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UK General Election 2024 (Read 42563 times)

Oldmanmatt

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#700 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 17, 2024, 04:27:00 pm
This is just the typical far left infatuation with a bogeyman. No one outside the bubble of avid Owen Jones fans know who this guy is or gives a toss. He’s not representative of mainstream centre left opinion; he’s just a guy who mouthed off stupid shit on a blog. Trying to make out that he’s typical of the modern Labour Party is just a cope on behalf of the far left, who are too incurious and over-confident to imagine a productive place for themselves in British politics.
Worth reading this https://www.theguardian.com/politics/article/2024/may/31/luke-akehurst-labour-activist-turned-controversial-election-candidate
Quote
Sources say it was Akehurst, armed with a spreadsheet of 650 constituency party names and details of their delegates, who helped deliver the 2021 rule changes at party conference that shut the left of the party further out of power.
That was the conference I was talking about when our CLP delegate (along with many others) was suspended the week before the conference.

and:
Quote
If he becomes an MP as expected, Akehurst is likely to be well known by force of his personality and organising power, those who know him say. One says: “He loves a spreadsheet and backroom plotting. I’d have thought he’s destined for the whips’ office.”

Labour To Win (Luke Akehurst's campaign group), was instrumental in Stamer's 2020 leadership win.

He has played a central role in candidate selections for this election. Just read him writing about it: https://labourlist.org/2022/11/labour-selections-are-not-about-factional-advantage-but-getting-ready-for-power/
NB: they subsequently deselected Faiza Shaheen who is mentioned in the article as an example of how a Left-leaning candidate was included.

Why does this bother you so much?

Starmer seems to have assembled a PLP and candidate list that the general public can get behind, unlike the last bunch.

Do you just value (your particular) ideological purity, over actual electoral success?

I can see the headline in the Sun already:
“Political party experiences factional infighting in build up to election shocker!”
Sub headline:
“Dirty deeds as not so far left gang outmanoeuvre slightly further left cabal by following party rules!”

Asked for comment, Gladys from Leeds (56) said “Well, I might vote for them now, not quite so weird as the last lot they had.”

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#701 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 17, 2024, 05:36:43 pm
It baffles me that quite a lot of people don't seem to see through this:

BBC News - Reform UK candidate resigns over 'unacceptable' blog posts
https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cw880334dgyo


Seems pretty on brand for Reform, he might have had a decent chance against Badenoch in a hate off!

Much as I think that Kemi Badenoch seems disproportionately obsessed with who uses what toilets and almost valueless trade deals; I rather doubt that she is nearly as objectionable as the Reform (ex) candidate.

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#702 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 17, 2024, 05:42:51 pm
This is just the typical far left infatuation with a bogeyman. No one outside the bubble of avid Owen Jones fans know who this guy is or gives a toss. He’s not representative of mainstream centre left opinion; he’s just a guy who mouthed off stupid shit on a blog. Trying to make out that he’s typical of the modern Labour Party is just a cope on behalf of the far left, who are too incurious and over-confident to imagine a productive place for themselves in British politics.
Worth reading this https://www.theguardian.com/politics/article/2024/may/31/luke-akehurst-labour-activist-turned-controversial-election-candidate
Quote
Sources say it was Akehurst, armed with a spreadsheet of 650 constituency party names and details of their delegates, who helped deliver the 2021 rule changes at party conference that shut the left of the party further out of power.
That was the conference I was talking about when our CLP delegate (along with many others) was suspended the week before the conference.

and:
Quote
If he becomes an MP as expected, Akehurst is likely to be well known by force of his personality and organising power, those who know him say. One says: “He loves a spreadsheet and backroom plotting. I’d have thought he’s destined for the whips’ office.”

Labour To Win (Luke Akehurst's campaign group), was instrumental in Stamer's 2020 leadership win.

He has played a central role in candidate selections for this election. Just read him writing about it: https://labourlist.org/2022/11/labour-selections-are-not-about-factional-advantage-but-getting-ready-for-power/
NB: they subsequently deselected Faiza Shaheen who is mentioned in the article as an example of how a Left-leaning candidate was included.

Why does this bother you so much?

Starmer seems to have assembled a PLP and candidate list that the general public can get behind, unlike the last bunch.

Do you just value (your particular) ideological purity, over actual electoral success?

I can see the headline in the Sun already:
“Political party experiences factional infighting in build up to election shocker!”
Sub headline:
“Dirty deeds as not so far left gang outmanoeuvre slightly further left cabal by following party rules!”

Asked for comment, Gladys from Leeds (56) said “Well, I might vote for them now, not quite so weird as the last lot they had.”

A point made on a podcast I listened to recently; why do political parties never learn from history? When the Conservatives veer further right (as they did under IDS and Michael Howard) they get nowhere, when they went more centre I under Cameron, they won. Labour in the 80s got nowhere, Neil Kinnock and then Blair dragged them back to being in a position to actually win an election.

Will Hunt

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#703 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 17, 2024, 07:05:17 pm
I'm currently out on the doors and, oddly enough, neither Luke Akehurst or the vanquishing of democracy have cropped up yet.
I'll keep you all posted.

tommytwotone

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#704 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 10:59:12 am
Interested to know what is "coming up on the doorstep" though Will - I am worried about the potential for more of a groundswell of support for Reform than is currently being priced in, no doubt helped / legitimised by the amount of media oxygen they are currently being given.

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#705 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 11:21:42 am
I'm currently out on the doors and, oddly enough, neither Luke Akehurst or the vanquishing of democracy have cropped up yet.
I'll keep you all posted.

Big ups for getting out there, I bet you mate Philip Davies appreciates the support 😆

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#706 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 11:24:43 am
I was asking Will about that as well. Tbf though TTT they are polling at 18%, the same as the Tories, its reasonably they are given decent coverage.

Any Reform groundswell will have bigger implications for the forthcoming Tory civil war post election than in this election itself. There is a distinct ceiling of support that a populist right wing party like that can command I think; an absolute max of about 25%. They'd be hard pressed to become a proper political force with that. Whilst I don't like seeing the populist right do well it will at least be funny watching the Tory party fall apart in response.

I've been musing that if the above does pan out we could well see a Reform/New Tory party well to the right, Labour dominating the centre ground and perhaps the emergence of the Greens on the left. It could totally reshape how politics looks. Not sure how the lib dems fit in though...

Will Hunt

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#707 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 12:13:01 pm
Context: I've been out in the Swan Avenue estate in Eldwick and on a couple of the terraced streets in Cottingley. Quite a lot of people in Swan Avenue weren't in so it's a fairly small sample size at the moment in a couple of areas that you'd tend to assume were Labour leaning and firmly Labour respectively. I'll be out in Menston tonight and Bingley tomorrow so we'll see if that's any different.

Issues: cost of living, economy, housing, crime, local facilities. I've spoken to one person who was considering voting Lib Dem but undecided and might go to Labour. No Greens, no Reform. A couple who have previously voted Conservative and wouldn't say their intention this time. One visibly pregnant young lady who was concerned about childcare who will be voting Tory ( :-\) - she's the only person who has said that she will vote Conservative.

Things I've learned: door knocking is tremendously good fun and an overwhelmingly positive experience (I can imagine this was different in 2019 or if you were knocking for the Conservatives now!). It's not hard, I've not had any aggro, you don't have to be a party die-hard or know the manifesto inside and out. You get given a script to help steer the conversation and you're really there to canvas opinion, confirm the Labour vote, get window posters out there, and to give undecideds information about the candidate and get their phone number so the candidate can call them.

There are more undecideds than I'd thought. Mostly these seem to be ex Conservative voters who are wavering about voting Labour and a friendly face at the door seems to help them make up their mind. I've spoken to a lifelong Conservative (though non-tribal) voter whose father was Chair of the local association who was wavering on voting Labour (confirmed after my visit); I've spoken to a wonderfully sharp 85 year old ex-farmer who has voted blue all her life, was going to vote Labour, decided against when she heard about VAT on school fees, and who has now given me a cast-iron promise (and she assures me that her bond is sacred) that she will vote Labour on the 4th July. I hadn't realised how many undecideds would be out there and how big an influence a knock on the door is - people tell you that having that in-person engagement with the party makes a big difference to their intention.

There's still plenty of time to get involved if you're a member. Just reach out to your local branch, get on the Whatsapp groups, and get stuck in. I've come away with the view that good campaigns in battleground seats can make a real difference. Even if you don't fancy canvassing there are letter drops that need doing. I've done a few of these now and they're good exercise if nothing else!

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#708 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 12:23:02 pm
As loathsome as I find them is it actually correct to call Reform far-right? If they are far-right what does that actually mean? Obviously they're anti-immigration and house a lot of closet racists (also quite a few who've been outed as having been overtly racist). Reform are garnering votes by stoking fears on immigration. However, they are greatly aided by the main parties refusal to speak openly about immigration. For the last 14 years the Tories said they'd keep immigration down and then did the opposite. Labour previously didn't shout as loud about capping immigration, but also said they'd contain it and didn't. It's only very recently that the Tories have been forced to talk about legal immigration having previously used the whole "Stop the Boats" nonsense to distract from the main issue. What is also never mentioned is that what meagre economic growth the UK has achieved over the past 14 years has been as  a result of immigration. The failure of the mainstream political parties to have a serious and honest discussion about immigration was a primary enabler for the whole Brexit fiasco and continues to leave the door open for the likes of Reform.

Lots of useful stats here https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/

galpinos

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#709 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 12:31:14 pm
@Will, well done for getting out there. For what it's worth, my mum will be voting Labour for the first time in her life, not as an endorsement of Labour but the fact that she believes Kier is in it for the right reasons and seems a fundamentally decent person, and none of the Tories are.

(She is a traditional small c conservative)

galpinos

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#710 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 12:35:31 pm
 @Nails, do you not think the current toxic nature of the immigration "debate" is largely down to the far right/UKIP/Reform and that currently hampers a (much needed) rational debate on immigration?

The immigration question/issue is only going to get worse. Europe will come under increasing pressure from immigration due to instability from climate change/war etc and there is no coherent plan of what to do, what level is sustainable and affordable (i.e. what increase can our public services cope with etc).

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#711 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 12:37:08 pm
I deliberately didn't call Reform far right for that reason! I think the likes of Le Pen in France are far right, but Reform sit somewhere between the Conservatives and National Rally i think; right wing populists but not far right.

Oldmanmatt

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#712 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 12:38:20 pm
When I left the Navy, I joined the Conservative Party. The party of Major. My family are life long Liberals, many RN SNCOs and Officers were Liberals, but at the time I had more faith in Major and the seemingly more moderate, post Thatcher, party.
Then I went to work for Ashcroft and due to the nature of my employment, got to see quite a few “leaders” of the party in a private setting, by then in opposition (I hosted Hague and Ffion on their honeymoon).
I switched back to Liberal, before I even quit my job and have never even considered voting for them again.
However, I’ve had enough flogging dead horses, despite a brief moment of hope back in 2010.
Labour are finally a party I can support, I honestly think they will be a steady hand and hopefully bring about the social reform I’d like to see. Not all conservatives are selfish twats, the way that party has gone matches with what I had begun to fear back in 2000. More precisely, their brand of government clearly doesn’t work.

I’m baffled by the attitude to immigration so many seem to have, how they equate it to “all our woes”, when so many other things are obviously more relevant.

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#713 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 12:45:45 pm
Things I've learned: door knocking is tremendously good fun and an overwhelmingly positive experience

I've already wadded you but should also say this publicly: very well done for getting out there. I've canvassed pretty intensively during one election campaign (albeit in the US). There were a few trepidations to get over, but like you I found it a very positive and rewarding experience once I got stuck in.

Sounds like the undecideds were overwhelmingly ex-Tories (or soon to be ex-Tories). It may not make sense, but I think the tribal nature of politics can be very powerful and really part of people's emotions and identities. That's hard to give up! I've always sworn I could never vote Tory, and I still believe that; but that is effectively what the voters you're talking to are contemplating doing.

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#714 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 12:48:59 pm
@Nails, do you not think the current toxic nature of the immigration "debate" is largely down to the far right/UKIP/Reform and that currently hampers a (much needed) rational debate on immigration?
It's a bit chicken/egg. I suspect the lack of a rational debate is the reason UKIP/Reform exists. The rest of what you said I agree.

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#715 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 01:27:18 pm
What is also never mentioned is that what meagre economic growth the UK has achieved over the past 14 years has been as  a result of immigration.

Am I reading this right - you're claiming that our poor economic growth is due to too much immigration?

I think it's good to have a discussion on this type of thing - I don't really have an ideological stance on migration. I have been one, my partner is one, but I can see that if managed poorly it can pose pressures on a society.

A quick glance at your link only came up with this:  https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/commentaries/hard-evidence-are-migrants-good-for-the-economy/

Which I only had time to skim, but seemed to be ambivalent / mildly positive.

Do you have any other good sources showing a negative impact?  (Agreed GDP is a poor tool to measure most importnat things, but it's all we have here and you mentioned economy.

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#716 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 01:33:43 pm
What is also never mentioned is that what meagre economic growth the UK has achieved over the past 14 years has been as  a result of immigration.

Am I reading this right - you're claiming that our poor economic growth is due to too much immigration?



Pretty sure Nails is saying that whatever growth there has been has been caused my migration, and not despite it.

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#717 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 01:41:50 pm
Not wanting to reopen the debate, but a thought struck me earlier that might put the cost of private schools into perspective.

Fees of £14k per year, right?
Our second child went to nursery for 4 days a week which amounted to £926/month. Just over £11k per year. 5 days per week would be £13,300. This isn't some prestigious nursery where the little darlings are drinking their milk from crystal chalices - it's a common-or-garden local nursery.

What's my point? I guess there are two simple inferences which are that nursery care is more expensive than most non-parents realise, and that not everybody with a kid at private school will be as minted as you might assume.

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#718 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 01:43:44 pm

The immigration question/issue is only going to get worse. Europe will come under increasing pressure from immigration due to instability from climate change/war etc and there is no coherent plan of what to do, what level is sustainable and affordable (i.e. what increase can our public services cope with etc).

I know you didn’t mean this, but just wanted to use this opportunity to flag that the vast majority of our immigrants are coming for work (largely in the health service) and study. It’s weird that these immigration issues seem to often be quite one note, with the net migration figures conflated with the small boat and asylum seekers. Some figures here https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/long-term-international-migration-flows-to-and-from-the-uk/

Totally agree regarding the impacts if climate change particularly.

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#719 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 02:00:21 pm
Pretty sure Nails is saying that whatever growth there has been has been caused my migration, and not despite it.
Definitely this. Immigration has been pretty much our only source of economic growth. Whatever opinions people may have about the pros and cons of immigration, I think there's very little doubt that it has a positive economic impact.

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#720 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 02:51:36 pm
I know you didn’t mean this, but just wanted to use this opportunity to flag that the vast majority of our immigrants are coming for work (largely in the health service) and study. It’s weird that these immigration issues seem to often be quite one note, with the net migration figures conflated with the small boat and asylum seekers. Some figures here https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/long-term-international-migration-flows-to-and-from-the-uk/
Totally agree regarding the impacts if climate change particularly.

I am not "anti-immigration" but I agree with Nails that it needs to be discussed properly, if only to tease out the actual pros and cons so we can both burst the rhetoric bubble of Farage and co and also direct government policy bases on facts and any issues that present themselves.

Two things. Now:

For the last two decades, net migration has a large impact on population growth and a greater impact than "natural growth" since 2000. If I remember rightly, immigration figures were 700k last year? That's quite a decent figure. Immigration is not equally spread across the UK so that 700k can have a big impact on a few specific locations. If we don't talk about it, discuss it etc we can't ensure that public services/housing etc in those areas are properly funded and resourced. This leads to resentment to immigrant populations and make for easy, if inaccurate, talking points for those who want to take advantage. Those immigrants may be working and paying tax, but building homes/schools/hospitals, is a slow process!

The future:

Maybe others are more optimistic than me but we are going to see climate change affect stability in regions from which we are already seeing significant emigration to the southern borders of Europe. This is only going to get worse and the EU needs to work out what it is going to do. Having those discussion now, whilst they have a slightly better chance of being reasonable and rationale, is better than when those numbers become unmanageable (i.e. unable to process, house etc) and those on the right seek to capitalise.

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#721 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 09:29:49 pm
I've long thought that a genuinely "good for the country" (from my perspective) move by someone who is compassionate and wants a decent, moderate but not especially leftist type government, would be to join and be active in the Tory Party.

There aren't many Tory Party members. Tory members do have considerable influence.

If you're someone who votes Tory whenever the Tories are decent, you could really do a lot to get them decent and keep them decent.

I think a huge part of what drives how we're governed is internal machinations of the leading Parties.

I'm totally sincere about this.

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#722 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 09:56:00 pm
Will, I'm glad you enjoyed canvassing. I do hope Labour wins this time even though I'm deeply disgruntled.

My experience from previous elections was that almost everyone is surprisingly happy to be canvassed. The only really pissed off and angry people I ever encountered were "Labour Leave" voters in 2019  (ie had always voted Labour before and had voted Leave). I had several of those who were speechless with fury.

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#723 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 18, 2024, 11:47:21 pm

Labour are finally a party I can support, I honestly think they will be a steady hand and hopefully bring about the social reform I’d like to see.

Can you expand on what social reform you are expecting/hoping to see from the next Labour goverment? It seems all but certain that they will have a significant majority in the next parliament.

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#724 Re: UK General Election 2024
June 20, 2024, 09:27:55 am
Impressions from the doors of the suburban middle class.

Earlier in the week we were in Ellar Gardens and the Homestead Estate (homes in the latter are >£1m) in Menston.
A mixed bag in both, though nobody who actually said that they would vote Conservative. A good chunk of Labour voters, citing issues such as SEN provision and healthcare; also a small handful of either frosty or pugnacious receptions from those who wouldn't say (Conservative/Reform?). One person saying they were waiting to see what Labour would do about Capital Gains Tax. Not quite so many undecideds.

Also down Oakwood Drive and its offshoots, Bingley. Quite a few Labour voters, a few undecideds with various strengths of leaning towards Labour. 1 bloke who absolutely won't vote Tory but doesn't think Starmer is a strong enough leader; 1 lady who said she always voted Conservative "but I do like that Keir Starmer"! No cold receptions. Not a single mention of Reform (other than one 80-something year old man who said "I won't be voting for that madman Farage"). Issues: tax, public services, standards in public life.  Lots of people saying they absolutely would not vote Conservative. Lots of people naming a specific local Labour councillor, Marcus Dearden, who's door-knocking in the area and record on the council have converted them.

I asked one octogenarian and lifelong Conservative voter whether it had been a difficult switch to vote Labour and he said "no, the decision was easy, I'm disgusted with the Conservatives".

Again, a really enjoyable and enlightening experience that I would recommend to anybody.

 

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