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Source: (consider it) Thread: UK General Election June 8th 2017
Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
I certainly think that Corbyn enjoys campaigning more than any other part of his job, and he must have an unshakeable belief in full-blooded socialism to have carried a torch for it throughout the Thatcher/Blair years. I don't think he's panicked so much as exasperated that people don't get it; as I've said before, if he doesn't succeed this time he will try again next time around, or arrange for an anointed successor to do so. He won't let a little thing like a landslide defeat deflect him from his purpose.

It's kind of admirable in "c'est magnifique mais ce n'est pas la guerre" sort of way. I really want to warm to Corbyn, as many of his policies are not a million miles away from my own beliefs, but for whatever reason I just can't. My take on him, never having met him, is that has been an outsider for so long he has major trust issues.

I'll almost certainly vote Labour anyway, I usually do, but as an unrepentant remoaner I am attracted to the LibDems this time around. As I live in a Lab/Lib marginal this decision may actually matter a little tiny bit.

He also loves the adulation. He hasn't had much experience of it in the past. Everybody likes to feel loved and it feeds his Lenin leading the people fantasy.

I really don't know at the moment which I detest more, the UKIP in a skirt and red heels version of the Conservative party or the Corbyn/McDonnell version of the Labour one. what I think is more of a dilemma is what if you live where you can vote for a person of either party whom you know is out of sympathy with their party but will be obliged to vote according to what their whips tell them.

I will probably vote LibDem.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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quetzalcoatl
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Well, I did enjoy May's slip of the tongue: we want to become global leaders in stopping tourism. Maybe.

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hell isn't punishment, it's training.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Do you really think this is true? I mean, the bit about Corbyn relishing the campaign. You may be right, but I wonder if there is an icy splinter of panic in him as well, in the face of impending Gotterdammerung, sorry about the missing umlauts.

I certainly think that Corbyn enjoys campaigning more than any other part of his job, and he must have an unshakeable belief in full-blooded socialism to have carried a torch for it throughout the Thatcher/Blair years. I don't think he's panicked so much as exasperated that people don't get it; as I've said before, if he doesn't succeed this time he will try again next time around, or arrange for an anointed successor to do so. He won't let a little thing like a landslide defeat deflect him from his purpose.

It's kind of admirable in "c'est magnifique mais ce n'est pas la guerre" sort of way. I really want to warm to Corbyn, as many of his policies are not a million miles away from my own beliefs, but for whatever reason I just can't. My take on him, never having met him, is that has been an outsider for so long he has major trust issues.

I'll almost certainly vote Labour anyway, I usually do, but as an unrepentant remoaner I am attracted to the LibDems this time around. As I live in a Lab/Lib marginal this decision may actually matter a little tiny bit.

Fair assessment. I would like to meet him, he is probably quite a decent guy. I live in a Tory safe seat, so my vote is utterly meaningless, despite Gina Miller's exhortations.

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hell isn't punishment, it's training.

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Cod
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Hmm. Labour will probably have a disastrous election, but I really don't see them terminally melting down. Unlike in Scotland, there is no sufficiently strong party waiting in the wings to take their place.

The Lib Dems might have been just party, however they are starting this
election from too far back. They have plenty of support in certain wealthy constituencies where Labour will never win, but there are large parts of the country where they have never been popular.

These things are cyclical. Labour went to all this in the nineteen eighties. Unfortunately there is probably plenty of pain for them ahead if history is going to repeat itself.

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"The House of Commons starts its proceedings with a prayer. The chaplain looks at the assembled members with their varied intelligence and then prays for the country."
Lord Denning

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
I completely agree actually, but as a politics junkie I've perhaps seen far more in the past few days of people screaming all over the internet at the other parties "why aren't you running with this?" to have mentally priced in all the things you're saying already.

I can think of other reasons - apart from a scenario where everyone is to blame - for why the other parties aren't making a huge noise about it. Legally commenting on ongoing investigations is unlikely to be wise, and likely to derail anything already in motion. Additionally, if it is likely that Thanet South represented the worst of the overspend - then all parties have a common interest in minimizing the profile of Farage and/or avoiding making the Brexit referendum itself the sole campaigning issue.
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
These things are cyclical. Labour went to all this in the nineteen eighties. Unfortunately there is probably plenty of pain for them ahead if history is going to repeat itself.

And while Labour flirts with the extreme left, the Tories will have as a minimum an extra 5 years to undo the remaining great reforms brought in by Attlee and reinforced by Wilson. That's the tragedy which Momentum is forcing onto the UK.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Jane R
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quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Well, I did enjoy May's slip of the tongue: we want to become global leaders in stopping tourism.
[Killing me]

Or is it too true to be funny?

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Dark Knight

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Its lack of policy in this direction will, I believe, cost it dearly in the election.

A slight correction: its lack of policy and Corbyn's lack of ability to lead the party.
What lack of policy? Corbyn has plenty of policies.
From over the other side of the world, I find this all a bit baffling. I lean left quite far (although Gee referring to Corbyn and Labour as "extreme left" certainly had me [Killing me] ), and I can't find many of the above policies I would disagree with. But - why do people assume Labour are unelectable? Surely no one has any faith in polls after the Yanks elected Lord Voldemort, contrary to nearly all indicators?

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Wronger than a drooling idiot on stupid juice - but I understand his argument.
mousethief (paraphrase)
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Dark Knight

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Sorry - just saw Rosa has already posted the above link.

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Wronger than a drooling idiot on stupid juice - but I understand his argument.
mousethief (paraphrase)
----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

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Cod
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The polls weren't that far out with Trump. They predicted roughly a 4% majority in the vote for Clinton: the end result was 1%. The 2015 UK election was worse: the polls had the Tories and Labour level (on 34 each), whereas in fact the Tories were 7% ahead (38 to 31). The reasons for this are basically due to respondents being less willing to admit support for nasty candidates. There were the shy Tories of 1992, shy Trumpers, and it appears there were shy Tories in 2015 as well.

I suppose there may be Shy Corbynites but it seems unlikely.

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Lord Denning

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:

These things are cyclical. Labour went to all this in the nineteen eighties. Unfortunately there is probably plenty of pain for them ahead if history is going to repeat itself.

So where's Labour going to find the next John Smith?
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Cod
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The next John Smith is probably someone not yet in Parliament.

Labour traditionally select their leaders for those who have been MPs for some time (Blair, Brown and Corbyn were all elected in 1983 for example). I suspect this is going to have to change. The big Labour beasts still in Parliament are all associated with the Blair / Brown government, and they will probably have to move onto someone who presents something new, just like the Tories did.

[ 27. April 2017, 19:08: Message edited by: Cod ]

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"The House of Commons starts its proceedings with a prayer. The chaplain looks at the assembled members with their varied intelligence and then prays for the country."
Lord Denning

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L'organist
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Jeremy Corbyn has always looked good on the campaign trail, but that is where he starts and finishes.

The trouble with campaign meetings and rallies is that, by and large, they attract people committed to voting and probably voting for the party, and candidate, addressing the meeting or rally. All well and good but Mr Corbyn has to appeal to those people who WON'T go to meetings and rallies, he has to try to appeal to those with long memories of events like the Winter of Discontent, and he has to deal with an electorate who, always suspicious of Labour over the economy, trusted it with Blair and then saw the crash of 2008; and those people are the school governors grappling with PFI payments and people looking at glitzy PFI hospitals which has to choose between making PFI payments or keeping wards open.

Watching Len McCluskey get re-elected with less than 6% of the eligible membership's votes hasn't helped, (12% turnout, 45.4% of the vote) and nor have things like the creation of a third tier of Labour Party membership done anything to enhance JC and Labour's credentials in the democracy stakes.

But the biggest problem is that Corbyn and his team are still promising the earth as if there was a money tree hidden away in Westminster: the electorate isn't quite as gullible as it once was and can spot uncosted promises a mile away.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
...the electorate isn't quite as gullible as it once was and can spot uncosted promises a mile away.

350 million/week, Trident, doubling election costs (ok not a promise).
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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:
What lack of policy? Corbyn has plenty of policies.

The received wisdom is that swing voters don't decide on policies. Rather the wisdom is that they decide on the perceived competence of the leader and on the perceived economic competence of the party.
I don't think there's a lot of evidence of May being more competent than Corbyn but she's better at looking it. And if Corbyn want to fight on the ground of economic issues he's showing little sign of it. (He set up a board of economic advisors from which everyone resigned because he was showing no interest.) Which is a pity because if they wanted to fight on economic grounds they would have a lot of material.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:

he has to deal with an electorate who, always suspicious of Labour over the economy, trusted it with Blair and then saw the crash of 2008; and

A crash caused by a global financial crisis caused by financial de-regulation in the US of the sort that would have been pushed here had the Tories won in 2005.

quote:

those people are the school governors grappling with PFI payments and people looking at glitzy PFI hospitals which has to choose between making PFI payments or keeping wards open.

Not a fan of PFI, but again the Tories have continued to push this policy during their time in office. The current cost crunch is due to funding not keeping pace with an aging population (and the soaring cost of wages due to the need to employ short term staff).

quote:

But the biggest problem is that Corbyn and his team are still promising the earth as if there was a money tree hidden away in Westminster: the electorate isn't quite as gullible as it once was and can spot uncosted promises a mile away.

'Uncosted promises' are one of those irregular verbs - how much will the Trident replacement (with it's inevitable overruns) cost over and above that allocated to defence ?

Essentially at this point the Tories have no answers for people the young, those looking for better paid or paid work, or those who fear being un-able to secure housing in the future. I suspect this is partly why Labour continues to hold a lead among voters under 40.

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Cod
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My recollection is that the Blair government was proud of the lack of regulation of the City.

Right up to 2008, when they'd been in power for nine years.

There were some countries where there was no financial crisis.

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"The House of Commons starts its proceedings with a prayer. The chaplain looks at the assembled members with their varied intelligence and then prays for the country."
Lord Denning

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
My recollection is that the Blair government was proud of the lack of regulation of the City.

Right up to 2008, when they'd been in power for nine years.

Absolutely, at that point it was orthodoxy of sorts but the idea that there was the choice of another party pushing for more regulation would be inaccurate - quite the opposite. Here are some quotes from that Tory report (published in 2007):

"The government claims that this regulation is all necessary. They seem to believe that without it banks could steal our money"

"We see no need to continue to regulate the provision of mortgage finance, as it is the lending institutions rather than the client taking the risk"

and of course there is their record in government and on bank regulation since.

[ 27. April 2017, 23:14: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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Cod
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It happened on Labour's watch. They have to own it.

Banks in this country didn't have anything like the same problems because local regulations prevented them from investing in mortgage-backed ninja loans like those that caused so much trouble in NY and London.

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"The House of Commons starts its proceedings with a prayer. The chaplain looks at the assembled members with their varied intelligence and then prays for the country."
Lord Denning

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
It happened on Labour's watch. They have to own it.

[Roll Eyes]
Cause and effect are not simultaneous. It is unfornutate that the electorate don't care to discern.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Cod
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If you've done nothing to prevent it in nine years, you're the cause or at least part of it.

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"The House of Commons starts its proceedings with a prayer. The chaplain looks at the assembled members with their varied intelligence and then prays for the country."
Lord Denning

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Alan Cresswell

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If there was compelling evidence at the time that the banking sector was under regulated, and that the risks being taken by the banks was excessive and Parliament should have acted to force banks to be more cautious (with inevitable costs to the banks that would be passed onto their customers), then you would have a point. With hindsight the problems building up are obvious, but was it anywhere near as obvious before the crash? It certainly wasn't obvious enough for the Opposition to push the government to increased regulation - quite the opposite, they were pushing for less regulation which would have made the eventual crash worse.

Even if the UK had tougher regulations such that the losses for the banks in their UK operations were reduced, that would have made no difference at all to the losses made in other parts of the world.

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Citizen of the world.

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
It happened on Labour's watch. They have to own it.

Banks in this country didn't have anything like the same problems because local regulations prevented them from investing in mortgage-backed ninja loans like those that caused so much trouble in NY and London.

I believe Northern Rock and RBS had a few issues.
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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
It happened on Labour's watch. They have to own it.

Banks in this country didn't have anything like the same problems because local regulations prevented them from investing in mortgage-backed ninja loans like those that caused so much trouble in NY and London.

Yes, they do have to own it. So do the Tories, who at the time were pressing for even less regulation.

Brown saved the UK economy, at a massive cost. But I think history will be kinder to him than we are currently.

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Lost in Space

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mr cheesy
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The amazing thing that nobody much talks about these days is that Brown's "prudence" and "no more boom and bust" actually worked for a while.

He seemed like a cantankerous old fart, but his economic policies actually seemed to work.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The amazing thing that nobody much talks about these days is that Brown's "prudence" and "no more boom and bust" actually worked for a while.

1997-2007 if I remember correctly.
quote:


He seemed like a cantankerous old fart, but his economic policies actually seemed to work.

The one credible MP who really had his eye on the ball back in 2007 was Vince Cable of the LibDems. He foresaw the problems and would have made a far better job of Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 2010-2015 coalition than George Osborne did. Unfortunately the Tory backbenchers were too selfish to accept that.

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Ricardus
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I was just about to bring him up. Best Chancellor we never had.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Kittyville
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
It happened on Labour's watch. They have to own it.

Banks in this country didn't have anything like the same problems because local regulations prevented them from investing in mortgage-backed ninja loans like those that caused so much trouble in NY and London.

I believe Northern Rock and RBS had a few issues.
Not in New Zealand, which is the "this country" to which I think Cod refers.
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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Unfortunately the Tory backbenchers were too selfish to accept that.

That's one way of looking at it - another might be that very few majority coalition partners in the world countenance handing over control of the purse strings to the juniors.

There are exceptions but the point stands I think - power and money are hand in hand, you don't want to give one of them away if you're calling the shots.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Rocinante
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quote:
Originally posted by Kittyville:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
It happened on Labour's watch. They have to own it.

Banks in this country didn't have anything like the same problems because local regulations prevented them from investing in mortgage-backed ninja loans like those that caused so much trouble in NY and London.

I believe Northern Rock and RBS had a few issues.
Not in New Zealand, which is the "this country" to which I think Cod refers.
Sorry, insufficient coffee. However I think one of the lessons of 2008 is that problems in one part of the system rapidly spread everywhere. The leak at the front of the Titanic soon became everyone's problem.
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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
It happened on Labour's watch. They have to own it.

Don't be silly. Everyone knows that if something bad happens during a Tory government it's the Tories' fault for doing it, and if something bad happens during a Labour government it's the Tories' fault for not arguing against it.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Unfortunately the Tory backbenchers were too selfish to accept that.

That's one way of looking at it - another might be that very few majority coalition partners in the world countenance handing over control of the purse strings to the juniors.

There are exceptions but the point stands I think - power and money are hand in hand, you don't want to give one of them away if you're calling the shots.

Even if it isn't in the national interest? The Tories have a long and dishonourable history of putting the party before the country, from Macmillan's "Night of the long knives", through the manner in which Margaret Thatcher was ditched to the EU Referendum.

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If someone takes a shot at President Trump will his bodyguards shout "Donald Duck"?

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
However I think one of the lessons of 2008 is that problems in one part of the system rapidly spread everywhere.

The nations that weathered the 2008 financial crisis best were generally those with both strong domestic regulations and limited international financial investment. In the UK, Northern Rock was largely the result of poor investments by the bank in the UK, a lot of risky lending - tighter regulation might have limited things there, but if it was just Northern Rock it wouldn't have been a problem, just another company having problems, if not for the larger global problems they'd have likely been bought out by a larger bank with restructuring and branch closures but ultimately little impact beyond that to staff and some of their customers. On the other hand, the problems with RBS were driven largely by their substantial operations in the US, and elsewhere, and no amount of UK regulation would have made any difference then. The UK is a major international financial player, the big UK banks all have far greater investments and interests overseas than in the UK - that provides strength in face of domestic UK issues, but added risk when things go down hill internationally.

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Citizen of the world.

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
It happened on Labour's watch. They have to own it.

Don't be silly. Everyone knows that if something bad happens during a Tory government it's the Tories' fault for doing it, and if something bad happens during a Labour government it's the Tories' fault for not arguing against it.
I've got sympathy for governments of all shades. So much real power now resides in corporations and markets that democratically elected governments don't have much say. They are in hock to business interests.

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Posts: 23632 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
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# 17338

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What made the clear-up post 2008 so toxic in the UK was the way that Brown and Darling used political muscle - in other words, bullied - one OKish institution (The Halifax) into taking on another Scottish basket case (Bank of Scotland) and then, when that looked like it was going tits-up forced another largely south-of-the-border bank (Lloyds) to take on the problem.

The bottom line is that the so-called clear-up has been nothing of the sort, and the bail outs that took place (some still happening) were the wrong ones.

First off, RBS should have been allowed to fail or, at the very least, broken up; furthermore ALL of its main board directors should have been disbarred for life. The retail arm should have been left with NatWest and the rest of it swept away.

Northern Rock should have been taken over by the government on a permanent basis - perhaps a later decision to resurrect the Girobank to handle this at arms'-length might have been a good idea.

All UK banks should have been forced to split retail and commercial banking arms within 2 years and proper regulation put in place to keep the two separate, rather than relying on so-called Chinese Walls. I worked in the city and can tell you that the in-joke was that internal Chinese Walls were made of paper...

Most important: we should have looked at those economies left relatively unscathed by the 2008 nonsense and learned from them. While it was wrong to credit Kevin Rudd with 'saving' Australia from the worst of the global crisis, the underlying strength of the Australian economy and old-fashioned prudence on the part of past governments in particular laid the foundations for Australia being so resilient.

We in the UK are constantly telling ourselves how fantastic and world-beating some of our institutions are - the NHS and Civil Service spring to mind. The fact is there are plenty of places in the world which are better at running themselves than us, where long-term thinking is a way of life, where state institutions are left to get on with things without being wrenched in diametically opposing directions every whip-stitch, and where private institutions reward loyalty and thrift, rather than chasing quick profits.

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Posts: 4442 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Kittyville
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# 16106

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Can I just clarify if you think Labour forced the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland in 2001? Or if you mistakenly believe it didn't happen until 2008?
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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
It happened on Labour's watch. They have to own it.

Don't be silly. Everyone knows that if something bad happens during a Tory government it's the Tories' fault for doing it, and if something bad happens during a Labour government it's the Tories' fault for not arguing against it.
This current government's schtick seems to be to blame Labour for everything, even though the Tories have been majority-government for almost a decade.

Only this morning, the housing minister was blaming Labour for not building enough houses (even though their figures are better than the Tories).

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Posts: 8229 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Kittyville:
Can I just clarify if you think Labour forced the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland in 2001? Or if you mistakenly believe it didn't happen until 2008?

And if you've managed to confuse Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland? A fairly basic mistake which makes me wonder about the robustness of rest of your analysis.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

Posts: 12556 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
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# 17338

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The Halifax-Bank of Scotland merger in 2001 was a pretty gradual process and it was only in 2008 that the true picture of their combined lending book became apparent.

Questions had been raised at the time of the original merger about the stability of BoS but they were swept aside by the Treasury.

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Posts: 4442 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Even if it isn't in the national interest?

Again, regardless of party, if you've just become the largest party in a parliament then it takes massive self-doubt, or indeed self-belief, to de-couple that result from the economic prospectus you were standing on and say "you know what, even though everything we've said and proposed hangs on the national finances, we're going to give away stewardship of the same to the party that came third/fourth/whatever."

Doesn't even look good on paper.

I think it has been done from time to time in Germany, but even there not as a preference. Other than that, the only other example I can think of is the bad-tempered Mugabe/Tsvangirai power-sharing agreement in Zimbabwe. ZANU-PF gave the MDC the treasury in the hope that the basket case Zimbabwean economy would taint them as much as it had tainted ZANU-PF.

As it happens the MDC neatly sidestepped the problem by introducing US dollar. With produce back on the shelves, and a workable currency, ZANU-PF took back the treasury. And ran the economy back into the ground.

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Posts: 1233 | From: behind the dreaming spires | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
However I think one of the lessons of 2008 is that problems in one part of the system rapidly spread everywhere.

.. On the other hand, the problems with RBS were driven largely by their substantial operations in the US, and elsewhere, and no amount of UK regulation would have made any difference then. The UK is a major international financial player, the big UK banks all have far greater investments and interests overseas than in the UK - that provides strength in face of domestic UK issues, but added risk when things go down hill internationally.
And RBS' acquisition of ABN AMRO. The £20bn of the £28bn loss they announced in January 2009 was due to the ABN AMRO acquisition.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

Posts: 12556 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
However I think one of the lessons of 2008 is that problems in one part of the system rapidly spread everywhere.

.. On the other hand, the problems with RBS were driven largely by their substantial operations in the US, and elsewhere, and no amount of UK regulation would have made any difference then. The UK is a major international financial player, the big UK banks all have far greater investments and interests overseas than in the UK - that provides strength in face of domestic UK issues, but added risk when things go down hill internationally.
And RBS' acquisition of ABN AMRO. The £20bn of the £28bn loss they announced in January 2009 was due to the ABN AMRO acquisition.

Tubbs

Quite - RBS just got greedy. About the only thing that emerges from RBS with much credit is NatWest, which was famously dull, boring and sound when they bought it, and largely continues to be dull, boring and sound as it trundles along through the chaos engulfing the group around it.

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Posts: 1233 | From: behind the dreaming spires | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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Actually I think the problems with the banks were largely due to unsustainable mortgage lending, which was itself caused by prudent economic management by Brown (so the true risks of lending to self-employed people who signed off their own books wasn't considered) and a massively overheating housing market.

Whilst the economy was ticking along nicely, relatively few people went bust so there wasn't any great strain on these mortgages. But as soon as the "never going to happen again" crash happened - largely associated with the crash in the USA because few had really considered the impact of sub-prime mortgages in the USA on the British banking sector - suddenly the banks realised that they had no handle on who had the mortgages they'd dished out and no way to assess the risk of them.

As a personal anecdote, we bought our first house in 2001 based on a lowish mortgage arranged by a mortgage broker who seemed to be able to do it just by pressing a few buttons. After several years of tough economic times we moved and got a bigger mortgage with RBOS largely based on our ability to pay the smaller one.

Fortunately we significantly underestimated how much we could afford so were never in a position to miss payments and in fact the RBOS loan was of a type that allowed us to significantly overpay when times were good.

But it could so easily have been different - if we had borrowed us much as we were offered; if we hadn't overpayed so much every month; if we had had unexpected costs (another child perhaps).

I don't think anyone who offered or gave us a mortgage in this time ever properly considered our financial situation, so it was pure luck that we ended up being able to pay off the loans we had.

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
RBOS

sorry, I'm not trying to be funny, RBS or HBOS?

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Posts: 1233 | From: behind the dreaming spires | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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It was the One Account, which was originally a product from the Royal Bank of Scotland I think. I can't remember at what point it was taken over or merged with Natwest

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It was the One Account, which was originally a product from the Royal Bank of Scotland I think. I can't remember at what point it was taken over or merged with Natwest

thanks - RBS then (the O isn't used as it gets confused with what was HBOS). Incidentally, you've unwittingly put your finger on the problem with RBS there by leaving out an option for what actually happened!

RBS was a relatively small, sleepy bank which got hi-jacked by people with delusions of grandeur. They actually took over NatWest, which was far larger, in a 2000 hostile takeover bid which was described even at the time as audacious.

That gave them the taste for repeating the experiment with ABN-Amro. If, much like the building societies that became banks actually, they'd been happy to make good money doing what they were good at and knew about, rather than trying to become gilded masters of the universe...

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Posts: 1233 | From: behind the dreaming spires | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
Cod
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# 2643

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Actually I think the problems with the banks were largely due to unsustainable mortgage lending, which was itself caused by prudent economic management by Brown (so the true risks of lending to self-employed people who signed off their own books wasn't considered) and a massively overheating housing market.

Here's what the Economist has to say about it.

Yes, the problem was unsustainable lending - but in the US. This wouldn't have been a problem if banks hadn't invested in the securities createdon the basis of that lending. I note that the article points the finger not only at American banks but European ones as well. Furthermore, central banks were asleep at the wheel. There is even specific mention of how the BoE (the most important central bank) lost oversight of financial regulation. We should all remember which government did that.

I've not much liking for the Tories. However, the fact remains that we can only guess at how they would have managed the City had they been in power after 1997. They were responsible for the Big Bang, which began London's huge expansion. We also know that they are generally keen on the free flow of money and the development of high finance. However, we also know that a good many of their ranks come from that background, and would have had a good idea what needed to be done in terms of governance.

On the other hand, we do know that Labour fucked up. From 1997 onwards they were in charge of a hugely expanding financial sector, the City of London, a coke-fuelled spider that sits at the centre of a web of British-controlled tax havens; a financial sector that became the biggest in the world during their time in office. It's simply no good to absolve them from blame on the assumption that the Tories would have been even worse. The sector became too big to fail. I actually think Brown deserves some credit for the way he handled the crisis, but just means he was good at clearing up his (and Blair's) government's own mess.

quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
]The one credible MP who really had his eye on the ball back in 2007 was Vince Cable of the LibDems. He foresaw the problems and would have made a far better job of Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 2010-2015 coalition than George Osborne did. Unfortunately the Tory backbenchers were too selfish to accept that.

He is standing for election once again in Twickenham. He was a very popular local MP, and I expect he will regain the seat.

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Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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Given that the banks are planning their exodus from the city, that is one problem the Tories seem to be solving.

sigh.

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Posts: 18165 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rocinante
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# 18541

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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Here's what the Economist has to say about it.

Yes, the problem was unsustainable lending - but in the US. This wouldn't have been a problem if banks hadn't invested in the securities createdon the basis of that lending. I note that the article points the finger not only at American banks but European ones as well.

As it says in your linked article, the bankers had lost track of the risky debt by packaging it up with high quality loans. Neither the buyers nor sellers of CDO's had much idea of which actual mortgages were backing them. The managers of the banks had little knowledge or understanding of what their traders were doing.

European banks can hardly be blamed too much for investing in securities that were AAA-rated by supposedly reputable ratings agencies.

quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Furthermore, central banks were asleep at the wheel. There is even specific mention of how the BoE (the most important central bank) lost oversight of financial regulation. We should all remember which government did that.

Which government did what? It was the independent Bank of England that failed to regulate the banks correctly. Brown made the BoE independent on day 1 of his Chancellorship (more or less) to de-politicise monetary policy, a point of vulnerability for previous Labour governments. It would also give him deniability for cock-ups like 2008, of course; somewhat prescient that one.

quote:
Originally posted by Cod:

I've not much liking for the Tories. However, the fact remains that we can only guess at how they would have managed the City had they been in power after 1997. They were responsible for the Big Bang, which began London's huge expansion. We also know that they are generally keen on the free flow of money and the development of high finance. However, we also know that a good many of their ranks come from that background, and would have had a good idea what needed to be done in terms of governance.

Like all counterfactuals, this may or not be true and has little value unless you subscribe to multiverse theory. I'm afraid it may be just old-school "you can trust the Tories with money" bollocks, a myth that was exploded once and for all on16th September 1992.
One thing we know for certain about the Tories is that are very much in favour of banks making lots and lots of money.

I propose another counterfactual: In March 2006 Chancellor Brown proposes the "Banking and Finance (Regulation)" bill, requiring banks to increase their capital ratios and diligently assess the composition of all financial products they trade in. The howls of derision from the Tory benches would have been loud (not deafening, there weren't enough of them and some were getting on a bit).

It would have been politically very difficult for any government to increase financial regulation in the late 90's/ early noughties. Speaking for myself, as someone who had a relatively high income and little capital, the ability to borrow easily was very important to me. I never lived beyond my means, but I know plenty who did. In the end almost all of us are to blame for the events of 2008.

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by Cod:

However, we also know that a good many of their ranks come from that background, and would have had a good idea what needed to be done in terms of governance.

This is often brought up, and the example that the Tories usually trot out is John Redwood (because for a time he was employed both as an MP and in a financial house). Now guess who wrote this in 2007:

"We see no need to continue to regulate the provision of mortgage finance, as it is the lending institutions rather than the client taking the risk"

That would be the Chairman of the Tories "Economic Competitiveness Policy Group", one Rt Hon John Redwood.

[Incidentally, it wasn't just a US generated problem - rather that when the market in US mortgage securities froze up, it was likely to affect the rest of the market as people were forced to sell other securities to cover. This was part of the problem faced by Northern Rock].

Besides, there's another test. Exactly what have the Tories done since then to reduce the chances of another crisis? They quietly shelved an FCA inquiry and largely ignored the findings of the commission on banking regulation.

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