Author Topic: Rigging the System  (Read 1623 times)

Cain

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Re: Rigging the System
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2014, 08:14:02 am »
Ah yes, George Monbiot.

I don't see a left UKIP emerging in the UK, I'm not going to lie.  While something like Syriza would appeal to me, for sure, the UK has two key problems in that regard.  The left is dominated by Labour in the central direction, and the SWP in the radical direction.  Both are extremely jealous of opposition in their relative spheres, and of each other, and will stamp on it hard (the SWP has an additional problem of the rape kind...and covering it up).  Secondly, the political culture of the UK deems it permissible to "have a discussion" about the lunatic premises right wing loony parties want to discuss (immigration, the EU, crime, preferably some kind of bizarre mish-mash of all of the above) in political debate and the national press, but not about, well, anything else.

This is especially strange when you consider the polling data is such that people really actually don't care all too much about Europe (relative weighting of issues shows consistently that the NHS, education and employment are the key issues, and that Labour has a lead on all of them.  All the Tory and UKIP lead issues, by contrast, are not serious ones by the standards of the public).

Instead, I see UKIP getting into a coalition government, and failing because they are a clown car convention, whose members profess massive expertise in Islamic perfidy, security, warfare, Austrian economics and all the sciences despite mostly being morons.  The City also wont back their insane venture, despite Farage being in all other respects, one of their own.

So UKIP will fail, but then what?  No UKIP, no BNP...I see something even nastier coming to replace them both.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 08:31:38 am by Cain »

Demolition Squid

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Re: Rigging the System
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2014, 08:31:17 am »
I agree it seems very unlikely - all the mainstream parties would unite against any organised attempt to gut their funding and reform their backers because it is clearly in their best interests to do so.

I reckon that's the main reason the right wing extreme issues are deemed acceptable and the left's aren't. The right are generally pro-business, and anti-regulation. It is in the interests of the people who own the media to encourage right wing nutjobbery, but left wing nutjobbery might threaten their bottom line a lot more - so best to shut them out entirely. I hoped that fury towards the bankers and the MP's expenses scandal might force them to open up the debate ... but that hasn't happened. The mainstream press now, in fact, seems to give more publicity to the 'banker bashing is pointless' side than ever before.

The open threats to the BBC and the hit they've taken in credibility after Saville haven't helped in that regard.

But! Whilst UKIP would be a disaster (and hopefully a short-lived one), I would hope it opens the door to people taking the smaller parties more seriously. It might not - especially since UKIP is already being branded as 'conservative+' in the press - but it could reinvigorate the debate just by shaking things up. The SNP have already proven a 'one issue party' can achieve things in Scotland, but that hasn't translated to the rest of the country yet. UKIP could change that.

If people feel like they can potentially achieve something by going for a smaller group like the Greens or UKIP, it might be possible to pull together some sort of reform party with the express goal of throwing out corporate interests, and shoot for publicity through social media and grass roots campaigning. I can't stand Russel Brand, but it seems like the sort of thing he may have been laying the groundwork for already, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him try it himself in the next few years.
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Cain

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Re: Rigging the System
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2014, 08:45:59 am »
The only party who are not entirely terrible who I would see benefitting from this, at the moment, is the SNP.

If the SNP are poised to take over almost totally from Labour in Scotland, which doesn't seem entirely out of the question, they'll have an awful lot of sway in Parliament.  And of course, the SNP and UKIP hate each others guts (UKIP is for British independence...Scottish independence is, apparently, not allowed).  This leads to something like the scenario outlined by Charlie Stross:

Quote
Well, if the SNP pick up on the order of 50 MPs, they'll be the third largest party in Westminster (replacing the Liberal Democrats, who are in meltdown as voters desert them—the LibDem core are mostly centre-left, and the coalition with the Conservative party was pure poison for that base).

Quote
With 50 seats, the SNP would be the turd in the punchbowl: it would literally be almost impossible to form a stable government without them (unless we look at the apocalyptic scenario of a Labour/Tory coalition, which in the past has only happened during a World War government of national unity). It would be hard to spin Alex Salmond smirking and demanding Devo Max as being tantamount to Hitler! so quite possibly some sort of deal would be done. As the SNP already firmly ruled out a pact with the Conservatives (it'd be a political suicide pill for their base in Scotland), that leaves two likely options:

    A full formal coalition with the Labour Party. (I think this is unlikely, although Labour might have learned a lesson from the consequences of Brown's refusal to compromise with Nick Clegg in 2010: Labour and the SNP are natural rivals for the governing party/centre-left niche in Scotland.) Terms would be: the SNP get Devo Max and some ministerial posts, and in return they vote in line with Labour policy on any items that the parties don't actually disagree on, and abstain from voting on purely English non-budgetary matters.

    An understanding (like the Lib-Lab Pact of 1977) whereby a minority Labour government operates with SNP support contingent on them not pissing in the SNP's wheaties. This might work, if Labour are willing to cut a deal over Scottish powers. Otherwise ...

I could be wrong.

The most unpredictable alternative would be a landslide in the direction of UKIP. I find it hard to imagine UKIP picking up more seats than the SNP, because while they may have more voters across the UK, the SNP's are concentrated in constituencies where they stand a chance of winning: but if UKIP were to pick up 50 or so MPs, roughly matching the SNP's showing, then we're into total terra incognita in British politics. I don't think we're going to get into "rainbow coalition" territory in just one election—Labour and the Conservatives—aren't going to completely crumble just six months from now—but the number of possible combinations that could form governments in Westminster just exploded. And so did the outcomes. UKIP appear, ironically, to be intensely hostile to Scottish nationalism and devolution in general (they're a vastly stronger party in England than in Scotland, where they are out-polled three to one by the Scottish Greens). So we have the prospect of two historically ideologically polarized major parties (neither of whom can form a government without external assistance), and two ideologically polarized minor parties (one or both of whom might enable one or other of the larger parties to govern, with a tail-wind and some independent help).

I have been stating something like this would happen since 2010's results came in.  Not with the SNP in particular in this case, though I did notice UKIP were getting some grooming and cash injections from the Powers That Be well before anyone was discussing their resurgence.  Basically, no governing party ever returns to power with the same or more votes than it did during it's first term.  I mean, that's a pretty basic law of political science, and while there are probably one or two exceptions, they don't exist within modern UK political history, at the very least.  So, it took a coalition government to rule the UK this term.  Next term, the Tory majority was going to decrease even more, and the Lib Dems were obviously going to fall apart.

If Labour could've pulled it together, it may have taken advantage.  But it didn't and hasn't.  So there was always going to be a problem with governmental instability going ahead.  The main parties have delegitimised themselves, while the minor parties are not poised to entirely take over from them.

I'm not the only one to note this, either.  Such esteemed publications as Foreign Affairs (the in-house magazine of the Council on Foreign Relations, the "unofficial think-tank of official American foreign policy") are now also predicting a more unstable political future in the UK.  If the Americans cannot trust us (the American government weighed in heavily against Scottish independence and so is likely more worried about the SNP scenario), and we succeed in pissing away all our influence in Europe...well, we will still have an UNSC seat, former empire and nuclear weapons.  But so does Russia.  And besides, our nuclear program requires American approval to be used.  Just like we currently require French assistance for air strikes anywhere outside of our air base range.

We're setting ourselves up to be a lame duck here.  Historically speaking, nations without allies do not fair well.

Demolition Squid

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Re: Rigging the System
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2014, 09:04:51 am »
Oof... that's a pretty bleak picture, and does seem very plausible.

I know the people I'm working with in local government feel that a slim conservative majority is the most likely outcome because they don't believe that UKIP will actually translate public opinion polling into votes. I'm not so sure. Highly unscientific, but I spoke with the people at the local pub over the weekend and they all said they'd go UKIP. Not because of Europe, especially (although obviously nobody who votes UKIP does it and is pro-europe), but the big issue was HS2. My area has a lot of retirees, and as some of them were saying - if they don't get the HS2 project scrapped by any means necessary, they are going to live in a building site for the rest of their lives. If UKIP targets their candidates more towards specific local issues like that, they could do very well indeed.

Labour screwed themselves over badly in Scotland with their mishandling of the independence referendum, badly. I'm sure it would have been possible to put the case across without seeming to embrace the Tories, but... they didn't.

I'm picturing some sort of nightmarish future where Farage somehow becomes the Putin of Britain.  :horrormirth:
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