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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:49 PM
Original message
Tories open nine-point lead as Labour drops to 19-year low
Tories open nine-point lead as Labour drops to 19-year low

Julian Glover
Tuesday August 22, 2006
The Guardian

David Cameron is on course for a possible general election win, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today that shows support for the Conservatives climbing to a lead that could give them a narrow majority in the Commons, while Labour has plunged to a 19-year low.

The Tories have gained over the last month while support for Labour has fallen heavily in the wake of the recent alleged terror plot against airlines. An overwhelming majority of voters appear to pin part of the blame for the increased threat on Tony Blair's policy of intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ministers - including Mr Blair - have repeatedly denied that there is a connection. But 72%, including 65% of Labour voters, think government policy has made Britain more of a target for terrorists. Only 1% of voters believe the government's foreign policy has made Britain safer, a devastating finding given that action in Iraq and Afghanistan has been justified in part to defeat Islamist terrorism.

That may explain why Labour support has dropped four points in a month, to 31%, the lowest figure recorded by ICM for the Guardian since just before the 1987 election and the second lowest since the poll series began in 1984. The fall may be partly caused by Mr Blair's absence on holiday and public unhappiness at the announcement that John Prescott would stand in. The rating is worse than Labour achieved at the 1987 or 1992 elections and worse than almost every poll result under Neil Kinnock and John Smith's leadership.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/conservatives/story/0,,1...
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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Flush Little Tony.
:hurts:

Jeez! Enough already!
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Labour would do well to be rid of Tony at party's conference
else face electoral defeat next year.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 04:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
19. But apparently it's too late to force him out at the conference
according to The Observer's political commentator, Andrew Rawnsley - and he's normally very good on the inner dealings of the Labour party.

Some of those closest to the Prime Minister have been arguing to him that he has to make it clear that he will not be in Number 10 for that much longer. Otherwise, in the words of one of those who think that he must indicate an early exit date: 'He will not get through the party conference.' It is unclear what they fear precisely when they say that. There cannot be a formal move to depose him when the Labour party gathers in Manchester at the end of September. The deadline for triggering a confidence vote has passed. Some of the Prime Minister's allies are terrified that 100 Labour MPs or more could sign a petition demanding his departure. This would have no constitutional force, but that wouldn't stop it being damaging to his position.

Mind you, there has been chatter about a Dear Tony letter before only for the threat to evaporate rather farcically. It is not obvious how a scheme to topple him at the conference could be successfully organised. That does not stop some of his allies being very fearful about some sort of coup being attempted.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1854243...
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bronxiteforever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. wow!--What is the Tory position on Iraq ?and generally I would think
they have a promilitary type policy like Thatcher but do you know what they would do in Iraq, Indiana?
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Endangered Specie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. you would be suprised how sometimes the Tories take the 'lefter'
position.

I remember the Torries (and Lib Dems) opposing a Labour bill that would vastly extend the amount of time the Gov't could hold people without charge (on the order of months).
It nearly passed, but enough Labour backbenchers voted against it as well, virutlly everyone else voted against too.
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bronxiteforever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks! Kinda of like some right wingers (Bob Barr) against some Shrub
policies relating to the abridgement of civil liberties
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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. BushAmerica is so far to the right, it's hard to make comparisons
with the rest of the world. The Democratic party would be to the right in most countries.

I remember an interview with Margaret Thatcher when Hillary was trying to come up with a national health program for the United States. When asked, Thatcher said the U.S. should go with a program like Britain's -- not the answer the corporate interviewer expected or wanted. I never saw mention of her remarks in the corporate media.

Surprise. Surprise.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Cameron backs Blair on Iraq war
The Tories are into this bid about the war being mismanaged. There is a disconnect between the public that feels that the Iraq war, and Blair's close association with Bush on Lebanon, have made them more susceptible to terrorism, and the support for the sugar-coated David Cameron. If Labour does not dump Blair, or puts a Blair clone as leader, I hope the voters have the presence of mind to vote for the Liberal Democrats rather than reward the Tories.

Cameron backs Blair on Iraq war

Friday, 23 June 2006, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK


Conservative leader David Cameron has said he still believes going to war with Iraq was the right thing to do.

In an interview for BBC's Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, he said the war had been "very unpopular" and some bad decisions had been made since it began.

But Mr Cameron said "those of us who supported" the military action should "see it through".

He praised Tony Blair's reform of the Labour party but said he wanted the Tories to be "the party of the future".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/5108584.stm
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 03:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. Yes, the Tories are as bad as Blair.
If not worse. Like Blair they refuse to see the connection between foreign policy and the increased threat.

The best solution would be for Blair to step down and a new leader with a more enlightened foreign policy to step up to the plate.
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sonroadera Donating Member (115 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
8. Can someone give me a primer on the UK parties?
What are the differences between them?
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Labor is center left, tories center right.(ish)
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #10
30. only in US-centric terms

By more global standards, Labour has nothing much left-ish about it at all.

Espousing universal public-payer health care in the UK, for instance, as in Canada, is not a useful standard; not even right-wingers dare to say nay to that.

The entire political spectrum in the US occupies only a fraction of the global political spectrum, at the centre to right end of it, so while present-day Labour may look centre-left to someone in the US, that's not how it appears to someone in the UK or many other countries. (See the political compass graphs in this thread, e.g.)


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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
43. Torries are not "center left" - they are about as right wing as you can
get.

Labour is more centrist than left - even center right.

It is certainly not left of center as it used to be in the good old days.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. No-one called the Tories "center left"
they said "center right". You can get more right wing - US Republicans, UK Independence Party, BNP, Berlusconi, ...

I'd agree Labour is more centre than anything these days. It has a wide spread - from the traditional left, to Blair, who is centre right - but he controls it.
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Labor Center-Left, Lib Dems Center-Left, Conservatives Center-Right
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 10:00 PM by liberalpragmatist
The Conservatives (officially the Conservative & Unionist Party and nicknamed the Tories from their ancestral faction) are historically center-right, although exactly what that has meant has changed historically. Long back, during the 19th century they were essentially the party of the landed aristocracy, hostile to free trade, hostile to liberal reforms, hostile to opening up the voting franchise. Eventually, they absorbed many of the old supporters of the old Liberal Party (see below) and became somewhat centrist with a greater free-market orientation than the Labor Party (see below also). Under Thatcher they became very rightist, echoing Ronald Reagan. They've recently gone somewhat centrist and they're certainly to the left of the Republicans (they don't have a very large Christianist faction) but economically they're still relatively right-wing.

The Labor Party became one of Britain's major parties in the early half of the 20th Century and historically was a democratic socialist party. During the late '80s and early '90s they became essentially center-left and they're now roughly analogous to US Democrats although to the left of US Democrats on issues like health and education (embracing a larger statist role) and more nanny-statish (worse on civil liberties).

The Liberal Democrat Party are the perennial third party. They descend from the old Liberal Party, a classically liberal party from the 19th century that was eclipsed by the Labor Party. The party endured, though it remained quite small, until the 1980s, when it merged with a breakaway faction of the Labor Party to become the Liberal Democrats. Historically centrist, classically liberal (socially and economically liberal) they have since the '90s essentially become left of Labor, although on some issues they're still to Labor's right.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 04:13 AM
Response to Reply #8
20. The ministers of the torys are nearly all from elite schools
They are from the aristocracy, but are riddled and bought by the corporate right that
is using the new young leader as a trojan horse for radical nutter'ism just like bush.
There is not a campaign promise bush ever made besides cut taxes for the super wealthy
that he has delivered on, not a one. Bigger government, bigger wars, more drugs wars,
more people in prison, more hate delivered the planet over by mutherfuckers, and that
same radicalism lurks in the baby eyes of the british neo-crims, sharpening their
knives for power.

Clinton and Blair might swap countries in future, as they both bear core responsibility
for another decade of kleptocrats. These are not libertarian oak-tree tories, but
radical corporatists who worship bush's every footprint, his money pot and his military
usurpation of awesome unchallenged power... oh boy, the tories can't wait to steal
everything that is not bolted down, blair is an ass who puts his career over his country.
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LivingInTheBubble Donating Member (360 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
55. The conservatives are like your Democrats in stance
Labour was traditionally much more left wing. This changed with "New Labour" which rivals the Conservatives in right leaning. The Liberal Democrats are similar to how Labour used to be (but without the militant trade union aspect).
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. 19 year low.
The UK is approaching conditions that can prompt a comeback for a tanned and rested Margaret Thatcher. And Blair's ego just continues to make him justify to his self that he's doing the right thing.

The fool.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
12. Will america wake the fuck up?
Will we?
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
13. Labor is acting like wusses in letting Blair walk all over them.
the Blairites in Labor are killing the party. They non-Blairites need to toss him NOW. Do not wait one more day.
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JawJaw Donating Member (574 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 04:04 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. Don't Write Blair Off, Yet
Many in the Labour party saw Blair as the saviour that delivered them from the Wilderness Thatcher years. They are TERRIFIED of going back to the 1980s, and this cannot be stressed enough!

It's a good sign that people are waking up to the foreign policy disasters, but whether they'll hold their MPs accountable at a general election is another thing. House prices are stable or rising which gives people a "feelgood" factor. Interest rates are low, unemployment low(ish). Of course, the bubble could burst at any time - but that's another story.

The Tory leader hasn't yet come clean on key policies like taxes and the economy, so the Tories are still an unknown electoral quantity.

But it would be nice if some people couild have a quiet word with Blair. Problem is, he's so damn articulate and arrogant!
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 04:43 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. Trouble is
all the good economic policies are associated with Gordon Brown.

Many of the policies which Blair has pushed personally are deeply unpopular.

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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
14. Labour would bounce back if they would dump Blair.
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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
15. The Labour party is center left
So if the Conservative party wins it would be a bad thing? :shrug:
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andypandy Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 03:15 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. depends...
difficult to think of an issue where Labour is 'proper' left-wing and the Tories are 'proper' right-wing.

the Tories are at least more honest about serious reform in the NHS - still free at the point of delivery, and still consuming at least 100 billion a year - whereas Labours reforms are more smoke and mirrors as well as lots of cash.

Labour want to bring in ID cards, Tories will scrap them.

the Tories are becoming more like a classical liberal party with a commitment to the Welfare states' most fundamental principles - if not to specific spending programs, while Labour are becoming more 'nanny-state' and more authorotarian.

comparrisons between US and UK political parties don't really work that well - all mainstream UK political parties are well to the left of the US 'mainstream', be that Republican or Democrat.

the Tories have a closer relationship with - or greater knowledge of - the military (two youngish front-bench Tories are former 22SAS officers, but you wouldn't know that unless you asked) and have been the ones in recent years to say 'whoa there' when Blair wants to send folk on an all expences paid camping holiday in the sun.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. And that is why Blair has to go. Blair is anti-labor, anti-democracy,
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 05:28 AM by w4rma
pro-big buisness, best buddies with Rupert Murdoch, he tried to dismantle the BBC. He's anti-union. He's pro-war and pro-Bush. His "New" Labor is exactly as corrupt as the DLC over here.
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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #16
25. I found a UK political spectrum
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. and here's the Political Compass's for 2005
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 11:30 AM by iverglas


(I couldn't see yours -- edit: it finally loaded, and it was just silly! The fact that I find pornography in prime time objectionable doesn't actually make me "authoritarian". Political Compass does it much better.)

http://www.politicalcompass.org /



and showing shifts:



It's not like the Tories are a good thing.

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. OMFG, Labour really went insane.
Jesus, they are as athoritarian as many Republicans. They need to go back to how they where in the 70's.
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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. That is more accurate then the political spectrum
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 01:59 PM by MATTMAN
that I provided

I took the test but I can't get the plotter in my post.

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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #29
51. According to Your Graph
I would be aligned perfectly with the Green Party. I took the test.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #51
56. but remember ;)
Edited on Wed Aug-23-06 01:19 PM by iverglas


That's the Green Party in the UK. (I'm a tad lefter and downer.)

The Green Party at the national level in Canada, for instance, is pretty much a front for / bedmate of the right wing.

Dang:



Yes, we know that there are smaller parties that some of you would have liked us to include, and individual politicians whose positions would be nice to have up there as well. There may be other additions in due course. We do what we can with our advertising-free and free-to access site. Should we secure a Canadian sponsor, we can, of course, produce further interesting charts.

We'd like to thank those Canadians who generously gave their time to assist our research. Bloc Qubcois presented us with a real challenge, since it is primarily a single-goal party promoting Qubec independence. As such, it attracts members from all quadrants of The Political Compass who often have little else in common.


to add: that graph is the Political Compass's analysis for "Canada 2005".


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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. Cool quiz. I am right on the Greens on the chart
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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. I am in the middle of the greens and liberal democrat.
n/t
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. I'm more authoritarian than Mandela
Ha. On the Political Compass graph, I'm way way over/down, past Gandhi, in the left-hand corner -- 7 point something and 8 point something. I think the Political Compass site is really useful for USAmericans to get a broader perspective on the political spectrum.

The questions on that Times one really were silly, and that's fine, except that it seemed to take its results seriously. When approached by a charity collector (this sounds odd to a North American, but it's commonplace in England -- we encountered firefighters with their hats out at the top of subway escalators, Red Cross collectors on streetcorners ...), I don't give them some money and say "now leave me alone!" -- I give them some money and thank them. I give panhandlers looking for the price of a night in a shelter (or selling the homeless newspaper, as we encountered in England and in Calais) a buck, without whatever attitude the quiz offered me. I don't want "the government" to either fire the principal or throw money at schools that aren't up to my standards. Etc etc.

But hey, it wasn't as bad as that "world's shortest political quiz" trash! --
http://www.self-gov.org/quiz.html

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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. That test does not break down the differents areas good enough.
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 02:25 PM by MATTMAN
They put Lenin and Mussolini in the same place so I think they should break it down better.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. Blair isn't, though
http://www.politicalcompass.org



To the right of Stephen Harper and Ariel Sharon, economically. And hardly a champion of personal freedom. The Labour Party belongs in the lower left quadrant, not the upper right.

Rocks and hard places.

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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. Thanks
The Labours need to dump Blair and Berlusconi is not the PM of Italy anymore.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. heh heh
Berlusconi is not the PM of Italy anymore

Guess he needs to be shuffled off to the graph wherein Margaret Thatcher currently resides. ;)



They've made it up to Stephen Harper, our present dear PM up here in Canada, so they're not too far behind!



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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #28
38. You have got to hand it to those Italians
they know when to dump a bad Prime Minister. :applause:
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
24. Good to see...
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 09:33 AM by Bragi
Because Blair heads a left of centre party, he became Bush's biggest enabler in Iraq, and in Bush's global war on terror, war on civil rights, etc. No conservative leader anywhere could possibly have given Bush's war policies the kind of international credibility and cover that Blair provided. Without Blair, Bush would have been much more internationally isolated than was the case, and this would have been far more obvious to Americans and everyone else.

Given this, as a left of centre person, I look forward to Blair's hopefully-forced early departure, and I couldn't care less if the Labour party is electorally demolished in the process. I hope Labour is held responsible by voters for its contribution to the catastrophic neocon policies of the US.

- B
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. How strange
you can say this about Blair's Labour, but couldn't about Martin's Liberals. After all, Canada's entanglement in the "War on Terror, Afghanistan-style" is Martin's legacy, which Harper merely inherited.
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #26
45. Nice try
So, in your flacid partisan mind, staying out of the Iraq debacle and refusing to support Bush's misadventure there, as per Canada under the Liberals, is the same as sending troops to Iraq to support Bush, as per Blair and the UK.

Right-o.

So, what style of partisan blinkers are your faves? Do you prefer the ones that block all peripheral vision?

- B
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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #45
54. Ditto
Edited on Wed Aug-23-06 01:09 PM by Minstrel Boy
Of course, Martin wasn't PM when Iraq was invaded, though he gave every indication that he wanted Canada right in there, just like his protege and probable successor, Ignatieff.

"I think that we really are dealing with, you know, someone who personifies, you know, evil in every way, and that he has he does have biological weapons. He does have chemical weapons. And he has demonstrated in the past his preparedness to use them. And so while I believe that he's contained, you know, for how long? And is it going to take 200,000 thousand troops on his borders forever in order to do this? So I I mean I think that this issue has got, you know, there's much more that has to be played out before this issue is will come to an end It has to be resolved and it has not been won."

Paul Martin,
CBC radios As It Happens,
March 11, 2003

and further, from Sheila Copps:

"There is no doubt in my mind that if Paul Martin had been the leader, we would have gone to Iraq with the United States." (Worth Fighting For, 2004, page 182) "When the Liberal government had to make a decision on Iraq, Mr. Martin did not speak. Those of us on the inside knew that he had been working very hard to get Prime Minister Chrtien to join the Americans in the war." (page 211)

To echo your sentiments, as a left of centre person, I couldn't care less if the Liberal Party is electorally demolished.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
31. Could someone who understands English politics..
... explain to me what is going on?

Can Labour get rid of Blair? If so, why haven't they, isn't it clear that he's leading them to defeat?

Really, when I look at this mess I get really confused :)
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
34. How ironic.... Just as we "might" be getting rid of our conservative
nightmare, Canada & now maybe the UK will be turning that way :eyes:
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andypandy Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. rubbish.
don't know anything about the Canadians, but the British Conservatives are FA like the American conservatives.

David Cameron is probably to the left of any front-bench US Democrat. the party political compass is completely off, the Tories are far more libertarian than NL.

its getting as bad as FreakRepublic on here, people see a word...
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ikri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
41. It's still Labour's to lose
The Tories might currently be led by a man who is saying, mostly, a lot of good things but come the next election people will still be looking at the Tory party as a whole. Cameron is one man among an entire party, many of whom are dead set against his reforms.

They are the party of Thatcher and people will not forget that in a hurry.

The Tories would have done exactly the same as Blair and gone along wholeheartedly with Bush's insanity. Thatcher was in love with Reagan in the 80's, Major was accused of being Bush I's poodle in the 90's (I remember one satirical piece showing John Major attending the Commons in his Stars and Stripes pajamas since he was working on US time).

The Lib Dems will say whatever they believe will gain them votes at the time - they were for Iraq when it looked popular and against it when it became a political albatross. A number of their members are to the right of the Tory party. They are absolutely untrustworthy.

Make no mistake, it is Blair and his allies who are damaging the Labour party. If he goes and Gordon Brown takes charge the polls will start to swing back to Labour pretty quickly.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
42. Just desserts for the poodle.
Unfortunately, the Tories are far worse, but what do you do when the party doesn't listen to the people?

If Labour doesn't kick the WAR CRIMINAL out on his ass, then they only have themselves to blame for their losses.

Got to break a few eggs to make a cake...
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
46. There are as many differences within as between our parties
There is actually very little difference between Blair (who is on the extreme right of his party) and Cameron (who is on the left of his, insofar as he has any policies beyond getting himself elected).

However, Blair's backbenchers and even his Cabinet ministers are better than Cameron's would be; therefore I hope the Tories don't get elected! In fact, Blair is likely to abdicate the leadership to Gordon Brown before the election - at least he promised that he would, if a politician's promise means anything. Brown is more competent and less flaky than Blair, but also on the right of the party.

I hope that Labour wins but with a very small majority. Part of the problem with both Thatcher and Blair is that they had excessively large parliamentary majorities - way out of proportion to their actual share of the vote; and this allowed them to become 'elected dictators'.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. Q
Edited on Wed Aug-23-06 11:13 AM by iverglas
(left out a word, made no sense)


"I hope that Labour wins but with a very small majority."

Is there any chance of a minority govt, Canada (and various bits of Europe and elsewhere) -style?

This would require that the Liberal Democrats get a decent number of seats (i.e. not just more popular vote), unless there were a pretty straight split between Labour and Conservative, of course. I'm assuming it's not really in the cards.

A quickie google -- it happened in 1929 and 1974. Minority govt doesn't seem to be quite the rage in the UK that it is here.

I guess Blair's stroppy back-benchers are a similar situation, although they're probably less likely to bring down a govt than even the most vote-conscious third party. It's funny, though, how we over here get our party discipline tradition from you Brits, but we've stuck with it much more firmly.

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #47
48. It's a possibility, but I suspect it would be unstable
as you say, the Labour back-benchers are stroppy enough that they might often vote against a Labour government that had many of the present cabinet in it.

1929 is so long ago I'm not sure if we can make a useful comparison to it now. In 1974, Labour had loyal back-benchers; even so, they had to make the "Lib-Lab pact", which, for a few years, meant they kept the Liberal party (smaller than its successor the Liberal Democrats) happy enough that it supported Labour in vital votes. However, eventually the parties fell out, and the Labour government fell, a few months early, on a no confidence vote.

The Tory government that ended in 1997 was technically a minority government in its last year or 2 - though they had a small majority at the 1992 election, they lost so many by-elections as MPs died that they became a minority. They had a few backbenchers who would rebel on things like Europe, but I can't remember if they ever managed to defeat the government - the Ulster Unionists, who are allied with the Tories, tended to vote with the Tories anyway.

The Lib Dems current position is that they wouldn't form a formal coalition with either Labour or Tories, but just vote on issues as they want. So I think a minority Labour government would form in that case, but it would have to tread very carefully to keep both the Lib Dems and all of its backbenchers voting for it. If the Tories were the largest party, they presumably would be a minority government - with good backbench discipline, but, I'd think, more chance of all the opposition voting (except Ulster unionists, perhaps) against it on several issues - I think, once in opposition, the Labour leadership would move leftward in its voting patterns.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #48
50. thank you, interesting
The classic situation here is that it's the left party that holds the balance of power between the two right parties, and can thus, at least when it's the Liberals in power, twist their arm to the left. The Conservatives never got the hang of minority govt. (Joe Clark fell after a few months, having declared he was going to govern as if he had a majority; oops.)

The UK would have left and right, with the middle in the middle, all relatively speaking, of course. Might be interesting to see which side the middle would go to. ;)

I'd hoped to see our present minority govt brought down and the classical solution adopted: no election, invite the opposition to form a govt. Not too likely to happen. Not even likely that the govt will get brought down, giving that it's the snivelling Bloc Qubcois effectively holding the balance.

A Labour govt with its fate in the hands of its own left wing and a right-wing opposition. How long it lasted would depend mainly on how eagerly they all wanted an election, I guess. Just like here.

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Exiled in America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
49. Please educate me about british politics:
So, I want to make sure I've got this right...

Normally, if I hear about a "Labor" (Labour?) Party, I associate that in my mind with good things. However in Britian, this seems to be the opposite. Is that correct, or is it more that Tony Blair and current leadership has hijacked that party? Would the labour party be considered more left or right in terms of american political language? Is there a disconnect between their forieng policies and their domestic and social policies?

What would be the party in Britian that would most reflect progressive values?
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. The Labour party was taken over by DLC/Clintonite-like types in the 90's
Blair's "New Labor" bunch is basically the British equivalent of our DLC.
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #49
53. Labour's done some good things
- The Creation of a Minimum Wage (which lifted many of the poorest out of poverty)
- Vastly increased spending for the National Health Service and Education (although the results are patchy)
- A good record on economic growth and job creation
- Civil unions for gays and lesbians
- Much greater representation in government for women and minorities
- Constitutional reform such getting rid of hereditary peers in the House of Lords (meaning that someone would inherit a seat in parliament)
- Devolution (the creation of Scottish and Welsh parliaments)
- The Good Friday Agreement giving a tentative peace to Northern Ireland

So it's a mixed record, but there have been some good achievements, none of which would have happened under a Tory government.
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