What is happening with the 2 major political parties in England?

MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
I came here to see what shipmates think about the latest voter polls prior to the E.U. election - but I can't find a thread. Is it only news outside the U.K?
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Comments

  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    I thought that both parties are being hollowed out, but it's unclear if this is just for this election. They must hope so. I find the rise of Farage scary, as no doubt he will think up a clutch of right-wing policies, e.g., attacks on NHS.
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    Any thoughts on why they are being hollowed out?
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Because they have fucked up Brexit.
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    Do you think that is the deep underlying issue, or symptomatic of a larger one - such as lack of responsiveness to the people who they are supposed to represent?
  • Raptor EyeRaptor Eye Shipmate
    They're not fit for purpose. They're both as bad as each other, and they have let the electorate down. A government which can't make the necessary decisions to govern has to go. Who will come through now is anybody's guess.
  • Because they have fucked up Brexit.

    Or rather because the Brexit referendum left them with the choice of attempting the impossible (fulfilling the promises made in the referendum) or doing the unthinkable (telling the public they were wrong and should be ignored). They tried the former hoping unicorns would spontaneously appear (and Labour hoped to at least blame the tories for causing the mess) or that the public would figure out the latter for themselves. Now they're caught between those who think the former was a failure because they didn't wish hard enough for unicorns (the Faragists) and those who are pissed off that neither party are willing to clearly say the latter (mostly those willing to bet that the lib dems can be trusted this time). Both parties are unable to turn in either direction without disintegrating and are just hoping the other falls over first. In that it looks like Labour might edge ahead as Farage is a much more effective lunch-stealer than Cable.
  • Moyessa wrote: »
    Any thoughts on why they are being hollowed out?
    The short answer is "Brexit", we've been discussing that on the Brexit thread here in Purgatory and the Treeza thread down in Hell.

    Of course, the answer is a wee bit longer than that, and different for both Labour and Conservative.

    For the Conservatives, the minority Eurosceptic wing that's been an irritant to leaders for decades gained ascendancy in 2016 following the vote* on whether to leave the EU. But, as there were serious democratic deficiencies in the 2016 vote (not least the lack of a government position for the people to confirm) the government finds itself stuck with delivering Brexit without knowing what Brexit means. The Conservative membership spans the spectrum from wanting to Remain in the EU to wanting to Leave without any consideration of how the country will trade with and otherwise deal with the EU, the majority want to leave with a deal (because to do otherwise is lunacy) but can't agree on what deal - in the meantime most of their members and supporters just want something to happen. The Tories are hemorrhaging members and supporters to the new ChangeUK party (for Remainers) and the Brexit "Party" (for radical Leavers), and many to "won't vote" (at least for the European elections - and probably that was the case for the local elections held in some parts of England recently). A leader no one wants, and no obvious way to change the leader, doesn't help. Negotiations with Labour to seek a way through Brexit is seen by many as a betrayal.

    For Labour, the majority of the membership are Remainers but the leadership is publicly committed to enacting the "will of the people" as expressed in the 2016 vote. And, Corbyn doesn't appear to be anything more than reluctantly in agreement with his membership (though, he was an active and committed campaigner for remain before the 2016 vote, even though the media ignored him). With many Labour constituencies (and, those they'd be targeting in the next election) voting Leave in 2016, even though their local membership is heavily in favour of Remaining, there's pressure to support Leave against natural instinct. This has lead to a situation where the party has failed to take advantage of the failure of the government, because they're stuck on a fence trying to please everyone and pleasing no-one. They have a membership that has called for a referendum, where we'll get to confirm whether or not we accept the position of the government, but have so far refused to push for it. Added to which there's a problem in Labour with a minority holding anti-semitic views, and abusing members of the party who are Jewish, which the leadership has failed to root out, leaving some to conclude that the leadership are not as anti-anti-semitic as they should be.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Some journos are saying that Labour voters are not moving to Farage, but to Remain parties, esp., LD and Green. Corbyn must be praying they come back! Well, not literally praying. No link yet.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    I notice lots of comments pointing out Farage's lies, backtracking, and so on. This misses the point. It doesn't matter if he lies or contradicts himself, this is the age of the lie, file under Trump.
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    They're not fit for purpose. They're both as bad as each other, and they have let the electorate down. A government which can't make the necessary decisions to govern has to go. Who will come through now is anybody's guess.
    Thank you for the pithy response, & if I read Alan correctly, he says the same while giving his reasoning in more detail.
    It is really very very interesting to me. The vitriol heaped on the leave voters is interesting, because it reminds me of the sad situation in my home, the U.S. -- with Trump & anti-Trump factions really demonizing each other.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    I don't agree that Tory and Labour are as bad as each other, simply because Brexit is a Tory project. However, Labour's ambiguity, which at first seemed clever, has become deeply irritating, and is probably losing them votes.
  • Raptor EyeRaptor Eye Shipmate
    Moyessa wrote: »
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    They're not fit for purpose. They're both as bad as each other, and they have let the electorate down. A government which can't make the necessary decisions to govern has to go. Who will come through now is anybody's guess.
    Thank you for the pithy response, & if I read Alan correctly, he says the same while giving his reasoning in more detail.
    It is really very very interesting to me. The vitriol heaped on the leave voters is interesting, because it reminds me of the sad situation in my home, the U.S. -- with Trump & anti-Trump factions really demonizing each other.

    We seem to have got beyond vitriol. Division remains, but I think it is being overridden by the shared sense of embarrassment at the way the whole thing has been and continues to be handled.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    One interesting thing is that many people seem to be treating the euro poll as a referendum. Thus, Farage's 34% is being seen as a Leave vote, obviously. Again, Labour seem ambiguous, which is killing their vote, so Remainers are heading for LD and Green.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    Moyessa wrote: »
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    They're not fit for purpose. They're both as bad as each other, and they have let the electorate down. A government which can't make the necessary decisions to govern has to go. Who will come through now is anybody's guess.
    Thank you for the pithy response, & if I read Alan correctly, he says the same while giving his reasoning in more detail.
    It is really very very interesting to me. The vitriol heaped on the leave voters is interesting, because it reminds me of the sad situation in my home, the U.S. -- with Trump & anti-Trump factions really demonizing each other.
    We seem to have got beyond vitriol. Division remains, but I think it is being overridden by the shared sense of embarrassment at the way the whole thing has been and continues to be handled.
    Oh, I don't know. I still feel strong vitriolic sensations towards Leavers, and I'm sure that's how many of them feel towards me and people like me.

    And although voting for Leave or Remain were not originally a simple matter of right and wrong the way voting for Trump was, I would now say that because of his ethic, personality and what he stands for, voting for Farage and his Brexit Party has become for those that do so a personally sinful act.
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    Moyessa wrote: »
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    They're not fit for purpose. They're both as bad as each other, and they have let the electorate down. A government which can't make the necessary decisions to govern has to go. Who will come through now is anybody's guess.
    Thank you for the pithy response, & if I read Alan correctly, he says the same while giving his reasoning in more detail.
    It is really very very interesting to me. The vitriol heaped on the leave voters is interesting, because it reminds me of the sad situation in my home, the U.S. -- with Trump & anti-Trump factions really demonizing each other.
    We seem to have got beyond vitriol. Division remains, but I think it is being overridden by the shared sense of embarrassment at the way the whole thing has been and continues to be handled.
    Oh, I don't know. I still feel strong vitriolic sensations towards Leavers, and I'm sure that's how many of them feel towards me and people like me.

    And although voting for Leave or Remain were not originally a simple matter of right and wrong the way voting for Trump was, I would now say that because of his ethic, personality and what he stands for, voting for Farage and his Brexit Party has become for those that do so a personally sinful act.

    You see it as Trump sinful, anyone else not so?
    and Remain good, Leave sinful?
    I see that as outrageous, and helps me to see why I feel so uneasy about this demonization going on.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Moyessa wrote: »

    You see it as Trump sinful, anyone else not so?
    and Remain good, Leave sinful?

    I think Enoch was arguing that supporting Farage was sinful.
  • GwaiGwai Purgatory Host
    I will try not to turn this into a thread about American politics and I cannot speak enough on British ones but if one sees a particular politician as only speaking for evil, for instance, hatred of one's neighbor, abuse of those who are poor, and glorification of greed and stealing? I can understand why one would see that as a sin. That said, I think many people who support such don't realize that their politician is causing these problems. They figure that all politicians are like that or whatever.
  • Gwai wrote: »
    I will try not to turn this into a thread about American politics and I cannot speak enough on British ones but if one sees a particular politician as only speaking for evil, for instance, hatred of one's neighbor, abuse of those who are poor, and glorification of greed and stealing? I can understand why one would see that as a sin. That said, I think many people who support such don't realize that their politician is causing these problems. They figure that all politicians are like that or whatever.

    I'm inclined to consider wilful ignorance to be a sin all of its own.
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    Should people be required to pass a morality test before they can vote?
    An IQ test?
    An income level?
    Is there a better system of government than democracy?
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    Power corrupts, and ISTM it is best diffused amongst all who are affected. If we had a government of immoral, stupid and wealthy people I would still support everyone having a vote, because over time they will be absolutely corrupted and the more average persons will see it & exercise their ability to vote.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    The 'if' is amusing.
  • Moyessa wrote: »
    Should people be required to pass a morality test before they can vote?
    An IQ test?
    An income level?
    Is there a better system of government than democracy?

    No to the first three. As to the last, not to my knowledge but democracy isn't really a system of government so much as a feature of some systems of government.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

    Churchill
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Moyessa wrote: »
    Power corrupts, and ISTM it is best diffused amongst all who are affected. If we had a government of immoral, stupid and wealthy people I would still support everyone having a vote, because over time they will be absolutely corrupted and the more average persons will see it & exercise their ability to vote.

    This.

    There must be a way to check and reign in the powerful, otherwise you end up like Russia - ordinary people struggling and the rich getting super rich.

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Of course, perhaps government by corporate overlords might be in our future...
    Alibabaism
    , for instance: sex 6 times in 6 days and 12-hour work days.
  • ThunderBunkThunderBunk Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    Moyessa wrote: »
    Power corrupts, and ISTM it is best diffused amongst all who are affected. If we had a government of immoral, stupid and wealthy people I would still support everyone having a vote, because over time they will be absolutely corrupted and the more average persons will see it & exercise their ability to vote.

    This.

    There must be a way to check and reign in the powerful, otherwise you end up like Russia - ordinary people struggling and the rich getting super rich.

    We're already 90% of the way there, according to something I was hearing on the radio - the Institute for Fiscal Studies being moved to start a study of inequality. Sounds to me like Dracula investigating the drop-off in blood donations but there we are.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Moyessa wrote: »
    You see it as Trump sinful, anyone else not so?
    and Remain good, Leave sinful?
    I see that as outrageous, and helps me to see why I feel so uneasy about this demonization going on.
    You may have misunderstood me. I'm not sure.

    I'm not saying Mr Trump is sinful and implying there is someone else who isn't. Of course Mr Trump is sinful. So is Hillary Clinton. So is @Moyessa. So am I.

    I'm saying voting for Mr Trump was, in the mind and hand of the individual elector, a sinful act. I said so then. I would repeat that now.

    In all normal circumstances there is no ethical reason why voting for one person is virtuous and another is sinful. Politics are not binary. Like you and me, politicians and political causes are a mixture of good and bad. There's a mixture of reasons why a person may legitimately choose to vote for one candidate or party, why on balance they prefer one package to another. To tell someone that they have a moral or religious duty to vote the same way as you do is an illegitimate intrusion into their freedom to make their own decisions, to perform their own balancing act.

    I doubt there's any occasion where there is a Christian duty specifically to vote for X. Or where the act of voting for X is a specifically virtuous one. Just occasionally, though, there are people or causes that it is so wrong to side with, that if your put your cross in the box for them, you sin.


    There are also just a few beliefs that are inherently sinful. That includes anything that is either driven by hatred or that gives you an excuse to hate without having to admit it to yourself or to others. Xenophobia, for example, is inherently sinful.


    On Remain v Leave, no. I voted Remain and would do if I were able to vote again. But that doesn't make Remain the cause of righteousness and Leave the cause of sin. I am, though, saying that IMHO, because of his personal qualities, choosing to vote for Mr Farage rather than someone else, is a sinful action. Furthermore, because his party seems not to be a proper party so much as his personal fiefdom, that makes it so much an emanation of himself, that to vote for it in the constituencies where other people are its candidates, is also a sinful action.

    Besides, anyone who supports Leave for ethical reasons already has the Conservative and Labour Parties that they can vote for.


    On your word, 'demonisation', sinning does not turn someone into a demon. That again is an over-binary way of viewing the world. If it did, where would we all be? It's more that 'we have done those things which we ought not to have done'.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited May 14
    Enoch wrote: »

    I doubt there's any occasion where there is a Christian duty specifically to vote for X. Or where the act of voting for X is a specifically virtuous one. Just occasionally, though, there are people or causes that it is so wrong to side with, that if your put your cross in the box for them, you sin.


    There are also just a few beliefs that are inherently sinful. That includes anything that is either driven by hatred or that gives you an excuse to hate without having to admit it to yourself or to others. Xenophobia, for example, is inherently sinful.
    '[/i].

    Without at all disagreeing with this excerpt from your post (or the entirety of it as well), I would say that there are some occasions where there's a Christian duty not to vote for X - not voting for Hitler in those elections where that was possible is one. Not voting for George Wallace would have been another. I'd say that not voting for Trump fell into that category in 2016 and will be so even more assuredly in 2020.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    Moyessa wrote: »
    Power corrupts, and ISTM it is best diffused amongst all who are affected. If we had a government of immoral, stupid and wealthy people I would still support everyone having a vote, because over time they will be absolutely corrupted and the more average persons will see it & exercise their ability to vote.

    This.

    There must be a way to check and reign in the powerful, otherwise you end up like Russia - ordinary people struggling and the rich getting super rich.

    I used to think that, but the bastards are clever, or at least they have clever accountants, and, well, rich.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    I doubt there's any occasion where there is a Christian duty specifically to vote for X. Or where the act of voting for X is a specifically virtuous one. Just occasionally, though, there are people or causes that it is so wrong to side with, that if your put your cross in the box for them, you sin.


    There are also just a few beliefs that are inherently sinful. That includes anything that is either driven by hatred or that gives you an excuse to hate without having to admit it to yourself or to others. Xenophobia, for example, is inherently sinful.
    '[/i].


    Without at all disagreeing with this excerpt from your post (or the entirety of it as well), I would say that there are some occasions where there's a Christian duty not to vote for X - not voting for Hitler in those elections where that was possible is one. Not voting for George Wallace would have been another. I'd say that not voting for Trump fell into that category in 2016 and will be so even more assuredly in 2020.
    I'd definitely agree with that. I thought it followed from what I was saying.

    I'd even go on from that to say that a person might feel the circumstances imposed on them an obligation to vote for someone else who they didn't reckon that much to, rather than not vote at all. But that wouldn't make the someone else a 'right' candidate rather than an A.N. Other candidate.

    Part of the way I'd put it is that not being Trump, did not make Hillary God's candidate and will not make whoever stands against him in 2020 God's candidate.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Certainly agree with your last paragraph.

    What's happening in the UK then? I'd say that the general opinion of the Tories is very low, given the demonstrated inability to carry out even such basic tasks as organising a ferry service. With Labour, people are wary of Corbyn and those surrounding him; there is the odour of anti-semitism with many in Momentum, and much of the Labour platform is more extreme than the voters are prepared to go at the moment.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited May 14
    And for the Tories - the party disunity would certainly be a factor here. Voters don't like a party falling apart.
  • blackbeardblackbeard Shipmate
    What's the problem with the Conservative party at the moment? It seems to me that a large part of the problem is that the general consensus on policy issues, which makes a political party able to govern, has collapsed; there is a faction which puts its own objectives above party policy. To put it another way, it's not a political party, it's a shambles. Maybe this is true of Labour also. The observed inability of Parliament to govern is a natural consequence of this.
    I would like to be able to suggest a remedy, but neither I nor anyone else appears able to do so.
    In the long term it will probably all sort itself out, but not until serious damage has occurred.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    And for the Tories - the party disunity would certainly be a factor here. Voters don't like a party falling apart.

    I'm wary of statements of the form 'voters don't like X', as often ISTM that what it actually means is that 'columnists think that voters shouldn't like X', division is the flip side of the coin of being all things to all people.
    With Labour, people are wary of Corbyn and those surrounding him; there is the odour of anti-semitism with many in Momentum

    The problem as the papers highlight it has focused on members of the Labour party -- except that it is clear that a greater proportion of the problem is around a small number of long term members of the Labour party - where successive leaderships have been slow to resolve and deal with such things, and this is now all being laid at the feet of the present leadership.

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I shall reword my first comment then: the electoral popularity of disunited parties is low, as evidenced by such examples as the low standing in opinion polls present Tory party in the UK and the Liberal party in Australia.

    I stand by my second comment
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Shipmate
    Hopefully the two-party system is an aberration whose time has come to an end leading to hung parliaments and coalition governments instead of the medium-term dictatorships we've had to put up with. We might even end up with a decent PR voting system.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Agreed on the 2 party system. While not perfect, the European parliaments and their ofttimes collaborative nature has me looking longingly at them at times. But then again they do get their share of people best consigned to the scrapheap of history too.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Certainly agree with your last paragraph.

    What's happening in the UK then? I'd say that the general opinion of the Tories is very low, given the demonstrated inability to carry out even such basic tasks as organising a ferry service. With Labour, people are wary of Corbyn and those surrounding him; there is the odour of anti-semitism with many in Momentum, and much of the Labour platform is more extreme than the voters are prepared to go at the moment.

    I'm curious, who are these "many" anti-semites in Momentum? Which parts of the Labour manifesto are "extreme"?

    This just sounds like right wing talking points. People have been told Labour is extremist and riddle with anti-Semitism but there is little evidence for either.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Any evidence at all would be good.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Also bear in mind that one person (Margaret Hodge) is responsible for the bulk of the complaints.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    My memory is that Hodge put in 200 complaints about anti-Semitism, of which most turned out not to be about Labour members. What is that about?
  • My memory is that Hodge put in 200 complaints about anti-Semitism, of which most turned out not to be about Labour members. What is that about?

    It's pretty hard to tell whether or not someone is a Labour member when they're hurling anti-Semitic abuse online, so I think we can forgive Margaret Hodge for that. What's less clear is why she seems to think that so few of them being members does nothing to dent her thesis.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    There must be a way to check and reign in the powerful, otherwise you end up like Russia - ordinary people struggling and the rich getting super rich.

    This one from this morning made me smile. 102 years ago the Russians themselves thought they'd have a pretty radical go at sorting this out. I'd love to believe in political nirvana, but instead I think left, right and centre will go on being human, and we'll largely point the finger at those who we are not.

  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    My memory is that Hodge put in 200 complaints about anti-Semitism, of which most turned out not to be about Labour members. What is that about?

    It's pretty hard to tell whether or not someone is a Labour member when they're hurling anti-Semitic abuse online, so I think we can forgive Margaret Hodge for that. What's less clear is why she seems to think that so few of them being members does nothing to dent her thesis.

    I was thinking of Hodge's tirade to Corbyn, "fucking antisemite and racist", were her choice words, in the Commons I think. I suppose she means he criticizes Israel.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    much of the Labour platform is more extreme than the voters are prepared to go at the moment.

    Actually Labour's policies are popular - see here and here.

    The problem is that policies aren't everything. I incline more to the left than the right but ISTM that within certain parameters, good government is less about left and right than about having a clue what you're doing. One is better off with a sensible conservative like Merkel than with an inept socialist like Papandreou.

    Now, granted, even though I stand by most of what I've said on here about Corbyn's incompetence, the Conservatives have managed to take competence through the floor, leaving Labour as the lesser of the two evils in a straight binary choice. But a competent third party that looked like having a significant influence on government would get my vote easily.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    I think the focus of this discussion is too geographically narrow because political developments in the UK reflect developments in Europe and North America, and this leads to a confusion of cause and effect. The emergence of Corbyn and May as party leaders, for example, is not the cause of their parties' problems but the consequence of a pre-existing condition.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    The emergence of Corbyn and May as party leaders, for example, is not the cause of their parties' problems but the consequence of a pre-existing condition.

    In which case you'd have to say that without austerity you wouldn't have ended up with Corbyn, and on that framing Merkel becomes the villian of the piece, as it was her intransigience over action in the aftermath of the financial crisis that lent such power to the narrative behind austerity.
  • Kwesi wrote: »
    The emergence of Corbyn and May as party leaders, for example, is not the cause of their parties' problems but the consequence of a pre-existing condition.

    In which case you'd have to say that without austerity you wouldn't have ended up with Corbyn, and on that framing Merkel becomes the villian of the piece, as it was her intransigience over action in the aftermath of the financial crisis that lent such power to the narrative behind austerity.

    Do you really think Cameron, Osborne, or 95% of the people who voted for them gave a toss what Merkel was up to?
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    The emergence of Corbyn and May as party leaders, for example, is not the cause of their parties' problems but the consequence of a pre-existing condition.

    In which case you'd have to say that without austerity you wouldn't have ended up with Corbyn, and on that framing Merkel becomes the villian of the piece, as it was her intransigience over action in the aftermath of the financial crisis that lent such power to the narrative behind austerity.

    Do you really think Cameron, Osborne, or 95% of the people who voted for them gave a toss what Merkel was up to?

    No, but she was a big part of shaping the narrative in Europe from 2008 onwards (with her references to the Swabian housewife as well as a denial of the interconnectedness of the problem) that gave austerity politics respectability.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    I stand by my second comment

    You can just look at the people being suspended/expelled, see how long they have been in the party and wonder why the GLU didn't act before now.
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