Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the category “Political Irrelevance”

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…

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…

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…

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…

Tomorrow’s Party

The (UK) Electoral Reform society has launched a short public consultation on what tomorrow’s party should look like.

Will Brett Head of Media at the Electoral Reform Society discusses it on Democratic Audit. Read more…

Party Funding leads to hang-overs

“We need parties. The alternative is nightmarish. The leaders’ pathetic search for cash to pay for their parties fuels the anti-politics mood and yet they need the money. Virtually every dark story in British politics over the last 30 years has a connection with the funding of politics, but without funding parties cannot function.”
Steve Richards, The Guardian, 24 November 2013, Politics is too valuable to be paid for by union barons, fat cats or Methodist ministers. It should be state funded

But why do (national) parties need to be so dominant? We do not elect governments, we elect representatives. (The resulting balance of representatives then determines the government). Read more…

HS2: Fiscal Irresponsibility? Political Avoidance

Questions tonight (23 August 2013) from Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin: If the cost [of HS2] continues to go up, do you pull the plug? (I think she asks 4 times.)

Now this is a Conservative Minister, from a party that believes in “living within your means” and sound money, so the answer has to be obvious: Read more…

Is the CoE Episcopal?

I always understood that the Church of England was an Episcopal church – meaning that it was one where authority was vested in bishops.

I fail to understand how your view on the gender of your bishop can permit you to individually decide whether you accept the authority of a bishop. Read more…

Mockery and Mock Hate

How should MPs behave in the UK House of Commons?

Usually it is half-empty but those present are earnestly debating particular points.  At times of crisis it might be full and hearing someone in near silence (Geoffrey Howe’s and Robin Cook’s resignation statements come to mind).

But at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) it is like a GM mutation of the contents of a farmyard and a football stadium.

Is this the way it should be?  It is argued that a Prime Minister must be able not just to survive but to thrive in this environment.  Which is a bit like saying that a taxi driver should be able to do J-turns and donuts. Read more…

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