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Old 07-21-2002, 01:12 PM   #41
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"I don't agree - there aren't "simply too many" asylum seekers."

Well there are definately 'too many' people within Britain. Period. Population definately exceeds space, not to mention economic resources.

"Less than 2% of the world's refugees seek asylum in Britain - the vast majority will remain in countries bordering the ones they are fleeing from. Last year there was an 11% fall in asylum applications compared to 2000 and Britain ranks TWELFTH out of all EU countries in the number of asylum applications relative to population. Last year approximately 70,000 people applied for asylum in Britain, compared to the six million refugees in the Middle East and 3.3 million in Africa. Contrary to what Blunkett would have us believe, we're certainly not being "swamped" by asylum seekers."

I don't know where you get your figures, I wouldn't mind actually having a link attached to that information, because nothing you say can convince me otherwise that we are definately taking in more refugees than France, not to mention Germany, who's 'Gasterbeiter' years have been over and done with for quite some time. If you want to talk about really exclusive countries, let's talk about France and Germany. I never said we were 'swamped', but I do believe we are taking too many people from too many countries. ONE person from a country that does NOT allow British citizens to live there is one person to many. Its a question of principle; how do you like the fact that Britain has to take in everyone who comes knocking at the door, whereas the British can't do the same to the country from which they came from? It isn't fair. Especially when we have problems with the NHS that ARE due to the Conservatives.


"The NHS isn't underfunded because of asylum seekers, it's underfunded because of years of Tory underinvestment which for their first five years in office, this government did far too little to correct.

Asylum seekers can't even claim social security benefits - the only help available to them is £37 per week - that's 30% below income support provided to British citizens (and remember income support is supposed to keep people just above the poverty line). Do you really think asylum seekers make long and dangerous journeys in order to claim their £37 a week from the British government?"

I believe it is underfunded because we live in a country that has a lot of people with big fat mouths and ignorant minds. Gordon Brown (whom I really think you can't accuse of thinking right-wing) is the first chancellor in almost a century to link better service with tax increase. His radical budget with increasing NI contributions was a wonderful goal for Social Economics, not to mention left-wing policies. My only consolation to you is that Brown is leading the economics of the party, not Blair, he is the man who IS in control, and that is an encouraging thought. Finally, someone has had enough sense to tell the public that the only way they're going to get any improvements (and gradual, mind you) is by paying for it.


"People don't come to this country because we're a "soft-touch" for asylum seekers - they come because the situation in their home country is so horrific that they fear for their lives. You can see this if you just look at where the majority of asylum applications come from - currently it's Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka, all countries which currently are very unstable and where human rights abuses occur frequently. A few years ago, during the events in the former Yugoslavia, most asylum seekers in the UK came from that area, because the situation there was so dangerous for them. People don't choose to leave their family, their home, everything that's familiar to them, make dangerous journeys and suffer humiliating treatment at the hands of the British authorities unless the situation in their own country is so bad that they can't remain there."

Oh, I know they don't leave their homes because they don't like the weather, you're misunderstanding me. Before we proceed, let me just say that my grandfather was a refugee himself; he was a political refugee escaping Franco Spain after he lost most of his family fighting against it. I DO know how it is and I DO sympathise. My point is why should BRITAIN have to take everyone in. I don't see everybody flocking to France and Germany, as I have mentioned before, because their laws are stricter and have a very very different outlook on refugees. Laws and regulations which would almost look rascist under some categories. It would be good to mention Le Pen, not in order to damn every French person by calling them rascist, but by pointing out that a significant increase (and I don't just mean three seats in Parliament) took a lot of people by surprise. An increase so signficant that frightened people into protesting out on the street, because they actually thought it would be possible that Le Pen could get in. Everybody in Britain, however, knew that the BNP didn't stand a chance. If anyone is in danger of right-wing policies and rascist attitudes, it is not Britain.

I do however, like your views on why the Left-wing Parties are growing weaker, however, as a Socialist myself, I can appreciate that some aspects of Socialism remain. The fact is, I do NOT think that New Labour and the Conservatives are indistinguishable. New Labour talks about the reform of NHS, the Conservatives talk about complete privatisation of it. New Labour talks about the potential involvement with Europe and the Euro, the Conservatives maintain a return to 'Thatcher' economics and politics - the USA is the way. New Labour talks about negotiation with the Unions, the Conservatives talk about the abolishment of freedoms for industrial action for certain individuals.

However, I agree that New Labour is a waste. Its Blair denying the political evolution of the Labour party, its him confusing the political orientation of the Party. At the moment, New Labour is wondering whether it is indeed Labour, or whether it should come out of the political closet as Old Conservatives. His weak leadership is not needed, and he will, ironically, be Labour's downfall in the next election.

Hopefully, we will get it right next time.

Ant.
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Old 07-21-2002, 02:59 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony
Well there are definately 'too many' people within Britain. Period. Population definately exceeds space, not to mention economic resources.


More people leave this country every year than enter it. Even if that wasn't true - this country is far from over-populated, just compare population density in this country to that of other European countries if you think there isn't enough space for the population.

Asylum seekers bring economic benefits to the country. For example, asylum seekers are often highly skilled, because when there is conflict or instability in a country, they are most likely to have the resources to escape.

Quote:
I don't know where you get your figures, I wouldn't mind actually having a link attached to that information, because nothing you say can convince me otherwise that we are definately taking in more refugees than France, not to mention Germany, who's 'Gasterbeiter' years have been over and done with for quite some time.


It's from the Refugee Council.

Quote:
I never said we were 'swamped', but I do believe we are taking too many people from too many countries. ONE person from a country that does NOT allow British citizens to live there is one person to many. Its a question of principle; how do you like the fact that Britain has to take in everyone who comes knocking at the door, whereas the British can't do the same to the country from which they came from? It isn't fair. Especially when we have problems with the NHS that ARE due to the Conservatives.
A question of principle? If this government was based on the "democratic socialist" principles of the Labour Party it would have done a lot more to fix the problems with the NHS, and not through increasing NI for people earning under £30,000 annually, but, for example, through increasing Britain's corporation tax to the European average, instead of cutting it further as they have done.

In any case, it's hardly a principled decision to send families back to an Afghanistan which is still being bombed by the United States. I don't see British citizens queuing up to live there, or in Iraq, Somalia, or any other country which British refugees come from. If asylum policy is to be based on principles, it should be based on the principles enshrined in the Geneva Convention on Refugees which state that anyone has the right to travel to the UK and seek asylum here and remain until a decision is made.

Imagine if you found that your life was in danger in the UK, what would you want other countries policy towards you to be? Would you want them to lock you up in a detention centre? Would you like to be sent to an unfamiliar area where you had no access to people who spoke your language and no access to legal advice? Would you want to live on just £37 a week?

Quote:
My point is why should BRITAIN have to take everyone in. I don't see everybody flocking to France and Germany, as I have mentioned before, because their laws are stricter and have a very very different outlook on refugees.


But as I said in my last post, we're not taking everyone in. Less than 2% of refugees even seek asylum here.

Quote:
Everybody in Britain, however, knew that the BNP didn't stand a chance. If anyone is in danger of right-wing policies and rascist attitudes, it is not Britain.


Well, the BNP did win three council seats in Burnley. Fortunately two of them are due for re-election in May so hopefully with a strong anti-racist campaign they'll be defeated. I don't think it's true to say that everyone knew the BNP didn't stand a chance, they were expected to win several seats in Oldham and it's only due to the hugely successful campaign against them that they were defeated there.

Quote:
The fact is, I do NOT think that New Labour and the Conservatives are indistinguishable. New Labour talks about the reform of NHS, the Conservatives talk about complete privatisation of it. New Labour talks about the potential involvement with Europe and the Euro, the Conservatives maintain a return to 'Thatcher' economics and politics - the USA is the way. New Labour talks about negotiation with the Unions, the Conservatives talk about the abolishment of freedoms for industrial action for certain individuals.


I completely agree with you - New Labour aren't the same as the Tories, sorry if I gave the impression that I believe that. I think they've moved to the right a lot, but there's just no comparison with the party that gave us Margaret "there's no such thing as society" Thatcher. Besides the structure of the party, particularly the link to the unions is completely different to that of the Tories. I would be concerned if that link ended though, as the IPPR seem to think it should.

Quote:
However, I agree that New Labour is a waste. Its Blair denying the political evolution of the Labour party, its him confusing the political orientation of the Party. At the moment, New Labour is wondering whether it is indeed Labour, or whether it should come out of the political closet as Old Conservatives. His weak leadership is not needed, and he will, ironically, be Labour's downfall in the next election.
Why do you think Blair won the leadership then? Was it just desparation at being out of power for so many years that led the membership to believe they had to move to the right in order to be elected?

I'm not sure that Labour will lose the next election though. The Tories are so discredited that it's hard to envisage them as serious opposition. They've lost credibility with the average voter with their complete lack of policy on any meaningful issue, they've lost credibility with business because of their anti-Euro sentiments, it seems the only people who still have any respect for the Tory party is the Tory press.

And if Blair does go, who do you think is going to replace him? Seems that most people expect it to be Brown, but the suggestion it could be Blunkett is, frankly pretty terrifying.
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Old 07-21-2002, 04:49 PM   #43
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Re: Re: Re: learning is brain food

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What sources do you regularly read?

Quite frankly, I'm unimpressed with the media watchdog groups and independent media outlets I've stumbled across. Bernard Goldberg thinks the mainstream media is too liberal, while FAIR thinks the mainstream media is too conservative. Go figure.

Instead of reading media sources that claim to be the last bastion of unbiased reporting, I think it's best to check out a wide variety of opinions.

I listed some websites in a previous post within this thread. And I think I also made it clear that I do check out a wide variety of opinions. It's nearly impossible to avoid the mainstream conservative and liberal opinions--they're everywhere, in your face. But it's the independents that I seek out to balance the rest and it's those that seem to me the most credible sources of information though they are obviously not perfect.
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Old 07-21-2002, 05:38 PM   #44
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"Asylum seekers bring economic benefits to the country. For example, asylum seekers are often highly skilled, because when there is conflict or instability in a country, they are most likely to have the resources to escape."

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.


"A question of principle? If this government was based on the "democratic socialist" principles of the Labour Party it would have done a lot more to fix the problems with the NHS, and not through increasing NI for people earning under £30,000 annually, but, for example, through increasing Britain's corporation tax to the European average, instead of cutting it further as they have done. "

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.

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?

As for the campaign in Burnley, needless to say that that was only Burnley - not the entirety of a country, as seen in France's case. You had people everywhere protesting and parading their beliefs passionately. Here, a campaign that was thought of as unecessary by probably the rest of the country had limited coverage on our own News channel.

I know you didn't think that the tories were the same as New Labour, but I read someone else's post and I thought I may as well respond to them too. Sorry if you thought I was pin-pointing you.

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.

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.

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Old 07-21-2002, 08:14 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
You might like to have a look at this article about far-right politics in France, Bubba. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Ar...465333,00.html

A lot of anti-semitism does come from the far-right in politics, and is often linked to those who hold racist views about Black people also.

I'm curious about where you think the BBC has misreported events in Israel and Palestine. I'm not saying you're right or wrong, just wondered what examples of misreporting you're referring to?
I wonder why you didn't respond in any way to the article I posted documenting the racism from those OPPOSED to the far right. Again, I qoute:

Quote:
The first attacks included firebombings of synagogues in Paris, Villepinte, Creil, Lyons, Ulis (badly damaged), and Trappes (burned to the ground), and other Jewish buildings (high schools, kosher restaurants) throughout France; desecrations of synagogues and cemeteries; widespread stonings of Jews leaving Sabbath worship, death threats, bomb threats, and Nazi and Islamist graffiti of every description: swastikas, "Hitler was right," "F-- Your Mother, Jews" (Nique ta mere les juifs--a slogan so commonplace that it now appears more usually as NTM les juifs), "Death to the Jews," and "In Paris as in Gaza--Intifada!"
Really, would the far right scrawl Islamist graffiti?

Since you asked, here is a very lengthy article detailing the bias of the European press. The details are in the article, but I'd like to preface it with two quotes:

Quote:
(The Spectator in London) is owned by Conrad Black, one of the few prominent non-Jews in the West to have openly denounced media coverage of Israel. "The BBC, Independent, Guardian, Evening Standard, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are rabidly anti-Israel," Black had written in The Spectator a few weeks earlier, "and wittingly or not, are stoking the inferno of anti-Semitism."
Quote:
The systematic building up of a false picture of Israel as aggressor, and deliberate killer of babies and children, is helping to slowly chip away at Israel's legitimacy. How can ordinary people elsewhere not end up hating such a country? And, contrary to the perceptions of some, Israel is not a big, tough major power that can withstand such international antagonism indefinitely. As the Jews have learnt only too well, acts of wholesale destruction and ultimately genocide did not just spring forth in a vacuum; they were the product of a climate. In this affair, the international media is not an innocent bystander.
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Old 07-22-2002, 03:47 AM   #46
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on topic again,....

I like this website,...

www.newdream.org
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Old 07-22-2002, 05:43 AM   #47
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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)


Quote:
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.

Quote:
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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