Thursday, April 02, 2009

Gayers Now More Likely to Vote Tory Than Labour (Or LibDem)

Pink News is reporting that the gay website, Gaydar, has published a poll showing that gay people in Britain are, for the first time ever, more likely to vote Tory than for the two other main parties. Here are the results of the poll.
The survey of 1,800 gay men and women, found 30 per cent said they intend to vote Conservative at the next general election. It was conducted by the Gaydar consumer panel for the Outright Consortium last month.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats each took 18 per cent of the vote, while 17 per cent said they will not vote and nine per cent were undecided. At the last general election in 2005, 33 per cent voted Labour compared to 21 per cent who voted Conservative.

Unsurprisingly, 73 per cent said the next election will be fought on the state of the economy. Ten per cent said unemployment would be a key issue and five per cent cited immigration. Fifty-nine per cent of respondents felt Gordon Brown was not doing a good job as prime minister.

In terms of finance, 24 per cent of those questioned were most worried about losing their job in the recession, compared with 20 per cent who were concerned about paying their mortgages. However, 22 per cent said they were not worried at all. Although 71 per cent blamed the banks for the recession, 72 per cent said they were not planning to change financial services providers in the near future.

Just over half (51 per cent) said the recession had impacted on their spending, with 35 per cent admitting to making the biggest cutbacks in their social lives.

This will cause much gnashing of teeth in the predominantly left wing gay press, but will not come as a surprise to the rest of us, who have always thought gay people as a group ought to find Conservative ideas about liberty and individualism more attractive than the alternatives.

More from Richard Willis HERE.

71 comments:

Simon Gardner said...

It remains incredible that any gay person would consider voting for the perpetually anti-gay Tories.

And I think we’ve been here before.

Hannibal said...

On party only has multiple Cabinet-level civil partnerships...and it's not Labour.

Iain Dale said...

Simon, that is beneath you.

David Lindsay said...

No change here.

Simon Gardner said...

Yes I know you do. And I know there’s at least one (actually out) shadow cabinet minister. And there have been countless other in-the-closet gay Tory MPs.

But I’m quite serious.

The Conservative party’s instincts (by which I mean the wider party and not those now sophistacted MPs) are anti-gay.

Or maybe I’m just no longer up to speed with Cameron’s Tories....?

Simon Gardner said...

How many lesbian Tory MPs are there - given the pro rata odds?

Lexander said...

The more the merrier. Now bring on the left-handed lesbians (my favs) !

Vulpus_rex said...

Simon Gardner:

You insult all gay people with your intellectually lazy assumption that the only issue on which gay people vote is their sexuality.

We have brains, we have eyes and we can see for ourselves the damage that Labour have done to every aspect of life in the UK.

No party is pefect; but none of them come close to the Labour party for sleaze, incompetence and dishonesty as the Labour party, yet you seem to imply we should still vote for them?

Do you think gay people are morons, sheep or both?

Simon Dyda said...

I don't see anything to debate here other than whether the poll's conclusions are valid or not.

Iain Dale said...

Simon, how do you explain that when I was selected in North Norfolk (having told them I was gay) I got 66% of the vote at the selection meeting where more than 200 of the local party were present - mostly over the age of 60.

Same for Nick Herbert in Arundel. he even produced his boyfriend at the selection meeting.

I am afraid it is you are displaying prejudice here, not the Tory Party. You imagine Tory Party members as some homogenous, bigoted, homophobic grouping when they are nothing of the sort. All parties have bigots. They are not exclusive to one party.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Desperate Dan said...

"...for the first time.."

So when did records begin?

Plato said...

Simon you are way off beam - again.

All my gay mates are Tories and can't stand the way Labour try to claim-jump their opinions/feelings and make faux 'protection' laws - when it's actually all about control.

*plonker*

JuliaM said...

"How many lesbian Tory MPs are there..."

How many does there need to be?

If there's 'too many' (judged by whom?), should some be deselected, so straights can get in?

See where quotas take you? Cretin.

JuliaM said...

"All my gay mates are Tories..."

Ditto!

John Buckingham said...

Could this be because middle class gays are more likely to be out and therefore susceptible to being surveyed? Of course gay people shouldn't vote according to their sexuality, but all people should consider things like civil partnerships when considering who to vote for, because it demonstrates the basic humanity which is part of Labour values, and, I fear, rather lacking in the Tories. However, in many ways it is a signifier of the progress Labour has made that gay issues no longer dictate gay votes - because we've resolved most of those issues. Sure, a little gratitude would be nice, but in other ways it's great that it doesn't matter anymore - an analogy might be the working-class Tory right-to-buyers...

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Halsall said...

@Vulpus_Rex

Are you the same guy who was taken in by Pink News' April Fools spoof yesterday? [ http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-11823.html ]

@Iain

The survey is based on "1,800 gay users of the Gaydar". I don't think that is very reliable as a guide.

Whatever else one thinks of the Labour government, surely all gay people can agree that it massively advanced the social and legal equality of LGBT people. One of David Cameron's signature moves has been to accept this social shift, but it is impossible to think that it would have happened without Labour.

This kind of advancement also only took place under Liberal (Canada) or Socialist (most of Europe) parties. Even Sweden's decision yesterday to allow gay marriage faced opposition *only* from the Christian Democrats. I know European Parties don't always map onto ours, but why don't conservatives ever actively advance gay equality.

If, however, Cameron's Tories call for giving Civil Partnerships the name of civil marriage, and also allow those religious groups that want it to celebrate gay unions in church, I will eat my words.

Iain Dale said...

I am afraid you will have to eat your words.

Cameron has said just that - at the 2006 conference and in the interview he did with me for Total Politics. He said marriage meant a partnership between a woman and a man, a man and a man and a woman and a woman.

However, I'll meet you half way. I accept that civil partnerships would not have happened as quickly if the Tories had been in power. I actually thanked Tony Blair in my speech at my own civil partnership. Full credit to him. It was a meaningful achievement.

John Buckingham said...

So don't you think, Iain, that it says something rather profound about the difference between Labour and the Tories? That we're rather more willing to extend the hand of decency and respect? To me, it shows Labour to be more caring and generous in its values than the Tories.

Simon Gardner said...

Plato said... “All my gay mates are Tories...”

Fair enough. I don’t know any Tories socially (gay or straight) and they’d certainly not be in our social circle for a moment if they were [Tory].

So vis à vis homosexuality maybe the Tory party has changed..? Although there seems to have been a deafening silence on the lesbian front - apart from some silly bluster.

I still note that Iain has pointed out that no Tory administration would have introduced that gay partnership legislation - which still needs to be converted to be called marriage.

Simon Gardner said...

Oh and PS. My own (Tory in a very safe seat) MP has always had a first class record on gay rights ever since he entered parliament.

Dick the Prick said...

Iain said:

'Same for Nick Herbert in Arundel, he even produced his boyfriend at the selection meeting.'

Quite some trick, like Weird Science which it can be assumed you've not seen either! No wonder they picked him.

I'll get me coat...

Iain Dale said...

Simon, this comment from you says more about you than I ever could...

"I don’t know any Tories socially (gay or straight) and they’d certainly not be in our social circle for a moment if they were [Tory]."

Could you tell me why being Toryphobic is different to being homophobic?

It would be interesting to know why you delight in spending your entire days commenting on a Tory blog and hanging out with people you pretend to despise.

wild said...

"the basic humanity which is part of Labour values...lacking in the Tories."

I could not agree more John, Tories are sub-human vermin who should be re-educated or gassed.

Of course if people were to spend some of their leisure time reading a good book about the history of the Left, that would tell them all they need to know about the humanity of the Left.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Some of my best friends are Tories. Many of them have been openly Tory for some time.

Plato said...

Mr Gardner

"I don’t know any Tories socially (gay or straight) and they’d certainly not be in our social circle for a moment if they were [Tory]."

Well what an open-minded and inclusive wotsit you are, not.

*rolls-eyes*

Skewered by your own words, me thinks.

Simon Gardner said...

“Could you tell me why being Toryphobic is different to being homophobic?”

It’s political.

And I rather thought you’d like that. It’s true too.

wild said...

"it shows Labour to be more caring and generous...than the Tories."

Yes John, when I look up at the television and notice a sea of happy and caring expressions, I know immediately that I am watching the Labour Party Conference.

John Buckingham said...

Well Wild, it strikes me that trebling child poverty was not a very caring thing to do...I think it's fairly clear, from a cursory look at British political history, that Labour has been rather more consistent (albeit far from perfect) in defending those in need. And the notion that supporting Labour means supporting Stalin is a rather odd one, which I'm sure you do not really believe.

ppe said...

So what this poll is saying is that there isn't a social cleavage based on sexuality which overrides class, gender, religion etc.

This is meant to be surprising how? There never was. Of course there isn't going to be an aggregate 'sexuality gap', but I'd wager if you were to isolate the impact of sexuality on electoral choice (and there are all sorts of measurement issues why you can't), you'd still find a significant advantage to Labour. Why? My cautious hypothesis is Tory heterosexist prejudice, whether in attitude or in policy. Tell me I'm wrong.

wild said...

John, if you were interested in reducing poverty you would not be a socialist.

Dick the Prick said...

John, there's a difference between defending those in need and disincentivizing and eliminating any possible avenue out of it.

Let's educate kids - err...no, actually, let's not bother with that one - pop them in a pointless new school and everything will be hunky dory - huzzah!

Will S said...

"All my gay mates are Tories...”

Most my Tory mates are gay...

John Buckingham said...

Dick, I wholeheartedly agree with your first point, hence why I'm in favour of welfare reform.(http://cambridgeunilabour.blogspot.com/2008/12/welfare-reform-left-thing-to-do.html)

And Wild, I suppose that depends what you mean by socialism. For instance, I am a staunch believer in the power of globalisation to reduce poverty, but it clearly requires the hand of the state and supranational institutions to make sure it does so. I believe in using the state to promote capitalist enterprise to fuel growth, and in ensuring those gains are used to improve people's lives rather than simply feather the nests of the fortunate. Perhaps that's not socialism, but it's certainly not Toryism either.

wild said...

By the way John, I did not mention Stalin but if it were 70 years ago, and this was the 1930's equivalent of a blog, you would be attacking "Tory" critics of the Russian Revolution, and you know it.

ppe said...

Oh, and Iain - gayers? Who are you trying to endear yourself to?

Paul Canning said...

Gaydar?!? It's not even all 'gay' but full of what AIDS researchers call 'men who have sex with men'.

It's a reasonable point on Tory gays and more power to you on shifting them pinkwards Iain, but a bit slack not to acknowledge the, er, less than scientific nature of this net poll.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

I'm tempted to write, "Bugger me!", but I won't.

I wonder, Iain, if your being a homosexual, being involved in Tory politics and writing this blog has influenced that poll result.

If it has, then well done.

(If you DO have any influence about the selection of Tory lezzer MPs, could you make sure they are lookers, such as those who may well have appeared in Richard Timney's dirty films, rather than the rather haggard NuLab lezzers that we have to suffer at present? Thanyerrverrymuch)

wild said...

John, you assert that you are

"a staunch believer in the power of globalisation...and capitalist enterprise"

but believe that politicians ought to redistribute any gains, so that economic gains

"improve people's lives rather than simply feather the nests of the fortunate.

Slight contradiction there. Either capitalism and free trade improve the lot of the poor, or they do not improve the lot of the poor.

If you are assuming that capitalism and free trade improves the living standards of the poor (good) but also increases inequality (bad) and therefore politicians ought to redistribute economic gains, this assumes that politicians know best.

You argument therefore amounts to the claim that we ought to have more confidence in politicians than is generally the case amongst "Tories".

But that is hardly the same as your earlier claim that "Tories" are "Tories" because they are less caring. It is an argument about the wisdom and benevolence of politicians.

Simon Gardner said...

Iain. This was hashed over at great length on the passage of the appalling Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 - which I still hope will be repealed.

Being “phobic” about someone’s sexuality makes as much sense as being phobic over their having blue eyes, being left handed, ginger haired or indeed being brown skinned. It’s an aspect of humanity people are born with.

The same is absolutely not true of (in that case) a religion which is a (very, very silly) ideology. It’s perfectly reasonable to be prejudiced against god-botherers as indeed I am - big-time.

The same goes for any other personally adopted ideology (like personal politics).

So that’s the difference. I hope that makes it clearer.

John Buckingham said...

Wild, I don't believe I mentioned free trade - it is certainly not the same as globalisation. Indeed, as Ha-Joon Chang would say, no country has ever entered advanced capitalism without first undergoing a period of state-sponsored growth being trade barriers e.g. South Korea, Japan were heavily interventionist, along with China and India more recently.

However, once those tariff barriers have been removed, and 'free trade' is operating, then it is the responsibility of governments to ensure that all their citizens can prosper. And I certainly do not believe that capitalism and free trade, left untended, are particularly beneficial - but thankfully state intervention and globalisation are not contradictory. Indeed, evidence suggests strong labour rights, for instance, are associated with increased FDI flows; it seems that high public spending is tolerated by globalised business provided it improves skills and infrastructure and is not spent wastefully.

Surely you can see that accepting the positives of capitalism doesn't mean we have to accept the negatives too? Do you really believe capitalism would falter simply because we provided universal free school meals, for instance?! My point is that we should all recognise our moral obligations towards each other's welfare - which means accepting limits to markets and on our own acquisitiveness. That's all socialism is - a higher level of decency and cooperation in our economic and social relations - 'doing as you'd be done by'. It's not so bad, really...

John Buckingham said...

Sorry, that should read 'behind trade barriers'. And no, I would not have supported Stalin in the 30s, what a ludicrous suggestion. And I don't believe Tories are subhuman vermin either, I just think they have a scant regard for other people's wellbeing; putting yourself first is not the kind of values I was raised on and I find it sad that others were - shoddy parenting if you ask me.

Vulpus_rex said...

@Paul Halsall

Yes indeed me - good spot.

You are correct that the Labour party have done a lot for gay equality/rights type stuff, but in fact so has the Tory Party over time, and it is good to bear in mind that some of the legislation introduced by labour only exists as they were taken kicking and screaming to the European courts.

What riles me beyond tolerance though is the arrogant assumption that because of their stance on equality the Labour party somehow own the gay vote.

I may now be able to sleep legally with a 16 year old boy (no thanks), but I cannot vote for a party that allows Jacqui Smith to remain in High Office.

The stench of sleaze from this government is now beyond belief yet they think because they've handed out a few sweeties to the gay community they've got my vote in the bag!

As I said before - do they think we are morons devoid of the power of critical judgement?

wild said...

John,

Globalisation generally refers to the reduction and removal of trade barriers. You deny that free trade and capitalism are "particularly" beneficial unlike "labour rights" and high public spending which (contrary to free wasteful free market) improves skills and infrastructure.

You are wrong of course. Trade Unions improve the living standards of their members at the expense of everybody else (including the poor) and there is no more wasteful arrangement than State planning.

You would be hard pressed to find any "Tory" who did not see a role for the State. Once again it comes down to a question of how much control should politicians be given over our lives.

I appreciate that if you work in the State sector you have to find some way of justifying the tax man taking money from the poor and redistributing it to your bank account, but "Tories" do not automatically assume that people employed by the State are better at supplying education and training.

They seek the system works which best - by which I do not mean which system works best for Guardian readers.

Thanks by the way for seeking to remind me about "moral obligations". Let me put a suggestion to you - "Tories" oppose Socialism on moral grounds.

I, for example, believe that Socialism is demonstrably not about a higher level of decency and co-operation, as any acquaintance with a society run by Socialist politicians will demonstrate.

Conand said...

@wild @ 10:15

In response I'll paste a comment I made elsewhere earlier in the day:

It is ironic that Labour have got British people slogging their guts out to pay for a pampered, self serving, hierarchy of unaccountable elites.
Er... what was the Trade Union movement and the Labour party originally about again? Do remind me...Oh!

Conand said...

@wild Sorry! It was more a response to John Buckingham. You see my point though right? :)

@Iain Dale Publisher of Total Politics & Tory Blogga,

I totally agree with everything you've said in the post and the comments. I hereby claim my £5
One of the reasons I avoided coming out as a Tory was they didn't seem too friendly with regards to my friends who'd paddled or channel-crossed within the gaying milieux.
I'm glad that has changed.

John Buckingham said...

I'm sorry Conan, I'm not quite sure what point you're making - are you seriously suggesting that healthcare assistants and nurses who are Unison members are part of a pampered, self-serving elite? I would remind you that it is the Tory elite (your friends in the city) who are the cause of our economic woes. And anyone who thinks the unions have any real power in the Labour Party is having a laugh - if only!

Wild, since you have decided to reply to arguments entirely different from those I made, it scarcely seems worth responding, but I would say that anyone who believes private enterprise is the best way to provide transport and public services is living in cloud cuckoo land - pointless duplication, removal of unprofitable but vital services, orientation towards the needs of the moneyed, total postcode lotteries (better services in better areas), no democratic control over services, no special provision for vulnerable groups etc etc.

You also continually refer to the 'state' providing services - is a teacher really 'the state', or someone capable of making their own rational decisions? Certainly teachers should be more free - but who introduced the National Curriculum? Tories seek the system which works best for the few; socialists seek to remedy that system so that it works for everyone. And if socialist countries are so lacking in decency, it is very odd that Scandinavian countries compare very favourably to our own when it comes to people's perceptions of other's consideration for their wellbeing.

I don't really understand what point you're making with regard to the public sector - since the NHS, education etc allow pooling of risk/need, they're far more cost-effective than individual private provision. Do you really think people with no kids shouldn't have to pay for education through tax? Or that the healthy shouldn't be willing to pay for the ill to get better? If so, you really have been brought up badly - you seem to subscribe to an exceedingly morally degenerate form of individualism...

bryboy said...

Who gives a shit!

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

@ John Buckingham

'I'm sorry Conan (sic), I'm not quite sure what point you're making - are you seriously suggesting that healthcare assistants and nurses who are Unison members are part of a pampered, self-serving elite?

[No, I'm not.]

I would remind you that it is the Tory elite (your friends in the city) who are the cause of our economic woes.

[Absurd, bigoted nonsense. I seem to remember that it was Gordon's friends in the city who made the biggest cockups. You know the ones, he gave them Peerages and Knighthoods and got one a job at the top of the FSA FFS!. So the government weren't at all to blame? They created the regulatory framework, they were meant to supervise that framework and they created the taxation environment.]

And anyone who thinks the unions have any real power in the Labour Party is having a laugh - if only!

[I was making a point about the origins of the Labour movement and how IMHO it has created a system akin to the one it's founders despised. I made no reference to the present relationships between the Unions and the Labour party.]

wv: ant rings How lovely.

wild said...

John,

As you know full well the Working Time Directive, the Warwick Agreement, the Employment Relations Act, and the Legal Services Act are all examples of legislation which has been favourable to the Trade Unions.

You are also fully aware that over the same period, the Trade Unions have been big donors to the Labour Party. Since 2001 they have given well in excess of £55.5 million to the Labour Party, two thirds of the total of the donations.

You know full well that it is incorrect to state that "Tories seek the system which works best for the few" whereas Socialists seek a system that "works for everyone." That is just comic book stuff.

Of course there are debates about what "system" delivers the best service to the user (rather than the provider) but your claim was that "Tories" are insensitive to moral considerations.

If you carry through the logic of that belief only Labour Party members ought to have the vote at elections. A One Party State after all would relieve you from the irksome business of having to listen to people with a different point of view.

Unsworth said...

@ Simon Gardner

"I don’t know any Tories socially (gay or straight) and they’d certainly not be in our social circle for a moment if they were [Tory]."

OK, so do you know any at all? If not, your understanding of them must be very limited. But that is self-evident.

Little Black Sambo said...

"Gay people as a group" - that would be the "gay community".

Simon: "gay partnership legislation - which still needs to be converted to be called marriage." "Calling" it marriage wouldn't, and couldn't, make it so.

Paul: "If ... Cameron's Tories ... allow those religious groups that want it to celebrate gay unions in church ..." They already can, where the church concerned agrees; and if a church doesn't agree, then Cameron's Tories would not be able to make it do so.

John Buckingham said...

Wild, the fact that Labour has enacted a few bits and bobs of legislation that favour workers (not 'unions') is hardly proof of strong union influence - the unions take what they think they'll get and don't ask for any more. And of course it is individual union members, opting in to their political funds, not 'unions' per se, who have made those donations.

My characterisation of the Tories is no less 'comic book' than yours of Labour - which I'm happy to disagree on. I do believe that most Tories are selfish individualists with little regard for the wellbeing of others - and Tory policies in the past strongly support that view; I think we should condemn such degeneracy, but if you like it, that's fine, it's a free country. I don't know where you got your 'one party state' thing from - I think you're wrong, not that you should stop talking. Just because people disagree with you doesn't mean they're infringing your human rights...

Sorry conand, I obviously misunderstood your comment. I would certainly agree that the government must share the blame (if it had followed the left's advice this would never have happened), but I would maintain that selfishness and greed in the City are problems - and they stem from Tory values, not Labour ones.

Paul Halsall said...

Iowa's Supreme Court just legalised same-sex marriage (full use of the term). http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090403/NEWS/90403010

Paul Halsall said...

Update: Same sex marriages will be allowed in Iowa from April 24th. It would take until 2012 to get a constitutional ban through the Iowa system (by which time it will hopefully be a non-issue).

Plus Vermont yesterday approved same-sex marriage by huge majorities in both houses (although the Governor could still veto).

How long before the UK catches up?

wild said...

John,

As you know full well Trade Unions are a special interest group that fund the Labour Party in order that legislation be put in place that puts other "workers" out of a job.

If you believe that Trade Unions are about unselfishness then you have simply not understood the concept.

As for the "degenerates" (such revealing language) who vote "Tory" your childish labels would be laughable were they not so sinister.

By dressing up your hatred and intolerance as kindness and conscience you are at least acknowledging the superiority of virtue over vice.

John Buckingham said...

I don't believe trade unions are about unselfishness, nor should they have to be - they're about groups of people getting together because they'd be powerless alone, in order to improve their and others' working conditions: the very definition of democratic engagement. Whereas wealthy people fund the Tory party in order to get wealthier - so I think we have God on our side on that one - camels and needles and all...

I would like to see evidence of trade unions putting workers out of a job; as I've mentioned, increased labour rights are associated with increased FDI flows, due to the benefits for political stability.

"By dressing up your hatred and intolerance as kindness and conscience you are at least acknowledging the superiority of virtue over vice." Er, is that supposed to be profound?! Yes, I prefer good to evil...hence why I'm a Labour member! And yes, anyone who believes in naked individualism is morally degenerate, which is why any Christian or well-raised person should have nothing to do with Toryism.

Unsworth said...

@ John Buckingham

"...they're about groups of people getting together because they'd be powerless alone, in order to improve their and others' working conditions"
That's what they originally were for, but tell that to the likes of Derek Simpson, eh?

"...the very definition of democratic engagement"
WTF is 'democratic engagement'?

"...Whereas wealthy people fund the Tory party in order to get wealthier"
Oh God! Not that old, tired, discredited class-war mantra again. Care to comment on the likes of Sainsbury? Care to comment on Trade Union funding of the Labour Party using 'development fund' moneys extracted from we taxpayers?

John Buckingham said...

Oh, I'm sorry, when was it discredited? Was it when you were tripling child poverty and slashing taxes for the rich, or when you were vastly increasing the level of inequality and family breakdown and destroying communities? No-one joins the Tories to improve the lives of others, they do so to line their pockets.

That development fund story is nonsense - certainly the govt pays about £3m a year (peanuts) to unions for devt projects (I'd like to hear how much it subsidises business owners - somewhat more?!), but there's no evidence or even claims that that is the money the unions pay to Labour, which largely comes directly from the political funds which individual members pay into. And since the money raised by the political fund is 3 the annual value of these grants, the argument holds little water. Perhaps you're a little jealous that the Toris don't have 3.5m people willing to help fund them?
(see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6175937.stm)
And Labour is now 90% union-funded (that is, funded by ordinary working people), so no-one can claim we're bankrolled by the wealthy. Remember also that the development money goes to many unions (32?), only 12 (i think) of which are Labour affiliates, so they're getting very little each.

Unsworth said...

@ John Buckingham

You're making several wild assumptions here. Who, exactly, is 'you'?

3.5 million people 'willing' to help them? Don't be so silly. 'Voluntary contributions' my arse.

As to evidence. Well the union leaders may be cretinous but just how stupid do you think they are?It's the money-go-round, ain't it? Did anyone say that all of the unions' political contributions came from the improvement fund? Union memberships have been stiffed by their officers in a big way. I'm old enough to have met and talked with old-fashioned trade-unionists such as George Woodcock and Len Murray. They would have been mortified at the state of Britain now. They would have been horrified at the state of the Union movement today.

Despite your assertions you really don't have a clue as to why people join any political party, do you? Where's your evidence, where's your research? There's a wealth of difference between making statutory or 'voluntary' contributions and actual voting patterns.

And you seriously believe that we now have a more 'equal' society, with less family breakdown - and you genuinely believe this busted society has improved in any way over the past decade?

I often work in some of the most deprived areas in the South East. In my direct personal experience things have not improved for the poorest - and the gap between rich and poor has increased phenomenally. More than ten years of Labour Government - and we're in this state. It is shameful and disgusting.

John Buckingham said...

OK, go to the Unison website, look at their membership form and tell me it's not voluntary. It's clearly there in black and white. Clearly the money from the fund will have to be spent for its intended purpose, don't flog a
dead horse.

The % kids in single parent families doubled under Thatcher from 10% to 22% (see Hills et al, A More Equal Society?) - wonder why that was? According to right-wing Civitas, it's still around 20%(http://www.civitas.org.uk/pubs/experiments.php) - so who's to blame for 'broken Britain'? The damage the Tories did was never going to be undone by the timidity of New Labour, but 'more of the same' from the Tories won't help either. However, the OECD recently reported that the UK was the only member country to reduce inequality in the last decade, and several million people have been lifted out of relative poverty.

I wholeheartedly agree much more needs to be done - we need an end to New Labour of course, and an absolute focus on the poor so that every policy is designed to help them get on. Will you get that from Tories? No, because that's not what Tories are interested in, it's not why people join the Tories, and it's not in keeping with Tory values.

Don't forget that when the Tories came in to power 1/10 kids in Britain lived in poverty; when they left it was 1 in 3. I just don't trust them.

wild said...

I would like to see evidence of Trade Unions putting workers out of a job

I will leave you to work out the answer to that one yourself, but given your inability to think beyond childish slogans I am not holding my breath.

You are a Leftist politicians wet dream.

John Buckingham said...

What a comeback! That was a brilliant show of evidence-based opinion. Weren't you taught to 'show your workings' at school? I suppose whether your last comment is complimentary or not depends on the politician...

wild said...

I would like to see evidence of Trade Unions putting workers out of a job

If (it of course a big if) you want to do more, in the period between your birth and death, than parrot political slogans crafted by people who would prefer it if you did not think for yourself, then it would be better if you worked out the answer to that one yourself.

a) It is not hard

b) I am not your tutor

c) You might learn something

John Buckingham said...

Yeah, might use that one myself the next time I can't be bothered to find evidence to back up an opinion...
And given that I've provided some empirical evidence, and you have not, I think I'm winning on the 'research' front at the minute.

wild said...

OFF TOPIC ECONOMICS LECTURE 101

TRADE UNIONS

In a competitive labour market higher wages may cause unemployment. Trades unions may cause wages to go above equilibrium via the threat of strikes e.t.c. When wages are above the equilibrium this will cause a decline in employment.

A trade union is concerned with the interests of its members, ignoring those who are excluded from the labour markets, e.g. the unemployed.

If unions go on strike or work unproductively (work to rule) this may lead to lost output and sales. This may reduce the number of employees an employer can employ, and may cause the business to fail, increasing unemployment.

If unions demand wages above the rate of inflation this contributes to general inflation. This damages an economy generating higher unemployment.

If trades unions face a monopoly employer they can help counterbalance the employers market power. In this situation unions can increase wages without causing unemployment. If however unions force wages to be uncompetitive they will increase unemployment.

It is possible for trade unions to co-operate with employers in increasing productivity. This can only happen however if class war warriors (such as John Buckingham) both understand the laws of economics, and care about something other than their resentments. This however is a big ask.

Unsworth said...

@ John Buckingham

So the Unison website speaks on behalf of all trade unionists, does it? And let's not be too naive about that, eh?

You 'wonder why' - yet choose to blame Thatcher?

Over a decade of NuLab and no progress whatsoever. (Civitas' 20% is within the margin of error)

I did not say 'much more needs to be done' did I? So don't try to put words in my mouth. What I think is that something needs to be done - and NuLab have failed spectacularly even to do that.

Things are infinitely worse - witness today's reports on relative food costs which are based on retrospective analysis. There's escalating child poverty (e.g. 29% below the poverty line in Wales - up from 27% the year before) Child malnutrition, anyone?

As to "its not why people join the Tories". Garbage. As I said before, you really don't have a clue - beyond your own astoundingly blinkered bias against the Tories. If you have, then put up your evidence. What's obvious is that the NuLab experiment has failed.

Tom Pinch said...

http://pecksniffs-descent.blogspot.com/2009/04/gay-people-persecution-and-conservative.html