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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,431

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That's basically the Republican argument

(note that Republican in this context is very different from what Republican means in US politics)

Personally, I'm not too fussed about such things, and I would pay more attention to the republican cause if they moved from being negative about the institution to discussing what sort of constitution they would want in place of the Monarchy, because we do still need a lot more checks and balances in UK politics and to abolish the Monarchy without addressing this would be a colossal waste.

On both the left and the right, I've never despaired more at British politicians

Excellent article that sums up many of my own feelings about how dreadful British politics is right now.


British politics reminds me of a Land Rover stuck in a field: the wheels are spinning, mud is flying everywhere, but there seems to be no possibility of moving forward. Theresa May somehow manages to be both reckless and cautious – which is almost impressive until you remember that she can’t even get two dozen of her own party, sitting at the same cabinet table, to agree what the Brexit end-state should be. Instead, the Tory party indulges itself in therapeutic infighting and preparations for the next leadership race. It has learned absolutely nothing from the referendum campaign, which was seen through the psychodrama of Dave vs Boris, a rivalry dating back to their school days. (I suppose it’s part of a grand British tradition that the EU referendum was lost on the playing fields of Eton.)

Not that Labour is any more inspirational. Its tactic seems to be, to borrow a phrase from Johnson, to wait for “the ball to come loose from the back of the scrum”. In other words: hang on for a Corbyn government. But that isn’t good enough. There might be four years of this parliament left to run, and all the indications are that the economy will get worse, wages will stay stagnant, homelessness will continue to rise, prisons will remain dangerously overcrowded, the transport network will continue to crumble, the NHS will gasp desperately for more money and we still won’t build enough bloody houses. This is no time to tend to the allotment and wait for your turn to come.

With noble exceptions such as Anna Soubry, most Tory MPs are keeping quiet about the disaster they think is coming because they are afraid of their voters. The bulk of Labour’s parliamentary party is keeping quiet about still thinking Jeremy Corbyn is hopeless because they are afraid of their activists. Corbyn himself talks relentlessly about a “jobs-first Brexit” to disguise the fact he’s fine with pretty much any kind of Brexit. (He knows that, unlike him, the majority of Labour members, as well as Labour voters, are pro-European.) May pretends that Liam Fox is the best choice for the job of trade secretary, when the truth is that his globe-trotting pointlessness represents nothing more than appeasement. And if Rees-Mogg enters the next Tory leadership race as the favourite, how many of his colleagues in parliament will have the courage to say to the swooning Conservative grassroots: we’ve seen him up close and you’re making a big mistake?

I’ve been writing about politics for seven years now, and it’s double that since I first became politically active thanks to the disastrous Iraq War. In that time, I’ve never felt so depressed about my country and the quality of the people who want to lead it. Previous governments in my adult lifetime have been variously wrong, and cruel, and misguided, and deluded, and complacent. But I can’t remember a time when Britain’s problems seemed so large and the politicians confronting them felt so small.

Because the agricultural labour market is messed up

You try finding these jobs in your local job centre over here. There are Brits who will happily do this work, but the employers have set things up for cheap migrant labour.

Which makes it even more annoying that the political mass debate about immigration in the UK is all geared towards blaming migrants for absolutely everything, but never about asking questions about the people who demand migrants do this sort of work on the cheap.

The English Channel is the world's busiest shipping lane

As ever, Boris Johnson is just piping up nonsense, secure in the knowledge that the prime minister is too weak to sack him.

Lack of any sort of understanding of basic geography is a common failing of today's politicians, but especially so for Boris Johnson, who has a history of supporting outlandish and unrealistic infrastructure projects such as the "Boris Island" airport in the Thames Estuary.

Lack of knowledge is the single biggest problem here

People don't have a clue about the role of the EU, and because of this a lot of liars and charlatans have been able to spread a lot of disinformation unchallenged.

During the referendum campaign it became clear that because of my career I know more about the single market than most others in the campaign, never mind the rest of the population. However there were huge and important issues that I did not really know anything about.

The person on the "Stronger In" campaign I reported to was very knowledgeable about the Article 50 process because of her background (which is much more impressive than mine). That is a big subject that very few people grasped in any way.

The issue currently dominating and derailing negotiations is Northern Ireland, which again, hardly anybody on this side of the Irish sea grasped at all.

With so little understanding of the issue or what is at stake, it was easy for "Vote Leave" to turn the referendum into a contest to see who can lie the loudest. EU membership cannot be decided in any credible way by such a referendum.

And this is why I refuse to "respect the result" as Brexshitters wish. That would be like accepting that the world is flat just because the Flat Earth Society had persuaded people otherwise.

You've just hit the nail on the head there!

I can't see Tory MP's, let alone Tory activists accepting somebody even vaguely non-loony like Phillip Hammond.

Boris Johnson is unfit to run a bath, let alone a government department, and his backstabbing has alienated a fair few people. Same goes for Michael Gove.

David Davis is failing catastrophically in his current job. Jeremy Hunt is not a good health secretary. Amber Rudd is not a good home secretary, and has a wafer thin majority in her constituency. Not only is Liam Fox terrible at his job, he should never have been let back into government after having previously being forced to resign over a nepotism scandal.

Jacob Rees Mogg is virtually a parody of Tory MP, has no ministerial experience and is also a complete idiot. Dominic Raab's name has also been mentioned, which is concerning as he may be an even bigger idiot!

Denzil may possibly be preoccupied with the idea of Ruth Davidson as Tory leader, but I don't think English Tories would accept her for a number of reasons, not least of which being that she isn't a Westminster MP.

Even though Theresa May is an atrocious PM, the alternatives are all really bad. My recommendation to Tories would be to forget about the willy-waving rubbish and concentrate on the basic stuff. Even if that means revoking article 50!

The problem with political "isms"....

...is that they are words which get that badly abused by bad politicians and bad journalists that they become meaningless. Nothing more than bandy words for people who like to bandy words about.

To one politician something like "socialism" will mean pretty much any policy they like regardless of whether it is even vaguely socialist. To another politician it will mean the exact opposite, and the non political will only become ever more confused about what the politicians are wittering on about.

The worst of these terms is "Centrist". Not only because it gets used badly by the aforementioned bad politicians and journalists but also because it is a terrible term in its own right. The centre of the political spectrum is an entirely theoretical construct and changes according to political fashion.

Theresa May: Tories were not prepared for snap election

Well why the flying chuff did she call a snap election then?

The lack of self awareness from our Prime Minister is actually quite disturbing. Especially as she made the Tories general election campaign all about herself.


Theresa May has conceded her party was not ready when she called a snap general election in which the Conservatives lost their majority despite a hefty lead in opinion polls.

The prime minister said she had failed to communicate the message she gave on the steps of Downing Street after winning the Tory leadership last year, and that her words about making the country work for everyone “didn’t come through in the election".

The prime minister hinted that she believed there had been too much top-down control in the campaign, which delivered the Tories a net loss of 13 seats and forced May to strike a pact with the DUP in order to remain in power.

“There weren’t the links with the centre [of the party] that there should have been. That’s one of the issues we need to look at,” she said.

I always felt sorry for Dugdale

She came to the role much too early in her career, and she was always going to get slaughtered by all sides no matter what she did.

I do hope that Labour has somebody decent lined up to replace her, who can stand up to the Tories, the SNP and even Jeremy Corbyn on occasion!

The reason why they can get away with it right now....

....is that quite frankly the Conservatives don't look like a potential party of government either!

Politics in 2017 has degenerated into a contest to see who can bugger up the least! Pretty awful when you think about it.
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