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UK General Election; June 8th 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Campaigning has resumed with May's record on cutting police numbers Vs Corbyn's refusal to vote for anti-terror legislation both being highlighted by their opposit numbers. Polls have the gap between the two leading parties as minimal and suggestions that, if they were reflected in the vote that the Tories, while still winning, could see their majority slashed to nothing. May has been trounced by the media or her low visibility and appearance rate during the campaign, Corbyn meanwhile for not going into opposition held seats, but simply appearing in his own held areas (leading to accusations that he is merely shoreing up his existing vote rather than going for new ones). He is appearing in some large scale rallies in the next few days so his profile will be fairly high in comparison to May's in the run up to voting day. Not that it will influence things much, but Stephen Hawking has thrown his support behind Labour on the grounds of their NHS policy mainly, he says.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Won't it be nice when all the election stress is relieved on June 9th?
But then on June 9th begins the "Oh crap" results day..
adding a new set of stress stuff.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the man said, it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always wins! Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well - it's all over bar the shouting ....... but there's guarenteed to be plenty of that in the next 24 hours! Poll's have the difference between the two front runners at just one point and yesterday Corbyn drew a bigger crowd in Birmingham than Blair did prior to his landslide in 1997. But having a quick reality check, short of a big, a really big turn around in voting patterns from 2015, he's unlikely to do much more than put a dint in May's majority (but let's face it - even that's way more than was expected of him).
Unquestionably Corbyn has had the better campaign - but in my view for all of this his team appears hopelessly under par in comparison to May's and this may well scupper him. Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary has been a walking disaster every time she has appeared and the rest don't come across as much better. But this has been a campaign based on the Leaders; May has made it so from the beginning, and she may live to rue the day. Policy wise, the Labour manifesto has stolen the day with its radical turn back to a true socialist vision of a country of mixed public and private ownership - while the Tories bleak vision of 'hard choices and harder decisions' has struggled to compete against what they see as a fairy tail wish list on Labours part. If I had to call it today I'd go for a Tory win - but with a significantly reduced majority, but given that the marginals rest on often but a few hundred votes, even this could be wildly wrong in either direction! What will tomorrow bring, a socialist utopia where we all dust down our loons (any body remember them) and step back into the 70's or a post-Brexit capitalist dream where May rides of to Europe in order to make Britain Great again? Anybody's guess really but me, I'm off for a night in a swanky hotel to celebrate mine and the missus sixtieth later this month. The rest will be, as they say, history - I'm out of here! Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

60 years? Congrats. Very Happy I thought I was doing well at 19. Very Happy

Well, today's the day. Let's see what happens. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nineteen! Was I ever nineteen? Laughing

Yes - today's the day and it'll likely belong to the Tories. But as a postscript, it's worth saying that one of the big suprises of this campaign has been just how well people have responded to a raft of good old socialist policies that pre-Corbyn would have been almost unthinkable even to utter. I have long said that there is an underlying groundswell in this country of discontent with the 'business as usual' politics of self, self, self. It has manifested itself in the 'Occupy' movement, Brexit, the election of Corbyn to party leader and now his storming of the Tory lead in the polls - and even following a probable Labour defeat will not go away. On the latter, one of Corbyns chiew weaknesses in this election campaign has, as I have observed before, been the poor quality of his team. Had some of the Labour heavyweights that opposed his leadership from day one [think Ed Balls, Evete Cooper, The Milliband brothers, Hillary Benn etc] actually thrown in behind the man he just actually might have pulled it off. Shame on them for their betrayal of both the man who the rank and file of their party chose to elect as leader [twice!] and the people of the country who voted Labour in the genuine hope of change for the better.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well OK, the votes are in, the numbers counted and the result pretty much nailed.

The Tories have won - but by a much reduced number of seats than previously having lost 12. They now hold 318 seats - 8 short of the 326 they would need in order to hold an absolute majority. Labour have gained 29 seats bringing their total to 261. A total of 70 seats are held by other parties and one seat remains to be counted.

Theresa May, who has been savaged for her failure to deliver the majority mandate she hoped for in an election she need not have called at all, has with the guarded support of the Democratic Unionist Party [of Northern Ireland] been to see the Queen to request permission to form a minority Government of which she, for a short time at least, will remain leader. The DUP - a protestant party known for it's pretty inflexible rather narrow minded position on many issues [think gay marriage, abortion etc] has ten seats which, if they throw in with the Tories, will bring the total number under May,s control to 328 - just over the magic 326 figure needed to pass legislation in the house. OK so far, but the DUP have made it clear that they will not enter into a formal coalition with the Tories, and that they expect some pretty juicy payback in return for their cooperation!

All in all it's a pretty messy result and a million miles away from what May must have expected when she called the election. Noticeable by their absence on the screens today were her Tory party colleagues, who failed to a man to come out and offer her their support in the next difficult few days - a sure fire indication that they regard her as fataly wounded and are behind the scenes circling ready to come in for the kill. Corbyn and Farron have both said that her position is untenable and that she should resign forthwith. The Tories are noted for their viciousness in dispatching their own leadership when they loose their grip on the party, and all the indications are that May has done so in spectacular style. It will not be Labour or the Lib-Dems that do for her, but her own ambitious and merciless colleagues performing true to their competative capitalist natures.
Many have speculated that there will be another election in a short period of time and while this is indeed a possibility, I have my doubts. The public are simply exhausted by the number of elections/referendum votes they have been expected to partake in in recent years, and in any case, working in tandem with other parties and taking a realistic view on what can be got past a highly sceptical legislature, could well hone the Governments thinking and actions in ways that bring unexpected benefits - particularly as it is bound to exert a modifying influence on the nature of any forthcoming Brexit negotiations that May has to attend.
Corbyn for his part has effectively secured his position as Labour Leader for the foreseeable future - and as I said yesterday, there will be some very red faces amongst those Labour big-wigs who singularly failed to support their man at his time of need and effectively lost their party the election. The SNP have lost some ground in this election and the Lib-Dems gained a little. UKIP have been wiped out and their leader Paul Nutall has already jumped ship.

So for now it looks as though the Tories will limp along in Government - but they are emasculated indeed and will rue the day that they allowed their leader to make a reckless and opportunistic bid for a Landslide. It all goes to show that any politician who presumes to judge the people of Great Britain do do what is expected of them is in deep waters, deep waters indeed!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on your 60th year of marriage..

and I though I was an old geezer on these boards...
(63 in July)

or was that both you and yours 60th birthday?
In which case still makes me an old pharte...
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Sorry for the ambiguity there Ur-Dead - birthdays not anniversaries, so that does still make me a relative youngster ..... Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darn.. Been geezered by a youngin again.... Ride em Cowboy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - it's worth sticking with this a while longer because things are still panning out and it's by no means a closed book.

May is attempting to struggle on, though some consider her mortally wounded. This DUP alliance thing seems to be taking shape which will just about make up her majority, BUT (a big one) she has absolutely no slack not to satisfy every single one of her MP's with her preparation of her 'Queens Speech's which must be voted through the House of Commons before delivery by the Monarch in a week or so's time. If it fails to pass through the House (and two or three rebelling MP's would see it rejected), then it's back to square one for another election, unless Corbyn can muster enough support to form an alternative Government ....... which would then face exactly the same problems that May faces now! Corbyn has stated that he's ready to either give it a go or to fight another campaign, and the papers are suggesting that big beast Boris Johnson is ready to challenge May for the leadership. May has sacked her two closest advisors, widely disliked by the Tory cabinet for their 'closed shop' control of the PM - but rumour has it she was forced to do so against her will or face an immediate leadership challenge, and it remains to be seen how well she will function without them. How she will manage to get the opposing demands of the Brexit and Remain elements of her party and the particular demands of the DUP into a set of proposals that 326 members will vote for in the House remains to be seen - as I say one or two deserters will see her mandate to form a government evaporate and then it's goodness knows where! A case of 'Watch this space!' if ever there was one!

(Edit; important addition to the above - I had not realised this, but apparently Sinn Fein who took 7 seats in Northern Ireland will not take up their place in the HOC, so the Tories will, with the 'Confidence and Supply' arrangement they are to take up with the DUP, command a majority of 13 in the House. This, while just about workable for the time being, cuts them absolutely no slack for absences or abstainers on any issue, let alone votes in opposition from their own disgruntled members. When the thorny issues of Brexit start coming before the House there is a real possibility that the Government will simply implode. Corbyn has said Labour will propose an alternative Queens Speech, which if passed in the House (not however likely) would allow him to approach the Queen to ask for permission to form a minority Government. And oh yes, just for good measure it's worth noting - the Brexit negotiations are due to begin in nine days time Shocked.)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There has been some confusion as to the progress being made in the Confidence and Supply arrangement between the Tories and the DUP: over the weekend 10 Downing Street announced that an agreement had been reached, but the DUP denied this and so they modified it to nearly reached. There was no significant progress on this front yesterday, though May did manage to survive her first​ confrontation with her back benchers since the damaging election result. It seems she might live on for the time being (Boris Johnson has apparently droped any thoughts of having a pitch for the job of leader for the moment), but if she is unable to get the DUP on board then things could change rapidly. To this end May is meeting DUP leader Arlene Foster today at Downing Street - and she needs it to yeild results. No agreement = no government (effectively).

On a related front Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said that he considers that any arrangements or agreements between the UK government and the DUP will not be in the interest of Northern Ireland - enough to send a shudder up the spine of any of us old enough to remember the Troubles and how hard it was to stop them. Coming as it does at the very time that government of the province has been suspended to to failure of the DUP and Sinn Fein to find agreement on power sharing, this is not good timing - not good timing at all!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick update; the DUP-Conservative arrangement is taking longer than expected to materialise and the Tory backbenchers are getting restless. Rumour has it a ten day ultimatum has been issued - get it sorted out or you go! BoJo is still front runner for taking up the challenge ....... but we've been here before and he blew it on that occasion so would he do any better now. The Queens speech (see above) has been put back by a few days to give a bit of extra time and May has announced that this parliament will sit for two years instead of the normal one. These are fairly unusual constitutional adjustments and are a sign of just how far from normal is the territory we currently occupy. Angry protesters marched on Downing Street a few days ago due to perceived failings in the civic response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the mood of the country is an unhappy one to say the least. I'm not the only one by a long chalk who has deep reservations as to how many more such tragedies or indeed divisive political events this nation will absorb before there is an inevitable blow-back.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Quick update; the DUP-Conservative arrangement is taking longer than expected to materialise and the Tory backbenchers are getting restless. Rumour has it a ten day ultimatum has been issued - get it sorted out or you go! BoJo is still front runner for taking up the challenge ....... but we've been here before and he blew it on that occasion so would he do any better now. The Queens speech (see above) has been put back by a few days to give a bit of extra time and May has announced that this parliament will sit for two years instead of the normal one. These are fairly unusual constitutional adjustments and are a sign of just how far from normal is the territory we currently occupy. Angry protesters marched on Downing Street a few days ago due to perceived failings in the civic response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the mood of the country is an unhappy one to say the least. I'm not the only one by a long chalk who has deep reservations as to how many more such tragedies or indeed divisive political events this nation will absorb before there is an inevitable blow-back.


Dang if British Politics aren't starting to look almost as interesting as the US's Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rawedge Rim wrote:

Dang if British Politics aren't starting to look almost as interesting as the US's Twisted Evil



They are more low-key..
They have a 900 year head start.
After a while you get into a rut with periods of intense
loud verbal discussions.
With the occasional " I'LL DO YOU MATE!! "
(If your an Aussie or a Zelander then that's daily,
and that's between friends)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, been out of action for a while, but of course politics never sleeps. Smile

Coalition government still not resolved?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Queens Speech (in which she reads a statement of intent from her government as to what they want to achieve over the course of the next parliament) is tomorrow; May needs the DUP arrangement in place by then, hence today is a day of feverish activity dotting the i's and crossing the t's. The DUP are difficult, but not stupid - they know this allows them to punch way above their weight and they won't let the opportunity fail on the grounds of a few small disagreements.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, the expectation is that the coalition will be coalescing?

Has Sinn Fein softened their opposition to this, or is that still expected to be an added complexity for the new government?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sinn Fein will never soften their opinion of this, but it will go ahead nevertheless. How much damage will it do to the peace process - only time will tell, but yes - it will be an added complexity to an already strained relationship between the power sharing parties of Northern Ireland and the UK government trying to hold it all together.
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