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Y'know, a lot of the British posters on here are pretty right wing

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miscsoc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 01:21 AM
Original message
Y'know, a lot of the British posters on here are pretty right wing
New Labourites, at any rate.

Is there a historical reason for that? What's up with that?
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Jeneral2885 Donating Member (598 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not
I'm not right wing.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 02:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. So are a lot of the American posters
more than a lot of them would admit to anyway (look at how revered in some quarters Bill Clinton is, for instance; and arguably the New Labour project wouldn't have happened without the Clintonite Democratic Leadership Council that saw the way to electability as enshrining Reaganism in the same was that New Labour later recast itself as neo-Thatcherite).
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oldironside Donating Member (835 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm a bit puzzled by that.
I can only think of one person who sticks out as not being of the left. Otherwise we're fairly solid, but like lefties everywhere take more pleasure in bitching at each other than at the opposition.

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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. I don't think many are RW or even New Labour...
Yes, there are a few who are a bit RW on certain issues, and at least one who seems frankly pro-Coalition if not Conservative; but I think there are fewer RW-ers proportionally here than on the main forums.

It depends what one means by 'RW' of course. By definition, Brits who join a forum predominantly for American Democrats are not likely to be revolutionary opponents of America, though we are likely to be opponents of the American Right.

But on the whole, people on the UK forum believe for example in universal public health care; economic policies aimed at greater equality; progressive taxation; strict consumer protection; and are against the death penalty and *certainly* would never think that prison rape is a natural part of being in prison and 'if you don't want to be raped, don't break the law' (I had a big argument about that on GD once; most posters agreed with me, but there were two who had this shocking view).

I have, on the main forums, come across people who wanted a flat tax; who thought that too much consumer protection was turning us all into 'wimps'; that 'some problems need right wing solutions and some need left wing solutions and the right-wing is not always wrong'; that 'paleoconservatives' deserve respect and are at least better than neoconservatives; that it would be a good idea for anti-establishment leftists and rightists to join forces; that Jews or Muslims or some other minority group are responsible for lots of the world's evils; that Ron Paul is a Good Thing; or that if British pensioners suffer as a result of BP failing, then it's THEIR fault for choosing jobs where the pension funds included BP investments, and such choices were their 'personal responsibility' and as a result they deserve 'NO SYMPATHY'! (Although I fully agree, and stated, that BP and British right-wingers cannot use pensioners as a human shield to get out of BP paying compensation to its victims, I was so upset by the harsh attitude expressed that I'm not quite sure what I said, but I really lost my temper which is uncharacteristic of me on the boards, and my post got deleted.) Of course, most people on the boards are not RW, and I have a great time posting with a lot of them, and feeling there's a lot of us on the same side. But there *are* people who are against the Iraq war but are otherwise socially and/or economically RW, and I think they are commoner on the main boards than the UK forum.

(Though there was Bulldog. I'm sure we all remember Bulldog, and some of his alter egos...)

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oldironside Donating Member (835 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. A thoughtful and intelligent post.
To your list of our basic beliefs I would add a desire to at least pay lip service to an ethical foreign policy, a belief in real equality irrespective of gender, race, sexuality, gender identity, support for a fairer voting system, and a sense of despair at the rise of Murdoch.

It makes me smile that the majority of the characteristics we've listed would make us rabid commies in the eyes of Fox News. Oh well, if it raises O'Reilly's blood pressure.
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EmilyKent Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
6. Most posters here seem to be Labour.
I'm LibDem, and that seems to be almost as rare as RW in this forum from what I've seen.
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Er.....no.
Quite a few disillusioned Lib Dems on here who voted for the Lib Dems to keep the Tories out or because they wanted Lib Dem policies other then a change in the voting system.

Labour folk on other discussion boards often seem to think that disillusioned Lib Dems will automatically cross over to them but that ain't nessessarily so. And by the same token there are ConDem coalition supporters who seem incapable of understanding that some Lib Dem supporters might not be entirely happy with the current arrangement.
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EmilyKent Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Well I'm quite happy with it.
First move forward in a very long time. I'd have preferred forming the govt, but that wasn't likely to happen, so you work with what you get.

No, I'd never move to Labour.
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fedsron2us Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-27-10 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. Not hard to spot are they ?
The actual volume of posting and the topics chosen are a dead giveaway.

Quite whose opinions they are trying to influence on a backwater of a US political message board is beyond me

Guess Conservative Central office have got no work for their staff since the election.

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Hopeless Romantic Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
10. Odd comment. Not really true imo
And I'm not sure that the right/left distinction is particularly meaningful anymore in any case.
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EmilyKent Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. No, it hasn't been since 1989.
The Cold War is over.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 04:25 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Left/right goes back much further than that
The terms originated in the French parliament around the time of their revolution; basically, the right is the faction of existing privilege and wealth, while the left is in favour of equality for all. You could arguably take it further back to the British Civil Wars, and the 'divine right of kings'.

Yes, left vs. right isn't the only way you can characterise someone's politics these days, but it is still a major aspect. And it is obvious some here are further right than others. Some here are 'traditional Labour', and we have the self-declared Anarcho-Socialist. I'm Lib Dem, who saw the coalition as better than just letting the Tories govern as a minority, but I'm worried that the Lib Dem cabinet members are allowing the punitive 25% spending cuts to go ahead as an idea. It's going to screw the poor, basically. And that's not a problem to the Tories, but it ought to be to a Lib Dem.

Almost no-one here was tribally 'New Labour', in that I can't remember anyone supporting the invasion of Iraq. But there are sometimes people who seem more like Ken Clarke than anyone else who voted against the invasion.
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non sociopath skin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Hi, Mu. Haven't seen you round much lately ...
... missed your contributions a lot.

Yes, not easy for you Lib Dems these days but that's show business. I'm sure that a lot of the grass roots share your views on the coalition.

The left/centre-left is a pretty broad church and, the odd troll and flamer apart, I think that this forum has been pretty true to the DU aims and objectives.

The Skin
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EmilyKent Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I meant it ended in 1989.
When the Berlin Wall fell. It's not a useful division anymore.

LibDems are certainly not going to get everything they want. They are the junior partner after all, but it's better than having no place at all. The revival was long overdue.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I disagree about left/right
I don't think it is restricted to a Communist/ anti-Communist distinction. In fact, left-right in Britain has usually had relatively little to do with such a distinction.

People can be left in one area and right in another. But I would say that the fundamental differences between left and right are that the right favour a 'might is right' position, enhancing the position of the 'strong' even if this means further disadvantaging the 'weak', while the left favour protecting and helping the 'weak' even if this limits the potentialities for advancement by the already 'strong'. 'Strong' most often means basically 'rich', but may also mean 'physically strong'; 'member of a majority group'; 'well-connected'; or, when applied to international relations, 'possessing military might'. The more libertarian right simply allows the strong to advance by trampling on the weak, without interference. The more authoritarian right attempts to force conformity to the rules of a majority or well-connected group: e.g. that all must follow the social mores of a dominant religious group.

The 'strong' in a given society may be wealthy businesspeople or managers, or feudal lords, or generals, or ayatollahs, or Stalinist apparatchiks (thus so-called communist countries often ended up as very right-wing in all areas except economics); etc. On the whole, men are in stronger positions than women, especially in more traditional societies; and members of racial or religious majority groups are usually stronger than minority group members (except when a minority gains power for other reasons, as in apartheid-era South Africa).

Thus:

Economically:

Right-wingers tend to favour the advancement of the rich and economically successful; favour tax cuts and spending cuts especially in areas of spending that help and protect poor, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged people; and oppose much restriction and regulation of big business.

Left-wingers tend to favour safety-nets for poor or disadvantaged people; policies that prevent severe poverty; progressive taxation; government provision of and spending on public services; and tighter regulation of big business.


On foreign policy:

Right-wingers tend to favour strong defence and are readier than left-wingers to go to war. They tend not to regard foreign aid to poorer nations as a priority.

Left-wingers tend to favour foreign aid to poorer nations; consider military spending a lower priority than do right-wingers; and are reluctant to go to war.


On social policy:

Right-wingers tend to believe in harsh punishment for crime; and place the prevention of crime or terrorism very much ahead of civil liberties. They tend to be against too much protection to religious or racial minorities, and in some cases actively support discrimination. Many, though not all, right-wingers, favour forcing people into traditional social roles and mores, often based on religion: i.e. anti-feminism, anti-abortion and sometimes contraception, anti-gay-marriage, 'sin' in the religious sense should be against the law, etc.

Left-wingers place civil liberties ahead of prevention or punishment of crime. (Yes, I know that New Labour didn't. They were not left-wing, especially in this sense). They believe in equality for minorities, and in laws against discrimination. They are against forcing people into traditional social roles, and against religious intrusions into state law.


So it's quite a difference.





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EmilyKent Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Well that's what it devolved into, an exaggeration
of the original differences, and a polarizing effect because of it. The Cold War lasted for about 50 years after all, more than enough time for extreme positions to both occur, and then harden.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I would disagree here.
I would say that at least in the UK, a lot of the fundamentals began in the 19th century, and involved (a) democracy versus entrenchment of existing power; (b) rights for poor and working-class people and for social minorities vs denial of such rights.

There were earlier forerunners, but I have proposed the 19th century, as this was when democracy began in the UK, and when poorer and working-class people made their first *serious* inroads into the political system.

Of course, there is a case for proposing far earlier beginnings to the left/right distinction: notably the Peasants Revolt.
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non sociopath skin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-10 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. As Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks pointed out ...
... the Right has opposed every positive reform ever mooted and then claimed ownership of it when it was ultimately accepted.

The Skin
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