either - maybe from the banks that we bailed out because they'd lent too much money that they couldn't get back?

Democracy is meant to deliver 'the will of the people'. I can't help feeling that, if repeated elections bring us no clear majority government, maybe the will of the people is that politicians work together for the good of the country? We'll have to wait and see what happens!

User avatar
Joyce
Posts: 2061
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:54 pm

Parliament Again

Post by Joyce » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:44 pm

I've heard on money programmes that one of the greatest sources of borrowed money that governments get indebted to is China. Whether China is a member of the International Monetary Fund, I don't know. Some decades ago the IMF was mentioned on the news every day but we've not heard much about it lately. What I recall mainly is that the IMF was telling our government(s) how to spend the money we'd borrowed, and how high our taxes should be.
Something else I recall from the days of high interest rates imposed by the IMF ( and why would any other lender be different ?) is rapidly increasing prices and mortgage rates, followed by never-ending demands for increases in wages, pensions and salaries needed to meet them. That situation was quickly followed by rising unemployment as firms needed to cut costs in order to stay afloat and others went broke. It cost the Treasury so much to pay out dole money that they had to go back to the IMF to borrow more and so on and so on.
I really hope we don't as a country go back to those days. Once inflation like that gets going, a billion soon will only buy a few millions' worth, higher taxation won't be enough and we'll be back with our begging bowl adding to our debt.
The bank we nationalised was the Royal Bank of Scotland. In the seventies when politicians were drawing up a system of de-nationalisation/privatisation ready for implementation in the eighties, they were clever enough to retain the ability to nationalise organisations that failed financially while the country still needed them. They were old enough to remember the days before nationalisation when private ownership and competition didn't always work best for everything. Experience and long memory count for much, but as has already been pointed out by others, we are losing them. Those who are still alive are long-retired now, apart I daresay from a handful who went to The Lords and are still there.

User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3652
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Ernest » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:53 am

Thanks Pam and Joyce.

It sounds as if borrowing will bring us back to the vicious circle on unaffordable debt in government which will not doubt reflect in taxation and will hit the poorest worst of all.

So, my prayers continue for a majority government, which will at least get things done, in the interests of the country, not just a privileged elite. And I am also praying that the promises of spend, spend, spend by both main parties will be seen for what they patently are, election ploys. :votive1: :votive1:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

User avatar
Ernest
Auxilium
Posts: 3652
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: North Kent, UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Ernest » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:17 am

Just to say that the Politics of the General Election seems to be evolving into a competition on who can make the most expensive promises to gain support.

In the meantime, the general public i.e. me, are completely at a loss to discern the truth or otherwise of the various statements being made. Trust is an issue for me, I need to be able to trust whoever I cast a vote for, and at the moment, I don't trust any of the parties to keep their promises. I believe that the candidate lists are now closed, but have seen nothing on our local media about who is standing in our constituency?

And we haven't yet seen any firm, costed, Party Manifesto's, just leaks on possible content. I am worried, as are many others, that we will have another hung parliament without anyone getting an overall majority, leading to more of the same mess we have had in the last three years.

Prayers for some clarity in the promises, properly costed in full manifesto's, which might allow us to make an informed choice. :votive1: :votive1:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

User avatar
Pam
Web Pastor
Posts: 2092
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Parliament Again

Post by Pam » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:43 pm

I think General Elections are often fought on who can paint the most appealing picture of the future, aren't they?

The BBC have provided a guide to candidates here.

I heard one of the political commentators say that the manifestoes this time around will probably be quite sparse. I think the way I'll approach it initially is definitely not to vote for any party which makes a manifesto promise that I don't want to see fulfilled!

Post Reply