Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Interesting Britain!

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  • Russell Brown,

    Wow. The Conservatives' only success yesterday – the Scottish party – is saddling up and riding off on its own, having established a view on Brexit it does not share with London.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I must say though ... I'm seeing a lot of triumphalism about coming second.

    I get that people want to celebrate the ideological victory, the reclaiming of the Labour Party etc, but the rather harsh fact is that Labour did not win the election and the Conservatives are the governing party for (possibly) the next five years and are now obliged to pay heed to the social policy cave people of the DUP.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Bookies are apparently giving 11/10 odds on another election before the end of the year. I'm just sayin'....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Of course there's going to be a hangover. But frankly, that's a tomorrow problem, because at the moment, I am having the most fun I have had in ages.

    The sight of the legs of the political establishment (both left- and right-wings) getting kicked out from under them, and them dropping on their arses harder, wetter and splittier than a cheap binliner full of diarrhoea from a third-floor window, has kept me giggling all day

    It's priceless, the expressions on their faces as they not only realise they've been sold the emperor's new clothes and that we can all see, but that they've all had 'a little accident' to boot. May is so utterly grasping at straws that she's climbed into the cage at the zoo that contains the monkeys that are kept away from the public because not only do they fling their shit at all and sundry, but they're rabid, too.

    There is NO WAY she (or her successor once the sharks rip her to pieces in the next month or so) is going to be able to keep this together. Even with the DUPpers she has such as rizla-thin majority that every single one of her MPs needs to turn up, every single time in order for any legislation to pass. Every. Single. One. Given that half of them ae still sane enough to HATE those idiots, that's simply not going to happen.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I get that people want to celebrate the ideological victory, the reclaiming of the Labour Party etc, but the rather harsh fact is that Labour did not win the election

    I think you have it backwards: winning the election would have been a disaster for Labour, but a close second and a Conservative Party in disarray is a very good outcome. There is nothing Labour could have done from government that would have kept the media and the mainstream from a relentless campaign against them that would make the internal Labour ructions look like a picnic.

    For starters, what would count as a good outcome from the Brexit negotiations? How could anyone achieve that? What do you think the reaction would be to Labour failing to do so? (not to mention the varying incompatible definitions of "good outcome") Then there's Scotland and the banking crisis... good solutions to IndyRefII and London's banks leaving the EU in 3... 2... hahahaha.

    What they have got instead is a Conservative government that is explicitly beholden to a fringe party with views more extreme than even UKIP. It's not a firm grasp on power, and it's very likely going to mean trying to compromise in opposite directions - the DUP are already demanding to dictate Brexit outcomes and I suspect they will regard that as a good start... it's not going to get better.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1229 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Eh, still high from last night. Normal service will be resumed soon.

    Of course the jubilation is justified, given how things looked 6 weeks ago. It could have been so much worse. With the benefit of distance, I'm a lot less caught up in the headiness of the moment, despite being definitely pleased. High youth turnout is a really fantastic outcome, something that could give us hope here in NZ.

    And yet the system and the stakes are so very different here that I'm very wary of the sweeping conclusions that Tom makes. I don't really think we look ahead to Britain at all any more. Many of the outcomes of this election just smack of everything wrong with FPP, things we haven't had to deal with for over 20 years. To someone from a proportional representation country, I look at the election as a whole, and see wins and losses everywhere, with the final outcome being a system artifact much more than a measure of a profound groundswell. I see profound unfairness in the outcome, something both Tories and Labour are beneficiaries of. I see a nation with its head in the sand over Brexit, and that includes Labour. It was the issue at hand, the whole purpose of the election. A year ago the nation was divided in two over it. Now, more than 80% of the political representation is fully committed to it. I look at Britain and see cray everywhere. I see very hard times ahead.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    But frankly, that’s a tomorrow problem, because at the moment, I am having the most fun I have had in ages.

    Good on you, man, I guess celebration is all part of preparing for the next phase.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Moz,

    winning the election would have been a disaster for Labour, but a close second and a Conservative Party in disarray is a very good outcome.

    I really don't agree. Winning the election and becoming the actual government for the next 5 years would have been a far, far superior outcome. Corbyn could have actually gone for his agenda. Health and education for the next 5 years could have received better funding. There would be almost zero chance of Britain becoming embroiled in any wars. There might even be a sea change in international politics. There would be zero chance of some crazy windfall in popularity for the incumbents, like a huge terror attack. Those kids who voted would feel that it made a difference.

    Yes, Brexit is going to be a disaster. But I think that in a disaster I'd rather have my people doing the negotiating rather than my enemies. Every outcome is going to be negotiated on Tory terms.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    For starters, what would count as a good outcome from the Brexit negotiations? How could anyone achieve that?

    Yes, obviously the whole world is waiting with bated breath to hear what either of the British main parties think about that. They could be excused for thinking that was perhaps the point of the election, since that is how mandate seeking elections are done in other democracies, although of course sensible democracies would have held another referendum to confirm the result first. They could also be excused for thinking that what actually happened shows a weakening political will to Brexit at all. But unfortunately May invoked Article 50 before getting her mandate, which very much destroyed the point of seeking the mandate at all.

    Had the most extreme outside shot of Labour being actually elected happened, they could pretty much do as they please with Brexit, heaping all the blame for being shoved into it onto May’s choice to invoke the Article without any other apparent plans. Even now, there is still the possibility of not Brexiting, if we were talking about a nation with the slightest ability to eat humble pie. It could be treated as an open round of re-engagement with Europe on terms that have to be agreed with the member states. Public engagement about what exactly it is about the EU that (a majority of ) Brits don’t want could happen. Europe really wants to know what those are.

    To say that Labour could not do a better job than the Tories is to me an admission that Labour is not ready to be the government of Britain. Only on those terms can I agree that it’s a good thing they didn’t win the election. Those are not terms I can celebrate. I do not understand what Labour hopes to achieve in Brexit other than point scoring over the Tories. That’s just embarrassing, IMHO.

    But these options vanished. Brexit will be a Tory baby and I don't think acting like a spoiled rich brat is going to work out for Britain here. I doubt neoliberalism is going to be the victim of all of this. It may be two steps backwards for liberalism but it will be three steps forward for the neo part of that ideology.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Moz,

    There is nothing Labour could have done from government that would have kept the media and the mainstream from a relentless campaign against them

    Yes, relentless. And the Corbyn result proves MSM lost another one - big time.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Winning the election and becoming the actual government for the next 5 years would have been a far, far superior outcome.

    See, I don't think that's one of the possibilities. I look at the Scottish Conservatives (who are already talking about a separate identity) , and I look at the PLP, and I look at the LibDems... and I think to myself "what a wonderful world".

    I think a useful Labour win would have required a safe, outright Labour majority *and* would need to involve a bunch of brand new, recently elected for the first time, cabinet ministers because if Corbyn was reduced to re-installing the tired hacks who've opposed him, the same ones who refused to accept shadow positions, he'd be in the same shit as May is but without the media support. It's just a whole bunch of "maybe this" and "hopefully that" and "if they're really lucky", I just can't see it happening.

    While it's nice to imagine that the MPs who supported Blair and still publicly pine for his return would swing behind the Corbyn political program wholeheartedly, I struggle. To also imagine that those tired hacks would be struck by inspiration and enjoy a simultaneous burst of competence unto brilliance that lasted for four years, boggles my mind. It's easier to imagine Alamein Kopu succeeding Paula Bennett and turning the social welfare system around. But yeah, maybe it could happen.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1229 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hoy shit, this super-interesting.

    A barnstorming analysis by Newsnight's policy editor Chris Cook on how the Conservatives got polling and strategy terribly wrong.

    They really thought they were going to hoover up the UKIP vote in Labour-held seats. They bet the farm on it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, obviously the whole world is waiting with bated breath to hear what either of the British main parties think about that. They could be excused for thinking that was perhaps the point of the election, since that is how mandate seeking elections are done in other democracies, although of course sensible democracies would have held another referendum to confirm the result first. They could also be excused for thinking that what actually happened shows a weakening political will to Brexit at all. But unfortunately May invoked Article 50 before getting her mandate, which very much destroyed the point of seeking the mandate at all.

    EU political leaders are openly incredulous at Britain's latest "own goal".

    There seems to be a universal view that a sensible Brexit just got much harder to negotiate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Moz,

    But yeah, maybe it could happen.

    And if it did, things would be better, IMHO. You were saying that you thought that it would actually be worse that way. You're confusing "unlikely" with "bad".

    It's still 'a whole bunch of “maybe this” and “hopefully that” and “if they’re really lucky”' even now. Talk of another election before the year is out. Wishful thinking that the Blairite faction will shut up and get with the program.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Labour held 349 seats going into the 2010 election. They currently hold 262.

    UK Labour was just a few weeks away from an historic pasting. This feels like what happened with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    They really thought they were going to hoover up the UKIP vote in Labour-held seats. They bet the farm on it.

    Interesting. While I'll take their word for it that political strategists use this analysis, I definitely struggle to see some of their points in the data shown. The battle line trend line May chose looks pretty tenuous to me, as in that line is hardly clear in the pattern of her visitations. The only line I clearly see is that the zero difference (ie swing electorates) were more visited, something Corbyn did not seem to do.

    The "actual" battle line, however, does show that UKIP vote was correlated to final vote (in the close electorates at least). More red dots low down on the right side, and more blue dots high up on the left side. The guess that Toryness is related to UKIPness seems to have some evidence in the battleground. But that cut both ways, there were many Tory electorates with very low UKIP support and those seemed to flip to Labour more than the reverse.

    But overall, I don't see strong evidence that UKIP and Toryness are strongly related. If anything, I see the reverse. The white triangle in the top right hints that the more strongly Tory they were, the less UKIP. That pattern is absent on the left.

    TBH, I don't really think much of this strategic stuff mattered anywhere near as much as the simple fact that May's appeal was less. She was AWOL in debates, presented little policy, basically didn't seem to try, trusted in her commanding lead to win the game. Which it actually did, but only just.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    There's always the possibility that Uncertainty-Modal was trying to lose (without, of course, being able to declare that). Brexit is going to be one hell of a mess (seriously, what "negotiations" are even possible now?), and if she has any self-awareness at all, it surely must have started to dawn on her that she's still utterly unprepared for it.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1928 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    There's a graphic in the FT compiled from election day polling by Lord Ashcroft which shows how the voting differed from 2015.

    Ashcroft says that 57% of the 2015 UKIP vote went to the Conservatives; Labour won voters from UKIP, the LDs and the Greens.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    On CNN yesterday they had the YouGov pollster man providing commentary. He was so interesting talking about their methodology which had got it almost exactly right. Each time a result came up he could explain why. Nothing much surprised him. He just exuded an enthusiasm of polling, understanding people and voting intention. Sort of like our Rob Salmond.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Wow. The Conservatives' only success yesterday – the Scottish party – is saddling up and riding off on its own, having established a view on Brexit it does not share with London.

    It's easy to see it go all Shipley-Peters.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to BenWilson,

    ....

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2108 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to BenWilson,

    I do not understand what Labour hopes to achieve in Brexit other than point scoring over the Tories.

    I'm not well-versed on brexit issues. But my understanding is Labour campaigned on a 'soft brexit' which in practical terms meant trying to negotiate a way to stay inside the common market, and the customs union. To do so, they were willing to also allow 'freedom of movement' - eg staying n the EU common labour (and travel) market. AFAICS in most senses, this is not leaving at all - but maybe getting a corridor pass to slip out for a slash/tizzy/private meltdown.
    It runs into two immediate problems: it clearly won't be accepted by many of the 'brexit means brexit' crowd. And it's far from clear the rest - or any - of the EU would go along with it.
    But it is a position :) and possibly now the best hope.
    [ets - lots here http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/soft-brexit-soft-landing-interpreting-labours-brexit-strategy/ but I haven't time to read it ... ]

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2108 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Attachment

    It runs into two immediate problems: it clearly won't be accepted by many of the 'brexit means brexit' crowd. And it's far from clear the rest - or any - of the EU would go along with it.
    But it is a position :) and possibly now the best hope.
    [ets - lots here http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/soft-brexit-soft-landing-interpreting-labours-brexit-strategy/ but I haven't time to read it

    The Brexit vote can be roughly divided into 3 distinct camps:

    D. Those rejecting the EU's prevailing economics but accepting, at least to some extent, the social dimension (many Laboure supporters)
    E. Those rejecting both (quintessentially UKIP)
    F. Those comfortable with many of the EU's economic provisions, if only they could easily exit the Social Chapter (Conservative)

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to WH,

    Labour held 349 seats going into the 2010 election. They currently hold 262.

    After 7 uninspiring years in office and two exceptionally significant strategic errors - Cameron's Brexit and May's election strategy - the Tories still have more seats and a larger share of the popular vote than in 2010.

    Since Nov 2016 • 373 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to WH,

    Labour held 349 seats going into the 2010 election. They currently hold 262.

    You missed out the bit where they lost 91 seats at the 2010 election (under Gordon Brown), and a further 26 at the 2015 election (under Ed Miliband), going into the 2017 election with 232 seats.

    The pundits of the political establishment - people who are paid large sums of money to dropt heir pearls of wisdom onto an adoring public - were confidently prediciting they would end up with around 150-180 seats, and a mid-30's percentage vote share.

    So what's your point?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

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