Monday, 7 March 2011

A (partial) apology to the people of Barnsley

The other day I made a post about an article written by Dominic Carman, the Lib Dem candidate for Barnsley in the recent by-election.

My post speaks rather rudely about the people of Barnsley.

However, I recently read this by Jon. Because of this, I've reassessed my opinion a bit. I don't think that Dominic lied in his article but I accept that it could be an unrepresentative portrait of Barnsley.

Because of this, I want to say sorry to the people of Barnsley as a whole. I'm sorry that I tarred you all with the same brush. However, I still refuse to believe that spitting on people, insulting them and being incredibly racist is excusable. Even if Nick Griffin knocked on my door I would still behave (relatively) civilly to him.

Dominic Carman posted what is simply an account of his experience as a candidate in Barnsley. Even if it is coloured or biased I still believe that the behaviour he experienced from some of the people in Barnsley is a stain  on that's town reputation and I stand by my opinion of the people who behaved like that.

However, it was wrong of me to write off everyone in Barnsley and tar them with the same brush. So, to all you decent people in Barnsley: I'm sorry.

13 comments:

  1. You were right first time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What is it about Tories that they are determined to exploit the examples of a few people in order to trot out clichés like "it's a stain on the town's reputation"? They're even making charitable acts such as soup runs illegal now.

    Oh sorry, you're a liberal. Well, I stand by my opinion that anyone who calls an entire town "fucking stupid" behind their backs is a stain of the reputation of the Lib Dems. I refuse to believe it is excusable.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jon, if I found out that people from Guildford (where I live) had been spitting on candidates and being openly racist then I would feel ashamed. I've been canvassing before and I've never experienced anything even approaching what Dominic Carman experienced. You don't agree with my viewpoints, fine. That's your opinion and you're entitled to it, just as I'm entitled to my own views. The difference is, no matter how much I disagree with you, I'm not going to make personal attacks or spit on you. I hope you're a decent enough person that you would also hold to that same standard of civility.

    People in Barnsley failed to do that. And the behaviour of some of them is inexcusable and, unless Dominic completely lied and fabricated his account, appears to be relatively widespread or at least the behaviour of a substantial minority. I don't care what your opinion of someone's politics is, if you're not willing to even listen to them briefly then you're a close-minded bigot.

    One other thing. I'm not a tory, I'm a lefty. I'm a social liberal. I'd be seriously tempted to dance on Thatcher's grave if I got the chance. The same goes for that war criminal Tony Blair. I don't like everything that this government is doing (and, incidentally, Tory-run Westminster council isn't the same thing as the Coalition government) but I hated what the last government was doing even less.

    In less than a year Lib Dems have made huge progressive strides in several areas. I'm not happy about fees or the NHS, but the good will still outweigh the bad. And, at the end of the day, at least under this government I'm not at risk of being locked up without charge and having all of my rights taken away just because a few state officials deem it prudent.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @potter

    Only a partial apology, how pathetic.

    "Even if Nick Griffin knocked on my door I would still behave (relatively) civilly to him."

    I'd tell Griffin and his boneheads "No thanks" then shut the door. If was Nick Clegg I'd gob in his face, call him a lying, cheating c**t then as he was walking away from the house I'd start throwing bricks at him.

    "In less than a year Lib Dems have made huge progressive strides in several areas. "

    Please explain this.

    "And, at the end of the day, at least under this government I'm not at risk of being locked up without charge and having all of my rights taken away just because a few state officials deem it prudent."

    When were you ever at risk of this under the last government? Please explain this one as well as it seems you're frankly deluded.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Anonymous

    All this goes to show then is that you're a violent little prick. I may despise Clegg with a passion but I'm not the kind of violent lowlife who'd use violence against people because I disagree with them.

    As for the progressive strides, have a read of the list at the bottom of this article:

    http://thepotterblogger.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-im-still-lib-dem.html

    Under Labour I could be detained, without charge for 42 days. I would be unable to see the evidence against me or to speak to a lawyer. I could also be stopped and searched for no reason. That enough of an explanation for you?

    ReplyDelete
  6. "All this goes to show then is that you're a violent little prick."

    And you're moaning at me for not being civil, wanker.

    "Under Labour I could be detained, without charge for 42 days."

    That is totally untrue. You claim to hold civil libs so dear yet you don't have a fucking clue what you're talking about.

    " I would be unable to see the evidence against me or to speak to a lawyer."

    The terrorism powers still give the authorities the power to detain suspects and prosecute them using secret evidence.

    " I could also be stopped and searched for no reason."

    The stop and search powers were only curtailed because of a European Court of Human Rights decision. Oh and the consultation on their replacement is looking at re-introducing the sus laws which were oh so liberal...not.

    You're deluding yourself if you think the libdems are making any progressive strides. The tory-libs are engaged in an extremely right wing agenda that will set back the clock on social progress for two decades. You're either a gullible fool or pathetic tribal idiot.

    Take the first item on your list:

    "The individual tax allowance to be raised to £10,000 by 2015, with a £1,000 increase already"

    Have you actually looked at the distributional analysis of how it affects the tax system? It helps higher earners far more than those earning between £6000 and £10,000. And it does bugger all for those on really low wages. This is even before you factor in the effect of VAT, it would have been far more progressive to leave the personal allowance where it was and not increased VAT by so much.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Anonymous

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck. Similarly, if you talk like a violent prick and say you'll act like a violent prick then your probably are a violent prick.

    And, for the record, there's a limit to how far my civility extends when my opponents are continuously failing to be civil.

    "That is totally untrue. You claim to hold civil libs so dear yet you don't have a fucking clue what you're talking about."

    Actually, I think the reverse is the case. 42 day detention. Look it up. Liberty has quite a good piece on it.

    "The terrorism powers still give the authorities the power to detain suspects and prosecute them using secret evidence."

    Yes, in some cases, which I'm not happy about but it's still a massive improvement on the previous situation and the improvement would never have happened under Labour.

    The new stop and search laws only allow them to be used for very short periods of time and only in specifically defined areas whereas previously the police could, for example, indefinitely declared all of London a stop and search zone.

    "The tory-libs are engaged in an extremely right wing agenda that will set back the clock on social progress for two decades."

    Given that the rate that which the gap between rich and poor is getting wider actually increased under Labour then I don't see how that's an argument for keeping a Labour government. If nothing else then at least a new government should have a chance. I doubt they can do much worse.

    Yes I have looked at how the tax allowance increase will impact. It will take almost a million of some of the lowest paid people in the country out of tax completely. If you look at it purely on a decile by decile basis then yes, it will help the second and third deciles more than the first but only because the 1st earns under the allowance in the first place. That still doesn't mean that the 2nd and 3rd deciles aren't low paid. And I fail to see how you can use that to justify doing nothing at all. Furthermore, since you appear to be using the IFS's study of the tax allowance increase then why aren't you using the IFS's study showing that the VAT increase is in fact progressive?

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I will briefly add that I got muddled up over 42 day detention, it was in fact a limit 0f 28 days. My confusion stemmed from the 42 day bill being passed by parliament but I was unaware that the 42 day detention clause had been dropped from it.

    Fact: Inequality between rich and poor got bigger, at a faster rate, under Labour.

    Fact: if you ignore the 1st decile when it comes to raising the tax threshold then you'll see it is a progressive measure. It will obviously have no impact on the 1st decile because they are already earning below the threshold. That still does not make it unprogressive as it fundamentally benefits the lower paid. I hardly see how you can criticise it when it was Labour that abolished the 10p tax band (something which my dad is still suffering from).

    Again, you trust the IFS in one area but not in another? If you're going to quote them and hold their assessment up as gospel then you should do that in other areas as well. Personally I think they're wrong on both VAT and the tax threshold. Not because their facts are wrong, but because they take an overly narrow and technical view of it. Hence the tax threshold rise is a good thing overall but the VAT rise is a bad thing.

    Finally, though I've answered your comment I'm deleting it. I have precious little tolerance for people advocating violence in the first place and you've already been warned about swearing.

    P.S. before you moan about freedom of speech, this is my private blog and I can do what I like with it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Potter

    You got in a muddle? For someone who professes to take civil libs so seriously getting in a muddle is absolutely pathetic on your part.

    "Fact: Inequality between rich and poor got bigger, at a faster rate, under Labour."

    At a faster rate than when? Income inequality did rise but not at the rate it did under Thatcher. And although it rose the amount of money redistributed from top to bottom was the most in our history. But why are you banging on about this? Your party leader has publicly disowned the concept of income inequality, he labelled it an "old progressive" concept. And that he wasn't concerned with it as he is a "new progressive".

    "Fact: if you ignore the 1st decile when it comes to raising the tax threshold then you'll see it is a progressive measure."

    Again incorrect. Did you look at fig 5.1? If you actually bothered to research things, rather than believing your own propaganda, you'd see it is entirely regressive with each income decile, up to deciles 9 & 10, doing better out of it than the one below it in both % and cash terms.

    "I hardly see how you can criticise it when it was Labour that abolished the 10p tax band (something which my dad is still suffering from)."

    Your dad is going to suffer a whole lot more under George Osborne than the 10p tax cockup. Numerous number crunchers have shown the combined affects of his budget are going to make poor people far more worst off than Brown did.

    "If you're going to quote them and hold their assessment up as gospel then you should do that in other areas as well"

    This sort of black/white, you must believe everything the IFS says, etc leads me to believe you are not in fact a social liberal/leftie/progressive. Research shows right wing people think about things in absolutist terms with little scope for shades of grey. You're in fact a right winger but you haven't realised it yet, give in a few years and your'll be in the tory party.

    "Hence the tax threshold rise is a good thing overall but the VAT rise is a bad thing."

    As I said in the post you deleted, the IFS report is based on the assumptions that poor people buy only non-vat basic foods and spend very little on anything else; poor people eat ready meals, have haircuts and buy adult clothes. However, there are no such assumptions needed when calculating the effect of the threshold increase. It is just straight forward number crunching. Thus, they are correct about the income threshold but wrong about VAT.

    "before you moan about freedom of speech, this is my private blog and I can do what I like with it."

    Of course you can but it says a lot about you that the only post you delete is the one which showed up your ignorance of basic civil rights.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well that figures, you block my perfectly reasonable and civil rebuttal to your "facts". Good to see you practising what you preach...NOT.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Natasha Chapman10 March 2011 at 14:12

    I'd like to apologise in advance for swearing, but will people CALM THE FUCK DOWN?!

    Are we incapable of dicussing something from opposing viewpoints without resorting to personal attacks on each other? Kids in the debating club at my old school behaved better than this.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Anonymous

    If your "rebuttal" had been civil then I wouldn't have removed it.

    ReplyDelete

I'm indebted to Birkdale Focus for the following choice of words:

I am happy to address most contributions, even the drunken ones if they are coherent, but I am not going to engage with negative sniping from those who do not have the guts to add their names or a consistent on-line identity to their comments. Such postings will not be published.

Anonymous comments with a constructive contribution to make to the discussion, even if it is critical will continue to be posted. Libellous comments or remarks I think may be libellous will not be published.

I will also not tolerate personation so please do not add comments in the name of real people unless you are that person. If you do not like these rules then start your own blog.

Oh, and if you persist in repeating yourself despite the fact I have addressed your point I may get bored and reject your comment.

The views expressed in comments are those of the poster, not me.