Local Elections – Are Rotten Borough’s creeping back into out creaking democracy?

The Electoral Reform Society has an illuminating and worrying article on it’s website – see link below:-

www.electoral-reform.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Election-Cancelled-Uncontested-Seats-Breifing-April-19-ERS-EMBARGOED.pdf

Quote from the ERS article – ‘Since moving to a proportional voting system (STV) for local elections in 2007, the scourge of uncontested seats has almost vanished in Scotland.’

The article is sobering indeed because of the number of seats where a single candidate is unopposed and where the electorate for the wards where this happens is denied a vote because there is no election – they get the only nominated person whether they like it or not.

Of course those of us who have been campaigning for electoral reform for generations know what the solution is – proportional representation via the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system in multi-member seats, be that for Council, Westminster or EU elections. Presently in England we only have a vaguely proportional system (where the number of seats a party gets is near to the % of votes that party receives) for EU elections.

My thanks to Bob Robinson for the lead to this posting

Conservatives – Doomed, doomed they’re all doomed!!!!!

A mate of mine suggested I have a look at a posting on the Conservative Home website because he said the utter misery the Tories are suffering is openly being talked about there. And so it is….

The few moderate Tories left these days are clearly ashamed of what their party is doing to the UK and of course we all know this. But at the other end of the scale where most Tory members and supporters sit these days are the Brexiteers, a colourful bunch of people seemingly totally out of touch with reality.

So Tory canvassers are getting grief from ordinary moderate folk who realise Teresa May is taking the UK to hell over Brexit and also from the far right who want all the Brexit misery full on no matter what the consequences.

I imagine that Labour canvassers are also getting loads of grief too with the vast majority of its members and supporters being Remainers whilst their Leadership is, like the Tory leadership, trying to deliver what becomes a more unpopular Brexit day by day.

I must say that reading the Conservative Home article pleased me as there’s nothing so good as seeing your political opponents suffering. However, the really worrying thing is these people are currently running or more precisely ruining the country, in part at least because they have the ‘benefit’ of an appalling Official Labour Opposition who can’t it seems oppose!

With thanks to Bob for the lead to this posting…..

Brexit – If you voted for these things to happen, Why?

I think we’ve all got to the stage now, whichever way we voted in that fateful referendum, that the £350M to be invested in the NHS (per week) was a big fat lie and of course there were other porkies too. But ignoring those lies and even putting to one side the alleged ‘project fear’ issues it has to be said that some Brexiteers really do want Brexit at any cost to their community, country, livelihoods etc.

I find it hard to believe that 52% of those who chose to vote for Brexit really wanted things to turn out as Andrew Rawnsley outlines below in his Guardian article. But maybe they did? have a read, especially if you voted ‘Leave’ and consider what you voted for as to what you thought you were voting for:-

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/23/bluff-blackmail-brinkwomanship-why-a-no-deal-brexit-is-still-on-the-cards?CMP=share_btn_link

But if you are still unconvinced that voting ‘Leave’ was a big mistake, how about this article too:-

www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/23/pharmaceutical-firms-preparing-no-deal-brexit-ordered-to-sign-ndas

Still happy to ‘Leave’? Well, you may be but I’d be highly surprised if you could get 52% of those who would go out and vote in a 2nd referendum to stand with you!

With thanks to Bob Robinson and Roy Connell for the leads to this posting

Bandwidth and Brexit – A guest posting from Bob Robinson

Do you remember when bandwidth was a problem? A time when you wanted to do things on your computer but were unable to do so. It struck me that Brexit has crowded out all other sensible conversation for ages. Stuff that should be done has not been done – where are the Transport for the North Plans for both the new Road and Railway?

Where is the new housing that we need? Where are the essential reforms for social care?

When facing an existential crisis, even one of your own making, smart managers recognise that delegation is a key coping strategy. Bureaucracy tends to centralise more easily than devolve but often it is the front line customer-facing staff who know more about the organisation’s issues in terms of both breadth and depth.

So why is this government so opposed to meaningful devolution to local government and regional bodies. Why are they talking about respecting democracy whilst not taking steps to reinforce local democracies? This “fingers in their ears – singing blah blah blah” paradigm has got to be challenged. We need a General Election at which this issue is front and centre.

Brexit is a busted flush poll reveals but Corbyn still backs it against the poor

The Guardian has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/20/polls-stay-eu-yougov-brexit-peoples-vote?CMP=share_btn_link

The headline from the Peter Kellner article makes a powerful case – ‘The polls are clear: support for staying in the EU has rocketed’

With thanks to Bob Robinson for the lead to this posting

Stop Press – Corbyn re-rails Brexit with defiant message to pursue it at all costs seemingly –

www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/21/jeremy-corbyn-labour-policy-leaving-eu?CMP=share_btn_tw

Thanks Jez but at least we know where we stand with you – lob losses, an even more underfunded NHS, collapsing economy and the poor being made poorer all so you can have your socialist revolution. Is there anything the Labour leadership will not sacrifice on the altar of socialism?

Outside of the Labour Leadership there are MP’s with sense on Brexit

Labour MP for Wigan, Lisa Nandy, makes a case for rethinking the Brexit mess in which our Conservative Government and indeed the Leadership of her own Labour Party finds itself – see the link to the Guardian website below:-

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/29/theresa-may-extend-article-50-no-deal-brexit?CMP=share_btn_link

I think we have always known that the majority of Labour MP’s are not mad Brexiteers but their voices have been hard to hear as they fear losing their seats if they stand up against Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit enabling policy stance. But here we have a Labour MP who has broken cover and is saying some things that many progressives in UK politics believe to be the case. She’s too guarded in what she says and sadly fails to make a case for a Peoples Vote but these small steps are significant if they are repeated in many other Labour held constituencies where the incumbent MP is still hidden behind the Brexit sofa.

I wonder what consequences she will suffer for trying to be brave?

With thanks to Bob for the lead to this posting