UK Political Era |OT1| Dis United Kingdom

Uzzy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,837


Previous UK ERA Political Threads:

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In order of seats held at the start of the new 2019 Parliament:

Conservative Party: 365 MPs, Leader: Boris Johnson (Prime Minister)


Labour Party: 202 MPs, Leader: Jeremy Corbyn (Standing Down, leadership contest underway)


Scottish National Party: 47 MPs + Neale Hanvey, currently suspended, sitting as an independent, Leader: Nicola Sturgeon, Ian Blackford (In Westminster)


Liberal Democrats: 11 MPs, Leader: Ed Davey (Acting, leadership contest underway)


Democratic Unionist Party: 8 MPs, Leader: Arlene Foster, Jeffrey Donaldson (In Westminster)


Sinn Fein: 7 MPs, Leader: Mary Lou McDonald, Michelle O'Neill (In the Northern Ireland Assembly) N.b. Sinn Fein do not take their seats in Westminster under their longstanding policy of abstentionism.


Plaid Cymru: 4 MPs, Leader: Adam Price, Liz Saville Roberts (In Westminster) (Goddamnit finding any political cartoons for these guys is impossible, so here's Leanne Wood again.)


Social Democratic and Labour Party: 2 MPs, Leader: Colum Eastwood


Alliance Party: 1 MP, Leader: Naomi Long, Stephen Farry (In Westminster)


Green Party of England and Wales: 1 MP, Leaders: Jonathan Bartley & Sián Berry, Caroline Lucas (In Westminster)




Once upon a time, the United Kingdom held the world at gunpoint, dominating a full 1/4 of the world in both population and mass, spreading it's political, legal, educational systems around the globe, including certain sports and of course the language we're all speaking today. Then the 20th Century happened, and for various reasons the British Empire receded into the past and the UK was left without a role, no longer the global superpower but instead a rainy island off the European coast. And so, after much torturous debate internally and externally, we joined with our European Neighbours in the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. This proved somewhat controversial at the time, and an undercurrent of resentment towards the move continued right up until the end of Thatcher, when the EEC evolved into the European Union (EU), complete with a Single Market of goods, workers, services and capital throughout. It was then, with the end of Thatcher and the rise of Major, that the Euroscepticism within our politics, mostly from the Conservative Party, that had laid dormant for two decades sprang back with a vengeance, giving John Major a hellish time in Parliament passing the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. A certain David Cameron, then working behind the scenes in the Conservative Government, learned an important lesson. Europe could destroy the Conservative Party.

Fast forward through the Blair/Brown Years to 2014/5. David Cameron has been PM of a Coalition Government with the Lib Dems since 2010, and he'd really like to ensure a Conservative majority at the 2015 General Election. But the Conservatives haven't won an election since 1992, and that thorny issue of Europe is cropping up again. He had to promise concessions to the Eurosceptics in the party just to become the leader, and now an up and coming new party, the United Kingdom Independence Party, led by Nigel Farage, is flanking the Tories from the right. So in order to appease the Eurosceptics and stop voters flaking off to UKIP, he promises a referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union. The plan works, and David Cameron is elected as the first Conservative Prime Minister since 1992. But now he has to deliver the referendum. He's rightly confident going into it, he's already seen off two referendums! Surely his gamble won't fail.

It does. In 2016 the UK votes to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%. Cameron announces his resignation the next day, leaving history to judge him.

The leaders of the leave campaign, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, take each other out before voting starts for the next Conservative leader. This leaves Cameron to be surprisingly replaced by Theresa May, who declared for remain, but stayed quiet during the campaign. She has a slight majority in the Commons, and manages to persuade Parliament to trigger Article 50, starting the formal two year process of the UK leaving the EU, despite only having the vaguest sketch of a plan on how to achieve that. Given her slight majority and the appalling ratings for the Labour opposition, she demands an early election, ostensibly to get Brexit done. Crush the saboteurs, the papers cry! Surely her gamble won't fail.

It does. In 2017 the Conservatives lose their majority, and are forced into a confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP to stay in office. Any chance of passing contentious legislation is shattered, as just a handful of Conservative rebels can sway things their way. But the two year Article 50 process has already begun, and negotiations have to start. Now. After a long, torturous eighteen months, the semblance of a deal, the withdrawal agreement, is agreed. This includes the controversial Irish Backstop, which would see Northern Ireland effectively remain within the EU's Single Market and Customs Union, unless and until replaced by a trade deal that ensured an open border on the island of Ireland. But her deal took the UK out of the EU, at least on paper. Surely she'll not lose the vote on the deal.

She does. Three times, two of which prove to be the among the largest defeats in Parliamentary history. May's time in office, which had started so promisingly for her, comes to a sad, pathetic end as she's forced by her cabinet to resign shortly after agreeing a sixth month extension to the Article 50 process. The Conservatives once again embark on choosing a new leader, and Boris Johnson, promising to leave the EU do or die on 31st October 2019, wins the race. Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London, and lead figure in the leave campaign, declares his intent to get Brexit done. He even manages to get a new deal agreed with the EU, one that would replace the Irish Backstop, which was only meant to kick in if a trade deal couldn't be agreed, with an Irish Frontstop, which kicked in at the start, and sees Northern Ireland effectively remain within the EU's Single Market and Customs Union. This managed to unite what was left of the Conservative Party, so surely he won't lose his vote?

He does. Kinda. With Parliament refusing to allow the new Withdrawal Agreement to enter into UK law with only three days debate, he instead pushes for a fresh General Election, declaring his intention to break the deadlock in Parliament. He agreed another extension to the Article 50 process, this time to 31st January 2020, and Parliament quickly agreed on a new General Election afterwards. Which he wins, securing a massive majority of 80. Now he can 'Get Brexit Done', whatever that means.

Oh, there's also a bunch of domestic stuff that's been utterly ignored, like nine years of austerity that's impacted our public services, the NHS on fire again, schooling in a mess, police numbers down, the Windrush scandal, the Grenfell Tower Disaster, continued low productive rates amongst the UK workforce, the Russians using chemical weapons on our soil, and the whole climate change thing that is going to destroy our planet. But that's not important.



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Mr.Fletcher

Member
Nov 18, 2017
2,187
Hoping for a radical rethink on the Labour side... but it doesn’t look likely... yet.

Still, let’s see what BoJo does with all his newfound power. You never know, he might surprise us all.
 

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,575
London
Jesus, the gammon under the first tweet, he's like the perfect form if such a thing existed.
 

excowboy

Member
Oct 29, 2017
537
Don't worry all - we're already 0.33% of the way through this Parliament. Not long to go now... :'(
 

SMD

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,125
Just cos I missed out before the thread was locked, Miss Piggy dump your boyfriend after signing him up to donate thousands to food banks and homeless shelters.
 

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,575
London
What sort of radical rethink would you like? A lurch rightward?
Seems like a new Labour fan, not very radical in a post EU world, some people on the left haven't quite let it sink in yet, shit is going to be a different world in 5 years.

You will have to use the state differently, the Tories are certainly going to try.
 

ronpontelle

Member
Oct 27, 2017
587
There was the idea I've seen suggested in a couple of places, that due to the Tory's big majority Johnson won't be as reliant on the ERG, harder right arm of the party etc so he can be more centrist. Coupled in with the working class seats that got them the big majority they might have to change tac etc.

It was certainly suggested in terms of Brexit and not relying on the ERG, but then he needlessly enshrined leaving the transition period in law and that idea went out the window.

It's possible if Johnson sees it as a way to be more popular or get a tighter grip on power, as ego and power are his main motivators.

But I think it's a desperate hope, some kind of self preservation to think that things aren't going to be quite as shit as people feared they might be!
 

Mr.Fletcher

Member
Nov 18, 2017
2,187
What sort of radical rethink would you like? A lurch rightward?
Seems like a new Labour fan, not very radical in a post EU world, some people on the left haven't quite let it sink in yet, shit is going to be a different world in 5 years.

You will have to use the state differently, the Tories are certainly going to try.
Not necessarily a ‘lurch’ to the right, but movement in that direction. I’m aware New Labour is dead and isn’t coming back.

But I think there could be a compromise somewhere between Blair and Corbyn.

However, looking at the leadership candidates, I think the party is doomed.

I quite like Starmer and while part of me understands his recent comments about New Labour moving too far away from the party’s traditional position, I think he has to acknowledge that platform won three back-to-back majorities.

Blair is the only Labour PM in the last 45 years. I know he is often derided now, but the speech he gave yesterday about the current health of the party is spot on.

Rekindling the politics of yesteryear that won nothing is pointless.

I’m not asking for New Labour, but I’m asking for a ‘new’ Labour. The current agenda and those pedalling it will not return the party to power.
 

Xun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,006
London
Not necessarily a ‘lurch’ to the right, but movement in that direction. I’m aware New Labour is dead and isn’t coming back.

But I think there could be a compromise somewhere between Blair and Corbyn.

However, looking at the leadership candidates, I think the party is doomed.

I quite like Starmer and while part of me understands his recent comments about New Labour moving too far away from the party’s traditional position, I think he has to acknowledge that platform won three back-to-back majorities.

Blair is the only Labour PM in the last 45 years. I know he is often derided now, but the speech he gave yesterday about the current health of the party is spot on.

Rekindling the politics of yesteryear that won nothing is pointless.

I’m not asking for New Labour, but I’m asking for a ‘new’ Labour. The current agenda and those pedalling it will not return the party to power.
Blair won since he got into bed with Murdoch.

He won, sure, but that wasn’t down to Labour being more right-wing.
 

Mr.Fletcher

Member
Nov 18, 2017
2,187
Blair won since he got into bed with Murdoch.

He won, sure, but that wasn’t down to Labour being more right-wing.
It was a combination of both and whoever is the next leader would do well to recognise that Labour need to build bridges with the media.

Blair won centre-right votes, dominated the centre ground and hoovered up votes on the left. He was in power for 10 years because he was deemed credible enough on the economy by Tory voters and progressive enough by much of the left.

The media is a tool. Labour need to remember that.
 

SMD

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,125
Imagine watching the last 15 years and thinking "what we need is more right wing policies".
 

ronpontelle

Member
Oct 27, 2017
587
Labour still need to be pragmatic.

I've seen plenty of people just saying 'no' to any compromise, dismissing almost any shift in policy as centrism and seemingly not dealing with the reality.

To say Blair's electoral success was all due to media and not to policy is just naive.

And I'm not saying that Labour need to go back to Blair. Or become centrists. However without some compromise, we'll all be able to bitch from the sidelines and take moral high ground, while the Tories run the country for years and years.
 

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,575
London
I remember Thatcher switching away from traditional industry, those towns haven't recovered
Now the Tories are switching away from the strategy of gateway to europe that replaced it.

Labour need to come up with ideas and a plan, being in the centre or modifying what ever the tories dream up or not is nothing.
 

SMD

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,125
Labour still need to be pragmatic.

I've seen plenty of people just saying 'no' to any compromise, dismissing almost any shift in policy as centrism and seemingly not dealing with the reality.

To say Blair's electoral success was all due to media and not to policy is just naive.

And I'm not saying that Labour need to go back to Blair. Or become centrists. However without some compromise, we'll all be able to bitch from the sidelines and take moral high ground, while the Tories run the country for years and years.
Everything I've seen is all wise after the fact bullshit. It's extremely telling that no one has a plan other than "move right, appeal to the middle, look more credible" which is a fucking dumb take after the way the Tories won.

One of the lies the left has bought into over the last two decades is that championing left policies is somehow a purity test that leads to defeat.

The problem isn't that Corbyn wasn't "fuck the browns" enough, the problem is that people genuinely seem to think that redistribution of wealth is somehow a dangerous economic plan.

For me it speaks volumes that there hasn't been a credible centrist plan to either tackle the rise of the right or to explain exactly why the left are too radical.

The key for the next 4 and a bit years is to clearly set the stall out for left policies and ideas so that 6 months before the next election there's a clear platform for presenting the next set of policies for the Labour manifesto. That's not going to happen with traditional media, so Labour have to keep thinking creatively about how to reach the gammon wall.
 

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,575
London
Everything I've seen is all wise after the fact bullshit. It's extremely telling that no one has a plan other than "move right, appeal to the middle, look more credible" which is a fucking dumb take after the way the Tories won.

One of the lies the left has bought into over the last two decades is that championing left policies is somehow a purity test that leads to defeat.

The problem isn't that Corbyn wasn't "fuck the browns" enough, the problem is that people genuinely seem to think that redistribution of wealth is somehow a dangerous economic plan.

For me it speaks volumes that there hasn't been a credible centrist plan to either tackle the rise of the right or to explain exactly why the left are too radical.

The key for the next 4 and a bit years is to clearly set the stall out for left policies and ideas so that 6 months before the next election there's a clear platform for presenting the next set of policies for the Labour manifesto. That's not going to happen with traditional media, so Labour have to keep thinking creatively about how to reach the gammon wall.
The tories have decided to turn the world upside down, there is a good chance it all goes to shit, the labour party might not get away with just modified conservative garbage unless you want to close down even more public services.

So yeah, like you the say centrism stuff is just lazy thinking, it doesn't mean much.
 

Hodgy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,838
UK
The problem wasn't that the 2019 manifesto was too far left. It was just too many policies at once. Concentrate on a handful of leftist policies and make sure you sell them well. There just felt like there wasn't a unified plan around this year's policies .
 

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,575
London
Some of what we need is a major conference or something for economists etc to try and come up with a strategy for the future. I don't think it can all come from the party. They don't have to be left wing thinkers but it should have fairness and public services as a theme.

Playground for tax dodgers or white China for the USA isn't something the labour party should accept as a new future.
 

danowat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,540
Did anyone hear the media show on R4 yesterday? was quite an interesting discussion about the medias role in the election, one of the eyebrow raiser (at least for me) was the statistic that negative coverage on Lab had risen (in printed media) by 50%, while positive coverage for the Cons had risen by 50%.
 

ronpontelle

Member
Oct 27, 2017
587
You're right that many people view wealth distribution as some kind of evil, but it's been done the other way around for too long. In order to make society fairer it's absolutely essential that it happens. I'm not entirely sure how you frame that argument.

However the UK isn't a socially democratic European country. To change that, win that argument etc isn't going to happen in five years, to change that mindset is going to take a long time.

I think too that it was too much too soon. It didn't seem credible to many, it didn't seem like they had an organised plan to focus on priorities. None of this is centrism.

Yes the media are likely to be hostile to many of the policies and people, but some of this election was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Conversely, it's also important to remember that Brexit framed this election, and that I think Labour were fucked either way.

Can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
 

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,575
London
Yeah that would be the wrong lesson to take...so they will totally do it.
If brexit is a huge success and we're drowning in cash then yeah you can be a version of new Labour handing it out a bit more fairly.

I don't like much of what I'm hearing some tories talking about, if it ever goes beyond a couple of years and just getting out of the EU.
 

Zaph

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,766
The problem wasn't that the 2019 manifesto was too far left. It was just too many policies at once. Concentrate on a handful of leftist policies and make sure you sell them well. There just felt like there wasn't a unified plan around this year's policies .
No amount of distilling policies or better messaging would have swung this for Labour in any meaningful way. This election was about one thing - older middle England voters want less immigration and that means Brexit for them.
 

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,575
London
No amount of distilling policies or better messaging would have swung this for Labour in any meaningful way. This election was about one thing - older middle England voters want less immigration and that means Brexit for them.
I'm actually going to take some comfort in Corbyn being a big issue, right or wrong if the belief he hated the UK and was a terrorist lover was actually up there as a factor then that's a simple fix.
 

Acorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,971
Scotland
The policies were popular, anyone trying to use the loss as a win for the centre is disingenuous in the extreme.

Hell the centre lost its leaders seat.
 

ronpontelle

Member
Oct 27, 2017
587
Why did nobody, seemingly in the entire election campaign, actually ask the Tories what happens when nurses leave the NHS at the moment.

I assume they're replaced. If they're not that's a scandal in itself. If they are then the new nurse figure doesn't stand up as the new nurse are coming in anyway.

It was amazing how they turned an increase in nurses into a total clusterfuck of a policy.
 

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,575
London
Why did nobody, seemingly in the entire election campaign, actually ask the Tories what happens when nurses leave the NHS at the moment.

I assume they're replaced. If they're not that's a scandal in itself. If they are then the new nurse figure doesn't stand up as the new nurse are coming in anyway.

It was amazing how they turned an increase in nurses into a total clusterfuck of a policy.
My mum should have retired years ago but they keep her on as bank, but she was like almost as senior as you can get in the profession. Nurses do hang around after they leave, they just work through agencies, that might just be about being more in control of the hours you work.

I try to get my head around what Hancock is trying to say but my brain starts melting.
 

Hodgy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,838
UK
No amount of distilling policies or better messaging would have swung this for Labour in any meaningful way. This election was about one thing - older middle England voters want less immigration and that means Brexit for them.
i mean yeah that too. i do feel like they were fucked regardless. its just that they could have been less, fucked.
 

PJV3

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,575
London
Don't agencies cost the NHS much more than directly employing someone? Or is that for doctors?
Yeah fucking shitloads, they probably save on pension contributions though. Same as careworkers in the community, they get minimum wage the agency gets like £40-50 an hour from the council.
 

Acorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,971
Scotland
Yeah fucking shitloads, they probably save on pension contributions though. Same as careworkers in the community, they get minimum wage the agency gets like £40-50 an hour from the council.
Yeah, come to think of it I've had many temp jobs where I cost more to employ indirectly than directly even though my wage was the same or less than a FTE.

Agencies are fucking terrible. Sit and collect for generally doing very little.
 
Oct 27, 2017
496
RLB still favourite for next labour leader at the moment though Starmers odds have shortened drastically since Monday


Meanwhile Thornberrys 'I knew it all along' campaign launch actually made her odds of winning worse...funny that.
 

Koukalaka

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,001
Scotland
RLB still favourite for next labour leader at the moment though Starmers odds have shortened drastically since Monday


Meanwhile Thornberrys 'I knew it all along' campaign launch actually made her odds of winning worse...funny that.
Starmer seems like the only grownup at the moment, although we've not heard from RLB directly yet.