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Vote you f*****s!

Charlie Butterworth says get posting your ballot – show you care

Published on December 9th 2008.


Vote you f*****s!

So about 38% of the good folk of Greater Manchester have voted on whether or not they want £3bn of transport investment and a congestion charge.

That’s poor.

Given all the column inches, broadcasting time, debates (formal or informal) that’s a bit shit.

After all this is our chance to show that local politics matter. That we can be bothered expressing an opinion on important issues rather than whether some airhead with a vaguely interesting voice can win the Z-list Factor.

The Transport Innovation Fund vote isn’t even one of those issues were the apathetic can say, ‘it’ll make no difference to my life’. Either way, a positive or negative result, could affect the region for decades. This time every resident’s vote in Greater Manchester will count for something.

Nor can others – and the shame of it is they’re normally fairly intelligent – say that not voting is expressing an opinion. This is a nonsense that never holds water even at national elections but in this referendum where it’s a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ then not voting merely illustrates what a lazy, self-centred, bugger these sorts are.

Then there will be the people who ‘don’t know’. Well, they’re probably beyond hope. Thinking things over, trying to work things out and coming to your own view is after all so very exhausting.

And what about our heritage, our traditions. Democracy has been a hard fought right. In 1819 in Manchester, fifteen people were killed and hundreds were injured, many seriously, when they were charged by the local militia and the regular cavalry. Those people died or were seriously injured for simply expressing a wish for access to Parliament and representation. They died because they wanted their voices heard

Let's make out voices heard again. Let's respect them and respect ourselves and future generations.

Vote folks.

Go home tonight if you’ve not voted, get out the forms and the ballot. Read through, make up your mind and post it tomorrow morning.

You’ll feel a lot cleaner. It’ll be therapeutic.

Anyway, in the meantime, this is the way the turnout is standing as of Monday evening. The theory doing the rounds is that a low turnout is good for the ‘Yes’ vote as their supporters will be more committed and won’t make assumptions that they’ll win. If seven out of the ten Greater Manchester authorities have a majority in favour of the Transport Innovation Fund then the ‘Yes’ side will be victorious. Whatever you think fill in the ballot and post it.

BOLTON Numbers received: 75,142Electorate: 199,819Turnout so far: 35.2%
BURY Numbers received: 58,159Electorate: 140,441Turnout so far: 41.4%
MANCHESTER Numbers received: 109,115Electorate: 340,730Turnout so far: 32.0%
OLDHAM Numbers received: 65,297Electorate: 159,328Turnout so far: 41.0%
ROCHDALE Numbers received: 46,928Electorate: 155,830Turnout so far: 38.8%
SALFORD Numbers received: 62,454Electorate: 164,982Turnout so far: 37.9%
STOCKPORT Numbers received: 89,432Electorate: 216,973Turnout so far: 41.2%
TAMESIDE Numbers received: 71,059Electorate: 164,062Turnout so far: 43.3%
TRAFFORD Numbers received: 75,122Electorate: 163,677Turnout so far: 45.9%
WIGAN Numbers received: 80,637Electorate: 235,043Turnout so far: 34.3%

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52 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AeronDecember 9th 2008.

Not sure about your theory Charlie. Personally, I would have thought a low turn-out would favour a 'No' victory. Those opposed to the TIF/c-charge have certainly outnumbered those in favour in the letters pages of the MEN of late. Let's hope I'm wrong.

you would get a yes vote ifDecember 9th 2008.

all residents within the rings dont have to pay !!! i reckon that would swing it quite a bit. Why shouldnt that happen, if you took all the cars within the inner ring road,i bet they wouldnt cause the current congestion problems?Kevin, it's clear you are a single man with no family responsibilities and will be no doubt in your twenties you are juvenile with a lack of life experience it seems and ignorant to the lives of the majority?NO from me!

scoteeeDecember 9th 2008.

as there appears to be such huge congestion perhaps the number of speed cameras might be reduced in order to reduce the stop start effect therfore improveing the flow of traffic??

oxmancDecember 9th 2008.

Kevin, A big issue here is that we are being blackmailed into accepting this charge. Why on earth should we have to pay when we have been paying the taxes this fund has been built on for years. Hoon says if we vote no we get nothing. Why? Other cities have had massive cash injections for public transport improvement with no accompanying tax.Also promising cheaper bus fares is just not on, these companies answer to no-one but their shareholders. Just one other thing, can anyone tell me who is paying the wages of the 'Yes' people in town trying to swing my vote? I do hope my council tax payments aren't funding them because that would be deeply immoral.

scoteeeDecember 9th 2008.

Kevin, the fact that the whole process has been foggy to say the least has annoyed many people and offered mass confusion .I'm afraid the lack of response identifies how poor the yes campaign has been through it's alienation of those sitting on the fence, not to mention the poor distribution and handling of the voting process which few seem to be mentioning at this late stage. I think deep down there is resentment from a lot of people who after paying taxes in the city for years and operating within one of the largest cities in the U.K the city and it’s residents shouldn’t have to be bribed in to getting finance from the government to improve our city. Its a no brainer, complete the work and the economy improves and as for the green issue well that’s a whole other issue…

scoteeeDecember 9th 2008.

My thoughts exactly Ms G

DigDecember 9th 2008.

It has to at least appear to be a democracy. Could you imagine the uproar if you picked up The MEN 1 day and it read 'MANCHESTER CONGESTION CHARGE'. You HAVE to pay x amount to bring your vehicle into the City Centre within the A57, A6042 or A62 boundaries? I don't know know why you all just don't move here with your friendly Scouse neighbours. No congestion and good local public transport. We even have the seaside!

Dave, ChorltonDecember 9th 2008.

"People who think that Cameron along with his Old Etonian chums will give billions to a bunch of Labour led councils in the North West of England please go and howl at the moon....This is it!!” Bobby. Well I'm generally a labour voter but even I know that the Metrolink was built when we had a Tory government. They now say they're going to commit to a high speed rail link to London in their manifesto. Nu labour, much to my disappointment, has ploughed billions into London - Jubilee extension, crossrail etc. - but bugger all into anywhere else. We're not so badly off... go to Leeds - all they have is buses going round the choked ring road, and no rail links to the airport. Or Brum, where the tram doesn't even go into the city centre. However I have voted Yes - At the moment we're winning the regional competition as a business destination and I think this will continue with £2.5bn investment in pub trans, it means the workers can arrive on time, reliably.

Artie FufkinDecember 9th 2008.

The economy will slow down with a con-charge? London's c zone economy grew on average 2%, in the same period other city / town centre economies grew as much as 23% (i.e. Reading, funnily enough one of the closest sizable towns top London). Can manchester cope with forgoing 20% growth?All economic theory would lead us to say growth falls if costs and taxes go up. Then again what is hundreds of years of acedemic research in ecomics against the word of a charity case?

NeilDecember 9th 2008.

It's not just a case of 'making up your mind'. If you read the coverage it is very difficult to make a decision. No-one wants congestion; no-one wants a charge; everybody wants infrastructure improvements. I'm an intelligent man (supposedly!) but I can clearly see arguements for both sides. More imprtantly I can see very strong arguements against both sides as well. I've voted but I can well understand people who are too confused (and I mean that politely!) to do so.

DigDecember 9th 2008.

Is there anybody that is going to vote yes that has received more than 1 voting form? It could be rigged for a no before the votes are even counted. Big Brother is watching!!

Artie FufkinDecember 9th 2008.

Oi,Kevin peel, where do you get my "admiration of Hitler" from my posts, I think you can see i do not "admire" Hitler far from it, I am clearly stating that IMHO if the referendum is to be democratic, all sides should be represented fairly, and the state should not be bankrolling one side to the tune of £3m. It's all very well for private donations or even a group of companies to get to gether and support one side (even if it does lead us to suspect their intentions) BUT the state should not be using public money to get it's own way.

emma graceDecember 9th 2008.

I don't even know why they bothered letting us vote...we all know they are going to do it whether we vote it in or not...

RAGING!!!! scoteeeDecember 9th 2008.

Kevin, oxmanc re-iterates my point which you failed to address. Some feel that they are being pushed in to a charge. What discounts have been put in to place for the people that live in the centre or differ in circumstance who are only labelled as the 10 % who will be affected? How the hell do they know what 10% is? No –one asked me ?? I have a son of 2yrs old, he lives with his mum, his mum lives in Failsworth and I live in the centre. This makes life easier for me to walk to work and I do my green bit and its one less car on the road. Kevin she lives less that 2 miles away. You are suggesting that if I want to see my son we should pay for his mother who has to cross the ring in the evening to drop him off for his tea, and cross it again afterwards to get herself back to to Failsworth. In the morning she collects him she has to cross the boundary 2 times each visit. Let’s assume this happens 3 nights/mornings a week. That is 24 charges a month? You explain to me why the f**k either of us should pay so I can maintain a relationship with my son who lives less than two miles away. The local council and government put nothing in place for people who will actually lose living in the city unless you’re a jobless and the way they are going with taxes in this constituency I might as well fu*in join them !to get my discount!. P**s off back to Piccadilly with your propaganda leaflets you ignorant little Hitler!And another thing, if you happen to be jobless and therefore get a discount, how the hell can u afford a car in the first place?! They saw that coming when they thought of the benefits in the yes campaign didn’t they?! I SAY NO NO NO NO NO! rant over..x

KlunkersDecember 9th 2008.

Whats the mileage? How many previous owners? Service history?

Viva chris ronaldDecember 9th 2008.

lets have a look and i'll throw my point of view in the mix.are you sure your not luring me in a tony from eastenders stylie onto their so i read more about your blind dates are you?

cping500December 9th 2008.

If the charge is so bad for Central London why is Boris not going to abolish it and why is there a push for more pedestrianisation within the area. Employments within the zone began declining long before the zone was established, as offices moved to Docklands (facilitated by a tram system (DLR)) and south of the River. And a major production industry Newspapers, dispersed as well. The argument for reducing congestion in GMan is that if no action is taken the tipping point wil be reached where GMan or at least its Regional Centre (not the City Centre) will become less economically attractive and will decline. The TIFF is the proposal on the table.. Of course there are alternatives as the GMan Transport Plan 2 mentions - a 'highways' alternative which those opposing the current TIFF in reality support. We can all argue it again next year when GMan Tranport Plan 3 will be drawn up. I voted YES on the grounds that better do something now than risk disaster but perhaps a higher C charge and better roads will be next !!!

Artie FufkinDecember 9th 2008.

Just an idea, if this comes in, I'm prepared to bet anyone that less people will be employed in manchester on 27th July 2015 than were employed in the zone on 27 July 2007 when the sorry debacle was put out in the open. any takers, kevin?

viva chris ronaldDecember 9th 2008.

Its worse Emma Grace, He's a Scouser!

Artie FufkinDecember 9th 2008.

Cause of congestion, look at the GMTU stats and try to understand how congestion (defined by a slowing average speed) can be blamed on traffic which you wll find has FALLEN 10% in 10 years, it must be something else so whytry to price out cars?Go through the whole plan and add up the investmetn in transport that will only take place if TIF goes ahead. If you are genmerous, you will come to about £750m, if you are a little more realistic, it's closer to £450m. Yet we're being told we need a £1,250,000,000 loan to pay for £450m worth of transport. Now, I can't prove to you that Richard Leese, Bernstein and others will create themselves a nice well paid job withing the scheme if peopel are daft enough to vote yes. I can't prove that the contracts will go to companies who are prominant in the United City group but I do think it will be interesting to see what happens. For me, I suspect it's jobs for the boys.

AnonymousDecember 9th 2008.

The mis-information from the Yes campaigners continues ... big announcement on the local news yesterday of investment in improved rail links within the region and absolutely nothing to do with the congestion charge. As has been said on this forum and others, the transport companies want/need to keep their businesses going (no pun intended) and that will involve investment - much more likely to happen than half-baked promises from the government. Anyone remember Prescott turning down the metrolink expansion a year or so ago ...?? They didn't support it then so why should they now! If Yes wins, we'll end up paying and there will be another policy switcharound which fails to deliver the goods.

Brian SouterDecember 9th 2008.

The percentage is so low cause all the 'Yes' voters realise their efforts have been futile.We thought we had a winner, a cash cow overflowing with money milk...........but alas people seen to have seen through our ploy.

DigDecember 9th 2008.

I have no idea what Tony from Eastenders stylie means. I'd rather not know either thanks. What's wrong with reading about my blind date by the way? I thought I was a quality subject matter.

A realistDecember 9th 2008.

I got my forms in the post, my girlfreind is still yet to receive hers!!!!!!

DigDecember 9th 2008.

Interesting you should say that Chris. There's a little conversation started on Liverpool Confidential about the Liverpool/Manchester banter & rivalries in the Coogan article. Would be good to have some Mancunian input into it.

Artie FufkinDecember 9th 2008.

Chris Poweill, I've taken your advise and looked at the Lucy Powell YES video with the New Order soundtrack. LOL Just like the TIF campaign, this video appears a little misleading. You remember when TIF used American actors in their advert pretending to come from Oldham, Rochdale etc.Lucy Powell appears to have American cars arriving en-masse into Manchester in the rush-hour, all LHD as well. Somehow, someone is telling fibs again, naughty naughty, very naughty!!!Don't fall for Lies, VOTE NO!

Artie FufkinDecember 9th 2008.

Kevin, you really are thick. To be balanced it must address the downside of the plan. That is, it creates unemployment as business moves out. Council taxes increase to pay for the shortage of revenue. The environment is damaged as people have to travel further to work. Empty buses push out fumes for no reason. the local economy gets shot, the only job anyone has is to drive a bliddy bus, that may be a step up for you bonny lad but an economy needs more than bus drivers.

reroosterDecember 9th 2008.

Klunkers -- - - Wanna buy a Donkey ??

Shardan FreudDecember 9th 2008.

To those bothered by not receiving a ballot pack: I you were to vote "Yes" the same people that were going o deliver TIF for you - are responcable for both! If you were going to vote "No" It would only have increased the majority!

Artie FufkinDecember 9th 2008.

Kevin Peel, you want evidence?You have a nerve!!! The amount of rubbish you come out with.What evidence do you need?

Artie FufkinDecember 9th 2008.

Kevin, do you really think sending a pro TIF brochure inside the same envelope as the ballot paper is democratic? I'm sure all the parties will be happy if the government inlude their manifesto with every voting card a the next general election, 1930's Germany seems like a perfect democracy in comprison.£3m of public money behind the yes vote, another ridiculouse amount from united city and it's still going to be a 'no'

emma graceDecember 9th 2008.

afternoon Digga!! Please don't tell me you're a Yes man...

BunnyDecember 9th 2008.

I live on the Blackley Middleton border, if the congestion charge is approved, then at charging times I would have to pay a charge to visit my local park, (Heaton Park) or to go to my local supermarket, both of which are a good 7 or 8 miles from the city centre! There will be a charging station by M60 junction 20, virtually at the end of my street! I will spend untold years doing mental gymnastics each time I venture out of the house, checking times, working out if I will incur a charge or not, whether I am going into the city or simply making a local journey. There would be additional inconvenience of ensuring I had the correct method of payment which may mean making calls in advance to my bank, which is one of the proposed methods of taking payments.The alternative of taking public transport to my local park or supermarket would add at least 30mins onto travelling times and mean I couldn't carry much shopping home. This is not an attractive alternative.Why on earth would I vote for that?I have cast my vote, a resounding NO.Please support those of us who live locally to the proposed charging bands who will carry much of the daily burden of congestion charges and VOTE NO!!!

Dr ChiDecember 9th 2008.

I have recently moved and dont seem to be on the voting electorate of my new area and my old local won't pick up the phone so that I can get a new ballot. AND there is no other way to vote NOOO. Sod's law!

Kevin PeelDecember 9th 2008.

Oh please, the GM Future Transport leaflets listed EVERY aspect of the proposals in great detail - including the congestion charge. It was not a piece of yes propaganda just because you disagree with it. What you no lot seem to be most worried about is people getting access to the correct information because it blows massive holes in your bizarre argument to vote AGAINST massive investment. So instead you whine about money being spent helping people to understand the issue and pump millions into billbaords, newspaper wrap arounds and door-to-door leaflets telling people all about the thousands of pounds they'll all have to pay in congestion charging if they vote yes. NO mention of the investment whatsoever. THAT is propaganda and it is disgraceful.

ChrisDecember 9th 2008.

As much as I would love to vote yes, i cannot as none of the people in our house have received voting forms... maybe this is a possible reason for a low turnout.

DigDecember 9th 2008.

Ha ha thanks a lot, just Dig in future please Emma. Me? A yes man? I'm no sycophant!! Seriously tho I don't really have much of an opinion on the congestion charge in Manchester. I don't live or work there, as you know, so it doesn't affect me at the moment. I suppose my decision would be made on the basis of how it would affect me if lived or worked there. As it is right now if I had a vote I would vote no on the basis that I wouldn't trust the councils to deliver on their promises.

scoteeeDecember 9th 2008.

Kevin Peel, you still havent answered my question and that is typical of the "Yes" campaign too!To drag a 2 yr old travelling from the centre in the morning on public transport to his childminderson a nother route before his mother attends work?what ungodly hour would you think the child would need to rise from his bed?and dont get me strated of the reliability of public transport let alone the safety of it. what planet are you living on? and of course its a choice to travel on a bus or tram, but lets face it who would do that journey in such circumstances? I dont know anyone who even does? your an ignorant oik with an answer for everything!but no real tangible solutions..NO NO NO! it matters not whether its 24 times 12 or bloody once i would be charged for the so called congestion,I didn't vote "Yes" as I shouldnt have to pay a penny!

Chris PaulDecember 9th 2008.

Still reports of Voting papers not been received? Big Yes from me and the Lucy Powell YES video with the New Order soundtrack has now reached 111,500 hits and counting.Big YES from me. Go to the polling stations tomorrow and protest loudly if you haven't had your ballot paper.Vote YES.

YouidiotDecember 9th 2008.

There are some real ****wits around. Artie Futkin are you rally comparing Leese with Hitler? This is a congestion charge and transport improvement poll. My old history teacher used to say you could spot the thick people because they always reached the extreme of the Hitler comparison straight off.

Kevin PeelDecember 9th 2008.

Artie every single one of your assertions was plucked out of the air by the no campaign and none have any evidence whatsoever to back them up. Go and look at the EVIDENCE before you start spouting nonsense and insulting the intelligence of those who hold a different view.

Jaun HunglowDecember 9th 2008.

Kevin Peel says..“ Oh please, the GM Future Transport leaflets listed EVERY aspect of the proposals in great detail...... What's the penalty charge for failing to pay, how much more will it be if you don't have a tag, Will funeral corteges be exempt. How much will the park and ride be. Just which schools get a Yellow Bus? When you have answered them I have more.

filthymickDecember 9th 2008.

Ayup, Kevin Peel's back. Where have you been, lad? Must disagree with you on this thing about the advertising. Every bus, hoarding and newspaper seems to be pushing the 'Yes' message, but I've only seen half a dozen 'Stop The C-Charge' billboards (and most of them were in Liverpool.) Maybe I'm not looking hard enough.One thing I do agree with you on, though, is that people should actually get off their arses and vote on this very important subject. Bravo for that.

Dave, ChorltonDecember 9th 2008.

And another thing... despite common misinformation, the yes campaign is financed by private concerns plus some of the 10 local councils, just like the no campaign. Also it genuinely seems motivated to reduce congestion, by being time-boxed and allowing businesses/individuals to change their behaviour to avoid the charge, unlike the London charge. Finally a congestion charge or some sort of "pay as you go" is inevitable, eventually. Traffic levels have risen uk-wide 8-fold since the early 50s. These factors convinced me to vote Yes, in the end.

Artie fufkinDecember 9th 2008.

Unemployment, since the c-charge in london, employment in the zone has fallen, again other cities have seen employment growth. Manchester is less robust than london.

DOMINICDecember 9th 2008.

I cant belive so many people have not voted. Everone I have asked have said they would vote and everyone I know is voting no. whats going on people.. vote now and show them that it was right to give us the choice...

oxmancDecember 9th 2008.

Kevin, A big issue here is that we are being blackmailed into accepting this charge. Why on earth should we have to pay when we have been paying the taxes this fund has been built on for years. Hoon says if we vote no we get nothing. Why? Other cities have had massive cash injections for public transport improvement with no accompanying tax.Also promising cheaper bus fares is just not on, these companies answer to no-one but their shareholders. Just one other thing, can anyone tell me who is paying the wages of the 'Yes' people in town trying to swing my vote? I do hope my council tax payments aren't funding them because that would be deeply immoral.

BobbyDecember 9th 2008.

Great comment about the lazy voters in the this city...a particular disgrace as Manchester has been in the 19th and 20th century home to great pro-democracy movements such as Labour/Tory coalitions in sending millions of working class men to the killing fields of Europe in order to secure their right to vote (don't know what I mean..google the Manchester Peoples History Museum) along with many of the Suffragettes. People need to be aware that on the crest of one of the worst recessions in recent history here is a government both local and central that is willing to spend 3 billion quid on developing infrastructure...yes, half of which will be paid by the congestion charge...but people...we all voted in the past generation if not more against state funded, state subsidised cheap public transport in the name of lower direct taxation...systems have to be run by public contribution or private investment...or both. If anybody thinks that a no vote will in the end result in no congestion charge but large scale public transport development then they are wrong...its taken us years to get to this point. In 18 months time there will probably be a Tory governemnt in this country. People who think that Cameron along with his Old Etonian chums will give billions to a bunch of Labour led councils in the North West of England please go and howl at the moon....This is it!!

oxmancDecember 9th 2008.

Chris Paul, any reason why you're just telling people to vote yes without an arguement? As bad as all the students that are doing the same thing... And the majority of them aren't even going to be here if/when it is implemented. Why do they get to vote? I wonder...

KlunkersDecember 9th 2008.

Oooh Donkey ride to work.........now theres a real alternative. :-)

Walter GropiusDecember 9th 2008.

Artie Fufkin... did you really, genuinely just write that "1930's Germany seems like a perfect democracy in comparison"??? That's totally bonkers!!! It also shows how out of touch you NO lot are with the rest of us...

Artie FufkinDecember 9th 2008.

Walter, Democratic legitimacy is very important and even Hitler claimed support of his people. It just so happened he didn't let his detractors have a chance to make their point. Is than not the case here? £3m of public money spent on promoting the scheme, TV ads, web sites, email campaigns etc etc. The GMfuturetransport site is littered with mis-leading information and taking statistics out of context and at no point does it explain the obvious drawbacks of the scheme.In the end Hitler realised he'd been found out and fell on his sword. I wonder if Leese will be so honorable?

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