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The Ayatollah Buggeri

Cameron Implicated In Expenses Row

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I'm posting this as a separate thread as I'd argue that it's distinct from an 'English elections' issue: it has a bearing on the next GE.

The Mail has published a story revealing that Cameron feathered his own nest(s) with the Additional Costs Allowance. Several hundred other MPs did likewise, but the significance here is that Cameron has been trying to seize the initiative and portray himself as the politician who can clean up politics, if we'll give him a chance. For the last couple of weeks, he appears to have succeeded, as demonstrated by recent opinion polls. But he's now tainted, just like the rest of them.

What the hell is going to happen at the next GE now? The Lib Dems aren't going to win it - enough of the population are opposed to their nuts-and-bolts policies to rule that out. Fringe parties winning substantial numbers of seats? Turnout so low that anything could happen? Change of Tory leader - but if so, who? Yikes...

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Actually I fear that the ones who do turn out will be the ones who've decided to vote for a fringe party, principally Green, UKIP or BNP. A lot of die hard Tory and Labour supporters might stay at home on the assumption that the others' disgust will cancel their disgust out.

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Actually I fear that the ones who do turn out will be the ones who've decided to vote for a fringe party, principally Green, UKIP or BNP. A lot of die hard Tory and Labour supporters might stay at home on the assumption that the others' disgust will cancel their disgust out.

I fear you are correct

I wonder if there will be big gains for Plaid in Wales as they are now relatively mainstream (having been power sharing in the Assembly), and are untouched by the expenses scandal. This could be the makings of a huge political chasm between Wales and England, with rightwing anti-EU sentiment to the fore on one side of the border and centre-left pro-EU sentiment on the other.

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This broken set of nations which are the 'United Kingdom' needs to get its act together.

Full devolution for Scotland.

A written constitution for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland; a rule of law applicable to all, not just the 51% majority of the day.

Unfortunately we are going to end up like a lot of European parliaments, full of independents and fringe parties, ruling through coalition and with little legislation passed.

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Actually I fear that the ones who do turn out will be the ones who've decided to vote for a fringe party, principally Green, UKIP or BNP. A lot of die hard Tory and Labour supporters might stay at home on the assumption that the others' disgust will cancel their disgust out.

In the case of a GE, I can't really agree with that. The next one stands a chance (in my opinion) of rivalling 1992 for turnout, and I wouldn't be surprised if the absolute total of Labour votes was roughly the same as it was last time around, with the Tories and Libdems picking up a lot of votes from those who've not bothered the last few times. Okay, there might be a few local successes for the fringe elements, but the prospect of "Tories in and Labour out" on the cards, there'll be a hell of a lot of people going to the ballot box thinking (entirely correctly) that a vote for the fringe is, in reality, a vote for a mainstream party they're less in favour of.

With respect to the next GE, a really good one to watch is Oxford East. It's a tight Labour \ Libdem marginal, with a noticeable green vote (almost twice the size of the Labour majority) and a high profile green PPC in Peter Tatchell. Another cracker is Watford, a three way marginal where the green and UKIP votes were absolutely crucial to Labour holding in '05. It's places like these where I personally expect to see the little guys squeezed (in percentage terms definately, in absolute terms maybe) mercilessly next time round, as with a change of government in the offing the feeling that one's vote really does count increases immeasurably.

The joker in the pack here is, I feel, the BNP. They've got a message aimed squarely at Labour's core vote, and they might just pull off something (i.e. get an MP) if they concentrate their campaigning in the right spots. However, their chances of being much of an influence nationally is pretty much zero, as their targets are the sort of Labour seats that Labour would need to pull off a defeat of Candian Progressive Conservatives in '93 (I think it was anyway) proportions in order to lose.

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Unfortunately we are going to end up like a lot of European parliaments, full of independents and fringe parties, ruling through coalition and with little legislation passed.

Uuuuh, that's a good thing. The less legislation the better.

I read a proposal the other day that Westminster be restricted in the number of bills it could pass in each session, each bill being properly debated without guillotine. It's actually how parliament used to work, when it didn't sit full time and was made up of representatives rather than professional politicians.

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In the case of a GE, I can't really agree with that. The next one stands a chance (in my opinion) of rivalling 1992 for turnout, and I wouldn't be surprised if the absolute total of Labour votes was roughly the same as it was last time around, with the Tories and Libdems picking up a lot of votes from those who've not bothered the last few times. Okay, there might be a few local successes for the fringe elements, but the prospect of "Tories in and Labour out" on the cards, there'll be a hell of a lot of people going to the ballot box thinking (entirely correctly) that a vote for the fringe is, in reality, a vote for a mainstream party they're less in favour of.

With respect to the next GE, a really good one to watch is Oxford East. It's a tight Labour \ Libdem marginal, with a noticeable green vote (almost twice the size of the Labour majority) and a high profile green PPC in Peter Tatchell. Another cracker is Watford, a three way marginal where the green and UKIP votes were absolutely crucial to Labour holding in '05. It's places like these where I personally expect to see the little guys squeezed (in percentage terms definately, in absolute terms maybe) mercilessly next time round, as with a change of government in the offing the feeling that one's vote really does count increases immeasurably.

The joker in the pack here is, I feel, the BNP. They've got a message aimed squarely at Labour's core vote, and they might just pull off something (i.e. get an MP) if they concentrate their campaigning in the right spots. However, their chances of being much of an influence nationally is pretty much zero, as their targets are the sort of Labour seats that Labour would need to pull off a defeat of Candian Progressive Conservatives in '93 (I think it was anyway) proportions in order to lose.

The BNP cannot win a General Election seat,it's impossible for them without PR. My guess is that even with PR on Thursday they won't.UKIP sucks up most of the ultra right vote as well as providing a respectable-ish home for disenchanted lefties.These however are far more likely to vote Green.

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I'm posting this as a separate thread as I'd argue that it's distinct from an 'English elections' issue: it has a bearing on the next GE.

The Mail has published a story revealing that Cameron feathered his own nest(s) with the Additional Costs Allowance. Several hundred other MPs did likewise, but the significance here is that Cameron has been trying to seize the initiative and portray himself as the politician who can clean up politics, if we'll give him a chance. For the last couple of weeks, he appears to have succeeded, as demonstrated by recent opinion polls. But he's now tainted, just like the rest of them.

What the hell is going to happen at the next GE now? The Lib Dems aren't going to win it - enough of the population are opposed to their nuts-and-bolts policies to rule that out. Fringe parties winning substantial numbers of seats? Turnout so low that anything could happen? Change of Tory leader - but if so, who? Yikes...

A hung parliament looks like a real possibility. We have less than a year until the election, and I suspect that the bad news, both in terms of economics and political sleaze, will only get worse.

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Actually I fear that the ones who do turn out will be the ones who've decided to vote for a fringe party, principally Green, UKIP or BNP. ..

It's worth bearing in mind that parties like the Greens are fairly mainstream in Germany and Scandinavia, and the BNP equivalent (Front National) is fairly mainstream in France. And in the aftermath of the current fiasco they could be here to.

To be honest, I hope we do break the stranglehold that Labour and the Tories have on UK politics - at the moment being a politician is too close to being just another cushy career option for UK politicos. If not an MP then a party hack, MP staffer, quango boss, EU MP, Scots parliament, etc. etc.

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