Tag Archives: general election

Starmer’s dilemma: he’s not an alternative to the Tories and he isn’t even interesting

Stiff as a board: Keir Starmer simply isn’t interesting – and he doesn’t have any policies worth supporting.

The opinion polls suggest a landslide general election victory for the Labour Party – not because Keir Starmer’s policies are any good but because people are so sick of the Tories that any old rubbish will seem better.

It is likely to have the lowest turnout, as a percentage of the electorate, of any election since universal suffrage was introduced, meaning there will be strong arguments that whichever party forms the next government will not have a mandate and proportional representation should be introduced to restore power to the people.

The problem is that any government formed by Starmer will be as right-wing as Rishi Sunak’s, with policies that are indistinguishable from those of Sunak’s administration. In other words, none of Starmer’s policies will work either.

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And the UK’s electorate doesn’t turn out to elect right-wing governments. We don’t like them.

Consider the following:

So election expert Professor John Curtice reckons, “None of [the party leaders] enthuse the electorate, none of them are popular, all of them are regarded as dull as dishwater… So what’s the point of turning out to vote? If we give people a reason to vote, they’ll turn out.”

But people don’t have a reason to vote.

And Ruth Wodak said: “If there is a good opposition, if there’s an alternative programme, you might have a chance [to defeat far-right populism]… One has to provide alternatives, provide more participation so that citizens feel that they are acknowledged and that their worries are being taken seriously.”

There isn’t a good opposition. There isn’t an alternative programme. Keir Starmer has removed all his alternatives and cut back on participation – because, at heart, he is a Conservative cuckoo in the Labour nest.

Oh, he keeps pretending to offer more participation – here’s his current pledge:

But you can be sure it will be withdrawn long before anybody expects it to be put into practice, just like all Labour’s other pledges under Starmer’s leadership.

The UK needs alternatives – and we won’t get them from Labour or any of the other mainstream parties.

That’s why I am advising everyone to actually find out what the candidates in your constituency are planning to do, if they are lucky enough to be elected.

That is what party manifestos are for. Independent candidates also have policy documents and they will all be online for you to find and read.

You need to find and read these policy documents, and then you need to make a dispassionate choice, based on what you have read.

Which of the candidates offers the most policies that fit what you need? And, by that, I mean: who will improve your own life the most?

Do not consider how other people will vote, either in your constituency or the other 649 around the UK. That is not your concern.

It is not for you to worry about which party will get enough votes to actually enact its policies. This will lead you down the usual garden path to voting in a government that won’t do anything at all for the good of the country, like the one we’ve had since 2010.

BE SELFISH. Bizarrely, it might be the only way to get the kind of government that all of us need.


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Since 2019: here’s how the Tories DIDN’T make the benefits system better

This didn’t happen: But you can bet the Tories would have wanted it.

Days after the Tories won their landslide in December 2019, Mrs Mike wrote the following:

“Basically now we are all buggered.

“No hope left for me as I’m disabled and they’ve messed me about so much already.

“I don’t see any compassion for people like myself and all the others like me out there – and to all the ones who have already taken their lives because of cuts cuts cuts cuts n more cuts.

“I’m so disappointed in people in general because of all the hatred towards different groups of people.

“And it’s now going to get worse. Thanks a bunch.”

She wrote it, and so it came to pass.

But at that point, all I did was point out what I thought the Tories would not do. Now I can modify that by telling you what they didn’t do.

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They didn’t

… give us reform of the Department for Work and Pensions. Labour would have scrapped the DWP because the culture of persecution had become so ingrained into it that the only responsible choice was to dissolve the entire department and replace it with a new Department of Social Security. That did not happen under the Conservatives and the culture of persecution continued to kill people – your relatives, maybe.

…reform the benefit system and scrap Universal Credit. UC had been a hugely-expensive ‘white elephant’ from the start – but it did exactly what the Conservatives wanted: It killed benefit claimants.

…reform the so-called “digital barrier” that obstructs people who have trouble coping with computers and the internet from claiming benefits. Telephone, face-to-face and outreach support cost money and might result in people actually being able to claim the benefits they deserve and no Tory MP wanted that.

…end the five-week wait for Universal Credit payments. This plunged people into crushing poverty which is exactly where the Tories wanted them.

…reintroduce fortnightly payments, to help people manage their money. Tories wanted benefit claimants to be in a permanent state of panic, poverty and – ultimately – despair. Look at what Mrs Mike said, above.

…end the evil sanction regime. It is unfair and harsh for a reason – to harm poor people.

…scrap the benefit cap. Tories are about denying money to the people who really need it.

…end the two-child limit on benefits and scrap the so-called ‘rape clause’. Despite being described as “immoral and outrageous”, Tories love it because it humiliates women.

…pay the child element of benefits to the primary carer, to ensure that women are no longer forced to stay in abusive relationships by the system. Tories like keeping women in abusive relationships.

…end the Bedroom Tax and increase the Local Housing Allowance to protect people against the threat of eviction. Tories wanted to pitch poor people into the street. Their homes could then be redeveloped into high-cost dwellings for the very rich, “gentrifying” – and socially-cleansing – whole towns.

…stop benefit assessments being contracted-out to private companies and ensure that all benefit assessments were carried out by government employees in future. Privatisation is a Tory mantra. While it encourages corruption, it also puts any harm caused to claimants at arms’-length from the Tory government itself.

In the run-up to the next election, be sure to check what each party and candidate has to say about the benefit system. You might think you’re perfectly healthy and will never need it – but accidents and illnesses happen by surprise all the time.

Think about what happens to people on the benefit system – what really happens; don’t listen to all the silly stories about scroungers and spongers because they are nonsense. I refer to the real horror stories about seriously ill people who were denied benefits and died – either because their very real conditions killed them or because they were pushed to despair and took their own lives.

You don’t want that to happen to you. So be sure to check those manifesto booklets and policy documents in the run-up to the next election and vote for your own protection.


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Boris Johnson was elected in 2019 to ‘Get Brexit Done’. Why are we still waiting for the benefits?

Cliffhanger: The Leave campaign infamously claimed Brexit would result in a £350m a week dividend for the UK. We never received it. Instead, Brexit has shrunk the UK economy by at least 4%, costing a huge amount of working time simply to do the new paperwork it has foisted on us.

Brexit – that was a huge con, wasn’t it?

The Conservatives swept to a landslide victory in December 2019 under the slogan “Get Brexit Done” – and we are still waiting for it to happen.

Instead of the massive boost to the economy that we were promised, along with a bonfire of bureaucratic paperwork, UK importers and exporters have been deluged with such a mountain of new documentation to fill out, simply to get goods across the Channel, that the then-new government has had to “stagger” its implementation and some of it has still not started to affect us.

And Brexit jeopardised the whole Northern Ireland peace process by putting a trade border with the province in the middle of the Irish Sea – an imaginary barrier that will remain there even after the latest attempt to forge agreement over it between the disparate political organisations that have a stake in the matter.

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Brexit was the first subject This Site discussed after the general election and I was justifiably disparaging:

The Tories – not just under Boris Johnson, but going back through Theresa May’s nightmare leadership and right back to David Cameron’s horror show – have used their puppets in the mass media to change it from a debate on our future relationship with the European Union into a divisive standoff, pitting family against family, old against young, cosmopolitan against parochial.

And they succeeded, I think partly because they had dragged the process out so long that people were sick of the whole thing.

Labour’s promise to have a decisive answer within six months was unpalatable compared with Johnson’s lie that he’ll have it all sewn up by the end of January. People want it to be over now.

And I made a prediction that proved to be exactly right – didn’t it? See:

Well, I’ve got news for those people: it won’t be.

Johnson might be promising a vote in Parliament on his Withdrawal Bill on Friday, which will enable to UK to leave the EU on January 31, but of course that’s not the end of the saga. The country’s decoupling will take many years.

How right I was!

But the deal on which MPs will be voting will put us into a “transition” period, with the UK assumed to be clear of the EU by December 31, 2020 – and a top EU official says that won’t happen.

In a leaked recording, Michel Barnier said it would be “unrealistic” to expect a “global negotiation” on trade to be completed within 11 months, meaning that in fact we are likely to leave the EU with no deal.

How right he was!

It will make it possible for Johnson to sell off our remaining national assets. And the nearly 14 million people who voted Conservative on December 12? They’ll be remembered as the patsies who made it possible.

Well, they haven’t all gone – yet.

But the Tories will keep trying. And we know what privatisation brings: corruption, greed and profiteering, a sharp drop in the quality of service, and increasing demand on the public purse to pay for it all.

You can look forward to that under either a returned Tory government under Rishi Sunak or a new New Labour government under Keir Starmer and his Tories-in-red-ties.

That’s why This Site is campaigning for voters to do something different at this year’s general election – and actually engage your brains.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably repeat it many times:

You simply cannot vote tribally – for the party you think represents you (none of them do; they’re all about enriching their MPs and nothing else) – at the next general election.

Instead – and I cannot stress this strongly enough – if you want your vote to mean anything, you have to actually find out what the candidates in your constituency are planning to do, if they are lucky enough to be elected.

That is what party manifestos are for. Independent candidates also have policy documents and they will all be online for you to find and read.

You need to find and read these policy documents, and then you need to make a dispassionate choice, based on what you have read.

Which of the candidates offers the most policies that fit what you need? And, by that, I mean: who will improve your own life the most?

Do not consider how other people will vote, either in your constituency or the other 649 around the UK. That is not your concern.

It is not for you to worry about which party will get enough votes to actually enact its policies. This will lead you down the usual garden path to voting in a government that won’t do anything at all for the good of the country, like the one we’ve had since 2010.

BE SELFISH. Bizarrely, it might be the only way to get the kind of government that all of us need. It might even help us climb out of the Brexit pit into which Johnson, Cameron and all the other Tory twits dumped us.


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Rishi Sunak is reported to Parliament’s sleaze watchdog over £1,000 Rwanda bet

Rishi Sunak: he has bet £1,000 that he will be sending refugees to Rwanda before the general election. But has he broken the rules?

Rishi Sunak may have to answer to the independent adviser on ministers’ interests and the Cabinet Secretary after other MPs claimed a bet he made over his government’s Rwanda deportation policy broke the Ministerial Code.

Here’s what he did – and whether it was a breach of the Code or not, This Writer feels sure we can all agree with Sangita Myska’s comment on it:

The Scottish National Party reported Sunak for the Code breach:

The comment from Kirsty Blackman states: “Placing a bet on the lives of vulnerable refugees fleeing war and persecution is grotesque, callous and downright cruel – and shows just how out of touch Westminster is with the values of people in Scotland.

“It’s particularly shameful that Rishi Sunak, one of the richest men in the UK, thinks it’s appropriate to accept a £1,000 wager – and will remind ordinary working families that near billionaire Sunak doesn’t have a clue what life is like for the rest of us in a cost of living crisis.

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“It also appears to be a clear breach of the Ministerial Code and the high standards that people should expect of those in public life – not least the most powerful person in Westminster.

“For Scotland, it shows Westminster has sunk to a new low and we would be better off escaping broken Brexit Britain and determining our own asylum policy with independence.”

Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael raised a point of order in the House of Commons, but failed to note that the bet was for the money to go to a refugee charity of Sunak’s choice:

The Deputy Speaker, Roger Gale, responded: “I am not a betting man myself, but I suspect that if every Member of Parliament who placed a bet on anything was required to enter it in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, the book might be rather full. The right hon. Gentleman will understand that that was a nice try, but not a matter for the Chair.”

Others have passed their own comments, including MPs like Zarah Sultana…

Journalists…

Celebrities…

And others:

This Writer simply wonders whether the complaint will be taken seriously.


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Why does the LABOUR Party want to put families – children – into poverty?

Child poverty: both the Tories and Labour want to put families with three or more children into poverty, so what could possibly make you think voting for them is a good idea?

It seems some of you are still clinging to the belief that the Labour Party is the answer to the Tory insanity that has been running the United Kingdom into the ground since 2010.

Let’s put everybody straight about that – starting with Labour’s clearly-expressed intention to put families with at least three children into poverty and keep them there.

Here’s the Resolution Foundation:

As Gavin Kelly posted on ‘X’: “A decade ago 1 in 3 children in large families (3+ children) were in poverty. Now it’s more than 4 in 10, heading to more than 1 in 2 (51%) by 2028-29.

“Completely policy-driven. Fixable.”

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Tom Pollard posted – also on ‘X’, “The two-child limit will condemn an increasing number of children to grow up in poverty – permanently scarring them, reducing their life chances & costing us all in the long term.”

Here’s Jonathan Bradshaw, Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at the University of York:

He’s saying that the economic benefits of lifting the two-child limit far outweigh the annual cost to the public purse – words echoed by Dr Katy Jones, Associate Professor in Employment at Manchester Metropolitan University:

The benefits of lifting children out of poverty would be huge, but obviously the Conservatives won’t do it because it’s their policy and they want to make you poor.

And Labour won’t do it either because Keir Starmer clearly wants you to be poor too.

He and his party would rather give huge bungs to fat bankers, as we can see from Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds’s squirming response when challenged on both subjects by Kay Burley on Sky News:

Labour is now the party of the bankers, not the workers. And if Starmer is happy to screw over families with more than two children, he’ll merrily do worse to you.

So you simply cannot vote tribally – for the party you think represents you (none of them do; they’re all about enriching their MPs and nothing else) – at the next general election.

Instead – and I cannot stress this strongly enough – if you want your vote to mean anything, you have to actually find out what the candidates in your constituency are planning to do, if they are lucky enough to be elected.

That is what party manifestos are for. Independent candidates also have policy documents and they will all be online for you to find and read.

You need to find and read these policy documents, and then you need to make a dispassionate choice, based on what you have read.

Which of the candidates offers the most policies that fit what you need? And, by that, I mean: who will improve your own life the most?

Do not consider how other people will vote, either in your constituency or the other 649 around the UK. That is not your concern.

It is not for you to worry about which party will get enough votes to actually enact its policies. This will lead you down the usual garden path to voting in a government that won’t do anything at all for the good of the country, like the one we’ve had since 2010.

BE SELFISH. Bizarrely, it might be the only way to get the kind of government that all of us need.


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#ToryChaos: Braverman to split Tories with ‘toughen Rwanda Bill’ demand?

Suella Braverman: sniping from the sidelines.

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman could split the Conservative government and trigger a general election with a call to toughen up Rishi Sunak’s Bill to make it possible to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda, it has been claimed.

Braverman wants MPs to support rebel amendments by Robert Jenrick, the former Immigration Minister who resigned over the Bill, aimed at stopping judges on the European Court of Human Rights from frustrating ministers’ implementation of the Rwanda. Braverman’s support may persuade like-minded right-wingers to vote for it.

She put forward her views in an interview on GB News. I haven’t been able to make the clip play but I present it below in the hope that one day it will:

But former Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland, from the centrist One Nation group of MPs, has backed three amendments which would tone down some parts of the bill by deleting clauses declaring Rwanda “a safe country”, disapplying the Human Rights Act, and forcing courts to disregard interim rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

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The opposing amendments may split the Tory vote in Parliament, which is being touted as a vote of confidence in Rishi Sunak as prime minister. This suggests that, if the Bill falls, he could be ousted and a general election called. But that seems only a remote possibility, as HuffPost political editor Kevin Schofield explained – also on GB News:

This Writer has already bought popcorn – for a completely separate issue that could also sink the Tories (decide for yourself which one) – so I’m ready to be entertained by whatever happens. You have to get your fun where you can in the Tory Britain of 2024.


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John McDonnell gets it: UK risks shift to fascism without radical change soon

John McDonnell: he’s right to fear a far-right ascendancy if current Labour leader Keir Starmer fails to restore faith in UK politics.

Public disillusionment and disconnection with politics could lay the UK wide open to an invasion of far-right populists and fascists.

The onus will be on the Labour Party – if it wins the next election – to re-establish trust in politics and restore belief that politicians work for the people, rather than leech off of them.

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That’s what former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell believes, as he has written in The Guardian:

“People will be patient as they fully realise how broken Britain is, but the foundations of credible and radical change will have to be seen to be being laid early in the life of the incoming Labour government,” he writes, calling for a “real strategy” to restore the value of wages and incomes.

There had also been a retreat on key core policy commitments, he said, such as the level of investment needed for Labour’s green new deal.

“If Labour fails to set out early upon a path of radical change to secure the all-round wellbeing and security of our people, then inevitably disillusionment will set in,” McDonnell said. “The risk then is the potential for a significant shift in our politics to the right, with the return of a Conservative party completely shorn of any traditional one nation Tories and under the dominance of the populist right both within the party and beyond.”

That is This Writer’s fear – as I have laid out in previous articles like this.

The best way to avoid a Tory resurgence of any kind at all, and particularly a growth of the far right, would be to change the general election system to a form of proportional representation – but Keir Starmer opposes this.

Without it, the UK risks falling into fascism. The only promises Starmer has made suggest five years of sub-Tory stasis with no economic improvement and huge harm to our health after the NHS is fully turned over to private-sector asset-strippers.

That would feed exactly the disillusion that John McDonnell fears.

Starmer has been warned – and all the signs suggest he is ignoring the warning. You must decide for yourself why he would do such a thing.

Source: Britain risks shift to far right if Labour fails to enact ‘radical change’, says John McDonnell | Labour | The Guardian


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It turns out that an election IS what the country wants, Rishi Sunak!

Dr Death: do you think the public’s appetite for an election to get rid of Rishi Sunak might have something to do with his ideas being responsible for killing loads of us during the Covid-19 crisis?

I know – it doesn’t matter what a politicians says; a pollster will always be able to show public opinion opposes it. Let’s just enjoy Rishi Sunak’s discomfort anyway:

Most Britons want a general election by May next year, with little appetite to hold on until January 2025, a new poll shows.

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Weeks after Rishi Sunak said an election is “not what the country wants”, More in Common found voters want a poll sooner rather than later due to high levels of “dissatisfaction with the current state of politics”.

Three in four Britons want an election because they want a change in government, the polling group found.

Source: Britons want Rishi Sunak to call general election in May — and don’t want to wait until 2025 | The Independent


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Labour could win a general election by promising to end destitution. Why not do that?

Jamie Driscoll: good advice for his old party.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll, who quit the Labour Party to stand as an Independent, has provided useful advice to his former political home – and it is good.

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You may have missed it among the torrent of opinions on Israel and Gaza, so here it is:

Promise to end destitution within five years and the election is won.

It’s a valid point, isn’t it?

The question is: why won’t Keir Starmer do it? Is he too heavily in thrall to big business by now?


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Jeremy Corbyn hints he’ll stand in next general election as he marks 40 years in Parliament

Jeremy Corbyn chats with one or two friends in his constituency… Oh, all right. This is in fact how he was greeted in Leeds, back in 2017.

This will be mud in the eye of the Brylcreem Barrister (as some call him) and his cronies.

Left Foot Forward has reported:

The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has today given his strongest indication yet that he intends to stand as a parliamentary candidate for Islington North in the next general election.

In a Twitter thread marking the 40th anniversary of him first being elected as MP for Islington North, Corbyn said: “It has been an honour representing the people of Islington North. With your support, that is what I’ll continue to do.”

Rumours have proliferated that Mr Corbyn will stand as an Independent since the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee passed a motion by Keir Starmer that barred him from representing that party in any further election.

Now, as he celebrates 40 years as a member of Parliament, he has given the strongest hint yet that this is exactly what he’ll do.

He’s certainly had a lot of support on his anniversary.

Thanks to Corbyn and the movement that grew around him, we have seen how popular left-wing policy positions can be. We now know they almost won a general election despite the most hostile press and Parliamentary Labour Party in political history

wrote Chelley Ryan in the Morning Star, adding:

There is a solidarity that runs deep amongst us all, forged during the Corbyn era.

In the same paper, David Rosenberg wrote about Mr Corbyn’s dedicated work fighting racism and fascism:

And Lindsay German examined his life of pro-peace activism:

Source: Jeremy Corbyn hints he will stand in the next general election 40 years after he was first elected – Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate


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