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Thread: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    One Gordon Brown:
    "There is also a progressive majority in Britain and I believe it could be in the interests of the whole country to form a progressive coalition government. In addition to the economic priorities, in my view only such a progressive government can meet the demand for political and electoral change which the British people made last Thursday.
    And yet today we hear:
    Britain is moving further to the Right after 13 years of Labour, it is disclosed today, as the public’s views on welfare become tougher than when Baroness Thatcher was prime minister.
    What went wrong?
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Only a quarter of people believe more money should be spent on benefits compared with more than half in the mid-1980s, it was disclosed.

    A large-scale analysis of social attitudes over three decades also found fewer adults wanted the Government to redistribute income and many believed inequality was down to “individual laziness on the one hand and hard work on the other”.

    The disclosure, in the annual British Social Attitudes report, is being seen as evidence that public opinion is “far closer” to many of Lady Thatcher’s core beliefs than it was when she left office in 1990.

    After 13 years of a Labour government, the study found more people were against disproportionately taxing the better off. But, in a warning to the Coalition, the report disclosed strong support for increased public spending on education and health, with many believing key public services performed well under the last government.

    Penny Young, chief executive of the National Centre for Social Research, which carried out the study, said it highlighted “the scale of the task at hand for the Coalition as it cuts the deficit and drives through its programme of reform”.

    She added: “It is 20 years since Margaret Thatcher left office, but public opinion is far closer now to many of her core beliefs than it was then.

    “Our findings show that attitudes have hardened over the last two decades, and are

    more in favour of cutting benefits and against taxing the better off disproportionately. But, just as [Tony] Blair and [Gordon] Brown incorporated key concepts of Thatcherism into New Labour’s ideology, Britain today is sending a

    clear message to [David] Cameron and [Nick] Clegg that it values the investment Labour has made in this country’s core public services.”

    The survey has charted trends in public opinion since the early 1980s. In the 27th annual report, researchers questioned 3,421 people at the end of 2009 on a series of issues including politics, health, education, welfare, transport and equality. The study found widespread concerns over the income gap in Britain. Despite billions of pounds being invested in reforms to improve the quality of life among the poorest children, 78 per cent said the gap was too high, roughly the same as in 1987.

    However, the study found an “apparent mismatch” between concerns over inequality and support for redistribution of wealth.

    Asked why some people were “in need”, 26 per cent said they were “lazy” and 38 per cent said inequality was simply an inevitable consequence of modern life.

    Only 57 per cent said the Government was responsible for reducing inequality, compared with 64 per cent two decades ago, and just 36 per cent said ministers should redistribute income.

    The study found that only a quarter of people believed the Government should spend more on benefits, half the number who believed this in the mid to late-1980s.

    Mrs Young added: “The survey points to a nation at a political crossroads between Left and Right: it is perhaps little surprise that the election resulted in a coalition.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...-she-fell.html
    For that matter: what happened to progressive-left politics in europe?
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...650812,00.html
    Europe's social democratic parties are in the deepest crisis of their history as conservative parties co-opt their principles and far-left parties steal their traditional supporters. The glory days of Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder's "third way" seem like the distant past.
    Question:
    Are you a child of Thatcher?
    Last edited by Furunculus; 12-13-2010 at 13:42.
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    It's too close to seeing the outcome of over a decade of Champagne Socialism for the view to be widely lauded. For the tenant of faith is that if the money is spent, the Utopia will arise. Unemployment will fall, standard of living will rise, social ills will end and society will become richer overall.

    Sadly seeing as the only thing that has definitely risen is Private and Public debt with year on year reductions in efficiency in the Public Services along with a vastly greater state this circle is difficult to square. The barriers to bothering to work if anything have increased, with the number of benefits that one looses when one tries to work meaning an initial tax of over 100% earnings. For example, my Aunt has sufficiently low earnings and savings to get a better dental plan than my job offers me - everything free for ever - mine has a £100 charge. She'd have to work c. 20 hours to cover that (when one takes off travel / tax / NI), so at the moment as she is having dental problems, best not bother to work.

    We need to allow people to have time to get angry at the austerity measures and to start to forget exactly why we spend so much money paying off debts before again the Church of Social Utopia will again rise like a Phoenix in the hearts and minds of unrealistic idealists: "what the government is currently doing isn't making life perfect for all, so by our version of logic, what we think will..."

    Labour is apparently trying to woo many Lib Dems who have been so disaffected at the first experience of governing. Loosing the purity of opposition must be tough. Having to deal with the grubby reality of the world as it is as opposed to being able to predict both cause and effect. So, run to Labour now and snuggle there in opposition until either Labour gains power or the Lib Dems loose it and again they can return to the purity of the Cause.

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    lol, pretty much agreed, i always thought the phenomenon was best summed up by a question raised by a TV head i believe; "What is the purpose of the Labour party now that all the money is gone?"

    big-state/big-spend has been tested to destruction, and it will take until the memory wears off for those naturally inclined to being nice to the world recover their 'appetite' for spending other peoples money of their celebrity cause of the week.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    The progressive left is the new aristocracy

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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    We don't have a left-wing mainstream party in Britain and there is misrepresentation of what is 'Left-wing'.

    For a start, "Benefits" is not necessarily a left-wing issue. Socialism is about fairer wages, so the more work you do, the more money you get. People sitting around on their backsides in Council Estates as Baby Factories is not Socialism.

    Then there is "big spend" as it is put, which again, doesn't actually mean it is "Left-wing". I was advocating on this forum before the whole conservative craze to get rid of the debt. I have also spoken of long-term investment and alternative strategies for handling infrastructure. Then as HoreTore brilliantly pointed out in another thread "In America, Healthcare is seen as a profit making industry, but in the UK, it is seen as a drain on public resources".

    I could go on.
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beskar View Post
    We don't have a left-wing mainstream party in Britain and there is misrepresentation of what is 'Left-wing'.
    Q: if there is a problem with what is consdiered to be the left-wing, is it precisely because we don't have 'true' progressive-left parties anymore?
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    interestingly, conservatives would also advocate fir ways for the work that one does. They would also be against Baby Factories and scroungers.

    You appear equally happy for conservatives to be all fixated on removing the debt in one cohort yet subdivide the alternative from the "big spend". Conservatives would also be pro investing on infrastructure via a variety of funding methods.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    interestingly, conservatives would also advocate fir ways for the work that one does. They would also be against Baby Factories and scroungers.

    You appear equally happy for conservatives to be all fixated on removing the debt in one cohort yet subdivide the alternative from the "big spend". Conservatives would also be pro investing on infrastructure via a variety of funding methods.
    This is why I don't mind the Conservative Party in the UK in comparison to many of the others in other countries, like America, where both Democrats and Republicans are to the Right of our David Cameron. (Something I have said before)

    I am not a loyalist to any of the parties, I am non-partisan, so if the Conservative party does things I approve of, I have no qualms in approving. Remember when they were cutting down the benefits, and I created a topic saying I approved of it?

    Q: if there is a problem with what is consdiered to be the left-wing, is it precisely because we don't have 'true' progressive-left parties anymore?
    That could be the case. There are left-wing people, but some of them are what I would call 'traditional' left-wing, this mainly applies to the Trade Union crowd. These usually use outdated arguments and concepts, and would probably increase benefits "just 'cause" without any real logic behind that sort of action.
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beskar View Post
    That could be the case. There are left-wing people, but some of them are what I would call 'traditional' left-wing, this mainly applies to the Trade Union crowd. These usually use outdated arguments and concepts, and would probably increase benefits "just 'cause" without any real logic behind that sort of action.
    hmmm, if the traditional 'left' is occupied by a dieing breed of trade-unionists using outdated arguments and concepts, then perhaps the OP question is invalid; the argument has moved beyond what was traditionally recognised as left/right politics.

    i accept the premise, it seems quite reasonable, but it leads to a further question:

    Q: Why does what once represented right-wing politics seem to be thriving, when that which represented left-wing politics seem to be struggling?

    our political system is what it is, and one 'half' of the self-described equation seems to be struggling more than its 'opposite' in representing the will of the people.............
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Blair happened.

    It was his New Labour that destroyed the european social democracy. The only reason we still have social democrats in power here is because our Labour thankfully left the New Labour way in 2005.

    There is no evil in the world we cannot blame on Tony Blair and his New Labour nonsense. When a socialist party starts calling for lower taxes and privatization, something is very, very wrong.
    Last edited by HoreTore; 12-13-2010 at 16:47.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    but blair did what he did because he wanted to get elected.

    new-labour had its clause 4 moment because the public weren't going to accept the loonier elements of labour ideology.

    likewise the tories lost their way when they enacted loony authoritarian laws such as section 28.

    all parties need to evolve to meet the expectations of the people they claim to represent.

    why isn't the progressive-left evolving fast enough, or is this merely a temporary blip, in which case what will change to create progressive-left 2.0?
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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    Q: Why does what once represented right-wing politics seem to be thriving, when that which represented left-wing politics seem to be struggling?
    I don't have the full answer, but from experience in speaking to people, there are many things issues in the social-sphere which are exerting themselves more strongly than other issues, so it creates a perception of a 'right-wing' shift which might not even be there (or debatable).

    There has been an increase in the "Non-Working Classes", and people who are not a member of them, feel cheated. So there is popular support in tackling the parasites of society. This is further reinforced by stories in the media where they have large screen televisions, iphones, and other materialistic possessions. Which party is most likely to deal with this issue? Conservatives.

    There has been uncontrolled immigration, from everywhere, and this has lead to a situation where in many towns and cities (for example, Luton), a game called "Spot the White person" has sprung up. Obviously which party is deemed to tackle this issue the most? Conservatives.

    Etc Etc

    This doesn't mean other issues aren't as important. There is still public support for Public services, such as education and NHS, which are deemed 'Key Policies which Labour got right'. Labours introduction of the minimum wage is also another landmark example of the good things they did.

    However, the downside to this is, when you have something going well, it is no longer an 'issue'. So when an issue is solved, no one is actively concerned or complaining about it.
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    RIP Tosa, my trolling end now Senior Member Devastatin Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    RIP Tosa

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    RIP Tosa, my trolling end now Senior Member Devastatin Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Its ok for the kids to play and spend and spend and spend, but occasionally the adults have to break up the party, get things back on its feet. But once the money starts flowing again, the adults celebrate a bit too much and become kids again. Cycles, simply cycles....
    10 years from now the right will become the left and 10 years from that the left will become the right. Me? I'm going to go spank my monkey....
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beskar View Post

    This doesn't mean other issues aren't as important. There is still public support for Public services, such as education and NHS, which are deemed 'Key Policies which Labour got right'. Labours introduction of the minimum wage is also another landmark example of the good things they did.

    However, the downside to this is, when you have something going well, it is no longer an 'issue'. So when an issue is solved, no one is actively concerned or complaining about it.
    accepting the broad trends above, two points stand out:

    as rory said above, the right vocally supports public services too, it's just a case of how much.

    this comes back to the evolution question, and the position above: "what is labour for once the money is gone" where does the progressive left go next?
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    RIP Tosa, my trolling end now Senior Member Devastatin Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    this comes back to the evolution question, and the position above: "what is labour for once the money is gone" where does the progressive left go next?
    They blame the right for holding on and hiding the wealth.
    RIP Tosa

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devastatin Dave View Post
    They blame the right for holding on and hiding the wealth.
    hmmm, maybe it does have something to do with the rise of this overused and abused concept of 'fairness' that seems to dominate the airwaves..........?
    Last edited by Furunculus; 12-13-2010 at 17:38.
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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    I blame the internets for the collapse of intelligent Western political debate.


    The interwebz favours the instant opinion over one formed by careful consideration. Favours shouting over the whispered doubt.
    On the internet young males are enormously overrepresented, this skews the formation of opinion to their likeness: irresponsible, shortsighted, populist, hard right.


    As a result, Europe is transforming itself from one big Switzerland - moderate, caring, fair, widely spread affluence - into a Russia: authoritarian, brutal, power and wealth highly concentrated, with love of 'strong men' - whether in politics, army, the street, or business.
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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    this comes back to the evolution question, and the position above: "what is labour for once the money is gone" where does the progressive left go next?
    I apologise, could you specify the question?

    For example, I am reading this question in multiple ways, and I am uncertain of which you mean.

    Is it:
    "Which party should the progressive left go next?"
    "What does the progressive left do in times of limited funds?"
    or another question.

    Also, in the last election, I would argue that the Liberal democrats were the "Progressive Left" party.
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    addressed to louis:

    is this a serious reply? or is it a serious reply couched in your new edgy 'style'? it's hard to tell............
    Last edited by Furunculus; 12-14-2010 at 20:01.
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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    The problem with long maintained left wing governments is that they can't find a way to sustain themselves in the long run. Welfare and numerous benefits eventually drain the system. However, right wing government succeed in being self sufficient which is what every right wing person loves, but at the expense of the quality of life for everyone. Example of left wing: Britiain in the ...70's I think right before Thatcher. Example of right wing: US during the Guided Age.

    Gotta stop bashing each other and figure out specifically where the optimal amount of money should be going where. Apply the law of diminishing returns on social programs and work from there.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    RIP Tosa, my trolling end now Senior Member Devastatin Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Gotta stop bashing each other and figure out specifically where the optimal amount of money should be going where. Apply the law of diminishing returns on social programs and work from there.
    Not exactly... learn to live within the cycles. Let the Pols feed off each other. the more they demonize each other gives them less time to **** with our lives.
    Last edited by Banquo's Ghost; 12-15-2010 at 08:43. Reason: Asterisks
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devastatin Dave View Post
    Not exactly... learn to live within the cycles. Let the Pols feed off each other. the more they demonize each other gives them less time to **** with our lives.
    Whether you like it or not, we feed off the pols. They have been demonizing each other since time immemorial and if there is one thing both left and right can agree on it's that politicians always make time between rhetoric to pass laws affecting us. If we don't pay attention and get involved in the hollow conflict, what they pass is always detrimental to us.
    Last edited by Banquo's Ghost; 12-15-2010 at 08:43. Reason: Edited quote
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    RIP Tosa, my trolling end now Senior Member Devastatin Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Whether you like it or not, we feed off the pols. They have been demonizing each other since time immemorial and if there is one thing both left and right can agree on it's that politicians always make time between rhetoric to pass laws affecting us. If we don't pay attention and get involved in the hollow conflict, what they pass is always detrimental to us.
    I see them both as a counter balance...
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devastatin Dave View Post
    I see them both as a counter balance...
    How so?
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    but blair did what he did because he wanted to get elected.

    new-labour had its clause 4 moment because the public weren't going to accept the loonier elements of labour ideology.

    likewise the tories lost their way when they enacted loony authoritarian laws such as section 28.

    all parties need to evolve to meet the expectations of the people they claim to represent.

    why isn't the progressive-left evolving fast enough, or is this merely a temporary blip, in which case what will change to create progressive-left 2.0?
    Yes, in the short term he got elected. Look at the state of those who followed his policies now to see the long term effect.

    If you want tax cut, why vote for the minimal tax cuts given by Labour, when you could vote for the heavier tax cuts given by the conservatives? Makes no sense.

    Also, there is of course the voters who do not want neither tax cuts nor privatization. The industrial worker, those who have relied on Labour for stability and security. They have seen Labour as their party.

    But then Tony Blair came along, with his wave of privatization. The market was best left alone, according to him. Thus, those industrial workers no longer felt protected, they no longer thought Labour would save them if their industry got into trouble. Industrial buildings where demolished, and where there once was work for a thousand people, there's now an apartment building for the rich, which the working class can only dream of seeing the inside of. That's when the working class lost its faith in New Labour.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    He also believed in massive conscription for the Civil Service and others organs of state. The best way to organise is Centrally with those who merely happen to live in the area following orders from the People's Representative, not merely the people - after all what do they know?

    Horetore - quick reality check... The Rich don't want to live in apartments built in an Industrial Estate. That is fiction. You don't knock down a steel mill and turn it into Executive flats funnily enough.

    The UK tried "backing" leading industries in the 1970's. The Unions saw these as cash machines and managed to produce goods that no one wanted with abysmal quality but with wage increases that manage to cause massive inflation. Many industries weren't fine then went into trouble as though this was a blip - they were massively undercut from elsewhere in the world yet wanted subsidies to carry on doing what they'd always done but for increasing wages.

    The labour party was required roughly 100 years ago. Most of the things they campaigned for are now laws, which is what created this difficulty of what to now stand for. There is health and safety that can cripple companies that go over 50 employees, unemployment and other allowances that already create a situation where working isn't profitable, subsidised houses that can be almost bequeathed to one's children and an expectation that jobs should be on the doorstep as it would be unthinkable to move from their area. From no health service bar a few friendly societies to one where IVF and cosmetic procedures are free and yet we still manage to have high levels of teenage pregnancy, from no dentistry to braces from the state lest people have crooked teeth. Education was the purview of the few now is for all until 18 - although we still manage to slide yearly down the league tables.

    The working class lost faith when they belatedly realised that providing worse service at a greater cost than others do in the world and the massive debts that had been created by pouring money into "investments" turned out to have failed the most basic test of an investment which to get more out than one puts in - like all the lucky investors who bought the gold Brown flogged.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quick reality check, rory:

    The harbour in Drammen, the workplace of just under a thousand, is set to be knocked down in a few years, replaced with apartment buildings of the very expensive kind
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    The thread title says Britain. If you're going to choose examples from abroad, please point that out.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

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    pardon my klatchian Member al Roumi's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happened to the progressive-left majority in Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    hmmm, maybe it does have something to do with the rise of this overused and abused concept of 'fairness' that seems to dominate the airwaves..........?
    In that lies a point you've missed among all the crowing about the right being in full swing and "on the button". All three main political parties in the UK are now sat firmly on the centre ground. The Tories under Cameron (irrespective of the coalition) are as obssessed as anyone (including Blair) with progressive policies, that is policies which shelter the vulnerable and attempt to provide a true meritocracy. If fairness is over-used, it's because the majorities whom the the parties represent want a "fair" system.

    As Beskar pointed out, the demographics today are different to those of the 80s. The Cons and Labour have gone from entrechment in their respective Right/Left bastions, fighting it out over the no-mans land of the middle class vote -to both setting up camp among the middle class centreground -with less focus on the more demarcated left/right fringes.

    The great trick the coalition is pulling off is selling progressive stuff to the right, and giving the left rather little to quibble about. Well, except maybe that tiny issue of how quick they are cutting to address the deficit.

    As to the very first point about the left being out of touch, I have to say I found that funny. Labour is quite clearly suffering a hang-over from it's 12 year stint in power, and I'm not sure Ed will do terribly well -or be around that long. But how long did it take the Tories to sort themselves out after 97?

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