Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Interesting Britain!

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  • Moz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it just officially became a hung Parliament.

    Oh I wish.

    I'd settle for even just some of them. Pour encourager les autres, as they say.

    Still, a good result for Labour, sad in a way to see Scotland swing back to a more balanced pattern, but jeez, can they get with the electoral systems sooner rather than later please? Something vaguely proportional would be nice.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Conrad Heine,

    Yeah, too interesting. Shows some things really don't change... Europe always has the potential to wreck things for a Tory PM. And I am finding it hard to feel good about the Northern Irish unionists being in a pivotal position. Who knows, maybe we will get a 1974-two-elections-in-a-year situation again? Brexit Britain certainly has such potential.

    London/New Zealand • Since Mar 2008 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Strange times. At one point in late April the Tories enjoyed a 20% lead in the polls. The Government and its august leader were on the march. Should we attribute the final result to a disastrous May?

    The whole thing is some kind of sick joke. It's enough to make you nostalgic for Andrea Leadsom, Salmond and Sturgeon and Boaty McBoatface.

    When I lived in Islington, it took a week or so to get an appointment with an NHS GP. When I lived in Tower Hamlets, it sometimes took more than four.

    And why did six hate seven? Because seven eight nine.

    Since Nov 2006 • 784 posts Report Reply

  • Conrad Heine,

    Interesting to note (from BBC) that a lot of the Labour rally came in remain-supporting seats. Gonna be interesting to see how that is reconciled with the spineless stance on Article 50.

    And I still can't believe they let Zac Goldsmith back in. Only just, but still...

    I guess Ruth Davidson's may start looking south for a career move soon.

    London/New Zealand • Since Mar 2008 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    A nation divided by age ...

    Hard not to see this as another twitch in the death throes of the MSM, as well. The papers have been relentlessly against Corbyn for months, The Guardian and the BBC have not exaclty been fair and impartial either. However, my online feeds have been full of pithy take-downs of the Tories, and 'get out and vote' exhortations. I mostly dismissed these as living the the liberal bubble. But, maybe...?

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

  • Rob Stowell,

    Yeah the press – apart from a late rally at the independent, there was universal distain for Corbyn. Even as he and his close team produced a manifesto that was popular. I just don’t get the uk press.
    What struck me most when I looked last was Labour, Lib Dems and SNP together had about 52% of the vote to the Tories 42%. Yet they had fewer seats.
    It felt like a fairly clear majority rejecting the conservative agenda, so mandate shmandate. But it also leaves a mess – DUP look like strong and unstable partners.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Attachment

    Owen Jones has put it down to Media Groupthink - he admits wobbling in support, based on having a foot inside the Westminster Bubble.

    I am drawing far more delight than I really should from people dredging up confident predictions from pundits a few months ago. The mouth-feel of this one in particular - it's like there's a party on my tongue, and everyone's invitied.

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

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The Tory vote went “up” because they hosed up SOME of the UKIP vote – but enough working class and precariat voters understood the Tories were just false friends to keep Labour seats safe, while Labour’s policies appealed far more to the lower middle class than the Tories and they hosed up heaps of those.

    Not sure I agree with any of that. The Tory vote went up but the number of seats went down. They took a whole lot of UKIP, but Labour took an even bigger bite out of SNP (absolutely rather than proportionally). Since FPP is winner take all, this translated into a net gain for Labour and a net loss for the Tories, despite both of them having gained.

    In overall "left" wing support the shift is considerably less than the Tory to Labour swing would imply. So it's good news for the Labour party as a party but not necessarily as good news for a shift of the political center. The balance of power now looks like it could be dictated to by DUP. For the next 5 years. They will basically work out Brexit between them.

    So yes, I'm glad there was a swing away from May, since she was hopeless and scary. Whatever mandate that was sought by this election was seriously challenged. But now it's just going to be done without a mandate in a halfarsed and hopeless way. I don't see any more cause for jubilation in this, really, than I did in the election of Trump. The leadership of two of the world's most dangerous nations is now in the hands of barely mandated right wing fools with no apparent plans at all beyond the usual feathering of their own nests.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to BenWilson,

    two of the world’s most dangerous nations

    At first I read your concluding sentence and thought, yes, scary, isn’t it – and then I thought, hang on, do I (and others) now see these two countries as such? Hmm.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    I found this interesting. I wonder how widely it will be analysed cf ignored in the post-election coverage:

    6) The Green party

    They have taken a hit in vote share. Numbers in the north-east are down to the hundreds. This is because they took a moral decision to stand aside in some seats, campaign together in others, form non-aggression pacts across constituencies to prevent a Conservative landslide at any cost. The cost, to them as a party, has been pretty great. Typically, it will hit them in university towns, where their vote share was high for reason of a concentration of educated people, thinking about things. In Newcastle-upon-Tyne East, they were down nearly seven points. The very least the Labour party, and all of us, can do is to acknowledge that this was the result of decisive action on their part, and not just an unfortunate loss of interest in the environment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/09/jeremy-corbyn-theresa-may-landslide-manifesto-youth-vote-conservative-campaign

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 486 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

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

  • Rich Lock,

    On a more serious note, The Guardian is reporting that:

    "The Democratic Unionists will only support a Conservative government if Northern Ireland is not granted any unique special status that would keep the region halfway inside the EU, the party’s leader at Westminster has confirmed.

    Nigel Dodds, who was re-elected in his North Belfast seat, said the DUP would insist there would be no post-Brexit deal that could decouple Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

    It will be one of the DUP’s key preconditions in negotiations with the Tories to help them form a new administration."

    So all those fears of a hard border with the south, and the potential return of the associated instability, are looking increasingly likely.

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

  • martinb,

    Love it: not being a traditional politician.

    I’d say it is exactly that. He is being a traditional politician. He’s put out a cracking manifesto and held rallies and answered the questions he’s been asked. He’s thrown out lollies to key demographics. He’s built a good organisation and keen followers.

    He is saying something he strongly believes. He’s not putting out mugs complaining about immigration nor tried to be more like the other side because they are in power, but made the case for himself.

    I think the hysteria has worked for him a treat. Everybody had been expecting a craven troll trying to eat the sun because all publications and the BBC were saying that that was what he was, and instead got an old gent earnestly insisting that their kids deserve an education not a debt and that the richest should pay a bit more. Compared to May and the Tories that seemed quite a good idea.

    Oh and the kids are very angry at the leavers taking their future. I think that the referendum will mean the kids will vote early and as often as they can get away with.

    And that said it feels like the Rebel Alliance has failed. Luke got shot down just before releasing the missiles and the death star is almost operational. A tiny bit more co-ordination and tactical voting and you suspect that there could have been jub-jub ewok parties tonight.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Moz,

    Yep- the Greens seem to have done a fantastic job of tactical voting- if Labour voters had done better in key seats it could have been enough.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    do I (and others) now see these two countries as such? Hmm.

    Well, I'd say that other world leaders are starting to see them as laughing stocks. But it only takes one outbreak of hostilities for all of the humor to vanish. May has openly stated an intention to dispense with human rights. I don't think we'll all be laughing if she decides that in order to be taken seriously she starts throwing Britain's military weight around, nor do I think that this is a wild outside shot as an option, given Britain's recent history.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to martinb,

    And that said it feels like the Rebel Alliance has failed. Luke got shot down just before releasing the missiles and the death star is almost operational. A tiny bit more co-ordination and tactical voting and you suspect that there could have been jub-jub ewok parties tonight.

    Wrong part of the timeline, I think. We're either at the end of 'Rogue One' ('what is they've sent us?' 'hope'), or halfway through Ep4 with Obi-Wan Corbyn 'losing' his duel with Darth May ('you cannot win, Darth').

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

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    I don't think we'll all be laughing if she decides that in order to be taken seriously she starts throwing Britain's military weight around

    Where, and what for?

    The British army is far too weak to take any sort of unilateral action without being part of an alliance, which effectively means the US. And, yes, while the queef-in-chief may decide to invade NK, I think if Theresa told him she was coming along, she would be ousted by lunchtime. There's zero public appetite for any more military misadventures after two lost wars (and no-one is really doing a very good job of pretending otherwise) in Afghanistan and Iraq. Any hint of anything like that will harden up severe opposition from all sides, including within her own party. I suspect you wouldn't just get one million peaceful marchers on the streets - you'd get severe public disorder.

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

  • Ben Austin,

    I must say I am totally shocked by this result. Did not see it coming at all.

    That being said, this last week whilst canvassing in Lambeth it really did feel like the Conservatives had screwed it up. Met a few elderly ex Labour voters who had swung Conservative then were swinging back. The Labour manifesto also was ringing true with younger voters (30s-40s) - especially that £10 per hour minimum wage - that means a lot to traditional Labour voters in inner city London.

    Whereas a couple of weeks back there were masses of undecided ex Labour voters trying to decide what to do.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    In any event, we finished up canvassing last night and were sitting in a Brixton pub at ten when the exit poll was announced and there were audible gasps and then cheering. My group were shocked. We had thought that we'd be wiped out everywhere in the UK but we were placed at 14 (seem to have ended up with 12).

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I wish I had your optimism. It's hard to believe that there are people who would be happy to risk severe public disorder for their own vain power ambitions, because I don't associate with people like that. But I think that the Tories are like that. I think May is like that. It's one of those things that sounds like it could never happen again because surely we learned from the last 20 times? But that's just it - if you learn anything from the last 20 times, its that it's almost bound to happen again and can only be stopped by a very concerted and coordinated effort. It doesn't matter that it's ridiculous. It's ridiculous that any humans alive are starving or homeless, given what it is our species has achieved technologically. It's ridiculous that your official head of state is an old lady, gifted the role by her birth. It's ridiculous that your judges wear powdered wigs in court. Many things are ridiculous, and happen all the time. Brexit is ridiculous, but it's going to happen, for sure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

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

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    I wish I had your optimism.

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

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

  • Biobbs, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s one of those things that sounds like it could never happen again because surely we learned from the last 20 times?

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ben Austin,

    In any event, we finished up canvassing last night and were sitting in a Brixton pub at ten when the exit poll was announced and there were audible gasps and then cheering. My group were shocked. We had thought that we’d be wiped out everywhere in the UK but we were placed at 14 (seem to have ended up with 12).

    Thanks for sharing this, Ben. Clearly, you weren't alone: they were gobsmacked by the exit poll at Labour HQ too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

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