March 11th, 2011

History Boys vs Money Men

Get ready for much more of this after the budget, but this morning twenty-five historians have written to the Times to reject AV as discredited and a historically dead voting system that Britain shouldn’t embrace. Over at the Telegraph a B-list group of eleven business types argue that we must jump on the bandwagon.

A head-to-head on the Today program had the business side, in all seriousness, try the line that because we are the only country in Europe that uses first past the post we should immediately jump on the first offer of change. With the foresight of history, it was an open goal for no voice to remind the audience it was business voices clambering for the UK to join the Euro…

UPDATE: The latest betting prices are here.


  1. 1
    billy's on the bog says:


  2. 2
    Barry says:

    Over the years I have noticed and seen that senior business people make bad Councillers and MPs. They seem not to be able to adjust to the democratic process.
    Their views on voting systems should be ignored.

  3. 3
    Ed 'Doomwatcher' Milibland says:

    Morning, Ed. Coffee or tea ??

  4. 4
    capt apollo says:

    AV = permanent electoral stitch up and permanent coalition. No thank you very much

  5. 5
    Seymour says:

    Good point, what has the wanker been upto, what is he hiding and why are the courts aiding and abetting these criminals by granting these super injunctions.

    When did parliament even make a law allowing such things?

  6. 6
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    If someone high up could be incriminated.

  7. 7
    Seymour says:

    AV = two toilets prescott being upset along with his present tickle beckett.

    Vote for AV to piss off prescott and his like.

  8. 8
    Lt. Gen. Bertie Farquarson says:

    Hahahahaha… well done that man LOL

    It made me wife and oi ROTFL

    The reason the international conglomerates and larger corporates love the EU and local government business regulation is they hire experts to deal with it knowing their smaller nimbler competitors are stifled by it as it is usually the MD who has to deal with it all.

    That’s why big business love the EU and ever increasing regulations.

  9. 9

    EDWARD ! Go and tidy your room at once !

    Ed : Yeth mummy !

  10. 10
    UK fucked plc says:

    Of course the current system of voting has provided a strong, united and economically prosperous country hasn’t it! It has also provided an excellent, upstanding and honourable parliamentary system.

  11. 11
    screw the lot of them says:

    + 1

  12. 12
    screw the lot of them says:

    Vote YES to shake the fuckers up.

  13. 13
    P. Doff says:

    Yeh… Billy B probably is shitting himself now that Strauss and Prior have gone in today’s ODI. When the fuck are England going to get a proper English team together instead of relying on South African openers plus the rest of the foreigners that lay waste to our heritage?

  14. 14
    Smig says:

    Didn’t you know? He’s been using the interest on loans lent by RBS to bankroll the Liebour Party.

  15. 15
    Sherlock says:

    So how long before global warning is blamed for the Tsunami?

  16. 16
    Sir William Waad says:

    AV is really not that frightening. Can you count to four?

  17. 17
    Ed Miliband says:

    I tidied my room but David came in and messed it up again.

  18. 18
    Ordinary Joe says:

    As both Labour and Tory MPs in so called safe seats are against AV then i will be voting for AV.

  19. 19
    screw the lot of them says:

    One gold bar, two gold bars, three gold bars, four gold bars.

    Follow the money…

  20. 20
    Smig says:

    Bring it on. Let AV lead to PR-STV. It’ll have the fuckers arguing for months as to who gets what Cabinet job.

    If they’re arguing amongst themselves they’re not creating more legislation in order to curb my already withering freedoms nor rape my wallet.

  21. 21
    Fred the Shred ( knighted by Gordon Brown ) says:

    Gordon and I would both like to be left in peace, drawing our Taxpayer-funded wedge without fuss or interference from you plebs down South.

  22. 22
    Fa Kin Su Pah says:

    Normally excellent advice apart from the
    fact that they’re always wrong about everything.
    Now let me see. If they want it, the reverse could be worthy
    and sensible. But because they’re wrong on all subjects
    by luck it could be a correct policy. I know ask the brainiest
    person in the world. The little chap with a pointer
    on his head. He’ll know.

  23. 23
    nothing to fear says:

    Hear hear! Me too.

  24. 24
    Form Teacher says:


  25. 25
    red/yellow/blue = all the same says:

    Belgium does very well without a functioning government.

    Bring it on here.

    p.s. no salaries should be paid until a government is formed.

  26. 26
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    And led to the wonderful brown balls government. That was strong enough to do what they liked without anyone disagreeing with them. effectively.

  27. 27
    Sir William Waad says:

    Fred Goodwin is not a banker. After an apprenticeship in taxidermy, he practised for many years as an Alternative Dentist (‘Pain is not Real’) before settling down as a concert euphonium player.

  28. 28
    Oh dear says:

    “Massive devastation from the mega tsunami caused by an earthquake which is happening as we speak is induced by global warming and climate change.
    This is just unbelievably irrefutable.”

  29. 29
    Corinium says:

    What do you mean ‘no voice’? It was Amanda Foreman and a jolly good job she did too.

  30. 30
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    why do they put up with the nazi’s dictating to us what we can and can’t do ?

    ….and pay through the nose for the priviledge…!

  31. 31
    Road_Hog says:

    Quite right teach, standards are falling and we’re using too many Americanisms.

  32. 32
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    do the math

  33. 33
    red/yellow/blue = all the same says:

    about 1 hour ago: “@OwainShave not really our kind of subject matter.”


    If it affected your wallet it would be front page news and would have been spuriously woven into a political story…

  34. 34
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    Same old, same old.

    They’re trying to peddle this again to reinforce the fact that they’re robbing us blind under the guise of Global Warming, Global Climate Change, or whatever the buzzwords are this week.

  35. 35
    bergen says:

    B list businessmen is too much of a compliment to a bunch of nobodies.D list at best.

  36. 36
    Toby Lerone says:

    I thought acid was a regarded as a bit passe these days.

  37. 37
    marcus Aurelius says:

    so no one mentioned that AV gave Germany and Itay fascist governments in the 1920s and 1930s respectively, while boring old traditional FPTP kept Oswald Moseley on the fringe?

  38. 38
    Ed But Look Balls says:

    Agreed, I haven’t supported England since the 70s because of this policy, it’s a disgrace as they probably even considered the Irishman who beat them last week as a candidate FFS!

  39. 39
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    AV gave the labour party Ed Miliband.

    First past the post!!!!!!

  40. 40
    red/yellow/blue = all the same says:

    First past the post has given the people of the UK no say on the EU for decades. It’s broken.

    AV then PR please.

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    “Normally excellent advice apart from the fact that they’re always wrong about everything.”

    Precisely. If Liebour think it’s a good idea it will be – but only for them.

    Any endorsement of anything by this shower of incompetents is the finest recommendation to vote the other way.

  42. 42
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    The job of the opposition is not just to oppose but to have a coherent alternative to government. For the last twenty years we have had neither, real opposition or a coherent alternative.
    Look at the current Parliament, none of them disagree on substance about virtually anything, just detail, emphasis or management style.
    Philosophically all three are left of centre, corporatist social democrat parties and that is the real reason why we as a country and politics as a legitimate expression of the peoples will, have been so badly served and trust erased.

  43. 43
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    No thats down to the quality of leaders in the 3 parties , Apart fro lady Thatcher, None of our PMs have stood up to the fuckin EU.

  44. 44
    Hugh Janus says:

    But we are not excluded from the vast expense in bailing out these Euro-idiots when their economies go belly up. Seems a bit one-sided to me?

  45. 45
    Joss Taskin says:

    So why did you give give a Knighthood for services to banking ???

  46. 46
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    Look at the big three, all bought and paid for pro-EU parties.
    Break the cartel and break free.

  47. 47
    Labourunionsbbc we are one says:

    So true, that’s why so much legislation of convergence and simplification of exchange and measure has been implemented by the socialist governments (backed by the unions) who just can’t stand individuals, individualism and small operations. The bigger the better, as far as their concerned.

    Oh and that first poster, soooooooo funny, ha, ha, ha I’m still laughing.

  48. 48
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Trott has a good record………

  49. 49
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    Trouble is AV gives this country a constant coalition government. As all the main three are essentially the same, rhetoric aside, it would give them the perfect opportunity to form government that none could remove. Eternal government by the LabLibCon trick? Yuk!

  50. 50
    Labourunionsbbc we are one says:

    If we had an impartial national media they would have been shown up for what they were long before things got as bad as they did.

  51. 51
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    Which decisively proves there is zero science behind the neo-religious fraud, just a gaggle of billionaire hucksters looking for big bucks and crony politicians looking for ever greater ways to screw people over.
    Earthquakes caused by plant food? What next, baby farts are killing the planet?

  52. 52
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Yup. as the libdems have been such a roaring success in government lets do all we can to keep them in power-sharing.

  53. 53
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    Get real.

  54. 54
    Even Davis (more jobs on the bbc than you can shake a stick at) says:

    Drill down into the numbers.

  55. 55
    Adol'f says:

    and look what those lovely liberals have allowed to happen to Britain

  56. 56
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    He might actually have paid for that….!

  57. 57
    cuticle says:

    In our present system we are not voting for the MP, we are voting for the Party, either because their bunch of empty promises called a manifesto is more acceptable than the opposition, or simply because we sorely want rid of the party in office.
    AV on the other hand will be a total shambles because we do not have a system which is based on MPs participatiing in policy making. Basically, as we have found out over the last few years all MPs and Prospective MPs will do and say whatever is necessary to get into Westminster and suck on the puplic tit and thus there is no difference in MPs other than perhap level of greed.

  58. 58
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    Nor any of the ‘opposition’ Billy, lest we forget, they are all ( LabLibCon )in it together. Remember that when time comes to string ‘em up.

  59. 59
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    the Irish have got a chance , Good luck tot he Irish.

  60. 60
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    I is writing a long list, Preparing the lampost for when the time comes :-)

  61. 61
    P. Doff says:

    Agreed… with reservations… that by being born in Cape Town, SA, he should be playing with Strauss and Prior for the Springboks!

  62. 62
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    I’m just waiting for the shysters to find a way to tax us on the air we inhale.

    They already tax us on what we emit.

  63. 63
    Gordon Brown says:

    Last week I phoned the prime minister of Japan to wish him and his people well.

  64. 64
    Anonymous says:

    awesome, dude

  65. 65
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    It’s funny how many lieborites on here lambast Mrs T, but at least we knew where we stood with her. She told us what was going to happen and she stuck to it.

    What they always fail to remember is that Mrs T negotiated a huge discount on our payments to the EU. Every PM since (and that includes Conservative) has given it all back – and much more besides.

  66. 66
    Traitors in parliament says:

    That’s wot we got anyway.The party system is dead because parliament is owned by the banks and the corporations. Most of the law is made in Europe and we have no power to vote them out.
    The vote is a con to soothe the beastso that the nation can be sytematically dismantled to ensure that if people did suddenly realise what had happened they wuould not have the tools to fight back.

  67. 67
    Fa Kin Su Pah says:

    No they haven’t. 24-19

  68. 68
    red/yellow/blue = all the same says:

    With the benefit that smaller parties have a better chance of a foot in the door than is currently the case. The more one gets to hear from the smaller parties in Parliament, the more the media has to give them airtime, the more average Joe gets to hear about them the more likely they are to grow.

    Acorns and oak trees etc.

  69. 69
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    Billy – you’re going to need a bloody strong lamp post!

  70. 70
    smoggie says:

    Large companies are run like totalitarian regimes rather than democracies. The big man’s word is law and heavan help anyone who has the temerity to challenge his decisions. These despots are the last people who should be advising on democracy.

  71. 71
    whore of the beast says:

    yea she said there was no such thing as society and now there isn’t because she sold it to her pals for a quid

  72. 72
    UK fucked plc says:

    It’s a rather sad fact that the only person in living memory who, when in power, stood up for Britain was Thatcher. Sad insofar as it was so long ago.

    It wasn’t because she was a Con, it was because she wasn’t bought by anyone. It was down to her, not the party. If the Con party is so damned great and is worthy of support where are the others who are willing to stand up and be counted?

    None of the parties can lay claim to standing up for Britain or the British, quite the reverse actually. Brown and Blair were fucking useless in the same respect.

    I hate them all equally. Screw the lot of them.

  73. 73
    Fran K Whittle says:

    Do your bit for global warming and light what you emit.
    You know it makes sense.

  74. 74
    Call me Dave says:


    I wished the Libyans good luck last week and got ‘backstairs’ Billy to lend them a hand in the desert.

  75. 75
    Anonymous says:

    lets have a vote on issues.

    For example, if you want to raise taxes, it has to go to a referenda.

    If you want to borrow money, it has to go to a referenda.

  76. 76
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    Society was going down the tubes long before Mrs T came along.

    It doesn’t happen overnight.

  77. 77
    Mr Winkie is upset says:


  78. 78
    Jabba the Cat says:

    Democracy is not the recipe for a successful business, at a minimum a benign dictatorship is required.

  79. 79
    Lou Scannon says:

    ‘a Knighthood for services to Banking’ ….. someone probably couldn’t read McRuin’s scrawl.

  80. 80
    Up sh1t creek says:

    AV was good enough to get slimeball Red Ken Livingslime and Boris Johnson elected as London Mayor, so why not roll it out across the UK so we can have the biggest slimeballs elected?

  81. 81
    String emUp says:

    As AV would mostly result in coalition goverments , perhaps we should look at how we are faring in a period of coalition government.

    To put together a coalition there seem to be two options. Labour’s would be , we’re the big boys and we will chuck you a crumb or two to show willing. Not a recipe for long term happiness and really only suitable for keeping Labour in power until they think they can win an election. Cameron’s way has been to shower the LibDems with love and far more power than they warrant. This has been a better recipe for the longer term but may implode anyway. Especially if the LibDems keep thinking they run the show.

    There would be a middle way but can anyone see it being implemented. For Labour to do anything other than offer crumbs seems unlikely to me , for the LibDems to accept less than they currently get with the Conservatives also seems unlikely.

    If AV is adopted we will be in the position of mostly needing coalitions , LibDems being the kingmakers , but without a way to make them work.

    To me this is the best answer to those who propose AV or anything other than FPTP. Don’t get me started on the “list” system in use in so many other countries. That means there would never be another “Portillo moment” and I am desperate to see Ed Bollocks suffer the same fate.

  82. 82
    Anonymous says:

    The idea of a single currency was a good idea, it has worked for the US dollar for 150 years (if carries on as at present it may not last another 150 years), and worked for the Roman empire for exceedingly longer, the only trouble was that there was no joint treasury and no joint or effective administration, that can be squarely laid a the feet of politicos, there should have been an administration with bite and not afraid of bankers, following well tried economic rules.

  83. 83
    misterned says:

    Can anyone explain to me exactly how AV stops safe seats from being safe seats? They already get more than 50% of the vote in those seats so it cannot make any difference to them.

    In marginal seats it will make the battles more bitter and complicated and result in candidates winning who the vast majority do not actually want.

    It could see people elected as a third or fourth choice based solely on where their name appears on the ballot paper.

    It makes no sense to replace a crap system with an even worse one.

  84. 84
    Gerry Mandering says:

    Like we did for Europe!

  85. 85
    misterned says:

    Ed Miliband is in favour of AV, and will be campaigning for a yes vote. After all that is the system that forced him into the leadership of a labour party that voted against him.

  86. 86
    Titus Groan says:

    The Roman Galley ship was one of the most effect organisational structures ever. It has not been surpassed as far as I can see.

  87. 87
    misterned says:

    If we had a media staffed by decent human beings, journalists worthy of the title who fought doggedly for truth and were a genuine public watchdog, willing to hold the powers that be to account, then we would not be in the mess we are in.

    Instead we have elite owned and run propaganda outlets manipulating the mass consciousness of entire nations into conforming to lifestyles which are in the promotion of a specific political agenda which is all about serving the elite.

    In the UK the media are infected with Common Purpose “third way” Marxists who are dedicated to being the leaders of the post democratic age within a global dictatorship and they present “news” in such a way as to portray reality “their way”.

    After the past 20 years of constant and on-going deception from all three mainstream parties regarding the treasonous sell out of OUR sovereignty, and the on-going betrayal of everything our forefathers worked for, I really cannot understand how any educated person can vote for any of the mainstream parties at all anymore.

    The mainstream media constantly conditions their viewers and readers to share the perception that there is no other choice, and AV will not change that.

    They only way we will get a change and have a Government who actually stands up for and on behalf of the British Voters, will be when we have all voted for none of the mainstream parties and voted for a pro UK party, or pro UK independents.

    Why do we, as a nation, constantly vote for what we know is a national political disease, when we can vote for a political cure?

    The reason, I suspect, is due to the constant and on-going mental conditioning by the media, that there is no other choice.

  88. 88
    Arthur Andersen says:

    SEconf paragraph no truer words were ever spoken.

  89. 89
    A ? says:

    A Royal Navy warship 1805 – 1990

  90. 90
    Arthur Andersen says:


  91. 91
    Arthur Andersen says:

    First Past the Post gave Blair a huge landslide viclabour despite receiving fewer votes than John Major got in 1992.
    Every electoral system has its flaws.

  92. 92
    Mong watch says:

    Springboks are rugby you mong. Prior has English parentage as does Strauss.

  93. 93
    Mrs Faye Merritt says:

    Germany is in the Euro and it has done OK.

  94. 94
    Paul Marks says:

    These historians include first rate minds (they are not just any old historians).

    As for business people – sadly too often they can not think beyond “how do I get a bigger subsidy, or other political favour, for my business”, broader matter pass them by.

    Of course that is not all business people (or even the majority) – many business people reject subsidies and other political favours, and have a true respect for the insitutions of their nation (even if they simply do not have the time to get involved).

    But not the rent a quote business people that get in the media.

  95. 95
    Ellie Gellllllllaaaaarrrrrrrrdd says:

    If it delivers coalitions government so be it. Do you really want another LAbour landslide government which received less votes than the previous government did as FPTP did in 1997 when Bliar received 13 million + compared to 1992 John Majors’ 14?

    I nos what I am talkin’ about!

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Alan Milburn says Labour’s scaremongering campaign for an unreformed NHS will not win election…

“It would be a fatal mistake, in my view, for Labour to go into this election looking as though it is the party that would better resource the National Health Service but not necessarily put its foot to the floor when it comes to reforming. Look, reforms are not easy, but the Labour Party is not a conservative party. It should be about moving things forward not preserving them in aspic. You have got a pale imitation actually of the 1992 general election campaign, and maybe it will have the same outcome. I don’t know.”

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