Coffee House

Reasons for all three parties to worry

16 November 2012

Of the three main parties, Labour will be happiest with today’s results. They’ve won Corby, the contest that was always going to get the most media attention. But, I think, there are things to worry all three parties in the results.

Last week, Labour sources were talking about how the big two tests for them of the night were Corby and the Bristol mayoralty. In Bristol, they’ve been beaten by an independent candidate. Ben Bradshaw is already complaining on Twitter that this defeat can be put down, in part, to the party’s resource allocations for these elections; the fact that Corby was prioritised above everywhere else. The Police and Crime Commissioner elections also haven’t been great for the party. John Prescott suffered a spectacular defeat in Humberside.

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For the Tories, the obvious concern is the 12 percent plus swing against them in Corby. This is a mid-term result and Louise Mensch quitting so soon after being elected was hardly helpful. But it will increase backbench nervousness. UKIP’s strong showing in Corby and elsewhere will undoubtedly lead to more pressure from within the party for Cameron to reach out to UKIP’s voters on immigration, Europe and human rights.

The Liberal Democrats are keen to stress this evening that their vote share has held up far better in the parliamentary seats they hold than it has nationally. They will have more MPs after the next election that a headline reading of the polls would suggest. But they can’t hide the fact that in national vote share they’re in a battle for third place with UKIP. The danger for them is that these elections push the Lib Dems in trouble, Clegg under pressure story up the political agenda again.

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Show comments
  • Iain Hill

    As for the photo, it symbolises the collapse of the party system. Also, he has the look of Pius XII.

  • mikewaller

    Reaching out to UKIP voters is just plan stupid. Anybody with an eye to the big picture can see that global capitalism has damn near run its course in the old democracies and in the not too distant future various forms of protectionism are going to be high up the political agenda. My guess would that this would start to kick in not long after UKIP plus a purblind Tory rump had secured their sought after referendum on whether or not the UK should leave the EC. Along with Mathew Paris, it is my earnest hope that the electorate are not so big a fools as to give UKIP what it wants; but who knows. Of one thing we can be certain: a semi-dismembered UK on its own in an increasingly balkanised world, is not a prescription for prosperity.

    The great strategic error the Tory party is currently making is to see the LDs as temporary bedfellows, to be screwed then dumped. The only good story both have to offer the UK electorate is that they were driven to work together having seen the jaw-dropping, epoch-defining mess Labour had made of the national economy. Dealing with this, they both believe, is much more than a five year job and that is why they will continue to sink their differences and to work together in the national interest.

    On the basis of this argument it might be possible to revivify the boundary changes as a quid pro quo for some kind of general election pact. Unfortunately, as the BBC programme “All in the Mind” recently revealed, there has been a dramatic increase in the extent to which narcissism is manifesting itself in the Western world, and this is a phenomenon from which our political class is anything but immune. As a result “for the greater good” has long since dropped out of their lexicon.

  • Gary

    Louise Mensch…I still would. Her departure for sunnier climbs means politics is once again showbiz for ugly people.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I don’t think that’s true some of the Tory women are quite nice-looking and women queue to go to bed with Nick Clegg.

  • ButcombeMan

    A good reason for the Tories to worry, is the huge number of spoiled papers in the PCC elections, thousands of them, far more than usual, Maybe someone will ask a PQ to get at the truth?

    I have been told many are not just “spoiled”, they have vituperative anti Tory comments on.

    Cameron has become the patron saint of lost causes.He has slipped mindlessly into not representing the core views of most of those who elected him. There is no recovery now.

    Let us have a referendum on the redefinition of marriage Dave, you know it makes sense.

    • Noa

      And it’s the right thing to do…

  • cg

    Reach out to UKIP voters on human rights? I was under the impression that they didn’t believe in them and that they’d like to see children back cleaning chimneys asap.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Good policy.We’re talking about pleb children aren’t we? Teach them the value of hard work.

    • jsfl

      Do you know what they do to Guardianistas as well? Apparently, they go great with some fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f! Be off with you Clarissa back to the Pied Piper of Primrose Hill!

  • Daniel Maris

    Not a bad day all round. The buffoon Prescott seen off…the useless government given a bloody nose in Corby…and a generally low turn out telling them what we think of these pointless Police commissioners.

    • itdoesntaddup

      You forgot to mention the donkeys wearing red rosettes.

  • David Lindsay

    The first Police and Crime Commissioner result was from Wiltshire. Although the Conservative won it, the Labour candidate was eight points ahead of the Lib Dem.

    I told you so. The West Country, Mid Wales and the Marches, the North of Scotland, the Borders: the old Liberal heartlands are now just there to be taken.

    And I love County Durham: the Conservative Party’s schoolboy candidate has become fourth behind UKIP, and would have come fifth if there had been a Lib Dem.

    Followingthe Eastborne by-election in October 1990, the Conservatives removed a Leader who had won them three General Elections. Can it not now remove a Leader who has never even won it one?

    • HooksLaw

      A leader who won neatly 100 seats at the last election.
      But what do you know?

      • David Lindsay

        They weren’t enough.

        The party that got rid of Thatcher now cannot even get rid of Cameron. Says it all, really.

      • jsfl

        The only Prime Minister elect since the war who at the first time of asking failed to attract more than 25% of the total electorate. Blair, Major, Thatcher, Wilson etc all attracted more than 30% of the vote first time around. Poor old Dave could only manage 23.5%. He could never seal the deal now could he?

      • TomTom

        Who will lose them all in 2015 or rather 2013

        • telemachus

          Cameron is an honourable man
          Just weak

          • Colonel Mustard

            The fact that you think so shows what a wet lefty he is. A cuckoo who will destroy the Conservative Party. Whether deliberately or through stupidity is academic.

            • telemachus

              He is still honourable and I quite like the fellow in a quaint Oxford way
              But Thatcher or Blair he is not and he has no Lawson or Gordon Brown at the right hand
              On the other hand if we think of the role of Ed Balls

  • RKing

    The EU

    How many times and in how many ways do we have to say it before they cotton?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Nobody cares what you say or which many times you say it, pleb.

      They’ll never cotton. The cotton is in their ears.

    • Dimoto

      The “lesson from Corby” is nothing much to do with UKIP.

      It is: stop imposing flakey, air-headed, self-obsessed, candidates on local parties.

      • dalai guevara

        Truly democratic, is it not? Blimey, this country is right up there with the Democratic People’s Republic of China…

    • 2trueblue

      As far as they are concerned we are a bunch of headbangers. I have no idea why they are so reluctant to accept the facts, but no matter which way you put it they just don’t get it.
      Frankly the only ace Cameron has is that it is in his gift to give us the referendum. There is nothing else right now that he has that we think he can do. He is denial about UKIP, but that is where we are going.
      THat said, it was wonderful to see Prescott lose. Mensch really did a lot of damage for the Tories.

      • HooksLaw

        Because being OUT of the EU is not much different to being IN and calmly saying you want OUT ignores the reality of how you do it and what you do afterwards. Furthermore there will be a referendum in due course anyway when the Eurozone countries create a new treaty. Such negotiations will involve immigration, which if you have you’re way will be carried out nby the labour party.

        You need to ask what you do when you get a referendum and you lose it.

        • 2trueblue

          Really? You have made this reply to me before.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Forgive my cynicism but we were told there would be a referendum for the last treaty but then it was slyly changed and our masters decided that the “new” treaty which was not constitutional (but in fact was) didn’t warrant one. Then Dave gave his cast iron guarantee but sadly it was too late and his hands were tied. So his cast iron guarantee turned out to be a chocolate (or perhaps blancmange) fireguard.

          Then, whenever the subject comes up the issues of sovereignty and free trade are neatly blended to make it seem as though we can’t have the one without the other.

          And why does one to have ask what we do when we get a referendum and lose it? Alex Salmond, a high profile public figure and leader of a party whose very existence seems to depend upon the outcome of a referendum manages to dodge that “requirement” quite easily.

          Look, the simple matter is this. The last time the British people were asked about Europe was when it was just about free trade and movement – not a federal super state. Since then our sovereignty has been compromised by a tide of EU law and regulation that is largely unpopular and resented by almost everyone except the politicians who are on its gravy train. It is no good scoffing at these sentiments and undermining their validity. The scrutiny needs to face the other way. I have still not seen a cost benefits case for Britain and the EU set out in other than vague and woolly soundbites that mix and match all sorts of conflicting issues. And putting down the consequent resentment rather than persuading is an arrogant and ultimately futile strategy as Germany found in its occupied territories during the war.

          As it is being sold by our politicians the EU is on course to become the most hated institution in Britain, for the “little people”, the ignored majority who do not depend on its sinecures and handouts.

          • telemachus

            A true perspective from the right
            Most folks could not give a toss whether we are in or out
            As soon as we get Ed Balls in giving us growth and a return to wellbeing all considerations of national sovereignty issues will return to importance only to the UKIP fringe.
            And those are folk who need our attention and help

            • Colonel Mustard

              “Most folks could not give a toss whether we are in or out”

              Not only do you not have any evidence for that but the polling on the subject proves you wrong.

              Ed Balls as chancellor would be the worst thing that could happen to this country except perhaps a direct strike by an asteroid 200 miles across. Anyone who disbelieves that is terminally stupid or a Labour supporter, two attributes which are invariably mutually inclusive.

              • telemachus

                Polling at this point in time
                When the economy gets out of the Cameron straight jacket folks will not give a toss about the libertarian bleatings peddled here

              • Old Blue Eyes

                I am surprised you enter into an argument with this guy. He or she is a total loon.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  It’s not an argument though is it? He never responds to any challenge or argues his case but just parrots soundbites.

                • telemachus

                  It is not a case of soundbites

                  see the reasoned atgument just posted on the Super Thursday thread

        • TomTom

          Actually Britain being OUT is major because the EU Budget collapses without British Economic Aid to the EU……the two largest recipients of aid being Poland and Greece……. Britain is essential to the economics of the CAP which is why France allowed Britain to join once the CAP was finalised and why France coveted the fishing grounds

          • telemachus

            So we need to stay in to help the Poles as we did in 1939
            These considerations to me are major reasons to campaign against a referendum and work towards the destruction of UKIP

            • Noa

              Mad you are, as the fleas in Ballsy’s Y fronts.

              • telemachus

                But lovable

                • Noa

                  Scratch that itch, Ballsy!

      • ArchiePonsonby

        What a massive kick in the goolies for Cameron and his preposterous “A-list” candidates scam. Rather pleased that Fat Man got a kicking at the same time!

      • mikewaller

        IMHO, the trouble is your attitude to Europe does make you a bunch of headbangers. Not, of course, on anything like the scale of those turbo-charged headbangers, the US “Tea Party”, but headbangers just the same. In its financial, industrial and military heyday, Britain having interests, not friends made some kind of self-serving sense, but as our power in the world has progressively diminished any idea that “we can go it alone” is, frankly, laughable. Indeed, even in the period with which the phrase is indelibly associated – the months after the fall of France – Churchill’s all consuming objective was to bring others into the fight.

        Instead of making perfect prats of ourselves in the eyes of all the other EU members, we should be in there fighting to prevent German domination. As the world’s manufacturing capability starts massively to outstrip any feasible demand, a standalone UK won’t have a cat in hell’s chance. What the rest of Europe needs to be made to understand is that the Euro was a German racket which held down the prices at which they could sell their goods across the globe. What we should therefore be seeking to persuade the rest of the members to do is politely ask Germany to follow one of three courses: (a) fund the resulting mess without complaining; (b) dismantle the Euro project in as orderly manner as possible; of (c) itself get out of the Euro so that the markets can drive it down to a level that will re-stimulate the economies most being harmed by it now. That sort of thing can be undertaken from within, but most certainly not from the off-shore Island “Headbanger”..

        • 2trueblue

          So Switzerland, Norway, are all headbangers? You have spent too much time listening to that LibDum Lord, and the BBC.

          I can see Germany accepting your scenario! Get real, Germany is very happy with things as they are. She is only frightened because if we go our funds will go. There are more countries (17) receiving funds within the EU so they are hardlly going to vote with us. Accept that.
          Do you think that Germany is going to stop selling us their lovely BMWs, electrical goods, etc because we leave? How many millions of jobs on the continent rely on duty free access to the UK market?

          The 50% figure that is bandied about of what we export to the EU includes the items that go from Rotterdam worldwide.

          If we are so insignificant why bother with us? Calling people headbangers is hardly a mature engagement/exchange of ideas.

          • mikewaller

            I am amazed at your objecting to my having used your term “headbangers”. You said that people who think as I think, think that people who think as as you think are headbangers. Therefore, would not the best response from you have been “QED”? This on the basis that I had confirmed the depth of insight you have in this one area at least.

            As to your wider points, of course Germany would love to continue sell us its world-class products. Trouble is that we are rapidly going to run out of the money to pay for them. On the day that a friend of mine mentioned that you rarely see a new Rolls-Royce on a British road because they are mainly going for export and principally to China, we got the news that Jaguar-Landrover’s India owners are about to start building a massive new plant in China. How long before the German owners of Rolls-Royce do like wise. Indeed .how long before China moves into the other field with which the name of Rolls-Royce is indelibly associated, the building of large areo engines?

            As to our matching Switzerland and Norway, forget it. Switzerland has achieved international status as a safe-heaven in times of global trouble partly because of its neutrality but also because of the hyper-prudent way in which its public and private finances are managed. These are not fields in which I think dear old Blighty is likely to star any time soon. As for Norway, not least because some smart-arse former head of BP assured the UK government that their was no oil in the North Sea, she has so much oil wealth her citizens are known as the White Sheiks.

            There is also a much more fundamental problem. In its top tiers of ability the UK has plenty of people who cam match the world’s best. Unfortunately, when you make comparisons across the spectrum countries like Germany have much, much greater strength in depth. I would not for a moment suggest that this a problem that Europe is going to solve for us, but I a sure that it is this vast burden of, shall we say, the less economically successful that would crush a “go it alone” Britain.

            • 2trueblue

              I object because it is ignorant and name calling does not help engagement in dialogue. In the meantime if you think that the British are all wash go find yourself another place.

              • mikewaller

                I love my country but am also realistic about its strengths and weakness. If you want to educate yourself on the subject you might start by reading Corelli Barnett’s magisterial “The Audit of War” which reveals just how longstanding these problems are. Indeed, if you read between the lines, you will come to understand that upping the British game has been a central concern of British governments for over 100 years as we have relentlessly slipped down the merit table. Cameron’s speech to the CBI is but the latest example. Too many of our workers (by hand and brain) are just not good enough to hack it in a globalised economy.

                If your only reaction on learning this is to (very rudely) tell this particular messenger to push off and live elsewhere, it seems to me to make eminent sense that those in power refuse to listen to you.

    • dalai guevara

      Thieving Banksters
      Bloody Thieving Banksters

      How many times before you realise that £2,800 on QE per head this year beats £60 net per head per year in a top trumps type of game. Or in plain words for the economically illiterate:

      QE 2011/12 could pay for Europe until….2059!

      • Magnolia

        What about all the money given for the EU bailouts?
        Billions for Lisbon Treaty ‘exceptional occurrences’ obligations because this treaty, which Labour signed, had taken our veto away and direct loans to Ireland as well and contributions to the IMF and further promises to the IMF.
        About £12.5 bn for the first Greek/Portugal bailout in May 2010 then another £7.5bn for Ireland in Nov 2012 and also a further £20bn for the IMF this last year.
        That money was borrowed by the politicians because we have our own little banking and government debt crisis to sort out and it still exists as debt to be paid off in the future. The Labour politicians allowed the debt boom because they wanted to spend the tax take from the bankers and all the action and then they used more debt to save the banks and now we all owe this debt and Europe is turing in to a group of sovereigns in debt. It’s like a horrible bomb just waiting to go off.
        The bankers were just a sideshow.
        Labour bailed out the banks and Labour signed the Lisbon treaty and Labour committed us to bail out the Euro countries and it will be Labour’s debt bomb when it finally goes off.

        • dalai guevara

          This response is too one-sided in my view – we need to remember what c a u s e d the crisis: the abolition of Glass-Steagall and deregulation of the Square Mile played a major part, if it is not the main cause per se. You are correct to remind us of the fact that demutualisation of building societies for example fell into Labour rule, but was it Labour’s idea? Did the other side oppose it?

          There is a general tendency towards hiding debt whenever you can, in PFI finance then or now by simply repatriating the Royal Mail pension pot whilst hard selling the idea of privatising the service. It’s all one big mad circus to me.

          • 2trueblue

            As Labour had a huge majority it was irrelevant what the other parties voted. It was all about the debt, very available, and governments worldwide had lots of it and let households have lots of it. They were happy because then households did not think about it, because it was cheap. The rest is history. The banks are a great diversion for politicians to escape blame.

            • dalai guevara

              You are of course right, but that detail is of little use right now. And another small side issue is of course that at the annual Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions following bonus season, it’s not the politicians that are buying all the good stuff. I prefer to focus on those with the deep pockets and the big hands.

              • 2trueblue

                That is where we differ, I am interested in history and it is being rewritten to suit the politicians currently. Liebore rewrote our history in their 13ys and prior to that as well. It is important as it is part of their legacy and should not be forgotten. Also you can not unpick the mess unless you know how it was made. There has been very little forensic accounting done to track down where we can put it back together.

                The whole thing is massive and can not be turned around easily. Unless we keep the focus on the politicians and their lack of care for the way they ran it all into the ground we will not move forward.

                Milliband, Balls, Blair, Brown, Darling, Whelan, are living very comfortable lives which was based on their time in power, whilst the people they were meant to be serving are struggling to piece together their futures. If you let them rewrite the past to suit themselves we have learnt nothing.

                • dalai guevara

                  Well again, this is a bit too one-sided for my liking. Before Bliar emerged on the scene, three quarters of what we call mainland Britain was heating with coal, calling single glazed building sites home and eating chippy dinners. My and your world has moved on since then, and quite rightly so.
                  One thing you have got to ask yourself: in binge-drinking party-hell Britain of the Nineties and Naughties, what did the plebiscite compensate for to be found so out of line?

          • Curnonsky

            Glass Steagall was repealed in 1999; it can hardly have caused the crisis. It wasn’t deregulation, it was the bursting of a (largely government-induced) asset bubble. Poorly enforced regulations simply allowed the bubble to expand longer than it should have.

            • dalai guevara

              Good point, it is more complex than that- it is in fact the invention of the CDS earlier (early Nineties) coupled with what you state, which has led to a humongous increase in derivative trading.

              The deregulated derivative trading market is now estimated to be 10x larger than global annual GDP. Ten times larger, just derivatives.

              When the derivatives market is orders of magnitude greater than the market from which it derives, you know something does not add up. Bring back Glass-Steagall.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Correct. Glass-Steagall is just another hobby horse for the softheads.


    • Noa

      Perhaps the following analysis will help them cotton:
      In Lancashire UKIP Candidate Rob Drobny took a brilliant third place, beating the Liberal Democrat candidate with 15% of the vote.
      In Merseyside UKIP Candidate Hilary Jones gained a solid 6.9% of the vote beating the English Democrat candidate. (why didn’t they agree which one of them should stand rather than divide the vote)?
      In Greater Manchester UKIP Candidate Steven Woolfe achieved a strong 8.6% of the vote in a race that featured former Labour MP Tony Lloyd get elected.
      In Cheshire the UKIP Candidate Louise Bours scored an impressive 7.9% of the vote in what was an incredibly hard fought campaign.

      These results were of course obtained on the low turnout, nevertheless UKIP were able to comfortably save their deposits, and increase their share of the vote..

      • HooksLaw

        You want UKIP and the English ‘Party for BNP Dropouts’ to get together?

        First you want to make strange bedfellows, or does this say what UKIP are really about?
        Second you bemoan splitting the vote but will not admit that your narrow minded activities will gift seats to labour.

        • Noa

          I don’t mind splitting the vote when the choice is voting conservative and getting labour anyway..

          • telemachus

            Yes but it allows the loonies and frog lovers to crow as they were doing last night

      • dalai guevara

        Anyone with some analytical sense would conclude that UKIP was a protest vote, so in a low turn-out scenario with higher motivation to protest, UKIP figures would appear much higher than in a much better attended general election scenario. Even if UKIP achieved half of what you call ‘solid’, in the current ‘first past the post’ system of lunacy, we will see another government legitimised by less than a third of the electorate. This turns out to be purest Menshevik rule (in the true sense of the word).

      • telemachus

        UKIP(Frog Party) won just 3.5 per cent of the vote in the general election and controls just one town in the UK – Ramsey in Cambridgeshire.

        • Fergus Pickering

          I think HooksLaw is mental.

          • telemachus

            As Farage
            As UKIP members in general

            • Colonel Mustard

              You do realise that referring to a legitimate political party as “Frog” is racist and to its members as “mental” is not entirely consistent with the supposed values of the party you espouse? Of course we all know that Labour’s progress is founded on firm principles of hypocrisy and double standards and that no opportunity to lie when the truth is required is ever missed. But even so, perhaps a little more circumspection in that “reasonable” mind of yours before you resort to slagging off dissidence might not go amiss. We are still supposedly a democracy, despite the best endeavours of the national socialists and their shadowy sponsor from 1997-2010, and people are perfectly entitled to their views, even in UKIP.

              • telemachus

                UKIP are dangerous
                They could destroy everything they know
                Anything is legitimate to prevent them
                It is critically important that those beguiled by weasel words attractive because of whipped up false hysteria about control from Brussels and false claims of immigrant invasion should be aware of just what kind of outfit this is.
                The inner circle are not democrats and perish the thought if they ever got their hands on the levers of power we would soon see an enabling act

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Not wrong just in disagreement with you, but especially the way you “argue”.

                  You think “control from Brussels” and “immigration invasion” are false? Goodness me, your myopia is astounding.

                  If UKIP have you so rattled then I wish them well and more power to their elbow.

                • telemachus

                  Punters could not give a toss about the libertarian points if the economy re-engages.
                  Problem with UKIP is that we do not want crackpots with any hands on the levers.

                • ButcombeMan

                  “Crackpots with any hands on the levers” eh?

                  Gordon Brown? Remember him?
                  Who were his assistants in creating the Big Brown Mess?
                  Were they all in it together? We all are now.

                • telemachus

                  Was that the Brown rescue of the world banks?

                • ButcombeMan

                  No the Brown who announced (more than once) that he had done away with boom & bust and who once he had abandoned tory plans spent with reckless glee to buy Labour votes in a client state.

                  The Brown who sold our gold at the bottom of the market with a global financial crisis approaching.

                  The Brown who so mismanaged regulation of the banks

                  The economically illiterate Brown – the Brown who …….

                  Continued Page 94

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “Punters could not give a toss about the libertarian points if the economy re-engages.”

                  That is exactly what the forces of darkness hope to exploit.

                • telemachus

                  It is a reality of life summaried by the Clinton
                  Its the economy stupid line
                  The young in particular have a brotherhood of man philosophy that quite likes the concept of Europe

                • Rahul Kamath

                  One gentle point – UKIP is not a libertarian party – whatever they claim to the contrary. Their brand of libertarianism is mostly ‘liberty for me’ + ‘no rights or freedoms’ for anyone else. Their rabid anti-immigrant stance (by definition anti-liberty for British subjects who want to marry, employ or trade with foreigners) is the most obvious proof of this but there is much more.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “…In the poll, 66% said UK payments “should be cut rather than frozen” with 12% against and 22% unsure. A majority (58%) also agreed that Britain should withdraw from the EU altogether “if some EU powers cannot be restored to the UK”, including a 53% majority of Labour voters. Even Liberal Democrat voters backed that stance by a margin of 39% to 32%. Asked if the UK should “leave the EU regardless”, 43% agreed – with more Tory and Labour supporters backing the policy than not.”

                  You are on the wrong side of history, troll.

                • Noa

                  “Anything is legitimate to prevent them”

                  And what are you and your fellow long marchers proposing?

                  Imprisonment on trumped up charges?

                  Do clarify.

                • telemachus

                  I’m not a man of violence
                  Trumped up charges will do

                • Noa

                  Ah lies, goes well with your stalin worship. Seriously, other than as the Speccies own common purpose troll do you have an original or supportabe views to offer?

                • telemachus

                  In fact there is no need to do anything
                  UKIP are actually seen by the reasonable as a joke
                  I cannot and despise them as we all despise Osborne
                  Ukip are the current vogue as protest vote but when it comes to2015 I have faith that the British public will be sensible
                  To prevent them therefore we just wait for the comical frog to “hang himself”

                • Noa

                  So no, you don’t.

    • Austin Barry

      Our ruling elites are rather more concerned with the genteel sodomy of gay marriage, than the rest of us being buggered by the paramount issues you list.

      By voting we’re doing little more than shouting at the deaf. As Stevie Smith said, we’re not waving but drowning.

    • Heartless etc.,

      The H2B: no good, never was any good, never will be. Who chose the slippery s*d? – coz he ain’t no Tory!

  • captaintallywag

    Indeed the Lib Dems will certainly have more MPs than UKIP after the next election.
    But curiously, this will only be because of the FPTP system, which the Lib Dems oppose – under proportional representation, UKIP would have more MPs.

    Apart from electoral reform, what do the Lib Dems stand for? Delicious irony.

    UKIP don’t really have to do anything but eat into the Conservative, LibDem and Labour vote to make a difference. It is ‘big three’ inaction that will drive people to other parties, the ground is shifting, who can shift with it?

  • Rhoda Klapp

    I’m sure all the parties see it that way, but out here it looks like it is the world of politics that ought to worry. Not any party or all of them but the whole shebang. That of course includes the media. This has been building for some time. Not the first time, and it is easy to mistake run-of-the-mill cynicism and ennui for a game-changing movement. But the world of politics really really ought to get a grip. It has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. You can’t make much of the numbers who voted as this post does without making far more of the 80odd% who did not.

    Although personally I could lose the libdems and not really miss

    • David Ossitt

      “Although personally I could lose the libdems and not really miss”

      I agree.

      A question Rhoda I am unable to click on the down arrow of the troll below each time I attemt to I get the message ‘you must log on to down click) how do we log on?

      • Ron Todd

        I have the same problem I can vote up but not down.

      • 2trueblue

        Just before you click your post there is a little bit under that says Disquis and you press there and register. You will then have to go back to your post. It has happened to me a few times and I do not understand, but after that it seems to work… best of luck.

        • hexton

          Or you can log on via the drop-down menu for the little cog-wheel thing shown on the right, just above where the comments start.

          • 2trueblue

            Thank you.

    • Latimer Alder

      I am delighted that an independent candidate was elected as my PCC. And even more delighted that of the three standing independents here, he was my first preference.

      That the turnout was low is hardly surprising given that these were not well publicised and that this was a new position. The proof (or otherwise) will come after a full term office and when the next PCC elections come around. And that will depend on how well the newly elected guys do their jobs.

      I think that the renewed interest in non-mainstream candidates shows that the public is getting disillusioned with the three party system we have now. On many issues, the Westminster debates seem far removed from public opinion out here in the (relative) sticks. And as we have moved towards a more heterogeneous society, people once again tend to be more localist in their views. The move to some form of local control over the local coppers – rather than their adherence to nationally imposed Home Office targets is a welcome reflection of this. And it isn’t hard to see Scotland’s discussions of independence and UKIP’s prominence as Anti-EU campaigners as further examples.

      On a more philosophical note, The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris was very popular in my formative years. He reminded us that in many ways humans are no more than ‘grown-up’ apes, and that the natural social unit of the primate world is the tribe of a few extended families.

      Much of the recent political history – the EU being a prime example – has focussed on building ever larger social and economic units. And while bigger and bigger structures could possibly make sense for economic reasons, they are clearly inappropriate for the social side of life. We have not evolved far from those old tribal days. The election of independent PCCs shows this.

  • telemachus

    Comical how everyone is scaremongering about UKIP
    They have no policies other than anti-immigration and are led by a frog

    • anyfool

      That is one policy more than the simple minded duo in Labour.

    • Daniel Maris

      As I understand it, they are not anti-immigration but anti-mass immigration with accompanying rights of naturalisation.

    • Keith

      They do actually have other policies. The clue is in the name, you idiot. If you took your head out of Ed Balls’s @rsehole for five minutes and took a look round you might be surprised at what you could learn.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Ha ha! That is the best description of telemachus I have seen.

    • dalai guevara

      Thirteen years of left wing schooling must have brainwashed an entire society. Now, people are in such a state of denial with regard to what goes on here, they rather focus on places they are likely to know only from their stag-do travel experiences.

      Denial is a clinical sign of addiction – an addiction to selfishness, posing and cheap credit. It’s time to turn the thumb screws.

    • Noa

      As you would know if you visited the UKIP website they have a comprehensive suite of policies. And better a frog leading who can turn into a prince, than a lumpen plasticine plutocrat.

    • WIlliam Blakes Ghost

      I’m very impressed how you can see to type when clearly your head is up your arse! I appreciate that dumbed down lefties have trouble reading but you should try looking at the UKIP site. You’ll find they have quite a few policies. For example, you know that flagship Libdem/ Coalition policy to increase the income tax allowance. It’s a watered down version of a vintage UKIP policy (they adopted it their income tax allowance increase policy in 2006). Currently UKIP want to increase income tax allowances to around £11.5k.

      I know the idea of reducing taxes is an repugnant to you but just to let you know UKIP do have policies beyond immigration and the EU (English Devolution for another example) and other parties are starting to nick their policies as well….. So there you go and you know what they say is the best form of flattery……

      • telemachus

        A party of nonsensical paradoxes
        “The UK Independence Party has many in its ranks who are gay men or women who have, without fuss or ostentation, taken advantage of the new arrangements. As a libertarian party, we are entirely at ease with their choice and wish all of them well.

        There are many gay and lesbian people in England and Wales who are persons of deep religious faith. It is inevitable that some (though by no means all) such people would wish to have the right to have a religious marriage celebrated in a Church or other such place according to the rites and rituals of their particular religion.

        The UK Independence Party’s position on this issue may be stated simply: while UKIP fully supports the concept of civil partnerships, it opposes the move to legislate for same-sex marriage.”
        A prime example of equality and diversity policies


        • telemachus

          “We believe that a centrally-directed, top down system means that people have to accept a ‘get-what-you’re-given’ arrangement”

          But Lansley style..

          We will

          “create elected County Health Boards

          …and devolve budgets and responsibilities straight to CHB members who answer to us”
          Another top down reorganisation
          Is this outfit truly mad

          • telemachus

            And on energy

            “to close all its efficient coal-fired power stations, even

            though they may have years of useful life left”

            Yes this outfit is truly mad
            mad as the bullfrog that runs them

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