Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the category “Labour”

Any leadership to prevent this Brexit?

There was a Labour Party public meeting held this week-end in this Tory safe seat. Whilst in some ways it is heartening to see any political activity in the constituency that is well outside the marginals, it is also a bit worrying to see potential dissipation of effort. Arguably Labour should be putting its efforts into more marginal seats in the region, either defending seats vulnerable to loss or seeking to recapture winnable seats from the Tories.

Local officials seemed very chipper despite accepting that the Council Election results were a “disaster”. It was not quite so unrealistic as saying “one more heave”, but the view seemed to be that a few more heaves would capture the seat.

But by the time that has happened, the country may look very different. Read more…

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Who will provide the next opposition?

A while ago whilst feeling frustrated watching a usually unedifying episode of Question Time I tweeted a poll asking:

Who will provide next opposition

Now a few self-selected votes is about as far from a representative sample as you can get and the response possibly indicates that SNP supporters watching Question Time are more likely to click on polls! However  Read more…

Laboured Lessons in Communication

The UK Labour Party have today made an announcement about their education policy (“our fantastic new education policy that will give the next generation the best chance”).

Before commenting on it, I am intrigued by the way it is being communicated to their supporters’ list. I am puzzled by the paucity of the announcement – given the above objective. Read more…

Copeland and the Search for Opposition

The Copeland by-election result is being played as “disastrous” for the Labour Party and is once again raising questions about the Labour leadership. In some respects the Labour Leadership is not the issue – but a search for opposition is.

In this respect we have to be careful about reading too much into the Copeland result. 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…

Cash for Votes – again

So the Labour Machine is at it again.

If you joined early this year responding to the “join and be a full part of Labour”, your membership contract apparently does not include the right to vote in an election that was not in the offing when you joined and which was called many months after you joined.

The appeal court has decided that the NEC (the top machine of a party that understands machine politics) is allowed to disqualify a group of members from having a right to vote in the leadership election. Presumably the NEC has something against this group of members. Breach of Contract does not apply – you cannot ask for “specific performance”.

But wait all was not lost … Read more…

We voted against Elites; the Elites consolidate

It has been said that much of the reason for the Brexit vote was people’s desire to vote against elites. So what has changed?

There are changes in the Conservative party and there are rumblings within the Labour Party. Read more…

Post “The Day” Reflections

Ok, I think it’s a disaster and I am livid at what I see as the way both campaigns – but particularly Leave’s – were run. (Remain was inept, but Leave at times seemed deliberately devious.) If I had been active in the campaign I would also be feeling sore.
But the deed is done and we have to accept the result even if we can’t respect it. But there are a number of issues that bear closer examination.

Read more…

Abolishing Opposition

Tim Farron is emailing about the budget:

Today we saw exactly what we’ve come to expect from George Osborne.

While gleefully abolishing vital services in our communities, he declared with his usual arrogance, that he had abolished the Liberal Democrats.
Email “They want to abolish us” from Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

He doeth protest too much! Read more…

Putting the Submarine before the Missile

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested the UK could keep its Trident submarine fleet but without carrying nuclear warheads.

The Labour leader told the Andrew Marr show that protecting defence jobs was his “first priority” and there were “options” for doing this while taking a lead in global nuclear “de-escalation”.
BBC News Website, 17 January 2016 : Corbyn: UK could keep Trident submarines but without warheads

This strikes me as being as stupid as putting the cart before the horse! Without the nuclear missiles the justification for these exceptionally expensive submarines disappears.

It also worries me that it appears that the Labour leader is prepared to build these white elephants (for that is what they will be under a Corbyn Government) purely to protect the jobs of Unite members. There has to be a better way of spending the money. Read more…

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