The 2017 General Election : The Rudrum Ramblings Verdict

In possibly the biggest bottlejob in political history, Theresa May has managed to scrape back into number 10 with no authority over her own party, let alone of the rest of the country. From a poll lead of 25 points, the Conservative Party have ended up losing seats, and have to govern with Democratic Unionist Party, who like Sinn Fein used to back terrorists but are also racist, homophobic, catholic hating climate change deniers. Basically the DUP are UKIP with terrorist links.

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I bet you miss the idea of the 2010 coalition now don’t you?

Before discussing the two main parties, a quick word on the more minor parties. For my own party, last night saw a rise in seats but a loss in vote share. I think the Liberal Democrats will keep Farron on the basis that there is an acknowledgement as like the Greens, we were the victim of the surge of Labour support (like in Nick Clegg’s seat) and a rise of seats isn’t the end of the world. The move towards two party politics will be a worry though.

The Greens, as touched on, were a victim of a Labour surge, and with Labour shifting leftwards, and both Labour and Lib Dems being very environmentally minded in outlook, you have to question if there is any place for The Green Party in British politics now – all their voters in 2015 who I know voted Labour this time around. It is delightful to see that UKIP is dead, the Party has done enormous damage to Britain already and their demise couldn’t have came too soon. In a few years Paul Nuttall’s name will only be brought up as a pointless answer on a certain BBC game show. Those who think this vote spells the end for SNP and Scottish Independence may be disappointed. The SNP’s vote share only dropped by 2% altogether and the losses can only be explained more heavily by tactical voting rather than a grand demise of the Scottish Nationalists. This election also makes the current voting system in the UK unfit for purpose, as for the 2nd time in three elections First Past the Post has failed to fit its one brief of delivering stable majority governments, but this issue will be covered in a separate blog next week.

Leading up to the election I was predicting the seats in parliament to stay roughly the same, and after the personally crushing disappointment on 2015, where the youth vote did not turn out for Ed Miliband like I thought it would at the time, I was braced for another rough night as someone on the left. Obviously this pessimism was wrong, as for once, my generation came out to vote, and its result was great. I suspect if the youth vote was around 44%, as it was in 2015, the result would still have been an increased Conservative majority.

Starting with Labour, I have an apology to make to my many Corbynista friends and family members. I have called the Corbyn platform as unelectable since he became leader, and although they did not win, this election result suggests I was wrong. What this result does is make the Blairite faction of the Labour Party redundant, and means Labour must now embrace fully the anti-austerity platform, even if this year’s manifesto was overreaching a bit economically. It is also true that Labour may have had a greater vote share without the 2nd leadership contest in 2016. One word of warning for Labour though, I still talked to many people – work colleagues, friends, random acquaintances, who wanted to vote Labour but couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Corbyn. Maybe this election more than anything else, shows that Owen Smith’s analysis was correct when he ran for leader: that the policy agenda of the Corbyn leadership was correct, but the man at the helm was the problem.

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Apparently Jezza is the Saunders of the UK after all

In the future, especially if there is another election soon, I believe Labour and the Lib Dems must sign an alliance pact to maximise the chances for a future progressive government, as they did before the 1997 Election. In Norwich South, Norwich North and Norfolk North, we saw how the progressive alliance could work. Traditional Lib Dem and Green voters flocked to Labour in the Norwich seats to protect Clive Lewis and to almost oust Chloe Smith, who had a 12,000 majority previously, while in Norfolk North, the Greens stood aside to help Norman Lamb protect his seat for the Liberal Democrats. I think Labour will spend the next how many years until the next election as the government in waiting.

This election has been an absolute disaster for the Conservatives, both for present and future. Although they increased their vote share, the Conservatives had a disastrous campaign, their policies were deeply unpopular, Theresa May was found out as a poser, Tory heartlands such at Canterbury and Kensington voted against a vague, hard Brexit and the obsession of soundbites and dog whistle campaigning turned people ultimately off.  The 2015 – 2017 Conservative government found itself as completely dysfunctional with a majority of 6, so with only 2 seats majority if you include the DUP is a very daunting position to be in, especially with the likely infighting. Theresa May has always has critics on the long-time Brexiteers within the party, so it’s not a surprise that Johnson is already manoeuvring from the right to displace May. More worrying for May is that the left of the party, now led by Ruth Davidson is also moving against her, outraged by May’s position on Brexit and decision to ally with the DUP, this group would try and bring about a Cameron style leadership again, something much more tolerable. I personally don’t see May lasting 6 months, but see her attempting to hold on to power in the party like a dictator at the last days before the revolution.

The DUP coalition could spell further trouble for the Conservatives as allying with such an extreme party could alienate many in the centre-ground, the voters Cameron and Osborne worked so hard to gain back in 2010 and 2015. The irony will also not be lost on people that they harked on about Corbyn being a terrorist sympathiser to then finish the election by going into coalition with another group of terrorist sympathisers. And to top off Tory misery they still have to deal with Brexit on a weaker footing, and as I have said many times, Brexit will almost certainly be a disaster whoever is in power, let alone a disunited Conservative Party.

If the Conservative-DUP coalition does dissolve into a shambles, which I believe it will, we could be voting again next year, and providing the Tory leader in that election is not Ruth Davidson, they will probably lose. The Conservative Party love to elect the wrong leader, since the turn of the century the only good leader they have had is Cameron, and there is currently little talent on the Tory front bench. As for Labour, the same questions of Corbyn will be there, although the Sinn Fien animosity would be lower due to the Tory alliance with the DUP, and I suspect the seats between the Conservatives and Labour would be almost directly reversed. If there isn’t an election until 2022, I do not believe Corbyn will be leader, after all in 2022 Jeremy will be 73, and the next heir – probably likely to be either Clive Lewis, Keir Starmer or Emily Thornberry, who had a very good election campaign, will likely lead Labour to a healthy majority, providing Brexit is the disaster I suspect it will be. It would be for the good of the country if there is an earlier election, as Keir Starmer is far more equipped and talented to negotiate a good deal for the UK than David Davis, but it would probably be better for the Labour Party if there isn’t an election until 2022, as it will give them a real chance at a Blair sized majority.

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Norwich’s own Clive Lewis could be Labour party leader going into a 2022 election

Back to the present, it is clear that the clear winners of the election are Yougov (for correctly predicting a large youth turnout) and the future of the Labour party, while the real losers are the future of the Conservative Party, Theresa May and UKIP. And for the first time since I have been able to vote, I have not sat through a UK democratic event to be left depressed, even if my party only has 12 seats.

Would a Labour victory be down to the new “longest suicide note in history”?

Back when the up-and-coming election was called, I claimed that, against my best wishes, that Theresa May would walk the general election, that the Labour Party would collapse, that the Liberal Democrats would make a convincing comeback, and that UKIP would collapse. With just 9 days to go, it seems that only the latter of those predictions appears to be the truthful case.

Back in 1983, The Labour manifesto which led to their worst defeat since the 2nd world war was described as the “longest suicide note in history”. Looking at what has happened in the polls since the main two parties released their manifestos this time round, you can say the same thing about another manifesto. However, this time, it seems that the Conservative Party have decided to take some political cyanide. Labour may have been gaining in polling before May 18th, but, as demonstrated in the Ipos poll on that day, Labour were only gaining vote from the Lib Dems and UKIP, while the Conservatives were staying constant. In the last 12 days since this manifesto has been released, the Conservative have lost significant points to Labour in every poll. In average polling in England this gap has shrunk from 16.7 points (47.2 – 30.5) to 10 points (44.7 – 34.7). While average polling for the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party has stayed fairly similar since May the 18th, it suggests that Labour have gained most of its progress through either Conservative voters or undecided voters. In individual polls this change is more striking. In the Welsh voting poll following the release of the manifesto saw the Conservatives fall 7 points (down to 34), while the Labour rising 9 points (up to 44), a massive 16 point swing which took Labour from a losing position to a comfortable lead. Last night, YouGov even predicted that there would be a hung parliament after the election. If Labour keep catching the Conservatives at this rate, we could have the scenario which only 2 weeks ago was unthinkable of Prime Minister Corbyn on June 9th.

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Picture: YouGov

Now, why is this happening. Well firstly running an election campaign on the slogan “strong and stable”, before performing a U-turn on the first unpopular policy and crumbling in your first major political interview of the election is probably the easiest way to lose votes other than punching a baby or taking a wee on a Mosque perhaps. So Theresa May being uncovered as a bit of a con artist in terms of leadership stature has certainly not helped the Tories. It also has to be said that other than stumbling on is history with the IRA, the one thing which I think will still probably cost Labour this election, Jeremy Corbyn has done well to convince people he has some fight, and was very impressive on Jeremy Paxman’s verbal assault program Monday. Although I’m not totally convinced by him, I acknowledge he has gone some way to confounding expectations. The Labour manifesto, which although is economically unachievable all in one go, also is filled with popular policies and actual vote winners like ending tuition fees, the increase of bank holidays and the renationalisation of the Royal Mail.

However, I see the closing gap in this election mostly down to the absolute farce that is the Conservative manifesto. Say what you like about the Cameron-Osborne era, but at least their manifestos were coherent, understood the trade off between vote winners and in their minds necessary unpopular policies, and actually bothered to cost the manifesto. Starting with the so-called Dementia Tax, it made absolute no political sense for the Conservative policy, when it should have followed an independent report to instead ignore the report and put through a policy which alienated many of their core voter base. It also made absolutely no sense for them to alongside this unpopular policy to also include a vote on legalising fox hunting, which over 80% of voters, including the majority of Conservative voters, are against.

With the route down hard Brexit, combined with the fact they didn’t even bother to cost their manifesto, the Conservatives also have shot themselves in the foot by following down a rhetoric of that they are the only party which can offer a stable economy, while at the same time following down policy lines which are economically careless. Even their ex chancellor, George Osborne, has labelled the Conservatives immigration policy as “economically illiterate”. It is striking that JP Morgan, a bank which would in more usual times would be ardent supporters of Conservatives, have said the so-called “coalition of chaos” would be better for the British economy.

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Going on to Brexit and Immigration, I do not need to tell anybody that the Conservatives are going after the UKIP vote on this issue, but as the way they are going is, as George Osborne rightly says is “economically illiterate”, they are taking a huge risk on this. By the day, Conservatives are risking a policy which are risking themselves losing the old floating voters who Cameron/Osborne used to target to beat Labour and the Lib Dems.

On the economy, the Conservatives have even tried to alienate their free market base, by promising the rather Keynesian policies of putting workers on company boards and the Miliband idea of energy caps which their supporters labelled last election as “Marxist”. This slightly more left wing economic policy has also failed to win any voters as every other party have gone more left wing than them combined with the fact there is no public confidence that the Conservatives will do any of these things promised.

To add to their struggles, the economy, immigration, Brexit and elderly care are the things the Tories are seem by the general public as better at than Labour. So when you go onto health, where the Tories are the party who has promised the least investment to the NHS, and education, where the Tories are following the policy which goes against evidence of better general attainment of bringing more grammars schools rather than supporting all schools, the Conservatives look just as incompetent if not more incompetent on those issues than before. At the same time to all this, the Conservatives are failing to offer anything again to young people, who, according to polling, look to have registered to vote in greater numbers to vote against the Conservative Party.

As I mentioned before, I still don’t necessarily think Jeremy Corbyn can win this election. If he does though, from a Conservative perspective you will have to put this down as the biggest bottle job in modern political history, and if that does happen, they can only have themselves, their poser of a leader and their stupid, nonsensical manifesto to blame.

Rudrum 2017: An Alternative Manifesto?

Today begins the cycle where the political parties finally reveal what they will do in government, and give us a true reflection of what government or party they want to be. This is the week where policy positions become known and we find out all the promises which will be inevitably be broken. For someone as nerdy about policy about me it is a week where I will read an awful lot and will over-analyse all the manifestos and write blogs on them. But before the circus which bores anybody who is not me starts, it is time to get an alternative manifesto, from a leader which Britain doesn’t need, but the one it deserves. It’s the Rudrum Ramblings Manifesto. Let’s start with the most irritating subject in the universe.

Brexit

Now us (me) here in Rudrum Ramblings, as every political party claims to do, respects the will of the people to leave the European Union. However We (I) at Rudrum Ramblings do not accept that out of the 51.8% of the population who voted to leave that there was not at least a 1.9% who voted to leave the EU but wanted to remain in the single market. We (I) also see a WTO style leave to be a major setback in every way for the country, as we would be now forced to spend years renegotiating trade deals with less power than before due to not being a member of a major trade block, leaving the country with weaker trade deals, and in the knowledge of history that economic isolationism always ends in financial ruin.

Therefore the Rudrum Ramblings will seek to stay in the Single Market or as close to the single market and customs market as possible with the one condition of the freedom of movement of people to be rephrased as freedom of movement of labour, thus going back to the routes of the European project. On the subject of immigration, we would also reverse the decision of Theresa May to include foreign students in the immigration figures, something which has exaggerated the level of net migration. Once our (my) Brexit policy is in place, the people will realise in this damage limitation form of the strategy what a pointless ordeal leaving was, and hostility towards Europe will subside.

Drug Policy and Policing

Not many Political Parties put drug policy near the top of their manifesto, but Rudrum Ramblings is different. Having studied Drug Policy, at particular length, including writing a dissertation on it, Rudrum Ramblings understands that Drug Policy interacts with Economic Policy, Police and Crime, Health, Tax and even Education. Currently, Britain currently spends £3 Billion each year fighting drug trafficking directly. This does not even intersect the amount of police money, time and effort spent on raids, dealing with low level drug offenses and offenders. Current UK Drug Policy, through low level drug offenders also rises crime unnecessarily, stigmatises users, and undermines rehabilitation of addictions, and that is without even mentioning that the current drug classification system has no correspondence to the comparative harm of each drug. Drug Education is also currently geared towards scare tactics rather than facts, which delegitimises the arguments and makes Drug Education less trustworthy than Alcohol or Tobacco education for example. And then there is the fact that medically advantageous drugs, in particular cannabis, are illegal to sell even for medicinal use. Rudrum Ramblings would firstly decriminalise drugs as Portugal did back in 2000, ending the thousands of police hours wasted on petty drug crime, and helping pile efforts from the money saved and the safety of legal use to help protect heroin users for example against the chances of infecting Hepatitis for example, and to rehabilitate addicts, as well as redistributing funds to other resources to help employ more police officers and reinstating legal aid  for example. Decriminalisation can also protect drug users from knock off drugs and so called “legal highs” which have flooded the market due to the lack of regulation which comes with drug prohibition, for example police forces will be free to work with clubs more to identify knock off and potentially dangerous substances. Rudrum Ramblings will also call for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis in a regulated market immediately for 5 years, which will pave the way to create the infrastructure for a heavily regulated legal cannabis market for both medicinal and recreational purposes. From the example of Colorado, which produced so much money through taxing its cannabis market that it ended up giving tax back to its residents, this market will created a great source of revenue for the government, and this money will go straight into helping fund the NHS, mental health and social care. A Rudrum administration will also legalise nitrous oxide, a drug with relatively little harm attached compared to most and also consider the legal standing over other recreational drugs with low addition rates in the future. In terms of education, with the knowledge that the current figures of recreational drug use around young adults that is inevitable that many will do drugs in their life, the aim of drug education will be to simply educate students of the effects and the risks of drugs, rather than teaching the worst case scenario.

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In terms of more crime ideas, fox hunting will remain banned as its for silly upper class people with too much time on their hands; freedom of speech laws will be more readily protected (even if people say disgusting things they should only be prosecuted for it if what they say equates to a threat); the snoopers charter shall be reversed and the European Court of Human Rights will be continued to be protected under our unmodified constitution. There will also be a recruitment drive to help the police deal with cyber attacks in particular.

The Economy and Tax

I think everyone reading this will be aware that over the last 40 years the richest 1% have got proportionately richer rather than the rest of the population have got  proportionately poorer. To add to this there is a lack of funding for effectively every area of governance and the economy in generally. To deal with this Rudrum Ramblings will start with Tax. Firstly, 2p will be added to income tax, while Corporation Tax will be raised to 22% to be in line with everybody else’s tax incomes. To add, Rudrum Ramblings would raise the highest rate of tax back to 50% for those earning 6 figure salaries (instead of £80,000 upwards), will introduce a bonus tax which will correspond at the same rate of income tax at every level (ie anything bonus less than £12,000 is free, everything from £12,000 – £100,000 is 22% tax and anything £100,000 upwards is 50%) Rudrum Ramblings will also reverse the Bedroom Tax, changes to inheritance tax and will also introduce a high tax on battery farming goods. In terms of the economy, Rudrum Ramblings will firstly raise the minimum wage for 16 – 25 year olds to be equal to the rest of adult workers. More importantly, Rudrum Ramblings will ban zero hour contracts for full time staff, but remain its legality for part time and student work, and take a world lead in tax avoidance by closing tax loopholes in British overseas territories.

More ambitiously, Rudrum Ramblings will incentivise small and big businesses to raise the wages of its workers by offering grants to help bring up the average pay of employees, this should in turn raise productivity with a happier workforce and therefore create more wealth and in turn bring more money back into the economy. Businesses will also find more government support in return to significantly reducing their carbon footprint. More regulation will also be introduced to properly scrutinise the financial and business sectors and make sure that they are making decisions which do not lead to a long term public loss in return to short term gain. Rudrum Ramblings also endorses the Conservative, former Ed Miliband policy of a cap on energy bills. In terms the renationalisation, I believe the Labout policy on the railways and the Royal Mail is spot on, and that with the railways in particular, a system closer to the running of the ultra reliable continental services, the better. In my opinion the German system of running an economy, and indeed a country, is the most effective in the world, and in doing so, a Rudrum Ramblings government would encourage British businesses to be structured more like German businesses, this includes encouraging and making it easier for independent trade unions to buy 25% of a business, to give the average worker a greater say in how a business is run. Some may say this is a mad socialist dream, but this is how Volkswagen in run, and VW is one of the most successful businesses in the world.

Defence and Foreign Policy

The Rudrum approach to defence recognises that a nuclear deterrent is needed partly to the fact that it protects Britain’s standing in the world and that in the current climate having no nuclear deterrent is unelectable. However, we don’t need as many nuclear weapons as we do now and certainly the price of replacing Trident could be used much better on funding other programs such as conventional weapons, supporting the economy and welfare or education for example. Therefore Rudrum Ramblings would seek to replace only two of the submarines of the current Trident system, and also buying from America rather than designing our own more expensively. Halving of weapons would save £5 billion over a parliament, taking two submarines out of operation now would save roughly £600 million, and not having to pay for the R&D for nuclear weapons would likely double the savings made on trident. £2 Billion of the budget saved will go on conventional weapons, including supporting the army, while another £2 Billion would go on building up cyber defences.

In terms of foreign policy, The Rudum policy on refugees will mirror the Liberal Democrats, promise to take in £10,000 a year for the next 5 years. We will cease to trade arms with Saudi Arabia and other nations which use our arms to cause huge suffering on innocents. Having said that, in recognising that China is becoming the world’s dominant superpower, we will attempt to have closer links to them, as well as establishing closer links the other emerging economies such as Brazil. A Rudrum government will also only support military intervention if there is a clear plan and endgame at the end of the intervention, and above all else, Britain will support closer international cooperation in both military and in the attempt to tackle international tax dodging, fraud and crime. Finally, our policy on the Trump administration will be to keep within a friendly distance without jumping into bed with it like Theresa May has done, and that we should not be afraid to criticise an ally for some controversial policies.

Housing and Benefits

In terms of Housing, Rudrum Ramblings understands the biggest issue is supporter 1st time buyers. That’s why Rudrum Ramblings proposes subsidising construction companies to then build affordable housing, recognising that the reason construction companies don’t do so now is because there isn’t money to be earned in it. Rudrum Ramblings will also place restrictions on 2nd home buyers and landlords, to make it harder for those who are simply just buying to rent out harder to rip people up, drive up the housing market and make a profit. Rudrum Ramblings will keep the current coalition government scheme of help to buy.

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What the Daily Mail Thinks is going on

In terms on benefits, Rudrum Ramblings will reverse the cuts to Disability benefit, and change the way people on disability are assessed compared to the inhuman way they are assessed currently. We will also allow for  anybody at taxpaying age to have the right to a housing benefit safety net in order to fight homelessness, will reverse cuts to tax credit, which effects low paid workers more than anyone else, and to not stop Child Benefit after a certain amount of children in one family, and rather have a sliding scale where the amount extra you get in child benefit decreases with each child. Rudrum Ramblings will also get of the triple lock for those who have pensions totaling £100,000 a year or more, and will take away free bus passes to the same demographic as well, but will protect the majority of pensioners. Unfortunately Rudrum Ramblings does conclude that the rise of the retirement age is necessary to keep expenditure down and to invest in other areas.

Education

First things first, tuition fees. I am for the scrapping of tuition fees and the reintroduction of grants to help support poorer students BUT I also believe that to maintain some of the best universities in the world, there needs to be some extra income rather than just government funding. Because of this, Rudrum Ramblings proposes scrapping tuition fees and replacing it with a Graduate Tax equaling a 2% charge on earnings over £25,000, 4% on earnings over £50,000 and 8% on earnings over £100,000. This system would not saddle people with years in debt, creating economic uncertainty and poor credit ratings, but will still create the revenue needed to maintain a successful university system. The Government will also invest extra money into university and science to cover the cost of the money lost by EU investment. Rudrum Ramblings will also put in legislation which demands that degrees in business and economics must offer a mandatory first year module in ethics.

In terms of Primary and Secondary education Rudrum Ramblings fully endorses charging VAT on Private Schools, unless they actually are charities, to help fund better education for the masses. Rudrum Ramblings also sees the idea of free schools as a waste of money, and the idea of Grammar Schools as toxic and counterproductive, and will fully support investing money into existing schools only, and following the model which has been successful in London. At Primary School and lower High School level, Rudrum Ramblings will, minus the teaching of Basic Maths, English, Science and IT skills, allow teachers more freedom to teach more freely, sticking less to a curriculum and more on the idea of learning rather than just being able to pass tests. Rudrum Ramblings will also encourage more mixed ability classes, as those were the ones which helped myself out the most when I was at school.

Government and Politics will also become a mandatory subject to be taught at Secondary School, as it is shocking how many people of my generation have no understanding of politics or the political system.

Finally Rudrum Ramblings will give teachers a 5% raise in salary and promise to allow wages to increase at the same speed as inflation.

We also have a problem of a lack of manual skills such as mechanics in the UK for example, so a Rudrum Ramblings government will increase the apprenticeship levy and launch a 3 year long recruitment campaign to encourage more young people to get qualifications and apprenticeships in motor trade jobs, as well as other jobs we are short staffed with such as the NHS.

Constitution

Away from the EU, which was covered earlier, there are three important constitutional issues which Rudrum Ramblings would address.

Firstly, it is clear through all the talk of tactical voting, the fact that in 2015 the Party with 36% of votes got a majority and in 2010 a party with 23% of the votes only got 8% of seats, that first past the post is no longer fit for purpose. However I also understand that true proportional representation has in European countries such as Italy has created unstable, multi-party coalitions, and there is a fear it can cause instability. To add, this system also loses the positive note of local representatives in government. Therefore on the voting system there needs to be a compromise. Luckily this voting system already exists in Germany, where every voter gets two votes, one for a constituency, which works like our current system, and one for a political party, which works proportionately. Those votes are then split 50/50 to create the composition of parliament. This makes voting more proportional but is also likely only to create two party coalitions, which has worked in the past in the UK.

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(Photo: Daily Express)

The Second issue of the House of Lords, which Rudrum Ramblings would make half democratic through proportional representation but keep the appointed side, which will actually be 80%  elected through specialist expert organisations through industry, science and health for example, and 20% party peers.

The third issue is the Scotland issue. Rudrum Ramblings would follow Gordon Browns suggestion of a fully federal system of Scotland, and revamp local government across the UK to create a fully federal system, to allow flexibility in policy to suit the needs of individual areas. If the UK is able to stay in the single market, Rudrum Ramblings would deny Scotland a 2nd referendum, but if we fail to do that, because of the promises made in the last referendum , it would only be politically right to let them have a second one.

Transport

As mentioned earlier, I 100% agree with Labour’s policy of renationalising the trains and the approach of simply waiting for contracts to run out is also a good efficient way to renationalise as it gives time for governments focus on each railway area at a time and therefore give the proper time and investment to each line. However, having been a passenger on Southern Rail, where my supposed 30 minute journey from London to Woking and return was actually 45 Minute and 1 hour 30 minutes respectively, would buy the franchise straight away, simply because of the level of disaster it currently is. Sticking with Public Transport, Rudrum Ramblings endorses councils to run half of its bus services, like my university city of Nottingham currently does. The bus services are efficient, frequent and cheep – I could get from Nottingham to Derby as a student for a single £1 in 45 minutes. I would also reinvest the money saved from the revoking of some bus passes to subsidise village routes and students. Furthermore, in appreciation that Boris Bikes are an excellent idea, I would also encourage the system to be rolled out in all major cities.

Rudrum Ramblings will also support a third runway at Heathrow and the completion of HS2.

In terms of the Motor Industry, I would reinstate the subsidies on green energy cars. I will also add further tax on Diesel cars and would also demand Formula E back into London, to encourage the evolution of Electric Cars to suit both environmentalists and petrolheads alike.

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Supporting Sport which encourages the future of sustainable energy is vital to the transport sector.

Other

Rudrum Ramblings will allow the decriminalisation of prostitution and would also support the lowering of the voting age to 16, even if not enough young people vote as it is.

We will back a ban on fracking and will also support an abolishment of safe space zones, a phenomenon which stifles freedom of speech and debate at university. We would also follow Norman Lamb’s suggested reforms for mental health.

Finally, we shall cut funding to the royal family, as quite frankly, the royal family have more than enough money of their own to be funded by the state as the world’s richest benefits family.

Why Theresa May is right to call an early election and who will be the winners and losers of it

At 11:15am on this cold, Tuesday morning, surprise and shock spread across the recruitment office I work in, as the news started to seep through. Yes, we had just found out that Harry Redknapp had been made manager of Birmingham City. But just before we could recover from the news that one man was going to make Deadline Day great again, we find out that Theresa May had called a new election. At this point, on my desk, group chats meant my phone was vibrating so much it could be used in adult films, twitter exploded which a mixture of attempts of wittiness and annoyance, and people at work stopped working (well only for 5 minutes, as even in the days like this you can always count on an office to produce political apathy).

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‘Arry Announcing that he is running for Prime Minister with the promise to build a statue of Nico Kranjcar outside Downing Street

One of my friends questioned where the logic of an election at this point was. Indeed, it is true that Mrs May could crush Labour more if Corbyn is still leader in 2020, and this is damage limitation, and that a sudden election when the Tory election machine wasn’t prepared for it could backfire. However, from where I see it, Mrs May has timed this decision perfectly.

Firstly, as unfortunately everything is at the minute, Brexit has a huge reason for throwing this election. Firstly, by 2020, The Conservatives, particularly with the incompetence of the hardcore Brexiteers, may have made a dogs meal of the negotiations and could leave the Conservatives vulnerable to a loss, even if Corbyn is still leader of Labour. May also wants a mandate to govern, which would hopefully allow her to put forward a more moderate position on Brexit and weaken the likes of Liam Fox and David Davis, who are currently dragging Britain into a downright silly position of denial that there is any danger within the next 2 years. Currently the extreme Brexiteers are getting away with this due to the Conservative’s tiny majority and that if May was to question them, due to the fact she voted Remain, they could easily turn on her quickly, or become as John Major would put it, “the Bastards” who will stab her in the back.  The news that those individuals power could be weakened has already led to the pound to climb since the announcement of a new General Election.

The current political climate also suits May’s party. With Labour and UKIP both competing on who are the most incompetent, the Conservatives can in theory clear up many of the votes from those two parties and grow its majorities, which, as mentioned earlier, would limit the amount of disruption on policy. Since 2015 this government have been the most incompetent in my lifetime, and more MP’s would help them actually to be able to do anything which is not to do with Brexit. On the same note, May needs a new manifesto to create a mandate to put her own agenda through. Currently, with in particular Grammar Schools and the u-turn on NIC’s, when the May administration wants to do something different to Cameron which could upset some in her own party, a back bencher yell “you’re breaking a manifesto pledge” and she drops it faster than Red Bull dropped Danil Kvyat last season. If she had her own manifesto, she could then put forward her own policies, rather than spending another 3 years treading water and failing to get anything done. I have seen some share the Vice article titled “look at all the awful things the government has done since Brexit”, but if you look down at it, compared what a government with an opposition in disarray should have achieved, the list of things they have done can be only described as a disappointment.

As noted, Labour will suffer, knowing they are literally losing votes left right and centre, and I predict if the Election goes ahead they will lose in the region of 50 seats. UKIP will also fail to get elected, and the hilarity of their situation will be the one ray of light in the gloomy outlook of British politics.  One thing that May has not taken into account is the rise of my party, the Liberal Democrats, who since Brexit have seen their membership grow by over 20,000, and a further 1000 in one hour after this election was announced. The Lib Dems have already showed that our pro-EU strategy has paid dividends in Local Elections and in particular by-elections, and are already predicted to get 200 extra Local council seats in May As well as taking 400,000 Labour votes since the last election, 40% of those who have joined the Lib Dems voted for the Conservatives last time out. Knowing that over 20 of the seats the Lib Dems lost in 2015 went to the Tories, and with the view of what happened in Richmond Park, Lynton Crosby, the Tory election strategists, has warned May that the Lib Dems could take up to 30 Conservative seats. Just if Labour had Keir Stammer or Clive Lewis, there could be an opportunity to beat the Tories right now with the Progressive Alliance with that level of Liberal Democrat threat.

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Picture: Liberal Democrats

Instead of Stammer or Lewis, Labour has Corbyn, so expect the Tories to end up with close to 400 seats, with Labour on around 150, the Lib Dems on around 45, the SNP to still dominate Scotland, and the rest of the minnows to stick in their own status quo. Of course, legally there shouldn’t be an election until 2020 so this conversation could and should simply be academic, funny how opportunity always seems to trump principle in Politics.

 

Coming up on Rudrum Ramblings:

Inevitable criticism of the incoming Conservative manifesto

The Comedy section (UKIP)

Probably a last minute plead to vote for Progressive Parties

The obligatory angry post following the election result

Brexit: Forget Post-Truth, we are now witnessing the Politics of Self-Delusion

Last year, following the EU Referendum (and the American 2016 Presidential Election), many outlets said we were living in the period of Post-Truth. This was a very generous way of saying that claiming that leaving the EU would save £350 Million a week for example, were utter nonsense. However, I think the term Post-Truth AKA blatant lying, is still far too generous to what is actually going on as we embark on Brexit. Instead, we now live in the world where the victors of the last democratic results in Britain are now in a world of Self-Delusion.

I say this because firstly Post-Truth has been a thing for a long while now. In the TV Show last year which covered the trial of OJ Simpson, Johnnie Cochran (played brilliantly by Courtney B. Vance) said that winning a criminal case wasn’t about presenting facts, but presenting a better story than the opposition. This quote can sum up much of what politics has been for the last 40 years. The rise of Reagan and Thatcher in the late 1970s and early 1980s was caused by painting a convincing narrative which to an extent did correspond with some facts. This can be seen as also the reality to the rise of Blair and Cameron through their respective parties and to government.  Governments have used smoke and mirrors to distract opposition parties and the public to get parts of their agenda through, or simply sack experts who put forward information which contradicts their agenda, like Alan Johnson did to David Nutt for putting forward scientific evidence suggesting that Cannabis wasn’t quite as harmful as Alcohol, let alone ketamine. And then being a Liberal Democrat I don’t think I need to remind anybody of my age group about the fact broken promises are nothing new either. Therefore the idea of bending the truth or False-Truth or whatever you want to call it isn’t anything new.

This now leads on to Brexit, where we have so many contradicting noises coming from Conservatives, the Party that, if we like it or not, are in control of the Brexit negotiations. They are so all over the place, they probably would manage to put forward Nuclear Disarmament and the Death Penalty on the same page on their next manifesto. I, as many, was relieved when Theresa May was elected Conservative leader, as I thought there would be at least competent leading Britain through its most traumatic political event since the end of the 2nd World War, and that she at least addressed some of the social imbalances which led to people voting the way they did. However, Theresa has not manage to stop the reckless right of her Party running riot over Brexit. We have been forced further away from the EU than we originally wanted to.

Seeing May speak today, she came across like a Football Manager who had just took charge of a team in the relegation zone a few games before the end of a season, trying to get the crowd behind the team nervously. I actually feel quite sorry for her, she didn’t want Brexit, and she certainly didn’t want the likes of Liam Fox and David Davis in the position to dictate things, but if she had blocked their involvement in Brexit her reign would not have lasted long.

In the last couple of days, hard pro-Brexit MP’s have walked out of the select committee, complaining that the bipartisan report was “too negative”, and today have disregarded any dangers about leaving the EU. Before that, they humiliated Phillip Hammond in his budget on purpose, simply because he warned caution towards Brexit within the cabinet. This isn’t the politics of a smart Conservatism or even “Post-Truth” politics; this is the politics of delusion. As well as being a great name for a heavy rock album, the politics of delusion is perfect analogy to describe the approach of the hardliners in the EU negotiators. They seem to think that after effectively giving a massive middle finger to the EU, we can somehow leave all its institutions and somehow get a sweetheart deal; and thinks that anyone who says otherwise is an unpatriotic snowflake (or something like that). Even the most ardent Brexit supporters should surely be realistic and know that these two years will come with major challenges that will take strong government decisions and negotiations to get round?

Self-Delusion politics in the UK does not just stop with the reckless right of the Tories. The supporters or Corbyn still believe he can win an election, and numerous Labour MP’s have to repeat it to not be called “Blairite” or “Tory” until they give up the will to live. It is beyond me that some people still believe that Corbyn has any chance of improving the performances at the ballot box for Labour. I worked out he wasn’t good enough just by watching David Cameron (remember him) walk all over him each week at PMQs. With how incompetent this government has been since 2015, they must count their lucky stars that is main opposition is seemingly from Scotland or a Party which has 9 MPs. And to top off the politics of Self-Delusion in British Politics, following the Stoke By-Election, a UKIP activist claimed that his party will be a majority government in 2020.

 

I want whatever these people are drinking when they wake up.

How Brexit has made the Liberal Democrats relevant again

Immediately after the 2015 General Election, the Liberal Democrats looked like a spent force. They had lost a clear identity or clear message apart from being somewhere in an already crowded centre ground. They had also lost credibility after the broken promise on tuition fees, and most significantly, had lost the youthful, leftist support that the party enjoyed during the New Labour governments, and with it, its purpose, relevance and power base. Even in 2016, things didn’t look rosy, as Tim Farron’s vision of rooting his party in the centre-ground was hardly inspiring people to back his party or to take its threat remotely seriously.

However, since the Brexit vote, The Liberal Democrats have regained their voice, and have been winning back support. Membership has gone up to past the 80,000 mark (being under 60,000 at the beginning of 2016), their support share in the polls has increased from being around 7 points to 12 -14 in average polling, and most importantly, they are simply winning more votes. In local elections, the Lib Dems have taken back some of the councils they lost in the coalition governments. In the Richmond Park (which they won) and Witney by-elections, the Lib Dems picked up more than 20% of the total vote share compared to their vote share in the general election. Even in the highly pro-Brexit Sleaford, the Lib Dems gained 5% more of the total vote share than they achieved in 2015.

I have been a member of the Lib Dems since 2015, and to be honest up until October I was almost embarrassed to admit it. I joined in the belief that Liz Kendall would win the Labour Leadership Election (lol), and also for a personal admiration for Norman Lamb, the North Norfolk MP known for his important work and understanding on mental health issues, who was running for leader. After the election of Tim Farron, I decided to stay in the party due to my doubts of Corbyn. But recently, as being a Lib Dem has became seemingly a respectable political position again, I have became more confident in my support of the party.

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Trivia: Dappy from N Dubz backed Norman Lamb for Lib Dem leader, DAPPY (Photo: ITV)

On my social media feeds I have seen some people who were a year ago Corbynistas, or at least hardcore Labour voters, show their intentions to join the Lib Dems in recent weeks. One example of this is Courtney, a 21 year old Music Technology student. Courtney joined the Labour Party in 2015, but on Thursday told me that he was handing his membership card in to join the Lib Dems. “Well it’s been born completely out of a frustration with Corbyn, and the Labour party in general not acting like a strong opposition to a pretty ruthless Tory cabinet.” when asked about if the issue of Brexit and Europe has led to him making such a decision Courtney did confirm this was the case. “Definitely, seeing Corbyn ordering for Labour MPs vote for article 50 was pretty gutting and being pro-EU definitely helps push me in the direction of Lib Dems now.”

With Labour having absolute no clue on its position, and the Conservatives and UKIP treating anyone who still would like to remain in the EU as 2nd class citizens who for some reason don’t deserve an opinion, the Liberal Democrats are the only party representing those left behind following the referendum last year. The Lib Dems have always been the most pro-EU party, and their unapologetic pro-EU position has given the party a sense of purpose and relevance again. The rise of authoritarianism around the Western World has also helped the sense of purpose the Lib Dems currently have, as it puts their opposition to Brexit in a wider framework of protecting Liberal values.

Of course, not backing Brexit is a short term electoral strategy for the party, one which is designed to give the party voice again at the same time as staying consistent to Liberal values. The long term strategy must be to consolidate the rise of support by defending Liberal values. With authoritarianism on the rise, the need for a Liberal party is more important than it has been in over 50 years. The events of the last 12 months has made liberals like myself doubt the previous consensus that Liberalism had won the battle of ideas, now it is time to win that fight again. Furthermore, with the innovative and progressive mental health and drug policy ideas within the policy agenda (both spearheaded by Lamb), the Lib Dems are not just a one issue party, but a real alternative to Conservative England while Labour are busy fighting among each other.

In more Authoritarian countries, you find greater inequality, poverty, human rights abuses than Liberal countries, this is a message the Liberal Democrats, and indeed for that matter, Labour, have to carry over, to offer a real opposition to the dire situation the country is heading towards.

Welcome to 2017, the disappointing third movie nobody cares about

The last three years has been like a trilogy of films, and when I talk about a trilogy of films, I don’t mean like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, I actually mean the Hangover trilogy. 2015 was personally a blast but did have problems in it (see the 2015 general election and the Paris attacks), but overall was a solid year and was enjoyable. 2016 tried to be a darker year, and it, like the second Hangover film (and every sequel since the Empire Strikes Back was released), succeeded. However, like the Second hangover, 2016 was also monumentally shit for all involved. Within the first 10 days my dog and David Bowie died. we had to put up with the meltdown of the political left everywhere, the rise of the “alt right”, which contrary to popular opinion is not the genre of music which you put Tears for Fears and Depeche Mode under on iTunes; a Norwich city relegation and the fact the 1975 managed to win the NME album of the year.

If this admittedly rubbish analogy is correct, 2017 is the year that nobody will even bother paying attention as you have to deal with the aftermath of the previous year. For a start, we have the new £5 note which is a disgrace not because of the meat controversy, but just the fact it looks like it belongs in monopoly and it feels like an leaflet for a bar which is so terrible that its actually good.

You have the fact that Theresa May has decided to choose the Brexit which resorts to hitting and hoping, rather than the embarrassing but far nicer Brexit which would have just meant voting to pay more to effectively have the same relationship with the world than beforehand. and while the government are tripping over Brexit, they ironically have forgotten to run the NHS. But of course this will make no difference to the political landscape because Momentum continue to be in denial about the idea that Jeremy Corbyn has any popularity beyond its own bubble.

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The only good news for progressives in 2017 is the popularity of Justin Treudeau (Picture: Huffington Post)

To top this off, Norwich City are still rubbish, Chelsea are going to win the league, Donald Trump is still the president elect and I am as dry as a cactus. 2017 therefore does not offer much hope, but hey, Justin Treudeau is still about to show how to be left wing and popular in the 21st century. Also there’s going to be a new Arctic Monkeys album, Trainspotting 2 is coming out, Disney haven’t ruined Star Wars yet and Eminem is still alive, so maybe 2017 isn’t so gloomy after all?

 

Ok I’m clutching at straws…

Have a terrible year

 

 

Coming up on Rudrum Ramblings in 2017:

More Liberal Elitist Remoaning

More Norwich City related content

More poor Music commentary

More actually quite informative Formula One knowledge

and whatever else I decide to ramble about

An Ode to Farage

So now Paul Nuttall, a man who at least looks and sounds as if he belongs in the far-right, as well as looking like Darth Vader when the helmet comes off in Episode VI, has became the UKIP leader for this month at least, it is time to say goodbye to Nigel “Man of the people Farage”, as he does what all men of the people do, and flee to a country with less tax.

Nigel “man of the people Farage”, with his pints and his conspiracy theories and his casual racism. But that’s alright, it’s like your mate Barry down the pub who thinks 9/11 was an inside job and that the global Jewish conspiracy is real, see Farage is a man of the people. Claiming Europe makes 99.99% of our laws is just like believing in the illuminati, see Farage is one of us, he’s one own.

Nigel “Man of the people” Farage, like all men of the people like Prince Charles or Katie Hopkins, went to private schools, nothing like those liberal elite whiners like Gary Lineker who went to state schools. How dare they claim that Nigel “Man of the people” Farage claim to spread fear, Nigel “man of the people” Farage knows that if you came from nothing and are now wealthy you can’t have any political views, while if you pretend not to be from privilege its ok, see Big Nige is a man of the people.

I tell you what I love most about Nigel “Man of the people” Farage, the fact he isn’t at all part of the establishment. I mean the man worked in finance and was in the Conservative Party, how anti-establishment can you get! see Mr Farage is definitely a man of the people.

It’s great to see Nigel “Man of the people” Farage posing with that other great man of the orange people in front of that gold lift, I mean, it’s no different to your mate Gary taking a lads group picture in front of Fernando’s takeaway in Magaluf, see he is one the people. And yes that lift was quite blingy, but we all like a few gold chains on, that’s why Little Wayne is still everywhere talking about Young Money, see Nige is a man of the people. And as for his antics at the Ritz with the Ferrero Rocher, that was like your boss buying everyone a round at the Christmas due. Yes he may have been with the heads of the so-called antiestablishment right-wing press, who has correctly been on the right side of every democratic result since the 1970s, but he likes to win, like ENGLAND should in the football, see big Nige is just a man of the people.

And what do I like most about Big Nige “man of the people” Farage, it’s that he has gone from moaning about economic migrants for about 20 years for him to become one himself, I mean if you ever wanted an example of top quality banter, that’s it. Come to think about it, if other Ukippers are that serious about limiting Britain’s population growth, I would be happy if they joined Nigel over in the US of A.

 

So thank you Nigel for everything, please never come back.

The Blairites and Corbynistas are as bad as each other: Why it is time for an alternative

WARNING: If you are a Jeremy Corbyn or Tony Blair fan (I don’t know if Tony Blair fans still exist), be prepared to feel offended.

As they have been since the fall of Ed Miliband after last years general election, the Labour Party continues to be at war with itself. At the centre of this war are two particular factions of the party; the Blairites at the far right of the party, who believe that Labour should stick to the middle ground and not actually stand for anything to get to power; and the Corbynistas at the far left of the party, who believe that the party should stick to the narrow mandate of its core base but remain unable to remotely challenge the Conservatives come a general election. This war has led to me becoming increasingly alienated with Labour, and veering back towards the Liberal Democrats, who although currently uninspiring under Tim Farron, at least know what they stand for now and what they are offering as a political force, and since Brexit, are witnessing a renaissance of sorts according to recent polling.

My problem with Labour currently is the following:

  1. The Blairites inability to realise that its 21 year abandonment of the working classes has led to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn as well as the rise of UKIP in working class areas to start with. The Blair years were characterised by a anchor to the centre-ground of the post-Thatcher settlement, meaning that Blair’s Labour would not be developing a Britain which benefited normal working people. This created a disconnect with the working-classes and left-wingers which saw flocks of voters defect to both The Lib Dems and the Green Party. By the time I was properly engaging with an election in 2010, Labour weren’t even viewed as any way left-wing, just as a bit of a farce in the light of the 2008 recession. Once this disconnect was piled on by Tory cuts affecting the poor the most and the Lib Dems apparent betrayal, UKIP provided an answer, although undoubtedly a false answer, to many disenfranchised former Labour voters, in immigration. For the more left-liberal Labour voters, Corbyn became an answer other than having to support a party which will always be one of protest like the Greens. However, many on the right of the Labour Party still ignore the fact they made the enemies in their own traditional heartlands that they battle today, and this ignorance makes their claims to be able to win an election more than Corbyn’s supporters illogical.
  2. The Blairites inability to see that anything but anti-austerity will no longer be tolerated from what is supposed to be Britain’s left-wing party. This wing of the party, now supporting Angela Eagle’s leadership bid, fail to understand that by continuing to want to offer basically a Conservative manifesto on a social democratic diet, that they are not offering the British people a real alternative or even a real opposition to vote for; just look at Harriet Harman’s woeful performance as interim leader, where she ordered the party to not oppose cuts to household welfare and child tax credits.
  3. The supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s inability to see that past their narrow base. The fact is if you talk to your floating voter, or even many more elderly traditional Labour voters who are not active members of the party, they have a negative view of Corbyn. The fact is for many reasons, including resentment by many groups towards Corbyn’s participation with dealing with the IRA in the 1990s, Hamas and Hezbollah in the 2000s, and even to some more petty, his refusal to dress smart, Corbyn himself is a turnoff for millions who could vote Labour under a different leader. Although I have no problem with Corbyn personally, it does not change the fact some of his former causes make him too toxic to lead a party in an election. It’s not an issue if I personally will vote for him or not, it is an issue on will he be able to stop the Tories from doing further damage to the country, which I believe unfortunately he has no chance.

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    Corbyn’s previous involvement in Irish Politics has led to resentment towards him in certain parts of the voting public (Photo: The Telegraph)

  4. The Corbynista failure to compromise on a more popular, more articulate leader who could also advocate an anti-austerity program. One positive of Corbyn’s leadership is that he has changed the nature of debate on the political left in Britain, and many in the soft-left of the Labour Party, such as Owen Smith, who happens to be running for leader, are now also ready to run an anti-austerity approach. It must be remembered, even as early as last year’s leadership election, Andy Burnham had proposed the renationalisation of the railways and to scrap tuition fees. The fact is both Smith and Burnham are in my view, more articulate than Corbyn, and have a far less toxic reputation. If these supporters of Corbyn could compromise a leader to still have an abandonment of austerity and to a degree no longer having neo-liberal approach to the economy, it would be far more beneficial for Labour as an electoral force.
  5. The worst aspect of this row within the Labour Party is the fact that neither side are willing to working with eachother, and the pettiness of both sides. The Blairite attempts to kick Corbyn’s supporters out of Labour by raising the membership costs to £25 and to stop Corbyn being an option in the new leadership contest is petty and alienating. However, possibly more disturbing is some of the actions of Corbyn supporters. For months there has been vile treatment towards BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg for simply not being biased towards Labour, and now the threats made towards Labour MP’s opposing Corbyn’s leadership, including throwing bricks through Angela Eagle’s constituency office.

I have many friends who would describe themselves as followers of Jeremy Corbyn, and I sympathise with them. After seeing the depressiveness of 20 years of New Labour not producing a proper left-wing government and Ed Miliband, although I love him, not being the most inspiring leader, while the Tories put the brunt of the economic recession on the young and the poor, someone as uncompromising and socialist as Corbyn was always going to be refreshing. However at the end of the day, he is not going to win an election, his poor performance during Brexit confirmed this. I believe that either a Corbyn or Eagle victory in the leadership contest will split the Labour Party, as either result will make the opposing side to adrift to its leader. This will create a situation similar to the Weimar Republic during the rise of Hitler (definitely not saying Britain’s First are about to come out of nowhere), where the SDP (Social-Democrats) and KDP (Communists) were so reluctant to work together they opened the door for their right-wing enemies to do as they pleased.

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Owen Smith: a man who could unite Labour? (Photo: ITV)

What Labour needs is a leader who is still anti-austerity, to offer a real alternative to the Conservatives, but also someone who is moderate enough to have a realistic chance of winning an election. My personal ideal candidate would be Andy Burnham, after his role in Hillsborough and strong performance as Shadow Home Secretary has given him popularity in the North and towards many traditional Labour voters I’ve spoken to. However, he is not running in this election, but Owen Smith is, a man who is very articulate, anti-austerity, and has run as a third candidate in this leadership election partly because he has realised that if either the other two win the election, the party will not be united and will not have an alternative to the Conservatives.

Although Theresa May is a very shrewd operator, Brexit means there are choppy waters for this Tory government, I believe a progressive alliance between Labour, The Lib Dems-who would love to get some revenge on the Conservatives after their demise last year, the Green Party and the SNP , possibly with the promise of some sort of proportional representation at the end of it, could yet defeat them in 2020. But I believe this will only be possible if Labour gets its act together, and neither the followers of Corbyn or the followers of old Tony Blair are the answer.

British Politics: Explained through Game of Thrones

game-of-thrones-1349 (1)If you have been living in a cave for the last two weeks you may have missed that there’s a lot been going on in British politics recently. The impact of Brexit has led to that both the Conservatives and Labour are in civil war, with UKIP possibly about to be, while Scotland prepares for another independence push. All these different political factions are hard to keep up with, so I have decided to explain the political situation in Britain through a TV show which has even more factions which half of them nobody can actually ever remember-Game of Thrones. As they are in power, let’s start with the Tories.

The Conservatives

Let’s start with the people who can’t agree if their favourite punching bags are the poor, young or disabled; the Tories. The Conservatives can be described by the alliance holding the iron throne at the start of Game of Thrones, as an alliance between the Baratheons and the Lannisters. The Baratheon Tories are the likes of Cameron and Osborne, who are good at winning elections or in the case of Robert Baratheon, wars, but are absolutely hopeless at running a government. Although less nasty than the Lannisters who want to stab them in the back every second, like Robert Baratheon, Cameron’s failure of governance has led to his downfall. The Lannister side of the Tory party comes from those who care about money and themselves and that’s about it. This includes Thatcher, but for more contemporary examples, Boris “Joffery” Johnson, Michael “Cersei” Gove and Iain Duncan Smith would fit.

In terms of the current power struggle in the Tory party, Michael Gove, like Cersei Lannister, just cares about his own power, Theresa May is like Stannis Baratheon, someone who believes the seat of power is rightfully theirs and probably would sacrifice family members to make that happen, Stephen Crabb is Remly, as he isn’t quite as bad as some of the others but is bound to lose quickly, Andrea Leadsom is a Jaime Lannister type who is a more vanilla Cersei, while Liam Fox is like Kevan Lannister in that he is horrible but he is also quite rubbish.

Labour

Next up is the party probably in a bigger mess of them all is Labour, and this is because the amount of factions there are. This is because Labour’s voting alliance tends to be between The Northern Working Class (Starks), The Liberal bourgeoisie (Targaryen), the radical left (the Sparrows), the left to centre southern cities (Tully’s) and the majority of ethnic minorities (Dothraki and others across the narrow sea). Those within the parties who can be compared to Targaryen are mixed, as there are the ones which built parts of Westeros (or the United Kingdom) such as Clement Attlee with the NHS and then the Targaryen tag can also be given to New Labour, as they were in charge for an age. Also like that houses downfall, New Labour partly fell from power because their leader went mad (Tony Blair). Like the Targeryens, New Labour also have some up and coming MPs who could become PM in Chuka Umunna and Dan Jarvis, the Daenerys’s of the current Labour party, while Hilary Benn with his petulance and warmongering follows a more Viserys path.

The Starks are the northern Labourites which traditionally the North would support even if the candidate was a donkey with a red ribbon on it. The modern day “Starks” would be the like of Andy Burnham and Angela Eagle. And of course like the Starks, these people are becoming more and more under fire from the Boltons, or as they are also known, UKIP. Very closely linked to the Starks are the Tullys, who are practically the same as the Starks but less Northern, although they have been less vocal since Ed “Catelyn” Miliband and Ed Balls were massacred in the red wedding of the 2015 General Election.

Who is Jeremy Corbyn and co you may ask. Well, Jeremy Corbyn is the High Sparrow, as he like Corbyn is from the capital, comes out of nowhere, becomes more powerful than he should do, has a large following keeping him in power, and he p***** off the establishment so much they all wouldn’t mind if he was run over by a bus the next day. So if this analogy was 100% accurate, the Starks, Targeryens and Tullys have teamed up to try and overthrow the High Sparrow, but like the High Sparrow, Corbyn himself is proving very stubborn and continuing to **** everyone else off.

The Liberal Democrats

The best way to describe the Liberal Democrats would them being the Tyrells, deciding to ally themselves with the most powerful party/family in the country and as a result are absolutely decimated. Now, like the Tyrells, the Liberal Democrats have no heir to Nick “Margaery” Clegg and only chance of any further political power or difference is aligning themselves with the enemies of those in power.

UKIP

Contrary to the popular opinion of those in my circles that UKIP are a racist cult around Nigel Farage, UKIP can be discussed as two separate entireties. Firstly, there are the Farage-type UKIP members, who are most likely to be ex-Tories who were just too intolerant to be part of the face of Westeros/Britain. This would make these lot be the political equivalent of the Freys, who nobody would ever want to be compared to. The Northern more working-class UKIPers like Paul Nuttall for example meanwhile, are basically the Boltons, in that they, like the Starks, are Northern, but unlike the Starks, are awful awful people who are taking advantage of the left behind working class (Umbers and Karstarks) by blaming their plight on immigration while it was actually mainly caused by 35 years of failed economic policy.

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Walder Frey: A man only Nigel Farage can make look good.

Green Party

The Green Party are basically the Martells, as like the Martells they are run by very liberal hipsters and will never really be battling for any meaningful power other than being a minor part of a coalition. However they do have a MP as maverick as Oberyn Martell in Caroline Lucas, although I hope her uniqueness as an MP does not lead to her being crushed in the same way as her Game of Thrones equivalent.

SNP

The Scottish National Party are the party North of the boarder who have been recently managed to collect the majority of Scotlands support. The way to explain the SNP is to be Mance Rayder’s army of Wildlings. This would make Alex Salmond the political equivalent of Mance Rayder, the man who unites the Wildling/Independence force but fails to achieve it and has to ultimately fall on his sword. This would make the woman who has arguably succeeded this fight, Nicola Sturgeon, would be Jon Snow, because let’s be honest, Jon Snow is basically a woman anyway, and Sturgeon will succeed in making Scotland independent.

Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru are quite simply the Greyjoys, as they are a party which thinks they matter more than they actually do, and anyone outside their domain couldn’t care less about them. Likely to ally with the left forces (in the same way the Greyjoys have aligned themselves with the Targaryens at the end of series 6) if a coalition takes place.

BNP

The BNP/Britain First/EDL are all interchangeable as they are all the worst case scenario of what could happen in the Britain and if there was ever a threat of them getting to power winter would well and truly be coming. With this in mind, the best way to describe these vile people is by comparing them to the White Walkers, although the idea that Nick Griffin can turn the BNP into a level on Nazi Zombies isn’t the most pleasant idea.

Rupert Murdoch

The creepy overlooker of British Politics who always seems to back the winning side: Murdoch is of course Petyr Baelish, sitting in the background pulling the strings. On a serious note to end this, it is still scary that a newspaper as vile as The Sun has now backed the winner of every major referendum or election since 1979.