Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the category “Selected Posts”

Covid19 – Attempting a Personal Risk Assessment

My doctor has confirmed that I count as “vulnerable” (due to lung problems) and therefore I should socially-distance for “at least 12 weeks”. This is the only real mitigation step offered by this government (so far; drafting this on 21 March 2020). Can applying Health and Safety principles – particularly with regard to Risk Assessment help me take steps that are both proportionate and effective?

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Stepping into the Abyss

Tomorrow is election day in the UK and the country seems poised to step into the abyss. This is the most dismal prospect that I have faced in my adult life and in my Tory Safe Seat – so safe the others are not even working it, I have no say. Facing retirement, with a small uncertain occupational pension pot, and poor health, I am scared for my future and of probable social unrest. I (in my stupid uncomprehending prejudiced dotage?) believe that sorting out the mess that will be precipitated by the votes of others tomorrow will take decades.

How have we got to this state?

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In Praise of the Fixed Term Parliament Act

There has been much comment about “the problems with the Fixed Term Parliament Act” preventing a Government from calling an election when it wants to – even preventing a resolution of the dreaded Brexit Question.

However, I believe it is a useful bulwark of Parliamentary Democracy. Our Parliamentary Democracy is imperfect and has its problems but it is important to support it. The Fixed Term Parliament Act (FTPA) does this.

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D Day: “Don’t Call Me a Hero”

Watching the commemorations of D-Day, 75 years ago, I am struck by the numbers of veterans who say “Don’t Call Me A Hero”; those that died are the real heros.” With the deepest respect, I beg to differ.

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Coalitions of Convenience

Some cite the European Elections as being “more democratic” than in the UK “because they are done on Proportional Representation“. This is a thoroughly misleading statement given the current state of politics, particularly in the UK.

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Manipulation and EU Elections – twilight of Democracy?

I worry about whether the forthcoming EU Elections can be truly “free and fair”. Outside forces seem to have the ability and desire to over-ride the wishes of the people.

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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.

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Who is afraid of No Deal?

We are getting a lot of coverage of the prospects of No Deal in the UK’s Brexit negotiations. This could be because as we approach the cliff edge we are beginning to wonder what No Deal really looks like. But there could be other reasons. Read more…

The Legacy of Cameron

There is much writing about the “bad boys of Brexit” – those who fiddled the referendum and spread the lies. But we have to remember the man who enabled the referendum and the resulting mess. Read more…

What if: Stop Brexit or Exit from Brexit

There is a growing demand for either:

  • A people’s vote on the final Brexit Deal. The options not yet clear but could include any permutation of:
    • Deal on Offer,
    • No Deal,
    • Continue Negotiation,
    • Abandon Brexit
  • Just abandoning Brexit as “too difficult”, undesirable or lacking a robust undisputed mandate.

But just calling for either of these options is insufficient. There is a danger of just reversing the current polarisation rather than healing the massive divisions in the country. (Never mind the divisions in the Conservative Party – until they are resolved the country will never have political peace.)

The question has to be asked, “what are the consequences of either of the above actions and how can they be managed?” It was failure to consider the consequences of a Leave vote (two years ago!) that has left us in our current mess. We want to get out of the mess, not just turn it upside down. Read more…

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