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Graham McPhee spells out some of the cold, hard facts about the dismal state of ME research and politics, and has some suggestions as to what we can do about it ...
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UK General Election Tomorrow: ME/CFS Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Mark, May 5, 2010.

  1. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    I just checked out that Guardian tactical voting guide. I'm in a constituency where "Lib Dem supporters who are very keen to keep the Conservatives out should consider voting Labour in these constituencies, even if a movement in line with the current national polls would bring the Lib Dems into distant contention locally."

    The basis for this? "Lib Dem supporters should consider a vote for the incumbent to keep out the Tories". This is based on a not very compelling Labour lead last time round, and appears to be based on a single swing percentage (not sure how that single 'swing' figure is supposed to mean anything in a 3-way contest, it makes no sense to me but I admit I haven't studied that stuff). What they don't take into account is that the Labour candidate who's now stepped down (so there is no incumbent, actually) was an absolute legend. One of about 3 or 4 Labour MPs I could vote for in good conscience, based on their voting record. Without him, I'd have been voting Lib Dem years ago anyway, as would many others I'm sure. So in my constituency, that tactical voting guide appears to be quite worthless.
     
  2. willow

    willow Senior Member

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    Hmmm....

    Nick Clegg's letter did it for me despite the fact that I thought he lokked less convincing as the TV debates progressed. Repeated of slogans are a bit of a turn off for me, especially the fairness idea which i found weak and bland.

    Anyway... to the point. Does anyone think there's any mileage in using contacts associated with the Lib Dems, if so how good does that contact need to be and what would be the best way to approach it?

    I have a supportive friend who worked with Nick Clegg in Brussels and still has contact with him. She thinks he's a sincere person ... FWIW
     
  3. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    That's good information willow. I think we should use any leverage we possess, so I say use her. After the election, when things have settled down. Even if it turns out to be a Tory landslide - and that look unlikely. Fingers crossed. Touch wood. Throw salt over the left shoulder. Salute single magpies.
    :Retro redface::worried::D:worried::(:ashamed::D:worried:

    Better get out and vote - I'm usually worse in the afternoon...

    jace x
     
  4. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    Worst case scenario for us would be an outright Tory Majority.

    2nd worst case, an outright labour majority.

    The best thing would be either an outright liberal democrat victory or a coalition. Right now we don't have democracy in this country. We have a one-party system where the colour of that party changes every 10 years or so.

    Imagine if just 0.1% of the billions wasted on trident was spent on biomedical research for cfs. It is criminal that people are dying and living their lives in abject misery yet our government is wasting billions on weapons of mass destruction.
     
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Voting tactically is required given our current electoral system. If Labour and the lib-dems get enough seats, there's already legislation in place for a referendum on electoral reform, allowing for a referendum upon the introduction of a single transferable vote system. This would allow people to vote for candidates in order of preference, so they could put their ideal off-the-wall tiny party candidate as their first choice and still be sure that their vote would not be wasted, making tactical voting unnecessary in the future. (This has always been the version of electoral reform I've most wanted).

    ps: I'm ruddy knackered today, and really not looking forward to going out to vote. Luckily the polling station is very near us and we've got ready meals available for the evening.
     
  6. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    I can't understand why a conservative victory represents a worst case scenario.

    Any speculation of how the Conservatives would treat us is merely that, speculation.

    Looking after number one, what Cameron stated should happen with Incapacity Benefit/ESA gives me comfort than the present system which is biased against people like us. Given the unlikelyhood of working again I'm dependant on a small disability pension, a strong pound v the Euro and the protection of what savings I have against inflation. Instead, at present, I'm facing losing the small amount of IB I'm allowed to receive, have had to deal wth a drop in the value of Sterling of approx 40% and a savings interest rate of 0.2% with inflation running at 3.5%.

    Leaving aside my own selfish interests, the country is in real trouble and any incumbent will need to cut the debt (note cutting the deficit only means reducing the amount by which you are overspending on an ongoing basis) as quickly as possible before interest on the debt starts piling up. Labour have shown time and time again that they don't have the stomach to stop spending, at least not ahead of the election, and its a truism that coalition governments are not compatible with quick and decisive action.

    To continue spending, even to protect front line services, is an illusion which can only lead to a bigger problem long term. Government spending is not investment. The only generator of wealth is the private sector.

    The bottom line is, if you want high quality public services on a sustainable basis, then you need to support businesses, not punish them.

    Oh and PS. Could we have the 10p lower tax band that Labour took away back please?
     
  7. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    How will the different parties change the APPG on ME?

    What do people think.

    Des Turner (Lab, Brighton Kemptown) was the Chair but he has stood down now. He was always a problem as he was also the Patron of the Sussex ME group. He's now left that as well.

    We don't know if the APPG will convene again and which MP's will join.
     
  8. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    @ Marco:

    I agree with a lot of what you say, and in some ways, think that a competent Conservative government would be a good thing - but the way Osborne responded to the financial crisis did not inspire confidence. Labour's been in power for a long time, and has certainly made a lot of mistakes, but since we've had Cameron and Brown in charge, the big difference we can judge them on has been over the response to the credit crunch. Labour got it right, taking a pragmatic approach, rapidly recognising how serious the problem could be and introducing an emergency program that has been widely copied around the world. The Conservative wanted to follow a simplistic and ideologically driven approach, as if economics has not developed at all in the last ninety years.

    As for what would be best for CFS patients - I have no idea. I don't think any of the parties are remotely interested. We could get lucky and have a Minister decide to become really involved - such an unlikely event that it could happen with any of the parties. I think the Conservatives are currently the weakest of the three major parties, but that belief is not really related to my illness.
     
  9. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    A competant Tory government? Last time we had a recession, it was under Thatcher, and mortgage interest rates went up to 18%. I lost my house, that time. No thanks.

    :worried::D:eek::D:worried:

    Never talk religion or politics jace :tear::tear::tear:
     
  10. V99

    V99 *****

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    It's a dangerous subject, but I can blame the toxo, take a risk, effect.

    Takes a deep breath...
    It was Labour who caused 18% inflation, the Tory's were only in power after the mess was created, they got the economy back on track. The 3.6 million unemployment & 18% inflation was in the first year. Just as it will be this time around. Again, all the mess at the start for who ever gets into power. At the end of the day Labour are the party that were at the helm of the ship this time.

    I know:eek:
     
  11. V99

    V99 *****

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    I have to agree with Marco's assessment, and add that, party's are constantly changing. Cameron is not Thatcher. Brown is not Blair.

    And yes bring back the 10p tax band.
     
  12. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Lord Turnberg is a labour peer and was a member of the Gibson Enquiry on ME / CFS. During that he was a stauch Wesselyite.

    Gibson himself was Labour but caught out in the expenses scandel and was barred/stood down.

    Labour appointed David Sainsbury to a Science post (the Sainsbury family are behind the Linbury Trust who support the Wessely school).
     
  13. V99

    V99 *****

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    I just want somebody new. They can then blame the old government, and we can finally get biomedical research funds.
     
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Just been to the polls to exercise my democratic whatsit.

    Although I'm tempted to stay up late to see the results come in I think I'd be doing my health a favour to go to bed at the normal time. It will be weird to wake up in the morning and find out what has been decided.

    Interesting how varied we all are in how we intend to vote. I think there are good bits in all the main three parties' policies - I hope whoever ends up in power takes the best ideas from all and implements them.

    Happy voting, fellow Brits!
     
  15. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    We've had 30 years of no biomedical funding for ME. The last 30 years being ruled by the Tories & Labour. I agree we need someone new, namely Nick Clegg of the Lib Dems. He is the only leader who has pledged to support ME biomedical research. Both the tories & nu labour represent Big Business interests, not the interests of sick people.

    I voted for the first time ever today, and it was for Nick Clegg & the Lib Dems.
     
  16. helsbells

    helsbells Senior Member

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    Lib Dem for me too.
     
  17. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Thanks so much for all your posts everyone. It's really interesting that - as it seems to me - we're all so open-minded and not basing things on party allegiance but on a rational and balanced assessment - and basically coming to the same conclusion. That's the Lib Dem approach as well, as I understand it, to make a fair and balanced assessment based on the evidence, not on tribal loyalties. That's a better way for everyone.

    My only worry about the Lib Dems, as it affects us, is that if their assessment was going to be "based on the evidence", that might be bad news for us because of the way the science has been skewed - Labour's justification for the ME/CFS policy was "that's what the science says" and I was worried that the Lib Dems would run with that. Clegg's letter proves that is not the case, and they have not been fooled, and that powerfully confirms both what we say about ME/CFS and what the Lib Dems say about themselves. Isn't it nice when everything lines up neatly? Far preferable to a land of confusion.

    The first two political books I ever bought were Karl Marx by V.I. Lenin, and Politics Is For People by Shirley Williams. I wanted to see two sides, different from what I'd been brought up to believe. Who would have thought then that Politics Is For People was the more radical of the two?

    I'm one of those who's OK with a little bit of sunlight (lucky me) and it just came out, so I'm off to vote now, for the Lib Dems for the first time. Better late than never...
     
  18. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I think I've always been most supportive of the Lib-Dems, but I voted Labour this time becuase it was a choice between Labour and the Conservatives in my constituency, and it's the right thing to do if you want to maximise lib-dem influence in the next parliament. A Labour majority is not going to happen this time.
     
  19. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    My husband made the comment that it doesn't matter for us who does get in. He thinks that it is the "Mandarins" who are at fault here and they will still be the same people.Bit pessimistic for me (I'm the family optimist).

    There must be some truth in this. For example when the charities were talking to the DWP about the written guidelines they went to about 8 rewrites and still could not get to an agreed version. The DWP has it's advisers and own staff. The rot must be in there somewhere as well.

    It would help though (and save money) if we could get the PCT system abolished. Our local ME group tried to work with the PCT to improve services and do something about the "chronic fatigue" clinic offering CBT and GET only. It was a miserable failure and when they spoke to the Health Minister they were told that they Govt could do nothing about it.
     
  20. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    I didn't just vote for myself or my pocket like most people do. I voted for my community - namely the ME/CFS community. Almost everyone I know with this disease is in dire-straights, struggling just to survive. I don't know how people can talk about tax rates & business at time like this. I'm talking about people's lives.

    The outcome of this election matters a lot. Lives depend on it. My greatest fear is that one of the uncaring parties will come in, clamp down heavily on benefits (people's only source of treatment help) and that there will be patient suicides.

    I pray that I am wrong!
     

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