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Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

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Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by Chas Peeps on Sun 19 Feb 2017 - 22:51

The Brexit and Trump dirty bombs have landed and exploded. The dust is settling. The political landscape looks scorched, cratered and lifeless. I am emerging from my bunker, shocked but still alive and able to fight on on this barren battlefield with divided and disorientated centre and left legions on my flanks. The war is all around us on mutiple fronts and our reactionary enemies fight like machines without morality or mercy.

My criticism of Labour has been damning since GE2015 and since then through and beyond the EU referendum campaign. If we had fair votes in this country, Labour's problems would not be the Green Party's problem but we haven't so they are.  Labour remains the only UK party capable of challenging the Tories under First Past The Post so my principled but minnow-sized party remains chained to the fortunes of Labour that keeps charging towards a cliff edge rather than at our common political enemies.

One of the main reasons the Tories took power in GE2015 was the collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote and their Parliamentary seats dropping from 57 down to 8. 27 of those seats were lost to the Tories and 12 to Labour. With a Tory majority of only 12, the 27 seats lost by the Lib Dems to the Tories proved to be as decisive as it was unexpected. Most commentators expected the Lib Dem vote to hold up well against the Tories in their battleground seats and for the Senior Coalition partner to carry the can for the five disastrous years of austerity inflicted on the country. Instead the Lib Dems bled out unexpectedly and fatally to UKIP who, although very different politically, became the recipient of the protest votes that the pre-Coalition Lib Dems were used to collecting. The Lib Dems had become the Tories' lightning conductor for the inhumanity of 5 years of austerity-driven Coalition Government.

Let's wind on to 2016. The people of the UK voted to leave the European Union by a narrow margin of 52% to 48%. May was annointed as PM by the Tory Party. After months of paralysis, it became clear that the right wingers in the Cabinet had won the day - no continued membership of the Single Market or Customs Union. Hard Brexit it is unless by some miracle, the EU decides to let us 'have our cake and eat it'. Labour capitulated and waved through Article 50 on a blank cheque. The only effective opposition to Hard Brexit is now the SNP, Lib Dem, Plaid Cymru and Green MPs.

Labour's civil war continues with no end in sight.  Corbyn rejected the Green Party's offer of a Progressive Alliance for GE2020 to Labour, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru out of hand immediately after the EU Referendum result.

Labour's strategists are either unhinged or hiding unlikely genius. As I'm feeling kind, I'll explore the latter. Labour has embraced Brexit in order to respect the Referendum result and democracy itself. By doing so, it has aligned with the right wing Tories and UKIP and turned its back on the 48% who voted remain. Labour may be willing to risk alienating some of the 48% in order to shore up its core vote outside of the major metropolitan cities in an attempt to take ground back from UKIP. If we assume that Scotland is lost to the SNP (or eventually the UK?) for the foreseeable future, it becomes a fight to win power through England and Wales. Without a Progressive Alliance and with the predicted 20+ extra Tory seats that will come from the next 'Boundary Review', the ability of the Lib Dems to win back seats they lost from the Tories in GE2015 becomes critical.  As a likely Hard Brexit really begins to hit the UK economically and politically between 2019 and 20, the voting intentions of the 48% will most likely determine whether Labour will ever win or share power again. In England and Wales, the only parties that continue to campaign vigorously against Hard Brexit are the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and Greens all of whom are still perceived to be pro-EU parties by the voters. If there is an anti Hard Brexit backlash, those three parties may well be the major beneficiaries. I would argue that despite having over 600,000 members, Labour's electoral prospects in GE2020 now lay more with the three minor parties and the 48% than it does with themselves and their 'ground war' army.
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon 20 Feb 2017 - 8:59

A fascinating discourse, Mr Peeps, bringing to mind the biblical word "soothsayer" as it seeks to massage the damaged egos of Liberals and Greens. The former should not be surprised that they got all the blame for austerity and other petty-minded spitefulness of their coalition partners, since none of that could have happened without their quisling connivance.

The key phrase of your summarisation is probably, "In England and Wales, the only parties that continue to campaign vigorously against Hard Brexit are the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and Greens all of whom are still perceived to be pro-EU parties by the voters. If there is an anti Hard Brexit backlash, those three parties may well be the major beneficiaries."

What makes you (or indeed anyone) think that there is going to be an anti Hard Brexit backlash? When the people spoke in their referendum vote last June, it was to express their rage and frustration that apparently NOBODY was representing the interests of the majority common man any more in British 21st.C politics. That hasn't changed, despite howls of dismay from the comfortable classes now being championed by yesterday's man Blair.

Attempts to second-guess The Will of The People will have to become a lot more convincing than what little has been produced so far. Perhaps the result of this week's two by-elections may be the catalyst which points to a solution. We'll know about that on Friday.
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by Ivan on Mon 20 Feb 2017 - 19:06

I agree with just about all of that characteristically thoughtful contribution from Chas Peeps. The scale of the collapse of Lib Dem support in 2015 was greater than most pundits expected, but hardly surprising if you think about it. Anyone who votes Tory must surely expect them to favour the rich and to support bosses against workers and landlords against tenants. Since 1979, Tories in power has also meant cuts to public services and asset-stripping of state assets; you know what you're going to get, however much they try to pretend otherwise before the election. On the other hand, if you voted for the Lib Dems in 2010, you thought you were voting for a platform to the left of Labour, a pledge to scrap tuition fees, a promise to protect the NHS, and a ‘red line’ of proportional representation for any coalition deals. That’s why previous Lib Dem voters punished the Lib Dems in 2015.

I’ve recently left the Labour Party because of the pathetic way in which it rolled over and accepted the destruction of our future by the often ignorant and ill-informed 51.89% of the 72.2% who voted, 37.46% of the electorate. I’ve said elsewhere that I think the party is making a grave mistake. If and when Brexit turns out to be a disaster for the living standards of British people, the Tories and their rottweilers in the press will neutralize the political fallout by saying that Labour helped to facilitate it. On the other hand, if Labour had maintained its strong pro-EU stance, which was supported by all but nine of its MPs, most members, 62% of Labour voters and party conference, it could, under the current electoral system, have provided a better refuge than the Lib Dems for the 48.11% who voted Remain.

It’s hard to predict anything in the volatile political climate in both Europe and the USA, but if we leave the Single Market (which the Tories promised in their 2015 manifesto not to do), and living standards plummet, there could be a backlash from ‘those left behind’, as they will probably suffer the most from the effects.
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon 20 Feb 2017 - 22:35

"the destruction of our future by the often ignorant and ill-informed 51.89% of the 72.2% who voted, 37.46% of the electorate."

The Guardian "review" at the weekend includes an article about Lynsley Hanley's Penguin book "Respectable", comparing it with Richard Hoggart's much earlier "The uses of Literacy" which can tell us a lot about today's confusing landscape; for one thing that "we" remain voters banging our heads on the table - are confused largely because "they" - leave voters in areas reliant on EU funding for instance - couldn't seem to see which side their bread was buttered.
Statistically, if you were born before the era of mass higher-education and held few or no qualifications, you voted to leave. If you were under 40 (University expansions started in 1992) and held a degree, you voted to remain.

Is it that simple?
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by Stox 16 on Wed 22 Feb 2017 - 13:51

Ivan wrote:I agree with just about all of that characteristically thoughtful contribution from Chas Peeps. The scale of the collapse of Lib Dem support in 2015 was greater than most pundits expected, but hardly surprising if you think about it. Anyone who votes Tory must surely expect them to favour the rich and to support bosses against workers and landlords against tenants. Since 1979, Tories in power has also meant cuts to public services and asset-stripping of state assets; you know what you're going to get, however much they try to pretend otherwise before the election. On the other hand, if you voted for the Lib Dems in 2010, you thought you were voting for a platform to the left of Labour, a pledge to scrap tuition fees, a promise to protect the NHS, and a ‘red line’ of proportional representation for any coalition deals. That’s why previous Lib Dem voters punished the Lib Dems in 2015.

I’ve recently left the Labour Party because of the pathetic way in which it rolled over and accepted the destruction of our future by the often ignorant and ill-informed 51.89% of the 72.2% who voted, 37.46% of the electorate. I’ve said elsewhere that I think the party is making a grave mistake. If and when Brexit turns out to be a disaster for the living standards of British people, the Tories and their rottweilers in the press will neutralize the political fallout by saying that Labour helped to facilitate it. On the other hand, if Labour had maintained its strong pro-EU stance, which was supported by all but nine of its MPs, most members, 62% of Labour voters and party conference, it could, under the current electoral system, have provided a better refuge than the Lib Dems for the 48.11% who voted Remain.

I do believe this to be a fair summary of both the currant Labour Party and the Tories with there Blue Brexit. its a big fat political trap and the Labour Party leadership fell right in it head first. however, they do face a great big problem between the Labour voters in the North and Labour voters in the South. as they both voted for different things in the Referendum and not helped by the Labour party leadership at the time in my view.

Now they face a Tory Blue Brexit at any cost to the UK. As the North will reject the Blue brexit in the end and so will Labour party voters in the South. but for both different reasons. its my own view that the Labour Party will split in the end, with the Hard left going one way and the centre left and soft right going the other way. its been said this would happen in the past. but did not really come about. not even with the SDP split in truth. however, i think it will this time. The next General Election will be the braking point i think. I know i will Join a new Centre Left and soft right party that is Pro EU. i know others will also Join and i believe the ground work is already being done.

Still i do not expect others on here to agree with me. not that this matters much to me. as my mind is already made up and it will not change now.
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by boatlady on Wed 22 Feb 2017 - 16:04

Personally, and I expect against all the odds, I continue to hope for a proper socialist government - not centre-left, not soft right - that will represent all the ordinary folk of this country

I still hope the Corbyn project can pull it out of the hat, but I am losing hope
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by Ivan on Wed 22 Feb 2017 - 23:42

The Labour Party has always been a coalition of social democrats and democratic socialists, but at times it has become seriously divided. It was split by demands for public spending cuts to preserve the Gold Standard in 1931, split when Hugh Gaitskell promised to “fight and fight and fight again” to reverse the policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament, and then fractured by the formation of the SDP in 1981. All that the SDP managed to achieve was to split the non-Tory vote and keep Labour out of office until 1997.

There probably does need to be a realignment of the political parties in Britain. UKIP has become superfluous now that the Tories have become even more extreme and xenophobic. And as I’ve said on another thread, Tony Blair has called for a cross-party alliance of people who are pro-EU, probably in the hope that they will morph into a new ‘centre’ (or ‘third way’) party in due course.

But there is a ‘Catch 22’. Simply splitting the centre, the centre left and the left now will just hand the Tories many years of unbridled power because of a fragmented opposition. Electoral reform is needed before such a scenario makes any sense. But the chances of getting electoral reform are remote while one-party majority governments are being elected under first-past-the-post. The ‘hung’ parliament elected in 2010 was the perfect opportunity to force through a fairer voting system, but the Lib Dems squandered it.

Unless or until there is another ‘hung’ parliament, creating new parties would be a gift to the Tories again, just as it was to Thatcher in the 1980s. As George Santayana told us: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it".
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by boatlady on Thu 23 Feb 2017 - 8:49

It seems, however, that the rebels in the Labour party are determined on a split sooner rather than later - many new supporters will be most unwilling to vote for a party promoted by Blair - a man whose day in British politics is over, to my mind
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu 23 Feb 2017 - 11:49

IMHO not enough has been made of the importance of the two by-elections taking place today, both Labour seats up to now. Subject to Storm Doris (!) the status quo should be maintained. The Tories will be satisfied with second place if they're honest, and UKIP ... well, what can you say about self-destruction?

Important because Jeremy Corbyn would probably not have survived a defeat, and the Nation will not survive the defeat of its ONLY chance of challenging this destructive Tory mincing-machine - a widely-supported Socialist administration.

There will always be a leeching Tory administration unless the alternative hopefuls stop pretending that each has an equal chance. It has to be a socialist grouping that fights the next election.
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri 24 Feb 2017 - 10:17

So a visit from the Prime Minister, no less, effected a Damascene conversion on the voters of Copeland. A government by-election win for the first time in 35 years. But in another place the UKIP management received what must surely be a death blow. Accordingly today the sun is shining as if to apologise for events just 24 hours previously.

We live in interesting times.
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by Chas Peeps on Fri 24 Feb 2017 - 22:44

Ivan wrote: There probably does need to be a realignment of the political parties in Britain. UKIP has become superfluous now that the Tories have become even more extreme and xenophobic. And as I’ve said on another thread, Tony Blair has called for a cross-party alliance of people who are pro-EU, probably in the hope that they will morph into a new ‘centre’ (or ‘third way’) party in due course.

As ever Ivan, I agree broadly with your analysis. Just at the very time that Labour could have regrouped after the General Election defeat in 2015 and realised that it is the ONLY Party capable of blocking a permanent Tory hegemony under the First Past the Post system, it not only failed to perform the necessary alchemy to produce the best of the centre, left and green agendas, it even turned on itself. The irony remains that the unfair voting system that Labour has consistently refused to change is now the biggest single risk of the country becoming a one party state with the centre and left permanently frozen out and emasculated.

Labour flirted with electoral reform in the early to mid 1990's. As a member of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform, I campaigned strongly for PR while inside the Party. Tony Blair won his landslide and consigned thoughts of PR to the Labour Party dustbin.

Post GE2015, Labour could have wooed Lib Dem and Green voters by adopting PR and wider constitutional and electoral modernisation (dare I mention the Lords?), by opposing fracking much sooner, coming up with a de-escalating and cheaper nuclear deterrent than doomsday Trident, opposing HS2 and opposing Heathrow expansion. Labour could have accepted the principle of leaving the EU following the narrow referendum mandate but could have held out strongly for soft Brexit and ongoing membership of the Single Market. All of these policy measures would have broadened Labour's electoral appeal and may even have held the Party together. Instead it has engaged in a seemingly endless bitter civil war that is increasingly turning off the average electors who Labour needs to convince. Labour seems able to fill Halls and Town Squares but unable to fill ballot boxes. Only the latter matter in elections.

I fear for the future of our country. It's values are in severe peril and all I see are Labour politicians turning the fire on each other. I don't think half of this country will ever be able to forgive them.
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri 24 Feb 2017 - 23:21

In a different thread today, Ivan mentions that in some countries, or even in ours during the 1970s - the views and policies of Jeremy Corbyn would be considered moderate.  His, and everybody's, problem is that we have two Labour Parties, one of which thinks that one swallow in 1997 made a summer that could last forever.
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by boatlady on Sat 25 Feb 2017 - 11:12

Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Probably not deadhorse
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat 22 Jul 2017 - 12:39

Deborah Orr, writing in today's Guardian about the unopposed appointment of a "new" leader in the Lib-Dems thinks it won't do either Vince Cable or his eleven colleagues much good, after the party's catastrophic showing in Coalition.
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun 6 Aug 2017 - 19:11

The dead parrot squawks: "Sir Vince Cable Attacks Elderly Brexit 'Martyrs' Who Have 'Shafted The Young' ."

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

(Don't mention the Uni fees)
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Re: Is the Lib Dems' dead parrot the unlikely saviour of Labour's tattered rose?

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