Politics in General

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Gavin Chipper
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:29 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:Funnily enough this links in to both the Osama Bin Laden and "Jihadi John" assassinations; in the first case it's become clear that an apprehension/arrest would have been possible but for one reason or another didn't happen and in the second case, we're currently being told that the drone attack was "self-defence" (???) and it's unclear whether he could have been captured instead.
Bin Laden was murdered. From what I understood at the time there was no threat, so it's pretty open and shut.

Jihadi John is an interesting case. That and all the other drone attacks etc. Self-defence doesn't seem to quite fit. It seems strange that in normal cases, self-defence generally means when someone is posing an immediate threat to you (or someone else), like they are pointing a gun at you *right now*. But if it's someone in another country, the same rules don't apply. David Cameron would never authorise a drone attack on some building in the UK because there might be some dangerous criminal inside, and then just write off other casualties as "collateral damage". And if, say, the Pakistani authorities knew of a terrorist in this country so blew up the building with him in, that wouldn't be considered acceptable by people here either.
The other point is that what evidence is there that bombing a terrorist organisation makes your country safer? Unless you succeed in wiping them out completely and any residual ideology, then you're going to be more of a target for attacks. It was stated that France's offensive actions were the reason it was attacked.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:08 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:The other point is that what evidence is there that bombing a terrorist organisation makes your country safer?
You can't bomb a terrorist organisation.

I know that's not a very popular opinion amongst western governments and media, but you can't bomb an ideology. These people may well have their base in Syria, or Iraq, or wherever, but while bombing Iraq and Syria may well kill some terrorists, it also kills thousands more innocent people and displaces millions more. And when all the bombing is over, the ideology is still alive.
Gavin Chipper wrote:Unless you succeed in wiping them out completely and any residual ideology, then you're going to be more of a target for attacks. It was stated that France's offensive actions were the reason it was attacked.
It was stated by the terrorists, but to paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies "Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?" Their entire recruiting strategy is built on provoking retaliation from "the enemy" (i.e. anyone who isn't them) and everyone seems to be falling for it.

I hate to be pessimistic, but this is not going to end well.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:18 pm

JimBentley wrote:I hate to be pessimistic, but this is not going to end well.
Jesus coming out of the sky to defeat the armies of Rome, right?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:27 pm

I'm not a fan of capital punishment on the whole, but there are certain circumstances, the specifics of which I don't want to get into, where it would be seen as the only option, if life solitary confinement isn't worse.
JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:The other point is that what evidence is there that bombing a terrorist organisation makes your country safer?
You can't bomb a terrorist organisation.

I know that's not a very popular opinion amongst western governments and media, but you can't bomb an ideology.
I think there is a very distinct difference between "terrorist organisation" and "terrorist ideology". You can bomb the crap out of ISIL. You can end a terrorist organisation. But of course you can't end an ideology. Killing everyone in Anonymous would get rid of an anarcho-communist organisation, but of course you can't get rid of anarcho-communism as a set of ideas. There is a distinct difference here. A rallying point for Nazism died when the BNP effectively shut up shop (it fielded just eight candidates in the election, down from 330), but of course fascist ideas are still around.

I think that the ODO are a bit lax on redefining "terrorism". Since 9/11 (basically anything within living memory for me), I have always defined terrorism as a violent act that strikes shockwaves into the heart of the entire nation or worse. I realise that that's incredibly niche - but that's sort of the point, terrorist acts do not happen on my definition very often. The ODO definition would, for example, categorise the Anonymous "MMM" as a terrorist act, as it was a violent act done for political purposes. However, I'm pretty sure many wouldn't categorise this as terrorism. Off the top of my head, I can really only think of Madrid, 7/7, Boston, and Paris. And that's a list I came up with in less than 10 seconds; I don't think anyone would disagree these are terrorist acts, even before the perpetrator(s) or motive(s) become clear.

I actually think it's completely abhorrent that a radio guest yesterday said that Enwazi should not have been killed. There's not really a debate to be had; without putting troops on the ground, which we're not going to do, there's really no way he could have been arrested and faced trial. As a sidenote, even if Bin Laden would have been arrested and tried, it's more than likely he would have been executed under US law anyway.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:58 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:I actually think it's completely abhorrent that a radio guest yesterday said that Enwazi should not have been killed. There's not really a debate to be had...
I think it's actually Emwazi, but that's not important right now.

To make my position clear, I think it would have been far better if he could have been captured and brought to justice, which I think is quite a sensible position to take under the circumstances (i.e. neither you nor I know what the exact circumstances were). This person, for a start, was surely a potential mine of information.

I'm more interested in two things:

- Why you think that capturing, rather than summarily executing him, would have been "abhorrent"? You might disagree with the view, or disapprove, but I labelling people who disagree with your views as "abhorrent" is grossly over the top.

- Why do you think there's no debate to be had? Were you there? Have you got evidence that there was no opportunity to capture him? I think there is a debate to be had.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:52 pm

Yeah, so David Cameron said that people who are against the air strikes in Syria are terrorist sympathisers. Nice one, Dave. What counts as a resigning issue these days? It seems completely arbitrary what the press decide to get their teeth into. But let's be clear - this guy is a complete shitbag and has no place as the Prime Minister of our country.

And this isn't about whether you think air strikes are the best solution or not. It's the bullshit rhetoric that goes with it - if you're against the air strikes you're quite happy to let ISIS (or whatever you want to call them) carry on killing people. And you've also got the idiots asking how we can say no to France when they've asked for our help. I mean, for fuck's sake - that's the worst sort of argument you can use.

This is not about whether you want ISIS to be stopped. It's about whether the air strikes are the best and most effective way of going about it. But that idiot David Cameron and his mates like to turn everything into political points scoring and people like you, Rhys Benjamin, just lap it up.
Last edited by Gavin Chipper on Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:21 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Yeah, so David Cameron said that people who are against the air strikes in Syria is a terrorist sympathiser. Nice one, Dave. What counts as a resigning issue these days? It seems completely arbitrary what the press decide to get their teeth into. But let's be clear - this guy is a complete shitbag and has no place as the Prime Minister of our country.

And this isn't about whether you think air strikes are the best solution or not. It's the bullshit rhetoric that goes with it - if you're against the air strikes you're quite happy to let ISIS (or whatever you want to call them) carry on killing people. And you've also got the idiots asking how we can say no to France when they've asked for our help. I mean, for fuck's sake - that's the worst sort of argument you can use.

This is not about whether you want ISIS to be stopped. It's about whether the air strikes are the best and most effective way of going about it. But that idiot David Cameron and his mates like to turn everything into political points scoring and people like you, Rhys Benjamin, just lap it up.
Unfortunately it's not just Rhys and it's not confined to this issue. There's been a persistent narrative that's been played up by both major parties and almost all of the mainstream media, which unfortunately has led to a number of lies perpetrated by the Conservative party becoming accepted as "fact" by a lot of the public, when even a cursory examination of the issues would make any intelligent person call bullshit.

Add to that a hopeless electoral system that has resulted in probably more than half the current parliamentary constituencies amounting to little more than rotten boroughs, plus both major parties pushing this absurd status quo (can't blame them), there really isn't any point in debating it any longer. I was initially quite excited when Jeremy Corbyn got elected, but it's so clear now that every change he tries to make is simultaneously decried by the government, the media and a significant, self-interested proportion of his own party, he's not going to be able to carry out any meaningful action to remedy this ridiculous state of affairs.

We're all fucked, basically. Merry Christmas!

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Mark James » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:56 pm

The worst thing about it all is it makes nutters like David Icke seem right.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:54 am

Mark James wrote:The worst thing about it all is it makes nutters like David Icke seem right.
Ah now, calm yourself!
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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:59 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Mark James wrote:The worst thing about it all is it makes nutters like David Icke seem right.
Ah now, calm yourself!
Aye, steady on Mark. I love a good conspiracy theory but Icke is just a silly scattergun commentator who undermines himself endlessly, with seemingly no self-awareness whatsoever. He'll start off with something in the news - not necessarily a contentious thing - and then try to link it in to his grand theory of the world being controlled by space lizards or whatever. It's a shame really, because it means that any genuine sinister acts perpetrated by the government, or business, can simply be debunked by posting a link to the Icke forum. If they're associated with it, most sensible people will automatically think that it's a load of bollocks.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Mark James » Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:04 pm

JimBentley wrote: Aye, steady on Mark. I love a good conspiracy theory but Icke is just a silly scattergun commentator who undermines himself endlessly, with seemingly no self-awareness whatsoever. He'll start off with something in the news - not necessarily a contentious thing - and then try to link it in to his grand theory of the world being controlled by space lizards or whatever. It's a shame really, because it means that any genuine sinister acts perpetrated by the government, or business, can simply be debunked by posting a link to the Icke forum. If they're associated with it, most sensible people will automatically think that it's a load of bollocks.
There's a a dearth of sensible people though. I've had numerous conversations recently with otherwise intelligent people who pay attention to Icke and his ilk. Ok they don't go in for the reptillian crap but because of his scattergun approach if one or two things he says hits a mark for them they lap it up.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:06 pm

Mark James wrote:
JimBentley wrote: Aye, steady on Mark. I love a good conspiracy theory but Icke is just a silly scattergun commentator who undermines himself endlessly, with seemingly no self-awareness whatsoever. He'll start off with something in the news - not necessarily a contentious thing - and then try to link it in to his grand theory of the world being controlled by space lizards or whatever. It's a shame really, because it means that any genuine sinister acts perpetrated by the government, or business, can simply be debunked by posting a link to the Icke forum. If they're associated with it, most sensible people will automatically think that it's a load of bollocks.
There's a a dearth of sensible people though. I've had numerous conversations recently with otherwise intelligent people who pay attention to Icke and his ilk. Ok they don't go in for the reptillian crap but because of his scattergun approach if one or two things he says hits a mark for them they lap it up.
More widely, it's the whole culture of obfuscation that surrounds anything that challenges pretty much anything that is related to authority or government, or even the history of authority and prior governments. Such is the beauty of the internet, I've seen it at first hand, rolling out in real time; how somebody in a very tenable position to challenge a certain orthodoxy is gradually undermined and discredited, to such a point that they get sacked and ridiculed within their profession, essentially for telling the truth. It's just that the truth is often inconvenient for certain groups of people.

That these groups of people tend to be motivated by money, I'm sure, is purely coincidental.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:13 am

I'm not starting a thread on this, but Donald Trump seems to think it would be a good idea to stop Muslims from coming into America. Aside from anything else, how would that actually work? Passports don't generally say what religion you are in the same way that they don't say whether you believe in ghosts. Why would they? So is he going to resort to just asking people at border control? "Excuse me - are you a Muslim?" "Oh shit. I was hoping you weren't going to ask that. I'm actually one of those Islamist* Muslims that's come to blow up your country and you foiled me with your questioning!"

*Where did this term even come from? It just seems to be journalese for "bad Muslim". It's insane that it's been allowed to sneak into the language unopposed. It's a really stupid word that only journalists ever use. No-one in real life ever uses it. Don't disagree with me. This is definitely true. Why don't they talk about Christianists as well?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:31 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:...Islamist* Muslims

*Where did this term even come from? It just seems to be journalese for "bad Muslim". It's insane that it's been allowed to sneak into the language unopposed. It's a really stupid word that only journalists ever use. No-one in real life ever uses it. Don't disagree with me. This is definitely true. Why don't they talk about Christianists as well?
I think it's to distinguish between "Islamic" (good) and "Islamist" (bad). Bit like "Christianity" (good) and "Christian" (bad). Or is it the other way round?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:25 am

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:...Islamist* Muslims

*Where did this term even come from? It just seems to be journalese for "bad Muslim". It's insane that it's been allowed to sneak into the language unopposed. It's a really stupid word that only journalists ever use. No-one in real life ever uses it. Don't disagree with me. This is definitely true. Why don't they talk about Christianists as well?
I think it's to distinguish between "Islamic" (good) and "Islamist" (bad). Bit like "Christianity" (good) and "Christian" (bad). Or is it the other way round?
Someone who actively promotes (read 'politicises' I suppose) Islam rather than someone who just follows it. Therefore Christianist and Christian would be equivalent.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:59 pm

If you're reading this, you'll already know about the Jess Phillips "I'd knife him in the front" interview. Aside from the unfortunate choice of words, I'd be interested to hear what other people thought about her performance; do you see this as broadly helpful to the Labour Party, or unhelpful?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:11 pm

JimBentley wrote:If you're reading this, you'll already know about the Jess Phillips "I'd knife him in the front" interview. Aside from the unfortunate choice of words, I'd be interested to hear what other people thought about her performance; do you see this as broadly helpful to the Labour Party, or unhelpful?
Just watching the interview with Owen Jones now. She comes across as a bit of a dick. I don't think it's helpful. But I'm not sure it's that unhelpful either with everything that's been said already anyway. It's a drop in the ocean.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:37 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:It's a drop in the ocean.
There's been a lot of these drops though and most of them seem to be coming from a wing of the Labour Party that don't seem to like where it's going, i.e. towards more honest politics and away from being electable at any cost. Funnily enough most of these Labour MPs - especially the newer ones - are in safe seats that won't be affected by the forthcoming boundary review, but that's a whole other issue.

I would have hoped that they might attempt to hold the Conservative government to account, rather than concentrate on their careers by loudmouthing in the press about how awful they think their own party has become.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:18 pm

Here's an interesting one - this peculiar story has appeared today. The non tl;dr version is that William Wragg (a Conservative MP) has been "forced" to move back in with his parents because he can't afford to buy a house in his constituency.

William Wragg is the MP for Hazel Grove and earns £74,000 a year as his basic salary; I've not looked at his other interests but I'd be amazed if he's not got other sources of income. Now, whilst Hazel Grove is one of the more affluent suburbs of Greater Manchester and the average house price there is about £175,000; high for the general area but surely well within the remit of someone going on almost half that, given that interest rates are about as low as they're ever going to get?

He will receive expenses if he rents in London (assuming he doesn't just commute during the week, in which case he would be recompensed for the fares anyway), so that can't be a factor.

About 63,000 people are on the electoral roll for the constituency of Hazel Grove and their average salary is around £27,500 (for those that work full-time). Home ownership is 78%, which is way above the national average (64%) and is actually increasing. So how do these people, on about a third of Mr. Wragg's money, manage to buy houses there and live in them when he seemingly cannot?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by sean d » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:30 am

JimBentley wrote:Here's an interesting one - this peculiar story has appeared today. The non tl;dr version is that William Wragg (a Conservative MP) has been "forced" to move back in with his parents because he can't afford to buy a house in his constituency.

William Wragg is the MP for Hazel Grove and earns £74,000 a year as his basic salary; I've not looked at his other interests but I'd be amazed if he's not got other sources of income. Now, whilst Hazel Grove is one of the more affluent suburbs of Greater Manchester and the average house price there is about £175,000; high for the general area but surely well within the remit of someone going on almost half that, given that interest rates are about as low as they're ever going to get?

He will receive expenses if he rents in London (assuming he doesn't just commute during the week, in which case he would be recompensed for the fares anyway), so that can't be a factor.

About 63,000 people are on the electoral roll for the constituency of Hazel Grove and their average salary is around £27,500 (for those that work full-time). Home ownership is 78%, which is way above the national average (64%) and is actually increasing. So how do these people, on about a third of Mr. Wragg's money, manage to buy houses there and live in them when he seemingly cannot?

Perhaps the hoi polloi don't have massive coke-and-hooker habits to maintain?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:48 pm

sean d wrote:
JimBentley wrote:...how do these people, on about a third of Mr. Wragg's money, manage to buy houses there and live in them when he seemingly cannot?
Perhaps the hoi polloi don't have massive coke-and-hooker habits to maintain?
Hehe...I didn't want to suggest that sort of thing but let's be honest, it's got to be something like that, hasn't it? He's got no kids and has never been married, so he's only supporting himself, so far as I can tell.

However, the reason that I thought this story seemed...peculiar is because the guy is a Conservative MP and I really don't know what his motivation is. I could understand an opposition MP (or an MP of any stripe within London) publicising this sort of thing as an indication of the absurdly over-inflated housing market, but a Tory MP? They're supposed to like that sort of thing. I don't think Dave's going to be very pleased about this.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:08 pm

JimBentley wrote:
sean d wrote:
JimBentley wrote:...how do these people, on about a third of Mr. Wragg's money, manage to buy houses there and live in them when he seemingly cannot?
Perhaps the hoi polloi don't have massive coke-and-hooker habits to maintain?
Hehe...I didn't want to suggest that sort of thing but let's be honest, it's got to be something like that, hasn't it? He's got no kids and has never been married, so he's only supporting himself, so far as I can tell.

However, the reason that I thought this story seemed...peculiar is because the guy is a Conservative MP and I really don't know what his motivation is. I could understand an opposition MP (or an MP of any stripe within London) publicising this sort of thing as an indication of the absurdly over-inflated housing market, but a Tory MP? They're supposed to like that sort of thing. I don't think Dave's going to be very pleased about this.
It might be more a statement about MPs' pay rather than the housing market. Dunno. Maybe he just wanted to move back with his parents because his washing wasn't getting done, and used this as an excuse.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:08 pm

For those of you interested in proportional voting systems, this paper has just been published online.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:52 pm

I think it's worrying when the police can arrest someone basically for the crime of "being a git", and then use some completely inappropriate law to justify it.

Edit - although it hasn't been confirmed that it was that tweet that got him arrested. I've seen similar before though.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:43 pm

How do people think the Tories are currently perceived by the masses? We have Jeremy Hunt continually pissing off doctors, then the kill-the-poor budget, which was made into big news by Iain Duncan Smith's resignation, and now we've got them deciding that every school has to turn into an academy, seemingly completely against the views of everyone in the country. People said that Labour were in disarray whenever Corbyn got mentioned, but surely the Tories are complete bunch of total fuck-ups to a much higher degree now.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:26 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:How do people think the Tories are currently perceived by the masses? We have Jeremy Hunt continually pissing off doctors, then the kill-the-poor budget, which was made into big news by Iain Duncan Smith's resignation, and now we've got them deciding that every school has to turn into an academy, seemingly completely against the views of everyone in the country. People said that Labour were in disarray whenever Corbyn got mentioned, but surely the Tories are complete bunch of total fuck-ups to a much higher degree now.
I reckon a lot of people who were previously unquestionably capital-C Conservative might be starting to at least consider other options, which is why I think the Lib Dems might do unexpectedly well in the upcoming local elections. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the media are still attacking Corbyn at every turn (it's especially amusing when they attack him for something that they then realise the vast majority of the public agree with him on and try to do a rapid back-pedal). And as it's still the case that the mass media pretty much dictate public opinion (not for much longer though) I think Labour might struggle. Hopefully I'm being pessimistic though, because I think if people were more informed on what Jeremy Corbyn actually wants to do, they'd be a lot more inclined to vote for him.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:00 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:How do people think the Tories are currently perceived by the masses? We have Jeremy Hunt continually pissing off doctors, then the kill-the-poor budget, which was made into big news by Iain Duncan Smith's resignation, and now we've got them deciding that every school has to turn into an academy, seemingly completely against the views of everyone in the country. People said that Labour were in disarray whenever Corbyn got mentioned, but surely the Tories are complete bunch of total fuck-ups to a much higher degree now.
You forgot the bit where they're very publicly at each other's throats about the referendum. Started looking forward to that eventuality as soon as they won the election.

The only factor you listed that I think could change Tory minds/votes is the budget, tbh. Doctors and teachers already pretty much unanimously loathe the Tories in my experience, and while people may support/sympathise with them, I don't think they'll be vote swingers for most (until it's too late). But a high profile Cabinet minister resigning (ostensibly) over how unfair the budget is will have Tory voters take notice - they can hardly do their usual thing of dismissing it as bleeding heart lefty propaganda when it's coming from IDS!

No-one can doubt that the public focus is more on Tory fuck-ups than Labour ones at the moment, especially when even Murdoch papers are making them their front page news. Whether it continues really depends on the referendum, though - there'd be a lot of economic and political chaos in the event of Brexit, whereas a Stay vote maintains the status quo and would probably just lead to a bit of hand-wringing from the pro-Brexit crowd. (Unless it led to mass defections to UKIP? I reckon they'd see a small surge in support in the weeks after a Stay vote, a la the SNP after the independence referendum.) If we left the EU, there'd surely be a change of leadership and chancellor. Prime Minister Johnson, here we come...* :?

[*Did anyone else read Matthew Parris's scorching takedown of BoJo in The Times yesterday? Brutal.]
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:04 am

What do we make of the anti-Semitism "crisis" in the Labour party? Load of BS if you ask me. Ken Livingstone happens to mention Hitler when illustrating a point, so he's anti-Semitic. Get a grips, guys and grow up. The stupid thing is when people blow someone's comments out of proportion in the media and people inexplicably fall for it, it's the sort of thing you couldn't get away with in a pub conversation or a C4C discussion. That's because the "logic" of it would be ruthlessly taken apart. But in politics, it seems that far lower standard of logic apply, and bullshit and witch-hunts are the order of the day.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:13 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:What do we make of the anti-Semitism "crisis" in the Labour party? Load of BS if you ask me. Ken Livingstone happens to mention Hitler when illustrating a point, so he's anti-Semitic. Get a grips, guys and grow up. The stupid thing is when people blow someone's comments out of proportion in the media and people inexplicably fall for it, it's the sort of thing you couldn't get away with in a pub conversation or a C4C discussion. That's because the "logic" of it would be ruthlessly taken apart. But in politics, it seems that far lower standard of logic apply, and bullshit and witch-hunts are the order of the day.
Well it's just an easy way to get at Corbyn, or it wouldn't have gone anywhere.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:51 am

Ian Volante wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:What do we make of the anti-Semitism "crisis" in the Labour party? Load of BS if you ask me. Ken Livingstone happens to mention Hitler when illustrating a point, so he's anti-Semitic. Get a grips, guys and grow up. The stupid thing is when people blow someone's comments out of proportion in the media and people inexplicably fall for it, it's the sort of thing you couldn't get away with in a pub conversation or a C4C discussion. That's because the "logic" of it would be ruthlessly taken apart. But in politics, it seems that far lower standard of logic apply, and bullshit and witch-hunts are the order of the day.
Well it's just an easy way to get at Corbyn, or it wouldn't have gone anywhere.
Exactly. And it was no surprise yesterday and today to see the usual suspects (Wes Streeting, Jess Phillips etc.) jumping on the bandwagon and trying to insinuate that not only did the Labour Party have a problem with anti-Semitism, but this problem was entirely the fault of Jeremy Corbyn. I understand that much of the parliamentary party were a bit put out by Corbyn's victory, but I wish they'd just accept it and get on with holding the opposition to account, rather than continually undermining their leader.

It's all getting ridiculous and it's blown up at a suspiciously convenient time to deflect flak from the Conservative Party's current problems with the NHS, schools and so on. It's almost as though somebody was sitting on this two-year old message posted by Naz Shah (before she was an MP) and was waiting for an opportune moment to release it.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:46 pm

There's an interesting article from the Jewish Socialists’ Group here that pretty much summarises what I thought. It's a bit strange that it's not been referenced in any of the media coverage I've seen (I suppose because it doesn't follow their agenda).

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:54 pm

The other thing is that any thoughts of anti-Semitism is just not something that has any reason to exist in the minds of 99% of people other than through the media. Obviously we're aware of the history of it but it's just not prevalent in people's minds. Members of the Labour party have no reason to become anti-Semitic even for those who have racist tendencies. Why would it even be on their radar?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:16 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:The other thing is that any thoughts of anti-Semitism is just not something that has any reason to exist in the minds of 99% of people other than through the media. Obviously we're aware of the history of it but it's just not prevalent in people's minds. Members of the Labour party have no reason to become anti-Semitic even for those who have racist tendencies. Why would it even be on their radar?
I'm entirely with you there as that's my experience too, but then I'm not Jewish. Possibly if I was I'd have a different take on the whole matter? I don't know. As you say, it's something that crops up in the media all the time but I've never come across it in real life.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:54 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:The other thing is that any thoughts of anti-Semitism is just not something that has any reason to exist in the minds of 99% of people other than through the media. Obviously we're aware of the history of it but it's just not prevalent in people's minds. Members of the Labour party have no reason to become anti-Semitic even for those who have racist tendencies. Why would it even be on their radar?
I'm entirely with you there as that's my experience too, but then I'm not Jewish. Possibly if I was I'd have a different take on the whole matter? I don't know. As you say, it's something that crops up in the media all the time but I've never come across it in real life.
Well maybe you would notice it more if you were Jewish but to be honest I think most people are largely Jew-blind. It's not something obvious like dark skin and I think most people don't consider whether the person they're talking to is Jewish or not. Obviously you get people in the religious garb, but then it's not really even a race thing any more. Religion =/= race and the Jewish religion should be just as open to criticism as any viewpoint. Although directing abuse is a different thing of course.

I also think it's unhelpful that there isn't a distinction in language between the Jewish religion and race.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:01 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I also think it's unhelpful that there isn't a distinction in language between the Jewish religion and race.
Judaism and Jews?
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:07 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:I also think it's unhelpful that there isn't a distinction in language between the Jewish religion and race.
Judaism and Jews?
I know, overly facetious.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:16 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:The other thing is that any thoughts of anti-Semitism is just not something that has any reason to exist in the minds of 99% of people other than through the media. Obviously we're aware of the history of it but it's just not prevalent in people's minds. Members of the Labour party have no reason to become anti-Semitic even for those who have racist tendencies. Why would it even be on their radar?
I'm entirely with you there as that's my experience too, but then I'm not Jewish. Possibly if I was I'd have a different take on the whole matter? I don't know. As you say, it's something that crops up in the media all the time but I've never come across it in real life.
Well maybe you would notice it more if you were Jewish but to be honest I think most people are largely Jew-blind. It's not something obvious like dark skin and I think most people don't consider whether the person they're talking to is Jewish or not. Obviously you get people in the religious garb, but then it's not really even a race thing any more. Religion =/= race and the Jewish religion should be just as open to criticism as any viewpoint. Although directing abuse is a different thing of course.

I also think it's unhelpful that there isn't a distinction in language between the Jewish religion and race.
I think it's all a big smokescreen to close down criticism of the actions of the Israeli government, for whatever reason. Anyone that even suggests that Netanyahu might not be the best person to be in charge runs the risk of being branded antisemitic. There has been a deliberate conflation of these two completely different viewpoints, by MPs and by the media, over the last few months; I suppose if they repeat it often enough, people will believe it.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Peter Mabey » Tue May 03, 2016 6:44 pm

I have been finding out just which people were the Semites. It turns out that the term goes back to the idea that the world was repopulated after the Flood by the descendants of Noah's sons. Japhet was thought to have gone to Europe, so the European peoples were called Japhetic, while Ham went to north Africa, making the Egyptians & Berbers the Hamitic races. Shem settled in the near East, so the Semitic races include both Hebrew and Arab people, as well as Aramaic (Jesus's race - so He was a Semite,too).
Consequently the Palestinians are really Semites, whereas nowadays many Jews would be "Japhetites".

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue May 03, 2016 7:50 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:I also think it's unhelpful that there isn't a distinction in language between the Jewish religion and race.
Judaism and Jews?
I know, overly facetious.
Well, obviously the language exists to make a distinction - it's more that people in fact don't, by just using the word "Jewish". I think people don't really care enough about meaning because they're anti-semantic.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun May 08, 2016 7:07 am

Anyway, Labour won the London mayoral election and overall won more councillors than the Tories. Also the Tories have been forced to back down over the forced "academisation" of schools. Sounds like an unelectable party in disarray.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun May 08, 2016 4:56 pm

This is quite an interesting article about the local election results.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Sun May 08, 2016 6:51 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:This is quite an interesting article about the local election results.
Indeed it is; one of the very few attempting to challenge the narrative that's been pushed so hard these past weeks.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Mon May 09, 2016 5:50 pm

Two days in charge for Sadiq Khan and the Metropolitan Line has suffered huge delays on both days.

Just saying.

Quickly on the mayoral election, the response on the doorstep that I received was that both Khan and Goldsmith's campaigns were awful. And to be honest, I agree. I know that Goldsmith didn't get much say on the Khan smears (ITK info), but the fact is that Goldsmith should have won on policy. Particularly transport. Goldsmith denied that he thought Khan was an extremist in the City AM debate, but whoever the agent was clearly disagreed. I get the feeling that Zac should have won it.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Mon May 09, 2016 6:35 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:...both Khan and Goldsmith's campaigns were awful.
I didn't follow the London mayoral election in my usual forensic detail, but one thing was certainly striking; the closer that election day came, the longer the odds you could get on Zac Goldsmith. At one point - no more than a couple of months ago - you could have had 1/4 on Sadiq Khan. Not great odds, but there was nothing better than 1/25 on offer within the electoral week, and bookies started closing their books on Khan.

Whatever you might say about the merits or otherwise of the respective campaigns, it would suggest that the Conservative's effort was far, far worse.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Mon May 09, 2016 6:42 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Rhys Benjamin wrote:...both Khan and Goldsmith's campaigns were awful.
I didn't follow the London mayoral election in my usual forensic detail, but one thing was certainly striking; the closer that election day came, the longer the odds you could get on Zac Goldsmith. At one point - no more than a couple of months ago - you could have had 1/4 on Sadiq Khan. Not great odds, but there was nothing better than 1/25 on offer within the electoral week, and bookies started closing their books on Khan.

Whatever you might say about the merits or otherwise of the respective campaigns, it would suggest that the Conservative's effort was far, far worse.
In the week of the election the gap between the two started to shorten in the polls, and it left us at CCHQ somewhat optimistic, particularly a YouGov poll which had the gap at about 54/46 (compared to about 60/40 a week before), and combined with the fact that YouGov have tended to overestimate the Labour Party nationally when compared to the other pollsters recently (their last three polls have produced Labour leads of about 3 pts, compared to a general consensus of the Tories on aroundabout a 7-10 pt lead) gave us all hope.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Mon May 09, 2016 7:32 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:In the week of the election the gap between the two started to shorten in the polls, and it left us at CCHQ somewhat optimistic, particularly a YouGov poll which had the gap at about 54/46 (compared to about 60/40 a week before), and combined with the fact that YouGov have tended to overestimate the Labour Party nationally when compared to the other pollsters recently (their last three polls have produced Labour leads of about 3 pts, compared to a general consensus of the Tories on aroundabout a 7-10 pt lead) gave us all hope.
Does this not strike you as odd? That all that could have happened and yet the bookies (not usually known for their generosity) failed to take it into account? Not only that, they seemed to blithely ignore it and make Goldsmith more and more of a long shot as time went on! Aren't they silly? No wonder they keep going out of business, eh?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 09, 2016 10:48 pm

I've probably said this before but I pretty much exclusively look at odds rather than opinion polls for election predictions.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 09, 2016 10:50 pm

JimBentley wrote:Does this not strike you as odd?
Odd, not odds, and that was his mistake.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Mon May 09, 2016 11:03 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:Two days in charge for Sadiq Khan and the Metropolitan Line has suffered huge delays on both days.

Just saying.

Quickly on the mayoral election, the response on the doorstep that I received was that both Khan and Goldsmith's campaigns were awful. And to be honest, I agree. I know that Goldsmith didn't get much say on the Khan smears (ITK info), but the fact is that Goldsmith should have won on policy. Particularly transport. Goldsmith denied that he thought Khan was an extremist in the City AM debate, but whoever the agent was clearly disagreed. I get the feeling that Zac should have won it.
If he can't control his own campaign, why would he be any better at controlling the Metropolitan Line?

Just saying.
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue May 10, 2016 12:29 am

Jennifer Steadman wrote:If he can't control his own campaign, why would he be any better at controlling the Metropolitan Line?

Just saying.
Haha, nice.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Wed May 11, 2016 6:50 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
If he can't control his own campaign, why would he be any better at controlling the Metropolitan Line?

Just saying.
I did have a little chuckle at this...
JimBentley wrote:
Rhys Benjamin wrote:In the week of the election the gap between the two started to shorten in the polls, and it left us at CCHQ somewhat optimistic, particularly a YouGov poll which had the gap at about 54/46 (compared to about 60/40 a week before), and combined with the fact that YouGov have tended to overestimate the Labour Party nationally when compared to the other pollsters recently (their last three polls have produced Labour leads of about 3 pts, compared to a general consensus of the Tories on aroundabout a 7-10 pt lead) gave us all hope.
Does this not strike you as odd? That all that could have happened and yet the bookies (not usually known for their generosity) failed to take it into account? Not only that, they seemed to blithely ignore it and make Goldsmith more and more of a long shot as time went on! Aren't they silly? No wonder they keep going out of business, eh?
Since the bookies got Eurovision 2014 and last year's general election hopelessly wrong I've not really trusted them. Also... we were somewhat, er, blindingly hopeful. IIRC they didn't think Cameron would be Prime Minister after the election, but it looked increasingly likely Labour couldn't get more seats than the Tories and so I think that if Cameron had ~290, Miliband ~280, and Sturgeon ~50, a Miliband/Sturgeon stitch-up would have been deeply unpopular as the public would have seen that as a poor mandate to govern. In that scenario I reckon Cameron would have led a minority administration and have another election about now, or try and cobble together a Conservative + DUP + UKIP + UUP + Lib Dem coalition. But I digress; the bookies thought a Lab/SNP coalition was more likely...
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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:18 pm

This might sound a bit odd, but sometimes I wonder how important the government and parliament actually are. They are there to pass legislation, but any new laws they pass, the country has survived until now without them, and I do wonder if anyone would actually notice if they did nothing for a five-year period. Also, when there's a budget, it's generally fiddling around at the edges, and changes are often for the worse anyway (or considered to be the case by many people at least).

Obviously I think they are important to bring in new "good" legislation to replace some of the awful stuff we have now, but actually they don't really do this in practice very much. New laws that come in seem to be just as likely to be shit as the old ones.

So if all taxes etc. were just left the same and no laws passed for five years, what would actually happen?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:04 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:This might sound a bit odd, but sometimes I wonder how important the government and parliament actually are. They are there to pass legislation, but any new laws they pass, the country has survived until now without them, and I do wonder if anyone would actually notice if they did nothing for a five-year period. Also, when there's a budget, it's generally fiddling around at the edges, and changes are often for the worse anyway (or considered to be the case by many people at least).

Obviously I think they are important to bring in new "good" legislation to replace some of the awful stuff we have now, but actually they don't really do this in practice very much. New laws that come in seem to be just as likely to be shit as the old ones.

So if all taxes etc. were just left the same and no laws passed for five years, what would actually happen?
I was hoping for at last some response, in particular from:
JimBentley wrote:
Maybe instead of no government, you could have a placebo government. You still get all the debates etc. in the House of Commons, and the impression that stuff is happening, but nothing is actually done. No new laws are passed and no taxes are changed etc.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:27 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I was hoping for at last some response, in particular from:
JimBentley wrote:
Sorry dear, I was busy elsewhere with the important business of getting old.

If your question is "what if an elected government did nothing for five years?", then I think that life would just run on unchanged, though a large part of that would inevitably be dependent on future events. Such a government might well be lauded in the future for its pragmatism (if nothing went wrong) but given different events. it could be castigated for its inability to act.

A more interesting question would be "what if there was no government for five years?" This would be a lot more significant, as it would involve the dissolution of not just Parliament, but also all the government departments (so no tax collection, no policing, no NHS, no anything...everyone left floating in some sort of free-for-all). It's an interesting thought experiment, but I've no idea what would actually happen. Doubt if it would be any good though.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Mark James » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:29 am

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:I was hoping for at last some response, in particular from:
JimBentley wrote:
A more interesting question would be "what if there was no government for five years?" This would be a lot more significant, as it would involve the dissolution of not just Parliament, but also all the government departments (so no tax collection, no policing, no NHS, no anything...everyone left floating in some sort of free-for-all). It's an interesting thought experiment, but I've no idea what would actually happen. Doubt if it would be any good though.
It's basically what "true" Libertarians want. They're a wacky bunch but a growing movement apparently. I think they're one of the funniest things on youtube. Did anyone watch the Libertarian Party presidential debates? They're hilarious. Sam Seder, a radio host in the States is great at tearing them apart. Here's an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR-F0O6Pyt8

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:18 pm

To completely change the subject, has anyone ever met a Trotskyite? It's just that I am one apparently and although I know who Leon Trotsky was, I don't really know what he stood for. In fact the only things I know about him are (a) something to do with being hit in the head with an ice pick, like in that Stranglers song and (b) he played some part in the Russian Revolution.

Can one tell a Trotskyite by looking? Am I giving out a vibe? And if I am, why can't I detect others? They are everywhere, according to Owen Smith (and when has he ever been known to lie? well apart from about that whole Amgen thing and his role at Pfizer, but that doesn't matter right now) and Tom Watson is asserting that they (people like me) have been intimidating more impressionable, younger people with our filthy views. I can neither confirm nor deny this (seeing as my life is a never-ending whirl of excitement, I can never say for sure what I have or haven't done).

Anyway, to be mildly serious for a moment, I do happen to know a number of people who have joined (or re-joined) the Labour party in the last year. To grossly over-simplify, they are mainly people (not hard-left ideologues, as the media would have us believe, but perfectly normal people who broadly believe that capitalism unchained is not a good thing) who resigned or allowed their their membership to lapse when it became clear that Labour was perfectly willing to cast off its core values in order to become "more electable". Now that Corbyn is attempting - against all the odds - to re-align the party with its original values, they want to re-join, and the younger ones have mainly joined because until last year, they didn't vote at all, viewing the three main political parties as pursuing the same broad agenda (if to slightly varying degrees).

But "no", apparently. It's hard-left factions (let's remind ourselves of their collective vote at the 2015 General Election (60,605 votes between the lot of them, or an astounding 0.022% of the votes cast) that are taking over the Labour party. Yep.

There's probably a phrase for this. I thought at first is was "cognitive dissonance" but that's not quite right. "Lying" might be better.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:25 pm

Why are Americans so obsessed with their national anthem? It's really weird.

Also, while I was away, I gather that Jeremy Corbyn tried to bump off Richard Branson after same train incident. Too much of a coincidence otherwise.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:51 pm

So, it seems that David Cameron's off to pastures new (no doubt lucrative public speaking engagements, being on boards of international corporations and such like), which means a by-election. Witney's historically a very strongly Conservative seat, so the new MP will undoubtedly be whoever Conservative Central Office choose, but it should be interesting in seeing if there's a swing, in any direction.

Result at last election, for information (and so I don't forget to do it later):

Conservative - David Cameron - 35,201
Labour - Duncan Enright - 10,046
UKIP Simon Strutt - 5,352
Liberal Democrat - Andy Graham - 3,953
Green - Stuart Sutherland MacDonald - 2,970
National Health Action - Clive Peedell - 616
Wessex Regionalist - Colin Roland Bex - 110
Independent - Christopher Tompson - 94
Reduce VAT in Sport - Vivien Inez Saunders - 56
Give Me Back Elmo - Bobby Smith - 37
Land Party - Deek Jackson - 35
Independent - Nathan Paul Handley - 12

Any predictions?

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Re: Politics in General

Post by JimBentley » Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:47 pm

Now that Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected Labour Party leader with an even bigger mandate than last year (despite 150,000+ of his supporters being barred from voting), I wonder whether certain members of the Parliamentary Labour Party - particularly those that refused to serve in the shadow cabinet - will get behind him rather than trying to undermine him (with the enthusiastic help of virtually every media outlet) at every turn? I'd like to think that they will, but on past form, they're probably plotting another leadership challenge as I type this.

If so, I wonder who'll they will try next? It's not going to be any of the high-profile naysayers - people such as Yvette Cooper, Angela Eagle, Chuka Umunna, Liz Kendall, Hilary Benn, Stephen Kinnock, Tom Watson et al - who still harbour political ambitions, as they surely know that they would be beaten badly and that would harm their reputations irreparably. It'll have to be someone with name recognition, but expendable to the PLP, so my bet's going on Jess Phillips. As to when, probably early next year; they can't do it immediately, it would be too transparent.

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Re: Politics in General

Post by Ben Wilson » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:57 pm

JimBentley wrote:So, it seems that David Cameron's off to pastures new (no doubt lucrative public speaking engagements, being on boards of international corporations and such like), which means a by-election. Witney's historically a very strongly Conservative seat, so the new MP will undoubtedly be whoever Conservative Central Office choose, but it should be interesting in seeing if there's a swing, in any direction.

Result at last election, for information (and so I don't forget to do it later):

Conservative - David Cameron - 35,201
Labour - Duncan Enright - 10,046
UKIP Simon Strutt - 5,352
Liberal Democrat - Andy Graham - 3,953
Green - Stuart Sutherland MacDonald - 2,970
National Health Action - Clive Peedell - 616
Wessex Regionalist - Colin Roland Bex - 110
Independent - Christopher Tompson - 94
Reduce VAT in Sport - Vivien Inez Saunders - 56
Give Me Back Elmo - Bobby Smith - 37
Land Party - Deek Jackson - 35
Independent - Nathan Paul Handley - 12

Any predictions?
Yes, without the PM there, we won't get as many awesomely silly 'parties' standing. :(

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