General Election 2015

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Bbmad, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Just finished watching Question Time this evening. Very disappointed that none of the politicians represented have an opinion on the thing most close to my heart, brass banding.
    So does anyone know which of the parties care the most for the arts and music?
  2. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    There is an all party parliamentary group to discuss and campaign on the issues affecting the future of brass bands in the UK(

    There is a question as to whether Brass Bands get enough support relative to other(?) parts of the Arts, however relative to Art Galeries, TV/Film and Theatre Brass Bands are commercially small so whilst (BB's are) not without their own importance political focus might well be inappropriate - imho political focus on tmp is a bad idea too.
  3. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    I'm standing in the General Election this year. Unlikely to be elected (safe Tory seat) but if I do its something I'm going to raise regularly.....
  4. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    If they're not talking about it before the election you can bet they won't be talking about it after. And probably, even if they are talking about it before, that's no guarantee they'll live up to their election promises. I'm not apathetic, but can understand why some people are!!
  5. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    This sounds a bit like the words of someone who doesn't like free speech and debate to me, imho.
    Good for you!
    Well they aren't talking about it are they? And by 'it' I mean the arts and music in general. And what of it? Maybe the economy, immigration the NHS and such like are more important. Well not to me, Brass Banding, is far more important to me than the humdrum of such issues and I suspect this the same for many more. So why no mention of arts and music in this campaign? Are our politicians, as I suspect, a bunch of philistines?
  6. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    No, they are a bunch of elitists who think that the Arts are wasted on the ordinary working class people of this country, who should be working themselves to death to line their "leaders'" already bulging pockets instead of listening to and creating music, painting, sculpture and novels etc.
  7. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Dave Spart lives!
  8. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    They all live in the Westminster Bubble and allow us to vote for their policies rather than the ones we would like to see put in place. Now if we had proportional representation at Westminster and, like the Swiss, referendums on many issues I think we'd have better goverance and a happier population.
  9. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Seems like a good idea to me. In this day and age we could just sit at our computers and vote on every bill ourselves, rather relying on the parliamentary whip system.
    But how many issues would be too many?
  10. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Perhaps I can be a bit more constructive than my last post by summarising the main points of an article by Richard Morrison in today's Times. He read the manifestos of all the main parties and discovered the following:

    There is only one firm promise - the Green Party pledge to increase government arts funding by a "jaw-dropping" £500 million per year. Although as this is the party that also promised that it would build 500,000 new homes at a cost of £2.7 billion (equating to a cost per home of £5,400), I wouldn't put my house on that pledge - even if it were worth only £5,400.

    The Lib-Dems contribution on the arts, according to Morrison, is "200 words of mind-numbing platitudes, entirely bereft of detail or new initiatives".

    UKIP pledge to regenerate British seaside resorts (so presumably bandstands as well), but reject multicultural projects, leading to Morrison drawing parallels with other monoculturalists such as Hitler and Stalin.

    The Conservatives offer "by far the most detailed plan" according to Morrison, including the development of the Simon Rattle-inspired new concert hall in London, and vague promises to apply tax relief for orchestras, a pledge which appeared in the budget and was subsequently amended to include groups such as brass bands.

    Labour "guarantees a universal entitlement to a creative education"; Morrison points out that they did little to promote music or arts in schools during their last 13 year stint in government.

    Morrison also mentions a recent meeting of the Creative Industries Federation, which invited culture spokespersons from the main parties to speak. They were asked to name the last creative thing they had done. The Conservative minister reeled off a list of shows he had been to, which is hardly creative; the Lib-Dem and UKIP spokesmen said they had no creative talent at all; and Harriet Harperson for Labour said that for her it was "implementing Labour's universal entitlement to a creative education". As Morrison says of Harperson's answer, "if one needed evidence that today's political classes have almost no intellectual hinterland or cultural interests outside the Westminster fishbowl, this was it".

    By contrast, the Green Party spokesman was relatively normal, as he plays in a pub band in his spare time.

    Was any of that helpful to you as you prepare to make your choice? No, I thought not.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  11. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    An entertaining summary, thanks for sharing.

    This is great news, but I suspect that the entire budget would be spent on opening a Unicorn sanctuary in line with their other fairy tale policies.
    Godwins Law Alert
    Reminds me of an episode of Yes Minister.
    Seems to chime nicely with Mike Lyons and 2T's thoughts.
    Our politicians are incredibly creative, answering that question should be very easy for them.

  12. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    It seems very likely that after the election, we will have a parliament which, although elected by the first-past-the-post method, will very much resemble one elected by proportional representation. So your theory that PR leads to better governance and a happier population may be put to the test earlier than you were expecting! I myself have grave doubts.....
  13. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    Hmm. He seems to have a different Green Party manifesto to the one I'm looking at, which budgets for an increase in the social housing budget from £1.5bn to £6bn per year, so that brings the cost per home to something closer to £50k. That's the cost, remember, not market value. It's also a proposal to provide 500,000 new homes, not necessarily build them - it includes the proposal to use Empty Property Orders to bring some of the existing 700,000 empty homes back into use.
  14. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    As I understand it the Germans have some form of PR and coalition goverment and, to my limited vision, it seems to work really very well for them - they would be possibly even better off now if they'd retained the Mark rather than being weighed down by the Euro. The first past the post system can lead to a Parliament focused on one set of political dogma that does not represent the views of the bulk of the electorate. In contrast coalition government can force our political leaders to be more inclusive of the ideas of others outside their own inner circle. For some reason the two largest political parties don't like the thought of anyone but them, and their inner circle, running our country.
  15. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I was being a bit unfair - the comment about the housing was not made by Mr Morrison, it was what the Green Party leader said in that dreadful radio interview with Nick Ferrari a couple of months ago, leading Ferrari to ask the question "what are they made out of? Plywood?"
  16. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    On the other hand, the USA doesn't have PR, and that seems to work really well for them. So, horses for courses really.

    We in the UK had a referendum on adopting PR in 2011 and we rejected it.

    On the contrary, Germany, as a major exporter, has reaped huge benefits from a weak Euro. It's not been so sunny for others in the Euro though....
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  17. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    We had a referendum on the AV system, something of a watered-down PR which didn't really appeal to anyone.

    A supporting argument for FPTP is that it creates strong majority-led governments. Having had five years of coalition and almost certainly no majority this time around as we increasingly do not have a two-party system, FPTP is totally unfit for purpose.
  18. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    As i remember we had a referendum on a mangled system dressed up as PR
  19. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Has that been demonstrated by the coalition government that we have had for the last 5 years?
  20. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    That's a difficult question to answer in that party politics will skew the perspective of many readers and hence they have firm positions on the last Parliament which might not be fully objective. Putting party politcs to one side what I saw of the Conservative and Liberal Democrate parties was two groups who found common ground sufficient to run the country for five years when many people didn't expect them to last five weeks. Our economy seems to be doing well compared to other EU countries so (putting party politics to one side) the coalition must have worked well enough for them to manage the country broadly well enough between them.

    I firmly believe that the first past the post system is not fit enough for purpose and that the Labour and Conservative parties made certain that the vote to change the system failed as the proposed change would have been disadvantagoues to them.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015

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