And after the election…they make a desert and call it peace (week one)

******BLOG IN PROGRESS******

Gosh, it’s been a mad few days hasn’t it?

The Ireland blog goes into some depth on the Irish issues and why the DUP in coalition is possibly for the Conservatives the

comic-book-guy-internet-king

Though neither in theory should/will ever sit in Parliament, mostly due to the Good Friday Agreement (see the Ireland blog for more on this) Sinn Féin’s manifesto pledges are light years ahead of the DUP’s. Here are just some of their election posters.

sf election posters copy

So why, if the soundbite this week is just ‘stability’ (looks like they lost the ‘strong’) is May re-shuffling the deck (pun intended) on the Downing Street Titanic? If anything this puts more focus on them as a party both in and of peril. And it’s shows little change. Nineteen Secretarial posts filled and only five changes? What is the point?

So who stays?

Jeremy Hunt stays as Health Secretary.

Here is his voting record.

I can’t imagine anyone else wants that hot potato and the Conservatives have already shown, as talked of in other blogs, that they

  1. will sell off the last remnants of the NHS,
  2. don’t care their wages are the same as they were in 2009,
  3. and shrug when they are told nurses are being forced to use foodbanks.

Justine Greening stays as Education Secretary.

She’ll be responsible for taking free lunches off infants in England and implementing the huge cuts schools face, even though many of them are bare-boned as it is. And her education voting record is pure Conservative

  1. for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
  2. for academy schools
  3. for ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education
  4. and for university tuition fees in general

Other non movers in the Top of the Conservative Pops are:

Chancellor of the Exchequer – Philip Hammond

Old ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ aka The Undertaker seems to vacillate in his voting history, which is just what we want in a Chancellor of the Exchequer.  🤔 He is

  1. for raising the threshold at which people start to pay income tax
  2.  for increasing the rate of VAT
  3. against increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000
  4. for encouraging occupational pensions but a mixture of for and against automatic enrolment in occupational pensions
  5. against a banker’s bonus tax but a mixture of for and against higher taxes on banks
  6. against an annual tax on the value of expensive homes (the ‘mansion tax)
  7. for allowing employees to exchange some employment rights for shares in the company they work for
  8.  for more restrictive regulation of trade union activity
  9. for reducing the rate of corporation tax
  10. for measures to reduce tax avoidance
  11. and for and against stronger tax incentives for companies to invest in assets

This sounds like a man who does not know his own mind financially but even he was aghast when May pledged not to raise any taxes in her bumbling election interviews.

 

Secretary of State for the Home Department – Amber Rudd

Yep, the woman nearly lost her seat and who told police officers to their face a week or so ago they earn 40 grand is back. She voted for

  1. a stricter asylum system
  2. requiring the mass surveillance AND retention of information about communications from all individuals, whether they’re on any ‘watch lists’ or not
  3. stronger enforcement of immigration rules
  4. and merging police and fire services under Police and Crime Commissioners.

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Boris Johnson

He made his true colour(s) stand out in the election build up. From his aggressive bombast, pettiness and chicanery, to trying to overpower Labour Election Co-ordinator and MP for Denton and Reddish Andrew Gwynne on TV (which failed, Boris looked shaky and coked up) Boris can pretend to be the lovable clown no longer.

His voting record on foreign policy makes for sobering reading. He was:

  1. for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas
  2. for the Iraq war but also for investigations into the Iraq war
  3. for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system
  4. against more EU integration
  5. against a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK
  6. against UK membership of the EU
  7. and for military action against ISIL (Daesh).

If Britain got her Empire back, I imagine him cheering and waving a Union flag. Oh wait, he’s already done that, whilst hanging from a zip wire…

At least he’s finally realised there’s an issue in the Middle East (as talked about in the Middle East blog) and has done his job (ish), and intervened in the Gulf diplomatic crisis for the first time, calling on Qatar to do more to clamp down on the funding of extremist groups but also urging Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to de-escalate and ease their blockade of Qatar. Four Middle Eastern states – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt – launched an air and land embargo of Qatar last week, accusing the tiny energy-rich state of funding terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. Frankly this is rich coming especially from Saudi, who, to be blunt, fund IS and are trying to exterminate the Yemeni people. Qatar deny doing any such thing and the figures back them up- only 0.3% of foreign Islamic fighters come from Qatar, and none have been involved in a terrorist attack in the Middle East or the west. Iran’s offer of food aid to Qatar has been responded to with a ‘thanks but not (yet) necessary’ and Qatar are considering asking Turkey for military aid. This situation could blow and while Boris is happy to bomb places, his peace mediating leaves a lot to be desired.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – David Davis

Davis, at time of writing, still has this attitude towards B*exit and here is his voting record in general.

DBVIhscUMAAB2rB

Secretary of State for Defence – Michael Fallon

This is the man who lied about Trident at Parliament, and was a rabid apartheid supporter, as has been said in other blogs. This man spearheaded the ‘Hang Mandela’ campaign back in the 80s.

hang mandela cons copy

Secretary for International Trade- Liam Fox

Well, let’s just say this (again)

liam fox

But he’s also anti-gay and pro fox hunting, and worse, as his voting record shows.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland-James Brokenshire (there had been echoes of it being perhaps anti Good Friday Agreement foamer Michael Gove but perhaps even May is not that blatant.) He has been blunt

  1. that Irish talks deadline of the 29th June is final and immovable
  2. and in a blunt allusion to Westminster direct rule, Brokenshire says if parties can’t agree then “the power to make decisions passes to others.”

Frankly, the balls on this man are bigger than Buster Gonad if he thinks the other parties are going to ignore Conservative and DUP machinations.

And yikes! Today (13/06/17) Sinn Féin are travelling to London to do their customary ‘sign up’ as MPs, and have said they will not take their Westminster seats (this is part of their mandate) but that the UK government cannot be seen as a neutral party to take over government of NI if the DUP do ally with the Conservatives. This is not over by a long shot.

  • A referendum on Irish unity could be next, in Ireland, Gerry Adams says, but Foster of the DUP shot back with the accusation that Sinn Féin deliberately stalled devolution at Stormont and without that, talk of unity is pointless.
  • In fact McGuinness resigned when the ‘ash for cash’ in which Foster is embroiled came out- costing Irish taxpayer £490 million– then he had the ‘bad form’ to go and die (he had been ill some time) and Stormont cannot be active without two leaders power-sharing, so she should know better than to pin that on Sinn Féin.
  • Yet again it’s the CIRA that are leading the ceasefire (as from 09/06/17, just like they did in 1994) while the DUP‘s allies, the UDA, are still killing people. An excellent piece on what this all means and why can be found here.
  • No wonder the second stage of DUP talks isn’t going to happen till today (14/06/17)! And again, we discover today (15/06/17) that the DUP did not come to any agreement with her. May swanned off to a football match in France! Unreal… meanwhile back in the real world, Sinn Féin leaders Gerry Adams and Michelle O’Neill are meeting with May tomorrow (15/06/17) not to ally, as they would never sit on the Conservative side of any governmental bench, but over concerns over NI neutrality– it is clear that the threat of them taking their seats in Westminster and wanting a waiving of the oath to the Queen to do so will be under discussion too- after all, they are ‘leftist’ and that would be their trump card to play. If the DUP are going to do it, in order to keep the balance of powers in Ireland, Sinn Féin would be within their rights to do this as well. Sinn Féin do not want Brokenshire as negotiator for NI power sharing, if the DUP ally with the Conservatives, for then, that party and any representative from that party, aren’t neutral by definition.

Brokenshire is pro B*exit, anti human rights, and while he’s happy to blow up Muslims, does not want to fund it. For more, check out his voting record.

Communities Secretary – Sajid Javid

This man voted

  • to remove the duty on the Commission for Equality and Human Rights to work to support the development of a society where people’s ability to achieve their potential is not limited by prejudice or discrimination and there is respect for human rights.
  •  against making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of caste
  • couldn’t be bothered to attend the vote on the Immigration Bill — New Clause 15 — Exemptions to Automatic Deportation of Criminals on Human Rights Grounds.
  • in favour of repealing the Human Rights Act 1998;
  • against plans to save the steel industry including fast-tracking infrastructure projects requiring large amounts of steel.

For more on how unsuited he is to be let alone remain in this post, look at the rest of his voting history here.

International development – Priti Patel

Another anti-gay, anti human rights voter, with a very aggressive foreign policy stance. She also voted for every repressive measure on Welfare and Benefits. I genuinely feel unclean after reading her voting record. No wonder May kept her, even though she does not do well in public ‘debate’ like Question Time. She toes the line and parrots the phrases but if May considers her an ally she’d be sorely mistaken. Though she appears to be a hard liner for B*exit, and is for the keeping of the 0.7% foreign aid budget, these issues have split the party and where those cards fall could see make or break for her political career.

Transport – Chris Grayling

Now some of his voting looks positively cuddly compared to some. He for example seems to be one of the few on the Cabinet that is pro gay rights. However, his voting in his own departmental issues is back to full ‘blue’.

  1. against greater public control of bus services
  2. against slowing the rise in rail fares
  3. for lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles
  4. against a publicly owned railway system

Business – Greg Clark

Another of the few that does not seem to hate gay people, but the nastiness soon shines through. For example:

  1. voted against a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK
  2. for cutting all benefits
  3. for a higher level of VAT but lower capital gains tax
  4.  for reducing the rate of corporation tax
  5.  for measures to reduce tax avoidance (no nest egg, then, Greg?)
  6. and a mixture of for and against stronger tax incentives for companies to invest in assets

Ok, yeah, he’s for ‘business’. For the rich…

Minister of State for Universities & Science- Jo Johnson, brother of Boris, is back.

This too seems a poisoned chalice, as a year ago, (just for one example) the B*exit vote resulted in the loss work for British academics being asked to leave EU-funded projects or to step down from leadership roles because they are considered a financial liability. This happened to me last year too, so it is not just MSM hyperbole. I guess he thinks he can make up the shortfall of EU students at our universities too, by voting like this:

  1.  for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
  2. for academy schools
  3. for ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education
  4. for university tuition fees in general

How do ‘the rich’ feel exactly about propping up this crumbling edifice? And how do 80% of UK students feel about being priced out of education? Quite strongly, if the general election result is any indication.

Where’s the shuffle?

Well Liz Truss has been moved again, from Justice to Chief Treasury Secretary. This is basically a demotion – she was widely condemned by the judiciary, which followed the High Court ruling on the government seeking Parliament’s permission to trigger Article 50. (And as many sources aver, the ‘letter’ trggering this has little legal standing.) This trigger was the formal start of the B*exit process. Those judges involved were heavily criticised by some of the MSM, and Truss was in turn criticised for failing to stand up for them.

This role seems, on the basis of her voting history, unsuited to her political stance.

  1. While she almost always voted for reducing the rate of corporation tax
  2. she voted a mixture of for and against measures to reduce tax avoidance
  3. and voted a mixture of for and against stronger tax incentives for companies to invest in assets

So the question remains- if this was the only ‘job’ left, why keep her at all?

Commons leader David Lidington takes over as Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor. This is someone who voted against gay rights and the Human Rights Act. And in his team Dominic Raab, the MP for Esher and Walton- this is a promotion for Raab, coming barely a week after he said, live on TV, that people use food banks not because they are poor but because they have “cash flow problems”; and for calls for cuts to disability benefits to be reversed were just a “childish wish list” unless the economy is growing. His voting record seems to not want to stop gay people having human rights, but nobody else can have any (seven votes against general human rights); yet another with a ‘bomb happy’ foreign policy and the now typical pattern of voting against anything that would help the poor and unemployed.

Damian Green moves from Work and Pensions Secretary to First Secretary of State, effectively May’s TwIC. And apart from voting for gay rights and for measures on tax avoidance, he too is a typical Conservative. 

His record while at the DWP is highly unpleasant too. He voted:

  • for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms
  • against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
  • against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
  • for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support
  • for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits when he could be bothered to turn up (46 votes for, 8 absences)
  •  against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed

One time Chief Treasury Secretary David Gauke has been appointed Work and Pensions secretary.

  1. He is the one who is breaking s.27(2) of the Pensions Act 2014 by not publishing the response on State Pension Age- the Conservatives broke this law for refusing to do this pre-election,
  2. and is altogether a nasty piece of work.
  3. A chronic tax avoider himself but also worked for Macfarlanes, a top city law firm that specialises in helping the wealthy avoid paying tax.
  4. He tried to thwart EU plans to blacklist territories with a zero rate of corporation tax after the Panama Papers disclosures.
  5. He is a huge proponent of food banks and the fact that the government, of which he is a part, has massively expanded the need for them.

For more on this, check this out. Looks like the swivel eyed IBS (who seems at present to have been overlooked for a Cabinet place) has a rival in sheer f*ckery. That was his record as Treasury Secretary. Now have a look at his Welfare and Benefits voting record:

  • for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the “bedroom tax“)
  • against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
  • against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
  • for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support
  • for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
  • and against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed.

Michael Gove is back in the Cabinet as Environment Secretary. So he takes over environment quality breaches that the High Court have deemed illegal and having voted

  1. against measures to prevent climate change more than once,
  2. for selling England’s state owned forests
  3. is 50/50 on fracking
  4. and for the badger cull despite a mass of evidence proving this would do nothing to tackle bovine TB
  5. is pro fox hunting
  6. for a tax on renewable energy

is obviously the right man for that job 🤔 Gove wasn’t safe in charge of our prisons and schools, and would make just as big a pig’s ear of the Environment brief.

Plus, he’s a Murdoch lackey. The Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson, has even written to Theresa May asking if Rupert Murdoch asked her to reappoint Michael Gove to the cabinet or face bad press in his newspaper titles.

Andrea Leadsom is now Leader of the House of Commons, from Lidlington. She’s been moved from the post of The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. What will she do? Well, the Leader of the House is the MP who is responsible for organising government business in the Commons. The Leader of the House makes a weekly statement announcing the business for the week ahead. Guess that means she’ll have to turn up for work a bit more often then.

  1. She has never voted on equal gay rights
  2. She has never voted on allowing marriage between two people of same sex
  3. Generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights: 6 votes against, 3 absences, between 2011–2016.
  4. Almost always voted against a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK: 10 votes against, 3 absences, between 2016–2017.
  5. Almost always voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits: 40 votes for, 14 absences, between 2012–2016
  6. Generally voted against new high speed rail infrastructure: 2 votes against, 4 absences, between 2013–2016

As Environment Secretary, she voted:

  1. against measures to prevent climate change
  2. for lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles
  3. for selling England’s state owned forests
  4. a mixture of for and against financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods (2 votes for, 3 votes against)
  5. for culling badgers to tackle bovine tuberculosis (2 votes for, 2 absences)
  6. for and against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas (2 votes for, 2 votes against)

For more on her lamentable record- go here. But the new Environment Sec’s record is actually worse in this area than hers was, so perhaps she was not foul enough.

It really is as if May looked at her Ministers and thought:

“Now I already have some of the most right wing members of my party running most of the governmental departments, how can I make the Secretarial posts that I want to mess with even worse for the 99%…and f*ck over animals even more while I’m at it? Oh, I know!”

And

  • ConservativeHome, the website by the Conservatives for the Conservatives admit that this Cabinet could put Corbyn in power.
  • The Telegraph are putting the boot today (12/06/17)- and they are usually very pro Conservative- talking of economic woes and a further downturn of growth that put her under ‘even more pressure’.
  • In the Ireland blog, we saw that Timothy and Hill, May’s two closest advisors quit, or were they pushed? Now (11/06/17) it has emerged that George Bridges has quit as a B*exit minister. This is seen even by pro Conservative outlet The Spectator as signs that what is left of the ‘government’ is unravelling. He has no confidence  that May can stand up in the B*exit negotiations and he was a well-regarded Minister in the Commons and the Lords.
  • More reports out day after day, showing that Labour’s policies could actually save the country money, like this one in the Times- another Conservative stalwart- where ‘a study shows’ that privatisation put £50BILLION on cost of running the railways!
  • The report confirming the rise of inflation (which is rarely a good thing, especially when wages are so low) prompted this response from the Labour Chancellor, John McDonnell today (13/06/17)

DCNBd-vW0AApYKR

  • And reports of ‘strong and stable’ May being ‘manoeuvred’ into calling the election by Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission; apparently advising that her 17-seat majority would not be enough during B*exit negotiations. Er, psyche!! If he did, how on earth did she fall for that? That’s like being sent to the stores for a tin of tartan paint! 😂
  • To add insult to injury this is The Times’ front page for tomorrow (13/06/17).

DCJoVDPVwAAW0H2

Excuse me? You squeeze the poor, unemployed and disabled to the point of death, and pare social, security and emergency services to the bone for SEVEN YEARS and then it’s over just because you say so? Found the ‘magic money tree’ after all?

magic money tree forest copy

You really think anyone would believe this? P*ssing off all your rich friends is the only way to put the money back into the economy. It’s not going to happen. Get out. And stay out.

How did voters call out on austerity measures? In general, it’s closer than you think, despite overwhelming proof (as discussed in the election blogs) that austerity does nothing to tackle the debt and does not decrease Conservative borrowing:

19059414_10203682141411823_5100558370458747870_ncon borrowingcon v lab borrowinguk-national-debt-20years-600x471

  • The Mirror and the Observer perhaps have it closer to how most are feeling about this week
  • In Parliament today (13/06/17) John Bercow was unanimously re-elected as Speaker. As May said herself “at least someone won a landslide”! For much of the electorate, however, the election result is no laughing matter.
  • Talking of it being no laughing matter, it seems that the first talks with the DUP did not go well today (13/06/17). May left Downing Street and made no statement to the waiting Press and the DUP allegedly slipped out of the back door. We will have to wait till Thursday at the earliest for any development here. Most are crossing their fingers that there will be no deal, as the price simply is too high. Today (14/06/17) Arlene Foster, their leader, has returned to Northern Ireland leaving DUP colleagues to continue talks with the Conservatives.
  • While people are still struggling to make it to the next payday or benefit cheque, May has doled out £35,000 ‘golden handshakes’ to all the MPs that have lost their seats. Now yes some of that can be expenses and wages accrued that were not covered so far this month or year, it’s still a bit of a smack in the face to the JAMs and the poor many of whom would be lucky to see that amount of money over three years. They are getting twice as much ‘statutory redundancy pay’ as other MPs from other parties that lost their seats.
  • Talking of golden handshakes, it is rumoured (14/06/17) that the Conservatives are offering the DUP £750 MILLION for their allegiance. Funny how there’s money for that and not for schools, the NHS, housing, the emergency services, social care…

And the cracks are beginning to show 

  • BBC presenter does a double facepalm, when a low-level Conservative seems to have not been told the new catchphrase…

DCJ370zXYAAtHzy

  • Conservative MP Robert Syms lost it and called a member of the electorate a ‘dick”.
  • Conservative Robert Halfon MP is allegedly suggesting they should rebrand themselves as the ‘Nationalist Workers Party’ on Newsnight tonight (13/06/17). I just can’t even on this one. Why not just call May the Führer (instead of Mummy) and have done with it? Even if, as some outlets are saying he just said ‘Workers’ Party’ that is almost as risible, and perhaps this was a spit in the wind after he lost his Skills Minister post.
  • The Conservative Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy is stepping down from his role as the Northern Powerhouse Minister today (14/06/17). he will no longer be an MP too which will require a by-election! Many of us knew this post was meaningless anyway let’s face it, but for him to stop being an MP too shows he no longer has faith in his own party.
  • John Major, one time Conservative PM, (along with the Labour government that followed him), has done more for peace in Ireland than any Conservative in 70 years. If he is worried about a Con/DUP Axis, and makes those concerns very public, advising May to not go ahead, we should all be worried.
  • A huge fire in Grenfell Towers, London engulfed the block of flats last night (13/06/17) despite the fire service’s best attempts to put it out shows Conservative cuts in sharp relief and against a terrible human cost.  For more on this, a separate blog has been created.
  • Talking of cuts, today (15/06/17) Keating, national chairman of the Defence Police Federation reports that proposed budget cuts to a police force responsible for protecting the Trident nuclear base and other defence sites are “frightening” at a time of heightened security concerns. Two sites on the south coast were threatened with withdrawal of all defence police force presence to make savings and that this “is frightening from a security perspective.” The Ministry of Defence was told to find £12.5million of savings from the MoD police. This could see the force drop from its nominal strength of around 2,600 to below 2,300. Are you kidding me? In this vulnerable climate, after so many attacks a depleted and cut-to-the-bone police force and MI5 failed to stopAnd splashed all the over MSM?

 

  • And if (when) May goes, who do they want to replace her? Well, looking at the latest Yougov survey on this- nobody! Davidson is the only one with a positive approval rating but few votes of support.

18952929_10213424635876897_1529396549724452875_n

******Episode X- A New Clusterf*ck******

And today (12/06/17) this happened, which is unprecedented. Never have a government been in so much of a mess they have had to delay the ratification of their mandate. And to change their mandate is something that essentially guarantees their fall. People voted for what the Conservatives proposed, to rip the manifesto up and throw it away in principle voids the election. An election that cost ‘the taxpayer’ over £100million a pop (here are the figures from 2010 for example) and this time cost over £130 million.

This included £1,200,000 just on adverts to try and discredit Corbyn.

Is this going to be proven as electoral fraud?

And talking of fraud, the Electoral Commission is ‘looking into’ a Scottish Conservative £100,000 donation that could be a  potential rule breach too, post election.

DCHmY_uW0AEMFla

BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg is trying to put a brave face on it, blaming archaic traditions for the delay “formation of new government [is being] delayed by [the] fact programme has to be written on goat skin parchment”… Er no. Yes the Parliamentary Rolls (back up documents recording all that goes on in Government) were written on parchment, then vellum in duplicate till 1850, but from then there was always one printed version that is an official document and one in vellum. This happened till last year (2016) when the Lords ruled it too expensive, but the Cabinet Office stepped in and funded a continuation of the vellum version- ask any historian- but this is done every time, and would not cause any delay as the printed version is sufficient to be used for the Queen’s Speech. Vellum (animal skin) sounds gross but it does last many hundreds of years, far more than paper or parchment. A move to total digitalisation has been frowned upon for both traditional reasons, and also a worry that digital records could be lost or accessed. Funny how that didn’t stop all the digital information storage needed to implement the ‘Snoopers’ Charter’, eh?

If May can’t get her ducks in a row by the time of the Queen’s Speech, which has been pushed back twice now; first to the 13th and now to the 21st June, (despite having no DUP backing) the declaration of which ratifies her government, it is possible Corbyn could automatically become PM. It has happened four times before, one as recently as 2010. Cameron received full approval to do this even before any coalition promise from the Lib Dems as the Labour were unable to lead the Commons after the result, leading to the resignation of Gordon Brown. So while Labour would only have (if all the ‘progressives’ lump in) 315 seats, Corbyn has already intimated that he has Conservative backbench support from those horrified at the possibility of the DUP association.

And I can’t see the proposed 2018 boundary changes going ahead with the seats as they are from this election. The DUP would lose three seats, Sinn Féin would gain two and the gap between the Conservatives and Labour would narrow to just 43 even though as has been said in previous blogs the new changes were not going to help Labour one bit.

DCHff8SXcAIv9i8

Already voices in Europe are restive. Guy Verhofstadt,Belgian politician and Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group and Member of the European Parliament from Belgium since 2009 made that clear today in his five point plan, (14/06/17) that are practically demands before negotiations even start. He makes it clear that these points have to be declared and on the table for any B*exit talks to have meaning.

DCRY4cPWAAMCk-7

Those familiar with my blogs will know all too well this is very close to Labour’s starting point for these negotiations, not the Conservatives’.

 

******So, how’s the Labour party doing?******

The swing towards Labour in the election was evident, despite the fact they did not win outright. Lord Ashcroft’s final poll, which interviewed 14,000 people from Wednesday to Friday last week, found people aged 35 to 44 swung to Labour – 50% voted for them while just 30% voted for the Conservatives. Compare this to 2015 where to 36% of them voting Labour and 26% backing the Conservatives! And there was a much higher turnout of BAME voters too, as well as young voters. The Conservatives tried to pit the old and against the young, and while it is baffling they kept even any of their ‘grey vote’ after their policies about the ‘dementia tax’ and removing the winter fuel allowance came to light, this is a result that should put the wind up the ‘blues’. Or, put more crudely, when their voter base dies, it is ‘reds’ that currently are replacing them.

593ea4dd2200002d00c6d88f

 

Yougov, with a poll of over 50,000 respondents seems to back this up too. The economic status seems to make little difference, but level of education does- the more educated you are, the more likely it seems you will have voted Labour. (The same went for who voted Remain in the EU referendum too.) Gender makes little difference, but age definitely does, with the apparent ‘cut off age’ before you start ‘turning blue’ being 47. And what paper you read could be a cyclic indication, or chicken-and-egg, but those figures are both mostly expected, and interesting.

Newspaper-01

There is likely to be a Labour reshuffle too, no matter what happens in the next few days- and we have to remember that this is normal procedure (in a post election week where almost nothing is normal) but it will be delayed to keep media focus where it belongs- on the howling great hole the Conservatives are digging. And talking of holes- I’d also like to see an apology from May and the MSM to Diane Abbott who, we now know, has type 2 diabetes and was viciously and unfairly attacked during this campaign; even lied about directly by the PM; for which May is under investigation. May tried to make political capital out of her diabetes: Diane did not.

Some small changes have been announced

  • Ian Lavery replaces Tom Watson as Chairperson of the Labour Party (14/06/17) and keeps his role of Campaign Co-ordinator with Andrew Gwynne. And the others are below. Some MPs are in dual roles due to the ‘chicken coup’ and I hope that is sorted, if necessary, as soon as possible.

DCTQj5WXkAElzfM

It is interesting but unsurprising that the Ministers for Scotland and Ireland are some of the first to be announced.

I also think Labour need to get their house in order too.

  • The NEC needs thorough reform win or lose this
  • the thousands of LP members thrown out for no reason, to essentially try and stop support of Corbyn during the second leadership election, need reinstating;
  • all CLPs ungagged NOW.
  • And PLP members like Chris Leslie need to get off their ‘further right than Progress’ high horse and shut up, or leave. It is alleged that it was he who leaked the manifesto. If he did, and with harm in mind, that backfired spectacularly as it that did was generate interest in a very progressive manifesto.
  • I have said many times in the blogs that this issue is not just ‘Momentum’ (the pro-Corbyn unaffiliated pressure group) v ‘Progress’ (the affiliated ‘right’ of the party) rather; it is a straight LFI (Labour Friends of Israel) v LFP (Labour Friends of Palestine) issue. If LFI member Barry Gardiner (Minister for International Trade and Climate Change) can stump up and bat out amazingly for Corbyn during this election-and he did, to great effect- and not fall prey to this c**p, then so can they. You can be a member of LFI and not be rabidly anyone who is in LFP (such as Corbyn). This is the UK not Israel and Israeli interests are but one small part of governance of the UK, desperate though the situation is out there. But that desperation has been caused by Israeli expansionism.

Ever wondered where the constant smears of anti-semitism within Labour come from? Well, look no further than the more extreme members of LFI.

palestine

  • After Clive Lewis’ condemnation of MPs like Leslie (see link above) and his hugely increased majority in his seat, would it be premature to wonder if he could lead a vote for an election for Labour deputy leader further down the line?
  • To be fair, some have done an about-face (though caveat emptor applies). Today (13/06/17) the Guardian reports that, while current members of the Shadow Cabinet ought to be ‘safe’

Harriet Harman, the former Labour party deputy leader, has said Jeremy Corbyn should take the credit for the party’s success at the general election and she would now expect all Labour MPs to want to serve in his shadow cabinet. [I’m sure they do! ]

And while Corbyn has said he will forgive and reach out to those who thought that socialism wasn’t going to work as a mandate, many of the Labour party members are not going to forget the coup, and the undermining by MPs and commentators like

“We should continue to be intolerant of any sectarian antics from Momentum that distract or detract from the task of returning Labour to power. We must fight to keep Labour as a broad church democratic socialist party with many traditions within it, but that these do not legitimately include revolutionaries and entryists who are not democratic socialists.” [My italics].

Well, Luke, in my view your far right of the party sectarianism has done Labour no end of harm and if we look back on the precepts on which the Labour was party was formed in 1906, you’re the entryist, quite frankly. Momentum are a group of left leaning people with maybe 20,000 members. With over 800,000 now in the Labour party itself- an increase of over 150,000 pre election,- can’t you quit your obsession about them even for a fortnight? Seriously, get a grip. And please wait for conference in September before you tell Corbyn and the Shadow Cabinet what to do, just like all other party members have to, thanks very much. That’s social democratism; no? Or maybe you could use your influence and NEC seat to foment- oh wait, yes you lost those elections didn’t you? Horribly. Second lowest vote wasn’t it? Well beaten- including by Eddie Izzard.

It’s all very well having an excellent manifesto when there are MPs and full potato fringe elements in the party who, while they voted for it in the Labour meetings, do not support the values of the party.

**********New LSE Report, and it’s damning**********

Today (13/06/17) a resounding No Sh*t Sherlock echoes round the LabourMuse HQ as the LSE study on the election reporting in the MSM comes out, which shows that the coverage of the parties and the leaders of the parties was horribly biased.

Labour overwhelmingly had the most negative coverage, while no party was covered positively in a net context.

netnegativelab

The Conservatives began the campaign with positive coverage but it began to turn in the aftermath of their manifesto being released and their u-turn on dementia tax.

paper

Again, the Art of Stating the Bleedin’ Obvious was rife within the study- they found that the Mirror, the Star and the Guardian were the only papers which had any positive coverage of Labour and negative of the Conservatives. However, the Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail and the Daily Express were the reverse. The Financial Times were the only paper that were negative to every party, and The Times were the only net negative to all but the Lib Dems

And the Conservatives’ push to make it all about B*exit, as I was saying throughout the election blogs, failed spectacularly.

election issues copy

Of the top 21 politicians in the news, nine were Conservatives. Six were Labour, two were Lib Dems, and there were one each from the SNP, Plaid Cymru and UKIP. Five were either not running, or not even MPs before the election. So positive or negative, the coverage was not equal; and while this did not, in the long run favour the Conservatives as they made error after error. This raises huge questions about the abuse of press freedoms. Till the decision of May to involve the DUP, any coverage of Irish issues or politicians received negligible to no coverage.

This will be old news to those on the left. Conservative-backing newspapers were bulk bought and burnt or binned in protest at their criticism of Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and John McDonnell. It went far beyond critique. Smear after smear, day after day, were all over their publications, with inflammatory dog whistle language guaranteed to anger both ends of the electoral spectrum. The Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express were especially targeted, for their terrible front covers on the day of the election itself.

I note that now the Conservatives have announced their intention to try and ally with the DUP, the bawling of ‘terrorist sympathiser’ in relation to the Labour leader and prominent Shadow Cabinet members has been stilled.

But the coverage was so blatantly bad that investigations are now underway in response. And let’s not forget, so is May for her lies about Abbott about removing the DNA database on Leaders’ Question Time, which is against electoral law.

 

Almost a week after the election, the government is still at an impasse. Here is a summary of the story so far, though the majority needed is actually 326 not 322:

DCNLNczXYAAMpPQ

****** In the meantime, what’s happening with the Lib Dems? ******

Oh dear. Farron is in the habit of resigning isn’t he? In 2008 he resigned from the Liberal Democrats’ frontbench after disagreeing with his party’s leadership over its decision to abstain in this evening’s EU referendum vote. And today (14/06/17), he did the same and from parliamentary recess, there will be a leadership election for the party.

His resignation letter is frankly bizarre, whilst not being altogether unexpected:

“This last two years have seen the Liberal Democrats recover since the devastation of the 2015 election.

That recovery was never inevitable but we have seen the doubling of our party membership, growth in council elections, our first parliamentary by-election win for more than a decade, and most recently our growth at the 2017 general election.

Most importantly the Liberal Democrats have established ourselves with a significant and distinctive role – passionate about Europe, free trade, strong well-funded public services underpinned by a growing market economy.

No one else occupies that space. Against all the odds, the Liberal Democrats matter again.

We can be proud of the progress we have made together, although there is much more we need to do.

From the very first day of my leadership, I have faced questions about my Christian faith. I’ve tried to answer with grace and patience. Sometimes my answers could have been wiser.

At the start of this election, I found myself under scrutiny again – asked about matters to do with my faith. I felt guilty that this focus was distracting attention from our campaign, obscuring our message.

Journalists have every right to ask what they see fit. The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader.

A better, wiser person than me may have been able to deal with this more successfully, to have remained faithful to Christ while leading a political party in the current environment.

To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me.

I’m a liberal to my finger tips, and that liberalism means that I am passionate about defending the rights and liberties of people who believe different things to me.

There are Christians in politics who take the view that they should impose the tenets of faith on society, but I have not taken that approach because I disagree with it – it’s not liberal and it is counterproductive when it comes to advancing the gospel.

Even so, I seem to be the subject of suspicion because of what I believe and who my faith is in. In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society.

That’s why I have chosen to step down as leader of the Liberal Democrats.

I intend to serve until the parliamentary recess begins next month, at which point there will be a leadership election according to the party’s rules.

This is a historic time in British politics. What happens in the next months and years will shape our country for generations. My successor will inherit a party that is needed now more than ever before. Our future as an open, tolerant and united country is at stake.

The cause of British liberalism has never been needed more. People who will fight for a Britain that is confident, generous and compassionate are needed more than ever before. That is the challenge our party and my successor faces and the opportunity I am certain that they will rise to.

I want to say one more thing: I joined our party when I was 16, it is in my blood, I love our history, our people, I thoroughly love my party.

Imagine how proud I am to lead this party. And then imagine what would lead me to voluntarily relinquish that honour. In the words of Isaac Watts it would have to be something ‘so amazing, so divine, (it) demands my heart, my life, my all.”

Now of course theories are swirling as to why he’s stepped down, from refusing a Conservative coalition to refusing a progressive/left coalition and everything in between. Most are thinking Vince Cable, now back as MP for Twickenham, will stand for leader (though he needs to be careful with the HSBC issues as talked of in other blogs and people aren’t going to forget in a hurry his role-as part of the LD/Con coalition- in the privatisation of the Post Office) but others are suggesting Jo Swinson, who just won back her seat of East Dunbartonshire. However, it could also be issues with his ‘anti gay religionist stance, thrown into relief when Lord Brian Paddick, formerly the Metropolitan police’s deputy assistant commissioner, tweeted yesterday (13/06/17): “I’ve resigned as @LibDems Shadow Home Secretary over concerns about the leader’s views on various issues that were highlighted during GE17.” Paddick is openly gay and Farron’s views on gay issues are suspect due to his faith- saying gay sex is a ‘sin’ and that abortion was ‘wrong’ in the past. But Farron never let that get in the way of voting for LGBT rights and also voted against repealing the Human Rights Act of 1998. So this is another situation that we shall have to see where the cards fall.

******And finally******

Before we move on to week 2 of the post election blogs today (15/06/17) just one last development.

With the DUP talks at an impasse, it would seem that there’s a leak at CCHQ, and MPs are being advised that there will be an election again, by the Autumn at the latest.

Proof positive that May can’t negotitate (though the DUP are famed for not shifting on anything- anyone who lived through the 80s with the dinning of ‘NO SURRENDER’ of Ian Paisley Sr echoing in our ears knows this all too well) and that this £130 million election was an almost total waste of taxpayers’ money.

I want to see a huge curb on Conservative spending before the next one, donations limited and no more ‘dark ads’ smearing the Labour party. But that’s me wishing on a black star, I guess.

DCWwbLhUAAASCmo

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: