Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile, Russell Brand, influential prat that he is, has decided after a video interview with Miliband, that people should vote after all – after voter registration has closed.

    And God, I wish the media gush around this would be a little more upfront that the overwhelming majority of Brand’s umpty gazillion Twitter followers are not, never were and never will be qualified to vote in the UK.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    FTTP s the same as FPTP right?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    You type “FTTP” but perhaps mean “FPTP” #pendant

    [edit] Snap, Paul.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Stella Duffy,

    It's just gone midnight, I had a 'personal' (not personal) email from Ed in my inbox about 3 hours ago. It was sweetly non-triumphalist. I haven't really slept the past three nights, everyone I know is worried, nervous and terrified that the Tories will get in for another five years - which means, at the very least, that the NHS will be gone by 2020. It will also mean more of the austerity lie, brutally attacking this country's poorest and least able.
    And it's really painful. It feels like when I first came to live in London and Thatcher was in power and the press was so in her pocket - and the Murdoch press is so in charge it hurts.
    I'm old Labour, really red Labour, dad was a union man at Kinleith in Tokoroa ... and even though I know this Labour party isn't the Labour I grew up with, I'd still trust it with a nation sooner than the Tories. And because we don't have PR, what we are likely to get, with the liberal left voting Green (not LibDem this time!) and much of Scotland (understandably) voting SNP ... is a Tory government.
    I really hope I'm wrong. I really hope this sinking feeling is wrong. I hope I get to sleep tonight, because I know I won't be sleeping tomorrow night.
    And yet, meanwhile, the bright spark, especially if we do get PR by 2020, is the brand new Women's Equality Party, that I'm privileged to be at the start of, and answering about 500 emails a day for. I've never not voted red. Maybe in 2020 I will be able to vote suffragist green, purple and white.
    Right now, I quite want it to be Saturday.

    London • Since Aug 2011 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Is that Sun cover trying to remind people (pork, bacon, Milliband's face pulling) that Ed is a yid?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Actually, who performed the irony-otomy on the Mail's layout crew?? "Save our Nation!" above an article pointing out just how fucked it is.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Yep, thanks guys. I managed to lose a half-written post earlier, and got a bit frazzled catching up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Is that Sun cover trying to remind people (pork, bacon, Milliband’s face pulling) that Ed is a yid?

    You have to wonder.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Is that Sun cover trying to remind people (pork, bacon, Milliband’s face pulling) that Ed is a yid?

    Rupert pulling a race card? Say it ain’t so!
    (Actually, I didn't know he was)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stella Duffy,

    And yet, meanwhile, the bright spark, especially if we do get PR by 2020, is the brand new Women’s Equality Party, that I’m privileged to be at the start of, and answering about 500 emails a day for.

    Wow! Go Stella.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    You are right about the English establishment (read: Oxbridge City bankers) being petrified of the SNP. The Scots have no love of the City and if Milliband has the wit to pretend to let the tail wag the dog he can use them as the excuse for all sorts of left wing measures that could amount to the SNP enabling the most left wing government since 1964.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    As a democratic voting system, MMP beats FPP easily.

    As election night entertainment, FPP wins. Candidates up on stage, no hiding place for the defeated. British voters/viewers watch human beings, we just watch numbers (and endure commentators instead of returning officers). Great fun, I'll be glued tomorrow.

    In 2010 New Zealand was trotted out in the UK media as an example of what to fear/learn from/copy (delete according to prejudice). Expect the same this time ("So this confidence and supply thing, that means an early election, right?" "No").

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Basically, they’re trying to have an MMP election under FPTP.

    So I'm seeing, on Twitter, a whole bunch of English people who live in safe Tory seats saying they'll be voting Labour, and it's worth doing, because of the idea that the party that gets the highest % of the vote has the moral authority to form the government. Which is good, but it's also weird.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Really interesting report on the Muslim vote from Vice News. Damn I love Vice News.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Stella Duffy,

    It feels like when I first came to live in London and Thatcher was in power and the press was so in her pocket...

    Ditto Stella. In the 1980s we lived in London under a Thatcher government for years -- and the experience put me off tories for life. The `87 election was particularly disappointing when it looked like Labour would triumph, only for Thatcher to be given another chance to fuck up the country.

    While the Murdoch papers are openly partisan, I can't help but feel that their heavy-handed rhetoric must be wearing a little thin. At least the newspapers are upfront in the UK, compared to some of the more subtle (read Dirty Politics) techniques employed over here.

    Like Russell, I still feel an affinity for British politics and am watching the election avidly. I'm looking forward to Jeremy Paxman and David Mitchell hosting the Channel 4 coverage, along with a smattering of BBC of course. I just wish that Milliband hadn't written off any cooperation with the SNP so decisively. But let's see what eventuates after the votes are cast.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1438 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I am qualified to vote in the UK election, nominally, but didn’t this time.

    The reasons:
    - one needs to register to vote every year, which involves filling out a paper form, having it it witnessed by another Brit (I’m surprised they don’t require a member of the Ancient And Royal Order of Scriveners to apply a wax seal) and mailing it to one’s old local council
    - having done so, the council will then send you, by mail, a voting paper to arrive about a week before election day
    - you then have to get this back to the UK inside the week (the alternative is that you nominate a resident Brit to vote for you as a proxy. Nah).
    - the Tory candidate in my constituency has a majority of 15,000 (out of 50,000). The lowest it’s ever been was about 8,000 when the MP was under investigation for corruption.
    - the alternative is the Lib Dem, who have spent the last 5 years cravenly propping up the Tories
    - the only candidate I would consider voting for is the Green, for whom any votes are basically ignored (unless you come from Brighton)

    I don’t really see any reason to dignify this “democracy theatre” with my vote.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew L,

    which means, at the very least, that the NHS will be gone by 2020

    It's that kind of hyperbole that puts me off the progressive movement. I will cheerfully bet you my life savings that even if the Conservatives win by a crushing landslide and Cameron rules by fiat, your prediction will not come true.

    Perth, WA • Since May 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Thankfully, Twitter's keeping it classy

    With just over 12 hours until polls open, and with mounting public feeling, the Sun’s pig-themed front page has inspired the hashtag #JeSuisEd.

    The messy-eater selfies are intended to give the Labour leader some comfort that none of us look exactly prime ministerial when eating a breakfast buttie.

    Yup and by hashtag #misappropriating an expression of solidarity with the victims and survivors of an act of mass murder, which vile as that Sun front page is is not even close.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott,

    Russell Brand, influential prat

    Yes, that!

    It is actually a hard choice - on my trip back to the UK last year, I found Milliband and Balls to be deeply underwhelming. The British electorate may well vote for the Devils they already know, like they did in 1992. But it really is too close to call, and too chaotic to predict. Even Nate Silver has said it's basically too hard.

    The FPTP system in the UK is so clearly in need of overhaul, but it's hard to see that happening. Their overseas voting is in disarray also, it would anecdotally seem... I'm too long gone to still have a vote their, but my more recently arrived mother received her voting papers on Tuesday this week. To be snail-mailed back. I voted with my cellphone from the USA in the NZ election last year, which was pretty impressive. Not that it did any good, mind...

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Matthew L,

    What's your definition of gone?

    I mean, they won't ever shut it down such that only the insured get treated, but you can see charges for same-month GP visits, waiting lists that last until after you die, most services provided by for-profit corporations, etc.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    So the words "I am" in French are now under a designated tapu, not to be used for any purpose the prefects consider less than sacred.

    #JeSuisUnconvinced

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Yup and by hashtag #misappropriating an expression of solidarity with the victims and survivors of an act of mass murder, which vile as that Sun front page is is not even close.

    How many #JeSuis hashtags have there been since it was coined for Charlie Hebdo? Hundreds?

    Do a #JeSuis Twitter search. It’s used all the time in a variety of contexts. And I don’t recall any alarm when it was harnessed to Eleanor Catton’s cause.

    I am not feeling your outrage at all, sorry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Russell Brown,

    #JeSuis being “coined” for Charlie Hebdo seems an overstatement, too;
    it’s basically #IAmSpartacus, innit?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to linger,

    #JeSuis “coined” seems an overstatement; it’s basically #IAmSpartacus, innit?

    True.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Campbell,

    In order to avoid exposure to any UK media coverage of the election, I took the wise precaution of retreating from the UK to a safe location (Christchurch).

    I've also been writing code to safely read the UK newspapers automatically, without risk of human exposure.

    My less fortunate colleagues back in London have been doing a weekly analysis of the media coverage, using my data. Their roundups are published at electionunspun.net, if you're interested.

    (There's also a summary of some of the data in yesterdays Guardian. It's astounding how rabidly partisan most of the UK press are - they're way more blatent about it in the wake of the Leveson inquiry into phone hacking.)

    Christchurch • Since May 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

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