Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Democracy”

A Failure of Parliamentary Democracy – the ongoing tale

Scope: UK Politics

All sides seem fed up with the way the Brexit negotiations have been handled, but in Parliament they seem so focused on Deal or No-Deal that they are not asking “why are we in this mess?”.

The answer would seem to be multiple failures of Parliamentary Democracy.

Read more…
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Mundell worried about Structural Damage: Scotland & Brexit?

The Secretary of State for Scotland has said he is worried about “structural damage”. However he said this in relation to the second fire at Glasgow’s School of Art (The Macintosh Building); I have not heard him say anything similar about the constitutional fire that his happening on his watch.

The “Scottish Question” is becoming more poisonous as the Tory Government in Westminster seems determined to implement its policy of “Brexit at all costs” – the “Will of the People” apparently. Read more…

Reasons to be Fearful – 1,2,3

  1. Putin
  2. May
  3. Trump

Possibly in that order! Read more…

Will Democracy ever work for me?

Yes, I mean me personally. I got the vote in the mid 1970’s and democracy has never worked for me (talking UK). My vote has never made a difference and I have always been told that I must accept the “democratic will of the people”.

So I have, over and over and over again. Read more…

Enemies of the People

The country is split; horribly horribly split. This week’s High Court judgement has opened the split even more.

But dig deeper and it is not a Brexit vs Anti-Brexit split. It is a deeper and more dangerous split amongst the people of this country. The split is between those who have given up on the major institutions of the country (Parliament, Judiciary, City, “Mainstream Media”) – as well as the EU and all its institutions – and those who are still trying to have faith in some of the institutions.

Read more…

North East England is not Metropolitan

The mini devolution deal for North East (of England) is apparently in danger of running out of time.

In a letter sent to the councils which make up the North East Combined Authority, and which has been seen by the BBC, Mr Javid said: “I reaffirm the government’s commitment to implementing the North East devolution deal in full.

“[However] without an elected mayor the deal cannot progress.

“There is a significant risk now that we will run out of time to implement the deal unless you publish your governance review and scheme, and move forward with the consultation immediately.”
BBC News Website, 26 August 2016 | North East devolution delay ‘risks £900m investment’

Why does an area that includes two conurbations (Newcastle-Gateshead-Tyneside and Sunderland-Washington) and a huge rural area (Northumberland and Durham) need an elected mayor to manage transport, skills and training? The LEPs (remember them?) where set up by the Conservatives to address issues that included skills and training. Read more…

Can a General Election Trump a Referendum?

“We will vote in Parliament to block any attempt to invoke Article 50 until Theresa May commits to a second referendum or a general election on whatever EU exit deal emerges at the end of the process.”
BBC News Website, 24 August 2016 | Brexit: Owen Smith opposes Article 50 move without vote

It is arguable that we (“the people”) should have some sort of final say – particularly since it is becoming clear that “Brexit means Brexit” could be many different things – some of which will strike the Quitters as “betrayal”. In this context Owen Smith’s position raises an interesting and potentially disturbing question:

Can a party winning a general election with say 36% of the vote claim a mandate to over-ride a referendum that voted 52% in favour of a particular proposition? And if it can’t, where would Prime Minister Owen Smith then stand?

Read more…

Trump and Brexit

I would like to write him off, but Trump did win the Republican Nomination even though so many commentators said he was a joke.

Why did he win the nomination?

  • He has plugged into something that most commentators (professional and amateur) don’t understand
  • I suspect that his supporters hold “commentators” in contempt, so either,
    • they are not listening to the commentators saying what a danger he is, or
    • they are listening and what is being said just hardens their support for him

He put together a coalition of support in places where it mattered and won the nomination. To win the presidency (elected by an electoral college) he has to build a coalition of support in places where it matters – the swing states. Outside those marginals it does not matter what people think or vote.

Read more…

What the hell DO we want?

51.9% (of those who voted) don’t want the status quo. That was meant to be the “EU membership” status quo, but has probably been taken to mean a more general status quo.

So apart from “something different” what do the Brexiteers / Leavers / Quitters want? Read more…

What a way to decide!

I don’t like to say that the “British People” – averaged out – are incapable of making big decisions, but the various Quit/Stay campaigners are making it very difficult and illustrating why referenda are not necessarily a good idea. Read more…

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