Open Thread

The UK Election

I had decided I was going to ignore the UK election. Like many others, I have been angry at the Labour Party for getting involved with Bush and the Iraq War and have found their policies to be far more conservative than I had liked. I had expected a lot more from British Labour, particularly on the European front. But what are they offering? No entry to the Euro. No entry to Schengen (borderless Europe). I see Europe as a major part of the many ways to world peace. Britain under Labour wasn’t leading.

But what was the alternative? A return to Thatcherism under the Conservative Tory Party. In other words, a lose/lose situation.

Then bingo! Out of nowhere come the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg grabbed world headlines for his party as a result of a very good showing in the first of three debates, and polls now show that the Labour Party may be forced into a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. They have lost a little bit of momentum since the first debate, but there is still a good chance they could form a coalition with Labour.

The mainstream media, led by arch villain Rupert Murdoch, went berserk! Throwing all sorts of bullshit at the Liberal Democrats. Most of it was contrived. So much so that most of the general public didn’t buy it. May be Britain does have a real alternative to the two parties controlled by the establishment. I don’t know. But I would certainly love the chance to find out.

Nick Clegg is also very big on Europe. On that point alone Nick has won me. Nick has also said Brown must go, as part of the coalition deal. Two out of two ain’t bad.

Latest Guardian Poll.
Nick Clegg in Wikipedia.

1,360 replies on “The UK Election”

(I should clarify my ‘government doing it’ comment: the government redistributing income from companies to workers is socialism; the government doing any old thing is not socialism, of course.)

DG, i think they called governments mandating that businesses give money to their workers the abolition of slavery. πŸ˜‰

Democrats Will Spend Big to Get Out the Vote
“As political gambles go, it’s a big and risky one: $50 million to test the proposition that the Democratic Party’s outreach to new voters that helped make Barack Obama president can work in an election where his name is not on the ballot,” the Washington Post reports.

“The standard rule of midterm elections is that only the most reliable voters show up at the polls, so both parties have traditionally focused on the unglamorous and conventional work that turns out their bases. But this year, the Democrats are doubling down on registering and motivating newer voters — especially the 15 million heavily minority and young, who made it to the polls for the first time in the last presidential election.”

Said Rep. Chris Van Hollen: “It’s a great experiment to see whether we can bring out voters whose only previous vote was in 2008.”

For my 2 cents worth, I think it is a socialist measure to mandate the putting aside of super for workers. Libertarians hate it – people should be left to fend for themselves. But I don’t think the proposed 3% increase over a period of 10 years is high on the socialist measurement scale. Most people I know will bear the cost of the increased super – ie payrises will be adjusted to take into account the additional super contribution. In fact, no employer of mine has ever borne the cost of my super – not even when compulsory super was introduced. Of course, there is administration involved, but employees were making voluntary contributions to super via payroll before compulsory super.
As for low paid workers who aren’t the benficiaries of regular adjustments to their pay – I think a 3% increase in remuneration over 10 years is miniscule, and complaints about the cost deserve derision.


The thing is, while a 3 per cent increase is small, over a working life it adds up, especially when it is invested. As an example, someone who is 35 on $30,000 a year who invests their super at an average rate of return of five per cent per annum will on retirement at 65 have an extra $60,000 (assuming that their wages remain fixed at $30,000 over that period, which is an okay assumption as it enables us to ignore inflation effects on the final figure).

Someone who is 45 would have an extra $30,000.

Someone who is 25 would have an extra $110,000.

This is a fantastic investment in Australia’s future.

And this forced saving is not usually something that they would have chosen to do. That $900 a year would likely be spent on nothing much at all, which is where quite a bit of our money goes (well, mine at any rate). So it is very different than a normal pay rise. A 3 per cent rise in super is worth to the individual and to the nation a lot more than a 3 per cent rise in wages.

For comparison, the age pension for a single person is $16,749.20

A person can earn $142 per fortnight before their pension is reduced. They will still get some pension up to an income of $40,000 per year.

Investing the $240,000 at five per cent will provide $12,000 per year. Under the rules, the person will still recieve most of their pension, so will get about $24,000 per year.

Thus 3 per cent increase in super is therefore worth more than $1,500 a year, or around a 10 per cent increase in the pension. Pretty good value, I think, especially when there is an asset behind it.

Big fan of super here, you may have guessed. πŸ˜‰

You’re preaching to the converted David. I agree with your comments. My rant was mote levied at critics of the measure.

As someone who finds it hard to defer gratification, compulsory super will probably save me from being a bag lady someday. πŸ˜›

Lets see. What else can the Republicans do to get the Latino voters offside.

Nebraska Immigration Law Passes: Special Election Held In Fremont To Ban Hiring Or Renting Property To Illegal Immigrants.
The eastern Nebraska city of Fremont will likely join Arizona at the center of the national debate about immigration regulations after voters approved a ban on hiring or renting property to illegal immigrants, but an expected court challenge could keep the measure from ever taking effect.

The American Civil Liberties Union already has promised to file a lawsuit to block enforcement of the proposal roughly 57 percent of Fremont voters supported Monday.

“In a community of 25,000, it’s going to be hard to take on the whole country, and it will be costly to do so,” said Fremont City Councilman Scott Getzschman, who opposed the measure but said city leaders would support the results.

more here….

Firstdog doesn’t step carefully around Julia.
He positively howls at the moon and drools.
It’s just as well he’s kept on a firm leash by Mrs Onthemoon. πŸ˜†

Poor old Goppers, no good having a shit sandwich if you hate bread.

Economists credit the bailout with staving off deeper economic turmoil. Banks have paid back much of the money – plus interest. And GOP lawmakers were being loyal Republicans in following the wishes of their president.

Yet some GOP primary voters seem to be ignoring all that in what’s shaping up to be an anti-establishment election year. Republican and Democratic pollsters alike say that when it comes to the bailout vote, people seem to see Washington and Wall Street in the same light – conspiring against taxpayers.

That’s especially problematic for Republican lawmakers who face an electorate dominated by fiscal conservatives and tea party faithful. Thus, in dozens of House, Senate and gubernatorial races, Republican lawmakers are struggling to explain their support for a bailout that to many symbolizes government overreach.

Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Joe Barton, Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin. The boogie men that the Democrats can use against the Republicans in November. Will there be more members in this illustrious brigade?

Rule number 1 in psephology. When a party has been a disaster. The opposite party dominates for some time.


In North Carolina Elaine Marshall has just been declared win of the Democratic senate primary. She defeated the establishment back Cal Cunningham and had the endorsement of several grassroots progressive organizations. Marshall will take on incumbent Richard Burr in the general. Burr is the most vulnerable, if not the only potentially vulnerable, incumbent Republican senator right now.

The third liberal to get up. Kentucky, Pennsylvania and now North Carolina. All well within the grasp of the Democrats.

Strom Thurmond would be turning in his grave. An Indian American for governor and an African American beats his son!

Hmm. I said that a little incorrectly. The African American was elected over Strom Thurmonds son.

Rove Group Falls Far Short of Goal.

A new 527 group conceived by Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie “and launched this year with predictions that it would raise $52 million to support Republican candidates has thus far failed to live up to the fundraising hype,” Politico reports.

In fact, the group, raised only $200 last month “bringing its total raised since launching in March to a little more than $1.25 million.”

The Fin Review reports Bill Clinton is coming here for a speaking tour in November. He’s visiting Brisbane and Sydney from November 12-14. Looks like there’s some expensive dinners and the like, but hopefully he will do something that the general public can rock up to without extending the mortgage. I’d certainly love to hear him speak.

Strom Thurmond would be turning in his grave. An Indian American for governor and an African American beats his son!

Seeing as it is Strom Thurmond that we’re talking about, it could have been his black son beating his white son. πŸ˜‰

June 23:

June 23:

Gulf of Cheney update and options:

June 22:
Meet our new Team Leader, Flip McKrystal! Way to go, Flip.


Ticsters, Uncle Ecky is clawing his way back in his epic struggle(what else?) with the futbol bagmen and is now in front on The Event. Like wot paddy sed I had ta do. T’anks, coach. πŸ™‚
Got three winners (you little bloody beauty!) from four starts last night, the sweetest was on the Urus to win at $4.70.

Gaffy, I hear what you say re your objections to the onfield game and agree there is need for major “reform”. It’s the human beings on the pitch and sidelines that make the event so compelling pour moi.
If ever there is a metaphor for life, the World Cup is it.

Will mull the stats and glom the reports befor getting back with tonight’s selections.


Herr Dokter has gone missing from over the fence….and apparently it is his boss Feeney and Shorten who have brought on a leadership spill.

Heads could well explode over the fence in the next few hours and days.

The nation is not worthy of Herr Doktor as PM. Nor is it ready. The Lodge will need to be re-constructed into a Bavarian castle before His Psephness could possibly consider.


Tonite the Slovenians are good value at $9.20 (with a stake of one Oxford scholar) to toss the Poms out of the tournament. The Dartsters are under bathyspheric pressure to progress to the next round. Rooney has character issues. Team implosian is a possibility.

The other matches are likely to go to the favourites: Seps $1.92 to beat Algies, Serbs $1.95 to beat OziBoyz (hope I’m wrong) and Krauts $1.55 to bring home the brutwurst against Ghana.

An interesting sociological consequence of the Seps getting to the final 16 or possibly beyond is that for the first time, an awful lot of American kiddies will want to be Donovan and Dempsy and co. and commit to the World Game with passion and great numbers.

The youngsters will have to consult an atlas to find out where their nation’s opponents are from, thereby diluting their Seppo-centricity. Not such a bad thing upon reflection. πŸ™‚

I believe the term is Schadenfreude. πŸ˜†
It appears there’s a caucus meeting tomorrow at 9.00am
I’m still not sure how I feel about it all.
Interesting times.

ROTFLMAO From J.Green’s twitter feed.

apparently KRudd has everyone in the bunker. Pointing to the map. Asks Gillard loyalists to leave. All but a handful/ His hand is shaking

What a peculiar beast the ALP is.

The Right have en masse turned on Rudd and backed the fiiery leftie (or maybe ex leftie lol).

The Lefties Albanese and Tanner have stood fast with Conservative Kev.

Career and Power rules in the ALP.

Sorry, I posted this over at LP by mistake πŸ™

I loved KR for defeating Howard. However, he has been a nightmare to work with or for, according to my sources. He has been seen by some as a total control freak who has little respect for others because (they allege) he has a β€œI’m the smartest person in the room complex” (they said the same thing of that political wannabe Peter Costello, too); what one makes of such bitchiness in a bitchy town…

That said, apparently Julia G has impressed all in the PS, according to those who know such things; apparently people like working for her.

She’ll flog Abbot and be a great PM.

As a 63ish male baby boomer, I think it’s fantastic that from tomorrow Australia will have a long-term, exceptionally competent PM who happens to be a woman.

There’s a small window opening for the country. After all these years, we will be finally free of religious leadership.
Praise the Goddess and pass the ammunition. πŸ˜†

In the ball park with Cardster. So me too!! πŸ™‚
Now if the Socceroos can pull off a miracle and Germany goes down in flames tonight….I can die happy. :mrgreen:

Rudd couldn’t restain his bile bubbling within at the press conference. His feigned bonhomie told us all we need to know.

Tomorrow, we will have our first woman PM. History is being made here, gang. Go Julia!

Who knows, we might even get a special guest appearance from Momma Cat. πŸ™‚

No doubt Julia will be dropping the net filter, yes? Data retention policy gone?

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