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Ser Hedge

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  1. Well depends on whether you want to have a wider discussion or just the same group-think rant going in an infinite loop. "The Tories have a lot of racist supporters and want to stop Immigration and are the baddies enabling Brexit." Yawn. Dog bites man. Trump is nasty. Argentina is about to default. Please tell us something new. Anti-immigration is obviously significantly correlated with racist or xenophobic attitudes, but is not the same. Sounds abstract? Let me explain. If you are suggesting that being anti-immigration is automatically racism, then by construction, if you do not want to be racist, you have to have 100% open borders. But no one has that. Anywhere. Windrush is an absolute scandal and that was on May and Rudd's watch. Not sure what Javid or Patel have done that's racist? They have been extremely anti-immigrant for sure, but I think that can be legitimate as long as those immigrants that have followed the rules in the past are in no way inconvenienced or made to feel vulnerable or in any way singled out. In fact, if a significant portion of the population has (for whatever reason) worked itself into a state where they are convinced that immigration needs to be stopped/reduced then its better for existing immigrants and their descendants if the government, assuming they are unable to persuade this segment of the population (due to lack of education, bad diet or whatever) of the benefits of immigration, alternatively show that something is being done. If establishment parties don't correct course and try to reform the system in a legitimate way, then AfD type parties take over at some point. You might argue the Tories had an internal coup that brought nitwits like Bertie Wooster-Mogg to the fore, but I think it's still a coalition of different groups and Brexit apart should have the ability to course-correct from extreme right-wing-views in terms of racism in general, though Sajid and Munira Mirza's presence notwithstanding Islamophobia definitely needs to be addressed. (Even though I think Warsi might have a few personal axes to grind, which does not mean she should not be listened to)
  2. A very good point certainly. But we might just keep the seat purely because the RoW can't agree on a replacement. If you look at the objectors to each option: 1. India: China and Pakistan (who in turn have powerful allies to the west) 2. An EU seat: France 3. Japan: China and S Korea 4. Germany: I think the UK can round up the Anglo-commonwealth on this one. 5. Brazil, Mexico: India A rotating G-20 might work, but then an argument can be made why have 4 other permanent members at all? I really don't think France wants the status quo shaken up, and the moment the US would still back us. Also the symmetry of the 5 'official' nuclear powers as permanent members works for Russia and China too.
  3. It helps obviously, but he's retained a good amount of leverage still. The Tories will lose some Remain seats in England and many of their seats in Scotland as well, and needed to pick up 10+ additional seats anyway for a majority. Now they'll still have to fight for the Leave vote in 35-40 'Red Wall' seats, while opening themselves up to 'Far Right' alliance attacks.
  4. Tbh, hard to say. Every media outlet has chosen a side and spins it accordingly. Radio call-in programmes are full of ranters. A lot of campaigning takes place through directed feeds on social media anyway. There are a lot of polls, but we know they can potentially change quite fast. (Though my guess is in the absence of a major incident/leak, it doesn't change much with Labour re-running their 2017 campaign and the Tories re-running 2015). In Remain areas, most thinking of voting Tory are going to keep quiet about it. It's probably still early, but I think the Lib Dem ground game seems limited to a few priority marginals, guess they don't have the resources or volunteers to make a serious impact in the whole SE Remain corridor.
  5. You are not wrong. But this is not just the Tories, but conservative parties all across Europe. At the moment HM Govt has a Home Minister and Finance Minister (Chancellor of the Exchequer - and his Chief Secretary of the Treasury as well FWIW) who are of South Asian descent and the ruling party's chairman (admittedly a ceremonial role) is Black. Tokenism? Maybe. Lack of other candidates given a party internal purge? Maybe. But it's not bad. It's already better than anywhere else in Europe. Labour can likely improve on Black representation, and possibly Muslim representation, but my point Britain has come further than anyone else in Europe, including France. Yes having a close relationship with your former colonies means the dynamic is different in the UK and in France and the fact that say the first Turkish-German MP was elected in 1993 and the first Muslim CDU MP in 2013 has to be viewed in that context (Yes, I know what the 'C' stands for, but isn't that itself remarkable?) Likely the first generation of migrants in Europe outside of the UK and France were not well educated etc etc, but still Sajid and Sadiq's dads weren't either. (Boris's ancestor and Nasser Hussein's dad obviously were). I'm not accusing all of European (conservative) elites (can I say old money? It should not be construed as anti-Jewish as outside of France there aren't really any meaningful Jewish communities on the continent, survivors of the Nazi holocaust kindly bundled off to Palestine that was home to Arab communities settled there for hundreds of years, inevitably to engage in what is an existential struggle for both sides, while everyone here can sit and go tut-tut) of racism. At an abstract level, they are not, maybe patronising, but when confronted with actual immigrants in the ground, the reactions can be pretty interesting to watch. So while the ridiculous BoJo articles are deplorable, you would rather take that if he can appoint a diverse cabinet, than someone who might stay PC on record at all times and do jack-all for diversity, which is basically everybody on the continent, except maybe the French (who are still a bit behind I would say).
  6. We had 13 years of Labour until 2010 and unfortunately they did not fix the structural issues with the economy. We seemed to chug along as did everybody, benefiting from the 'Goldilocks' global economy of low inflation (from off-shoring manufacturing and some services) and steadily rising house and stock/share prices (all on borrowed money), and there was enough in the kitty to provide benefits to the ill-advantaged. Or maybe they're wasn't really enough in the kitty, but the government could borrow more to pay salaries to the state sector and to provide benefits and no one noticed. It was all going to be fine. No one even cared that this supposedly/originally slightly left-of-centre government was aligning itself with Bush's neo-cons on foreign policy adventures until Iraq went badly wrong. So it all blew up spectacularly in 08-09 and you now had a Tory-LibDem coalition and from 2010 onwards high levels of government debt was suddenly a thing. Greece and all that. S&P even downgraded the US in 2011 over the first debt ceiling-government shut down shenanigans. (Remember how prudent Republicans were back then?). So it felt like some Austerity might be the price to pay, but obviously the Tories implemented it to suit themselves (and enrich their friends), while the LibDems stood gaping by. The LibDems were ditched by the electorate in 2015 to return the first Tory government since 97 and since then we've been busy with Brexit under three PMs, the last one in office for barely 3 months. So please don't interrupt with difficult questions while we're getting Brexit done And the solution to the problems on your side of the pond is to elect Tulsi Gabbard.
  7. Thx for that clarification - to be very honest, I haven't heard "North London Metropolitan Elite" before (even though I lived in Kilburn/Queens Park for a short time) and if I'd heard Patel say it, I would have taken it as a reference to liberal, intellectual Islington types (including champagne Marxists) and not as anti-Semitic, but that's just me. As far as Patel is concerned, she is certainly a bit of a nutter, but I would be really, really surprised if she used anti-semitic dog whistle phrases, because it wouldn't make any political sense.
  8. Ser Hedge

    UK Politics: A Partly Political Broadcast

    Have the LibDems missed a trick by identifying so strongly with Remain their other policies have just been completely sidelined or are not getting any attention in the media? The centre ground in politics is so wide open now, but you don't see many voting for them just because they are the most 'moderate' party. Also, while it would have made little difference in most constituencies, could the United to Remain pact in 60 seats not be extended to a UK-wide LibDem-Green alliance? The symbolic value of a joint platform might have brought in more green and young votes with climate change topical. I know past voting would show the Greens have tiny vote share in non-pact seats, but you would have had stronger climate change credentials and made that a real election issue. Maybe you win a few more marginals here and there, surely worth trying?
  9. Ser Hedge

    UK Politics: A Partly Political Broadcast

    Just curious if any of these polls have been (or plan to be) run specifically in likely marginals including the Midlands-Northern Labour-Tory battleground and in former Tory remain seats in the South East/M3/M4 corridors (as Werthead I think it was who described these new marginals very well) There is really no point polling Tory shires, Scotland (sadly - from a unionist point of view) and inner London Labour shoe-in seats.
  10. Ser Hedge

    UK Politics: A Partly Political Broadcast

    Only tinkering at the margins so far in terms of uniting the Remain vote: Speculation Lib Dems stand down in Soubry's seat. I think it's confirmed they don't stand in Brighton Pavilion (which is Green already) and Isle of Wight (where they had less than 5% in 2017). In Wales, the Brecon agreement gets repeated and I think Anglesey and Powys where one of Lib Dems and PC had a tiny share anyway. Hopefully, the other 55+ seats TBA will be more meaningful. Would be good if LibDems stood down against other TIGs as well, but there is really mention of TIG taking part in the talks really. In NI, UUP want to split the unionist vote between Remain and Leave lines, but had to stand down their North Belfast candidate after robust criticism (to put it mildly) that they were letting SF through. SDLP and SF have stood down in three seats each in each other's favour. Would be fascinating if the wider state of things wasn't so depressing. If it weren't for Corbyn, we would have had a Lib-Lab-PC-Green alliance that might even have been competitive in gaining unionist remain votes in Scotland. Instead we have this ...
  11. Ser Hedge

    UK Politics: A Partly Political Broadcast

    With this backdrop, the Tories would need to keep the message tight (as in 2015), avoid the mistakes of May's amateur advisors, announce a few more populist gimmicks in the manifesto, get the media to highlight how crazy some of the BxP candidates are once they are announced and just generally pretend they are all-business-like again, hoping the no deal brinksmanship and parliamentary shenanigans of the recent past are forgotten. And pray the NHS doesn't fall over in the next 6 weeks.
  12. Ser Hedge

    UK Politics: A Partly Political Broadcast

    You are right, I might be underestimating the Tories in their old Remain seats in general. Many of their voters might have come around to be ok with the WAB and if Boris and Sajja throw in a tax cut, then they are probably going "hey why not?" An ex-Tory standing in their own old seat as an independent, TIG or better as a LibDem is what could really improve the chances of the Remain/Referendum parties, but then aren't too many of those. We don't even know yet if the LibDems will agree not to contest the tiny handful of TIG seats.
  13. Ser Hedge

    UK Politics: A Partly Political Broadcast

    Traditionally, yes. But leave seats such as in the West Country are now going to be less of a focus, and in the new targets of Remain seats that the Tories have now abandoned, they still need to justify why them and why not Labour who are offering a final say referendum. The argument against the Tories is basically just Leave vs Remain on which topic there are really no swing voters who are going to be persuaded to Remain by anything new the LibDems have to say.
  14. Ser Hedge

    UK Politics: A Partly Political Broadcast

    On the topic of ex-Tories standing in their original seats: Sandbach joins the Lib Dems and presumably gets to stand in her old seat. Wollaston would probably get to do the same. Grieve gets a hand too with the Lib Dems standing down. And then we have Soubry running under TIGgers for Change as we said. Not sure if the Lib Dems stand down there. These are the only confirmed ones I think. Gyimah is standing in a different seat as a LibDem, so really irrelevant he's ex-Tory. Allen is standing down. And so are a lot of the ones who lost/resigned the whip. Hammond still considering I think. In any case the Tories have written off strong Remain seats anyway. Will be an interesting contest between Lib and Lab in seats like Putney (Greening's old seat), in fact if you think about it, the Libs will have to go after Lab in more seats than the Tories in the campaign.
  15. Ser Hedge

    UK Politics: A Partly Political Broadcast

    If the Tories are the largest party, but well short of a majority, with Labour far enough back that Jezza cannot really claim any kind of victory, then the LibDems with a respectable enough number of seats (say just over 50) could be best placed to ask for a Corbyn-less LibLab coalition. Not sure if this is achievable without SNP confidence and supply. Basically you need Lib-Lab-PC-Brighton Pavilion-DUP-motley independents all together to be just over the line wo Labour dominating.