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UK General Election; June 8th 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:23 am    Post subject: UK General Election; June 8th 2017 Reply with quote

Ok - so here we are again. This morning [11.15 am, 18/04/17] UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called a for snap general election to be held on June 8th of this year. It isn't a done deal - given the UK's fixed term parliament laws May must secure a two thirds majority vote in the Commons for it to happen - but it is highly unlikely that she will fail to achieve this, not least because for Corbyn [the leader of the party with the second biggest number of sitting MP's] to not to urge his members to vote in favour of it would smack of political cowardice in the highest degree, and the UK media would crucify him for it.

So why has May, who has always said that she should see her term of office through to it's fixed term end in 2020, suddenly decided to 'about face' and put her mandate to the test years before she is obliged to do so. Well the clue is in just this; given her paltry majority in the House of Commons, the fact that she has herself never won a General Election and the increasing hostility being evidenced in the House of Lords toward her Brexit strategy, she really hasn't got a mandate to proceed with her vision for the post-Brexit UK at all. Add to this the seeming disarray of the major opposition party [Labour] who are some twenty points behind the Conservatives in the opinion polls with a leader at the helm who is seen as an electoral liability in the extreme to put it mildly - well May has really very little choice. The combined carrot and stick effect of these two factors is a motivating force that cannot be denied ..... and so [as I say] here we are again.

I'll try if I can to keep you guys across the water up to speed with the major developments as they happen; don't take anything I say as 'gospel' - I do the best I can to keep up to speed, but there will doubtless be things I'll miss or simply get wrong and for these I apologise in advance.

On the face of it this should be a done deal for the Tories [Conservative Party]; as said they are coasting well clear in the polls with an approval rating in the upper forties compared to the Labour mid twenties [disastrous for a mid-term opposition party when the encumbant government should be at it's least popular]. The other main contenders The Liberal Democrats are still licking their wounds after their disastrous results in the last election when they landed only 8 seats of a possible 650 or so, but the commentators I have seen so far are pretty upbeat about the development; they will sell themselves as the only credible alternative to May's 'hard Brexit' strategy [Corbyn is still pretty unclear on his own position re this, but has said he will not oppose May's stance] and may well capitalise on the floating vote of the unhappy Remainer's [people who voted to stay in the EU] from this position. If this strategy does in fact work then it may be that the Mandate that May hopes to get from this snap election will elude her yet.

And UKIP [the guys who really brought all this about in the first place] - what of them? Hard to say at this point whether they will be able to find a platform on which to attract much attention given that their primary 'raison d'etra' has been achieved - the exit of the UK from the EU - but who knows. Farage is nothing if not a dogged fighter, and I somehow douby he'll let a General Election pass without finding a way of getting into the thick of it. For my part, I just hope that at least some of the divisions that were opened up by the Brexit referendum might actually be healed by an election proper. I never thought the issue of EU membership could so easily be encapsulated as to be resolved by a simple yes/no vote and it may be that at least one bennefit of holding an election now will be to signal to the British people that once again it's business as usual in the mish-mash cut-and-thrust world of politics.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a FYI questions.
These so called snap election, is this common in the UK?
Doesn't these types of elections cause undue financial burden?
Would the PM position also be in question?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there anyway Brexit can be undone at this point? Or is this just a fight about the break details?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Article 50 has now been triggered so it's difficult to see how it could be reversed at this stage of the game - but I guess that this would be unlikely even if it were possible. More likely is that the different players will play upon the tones that they would take in the negotiation of our exit terms. The Tories will frame this as 'the Brexit election', arguing that only they can conduct the talks to our long term best interests, but that to do so they need a clear demonstration​ that they have the backing of the people. They will play upon the fears of what might happen in the event of the PM being hampered in her prosecution of the talks were her negotiating opponents of the opinion that her mandate from the British electorate was half hearted.
The Labour Party will do everything in their power to swing attention away from Brexit and towards domestic issues such as the NHS, austerity and education etc - but at this particular time, important as these issues are it is going to be a hard ask. In truth, rarely have they gone into an election in a worse state of disrepair​ (except perhaps when Michael Foot fought an election in the 80's) and with a leader perceived as an electoral liability of the worst kind.
The Lib Dems are well aware that the center ground of the political spectrum is potentially, if not theirs for the taking then at least the place where they may begin to sow the seeds of their recovery, and they will play hard to convince people that they need to be in the heart of the Brexit negotiations it order to soften the process and introduce some 'damage limitation' by ensuring we remain in the single market.

This will be the various thrusts of the key players in this election - but elections are tricky beasts at best and if a week is a long time in politics then the next seven could see more than a few heads roll before it is over.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Ur-dead, missed your post last night: in answer, no - normally terms of government run fairly close to full term but 'fixed term' parliments are a relatively​ new introduction into our law so snap elections may become more common. In all likelihood however, encumbent governments will stay in power as long as they can.
In respect of the financial burden, yes elections are expensive, but as parties fund their own campaigns much of the costs must be covered by their raising money from donors, which can and does create problems of conflict of interest. Finally, yes - the PM puts her own job on the line in calling an election. Firstly she could loose (not likely here though) or she could be wounded by a bad result such as a shrunken majority that forces a coalition government to be formed or indeed yet another election.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Ur-dead, missed your post last night: in answer, no - normally terms of government run fairly close to full term but 'fixed term' parliments are a relatively​ new introduction into our law so snap elections may become more common. In all likelihood however, encumbent governments will stay in power as long as they can.
In respect of the financial burden, yes elections are expensive, but as parties fund their own campaigns much of the costs must be covered by their raising money from donors, which can and does create problems of conflict of interest. Finally, yes - the PM puts her own job on the line in calling an election. Firstly she could loose (not likely here though) or she could be wounded by a bad result such as a shrunken majority that forces a coalition government to be formed or indeed yet another election.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So she's looking for a mandate, but might end up without anything? Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, bearing in mind that 48% of Brits voted against Brexit and they now have only the liberal democrats who are in support of their position, that's a hell of a lot of voters with really only one place left to go! That might well scupper even May's apparently invincible position. It's not likely, but who knows..........

(Quick edit; As expected the house has voted by a large majority in favour of holding the election as May proposed, with only 13 voting against - so it's off we go!)
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah well, hopefully something interesting comes out of it. Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Peter.
It pays to ask a source on these issues.
I have now gain knowledge.. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterdays media coverage seemed by and large to accept that it was a done deal that May would win convincingly, add significantly to the Tory majority and secure a much stronger mandate for her 'hard Brexit' exit strategy from the EU. Today the Daily Mail has her pledging in the Tory manifesto to end free movement of people across our boarders, to end our membership of the single market and to stop all European 'tampering' [sic] with our law - hard Brexit stuff if ever there was any doubt - and not guaranteed to please the '48%'. Corbyn has [I'm told but haven't verified it as yet] promised to increase the minimum wage to ten pounds per hour and to fund this by cuts in the defence budget [tricky stuff that smacks of an act of bribery by a desperate man you have to say] while the Lib/Dems seem not making much of a media presence at all as yet.

(Edit, later)

Just seen a clip of Corbyn speaking to an invited audience at the start of Labour's campaign. He seemed energised by the challenge ahead and the audience were clearly loving it. He spoke of returning power to the people (now where did I hear that message recently) and reminding us that the polls can be wrong.

2nd edit;

I think it worth noting that May's reported manifesto pledges represent something of a shift from her previous position and are reflective of an understanding of the very real risk she has taken in calling this election. Previously (if I have it right) her position was of entering the Brexit negotiations with the intention of ending the free movement of EU citizens across our boarders while still keeping us in the single market if possible (which allows us to trade freely in Europe with no traffic imposition). Now she is prepared to sacrifice the single market intention (which in fairness was never likely to be acceptable to the EU negotiators in the absence of free movement) on the alter of 'realpolitic' in order to ensure the votes of as many hard Brexiteer's in the voting public as possible. This will almost certainly result in a no-deal end to the Brexit negotiations which will throw us back onto WTO trading rules in a couple of years time. The Lib Dems, if they are clever, will play this to the hilt and have much to gain thereby if they do so. There are many Tory seats that are held by only a small majority and n any significant swing in voting practices these could fall like dominoes!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
...reminding us that the polls can be wrong.


Well, that's certainly the truth as we've seen recently... Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whats up with all the MP's who will be stepping down.. Is this normal? Or has this called election raddled something..
John Pugh
Fiona MacTaggart
Andrew Smith
Iain Wright
Pat Glass
Tom Blenkinsop
Jim Dowd
Gisela Stuart
Andy Burnham
Alan Johnson
Simon Burns
Angela Watkinson
George Osborne
Douglas Carswell
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a variety of reasons here Ur-Dead; Carswell is an ex UKIP MP who is looking to rejoin the ranks of the Tories, Osbourne has recently been in the press for pursuing outside interests in the form of four jobs that net him 600,000 pounds a year so he can hardly go to his constituency and say that they will get his full attention. There will be plenty of similar reasons amongst the rest - and given that there are 650 seats to contest there is bound to be a fair number who retire/change career's or simply loose faith etc. (Edit; that is not to say that this election has not 'raddled' something. The whole situation seems pretty raddled here at present.)

Meanwhile Corbyn has firmly ruled out any softening of the Labour position on supporting a hard Brexit which, by all accounts, has delighted the lib-Dems.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In what can only be seen as a refutation of Theresa May's statement that Brexit is a done deal, EU Parlimentary President Antonio Tajani has said that it would be a simple matter for Article 50 to be reversed should it be the will of the British electorate.

May's electorial pronouncement of her intention to guarantee Britain's comittment to foreign aid but not to that of maintaining the annual increases in domestic pension payments has aroused some hostile coverage in the press, and Donald Trump has (perfectly reasonably) said that he will place the EU before the UK in the queue for trade deals to be made in the near future.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I thought Trump was all in favour of the Brexit...hope the opposition campaigners are making much of both statements.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was reported front page on The Times Av, but very little mention elsewhere. It hasn't as yet been picked up by the Lib-Dem campaign, but it's early days. The Lib-Dem leader Tim Farron has given an unequivocal guarentee that his party will not be entering into any post-electorial pacts/coalition's - recognition of the damage suffered by the party as a result of the coalition with Cameron's Tory government a few years ago.
Theresa May is refusing to go head to head in live debate with the other party leaders and is getting a bit of stick for that, but in fairness it's her election to lose and she has least to gain and most to lose from a live TV debate​
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
It was reported front page on The Times Av, but very little mention elsewhere. It hasn't as yet been picked up by the Lib-Dem campaign, but it's early days. The Lib-Dem leader Tim Farron has given an unequivocal guarentee that his party will not be entering into any post-electorial pacts/coalition's - recognition of the damage suffered by the party as a result of the coalition with Cameron's Tory government a few years ago.
Theresa May is refusing to go head to head in live debate with the other party leaders and is getting a bit of stick for that, but in fairness it's her election to lose and she has least to gain and most to lose from a live TV debate​


as Lincoln said: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proverbs 17:28?
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