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Author Topic: British General Election  (Read 2882 times)
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Graham Martin
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« on: Jun 06, 2017, 07:12PM »

There is a very interesting situation developing in the UK, with a General Election coming up this Thursday. Certainly the recent terrorism events in the UK have tended to put the election a bit in the background but now people are beginning to think about it again. Far from being a lay down misere for Theresa May and the Conservatives, there is now a lot of support for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has some very traditional Labour plans:

What Labour is offering:

* Scrap student tuition fees
* Nationalise water, rail and energy companies  Good!
* Increase taxes for the rich
* Hire 10,000 new police officers, 3,000 new firefighters
* Ban zero-hours contracts
* Bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership  Good!

As an ex employee of the old British Railways, I am very much in favour of renationalising public services and I just wish the Australian Labor party would get some similar plans. However, it seems that it is the newly registered young that are helping to re popularise Labour due to the plans to scrap student tuition fees. 


What the Conservatives are offering:

* Increased spending on the National Health Service  Good!
* Scrapping winter fuel allowances for wealthier pensioners
* Including the value of the family home as part of the cost of aged care
* More money for schools  Good!
* A big cut in net migration

A couple of those items look very Labour orientated anyway.

I am just wondering what influence Brexit will have on the voting and how voters will be able to express their viewpoint if they are not in favour of Theresa May's acceptance of the original referendum?
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Grah

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« Reply #1 on: Jun 06, 2017, 07:51PM »

Mrs. May is taking heat for cutting police and counter-terrorism in her previous cabinet position. And rightly so.

Anything but a strong Conservative majority would complicate the Brexit process. That outcome seems unlikely.

And why the terrorists will fail to intimidate the Brits:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/london-bridge-terror-attack-fk-****-you-im-millwall-hero-roy-larner-football-fan-lion-of-london-a7775246.html
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 07, 2017, 05:30AM »


And why the terrorists will fail to intimidate the Brits:


Hitler dropped 10,000 bombs a day on them and it just made them stronger. THe IRA made ISIS look like school kids. The Brits recognize this "terror" as the existential mosquito bite that it is.
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Graham Martin
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 07, 2017, 03:45PM »

'Today is the day' and Theresa May's Conservatives apparently maintain a narrow lead over the opposition Labour Party. However, the opinion polls this week have been all over the place and I do not think there is a clear picture of the likely result. So much for Theresa May's snap election which was supposed to deliver a landslide majority. Yeah, RIGHT.

Whoever wins will have to negotiate a successful divorce from the European Union that does not harm the economy. Also the Brits will demand the government stop the terror attacks. Add to that the deficit and debt issues, health, education, defence et al. It might be that whoever loses can be excused for breathing a sigh of relief. :D
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Grah

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« Reply #4 on: Jun 07, 2017, 04:04PM »

I think it is optimistic to think the divorce will be 'successful'!
The much vilified Corbyn (and I was no fan) has run a much better campaign than expected, given the disfunctional Labour party. Theresa May thought she would grab an opportunity to smash Labour and UKIP, but it may have have backfired; she is no campaigner. We'll have to see if she gets a bigger majority or not - she didn't need to call an election.
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 08, 2017, 10:09AM »

Will be watching with interest in the results tonight/tomorrow.
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 08, 2017, 10:33AM »

The Independent says that final polls predict the largest Tory majority since Margaret Thatcher crushed Labour and Michael Foot in 1983.

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« Reply #7 on: Jun 08, 2017, 03:11PM »

Looks like that Tory Majority isn't happening.

It's interesting watching some man-on-the-street interviews with voters. They don't have that the same seething rage that US voters tend to have.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #8 on: Jun 08, 2017, 03:47PM »

No, these aren't people caught by paparazzi while walking the cat, these are British MP candidates.

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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #9 on: Jun 08, 2017, 03:49PM »

No, these aren't people caught by paparazzi while walking the cat, these are British MP candidates.



And your point is?
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 08, 2017, 04:48PM »

And your point is?

I'm somewhat surprised that the press coordinator of a candidate for national office has not presented the media with a better photo.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #11 on: Jun 08, 2017, 05:33PM »

I'm disappointed that there are no votes for the Silly Party this year.

However, I like that every constituency seems to have a slogan, like "It's happening in Halton!" or "The Brighter Borough" (Wandsworth).
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #12 on: Jun 08, 2017, 07:21PM »

Lo, the Loony Party candidate...





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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #13 on: Jun 08, 2017, 07:43PM »

The latest news I am getting is that Theresa May's Tories on track to win only 322 seats which is short of the majority she needs. She may have to form a coalition government. The silly decision to have a general election will now place Brexit talks in jeopardy and cause turmoil in British domestic politics.

I suppose another scenario is that Labour might just get enough votes to form a coalition government. Good!
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Grah

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« Reply #14 on: Jun 08, 2017, 07:49PM »

If May loses is it possible to halt the Brexit or to call for another referendum?

My guess is that EU would probably prefer they stay in; Brexit becomes quite complex from both sides.
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« Reply #15 on: Jun 08, 2017, 08:06PM »

If May loses is it possible to halt the Brexit or to call for another referendum?


As i watch the coverage, the British pundits seem to be saying this...

- May has gotten an un-dorsement to her call for a stronger endorsement for Brexit. She was really dumb to call this election.
- No one is saying Brexit still won't happen, just that the "hard Brexit" May wanted may not happen.
- The good showing for Corbyn and Labour clouds the issue because he ran on a semi-Brexit platform, not anti-Brexit.
- "No one" wants another referendum.  They hated the last one.
- May was a lousy, negative campaigner
- Corbyn surprised everyone by being not insane and being a positive campaigner
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #16 on: Jun 08, 2017, 08:42PM »

The Conservative strategy was to scoop up former UK Independence Party voters. It would be logical for pro-Brexit UKIP voters to go Conservative, especially in constituencies where the UKIP has intentionally not fielded a candidate in order to help the Conservative candidate.

However, that seems not to be happening.  Very often, the shift in UKIP vote since the last election has gone to Labour or Lib Dem. Don't know



The Stark Raving Loony Party can't seem to agree on a common attire...







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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #17 on: Jun 08, 2017, 09:07PM »

Traditional British teeth...

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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #18 on: Jun 08, 2017, 10:21PM »

There's some talk about the "progressives", ie Labour and Fallon's Liberal Democratic forming an alliance of sorts and forming government.

Mrs. May totally cacked this. Sidling up to Trump and being Home Secretary and eliminating 20,000 police (given the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London) obviously didn't help. Having all  the charisma of a female John Major didn't help either.

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« Reply #19 on: Jun 09, 2017, 06:00AM »

It looks like the final total is a loss of 14 seats and the majority. What I have seen is that a larger than usual turnout of younger voters is what did in the Conservatives. The angry, old white guys are losing everywhere since the idiocy of Breaxit and our last election made it so obvious where there agenda lies. IF we can get young voters to turn out here in the US it may be we can swing the pendulum as well.
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« Reply #20 on: Jun 09, 2017, 06:17AM »

There's some talk about the "progressives", ie Labour and Fallon's Liberal Democratic forming an alliance of sorts and forming government.


The Conservatives were too close to a majority to be denied. They've picked up a Northern Ireland pro-British party to get across the line.

Corbyn had a no-compromises policy for forming a government which made it even more unlikely for Labour to rule with someone else.


The on-air pundits noted that "everyone lost". Conservatives lost their mandate. Labour still didn't come close to winning. Most everyone else finished so far back as to be irrelevant.

Corbyn seems to have repaired his image a bit, but that's about it.

One of my UK Facebook friends was telling me a year ago that Corbyn was a crackpot but now was voting for him. 20-somethings declared him to be the one they'd "most like to have a beer with".

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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #21 on: Jun 09, 2017, 09:18AM »

BBC has a summary of the more unusual also-rans...

WT* moments of election night

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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #22 on: Jun 09, 2017, 09:25AM »

The Black Knight won?
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Graham Martin
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« Reply #23 on: Jun 09, 2017, 03:57PM »

British Prime Minister Theresa May did not seem to change her pre-prepared election win speech, which did not contemplate such a disastrous election result, and in front of No 10 pledged to deliver a "successful Brexit".

She also confirmed that she will seek to form a minority government with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionists Party (DUP) and has advised the Queen accordingly. The deal with DUP gives the Tories 329 seats in parliament.

Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn has predictably called for her to resign but, despite the catastrophe of calling the election and losing so many seats, Theresa May is seemingly determined to get on with the Brexit negotiations which start in only 11 days time. I think the Euros will eat her alive. Bad dog.  No Biscuits.
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Grah

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« Reply #24 on: Jun 09, 2017, 06:56PM »

BBC has a summary of the more unusual also-rans...

WT* moments of election night



Lord Buckethead, evidently.

And he has a manifesto.

MY 2017 MANIFESTO: Strong, not entirely stable, leadership

1. The abolition of the Lords (except me).

2. Full facial coverings to be kept legal, especially bucket-related headgear.

3. No third runway to be built at Heathrow: where we’re going we don’t need runways.

4. Ceefax to be brought back immediately, with The Oracle and other Teletext services to be rolled out by the next Parliament.

5. Regeneration of Nicholson’s Shopping Centre, Maidenhead.

6. Buckethead on Brexit: a referendum should be held about whether there should be a second referendum.

7. Nuclear weapons: A firm public commitment to build the £100bn renewal of the Trident weapons system, followed by an equally firm private commitment not to build it. They’re secret submarines, no one will ever know. It’s a win win.

8. Nationalisation of Adele: in order to maximise the efficient use of UK resources, the time is right for great British assets to be brought into public ownership for the common good. This is to be achieved through capital spending.

9. A moratorium until 2022 on whether Birmingham should be converted into a star base.

10. Legalisation of the hunting of fox-hunters.

11. New voting age limit of 16 to be introduced. New voting age limit of 80 to be introduced too.

12. Katie Hopkins to be banished to the Phantom Zone.

13. Stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Start buying lasers from Lord Buckethead.

14. Prospective MPs to live in the seat they wish to represent for at least five years before election, to improve local representation in Parliament.

15. Free bikes for everyone, to help combat obesity, traffic congestion and bike theft.
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« Reply #25 on: Jun 09, 2017, 07:13PM »

The requirements to run for MP are a bit odd by American standards

-a £500 "deposit" required, refunded if you get more than 5% of the vote
-the only residency requirement is that you be a citizen of the UK, a Commonwealth nation or... the Republic of Ireland?
-must be nominated by 10 "parliamentary electors" (voters) of the constituency in which the person intends to run.

Sounds like a recipe for carpetbag government. I guess it is how a party puts its important candidates, like cabinet minsters, into safe districts.
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« Reply #26 on: Jun 09, 2017, 07:28PM »

This has been parodied many times by Gilbert and Sullivan.  Look at the operetta Iolanthe where Strepon is sent to parliament because the Queen of the Fairies has a "borough or two at my disposal".  Also look at Sir Joseph Porter (KCB) song in HMS Pinafore (When I was a Lad).
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« Reply #27 on: Jun 10, 2017, 09:11AM »

Headline in the WaPo:

"Pressure in Britain builds on Theresa May to step aside as her top aides resign, her party plots her possible ouster"

No word if Lord Buckethead is being considered as her successor.

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« Reply #28 on: Jun 10, 2017, 09:24AM »

Headline in the WaPo:
 
"Pressure in Britain builds on Theresa May to step aside as her top aides resign, her party plots her possible ouster"
 
No word if Lord Buckethead is being considered as her successor.

They're welcome to our "Lord Buckethead".
 
May have to give it a few more months though, before absolutely everyone rational will be quite happy to see him go.
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« Reply #29 on: Jun 10, 2017, 12:16PM »

It is interesting how easily Mrs. May could be replaced as PM.

She could resign.

She could lose a confidence motion in the house.

The Conservative party could replace her as leader.
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« Reply #30 on: Jun 10, 2017, 12:52PM »

I was surprised that Cameron stepped aside so quickly after Brexit.  Just to give the job to someone else who also said they didn't want Brexit? But then somehow was going to enthusiastically do it anyway?

I'm also surprised that no one had the courage to say, "hey, it was just an non-binding referendum that didn't pass by a huge majority. Let's take time to think about it."

It should have been Cameron saying that.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #31 on: Jun 10, 2017, 03:51PM »

First signs of the end of Theresa May as PM are that her co-chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill have resigned as the party prepared to launch negotiations to stay in power. The two formed part of the leader's small inner circle and were blamed by many Conservatives for the party's lacklustre campaign and unpopular election platform.

I feel that there are so many Conservatives who were not in favour of Brexit that she had no chance of increasing her majority and it was stupid her to call the election, whoever's decision that was. Yeah, RIGHT.

Personally, I was very much in favour of Brexit and I do not think the Brits have to kowtow to their old Euro partners to get acceptable conditions of exit. The boot should be on the other foot with GB resuming its old position of world leadership - certainly needed with Trump dropping the US from that position. Not that I think May could do that. Or Corbyn.
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« Reply #32 on: Jun 11, 2017, 02:15PM »

Does Britain have many cards to play in getting a Brexit that's better than plain old non-EU status that all the rest of us have?

They talk about threatening to stop buying French wine and German cars but they're a WTO member which wouldn't allow that without sanctions, right?  Are they going to quit the WTO too?

There isn't much Britain can do that the rest of Europe can't do back.

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« Reply #33 on: Jun 11, 2017, 02:21PM »

I think that's something that wasn't well explained in the runup to the Brexit vote.  Much like our election, the people supporting it believed they were voting for something else.
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« Reply #34 on: Jun 11, 2017, 11:07PM »

Lord Buckethead makes an appearance on John Oliver tonight.
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« Reply #35 on: Jun 12, 2017, 01:55AM »

I'm somewhat surprised that the press coordinator of a candidate for national office has not presented the media with a better photo.

Our media seem to play a game of trying to find the least flattering photo possible, in order to make the politicians that the particular outlet doesn't favour look ridiculous. These photos are pretty tame by comparison. It is a tiresome thing, a symptom of how our discourse has been trivialised.

And it's a wasted effort - so many of them will do that job for themselves, the minute they open their mouths.

A couple of examples:

The Daily Heil show Jeremy Corbyn as a startled oaf
(sorry... Daily Mail... I don't normally go in for this kind of childish namechanging, but the DM pretends to be a legitimate news outlet while actually spreading hatred and fear, wrapped up in a reflexive habit of female body-shaming. It's  a truly horrible paper; famous for supporting the Nazis in the 1930s, and still under the management of the same family, it's been on the wrong side of every social issue ever raised. It can appear here in links from well-meaning US residents - understand that it's the British equivalent of linking to Fox News. It's the only paper whose content has been officially deprecated as unreliable by Wikipedia for citation purposes, if that helps to illuminate their values. Despite all this, it maintains a mass market circulation in the UK, a truly depressing fact.)

While The Mirror (pretty much the only left-leaning tabloid) shows Theresa May as a constipated snowman.

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« Reply #36 on: Jun 12, 2017, 02:32AM »

As i watch the coverage, the British pundits seem to be saying this...

- May has gotten an un-dorsement to her call for a stronger endorsement for Brexit. She was really dumb to call this election.
- No one is saying Brexit still won't happen, just that the "hard Brexit" May wanted may not happen.
- The good showing for Corbyn and Labour clouds the issue because he ran on a semi-Brexit platform, not anti-Brexit.
- "No one" wants another referendum.  They hated the last one.
- May was a lousy, negative campaigner
- Corbyn surprised everyone by being not insane and being a positive campaigner

This takes us a step closer to a world in which the idea of cancelling Brexit is a politically thinkable one. It is noticeable that the level of conventional media discourse on the subject has risen since the result; BBC interviewers asking politicians if it is going to happen after all - a completely unaskable question this time last week, to the great frustration of those of us who would dearly like it to be cancelled.

But it is a step closer on a long path. It is hard to see a route in which it doesn't happen, with so much political intent invested in it from the two main sides of the party divide. Those of us who still oppose it as an obviously stupid idea feel effectively unrepresented, with only the Liberal Democrats making a commitment to oppose it. The Lib Dems increased their representation at this election - from 8 to 12 seats out of the total 650... They are still politically broken after their 2015 wipeout.

Corbyn, Labour, and Brexit... This is a complex tale. Some salient facts:
 - The bringing of the question before the electorate was a project of the hard right wing, found on the Conservative party back benches and in UKIP
 - But there were historically also members of the left wing who opposed the EU, for jobs-protection reasons. Once upon a time, Jeremy Corbyn was one of these people.
 - He professes to have changed his view - saying that leaving the EU is a drastic step; better to work inside it - but he campaigned very weakly to remain in 2016, leaving many suspicious that he hasn't in fact changed his view
 - Corbyn is kept in place as party leader by the party members, which whom he is very popular, rather than his MPs, with whom he is less popular
 - Voters for both main parties are split on the desirability of Brexit. A sizable fraction of Conservative voters are more politically moderate than the current party direction, and wished to remain in the EU. A strong majority of Labour voters wanted to remain also.
 - UKIP in 2010 and 2015 became a vehicle for protest votes, for people who were more worried about life getting less good than about their actual policies or about their abhorrent personnel. Many of these people were historic Labour voters, working people that were struggling. And many of them took fully on board (primed by the decades-long campaigns of papers such as the Mail) the idea that blaming the EU for life not feeling good was a sensible thing to do. A fair bit of the referendum vote to leave came from this 'fed up' demographic, who, instead of blaming the Conservative party austerity policies that were the actual cause of their displeasure, chose to answer the question in the way that it became fashionable to think - by scapegoating the EU. This is the mechanism where the parallels with the Trump vote in the US become blindingly clear.
 - So UKIP had picked up votes from both main parties, but for differing reasons - from those who wanted the Conservatives to be more brutal, but also from across the core Labour demographic, in an act of protest. With Brexit apparently unalterably happening, these largely went back to where they had come from, with 75% of UKIPs 2015 vote share disappearing (and thank goodness to see them become marginalised again. Though our media still pay them an unwarranted amount of attention, given their lack of ability to return any MPs.).
 - Referenda are horrible things. They split the country from top to bottom, particularly if the answer is unclear, the question poorly phrased, and the parameters naively set, as they all were for us in 2016. And David Cameron gave us several of the damn things - on a change to the voting system in 2011, on Scottish independence in 2014, and on EU membership in 2016. Each was more bruising than the last - the first one a bit of a non-event (though it should have been treated much more seriously), the second leaving Scotland in a rare old state of animosity, and the third bringing that countrywide. There is no appetite at all in the country to do such things again for many years. Note that the SNP had raised the idea of a second Scottish independence referendum in the coming years (independence in a Brexit landscape seeming a much more reasonable idea than it did prior) - and for that they were punished heavily last Thursday, losing 21 of their 56 seats (Scotland has only 59 seats in total, so it was nearly a one-party state after 2015). Other factors were at play, but there's no doubt that that had a big say.
 - That said, one may become necessary. Who knows? If they try to negotiate Brexit, and come back only with terrible options such that aborting the process becomes the only reasonable course (this seems pretty likely to me... The idea is so foundationally flawed.), could any politician dare to do so without a direct mandate in the current climate? But then, the electoral mood on Brexit has shifted - there is a flavour around of "Come on, let's just get this mess over and done with", with people suppressing their appetite to cancel it. A referendum on terms, even if the terms were the most awful one could imagine, might well come out with an endorsement of those truly awful terms. The will of the electorate is a fickle and bizarre thing.
 - Corbyn has been brutally mistreated by almost all of our media since he took on the leadership of the Labour party after the 2015 election. So relentless and one-sided has the onslaught been that it's been hard to perceive either the man or the policies behing it. With this election campaign, he finally had a chance to be listened to. And despite the Conservative-supporting majority of our press throwing absolutely all the mud and smear they could at him, he came out of it looking principled, with integrity - and even smiling. Only those that unquestioningly take in their views from our right wing papers thought (still think) that he was (is) a loony, but many whose perceptions are formed more casually also had their take disrupted, by the uniformity of unfair condemnation of him. The increased focus of an election campaign allowed these people to develop their view - and we hearteningly found out that social justice policies still have a mass following in the UK, despite what many of our papers and our right wing leadership tell us to think. Corbyn's leadership still put off many potential voters, which could be a problem going forward - but he has at the least reminded us that socialist thoughts ought to be at the core of Labour party values, something they wilfully forgot under Tony Blair 2 decades ago.

The Conservative strategy was to scoop up former UK Independence Party voters. It would be logical for pro-Brexit UKIP voters to go Conservative, especially in constituencies where the UKIP has intentionally not fielded a candidate in order to help the Conservative candidate.

However, that seems not to be happening.  Very often, the shift in UKIP vote since the last election has gone to Labour or Lib Dem. Don't know

See above. I would be extremely surprised to learn that the 2015 UKIP vote went to the Lib Dems anywhere - from the party whose only reason for existence is to lose the UK's EU membership to the only party to officially oppose Brexit? That would reveal a startling shift in priorities. But much of it went back to where it had come from, and some of that was Labour.
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« Reply #37 on: Jun 12, 2017, 03:05AM »

The Conservatives were too close to a majority to be denied. They've picked up a Northern Ireland pro-British party to get across the line.

This is more than a minor detail. They allied with the only other party that would have them - the Democratic Unionist Party, who benefited from a polarisation of Northern Irish voting (the two moderate parties lost all their seats on Thursday) to grow to 10 seats, enough to push the Conservatives over the line.

But in Northern Ireland, "moderate" and "extreme" mean different things than they do in Great Britain. The two parties now in possession of all the seats, the DUP and Sinn Fein, both have a long history of alliance to paramilitary groups, and there is still great controversy over their failures to condemn such violent means. After having seen the Conservative press vilify Jeremy Corbyn for the duration of the campaign for having contacts with Sinn Fein from the 1980s (a hugely controversial position at the time, their paramilitary wing (the IRA) murdering innocent civilians as they were) - we now see Theresa May propping up her government with their opposite numbers.

The DUP were founded by the infamous Rev Ian Paisley, a giant bully of a man who cast a long shadow over the peace process in Northern Ireland, hindering it greatly with his intransigence and seeming desire to drag out harm. The party was made in his image, embracing a kind of Christian fundamentalism that you in the US see frighteningly much of from your Republicans, but that here (outside Northern Ireland) just seems massively peculiar. The DUP fight to oppose bringing NI into line with the liberalising 1967 abortion act, they openly promote hatred of and discrimination against LGBT people, they literally embody the principle of sectarian tension, they've been quoted giving Young Earth Creationist and climate-change-denying views (their environment minister Sammy Wilson is a climate change denier). These are the bad guys, there's no mistaking that. And now they have a lever over our government. Do not forget that it is the former one-man party whose leader was fond of proclaiming from his pulpit that the Pope is the Antichrist. They came in Ian Paisley's old age to embrace their enemies in the name of healing NI, but their mediaeval attitudes still persist.

Corbyn had a no-compromises policy for forming a government which made it even more unlikely for Labour to rule with someone else.

Yes. This has always struck me as being short-sighted. Would he/they stick to it if push came to shove? I suspect not, but who knows.
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« Reply #38 on: Jun 12, 2017, 03:11AM »

Brexit will happen  84% of voters voted for the two main parties both of which supported brexit in their manifesto's... if Corbyn (who has a lifelong dislike of the EU)tries to move this then he risks losing the Norther MP's as the North voted leave.

The electorate rejected the unliberal undemocrat party who are the only pro remain and will do anything to overturn the vote, even their leader saw his own majority slashed from over 7000 to 777.

And just to remind Dave that the last labour prime minister Brown tried to do a deal with the DUP in 2010 to cling to power!!
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« Reply #39 on: Jun 12, 2017, 03:16AM »

The requirements to run for MP are a bit odd by American standards

-a £500 "deposit" required, refunded if you get more than 5% of the vote
-the only residency requirement is that you be a citizen of the UK, a Commonwealth nation or... the Republic of Ireland?
-must be nominated by 10 "parliamentary electors" (voters) of the constituency in which the person intends to run.

Sounds like a recipe for carpetbag government. I guess it is how a party puts its important candidates, like cabinet minsters, into safe districts.

An accusation often levelled at the main parties is that they 'parachute' their favoured candidates into safe seats. Carpetbagging is alive and well.

These rules are aimed at solving various things - the £500 deposit tries to ensure that only people serious about standing do so. In practice, it largely prevents the proliferation of joke candidates, but doesn't eliminate them entirely, witness posts above. Some people think £500 is a worthy price to pay for the pleasure of prancing around a constituency dressed as a brick for two months... I don't understand them, but I wish them all the luck with it.

The Republic of Ireland clause I suspect relates to the peculiar historic constitutional interrelation of the two countries. The ROI was a part of the UK until 1922, when it broke away, and ever since ROI citizens have retained their UK voting rights.

This has been parodied many times by Gilbert and Sullivan.  Look at the operetta Iolanthe where Strepon is sent to parliament because the Queen of the Fairies has a "borough or two at my disposal".  Also look at Sir Joseph Porter (KCB) song in HMS Pinafore (When I was a Lad).

G&S = 19th century. The system's been overhauled substantially since then on various occasions. At the start of Sullivan's life, there were "rotten boroughs", where a tiny (even single-figure) number of electors returned an MP, and it was common practice to bribe them.
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« Reply #40 on: Jun 12, 2017, 03:25AM »

I was surprised that Cameron stepped aside so quickly after Brexit.  Just to give the job to someone else who also said they didn't want Brexit? But then somehow was going to enthusiastically do it anyway?

I'm also surprised that no one had the courage to say, "hey, it was just an non-binding referendum that didn't pass by a huge majority. Let's take time to think about it."

It should have been Cameron saying that.

Cameron was a politician of little substance, that much is obvious. The times needed deft leadership, but we had a man who was oblivious to that.

I continue surprised that there hasn't been a serious political pushback against it. A marginal result after an ill-natured campaign of disinformation - this is not remotely a sound basis on which to gamble all that we are gambling.
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« Reply #41 on: Jun 12, 2017, 03:27AM »

Referenda are horrible things. They split the country from top to bottom,

Behold, every US Presidential election of the last 30 years.


Quote
See above. I would be extremely surprised to learn that the 2015 UKIP vote went to the Lib Dems anywhere


Extremely surprised you should be then.  There were indeed constituencies where the loss by UKIP and similar gain by Lib Dem were clear among only slight changes for other parties.

One could imagine a scenario of cascading transfers around all the parties that gives the same apparent result without one single UKIP voter actually switching to LibDem but... probably less likely than the simple explanation.

Why might a 2015 UKIP voter switch to Lib Dem in 2017? Low-information voters who weren't all that serious about Brexit or had not really thought it through or just cast what they thought was a safe protest vote that would have no consequence.


Quote
The Republic of Ireland clause I suspect relates to the peculiar historic constitutional interrelation of the two countries. The ROI was a part of the UK until 1922, when it broke away, and ever since ROI citizens have retained their UK voting rights.

I see it as based in some sort of deep-seated refusal to admit Ireland has really, totally left the building.  Yeah, RIGHT.
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« Reply #42 on: Jun 12, 2017, 03:32AM »

Personally, I was very much in favour of Brexit and I do not think the Brits have to kowtow to their old Euro partners to get acceptable conditions of exit. The boot should be on the other foot with GB resuming its old position of world leadership - certainly needed with Trump dropping the US from that position. Not that I think May could do that. Or Corbyn.

Does Britain have many cards to play in getting a Brexit that's better than plain old non-EU status that all the rest of us have?

They talk about threatening to stop buying French wine and German cars but they're a WTO member which wouldn't allow that without sanctions, right?  Are they going to quit the WTO too?

There isn't much Britain can do that the rest of Europe can't do back.

Here we have two contrasting views on what is possible from Brexit. I think it is near needless to say that I am very much in Robert's camp here. This isn't 1880. We don't own India, to use as a subjugated cash cow to support any jingoistic venture that we might choose. We don't use our military might to bully others into doing things for us. We don't even have much military might these days. This idea of Britannia once again ruling the waves drove all too much Leave-y thinking in the vote - it isn't a possible outcome. We'll come out of the EU negotiations largely with what the rest of the EU specify - they're 7 times the size of us populationwise.
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« Reply #43 on: Jun 12, 2017, 03:33AM »

Apologies for the blitz of posts - I've been meaning to catch up on this thread for a few days...
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« Reply #44 on: Jun 12, 2017, 03:40AM »

...
I see it as based in some sort of deep-seated refusal to admit Ireland has really, totally left the building.  Yeah, RIGHT.

I look at the contrast of Northern Ireland and Ireland being similar to Canada and the US in 1780.  The US chose to secede from Britain but Canada chose to remain.  Similarly Ireland rebelled from English rule but the Northern Irish counties chose to remain.  The relationship between NI and Ireland is a lot more abrasive than the relationship between the US and Canada, though.  Maybe it will mellow over time? Don't know

Dave, thanks for the analysis from "inside the action".  We have had very little comment here by actual Brits on this election.
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« Reply #45 on: Jun 12, 2017, 03:48AM »

Bruce,  I refrained from commenting on the election even on my own social media, the UK still has not really recovered from either the Scottish indy vote or the eu vote....the young really turned out in this election but mainly in support of Corbyn and he did much better than was expected although still lost by 60 seats to the torries...who not only won more seats but got more of the popular vote too!

At the start of the whole process it was about brexit... that switched half way through to the public services etc in labours socialist manifesto that had many points a lot of people would agree with, and Corbyn offering the bribe to the young on tuition fees.

But nice to see our colonial cousins are as confused by our election process as we quite often are with yours!   Good!
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« Reply #46 on: Jun 12, 2017, 08:39AM »

I guess "Mayxit" is the emerging term for this election.



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« Reply #47 on: Jun 12, 2017, 09:10AM »

I look at the contrast of Northern Ireland and Ireland being similar to Canada and the US in 1780.  The US chose to secede from Britain but Canada chose to remain.  Similarly Ireland rebelled from English rule but the Northern Irish counties chose to remain.  The relationship between NI and Ireland is a lot more abrasive than the relationship between the US and Canada, though.  Maybe it will mellow over time? Don't know

Dave, thanks for the analysis from "inside the action".  We have had very little comment here by actual Brits on this election.

There was no Canada in 1780. The British in Upper Canada wanted to remain British, the French in Lower Canada, defeated by the British on the Plains of Abraham in 1763, didn't have much choice, and the natives didn't realize their days as sovereign nations were drawing to a close. I wonder if there was any desire in Lower Canada, ie Quebec, to join the American cause against the British in 1776?
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« Reply #48 on: Jun 12, 2017, 09:15AM »

Here we have two contrasting views on what is possible from Brexit. I think it is near needless to say that I am very much in Robert's camp here. This isn't 1880. We don't own India, to use as a subjugated cash cow to support any jingoistic venture that we might choose. We don't use our military might to bully others into doing things for us. We don't even have much military might these days. This idea of Britannia once again ruling the waves drove all too much Leave-y thinking in the vote - it isn't a possible outcome. We'll come out of the EU negotiations largely with what the rest of the EU specify - they're 7 times the size of us populationwise.

Do you mean Britain won't be great again?
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« Reply #49 on: Jun 12, 2017, 10:05AM »

... our colonial cousins ...
Colonial cousins?  Some would see those as fightin' words!
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« Reply #50 on: Jun 12, 2017, 10:28AM »

Do you mean Britain won't be great again?

It's all quite grating. Is that close enough?
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« Reply #51 on: Jun 12, 2017, 09:19PM »

The NY Times briefly cites the unusual disposition of former UKIP voters in this election.

Quote
The nation is divided, but not on traditional party lines. People who had previously voted for the U.K. Independence Party, the right-wing nationalist party that campaigned on the Leave side in the Brexit vote, went all over the place, producing freak results in this general election.

I think this points to the likelihood that a big chunk of "Leave" voters in Brexit had only the dimmest understanding of what they were voting for and no expectation that they'd have to live with their vote.

It's like when people in Texas talk about secession. They don't know what it would really do and they don't have to because it's never going to happen.
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« Reply #52 on: Jun 12, 2017, 10:14PM »

The NY Times briefly cites the unusual disposition of former UKIP voters in this election.

I think this points to the likelihood that a big chunk of "Leave" voters in Brexit had only the dimmest understanding of what they were voting for and no expectation that they'd have to live with their vote.

It's like when people in Texas talk about secession. They don't know what it would really do and they don't have to because it's never going to happen.

That has been levelled by the remain side and is insulting, in some areas the former ukip vote returned to labour because as I said earlier their manifesto supported the Torries  brevity plan and in others it went to the Torries!

People on all sides voted for multiple reasons in this election, but one thing they did not do was vote for the only party that said it would overturn the brevity vote!
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« Reply #53 on: Jun 12, 2017, 10:19PM »

Quote
I think this points to the likelihood that a big chunk of "Leave" voters in Brexit had only the dimmest understanding of what they were voting for and no expectation that they'd have to live with their vote.

I do not think that is correct. Several reports have analysed why the majority of Brits voted for Brexit. One report summarised them as:

"_ _ three main groups; affluent Eurosceptics, the older working class and a smaller group of economically disadvantaged, anti-Immigration voters."

http://natcen.ac.uk/our-research/research/understanding-the-leave-vote/?gclid=CKqw3-WDutQCFRQEKgod9akFfw

There are more detailed reasons in other reports. Do a search for "Why did Britain vote to leave the European Union?" I think you will be surprised.

I left Great Britain in the mid 60s, which was before they joined the EU and I can tell you it was a much better country to live in than nowadays. Frankly they lost their 'greatness' by joining. :( And also missed the opportunity to form a much stronger trading block with the Commonwealth countries.

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« Reply #54 on: Jun 12, 2017, 10:42PM »

I watched the results live, streaming from "SkyNews" I think it was.

After every constituency result they put up a graphic that showed the proportion of the vote to each party, and followed that with a graphic showing how each party had gained or lost share since 2015.

And there were indeed constituencies where UKIP's loss was matched by a nearly equal gain for Lib Dem.

That wasn't common. Usually you could see the UKIP loss was benefiting the Conservatives and/or Labour. But there were cases where Lib Dems benefited.

I don't think it's all that impossible.  UKIP was basically a single-issue party and their voters decided it wasn't the most important one anymore and cast their vote on other concerns.

Quote
I left Great Britain in the mid 60s, which was before they joined the EU and I can tell you it was a much better country to live in than nowadays. Frankly they lost their 'greatness' by joining.

I've never lived in Great Britain, but here in the US that "greatness" talk is a magnet for the least-informed, most short-sighted and angriest voters, who gave us the lousy result we have today.
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« Reply #55 on: Jun 13, 2017, 01:01AM »

Quote
I've never lived in Great Britain, but here in the US that "greatness" talk is a magnet for the , who gave us the lousy result we have today.

'Greatness' was a bit of a play on 'Great' Britain. :D However, my age group (think John Lennon) was very much convinced that we could make the country even greater and the world a better place. 

I have lived in the US and I can tell you for certain that there are not too many parallels between the US and UK when it comes to social, economic, education level or political persuasion voter groupings. Certainly in the UK there are very few of the uninformed, short-sighted and angry type voters you speak of and who put Trump into power. I have family and friends in the UK who you would have to call educated middle-class and most of them voted for Brexit. However, my sister and brother-in-law were very strongly against leaving the EU and they were here in Australia visiting during the campaigning for Brexit. They were extremely angry with David Cameron for calling the referendum.

If you want to blame anyone at all for the success of Brexit, blame it on the 28% of people who did not bother to vote.
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« Reply #56 on: Jun 13, 2017, 06:19AM »

I left Great Britain in the mid 60s, which was before they joined the EU and I can tell you it was a much better country to live in than nowadays. Frankly they lost their 'greatness' by joining. :( And also missed the opportunity to form a much stronger trading block with the Commonwealth countries.
The entire world is a vastly different place now than it was in the 60's.  There is no way to tell where the UK would be now had they never joined the EU.  Brexit is not going to play out very well.  I cannot imagine the EU making it easy for the UK - in fact, they can't make it easy as doing so would be like admitting that the EU is a bad idea.  It may not have been so bad for the UK if they still had the US as an ally to help ease the pain.  However, the US is no one's ally any longer.
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« Reply #57 on: Jun 13, 2017, 06:57AM »


If you want to blame anyone at all for the success of Brexit, blame it on the 28% of people who did not bother to vote.


Well, that is certainly true, just as it is here. But the blame also falls on the angry old white guys in both countries who were motivated to vote, many of them against their own best interests in both cases.
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« Reply #58 on: Jun 13, 2017, 08:22AM »

Lay off "angry old white guys" Russ.
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« Reply #59 on: Jun 13, 2017, 09:07AM »

When I was a boy, people blamed rock and roll records for the downfall of Western civilization.

Now we blame a common passport and economic zone. (Much of which the UK seems to have been allowed to exclude itself from anyway.)   Don't know
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« Reply #60 on: Jun 13, 2017, 11:07AM »

Lay off "angry old white guys" Russ.

"Just the facts, Ma'am!"
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« Reply #61 on: Jun 13, 2017, 12:06PM »

And don't call me "Ma'am".
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« Reply #62 on: Jun 13, 2017, 01:07PM »

Shirley you jest Evil :-P
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« Reply #63 on: Jun 13, 2017, 05:11PM »

The entire world is a vastly different place now than it was in the 60's.  There is no way to tell where the UK would be now had they never joined the EU.  Brexit is not going to play out very well.  I cannot imagine the EU making it easy for the UK - in fact, they can't make it easy as doing so would be like admitting that the EU is a bad idea.  It may not have been so bad for the UK if they still had the US as an ally to help ease the pain.  However, the US is no one's ally any longer.

There are growing numbers in EU countries other than the UK that think the EU is a bad idea. Plus, culturally there are big differences between EU countries and I do not think any of them want a United States of Europe, except maybe for Angela Merkel who wants Germany to rule the roost.

I think the strong relationship between the UK and the US will remain because it is not dependent on the President, especially not the present one. Same situation with Australia although I do think we will distance ourselves from his dopier ideas. Hopefully he won't last much longer anyway.

I do not think the UK is a vastly different place to the years of the 60's. If anything, the ideas of the 60's have been implemented. There were a few  problems along the way, like Thatcherism, and British manufacturing has been damaged by allowing other EU countries to move their goods in without too many border restrictions. However, it has not gone too far and the UK will soon resume its old drive without the rest of the EU to drag along. 
Logged

Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
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