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Thread: The UK Election

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    The UK Election

    Maybe some of my friends from across the pond can help explain to me the importance of the UK election.

    I don't understand how Parliament works, what role they play, and I kept hearing last night about how the Conservative Party not having the majority is going to affect Brexit... but how does a hung Parliament affect the UK from pulling out of the EU?

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    Re: The UK Election

    After hearing the BBC coverage I read a bunch of "newspaper" sites.

    I conclude that the Brits have managed to succumb to the neoliberals, mainly via the easily manipulated gullible child voters. They managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and will now have the worst of both possible worlds.

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    Re: The UK Election

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    Re: The UK Election

    Of course we've got a hung parliament. All Englishmen are hung so our parliament is bound to be

    I'll try to fill in some gaps, some of which may not actually be gaps.

    We have a first past the post system so the party that wins gets the majority of seats gets to govern, just like the US. Unlike the US, though, we've got way more than two parties and our minority parties are quite strong. That means it's entirely possible that one party won't manage to win enough seats to get an overall majority - that's called a hung party.

    When there's a hung parliament the "winner" basically has three options.
    1. Form a coalition with another party (or parties) such that between them they have an overall majority. That's what's probably happening over here as the Tories ally with the DUP (basically an Irish Unionism party) to achieve a very slim majority. It can be problematic because both parties have to compromise on their core beliefs manifestos have to be rethought and so on.
    2. Form a minority government. That can be problematic because the governing party can't guarantee enough votes in the house of commons to pass the legislation they want. So everything they do for the entire tenure ends up being drastically watered down as they try and pick up approval from rival parties.
    3. Call a second election and hope they do better next time. That's highly unlikely to work for the Tories this time because the election campaign saw a massive bounce for Labour (from a dismal starting position) and a crash for the Tories. That trend was still extant at the time of the election and a re-election would likely see the Tories lose even more of their majority than they already have. I'd be hesitant to say it would lead to a Labour victory but I wouldn't rule it out.

    As for the effect on Brexit... who knows. We'll almost certainly still be leaving (there isn't an appetite for reversing that decision from any of the parties) but this will likely affect the nature of that exit. The Tories had been driving for a "hard" Brexit where we no longer recognise the European court of human rights, no longer allow free movement of immigrants within Europe, no longer make any contributions to the union etc. The corollary to that is that we would almost certainly be pulled out of the customs union and other trading mechanisms and any trade agreements we were able to negotiate would be likely to be quite unfavourable - or even non-existent.

    Other parties had been pushing for a "softer" Brexit where we continue to acknowledge some of the tenets of the union and get more favourable trading in response. A lot of European countries (notably the Scandinavian ones) already operate in this way. Being "out" of the European Union isn't a binary state - it's a scale that runs from "we're not officially part but we follow all the tenets and get all the benefits" to "We're having nothing whatsoever to do with you smelly Europeans".

    So the election won't change that we're leaving, but it will likely mean we won't be slamming the door and flipping Angela Merkel off as we do it.
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    Re: The UK Election

    Something that I learned about this election was that it was a "pop" election. I didn't know that the Prime Minister of the U.K. could just say "hey, I want to gamble that I'll earn more seats so.... it's time for an election!"

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    Re: The UK Election

    After hearing the BBC coverage I read a bunch of "newspaper" sites.

    I conclude that the Brits have managed to succumb to the neoliberals, mainly via the easily manipulated gullible child voters. They managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and will now have the worst of both possible worlds.

    Welcome to your new overlords, the German oligarchy. Social democracy is over.
    Not sure what sites you've been reading Dill, but i have never ever heard anyone call Jeremy Corbyn a neo-liberal. I would say he is much more traditional left wing, you would probably quite like him he was offering Voters a proposition much more like Bernie Sanders.

    For Context what actually happened in the UK election was this -

    1, The Prime Minister saw the the opinion polls put her party some 20 points in the lead, they thought that the opposition had a weak leader, and so she couldn't resist to call an election with the idea that she would get a greater majority and therefore more power. (it was not necessary to call an election in the UK we dont have an absolute fixed term like in the UK, but she could have governed for another 2 or 3 years with out having one)

    2, During the election campaign, Labour (the opposition) put out quite a good manifesto, the Conservatives put out a terrible one which included one particular policy which become to be knows almost immediately as the 'Dementia Tax'. This policy went down very very badly (mainly because it was a terrible policy) even with the conservatives own supporters.

    Theresa May then decided to do a U-Turn on the policy, she was interviewed about this, in which insisted she wasn't doing a U-turn and nothing had changed, despite changing stuff !!

    3, The previously mentioned interview went down very badly, in fact generally Theresa May was very bad during the campaign in general, and Jeremy Corbyn did better and better as it went on.

    4, Despite all predictions even just before the vote that the Conservatives would increase there majority from the last election (some predictions where suggesting 50 - 100 seats), in fact they got a net loss of 12. This left them without a majority, and in the UK you need a Majority just to govern straight out. If you dont get a Majority then you have to look at deals with other parties so you have the numbers to govern.

    5, One of the main reasons for the much better showing for Labour, was a significant surge in turnout amongst young people, as there manifesto actually offered something to them and gave them something to vote for.

    6 While on the surface it may look like the Conservatives still won, make no mistake this was a very bad election for them and the consequences will be felt more clearly over the next 6 months.

    -----------------

    Now we still have the same government as before but they have a massively weakened position and they are dependant on 10 people from a different party who now have the final say over whether they can pass any policies at all in the next parliament.

    Labour now have a stronger hand and +30 odd more MP's making there position stronger.

    What happens next is any body guess, but my money would be on yet another election by the end of the year most likely because the Conservatives loose agreement with the DUP (the party who are keeping them in power) will fall apart.

    From my personal point of View i was pretty happy with this election, it could have been even better but it was step in the right direction. Jeremy Corbyn who i quite liked but was a little unsure of, campaigned really well and its clearly one of his strengths.

    The Lib Dems (one of the other parties) made small gains but i dont think enough and i think they would do well to change there leader probably to Vince Cable. I feel that they would do better and consequently all progressive parties would do better. What do you think FD?

    As for Brexit well this wont change it, it will still go ahead. What might very well change is the type of deal we look to strike as we leave.
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    Re: The UK Election

    The Lib Dems (one of the other parties) made small gains but i dont think enough and i think they would do well to change there leader probably to Vince Cable. I feel that they would do better and consequently all progressive parties would do better. What do you think FD?
    Yeah, I'd second that. Tim Farron's just not a good leader I'm afraid. He's just a bit dull and easy to miss.

    I'm not sure Cable's necessarily the right replacement given his age. The Libs tend to do well under younger leaders because they tend to appeal to a younger demographic. But Vince has a lot of charisma and he might well be able to reach across the age gap. He's got the gravitas to carry the position as well.

    I've got to say, Corbyn really did do a good job. He's been widely derided as a crackpot by the media and persistently undermined by his own party since he won the leadership or the labour party. Both of those factors disappeared during the election. Our purdah laws force the TV media to be impartial during an election so the media started giving him a fair shake and, unsurprisingly, his party finally rallied behind him once the election was under way. He finally got a fair shake and really stepped up to the plate. While Theresa May was U-Turning like a London Taxi and declining to engage in public debate, Corbyn did what he's been doing for 50 odd years, he got on his soap box and fought his corner. Nobody in the election has as much experience on the stump as Corbyn.

    NSA, it'll probably surprise you (but not much) that I veered at the last minute and voted labour. It was partly tactical (I didn't see the Libs making enough ground under Farron to send the message I wanted to send) and partly because I'm a socialist before I'm a Liberal. Under Corbyn there's finally a Socialist group I can get behind for the first time since New Labour moved to the right in the 90s.
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    Re: The UK Election

    NSA, it'll probably surprise you (but not much) that I veered at the last minute and voted labour. It was partly tactical (I didn't see the Libs making enough ground under Farron to send the message I wanted to send) and partly because I'm a socialist before I'm a Liberal. Under Corbyn there's finally a Socialist group I can get behind for the first time since New Labour moved to the right in the 90s.
    Your right i am surprised but not a lot

    Yeah my problem with Corbyn (although i liked him) was i thought he did a poor job in the referendum election, but clearly that was something he just didn't believe in strongly.

    Also i am not a big fan of John McDonnell, who i thought wisely stayed well out of the campaign.

    With a manifesto which (apart from defence) he believed in, i thought he was very good. Also the Labour manifesto was actually good and radical which makes a change.

    Corbyn and Labour were offering a genuine alternative rather than a watered down version of what the Tories were offering

    Vince has a lot of charisma
    Yeah that was why i thought of him really as the next possible leader, and i couldn't think of anyone else with even half the profile.
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    Re: The UK Election

    I think the biggest problem for the Tories in this election was that they treated the public like idiots. Now, all politicians and political parties do this, otherwise Labour wouldn't have tried promising hundreds of billions of Pounds of spending increases (including their nationalisation plans) which would apparently all be funded from a tiny tax rise on the very rich. It's a completely impossible set of maths, but enough people liked the sound of it - and more importantly, the idea behind it - that they voted for it.

    The difference between this and what the Tories did was that Labour had the balls to stand up and try to defend what they were offering. The Tories didn't. Every interview with Theresa May or her team was "Strong and stable" and "Coalition of chaos" over and over again. They thought that they didn't need to engage at all, and that people would be so hypnotised by their mantra that they wouldn't pay any attention to anything else.

    To make matters worse, the Tories continued with this approach even after their u-turn on the dementia tax that NSA mentioned, despite that having made it very clear that actually, they weren't all that stable. They just hoped that people would look at Jeremy Corbyn's past, particularly his support for the IRA, his friendship with various terrorist groups around the world and his tendency to side with anyone who considered themselves to be an enemy of the UK or the US, and decide he would be too unpalatable. Of course, they managed to shoot themselves in the foot over that as well by cosying up to Saudi Arabia, who while ostensibly our allies aren't exactly a beacon of human rights.

    Frankly, I think they're lucky they came out of this as the largest party. Their manifesto was dreadful, their campaign was, if anything, worse than their manifesto, and their complacency was bordering on being offensive.
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Our purdah laws force the TV media to be impartial during an election so the media started giving him a fair shake...
    That's interesting. Sure wish the media in the US were "impartial". How are said laws enforced?

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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by topshot View Post
    That's interesting. Sure wish the media in the US were "impartial". How are said laws enforced?
    Badly would be my initial reaction

    Although the laws require the TV media to be impartial there is a definite bias towards favourites in media coverage. Certain politicians would get much harsher handling in interviews than others. e.g. one of the party leaders was pretty much mocked for not having a particular figure from the manifesto to hand during an interview and needed to check what it was, took a couple of minutes at the most, and was derided for not having every single fact and figure memorised; one of the other party leaders produced a manifesto with virtually no figures or costings and was never really challenged on this.

    There is a definite vagueness as to exactly what "impartial" means

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    Re: The UK Election

    Again, take this with a grain of salt because I have a very limited knowledge of U.K. elections...

    I was surprised with how well Jeremy Corbyn did considering that he has offered to host an event in Parliament to honor those from Hezbollah and Hamas and that he also praised Hugo Chavez about his redistributionism. I was always under the impression that the U.K.'s Labor party was much like that of the U.S.'s (modern day) Democratic party, but it seems to me like the Labor party is much further left than the Democratic party.

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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by topshot View Post
    That's interesting. Sure wish the media in the US were "impartial". How are said laws enforced?
    I think our media is as impartial as it is practical to be without simply ignoring both sides. The issue is that we are so polarized that EVERY statement can be filtered through a lens to show in the light that we want. After all, neutrality is necessarily not supporting one side, so if you really care about that side, then neutrality appears as bias.

    By the way, there was one good thing out of the election, as I am able to say that you see this election as affecting effecting Brexit.
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    Re: The UK Election

    @InvisbleDuncan - Yeah I agree with almost all of that. I think the Tories from the top down approached the election with a huge amount of hubris. They took the people for granted and paid the price for doing so.

    I do think Corbyn's "terrorist connections" are over stated. He's never said "terrorists are lovely" and he's always spoken out against the act of terrorism. But he has been willing to engage with terrorists and tried to understand their causes. In bellicose times it's easy to portray that as being a sympathiser and getting into bed with the bad guys but, historically, it's exactly that engagement and willingness to compromise that's led to peace - eg the Good Friday agreement. I do think he's probably shown an uncomfortable level of sympathy but no more than those credited with bringing about the peace process showed in private.

    Badly would be my initial reaction
    I'd say "imperfectly" rather than badly. The BBC in particular tend to be pretty impartial during purdah and the other channels do a decent, if imperfect, job. Of course, bias is subjective so it's hard to say whether it's working or not - it depends on your view point.

    The big failing is that it doesn't apply to the written media which is massively (and openly) bias over here.

    I was always under the impression that the U.K.'s Labor party was much like that of the U.S.'s (modern day) Democratic party, but it seems to me like the Labor party is much further left than the Democratic party.
    We're waaaaay to the left of you guys. Not just in the UK but the whole of Europe. And not just the parties but the people too. From a European perspective you guys often look pretty extreme (and I don't doubt the reverse is true).
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by dday9 View Post
    Again, take this with a grain of salt because I have a very limited knowledge of U.K. elections...

    I was surprised with how well Jeremy Corbyn did considering that he has offered to host an event in Parliament to honor those from Hezbollah and Hamas and that he also praised Hugo Chavez about his redistributionism. I was always under the impression that the U.K.'s Labor party was much like that of the U.S.'s (modern day) Democratic party, but it seems to me like the Labor party is much further left than the Democratic party.
    Under Tony Blair Labour were much more like the Democratic party, under Corbyn they are definitely to the left.

    I would say as a country the UK is not by any means socialist OR conservative but a mix of the two. I would have said before this election that we were a bit more Conservative as a whole but now i am not so sure.

    but enough people liked the sound of it - and more importantly, the idea behind it - that they voted for it.
    I think that was one of the key things about the Labour manifesto, is it had a clear set of ideas and an identity.

    It didn't matter they might not be able to deliver all of them as long as they had a clear direction of travel, there are key things they would get killed for if they didn't follow through with (tuition fees), but for instance i couldn't see people get up in arms if they didn't re-nationalise the Post Office and focused on other stuff.
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    I think that was one of the key things about the Labour manifesto, is it had a clear set of ideas and an identity.
    I listen to Ben Shapiro's podcast and this was his explanation of not only the U.K. election, but of France's and also the surge of Bernie Sanders in the U.S. The left does well with younger voters because younger people tend to have the "we can change the world" mentality and bucking the current system is an easier pitch than the right's message of "we have a good foundation for our current system, it has just been perverted over the years." Shapiro's argument was that of, if the right wants to start winning younger voters, then they need to give them a purpose that has been lost.

    In the U.S. the purpose of the right has been lost to populism and in the U.K. it sounds like the purpose of the right has been lost to complacency. In my opinion (again, take everything I say with a grain of salt because I'm not familiar with U.K. politics), the Conservative Party can more easily fix their loses than the Republican Party can.

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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    I do think Corbyn's "terrorist connections" are over stated. He's never said "terrorists are lovely" and he's always spoken out against the act of terrorism. But he has been willing to engage with terrorists and tried to understand their causes. In bellicose times it's easy to portray that as being a sympathiser and getting into bed with the bad guys but, historically, it's exactly that engagement and willingness to compromise that's led to peace - eg the Good Friday agreement. I do think he's probably shown an uncomfortable level of sympathy but no more than those credited with bringing about the peace process showed in private.
    I actually think they're understated, as are those of his closest team. After all, he voted against the Anglo-Irish agreement (the precursor to the Good Friday Agreement and the first major step towards peace) because he believed that "the agreement strengthens rather than weakens the border between the six and the twenty-six counties, and those of us who wish to see a united Ireland oppose the agreement for that reason". This man was no Mo Mowlam - he is someone who wanted an IRA victory.

    The statement that he has always spoken out against the act of terrorism is unfortunately not true. For example, he stood for a minute's silence to honour an IRA gang who had been shot dead by the SAS while actually in the process of attacking a police station with a 200lb bomb and spoke enthusiastically on their behalf as "men who died for Irish independence".

    I did have a lot more that I had started to write, but I guess it's one of those things that you will either make allowances for or not. Suffice it to say that my father was in the army for 22 years, so my opinions on Corbyn are coloured by the context in which my father heard his name in the intelligence reports of the time.
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    Re: The UK Election

    I think DDay has it right about the US parties. If the Democrats want to list specifics, they can say, "we will give you this, this, and this." All of those things can have positive, immediate, and often financial, benefits. Since the conservatives have been saying that government is the problem, they are really in the position of saying, "we will take away this, this, and this....but you'll be better off without them, trust us." That's always going to be a harder sell. For example, most economists agree that certain tax breaks are distorting our tax system, and if those were removed, we could pay less in taxes, but telling somebody to give up a subsidy in return for a reduced tax rate requires a calculation, which we are not well suited to make.

    As to Europe, in general, I'd say that the UK Conservative party is to the left of the Republicans, and may line up more with the Democrats. Basically, all of Europe is well to the left of the US, as far as I can see.
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    As to Europe, in general, I'd say that the UK Conservative party is to the left of the Republicans, and may line up more with the Democrats. Basically, all of Europe is well to the left of the US, as far as I can see.
    Well that's pretty accurate. I almost laughed at the comparison between Republicans and UK Conservatives.
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by dday9 View Post
    I listen to Ben Shapiro's podcast and this was his explanation of not only the U.K. election, but of France's and also the surge of Bernie Sanders in the U.S. The left does well with younger voters because younger people tend to have the "we can change the world" mentality and bucking the current system is an easier pitch than the right's message of "we have a good foundation for our current system, it has just been perverted over the years." Shapiro's argument was that of, if the right wants to start winning younger voters, then they need to give them a purpose that has been lost.
    Yeah i think thats kind of true in the UK, but also no party has really offered many policies specifically aimed at younger people for some time now in the UK, the assumption was just that young people did not get out to vote in numbers, it appears if you have policies specifically directed at them young people and you get that message out via social media, they will vote and in large numbers.

    I would say France is different, in France they have had firstly years of a government to the right, then they voted them out and put in socialist government but both right and left have failed to change the systemic problems in Frances economy and have failed to bring back jobs to regions that lost manufacturing jobs to the likes of China and failed to bring jobs to young people. Macron came into this election with a brand new party and offered a neither left or right proposition, and his victory was in many ways due to voters rejecting the traditional right and left parties. And lets be clear there are still plenty of people in France who are not Macron supporters and many people backed him as the alternative (Marine La Pen) was so horrible they couldn't stomach backing her. Macron is also more of a Centrist, and has brought in ministers from both the left and right parties to make up his government. Also i dont think he mobilised the youth vote in quite the same way Corbyn did in the UK.

    Quote Originally Posted by dday9 View Post
    In the U.S. the purpose of the right has been lost to populism and in the U.K. it sounds like the purpose of the right has been lost to complacency. In my opinion (again, take everything I say with a grain of salt because I'm not familiar with U.K. politics), the Conservative Party can more easily fix their loses than the Republican Party can.
    Possibly i would say that may not be the case in the very near future though as i personally think they are going to be in more trouble in the next 6 months.

    For the Conservatives to return to a majority government they would need to find another leader like David Cameron who although i dont like them man was a very good politician and positioned the party to the center right which is where they need to be if they want to be in majority Government imho.
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    For the Conservatives to return to a majority government they would need to find another leader like David Cameron who although i dont like them man was a very good politician and positioned the party to the center right which is where they need to be if they want to be in majority Government imho.
    That's very true, I think. They also have a problem of personality as well as politics; the only Conservatives with any character come across as, well, rather odd (I'm thinking of Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg etc). The rest of them, particularly in the upper echelons, are remarkably bland. As much as I loathe Corbyn, he does at least come across as a person rather than a professional suit.
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleDuncan View Post
    They also have a problem of personality as well as politics; the only Conservatives with any character come across as, well, rather odd (I'm thinking of Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg etc). The rest of them, particularly in the upper echelons, are remarkably bland.
    I think this amply demonstrates my point.

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    Re: The UK Election

    So, what's happening over there now? After a whole lot of hand-wringing, it seems like May is staying and everybody has settled down. Is this just because changing horses so close to the start of the Brexit negotiations was a recipe for disaster, or does nobody know what happens next?
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    Re: The UK Election

    Conservatives did not get a Majority, but they got the most seats which gives them the right to try to form a government first. They have approached a party from Northern Ireland to do a deal to keep them in power (this other party the DUP has the 10 seats they need to have a majority).

    So essentially the Conservatives are still in power now but with there power greatly reduced and without the ability to put through much of there manifesto as they dont have a majority inside there own party. I suppose it a bit difficult to explain if you are not from the UK and seeing the election result and aftermath, but first hand but it looks and feels like we are entering another large change in British politics despite essentially the same people still being in charge .... for now.


    What has happened since the Election is we have had one of the biggest tragedies happen in my memory probably since the 7/7 London attacks but this time nothing to do with Terrorism, in fact some 56 people dead in 7/7 but there are already more people pronounced dead in this event (58 dead and counting).

    Grenfell Tower which is an old tower apartment block which houses some of the poorest people in one of the richest areas in London Burned down after a Fridge caught fire in one of the apartments. Last year the local council re-clad the outside of the building essentially to make it look a bit nicer to those living in the richer bits of the area. The Cladding they used from what we have seen and been told was of the non fire retardant type and basically helped spread the fire up and down the building and that along with other sub standard works done on the building has directly caused massive loss of life.

    The local Council are Conservative and they are being blamed for much of this, There was a Fire in another block in 2009 in which 6 people died after which there was an enquiry, none of the recommendations from that enquiry seem to have been enacted. In fact they seem to have been deliberately sat on and delayed.

    The Council seems to have chosen cheaper less fire retardant cladding in order to cut costs and there response since the fire as been woeful.

    There is a lot lot more to this but i would be here for hours, if you want to know more i would suggest going to any of the main UK non tabloid papers websites (Guardian, Independent, Telegraph) and having a read about the Grenfell Tower fire

    There is a lot of anger and a lot of hurt in how this has been handled.
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  25. #25
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    That story has made it to the news fairly extensively over here. Not as extensively as it has been covered over there, but pretty extensively.
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  26. #26
    Fanatic Member simonm's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    I think May should have gone after the election but instead she's hanging on like a lame duck, but maybe that's because they don't have anyone to replace her with.

    My worry now is that the tories will collapse in a heap of infighting and Labour will be swept to power on a platform of re-nationalisation and a general lurch to the left.
    Everything I say is either loose interpretation of dubious facts or idle speculation rooted in irrational sentiment.

  27. #27
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    I think May should have gone after the election but instead she's hanging on like a lame duck, but maybe that's because they don't have anyone to replace her with.

    My worry now is that the tories will collapse in a heap of infighting and Labour will be swept to power on a platform of re-nationalisation and a general lurch to the left.
    I dont see how that worse than what we have got, the Tories pride themselves on the fact that they are the party of economic stability and yet they are driving us through ideology to being poorer than ever as a nation. May is a Terrible PM, who knows Corbyn might actually be good.

    Also as far as nationalisations go, if they re-nationalise Rail and Water (supposedly Labours first 2 priorities) i will be very happy i dont think they should have been privatised in the first place.
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  28. #28
    Fanatic Member simonm's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    I don't like the tories, certainly not the May led administration we've got but I definitely see it as a lesser evil than the Social dystopia promised by the Cobynites.
    Everything I say is either loose interpretation of dubious facts or idle speculation rooted in irrational sentiment.

  29. #29
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    The question with Corbyn is: Which Corbyn would you be getting? There's a pragmatic leftist, and a solid communist. One could be good, the other would be.....bizarre, though the US has experience in that regard.
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  30. #30
    Fanatic Member simonm's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers
    ...the Tories pride themselves on the fact that they are the party of economic stability and yet they are driving us through ideology to being poorer than ever as a nation.
    I'm curious to exactly what you mean by this statement.

    1) Which ideology are we being driven through?
    2) By what measure are we 'poorer than ever'?
    Everything I say is either loose interpretation of dubious facts or idle speculation rooted in irrational sentiment.

  31. #31
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    Re: The UK Election

    1) Which ideology are we being driven through?
    Austerity. Hayekian economics turned up to 10 with a complete disregard for the fact that it was the Keynesian economics proposed by the left that actually lifted the world out of the great depression.

    2) By what measure are we 'poorer than ever'?
    I'm not sure I'd use the word "ever" but price inflation has been outstripping wage inflation for over a decade. So in real terms we're poorer than we were immediately following the banking crisis.
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  32. #32
    Fanatic Member simonm's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    Austerity. Hayekian economics turned up to 10 with a complete disregard for the fact that it was the Keynesian economics proposed by the left that actually lifted the world out of the great depression.
    Hardly "Hayekian" economics, and we've hardly abandoned "Keyesnian" economics since we haven't stopped running a budget deficit despite our supposed "austerity". That's a myth anyway, Keynesian economics relies on accumulating a surplus in the good times so that we can run a deficit in the bad times.

    In actual fact, our austerity program here in the UK, such as it is, has nearly cleared the deficit since it was begun and yet our economy performed remarkably well compared to most other developed economies with relatively low unemployment. The relative flexibility of the UK labour market (compared to most other EU countries) allowed us to absorb the impact of the financial crisis with falling income rather than higher unemployment which is, arguably, preferable.
    I'm not sure I'd use the word "ever" but price inflation has been outstripping wage inflation for over a decade. So in real terms we're poorer than we were immediately following the banking crisis.
    Not quite true, the last three years have seen a return to real terms growth which has only stopped recently with the latest rises in inflation (which is in turn is due to the currency depreciation as a result of the Brexit referendum, not Austerity).
    Everything I say is either loose interpretation of dubious facts or idle speculation rooted in irrational sentiment.

  33. #33
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by simonm View Post
    I'm curious to exactly what you mean by this statement.

    1) Which ideology are we being driven through?
    2) By what measure are we 'poorer than ever'?
    Yes Austerity, but also our Exit from the EU, i am not going to even go in to why we had the vote in the first place, but Now we are leaving though the it seems that our choice of how we exit is completely ideology driven.

    We have a significant faction of the government pushing us to leave the Single Market and Customs Union for which there is no economic argument that makes any sense, and they are not presenting us with any argument really apart form "It will be great, we will be free, Trust us!".

    As for Poorer then ever, we now have younger generations that are poorer then there parents, are unable to afford to own there own homes and are increasingly stuck in crappy jobs, with ever increasing debt.

    And dont even get me started on Universal Credit, one of my mates works on one of teams that has been moved over to dealing with Universal Credit applicants, and by all accounts its a disaster waiting to happen.
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  34. #34
    Fanatic Member simonm's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    Yes Austerity, but also our Exit from the EU, i am not going to even go in to why we had the vote in the first place, but Now we are leaving though the it seems that our choice of how we exit is completely ideology driven.

    We have a significant faction of the government pushing us to leave the Single Market and Customs Union for which there is no economic argument that makes any sense, and they are not presenting us with any argument really apart form "It will be great, we will be free, Trust us!".
    I certainly agree with you regarding the Single Market, I am yet to here of a coherent economic argument against it. The reasoning is political; firstly so we can have more control of immigration and secondly so we will not be subject to the European Court of Justice.

    There is an economic argument in favour of leaving the Customs Union though, namely so that we can negotiate our own trade deals with the rest of the world. Whether the benefits of such outweigh the costs is another matter.
    Everything I say is either loose interpretation of dubious facts or idle speculation rooted in irrational sentiment.

  35. #35
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    I certainly agree with you regarding the Single Market, I am yet to here of a coherent economic argument against it. The reasoning is political; firstly so we can have more control of immigration and secondly so we will not be subject to the European Court of Justice.
    Even the conservative government doesn't want to control immigration really, it wants to be seen to cap it but they dont want it to fall (apart from a few hard liners), because if it falls more then a very small amount it reduces our GDP and we all become poorer. It Turns out the immigrants actually create money in the economy, who knew!

    Secondly the European Courts of Justice only really have precedence in about 7% of UK law, that is a tiny amount and is in the most part around things like citizens rights, trade and workers rights.

    There is an economic argument in favour of leaving the Customs Union though, namely so that we can negotiate our own trade deals with the rest of the world. Whether the benefits of such outweigh the costs is another matter.
    Not a good argument, we get huge benefits from remaining in the customs union regarding being able to sell our goods tariff free into the EU and also automatically following the same regulatory standards.

    People talk about trade deals with the rest of the world as if they would some how be better than what we currently have, and i think they underestimate how much we currently trade with Europe. Also they under estimate how long it will take to negotiate each individual trade deal.

    Economies of Scale is very Basic economics, and its what we currently have when the EU is negotiating trade deals. If you go in to a negotiation and your bigger or as big as the other side then your going to get a better deal than if your smaller. Somehow we seem to have convinced ourselves that this doesn't apply to us, that we are special.

    As you can tell i think us leaving the EU is a great mistake, and now we are leaving i think that leaving the Single Market & Customs Union would double down on that mistake.
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  36. #36
    Fanatic Member simonm's Avatar
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    Re: The UK Election

    People talk about trade deals with the rest of the world as if they would some how be better than what we currently have, and i think they underestimate how much we currently trade with Europe. Also they under estimate how long it will take to negotiate each individual trade deal.

    Economies of Scale is very Basic economics, and its what we currently have when the EU is negotiating trade deals. If you go in to a negotiation and your bigger or as big as the other side then your going to get a better deal than if your smaller. Somehow we seem to have convinced ourselves that this doesn't apply to us, that we are special.
    On the other hand, getting agreement on a trade deal in the EU is enormously difficult as any one country can block it if it doesn't like it (see recent example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37749236).

    Negotiating a trade deal on our own we only need to worry about satisfying our own interests.
    As you can tell i think us leaving the EU is a great mistake, and now we are leaving i think that leaving the Single Market & Customs Union would double down on that mistake.
    Personally, I was in favour of leaving the EU but remaining in the single market (such as the EEA). If we aren't free to negotiate our own trade deals then I can see little point in leaving the EU at all. Although I am open to the idea of remaining in the Customs Union for a transition period.
    Everything I say is either loose interpretation of dubious facts or idle speculation rooted in irrational sentiment.

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