Ye Old English Blood!Posted 4 years Ago

At 7/13/2015 4:42:17 PM, Ajabi wrote:
At 7/13/2015 6:37:50 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 7/13/2015 12:47:31 AM, Ajabi wrote:
I'm going to Oxford University for a 2 weeks preparatory course of Mathematics for the MAT entrance exam in November.

Woop that's my uni! Which college are you applying to?

Merton.
Right now I'll be in Lady Margaret, lets see if we can meet? I'll be there from the 25th of July.

Unfortunately I've already gone back to London, because our term ended a couple of weeks ago.

Both are nice colleges, though LMH is a bit of a building site at the moment. You've set yourself quite a challenge applying to Merton though!
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Ye Old English Blood!Posted 4 years Ago

At 7/13/2015 12:47:31 AM, Ajabi wrote:
I'm going to Oxford University for a 2 weeks preparatory course of Mathematics for the MAT entrance exam in November.

Woop that's my uni! Which college are you applying to?
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Please vote Lib Dem in Uk elections.Posted 4 years Ago

At 5/6/2015 7:44:10 PM, 8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA wrote:
At 5/6/2015 5:06:21 PM, feverish wrote:
I can't believe anyone can seriously claim that they have stuck to their views and plans, particular in the last five years; Did their back-pedalling on tuition fees happen to slip past you?

As minority party in coalition it's hard to always get your way but by golly they sure got a lot in that conservatives were originally against.

This is true, but given the Lib Dems explicitly and overtly went after the student vote championing the fact that they were the only party against hiking tuition fees, they chose a pretty lousy promise to break - both electorally (we students will punish them today) and in terms of faith in politics amongst young people.
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Decision Time UK: Polling Day!Posted 4 years Ago

I know there have already been a couple of topics on the run-up to this election, but since I'm heading off to vote myself this evening I thought it might be quite fun to keep some sort of conversation going.

Those of us in the UK, how are we feeling about the prospects of our own party allegiances? People outside the UK (bearing in mind the centre ground of the UK political system as a whole is to the left of that in the States), what sort of result are you rooting for? What positive/negative comparisons would you make between our system and yours?

Should be a fascinating night in the run-up to the exit poll at 10 o'clock... I've got my election wall map at the ready!
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Thoughts on the UK General ElectionPosted 4 years Ago

At 4/25/2015 7:58:32 PM, TN05 wrote:
Last I checked the Tories weren't calling for rent control, massive tax increases, energy caps and confiscating land.

Okay unless something very strange is going on in my own country's election, I have no idea where you got the last one from. Not to mention the fact that the 'massive tax increases' are actually just reversing changes made by the government to cut tax for millionaires; and the fact that *freezing* electricity prices *for two years* is popular even with the Tories' core vote...
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UK General ElectionPosted 4 years Ago

At 4/22/2015 1:58:46 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:44:03 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, and its disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

It's not necessarily a silly complaint when Scotland is disproportionately affected by Conservative policies, because the Conservatives don't need (nor do they really expect) votes in Scotland where the political landscape is decidedly more left-wing. I think you also somewhat overestimate the powers of the Scottish Parliament, certainly in its current form. In particular their financial powers are much more limited than the powers afforded to states in the US, which makes it harder for them to combat at local level decisions they disagree with which were taken at national level.

But that's the case in the United States as well. In Maryland, for instance, the majority of counties are rural and Republican, but the state is controlled mostly by urban and suburban Democrats, who make up the vast majority of the population.

IMO the UK would be better off adopting a system of federalism, akin to the US, giving each region more power. But that won't happen.

It could potentially happen if a referendum were held on creating an English Parliament. Since there's no written constitution you don't need a vote on rewriting it as a federal one - you just complete the last piece of the puzzle. The way England is governed, plus the need for major voting reform at Westminster, are the last remnants of a piecemeal federalisation process.

So it boils down to Scotland not liking the party in charge and wanting revenge? That's childish. I expect more of Scotland. That's basically the same thing the Confederates whined about prior to the Civil War - not liking who got elected.

It's not about revenge per se. If Scotland simply wanted revenge they'd vote Labour, because it's the SNP surge which is making a Labour majority government unfeasible, and a Labour minority government or Labour-led coalition the only plausible progressive options. I don't believe that Scotland is doing this because they want to irritate England, it's far more of an ideological statement about being left behind by Westminster politics (and a lot of disappointed Yes voters).

But Labour supported No. Of course the Yes voters would go SNP!

But bear in mind that a lot of those people would have initially agreed with Labour - support for independence went up ~20% during the campaign. Supporting independence isn't necessarily a reason to break with Labour because Scots know that as a national party Labour had little choice but to oppose independence. This election campaign shows how hard it becomes for Labour to gain a majority when you essentially take Scotland out of the picture. Also, the SNP currently have around 4 seats in Westminster, which shows that it wasn't the number of seats in Westminster which mattered - it's having a majority in Holyrood. Arguably attaining a second, preferably increased, SNP majority administration in the Scottish Parliament come 2016 is, by historical precedent, the better way to give a mandate for another referendum.

Part of the problem is England has to pass laws that apply to everyone, while the other countries have their own parliaments. That issue would be resolved with an English parliament.

This would indeed be solved by an English Parliament, but the politicians at Westminster are used to having far-reaching power that is arguably more extensive than the US Congress. If England had its own Parliament it would significantly change the balance of power and essentially make the UK federal, something power-hungry politicians oppose.

It's not like the citizens are up in arms for change in power, though. The alternative vote failed and I don't think a federalist vote would succeed.

AV failed because it replaced a warped system with a system which can be even more warped (it would have increased Tony Blair's majority in 1997). A majority of people favour proportional representation; it's those in power who don't.
The English would probably vote in favour of having their own Parliament (after all, the other regions did), at which point you basically have federalism.

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.

I do not see any scenario where part of the UK stays in the EU. Either they leave, or they don't. There's not a specific English-leaving the EU referendum.

Exactly. That's the point that's been made. So if the UK leaves the EU, with the regions voting to stay, that will give Nicola Sturgeon all the ammunition she needs to run, and probably win, another independence referendum -- and nobody knows whether this would lead to increased support for independence movements in Wales, NI and possibly London. You're right that part of the UK can't stay in the EU, which is why they would seek to end the UK in its current form. She basically said as much in the televised debate.

So what's the alternative? If a majority of UK residents don't want to be in the EU, what's wrong with leaving?

The problem is that with the rise of devolution the UK is decreasingly homogeneous. People in the regions feel disconnected from Westminster politics and are identifying far more with their local assemblies - hence the rise in Scottish nationalism. If we didn't have a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly, a London Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly it would be easier to make the argument that the UK is one country whose citizens have collectively decided to leave the EU - but we have to remember that the UK is at heart four countries sharing one increasingly tense and shaky union.
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UK General ElectionPosted 4 years Ago

At 4/22/2015 12:09:14 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 4/18/2015 4:52:02 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
The UK General Election is in a couple weeks. Does anyone have anything to say about it?

British National Party, enough said.

As far as I'm aware they don't even have a leader any more, their membership is down eightfold, and they're standing in just 8 constituencies having stood in over 300 in 2010. You might want to consider UKIP?
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UK General ElectionPosted 4 years Ago

At 4/22/2015 1:27:04 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 12:03:27 PM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

That's an incredibly silly complaint. Scotland is overrepresented in Parliament as-is, and its disdain for the Conservatives doesn't give it a veto over who is in power. Beyond that, Scotland has a devolved parliament, while England does not. If they don't like Conservatives, they shouldn't vote for them.

It's not necessarily a silly complaint when Scotland is disproportionately affected by Conservative policies, because the Conservatives don't need (nor do they really expect) votes in Scotland where the political landscape is decidedly more left-wing. I think you also somewhat overestimate the powers of the Scottish Parliament, certainly in its current form. In particular their financial powers are much more limited than the powers afforded to states in the US, which makes it harder for them to combat at local level decisions they disagree with which were taken at national level.

The Murdoch-owned media in Britain is horrified at the prospect of the SNP in government because it essentially gives England a taste of its own medicine, after Scotland's spent five years being governed by a Conservative Party with just one seat (and a fairly marginal one at that) north of the border.

So it boils down to Scotland not liking the party in charge and wanting revenge? That's childish. I expect more of Scotland. That's basically the same thing the Confederates whined about prior to the Civil War - not liking who got elected.

It's not about revenge per se. If Scotland simply wanted revenge they'd vote Labour, because it's the SNP surge which is making a Labour majority government unfeasible, and a Labour minority government or Labour-led coalition the only plausible progressive options. I don't believe that Scotland is doing this because they want to irritate England, it's far more of an ideological statement about being left behind by Westminster politics (and a lot of disappointed Yes voters).
This point was more about why the Murdoch media is (in my view hypocritically) up in arms about the situation.

Having the two largest parties in Scotland in power in Westminster, with the SNP there to protect Scotland's interests (and to a certain extent those of Wales and NI), could demonstrate to Scots that Westminster government can be made to work for them in a world of true multi-party politics, because it will flatter the SNP's principal line of argument that nobody in government in Westminster cares about Scotland - because they'll be in it.

Part of the problem is England has to pass laws that apply to everyone, while the other countries have their own parliaments. That issue would be resolved with an English parliament.

This would indeed be solved by an English Parliament, but the politicians at Westminster are used to having far-reaching power that is arguably more extensive than the US Congress. If England had its own Parliament it would significantly change the balance of power and essentially make the UK federal, something power-hungry politicians oppose.

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.

I do not see any scenario where part of the UK stays in the EU. Either they leave, or they don't. There's not a specific English-leaving the EU referendum.

Exactly. That's the point that's been made. So if the UK leaves the EU, with the regions voting to stay, that will give Nicola Sturgeon all the ammunition she needs to run, and probably win, another independence referendum -- and nobody knows whether this would lead to increased support for independence movements in Wales, NI and possibly London. You're right that part of the UK can't stay in the EU, which is why they would seek to end the UK in its current form. She basically said as much in the televised debate.
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UK General ElectionPosted 4 years Ago

At 4/22/2015 11:27:17 AM, TN05 wrote:
At 4/22/2015 9:51:05 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
At 4/19/2015 10:08:06 AM, TN05 wrote:
Labour/SNP would be a disaster.

Actually, there's a reasonable argument to be made that a Labour/SNP government is the one thing which might save the Union.

What's the argument?

In a nutshell, Scotland has spent most of recent years (including the last five) being governed by a Conservative government with few or no seats north of the border. Because of the skewed demographics in Britain, and the relative lack of Conservative seats outside of England, Conservative policies tend to disproportionately favour England over Scotland and Wales (and to a certain extent Northern Ireland) - take right-to-buy, or the poll tax.

The Murdoch-owned media in Britain is horrified at the prospect of the SNP in government because it essentially gives England a taste of its own medicine, after Scotland's spent five years being governed by a Conservative Party with just one seat (and a fairly marginal one at that) north of the border.

Having the two largest parties in Scotland in power in Westminster, with the SNP there to protect Scotland's interests (and to a certain extent those of Wales and NI), could demonstrate to Scots that Westminster government can be made to work for them in a world of true multi-party politics, because it will flatter the SNP's principal line of argument that nobody in government in Westminster cares about Scotland - because they'll be in it.

Moreover Sturgeon wouldn't dare bring a Miliband government down for fear of letting the Conservatives back in, which would be a disaster for the SNP. So if the SNP enter government, Sturgeon will be nowhere near as powerful as the media would have us believe. Labour won't grant her another independence referendum, and since there won't be a referendum on the EU (which would probably lead to a vote to leave the EU with Scotland, Wales and NI all voting to stay), she loses the only real "mandate" to hold another one. If Quebec is any example, support for independence will slowly subside from that point on. (And if the present government is any example, the junior partner in the government will be punished by the electorate after five years, as we're about to see with the Liberal Democrats).

Conversely, if David Cameron is let back in, there'll be a referendum on the EU, where England will vote to leave and the regions will vote to stay. The UK withdraws from the EU, opening the true Pandora's Box of independence - with Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and possibly even London considering their options.
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Would DDO help out with college?Posted 4 years Ago

Probably depends on the college's priorities. On my UCAS form (the centralised application form for all UK universities) I put debating, but not DDO. No idea if it helped though.
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