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Can politicians admit they've changed their mind? Blog Discussion

This is a Chat Forum discussion on Martin's 'Can politicians admit they've changed their mind?' blog that you can read here
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  • Mark7799Mark7799 Forumite
    4.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I wish they would and admit to it. Sometimes, it's almost toe-curling to watch someone defending an increasingly indefensible position. I suppoose another side effect of the spin culture.
    Gwlad heb iaith, gwlad heb galon
  • FranFran Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Yes I absolutely agree that people should change their minds more often.

    Or at least that's what I thought just now. :confused:

    The problem arises when people make "promises". How could you stop people changing their minds then?

    If we changed The Law though to be totally flexible wouldn't we take advantage?

    The trouble is we seek chaos and stability at the same time.

    Oh no it isn't!
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
    33.5K Posts
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    Did anyone else see Martin's comments The Wright Stuff? I understood them. We should be given information that might better enable us to understand the Iraqis' violent reaction to British and American troops. The major problem occurs because if we know, they know; these atrocities are further publicised to those people that use information to justify further violence against innocent soldiers.

    I understand Martin's dilemma and grant permission for the change of mind(!) It's a tough question to answer on the spot and, for my conscience, a tough question to answer at all. Having a 'free press' allows us so many priviledges that other countries don't enjoy - I'm not sure I believe we should withold information to protect ourselves but I also don't believe that lives should be endangered for the purpose of selling newspapers. :confused:
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • ReportInvestorReportInvestor Forumite
    3.6K Posts
    Mark7799 wrote:
    I suppoose another side effect of the spin culture.
    I slightly disagree with Mark7799 and agree with Martin in the sense that the spin culture is a symptom, not a cause.

    Politicians' failure to change their mind is mostly the journalists' fault (and therefore our own). U-Turns and party "divisions" always make front page news as a cheap story and all the evidence suggests we, the voters, are immature enough not to vote for that party when they do.

    The spin culture is rightly associated with Peter Mandelson. But Mandelson was only reacting to the savaging of Neil Kinnock by the press.

    Just imagine Jeremy Paxman gently encouraging and coaxing a change of heart in an interviewee. You can't? Neither can I. Paxman is poison to genuine political debate.
  • SystemSystem Community Admin
    178K Posts
    10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Community Admin
    If i say no to my kids and change my mind, the kids take it as a sign of weakness.
  • ReportInvestorReportInvestor Forumite
    3.6K Posts
    Yes, voters are like kids.

    Since most parties have given up on ideology and a looking for the best practical solutions, it should be perfectly acceptable to change your mind in the light of new evidence, a pilot project, or even a substantial change in public opinion.

    And it should also be acceptable to have a healthy debate and some open disagreement (within limits) with members of your own party.
  • exilexil Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    The reason is - the media slaughters politicians who change their minds or admit
    they were wrong. Usually they can only do so with no bad consequences at the end of their careers - which is why politicians who no longer seek high office appear more
    honest and straightforward than others. Think of Enoch Powell, Tony Benn, Ted Heath, Anne Widdecombe (even if you don't agree with them)
  • Dora_the_Explorer_5Dora_the_Explorer_5 Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    Politicians changing their minds! That assumes they have a mind of their own! Mind Control is alive and well in the Labour party, evidenced by the bleeper messages instructing MPs how to respond to whatever........
  • Politicians changing their minds! That assumes they have a mind of their own!

    It also assumes they have a mind to change.
    Small change can often be found under seat cushions.
    Robert A Heinlein
  • As a serving member of the Forces who goes to Afghanistan next month, I am grateful that Martin has had the b**ls to change his mind. I have served in Iraq (albeit briefly), it is on occasion a really challenging environment - what is clear is this - whatever the perceivedrights and wrongs of soldiers in this case, we remain the onlyarmed forces in the world who would respond in this way to grenades and petrol bombs; most if not all other nations would have reacted with bullets not fists and batons. You the electorate have placed us in these situations, we are delighted to be there on your behalf, just think, like Martin did, before carping too loudly from the comfort of your arm chair.
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