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Push my buttons - Grin with cat attached — LiveJournal
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Push my buttons Jul. 10th, 2003 09:59 am
I can't imagine that any politician actually wants my vote, as my inclinations aren't blindly populist enough, but on the off-chance that any of them do, here's some of the major issues that'll help them get it:

Distance the country from the US and move towards Europe.

Ensure the country has the military capability and will both to defend itself in its own right, and make commited and effective contributions to genuine peacekeeping operations.

Stop all new road construction and pour the money into the railways.

Properly enforce speed limits and road law, and reduce limits where appropriate.

Create genuine social and environmental accountability for companies.

Expand the 'polluter pays' basis for taxation.
(Increase road charging, petrol and energy taxes, balanced with energy-efficiency grants).

Turn globalisation in a truly equitable direction, not one for the rich only.
(Write off all third-world debt. And go read Stiglitz.)

Give the UK a genuine constitution to safeguard privacy and rights.

Sort out the mess that's supposed to be our National Health Service.

Abolish the legal status of marriage.

From: nevla
Date: July 10th, 2003 - 02:20 am (Link)
Mind if i comment?:

Distance the country from the US and move towards Europe.
Indeedy

Ensure the country has the military capability and will both to defend itself in its own right, and make commited and effective contributions to genuine peacekeeping operations.
Instead of following the Americans...

Stop all new road construction and pour the money into the railways.
I completely agree. On the radio yesterday they were talking about the proposals to widen some motorways, and other ideas about charging motorists at peak times. For f*cks sake - we already pay quite enough on tax and fuel. If the public transport system actually worked i know i'd use it a hell of a lot more.

Properly enforce speed limits and road law, and reduce limits where appropriate.
Exactly. Yes, if you go really fast you feel like you'll get there quicker. However some motorways are run by complex mathematical models that slow traffic down with those matrix signs above the road? People ignore these and then wonder why they get a massive jam at the other end of the road. Our roads are just not built to cope with the traffic we have.
Look at Germany. Their transport system is awesome, although admittedly they are larger.

Expand the 'polluter pays' basis for taxation.
(Increase road charging, petrol and energy taxes, balanced with energy-efficiency grants).

I'd agree, if there were alternatives that would promote me to be less polluting. I use a car because i have no other convenient way to get to the science park 'cause busses are crap.

Turn globalisation in a truly equitable direction, not one for the rich only.
(Write off all third-world debt. And go read Stiglitz.)

So simple a concept. Why cant people do this...

Give the UK a genuine constitution to safeguard privacy and rights.
Yes please...

Sort out the mess that's supposed to be our National Health Service.
We have one? ;)

Abolish the legal status of marriage.
Hmmm. not sure on this one. will have to ponder...

From: some_fox
Date: July 10th, 2003 - 02:28 am (Link)
What can I say? wechsler for PM :-)
From: some_fox
Date: July 10th, 2003 - 02:32 am (Link)
Btw can I be your education secretary? - I'd really like to sort that mess out.
From: wechsler
Date: July 10th, 2003 - 02:36 am (Link)
Sounds like a great way to start a cabinet scandal ;)

Re:

From: some_fox
Date: July 10th, 2003 - 02:39 am (Link)
Hehe, secretary :-)
Btw I do have a long rant about what I think about the education system, but it's more fun to flirt ;-)
From: kaet
Date: July 10th, 2003 - 03:36 am (Link)
You can tell I'm still awake from the night before because I read it as pour the monkeys into the railways.
From: giolla
Date: July 10th, 2003 - 06:12 am (Link)
Haven't they done that already?

softfruit thinks...

From: softfruit
Date: July 14th, 2003 - 09:41 am (Link)
Distance the country from the US and move towards Europe.
Hell yeh.

Ensure the country has the military capability and will both to defend itself in its own right, and make commited and effective contributions to genuine peacekeeping operations.
Hmmmm. Sorta. Would it be better if we couldn't mount invasions ourselves and needed a coalition of countries to be able to do that sort of thing, so thatjust one head of state couldn't kick off? Obviously extending that to include the USA in being thus somehow restricted.

Stop all new road construction and pour the money into the railways.
Hell yeh. But on condition that the whole profit motive underlying the railways at the mo is removed either through renationalisation or something loosely similar.

Properly enforce speed limits and road law, and reduce limits where appropriate.
I... actually I don't spend enough time on the roads for this to have honestly registered as an issue one way or the other. I'm not going to make up an opinion just for completeness' sake.

Create genuine social and environmental accountability for companies.
That's a bit "motherhood and apple pie" for a law, but concur with the broad idea.

Expand the 'polluter pays' basis for taxation.
(Increase road charging, petrol and energy taxes, balanced with energy-efficiency grants).

*nods* we need to force people out of cars to such a degree that public transport becomes economic and frequent. Oh and let's stop having privatised bus services while we're at it.

Turn globalisation in a truly equitable direction, not one for the rich only. (Write off all third-world debt. And go read Stiglitz.)
Read whut? No, don't tell me I honestly won't get round to it in the next three months. Think this is beyond one nation-state government to truly achieve, though they can at least set their face the right way.

Give the UK a genuine constitution to safeguard privacy and rights.
Naturally.

Sort out the mess that's supposed to be our National Health Service.
Now that really is motherhood and apple pie!

Abolish the legal status of marriage.
Oooooh. Now, how exactly d'ya mean? That there be no recognition of any kind of partnerships at all? Or just that whether you've been to a church for it and happen to have one boy and one girl involved shouldn't be the issue? There don't have to be financial benefits to partnership recognition, my sister married recently as she's notgot long to live and it was the quickest way to ensure inheritance rights, child access, etc. I think her being able to sort all that out in a quick and easy fashion was a good thing.

Re: softfruit thinks...

From: wechsler
Date: July 14th, 2003 - 10:50 am (Link)
Stiglitz: Globalization and its discontents.
I will be plugging this constantly for a few months, so: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/014101038X

"motherhood and apple pie"
I hear that phrase not infrequently, but don't actually know what it means...

More later, possibly.

Re: softfruit thinks...

From: softfruit
Date: July 14th, 2003 - 11:09 am (Link)
motherhood and apple pie - things that practically no-one can claim to be against.

So in the UK practically everyone thinks we should have an NHS but there's debate on how and what that means, what services it should provide, how it should be structured, etc. Just saying you support the NHS is motherhood and apple pie.

Re: softfruit thinks...

From: wechsler
Date: July 14th, 2003 - 11:16 am (Link)
There'll always be someone who's against *anything*. And far more who are either quietly opposed, or merely don't consider it of importance...

From the last Lib Dem manifesto (2001)

From: softfruit
Date: July 14th, 2003 - 10:07 am (Link)
May I recommend http://www.libdems.org.uk/documents/policies/Manifestos/Fed2001.doc

Distance the country from the US and move towards Europe.
There's not much "anti-US" type comment aside from
"- Oppose the National Missile Defence System (NMD). The system currently being proposed by the USA represents a threat to international stability and arms control agreements."

There is quite a lot about closer ties with Europe and giving the whole European system a democratising shake-up however. Too much to reproduce here.

Ensure the country has the military capability and will both to defend itself in its own right, and make commited and effective contributions to genuine peacekeeping operations.
"-Resist further erosion of Britain’s defence capability. We will maintain the current level of spending and resist any further reductions.
-Promote flexibility, mobility, rapid deployment and joint operations as the basis of Britain’s defence policy, to enable the UK to honour Britain’s commitments to the EU, NATO, the Commonwealth and the UN."

Stop all new road construction and pour the money into the railways.
Not a total moratorium on road building but a very clear and defined shift. I'm aware LJ has a posting size limit...

Properly enforce speed limits and road law, and reduce limits where appropriate.
Something like:
"We will work towards a target of at least a 40% reduction in those killed and seriously injured on the roads by 2010. We will implement a National Programme of Home Zones for residential areas, and Quiet Lanes in rural areas. This will reduce vehicle speeds and make communities safer by giving greater priority to pedestrians and cyclists. We will also strengthen the enforcement of weights and safety standards on the road haulage industry."

Create genuine social and environmental accountability for companies.
"An Environmental Responsibility Act will set out reporting requirements and environmental standards for government and businesses, and introduce environmental audits across all government departments and local authorities where this is not already done."

Re: From the last Lib Dem manifesto (2001)

From: softfruit
Date: July 14th, 2003 - 10:07 am (Link)
Expand the 'polluter pays' basis for taxation.
(Increase road charging, petrol and energy taxes, balanced with energy-efficiency grants).

That would include such things as:
"We will work at the European level to ensure that the whole system of aviation fuel taxation is reformed internationally, as part of a longer-term strategy for reducing energy use and pollution through cleaner fuels and more efficient aircraft."
"Planning for Public Transport
Our policies are designed to reduce the need to travel through better use of the planning system, and investment in improving public transport so that people are no longer forced to use their car unnecessarily. We will introduce Regional Transport Plans and strengthen Local Transport Plans to set effective strategies for reducing congestion, pollution and traffic growth."

"Our homes insulation programme, to provide decent levels of home insulation within 15 years by speeding up the current 30-year programme funded by the energy utilities, will also cut fuel bills. This will be achieved through a targeted programme of investment funded by the Energy Savings Trust and the energy supply companies. We will work with colleagues in Europe to agree zero-rating of VAT on all energy conservation materials within the EU. We will cut fuel bills and reduce pollution by requiring all new housing to meet improved energy and water efficiency standards through the use of environmentally friendly building materials and techniques."

Less Road Building
We will reverse plans for new road building in environmentally sensitive areas.

Cleaner and More Efficient Vehicles
We will promote technologies which improve vehicle efficiency and the use of alternative fuel systems such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas, and, in the longer term, biofuels and zero emission vehicles. In addition, we will improve testing of vehicle emissions and strictly enforce freight vehicle weight limits and other safety standards by increasing resources devoted to roadside testing as well as strengthening the MOT test. We will oppose further increases in weight limits for freight vehicles. "

Turn globalisation in a truly equitable direction, not one for the rich only. (Write off all third-world debt. And go read Stiglitz.)
Lots of stuff here, an example being:
"We would press for a global competition authority within the WTO to encourage co-ordination of the anti-monopoly activities of individual nations to tackle the growing concentration of corporate monopoly power more effectively. "

Give the UK a genuine constitution to safeguard privacy and rights.
Honestly, that's such core LD stuff I'm not even going to look for it. Yes of bloody course.

Sort out the mess that's supposed to be our National Health Service.
Just the headline points of this section:
"· Cut waiting times by recruiting 27,500 more nurses, 4,600 more doctors, and 10,250 more professionals allied to medicine.
· Cut waiting times by retaining more staff through increasing pay for the worst paid NHS staff by an average of £1000 each per year.
· Cut waiting times by providing an additional 10,000 beds.
· Keep people healthy by investing in scanning equipment and abolishing charges for dental and eye checks.
· End the scandal of elderly and long-term patients having to pay for long-term personal care costs"

Abolish the legal status of marriage.
Might be where you differ from the party position, which is to disestablish the Church and:
"· Establish a scheme for the civil registration of partnerships. This will give two unrelated adults who wish to register a settled personal relationship legal rights, such as next-of-kin arrangements, which are at present only available to married couples."

Re: From the last Lib Dem manifesto (2001)

From: wechsler
Date: July 14th, 2003 - 12:53 pm (Link)
Well, looks good to me and they'll continue to get my vote; I just hope they can make good use of it.

I *will* try and read through the whole manifesto at some point (I forgot to mention, for example, Immigration issues), but that may have to wait a little - especially if they only use MS-Word format for it :/