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UK Politics: Gray's Anatomy


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I see that Number 10 is today refusing to back away from the PM's claims about Starmer protecting Jimmy Savile. The Prime Minister stands by what he said at the dispatch box, is what they are saying.

I see a number of potential problems with this particular smear.

1. Obnoxious drunken whoopee-cushion, Nadine Dorries, is a proponent of this nonsense.

2. If Boris Johnson isn't careful, people are gonna start asking who, if it wasn't Keir Starmer, was actually protecting Jimmy Savile. Because it certainly wasn't Labour who were in power for most of his time as a child abuser and necrophiliac.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Spockydog
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4 hours ago, mormont said:

I love what is apparently the party line now that Johnson can't comment on whether he was at a party in his own house because 'you don't comment on an ongoing police investigation'.

That's the advice your lawyer gives you if you're worried about incriminating yourself. The police are normally only too happy for you to say publicly whether you've committed a crime. 

Everyone knows when you're innocent you act as if you're guilty as fuck.  

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21 hours ago, polishgenius said:

The way the UK does it fucking sucks because despite having three theoretical branches of government in practice the Lords have very little power and the monarchy none, meaning far too much power is concentrated in the office of the PM and in a situation like this despite the expectation being that he go, the practice being that we're reliant on his party members all of whom have bought into him to do so. 

(really, the fact that basically all political power in the UK rests in the Commons causes all sorts of issues - I really dislike that the MP you vote for for local representation is the same person as a representative on national issues and is also essentially voting for the PM. Those should be separate things.). 

The British system is weird because it feels it should be much more of a clusterfuck than it really winds up being. So the Lords being unelected feels wrong, but the Lords actually "do the right thing" on a fairly consistent basis, and have upset and thrown out government plans which go too far in consolidating power or removing rights repeatedly.

Edited by Werthead
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29 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The British system is weird because it feels it should be much more of a clusterfuck than it really winds up being. So the Lords being unelected feels wrong, but the Lords actually "do the ring thing" on a fairly consistent basis, and have upset and thrown out government plans which go too far in consolidating power or removing rights repeatedly.

Yeah this is kinda why I'm always get a bit worried whenever there's more sliding towards making the Lords elected or taking power from them to parliament, just seems like more chance of getting the corruption in rather than the other way around.

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Anyone tempted to feel that the Lords is a system that maybe kinda works should review the pitches of the candidates to take up one of the seats reserved for Conservative hereditary peers. A particular highlight is Lord Monckton, who is standing on a single-issue platform of climate change denial. 

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News headline on BBC radio this afternoon: "Johnson offers Ukraine £90 million to help them combat corruption". Johnson's  government is trolling us again.

(As they are with the Starmer/Saville smear. Of course everyone knows it is nonsense. But every little bit of attention to it is less attention paid to Partygate. Johnson would far rather be criticised for smearing his opponents than for his bloated sense of privilege and entitlement. His backbenchers will cheer him on as he smears, but many are uncomfortable defending his parties.)

 

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15 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Back to the UK, even with all this I wonder what the odds are of the conservatives being returned to power at the next election? Probably 50/50, and even not terrible odds if there is an electoral pact between the Lib Dems, and Labour.

The near-insuperable obstacle to a non-Conservative government forming is Scotland. Previous Labour governments have leaned on Scotland to supply seats to bolster (or even create) majorities. But Scotland has gone full-nationalist and no longer returns meaningful numbers of MPs who aren't from the SNP. It is hard to see that changing.

So Labour has to not only pick up 120 seats - from its lowest ebb since WW2 - but to do that almost entirely in England.

The Lib Dems are of minimal assistance because they're in the same bind. Their 11 seats at the moment are pretty insignificant and if they pick up more it will probably be by cannibalising what would otherwise be Labour prospects. It is hard to see the two parties between them picking up 110-odd Tory seats, but that's effectively what they need to do unless there's a collapse in support for the SNP.

The Lib Dems are also the only really viable coalition partners. The SDLP, Greens and PC together are basically a rounding error and of those only the SDLP can really be counted on to play ball.

The SNP, meanwhile, would surely insist on another indyref, which would be political suicide for Labour both because the Tories could throw it in their face forever, and because if Scotland voted to leave, it would ruin Labour's chances of ever reclaiming those seats.

A confidence-and-supply agreement with the SNP might be the only way forward, but it leaves the government very vulnerable at any given moment, as we saw with May: hard to get anything really meaningful done. And the SNP would have much more clout in that relationship than the DUP did in the May arrangement. A completely paralysed minority government might still be better than a Conservative majority, but at best, that's just a recipe for treading water for five years until the Tories win Westminster back on the basis that "Labour isn't working".

All hope is not lost: we have seen that public anger can overturn Tory majorities in otherwise safe seats, but can that anger be sustained for another almost-three years? Even if all the red wall seats are regained that still leaves Labour a long way short of a majority and the Conservatives are still the largest party. And that's assuming that the Tories continue to run Johnson rather than jettisoning him once he's taken enough flak for partygate and introducing a flash new leader late this year or early next. Depressing as it is, I can't see a realistic path to a non-Conservative government at the next election.

Edited by Adelstein
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A Labour victory without Scotland is certainly possible, but difficult. Remove Scotland from the equation in both 1997 and 2001 and Labour still gets in with a more massive majority than the Conservatives have now (although they would have lost in 2005).

Getting Labour to repeat its 1997 feat is, of course, much easier said than done, but some of the same conditions in 2024 would apply as in 1997. A lengthy period of governance from one party (14 years versus 18 years), a near never-ending tidal wave of corruption scandals and appalling economic performance (except in 2024 we're less likely to have had the uptick in performance that the Tories did enjoy in 1995-97, too little too late as it was). The Tories would also have the much greater weaknesses of a much more loathed party leader (not the case in 1997, when Major was seen as boring but respectable and not necessarily incompetent), assuming BoJo remains in situ. Labour also enjoys some of the same advantages as in 1997, such as a more centrist and widely-seen-as-competent leader versus his more "dangerous," more socialist predecessor, although Starmer lacks Blair's charisma and his allies are not quite as able as the Mandelson-Prescott-Brown axis.

A key difference is that the Tories saw a massive slump in their fortunes over the preceding several elections, whilst the Tories bounced back to their strongest result in decades in 2019. Reversing that in just one election cycle to the degree needed for a Labour-sans-Scotland victory would be Herculean.

Edited by Werthead
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2 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

Isn't the biggest problem that labour is led by...what's the term you all use - a fucking numpty?

No, Corbyn stepped down as party leader after delivering the worst election results since WWII.

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4 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

No, Corbyn stepped down as party leader after delivering the worst election results since WWII.

I thought it was just a tradition to have fucking numpties as labour leader. If thats changed its nice to see some kind of affirmative action in place

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20 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

I thought it was just a tradition to have fucking numpties as labour leader. If thats changed its nice to see some kind of affirmative action in place

Don't listen to the right wing/ Murdoch media. They delight in painting leftish leaders as idiots and /or menace. I  think that's the same everywhere in the world. 

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19 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

I thought it was just a tradition to have fucking numpties as labour leader. If thats changed its nice to see some kind of affirmative action in place

The current Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer (knighted by the Conservatives for his service as director of public prosecutions, no less), is a bit dull but is certainly not a numpty as such.

His biggest weakness has been his failure to unite the party between its left and centrist wings. The left wing feels like it's been purged after delivering the biggest number of new recruits to the party in its history, whilst the centrists feel the left dragged the party into unelectable socialist territory (kind of ignoring the massive gains in the 2017 election versus the unique circumstances of the Brexit-focused 2019 election). Starmer is a keen believer in Blair's maxim that Labour can only win from the centre, and he has been dragging the party in that direction again. Starmer does seem more trusted and more reliable by the public at large. Being knighted helps, and having worked with the Tories in the past on various issues it makes it a lot harder for them to attack his record without attacking themselves (as Boris spectacularly did yesterday).

His strongest asset is his background as a lawyer, meaning that he has a command of fine detail and an ability to make cogent arguments in a way that often leaves Boris (who is famously lax on reading briefings and has boasted on getting by in life and politics on being disheveled and winging it) looking even more of a total incompetent than he is.

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1 minute ago, Werthead said:

His strongest asset is his background as a lawyer, meaning that he has a command of fine detail and an ability to make cogent arguments in a way that often leaves Boris (who is famously lax on reading briefings and has boasted on getting by in life and politics on being disheveled and winging it) looking even more of a total incompetent than he is.

Wow, it must be really neat to have a country that does things like cares about actual incompetence at a leadership level

so neat

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1 minute ago, Kalibuster said:

Wow, it must be really neat to have a country that does things like cares about actual incompetence at a leadership level

so neat

To be fair, 52% still bought the Brexit bullshit spun by Johnson. And the Tories won a massive majority in 2019, under Johnson.

They voted for a lying, incompetent scoundrel, and are now outraged that he’s a lying, incompetent scoundrel.

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3 minutes ago, Kalibuster said:

Wow, it must be really neat to have a country that does things like cares about actual incompetence at a leadership level

so neat

I mean the UK doesn’t really. It doesn’t get talked up as a virtue in the way it occasionally does in the US but Johnson’s incompetent, it was always obvious he was going to be incompetent and it’s not been a problem for him until now.

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31 minutes ago, Werthead said:

..Boris (who is famously lax on reading briefings and has boasted on getting by in life and politics on being disheveled and winging it) looking even more of a total incompetent than he is.

He really is Donald's long-lost cousin, isn't he?

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