The Purpose of Politics 192

A stark example of the entire purpose of modern politics; careers for the political class. Lib Dems may agree to a referendum on EU membership because it “reflects the thinking of English Lib Dem MPs in seats where they face Eurosceptic pressure”. That is, nothing to do with their beliefs, just trying to save their jobs. Exactly like the Westminster Labour establishment in Scotland.

192 thoughts on “The Purpose of Politics

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  • Rob Taylor

    another example of the self-perpetuating leeches such as the Security Services who are paid by us, the very people in whose interests they wilfully fail to act.

  • Al Onin-Duisburg

    Exactly so, Craig. Like many, I was once a supporter of the Lib Dems, believing that were a credible and balancing force in British politics. Then I woke up from a dream and understood the nightmare.

  • Abe Rene

    The article indicates that the Lib Dems don’t want a referendum on Europe at all, but that as Cameron will resign if he can’t get it, they will demand major political concessions in return for one.

    Which reminds me: last night on TV the extracts from the LibDem conference in Glasgow indicated that they make have taken the concerns in “Harry’s Last Stand” to heart, if not on board.

    So, if any party announce the building of a million Y cubes to solve the problem of unaffordable housing (as Harry said the Labour government did after WWII with the prefab houses of that day) I will vote for them.

  • andrew>reid

    Just further examples of corrupted Westminster – Lib Dem pledge on free university tuition reneged on – Lib Dem long-term support for Europe reneged on through opening the door to brexit – Lib Dem long-term support for UK federalism and home rule for Scotland reneged on through dilutions down to devolution of taxes limited to income tax, leaving Westminster power over 70% of Scottish tax income, and devolution of welfare limited to housing benefit and attendance allowance, leaving Westminster power over 87% of Scottish welfare spending. Main remaining LibDem position – we will renege on any policy and go back on any promise if it means retaining any grasp on power through a coalition.

  • Kempe

    ” Lib Dems may agree to a referendum on EU membership because it “reflects the thinking of English Lib Dem MPs in seats where they face Eurosceptic pressure”. ”

    Is this not representing the views of their constituents? Would anyone expect them to tell the people who voted for them to go and vote UKIP if they want a referendum?

  • OldMark

    ‘Tailoring’ the Lib Dem message to the particularities of the constituency has always been one their strong selling points. What is unusual here is the acknowledgement of this fact by the national party.

    Two examples –
    1. Lib Dem Councillors and MPs in Devon & Cornwall have for more than 2 decades tried to reflect their constituents concerns about the CFP, despite the cringeingly Europhile poses struck by the national leadership.

    2. The Lib Dems took control of Tower Hamlets council between 1986-1994 by voicing the opinion, common to the declining white British demographic there, that the local Labour Party had effectively been captured by the rising Bangladeshi demographic; the national party looked the other way, and continued to accuse other parties of ‘playing the race card’ in similar circumstances in other localities.

    Craig- I hope you are getting over the worst of the ‘flu

  • KingofWelshNoir

    ‘…nothing to do with their beliefs, just trying to save their jobs.’

    Wasn’t it also the case that on the eve of the Iraq War vote in the Commons, the Whips went round the various doubters making plain how their careers would be affected if they voted against the Government? What sort of person when voting for war factors in how it will affect his/her career?

  • seydlitz

    It does not matter which one of the major parties that peaple vote for they will always defend the interests of the capitalist class. The system we live under makes any alternative a impossibility they Already own the political class by buying their support with directorships,money for useless articals in newspapers and magazines,tv appearances and nominal work with some goverment organisations.the cherry on the cake if you have behaved well is the House of Lords or a ice little earner in Brussels.

  • doug scorgie

    7 Oct, 2014 – 9:23 am

    ” Lib Dems may agree to a referendum on EU membership because it “reflects the thinking of English Lib Dem MPs in seats where they face Eurosceptic pressure”. ”

    “Is this not representing the views of their constituents?”

    No Kempe, it is acceding to the demands of a minority.
    Have you read the link supplied by Oddie:?

    “El Paso, a city with a 70% Hispanic majority, has a relatively small Jewish community, estimated at 4,000, amid a population of some 862,000.

    But Jews are well represented on O’Rourke’s donor list, with local businessman Stephen L. Feinberg among the top contributors to his campaign.”

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    Saving their own political jobs is only part of the picture. The private jobs waiting for those who feather their nest with favors to the corporate interest wait in the wings. The Revolving Door should be shuttered.

    Is it possible to reform a system in bits and pieces?

  • Kempe

    ” Have you read the link supplied by Oddie:? ”

    I’m sorry I’d forgotten that the Lib Dems had taken El Paso in the last election and totally missed the relevence of a small vocal Jewish lobby group there to Euroscepticism in the Lib Dems more familiar constituencies closer to home.

    How foolish of me.

  • Republicofscotland

    Very true Craig, the likes of Jim Murphy and Anas Sarwar, weren’t fighting for the union, first and foremost, but for their political careers, and worse still is Jimmy Hood, who openly said at Westminster. He didn’t care if Scottish independence would help forge a better Scotland, he’d still vote no.

    I really hope the Scottish electorate punish Labour.

  • fred

    “Saving their own political jobs is only part of the picture. The private jobs waiting for those who feather their nest with favors to the corporate interest wait in the wings. The Revolving Door should be shuttered.”

    The revolving door is more of a problem in America than Britain Ben. Here career politicians are given safe seats then move on to the House of Lords when they retire.

    Personally I see nothing wrong, in principle, with referendums.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Here career politicians are given safe seats then move on to the House of Lords when they retire.

    Would it were so, Fred. But the UK isn’t innocent at all. The Lords is well-stuffed with corporate donors and ex-donors to government and ex-government parties. The rank and file MP’s don’t get in there very often. I recommend Private Eye if you want to look at the very cosy relationship between front-bench politicians, business and the civil service, and the constant flow of troughers between them. This is just one example of hundreds –

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    Hill isn’t caught in a revolving door. He’s on a merry-go-round.

  • DoNNyDarKo

    Politicians are spoiled for choice as to how many ways there are to enrich themselves while “serving” their constituents,with big business rewarding the most crooked afterwards.If they haven’t caused any problems then there is always the House of Lords where they get a second chance at filling their pockets,expenses and bank accounts, whilst often holding senior positions in Companies.Not so much a revolving door as a perpetual gravy train.
    Why would anyone vote against war and jeapordise all that pig-swill?
    I seriously hope that the LibDems disappear at the next election.They had an historic chance to really make a difference and they bent over at every opportunity showing what we can expect from future coalitions.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Some more:

    When a Committee of MPs conducted an inquiry into lobbying a couple of years ago, it concluded on the issue of the revolving door: “With the rules as loosely and variously interpreted as they are, former Ministers in particular appear to be able to use with impunity the contacts they built up as public servants to further a private interest”.

    This appears to be particularly the case with former health ministers. Here’s a list:

    Tony Newton, now Lord Newton of Braintree, a former Tory health minister in the ‘80s, now a paid adviser to Oasis Healthcare
    Ex-secretary of state for health in the early 90s, Virginia Bottomley is a director of the health insurance, private hospital and care group, BUPA
    Baroness Julia Cumberlege, ex health minister in the 90s, now runs her own a consultancy advising among others, the pharmaceutical industry
    John Bowis, another former Tory health minister, now chair of the Health Advisory Board of pharma giant GSK, and an advisor to lobby firm Hanover
    Tom Sackville, ex-Tory health minister from the ‘90s, today heads up the International Federation of Health Plans, which represents one hundred private health insurance companies. Also chair of the pro-market think tank, 2020health
    Former Labour health secretary Alan Milburn became a paid advisor to a private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital, heavily involved in financing private healthcare firms (Bridgepoint’s subsidiary won a multi-million pound NHS contract six months after he joined)
    Melanie Johnson, ex-public health minister became an advisor to Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
    Patricia Hewitt, another former Labour health secretary took a couple of paid jobs in private healthcare, one with Alliance Boots, another with an investment firm Cinven, which specialises in buy-outs in the healthcare industry
    Lord Warner, former Labour health minister, took up a position with Apax Partners* one of the leading private equity investors in healthcare
    Lord Darzi, another Labour ex-health minister, now an advisor to giant GE Healthcare.

    Pure gold.

    *Founder – ‘Sir’ Ronald Cohen. Fourth largest donor to Labour in 2004. Blair cheerleader. (BZ)

  • Republicofscotland

    Author Naomi Wolf has been accused of being ‘disrespectful’ after suggesting footage of hostages being beheaded by ISIS militants isn’t real.

    The 51-year-old American writer made a series of controversial statements questioning the authenticity of the footage in a number of messages on her Facebook page.

    The initial post in which the feminist activist questions where the terror group are ‘getting all these folks from’ was deleted.

    In another post, she also said that the Obama administration was sending troops to West Africa to confront the Ebola outbreak so they could return with the deadly infection – justifying a military takeover of Africa.

    I’d take my hat of to Naomi Woolf if I had one, for having the courage and conviction to speak out, but she has been lambasted for doing so.

  • Republicofscotland

    The former general counsel and executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party is coming under fire for the novel solutions to the Ebola epidemic he is posting on Twitter.

    The vehemently pro-life Todd Kincannon began by arguing that anyone who contracts Ebola should be summarily executed.

    Words fail me on this one.

  • Republicofscotland

    When he landed in Dallas, Duncan sought medical help at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, only to be sent home that day with useless antibiotics. The doctors and nurses overlooked where Duncan was from and the severity of his case.

    Now, that same hospital is admitting that they had access to crucial information revealing that Duncan was from Liberia. With West Africa suffering under pandemic conditions, why didn’t this indicate any red flags? Why was Duncan sent home so readily? Reportedly, both the nurses and the doctors in the initial visit had access to the fact that Duncan had just arrived from Liberia. Why didn’t they recognize the situation and respond more effectively? Why did they just send him home with antibiotics


    Negligence? or part of a strategic plan, to cause panic?

  • Republicofscotland

    LUNACY! The Lib Dem energy minister switched our biggest power station from coal to wood brought by diesel-guzzling ships from the U.S. The result? It costs us all a fortune and emits MORE pollution

    Already, the power station imports more than one million metric tons of wood pellets from the U.S. Much of this is derived from ancient deciduous trees in North Carolina.
    Three months ago, 60 eminent American scientists wrote to Ed Davey pleading with him to stop ignoring the basic science and pressing on with a policy that was denuding their glorious forests.

    They wrote: ‘Recent advances in science and accounting for pollution from different types of woody biomass have clarified that burning trees to produce electricity actually increases carbon emissions compared with fossil fuels for many decades and contributes to other air pollution problems.


  • Republicofscotland

    It’s a bad time to be a Ukrainian politician.

    The war in the east refuses to end, despite a “ceasefire”. Winter is approaching, and with it all the worries of another “gas-war” with Russia. And with parliamentary elections just weeks away, pre-revolutionary MPs are getting nervous about hanging on to their jobs.

    To make things worse, there is a growing chance of ending up in a wheelie bin.

    Since early September up to a dozen MPs, city councillors and other officials accused of wrong doing have been hauled from their offices by masked gangs in what has become know as the “Trash Bucket Challenge

    We should follow suit and have the “Trash Bucket Challenge” in the UK, I can think of many UK politicians who need slam dunked into a wheelie bin.

  • Ishmael

    Don’t really get it. We are not really part of the EU anyway are we? Is it about if we want to join? Guess not..

    All this focus on Europe is just weird, Surly a referendum on our lock step with the USA would be far more signficant? I want independence from the 51st state.

  • Republicofscotland

    As reported by Al Jazeera, Hillary Clinton now publicly acknowledges her globally isolated role in aiding a terrorist organization in the overthrow of Honduras’s democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, in 2009.

    Demonstrating her unwavering commitment to democracy and respect for the Honduran people, Clinton says she cemented the terrorist takeover by blocking Zelaya’s attempts to return to his elected post.

    The terrorist organization Clinton helped seize power has since carried out mass violence and repression, including forcing down Honduran wages and other such changes desired by Clinton’s corporate backers and associates, who exert force internationally to keep down the costs of foreign labor and resources so they can seize larger percentages of value produced by others.

    Ideal credentials for being the next president of the United States, after all the CIA have been corrupting South America, under one president or another for decades.

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