Politics in General

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JimBentley
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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:56 pm

Anyone see Boris Johnson on the Marr show this morning (and then immediately afterwards on the Peston show)? Having watched both I'm still a little bit bewildered as to what points he was trying to convey. He said "taking back control" a lot and talked loudly over both interviewers and guests but as far as I could tell wasn't really saying anything. It seemed to be more of the usual stuff; basically waffling on about the things that the government might like but settling on no definite position.

He said in both interviews that he had "clearly demonstrated our position" but he blatantly hadn't, or if he had I wasn't picking up on it. There seems to be a lot of this sort of thing going on these days, i.e. claiming that definite actions are obviously readable from very vague statements. Is this just an example of the post-truth politics that I read about or have I just had a comprehension failure?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:21 pm

JimBentley wrote:Anyone see Boris Johnson on the Marr show this morning (and then immediately afterwards on the Peston show)? Having watched both I'm still a little bit bewildered as to what points he was trying to convey. He said "taking back control" a lot and talked loudly over both interviewers and guests but as far as I could tell wasn't really saying anything. It seemed to be more of the usual stuff; basically waffling on about the things that the government might like but settling on no definite position.

He said in both interviews that he had "clearly demonstrated our position" but he blatantly hadn't, or if he had I wasn't picking up on it. There seems to be a lot of this sort of thing going on these days, i.e. claiming that definite actions are obviously readable from very vague statements. Is this just an example of the post-truth politics that I read about or have I just had a comprehension failure?
Caught a tiny bit from my hotel room at CO:Birmingham. Sorry not to be more helpful!

Edit - there is this on the BBC news website.
Last edited by Gavin Chipper on Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:30 pm

What do people think of this idea of tougher sentences for causing death by dangerous driving? I think it's a load of nonsense myself, and it's really just to satisfy people's base feelings that these people deserve to be punished more severely. And I don't think that's a good way of setting legislation.

It's certainly not a sensible deterrent anyway. A better deterrent would be to crack down more on those who are found guilty of dangerous driving but don't cause a fatal accident. This would presumably be most people who drive dangerously.

When people drink and drive or otherwise drive dangerously do so, I think they probably don't really consider that what they're doing really is that dangerous, or that they'll probably get away with it - by which I mean not have an accident. I don't think they're thinking "This is fine, because if I crash and kill someone and also survive myself I won't get a very long sentence". For those who seriously consider that they might be involved in a fatal accident (which could kill themselves), I don't think the risk of a higher sentence if they survive would add much deterrent.

If you want to make people stop and think, send a message out to those who would otherwise think they'd got away with it - i.e. those who don't have a serious accident. There's no logical reason anyway for someone to get a greater sentence because they were unlucky that someone died through their dangerous driving. It just comes down to people's revenge impulse.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:25 pm

If mobile phones were automaticaly disabled when the engine is running,that would help.
Also, by your logic anyone who says they are going to murder someone should get a longer sentence than someone who actually carries it out
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:37 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:If mobile phones were automaticaly disabled when the engine is running,that would help.
Quite difficult to reasonable achieve. Would you ban passengers from using them?
Also, by your logic anyone who says they are going to murder someone should get a longer sentence than someone who actually carries it out
No. A more analogous situation would be attempted murder. But in any case, murder is different because you're actually trying to kill someone. So successfully killing someone has no deterrent effect at all, unlike the deterrent that would come with killing someone through dangerous driving.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:35 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:A better deterrent would be to crack down more on those who are found guilty of dangerous driving but don't cause a fatal accident. This would presumably be most people who drive dangerously.
Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but how would this be done? Every day I see people driving in a way that could be considered "dangerous" - e.g. accelerating as fast as possible to 40mph in a 30mph zone when there's pedestrians around, pulling out straight into incoming traffic, overtaking when the view ahead isn't clear, etc. etc. - but unless you have a blanket coverage of traffic police, none of these things can ever be stopped. And if you mean dangerous driving that causes an accident, unless it's a very clear-cut situation (like the recent case of the lorry driver scrolling through music on his mobile phone prior to tail-ending a line of stationary traffic) then it's almost impossible to prove unless there are numerous witnesses or cameras in the vicinity.

I agree that a lot of drivers get away with some very dodgy stuff when they shouldn't (and they can't all be drunk; some people are just shit at driving), but I think your idea would generally be unenforceable. What's more, in the cases where it could conceivably be enforced, it would potentially lead to as many spurious convictions as it would valid ones, given the highly subjective nature of what witnesses would describe as "dangerous driving".

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:15 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:A better deterrent would be to crack down more on those who are found guilty of dangerous driving but don't cause a fatal accident. This would presumably be most people who drive dangerously.
Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but how would this be done? Every day I see people driving in a way that could be considered "dangerous" - e.g. accelerating as fast as possible to 40mph in a 30mph zone when there's pedestrians around, pulling out straight into incoming traffic, overtaking when the view ahead isn't clear, etc. etc. - but unless you have a blanket coverage of traffic police, none of these things can ever be stopped. And if you mean dangerous driving that causes an accident, unless it's a very clear-cut situation (like the recent case of the lorry driver scrolling through music on his mobile phone prior to tail-ending a line of stationary traffic) then it's almost impossible to prove unless there are numerous witnesses or cameras in the vicinity.

I agree that a lot of drivers get away with some very dodgy stuff when they shouldn't (and they can't all be drunk; some people are just shit at driving), but I think your idea would generally be unenforceable. What's more, in the cases where it could conceivably be enforced, it would potentially lead to as many spurious convictions as it would valid ones, given the highly subjective nature of what witnesses would describe as "dangerous driving".
I understand that if there isn't an accident, often there will be no evidence. But I suppose my main point is that dangerous driving is a recognised offence in its own right, and presumably at least some people are convicted of it. And I would say that I don't think people should be treated more harshly because of a worse (unintended) outcome, and arguably it should be the other way round if anything.

I'm also not suggesting that people should all get really long prison sentences for dangerous driving. But I don't think that long prison sentences for causing death by dangerous driving are a good solution either.

Something I find strange is that drinking and driving is treated as a serious offence. It's an automatic ban and a criminal record (I think). But using a mobile phone, including texting, is just a points-on-your-licence affair (unless of course you cause an accident and kill or injure someone of course). Texting while driving seems to me to be at least as dangerous as driving while drunk.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:44 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Something I find strange is that drinking and driving is treated as a serious offence. It's an automatic ban and a criminal record (I think). But using a mobile phone, including texting, is just a points-on-your-licence affair (unless of course you cause an accident and kill or injure someone of course). Texting while driving seems to me to be at least as dangerous as driving while drunk.
Funnily enough this has come up again today: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -sentences

One thing that I do agree with (although it isn't articulated very well in the article, it's a definite subtext) is that until using a mobile phone whilst driving is penalised in a similar way to drink-driving, very little is likely to change.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Heather Styles » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:27 pm

Are all politicians who seem stupid as stupid as they seem?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:52 pm

Heather Styles wrote:
Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:27 pm
Are all politicians who seem stupid as stupid as they seem?
This is impossible to answer unless you give us the names of some politicians that you think "seem stupid", because whilst I disagree profoundly with the views of many (OK, most) politicians, I can't think of one that I would call "stupid". I might think that their views are regressive, or just plain wrong, but this almost always boils down to a difference of opinion.

I think this is where the whole Brexit debate has come unstuck, to be honest. I think that Brexit is a bad idea and can supply arguments as to why I think this, but there are plenty of people who think the opposite and can supply counter-arguments as to why they think I am wrong and all that is fair enough. But the debate now has degenerated into the "Remainers" and the "Brexiteers" (I hate those terms but they're convenient) just calling each other names and it stultifies the whole debate. Plus it seeps into everything. Pretty much every news item these days gets tied into it, there's got to be an angle, however seemingly innocuous the story.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Heather Styles » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:40 am

I deliberately left the question open because I was interested to hear any response before I gave my tuppence-worth.

Like you, I cannot think of any politicians who are really stupid.

I was thinking specifically when asked the question of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. I think they are both anything but stupid, but that they cultivate something of a stupid persona for political gain.

I also agree with you about the degeneration of the EU exit debate. I think I'm partly responsible, as I continued to label myself and allow myself to be labelled a Remainer long after the referendum. 'Remainer' and 'Brexiteer' (and their pejorative equivalents) have often had the effect of stultifying the debate.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Heather Styles » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:04 am

I don't know that journalists are going out of their way to find a Brexit angle on every story. Something so widely and profoundly consequential is always going to be newsworthy, in my view. So I don't think we should stop talking about it, but we should look for new terms of debate.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:37 am

I think that a lot of arguments that politicians use (not just about the EU but generally) are fundamentally stupid arguments (or just dishonest) rather than just a difference of opinion.

That's not to say that I'm saying these politicians are stupid themselves but it seems that the "more important" skill for politicians is a public speaking skill than anything like intelligence or logical thinking - looking like you know what you're talking about (even if it's rubbish) and when you've got no answer the ability to answer a completely different question.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:08 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:37 am
I think that a lot of arguments that politicians use (not just about the EU but generally) are fundamentally stupid arguments (or just dishonest) rather than just a difference of opinion.
This is what I was getting at, but you slightly spoiled it with your bracketed caveat. Of course they're being dishonest, it's a prerequisite of the job, but nonetheless the arguments they put forward aren't fundamentally stupid. The arguments - although you may think that they are misguided or whatever - aren't even necessarily wrong. They're just designed to appeal to somebody who is in a different situation to you and will therefore hold a different opinion.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:02 pm

The last few months has been pretty insane for politics (particularly in the USA), but this manifesto (by a Stoke by-election candidate who has been arrested for it) is probably the most insane thing I've ever read.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:55 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:02 pm
The last few months has been pretty insane for politics (particularly in the USA), but this manifesto (by a Stoke by-election candidate who has been arrested for it) is probably the most insane thing I've ever read.
That's pretty amazing.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:05 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:55 pm
Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:02 pm
The last few months has been pretty insane for politics (particularly in the USA), but this manifesto (by a Stoke by-election candidate who has been arrested for it) is probably the most insane thing I've ever read.
That's pretty amazing.
Not decided what my favourite bit is yet. Probably either the psychiatrists one near the end, or the 'charging Winston Churchill for treason' one. I keep finding new ones to go "Oh wow" about.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Thomas Cappleman » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:58 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:05 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:55 pm
Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:02 pm
The last few months has been pretty insane for politics (particularly in the USA), but this manifesto (by a Stoke by-election candidate who has been arrested for it) is probably the most insane thing I've ever read.
That's pretty amazing.
Not decided what my favourite bit is yet. Probably either the psychiatrists one near the end, or the 'charging Winston Churchill for treason' one. I keep finding new ones to go "Oh wow" about.
I prefer "The Israeli terrorist Karl Marx will be charged with Treason and causing the Paris Revolution and the end of the French Monarchy." for the sheer number of things wrong with the sentence. Also, the non-specificity of "descendants", presumably preventing anyone at all from many jobs.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Mark James » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:27 pm

The best has to be the death penalty for anyone who uses radio signals to kill people. Except of course during warfare. That's only common sense really.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:44 pm

Mark James wrote:
Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:27 pm
The best has to be the death penalty for anyone who uses radio signals to kill people. Except of course during warfare. That's only common sense really.
I assume that includes Heart FM.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:23 am

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:02 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:23 am
Economist columnist suggests making Manchester the administrative capital of the UK. Really interesting piece. Any thoughts?
Yeah, it's not completely insane. It could be an interesting move.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Heather Styles » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:13 am

It seems a decent idea, which makes it almost guaranteed not to happen under this government.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:10 am

With HS2 on the horizon, Birmingham would be a good shout.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Euan Slatter » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:58 am

There were plans a while back to move Parliament to Bristol, so that could be in with a shout...
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:48 am

Will the Tories get a 100 + majority ?
Can't think of a more depressing future
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