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British Local Elections


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#1 SueNJ97

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:24 PM

I don't know if anyone was aware, but England and Wales held their local elections today, for Council seats and things like Mayors, etc. Since Gordon Brown had been hinting at a national election several months ago and pulled back, this is considered the best test of the three relevant parties' strengths. Personally, I care (and this is the first time I have posted in this forum in a few years) because I know the Tory candidate for Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The returns aren't official yet, but it appears that when you look at the returns at a national level across England and Wales, the Tories got 44% of the vote, the Liberal Dems 25% and Labour is third with 24%, their worst showing in decades and it appears that Boris Johnson has won in London over Ken Livinston which has been rumored for the past few weeks but nobody thought it was possible when they put him up against the two-term mayor out of desperation.

I would guess that Gordon Brown may have to call elections now, he just lost 300 council seats which is the closest he can come to a no-confidence vote without his own back-benchers doing it in Parlaiment.

Here's a link to the story at the Times (London) online: http://www.timesonli...icle3862552.ece
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#2 Jimmy Leeds

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:54 PM

Ken Livinsgton is a disgrace.
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#3 halfsharkalligatorhalfman

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 03:21 PM

I've been quite curious as to this race since Boris Johnson seems like a wonderful possible mayor. I don't know much about London and British Politics in general but something tells me if you are the potential financial capital of the world its bad to have a mayor (Ken Livingstone) on record saying:
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#4 SueNJ97

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 03:55 PM

[quote name='halfsharkalligatorhalfman' post='607118' date='May 2 2008, 04:21 PM']I've been quite curious as to this race since Boris Johnson seems like a wonderful possible mayor. I don't know much about London and British Politics in general but something tells me if you are the potential financial capital of the world its bad to have a mayor (Ken Livingstone) on record saying:
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#5 halfsharkalligatorhalfman

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 04:56 PM

Heh, I admit I have only a slight understanding of what's going on there (I have no idea what the positions you listed Boris ran for even ARE).

But it sounds like people are so fed up with the Labour Party and Ken Livingstone that they are willing to take a chance. I hadn't realized Boris had a career in politics but he certainly seems to me to be a rather unconventional candidate at the very least (and as you say uncertain resume running the show), and I am usually excited when it looks like the new guy is a compelling shift from the status quo.

Especially because he seems to be more in line with my poltiical views.

Edited by halfsharkalligatorhalfman, 02 May 2008 - 04:56 PM.

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#6 Jimmy Leeds

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 09:14 PM

I'm sure terrorist sympathizer Livingstone got 100% of the Muslim vote.
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#7 Beetlebum

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 11:56 PM

its a shame in a way livingston lost. anyone that was a thorn in the side of thatcher during her hay day and fought against the poll tax should be knighted.

his downfall however was that blair destroyed the labour party. its lost its identity, has alienated its base, and in a way destroyed british politics. its far to centrist and in some cases the tories have more leftist positions than labour. even so the tories still won't win the next general election whenever it is called. there is a whole generation that will never vote tory under any circumstance. its the same reason people in my age bracket will never vote republican again. the thatcher years are very comparable to the bush years in many respects. you can even make the case that obama is the new blair.
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#8 SueNJ97

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 08:08 AM

I lived over there for a year, still have friends over there and know a few of the people involved, although it's been a while and I can tell you that 'centrist' over there and 'centrist' over here mean very different things. The political spectrum starts and stops in very different places in the two counties. And, for Blair to get Labour elected, he had to move them to what seemed like more centrist positions. The country had changed and they had lost elections where the pre-elction polling had them leading, because people remembered the Labour gov't pre-Thatcher (which, whatever some of you may think of Maggie, were disasters) and they had gone into the booth intending to vote Labour, and found they simply could not do it. And they told the pollsters that. That's why it took an entire generation of Tories in power, with Thatcher and then Major, twice, I think, and Blair had to do something to make the party acceptable and if you want to say he ruined it, then fair enough. He brought it back to power, for a very long time.

The thing is, that the political spectrum is basically shifted what we would consider "leftward" there. The Tories aren't going to discuss messing with the National Health Service, although they may talk about a few funding options for some of it, and with us, you have to go to Dennis Kucinich to get to single payer, and yes, Kucinich is considered to be in the left of the Democratic Party. Most of the left of the Democratic party is pissed that both Clinton and Obama leave the bulk of their plans in the hands of private insurers. I'm not discussing whether this is good, bad, or indifferent. The countries are different. I'm just saying that if you actually sat down and talked to a Tory you might be surprised that he/she sounds like Bill Weld on significant issues, who is barely welcome in the Republican Party these days because they believe he's way too liberal on social issues, for starters.

As for Bettlebaum's comment on Obama, I doubt anyone really knows what he will do. He's kind of a blank slate and people are projecting whatever they want onto him. However, I do think it's interesting that many of the more left Democrats who are supporting him insist they are doing so because neither of the Clintons are actually Democrats. If so, someone ought to kick them out of the party. I always thought they were, but then again, I'm an Independent and not a Democrat and maybe I don't know what you have to sign or what the secret handshake/decoder ring is.
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#9 Jimmy Leeds

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 11:58 AM

Most of the left of the Democratic party is pissed that both Clinton and Obama leave the bulk of their plans in the hands of private insurers. I'm not discussing whether this is good, bad, or indifferent.

Do you believe that government bureaucrats, who bungle EVERYTHING, will be able to now handle medical coverage?
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#10 SueNJ97

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 12:29 PM

Do you believe that government bureaucrats, who bungle EVERYTHING, will be able to now handle medical coverage?

Jimmy, I said I wasn't going to get into it, and I won't. I was simply pointing out the differences between the two countries where the conservative party in Britain isn't going to touch the single payer health system (although one where you can and some people do purchase private insurance on top of it, btw), and here where we are fighting over something that doesn't even come close to single payer and where the biggest objection to it on the left is that it isn't single payer, it leaves it in the hands of the private insurers, and on the right, that it may force people to purchase health insurance (either for themselves or for their children, depending on which Democrat you are talking about). The countries are at very different places in the political spectrum on many, many issues. What passes for a Conservative in Britain is NOT one here and wouldn't be called one. If you can't see it, I really don't know what to tell you.
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#11 Beetlebum

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 04:48 PM

Jimmy, I said I wasn't going to get into it, and I won't. I was simply pointing out the differences between the two countries where the conservative party in Britain isn't going to touch the single payer health system (although one where you can and some people do purchase private insurance on top of it, btw), and here where we are fighting over something that doesn't even come close to single payer and where the biggest objection to it on the left is that it isn't single payer, it leaves it in the hands of the private insurers, and on the right, that it may force people to purchase health insurance (either for themselves or for their children, depending on which Democrat you are talking about). The countries are at very different places in the political spectrum on many, many issues. What passes for a Conservative in Britain is NOT one here and wouldn't be called one. If you can't see it, I really don't know what to tell you.



jimmy leeds would be a british national party member if he lived in the uk.
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#12 Devilish34

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 05:44 PM

jimmy leeds would be a british national party member if he lived in the uk.


You're hurting Don's bet with Jimmy
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#13 Nork

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:06 PM

Do you believe that government bureaucrats, who bungle EVERYTHING, will be able to now handle medical coverage?


See Rumsfeld, Donald, See Bremer, "Jay", See "Heckuva Job Brownie", who were gubmint boorohcrats appointed by... Oh Gee..... I forget.
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#14 Jimmy Leeds

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 06:10 AM

See Rumsfeld, Donald, See Bremer, "Jay", See "Heckuva Job Brownie", who were gubmint boorohcrats appointed by... Oh Gee..... I forget.

We could go way further back then that.
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#15 Devilish34

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 07:24 AM

We could go way further back then that.

We can always look back further to find where problems start, but most Americans have
short term memory.
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