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LeftishBrit

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Oxford
Home country: England
Member since: Thu Jun 24, 2004, 06:32 AM
Number of posts: 39,581

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That would be/is the worst in terms of division and electorally suicidal tendencies

The worst in the past in terms of dangerous policies might perhaps be Tories 1983 vs Labour 2005.

Anyway, both parties are at the moment hopelessly divided and uncontrollable, or at least uncontrolled, by their leaders. Until recently, I used to say that the First Law of British Politics was that any party would sooner or later be dragged hopelessly to the right by its leader (Thatcher/Blair/Clegg). Nowadays, both parties are led by people on the left of their party (slightly so in the case of Cameron, very much so in the case of Corbyn), except that 'led' is a bit of a misnomer in both cases, and the parties are imploding through infighting over policies, and even more through the personal ambitions of the individuals hoping to be the next leader.

Part of it is that IMO neither Party Leader really likes being a political leader. Cameron likes strutting around and looking important but the actual WORK of a leader is something else, and indeed he's already indicated that he will be quitting. His constant tendency to leave the actual work to other people is now exploding in his face as they have turned to fighting each other. Corbyn almost certainly never expected to be leader, but simply to show that the Left still exists and to promote some key Left policies. His lack of interest in power makes him more likeable as a person - but not effective as a leader of a party which tends to be divided and fractious at its best.

Actually there is nothing intrinsically wrong with within-party division; it is better than everyone being robots or cloned sheep. If 'wets' in the Thatcher era, or anti-war Labourites in the Blair era, had been able to have more influence, it would have been a very good thing! The problem is that our system is not really set up to manage such divisions. In some Europaean countries, virtually all governments consist of multi-party coalitions, and with some exceptions, they find ways of handling and negotiating the divisions. In the USA pre-Reagan, and to some extent beyond, it was automatically accepted that there would be liberals and right-wingers in both parties, though the proportions differed between the parties. This is still to some extent true of the Democrats (though contrary to some DU myths, there were FAR more truly right-wing Democrats 40 years ago than now). In our system, there is very little room for MPs voting independently on most issues, and thus there seems to be nothing much in between a strong leader 'sitting' on the party and pushing their own agenda and stifling dissent, and a weak leader watching helplessly as the party imitates the Cats of Kilkenny ('...so they fought and they fit and they scratched and they bit , till instead of two cats there weren't any!')

Same here...

I do know who Sanders is, but apart from my interest in American politics generally, his brother and nephew are rather good local politicians in Oxfordshire (yes, really!) so there is a connection here.

I would prefer him as president to any of the other possibilities; indeed I would prefer him as PM of the UK to any of the existing possibilities here, so if American voters don't want him, can we have him?

But yes, most people here would only know about Hillary and Trump - and possibly some would have been aware of Jeb Bush - with regard to this election; and we would all ardently choose Hillary, or indeed anyone including a literal donkey, rather than Trump! Trump seems an absolute idiot, bigot and near-fascist, all at the same time, and as I've said, if he gets elected president, I'll believe there's no intelligent life on Earth, let alone anywhere else.

Almost all English people aware of American politics would oppose Trump, whatever their other political views. Even Nigel Farage criticized him for his extremism, and if you're too right-wing for Nigel Farage, you are seriously too right-wing.

One more view from a foreigner, which you can take or leave: We leftish Brits know quite a lot about having an unacceptably right-wing leader for our natural party, and many of us voted for smaller parties when Blair was leader, or fled into Clegg's arms only to be similarly disillusioned by him. Many of us just plain refused to vote for Blair. But would we have voted for Blair if the alternative was fascism? - YES, most of us would. As many of our neighbours in France were prepared to vote for moderate Conservatives to defeat LePen. I would vote - with a clothes-peg on my nose - for Blair against Trump or Cruz. I would vote for a dead rat against Trump or Cruz. This is coming from an anti-partisan-loyalty type who wouldn't vote Labour for 10 years because of Blair, yet places opposition to fascism above almost anything else. As I say, I can't tell others how to vote, even in my own country, let alone anywhere else, and you can take it or leave it: but in my opinion defeating the Republicans on this occasion trumps (no pun intended!) everything.
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