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Schadenfreude: The Tories February 4, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, Economy, European Politics.
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I’ve got to admit to great pleasure at the news of nascent and not so nascent plots within the British Tories centring on replacing David Cameron, and George Osborne too. Granted this is part and parcel of a near atavistic revulsion I have for the Tories which has been a constant, perhaps one of the main ones, of my political life, but it’s also because it represents a shift in the nature of their rule since the 2010 General Election where now they are moving into real trouble.

The prospect of a triple-dip recession seems very real – making a mockery of Osborne’s claims that austerity was just the medicine Britain needed. Cameron has been pushed towards a much more extreme position on Europe than he intended. There appears to be a significant rebellion amongst Tory MPs over the issue of gay marriage – though thankfully the measure itself looks as if it will be passed fairly handily.

And now, now plots against Cameron’s leadership. As the Guardian notes:

First there was the plot, revealed last Sunday, for the Windsor MP Adam Afriyie to challenge David Cameron if he fails to win an outright majority in 2015. Then, two days ago, senior Tories confirmed to our chief political correspondent that Mr Cameron genuinely faces a confidence vote among MPs by summer 2014 if Tory poll ratings do not improve and if the party gets a drubbing in the local and European elections. Finally, the Daily Mail reported on Friday that the plotters now have George Osborne in their sights as well as Mr Cameron, threatening to try to remove the chancellor if the UK slips into a triple-dip recession this spring.

This is great. It is precisely when a party runs into trouble that these events manifest. They’re not a cause, but a symptom of deeper problems. And, as the Guardian notes, there’s a brilliant irony in all this. The Tories are currently in power – albeit slightly constrained by their ‘partners’ the Liberal Democrats – because of Cameron. And as it also notes, it’s not Cameron the public are ‘wary of’, but the party he leads. More again there’s no evidence that the British electorate want a full-blown Tory programme.

How all this pans out remains to be seen. It could go many ways, but for the moment there’s little to complain of.

Well, bar the not insignificant fact that the Tories and the Liberal Democrat’s remain in government.

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Comments»

1. callumldoherty - February 4, 2013

Well written, and I appreciate your opinions although I am just curious as to whom you wish power should be delegated?

I am by no means a Conservative myself, but the opposition, as well as their leader, strike me with very little confidence.

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WorldbyStorm - February 4, 2013

I share that feeling, but I guess at a push I’d glumly hope that the LP gets in in the next election short of a more progressive force being in the arena (which there won’t be).

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callumldoherty - February 4, 2013

I’m baffled as to who to vote for in the next election. On the one hand, this Tory Government would hold an EU referendum simply to gain the UKIP supporters’ secondary favour and the back-benchers off of their backs. On the other we have a labour party led by a man that I have no personal dislike toward, he simply impresses me in no way, shape or form and to make matters worse – he has Ed Balls behind him. Woe is me.

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WorldbyStorm - February 4, 2013

Balls is a curious character. I’ve read two books on the G Brown administration and still can’t get a handle on him. They’re all pretty craven as social democrats, the right instincts but terrified to pursue them.

Without meaning to be presumptuous, I think in a situation like yours it comes down to individual candidates where you are. But that’s not much good if they’re awful too.

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callumldoherty - February 4, 2013

That wouldn’t be all to presumptuous of you. Regrettably, its pretty much spot on. You see, I’m registered in Bradford (although I now study in Liverpool) and there’s no way to out this lightly; George Galloway won our latest local election as leader of his newly found ‘Respect’ Party.
So as you can probably derive, we’re not in the best shape to be nit-picking between LP and Tory when in fact either of them would be an improvement in both sincerity and credibility to say the least.

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WorldbyStorm - February 4, 2013

That’s a tricky one. And it’s interesting that the LD have neatly put themselves out of the market (I wouldn’t vote for them myself though).

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ejh - February 5, 2013

his newly found ‘Respect’ Party.

Newly found?

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2. Damian O'Broin (@damianobroin) - February 4, 2013

I actually have quite a bit of time for Ed Milliband. He’s not his father, but I do think he is trying to move Labour on from the Blair/Brown era and the craven capitulation to neo-liberalism. This piece from a few weeks back is interesting:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/16/ed-miliband-labour-margaret-thatcher.

And I’ve just seen on twitter, YouGov have Labour 15 points ahead in their latest poll…

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3. Roasted Snow - February 5, 2013

I’m up as Labour candidate for a parish council by election on Thursday. Slight swing to us on the doorsteps, but also a huge white working class anti immigrant mood. Ballot boxes in the PCC elections in November, in some of our core vote wards, showed a transfer from around a quarter of our voters to UKIP and about the same from UKIP to us. This is only one small city but indicative perhaps of that turn to nationalism when there’s an economic downturn.

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richotto - February 5, 2013

Good luck in your election. On your point when Ed Milliband got the leadership he courageously in my view revisited the immigration issue from the point of view of the working class adversely affected by cheap labour coming into the country. Thats put him on the right side of the issue for working class as opposed to middle class Labour voters. Hes taken a lot of personal criticism but theres no comparrisson between his profile and the impression that Neil Kinnock made with the public. He seems more of the understated but competent Charles Kennedy style to me. Also as John Smith advanced as his aim he’s created a party at ease with itself albiet at a cost of buttoning his lip more than many would like. Its crucial that Labour retain Gordon Browns economic management inheritance and don’t return to being flaky as they used to be slaughtered in the media for admittedly often with a right wing agenda but not soley due to that.

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WorldbyStorm - February 5, 2013

+1 re good luck RS.

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ejh - February 5, 2013

he courageously in my view revisited the immigration issue from the point of view of the working class adversely affected by cheap labour coming into the country

How precisely did he do that? In terms of policy?

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4. callumldoherty - February 5, 2013

@ejh

By ‘newly found’ I meant in the sense that after his own, personal escapades he came back into a City (that I self-confess to be ignorant) that happened to have a large Islamic population and focused – quite insultingly – solely on that demographic.

It was his ‘newly found’ safe haven through which he could manipulate an unfortunately uneducated majority and I for one was grateful of the (admittedly rude) berating David Cameron gave him in the Commons a few days ago.

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ejh - February 5, 2013

through which he could manipulate an unfortunately uneducated majority

Uh-huh. What’s your point here?

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callumldoherty - February 5, 2013

Is it not obvious? He wanted a position of power, a route to the Commons’. Bradford’s public allowed him that opportunity.

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ejh - February 5, 2013

I thought you might like to explain how he manipulated this majority, who you are under the impresion are uneducated.

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callumldoherty - February 5, 2013

Sorry, I didn’t realise, allow me to:

I’m not sure where you reside but I shall assume, for argument’s sake, it is not from Bradford. Bradford has a large Islamic community. They are, for the most part, a community that is becoming more out-spoken about their preferences in culture, religion etc. George Galloway focused his campaign largely toward them. – ‘I shall do X for the young Muslim male’ ‘I shall do Y for the young Muslim girl’ were basically his queue cards.

He visited every Mosque in the district, yet not one Synagog. My Brother, who is a teacher, naturally wanted to show the meaning of equal rights to his class (again, an Islamic majority class) and asked Galloway’s advisers why he focused only on Islam, why not the Jewish, Buddhists, Christians and Sikhs that also reside in Bradford – they had no answer other than his focus was to propel the Muslim community into equality.

Let’s face it, it is a fair point, they unequivocally deserve their rights but the way in which the singularity of his campaign (in my opinion) manipulated the minds of these young Muslim boys and girls, and therefore indirectly that of their parents was not borne of equality. I couldn’t help but feel the tragedy of the Islamic-jewish relationship in our community, considering the volatile goings on in the East at the moment.

It invoked a hostility that to win this election for Galloway – for Islam – was now mutually exclusive from the correct economic decisions that would have been vitally beneficiary for a struggling Bradford mini-economy and culture. And that is believe is manipulation of circumstance and the lack of hard research conducted (on all sides, mind) is why I would label them ignorant to the education required to take part in such a decision.

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5. ejh - February 5, 2013

Mmm. I’m not seeing a lot of evidence of “manipulation” there. Or indeed much absence of education.

But what are “queue cards”?

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6. callumldoherty - February 5, 2013

You yourself may conduct research into the education skill set in Bradford, and indeed the North of Britain! That, just like the unemployment, output and average income is severely lacking behind that of the South.

As for manipulation: Taking advantage of young, fragile minds and turning a political debate into one of race, religion and heritage epitomizes the word “manipulation” as it “manipulates” those constituents into voting based on the themes prior mentioned.

To put across information with the intention of it being misconstrued is wrong. Simply put. If you cannot see this then I apologise but in my opinion it is a very real entity. A feeling shared by the majority of the Commons’, no less.

As for queue cards, they are simply pieces of card on which prompts are written, it was an expression used to paint a picture of his presentations to the public.

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ejh - February 5, 2013

Do you mean cue cards?

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callumldoherty - February 5, 2013

I just assumed it was the usual spelling ‘queue’ if I’m wrong I am happy to admit it, although even the most lenient of souls would argue that is pedantic a point as any.

Pedantic, however, is just what I was hoping for! If you could read my article on de-industrialisation in the UK and why its affecting us now, I’d be very grateful as, for now, the reception has been positive, and I’d like someone to be a bit more harsh…you seem the type :)
http://callumldoherty.com/2013/02/03/de-industrialisation/

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ejh - February 5, 2013

even the most lenient of souls would argue that is pedantic a point as any.

Come again?

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