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Wales123098

Mid October Uk Political Poll

  

41 members have voted

  1. 1. What party did you vote for in the UK General Election held on May 6th 2010?

    • Conservative
      17
    • Liberal Democrat
      12
    • Labour
      8
    • Plaid Cymru
      0
    • SNP
      3
    • UKIP
      0
    • None of the Above
      1
  2. 2. Which party would you vote for if there was a GE held this week?

    • Conservative
      15
    • Liberal Democrat
      5
    • Labour
      14
    • Plaid Cymru
      0
    • SNP
      3
    • UKIP
      1
    • None of the Above
      3
  3. 3. Are you happy with the Coalition government?

    • Yes
      20
    • No
      18
    • Not Sure
      3
  4. 4. AV political prefrences?

    • 1. Conservative. 2. Labour
      0
    • 1. Conservative 2. UKIP
      3
    • 1. Conservative 2. Liberal Democrat
      8
    • 1. Liberal Democrat 2. Labour
      1
    • 1. Liberal Democrat 2. Conservative
      4
    • 1. Liberal Democrat 2. Other
      1
    • 1.Conservative 2. Other
      3
    • 1. Labour 2. Other
      7
    • 1. Labour 2. Liberal Democrat
      4
    • 1. Labour 2. Conservative
      0
    • 1. Labour 2. Plaid
      1
    • 1. Labour 2. SNP
      1
    • 1.Other 2. Other
      8
  5. 5. Best PM of recent times?

    • David Cameron
      15
    • John Major
      6
    • Gordon Brown
      5
    • Tony Blair
      15


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I've voted for "Not Sure" as I strongly disagree with the student funding (while cuts have to be made in this area, the cuts they've chosen will primarily affect the wrong people) and the child benefit rate (unfairly penalising households who choose to have a single rather than double income). I also have my doubts about them targetting incapacity benefits as they strike me as "soft targets" with a risk of neglecting the more blatant offenders.

However I still get the impression that the coalition government is handling the situation better than Labour would have done.

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The student funding cuts were actually part of a pretty progressive report, which will, like many of the things the Government have planned, change the way this country works. All in all, not a bad few months work.

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Im a sixth former, hopefully going to univerisity in 2012. Im a bit unsure with the student finance but why should 70% of the country pay for 30% to go to uni. Why should someone alse have to pay for your degree. It's your choice to go to univerisity isn't it? It will most likely lead to you getting a good job so paying a bit back each month isn't that bad surely? Also the more your earn the larger the payments. You don't have to start paying it back until your earning 21k. Anyway Im pleased with the coalition and Im 100% behind it. This governmet is far beter than the last Labour lot we had in who created this mess.

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My problems with the student funding cuts are as follows:

1. The problem with the current university system is New Labour trying to get everybody into university, such that many people go to university, not because they are strongly interested in their degree subjects and want to pursue careers in related fields, but as "a means of getting another qualification", and many end up getting careers that are unrelated to their degrees. In addition Labour transformed many colleges into universities and created a shedload of "vocational" degrees, most of which are subjects that aren't really suited to being done as degrees- training of some kind would often be better.

2. The UK cannot afford to have >50% of people going to university and enjoying the same kind of university life that has traditionally been enjoyed up to now.

3. University is ideal for people who are interested in, and skilled at, particular subjects that they want to do further study in, usually with the aim of developing high-up careers within those subject areas. Those people are far more likely to head for careers that are related to their areas of study, making it a more useful use of taxpayers' money.

So, ideally, what we should be doing is U-turning on Labour's failed policies, bringing university back towards what it used to be, a means of enabling those who are proficient at a subject to study it in depth and/or pursue high-up careers in it, and not as "another layer of qualifications for everybody to go through".

I originally criticized the Conservative policies for "tarring all students with the same brush", but actually it's a lot worse than that. The people who will be heaviest hit, by a large margin, will be those in category 3, i.e. the skilled academics, who are neither very rich nor very poor, and find that if they want to go to a good university they have to shell out several thousand pounds per year. They will either have to suffer disproportionate hardship or give up their academic ambitions. The people who will be least heavily hit will be the very rich, the very poor, and the people doing useless vocational degrees that universities will charge just a few thousand pounds for.

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Im a sixth former, hopefully going to univerisity in 2012. Im a bit unsure with the student finance but why should 70% of the country pay for 30% to go to uni. Why should someone alse have to pay for your degree. It's your choice to go to univerisity isn't it? It will most likely lead to you getting a good job so paying a bit back each month isn't that bad surely? Also the more your earn the larger the payments. You don't have to start paying it back until your earning 21k. Anyway Im pleased with the coalition and Im 100% behind it. This governmet is far beter than the last Labour lot we had in who created this mess.

Not neccessarily, and it depends where you live.

I have a graduate degree, and a postgraduate diploma. All the jobs seem to be in the south-east, and the jobs here are mostly retail or government jobs. They're better than being unemployed though...as crappy as they are.

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Interesting point on the overall national debt on BBC Breakfast the other morning.

They showed the national debt in terms of 1p equally 1 billion on a desk.

So far, the Conservative government have given concrete ideas of about 50p (50 billion)- child benefit being 1p's worth. If anyone can quote the figures from that morning I'll stand corrected.

I think the comment on Andrew Marr this morning was interesting. "From Wednesday this country will never feel the same again".

Voted Lib Dem last time - next time Labour.

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I think people are expecting a little bit too much from the one statement. Most things are going to come in over 4 years, and won't be nearly as dramatic as the media like to make out.

Seems some people have very short memories.

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This is the first time in two generations that a government is serious about trying to introduce a new economic baseline. The past 13 years have just been about spending what we clearly did not have and, like personal finance, interest adds a huge amount over time. It is time to create a solid basis for the next 25 years. Everyone who knows anything about geopolitical economics has known for 10 years that this past period was unsustainable. If we don't fix this now then China, India and South America will fix it for us. At least this way we will create a situation where the UK is in control of the UK economy. It will be painful but absolutely necessary, and the timing is right. Anyone who thinks this is a political question just doesn't understand the massive changes in the world economy that are coming our way like a steam train - unstoppable. Hide your head in the sand or deal with it. At least someone is having a go. 

Edited - sorry! That was a bit heavy for a Sunday dinnertime! :unsure:

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Reasonably happy, considering i've generally been more of a right wing Tory.

To be more specific i'm quite happy for the more difficult decisions to be made now - it's prudent of a govt to make the difficult ones in the first 18 months. They inherited a right financial mess so they haven't got much choice - we're just going to have to grin and bear it. Their one real cock-up so far, has been the child benefit fiasco - not necessarily from a detail point of view, more from a communications disaster viewpoint - should've seen it coming and it should've been handled better.

I'd like to see them really tackle some of the benefits issues that gets people off benefits and back into work - it just ain't right that in some cases people have been claiming for years - benefits should be about support in times of need, not a constant and reliant source of income so people don't work again.

Tough times ahead - unfortunately we've had austere times before and we're just going to have to get used to it again.....cancel the Sky subscriptions and the extra 'boxes' in the kids' rooms - there's a start, if you're feeling the pinch because of cuts.

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My views have hardened since the election and I firmly believe the SNP are the only party I would seriously vote for. Frankly it baffles me how anyone in Scotland would consider voting for either the ConDems or that underwhelming tribalist Ian Gray.

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I don't think any of us have suggested that en-masse cuts aren't necessary.

But just because we have to accept unpopular cuts, it doesn't mean that we should also adopt a "that's life" approach to unpopular cuts being made to a greater extent than is physically necessary, whether via focusing them more against the wrong people than against the right people (universities, incapacity benefits), implementing them unfairly (child benefits) or overlooking potential efficiency savings. What I'm seeing worrying signs of here is a blanket "that's life" approach to anything with "cuts" somewhere in the description.

For sake of balance, since I only have issues with two specific areas where they've made cuts, out of a large number, it doesn't exclude the possibility that I will agree with, or at least not mind or deem necessary evils a significant majority of the measures that are being proposed. But put it this way, no matter how good the government's overall stance is, if all those who feel they've found errors are dismissed "that's life"-style, then the government is hardly going to be pushed to make its stance even better.

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 There are always 'better' ways of cutting costs - it's one of the staple rules of economics.  

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I imagine most policies of any description have room for 'improvement' somewhere, where up to a point searching for and implementing improvements is beneficial and then we run into a diminishing returns law where we have to expend greater amounts of time/effort/energy into finding smaller improvements.

But again, just because we'll never reach perfection, doesn't mean we should just make do with what we've got irrespective of how much room for potential improvement there is, and I see that as applying as much to cost-cutting policies as, say, funding allocation ones.

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  I have, in the last two years, moved into 'government' from the private sector and what has staggered me are the institutional mechanics that are designed to stop anything changing. Once you stop and start the debate then it is game over. Best to keep moving even if it may be in slightly the wrong direction. Otherwise, you will get bogged down in debate and bugger all will result. Don't get me wrong, I know it would be better to work it all out properly first, but that approach inevitably leads to endless committees and a slowdown/stop in progress. In my opinion (which of course may be completely wrong) approaching 80% of it quickly will lead to a better result than planning 100% of it.  

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Well as a self employed person, I get nothing from the government, contribute a lot, Use the NHS rarely and watch as people who need help get hardly anything, And the scrounging lazy so called i am ill but can do most anythings get everything. BRING ON THE CUTS. But lets do it sensibly please.

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  I have, in the last two years, moved into 'government' from the private sector and what has staggered me are the institutional mechanics that are designed to stop anything changing. Once you stop and start the debate then it is game over. Best to keep moving even if it may be in slightly the wrong direction. Otherwise, you will get bogged down in debate and bugger all will result. Don't get me wrong, I know it would be better to work it all out properly first, but that approach inevitably leads to endless committees and a slowdown/stop in progress. In my opinion (which of course may be completely wrong) approaching 80% of it quickly will lead to a better result than planning 100% of it.  

If you are right, then maybe we need to take a look at the institutional mechanics that encourage a minimum of debate and a maximum of "full speed ahead", because this really is an unhealthy situation, there needs to be a middle ground between too much debate and too little.

For example, it probably goes a long way towards explaining the recurring problem of governments coming up with decent policy ideas and then taking them to extremes. If, once we choose a policy direction, we can't "stop" at any point because doing so would require debate on where we should "stop", then in many cases, the natural conclusion is that we take them as far as they can go, leaving us at the extreme (just as well we got rid of New Labour, given where its Health and Safety stuff was heading us!). And if we don't have the debate in the first place, it can result in ill-thought out policies like Labour's overspending, which was taken to the extreme and heavily contributed to our current economic crisis.

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Im pretty happy with how things are going so far, but disagree strongly with the recent policy on university fees and on higher education in general.

When I did my masters in Chemistry I was in that middle band where my parents were unable to afford to help me with my fees and I recieved no help whatsoever from the state. I spent the four years working the weekends and evenings during term time (difficult as I was there 8:30 - 17:30 Monday - Friday) and full time in the holidays just to pay for my fees and that was without the extra coursework which I struggled to find time to do. I fear if there was no cap on fees I would simply not have been able to afford to go. Back then it was only £1100 a year too and I managed that without a loan, the £3000 now would be difficult but anymore and Id have been heavily in debt.

This compares to a friend of mine who had six hours of lectures a week on his degree all condensed into a single day. He could have held down a full time job at the same time (but didnt mind you) and still had more time off than I did! At the end of the day there are too many courses which shouldnt be degrees and thats why university funding is so stretched. The target of 50% of people with degrees is absolute madness. Instead many courses should be purely vocational or completed as apprenticeships. That way the people doing worthwhile courses for the economy could be funded and not crippled by enormous amounts of debt. It would also stop the ridiclous interviews now required to differenciate people in even very low paid jobs. My brother just got his first full time job after university earning around £13,000 a year. He had a full half-day of interviews, group discussions, tests and activities - all to get to the second stage and another 2 hour interview. Im guessing as so many people are now qualified to the teeth, this is the only way they can select someone.

As for the coalitions policy on the economy - Ill wait until Wednesday to make my decision!

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At the end of the day there are too many courses which shouldnt be degrees and thats why university funding is so stretched. The target of 50% of people with degrees is absolute madness. Instead many courses should be purely vocational or completed as apprenticeships. That way the people doing worthwhile courses for the economy could be funded and not crippled by enormous amounts of debt. It would also stop the ridiclous interviews now required to differenciate people in even very low paid jobs.

As for the coalitions policy on the economy - Ill wait until Wednesday to make my decision!

Thanks for that- the first paragraph is a very succinct summary of what I'd been trying to say, but I didn't express myself as well as that! I also agree re. waiting till Wednesday on the economy.

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I think the comment on Andrew Marr this morning was interesting. "From Wednesday this country will never feel the same again".Voted Lib Dem last time - next time Labour.

I think a similar comment could be made in 1997 when Labours spendaholic poliices began resulting in a country on the brink of bankruptcy 13 years later with a debt burden so big my childrens children will still be paying it off.

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Well as a self employed person, I get nothing from the government, contribute a lot, Use the NHS rarely and watch as people who need help get hardly anything, And the scrounging lazy so called i am ill but can do most anythings get everything. BRING ON THE CUTS. But lets do it sensibly please.

I'm not criticising you per say but I would like clarification about that comment - do you personally know anyone for whom that applies or are you merely regurgitating what you've read in a newspaper? It just seems to me that while there are people who abuse the benefits system, the problem can never be looked at sensibly because the Daily Mail etc. are completely hysterical about it and exaggerate the problem, and politicians are merely strung along by this.

I'm also somewhat offended at your 'bring on the cuts' mantra. My aunt does a vital job in Sandwell Council delivering SureStart and early childcare to a generally deprived area where people need help with such things to allow them to work and their children not to lag behind. In fact, her department won an award for their work. Yet because of the cuts handed down to councils and the destruction of SureStart she's been told by management that she and all of her colleagues are likely to lose their jobs. Does the coalition think that all these people in similar situations will simply move into the private sector without any fuss? Is having to pay people dole money for being economically inactive really better than keeping people in their job and allowing them to contribute to the economy? How much closer to cutting the deficit will this get us? Of course I'll wait until Wednesday to see for sure how bad it is - they may have been exaggerating the cuts to soften the blow. And I do accept that restraint in public sector pay is necessary. However, what I can't take is public services being slashed when the Condems haven't even considered scrapping Trident, something which the LDs were, back when they were a credible force, in favour of. Nor have they considered the Robin Hood Tax, which also seems like something the Lib Dems might have endorsed in a previous life.

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At the end of the day there are too many courses which shouldnt be degrees and thats why university funding is so stretched. The target of 50% of people with degrees is absolute madness. Instead many courses should be purely vocational or completed as apprenticeships. That way the people doing worthwhile courses for the economy could be funded and not crippled by enormous amounts of debt.

I went to a brilliant fringe debate on the subject of Modern Apprenticeships on Saturday. These combine college courses with an apprenticeship and appear so far to be hugely successful, moulding skilled and motivated workers. The statistic which sums up the problems of 'worthless' degrees (although going to uni shouldn't just be about getting the qualifications needed to get a well paid job) or degrees for their own sake is this - there were more people studying photography in the UK in 2008 than there were photographers in the whole of western Europe.

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If you are right, then maybe we need to take a look at the institutional mechanics that encourage a minimum of debate and a maximum of "full speed ahead", because this really is an unhealthy situation, there needs to be a middle ground between too much debate and too little.

For example, it probably goes a long way towards explaining the recurring problem of governments coming up with decent policy ideas and then taking them to extremes.  If, once we choose a policy direction, we can't "stop" at any point because doing so would require debate on where we should "stop", then in many cases, the natural conclusion is that we take them as far as they can go, leaving us at the extreme (just as well we got rid of New Labour, given where its Health and Safety stuff was heading us!).  And if we don't have the debate in the first place, it can result in ill-thought out policies like Labour's overspending, which was taken to the extreme and heavily contributed to our current economic crisis.

TWS - the problem is not that we can't stop, it's that, in most cases, we can't actually start - the government machine generally prefers to talk a lot and do little. That is why I am encouraged by the speed of the planned changes. I know if we we were stop and, for example, have some form of national debate (whatever the hell that is?) then we'd never get moving. There is something quite rotten at the core of UK government (non-political) in that people generally prefer to do nothing rather than risk making a mistake. This has been turned into a well practiced institutional artform - I used to think that Yes Minister was very funny, now I know it is true and it can be quite depressing at times. 

You are right in a sense about not being able to stop though. Policies are implemented and rarely does someone then stop to question it - they just carry on doing until told to stop. 

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Generally agree with the coalition, but unhappy about the fees fiasco. I think they should cut more places rather than funding. Getting 50% of young people into uni is a stupid idea, and the way Labour kept gleaming about it annoyed me as well.

And who voted Gordon Brown as the best PM in recent times?!

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