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Kevin Bonham
31-03-2010, 06:47 PM
The American politics thread here has had a long and thriving existence but I'm wondering if anyone here has any views on what will happen in the UK General Election, which must be held in the next two months or so.

Basil
31-03-2010, 10:47 PM
Put down the glasses!

Desmond
31-03-2010, 11:15 PM
I predict a pompous git will win.

Capablanca-Fan
01-04-2010, 11:18 AM
I predict a pompous git will win.
That's quite safe, unfortunately. The UK Conservatives are no longer much different from Labour; both run by elitist jerks who are happy to let Brussels bureaucrats have the real power in how the country is run.

arosar
01-04-2010, 01:12 PM
Labour strategists gone nuts? "Step outside posh boy" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/01/labour-gordon-brown-hard-man#).

Whatever. This is what we like to see.

If these guys are looking for a confrontation, then I think Brown should definitely pick a fight with Russian leader, Putin. The Russians have apparently been provoking the Brits by intruding into British airspace with their old bombers and forcing the Brits to scramble. OTOH, the Russians will easily bitchslap the Brits with superior airpower.

AR

Kevin Bonham
01-04-2010, 01:32 PM
I'm fairly sure that article is satire. That said it's not too far removed from a degree of reality that roughness around the edges often doesn't hurt a politician's image as much as it could.

Kevin Bonham
01-04-2010, 02:12 PM
I'm fairly sure that article is satire.

Could even be an April Fool's Day joke!

arosar
01-04-2010, 02:33 PM
Definitely. It's all over Twitter.

AR

Kevin Bonham
01-04-2010, 02:42 PM
Funny thing is, I thought the "Step Outside Posh Boy" one was actually pretty good. But "I Took Billions From Pensions Wanna Make Something Of It?" is a bit of a giveaway, as is the staged-fight idea.

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2010, 12:15 PM
There is widespread reporting of May 6 as the likely election date.

Kevin Bonham
16-04-2010, 11:51 PM
Polling showed Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg as having won the first debate, even in the opinion of Tory voters. This lead to a substantial poll surge for the Liberal Democrats especially among those who watched the debate, but it still has three weeks to wash out of the system.

arosar
17-04-2010, 09:58 AM
Cameron reckons that Britain is Broken and that he's going to fix this. But The Guardian asks, "Is Britain Broken?" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/mar/31/is-britain-broken)

AR

Oepty
17-04-2010, 11:03 AM
Polling showed Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg as having won the first debate, even in the opinion of Tory voters. This lead to a substantial poll surge for the Liberal Democrats especially among those who watched the debate, but it still has three weeks to wash out of the system.

I think there is two more debates so if he wins them as well the surge in the polls might be sustained. They are though on different subjects so maybe the result will be different.
Scott

Kevin Bonham
17-04-2010, 08:05 PM
I think there is two more debates so if he wins them as well the surge in the polls might be sustained. They are though on different subjects so maybe the result will be different.

Also the common pattern in three-party contests is that the two biggest parties attack each other early in the campaign and then whichever of them feels most threatened by the third attacks it at the end.

Clegg got Brown and Cameron with a classic third-party line about the more the two of them attack each other the more they sound the same.

Kevin Bonham
20-04-2010, 05:36 PM
There is still a big Lib-Dem surge in polling though not too much should be made of it yet since they are unlikely to get fair return for their votes from the FPP electoral system. Also the Tories are now starting to attack them (finally!)

Could be we will see the Tories win the most seats but the Lib-Dems still not put them into power.

Kevin Bonham
24-04-2010, 12:39 AM
Polls following the second debate showed that the three leaders were considered to have performed pretty evenly with Clegg and Cameron a little bit ahead of Brown.

Kevin Bonham
29-04-2010, 04:59 PM
Gordon Brown has committed a classic campaign gaffe after getting into a discussion with a pesky constituent (a disillusioned lifelong Labour voter) who had heckled him. He was then advised by his staff to have a chat with her and during the chat she complained about immigration into the country from Eastern Europe. As he was driven away he fumed about the exchange and called her a "bigoted woman" but alas for him his radio mic was still on and he has had to apologise and grovel in person.

My comment about this is that Brown's explanation of his comments is unconvincing. He claims that he was frustrated by her asking a question about immigration and him not being able to answer. But he did actually try to answer her question by saying that there is plenty of migration in the opposite direction (whether this is actually true or not) and so I really don't think his excuse washes. More likely he just found her annoying and assumed from the immigration comment that she was probably a racist - and that's not a line of thinking he would want voters to know that he adhered to.

Rincewind
29-04-2010, 06:33 PM
As he was driven away he fumed about the exchange and called her a "bigoted woman" but alas for him his radio mic was still on and he has had to apologise and grovel in person.

Best laugh I've had in ages hearing this story on the TV this morning.

Kevin Bonham
01-05-2010, 12:45 AM
According to polls, Cameron had a fairly good win in the third debate with Clegg second and Brown as always third.

The polls are also looking pretty much that way: the Lib/Dem surge refusing to die off.

Kevin Bonham
03-05-2010, 02:02 AM
Most of the projections are now showing the Tories not far short of outright victory, typically between 10-35 seats short. This could well harden into a perception that the Tories can win outright while the other parties cannot, which may assist them.

A possibility is the Tories falling very marginally short and being able to govern with support from minor parties. None of the current projections are showing Labour able to govern with only Lib/Dem support.

Some bookmakers now show Tory majority favourite ahead of a hung parliament. This has become the case just in the last two days.

Kevin Bonham
05-05-2010, 03:42 PM
Nick Clegg has sent out confusing noises about what he will do if there is a hung parliament. The traditional Lib Dems line has been that they will not deal unless the party they are dealing with supports a PR electoral system. Now he is saying that electoral reform is not a precondition of talks with the Tories. The Tories are still saying they don't want to deal with him. My view is that Clegg has messed up the delicate art of third-party positioning in a pre-election campaign and the LibDem vote will not be as high as has been suspected.

There is a very interesting YouGov poll out in this light which shows 35 Tory, 30 Labor, 24 LDP. Since the Clegg surge following the first debate there have been very few polls with Labor significantly in front of the LDP, but it makes sense: the whole idea that as the election approaches support washes out of the third party and goes back to the incumbent government is not an uncommon thing to happen. It will be interesting to see if any of the final polls out support this further.

I still think this one is extremely difficult to predict since any of a Tory majority, a Tory minority and a Labour minority government are all possible.

Note that polls open around 4 pm our time tomorrow. I will close the poll here around that time if online.

Capablanca-Fan
06-05-2010, 02:17 AM
This is the most important article I’ve ever written — and loyal Conservative voters will hate me for it (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/election/article-1270363/General-election-2010-The-important-article-Ive-written--loyal-Conservative-voters-hate-it.html)
Peter Hitchens
4 May 2010

...

Please do not vote Tory. It will have the opposite result to the one you intend.
I don’t care who else you vote for (apart from the BNP, which no decent person can support).

...

But I beg and plead with you not to fall for the shimmering, greasy, cynical fraud which is the Cameron project. You will hate yourself for it in time if you do.

...

You may want to ‘Get Gordon Brown out’. So do I. And he’s done for anyway.

But do you really want to put in a man who agrees with Gordon Brown on almost every major issue, and is so confident of his liberalism that he doesn’t even try to keep it secret?

...

He is truly what he once said he was — the Heir to Blair.

If he wins, he will — as the first Tory leader to win an Election in 18 years — have the power to crush all his critics in the Tory Party.

He will be able to say that political correctness, green zealotry, a pro-EU position and a willingness to spend as much as Labour on the NHS have won the day.

He will claim (falsely) that ‘Right-wing’ policies lost the last three Elections.

Those Tory MPs who agree with you and me will be cowed and silenced for good. The power will lie with the A-list smart set, modish, rich metropolitan liberals hungry for office at all costs who would have been (and who in the case of one of the older ones actually was) in New Labour 13 years ago.

And then where will you have to turn for help as the PC, pro-EU bulldozer trundles across our landscape destroying what is good and familiar and replacing it with a country whose inhabitants increasingly cannot recognise it as their own?

Kevin Bonham
06-05-2010, 03:45 PM
Well the Tories must have moved their policies a long way towards the centre because when I spent half an hour or so having my best guess at the very detailed selector thingy at http://www.myvoteadvisor.com it ranked the Tories as the closest match to my views, one point ahead of the Greens and LibDems and seven points ahead of Labour with UKIP and BNP naturally well behind. Should have done the Scottish one to put the SNP in the mix as well.

:eek:

This from someone who would be very reluctant to vote Liberal until said party's current leader was exiled to a very small rock, so the Tories must have really sold out and the assessment of them as Blair Mark II is probably spot on (Blair was also a sellout). That said many of Hitchens' complaints make the Tories look good since Hitchens is clearly coming from a rather hardline reactionary position.

I really don't have a clue about this one - tipping the Electoral College vote for US President was a piece of cake compared to this mess - but I'm tipping the Tories to fall marginally short of an absolute majority but still be in a position to govern. From what I have seen of the final polling, and considering the possibility that there is still a point or so of anti-Tory polling error, there is a serious chance (40+% IMO) they will do better and get the outright win.

Kevin Bonham
06-05-2010, 05:33 PM
The giant exit poll (which performed woefully in 1992 and 1997 but very well in 2005 after many improvements) is set for release at 6 am our time tomorrow; final seat results will trickle in through the middle of the day with most results known by around midday or a bit after.

arosar
07-05-2010, 11:42 AM
Couple of observations:

- Hundreds of voters were apparently turned away because they'd missed the 10PM deadline. I'm like, shit, how is this even allowed to happen in a supposed democracy?

- Secondly, voter turnout was massive! That is despite the fact voting is not compulsory. It demonstrates that if you excite the people and give them a reason, they'll turn up.

AR

Garvinator
07-05-2010, 11:54 AM
- Hundreds of voters were apparently turned away because they'd missed the 10PM deadline. I'm like, shit, how is this even allowed to happen in a supposed democracy?There does have to be a poll closing time. That being said, I do think polls should be open for the 24 hours of the polling day, so as many people get a chance to vote as possible.

- Secondly, voter turnout was massive! That is despite the fact voting is not compulsory. It demonstrates that if you excite the people and give them a reason, they'll turn up.In choose if you want to vote countries, a high voter turnout usually means more people going to vote for the opposition. When people are happy with the government of the day, not as many people turn out to vote.

So a high voter turnout usually spells trouble for the government as a lot more people are motivated enough to go to the polls, usually meaning that they are pissed off enough to go to the polls.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2010, 12:09 PM
Couple of observations:

- Hundreds of voters were apparently turned away because they'd missed the 10PM deadline. I'm like, shit, how is this even allowed to happen in a supposed democracy?

Polls were open for 15 hours on the day which is much longer than here. That said, if voters were turned away because of queueing as opposed to rank disorganisation then that is something that needs looking at. [EDIT: There were turnaways for queueing, I have seen footage of this.]


- Secondly, voter turnout was massive! That is despite the fact voting is not compulsory. It demonstrates that if you excite the people and give them a reason, they'll turn up.

Absolutely; and this is more reason why compulsory voting* is stupid as well as illiberal. It encourages dull politics, especially on the Labor side, because the parties do not have to compete with the can't-be-bothered factor.

* Pedant-proofing: If anyone prefers to call it compulsory booth attendance, that's fine.

Anyway according to the exit poll the Tories were set to be about 20 short of a majority and the LibDems look to be gaining little or nothing (which is no great surprise to me if it ends up that way, see my post of 5 May.)

Basil
07-05-2010, 01:48 PM
Put down the glasses!
:doh:

Igor_Goldenberg
07-05-2010, 02:03 PM
So a high voter turnout usually spells trouble for the government as a lot more people are motivated enough to go to the polls, usually meaning that they are pissed off enough to go to the polls.
The logical conclusion from that: compulsory voting favours the incumbent.
I am not sure in the latter, so doubt the former.

Garvinator
07-05-2010, 02:20 PM
The logical conclusion from that: compulsory voting favours the incumbent.
Not necessarily so. I think it more runs in compulsory roll marking attendance elections that a high early voter turnout spells trouble for the government if widespread.

Igor_Goldenberg
07-05-2010, 02:40 PM
Not necessarily so. I think it more runs in compulsory roll marking attendance elections that a high early voter turnout spells trouble for the government if widespread.
OK

Igor_Goldenberg
07-05-2010, 02:53 PM
Current prediciton (http://generalelection2010.timesonline.co.uk/#/Predictions) (no idea how accurate) shows Conservative on 320, Labour on 213 and LB on 82. No idea how close to each other the last two, but combined they have only 295.
What is the position of the other parties holding 35 seats? Are they likely to align with Conservatives or Labour?

Basil
07-05-2010, 03:04 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/

Live play by play.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2010, 05:34 PM
Current prediciton (http://generalelection2010.timesonline.co.uk/#/Predictions) (no idea how accurate) shows Conservative on 320, Labour on 213 and LB on 82. No idea how close to each other the last two, but combined they have only 295.
What is the position of the other parties holding 35 seats? Are they likely to align with Conservatives or Labour?

That is not a projection based on seat results but a projection based on bookie odds. The Lib Dems will not get 82, the Tories probably won't get 320, and 236 have been declared for Labour already.

The Tories are currently 40 short of majority with 46 to be declared. Of these 46, only eleven were theirs before the election. I don't know how many of the rest are realistic targets but on patterns thus far they might get 6-10 of the rest.

So they might get, say, 305.

The broad "others" (everyone but the Tories, Labour and LibDems) already have 27 seats and will probably get a few more. Sinn Fein who have 4 seats and will probably get 5 abstein from taking their seats so any coalition with 323 seats is able to govern.

What we're looking at here is a situation where either the Tories or Labour plus the LibDems would need the support of multiple small parties to govern. Most of the smaller parties are left-leaning or centrist.

Tories don't like coalitions much whereas Labour will probably do anything to keep power. So unless the Tories pick up a bit (they have so far done just a teensy bit less well than I expected) we could see Brown stay with a multi-party anti-Tory coalition that will probably be a complete shambles.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2010, 05:44 PM
The logical conclusion from that: compulsory voting favours the incumbent.
I am not sure in the latter, so doubt the former.

The traditional view is that optional voting favours conservatives but in my opinion based on council elections it also favours the Greens. Parties which get the vote by positive enthusiasm or a sense of duty do well under voluntary voting. Parties which get the vote by default because their voters do not like the alternatives do badly. Also because disorganised people are financially disadvantaged, the financially disadvantaged (who tend to vote Left) are more likely to fail to get their act together under voluntary voting.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2010, 06:57 PM
A party the Tories certainly can deal with is the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. A bit like the DLP here, this party is socially religious-reactionary but not especially right-wing on economic issues. The DUP have won eight seats so the target for the Tories to do a deal with just them is 315.

Current score 290 for the Tories with 34 seats remaining, of which 11 are already theirs. Some seats don't do counting til the following day and one has been postponed because of the death of a candidate.

Igor_Goldenberg
07-05-2010, 07:51 PM
...but not especially right-wing on economic issues. ...
Is there any party in UK that is right-wing on economic issues?;)

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2010, 08:18 PM
Is there any party in UK that is right-wing on economic issues?;)

The UKIP perhaps. Political Compass (http://www.politicalcompass.org/ukparties2010) also thinks the Tories are but I am not quite sure they're that far right.

Current projections are Tories about 306 (nine short of alliance with DUP) and Labor + LibDem about 316 combined (seven short of governing alliance with each other).

Basil
07-05-2010, 09:32 PM
If we could just excise Scotland, Bristol (where I was born), the dirty working class and hopelessly uneducated :D Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and undustrial north-east (where my brother was born and I lived for 5 years) (http://news.sky.com/skynews/Election/Map), The Tories would romp it! I mean these lefties can't string two thoughts together, let alone two words. I'm not sure their being given permission to vote is a good idea ;)

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2010, 09:42 PM
Many in Scotland would rather like Scotland to be excised.

Still a trickle of seats being confirmed. 24 plus one postponed to go. Tories 294.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2010, 11:05 PM
13 to go + 1 postponed. Tories 299 Lab/LibDem 309 combined

Interesting stuff going on in one Northern Ireland seat where the result is a handful of votes between Sinn Fein and an independent "unionist" candidate and it is now being counted for the fourth time.

Also claims of electoral-roll stacking via false enrolment in some London seats.

Garvinator
07-05-2010, 11:07 PM
Also claims of electoral-roll stacking via false enrolment in some London seats.From the amount of times these type of claims are made in elections across the world I am starting to think it is written into the rules of elections that all sides are allowed one opportunity to claim seats they are losing are stacked :rolleyes:

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2010, 11:22 PM
From the amount of times these type of claims are made in elections across the world I am starting to think it is written into the rules of elections that all sides are allowed one opportunity to claim seats they are losing are stacked :rolleyes:

The interesting thing is that in this case the claims have been made by parties that have been (or were about to be) thrashed, rather than in marginals. The usual stuff where sixteen Bangladeshis are enrolled in an undersized bedsit and nobody living there has heard of any of them, that sort of thing.

When votes are really close parties with these kinds of complaints can file a dispute of return, although unless they can demonstrate reason to believe the irregularity swung the vote then they don't tend to get too much joy.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2010, 11:44 PM
Cameron speaking now, talking up dealing with LibDems, probably a coalition rather than just a confidence and supply agreement.

This might be best for the LibDems too rather than a coalition where they are just one player.

Oepty
11-05-2010, 11:50 AM
Gordon Brown has fallen on his sword as Labour leader as an attempt to help Labour make a deal with the Lib Democrats and hang onto power. Both sides seem to be falling over themselves in making attempts to win Lib Dem support.
Scott

Kevin Bonham
11-05-2010, 01:08 PM
Yes, and the LibDems have put the heat on the Tories by negotiating with Labour at the same time, which is rather sneaky of them when they said that they would give the Tories the first opportunity to attempt to form a government.

Electoral reform is a big sticking point especially as Labour is likely to go much further than the Tories on that question.

Kevin Bonham
11-05-2010, 04:40 PM
By the way two of my fellow psephologists are in a bit of suspense over this one as back in 2007 one bet the other one a substantial sum, at odds of 10:1, that in the next Australian, British and New Zealand elections at the time, the sitting governments would all lose office.

This indeed happened in both Australia and New Zealand. Britain is the final leg so whether we see a Tory/Lib Dem government or a Labour/Lib Dem government, even if whatever we see lasts only a few months, decides the wager. :lol:

arosar
11-05-2010, 10:12 PM
There's something very bad about this to be honest. We suddenly have this prospect of seeing the least favoured parties actually forming government. Fkn hell. But I tell youse, the Conservatives will partly only have themselves to blame, you know. Fkn pussy-footing around. If they get outflanked by Labour, I tell youse what, they don't bloody deserve to govern anything.

AR

Kevin Bonham
11-05-2010, 10:28 PM
There's something very bad about this to be honest. We suddenly have this prospect of seeing the least favoured parties actually forming government.

I don't think that's unfair if it happens although many Brits are going half-crazy about it. Labor and the LibDems split the anti-Tory vote and well over half the country voted for one or the other so a deal between them will make sense if it happens. Anywhere else in Europe it would be business as normal for a coalition to be formed in this situation.


If they get outflanked by Labour, I tell youse what, they don't bloody deserve to govern anything.

Agreed. The poor Tories don't want electoral reform because they would never win a majority again, but if they don't get serious they'll end up with electoral reform anyway and they will not be in government.

Kevin Bonham
12-05-2010, 03:17 AM
It's being widely reported that Labour-LibDem talks have collapsed as Labour was not sufficiently serious on policy areas other than electoral reform and would not fund LibDem policies. This has been steadily reported for hours now so barring a sting in the tail this one may well be done and dusted soon ... for now.

Capablanca-Fan
12-05-2010, 04:39 AM
An American perspective on the UK election (http://patriotpost.us/opinion/michael-barone/2010/05/11/in-britain-a-cautionary-tale-for-us-parties/), with lessons for both parties.

arosar
12-05-2010, 08:18 AM
It's done and dusted (http://www.number10.gov.uk/) alright. The new premier has even tried to slip in his own JFK-like moment.

AR

Desmond
12-05-2010, 10:29 AM
Wotsa Tory?

Basil
12-05-2010, 10:52 AM
Wotsa Tory?
A Howie. A man with a clue. A Rightie. Someone who doesn't spout crappola about werka, laba, battla 'etcetra', but simply does what he believes is in the national interest, which by extension assists those demos.

He is also someone who will be tossed because he is hated, not because he is incompetent.

antichrist
12-05-2010, 12:32 PM
A Howie. A man with a clue. A Rightie. Someone who doesn't spout crappola about werka, laba, battla etcetra, but simply does what he believes is in the national interest, which by extension assists those demos.

He is also someone who will be tossed because he is hated, not because he is incompetent.

You are going a bit overboard aren't you, I have never heard of him being hated. He is not another Maggie Thatcher is he?

Basil
12-05-2010, 01:17 PM
You are going a bit overboard aren't you, I have never heard of him being hated. He is not another Maggie Thatcher is he?
A bit like instant soup.
Install conservative PM.
Wait.
Hate.

Although it's certainly a bit early, as you say, there will be those genetically programmed to hate already, many more who will cringe at the first sign of conservative authority and finally a couple of years to pop out some wide-eyed 18 year old noobs into society. As sure as the sun comes up tomorrow, he will, in time, be hated.

Kevin Bonham
12-05-2010, 02:43 PM
Did anyone really hate John Major though?

Igor_Goldenberg
12-05-2010, 02:45 PM
Did anyone really hate John Major though?
He didn't have enough time.:)

Kevin Bonham
12-05-2010, 03:18 PM
He didn't have enough time.:)

He had plenty. He was PM for six and a half years.

Goughfather
12-05-2010, 03:26 PM
The recent formation of the Tory - Lib Dem coalition seems to be the most stable and workable option and given the loss of confidence and swing against the Labour government seems to be appropriate in the circumstances. I was interested in Cameron talking about "political reform" in his victory speech. I wonder if he has caved in on electoral reform or whether he was simply speaking in more general terms.

Basil
12-05-2010, 03:50 PM
Did anyone really hate John Major though?
No I don't think so. While I stand broadly by my spouted adage, it's clearly a generality at best. I think John Major, Winston Churchill and others are examples of why I'd never subject the statement to rigorous testing.

Rincewind
12-05-2010, 05:48 PM
No I don't think so. While I stand broadly by my spouted adage, it's clearly a generality at best. I think John Major, Winston Churchill and others are examples of why I'd never subject the statement to rigorous testing.

I think a lot of people hated Winston Churchill. He was the sort of prime minister you need during war time and for the same reasons the sort of PM that cannot be tolerated during times of enduring peace. I believe Attlee made that point after the famous "Gestapo" gaff during the 1945 campaign.

Anyway, despite Churchill's wartime hero status, there was a dramatic landslide win to Labour in the 1945, largely credited to Labour's social reform platform.

Basil
12-05-2010, 06:35 PM
I think a lot of people hated Winston Churchill. He was the sort of prime minister you need during war time and for the same reasons the sort of PM that cannot be tolerated during times of enduring peace. I believe Attlee made that point after the famous "Gestapo" gaff during the 1945 campaign.

Anyway, despite Churchill's wartime hero status, there was a dramatic landslide win to Labour in the 1945, largely credited to Labour's social reform platform.
Quite unfamiliar. Happy to take your assessment on board.

Kevin Bonham
12-05-2010, 06:56 PM
Churchill was back again as PM in 1951 (at age 76 when returned to office!), although that was also a "time of war" to some degree (Korean War and various imperial conflicts).

antichrist
12-05-2010, 08:46 PM
Even going back to Heath I don't think anyone hated him, we liked him coz he was a sailor who even may have sailed to Australia. And Arold Wilson there was nothing wrong with him in spite of what Alf Garnett used to say.

Rincewind
12-05-2010, 09:27 PM
Churchill was back again as PM in 1951 (at age 76 when returned to office!), although that was also a "time of war" to some degree (Korean War and various imperial conflicts).

I don't know much about the 1951 election but according to wiki it was a bit of a disaster. Labour called a very early election in order to try and increase its margin, it backfired and despite garner more of the vote Labour lost mainly due to the first past the post system. Churchill formed a government in a coalition with the help of the National Liberals

Kevin Bonham
13-05-2010, 12:34 AM
Labour called a very early election in order to try and increase its margin, it backfired and despite garner more of the vote Labour lost mainly due to the first past the post system.

The Wikipedia article is a bit misleading on that. The fact is that the Tories and their partners the National Liberals got over 51% of the popular vote between them, which they had not done in 1950, and thus they would also have won a combined majority under proportional representation.

In the 1950 election the Liberals (as opposed to National Liberals) split the anti-Labour vote somewhat and that prevented the Tories and Nat Libs from getting a majority of either votes or seats between them. If anything it is the 1950 election that shows FPP in action because this vote-splitting would have given Labour some seats that would otherwise have gone Tory.

It really has little to do with FPP, and to the extent that it has anything to do with FPP it could also happen under preferential voting.

An interesting difference to Australia is that because party discipline in the UK is weaker, a majority of anything less than 10 seats typically isn't stable.

Kevin Bonham
25-09-2010, 05:39 PM
The UK finally gets a new Labour leader tonight our time. The brothers Miliband are the main contenders here and the system involves preferential voting by three equally-weighted bodies: the party's rank-and-file membership, the affiliated unions and other organisations, and the party's Commons and European Parliament MPs.

David Miliband has been the frontrunner for much of this process but in the last 24 hours there is a lot of speculation that Ed, who is seen as less Blairite and more left-wing, will just squeak over the line.

Kevin Bonham
26-09-2010, 02:05 AM
Ed's got the job. He got home with a two-candidate preferred margin of just 50.65:49.35.

Adamski
26-09-2010, 11:07 PM
Ed's got the job. He got home with a two-candidate preferred margin of just 50.65:49.35.
If that had been the final election result, they too would have a hung parliament.

Kevin Bonham
27-09-2010, 01:40 AM
If that had been the final election result, they too would have a hung parliament.

It's a year for close finishes since the UK did get a hung parliament in their general election and now the Labour Party (effectively the loser) can't unite behind a specific choice for leader.

Ed will face a legitimacy issue because neither the rank and file nor the parliamentarians got him over the line - it was the unions that did it.

Kai
04-10-2010, 02:41 PM
Ed Miliband was the cabinet minister that pushed through the bill allowing chess to be recognised as a sport back in 2006. In practical terms, it meant chess clubs can apply for charitable status and get extra funding.

arosar
13-11-2010, 12:15 PM
Lib Dems caught in a massive lie (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/nov/12/lib-dems-tuition-fees-clegg).

AR

Igor_Goldenberg
13-11-2010, 04:55 PM
Is it anything new? Our ALP wasn't intended on keeping their promises either.

Kevin Bonham
20-11-2010, 09:35 PM
Not the only ones. A Labour MP who won re-election against a Lib Dem by 103 votes, but in the process made false claims about his opponent, has had his election overturned and is banned from running for office for 3 years.

This is contrary to Australian practice in which you can only lose your seat for misleading voters about technical aspects of casting a vote. You can lie about your opponent all you want here and it is for the voters to decide what should occur.

antichrist
21-11-2010, 05:08 PM
Not the only ones. A Labour MP who won re-election against a Lib Dem by 103 votes, but in the process made false claims about his opponent, has had his election overturned and is banned from running for office for 3 years.

This is contrary to Australian practice in which you can only lose your seat for misleading voters about technical aspects of casting a vote. You can lie about your opponent all you want here and it is for the voters to decide what should occur.

I presume it was Howard who changed the family (divorce) laws so that if a spouse (wife) made unprovable claims against her husband she could be charged for his legal expenses in defending. Now that is to be reversed.

Should frighten a few more well-endowed men off marrying.

But the women don't the extra penalty of not being able to marry for a few years - though no sane man will go near them anyway, but there are always some suckers.

So if Australia had consistent laws they would also penalise politicians from lying about their opponents.

Kevin Bonham
21-11-2010, 09:06 PM
So if Australia had consistent laws they would also penalise politicians from lying about their opponents.

We do have such laws for extreme cases (at least for things said outside the House) - it's called defamation.

antichrist
21-11-2010, 11:39 PM
We do have such laws for extreme cases (at least for things said outside the House) - it's called defamation.

Tom Uren got his holiday home that way. But many get away with it. When I was in an election the reporteress forgot to switch the recorder on during the interview which went on for quite a while and I was in good form, she then went back and wrote that I did not have a plan. But I stil got a decent vote anyway even though I deliberately went lame coz eventually Melb Cup field enrolled. I could have sued over it, that would have been Lovejoy but coz my chess mate I let him off.

Kevin Bonham
27-02-2011, 08:08 PM
Decidedly not UK for nearly the last 100 years, but it's interesting to note that in Ireland the Fianna Fáil government has been smashed for its failed response to the Global Financial Crisis, dropping from the 42% of the vote it secured in 2007 to about 17% this time. Because Ireland uses a kind of multi-member PR system FF will drop from 77 seats to between 19 and 24 in the 166-seat Dáil.

The Greens who were the main coalition partners for FF (before causing an early election by withdrawing from it) have also been flogged, losing more than half their vote and all six of their seats.

Igor_Goldenberg
27-02-2011, 08:16 PM
The Greens who were the main coalition partners for FF (before causing an early election by withdrawing from it) have also been flogged, losing more than half their vote and all six of their seats.
At least some of international news are good:D

Garvinator
27-02-2011, 08:19 PM
Decidedly not UK for nearly the last 100 years, but it's interesting to note that in Ireland the Fianna Fáil government has been smashed for its failed response to the Global Financial Crisis, dropping from the 42% of the vote it secured in 2007 to about 17% this time. Because Ireland uses a kind of multi-member PR system FF will drop from 77 seats to between 19 and 24 in the 166-seat Dáil.

The Greens who were the main coalition partners for FF (before causing an early election by withdrawing from it) have also been flogged, losing more than half their vote and all six of their seats.I have been trying to find out, what did Fianna Fail really do wrong?

Kevin Bonham
27-02-2011, 08:38 PM
I have been trying to find out, what did Fianna Fail really do wrong?

Their main problem is that the country's economy has gone belly-up but they've been in power for all but two and a half of the last 24 years so they don't really have anyone else to blame for failing to see it coming and stop it. Particularly, it seems Irish banks were inadequately regulated. Many people also don't like some aspect or other of the response - particularly the bailout (since this is seen as a surrender of sovereignty - a big sore point for the Irish) and the horror budget of a couple of years back.

The Irish parties are a fair bit different to ours in alignments. For those not familiar with them this is a summary by Adam Carr that was posted on Pollbludger:


A word on Irish parties:

Fianna Fail (Soldiers of Destiny) is historically an Irish nationalist party, descended from the original Sinn Fein which led the fight for Irish independence and then for an Irish republic, and opposed the Irish Free State in 1922. In recent times it has moved to the left in the sense that it’s become the party of state spending and high welfare, while remaining conservative on social issues. It might be compared to the DLP. In office for decades it has become lazy and corrupt.

Fine Gael (Sons of Ireland) is a mainstream conservative party, descended from those who supported the Irish Free State within the Commonwealth as a compromise solution to the Irish civil war in 1922. It is Thatcherite in economcs but rather more liberal than FF in social policy. It forms coalitions of convenience with Labour because that’s the only way to form a non-FF government.

Fine Gael will now have a near-majority and will possibly again rule in coalition with Labour. But depending on the final result they may instead seek to govern with the support of a number of Independents. Independents appear to have won over 10% of the seats.

Kevin Bonham
28-02-2011, 09:32 AM
At least some of international news are good:D

You'll be pleased to hear the Irish Greens polled so badly they have lost their public funding entitlement as well!

Igor_Goldenberg
01-03-2011, 10:28 AM
You'll be pleased to hear the Irish Greens polled so badly they have lost their public funding entitlement as well!
I'd be even more pleased if you didn't misprint "Irish" for "Australian":lol: :lol:

Kevin Bonham
01-03-2011, 11:11 PM
So easy to get public funding in Australia. Parties get public funding pretty much any time they don't lose their deposits. They'll even run dead in seats they cannot win just to get it. Political celebs can make a handy profit out of running.

Irish results are pretty much finalised and Fine Gael seems to have scored 76 seats leaving it eight short of a majority. FF dropped from 77 to 20, the Greens lost six, and gains were made by FG (+25), Labour (+17, almost doubling), Sinn Fein (jumping from 4 to 14), United Left Alliance (+5 from nothing), Independents (up from 5 to 13) and New Vision (1 winner).

The New Vision chap (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_%27Ming%27_Flanagan) sounds quite amusing.

Igor_Goldenberg
02-03-2011, 09:24 AM
Fine Gael (Sons of Ireland) is a mainstream conservative party, descended from those who supported the Irish Free State within the Commonwealth as a compromise solution to the Irish civil war in 1922. It is Thatcherite in economcs but rather more liberal than FF in social policy. It forms coalitions of convenience with Labour because that’s the only way to form a non-FF government.
Are they some sort of libertarian?

Kevin Bonham
02-03-2011, 07:54 PM
Are they some sort of libertarian?

I don't think so. "Rather more liberal than FF" doesn't amount to very much social liberalism. FG are described as typical of the "Christian democrat" style of European centre-right politics. They used to be socially conservative but have become less so, eg they support same sex civil unions but not gay marriage. In an extremely radical moment by Irish political standards in the mid-90s, they took advantage of a break from FF rule to actually legalise divorce!

Kevin Bonham
20-04-2011, 10:07 PM
On May 5 the UK will have a referendum on whether to adopt "alternate vote", ie the same preference system as we have in Lower House seats here. They currently use first-past-the-post.

AV is supported by the Liberal Democrats, opposed by the Tories, and Labour are currently fence-sitting. Polling has been rather volatile. The stupidity of the arguments for the "No" case has been mindboggling - but they have been very well marketed.

Capablanca-Fan
21-04-2011, 03:23 AM
On May 5 the UK will have a referendum on whether to adopt "alternate vote", ie the same preference system as we have in Lower House seats here. They currently use first-past-the-post.

AV is supported by the Liberal Democrats, opposed by the Tories, and Labour are currently fence-sitting. Polling has been rather volatile. The stupidity of the arguments for the "No" case has been mindboggling - but they have been very well marketed.
You mean there are good arguments for the "No" case? ;)

Kevin Bonham
30-04-2011, 10:24 PM
Polling still showing a strong lead for the "No" vote. It's sad that the UK looks like voting not to become a proper democracy. However, given that the main beneficiary would be the Lib-Dems, and practically nobody likes them at the moment, and the Lib-Dems are lukewarm about the change themselves, I suppose it is hardly surprising.

Garvinator
30-04-2011, 10:56 PM
Polling still showing a strong lead for the "No" vote. It's sad that the UK looks like voting not to become a proper democracy. However, given that the main beneficiary would be the Lib-Dems, and practically nobody likes them at the moment, and the Lib-Dems are lukewarm about the change themselves, I suppose it is hardly surprising.
Is the system proposed- compulsory or optional preferential voting?

Oepty
30-04-2011, 11:06 PM
It is all Williams fault, if he had taken his responsibility as future king seriously and instead of kissing his woman had held up a sign "VOTE YES" it would have passed easily.
Seriously though I wonder how much traction the issue is getting with the major distraction of the wedding.
Scott

Kevin Bonham
30-04-2011, 11:22 PM
Is the system proposed- compulsory or optional preferential voting?

Optional.

Kevin Bonham
06-05-2011, 04:24 PM
The referendum counting process is very slow (perhaps because of other elections on at the same time). Results might be known around 1 am our time tonight but in any case all signs are that AV is getting drubbed and the Yes vote won't be much above 40 and could be more like 30.

pappubahry
06-05-2011, 07:05 PM
The referendum counting process is very slow (perhaps because of other elections on at the same time). Results might be known around 1 am our time tonight
That will be when they start the referendum counting, and yes it is because they are doing lots of (all?) council ballots first.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2011, 11:52 AM
AV referendum has failed 32-68.

Out of the 440 counting areas only the following have voted yes: Cambridge, Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Oxford, Edinburgh Central and Glasgow Kelvin. (It's possible if Northern Ireland was broken up into smaller counting areas instead of being treated as one large one there may have been some yes areas there, although I doubt it.)

I think it's no accident that the two famous uni towns voted yes. The most highly educated voters would have tended to see through the vast disparity in skill between the two campaigns and realised they were voting for a slight improvement (excepting highly educated Tories who may well have decided they liked the present system just fine for their party's sake anyway). For the rest of the country, the No campaign's considerable skill in lying and scaring won out over the Yes campaign's tryhard intellectualism that both failed to communicate effectively and also failed to win the real high ground in the debate, as a number of its claims were unconvincing too.

Probably now Britain will have to wait for the Lib Dems to die off and a new third party to come through, get the balance of power by itself and demand PR as the price of coalition with any other party. Apart from that the future for reform is looking grim.

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2011, 12:01 PM
Laughing at this unnamed Tory minister praising Cameron's involvement in the No campaign:


It is naive to say that David should not have gone out and campaigned against a crappy electoral system that is a threat to our jugular. This shows what a superb political leader he is. The Lib Dems are duplicitous toerags, though I have to say they are very good ministerial colleagues.

:lol:

Capablanca-Fan
08-05-2011, 10:24 AM
It was very bad timing for supporters of change, I think.

It might be because UK recently voted out a now-unpopular government that had got stale, so might have thought that their current system just worked fine, thanks. PR doesn't get rid of unpopular governments quite as well, since they can hang on to at least some power in coalitions.

By contrast, NZ's non-binding referendum to drop FPP and replace it with something else happened after huge voter dissatisfaction with both major parties in 1992. Both major parties opposed any change, but both cynically tried to out-do the other in promising the referendum. One of the arguments at the time was: look at who wants to retain FPP, and voters overwhelmingly voted to drop it, 84.7 to 15.3.

Also, a Royal Commission had recommended the German MMP system. So the second question on which voting system to replace FPP had 70.5% support for this, although I voted for STV.

In 1993, a binding referendum passed to switch to MMP, although that was much narrower: 53.9% to 46.1%.

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2011, 12:47 PM
It's interesting that MMP got up in New Zealand despite some level of politician opposition. Usually unless referendums in Australia have bipartisan support they are defeated, and this UK referendum appears to have been doomed for the same reason.

NZ is having another referendum on electoral reform this year. Part A of the referendum will ask whether to keep/change MMP. Part B will ask if it is changed which system (out of four options) would be preferred.

Kevin Bonham
04-04-2012, 01:34 AM
Radical pro-Islamic leftie George Galloway is back in Parliament after winning a by-election for an opposition-held seat by an astonishing margin. His team successfully attacked Labour in-scenery (even luring defectors from Labour's campaign team to their cause!) and he got stuck into his hapless Labour opponent with sledges like:


I’m a better Pakistani than he will ever be. God knows who’s a Muslim and who is not. And a man that’s never out of the pub shouldn’t be going around telling people you should vote for him because he’s a Muslim.

Kevin Bonham
03-09-2014, 09:28 PM
Polling in the Scottish independence referendum (on in a couple of weeks) has been closing rather dramatically in recent surveys, cutting the No case's lead from well into double digits to some polls now showing around 6 points. The No case is still likely to win but it is interesting that it has flared into some kind of life like this.

UKIP are about to enter the UK parliament as a Tory has defected to the party and resigned his seat to run for it for UKIP at a by-election. By-election is a month away.

antichrist
03-09-2014, 09:52 PM
Radical pro-Islamist leftie George Galloway is back in Parliament after winning a by-election for an opposition-held seat by an astonishing margin. His team successfully attacked Labour in-scenery (even luring defectors from Labour's campaign team to their cause!) and he got stuck into his hapless Labour opponent with sledges like:

I have only viewed a little of George Galloway's efforts, but he has not struck me as being pro-Islamist nor leftie. I know he is very strong pro-Palestinian which does not necessarily ensure that he is also as you describe him.

Kevin Bonham
03-09-2014, 10:05 PM
I have only viewed a little of George Galloway's efforts, but he has not struck me as being pro-Islamist nor leftie.

I'll edit that to pro-Islamic (there is a difference). He is certainly far left (and has even said that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a tragedy) but like many on the extreme ends of politics he now and then goes so far off one end that he comes back on the other side (as in his apologism/denialism of Iranian state homophobia.)

Kevin Bonham
07-09-2014, 06:46 PM
A YouGov poll has become the first to show a "Yes" lead for Scottish independence in about a year. It's only a two-point lead and the usual outcome in referenda is that the Yes vote underperforms on the day. Still, interesting!

antichrist
07-09-2014, 07:06 PM
A YouGov poll has become the first to show a "Yes" lead for Scottish independence in about a year. It's only a two-point lead and the usual outcome in referenda is that the Yes vote underperforms on the day. Still, interesting!

for true demographic democracy should only Scots of Celtic origin be able to vote? That is not including English blow ins, even if have been there for generations. Also not including part Celtic residents.

Capablanca-Fan
10-09-2014, 02:08 PM
Labour could win next election - but only if Scotland votes No (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/11086063/Labour-could-win-next-election-but-only-if-Scotland-votes-No.html)
New poll predicts Labour victory in 2015 election but if Scottish MPs are excluded, there would be a hung parliament, with Labour three seats short of a majority
Telegraph, 9 Sep 2014


“Scotland is potentially critical to Labour’s ability to win and overall majority,” said John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who compiled the “poll of polls”. At present, Labour holds 41 of the 59 Scottish seats at Westminster and could land another five if the latest polls are reflected at the election next May.
Labour is on 35 per cent, the Conservatives 31 per cent, Ukip 13 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on nine per cent.

Kevin Bonham
10-09-2014, 02:17 PM
for true demographic democracy should only Scots of Celtic origin be able to vote? That is not including English blow ins, even if have been there for generations. Also not including part Celtic residents.

Even EU blow-ins who are resident can vote!

Re the poll posted above: the probability is that even if a Yes vote passes, Scotland will still elect MPs at the next election. However those MPs would then lose their seats mid-term. That could in theory cause the fall of an incumbent Labour government if one was in place at the time.

Kevin Bonham
14-09-2014, 01:34 AM
Just for the fun of it I'm running a Not-A-Poll on Scottish independence this week on my site in the sidebar (kevinbonham.blogspot.com).

May as well run one here too (taking down the existing poll from the 2010 election which showed 3/9 inc KB, Adamski, Spiny Norman correctly predicting "Hung Parliament - Conservatives Govern")

Kevin Bonham
15-09-2014, 07:43 PM
Poll on my site running 64:36 in favour. Lefties.

Capablanca-Fan
19-09-2014, 12:26 PM
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Scottish Independence :lol:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YkLPxQp_y0#t=818

Kevin Bonham
19-09-2014, 12:53 PM
The counting process is very slow but with seven of 32 councils reporting No has 50.9%. The ABC is currently projecting this to rise to 47.9% but their projection model seems pretty bouncy (they're using the SNP vote from the last election as a comparison point). This is consistent with what those aggregating polling were getting.

Final score of the Not-A-Poll on my site was 62:38 for Yes.

Kevin Bonham
19-09-2014, 01:33 PM
Now with 14 councils in and No has 54.3% with the ABC projecting 55.9 as the final result. That projection has been bouncy and that's about as high as it has been so far, but No has been consistently ahead on it and it's not looking like this will even be very close.

Kevin Bonham
19-09-2014, 02:05 PM
Converging towards something like 54:46. Looks like pollsters slightly underestimated No vote but not massively.

Desmond
19-09-2014, 06:59 PM
Is it usual for this sort of thing to only require 50%? I would have thought it would need 2/3 majority or something.

Kevin Bonham
19-09-2014, 11:00 PM
Is it usual for this sort of thing to only require 50%? I would have thought it would need 2/3 majority or something.

Varies by jurisdiction and also in cases by enabling legislation. For instance Australian referenda only need 50% but there is also a requirement to carry a number of states. Most of the time with pro-independence votes the gap is so wide any threshhold doesn't matter.

An interesting case was Montenegro in 2006. The issue of threshholds was contentious in the leadup and an EU envoy proposed a 55% yes threshhold, which both sides accepted (the yes side reluctantly). The final yes vote was 55.5%.

Capablanca-Fan
20-09-2014, 01:27 AM
Scotland votes 'No': Salmond accepts defeat as Cameron says debate has been 'settled for a generation' (https://uk.news.yahoo.com/scottish-independence-result--scotland-rejects-independence-as--no--vote-triumphs-043827993.html#GP6Cn7A)

The pound has risen sharply as 44.7% vote 'Yes' while 55.3% vote 'No'

Earlier, Scottish National Party First Minister Alex Salmond acknowledged that his dream of leading his nation to independence was over, telling supporters in Edinburgh: "Scotland has by a majority decided not at this stage to become an independent country.

"I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland."

Turnout in the referendum on Scottish independence hit a record high for any election held in the UK since the introduction of universal suffrage in 1918.

The participation rate of 84.5% topped the previous best of 83.9% recorded in the 1950 general election and dwarfed the tallies in recent Westminster polls, which saw 65.1% vote in 2010.

Kevin Bonham
20-09-2014, 01:37 AM
Cameron will have to behave himself and make good on devolution promises during the campaign if it's to stay settled.

Kevin Bonham
28-09-2014, 08:52 PM
Bad day for the Tories today. One quit the party to join UKIP (second to do so lately) and another quit the ministry after sexting with a "twenty-something Tory PR girl", who turned out to be a male journalist from the Sunday Mirror. Oops.

Something odd in the UK is that MPs cannot actually resign as such. So to get around that there are two token offices of profit under the Crown to which resigning MPs are appointed (with their agreement) thus disqualifying them from office.

antichrist
28-09-2014, 10:17 PM
Bad day for the Tories today. One quit the party to join UKIP (second to do so lately) and another quit the ministry after sexting with a "twenty-something Tory PR girl", who turned out to be a male journalist from the Sunday Mirror. Oops.

Something odd in the UK is that MPs cannot actually resign as such. So to get around that there are two token offices of profit under the Crown to which resigning MPs are appointed (with their agreement) thus disqualifying them from office.

Was it another Ashby/Slipper case or like that Sandilands radio mob who enquired about the Queen's corgis, a set up? well they both may have been set ups we dont know yet

Kevin Bonham
28-09-2014, 10:49 PM
Was it another Ashby/Slipper case or like that Sandilands radio mob who enquired about the Queen's corgis, a set up? well they both may have been set ups we dont know yet

It was a deliberate sting. Not quite Ashby/Slipper in that Ashby is apparently real.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tory-mp-brooks-newmark-quits-ministerial-position-following-sunday-newspaper-sting-9759860.html

Adamski
08-10-2014, 02:02 PM
Just for the fun of it I'm running a Not-A-Poll on Scottish independence this week on my site in the sidebar (kevinbonham.blogspot.com).

May as well run one here too (taking down the existing poll from the 2010 election which showed 3/9 inc KB, Adamski, Spiny Norman correctly predicting "Hung Parliament - Conservatives Govern")Interesting triumvirate of successful pollers - 2 Christians and one atheist in agreement. Interesting point for post number 6900.

Kevin Bonham
10-10-2014, 11:18 AM
Labour has only narrowly defeated UKIP in a by-election for a seat in which the Labour incumbent had died. It's quite possible Labour would have lost the seat under a non-FPP voting system and that UKIP only missed out because of vote-splitting between UKIP and the Tories.

Kevin Bonham
09-11-2014, 11:19 PM
Some leadership sharks seen circling for Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Kevin Bonham
26-03-2015, 11:56 PM
The Tories tried to put in place a mechanism that would give them a chance to dump the independent ex-Tory Speaker after the next election but they failed.

Hung parliament of some kind looking highly likely in the election in a few months. Whether the Tories will continue in government in such a case isn't clear.

antichrist
27-03-2015, 12:40 AM
You'll be pleased to hear the Irish Greens polled so badly they have lost their public funding entitlement as well!

Has anything changed in this respect or is this the first election since? I am sure climate change will heat things up for them

Kevin Bonham
27-03-2015, 10:03 AM
Has anything changed in this respect or is this the first election since? I am sure climate change will heat things up for them

Ireland has elections every five years like the UK. They are up again in April 2016.

Oh, and I am not sure climate change will ever be the big saviour of the Green vote that Green parties everywhere might think. My experience is the Green vote tends to get to a certain level and then become cyclical; there is no evidence it continues to grow indefinitely.

Kevin Bonham
04-04-2015, 11:34 PM
Poll added.

antichrist
05-04-2015, 11:05 AM
Ireland has elections every five years like the UK. They are up again in April 2016.

Oh, and I am not sure climate change will ever be the big saviour of the Green vote that Green parties everywhere might think. My experience is the Green vote tends to get to a certain level and then become cyclical; there is no evidence it continues to grow indefinitely.

Would you keep that opinion in view of Ballina and LIsmore state election results? And Newtown

Kevin Bonham
05-04-2015, 12:05 PM
Would you keep that opinion in view of Ballina and LIsmore state election results? And Newtown

Sure because although the Greens have won probably three seats (I think they'll win Ballina but not Lismore), their vote hasn't actually increased.

Patrick Byrom
05-04-2015, 04:00 PM
Oh, and I am not sure climate change will ever be the big saviour of the Green vote that Green parties everywhere might think. My experience is the Green vote tends to get to a certain level and then become cyclical; there is no evidence it continues to grow indefinitely.
And as issues (such as climate change) become more significant, the two major parties modify their policies accordingly - as they have done with AGW, and as they are now doing with same sex marriage. This makes it very hard for minor parties to become major ones.

antichrist
05-04-2015, 04:09 PM
Sure because although the Greens have won probably three seats (I think they'll win Ballina but not Lismore), their vote hasn't actually increased.

Am too busy to look at election results but as Greens out polled Labor in first preferences in those seats I presume Labor vote may have come down and Greens stayed the same or was due to boundary changes or other changes? Do you have answer please, I will tell local Greens in case they are gloating & bloating like the green tree frogs we have here

Kevin Bonham
05-04-2015, 04:13 PM
Am too busy to look at election results but as Greens out polled Labor in first preferences in those seats I presume Labor vote may have come down and Greens stayed the same or was due to boundary changes or other changes? Do you have answer please, I will tell local Greens in case they are gloating & bloating like the green tree frogs we have here

I meant that the Greens' statewide vote hasn't increased (at least not significantly). In Ballina and Lismore both Labor and the Greens increased (indeed Labor increased more, but that's not surprising given how bad their 2010 result was). Greens were up 4.5 in Ballina, 7.5 in Lismore. Greens outpolled Labor in both seats in 2011 as well.

Kevin Bonham
05-04-2015, 11:00 PM
UKIP leader Nigel Farage in damage control after someone leaked a UKIP poll showing Farage a point behind and at risk of finishing third in the seat he wants to win to get into parliament. He's said if he doesn't win he'll quit.

Scottish Nationalists surging after their leader was considered to have done well in the 7-way (!) leaders' debate.

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2015, 01:50 PM
Lib Dems leader Nick Clegg is in danger of being unseated because of swings in his seat to Labour and the Greens. The Greens are serious trouble for the Liberal Democrats.

antichrist
06-04-2015, 02:02 PM
Lib Dems leader Nick Clegg is in danger of being unseated because of swings in his seat to Labour and the Greens. The Greens are serious trouble for the Liberal Democrats.

KB from above few posts:
My experience is the Green vote tends to get to a certain level and then become cyclical; there is no evidence it continues to grow indefinitely.

AC: you were saying?

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2015, 02:13 PM
KB from above few posts:
My experience is the Green vote tends to get to a certain level and then become cyclical; there is no evidence it continues to grow indefinitely.

AC: you were saying?

The UK has first-past-the-post. This is relevant for two reasons. Firstly the development of the Greens in FPP systems like the UK and USA has been greatly stymied by a vote for them being generally a wasted vote. Secondly when people actually do vote for them it is very damaging to other parties of the left for exactly the same reason.

So the problem for Clegg is that the Greens are polling 10% in his constituency, but most of those people would be voting Lib Dem if they weren't so cheesed off about Clegg's performance in coalition with the Tories. Unlike Australia where those people might still preference the Lib Dems, in the UK that's a lost vote which just helps Labour to unseat Clegg.

It's possible the Greens might keep rising in the UK to the point that they supplant the Lib Dems as they supplanted the Democrats here. But that's not a climate change thing; it's about the flaws of the previous left party. And even if it does happen their vote will soon enough sit at a certain level and not increase, as it does here.

Kevin Bonham
22-04-2015, 11:24 PM
It's extremely close, but on current polling the Tories seem to be in slight bother. All of the SNP, Plaid Cymru, SDLP and Greens have said they won't work with the Tories. In most of the projections I'm looking at Labour plus those parties equals a slight majority, which would be a certain change of government, though how long it lasted is anyone's guess. In some of the projections those parties combined are just short of a majority which means the Tories would be unable to themselves get a majority since they would need both UKIP and the LibDems, who won't work together.

In 1974 the UK had two general elections in one year because the first one produced an unworkable hung parliament; it's a realistic outside chance that that could happen again.

Kevin Bonham
24-04-2015, 01:59 PM
New constituency poll shows UKIP's Nigel Farage leading by 9 points in his target seat.

Kevin Bonham
29-04-2015, 11:48 PM
Ipsos-Mori have a poll out based on which they reckon the SNP would win every single seat in Scotland, all 59 of them. Not that the Tories had hopes of more than a few seats there anyway, so all this means is Labour's trivial chances of winning outright slipping further into the mire.

Nothing really changed overall since #137 but the Labour bloc's lead in current polling is very slim and it won't take much swing back for the Tories to survive for the time being in probably an awfully messy hung parliament.

Kevin Bonham
30-04-2015, 10:40 PM
The worm just might be turning. Ipsos Mori had the Tories up by five. Possible that English voters are returning to the Tories because they realise that a Labour government is going to be in thrall to the SNP. That said, other polls still have it closer. (The Tories probably need to win by at least four points.)

Meanwhile, an amusing solution to the problems caused by safe seats and first-past-the-post:

http://www.swapmyvote.uk

Capablanca-Fan
30-04-2015, 11:54 PM
That moronic fascist Labour leader Milliband wants to outlaw “Islamophobia”; i.e. anyone who criticizes Islam might face long jail terms.

Outlawing ‘Islamophobia’ Would Be Folly, Mr. Miliband (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417612/outlawing-islamophobia-would-be-folly-mr-miliband-charles-c-w-cooke)
CHARLES C. W. COOKE, National Review, 28 Apri 2015

“The essence of tyranny is not iron law,” Christopher Hitchens observed (http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2004/02/hitchens200402). “It is capricious law.” Now, as in the time of King John, free people should demand some ground rules. This debate came rushing back to mind this week after it was revealed that a would-be prime minister of Great Britain, the Labour party’s Edward Miliband, had promised London’s Muslim Times that he would seek to outlaw and to punish “Islamophobia” if he were elected to high office. “Although Islamophobia already falls under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006#….#” The Independent recorded on Saturday, “Mr Miliband’s proposal would allow authorities to hand down tougher sentences for similar crimes.” Evidently, those sentences would be harsh. At present, Britons who violate the Racial and Religious Hatred Act are at risk of “up to seven years imprisonment” — not, you will note, because they have actually hurt anybody, but rather because they have uttered strings of opinion-laden words that the incumbent government happens to disfavor. This, alas, is apparently not good enough for the Labour party. Under a Miliband administration, The Independent confirmed, Britons who caustically knocked Islam would be guilty of an “aggravated crime.” “We are going to make sure it is marked on people’s records with the police,” Miliband submitted, “to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime.”

The presumption that the state has a role to play in the policing of the human soul is an utterly terrifying one, running contrary as it does to all the beautiful suppositions that served as scaffolding to the Enlightenment. If Ed Miliband believes that his fellow countrymen are intolerant rubes, he of course has every right to lobby them to change direction. That he has promised to marshal the police in disapprobation is something altogether different.

Why? Well, because underpinning the notion of free and untrammeled debate is the humble acknowledgement that the state cannot — and should not — decide what is true and what is false. Naturally, governments may have strong opinions on a corporate level. Individually their members may, too. But, whatever they might come to believe, those governments may not contrive to ossify or establish as legally impregnable a sole definition of reality. This, I’m afraid, is what Miliband is effectively proposing. Seemingly, he has contrived a two-step process for censorship: First, submit that criticism of Islam is beyond the pale (that’s the “phobia” stuff, for phobias are irrational, remember); second, because that criticism therefore has no value, move to prohibit it.

Pushing back against Milband’s proposal, a few critics have noted acidly that the elite class’s obsessive focus on “Islamophobia” is peculiar given that the most frequent victims of racially motivated crimes in the United Kingdom are in fact Jewish. Well intentioned as that critique is, however, I’d venture that it represents entirely the wrong way of looking at the question. No matter what the numbers say, nobody who lives in a free country should be immune from harsh and even hateful oppobrium — not Christians, not Muslims, not atheists, not blacks, not whites, not anybody. Frankly, it is not the role of the British authorities to police the verbal output of the people they serve, until and unless that output is explicitly and deliberately brigaded to an illegal action. If they are to be at liberty, men may freely exhibit irrationality, fear, animadversion, disdain, acrimony, bitterness, revulsion, and pique — and they may do so without their emotions or their expressions being compared by the law to battery. If Ed Miliband hopes to make physical assaults even more illegal, he has my blessing. Until then, he must stay the hell away, lest he spur a recrudescence of precisely the sort of illiberalism he purportedly intends to banish.

Patrick Byrom
01-05-2015, 01:07 AM
The worm just might be turning. Ipsos Mori had the Tories up by five in England. Possible that English voters are returning to the Tories because they realise that a Labour government is going to be in thrall to the SNP. That said, other polls still have it closer. (The Tories probably need to win England by at least four points.)
Do you think that the Lib Dems would support the Tories - assuming they have the balance of power? It doesn't seem to have done them (the LDs) much good so far, and the Conservatives are promising a referendum on Europe, which would be anathema to the Liberal Democrats.

Capablanca-Fan
01-05-2015, 01:45 AM
Do you think that the Lib Dems would support the Tories - assuming they have the balance of power? It doesn't seem to have done them (the LDs) much good so far, and the Conservatives are promising a referendum on Europe, which would be anathema to the Liberal Democrats.

That promise is probably one that won't be kept, and is there only to stop the hemorrhaging to the UKIP.

Kevin Bonham
01-05-2015, 02:21 AM
Do you think that the Lib Dems would support the Tories - assuming they have the balance of power?

They have said they would talk first to the party with the most seats, which is likely to be the Tories. I think they'd also prefer to be part of a two or three party deal, especially if it excludes UKIP, than some kind of mess involving numerous parties. And it's easier to continue an old coalition than to form a new one. They've said they won't deal with UKIP or SNP but I don't believe a word of that re either.

Patrick Byrom
02-05-2015, 10:26 PM
I suspect that you're (Capablanca-Fan and Kevin) both probably right - we'll find out soon enough!

Kevin Bonham
07-05-2015, 02:46 AM
This one is so damn close that not only do I not know what the answer is, I'm not even sure what the question means anymore! Because of the UK conventions and rules that try to keep the Sovereign out of politics as much as possible, it's possible to envisage a case even where the Tories lose the Kings Speech vote but refuse to quit and hang on for a short time while the others get their act together.

I'm thus going to define winning for the purpose of the poll as being the first to form a government that lasts more than four months. If neither side does that before the election or if the result is some kind of grand Tory-Labour coalition then that goes under "Some other outcome".

Either it's going to be a hung parliament or the polls are all hopeless; at this stage I still just favour an SNP-supported Labour minority but it's as close to a tossup between that and a Tory minority as leaves very little.

Results will come in Friday morning Aus time.

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2015, 09:08 AM
Well ... the giant UK exit poll (extremely accurate in 2010) is projecting that all the lead-up polls were wrong and that the Tories are going to win a near majority!

What the exit poll is predicting is that the Lib Dems are going to get almost totally wiped out with a huge swag of their seats going to the Tories!

However another exit poll by Electoral Calculus disagrees and predicts a result roughly like pretty much everyone was expecting.

Redmond Barry
08-05-2015, 09:46 AM
How is UKIP looking to fare Kevin ?

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2015, 09:55 AM
How is UKIP looking to fare Kevin ?

Exit poll had them on for two seats. Farage apparently not winning his own according to scrutineers.

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2015, 10:17 AM
Labour failing to pick up swings in a London seat that has declared. Looks good for Tories.

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2015, 11:31 AM
It looks like the polls were herded and had the average difference between Conservatives and Labour wrong by about six eight points. Yikes!

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2015, 11:44 AM
Either it's going to be a hung parliament or the polls are all hopeless;

Lock in box B. Small Tory majority is even possible the way things are going!

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2015, 01:37 PM
UKIP retains Clacton. Might be all they're getting.

Looking like Tory/Lib Dem combined majority though that might still change as more LibDem seats come in.

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2015, 01:52 PM
Former Labour leadership contender Ed Balls may have lost. Nick Clegg announcement imminent (but so is a fieldtrip I'm on.)

[edit: Clegg survives]

Tory majority still quite possible.

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2015, 03:44 PM
Tory outright win (at least accounting for the Sinn Fein abstentions) now looking likely. The startling exit poll was an underestimate!

Kevin Bonham
08-05-2015, 09:37 PM
Tories have won a small but viable effective majority. They're on 325 with eight to go and will win about five of those. They'll have to watch for backbench revolts but even if they gradually lose their majority through resignations and by-elections they will have partners who can prop them up.

Vote share is now at a 6.3 point lead for Tories. A Survey Monkey poll had it at six so well done to them. The average poll had it around zero.

Capablanca-Fan
08-05-2015, 11:54 PM
The Scottish Nationalists have all but destroyed Labour in Scotland (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/08/shock-victory-for-david-cameron-in-splintered-u-k.html), and the Liberal Democrats (nothing like Leyonhjelm in Australia) lost 49 of their 57 seats.

UKIP won only one seat, and it wasn't the leader Farage's (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32633719):


UKIP has won a 13% vote share in the election and has one MP, Douglas Carswell, who held his Clacton seat.
It puts the party in third place behind the Conservatives and Labour in terms of share of the vote.
Mr Farage said the results proved there needed to be a change to the voting system.
"Personally, I think the first-past-the-post system is bankrupt," he said.
"It is bankrupt because one party can get 50% of the vote in Scotland and nearly 100% of the seats, and our party can get 4 million votes and just one seat."
He added: "For those reasons there are a lot of angry UKIP people out there. They're not giving up on UKIP, but absolutely determined that we get a fairer, more reflective system."

Cameron probably won back a lot of these by promising a referendum in Europe. Whether this promise will be kept is another matter.

Patrick Byrom
09-05-2015, 12:52 AM
UKIP won only one seat, and it wasn't the leader Farage's (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32633719):
UKIP has won a 13% vote share in the election and has one MP, Douglas Carswell, who held his Clacton seat.
Which is a ridiculous result. I'm definitely no fan of UKIP, but the UK voting system clearly needs improvement (as almost everyone agrees).


Cameron probably won back a lot of these by promising a referendum in Europe. Whether this promise will be kept is another matter.
Even if he introduces a bill, his majority is small enough that it may not pass - a lot of Tories will vote against it.

Kevin Bonham
09-05-2015, 12:25 PM
Even if he introduces a bill, his majority is small enough that it may not pass - a lot of Tories will vote against it.

Yes, and he might be quite happy for this to happen deliberately, so he could say that he did all he could but sorry, no cigar.

The Tories will be very happy to keep first-past-the-post and with them having a majority I expect that debate to go nowhere for years. The result actually understates how unfair FPP is, because the UKIP and Greens votes were actually deflated by supporters of those parties tactically voting for Tories and Labour respectively. UKIP won one constituency and finished second in over a hundred. Under the Australian system voters could have safely voted 1 for those parties and they would have won more seats.

Garrett
09-05-2015, 02:19 PM
Didn't the UK have a referendum recently on the FPP system ?

Kevin Bonham
09-05-2015, 06:15 PM
Didn't the UK have a referendum recently on the FPP system ?

Yes. The referendum was to impose Alternate Vote, which is basically the same as optional preferencing in NSW and Queensland. The Liberal Democrats made holding the referendum a condition of their support, but didn't bind the Conservatives to supporting a Yes vote. The referendum was held in 2011 and rejected 68% to 32%. Tories mostly supported a No vote and Labour were split.

Alternate Vote could have been passed by the parliament without a referendum but it seems neither major party was willing to do so.

One thing that caused some in Labour to oppose the bill was that it also included one-vote-one-value style reforms of electorate boundaries, that would have removed an unfair advantage to Labour in Scotland. I see Labour made great use of keeping their unfair advantage, winning one Scottish seat out of 59.

Capablanca-Fan
09-05-2015, 11:53 PM
Which is a ridiculous result. I'm definitely no fan of UKIP, but the UK voting system clearly needs improvement (as almost everyone agrees).
Including me. FPP is imbecilic. But as stated between our posts, repeal has been tried and failed badly.


Even if he introduces a bill, his majority is small enough that it may not pass - a lot of Tories will vote against it.
I wonder whether the Tory Party is in step with a lot of its members when it supports Europe. That is why UKIP exists.

Rincewind
10-05-2015, 12:43 AM
I wonder whether the Tory Party is in step with a lot of its members when it supports Europe. That is why UKIP exists.

A lot of individual conservative voters are insular and anti-Europe however big business and the banks also support the Tories and they don't want to leave the EU. Cameron will have an interesting time keeping those two competing groups happy. I suspect the UK will not leave the EU in the end but it might be a bumpy ride.

rob
10-05-2015, 04:07 AM
The Scottish Nationalists have all but destroyed Labour in Scotland (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/08/shock-victory-for-david-cameron-in-splintered-u-k.html), and the Liberal Democrats (nothing like Leyonhjelm in Australia) lost 49 of their 57 seats.

UKIP won only one seat, and it wasn't the leader Farage's (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32633719):

[INDENT]UKIP has won a 13% vote share in the election and has one MP, Douglas Carswell, who held his Clacton seat.
It puts the party in third place behind the Conservatives and Labour in terms of share of the vote.

In the North Essex Chess League(NECL) I used to play against Clacton chess club (they also competed in the Suffolk league). For many years Peter Keffler was their top player, main organiser and had a chess-book stall at local weekenders. He recently celebrated his 90th at the club http://clactonchess2.org.uk/wordpress/peter-keffler-celebrates-90th-birthday/#comment-16

Capablanca-Fan
11-05-2015, 11:47 PM
A lot of individual conservative voters are insular and anti-Europe however big business and the banks also support the Tories and they don't want to leave the EU.
Sir Humphrey Appleby explains why the UK Foreign Office is officially pro-Europe (https://dotsub.com/view/229ca3b5-e82f-4162-9e9d-1b6ad4af9cb2).

Capablanca-Fan
12-05-2015, 12:45 AM
The UKIP should probably have concentrated on a dozen or so of the most winnable seats, given the unfair rules of the game as played in the UK.

Capablanca-Fan
12-05-2015, 02:21 PM
Why the polls were wrong about the Conservative campaign (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11591779/Why-the-polls-were-wrong-about-the-Conservative-campaign.html)
Labour's soft poll position and the Lib Dem collapse has kept David Cameron in position as Prime Minister
By Rob Hayward, Telegraph (UK), 8 May 2015

How did the polls get it so wrong? They said this election would be neck and neck. The parties were expected to be scrapping for weeks over who took ultimate control. Instead, we’ve got a clear result and the Tories have an undeniable majority.

This isn’t the first time the pollsters have misled us. They said Neil Kinnock would be Britain’s next prime minister. That was in 1992, when the BBC’s poll of polls gave Labour a two per cent lead in the run-up to the election, and some even suggested they would be seven points ahead.

I was proved right. As the votes were counted, Labour’s poll lead evaporated. The Conservatives won 41.9 per cent of the vote, 7.5 per cent more than Labour, with over 14 million votes – the highest ever popular vote for any party in Britain. I pointed out that Major’s surprise success stemmed from a group of “shy Tories”: voters who had come out to help him, but felt too awkward to tell anyone. As a result, they weren’t noticed by the pollsters, leaving the public – and the media – to think there were far fewer Conservative supporters out there. Afterwards, the pollsters insisted they had learnt from the mistake. But obviously they hadn’t.

So why did the polls get it so wrong? I think that basically, they were misled by the soft Labour vote: those voters who were initially tempted by Ed Miliband and then shied away from voting for him in the cold reality of the polling booth.
At the same time, the Tories were helped by the Lib Dems’ collapse in support.

Kevin Bonham
12-05-2015, 09:31 PM
He might well be onto something with the "soft Labour" thing - this is also a problem with the Green vote in Australia. Shy Tory effect in the 1992 sense doesn't stand up, because the theory of Shy Tory effect was that voters were reluctant to tell a live human being they voted Tory. But at this election most polls were done online and furthermore the phone polls leaned more to the Tories than the online ones did.

Capablanca-Fan
13-05-2015, 12:52 AM
Mark Steyn on the UK election (http://www.steynonline.com/6948/problem-populations-here-and-there):

Yes, it's always fun to stick it to the pollsters and the media and especially Russell Milibrand (as I shall ever think of him). Characteristically myopic headline from my old newspaper, The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/russell-brand-interviewing-ed-milliband-was-the-most-authentic-moment-of-the-election-campaign-so-far-10213189.html), just a week or two back:


Russell Brand interviewing Ed Miliband was the most authentic moment of the election so far.
Was it even (whisper it) exciting?

Only to you. Maybe you need to get out of the house more.

It would be churlish to deny oneself the pleasure of hooting at the politico-media establishment, but, when that's done, this is a deeply unhealthy electoral result. The Conservatives won because Labour got wiped out in Scotland and the Liberals got wiped out in England. But the reality is that, for a supposedly United Kingdom, the country no longer has any national political party. England and Scotland have taken on the characteristics of Northern Ireland - hermetically sealed polities full of weird, unlovely regional parties ("SNP", "Conservative", "Labour") that have no meaning once you cross the border, and whose internal disputes are of no relevance to the other three-quarters of the kingdom: Nobody outside Ulster cares about "official" Unionists vs the more red-blooded Democratic Unionists. And so it goes with the Scots Nats and Labour in Scotland: nationalist socialists vs unionist socialists; Likewise, with the Tories and UKIP in England: transnationalist conservatives vs nationalist conservatives.

Wales is the exception that proves the rule, where UKIP outpolled Plaid Cymru, albeit with no seats to show for it. The Scottish National Party got 4.7 per cent of the UK vote, and 56 seats. UKIP had nearly thrice as many voters - 12.6 per cent - but only one seat. That discrepancy is because there is no longer any such thing as "the UK vote". I far prefer the Westminster first-past-the-post system to European "proportional representation", but it only works if you have genuinely national parties. If the system decays into four groups of regional parties, the House of Commons will look less and less like a genuine national parliament, and more and more like some surly conditional arrangement - Scottish Kurds, Tory Shia and seething Labour Sunni triangles.

The composition of the new house would strike any mid-20th century Briton as freakish and unsettling. It's a bit like Canada in the Nineties - where Reform couldn't break out of the west, the PQ dominated Quebec, the rump Tories clung on in the Atlantic provinces, and Ontario and a few seats hither and yon gave the Liberals their majority. The difference is that the Parti Québécois are pretend separatists; the Scottish National Party are not.

And that's before you take into account the competing nationalist dynamics of the Anglo-Scottish victors: secession from the UK north of the border and detachment from the EU south. Cameron is a wily operator and one notices he uses the words "United Kingdom" far more than his predecessors. But saying will not make it so.

Capablanca-Fan
15-05-2015, 02:57 AM
Stop your whingeing: why the Left are such bad losers (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11597436/Stop-your-whinging-why-the-Left-are-such-bad-losers.html)
Labour voters should be ashamed of all the boohooing—and I speak as one
By Bryony Gordon, Telegraph, 12 May 2015


Less than 24 hours later, anti-Tory protestors had desecrated the Women of World War Two memorial on Whitehall. “F*** Tory Scum” was the charming note left in red graffiti. Laurie Penny, a darling of the Left, tweeted that she didn’t have a problem with the vandalism – she argued that the real vandals were sitting in Downing Street, breaking up the welfare state.

Elsewhere on social media, Labour supporters spent much of Friday laying in to anyone who had voted Conservative. “Who are these ***** who voted Tory?” wrote one friend on Facebook. “To the selfish morons who voted for Cameron et al: I hope you are proud of yourselves,” wrote another. “I hope you enjoy your slightly lower taxes, you shameless, shameless human beings.”

But the keyboard warriors didn’t have time to answer charges of hypocrisy. They were too busy bashing out angry tweets about the fact that only 37 per cent voted Tory, that a different voting system is needed—perhaps something similar to the one in place in, say, North Korea, that would only allow the British public to take part in the ballot if they happen to be left of centre.

Of course, proportional representation would still have given us a Tory government – just one in coalition with Ukip. Is that what the people marching on Westminster want?

And do they not remember the referendum for an alternative vote system four years ago, the one that the British public rejected out of hand? Have they forgotten the Labour victory of 2005, when the party only got 36 per cent of the vote? Where were the angry placards then? Where were the marches and protests and furious online campaigns for electoral reform? I’m guessing they were all buried under a massive pile of self-righteousness.

Capablanca-Fan
20-08-2015, 02:52 AM
If Jeremy Corbyn wins leadership Labour faces 'annihilation', says Tony Blair (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/12/tony-blair-labour-faces-annihilation-if-jeremy-corbyn-wins-leadership)
Former prime minister intensifies warning to Labour leadership voters, urging them to reject Corbyn’s policies and ‘understand the danger we are in’Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair says it is ‘laughable’ to think Jeremy Corbyn is offering anything new.
Rowena Mason, Political correspondent, Guardian, 13 Aug 2015

Earlier (Blair urges Labour not to wrap itself in a Jeremy Corbyn comfort blanket (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/22/tony-blair-labour-will-not-win-if-it-steps-away-from-centre-ground), 22 July):

Tony Blair has issued his most impassioned appeal for Labour not to repeat the mistakes of the 1980s by adopting a traditional leftist platform, saying the party could suffer four successive election defeats if it does so.

In his first intervention in the Labour leadership election, the former prime minister said a shift to the left after the party’s crushing general election defeat would be to treat voters as if they were stupid.

Blair urged Labour members not to wrap themselves in a Jeremy Corbyn comfort blanket, saying that people whose heart was with the leftwing candidate should “get a transplant”.

He added: “We lost in 2010 because we stepped somewhat from that modernising platform. We lost in 2015 with an election out of the playback from the 1980s, from the period of Star Trek, when we stepped even further away from it and lost even worse. I don’t understand the logic of stepping entirely away from it.”

Blair warned the party could not win on an “old- fashioned leftist platform”. He compared the situation Labour found itself in following its 7 May election defeat with the position it faced in the 1980s, when the party swung to the left under Michael Foot, paving the way for 18 years of Conservative rule.

“After the 1979 election the Labour party persuaded itself of something absolutely extraordinary,” Blair said. “Jim Callaghan had been prime minister and the Labour party was put out of power by Margaret Thatcher and the Labour party persuaded itself that the reason why the country had voted for Margaret Thatcher was because they wanted a really leftwing Labour party.

“This is what I call the theory that the electorate is stupid, that somehow they haven’t noticed that Margaret Thatcher was somewhat to the right of Jim Callaghan.”

Kevin Bonham
20-08-2015, 09:02 PM
Warnings from Blair will just drive people to support Corbyn even more. The Corbyn thing is very odd.

Capablanca-Fan
21-08-2015, 12:20 AM
Warnings from Blair will just drive people to support Corbyn even more. The Corbyn thing is very odd.

Why would Blair warnings do that? Wasn't he the most successful Labor PM ever? It's also hard to argue with his reasons regardless of one's political leanings: Labor kept losing as long as it was a far-left party; it was not as if Thatcher or Major were especially popular.

Kevin Bonham
21-08-2015, 11:04 AM
Why would Blair warnings do that? Wasn't he the most successful Labor PM ever?

Yes he was in power for a long time but he's seen by lefties as having badly damaged the party's brand, primarily by being too close to Bush jnr on Iraq.

Capablanca-Fan
27-08-2015, 12:56 AM
Yes he was in power for a long time but he's seen by lefties as having badly damaged the party's brand, primarily by being too close to Bush jnr on Iraq.

Rather foolish of Labor to dismiss a proven successful election winner. Now a former influential Labour MP who became the only female UK Speaker in history (who earned the great respect of political opponent John Major (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/830915.stm)) has joined him, along with many other respected Labour figures:

Labour heading for scrapheap if it elects Jeremy Corbyn, says Betty Boothroyd (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/23/labour-heading-scrapheap-if-elects-jeremy-corbyn-betty-boothroyd)
Former Speaker of the Commons claims the leadership frontrunner’s hard-left supporters are peddling same ‘claptrap’ that gripped the party in the 1980s
Rajeev Syal, Guardian, 23 Augist 2015

In the latest intervention from a major Labour figure concerned at the rise of the leftwing leadership candidate, the former Speaker of the Commons said the party could be heading for the “scrapheap of history”.

Lady Boothroyd’s comments came as Sunday morning’s headlines show the acrimonious leadership fight is facing further claims of internal party chaos, voter infiltration and threats of legal action.

Boothroyd, the first female Speaker who fought the Trotskyite group Militant in the 1980s, accused Corbyn’s hard-left supporters of “deluding a new generation” with the same extremist “claptrap” that gripped the party 30 years ago.

Writing in the Sunday Times, she blamed Ed Miliband, the former leader who created the new voting rules, saying his “decision to abandon the leadership only hours after the party’s defeat in May started the “rot” and was an “act of self-indulgence”.

Boothroyd wrote: “If Labour ends up on the scrapheap of history, it will do so because of its own foolishness and self-inflicted wounds. What party in its right mind would allow a combination of far-left enemies, militant trade unions and first-time supporters to decide its fate?”

She also condemned Corbyn for sharing a platform with Tony Mulhearn, a Militant “bully boy” from Liverpool Boothroyd helped to expel from the Labour party in 1986.

“Mr Mulhearn and his Trotskyite comrades nearly bankrupted Liverpool in the Eighties. We cleaned the stables. They may need cleaning again,” she wrote.

Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson, Gordon Brown, David Miliband, Tony Blair and David Blunkett have all previously called for party members to vote against Corbyn.

Boothroyd, who sits as a crossbench peer after giving up her party allegiance to become Speaker, said: “My old party is galloping towards the precipice. I urge it to heed the jagged rocks before it is too late.”

Capablanca-Fan
04-09-2015, 01:34 AM
How Jeremy Corbyn's Coup Hijacked Labour (http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/6196/full)
NICK COHEN, Standpoint, September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn encapsulated everything that was deceitful about his campaign to be leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition when he claimed he wanted to prioritise “the needs of the poor and the human rights of us all”. From the point of view of the poor and the oppressed, his words were a grim joke.

Like many from the Left’s dark corners, Corbyn does not believe in the human rights of “us all”. He is concerned only with the rights of those whose oppression is politically useful. If the oppressed’s suffering can be blamed on the West, he will defend them. If not, he is on their enemies’ side.

A short and far from comprehensive tour of the regimes Corbyn has supported includes the geriatric Cuban dictatorship, the corrupt and extraordinarily incompetent Chavistas who have come close to bankrupting oil-rich Venezuela, and Russian imperialists who have used force to redraw Europe’s boundaries.

You will not understand how a sickness on the Left has spread from the fringes to the mainstream, unless you pause, take a deep breath, pour a stiff drink and contemplate the strangeness of that list for a moment. In the 20th century, it would have had a kind of coherence. Cuba was then and remains a Communist country. Far-leftists, and indeed many who were not Marxists, placed the Castro dictatorship’s record in providing healthcare above its record of denying democratic rights, human rights and trade union rights. Their refusal to confront oppression may have been scandalous. But they were socialists so you could understand how they could reserve their condemnations for fascistic or conservative regimes. No one in the rich world took much notice of Venezuela before the millennium. But if you had explained that a socialist party would take power, jail opponents and restrict press freedom, they would have understood that the same double standards would apply to Chavez. As for Russia, our time travellers would assume that by “Russia” Corbyn meant the Soviet Union, and once again, they would have slotted his support into traditional notions of Left and Right.

Not just Corbyn and his supporters but much of the liberal Left announce their political correctness and seize on the smallest sexist or racist “gaffe” of their opponents. Without pausing for breath, they move on to defend radical Islamist movements which believe in the subjugation of women and the murder of homosexuals. They will denounce the anti-Semitism of white neo-Nazis, but justify Islamist anti-Semites who actually murder Jews in Copenhagen and Paris. In a telling vignette, Corbyn himself defended a vicar from the supposedly liberal and tolerant Church of England who had promoted the conspiracy theory that Jews were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Opponents who called for the church authorities to discipline him were not anti-racists fighting an ideology that had led to the murder of millions. On the contrary, said Corbyn, the vicar was the victim, “under attack” because he had “dared to speak out against Zionism”.

While writing this piece I have been uncomfortable using phrases like “the Left” or the “far Left”, and tried to add a few caveats. There are multiple Lefts in Britain, not one or two. I know many honourable Labour MPs and count good people in far-left groups among my friends. But the fact remains that the dominant movements in Labour politics over the past two decades have been, at best, indifferent and, at worst, hostile to the struggles of oppressed peoples. Unless Labour changes very fast and very soon, it will cease to be a force for good in the world. I hope I am wrong but I can’t see that change happening in my lifetime.

antichrist
04-09-2015, 05:59 AM
They made Blair a special guy to help solve M/E crisis, he helped cause it and has no credibility there at all, same with Gareth Evans on nuke weapons control when he condoned USA nuking Iraq in first invasion- they treat the punters like idiots. Anything to keep living the high life on public expense accounts

Kevin Bonham
12-09-2015, 09:33 PM
Corbyn wins. At one stage he was 100-1; he made it on the ballot with minutes to spare.

antichrist
13-09-2015, 05:03 AM
He seems a more solid and principled candidate than D Trump

Kevin Bonham
13-09-2015, 11:34 AM
He seems a more solid and principled candidate than D Trump

No-one doubts that Corbyn is principled. Whether he is also an unelectable screaming-left socialist is the critical point.

antichrist
13-09-2015, 11:46 AM
No-one doubts that Corbyn is principled. Whether he is also an unelectable screaming-left socialist is the critical point.

I hope his anti-semitism is not ott thus putting folk off, that was the only weakness my short browse of him could pick up

Capablanca-Fan
19-09-2015, 09:34 AM
No-one doubts that Corbyn is principled. Whether he is also an unelectable screaming-left socialist is the critical point.
Well, his mirror image across the Atlantic, Bernie Sanders, is polling remarkably well, even though he is a screaming-left socialist who wants a top tax rate of 90% and would give you the shirt off someone else's back. His one good point is opposition to privatized prisons.

Rincewind
19-09-2015, 11:01 AM
His one good point is opposition to privatized prisons.

Private prisons are demonstrably harmful to the inmates (IMHO just another case of unfettered market forces leading to suboptimal outcomes) but what is the basis for your opposition to private prisons?

antichrist
19-09-2015, 12:19 PM
Private prisons are demonstrably harmful to the inmates (IMHO just another case of unfettered market forces leading to suboptimal outcomes) but what is the basis for your opposition to private prisons?

Struth, went sydney airport other day and all customs staff are employees of SNP - they should be govt employees with govt oversight, not farmed out

Capablanca-Fan
21-09-2015, 07:49 AM
Private prisons are demonstrably harmful to the inmates (IMHO just another case of unfettered market forces leading to suboptimal outcomes) but what is the basis for your opposition to private prisons?

Free market competition is ideal for providing goods and services. Those who provide what many people want will prosper, so the market incentivizes pleasing the public. Meting out justice is the one function of government. Prisons are part of this. Prisons for profit incentivise just the wrong things, i.e. more people being imprisoned and for longer periods. Unlike the real free market, private prisons incentivise the increased criminalization so more things are punishable by imprisonment (http://www.heritage.org/issues/legal/overcriminalization), and outrageous sentence for non-violent crime, such as the three-strikes law for drug possession (http://clemencyreport.org/top-10-outrageous-marijuana-sentences/). There have even been cases of judges getting kickbacks from the private prisons (http://www.forbes.com/sites/walterpavlo/2011/08/12/pennsylvania-judge-gets-life-sentence-for-prison-kickback-scheme/).

Rincewind
21-09-2015, 08:33 AM
Prisons for profit incentivise just the wrong things

We can certainly agree on this much. Thanks for the clarification.

Kevin Bonham
21-09-2015, 01:17 PM
Moderation Notice

antichrist is banned from this thread for a year for posting irrelevant religion-related content.

Any attempt by AC to negotiate or complain about this ban will result in it being made permanent.

Capablanca-Fan
22-09-2015, 11:04 PM
We can certainly agree on this much. Thanks for the clarification.

Welcome. Here is a good article on the problem:
Jailing Americans for Profit: The Rise of the Prison Industrial Complex (https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/jailing_americans_for_profit_the_rise_of_the_priso n_industrial_complex)
By John W. Whitehead, 10 April 2012


“Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.”—Adam Gopnik, “The Caging of America”

In an age when freedom is fast becoming the exception rather than the rule, imprisoning Americans in private prisons run by mega-corporations has turned into a cash cow for big business. At one time, the American penal system operated under the idea that dangerous criminals needed to be put under lock and key in order to protect society. Today, as states attempt to save money by outsourcing prisons to private corporations, the flawed yet retributive American “system of justice” is being replaced by an even more flawed and insidious form of mass punishment based upon profit and expediency.

As author Adam Gopnik reports for the New Yorker:


[A] growing number of American prisons are now contracted out as for-profit businesses to for-profit companies. The companies are paid by the state, and their profit depends on spending as little as possible on the prisoners and the prisons. It’s hard to imagine any greater disconnect between public good and private profit: the interest of private prisons lies not in the obvious social good of having the minimum necessary number of inmates but in having as many as possible, housed as cheaply as possible.

Consider this: despite the fact that violent crime in America has been on the decline, the nation’s incarceration rate has tripled since 1980. Approximately 13 million people are introduced to American jails in any given year. Incredibly, more than six million people are under “correctional supervision” in America, meaning that one in fifty Americans are working their way through the prison system, either as inmates, or while on parole or probation. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the majority of those being held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses—namely, marijuana. Presently, one out of every 100 Americans is serving time behind bars.

No matter what the politicians or corporate heads might say, prison privatization is neither fiscally responsible nor in keeping with principles of justice. It simply encourages incarceration for the sake of profits, while causing millions of Americans, most of them minor, nonviolent criminals, to be handed over to corporations for lengthy prison sentences which do nothing to protect society or prevent recidivism. This perverse notion of how prisons should be run, that they should be full at all times, and full of minor criminals, is evil

Capablanca-Fan
24-09-2015, 12:04 AM
'The overthrow of capitalism': Corbyn's new shadow chancellor unveils economic plan—seizing control of banks and energy firms (and a 7% tax hike for anyone on £50,000) (ttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3233993/The-overthrow-capitalism-Corbyn-s-new-shadow-chancellor-unveils-economic-plan-seizing-control-banks-energy-firms-7-tax-hike-50-000.html)
Hardline socialist John McDonnell was named the shadow chancellor today
The veteran rebel today insisted the economy would be 'safe' in his hands
But he has previously boasted that he wanted to 'overthrow capitalism'
Mr McDonnell wants to nationalise all banks, railways and utility companies
He also wants tax hikes on companies and workers earning over £50,000
By TOM MCTAGUE, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE and DANIEL MARTIN, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Kevin Bonham
30-09-2015, 01:01 AM
To add insult to injury the Liberal Democrats are in danger of losing their only Scottish MP to a court challenge. The UK has truth in-advertising requirement that you can't publish false claims about a candidate. The Lib Dem is accused of publishing false claims about ... himself!

http://www.scottishlegal.com/2015/09/29/election-court-rules-s106-of-representation-of-the-people-act-1983-is-engaged-by-self-talking/

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2015, 02:05 PM
Labour's vegan farming minister's bright idea: Treat meat eaters like smokers and start campaign to stop people eating it (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3247000/Labour-s-vegan-farming-minister-s-bright-idea-Treat-meat-eaters-like-smokers-start-campaign-stop-people-eating-it.html)
Kerry McCarthy speaking to a vegan magazine when shared views on meat
'Really believes' that it should be 'treated in exactly same way as tobacco'
She'd like to see campaigns actively encouraging meat eaters to give it up
Says farmers have to live by and 'risk dying by' movements in the market
By GERRI PEEV, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL
24 September 2015

Kevin Bonham
30-09-2015, 02:55 PM
Labour's vegan farming minister's bright idea: Treat meat eaters like smokers and start campaign to stop people eating it (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3247000/Labour-s-vegan-farming-minister-s-bright-idea-Treat-meat-eaters-like-smokers-start-campaign-stop-people-eating-it.html)
Kerry McCarthy speaking to a vegan magazine when shared views on meat
'Really believes' that it should be 'treated in exactly same way as tobacco'

Sigh. Meat is not, as far as I'm aware, addictive, and she seems to be opposed to dairy too. She's applying the standards of a health issue to an animal welfare and environmental issue.

Capablanca-Fan
30-09-2015, 10:58 PM
Sigh. Meat is not, as far as I'm aware, addictive, and she seems to be opposed to dairy too. She's applying the standards of a health issue to an animal welfare and environmental issue.

And no danger from second-hand meat either.

Capablanca-Fan
09-10-2015, 12:20 AM
Why I’ve finally given up on the left (http://new.spectator.co.uk/2015/09/why-ive-finally-given-up-on-the-left/)
Left-wing thought has shifted towards movements it would once have denounced as racist, imperialist and fascistic. It is insupportable
Nick Cohen, Spectator, 19 September 2015

‘Tory, Tory, Tory. You’re a Tory.’ The level of hatred directed by the Corbyn left at Labour people who have fought Tories all their lives is as menacing as it is ridiculous. If you are a woman, you face misogyny. Kate Godfrey, the centrist Labour candidate in Stafford, told the Times she had received death threats and pornographic hate mail after challenging her local left. If you are a man, you are condemned in language not heard since the fall of Marxist Leninism. ‘This pathetic small-minded jealousy of the anti-democratic bourgeois shows them up for the reactionary neocons they really are,’ a Guardian commenter told its columnist Rafael Behr after he had criticised Corbyn.

And yes, thank you, I know all about the feebleness of Corbyn’s opponents. But the fact remains that the Labour party has just endorsed an apologist for Putin’s imperial aggression; a man who did not just appear on the propaganda channel of Russia, which invades its neighbours and persecutes gays, but also of Iran, whose hangmen actually execute gays. Labour’s new leader sees a moral equivalence between 9/11 and the assassination of bin Laden, and associates with every variety of women-hating, queer-bashing, Jew-baiting jihadi, holocaust denier and 9/11 truther. His supporters know it, but they don’t care.

They don’t put it like that, naturally. Their first response is to cry ‘smear’. When I show that it is nothing of the sort, they say that he was ‘engaging in dialogue’, even though Corbyn only ever has a ‘dialogue’ with one side and his ‘engagement’ never involves anything so principled as robust criticism.

A few on the British left are beginning to realise what they have done. Feminists were the first to stir from their slumber. They were outraged this week when Corbyn gave all his top jobs to men. I have every sympathy. But really, what did they expect from a man who never challenged the oppression of women in Iran when he was a guest on the state propaganda channel? You cannot promote equality at home while defending subjugation abroad and it was naive to imagine that Corbyn would try.

The women’s issue nicely illustrates the damage he can do, even if he never becomes prime minister. When Labour shows by its actions that it doesn’t believe in women’s equality, the pressure on other institutions diminishes. Secularists and liberal Muslims will feel a different kind of prejudice. They will no longer get a hearing for their campaigns against forced marriage and sharia law from a Labour party that counts the Muslim Brotherhood among his allies.

The position of the Jews is grimmer still. To be blunt, the new leader of the opposition is ‘friends’ with men who want them dead. One Jewish Labour supporter told me, ‘I feel like a gay man in the Tory party just after they’ve passed Section 28.’ Another described his position as ‘incredibly exposed’. He had ‘come to understand in the last few weeks, quite how shallow the attachment of the left is to principles which I thought defined it.’

And yes, thank you again, I know at this point I am meant to say that Corbyn isn’t an anti-Semite. Maybe he isn’t, but some of his best friends are, and the record shows that out of cynicism or conviction he will engage in the left’s version of ‘dog-whistle’ race politics.

I realise now what I should have known years ago. The causes I most care about — secularism, freedom of speech, universal human rights — are not their causes. Whatever they pretend, when the crunch comes, they will always put sectarian unity first, and find reasons to be elsewhere.

So, for what it is worth, this is my resignation letter from the left. I have no idea who I should send it to or if there are forms to fill in. But I do know this: like so many before me, I can claim constructive dismissal.

Rincewind
09-10-2015, 11:23 AM
Seems a rehash of the views he espoused in 2007 (in What's Left?) though slightly updated to apply specifically to Corbyn. So to call it a letter of resignation is a little melodramatic and disingenuous.

Capablanca-Fan
09-10-2015, 12:29 PM
OK, is there any actual error in what he wrote?

Rincewind
09-10-2015, 03:24 PM
OK, is there any actual error in what he wrote?

I didn't say whether the content was accurate or not just that it is pretty much Nick Cohen's line who sees himself as a Zionist liberal (but advocating western intervention in the Middle East) and has done for around a decade at least so to frame those ideas as new or arrived at because of Corbyn being selected as leader of the mainstream left in the UK is being melodramatic and disingenuous.

Capablanca-Fan
09-10-2015, 11:52 PM
I didn't say whether the content was accurate or not just that it is pretty much Nick Cohen's line who sees himself as a Zionist liberal (but advocating western intervention in the Middle East) and has done for around a decade at least so to frame those ideas as new or arrived at because of Corbyn being selected as leader of the mainstream left in the UK is being melodramatic and disingenuous.

Or else, the election of Corbyn has confirmed his earlier malaise about the Left. Even stalwart Labour leaders urged against making Corbyn the leader. It's also notable how he didn't appoint any women, while Abbott was pilloried for allegedly not appointing enough women.

Rincewind
10-10-2015, 09:45 AM
Or else, the election of Corbyn has confirmed his earlier malaise about the Left. Even stalwart Labour leaders urged against making Corbyn the leader. It's also notable how he didn't appoint any women, while Abbott was pilloried for allegedly not appointing enough women.

I think it has more to do with Corbyn being pro-Palestine than anything else.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2016, 09:02 PM
Single parents face £1,000 'love tax' if they remarry or find new partner (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/single-parents-face-1000-love-tax-if-they-remarry-or-find-new-partner-a6835596.html)
Lib Dem peers will seek to overturn part of new Universal Credit system that could affect up to a million people
Oliver Wright, Independent, 27 Jan 2016

Peers will be urged to block controversial welfare reforms that will impose a “love tax” of around £1,000 on single parents who get married or find a new partner.
...
Speaking ahead of the vote the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said that the Government proposals amounted to little more than a “tax on love” and called for the changes to be scrapped.

“The Conservatives claim they want to support two-parent families, yet their attack on Universal Credit will mean that single parents who find a new partner will actually be penalised,” he said.

“It is a tax on love. Imagine being a single parent, working on a low income, then finally finding happiness with someone and realising you’re going to lose over £1,000 as a result.

“The Government should be supporting two-parent families, not using their change of circumstances as an excuse to cut their support. That is why they must rethink these brutal cuts to Universal Credit.”
...

Kevin Bonham
27-01-2016, 09:08 PM
^^^
Doesn't sound much different to Centrelink practice here in which people who are partnered are often paid less on the grounds that they will be sharing accommodation and housing costs.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2016, 09:13 PM
^^^
Way to go about discouraging family unions and incentivising splitting up.

Kevin Bonham
27-01-2016, 09:21 PM
^^^
Way to go about discouraging family unions and incentivising splitting up.

The question is whether this actually does so and that could only be answered by evidence as to actual costs. It's possible the one-size-fits-all approach could hurt poor families or families in low rental-cost areas in which the financial benefits of sharing accommodation might not be as great as the 1000 pounds.

I of course detest various aspects of the Australian Centrelink system but I don't think a welfare system needs to treat the living costs of single and coupled people as the same when they are not just in order to try to encourage people to form couples. Indeed, I'm not sure the kind of couple that only forms for economic advantage, or is put off forming by a slight economic disadvantage perhaps, is the kind the State should be encouraging.

Capablanca-Fan
23-03-2016, 01:59 PM
George Osborne must U-turn on his ludicrous sugar tax (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/georgeosborne/12200125/George-Osborne-must-U-turn-on-his-ludicrous-sugar-tax.html)
After climbing down on so much, like disability cuts, the Chancellor must do it again over his buzzkilling fizzy drinks tax
Brendan O'Neill, Telegraph, 21 Mar 2016


We hear a lot about eating disorders these days. I’m worried about the eating disorder of the expert classes, who’ve become obsessed with freaking us out over what we eat. They know nothing of joy. We know the glass of pop we clink with friends isn’t super-healthy, but we like it. And that’s enough.

The sugar tax speaks to the spread of the interfering instinct. Even the Tories have now been colonised by what Labour’s Frank Field terrifyingly christened “the politics of behaviour”, where the political class concerns itself as much with barging into our private lives as it does with improving public life. We’ve come a long way since 2010, when Andrew Lansley, then health secretary, stood up to Jamie Oliver and other fatty-bashers and said we can’t go around “constantly lecturing people”. Six years on and Oliver is whooping as a Tory Chancellor imposes a buzz-killing fizz tax.

This tax is more than a petty sting on those who like soft drinks. It’s about the unstoppable overreach of the political sphere, the invasion of our homes and bellies by politicians, docs and celebs who think they know better than us how we should live our lives. It’s an assault on fizz, fun and freedom.

Capablanca-Fan
03-06-2016, 07:00 AM
Majority of voters are backing Brexit, according to latest EU referendum poll (http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/eu-referendum-poll-latest-shows-big-surge-in-support-for-brexit/)
Tom Goodenough, Spectator, 31 May 2016

The latest EU referendum poll indicates that voters have swung considerably towards backing Brexit. 52 per cent of people surveyed said they were planning on voting for Britain to leave the European Union, compared to 48 per cent who are voting in. The ICM poll, carried out for the Guardian, is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it flies in the face of the prevailing view that remain has surged ahead. In recent weeks, those campaigning for Britain to stay put in Europe appear to have enjoyed a significant margin of support over the leave campaign. A poll of polls compiled by WhatUKThinks last week suggested an almost exact opposite to the figures out today: giving remain 53 per cent of the vote to leave’s 47 per cent. But these latest numbers show a big swing the other way and make it clear that the referendum remains an open contest.

It’s still worth remembering, as Fraser Nelson points out, that many voters tend to stick with the devil they know. This means that in order for the change proposition (leave, in this case) to win, that side needs to enjoy a very healthy lead in the polls. Whilst it’s important not to read everything into today’s poll, that margin appears to have grown considerably and with it the chances that Britain could well vote out of Europe.

Kevin Bonham
03-06-2016, 10:16 AM
There is a big argument about polling methods going on with online vs phone polls in this referendum. The phone polls tend to be far more favourable to the Remain side.

While both forms of polling have big issues, the most important one is that online polls have to offer "don't know" as an alternative on the same level as the two choices, and this leads to more voters picking "don't know" even if they actually do have an opinion.

Capablanca-Fan
03-06-2016, 02:47 PM
BREXIT THE MOVIE FULL FILM

BREXIT THE MOVIE is a feature-length documentary film to inspire as many people as possible to vote to LEAVE the EU in the June 23rd referendum.

BREXIT THE MOVIE spells out the danger of staying part of the EU. Is it safe to give a remote government beyond our control the power to make laws? Is it safe to tie ourselves to countries which are close to financial ruin, drifting towards scary political extremism, and suffering long-term, self-inflicted economic decline?

BREXIT THE MOVIE shows a side of the EU they don't want us to see: the sprawling self-serving bureaucracy, the political cynicism, the lack of accountability, the perks, the waste, the cronyism, the corruption.

BREXIT THE MOVIE cuts through the patronizing intellectualism of the noble, higher goals of 'Project Europe', to reveal the self-interestedness of the political-bureaucratic class which runs and benefits from the EU.

BREXIT THE MOVIE highlights the danger of becoming a prisoner in an insular, backward-looking Fortress Europe. And it explores the exciting opportunities that open up to us when we look beyond the narrow confines of the EU.

BREXIT THE MOVIE looks to the future, arguing forcefully and persuasively that it is safer and wiser to live in a country which is free, independent, self-governing, confident and global.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTMxfAkxfQ0

Patrick Byrom
03-06-2016, 04:15 PM
Kasparov doesn't agree that Brexit is a good idea (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/13/brexit-perfect-gift-vladimir-putin-eu):

Politics often makes for strange bedfellows. Far-right parties in the UK and across Europe push for anything that will weaken the European Union – a goal shared by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. This week, their fellow Brexiteer Boris Johnson went as far as to repeat the Kremlin line that Europe is partly to blame for Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Capablanca-Fan
04-06-2016, 02:06 PM
Kasparov doesn't agree that Brexit is a good idea (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/13/brexit-perfect-gift-vladimir-putin-eu):

Politics often makes for strange bedfellows. Far-right parties in the UK and across Europe push for anything that will weaken the European Union – a goal shared by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. This week, their fellow Brexiteer Boris Johnson went as far as to repeat the Kremlin line that Europe is partly to blame for Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

He says:


Yet without the UK’s influence, the EU will move toward the ideologies and policies that frustrate many Britons (and others). Meanwhile, the UK would still rely on the EU, an EU made less effective and more vulnerable to exactly the tendencies the Brexiteers complain about most. To solve its problems and to become a better version of itself, the EU needs the UK – and the UK needs that better EU.

To solve its problems and to become a better version of itself, the EU needs the UK – and the UK needs that better EU
I do not have a great deal of sympathy for the Brussels bureaucracy. No one who grew up in a totalitarian state has ever looked at a problem and thought that what was needed was another layer of politicians and functionaries. In this case, however, the cure has proved to be better than the disease. For all its limitations, the EU is far superior to the fractious era that went before.

But he doesn't say how Britain staying in would make a better EU. Rather, it is more likely to entrench the EU's bureaucracy, and reinforce their impression that they can be as bullying as they want without consequences.

Patrick Byrom
06-06-2016, 10:43 PM
But he doesn't say how Britain staying in would make a better EU. Rather, it is more likely to entrench the EU's bureaucracy, and reinforce their impression that they can be as bullying as they want without consequences.It's logical to assume that Britain staying would move the EU closer to the less centralised model preferred by Kasparov. And Britain leaving would empower Putin - enough reason, I suspect, for Kasparov to oppose Brexit. Brexit would also wreck the Conservative Party, which is badly divided over Europe.

Capablanca-Fan
16-06-2016, 04:22 PM
Brexit and political ignorance
By Ilya Somin, Volokh Conspiracy, June 14 2016

The people of Britain will soon be voting in a referendum on Brexit: whether Britain should leave the European Union. Whatever side you support, it is clear that this is an extremely important decision for the future of Britain and Europe. Yet a recent survey by the British polling firm Ipsos MORI (https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3742/The-Perils-of-Perception-and-the-EU.aspx) finds that most of the British public is ignorant or misinformed about basic facts relevant to the Brexit decision.

Significantly, most of the examples of ignorance relevant to Brexit described in the Ipsos MORI poll seem likely to help the “leave” side. If the British vote to leave the EU (particularly if it is by a close margin), ignorance might well have played a decisive role in the outcome.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that a decision to leave would be the wrong choice. While most of the examples of ignorance relevant to Brexit described in the Ipsos MORI poll seem likely to help the “leave” side. If the British vote to leave the EU (particularly if it is by a close margin), ignorance might well have played a decisive role in the outcome. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a decision to leave would be the wrong choice. While I tentatively conclude that the “remain” forces have the better of this debate, I recognize that it is a genuinely difficult issue, and there are some good arguments for leaving (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/05/11/the-cross-ideological-debate-over-brexit/), as well. In Chapter 2 of my book on political ignorance (https://www.amazon.com/Democracy-Political-Ignorance-Smaller-Government/dp/0804799318), I describe how there are rare cases where political ignorance has beneficial effects. The Brexit vote could potentially turn out to be one of them. In general, however, public ignorance about this and other important issues usually causes more harm than good. Sadly, public ignorance about the issues at stake in the Brexit vote is just one part of a much broader problem of large-scale political ignorance in Britain and around the world. Political ignorance is also widespread in the United States, and has already played a significant role in the current presidential election. While British voters are often poorly informed, the same is true of their American counterparts."]I tentatively conclude that the “remain” forces have the better of this debate, I recognize that it is a genuinely difficult issue, and there are some good arguments for leaving[/URL], as well. In Chapter 2 of my book on political ignorance, I describe how there are rare cases where political ignorance has beneficial effects. The Brexit vote could potentially turn out to be one of them. In general, however, public ignorance about this and other important issues usually causes more harm than good.

Sadly, public ignorance about the issues at stake in the Brexit vote is just one part of a much broader problem of large-scale political ignorance in Britain (http://volokh.com/2013/07/10/political-ignorance-in-britain-2/) and around the world (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/11/03/political-ignorance-around-the-world/). Political ignorance is also widespread in the United States (https://www.amazon.com/Democracy-Political-Ignorance-Smaller-Government/dp/0804799318), and has already played a significant role in the current presidential election (http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/12/opinions/political-ignorance-somin/). While British voters are often poorly informed, the same is true of their American counterparts.

Most of that ignorance is not the result of stupidity or of information being unavailable, but is a consequence of rational and understandable behavior by individual voters (http://balkin.blogspot.com/2013/10/why-political-ignorance-is-serious.html). But that does not make it any less troubling.

Kevin Bonham
16-06-2016, 05:24 PM
Poll added

Brexit referendum poll posted, one week to go before voting day so poll is open for 7 days.

Kevin Bonham
17-06-2016, 02:39 AM
British Labour MP Jo Cox has died after being shot and stabbed in an incident that may have been connected with the Brexit referendum (Cox was an outspoken Remain supporter), with claims that several witnesses heard the alleged killer shouting "Britain first".

(Britain First happens to be the name of a far-right political party formed from ex-members of the fascist British Nationalist Party, and Britain First claims to not itself be fascist but isn't very convincing about it. I've looked into them in the past after Jacqui Lambie idiotically shared one of their trashy internet memes.)

It remains to be seen what the facts of this killing are but I doubt this will do the Leave cause any good at all. Referendum campaigning is being suspended.

Kevin Bonham
19-06-2016, 01:45 AM
Looks like the alleged assassin is a homegrown terrorist nutter.

ER
20-06-2016, 01:22 AM
I predict that the "remain" vote (*) will win the day much easier than expected.

My prediction -
Percentage wise:

53.5% remain
46.5% leave

Margin of error +- 0.5%

(*) formal votes only ie formal remain vs formal leave.
No informal and/or abstain percentage considered

pax
20-06-2016, 12:33 PM
Looks like the alleged assassin is a homegrown terrorist nutter.

He's not a Muslim though, so they won't call him a terrorist.

Kevin Bonham
23-06-2016, 01:51 AM
Some good general analysis on referendums and the idea that people don't vote for change here:

https://constitution-unit.com/2016/06/22/do-people-tend-to-vote-against-change-in-referendums/

Adamski
23-06-2016, 04:10 PM
I also expect "Remain" to win. Brits are status quo people generally and Jo Cox's violent death makes it certain IMHO.

Capablanca-Fan
24-06-2016, 03:06 AM
Yes, unfortunately the Brits also rejected reforming their crass FPP voting system as well. This is called "conservatism" sensu lato, while capital-C Conservatism is narrower about what it wants to conserve, while rejecting some things as well, generally in an incrementalist way.

ER
24-06-2016, 09:44 AM
UK Referendum results streamed live here: http://www.bbc.com/news/politics/eu_referendum/results

Kevin Bonham
24-06-2016, 10:38 AM
Leave is slightly ahead in very early counting. What we need is a projection site that correlates voting for Leave/Remain with general election results, perhaps by region, and on that basis projects where we might end up. Apparently results in both Sunderland and Newcastle were much weaker for Remain than expected. Unfortunately the site I would normally use, Number Cruncher Politics, has crashed due to overuse!

I believe that a Leave vote is not necessarily binding on parliament and that there is a prolonged process to go through before it is finalised if that is what happens.

Kevin Bonham
24-06-2016, 11:13 AM
Leave up 53:47 and winning just about everywhere in England so far. This should change when the big cities come in but Leave is performing very strongly! One projection site (https://medium.com/@chrishanretty/eu-referendum-rolling-forecasts-1a625014af55#.gp3tib366) is now giving only a 3% probability Remain will win.

If Leave wins it will be just about the death of UK opinion polling.

Kevin Bonham
24-06-2016, 11:19 AM
Seeing some other comments that have a different view - along the lines that pro-Leave areas are outperforming their projections but that pro-Remain areas will be doing the same thing later on, so simple swing-based projections aren't reliable as they often would be in Australia.

Kevin Bonham
24-06-2016, 11:26 AM
Remain is in front now (just). Two London areas counted both c. 75% for Remain.

Adamski
24-06-2016, 11:31 AM
I think wet weather has rather favoured the "Leave" voters as they are generally more passionate in what they feel and therefore more likely to go out to vote on a wet day.

I do wonder why voting is not at the weekend rather than during the week!

Kevin Bonham
24-06-2016, 12:10 PM
A lot of projections saying Leave is going to win.

Kevin Bonham
24-06-2016, 12:19 PM
Leave up 50.7%. Scotland voting strongly for remain but Scotland disproportionately included in counted total.

Adamski
24-06-2016, 12:42 PM
I think it will be very sad for the world economy if a Brexit occurs.

Andrew Hardegen
24-06-2016, 12:48 PM
I think wet weather has rather favoured the "Leave" voters as they are generally more passionate in what they feel and therefore more likely to go out to vote on a wet day.

I do wonder why voting is not at the weekend rather than during the week!

Who really knows how the weather will swing the voting.

Interestingly, the turnout for this referendum appears to be above 70% -- higher than each of the 4 most recent UK General Elections. In 2015, the turnout was 66.1%.

Desmond
24-06-2016, 01:46 PM
A few places are calling it for Leave.

Patrick Byrom
24-06-2016, 02:11 PM
The result has now been (unofficially) declared as a victory for Leave. Although Northern Ireland and Scotland voted overwhelmingly for Remain. And given the collapse of the pound on even the possibility of Remain losing, I wonder what will happen when the markets open in the UK later today?

Capablanca-Fan
24-06-2016, 02:36 PM
I think it will be very sad for the world economy if a Brexit occurs.

The world economy should get over it. Now the UK can form trade agreements outside Europe more easily. Now UK can buy Aussie and Kiwi butter and wool again, and they should have more economic freedom without unelected and unaccountable Eurocrats making endless regulations.

Anyway, allow Sir Humphrey Appleby to explain Why Britain Joined the European Union:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37iHSwA1SwE

Garvinator
24-06-2016, 03:00 PM
Was it you and me who voted Leave Capa?

Adamski
24-06-2016, 03:07 PM
Yes Minister clip noted for later consumption, thanks Jono. No volume on PCs at work!

Wondering if my sig Sir Humphrey quote might prove close to the truth...

Adamski
24-06-2016, 03:20 PM
Brexit now appears to be over the line. But the PM can apparently ignore it (perhaps at his peril)!

Patrick Byrom
24-06-2016, 03:28 PM
Brexit now appears to be over the line. But the PM can apparently ignore it (perhaps at his peril)!I don't think the referendum has any legal impact, so Cameron could follow Turnbull and hold a conscience vote in Parliament!

ER
24-06-2016, 04:13 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F8WVs_0gpg

Pound drops to lowest levels since 1985

Desmond
24-06-2016, 04:23 PM
Was it you and me who voted Leave Capa?
The question was should they not will they.

Denis_Jessop
24-06-2016, 05:36 PM
Off topic but inspired by the Sir Humphrey bit.

I, in my idealistic days, supported the policy of abolition of the States and a united Australia. To this end I supported the idea of new States - there were New State movements at various times, as no doubt you know. The idea was that the more States there were, the weaker they would be and the more likely a new united Australia would be. This pre-dated Sir H by about 20 years. It also was when only NSW and Victoria were capable of running without Commonwealth Government support.

DJ

Adamski
24-06-2016, 06:21 PM
Cameron has resigned!! Effective October.

jammo
24-06-2016, 07:27 PM
Cameron has resigned!! Effective October.

Are you going to congratulate him?

Adamski
24-06-2016, 11:07 PM
Yes Minister clip noted for later consumption, thanks Jono. No volume on PCs at work!

Wondering if my sig Sir Humphrey quote might prove close to the truth...

Very funny clip! As per the end: "We call it diplomacy, minister."

Adamski
24-06-2016, 11:08 PM
Are you going to congratulate him?
Definitely not. I did not expect losing this vote would lead to him resigning. Perhaps it was the convincing margin of the loss that did it.

Capablanca-Fan
25-06-2016, 02:57 AM
The question was should they not will they.

We know that. We thought they should. But those who thought UK would leave would be more likely to vote "leave" if we were eligible to vote in that referendum.

Capablanca-Fan
25-06-2016, 02:58 AM
Are you going to congratulate him?

I congratulate Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson for their hard work for UK independence from unaccountable Brussels bureaucrats.

Kevin Bonham
25-06-2016, 10:29 AM
Definitely not. I did not expect losing this vote would lead to him resigning. Perhaps it was the convincing margin of the loss that did it.

Any loss would have done it. Even a very close win might have done it.

Desmond
25-06-2016, 11:40 AM
We know that.
Perhaps you did, but Garvin's post read to me like he was gloating for getting the result right. Which only makes sense if the question was who will win.

Patrick Byrom
25-06-2016, 02:34 PM
I congratulate Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson for their hard work for UK independence from unaccountable Brussels bureaucrats.Farage is obviously happy about it; Johnson less so. And 'independence' is a long way away (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/brexit-fallout-what-we-know-so-far): "Boris Johnson said Britain should not immediately trigger article 50 to start exit negotiations, saying there was “no need for haste” and “nothing will change in the short term”, in his first press conference after the vote." After Article 50 is triggered, there could be another two years before the UK actually leaves (it it's still the UK!), and it will be subject to all EU regulations during that time, but will be powerless to affect them.

ER
25-06-2016, 05:26 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqH21LEmfbQ&feature=youtu.be

:P

Andrew Hardegen
25-06-2016, 07:58 PM
Perhaps you did, but Garvin's post read to me like he was gloating for getting the result right. Which only makes sense if the question was who will win.

It is very natural to try to read between the lines, but Garvin's post consisted of only one line. Seems to me that he was simply trying to determine the identity of the other person who chose "Leave".

I also believed that UK should leave the EU, but I didn't vote in this forum poll.