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sufi
14-04-2015, 11:56 AM
apparently this is the most boring election ever
http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2015/04/08/john-lanchester/episode-five-flatliners/
and perhaps also the most inconsequential, unless the scunners of ukip get anywhere...?

you
14-04-2015, 10:04 PM
Actually I see it a different way. In contrast to America in particular. Obama had election interest, excitement, hope, passion. But once he got in office he couldn't do anything. In the UK it is the opposite. Little emotive interest but the difference between the parties will be felt at ground level in the years after the election.

baboon2004
24-04-2015, 11:13 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YBumQHPAeU

most exciting development yet

Pandiculate
24-04-2015, 10:05 PM
I'm finding it interesting how much the Scottish are being demonized

luka
29-04-2015, 02:21 PM
i watched the millbrand interview. im engaging with politics.

griftert
29-04-2015, 07:04 PM
Weirdly I thought the Brand interview he came across as pretty well. Kind of honest and relatively un-spun, though that maybe just a reflection of how almost hyper-real politics and the media in this country has become. Politicians seem to be becoming judged explicitly on how well they can spin rather than what they actually say, Evan Davies suggesting to politicians other ways they should have spun things...mental.

Anyone see any way that the Union is going to last much longer? The Unionist parties seem right up for stoking up English nationalism for short term gain whatever the long-term effects.

luka
29-04-2015, 07:11 PM
Brand who I'm generally sympathetic towards come across like a hunched over personal space invading freak though

griftert
29-04-2015, 07:23 PM
He seemed a bit star-struck aha. I like how the Tories totally fucked themselves by believing their shtick about Miliband being this utterly repellent social disaster though. People must have thought he was doing well if he didn't shit himself during the hustings for all they talked that up.

Mr. Tea
29-04-2015, 08:42 PM
The sheer level of bile in the Tory press for Miliband and Labour in the run-up to this election is extraordinary even by their usual standards. I mean they really have abandoned any pretence about being about policies and have reverted to the level of playground insults. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mail's headline tomorrow is DON'T VOTE FOR THIS MAN, HE LOOKS FUNNY AND SMELLS.

And did anyone see this the other day?

88

http://www.dissensus.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=88&d=1430336359

Because David Cameron is such a down-to-earth man of the people and definitely not, like, a direct descendant of William IV, or anything.

Seriously, this is worse than GWB's Texas-homeboy routine. At he didn't sound like a member of landed gentry.

hucks
29-04-2015, 10:32 PM
And did anyone see this the other day?

88

http://www.dissensus.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=88&d=1430336359



That link's not working for me but I like that the attachment is cunts.jpg

Agreed tho on the right wing bile. I guess having grown up with Blair I never saw the establishment press at its most rabid. It's something else altogether. One of the best things about a Miliband victory is that it would rob them of power almost instantly - why be scared any more? That would be fucking glorious.

Except it's looking less and less likely. The polls are moving, I think, even if a couple today look a bit better for Labour. There doesn't have to be much of shift for the Tories to be largest party, then throw in a few lib dems and we've got five more years of this shit.

Can't blame Scotland for going SNP, and there's a couple of ironies here. Labour always did disproportionately well out of Scotland, picking up all these seats with not that many votes (or work). Now the SNP are doing the same but more so. Labour have lost their in built electoral advantage in the space of 8 months, following a referendum that they, on the face of it, won.

Slothrop
30-04-2015, 11:28 AM
Speaking of the right wing press:
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/apr/30/scottish-sun-snp-rupert-murdoch-nicola-sturgeon

Mr. Tea
30-04-2015, 12:12 PM
The degree of influence of the Scottish vote - whether real or imagined, and whether seen as positive or negative - is quite extraordinary, considering the place is home to a whopping 8% of the UK's population. It's got fewer people in it than the West Midlands, and when was the last time the West Midlands was seen as the determining factor in a general election?

Slothrop
30-04-2015, 01:30 PM
There's quite a strong possibility that the Tories and the right wing press will make that argument, too, if it looks like the SNP might form part of a left-of-centre coalition.

Which is ironic, really, because the last time anyone asked, they all thought first-past-the-post was the fairest system imaginable.

Mr. Tea
30-04-2015, 01:53 PM
...if it looks like the SNP might form part of a left-of-the-present-Westminster-government coalition

Fixt it 4 u.

Slothrop
30-04-2015, 02:10 PM
Good point well made.

Also, as far as the press goes - it's actually vaguely reassuring that this is the second election running where we've had a fairly vicious media attack on a not-exactly-barnstorming labour leader, and it looks like the Tories won't have managed an outright majority in either of them. It's also not looking great for DC's leadership...

griftert
30-04-2015, 02:35 PM
The degree of influence of the Scottish vote - whether real or imagined, and whether seen as positive or negative - is quite extraordinary, considering the place is home to a whopping 8% of the UK's population. It's got fewer people in it than the West Midlands, and when was the last time the West Midlands was seen as the determining factor in a general election?

I think that's just an illusory effect of Scotland being something of a recognised self-contained entity that tends to vote in one way. The West Midlands would have as much power if they voted as a bloc, as Scotland tends to do. Also, it only has the possibility to prop up one or other government. If the English all voted UKIP then what could Scotland do? It's an illusion that Scotland has a particularly great deal of power created by a London-centric media.

Mr. Tea
30-04-2015, 03:06 PM
I agree that it's exaggerated, hence "real or imagined" in my last post. And in any case, it's a result of a parliamentary system in which coalitions are the exception rather than the rule, as they are in many (most?) democracies.

craner
30-04-2015, 10:08 PM
My instinct is that the Tories will get a small majority. It's just an instinct and goes against the polling data. But I don't think that Cameron is going to have to form a coalition.

HMGovt
30-04-2015, 10:17 PM
My instinct is that the Tories will get a small majority. It's just an instinct and goes against the polling data. But I don't think that Cameron is going to have to form a coalition.

Perhaps with Labour to fend off the SNP electoral JUGGERNAUT, if only to save poor Trident.

craner
30-04-2015, 10:45 PM
I don't want a Tory majority, if that's what you're getting at. I've been canvassing for Chris Ellmore in the Vale of Glamorgan. I have a Labour placard outside my house. I'm not exactly enthused by Miliband or the current Labour policy platform, but I still think Labour are the best option for this country. I think they have to face up to the fact that they ramped up borrowing in 2007-9 to reckless levels and this smashed against the banking collapse which they had a small part in creating. However Labour spending up to 2007 was not hugely out of scale with previous governments. Between 1998-2000 they had the lowest borrowing since the Second World War. It was Brown that wrecked it, by the massive spike in borrowing before the 2010 election and laying prostrate in front of the investment banking sector throughout the Labour years.

But the polls do suggest that there is a large chunk of the population who haven't, or can't decide. Up to 40%, I think. This matches my experience of the doorsteps of the Vale of Glamorgan. The things they are agitated about - welfare, immigration, national debt -are things that are being answered by the Tories and UKIP in a way that matches their concerns and fears. People who are voting for the other parties have already decided, I believe, and will say so. Scotland is undoubtdly wrapped up for the SNP. The large, hedged, silent vote is largely for UKIP and Conservatives. So I think that UKIP will do better than current polls suggest, and this may or may not translate into actual seats, but the real winners of this hedged, silent vote will be the Tories.

It is mostly instinct, though. I won't be surprised if I am wrong, but I won't be surprised if I am right, either. I am calling it though.

HMGovt
30-04-2015, 10:54 PM
Whoa, misread your post! My ToryFilter must have been on, I couldn't countenance Cameron not having to form a coalition. :eek:

Just read a John Lanchester piece on the LRB that suggests the Lib Dems may be kingmakers again and it'll be hard for them not to make Cameron king.

craner
30-04-2015, 11:25 PM
It's totally possible, of course, but I also think that many Lib Dem MPs would react strongly against it. The more it's talked up, also, the more the Lib Dem vote will bleed to Labour as most of their supporters are left-leaning, unlike the Laws-Clegg party Orange Book clique.

The other option no one is mentioning is Lib-Lab coalition, maybe because the arithmetic is wrong (I am not a politics nerd, so I couldn't tell you). But that is a preference for many Lib Dem and Labour MPs and members. It was a live issue in 1997, Blair and Ashdown both super-keen to heal the historic left of centre split (Brown implacably opposed, a Labour tribalist through-and-through).

It's correct, 100% I believe, for Labour to rule out coalitions with Nationalist parties even if they are nominally 'socialist'. Apart from the fact that the SNP and Labour are hostile entities in Scotland, Nationalism is anathema to Labour's history.

Also, the reason that Scotland is now a one party bloc, Labour handing over to SNP, is for recent historical reasons. 40 years ago, the Tories had an electoral prescence in Scotland; for that matter, even in the last election, the Tories were second to Labour and SNP in a number of seats. As I fruitlessly pointed out during the Referendum debate, there are lots of Scottish Conservatives, even if they aren't strict Tories. There is no reason to say that in the future, either in the Union or out of it, some form of Scottish conservative party or constituency will not revive. These are rather unique times in Scotland, and the SNP is clearly the most effective political machine in the country and I am sure that many Welsh and English people would vote for Sturgeon right now if they could, but the idea that the majority of Scots are naturally all left-wing Nationalists and that this chimes with some sort of socio-ethnic character seems to be obviously absurd.

hucks
02-05-2015, 08:53 PM
My instinct is that the Tories will get a small majority. It's just an instinct and goes against the polling data. But I don't think that Cameron is going to have to form a coalition.

I don't see how they are going to better now that they did 5 years ago.


It was Brown that wrecked it, by the massive spike in borrowing before the 2010 election and laying prostrate in front of the investment banking sector throughout the Labour years.

Interesting. What's never talked about was his tax cut in 2007(?). When he got rid of the 10p tax band, he cut income tax to 20p from 22p. Blew a massive hole in the public finances.

I'm canvassing for Labour in my nearest marginal tomorrow. Another 5 years of Tory government would change the country, and hurt some of the most vulnerable people. But I share all the misvgivings of Labour last time round, both in terms of how they spent money and how they dealt with powerful financial interests.

Mr. Tea
03-05-2015, 01:42 PM
It was Brown that wrecked it, by the massive spike in borrowing before the 2010 election and laying prostrate in front of the investment banking sector throughout the Labour years.

OK, but it's still small beer (well, relatively, sort of) compared to the borrowing over the last five years, isn't it?


FY 2015* £1.36 trillion
FY 2014 £1.26 trillion
FY 2013 £1.19 trillion
FY 2012 £1.10 trillion
FY 2011 £0.91 trillion
FY 2010 £0.76 trillion
FY 2009 £0.62 trillion
FY 2008 £0.53 trillion

from http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_debt_chart.html

That's an increase in debt of 600 bn from 2010-2015, compared to an increase of a "mere" 230 bn from 08-10.

Mr. Tea
03-05-2015, 02:21 PM
I thought this was good.

http://s1.b3ta.com/host/creative/95335/1430491153/tea.jpg

griftert
03-05-2015, 04:16 PM
OK, but it's still small beer (well, relatively, sort of) compared to the borrowing over the last five years, isn't it?



from http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_debt_chart.html

That's an increase in debt of 600 bn from 2010-2015, compared to an increase of a "mere" 230 bn from 08-10.That's a function of the deficit though isn't it? As in, getting the deficit to 0 would merely stop the debt from increasing, it wouldn't reduce that at all.

Mr. Tea
03-05-2015, 05:05 PM
That's a function of the deficit though isn't it? As in, getting the deficit to 0 would merely stop the debt from increasing, it wouldn't reduce that at all.

Well yes, but the deficit is now in the region of £110 bn per annum, as opposed to the figure of £0 per annum Osborne said he'd reduce it to by 2015, five years ago. So not only is the debt far bigger than it was even under Gordon Brown when everything went tits up seven or eight years ago, it's still increasing rather rapidly.

you
03-05-2015, 10:25 PM
Mmmm - having a better credit rating would've helped.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22219382

I'm surprised that Labour haven't thrown this back at the Tories.

"Our debt interest is higher because your economic plan for growth failed"

I can just imagine Ed fucking that line up.

Mr. Tea
03-05-2015, 10:48 PM
Mmmm - having a better credit rating would've helped.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22219382

Yes, and keeping our precious AAA rating was another thing Osborne felt was important enough to gut the welfare state for, and he still failed.

So not only has he thrown the baby out with the bathwater, he's then done a massive shit in the bath and set fire to the baby.


I'm surprised that Labour haven't thrown this back at the Tories.

The extent to which Miliband has failed to capitalize on the government's appalling handling of the economy even by its own skewed standards is breathtaking. It's as if he's swallowed their bullshit hook, line and sinker. He can't really be that dense, surely?

griftert
04-05-2015, 06:11 PM
i think it's related to how much the media entirely is onside with the Tories and their austerity discourse. They've been practically vilifying Miliband for his modest critique of it, just imagine what it would be like if he actually disagreed entirely with its assumptions. 'Economics of the madhouse' would be all over newsnight every night.

Mr. Tea
04-05-2015, 07:54 PM
Absolutely ANYTHING that could in any way compromise businesses' ability to make AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE ALL THE TIME is LITERALLY STALINISM.

Seems to sum up the position of the Mail/Torygraph. Is the Murdoch press quite as extreme as this in economic terms? The Sun seems to be concentrating on painting Miliband as this gaff-prone posho gimp who can't even eat a bacon sandwich without looking like the kid whose lunch money you used to steal at school every day, lololol.

craner
05-05-2015, 10:15 PM
I'm sure that's all true, but a lot of people (many still undecided, or so they say) don't buy it because the origin of the problem was Brown's fatal 2007-10 blow-out and his love affair with The City. Labour cannot wriggle off that hook, especially when the party elite are all former Brownites. The facts then and since may be more subtle, but people are not wrong to buy that basic argument, which is why (I believe) Miliband was fatally compromised to deny that Labour ever overspent.

I still stick to my Tory small majority hunch. I wouldn't take any major risks for it, but I might find a betting shop and put 20 quid on it if the odds are good. Failing that, a second election, I reckon. I just cannot see any coalition materialising. Labour limping in with a Union-sponsored minority would be sulphorous, for the country at large and those involved.

craner
05-05-2015, 10:17 PM
I also find it interesting that people are treating polls like The Word Of God, again. What happened to all those healthy, cynical caveats we used to have?

Leo
05-05-2015, 10:35 PM
i always wonder about "the undecided vote" at such a late point in a campaign. really, there are people who honestly still don't know how they are going to vote? do they not give a shit? or just sort of retarded?

i think a lot of it is bullshit, they just say they don't know.

craner
05-05-2015, 10:47 PM
I don't think it is bullshit. I think there are plenty of people who do follow their gut when they get to the booth. I also think there are many who choose not to disclose their intentions, and they tend to vote conservative witho ut actually being Tories. I reckon that vote will have its biggest moment since 1992, and still be a squeak. But, crucially, enough.

craner
05-05-2015, 11:16 PM
Miliband has been bloody dreadful in this election, as has the Labour campaign. When the highlight is an interview with Russell Brand, you know that it has been badly misconceived from the beginning, even malformed. Tories have been awful too, especially Cameron. Farage has been a disaster. Clegg has been better than this lot, but hitting his bland limits and handicapped from the beginning. (Kirsty Williams is probably the best they have, in some ways, and ought to get out of the Welsh Assembly and score a seat in Westminster as soon as she can.) The Greens have had their first major election platform, and the exposure has not been kind. I like Leanne Wood, and she had been alright, a lot better than her toxic party (I've always argued that she is a disaffected and ambitious Labour politican who looked for, and found, a vehicle in Plaid.) SNP, and Sturgeon in particular, have played a blinder, probably the most effective UK election campaign since Labour in 1997. The NI parties have played no part in this campaign outside of their constituencies, which probably reflects most people's interest in or opinion of this rump territory.

End of The Craner Report.

Leo
05-05-2015, 11:19 PM
really? i find it very hard to believe that people have no idea which way they will vote upon entering the booth when the ballot choices are so vastly different. perhaps the choices are more similar in the uk, i don't follow closely enough to know.

also, if they choose not to reveal their intensions to a pollster, that does not make them undecided. they've decided but chose not to disclose.

craner
05-05-2015, 11:39 PM
Well, obviously nobody knows, because it's a secret ballot. But I cannot believe that, in the UK at least, nobody can say they have not met people who will tell you that they don't know, and will vote on gut instinct at the booth, whether they lie or not. Friends, family, work colleagues, whatever. People who don't disclose, in my experience, tend to be closet conservatives, rather than ideological Tories. Unless something major sways them to social democratic values, like Blair did (once, at least), or Brown could have if he pulled the trigger on an autumn election in 2007, before his government imploded and he went bonkers.

Having just dismissed NI, I am now watching the NI Leaders' Debate on the BBC. This should be informative. These guys and gals are very interested in what happens with the SNP, for obvious, frightening reasons.

craner
05-05-2015, 11:53 PM
NI parties currently arguing about whether or not they swayed the vote on Syria and the motion to recognise Palestine. Wow. This lot are way more deluded than Welsh politicians.

Just to be clear, chaps, I know you have important problems, and Clinton paid you a visit once: but, no, really, you didn't. You are not that important.

craner
06-05-2015, 12:07 AM
NI politics is an even more exotic side-bar for UK political nerds than Welsh politics. This is obscurantic, involved, rich, irrelevant, highly-charged, weird stuff. Watching Martin McGuiness debating within the BBC QT prism is particularly novel, notably when opponents throw IRA history back at him. Now that's a big gap between the rest of the UK and NI. "Yeah, you oppose austerity, but don't forget, you blew people up!"

craner
06-05-2015, 12:18 AM
How would Miliband answer that?

"Now let me answer you directly...what is your name? Sally? Sally. Let me answer you directly, Sally. We did not 'blow' people up..."

NI politicians are now squabbling about a referendum...not about the EU, but about same-sex marriage. This is more heated than the mainland EU scrap. Religion poisons everything, to quote somebody.

craner
06-05-2015, 12:22 AM
McGuiness just quoted Ghandi, in a debate about welfare spending. Unreal! This is Balkans politics. Different level.

Mr. Tea
06-05-2015, 09:12 AM
Miliband was fatally compromised to deny that Labour ever overspent.


He could perhaps have admitted that Brown overspent, but pointed out that what he primarily overspent on was outrageous bailouts for the banks that caused the crisis, not free pedicures for teenage single mums and six-bed houses for asylum seekers, as the Tories and Tory press continue to insist.

Mr. Tea
06-05-2015, 09:47 AM
In any case, isn't abundantly clear by now that the problem is, and always has been, under-taxation rather than overspending?

you
06-05-2015, 06:55 PM
Absolutely ANYTHING that could in any way compromise businesses' ability to make AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE ALL THE TIME is LITERALLY STALINISM.

This ties in with the old Jameson/Zizek thought that it's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism... cue grad student marxist reading of any hollywood film.

However, there is something in this, frankly, and, now look now, let me be direct here. Up and down the country there is an increasing complacency with the capitalisation of things that shouldn't be. For the last four years pretty much all Labour and Tory rhetoric about education has been about future jobs, competitiveness, growth.... not education for educations sake, for culture etc (even though education was generally born from organised religion in the west.... but whatevs). You see the same complacency with the NHS. Free at point of 'Service', 'customers' targets... even Labour's fetishistic obsession with the quantification of care smacks of Virgin Media sales strategies. It's almost as if that in order to 'sell' more socialist prospects (increased spend in education or healthcare) to the electorate then the message has to take the form of some oxbridge stuttered apprentice style sales pitch.

crackerjack
06-05-2015, 07:56 PM
I don't think it is bullshit. I think there are plenty of people who do follow their gut when they get to the booth. I also think there are many who choose not to disclose their intentions, and they tend to vote conservative witho ut actually being Tories. I reckon that vote will have its biggest moment since 1992, and still be a squeak. But, crucially, enough.

From what I read, the 'shy Tory' vote hasn't been a thing since 1992 – not just less so, but not at all . Peter Kellner even maintains it wasn't a thing then, but that pollsters were all basing weightings on 1981 census and hadn't taken proper account of the rise in well-off manual workers.

But who knows. We find out tomorrow. But it you think a Tory majority is likely you should get a very large bet on right now.

craner
06-05-2015, 10:08 PM
I don't think I will, as I'm out knocking doors for the opposition tomorrow, it would feel a bit dodgy. Still stick with my hunch, my instinct, though. It's more that, than a prediction. I hope I'm wrong.

craner
06-05-2015, 10:09 PM
A slender majority, to be clear. Not a whopper.

craner
06-05-2015, 10:12 PM
Just because it hasn't been a thing since 1992, doesn't mean it won't be a thing in 2015. I am amazed by the confidence in data you all show.

Mr. Tea
06-05-2015, 10:16 PM
This ties in with the old Jameson/Zizek thought that it's easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism... cue grad student marxist reading of any hollywood film.

However, there is something in this, frankly, and, now look now, let me be direct here. Up and down the country there is an increasing complacency with the capitalisation of things that shouldn't be. For the last four years pretty much all Labour and Tory rhetoric about education has been about future jobs, competitiveness, growth.... not education for educations sake, for culture etc (even though education was generally born from organised religion in the west.... but whatevs). You see the same complacency with the NHS. Free at point of 'Service', 'customers' targets... even Labour's fetishistic obsession with the quantification of care smacks of Virgin Media sales strategies. It's almost as if that in order to 'sell' more socialist prospects (increased spend in education or healthcare) to the electorate then the message has to take the form of some oxbridge stuttered apprentice style sales pitch.

This is one of those things where you really can't fit a knife blade between any of the main parties - indeed it was Nu Labour under Blair that really pioneered this in its modern form, AFAIR. (Although perhaps it was already underway during the Thatcher/Major years and I was too young to pick up on it, I dunno.)

And as a rule I try to reject the lazy assertions of "they're all the same" - even if they are far too similar for any voter who actually wants something substantially different from just an alternative flavour of neoliberalism.

craner
06-05-2015, 10:18 PM
Have you been out on the doorstep, CJ? What's your impression, if so?

crackerjack
06-05-2015, 11:15 PM
Have you been out on the doorstep, CJ? What's your impression, if so?

I have, but not enough to form an overall impression (this election has coincided with my busiest period of freelancing for 2 years).

I'm surprised by your data scepticism. The value, it seems to me, is not in isolated polls but in the average. Even the phone polls (which have had Lab about 3.5 behind for a week) are closing now (see ICM today).

What confuses me is that, despite the even polls, betting markets and projection experts are still predicting Tories to get most seats by about 15-20. For 10 years wisdom has had it that Con needs a 3pt lead to equal Lab in seats. Now they're saying it's reversed. Scotland obviously accounts for a lot of that, but not all.

I'm also concerned that quite a few Lab pundits (several NS staffers, for instance) have a twinge of doom in their tweets. So where the fuck has our inbuilt seats advantage gone?

crackerjack
06-05-2015, 11:28 PM
Just because it hasn't been a thing since 1992, doesn't mean it won't be a thing in 2015.

Different times, different political culture. In 92, people were thinking of tax bombshells – they were voting Tory out of fear and self-interest. Now there's a lot of visceral hatred of Labour. They crashed the economy, the mess they left us in blah blah blah (not to mention the millions of people suddenly expert in the gold markets). People aren't shy about saying they hate us.

sufi
07-05-2015, 12:30 AM
http://sportsbeta.ladbrokes.com/British/General-Election/Politics-N-1z141maZ1z0oii0Z1z141ng/#
Two UK general elections to be held in 2015 = 4/1

you
07-05-2015, 09:31 AM
This is one of those things where you really can't fit a knife blade between any of the main parties - indeed it was Nu Labour under Blair that really pioneered this in its modern form, AFAIR. (Although perhaps it was already underway during the Thatcher/Major years and I was too young to pick up on it, I dunno.)



Yah, before Blair. But he continued the ideology in many ways.

Stewart Lee points this thought out nicely here -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDEZ2h41t0I

Although I don't agree with him totally.

His use of 'trickle down' is wrong for me. Because today there is a decreasing amount of inter-demographic influence (the internet forum cliquery is an exemplary register of this).

He also suggests that artists and thinkers pose some sort of political or social threat and that they have been repressed via a conscious political motive. I think this is far too positive. I don't think there was any robbing or repression of political agency, I question if it ever existed in the first instance. The withdrawal of funds from the arts and education was never about politics, I think it was just first on the chopping block as an economical necessity. The arts and education were always a luxury (a luxury necessary for an equal and rounded society of course - I agree with Lee here though he may not like to think of it as a luxury) - that sad prospect is that the UK is a small becoming poorer european island that is increasingly dependent on wealth from other countries. We see this in the shift of the art market from being a London hub of creativity to being just a detail on the global art buyers itinerary. We will never have our own salons again, we'll just hold warehouses full of other's art for other's to buy (to put it in quite nationalistic terms). We see the same poverty of culture in pop. Gone are the days of local scenes, we just have a few high value brands whose only reason for finding success in the UK is to be a primer for breaking the US market. TV is not in quite as dire a state to be fair.

Going back to Ed. I'm surprised he hasn't refuted the Labour/Brown over borrow criticism more - or in a different way than the way he did on question time. Yes Brown over borrowed. But the crash was a global economic phenomena, not some domestically created problem. It started in the US and hit the UK the next day. It is quite separate from Brown's borrowing in many ways. Though it could be argued that Brown should've done the opposite in the wake of the crash. The Tories have continued to increase borrowing too (iirc, correct me if im wrong) but with a severe austerity plan too. Of course growth targets for the Tories have not been hit. So, Ed should argue that the Tories are borrowing, making a similar mistake as Brown to some degree, but with a too severe austerity plan that is not being rewarded because their own growth plan is failing. Brown had little chance of relying on growth (which is why his borrowing was so absurd). The tories had a chance and they mis-planned it. Get the growth right and borrowing is less of an issue - PLUS credit rating could've been maintained if growth was managed better.

Mr. Tea
07-05-2015, 10:44 AM
All good points - to say nothing of the fact that not only has the coalition had to borrow far more than Brown did, the money is now more expensive since the UK lost its AAA credit rating - keeping which was something Osborne considered important enough to be worth impoverishing and immiserating millions of people for.

I don't know how anyone can still take the concept of an entire economy's "credit rating" even remotely seriously, when you consider Greece had its AAA rating renewed even while it was an open secret that the country was fucking brassic.

droid
07-05-2015, 10:53 AM
McGuiness just quoted Ghandi, in a debate about welfare spending. Unreal! This is Balkans politics. Different level.

lol. You dont know the half of it.

Leo
07-05-2015, 03:42 PM
as they say in chicago, "vote early, vote often"!

Mr. Tea
07-05-2015, 05:20 PM
as they say in chicago, "vote early, vote often"!

Sounds like Tower Hamlets, ahem.

Mr. Tea
07-05-2015, 09:33 PM
This was satire in the 1990s:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK9IR9gmCHw

Is there a word for that specific phenomenon whereby something that was once intended as a parody ends up being made redundant by reality itself getting more and more ridiculous? I think I might have heard it called the 'Nathan Barley effect', or similar.

droid
07-05-2015, 10:07 PM
The Brass eye effect.

craner
07-05-2015, 10:42 PM
Alright, let's have it.

Still holding to my call, think the exit polls are underestimating the Tory vote even though they are being kind to them (in comparison to previous polls).

We finished canvassing at 9 tonight in the Vale. It was upbeat, but I still think that Cairns will swing it by a few hundred votes. I think Jo Stevens in Cardiff Central will win against a collapsed Lib Dem vote (which was based on the student vote in Cathays) as well as Jo being a very strong candidate (Chris Elmore in the Vale is - how can I put this kindly? - not as strong). Cardiff North is the closest marginal in Wales, but I think Mari Williams might squeak it. If Jo and Mari lose, Labour are surely fucked. Another interesting seat is Brecon, loyally Lib Dem but facing a serious threat from the Tories.

End of Craner's Wales Report.

craner
07-05-2015, 10:57 PM
UKIP up to second in Sunderland South. Lib Dems destroyed. Labour up.

Interesting.

This matches my prediction in that: UKIP will gain a lot of votes, but come second or third without gaining any (or many) seats. If they start beating Tories like this in a uniform way, though, then a whole different picture emerges, which doesn't match my predicition at all. Horrible result for the Lib Dems, as they lose their deposit.

Still early, though.

craner
07-05-2015, 10:58 PM
Happy with that result, overall.

But, still steeling myself for the horrendous Scottish returns.

craner
07-05-2015, 11:20 PM
UKIP and Labour both up in the second Sunderland vote, and Lib Dems destroyed.

craner
07-05-2015, 11:28 PM
I put my beef in red wine in at 10 (Keith Floyd recipe from 1982) which should be ready by midnight, when the results start coming in thick and fast. I'll be here, comrades. Unless I collapse in a mess of exhaustion, food, booze and fags.

craner
07-05-2015, 11:28 PM
And I may well still be talking to myself.

craner
07-05-2015, 11:30 PM
UKIP beat Tories into second in Sunderland South, Lib Dems destroyed again.

Slothrop
08-05-2015, 12:10 AM
Odds on Scotland being part of Britain in ten years?

craner
08-05-2015, 12:20 AM
Fuck, who knows? It's worrying. Sturgeon has been magnificent, I have to say. I don't like her. I don't like nationalists, full stop. But, as I said, I have never seen such an effective campaign in my lifetime since Blair in 1997. I am too young to remember Thatcher in '88.

craner
08-05-2015, 12:22 AM
In the UK, I mean.

craner
08-05-2015, 12:23 AM
Jo Swinson would not be a great loss for the Lib Dems, if she does lose her seat. Good riddance.

craner
08-05-2015, 12:31 AM
At the moment, it seems that UKIP secret votes are surging into Tory and Labour votes, but also adding up to the previous non-voter tally in a high turn-out. So I think UKIP are doing better than I expected, without adding seats, but slashing (I reckon) the Tory vote mostly.

craner
08-05-2015, 12:34 AM
Er, no, sorry Beeb, nobody in Wales thought Plaid would "break through".

craner
08-05-2015, 12:46 AM
Before it changes, based on current results/reactions/predictions my instinct was not exactly correct (small Tory majority) but was closer than you lot (Tory strong minority).

I will gloat while I have time.

But I am not happy about it.

craner
08-05-2015, 12:49 AM
I actually think the Exit Poll is probably closer to the truth than the previous polls, despite what everybody is saying on TV.

crackerjack
08-05-2015, 12:58 AM
I actually think the Exit Poll is probably closer to the truth than the previous polls, despite what everybody is saying on TV.

I will never doubt you again.

craner
08-05-2015, 01:07 AM
Lib Dems are absolutely fucked.

comelately
08-05-2015, 01:25 AM
Although killing the LDs will cheer the Conservatives, Cameron is still probably in a weak position. He's going to be held to ransom by his own party.

craner
08-05-2015, 01:29 AM
Bye Bye Galloway (at least).

Tories rising, though, despite UKIP surge. This does somewhat confirm my "silent vote" hunch, although I did predict a UKIP surge towards Tory. In fact UKIP are scoring big 7000-8000 chunk votes. No seats, though, and still reckon Farage will lose, which will ultimately damage UKIP.

It's weird and worrying that school children love Farage and Boris. Or maybe it's obvious. Mind you, with 5 year fixed parliaments, and current moves to reduce voting age to 16, current 11 year old Boris and Farage fans will be voting in the next election. Am I being paranoid?

craner
08-05-2015, 01:31 AM
Labour run close by Tories in Wrexham, while UKIP smash Lib Dems. Yikes.

comelately
08-05-2015, 01:55 AM
That Nuneaton result. Shit just got real.

craner
08-05-2015, 02:10 AM
My cousin's boyf is an aide to David Laws. He was with us on a family holiday during Easter. We kind of agreed that the Lib Dems wouldn't do as bad as predicted. I reckon he is now wondering if he will have a job in two weeks time.

craner
08-05-2015, 02:22 AM
Douglas Alexander gone! Fuck!

craner
08-05-2015, 02:23 AM
Fuck fuck fuck.

craner
08-05-2015, 02:24 AM
Fucking fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck fucking fock.

craner
08-05-2015, 02:41 AM
I have to sleep now.

craner
08-05-2015, 02:43 AM
Zzzzz.

hucks
08-05-2015, 03:53 AM
Big up Craner for calling this one

HMGovt
08-05-2015, 05:55 AM
Yes, knocked Nate Silver et al into a cocked hat with this one.

griftert
08-05-2015, 07:08 AM
Yes well played craner. Says something of your judgement that I bought your analysis immediately, I have to say.

All in all, pretty depressing stuff. I can't imagine another situation where the Tories have looked so ideologically and practically weak and yet they've done better than (almost) anyone had predicted. It seems to confirm the notion that the person who frames the terms of the debate has won already.

A move to the right is necessary for the Labour party seems to be the wisdom of the chattering classes. They're not right, but they will be taken so. Oh well.

comelately
08-05-2015, 07:51 AM
They can't win in 2020 against Boris Johnson when the boundary changes go through.

comelately
08-05-2015, 07:53 AM
When the Conservatives push through boundary changes, I think that makes them pretty unassailable in 2020.

Given the polls got it so wrong, Brexit looks pretty likely to me. Unless Cameron decides that the referendum is just too damn risky for the Union and he can sell that to the fringes of his party.

vimothy
08-05-2015, 08:57 AM
"Yeah, you oppose austerity, but don't forget, you blew people up!"

My uncle, who is is a republican politician in NI (he lost, I believe) was interviewed on the Beeb recently, and made a big thing about austerity and being progressive. Presumably, that's something that they've learned from watching the SNP. He's a very charming person, but I thought his pitch was shot through with this weird sort of incongruence: we don't get enough funding from Westminster, so we're going to remove it completely as a source; we want to be independent, but we're going to establish closer ties with Europe; we're the party of ethnic minorities and gay rights, but not so long ago, our armed wing was murdering people for belonging to the wrong religious faction or talking to the police.

droid
08-05-2015, 02:44 PM
http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2015/05/08/john-lanchester/episode-21-charge-of-the-light-brigade/


This is the biggest and most embarrassing failure the polling organisations have ever had, and it comes after they’ve had more than two decades to learn from their roughly equivalent failure in 1992. It’s all the odder because the same methods that didn’t work in England worked fine north of the border, where the polling organisations accurately forecast the SNP triumph. The pollsters did something or things very wrong. We’ll find out what soon enough, but it was probably a mix of ‘shy Tories’ and people deciding at the last moment to buy the line about having to vote Tory to keep out the SNP.

Leo
08-05-2015, 05:06 PM
what do you think is behind the polling problem? there's often talk about how it's outdated to use home landline telephone numbers for polling because it doesn't reach a true representation of the electorate. that seemed like it could have been true in the states in 2012 when romney's pollsters had him tied or even ahead right before election day, perhaps old white folks were the only ones home and willing to participate (or the only ones who still even have a landline).

maybe david axelrod will refund his $300k consulting fee...

owengriffiths
08-05-2015, 07:58 PM
I thought his pitch was shot through with this weird sort of incongruence: we don't get enough funding from Westminster, so we're going to remove it completely as a source; we want to be independent, but we're going to establish closer ties with Europe; we're the party of ethnic minorities and gay rights, but not so long ago, our armed wing was murdering people for belonging to the wrong religious faction or talking to the police.

Various unionists & more obviously informers posed a threat to the advancement Republican ideals. Ethnic minorities & gays never will, so Sinn Fein's outlook on them is understandably indifferent leaning towards support. Weirdly enough at the moment there is an undercurrent of xenophobia among Unionist politicians which is blind to the fact that the tiny immigrant population will never impinge on the unionist way of life.

trza
08-05-2015, 08:56 PM
So where is this frenzy?

droid
08-05-2015, 09:05 PM
Weirdly enough at the moment there is an undercurrent of xenophobia among Unionist politicians which is blind to the fact that the tiny immigrant population will never impinge on the unionist way of life.

'Weirdly enough at the moment'?

Dont you mean 'xenophobia baked into every atom of unionist identity'? Also, Unionism is home to the most virulent homophobia and religious conservatism of probably any party in the UK or Ireland. Sinn Fein's social liberalism in the North is, in part a reaction to this and also an attempt to align themselves with the vaguely leftist and socially liberal stance of the party in the South.

owengriffiths
08-05-2015, 09:25 PM
The homophobia is mostly linked to Christianity, evangelical or otherwise. It doesn't surprise me then that Bible thumping politicians will be homophobic. But "weirdly enough" you would struggle to find a religious motive for racism against Christian immigrants. Nevertheless I'm sure you'll agree that the likes of the DUP won't do anything constructive to combat racism in their constituencies as it's not a vote winner.

Patrick Swayze
08-05-2015, 10:19 PM
http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2015/05/08/john-lanchester/episode-21-charge-of-the-light-brigade/

http://survation.com/snatching-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory/


Survation Telephone, Ballot Paper Prompt:
CON 37%
LAB 31%
LD 10
UKIP 11
GRE 5
Others (including the SNP) 6%
Which would have been very close to the final result.

We had flagged that we were conducting this poll to the Daily Mirror as something we might share as an interesting check on our online vs our telephone methodology, but the results seemed so “out of line” with all the polling conducted by ourselves and our peers – what poll commentators would term an “outlier” – that I “chickened out” of publishing the figures – something I’m sure I’ll always regret.

So rather than being a problem with polling methodology, the problem is with the pollsters' herd mentality and risk averse desire to reaffirm an existing narrative.

droid
08-05-2015, 10:24 PM
The xenophobia is the important bit, not the religion. Orange Unionism is inherently tribalist and sectarian - not just against Catholics, against anyone who threatens the territory of the colonial. Its a pretty much universal sentiment in settler societies afaict (just look at Australia), and a group which defines itself through aggressive religious and ethnic nationalism is never going to be immigrant friendly.

In that respect, I doubt the DUP will ever do anything to combat racism, as racism is a fundamental part of their political and cultural identity (EDIT - which makes them far worse than UKIP in many respects, a threat which is thankfully limited by geographical constraints).

trza
09-05-2015, 02:40 AM
Politico "...pollsters grope for answers."

datwun
09-05-2015, 05:50 AM
What a fucking disaster. 5 years is plenty of time to lock in major, irreversible changes. Exit from from EU and Scottish independence are now eminently possible if not probable. TPP will undermine the whole social basis of the NHS and tie any future government's hands in dealing with trans-national corporations. House prices are going to continue flying into the stratosphere and London's pretty much doomed to go the way of New York now - a playground for rich people. 12 billion in benefit cuts are going to kill people, simple as.

Any lines of flight out of this? Or is this just the UK permanently fucked?

IdleRich
09-05-2015, 02:29 PM
Is it not possible that people who were polled lied? I get the impression that people who said that they were gonna vote other than Tory actually voted Tory. How do polls deal with that? Presumably they just compile the data they have, ok they scale up or make other adjustments but if the sample they base it on is dishonest then what?
Maybe if it's happened before you can make adjustments to the score (move 10% to the right for lying Tories) but if it's never happened before then how can you design that adjustment?

hucks
09-05-2015, 02:56 PM
http://survation.com/snatching-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory/



So rather than being a problem with polling methodology, the problem is with the pollsters' herd mentality and risk averse desire to reaffirm an existing narrative.

Not buying that. That's the only poll they did that worked. They also used that method and gave labour a bigger lead.

Edit: hang on, got that bit wrong. That was a different poll. So maybe there's something there. Anyway.

I think there's a thing with how you weight certainty to vote. According to the polls, turnout was going to be high 60s, but it was mid 60s. Likely they overestimated the likelihood of young people voting within that substantially.

Also in shy Tories. Why weren't they shy in the exit poll?

IdleRich
09-05-2015, 03:14 PM
Yeah I wondered that last thing too.

Patrick Swayze
09-05-2015, 03:51 PM
Is it not possible that people who were polled lied? I get the impression that people who said that they were gonna vote other than Tory actually voted Tory. How do polls deal with that? Presumably they just compile the data they have, ok they scale up or make other adjustments but if the sample they base it on is dishonest then what?
Maybe if it's happened before you can make adjustments to the score (move 10% to the right for lying Tories) but if it's never happened before then how can you design that adjustment?

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/lying-to-opinion-polls-is-great-fun-say-voters-2015050898136

/

I always hear it said that Lord Ashcroft is known for his non-partisanship but what is that based on? Don't want to stray into conspiracies (but here goes anyway)... I guess it benefitted the Tories for someone to be continually publishing polls that (possibly) instilled a degree of complacency in the Labour campaign?

hucks
09-05-2015, 04:04 PM
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/lying-to-opinion-polls-is-great-fun-say-voters-2015050898136

/

I always hear it said that Lord Ashcroft is known for his non-partisanship but what is that based on? Don't want to stray into conspiracies (but here goes anyway)... I guess it benefitted the Tories for someone to be continually publishing polls that (possibly) instilled a degree of complacency in the Labour campaign?

I sort of get this but he wasn't the only one - so was it an industry wide conspiracy? I guess he was the only one polling the marginals, and they were generally good news for Labour according to him, which was universally not borne out in reality.

Patrick Swayze
09-05-2015, 04:08 PM
Yeah I don't actually think it was a conspiracy I suppose I'm just interested why it's taken as read that Lord Ashcroft is so unbiased.

Is there a specific reason or is it just that it'd be really obvious if you tried to manipulate polling data?

hucks
09-05-2015, 04:13 PM
This is interesting

https://twitter.com/stephenkb/status/597040941615153152

craner
09-05-2015, 08:15 PM
I don't know the details of polling techniques, but it seemed obvious that there was a large number of people undecided until the last minute, so it was a question of judging how that undecided (or maybe undeclared) vote would actually fall. I got the impression that the undecided were not Labour or left-leaning, and I felt it would come down on the Tory side. UKIP actually did very well, 13% of the overall vote compared to 7% for the SNP. But look at the seat tally. I have to admit that that does destroy the argument for first past the post, which I used to defend. I didn't really expect the Lib Dems to be punished that badly.

craner
09-05-2015, 08:23 PM
The Tories used the Liam Byrne note to fine effect. That was such an own goal it's almost like Byrne was a Tory mole all along and that note was a final, triumphant, gratuitous act of sabotage.

baboon2004
10-05-2015, 02:31 AM
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/08/lynton-crosby-wedge-politics-general-election-tories quite interesting on the issue of why the polls misled

griftert
11-05-2015, 12:26 PM
Yeah I wondered that last thing too.

Shy Tories will be the ones who say 'I don't know' when asked who they're going to vote for. You can't say that walking out after having cast your vote.

Leo
11-05-2015, 04:40 PM
balls and pickles both out, a loss for all snickering americans watching from afar.

hucks
12-05-2015, 10:14 AM
Shy Tories will be the ones who say 'I don't know' when asked who they're going to vote for. You can't say that walking out after having cast your vote.

Of course, yes, you're right. Also I read yesterday that the exit poll is an actual secret ballot - you fill out a form and drop it in the box, so it really is a replica of the actual vote.

IdleRich
12-05-2015, 11:44 AM
So it's that bit more anonymous. But you would have thought that other polls tried to replicate the actual one as much as possible too wouldn't you?

Leo
12-05-2015, 03:54 PM
http://www.factmag.com/2015/05/12/chuka-umunna-mp-used-to-be-a-uk-garage-dj/

datwun
13-05-2015, 12:51 PM
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/13/counter-terrorism-bill-extremism-disruption-orders-david-cameron?CMP=share_btn_fb

Fucking hell.

The aim is to catch not just those who spread or incite hatred on the grounds of gender, race or religion but also those who undertake harmful activities for the “purpose of overthrowing democracy”.

They would include a ban on broadcasting and a requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web and social media or in print. The bill will also contain plans for banning orders for extremist organisations which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech in public places, but it will fall short of banning on the grounds of provoking hatred.

...

Cameron will tell the NSC: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance."

this is some very, very fucked up stuff.

Mr. Tea
13-05-2015, 01:50 PM
Well who would know more about democracy and the overthrowing thereof than a government that 24% of the electorate voted for?

luka
20-05-2015, 08:08 AM
George Osbornes brother is london graffiti pioneer flo 2

craner
26-05-2015, 12:56 AM
I am writing a strategy paper for Labour.

It wasn't solicited and won't be welcome or, obviously, even read.

But I need to get my head around What Just Happened, what the party should do, and why I would remain a member.

I will let you know when I have finished.

Right now, this party seems fucked to me. The Lib Dems could redesign themselves as the Liberal Party (the old SDP faction are too old and compromised to complain now); that could work for them. That's a route out.

Labour have much more to do. They've wasted five years of debate and creative destruction, and it's not happening yet. It needs to happen now. We don't need to choose a new leader, we need to design a programme to meet the demands and tackle the problems the country faces. It has to be positive and ambitious, and not be about political positioning and party mythologies. I think that a renewal of manufacturing and an industrial strategy could be key, as Mandelson (to be fair) was saying in 2008/9, but I'm not sure yet.

craner
26-05-2015, 01:05 AM
Actually, I probably won't let you know when I've finished. I'll probably keep it to myself and use it as a primer for the awful branch meetings we are likely to have in the next two years.

griftert
26-05-2015, 03:30 AM
Find it difficult to know where Labour can go from here. Top job must be a poisoned chalice if ever there was one - I thought Miliband was actually pretty astute in his wangling. Is the English public that biddable? What is going on there?

DannyL
28-05-2015, 06:52 PM
I'd be interested to read that Craner, should you feel like sharing. I feel utterly baffled as to what Labour should do also.

DannyL
28-05-2015, 07:02 PM
Wrt to problems this country faces, I'm thinking that as climate change is likely to be very significant, I may as well save myself the stress of worrying about the Labour Party and worry about the Greens. Especially with the Blairities sleazing around everywhere.

sufi
28-05-2015, 08:15 PM
I'd be interested to read that Craner, should you feel like sharing.
me too

craner
31-05-2015, 10:20 PM
One thing I thought Labour should do was to hire Camilla Cavendish as a policy advisor for Health, not just to advise but also to challenge the terrible ideas and complacency Labour have about the NHS at the moment.

(They forget history: when Bevan as chief architect set up the NHS, he expected demand to drop as the initial demand from the unhealthy, non-insured and poor would decline significantly as they became healthier; clearly, this did not happen (to say the least), while the population exploded every year, creating more and more demand on the service, always impossible to adequately fund or manage. This expense was not sustainable, which is why Bevan and Gaitskell had that almost party-destroying feud over charges, which has retarded debate about the design and viability of the NHS ever since. See also ructions about private beds in public hospitals which partly damaged Barbara Castle: these arguments had been going on for a long time within the Labour party before Blair, but are now extinct when most needed.)

It seems that Cameron had an even better idea: he's contracted her to head the No. 10 Policy Unit.

craner
31-05-2015, 10:56 PM
By the way, the Cavendish thing was more a small fantasy than a strategic idea, as such. But I think Labour do need to harvest talent in this way. Creative destruction. Everything is up in the air, now.