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2011 - Another Year for British Politics

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darth_Asabrush, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    2005 will be a big year for British politics. The year will see the UK chair the G8 summit, hold the Presidency of the EU and should see a general election.

    This thread is the place where all those interested in the twists and turns of the goings on in Westminster, Brussels and Strasbourg, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and the local town hall.

    Some useful links:

    Parliament

    A-Z of Parliament

    10 Downing Street

    The Monarchy

    BBC Politics

    The EU

    European Parliament

    The Conservative Party aka The Tory Party

    New Labour

    Liberal Democrats

    UK Independence Party

    The Green Party

    Scottish Parliament

    Welsh Assembly

    UK Westminster Parliamentary Constituencies


    Title updated for 2006 discussion at author's request

    Titled updated to 2007, only, oh, 3 months in... [face_whistling]


    Updated to 2008
  2. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    I for one am looking forward to the General Election. I was intending to vote Tory but I'm not sure now, especially with Howard's support for ID cards.

    Maybe I'll vote Green like I do in the local elections.

    I have a couple of issues though.

    What do people think the turn out will be? I think it will be higher due to the issues engulfing UK politics at present.

    My other concern is that for all the moaning and groaning people will still vote for Phoney Tony's New Labour. This is more a reflection of the state of the opposition parties than the performance of the government!!!!
  3. Darth_MacDaddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2003
    star 4
    What do people think the turn out will be? I think it will be higher due to the issues engulfing UK politics at present.

    I disagree here. From what I see and from people I speak to, they are completely turned-off by British politics at the moment - as far as they're concerned "they're all as bad as each other" it commonly quoted. Sadly I feel this only plays into Tony Blair's hands exactly as it did in the last GE.

    My other concern is that for all the moaning and groaning people will still vote for Phoney Tony's New Labour

    Like I said above, they don't necessarily need to vote for Blair, but apathy is Labour's best friend. Predictions around the time of the Euro-elections in June suggested that 37% of the popular vote would give Labour an overall majority compared to 43% for the Tories, purley because of the demograohics of the voting population. The situation is worse for the Lib Dems, and as much as a role that the Lib Dems have to play in modern politics they are not serious contenders for an overall majority, simply because of the demographics.

    All I would say to anyone who is sick of Labour's spin-orientated, nanny-politics is get off your backside and vote tactically to prevent a Labour majority, half the problem is the dictortorial majority Blair has (amazing considering on 1 in 4 who could vote for him, did!).

    [face_monkey]
  4. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I too will not vote for the conservative party at the next general election due to the disgraceful stance that Michael Howard has taken on ID cards, although I will probably stay a party member.

    I will vote for the Liberal Democrats. Even though I oppose much of what they stand for a number of factors make it a more palatable option. Firstly unlike the spineless tories the Lib Dem's oppossed the Iraq war and are now the only real oposition to ID cards. Secondly the Lib Dem candidate in my constituency (Birmingham - Yardley) is the highly talented and popular local councillor John Hemming who will be making his fourth attempt to win this seat. Finally Labour are defending a majority of just 2,578 over the Lib Dems making the seat highly vulnerable especially as the sitting MP (Estelle Morris) is stepping down.

    It seems almost certain that Labour will claim a third consecutive election victory but hopefully we can look forward to them having a substantially reduced. majority.
  5. TripleB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 4
    I don't like to get involved in the politics of other county's. I make it a point to make it clear I don't like seeing international influence in the USA and thus should apply it the same way.

    That being said, if I could vote in British Politics, Tony Blair would get my unconditional support and my vote.
  6. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
  7. Cobranaconda Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2004
    star 7
    If I were able to, I'd vote Lib Dem or Green, depending on how I felt at the time.

    Labours votes need to have the 2000 Florida Treatment.
  8. Darth_MacDaddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2003
    star 4
    I too will not vote for the conservative party at the next general election due to the disgraceful stance that Michael Howard has taken on ID cards

    Seems odd to not vote for a party of which you are a member based on one policy, whereas you will vote Lib Dem even though you "oppose much of what they stand for".

    I too live in a Lib Dem/Conservative marginal, and will be voting Conservative because should Labour get in again I want the Tories to have more influence than the Lib Dems, not that that is really possible under the FPTP electoral system.

    Sometimes I think the only option is to emigrate!

    [face_monkey]
  9. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    That being said, if I could vote in British Politics, Tony Blair would get my unconditional support and my vote.

    Trust my TripleB if you knew anything about Tony Blair's domestic policies you would not make that statement. Unless of course you now consider yourself a social liberal as well as advocating higher taxation and vastly increased government spending. Blair might have found it convenient to ally himself with Bush but his views are far more in line with that of the Democratic Party than of the Republican Party.

    Seems odd to not vote for a party of which you are a member based on one policy, whereas you will vote Lib Dem even though you "oppose much of what they stand for".

    It's one policy that betrays a defining principle that the party should stand for, and still claims to stand for. I have no enthusiasm for voting Lib Dem but if the conservative party insists on being so pathetic it thoroughly deserves another humiliating defeat.

    Just read this quite excellant article by David Cameron in todays Daily Telegraph.

    We've got the words, but what's the tune?

    He sums up exactly what the conservatives should be building their campaign on but fails to realise that such ideas are totally incompatible with support for ID cards. According to some reports Cameron even convinvced Howard to back ID cards although he abstained on the second reading of the bill.

    As The leader in this weeks Spectator puts it.

    "It is worth remembering that 99 per cent of the time it is the Tories who try to protect the public from this bad government, and the Liberal Democrats who serve as a pathetic amen corner for Blairism. That is why it beggars belief that the Tories should now be supporting ID cards"
  10. TripleB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 4
    Trust my TripleB if you knew anything about Tony Blair's domestic policies you would not make that statement. Unless of course you now consider yourself a social liberal as well as advocating higher taxation and vastly increased government spending. Blair might have found it convenient to ally himself with Bush but his views are far more in line with that of the Democratic Party than of the Republican Party.

    Oh, I am well aware of Mr Blair's opposition to gun owners right, self defense rights, and a lot more. But he has shown his measure to me in Iraq and for that alone, I would back him for now.

    Now, if every insurgent in Iraq were to die tonight, if the elections were held tomorrow and were a huge success and if the troops were all pulled out, then I might vote against Prime Minister Blair. But while troops were there, I would back Prime Minister unconditionally because I think anything else would be viewed as a defeat.

    And, I can't help but remember that magnificent speech he gave to the joint session of Congress back in Summer of 2003....WOWSERS!!! He will have my support for a long time cause of that.
  11. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    You UK folk are under no obligation to help out us undereducated Americans, especially after Darth_Asabrush posted all those useful links (some of which I have checked out already), but do you think it would be possible to provide some kind of Rosetta Stone of political parties for those of us over here?

    There seems to be a lot of confusion with shared terminology . . . for instance, Hillary Clinton is a liberal Democrat, but she is not--and, I gather, would not be--a Liberal Democrat. Likewise, Pat Buchanan is a conservative and Rudy Guiliani is (more or less) a conservative, but they would probably not both be Conservatives (if even one of them would be). The Labour Party we're most familiar with is Canada's, which seems to be well to the left of the UK's Labour Party. Worse, I just read that UK's Liberal Democrats are "federalists," meaning they want a decentralized gonvernment, while in the U.S., being a federalist means the opposite--that you want a *centralized* government.

    The easiest way to sort things out is probably to use the World's Smallest Political Quiz. OnTheIssues has adopted the quiz's "diamond" notation for its Issues Grid, and it seems to be a pretty quick and easy way to compare political ideologies.

    FWIW, this is roughly what an American "liberal Democrat" looks like (this is me--as I'm sure everyone will be shocked to find out): :p
    [image=http://members.aol.com/opheliamac/liberal.gif]
    As far as I can tell, the UK's Liberal Democrats would fall about a 90-degrees clockwise turn from my "liberal Democrat" dot.

    So would you mind giving us non-UK residents a heads-up on where the UK's various political parties fall on the scale?
  12. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    In very simple terms the conservative party is the centre right party in British politics while the Labour Party is the centre left party, although Labour is closer to the centre under Blair than at any time in it's history.

    I don't know how to put the Lib Dem's on any political spectrum. As a hybrid resulting from the merger of the Liberal party and The Social Democratic party they try and combine liberalism (classic definition) with social democracy. IMO the two positions are not compatible. More important is that the Lib Dem's are shameless oppurtunists who sell themselves completely different in different areas. In rural areas where they fight the conservatives they act as a small government economic liberals while in the inner cities where they fight Labour they are out and out social democrats. Their policies shift from centre right to far left.
  13. Darth_MacDaddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2003
    star 4
    It's one policy that betrays a defining principle that the party should stand for, and still claims to stand for. I have no enthusiasm for voting Lib Dem but if the conservative party insists on being so pathetic it thoroughly deserves another humiliating defeat.

    I accept your opinion, however the irony is that the Conservative humiliation would still yield ID cards since Labour would be in power, sounds like Catch 22 to me.

    The Labour Party we're most familiar with is Canada's, which seems to be well to the left of the UK's Labour Party

    Tradionally, the Labour Party was the party of the working man, which meant that it adopted what could be deemed leftist policies, for example the original Clause 4 adapted in 1918:

    To secure for the producers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry, and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible, upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry and service.'To secure for the producers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry, and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible, upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry and service.

    When Blair came to be leader of the Labour party in 1994 Clause 4 was superseeded by a load of non-sensical rabble about democratic socialism and solidarity. Many on the left of the party saw this as a shift of the party to the right. Ten years on those people were correct.

    [face_monkey]
  14. TripleB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 4
    This is just me, but this is why I would support TOny Blair in the elections if I were a Torie, which is what I imagine I would be if I were a British Citizen.

    Transcript of Blair's speech to Congress
    Thursday, July 17, 2003 Posted: 9:44 PM EDT (0144 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress on Thursday, July 17, 2003. Here is a transcript of his speech.


    Mr. Speaker and Mr. Vice President, honorable members of Congress, I'm deeply touched by that warm and generous welcome. That's more than I deserve and more than I'm used to, quite frankly.

    And let me begin by thanking you most sincerely for voting to award me the Congressional Gold Medal. But you, like me, know who the real heroes are: those brave service men and women, yours and ours, who fought the war and risk their lives still.

    And our tribute to them should be measured in this way, by showing them and their families that they did not strive or die in vain, but that through their sacrifice future generations can live in greater peace, prosperity and hope.

    Let me also express my gratitude to President Bush. Through the troubled times since September the 11th changed our world, we have been allies and friends. Thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership.

    Mr. Speaker, sir, my thrill on receiving this award was only a little diminished on being told that the first Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to George Washington for what Congress called his "wise and spirited conduct" in getting rid of the British out of Boston.

    On our way down here, Senator Frist was kind enough to show me the fireplace where, in 1814, the British had burnt the Congress Library. I know this is, kind of, late, but sorry.

    Actually, you know, my middle son was studying 18th century history and the American War of Independence, and he said to me the other day, "You know, Lord North, Dad, he was the British prime minister who lost us America. So just think, however many mistakes you'll make, you'll never make one that bad."

    Members of Congress, I feel a most urgent sense of mission about today's world.

    September 11 was not an isolated event, but a tragic prologue, Iraq another act, and many further struggles will be set upon this stage before it's over.

    There never has been a time when the power of America was so necessary or so misunderstood, or when, except in the most general sense, a study of history provides so little instruction for our present day.

    We were all reared on battles between great warriors, between great nations, between powerful forces and ideologies that dominated entire continents. And these were struggles for conquest, for land, or money, and the wars were fought by massed armies. And the leaders were openly acknowledged, the outcomes decisive.

    Today, none of us expect our soldiers to fight a war on our own territory. The immediate threat is not conflict between the world's most powerful nations.

    And why? Because we all have too much to lose. Because technology, communication, trade and travel are bringing us ever closer together. Because in the last 50 years, countries like yours and mine have tripled their growth and standard of living. Because even those powers like Russia or China or India can see the horizon, the future wealth, clearly and know they are on a steady road toward it. And because all nations that are free value that freedom, will defend it absolutely, but have no wish to trample on the freedom of others.

    We are bound together as never before. And this coming together provides us with unprecedented opportunity but also makes us uniquely vulnerable.

    And the threat comes because in another part of our globe there is shadow and darkness, where not all the world is free, where many millions suffer under brutal dictatorship, where a third of our planet lives in a poverty beyond anything even the poorest in our societies can imagine, and where a fanatical strain of religious extremism has arisen, that is a mutation of the
  15. Darth_MacDaddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2003
    star 4
    With all due respects TripleB, you don't live in Blair's Britain and you are basing your judgements on Blair on his speeches to the US Congress and what he says to the US media. He is seen in our media as a poodle to the US government and very little of what he says is taken seriously by the British public.
  16. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Nah. Thats not enough to vote for a Party with Blair as its leader.

    Blair is great at selling the big story. At playing to people's fears and flattering their egos.

    However, he is a liar not to be trusted.
  17. Darth_MacDaddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2003
    star 4
    I can think of one word that perfectly decribes Blair and Labour as a whole:

    rhetoric (noun) Speech or discourse that pretends to significance but lacks true meaning.

    However I never thought that it could be mastered in such a proficient manner!

    [face_monkey]
  18. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I accept your opinion, however the irony is that the Conservative humiliation would still yield ID cards since Labour would be in power, sounds like Catch 22 to me.

    Trust me, I want to see the conservative party back in government. I just don't want it sell it's principles in order to get there. My vote will be 50% protest against the conservative party and 50% tactical to defeat the labour candidate.

    Just out of interest could everyone say which constituency they live. As I said above I live in Birmingham, Yardley.
  19. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Constituency: Southampton Test
    Member of Parliament: Dr Alan Whitehead (Labour)
    First Elected: 1997
  20. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Constituency: Southampton Test
    Member of Parliament: Dr Alan Whitehead (Labour)
    First Elected: 1997


    Sadly for you I think we can declare this a Labour hold before the campaign begins.
  21. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
  22. Appan_Parsu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 2
    very little of what he says is taken seriously by the British public.

    touche! I'am a Brit' and Mister Linall, (joke, as there is a entertainer of the name of Linall Blair, who was about in the seventies and 80's) is right up all the other presidents and priminsters of the world. Not listening to those who really matter the people of this country. He sould look at problems at home before looking to 'cure' the world. He has is sights on been the President of Europe.
  23. graham_wj Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2005
    I shall be the rogue and state a vote for Charles Kennedy and the Lib Dems. They have kept there word and delivered on their promises in Scotland as part of the coalition. In the first Scottich Parliament Up Front tuition fees were abolished (granted I am about to pay for them in April, a year after I graduated) but Jim Wallace delivered this Lib Dem commitment. In the elections of 2003, they pledged to abolish toll on the Skye Bridge (highest charge per mile in Europe), which are argued to be a crime themself. Many of my fellow Brits will have noted that prior to Christmas these were abolished.

    Whilst i beleive that pigs will fly before the Lib Dems are victorious in Westminster, they can provide a credible opposition to Blair. I won't say what i think of Blair, as my mother always told me "if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything"

    Oh did I mention that they forced through vorting reform for local elections in Scotland, which Labour really don't like.

  24. Evil_Otto Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2004
    star 4
    I disagree here. From what I see and from people I speak to, they are completely turned-off by British politics at the moment - as far as they're concerned "they're all as bad as each other" it commonly quoted. Sadly I feel this only plays into Tony Blair's hands exactly as it did in the last GE.

    I'm in that group. I see that whoever gets into power will make sure that I'm well and truly f***** up the arse. For someone like myself to vote for any of them would be like a turkey voting for Christmas. [face_plain] That being said, I can only see Blair getting worse and worse as time goes on. The way things are going, he seems to becoming the real life version of President Clark from Babylon 5!

    That being said, if I could vote in British Politics, Tony Blair would get my unconditional support and my vote.

    If you like him/it so much, then maybe we should ship him/it over to you free of charge, then let's see you all squirm when your petrol prices quadruple, along with laws where the victims of crime have no rights to self defence. And these are just the tip of the iceberg!
  25. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Hey, we'll take him. All of our politicians are worthless creepy liars anyway, so if we can have one that speaks so well and makes us believe, even for just five minutes, we'll take it.