owenblacker + generalelection2017   19

Jeremy Corbyn sacks three frontbenchers after single market vote
As sources confirmed that MPs were being dismissed from frontbench positions, one Labour politician said: “It is disappointing when the frontbench have been reaching out to try to attract new members over recent days that members who had quite clearly stated positions on the single market and customs union and were elected on that basis should be punished for sticking by their principles.”

He argued that there were “a range of views in the party on the approach to Brexit, which is not surprising given the views in the country, and we need to be working together to find common ground”.

Some Labour MPs campaigned on a soft Brexit position, but the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, has argued that the important factor is that Britain enjoys the benefits of the single market, even if membership is not possible.

The leadership has been frustrated by backbenchers organising in favour of single-market membership, with 50 Labour MPs, MEPs and peers joining together to launch a group opposing hard Brexit. They signed a statement claiming that young voters backed their party in 2017 because they wanted it to “stop the Tories in their tracks” over Brexit. The group, made up of politicians on the left and right of the party, claimed the best way to do that was by “fighting unambiguously for membership of the single market”.
by:AnushkaAsthana  from:TheGuardian  Brexit  Labour  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom  AndySlaughter  RugthCadbury  CatherineWest  DanielZeichner  JeremyCorbyn  JohnMcDonnell  ChukaUmunna  GeneralElection2017 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Britain: The End of a Fantasy
Brexit is a back-of-the-envelope proposition. Strip away the post-imperial make-believe and the Little England nostalgia, and there’s almost nothing there, no clear sense of how a middling European country with little native industry can hope to thrive by cutting itself off from its biggest trading partner and most important political alliance.

May demanded a mandate to negotiate—but negotiate what exactly? She literally could not say.


But to be fair to May, her wavering embodied a much deeper set of contradictions. Those words she repeated so robotically, “strong and stable,” would ring just as hollow in the mouth of any other Conservative politician. This is a party that has plunged its country into an existential crisis because it was too weak to stand up to a minority of nationalist zealots and tabloid press barons. It is as strong as a jellyfish and as stable as a flea.


May will form a government with the support of the Protestant fundamentalist Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland. That government will be weak and unstable and it will have no real authority to negotiate a potentially momentous agreement with the European Union. Brexit is thus far from being a done deal: it can’t be done without a reliable partner for the EU to negotiate with. There isn’t one now and there may not be one for quite some time—at least until after another election, but quite probably not even then.
by:FintanOToole  from:TheNewYorkReviewOfBooks  Brexit  GeneralElection2017  TheresaMay  DavidCameron  BorisJohnson  geo:UnitedKingdom  politics 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Diane Abbott reveals illness and hits out at 'vicious' Tory campaign
“During the election campaign, everything went crazy – and the diabetes was out of control, the blood sugar was out of control,” she told the Guardian, saying that she was badly affected after facing six or seven interviews in a row without eating enough food.
But she hit out at the relentless attacks against Corbyn, Labour and her, claiming that she felt as if she was in a “vortex” as it dawned on her that she had been chosen to be singled out for targeting by the prime minister and the Conservative’s chief strategist. “Clearly I was part of Lynton Crosby’s grid,” she said.

Abbott, who revealed that a number of Tory MPs had approached her since returning to parliament to express their distaste at the tone of the campaign, said the Labour party had considered legal action at one point.
by:AnushkaAsthana  by:HeatherStewart  from:TheGuardian  DianeAbbott  health  politics  disability  GeneralElection2017  Labour  Conservatives 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Why a Labour majority at the next election has become far easier
To achieve a majority of one (326), Labour now needs a modest swing of 3.57 per cent. To become the largest party it needs to win 34 seats (24 from the Conservatives, nine from the SNP and one from Plaid Cymru), requiring a swing of just 1.63 per cent, or 29 directly off the Tories (requiring a swing of 2.01 per cent). The winning post in the latter case is Ed Balls’s former constituency of Morley and Outwood (Tory majority: 2,104). The seat needed for a majority of one is the SNP-held East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (majority: 3,866).

The party’s nascent recovery in Scotland, where it went from one MP to seven, has made an overall victory far more plausible. Of Labour’s 64 target seats, 18 are SNP-held. The remainder are held by the Conservatives, with the exception of Plaid Cymru’s Arfon. Vulnerable Tories include Home Secretary Amber Rudd in Hastings (majority: 346), Anna Soubry in Broxtowe (majority: 863) and Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford and Woodford Green (majority: 2,438). Though they long to be rid of Theresa May, such stats explain why the Conservatives are desperate to avoid another election. 
by:GeorgeEaton  from:NewStatesman  GeneralElection2017  JeremyCorbyn  TheresaMay  Labour 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Theresa May rejected the Tory detoxification project. That’s what’s behind this mess
Detoxifying the Tory party would prove to be as painful as detoxifying your gut. And like any other cleanse, a short-cut could only ever be self-defeating. Before he moved on to literal detoxes, Gove was one of the few who grasped this instinctively: in 2001 he co-edited an essay collection, A Blue Tomorrow, that addressed the Tories’ enthusiasm gap in depth. In one essay, the pollster Andrew Cooper lamented the “remarkably large number of people who can’t, or won’t, accept the truth of how we are seen by others, or the reality that this means the party must change fundamentally or die”. These included the “Millwall tendency” (“Nobody likes us and we don’t care”); the “flat-earthers” (“people who deny, in the face of all empirical evidence, that the Conservative party is at crisis point”) and “the face-lift faction” (those who advocate cosmetic change). All were standing in the way of detoxification.

Sixteen years and four prime ministers later, Cooper’s three toxic tribes have all left their mark on the Conservative party. Gove may have been the great moderniser hope, but his move to the Department of Education and his obvious delight in antagonising the teaching profession soon transformed him into the Millwall-Tory-in-chief (“the blob don’t like me and I don’t care”). David Cameron, of course, was the “face-lift faction” personified: giving his party a new eco-green logo but still surrounding himself with Old Etonians. As for the flat-earth faction: they are everywhere.
by:KateMaltby  from:CommentIsFree  Conservatives  TheresaMay  DavidCameron  MichaelGove  LyntonCrosby  DavidDavis  PritiPatel  DominicRaab  ZacGoldsmith  detoxification  GeneralElection2017 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Theresa May’s authority has been destroyed
There was a spectacular example of that last weekend, and it would have made front-page news but for the terrorist outrage. Downing Street was briefing that as soon as the election was over, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, would be sacked. In the final phase of a campaign, that is a crazy way to behave. Suppose Mr Hammond had cut up rough and said that in response, he would resign there and then. Imagine the headlines and the political crisis, four days before polling day. Mr Hammond is far too much of a gentleman to behave like that, but others noticed the way in which team May exploited his decency, having none themselves. It was further proof that the PM’s advisers were so puffed up with arrogance that they had lost all contact with common sense.

If you behave as she did, there is only one way to ensure survival; success. If that deserts you, it is too late to fall back on friendship. Mrs May is doomed to go down in history as the least successful Tory leader since Anthony Eden, and his failure had an heroic dimension. Although he ended up on the political bonfire, he had been cut from big timber. That is not true of her. It is extraordinary to recall that when she sacked George Osborne in characteristically graceless fashion, she told him that he was deficient in emotional intelligence. Emotion, intelligence — what does she know of either?
by:BruceAnderson  from:FinancialTimes  TheresaMay  GeneralElection2017  politics  stupid  Conservatives 
june 2017 by owenblacker
'Drop hard Brexit plans', leading Tory and Labour MPs tell May
May went to the country asking for a mandate on Brexit only to lose her Commons majority. In an intervention that will alarm hardline pro-Brexit Tories, the former foreign office minister Alistair Burt, backed by ex-education secretary Nicky Morgan and other pro-EU Tories, said Brexit could only be agreed and delivered if the Conservative minority government built cross-party support behind a plan that would unite politicians and the country.

Burt told the Observer: “The new composition of the Commons knocks on the head the idea that the negotiations should be solely in the hands of the Conservative party. The government must lead them, and you cannot negotiate by committee, but it should now demonstrate that it has a sounding board for parameters consisting of senior parliamentarians across the parties, and some leading business and agriculture figures, for example.

“This would demonstrate to the EU that what had seemed a weakened position, with the loss of a majority, had been transformed into a stronger position, in which a sense of national endeavour was shown in the degree of agreement for its position. Doing this would enable the government to move forward with its timetable, with a sense of backing from public and parliament.”
by:TobyHelm  by:DanielBoffey  from:TheGuardian  Brexit  GeneralElection2017  TheresaMay  NickyMorgan  AlistairBurt  YvetteCooper 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Ruth Davidson given DUP gay rights assurance
Ms Davidson said: "I was fairly straightforward with her and I told her that there were a number of things that count to me more than party.

"One of them is country, one of the others is LGBTI rights."

The Scottish Tory leader said she had asked for, and received, a "categoric assurance" from Mrs May that any arrangement between the Conservatives and the DUP would see "absolutely no rescission of LGBTI rights in the rest of the UK".

And she said the prime minister agreed to try to use her influence to advance LGBTI rights in Northern Ireland.
RuthDavidson  politics  DUP  homophobia  misogyny  geo:Scotland  geo:NorthernIreland  geo:UnitedKingdom  GeneralElection2017 
june 2017 by owenblacker
The Book of Jeremy Corbyn
And the elders rose up and said to the young people, If ye choose Jeremy, he will bring distress in your toils and wailing upon your streets. Do ye not remember the nineteen-seventies?

And the young people said, The what?

And the elders spake again, and said to the young people, Beware, for he gave succor in days of yore to the I.R.A.

And the young people said, The what?

And the young people said, Jeremy shall bring peace unto all nations, for he hateth the engines of war that take wing across the heavens. And he showeth respect for all peoples, even unto the transgender community.

And the elders said, The what?
by:AnthonyLane  from:TheNewYorker  JeremyCorbyn  TheresaMay  GeneralElection2017  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom  funny  satire 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Ruth Davidson: Keynote speech at Belfast Pride event
In a lecture to Amnesty’s Pride event in Belfast in August 2016, Ruth Davidson outlined how equal marriage changed her own life, and those of others across the country.

That she tweeted it on 9 June 2017, when Theresa May was negotiating a government with the homophobic, misogynistic religious extremists of the DUP is certainly… interesting.
by:RuthDavidson  homophobia  homosexuality  Pride  GeneralElection2017  DUP  geo:UnitedKingdom  politics  misogyny 
june 2017 by owenblacker
We need to talk about Diane Abbott. Now.
Diane Abbott is tougher than any one of you sitting here making your lame memes from behind anonymous screens. She is a titan. A pioneer.

 Diane Abbott is here for women, children, food bank users, nurses, students, mothers, disabled people, refugees, every single one of us.

 Diane is one of the very best members of Parliament you could EVER hope to have to stand up for you, and you have her, & you better hold her. Because if the Tories get back in tomorrow my god we are going to need Diane more than ever to stand up to their callous, brutal austerity.

If we have five more years of cuts and cruelty, we need five more years of one of its strongest opponents to face it down. We need Diane.
by:JackMonroe  politics  DianeAbbott  GeneralElection2017  labour  misogyny  misogynoir  bullying  abuse  race 
june 2017 by owenblacker
The London Bridge Attack Is Evidence We DON'T Need New Internet Surveillance Laws | Gizmodo UK
Yesterday morning, following the tragedy on London Bridge, Theresa May said "enough is enough", and launched into a campaign speech, further advocating for greater regulation and control of the internet. This is something that is already in the Conservative manifesto. On Friday, if the election goes as expected, she'll be able to start implementing it, with an even bigger mandate to do so.

There's just one problem: The London Bridge terrorist attack doesn't actually make the case for the draconian measures she wants to take, nor does it justify previous draconian moves made by government to surveil each and every one of us. In fact, it is evidence that we don't need new surveillance laws.
by:JamesOMalley  from:Gizmodo  terrorism  crypto  TheresaMay  GeneralElection2017  geo:UnitedKingdom  geo:London  politics 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Theresa May’s Self-Inflicted Election
"It hasn’t quite worked out the way she expected. A catastrophic series of unforced errors on the part of the prime minister has raised the prospect that May could, absurdly, end up in exactly the same position she started in when she called the vote — or possibly lose her majority altogether. The campaign has almost taken on the air of a Shakespearean tragedy. The election that was supposed to allow May to cast herself as Britain’s determined and resolute leader has seen her rebranded as cowardly and inept. In the words of former Labour advisor Tom Baldwin: “The prime minister is disintegrating in front of the public.” "
by:IanDunt  from:ForeignPolicy  Brexit  GeneralElection2017  TheresaMay  JeremyCorbyn  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom 
june 2017 by owenblacker
Are the Conservatives trying to change the rules of politics so they never lose again?
One of the neglected threads in Theresa May’s manifesto is a series of measures that, added together, look like an attempt to advantage the Conservative Party not just at this election but at every election.

They are: a new requirement to have a form of identification in order to vote, pressing forward in boundary changes and the shrinking of the number of seats in the House of Commons from 650 to 600, votes for life for British expatriates, and the abolition of the supplementary vote system for police commissioner and mayoral elections.
by:StephenBush  from:NewStatesman  politics  democracy  GeneralElection2017  geo:UnitedKingdom  Conservatives 
may 2017 by owenblacker
Kim Jong-May awkward and incredulous as journalist asks question | John Crace | Politics | The Guardian
“There are complex reasons why people go to foodbanks,” the Supreme Leader said tetchily. And what people had to remember was that many nurses were just plain greedy and chose to scrounge off foodbanks when they had spent all their money on super-sized meals at McDonald’s.

Sensing she might be straying slightly off message, Kim Jong-May returned to her default settings. Strong and stable leadership. Strong economy. Strength through being strong. Security through being secure. No, she didn’t feel it would be a failure if inequality rose under her Supreme Leadership. And yes, she did want to reduce taxes, but the best way of ensuring she could do that would be to give herself the leeway to increase some of them. The power of dialectics. Stability through fragility. Integrity through deceit.
by:JohnCrace  from:TheGuardian  TheresaMay  RobertPeston  AndrewMarr  LyntonCrosby  GeneralElection2017 
may 2017 by owenblacker
Tories lead in Wales for first time
That Labour is falling is not a shock, the party has had a slow puncture in its support in recent times, declining from 50% in April 2012 to 30% now. This decline was in evidence in the last assembly elections when the party’s share of the vote fell by more than seven percentage points.

However, the sharp spike in Conservative support is perhaps more notable. These latest Welsh voting intention figures are the highest we have ever shown for the party. While some of this increase may be down to sample fluctuation, it must be remembered that the last time we polled in Wales was in January. At that time, the Conservatives were 13% ahead of Labour in our national poll – immediately after the election was called this figure grew to 24%. So it seems clear that the Tories have been gaining ground throughout the country for some time.

Additionally, it should be pointed out that there is likely to be some Brexit-related movement here. As is the case across Britain as a whole, UKIP in Wales has fallen by seven points since January and are now in fifth place with only 6% of the vote. Of those who voted for UKIP in 2015, only 32% have stuck with the party while six in ten (62%) now say they are planning on voting Conservative. Only 2% say they will switch to Labour.
by:AdamMcDonnell  from:YouGov  geo:Cymru  GeneralElection2017  labour  Llafur  Brexit  UKIP  Conservatives 
april 2017 by owenblacker
The coming British bloodbath: Theresa May’s “snap election” will be an epic disaster for the left. But why?
The Labour Party has gone horribly wrong in the way that a great deal of parties full of well-meaning progressives go horribly wrong. You know the parties I mean. You’ve been there for half an hour and the unspoken personal drama is thick in the air and everyone is drinking way too much to forget about it, and everyone has a different plan for what to do with the evening, and the hosts are making a series of increasingly terrible decisions and you can’t leave because you’ve given them your keys and part of your heart.

You watch the whole thing get messier and messier because everyone deeply believes in the idea of the party and wants to make it work, and you have the vague impression that people are doing horrible things to one another in the back bedroom and you don’t want to hear about it because that might make you complicit. People stoned on bad theory and romantic resentment are arguing over the soundtrack, shuffling between the power playlist and the principles playlist and ending up with a jarring mashup that nobody can dance to. Fights break out over whose job it is to go to the store for more booze and snacks. Nobody is actually having a good time, but if we just see it through to the end, if we just keep believing, we might have one eventually, and by the time it starts getting light it’s way too late to see off the hangover or the crawling understanding that some people are just determined to sabotage themselves, and belief is not enough by itself to keep your friends alive. I don’t want to go to that party again.

But the only other option is May’s Conservative Party, which is the sort of party Milton Friedman might have thrown if he’d ever seen Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” — a slimy shindig full of rich white people wearing expensive human masks, where if you’re not on the guest list you’ll end up serving the drinks while the rest of them smash up what’s left of the furniture, and you just know that by the end of the night you’ll end up getting ineptly screwed by some hedge-fund manager who can’t stop crying and calling you mother. I don’t want to go to that party either. Please don’t make me.

The major party animals are prowling for another round, but the rest of us just want to go home. We’re exhausted, we’re sick of parties, and we want to go home. That’s more or less what everyone voted for in the Brexit referendum last June, but unfortunately a lot of people imagined “home” as a fantasy village in the 1970s where everyone has a well-paid factory job, the health care system works, there are no immigrants living next door, women know their place, pork pies grow in every front garden and all the woodland creatures sing the national anthem in harmony, including the verse about slaughtering Scotsmen. Nobody wants this election, but it’s happening anyway, because nobody has the energy to complain anymore. Seven years of Tory austerity saw to that.
by:LauriePenny  from:Salon.com  Brexit  GeneralElection2017  labour  JeremyCorbyn  TheresaMay  austerity  DavidCameron  LyntonCrosby  Conservatives 
april 2017 by owenblacker
Don’t believe Theresa May. The election won’t change Brexit one bit
We can safely presume that by calling this election, Theresa May does not wish to throw into doubt the result of the referendum, but to solidify her support. Many in Brussels remain concerned that the chances of a deal were being eroded by the prime minister’s tough negotiating red lines and her lack of room for manoeuvre domestically, yet there is no guarantee that a sprinkling of additional Conservative MPs on the backbenches will provide this.

The theory espoused by some, that May is calling a general election in order to secure a better deal with the EU, is nonsensical. We can only conclude that many British politicians and the media still don’t fathom how article 50 will work. As with the referendum, which many European leaders saw as a Tory cat fight that got out of control, I have little doubt many on the continent see this election as again motivated by the internal machinations of the Tory party.

What has been billed as a “Brexit election” is an attempted power grab by the Tories, who wish to take advantage of a Labour party in seeming disarray to secure another five years of power before the reality of Brexit bites. Will the election of more Tory MPs give May a greater chance of securing a better Brexit deal? For those sitting around the table in Brussels, this is an irrelevance. British officials will represent the people of the UK in the negotiations, regardless of the number of Tory MPs.
by:GuyVerhofstadt  from:CommentIsFree  Brexit  geo:EuropeanUnion  geo:UnitedKingdom  TheresaMay  fascism  coup  undemocratic  GeneralElection2017  Conservatives 
april 2017 by owenblacker
How the general election could go against Theresa May
These are uniquely chaotic and volatile political times. If a progressive alliance against hard Brexit could be formed, it would hit the Conservatives. It might not defeat them - but the prime minister needs to massively increase her majority in order to justify this decision. If she ends up anywhere near where she is now she will be treated as a self-interested failure who got her own MPs sacked and wasted valuable negotiating time trying to take advantage of beneficial political winds. Whether Labour has the intelligence or the decency to pursue that type of initiative is another matter - the fact Corbyn didn't even mention Brexit in his statement on the election suggests otherwise. But the option is there and it could work.

May presented her decision as one made in the national interest. Nothing could be further from the truth. She has only just triggered Article 50, which offers Britain a brutal two-year timetable in which to do about a decade's worth of work. She has now decided to eat into that by holding a general election for its first few months. Her supporters say that it does not matter because little will happen while everyone on the continent is distracted by the French election. That is a valid argument, but one which rather raises the question of why she decided to trigger just before French election anyway."
by:IanDunt  from:Politics.co.uk  TheresaMay  GeneralElection2017  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom  JeremyCorbyn  Brexit 
april 2017 by owenblacker

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