Sunday, July 04, 2010

More Balls From Balls

I don't know what it is about Labour leadership candidates at the moment, but they seem to be allowing their campaign staff to publish CSE standard articles in their names. The latest example is THIS offering by Ed Balls.

He seriously accuses the Conservatives of wanting to gerrymander the electoral system because of their desire to make all constituencies roughly the same size.

I just don't know how a serious politician can come out with such absolute balls.

All power to his elbow in his quest to be Labour leader.

18 comments:

The Grim Reaper said...

That headline wasn't too difficult to think of, was it?

Tom said...

Trouble is, some people believe the rubbish these people spout. And then vote accordingly. As we saw from how many Labour MPs were returned at the general election.

Darlington Councillor said...

Nice try, Iain. Did you really have a straight face when you typed this? The Tories have been obsessed for years about the supposed advantage the current configuration of constituencies gives to Labour. With the Fibs' AV vote, the referendum is a naked attenpt by the Coalition to skew politics heavily in their direction.

A naked power grab by the least principled Government we've had since the 1850's.

David said...

I love the weay Balls claims to live in Castleford....did not he and his missus claim that their home was in Castleford to get extra money yet they stayed in London where the kids went to school? He stays on occasion in Castelford when on business would be a truer statement! With regard to the shcols anyway - what a waste of money and how much interest have we had to pay out in the decade of Labour...? We don't need buildings that try to mimic a 19th Century education system in 'modern' buildings!

David said...

Darlington Councillor: did YOU check your nose to see if it grew when you typed your comment? Labour and especially Prescott the Buffoon did more gerrymandering than any previous governments combined! Why should it take 70,000 votes to elect a Tory and only 50,000 for a Labour? IS thta fair? No.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Just posted the posting copied in below onto Ed's site via the link in your article Iain, but I very much doubt it will ever pass the moderator. They cannot handle dissent that Labour lot (who I used to vote for). Not democrats!
And 'Darlington Councillor'...the ordinary people of this country will not be taking lessons in principles and righteousness from a bunch of liars like you lot thank you so bog off!
---
Sid says:
"Your comment is awaiting moderation"
July 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm

You’re having a laugh Ed. Labour were gerrymandering like no other party in government in the history of this country has ever done before. Many boundary changes went very nicely for Labour and you all lied to the electorate about an estimated 13,000 immigrants from the eastern block whilst knowing full well that without reasonable controls such as Germany put in place it would be millions. Talk about stabbing your own supporters in the back! Everyone’s pensions got stuffed up too…except yours of course.
The last Labour government was one big lie from start to finish, including its decision to put off a crucial spending review against the nations (but not Labour’s) best interests in the year running up to the election. Who on earth do you think you’re kidding? And what about the massive cuts that Labour itself had planned post-election…absolutely no mention of any specifics in the campaign. But then of course you couldn’t give specifics could you, what without that spending review. Handy that, eh.
Get lost the lot of you and stay gone. Never again. I am left of centre but at least we now have a government who are telling the truth and acting in the nation’s best interests, rather than simply to cement themsleves in power.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Where did that rush of blood to the head come from? Don't hyper-ventilate over a single sentence-paragraph, some two dozen words.

Or is it because John Rentoul got in first? That it's all fine-'n'-dandy and that Tory intentions of redistribution are honest-to-goodness, disinterested altruism?

Then ask where the issue came from. Out of the blue, deep blue, Cameron came up with a catch-penny notion to save money by shrinking the number of MPs by 10%. The only reason given was cost-saving; and there's going on £4m towards your structural deficit: every little helps.

That really raises the tone: let's have democracy on the cheap. But why stop 65 fewer constituencies? Why not chop 100? 200? Better still, have just enough (all reliable or buyable enough @ £111 per extra vote: good Tories and smutty chick-lit writers preferrred) to fill the Offices of State!

When that fell apart (can't imagine why), the argument changed to "making constituencies of equal size". There is, after all, no organic difference of one location and another! To serve Barra and Unst only involves a wee bit extra commuting than that gruelling daily hike from Tonbridge or Maidstone.

But what do we equalise upon? On a count of electors, natch! Let's disregard the real population size: if they can't or won't register, what rights should they have? If they don't vote, even more so.

Now, remind me, does the Boundaries Commissions not already have obligations to to keep the parliamentary constituencies ... under continuous review and achieve "balance"? If so, why mess with a long-established, non-partisan, generally-accepted practice, unless for gerrymandering?

no longer anonymous said...

Darling Councillor - so what you're saying is that it's gerrymandering to make the system fairer and remove Labour's advantage?

Malcolm Redfellow said...

So it's all fine-'n'-dandy: the Tory intentions of redistribution are honest-to-goodness, disinterested altruism?

Ask where the issue came from. Out of the deep blue, Cameron came up with a catch-penny notion to save money by shrinking the number of MPs by 10%. Only reason given was cost-saving: there's going on £4m towards your structural deficit — every little helps.

That raises the tone: let's have democracy on the cheap. Why stop 65 fewer constituencies? Why not chop 100? 200? Better still, have just enough (all reliable or buyable enough @ £111 per extra vote: good Tories and smutty chick-lit writers preferred) to fill the Offices of State!

When that fell apart (can't imagine why), the argument changed to "making constituencies of equal size". There is, after all, no organic difference of one location and another! It's just a bit longer commute from Barra and Unst than that gruelling daily hike from Tonbridge.

But what do we equalise upon? On a count of electors, natch! Let's disregard the real population size: if they can't or won't register, what rights should they have? If they don't vote, even more so.

Now, remind me, does the Boundaries Commissions not already have obligations to to keep the parliamentary constituencies ... under continuous review and achieve "balance"? If so, why mess with a long-established, non-partisan, generally-accepted practice, unless for gerrymandering?

David said...

Dear Malcolm Redperson,
The answer is precisely because the boundaries commission have failed to keep things fair and honest, no doubt under much malign New Labour influence, that Labour now only require about 50,000 votes to win a seat on average compared with the Conservative's 70,000. It's far, far worse than that for the Tories in Scotland and Wales and I believe the Lib-Dems need a whole lot more than that still.
Thus if you were a democrat you would see the clear and simple truth of the fact that the system is currently massively weighed in Labour's favour. No wonder you and your Labour cronies do not wish to see any change, but then you are not democrats and have proved this many times over so why would you?
I once heard a wise old man say that rank hypocrisy, such as you and Darlington Councillor are spouting on this blog and your colleagues elsewhere, smells like the proverbial or like rotting corpses on the hottest day.
It is so sad to think that millions fought and so many died and suffered to keep such poison from overtaking this country, when today your lot are busy doing the work of those foes had they succeeded and taken our freedom from us. For shame!
All democracies have a duty to act democratically, but if necessary to do the absolute minimum required to ensure they pass on those democratic values, and practices, to future generations.
Be a good fellow Malcolm, stop all this projecting and 'hyper-ventilating'. If you cannot accept fairness and act like a democrat perhaps steps should be taken against you in order that this generation may do precisely that.

Jabba the Cat said...

But Balls always talks balls, the only problem being that are some really dumb people out there who actually take on board what he says...

Libertarian said...

@Darlington Councillor

Oh my word how utterly moronic do you make yourself look?

You come out with a statement like that after a few weeks of having ended the reign of a corrupt government that went to war illegally has three of it's MPs facing criminal prosecution and a lot more who should be. A government that bought about the death of an eminent scientist and was as grossly profligate as it's possible to be.

And you think you are politically astute I guess?

trevorsden said...

Balls was being totally disingenuous on the BBC news as well. he was complaining about the cuts announcement and when asked would Labour not have plans for 20% cuts anyway he said 'No'.

This is a plain lie and he rambled on to hide this fact. The wafer thin vaguely enunciated excuse was that labour would not be cutting this year. The inevitable lady from the BBC was equally inevitably far to coy in nailing Balls on this.

But balls and Labour are being allowed to get away with the fact that their budget called for 20% departmental cuts by 2014 and the Coalitions plans are for 25%. The difference is hardly likely to bring on financial Armageddon and not in themselves unfair.

Dear Darlington Councillor - creating fair constituencies after years of unfair ones is hardly gerrymandering. Your labour friends have been little short of criminal in their approach.
Likewise Mr Redfellow - he doth protest too much..

Irene said...

Gerrymandering seems to be the current word they all seem to be using in interviews.

Labour are looking so pathetic, they appose EVERYTHING - perhaps they would care to tell us how they would have implemented their proposed £40billion cuts - I won't hold my breath.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

I thought these things were meant to go through the Chair: perhaps Ms Bagshawe has changed that.

David @ 4:35 PM addresses me directly and claims: Labour now only require about 50,000 votes to win a seat on average compared with the Conservative's 70,000.

Let's road test that one.

On 6 May 2010 306 Tory MPs were elected on a gross popular vote of 10,703,954. It therefore took 34,980 votes to elect a Tory.

Similarly, 258 Labour MPs were elected on a popular vote of 8,609,527. That's 33,630 apiece.

Doubtless the difference of 1,350 is a big deal. I reckon it's a fair indicator that deprived inner-city seats (which tend to return Labour) have lower turn-outs than the leafy suburbs and shires.

I also think it shows the Electoral Commissions are making a decent fist of it.

Alternatively, David @ 4:35 PM, you can believe in your own fantasies.

Of course, if you want true PR, ditch AV and AV+ and go for STV. Then I'm on your side.

Unsworth said...

@ Malcolm Redfellow

So you'd advocate an electoral system which is based on (likely?) turnouts?

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Unsworth @ 9:25 PM:

I thought we'd got one.

That's what all the opinion polls work on. Short of compulsory registration and voting, what else have we got?

All the evidence I have seen (and years tramping streets, delivering, canvassing, whatever) convinces me that there are a lot fewer defections from one ticket to another than there is differential turn-out. Get your vote out, you win. Don't, you don't.

A more enlightened view is that even the self-disenfranchised deserve to be represented.

Anent that, can anyone guide me to the authentic version of an anecdote (I think, from "Sir" Michael White?)? I recall it on these lines:

"X" (because I cannot recall the name) was an archetypal North-eastern Labour MP, never seen outside the Commons bar. He was accosted in situ by a Whip and told he had missed a vote.

The Whip fulminated: "X, you're a c...!"

X considered this, supped his pint, puffed his pipe: "There are a lot of c...s out there. They deserve one in here to represent them."