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Old 07-22-2002, 02:47 AM   #46
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on topic again,....

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Old 07-22-2002, 04:43 AM   #47
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Originally posted by Anthony
Ayslum seekers also bring economic burdens and detriment in some respects, as previously mentioned. Not to mention the increase of racial and cultural tensions in some areas. I'm not saying its right, I'm saying that it exists and a nation can do without that.

But do you not think the solution to that is to fight racist attitudes, rather than to pander to them by attacking asylum rights in line with the wishes of the far-right? Also, the majority of asylum seekers, despite government forced dispersal programs, remain in the South East of the country and as we saw in the local elections, parties like the BNP have far greater success in Northern towns, so it may not be accurate to link increased numbers of asylum seekers to racism.

I don't think increasing Britain's corporation tax would have necessarily helped. I do think that increasing taxation in certain areas is wise, and NI contributions is one of them. Strictly speaking, it of course contradicts exactly what they said they were going to do at the start of it all, which was that they were not going to incease Income Tax. It would appear that they have in some shape or form. However, its a step in the right direction.

I definitely agree, raising NI was a step in the right direction. However, I think they should have raised contributions for everyone, not disproportionately for those earning less than 30,000 a year. Yes, a 1% tax on earnings over 30,000 is better than none at all, but to have a system where as soon as you reach a certain earnings threshold your rate of taxation decreases is completely the opposite of the progressive taxation the Labour Party should be in favour of.

You keep mentioning Britain sending refugees back to Iraq and Somalia, not to mention Afghanistan - but I have not seen this happen. Can you quote an example? I don't see people being sent back, I see people of all nationalities, mostly Indian, Pakistani and Arab origins forming huge populations in a lot of areas. Though I am not complaining, I am observing that we are not being as discriminating as you may have made out. You say only 2% apply here, well, how many get denied?

I think the current policy is actually that Iraqi and Somali asylum seekers are almost always granted asylum, but recently it's been decided that Afghanistan is "safe" to send people back to. One example is that 9% of Afghan asylum seekers were sent back last year as they were unable to complete required paperwork on entry to the country. (Source: Refugee Council)

It is my belief that Blair won the election because he is a clever man. Oh, he is. He's a great politician and he knew how to get people to listen to him without having to remember the nightmares of past Labour governments. He reassured people that this labour was literally NEW Labour, not the OLD Labour who's foul ups were responsible for the 1970's to be particularly miserable. A lot of people think of Old Labour and see the destruction of capitalism, though true Labour is not for the destruction of such, though some hard-liners (Tony Benn) do believe in such (incidentally, I do agree with most of what Mr. Benn says, I think he's very wise and very strong politically). Blair, in an effort to get the people to like Labour again, gave it a new face. I do think it was out of desperation, it was also out of Blair's cunning to manipulate the mob. I do not think, though, that Labour has changed internally.

Oh Blair's clever, certainly. But do you think Labour would have been elected in 1997 had a less right-wing leader come to power? I agree that Labour's never stood for the abolition of capitalism, it's always been about fighting for change within the current system in the form of better wages, working conditions, welfare benefits, health service etc, rather than wanting the overthrow of capitalism and establishment of socialism. I think different members of the party probably have a variety of opinions on whether those tactics are most effective or not.

As for changes in the internal structure of the party, I think there have been changes all designed to centralise decision making within the party. Cutting the influence of the unions has been important to that, as well as massively decreasing the input ordinary members can have into party policy. Just look at conference now - motions aren't debated, you can only vote yes or no and the motions are written entirely by the leadership with the only "input" being through policy consulatation documents or policy forums where there's no requirement for individual's views to be acknowledged.

Who should replace Blair? Without question, Gordon Brown. He's extremely intelligent and truly believes in economics, rather than politics. However, he is very low on charisma, and does not have the apparent knack for public speaking (not that Blair does, either) - I do NOT know if he would be a worthy primeminister. Personally, I yearn for poor John Smith to come back from the dead, that man was both intelligent AND a great public speaker. As it stands, I would like to see Gordon Brown take over, before Tony Blair does anymore damage.
I'd certainly prefer Brown to Blair (and most of the other possible candidates) but I see what you're saying about his lack of charisma/ability to reach out to people in speeches. Do you think Blair is likely to stand down at anytime soon, or will it be long after the next election?

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