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samivel
676638.  Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:56 pm Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
the real issue - which is that Mr Rumpy-pumpy has no mandate from the European people;

...

I didn't vote for Tony Blair (or any of his cronies) but at least they had the decency to give me the option.


You've said many times before how you disapprove of democracy and giving the public a chance to vote for politicians, so it's a bit much to complain about an unelected role simply because you don't like the person who was chosen.

I rather suspect you just like to post these long, ranting moans for some sort of strange personal pleasure.

 
bobwilson
677415.  Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:24 am Reply with quote

So many idiots – so little time.

CB27 wrote:


Unfortunately battle lines seem to have been drawn up along whether you support the appointment of Van Rompuy or the method, or even the EU itself, but as I've now pointed out twice I don't care about this, I simply think that it's unacceptable for politicians to go around insulting one another, especially in public chambers.

Some people might say "I prefer they were honest and open", but what's open and honest about insulting? It takes everything away from debating issues, it undermines those that take part in these debates and serves only to create a greater distance between people.

What do you mean by insult? The entire purpose of the job that Rumpy-Pumpy is in is to present a public face for Europe to the rest of the world. He doesn’t have to administrate, he doesn’t have to be clever, he doesn’t have to propose radical solutions – his job is purely to be a face. The nearest equivalent I can think of is those people who take the calls from the terminally bored on the “guess the answer to this question and pay premium rate telephone charges for the privilege” late night TV channels. (And given the nature of their jobs I have to say those presenters do manage to show an exemplary enthusiasm).

His only function is to be a presenter – and he is singularly incapable of doing that job. Unless you’re suggesting that we shouldn’t call John Prescott an insufferable incompetent, or John Reid, or David Mellor, or anyone else who couldn’t do the job to which they were appointed, then it’s ridiculous to refer to this as “insulting one another”.

You clearly mean gratuitous insults – of the type where the insult is unrelated to the job in hand. So calling John Prescott a Northern twat (much as he is) would be gratuitous, and totally irrelevant to his incompetence, or referring to GB as one-eyed. Rumpy Pumpy may be a very able administrator, he may be the best thing since sliced bread in the field of particle physics for all I know, but one thing he most certainly isn’t is a person capable of presenting a dynamic face for 500m people.

Samivel wrote:


You've said many times before how you disapprove of democracy and giving the public a chance to vote for politicians, so it's a bit much to complain about an unelected role simply because you don't like the person who was chosen.

I rather suspect you just like to post these long, ranting moans for some sort of strange personal pleasure.

disapprove of democracy

true

disapprove of .....giving the public a chance to vote for politicians

never said that – never will

Samivel wrote:
it's a bit much to complain about an unelected role simply because you don't like the person who was chosen


So, on what grounds am I to be permitted to complain about someone who’s appointed to an unelected role?

Do try and keep up. Just because you don’t understand what I’ve said doesn’t excuse your ignorance.

For the record:

I don’t approve of democracy (as practised in a regular mandate system) because it assumes that the majority of the public are intelligent – something which clear evidence shows is not the case. I DO however approve of people consulting the people they intend to represent before taking decisions that will affect those people.

My being opposed to "democracy" does not mean that I favour the idea of shady deals being conducted in smoke-filled rooms (or over Ciabattas) as an alternative.

Samivel wrote:
I rather suspect you just like to post these long, ranting moans for some sort of strange personal pleasure.


I’m sorry that you find these “long ranting moans” – unfortunately I’m working against 15 years of erroneous schooling so it does take a bit of time to undo the damage done.

 
Neotenic
677443.  Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:06 am Reply with quote

Quote:
I donít approve of democracy (as practised in a regular mandate system) because it assumes that the majority of the public are intelligent Ė something which clear evidence shows is not the case. I DO however approve of people consulting the people they intend to represent before taking decisions that will affect those people.



Hang on, people shouldn't be consulted on who represents them, because the bulk of them are stupid (which, by your definition, appears to be everyone not sat at your keyboard), but these same people should be consulted on any decisions that the representatives have to take?

How is this not massively contradictory?

Congratulations for concocting a mental minefield that allows you to perennially rail against anyone and everyone without once ever having to put forth a practical solution.

Quote:
Iím working against 15 years of erroneous schooling so it does take a bit of time to undo the damage done.


Oh, it's somebody else's fault. There's a surprise.

 
samivel
677466.  Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:34 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
Samivel wrote:
it's a bit much to complain about an unelected role simply because you don't like the person who was chosen


So, on what grounds am I to be permitted to complain about someone whoís appointed to an unelected role?


You aren't. Either you accept people being unelected or you have them elected, and as you don't want to let all the 'idiots' have a vote, you have to accept appointed people.

Quote:
Just because you donít understand what Iíve said doesnít excuse your ignorance.


Neither does it excuse your hypocrisy and muddle-headedness.

 
CB27
677502.  Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:34 am Reply with quote

Thanks bob for calling everyone idiots, it really adds to the debate.

However, you did get some things fundamentally wrong in your argument:

Van Rompuy's position is not just to be the "face" of Europe, but to represent them. The position is currently evolving, so it actually needs someone who can define the role, which needs someone with more than just "an acceptable face".

As for the other names thrown up, there's a difference again between not liking someone and claiming they're incompetent at their job. I can't argue for Mellor as I don't really know what he did in his department except for the sex scandal he was involved with. I think would be a bit strong to call Reid incompetent as I think he proved himself very competent in his early stints in defence and transport, and his later positions tended to be given to him after major events which overshadowed anything he might achieve. With Prescott I certainly disagree with calling him incompetent because of his tremendous work with transport, local government and social housing. You seem to be mixing up his presentation style as opposed to his ability to work (which you claim to do the opposite with Van Rompuy - a strange contradiction).

 
djgordy
677893.  Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:37 am Reply with quote

Back to Mr. Farage (who, as regular readers will recall, is a twat). Johnny Foreigner decided to fine him 10 days MEP allowance, totaling around £2,700, rather than ban him. I bet Farage is seething as his dearest wish was probably to get himself banned and thus present himself as a martyr.

Latest score from the European Championship:

EU 1 - 0 UKIP

 
tetsabb
677942.  Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:31 pm Reply with quote

This week's Private Eye points out that just 12 days before Mr Farrago, sorry Farage's unpleasant outburst, UKIP launched a document called Restoring Britishness; its opening line reads, "UKIP believes Britishness can be defined in terms of belief in democracy, fair play and freedom, as well as traits such as politeness"
Maybe Mr Fartage did not read the last bit.....

 
bobwilson
678072.  Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:55 pm Reply with quote

I don’t know if you’re deliberately misinterpreting what I’ve said or just demonstrating my point about the inadequacies of universal education.

Neotenic wrote:
Hang on, people shouldn't be consulted on who represents them, because the bulk of them are stupid


bobwilson wrote:
“disapprove of .....giving the public a chance to vote for politicians”

never said that – never will


Of course people should be consulted on who represents them. That isn’t the same as saying that they should have any say in who represents everyone else who happens to live in the same area as them.

Neotenic wrote:
these same people should be consulted on any decisions that the representatives have to take?


Yes – if it affects them then they should be consulted. Just because they’re stupid doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a say in decisions that affect them.

Neotenic wrote:
Congratulations for concocting a mental minefield that allows you to perennially rail against anyone and everyone without once ever having to put forth a practical solution.


Oh, I have practical solutions – and I’m not the first to propose them. The trouble is, as demonstrated above, the mindset of the majority is so entrenched in one way of thinking that it’s pretty hard to encapsulate the ideas into a pithy soundbite.

Neotenic wrote:
bobwilson wrote:

I’m working against 15 years of erroneous schooling so it does take a bit of time to undo the damage done.


Oh, it's somebody else's fault. There's a surprise.

Did you deliberately leave out the precursor to that quote?
bobwilson wrote:
I’m sorry that you find these “long ranting moans”


The complaint was that I indulged in “long ranting moans” – I was pointing out that it takes a while to explain a pov which doesn’t rely on the erroneous assumptions that are drilled into us pretty well from birth. There is an assumption in Western society that “representative democracy” is the Gold Standard of Governance – to challenge that it’s necessary to indulge in “long ranting moans” for the same reasons it’s been necessary to spend 200 years and endless ink explaining how evolution can work.

Samivel wrote:

bobwilson wrote:

Samivel wrote:

it's a bit much to complain about an unelected role simply because you don't like the person who was chosen

So, on what grounds am I to be permitted to complain about someone who’s appointed to an unelected role?

You aren't. Either you accept people being unelected or you have them elected, and as you don't want to let all the 'idiots' have a vote, you have to accept appointed people.


Well, that buggers up my day job then. Anyone who hasn’t been elected to a position is free to do what they bloody well please.

CB27 wrote:
Thanks bob for calling everyone idiots, it really adds to the debate.


I didn’t call EVERYONE idiots.

CB27 wrote:
Van Rompuy's position is not just to be the "face" of Europe, but to represent them. The position is currently evolving, so it actually needs someone who can define the role, which needs someone with more than just "an acceptable face".


I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean. What’s the distinction between being the “face” of Europe and “representing” Europe? And I can’t find where you’ve taken that apparent quote “an acceptable face” from – I said “dynamic face”. Did I use the word “acceptable” in an earlier post? I can’t find it.

CB27 wrote:
I think would be a bit strong to call Reid incompetent as I think he proved himself very competent in his early stints in defence and transport, and his later positions tended to be given to him after major events which overshadowed anything he might achieve. With Prescott I certainly disagree with calling him incompetent because of his tremendous work with transport, local government and social housing.


Well, that would veer us off into a whole other direction.

 
Neotenic
678147.  Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:25 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Of course people should be consulted on who represents them. That isnít the same as saying that they should have any say in who represents everyone else who happens to live in the same area as them.


I'm probably reading this wrong, but you seem to be saying that people need to be represented, but that the person that represents them shouldn't necessarily be the person that represents their next door neighbour.

Would this suggest that you believe the ideal constituency size is one? If this is the case, I think we're going to need a bigger House.

I still don't quite understand how saying that you are for all people being consulted on who represents them and against universal suffrage is not a contradiction, though.

Quote:
Yes Ė if it affects them then they should be consulted. Just because theyíre stupid doesnít mean they shouldnít have a say in decisions that affect them.


Let's take an easy example - VAT. Everyone buys stuff, so everyone is affected by changes to the legislation that governs it. Should there be a referendum every time the Chancellor believes it is right to change the rate?

 
samivel
678255.  Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:27 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
I donít know if youíre deliberately misinterpreting what Iíve said or just demonstrating my point about the inadequacies of universal education.


Well, snap.

bobwilson wrote:
Samivel wrote:

bobwilson wrote:

Samivel wrote:

it's a bit much to complain about an unelected role simply because you don't like the person who was chosen

So, on what grounds am I to be permitted to complain about someone whoís appointed to an unelected role?

You aren't. Either you accept people being unelected or you have them elected, and as you don't want to let all the 'idiots' have a vote, you have to accept appointed people.


Well, that buggers up my day job then. Anyone who hasnít been elected to a position is free to do what they bloody well please.


That's a nice attempt to deflect the focus of the debate, but it won't work. I never said you couldn't complain about the performance of an unelected official. But that isn't what you were doing. You were complaining about the very fact that Mr Van Rompuy was appointed rather than elected. As you don't want such positions to be filled by an appointed individual, and you don't want to give 'idiots' the chance to vote for candidates for the role, what exactly is it you think should happen?

 
barbados
678578.  Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:04 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
Quote:
Of course people should be consulted on who represents them. That isnít the same as saying that they should have any say in who represents everyone else who happens to live in the same area as them.


I'm probably reading this wrong, but you seem to be saying that people need to be represented, but that the person that represents them shouldn't necessarily be the person that represents their next door neighbour.



I think you probably are reading it incorrectly. What is being said is that the people should be able to vote on who represents them, but those that do vote don't really know what they are voting for or against.
As a for instance, if you ask a large portion of the electorate who they voted for in the last general election - and you purposely leave out the constituencies of Sedgefield and Folkestone & Hythe. Most people will say Tony Blair, of the remainder most will say Michael Howard. Whereas nobody asked would have voted for either of those. Those people don't know what they are voting for. And if you don't know what you're voting for, can you be trusted to vote correctly?

Of those that answer Labour or Conservative, ask them why. The answer on the most part will be "because my parents voted for them, and their parents voted for them..............ad finitum". Again, is that the sort of person who you want to have a say on who runs the country?

The remainder, they are the ones who you are those intelligent enough to be having a say on who runs the country, because they have gone to the trouble to work out who it is that represents them best.

Neotenic wrote:


Let's take an easy example - VAT. Everyone buys stuff, so everyone is affected by changes to the legislation that governs it. Should there be a referendum every time the Chancellor believes it is right to change the rate?


Now you are just trying to find a hair on a bald head to split, of course you shouldn't call a referendum every time something needs changing, every four years or so we have an election, at that time your prospective representative will tell you what plans he and his colleagues propose to do were they to be elected. You also accept that they have been entrusted to manage the country to the best of their ability.

You do need a referendum when changes are proposed that are so large that they will be irreversible without an even larger change, lets say seeing as we are here, leading us down a path into a European Union that we didn't sign up for.


*other parties are available

 
bobwilson
679054.  Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:35 pm Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
I'm probably reading this wrong, but you seem to be saying that people need to be represented, but that the person that represents them shouldn't necessarily be the person that represents their next door neighbour.


Barbados wrote:
What is being said is that the people should be able to vote on who represents them, but those that do vote don't really know what they are voting for or against.


Well, thanks for leaping in Barbados but I'm afraid that Neo is right in this instance - what Neo said is exactly what I'm saying.

Neotenic wrote:
Would this suggest that you believe the ideal constituency size is one?


Well, yes, in an ideal world that would be the case - we'd all represent ourselves in a perfectly competent manner. But since we don't live in Utopia I think we can safely discount that option for the time being.

Quote:
the person that represents them shouldn't necessarily be the person that represents their next door neighbour.


I don't really see the problem with this - unless you're suggesting that I have to have the same Solicitor, Estate Agent, Executor of my Will etc that has been chosen by my neighbour?

Neotenic wrote:
I still don't quite understand how saying that you are for all people being consulted on who represents them and against universal suffrage is not a contradiction, though.


I think that gets to the nub of the problem.

Universal Suffrage in a nutshell:

Take 100 people and give them a choice of 3 candidates to represent them
30 of them choose person A
27 of them choose person B (who is diametrically opposed to person A)
8 of them choose person C

Of the remaining 35 we have no information - it could be they just couldn't be bothered to choose, or it could be that they chose "none of the above" - which in itself could be split into "give me an option D" or "sod this for a game of soldiers, I'll represent myself thank you very much"

All we do know is that all 100 people (including the 27 who made the effort to say they definitely DIDN'T want candidate A, and the largest group who most definitely did not choose option A) will get represented by candidate A.

Does that make it clearer?

Neotenic wrote:
Let's take an easy example - VAT. Everyone buys stuff, so everyone is affected by changes to the legislation that governs it. Should there be a referendum every time the Chancellor believes it is right to change the rate?


No - but who gets to vote for the Chancellor? Even his own constituents vote for an MP - not a Chancellor.

samivel wrote:
I never said you couldn't complain about the performance of an unelected official. But that isn't what you were doing. You were complaining about the very fact that Mr Van Rompuy was appointed rather than elected.


No I wasn't. I was complaining about the fact that Rumpy-pumpy got the job which he is singularly incapable of doing as so eloquently described (unusually) by Mr F.

As a side issue I did raise the matter of smoke filled Ciabatta rooms - but ultimately, this position is one that most definitely, and almost uniquely, would be best settled by a straightforward vote of 500m people.

Rumpy's job is to present a dynamic face for Europe - that's all his job entails. On that basis it would have best been served by conducting a "Europe's Got Talent" type contest with a phone vote.

barbados wrote:
As a for instance, if you ask a large portion of the electorate who they voted for in the last general election - and you purposely leave out the constituencies of Sedgefield and Folkestone & Hythe. Most people will say Tony Blair, of the remainder most will say Michael Howard. Whereas nobody asked would have voted for either of those. Those people don't know what they are voting for. And if you don't know what you're voting for, can you be trusted to vote correctly?


Whilst I know you meant well, can I just distance myself from this and other comments made in your post barbados? I have no idea what the vast majority of people vote for - I suspect (but don't know) that they vote for their local candidate based on a whole raft of factors, some of which may be related to the leader of the party. I doubt very much that people vote for their candidates solely, or even mainly, on the basis of the leader of the party.

samivel wrote:
As you don't want such positions to be filled by an appointed individual, and you don't want to give 'idiots' the chance to vote for candidates for the role, what exactly is it you think should happen?


There is a place for allowing "idiots" to vote. "Most popular act" is one for instance. It doesn't say he's any good - it just says he's the most popular. There is also a place for appointing people to posts. I wouldn't expect the head of MI5 to be appointed by popular vote.

The point is that the role that Rumpy Pumpy has now taken was sold on the idea that it was a dynamic face for Europe - not that he would be a great administrator, not that he'd introduce innovative solutions, not even that he was a true Renaissance man - it was purely a face for Europe.

I didn't say that I didn't want to give "idiots the chance to vote for the role". I said I didn't want to give idiots the chance to vote for roles which have a direct influence on my well-being.

Instead of which admirably simple solution we now end up with the worst of all worlds - the idiots get to vote for people without any comprehension of what they're voting for, and those people interfere in my life; and the idiots don't get to vote for the one position that they are competent to vote for, who wouldn't interfere in my life.

 
barbados
679068.  Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:40 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:


Whilst I know you meant well, can I just distance myself from this and other comments made in your post barbados?



Feel free, it was only my interpretation of what you were saying when you were talking about idiots and voting. I didn't think that you were calling everybody an idiot, it was a couple of words in a post that people have picked up on rather than looking at the whole context of what you were saying.

Although I'd admit that is rather unusual round these parts lately.

 
samivel
679086.  Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:49 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
samivel wrote:
I never said you couldn't complain about the performance of an unelected official. But that isn't what you were doing. You were complaining about the very fact that Mr Van Rompuy was appointed rather than elected.


No I wasn't. I was complaining about the fact that Rumpy-pumpy got the job which he is singularly incapable of doing as so eloquently described (unusually) by Mr F.


Well, what you posted was

bobwilson wrote:
the real issue - which is that Mr Rumpy-pumpy has no mandate from the European people;


I suppose you're going to say that this means you were complaining about Mr Van Rompuy's suitability for the role, but the words you used look awfully like someone complaining because the position was filled without a public vote.

 
suze
679265.  Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:22 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
Let's take an easy example - VAT. Everyone buys stuff, so everyone is affected by changes to the legislation that governs it. Should there be a referendum every time the Chancellor believes it is right to change the rate?


Just by-the-by, there would be in Switzerland - four visits to a voting booth every year, usually with a dozen or more referendum questions on the paper.

And Switzerland is not usually presented as a third world state governed by power crazed loonies.

 

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