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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,591

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Theresa May appears the least worst of an awful bunch

Michael Gove is IMHO worse than Boris. One of the very worst sort of politician, namely the sort who have no understanding of the phrase "if it ain't broke don't fix it". And what's even worse is that I can see him winning it as the Tory grassroots, judging by what I see locally are in no mood for sanity or moderation.

Andrea Leadsom comes across as being absolutely terrible, similar story with Liam Fox and as I said yesterday, Crabbe comes across as an over ambitious oportunist.

It's a no brainer

Voting to remain means things stay pretty much as they are.

Voting to leave will make things considerably worse.

The EU is not perfect, but the single market is a huge benefit to this country. One that many people take for granted.

Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, London Mayoral, Local Government and PCC elections

It's that time of the year when I do a thread about upcoming elections. On May 5 we have the following elections

•National Assembly for Wales
•Northern Ireland Assembly
•Scottish Parliament
•Police and Crime Commissioners
•Local government elections in England
•Mayor of London and London Assembly

The only elections due where I live are for Derbyshire Police & Crime comissioner. I only realised this is due when I got my polling card through the door this week.

Please feel free to keep us posted on what's happening in your neck of the woods and what you expect to happen in these elections. Please also feel free to keep us informed of any local issues. I'll be looking most at Sheffield City Council elections, where I expect Labour to lose a few seats thanks mainly to discontent over a PFI scheme for road maintainence, which many people are unhappy with.


It's actually Tory policy to push the NFL over here

Along with Major League Baseball and NBA Basketball


I do not agree with this. Rather than importing American sports, the government should be exporting British sports to America. Rugby League inparticular is something I think Americans could really take to.

Also, in the case of Basketball, we already have The British Basketball League, which needs to be promoted far ahead of any American NBA "franchise".

The perils of rhetorical bullsh*t....

The Tories use the toe curlingly embarrassing "Northern Powerhouse" term to sell any of their ideas for Northern England, and this gets used against them by their opponents on a regular basis.

Meanwhile the general population are left with little to no idea of what a "Northern Powerhouse" actually entails. The politicians selling & opposing it are doing far more to obscure than inform.

I think it's much easier for politicians to target those who already vote

As opposed to those who haven't got into the habit. Also, if a politician can't persuade you to vote for them, the next best thing for the politician is for you not to vote as that way none of their rivals will benefit from you not voting for them. Hence all the nonsense you hear from politicians about how not voting for their party is a "wasted vote".

I agree that getting involved in political parties needs to be something that is enjoyable and rewarding for grassroots members. Otherwise the party won't be able to compete at a local level. And I do worry that the people who run things in Westminster often don't seem to grasp this point. There's only so far that political parties can go with central control.

You say that it may come down to relatively simple things, and IMHO one major problem for Labour is that for some time they've been doing the basic things badly.

And it's also worth remembering that many of these problems also apply to the Lib Dems, who now face an uphill struggle just to survive as a party.

Both parties are divided on this issue

But Labour's divisions are so much worse. Especially on just about any defence related issue.

I must also add that I heard the Conservative chairman of the defence select committee (Dr Julian Lewis) on Radio 4 this morning talking about the possibility of military action in Syria and I agreed with almost every word that he said! There are many good arguments for military action, but we need to be sure that we do not make mistakes when it does happen, and that such action is taken on the right terms.

I do remember the Sheffield referendum in 2012


There was pretty much no campaigning on the subject one way or the other. The Tories have virtually no presence in Sheffield. Labour & the Lib Dems weren't keen and chose to concentrate on council elections instead.

But the big problem with the proposal was that it did not specify what powers an elected mayor for Sheffield might have. That I would suggest was the biggest thing that sunk the proposal. Very difficult to persuade people about the merits of such a vague scheme.

One issue I have noticed with the current proposals is that apparently the elected mayors won't just be for the cities themselves but for "city regions". So as an example, the Sheffield Mayor will also have powers over Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Chesterfield and even parts of Nottinghamshire.

Now I live just over the border from Sheffield in Derbyshire, and one of the advantages of living where I am is that we get better public services than our friends in South Yorkshire. If our libraries and bin collections are run from Sheffield instead of Chesterfield and Matlock that will not be popular round these parts.

A lot depends on what powers an elected mayor would actually have.

I have issues with the "clothes peg" argument

For one thing, it's an entirely negative argument, one that tacitly acknowledges that Labour policies have had many faults. And Labour desperately needs to be able to start offering positive reasons to vote for them.

Secondly, the "vote for us or it's the Tories" argument has been over used by Labour for many years now. Worse still, it's often been used by Blairites as a way to ride roughshod over anyone with concerns about Labour policy.

As to Toynbee's stance during the Labour leadership election, she was a big supporter of Yvette Cooper, whom I personally considered to be the weakest of the candidates on offer. And she did devote a lot of time to attacking Corbyn on the grounds that she considers him unelectable. The problem with this argument being that Yvette Cooper came across as even less likely to win votes for Labour.

Here's the problem with that

The Parliamentary Labour party is still very Blairite and such a move would cause a major split similar to what happened in the early 80's when a bunch of Labour centrists broke off to join the SDP, splitting the left wing vote and ensuring that Thatcher won in a landslide in 1983.

Labour is already in the midst of an open civil war as it is and to be honest, Corbyn is going to have to do a LOT of compromising to stand any chance of staying in the job.
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