Wednesday 20th of June 2018

the choice is clear...


For the first time in a quarter of a century, the British electorate has an opportunity to make a clean break with the banker-friendly neoliberal policies which have dominated politics since the era of Margaret Thatcher and which have led to a major redistribution of wealth away from the majority to the super-rich.

Well, we can't say we haven't got a choice.

Labour's manifesto, while still being nowhere as left-wing as the ones the pipe-puffing Harold Wilson won two elections on in 1974, nevertheless returns the party emphatically to the territory it occupied before the grinning faux-progressive Tony Blair came along in the mid-90s and turned Labour into a more socially liberal version of the Tories. There's pledges to renationalize Britain's railways — easily the most expensive in Europe — set up a publicly owned energy supplier and take water in England back into public ownership.

Read our manifesto to find out what a fresh start with a Labour government will look like ↓

— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) May 18, 2017

The rich will pay more tax, zero hours contracts will be outlawed and tuition fees will be scrapped. If it's an exaggeration to call the manifesto socialist, then its certainly social democratic and offers hope of a better future for millions of ordinary Britons who have seen their living standards fall dramatically in recent years. By contrast the Tories have lurched still further to the hard right and their elite-friendly agenda could not be clearer. 

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the turnout gap...

Young people prefer Labour over the Conservatives, according to opinion polls. But the majority don't vote. So if they did, what would happen?

The turnout gap

In the 2015 general election, the gap between old voters and young voters was massive.

Just 43% of 18-24-year-olds went to the polls, compared with 78% of people aged 65 or over, according to Ipsos Mori. (To estimate how many old and young people vote at elections, you have to look at opinion polls). That's a huge gap of 35 percentage points.

There's been a similar gulf for the past 20 years, but it wasn't always like that.

As recently as 1992, the gap was just 12 percentage points. Then, 63% of 18-24-year-olds voted. The old aren't voting more now - but the young are voting far less.

In some ways, the low turnout isn't surprising. Young people are mobile and many are students who live away from home - groups which have among the lowest levels of voter registration, according to the Electoral Commission. They are often voting for the first time, so haven't developed a habit, unlike many older people.

Young people with quite high levels of political engagement also often distrust the established political parties.

But young people face a dilemma. Groups with low turnouts tend to be of less interest to politicians who want to be elected.

"It's a no-brainer. Why spend time chasing non-voters rather than concentrating all your energy and effort on those who do vote," says David Cowling, a political opinion polling specialist at King's College London.

the choice was muddled...

The British people are angry with their press, who are trying to steal away their democracy, writes managing editor David Donovan.

THE BRITISH ARE CROSS. Very cross indeed. And it’s more than being a bit sniffy at grubby terrorists driving into them on bridges, blowing them up at concerts and stabbing them in restaurants.

You see, there’s a general election happening in the UK today and a great many great Britons are dreadfully peeved about what’s being served up to them in fish and chip wrappers, sans fish, but stinking to high halibut just the same. And that’s before you get them started on the BBC — the once trusted Aunty turned bad.

Laura Kuenssberg report on Jeremy Corbyn breached accuracy and impartiality rules, BBC Trust finds' | via @telegraph

— Maxine Houston (@maxinehouston) June 5, 2017

All this has come to pass since Tory Prime Minister Theresa May called a general election several weeks ago. The election wasn’t due to be held until 2020 and she had previously promised to not call the people to the polls early, but she called it anyway. She said it was meant to “secure her mandate for Brexit”, but that was another lie.

It was seen at the time as a masterstroke. Theresa May ─ who fell into the top job after the resignation of David Cameron and presents as a slightly flustered school librarian who has just discovered the world atlas has a large penis drawn on the inside cover ─ was at that stage 20 points up in the polls, and so it was looking like a landslide.

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Theresa May gambled and lost badly.

She called the election three years early expecting to boost her parliamentary majority.

Some of her colleagues initially expected she would deliver an extra 100 seats or more — instead they endured a disappointing campaign and ended up with a hung Parliament.

By any measure, it is a devastating blow and a disastrous moment for the Conservative Party.

Who will form Government?

On the current numbers the Conservative Party is likely to form Government — they are still easily the largest group in Westminster.

Unionist groups in Northern Ireland appear likely to get the Conservatives across the line and allow them to govern.

Also, the share of the Tory vote is historically quite strong.

Forty-three per cent would be enough for an easy victory in many general elections.

However, this time the third-party vote collapsed to its lowest level in half a century and Labour benefited more than expected.

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may gone in june?...


Cabinet ministers and a string of Conservative MPs are demanding that Theresa May sacks one or both of her closest advisers if she wants them to support her minority government, propped up by the Democratic Unionist party.

Several politicians told the Guardian that Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, who act as the prime minister’s joint chiefs of staff in Downing Street, must take responsibility for the poor result, which saw the Tories lose their majority.

The pair were at the centre of recriminations flying back and forth between MPs on WhatsApp groups and even resulted in one cabinet minister branding the pair as “monsters who propped her up and sunk our party”.

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"Beware of the "consultants" and of the employees who actually work for the opposition... "

              Henry Sabotagius


the rise of democracy...

With the latest contretemps of KONservatives in UK politics, many media pundits claim that this represents the death of democracy, blah blah blah... To the contrary. The wish of the people, especially those at the bottom of the pile, tells us that we've had enough of being rained on from the top rich 1 per cent. These rich are the people who fill the purses of the politicians and their own, while making sure the coffers of the state are bare. What has been given a hit on the head, is elitocracy, which is not democracy. The media supports elitocracy (including monarchies) because there is money and favours to be gained, above and below the plimsol line.

The rise of smaller parties and the reinforcement of Labour organisations has to concentrate on making societies more equitable and fairer for all. This is a tall order in a climate of "all for me and me for myself" where the media distorts everything. It's not easy. If this was easy, we would already be there. But we have to try and try again, in this case using less morality and cash and more scientific construct in which peace, sustainability and development can provide happiness for most. I say most because there will always be some thieves and morons. The idea of a better social construct is to reduce the amount of thieving, especially that done at the top, in the name of free enterprise. At the other end, morons are created moronic by a media and an education system which is always designed to favour the rich, and the morally corrupt even in the religious intent.

Democracy is slowly rising again and some people don't like it. Democracy is not comfortable sleepiness, but an awareness of ideas and purpose that do not cost the earth.

Some small parties are nut jobs, such as the PHON in Australia. Some small parties, such as socialist parties, need their ideals to be refreshed and modernised. It can be done with more co-operation and less infighting. It will have to be done, more scientifically. Sciences already rule and we don't know this, yet.

Scientifically inspired democracy is the future. We're nearly there despite the thieves and the morons. 

bernie tells the crowd...

Bernie Sanders has criticised the Democratic party’s current direction as “an absolute failure” in a speech at the People’s Summit in Chicago.

Speaking to a crowd of 4,000 activists, Sanders hailed the “enormous progress in advancing the progressive agenda”, saying the increasing House and Senate support for a $15 minimum wage and the opposition to the Trans-Pacific partnership showed the success of the movement.

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did not go far enough...

From Chris Floyd

Well, it was nice while it lasted. Like many others, I rejoiced through the night at the astounding UK election results, which seemed to presage a much needed, much longed-for paradigm shift in the poisonous bipartisan neoliberal consensus that has imprisoned the politics of the UK (and US) for so many years. But this morning finds us in what might be an even worse situation, as a wounded — and woefully incompetent — Theresa May limps to the palace to form a government that will be utterly at the mercy of the right-wing sectarian cranks of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

And since the government-forming deal won’t be a formal coalition, the DUP will be able to extract whatever concessions they please from May, who will obviously do anything to cling to power. They have already made clear to May that their price for keeping her in office will be a “hard Brexit” in Northern Ireland: no special concessions for the unique situation there — the only place where an EU nation will have a land border with Brexit Britain. Thiswill almost certainly mean that armed border controls will have to be set up. And this in turn will almost certainly mean a renewal of strife and division in Northern Ireland after a generation of relative peace and easy flow back and forth between the UK-controlled counties and Ireland proper. The DUP fears that any special arrangement will pull Northern Ireland even closer to Ireland — which would, of course, threaten their own little power base.

We can still hope that the Parliamentary Labour Party will now embrace the paradigm shift that millions of people made yesterday in voting for a bold Labour manifesto aimed at the greater common good, not the harsh, inhumane dogmas of the failed neoliberal consensus. If they do that, if they build on the momentum and enthusiasm generated by the remarkable campaign and its renewed focus on, yes, the many not the few, then they will be able to thwart or at least hinder the worst depredations of what will be an even more right-wing government. May will now be the weakest UK leader in decades, at risk of falling at any moment if the DUP withdraws its support. She and her hideous policies will be susceptible to pressure at every single step — if Labour hangs together, if the PLP will stop viewing the leadership, the party membership — and millions of Labour voters — as enemies to be undermined and overthrown.

So despite the euphoria of the long night, we should remember that we are still in murky waters, with a rickety, right-wing Tory-DUP alliance in government. If Labour can maintain its campaign for the common good with unity and energy, then the election can still be what we all thought it was during the night: a new beginning. If not, if Labour falls into internal strife, if its inveterate, neoliberal die-hards continue to put their failed ideology ahead of the interests of the country and the world, then we will have seen a false dawn, with much darkness yet to come.

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stop selling weapons...

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK's main opposition Labour Party, has called for a halt in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and a ceasefire in Yemen.

Since the start of war in Yemen, the UK has approved arms export licences to Saudi Arabia worth $4.1bn, according to London-based Campaign Against the Arms Trade. 

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Corbyn said: "We have constantly condemned the use of these weapons by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and called for the suspension of the arms sales to Saudi Arabia to show that we are wanting a peace process in Yemen, not an invasion by Saudi Arabia.

"We've made that very clear."


Yemen has been devastated by a war between forces loyal to the internationally recognised government, led by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and a Houthi rebel movement. 

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