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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,498

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Many political terms and phrases have been abused to the point of meaninglessness

"Strong Leader" is just such a term. You would think that the Conservatives would have learnt their lesson on this point from Theresa May posing as a strong leader before being exposed as being nothing of the sort. Instead they are doubling down on the worst errors of recent years.

Strong leaders can tell uncomfortable truths to their own side. No leader of the Conservative party has done that since John Major.

On the plus side...

...we now have two very good pro-Remain MEP's from Sheffield representing Yorkshire.

Basically the OAP block vote has gone en mass to Farage's Brexit pity party. Labour and Conservatives have both done very badly.

It's been quite a weird election in that you had Lib Dem's, Greens and Change UK/ TIG all concentrating exclusively on remainers, the far right concentrating exclusively on Leave supporters, Labour trying to please both sides (and failing badly) and the Tories waving a white flag at Nigel Farage. Britain is badly divided and nobody is even trying to unite the nation.

Whilst Theresa May took on a poisoned chalice with the job...

...she failed to stand up to far right and the fantasists on her own side and has taken this country to the brink of meltdown. Her handling of the project to leave the EU has been very poor indeed.

Easily the worst Prime Minister of my lifetime, and probably even worse than Lord North!

I won't be celebrating her demise because the Conservative Party does not appear to be about to elect anyone who would be an improvement.

Tribalism is part of human nature everywhere

However, as someone who lives in a Northern City and has previously lived in the Home Counties and an (admittedly gentrifying) old coal mining area, I can assure you that for the most part Northern Cities are nowhere near as bad for political tribalism as elsewhere in Britain. I used to live down in Essex for example and much of Essex is tribally right wing.

Tribalism has become a major factor in British politics of late. And it's had an entirely negative effect. Too many people out there voting on the basis of spitefulness towards other groups in society instead of who has the best policies.

3 options for Remainers

Liberal Democrats and Greens both have good lead candidates from the city where I live. I know which of the two I will be voting for.

I'm not impressed by the lead candidate for Change / TIG in the region where I live (Yorkshire and the Humber). One of the candidates on their list has just been voted out of the council ward where I live. In spite of having been a longstanding Sheffield councilor he only polled 102 votes!

Labour's policy on the EU is poor, the Tories are abysmal and the less said about the rest the better quite frankly. I wouldn't even describe the Brexshitters as the "WTO lot" as none of them appear to understand what applying for membership of the WTO actually entails.

When I visited Edinburgh last year...

.it became obvious that Remain is a huge cause north of the Tweed. I'm a staunch unionist, but the SNP don't concern me nearly as much as bad Westminster politicians who purport to support the union whilst totally undermining it by totally ignoring Scottish concerns.

Good news and bad news in Sheffield

Liberal Democrats and Greens took seats off Labour in Sheffield. The ward I live in went Liberal Democrat, which I am pleased about as the new councillor is pretty good to be honest.

The outgoing councillor stood for Change UK / TIG and only got 102 votes. The National Front also stood in my ward and only got 36 votes.

The bad news is the the local "independent" group won big on the parish council. This lot are not independent but a front for the far right. And they will cock things up badly at parish council level.

Local elections on Thursday 2 May

It's that time of year when local elections are due. This year we have local elections in many areas of the country.

As always, please feel free to tell us about what local elections are due in your local area, who is standing in your area, which party controls your local council and what are the big issues affecting local politics in your area.


I moved inside Sheffield's boundaries last year, so I have elections for Sheffield City council due this year, as well as parish council elections. Labour have a large majority on Sheffield council, but there are also a fair few Liberal Democrats and Greens. No Tories on Sheffield council, which is no bad thing if you ask me.

The big local issues are the local plan, which the council appear to be sitting on until after the election and the ongoing issues with the PFI contract with Amey Plc for road maintenance, which has been very controversial due to cost and also Amey's fondness for tree felling in spite of many objections from residents of the affected areas.

In the ward where I live the Labour councilor who was up for re-election has quit Labour. He is the husband of the local MP Angela Smith, who has recently defected to The Independent Group. After being initially selected as the Labour candidate without a fuss there then followed attempts to unselect him on a technicality, on account of his being in possession of an offensive wife.


I haven't had a single leaflet from Labour since I moved, possibly because they are so focused on internal shenanigans. I have had a couple from the Liberal Democrats though.

As far as the parish council elections go, the main issue there is the presence of a small group of "independent" parish councillors who are essentially a front for the far right. They make a lot of noise at meetings but don't get anything done. Their platform is about as bad as it's possible to get at parish council elections.

Interestingly I did meet a few parish councillors a few weeks ago and raised an issue relating to a street near me. Their response was that they hadn't had any complaints about this matter for a number of years. The moral of the story is that you need to make complaints if you want to get things done!

So, what's happening in your local area?

Anna Soubry isn't the only one thinking about this

This was also posted by a former top civil servant at the Treasury


My response on Twitter was as follows

Whilst this idea has merits, it would be very very difficult indeed with both main parties being extremely tribalist and selfish at present.

Just look at Corbyn flouncing out of a meeting because he didn't want to breathe the same air as Chuka Umunna this week for an example of this.

And that's before we get onto the whole matter of Ramsey MacDonald and the National Government of the 1930's (still an extremely sore point for Labour) or the Lib Dem's experiences of coalition with the Tories.

My MP is one of those quitting Labour

I live in Penistone & Stocksbridge, so my MP is Angela Smith.

She's been one of the very few Labour MP's who've been any good on the disastrous project to leave the EU. However, she's a staunch Blairite, firmly on the right wing of Labour. She's pro-fracking and has links to the water industry. Angela Smith has been openly critical of Corbyn and Momentum, which has lead to her getting a vote of no confidence from Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP.

I fully sympathise with her decision to quit Labour. That party is a total mess. However, she's already made a gaffe about people with a "funny tinge" which has been seized on by Corbynites. She's also very tribal indeed and is known for being personally vitriolic towards members ofthe UK's established centrist party (the Liberal Democrats) which will no doubt cause her problems further down the line because the new Independent Group needs all the allies it can get.

Interestingly, it seems that her husband is staying in Labour (despite being as right wing and anti-Corbyn / Momentum as she is) and is up for re-election to Sheffield Council in May. That could be very awkward indeed for all concerned as the Liberal Democrats are targeting that ward.
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