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Archive for the ‘uk politics’

Oliver Notwell 378

Posted on March 23, 2019 by

Our pale red faces 203

Posted on March 22, 2019 by

From today’s Telegraph:

But who’s this “we”, exactly?

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The Great Coincidence 842

Posted on March 17, 2019 by

Several media outlets today relate a story from BBC Scotland’s fascinating three-part documentary of the indyref, revealing that secret UK government polling in the first week of September 2014 gave Yes a lead even bigger than the famous 51-49 one published by the Sunday Times on the 7th.

And naturally we couldn’t help wondering what might have caused it.

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Little Baby Bull 416

Posted on March 16, 2019 by

What the hell now? 462

Posted on March 14, 2019 by

So, some official and very brief Wings analysis, because we just watched an army of pundits on the TV all missing the bleeding obvious and talking as if a delay to Brexit was now a done deal.

After tonight’s series of votes in the Commons, all five of which were technically won by Theresa May, there are three possible outcomes. Let’s whizz through them all.

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The end of the rope 70

Posted on March 14, 2019 by

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament (essentially the Euro Lib Dems), is by no means our standard go-to guy for political guidance. Like most European politicians he’s been criminally silent on the outrages being perpetrated by the government of Spain, and in general he’s a bit neoliberal for our tastes.

But his speech from yesterday is powerful stuff.

As we write this, the UK’s parliament is blundering through a third successive day of toe-curling farce on the floor of the Commons, aimed this time at securing some sort of extension to Brexit to avoid a disastrous no-deal in just 15 days’ time.

It may yet be that such a request will be issued and the EU will grant it, dragging out the whole awful mess for God knows how much longer. But judging by the tone of M. Verhofstadt’s impassioned, exasperated address in Strasbourg, we wouldn’t like to have money on it. It appears that an entire continent has had just about enough of us.

The Plague Houses 61

Posted on March 14, 2019 by

For some time, most polls for “Who’d make the best UK Prime Minister?” – the stat that really decides who wins general elections – have shown a solid lead for “Don’t know”, narrowly ahead of Theresa May and a long way ahead of Jeremy Corbyn.

It’s a prime symptom of a UK-wide contempt for politicians the magnitude of which we’ve never seen in our lifetime, and Scottish voters are in no way immune.

We loaded this question from our latest Panelbase poll in the party leaders’ favours, because you don’t have to think any of them is doing a GOOD job to say that one of them is doing the BEST job out of the four. Everything is relative – and we also didn’t ask the question specifically about Brexit.

But even with those get-outs, “They’re all useless” came out on top by a clear seven points over Nicola Sturgeon, and the rest weren’t even at the races.

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The Rights Of Nations 104

Posted on March 10, 2019 by

David Davis on the Andrew Marr Show this morning:

MARR: “What would [Theresa May] need to bring back [from Brexit negotiations] to win you over?”

DAVIS: “She needs to bring back a clear ability on the part of the United Kingdom to be able to leave this treaty when it chooses to. There is no other treaty in the world I’m aware of where a sovereign nation undertakes to join up and can only leave when the other side says so.”

We’re pretty sure we can think of an example, David.

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Not YOU, Scotland (part 784) 68

Posted on March 08, 2019 by

The Foreign Secretary in September 2018:

And after an apparent change of heart in March 2019:

What an absolute Hunt, eh readers?

If this were only cleared away 353

Posted on March 02, 2019 by

Every rat for themselves 376

Posted on February 23, 2019 by

The tissue-paper tigers 339

Posted on February 18, 2019 by

It’s never a good look for a politician to have fewer principles than UKIP. When Tory MPs Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless defected to Nigel Farage’s party, both stood down from their seats and fought by-elections to establish whether their electoral mandates were personal or owed to the party. Both of them won. (Though both men subsequently lost at general elections and Reckless has now returned to the Tories.)

The seven Labour MPs who resigned from the party today have no such honour and no such respect for the electorate. They’ve quit the party but not their cushy and lucrative jobs as opposition MPs, and will bring about absolutely no practical difference other than sitting a few feet further to the left in the Commons voting exactly the same way as they did before.

Labour MPs already regularly rebel against the whip anyway – just last week 40 of them broke ranks to back an SNP amendment on Brexit. So nothing will be achieved by Chuka Umunna and six people nobody in the real world has ever heard of splitting under the meaningless umbrella name “The Independent Group”, whose claim that “politics is broken” was neatly illustrated by its website at their big launch moment.

The seven claim that Labour values no longer represent them, yet they’re happy to remain in the seats that Labour’s manifesto and brand secured for them. Nor do they wish to stay in the party and fight for the values they think it should have. They’ve chosen the most cowardly, meaningless form of protest possible: keep cashing the paycheques but carp from the sidelines.

There are already three MPs elected as Labour but who now sit as nominal “independents” – Frank Field, John Woodcock and Ivan Lewis – and the fact that most people’s reaction to that fact will be “Who?” tells you all you need to know about the impact and power of not-actually-resigning “resignations”. Jeremy Corbyn’s reaction will be a shrug. Oh no, fewer Blairites in his party. Not the briar patch, Brer Fox!

And Theresa May? Theresa May won’t even notice. Why would she? TIG poses no kind of threat to her. The idea that any MPs from other parties are going to change their vote on anything just because there’s a new gang of would-be cool kids in the cafeteria who’ve given themselves a name is laughable in its tin-eared arrogance.

Indeed, mention of Brexit – the only political issue anyone in most of the UK cares about right now – was startlingly conspicuous by its near-total absence from the group’s press conference. Instead there was an almost endless parade of petty personal gripes and grievances in which the Labour Party was decried as a shambolic, racist, anti-Semitic entity posing a mortal threat to the nation’s politics – yet not one bad enough to actually take a stand against at the ballot box.

The 400-odd words we’ve written here already indulge the TIG “rebels” with far more attention and significance than their empty, craven gesture merits. So we won’t waste your time and ours with any more.

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