Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the category “Press”

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…

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Unwitted Consequences

Single man meets single woman on dating site – nothing salacious, no story even for the gutter press.

The man is a cabinet minister – again no story just sympathy for someone in the public eye trying to form a relationship.

The woman has a chequered professional past – again no real story; dating websites are said to be full of profiles that don’t exactly tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Relationship ends – again no story just sympathy for someone in the public eye trying to form a relationship.

So why are we abuzz with stories of hypocrisy, lack of transparency and conflicts of interest? Read more…

Parallels 100 years on

100 years ago a conflict started that brought death to one household in 6 in the UK. That we should mark this event would seem appropriate, but what is an appropriate mark?

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Guarding the Guardian?

Owen Jones on the Guardian website discussing Secret Trials concludes:

Yes, let’s have a debate about preserving our security. If the state wishes to provide terrorists with ready-made propaganda, then flaunting its attacks on civil liberties is one way of going about it. Our governments have served as highly effective recruiting officers for terrorism in other ways, too – whether it be backing the Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s, backing various hellish regimes such as the witch-beheading gangsters running Saudi Arabia, or the invasion of Iraq which handed vast swathes of the country to al-Qaida. These are actions that imperil our security. But if we want to ensure our safety, cracking down on civil liberties is as counter-productive as it is wrong-headed.
The Guardian “Comment is free” 5 June 2014: Britain’s first secret trial: this way lies trouble

So very true; but what follows? Read more…

So What? – Post-Election Ponderings

So some councillors and MEPs have lost their seats, some have gained or regained their seats. As a result some councils have changed control but there has been little change in the European Parliament. In due course the wheel will turn full circle and some of those seats will move back.

We expected the Liberal Democrats to get a hammering. And they have – councillors and MEPs (including some very good ones) are apparently responsible for all the evils of the Westminster coalition.

We expected UKIP to do dramatically well (much as the SDP did in the early days). And they have, at least in terms of votes; but under First Past the Post, few seats. Sunday was different as across Europe sundry sceptic and reactionary parties won seats.

We expected Labour to come back at the expense of the Conservatives. And in general they have – a bit. Across Europe the Conservatives (both European “Merkel” Conservatives and “Cameron” Conservatives) lost to Socialists and to “Others” – mainly sceptics.

In the UK, the BNP lost its MEPs, but elsewhere in Europe, the BNPs fellow travellers made gains.

Beyond that it is very hard to draw firm conclusions. We can postulate a few soft ones though! Read more…

Press Charter – watch who takes flight

So the Government has further watered down its proposals for a Press Royal Charter to try to get the press barons on board. Why? Read more…

The Paper that Hates Britain

Interesting article by Ian Aitkin in today’s Guardian (I know leftie paper etc.), but its conclusion is of wider interest: Read more…

The Daily Flail and (National) Socialism

The man who hated Britain“; Well, what is the evidence? Let’s take the evidence as supplied by the persecution: Read more…

Conference Mischief making (1 of many)

So The Independent on Sunday has done a poll that shows that activists from a left-of-centre political party would prefer a parliamentary coalition with the Labour Party.

According to the poll for The Independent on Sunday by the respected grassroots website Liberal Democrat Voice, four out of 10 party activists want the Lib Dem leader to form a coalition with Labour in 2015, while a further 15 per cent would like to see a Labour-Lib Dem “confidence and supply” agreement, whereby the third party is free to vote against the Government but agrees not to bring down the Government or vote against its Budget.

In a major blow to some senior Lib Dems close to Mr Clegg who are planning a second term of coalition with the Conservatives, only  15 per cent want to see this deal, while 6 per cent would back a Conservative-Lib Dem “confidence and supply”.
The Independent website 15 September 2013 Exclusive poll reveals activists would want to form a coalition with Labour in 2015

How very illuminating and depressingly typical of the sort of stirring that is done around the party conferences. It just provokes more stupidity. Read more…

Language Battles

We have seen how the Conservatives have won a language battle over “Welfare” – with, for instance, use of statistics that has been condemned by the ONS and selective demonising of welfare recipients attempting to tar all welfare recipients with the label “welfare scrounger”. It has been suggested that they have set up the working poor (who do not think of themselves as “welfare recipients”) against the non-working poor.

This sort of use of propaganda is of course clever politics and we have seen it used elsewhere with similar success. At the beginning of this parliament they would not have got away with it. But by winning the language battle they have opened the opportunity for welfare cuts that will affect many to a small degree and a few to a very heavy degree. The debate now seems to be how can we solve the deficit problem by further welfare cuts (not by for instance ensuring that all pay their taxes). The deficit is “due” to excessive welfare, apparently – nothing to do with inadequate control of credit, poor regulation and massive government spending to prevent complete collapse of the world economy after the banking crisis. Osborne has said that he will not need to increase taxes in the next government – I can’t see him borrowing more, I can’t see massive growth, so presumably there are going to be further cuts. And which budget is not ring-fenced?

Given the success of this political ploy, we should ask: where is the current language battle and where will the Tories go when they have won the battle? Read more…

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