British Politics



  • That pretty much gives Cameron a job for life.

    If that's his actual share of the vote there won't be a second round where they count preferences and he'll be the outright winner . Well Cameron will be the actual winner , even better it's enraged Alistair Campbell . http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/10/anyone-but-jeremy-corbyn-labour-leader-alastair-Campbell be sure to read the comments to get an idea how out of touch with reality the people supporting Corbyn are. Labour in the uk has been doing a lot of analysis and soul searching on the wake of their defeat , it must be agonising for them to be watching this .



  • Most book makers still seem to have the UK election 50/50 so I guess I'm a bit skeptical of those poll results.



  • Most book makers still seem to have the UK election 50/50 so I guess I'm a bit skeptical of those poll results.

    http://www.oddschecker.com/politics/british-politics/next-labour-leader
     
    Corbyn is pretty comfortable favourite on most of them..
     
    The problem for Labour is 50% of Labour is unions & socialists & 50% are Blairistes. By rights they should be 2 parties, but if they split they will never ever be in power individually. So they try to stay together & the party is an infighting mess.



  • You can say what you like about Corbyn's sometimes loony ideas but he is in stark contrast to Blair in that he is a conviction politician rather than the Blair ideal of "I'm a man of principles and if you don't like those principles then I'll change them". The other difference of course is that Blair was electable.
     
    Says a lot about the UK electorate.



  • You can say what you like about Corbyn's sometimes loony ideas but he is in stark contrast to Blair in that he is a conviction politician rather than the Blair ideal of "I'm a man of principles and if you don't like those principles then I'll change them". The other difference of course is that Blair was electable.
     
    Says a lot about the UK electorate.

    Unfortunately those ideas seem to be always loony and his principle seem to be a mad insistence on turning the Uk into a large scale version of Greece. What I don't understand is if you are a loony leftard who is as out of touch with economic reality as his supporters are why destroy the Labour party? They already have a home in the Uk Greens, why not fuck off there instead of ignoring the fact that in the past 40 years or so the only time Labour has got into power is by accepting that the electorate prefers the middle ground.
     
    Cato, NZ labour lost last years election for similar reasons to your Labour party, they actually believed they were going to win too but ended up being reamed. Who did they get to write a report outlining why they failed? Bryan Gould, what that arseclown knows about winning elections could be written on a postage stamp in crayon.You couldn't make it up, he also thinks they didn't shift far enough leftward even though amongst other things their fraud of a leader apologised for being a man.
     
    Btw any chance you can take Gould back? All he's done since he got back is bury his snout in the taxpayers trough.



  • Ah Jegga. I'm not saying Corbyn is saying anything remotely sensible, just that he appears to be a man of conviction albeit totally misguided. There is something to admire in pollies being people with some personal dignity. You can look at people like Thatcher, Benn etc. They had some loony and some downright unpleasant ideas but the stood by what they felt. These days this is a very rare commodity in UK politics.
     
    Labour in UK lost the last election, not because they got wiped out by the Tories but because they lost their solid seats in Scotland to the SNP. Scottish seats had kept Labour in power for the ten years or so of Blair and Brown, now their power base has gone and this has let in a  piss weak Tory Government.



  • Didn't the Tories win by close to 100 seats? There are only 50 odd seats in Scotland.
    I agree that guys like Corbyn and Benn can be admired for practicing what they preach. That's not a particularly common trait in politics. Pity that what they preach is largely bollocks.
    Whatever the case, Cameron is laughing into his latte right now.



  • Ah Jegga. I'm not saying Corbyn is saying anything remotely sensible, just that he appears to be a man of conviction albeit totally misguided. There is something to admire in pollies being people with some personal dignity. You can look at people like Thatcher, Benn etc. They had some loony and some downright unpleasant ideas but the stood by what they felt. These days this is a very rare commodity in UK politics.
     
    Labour in UK lost the last election, not because they got wiped out by the Tories but because they lost their solid seats in Scotland to the SNP. Scottish seats had kept Labour in power for the ten years or so of Blair and Brown, now their power base has gone and this has let in a  piss weak Tory Government.

    That cannot be right.
    The Conervatives got enough seats to govern alone. Even if you gave all the SNP seats to Labour, wouldn't have changed the fact that the Conservatives won.



  • I read this the other week and thought it was interesting. Like many of the hard-left stripe Corbyn's egalitarianism doesn't apply to him apparently. In my experience some of the hard leftists are amongst the most judgemental and prejudiced I've come across, in their own way little different to the fascist-lite morons in the UK's hard right parties.
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11762773/Ive-lived-under-Jeremy-Corbyns-rule-it-turned-me-into-a-Tory.html

    By Janet Daley

    2:32PM BST 25 Jul 2015

    So much has already been said about Jeremy Corbyn. What could possibly be left to add to the forensic process of dismemberment? Is there a shred of discrediting evidence that remains to be examined?

    Well yes, actually there is. Not much attention has been paid to the concrete consequences of his “principles” on the lives of real people who are compelled to live under them. You may think that there is a good reason for this. You may be under the impression that Mr Corbyn has never held actual power: that his policies are the usual fantasy politics of the extreme Left which has never been able (in Britain, anyway) to apply its ideology. But you would be wrong.

    I have lived in Corbyn World and I am here to tell you what it was like

    Reader, I have lived in Corbyn World and I am here to tell you what it was like. It was in the London borough of Haringey, where my husband and I lived in the Seventies, in which Mr Corbyn made his first notable appearance on the public stage. As well as being a major force on Haringey council and in the Hornsey Labour Party, he had a day job as a full-time official of the National Union of Public Employees (now part of Unison) which involved him in employment negotiations with local councils.

    This dual role was not seen, oddly enough, as a conflict of interest. But the employment conditions of the council’s workforce were only one element of his political programme. Mr Corbyn’s world view is often described as a “return to the politics of the Eighties” but, in fact, it was Haringey in the Seventies that was the pure, unspoilt article: an era of undaunted moral certainty before the debacle of the 1983 general election which reduced the hard Left to a despairing, rancid protest movement. 
    Back then, both the Labour council and the Hornsey Labour Party had been infiltrated by activists from the Trotskyist organisations which I knew well, having been involved with their activities in my own far-Left days in the Sixties. A great many of our friends (comrades?) from what was then known as International Socialism – later relaunched as the Socialist Workers Party – had joined the entryist army into Labour with the specific intention of running for local council seats. Many of them, like Mr Corbyn, earned their living as trade union officials. So the composition of what was officially a conventional Labour borough council was, in fact, a proactive militant engine for class war and anti-capitalist agitation. One form this took played a particularly memorable part in our family history. 
    We lived in what the Labour council referred to, with open contempt, as “the western half of the borough”, meaning the middle-class (sorry, “bourgeois”), largely owner-occupier, neighbourhoods of Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Highgate. How they hated us – in spite of the fact that we were the ones who funded all of their social engineering projects with our local taxes (then called “rates”), and supported the vast tracts of council estate to the east which were their electoral heartlands. 
    They were particularly annoyed by the tendency of many, but by no means all, of the people in our part of the borough to vote Conservative. To correct this unfortunate political imbalance, the council would buy up properties in the area whenever they became available and turn them into council housing, with the intention of injecting Labour voters into Tory communities. This is, of course, a form of gerrymandering but leave that to one side. As it turned out, the project was much more interesting and politically educative than a simple manipulation of constituencies. 
    One of the houses they bought was the rather rundown but spacious Victorian property to which our semi was attached. They then left it empty and unsecured. Within weeks of the purchase, it was occupied by squatters who were not the desperate homeless of Haringey but an international assemblage of people who included an Italian rock musician with a Jaguar, several young Irish people who appeared distinctly un-impoverished and a couple of Americans. This odd collective then proceeded to sell drugs quite openly on the doorstep and from the window of the Jaguar parked outside, and to hold all-night festivities which reverberated through the party wall where our two young children were sleeping – or not sleeping as the case may be. 
    Once, in the small hours of the morning, my husband walked over to the house of our local councillor – one Jeremy Corbyn – and rang the doorbell. Mr Corbyn leant out of an upstairs window and complained that he was trying to sleep, to which my husband replied that so were we – perhaps he would like to take some steps to remove the delinquents next door who were making that impossible. 
     
    None of this, I hasten to mention, could possibly have had any connection to the fact that Piers Corbyn, brother of Jeremy, was then a Squatters’ Association organiser and spokesman, as well as a member of the International Marxist Group, a rival to International Socialism, which was widely believed to have a Maoist orientation. (Sorry, this is getting confusing, isn’t it? It was another world.) 
    Anyway, all of our complaints to the Haringey housing authorities were ignored. We wrote letters to the local newspaper expressing our genuine shock at the property being taken over by people who were clearly not in material need, or from the local housing waiting list. 
    Well, eventually the police came to our rescue by making a drugs bust on the squatters, and they secured the crime scene properly. This embarrassment seemed to have some effect on the council, and work to renovate the property finally began. Sort of. What followed was a further illuminating chapter in how things worked in Corbyn World. 
    Back in the day, before a Tory government insisted that local councils put building work out to competitive tender, there existed what were known as “direct labour” forces. Haringey’s own army of tradesmen moved on to the site but as they had no interest in being cost-effective, their work ethic was – to put it mildly – patchy. They would arrive at around 10 in the morning, dump their materials on the premises and go off for breakfast – which usually lasted until lunch time. Then they would return to do a few hours’ work and knock off at around 4.30pm. In spite of this desultory time-keeping, no expense was being spared on the project. 
    We marvelled at the quality and array of fittings that were – slowly but steadily – being installed. Most of them were far beyond our financial reach. (It is worth noting that we were a desperately hard-up artist and writer respectively, scraping a living with part-time teaching and freelance work. We had only just managed to get a mortgage during my husband’s brief period of full-time employment as the designer of a Left-wing magazine.) 
     
    We learnt, in the end, the reason for this very high standard of interior finish. The two flats into which the house had been converted were not destined for poor tenants on the housing waiting list, but for high-level council staff whose bourgeois tastes were impeccable. Indeed, one of the first items of furniture to enter the ground-floor flat was a baby grand piano. 
    But that bit of information had to be relayed to us by our erstwhile neighbours because by that time we had fled northwards to raise our family in an outer London Conservative borough which did not detest half its residents. 
    This story has everything you need to know about life as it was under Corbyn Labour â€“ class hatred, the indulgence of unionised labour, and the Soviet-style handing out of favours to party loyalists on the council payrolls. Mr Corbyn often says that his political principles have not changed. Take that as a threat.



  • You can say what you like about Corbyn's sometimes loony ideas but he is in stark contrast to Blair in that he is a conviction politician rather than the Blair ideal of "I'm a man of principles and if you don't like those principles then I'll change them". The other difference of course is that Blair was electable.
     
    Says a lot about the UK electorate.

    It says a lot about most people. Most of the electorate (I think the USA is the exception) aren't conservative, socialist or anything else. If you talk to regular people, they like a broad range of ideas. One of my friends thinks Greens are hippies but told me he voted for Celia Wade-Brown (the green mayor of Wellington) in the last election. Most people do have some sort of values but they are rarely sharply defined. Most people just don't have strong political convictions and I think for the most part that is a good thing.
     
    I think Labour's mistake in Scotland is not having the Scottish Labour Party be a seperate party to Labour. If you are Scottish why would you not vote for the SNP? More SNP MP's will be able to gain more leverage to gain Scotland a better deal. Labour MP's aren't going to be able to put the same pressure on the government. Despite the SNP's great results, Indpendence is not ahead in the polls.



  • I read this the other week and thought it was interesting. Like many of the hard-left stripe Corbyn's egalitarianism doesn't apply to him apparently. In my experience some of the hard leftists are amongst the most judgemental and prejudiced I've come across, in their own way little different to the fascist-lite morons in the UK's hard right parties.
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11762773/Ive-lived-under-Jeremy-Corbyns-rule-it-turned-me-into-a-Tory.html

    Hilarious, one of the reasons I have no time for  the left is their rank hypocrisy both in people like Corbyn and people I've worked with or for over the years who've talked a good game about their labour principles but never actually displayed any trace of them . My favourite anecdote about Helen Clark comes from one of Jane Cliftons columns where Clark berated her for saying that it was a bit rich for her to be talking up her cloth cap principles when she spent xmas heli skiing . Clark said she wasn't heli skiing she was in fact cross country skiing and the helicopter was only there to take their bags from one campsite to the next. Ffs.



  • Didn't the Tories win by close to 100 seats? There are only 50 odd seats in Scotland.
    I agree that guys like Corbyn and Benn can be admired for practicing what they preach. That's not a particularly common trait in politics. Pity that what they preach is largely bollocks.
    Whatever the case, Cameron is laughing into his latte right now.

    They beat Labour by 99 seats but had an overall majority of only 12. SNP had 56 seats, the majority of which they took from Labour.



  • That cannot be right.
    The Conervatives got enough seats to govern alone. Even if you gave all the SNP seats to Labour, wouldn't have changed the fact that the Conservatives won.

    True but my point stands. Labour did not get wiped out by the Conservatives. Most Conservative gains were at the expense of the Lib Dems who lost nearly 50 seats. Labour got trashed in Scotland. Yeah the Tories got enough to govern alone (just) but Scotland is where Labour are bleeding.



  • The high polling of the SNP before the election would have scared some potential Labour voters in England.



  • Good point Duluth.



  • Unfortunately those ideas seem to be always loony and his principle seem to be a mad insistence on turning the Uk into a large scale version of Greece. What I don't understand is if you are a loony leftard who is as out of touch with economic reality as his supporters are why destroy the Labour party? They already have a home in the Uk Greens, why not fuck off there instead of ignoring the fact that in the past 40 years or so the only time Labour has got into power is by accepting that the electorate prefers the middle ground.

    Thats the thing, why should they? Old school labour - traditional labour is exactly what Corbyn is pushing. So there is a very strong feeling in the party that the party the signed up to is not the onme they have & that Corbyn will take it back to where it was. 
     
    They don't want Labour to be the Greens, they want Labour to be what Labour was for 99% of its time. The fact that that labour in unelectable is beside the point. The group you are calling the looney left are in fact core Labour party - and the majority of Labour party members. He's simply preaching traditional Labour.
     
    Blairs genius was to be centrist & pretend to the core of his party that Labour values still mattered. They were so excited at getting rid of the Torys they never checked to see what they now stood for

    The high polling of the SNP before the election would have scared some potential Labour voters in England.

    Very much so. That was a great campaign, it basically said "if you vote Labour or Lib Dem in England we get ruled by that mental scots bitch."
     
    And it worked a treat. Doubly so by Milliband not being trusted not to hand power to her to get in. He was seen as such a spineless fucker that the electorate thought "he will never stand up to her"



  • Thats the thing, why should they? Old school labour - traditional labour is exactly what Corbyn is pushing. So there is a very strong feeling in the party that the party the signed up to is not the onme they have & that Corbyn will take it back to where it was.
    They don't want Labour to be the Greens, they want Labour to be what Labour was for 99% of its time. The fact that that labour in unelectable is beside the point. The group you are calling the looney left are in fact core Labour party - and the majority of Labour party members. He's simply preaching traditional Labour.
    Blairs genius was to be centrist & pretend to the core of his party that Labour values still mattered. They were so excited at getting rid of the Torys they never checked to see what they now stood for
    Very much so. That was a great campaign, it basically said "if you vote Labour or Lib Dem in England we get ruled by that mental scots bitch."
    And it worked a treat. Doubly so by Milliband not being trusted not to hand power to her to get in. He was seen as such a spineless fucker that the electorate thought "he will never stand up to her"

    I'd argue traditional labour was all about getting a fair deal for working people and the welfare state not originally a party for beardos, feminists , the lbgt community , and all the other groups that have joined and turned it into the factionalised joke it is now . The British Labour Party has the luxury of fpp which means they can afford to tell them to fuck off to the greens if they don't want to move to the middle . The greens are fairly irrelevant there so those that did go would be effectively wasting their vote and labour would look like a safer pair of hands .
    I hope he wins , it'd be interesting to see what happens. Has Russell Brand endorsed him yet?



  • True but my point stands. Labour did not get wiped out by the Conservatives. Most Conservative gains were at the expense of the Lib Dems who lost nearly 50 seats. Labour got trashed in Scotland. Yeah the Tories got enough to govern alone (just) but Scotland is where Labour are bleeding.

    But Labour didn't "lose" the election. They started from behind and dropped even further back,  because their previous successes in Scotland had made Scotland all but irrelevant to the Tories. Labour spent the last four elections building a firebreak for the Tories, so when the SNP's time came all there was left to burn north of the border was Labour seats.
     
    To put it another way, thanks to Labour the Tories learnt how to govern without Scottish seats, after which all they had to do was marginalise the Lib Dems and take their seats. It makes absolutely no difference to Cameron whether the Scottish seats are held by Labour or the SNP, for him it was a zero sum game. Although I'm sure he'd love some Scottish seats, the Labour vs SNP thing was effectively a sideshow
     
    There's a lesson there for the Nats I think: decimating your opponents is fine, but destroy them and you lose control over who your next opponent is.



  • I'd argue traditional labour was all about getting a fair deal for working people and the welfare state not originally a party for beardos, feminists , the lbgt community , and all the other groups that have joined and turned it into the factionalised joke it is now . The British Labour Party has the luxury of fpp which means they can afford to tell them to fuck off to the greens if they don't want to move to the middle . The greens are fairly irrelevant there so those that did go would be effectively wasting their vote and labour would look like a safer pair of hands .
    I hope he wins , it'd be interesting to see what happens. Has Russell Brand endorsed him yet?

    See the thing is (and this is a generalisation) if you give these people something, they just come back for more. If you give the unions a 5% pay rise, then they will expect that every year and just start striking if they don't get it. The traditional labour parties of the 1930's were highly successful political forces and they basically achieved all of their goals. It was Clement Atlee who set up the NHS. In New Zealand, what goals did Savage and Fraser have that weren't realised? How many of their policies were reversed when Holland got elected? The problem with Labour is that unionism just isn't a powerful movement and people don't believe in the class struggle. I don't think it is always their policies which are the problem but rather the way their policies are framed.



  • See the thing is (and this is a generalisation) if you give these people something, they just come back for more. If you give the unions a 5% pay rise, then they will expect that every year and just start striking if they don't get it. The traditional labour parties of the 1930's were highly successful political forces and they basically achieved all of their goals. It was Clement Atlee who set up the NHS. In New Zealand, what goals did Savage and Fraser have that weren't realised? How many of their policies were reversed when Holland got elected? The problem with Labour is that unionism just isn't a powerful movement and people don't believe in the class struggle. I don't think it is always their policies which are the problem but rather the way their policies are framed.

    I think Hollands focus was on showing the unions their place, Fraser was very tight with Fintan Walsh who probably had more sway than any other union boss has had in NZ . I get your point though, they got pretty much everything they wanted and they kept looking for reasons to be relevant opening the doors for beardos like Corbyn . I'd imagine Fraser wouldn't have a lot of time for people like Cunliffe or have much in common with the party today.