How the World Sees England

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
This is one of the things oliver is convincing on tea I suggest you concede graciously

OK, I wouldn't pretend to be half as politically clued up as Craner is but I'm still not convinced by all these hypotheticals. I mean:

How can anybody guarantee that a democratic scotland will always been ruled by a party that is in favour of a welfare state?

You can never guarantee anything, of course, but I have to ask why anyone would be against the welfare state. Out of normal people who don't own substantial shares in private healthcare, private prisons and so on. Bear in mind that under a quarter of the eligible electorate voted Tory last year. In Scotland that percentage was significantly smaller still, which would tend to indicate that Scottish voters who are not in the wealth bracket that unambiguously benefits from Tory policy (i.e. nearly all of them) are somewhat less deluded than many people in England about the government's diabolical track record even by their own criteria for success, and the even worse prospects for the next four years.

So rather than try to quantify just how progressive or conservative the average Scottish voter is in comparison to the average English voter, I think it probably makes more sense to consider whether people are going to vote for a party that clearly does not represent their best socioeconomic interests. I bet loads of people who are small-c conservatives - people generally in favour of things like families, the church, private enterprise - are horrified at what's happening to the country. At any rate, you certainly don't have to be a Marxist to be unhappy with what's happening right now (I'm not, and I am.) And given how things are going in Westminster, a lot of Scottish people have weighed up the pros and cons and decided to vote for a party whose raison d'etre is secession from the UK.

And if you define "the UK" as "the collection of regions administered by the laws passed in Westminster", then I'd very much like to vote for a party that wanted England to secede from the UK. The problem there is that the only major English nationalist party is made up of xenophobic cranks and dickheads, and is for the most part to the economic right even of the Tories (despite their occasional attempt to cash in on the zeitgeist of resentment against the super-wealthy with a bit of cheap banker-bashing).

(And that's if you even agree that the welfare state has been eviscerated, which I don't particularly.)

Well all I can say is that you must be fortunate enough not to have had to claim benefits - or attempt to claim benefits - in the last six years, and that no-one you know works in an NHS hospital, that no-one you know is disabled or has a long-term serious illness, that you don't have any young cousins or family friends who've given up on a university education because it would be life-long financial suicide. And so on and so on.

My girlfriend's dad is only alive because he lives in Wales. The chemotherapy drug he takes isn't available on the NHS in England because - sigh - "there just isn't the money". I guess he'd just have had to keep calm and carry on.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
The benefits system has in no way been "eviscerated".

I was unemployed for three months last year, and you know how much I got in benefits? The square root of fuck all. Housing benefit was a non-starter as apparently my girlfriend was meant to pay a grand in rent each month by herself, on a salary at the time of not much over thirty grand. I applied for JSA and literally everything I was told on my first visit was flatly contradicted by what I was told when I went back there, what I was told over the phone or info I found on the DWP website. The entire system is meant to be as off-putting as possible and you're a dupe if you think otherwise. And I had some savings and was able to get a job before I'd eaten into too much of them, so don't think I'm not aware that I'm one of the lucky ones - the way this government is treating disabled people and those with long-term illnesses amounts to mass manslaughter.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
And Luke, where did I say anything that could even vaguely be construed as "globalization doesn't exist"? The discussion's been fairly interesting over the last couple of pages, let's leave the straw-man bollocks out of it.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
this new persona doesnt suit you tea. feels forced.

It's not new, it's just that you're not used to seeing me arguing from a position to the left of someone else here. Or agreeing with droid!
 
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luka

Well-known member
its the newfound aggression i was commenting on tea. nice to see you take up a lefty position.
 

droid

Well-known member
I'm guessing that you know nothing about the UK benefits system, but you have a chance to prove me wrong.

Youd be surprised, its an aspirational model for our version of the Tories.

Youre in the belly of the beast and Im sure you have all sorts of technical arguments regarding the acidity of stomach juices and thickness of intestine walls, but from an external POV the trends are clear.

We have the privatisation of welfare provision, deliberate attempts to block or delay access to benefits, targeting of the disabled, sick and terminally ill and the relentless demonisation of the unemployed.

And then there's the numbers:

Unemployment benefit 94 -2106 as % of GDP

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Family & Children:

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Unemployment as % of total welfare spend:

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Housing as % of total welfare spend:

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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
its the newfound aggression i was commenting on tea. nice to see you take up a lefty position.

I wasn't going for aggression exactly, it's just that I dislike having my position mischaracterized, especially as something as daft as "globalization doesn't exist", which would be a bit like denying the existence of gravity.

But anyway - forward the revolution, comrades!
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Those graphs are impressive, Droid, but not quite as dramatic as they look initially.

Since 2010, the government has continued reducing the JSA personal allowance by pegging the annual increase below previous rates; but there has been no major cuts to the personal allowance. Certainly not eviscerated.

Housing benefit is a mean-tested benefit so, yes, if you live with a partner earning 30 grand you're unlikely to qualify for help with rent. But that's always been the case.

I'm sounding more contentious than I really mean to be; of course there have been cuts to welfare, and these have come in all sorts of crafty and even cruel forms. But it's not being eviscerated, or dismantled: the main body remains quite robust.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Baboon, I'm a supervisor at a Citizens Advice Bureau, before that I was a benefits caseworker. I know the iniquities of the DWP and HMRC inside out; I've written plenty of tribunal submissions challenging inept or cursory capability for work assessments, or pernicious JSA sanctions. I'm not defending any of these sorts of things, although they are defensible in a lot of cases, I'm just questioning the hyperbolic claim that the benefits system has been eviscerated.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
ah ok. Interesting if no doubt often depressing work.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/boy-no-arms-legs-told-7391220?ICID=FB_mirror_main - obviously these type of cases are arising way more often (i.e. more than never) than would be true of system that was working in any way. So whether or not we say that benefits have been eviscerated or not, clearly the emphasis has shifted to denying benefits wherever possible (those leaked jobcentre memos from a few years back), and in this targeting the especially vulnerable. Obviously the existence of food banks also show that the system ain't working, and is ideologically motivated. And workfare blah blah blah

https://www.glassdoor.com/research/studies/europe-fairest-paid-leave-unemployment-benefits/ - the headlines on this are interesting, tho' not read the whole report yet. At least maternity leave is reasonable in the uk.
 
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version

Well-known member
There's a bit in one of Nick Land's early things where he refers to the "loutish hedonism of the English".
 
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