The British Politics Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by DarthKarde, Apr 8, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    OK, a little bit of Political-guessing from me

    I think The Conservative Party will have a good night, at the Local Elections. I feel they will be the outright winners, and probably do quite a lot better than many expect. They will do better than the opinion polls seem to show, and IDS's leadership will be safe until the General Election (not that this will stop the bitching and back-biting within the Tory Party)

    Labour will do OK. They will lose lot's of seats, but they won't face a disasterous melt-down (like the Tories saw in the late 80's and 90's) They will do a lot better than they would have, if Tony Blair hadn't just won the war in Iraq (Whatever happens long-term, Prime Ministers ALWAYS benfit short-term from a War victory)

    The Liberal Demorcrat's, I think will be the big loosers, of these local elections. Although I actually agree with their anti-war stance (as opportunstic as it was) The fact they have been proved disasterously wrong (in the short term) Will make them look pretty stupid. Liberals usually do well on the local level, this time could well be the exception.

    A couple of other points, Turn out will be LOW, but NOT as bad as the last few years. Those high Council Tax bills will be enough to get people turning out, protesting. The BNP will unfortuantly WIN at least a seat or two.

    So, overall, a good night for the Tories, an adequate night for Labour (could have/should have been MUCH worse will be the Spin they put on it) and a bad night for the Liberals.

    And if I'm wrong, who cares. It's only politics! [face_laugh]
  2. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Very interesting thread. I am actually weighing the possibility about taking a trip to Great Britain, in respect to the tremendous political courage shown by Prime Minister Blair in the Iraq situation.

    "tremendous political courage" is one way to look at it but I share the view of Matthew Parris

    Finding himself halfway across a swaying transatlantic bridge, our Prime Minister scuttled in panic to the American side ? an act which we are now being urged to see as brave. But it happened more through miscalculation than valour. Tony Blair thought the bridge could be repaired and that he might be the bridgemaker. Now he is marooned on the other side and will have to take his chances there.


    G-FETT

    I like your speculation but regretably find it highly unlikely to be what actually happens. The Liberal Democrats will do well, their opposition to the war will cost them little, it will even gain them a lot of votes from muslims who are traditionally staunch Labour voters. As usual the LibDems will fight on highly oppurtunistic local issues.
  3. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Gee, we have some Liberal-Demo haters here.

    Of course, the party's founding wasn't opportunistic.....not at all no.

    [face_plain]

  4. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
  5. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    'I guess I would be concerned about what might happen if that side of the party was given legitimate legal power and a public platform to spread its views,' he said.

    'But the problem of asylum-seekers has become so acute in this area that the risk is worth taking. None of the other parties are doing anything about it; what other choice does the local community have?'


    I think that's they key point. Otherwise rational people can be driven to support this kind of party when an important issue is dealt with irresponsibly. I don't know the specifics of the issue in the UK, but I would guess that Labour has thrown the door wide open and branded anyone who questions their policy a racist. If so, that's an irresponsible approach on a number of levels.
  6. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    You are pretty close to the mark AJA. In the 2000 local elections the conservatives campaigned heavily on the 'ayslun seeker' issue and did pretty well. From then on Labour, their allies in the press and the loathesome Commision for Racial Equality branded anyone who brought up the issue as racist.
  7. TheScarletBanner Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2002
    star 4
    I'm very afraid about the gains the BNP will make at these next local elections.

    I live in the Ribble Valley, which is a very affluent and wealthy area in the north west. My local council has rarely been anything but Conservative for the last 20 years (there was a stint in the early 90's where it became Lib Dem over the poll tax issue), and as far as administering to local issues go, it does extremely well. However, I meet people almost every day who are either voting BNP, aren't voting at all (which is almost as dangerous), or might be inclined to vote for the BNP. I've even met the BNP candidate for my council ward (Pendleton & Wiswell), at a town hall meeting I went to. Their major campaign issue at this election is the proposed construction of a small Mosque in Clitheroe (the largest town in the Valley), to service the spiritual needs of the small Muslim population in the area. They've been harping on about benefits and welfare grants and crime and so on, and now their propaganda has become so good and so strong that trying to debate it with people is like trying to convince them the sky is green. They just wont have it.

    The most scary comments of all come from people who explain their decision to vote BNP as 'a protest vote,' against the mainstream parties who do nothing (which isn't true, the Tories have been very active locally).

    My borough also neighbours, however, one of the poorest areas in the North West, Blackburn with Darwen. It is a Labour stronghold, with a large Asian population (1/3rd), represented by a prominent member of the Government (Jack Straw). However, the BNP won a seat in a by-election, one of four its won nation-wide.

    I think this demonstrates how the BNP's racism has cut straight through traditional class boundaries. It appeals to the less-politically educated, but well-to-do and generally intelligent middle class traditional Tory voters, as WELL as the less-educated, poorer working-class traditional Labour voters. It seems that no section of society is immune, except, of course, Asians themselves.

    I can't see the BNP doing anything but making even more gains at this next election. After all, who's there to stop them? In my area, the Conservatives will almost certainly retain a majority, but I forsee the BNP coming second, or at least a very close third behind the Lib Dems. Apart from the Tories, they're the only ones who've canvassed.

    There MUST be something done about this. There MUST be more public discussion. But it seems the ultimate taboo to even raise the whole racism-asylum-BNP issue.

    - Scarlet.

    - Scarlet.
  8. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I share your concerns Scarlet. Despite all the talk mainstream political parties have failed to recognise the extent of the BNP threat. You only have to look at their website and read the articles to realise that they are slowly becomming a genuine political force. The days of the BNP been mostly skin headed racist thugs are gone.

    Here in Birmingham (Labour controlled for 19 years) they are fielding 5 candidates. Despite having a large ethnic minority population, around 300,000 in a city of just under a million people, Birmingham has pretty good race relations with the only real problem being drug related gang wars between rival black and asian gangs. This is almost totally confined to the ultra deprived Aston and Handsworth areas of the city. The BNP of course seek to use this to their advantage

    ETHNIC WARFARE IN BRITAIN'S SECOND CITY

    The "joys of cultural diversity" are not being perceived as such by the dwindling number of white Britons living in inner city Birmingham, which is Britain's second biggest city.

    (use link for full article)

    Okay but this surely has nothing to do with the people who the BNP will be looking to for support. The wards where the BNP are standing are in the suburbs, the people here are not effected by the problems that plague those living in the inner city. The political make up of these wards tell there own story

    Yardley (Safe Lib Dem seat)
    Nothfield (Safe Conservative Seat)
    Oscott (Labour seat but huge Conservative tagert)
    Weoley (Labour seat but huge Conservative tagert)
    Longbridge (Labour seat, important marginal)

    None of these wards have major social problems but the BNP will no doubt play on fears and argue that any local problems are a result of council money being focussed on inner city areas at the expense of the suburbs.
  9. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    There MUST be something done about this. There MUST be more public discussion. But it seems the ultimate taboo to even raise the whole racism-asylum-BNP issue.

    Not to harp on conservative political boosterism, but I think all that needs to happen is for the Tories to get back in and adopt a saner policy, thereby taking the steam out of this BNP's appeal. If they forcefully denounce the BNP while promising a more responsible approach than Labour's, I'd think it would be a winning position.
  10. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Not to harp on conservative political boosterism, but all that needs to happen is for the Tories to get back in and adopt a saner policy, thereby taking the steam out of this BNP's appeal.

    A agree with you in principle AJA but there are real problems for the conservatives in trying this. To do it succesfully requires the most careful and precise policies and even more careful and precise language. Last time that they tried they were vilified for it in most of the media and the same would happen again unless they are very careful. Just as importantly Iain Duncan Smith is no kind of position to take big risks, bringing asylum back to the forefront of the debate would further anger the modernisers in the party. If the conservatives make substantial gains and I am talking a least 300-400 seats in these elections then IDS may have secured his position enough to enable him to campaign on such issues but at the presentit would be political suicide.
  11. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    I was thinking more in terms of what would occur if the BNP had surprising success in this election, thereby making an issue of it on their own. The fact they're growing at all also suggests that the politically correct position taken by the media and the Labour government is not entirely in sync with the public.

    To do it succesfully requires the most careful and precise policies and even more careful and precise language. Last time that they tried they were vilified for it in most of the media and the same would happen again unless they are very careful.

    Despite the criticism he generally gets for being a "rube", one of President Bush's greatest strengths as a politican has been his ability to spot a trap a mile away and avoid it. I know Duncan Smith was over here some time after Sept. 11 for a conservative conference (saw it on C-SPAN), so these people clearly talk to each other at some level. He ought to take a page out of Bush's book if it's available.
  12. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    That is true, If the BNP are succesful it might help the conservatives to talk about asylum with out being shouted down as racist.
  13. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    I'm not saying it would be a good centerpiece for a campaign, I'm saying that given the clearly heated nature of the topic, it would have to be addressed, and I think the Conservatives could address it in a way that would be a "win" for them.

    Beyond that, the real point, as opposed to the political angle, is that a Tory government would be able to defuse the issue and take the steam out of the BNP once in office by having a responsible approach, relative to the BNP and the left, which in my estimation are probably equally irresponsible.
  14. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Beyond that, the real point, as opposed to the political angle, is that a Tory government would be able to defuse the issue and take the steam out of the BNP once in office by having a responsible approach, relative to the BNP and the left, which in my estimation are probably almost equally irresponsible.

    This is true and the BNP know it. They make no secret of their wish to destroy the Conservative party.
  15. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    We have a problem with illegal immigration over here, particualrly in states like California, but I understand it's a bigger national issue over there. Clearly, there's less room in the UK for newcomers, and the more extensive social programs generate greater animosity over extending benefits to asylum seekers.

    Like I said, conservatism is the answer- some degree of tightening on immigration, along with a reduction of taxes and government spending, will go a long way to diffusing the issue.
  16. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Yeah, because immigration restriction works wonders in the Commonwealth... [face_plain]

    If you don't know what I'm talking about, that's not my fault.

    E_S
  17. TheScarletBanner Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2002
    star 4
    E_S, George Orwell once said "sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious."

    AJA is an American citizen, as are the majority of people on this board. He may not know everything about the history of immigration between Commonwealth countries. Assuming something of an intellectual purism really doesn't contribute anything to the debate. Nor does not being aware of Commonwealth immigration policies make his opinion on the subject any less valuable than your own.

    - Scarlet.
  18. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    Appreciated, TheScarletBanner. Given that what's been talked about is asylum, I'd guess what people are asking for is a stricter set of requirements and screening for who is eligible- i.e. they must be legitimate victims of persecution and they must be able to prove it, as opposed to simply showing up and being let in no questions asked, when what they may really be seeking is "economic asylum".

    If that's incorrect...I stand corrected.
  19. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    "There MUST be more public discussion. But it seems the ultimate taboo to even raise the whole racism-asylum-BNP issue."


    Public discussion is the best way to discredit racists and extreme ideologies. That's one reason with the US Courts have generally upheld the rights of the KKK and other hate groups to speak out in public...open discourse allows the best chance to marginalise them. Once they are repressed, and the issues not open for debate, are pockets of extreme thinking created.
  20. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Could someone explain, in brief, how this Nationalist party came about?

    Is it larger than the "National Front" of the 70's?

    Is it better organized? That seesm to be how people are speaking of it.

    As extreme? MORE(if that's possible)?
  21. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    Public discussion is the best way to discredit racists and extreme ideologies. That's one reason with the US Courts have generally upheld the rights of the KKK and other hate groups to speak out in public...open discourse allows the best chance to marginalise them. Once they are repressed, and the issues not open for debate, are pockets of extreme thinking created.

    If I'm following correctly, I think what he's saying is that there is a legitimate problem with the way asylum is being handled, but because the issue has become so politicized, no one will touch it except the most extreme fringe groups. As a result, their appeal is unfortunately growing.
  22. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Could someone explain, in brief, how this Nationalist party came about?

    The BNP has been around for ages but they never used to be a genuine political force. They were largely skin-headed racist thugs between the age of 18 and 30, they didn't have a clue about politics and just wanted rid of all immigrants. They had as much to do with violence as they did elections. Over the years they have gradually got more respectable and under their current leader Nick Griffen they have become a genuine political force although it is still on a small scale. Respectable men and women from all class back grounds now make up the party and they campaign hard on local issues which they tie into their anti-immigrant policies. They blame the social issues of an area on immigrants and provide populist policies to tackle them.

    If I'm following correctly, I think what he's saying is that there is a legitimate problem with the way asylum is being handled, but because the issue has become so politicized, no one will touch it except the most extreme fringe groups. As a result, their appeal is growing.

    Spot on.
  23. Stuey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    As a socialist i'm very scared by the success the BNP has been having in various areas across the country. i live in the South West (Plymouth) and my constituency is pretty much always Tory. I don't really view Tory as 'right-wing' or Labour 'left' any more they just seem to be two centre parties that occasionally have policies inspired from various areas of the political spectrum. Generally people are naive about politics and won't read up about what the parties have to say they just like a good presentation and the personal touch. the BNP is getting it's face out there in places that are traditionally dominated by one party to the extent they barely have to campaign there. i was eagerly awaiting discussing their manifestos with the candidates in my area but i have't had the opportunity. but the BNP hands out leaflets everywhere and tries to publicise their views in a way that will make them appear acceptable.

    much to my amusement i was walking through my town wearing a Che Guevara shirt (in typical student fashion :p) and a BNP man was about to come over to me and then he noticed what i was wearing and backed off. this also works with scientologists
  24. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    Communists are no better than Nazis.

    But that's a different thread.
  25. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Now I'm confused, who mentioned communism. Stuey clearly called himself a socialist.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.