Tag Archives: Hamilton

Erdington by-election: voters reject Tory for might-as-well-be-Tory

All smiles: but now Paulette Hamilton will have to prove she deserved to win Birmingham Erdington – and, with Keir Starmer’s pale Tory policies in a hugely-deprived constituency, that won’t be easy.

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room first: socialist candidate Dave Nellist caused a tremor in UK politics by coming third in the Birmingham Erdington by-election.

He beat candidates from Reform UK, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats.

But he only received 360 votes and the result is unlikely to disturb the plans of either the second-placed Conservatives (6,147 votes) or the winner, Paulette Hamilton of the Keir Starmer Party (currently still misnaming itself as Labour).

Turnout was extremely low, with just 27 per cent of the 67,598-strong electorate bothering to vote. So the real winner was “none of the above” – and it seems the worst enemy of democracy in the UK is still a bit of rain.

And the fact that the turnout was low means news reports of vote shares are skewed (being based on the shares parties received of votes cast, rather than shares of the electorate.

The Starmer Party didn’t increase its vote share from 50 to 55 per cent, as is being claimed in the press.

The late Jack Dromey’s 17,720 votes in 2019 netted him just 26.8 per cent of the possible vote, ahead of Tory Robert Alden, whose 14,119 votes totalled 21.3 per cent of the electorate.

The two main parties’ shares of the possible votes were reduced to 14 per cent for the Starmer Party’s Paulette Hamilton (9,413 votes) and just 9.1 per cent for the Tories’ Robert Alden (6,147 votes).

Starmer has made much of his representative’s win, saying she has “made history”. He meant this was because she was the first black person, and the first woman, to take the constituency’s seat.

But it would be more accurate to say she made history by winning the seat with the lowest number of voters supporting her in the entire history of the constituency.

Undoubtedly some readers will want to suggest that pointing this out is just sour grapes on This Writer’s part, as I supported Mr Nellist and he won fewer than one per cent of the available votes. I’d say that was a fair comment. This was a missed opportunity, in my view.

But everybody has to start somewhere and this shows that left-wing politics in the UK is not dead.

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‘Fragile snowflake’ VP-elect lectured by musical cast, provoking apology demand from Trump

Mike Pence leaves the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York after watching Hamilton [Image: Andres Kudacki/AP].

Mike Pence leaves the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York after watching Hamilton [Image: Andres Kudacki/AP].

Donald Trump is getting exactly what he deserves after his outburst against actors who – let’s face it – only spoke to Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

He’s being mocked as a “fragile little snowflake” after demanding that “the theatre must always be a safe and special place”.

I daresay Abraham Lincoln would have preferred the theatre to be a “safe space” for politicians, but his example shows the scale of Trump’s miscalculation here.

The American citizens on the stage only talked to the VP-elect – and in a respectful way.

All the booing and abuse was coming from his fellow audience members – American citizens from whom he must earn any respect he, or his President, may try to demand.

Neither Mr Pence nor Mr Trump are “fragile little snowflakes” – they are now prominent politicians who must step up to the role of statesmen.

In a world where stage performers can act with more dignity, it seems they both have a long, long way to go.

Brandon Dixon, who plays vice-president Aaron Burr, stepped forward and took out a piece of paper.

He thanked the audience for seeing the show, then said: “Vice-president Mike Pence, I see you walking out, but I hope you will hear us, just a few moments.

“There is nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen, we are sharing a story of love,” he said.

“Mike Pence, we welcome you here. We are the diverse Americans who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents.

“Or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights … we hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us,” he continued, to rising cheers.

“We thank you for sharing this wonderful American story, told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations,” he concluded.

Source: Trump demands apology from Hamilton cast after Mike Pence booed | US news | The Guardian

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