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A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

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ken123
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A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby ken123 » April 19th, 2010, 12:13 pm

A UGov poll released April 18, shows the Liberal - Democrats leading, for next months parliamentary elections with 33%, the Conservatives 32%,and the ruling Labor Party trailing.The UK hasnt had a Liberal Government since 1922, if the David Lloyd - George Government can really be called Liberal. In 1916 Lloyd - George lead a parliamentary revolt against the Liberal Government of H.H. Asquith* which was ousted by a coalition of Liberal and Conservative MPs, who then replaced Asquith with Lloyd - George with a majority Tory ( conservative ) cabinet. These actions, among others, led to the destruction of the Liberal Party as a major force in UK politics.

A Liberal Comeback in Britian ( ? ) was the title of an article by Msrg. George Higgins,in the Chicago Catholic weekly " The New World " in 1961 ( or thereabouts ) when the Liberals won 2 special bye elections in a row, to bring their total parliamentary membership to 11. Msrg Higgins wrote a weekly column, usually from a (US) liberal political point of view. I believe that Father Higgins held the UK Liberals in high regard because of the partys ( Under Gladstone - PM many times late 1800's ) push for Irish home rule, which led to another Liberal Part split, with Churchills father being a major player,in the anti Home Rule clique among the Liberals. Msrg Higgons parents wer born on Ireland. " The Celtic Fringe " has always been a solid base of the Liberal Party. With a " first past the post " ** election system the best the Liberals can hope for is a coalition with Labour.


*Father of Anthony Asquith, British motion picture director of some renown.

**Whoever wins the most votes in an individual parliamentary, wins the seat. The Liberals have been winning about 20% of the vote for years, but because the UK doesnt have proportional representation, it wins a far smaller percent of searts. Proportional would mean a party wins x percent of the votes and would win that percent of the total parliamentary seats

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Synnove
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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby Synnove » April 19th, 2010, 6:03 pm

I'm staying in Essex at the moment. I don't know if there will actually be a liberal comeback, but their chances seem to have been upped enormously. This election just got a lot more interesting to read about.

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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby stuart.uk » April 20th, 2010, 10:26 am

Opinion polls are usually accurate, but I'm not sure of them this time around. If it is accurate it appears to based on Nick Glegg's performance in the live debate with Gordon Brown and David Cameron. If that's the case then the debate, the first of it's kind in the UK, has been a great success, allowing Glegg to shine. However, there are 2 more debates to come and Nick will have to prove himself all over again, but this time I'd expect Gordon Brown and David Cameron to be ready for him

However, in the past, David Steel's Liberal and David Owen's Social Democrats alliance also headed the polls in the early 80s. Margaret Thatcher was unpopular and Labour at the time were deamed unelectable. Steel finished of his party concerfence by telling his delegates Go Home And Prepare For Goverment

However, that fell apart when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. Margaret Thatcher sent a task force and reclaimed the islands. As a result her popularity soared and the Liberals fell by the wayside, though Paddy Ashtown, when he was leader, did much to resore the party's standing in British politics.

I think it would be great if we had 3 parties capable of winning an election. From a personal point of view and I know Alison would disagree, I would like to see the Tory's become the third party, but along with Labour and the Liberals serve in a hung Parliment, meaning no one party would have a majority. The Liberal's have been consistantly the left of centre of british politics, which is what I am. That said, Labour might argue their holding the same ground

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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby ken123 » April 20th, 2010, 11:12 pm

Jumping around the net this evening I've discovered that Mr. Clegg, the Liberal Party Leader, is an atheist. I wonder if that will have any negative fall out for the Libs ? In the same article Mr Clegg ststes that " Christian values " are very important to the Liberal Party. Mr Cleggs wife is a praticing Catholic.

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ken123
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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby ken123 » May 10th, 2010, 3:36 pm

Last Thursdays election ended in a " hung" parliament, meaning no party secured a majority of seats in the House of Commons. The Liberal - Democrats with 57 seats hold the balance of power, after third days of talks with the Conservative Party leadership, to see if some arrangement can be made in order to form a coalition, the Lib - Dems are now talikng with the decond place finisher the Labor Party to see if come kind of bargain can be reached in order to form a Lib - Lab coalition. A political writer for the Telegraph, Toby Young, has stated ( today ) that a Lib - Lab coalition could lead to a civil war. The Liberals won 23 - 24 % of the vote, but only about 9% of the seats in the House of Commons. The Liberals want electoral reform so that minor parties will be better represented in Parliament. Also the Green Party elected its first MP last week.

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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby stuart.uk » May 11th, 2010, 10:16 am

The odds are on a Lib-Tory pact, as the one with Labour is, because of the lack of seats, more dodgy. Ideally I'd have like a Lib-Labour pact, as both are closer to my political point of view. However, I'd like the Libs to join up with the Tory's, as they might be able to some extent rein the new Goverment in. Also eventually there will be a public vote on electrol reform, which I'm in favour of as it's a fairer system. Some Tory's have tried to suggest the public really aren't interested in reform, but I think they've wrongly judged the mood of the British people, as at least two tv polls suggest the public want a change in the voting system

Yesterday I watched Sally Magnusson present Why Didn't Scotland vote Tory. Though most of the UK voted Tory, Scotland only put in one M.P, in contrast to 46 Labour seats. One reason for this might be the resentment the Scottish people felt toward Margaret Thatcher when her Tory party destroyed many of its industries, shipyards and jute mills as examples, as well as introducing the soon to be failed Poll Tax in trial period only in Scotland. Another reason is that though some thought voting Tory might be good for them individually they still thought by voting Labour, SNP or Liberal was more in the National interest. With the credit crunch many Scot's are worried about their jobs and are more frightened of a Tory Goverment than any of the other parties, as they have said there will be cuts right away, while the other parties want a delay.

I was watching Churchill's Bodyguard when Winston was in Wall Street on the day of the 1929 crash. It said the American administration of the day made a big mistake, cutting back instead of trying to keep things steady, which was what Gordon Brown was saying just before the election.

One thing I think might happen in Scotland is that the one sole Tory, who at the moment is Scottish secretary might have to stand aside for a Liberal, as they do have more Scottish seats both in Westminster and the Scottish Parliment

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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby stuart.uk » May 11th, 2010, 10:27 am

Ken

One of the things that worried me about this Election, was how the newspapers used it to promote the party of its choice. For example The Sun would say David Cameron was the star of the 3 debates, while Gordon Brown was poor. Yet the Scottish Dailly Record said the exact oppisite, Brown was great, but Cameron looked nervous. I would have preffered a more accurrate description of the debates rather than what we got.

Just today two journalists from rival newspapers were interviewed on tv. One was Tory and savaged the Liberal's for even talking to Labour, but the other guy from a Labour newspaper thought it was perfectly reasonable

I was wondering if the American Stock Market in anyway has been affected by the political uncertainty in the U.K

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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby ken123 » May 11th, 2010, 1:11 pm

The market had problems last Friday, but it was not related to the British election. As I write it looks likes a Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition is about to announced .( 3 - 4 hours ) The BBC reports that the Libs may have six cabinet posts with Lib - Dem leader Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister.

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Not quite, a Conservative victory and a new era of politics

Postby charliechaplinfan » May 11th, 2010, 2:42 pm

Stuart, I was dissappointed with the media how they made this an election of the personalities, rather than the policies. It's the first time we had debates on TV, they were good but the whole thrust of the campaign by the media was the leaders and not the policies of the parties.

This is the reason I've not been here much the last couple of days, it's been unprecedented and exciting, I have the TV or radio on constantly. David Cameron and Nick Clegg have behaved honourably seeing that it is the countries best interest to form a government of cooperation, most of the policies will be Tory ones but the Liberals will have some of their policies implemented. There was an attempt by Labour to look at a coalition with Liberals but the numbers didn't add up and would have needed the support of all the other minority parties, it would have been very difficult to carry off.

I hope that this will be a new era of British politics, for some time our politics has been stagnant and led by a man who was never elected as our Primeminister. The Labour party never liked the politics of the House of Commons cutting down on the Primeminister's question time and making our politics seem bland. Now that Gordon Brown has departed I hope that the Labour party will regroup and become a proper opposition. I'm hopeful this coalition will work and because of the problems with our economy we need the stability.

Our country is peculiar because Scotland has it's own parliament and they vote on their own policies without English input but the Government of Westminster that sets the laws of England has Scottish politicians that vote on our English laws. Scotland is traditionally left wing and Labour, the Tory's vote is concentrated in England.

As I write we have a new Primeminister, the details still have to be heard, British politics has never been so fascinating.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Margaret Thatcher

Postby charliechaplinfan » May 11th, 2010, 3:01 pm

Stuart, I had to reply to what you said about Scotland under Mrs Thatcher. No one has polarised opinion in politics more than Mrs Thatcher, votes are still won and lost to this day because of Mrs Thatcher and I understand why Scotalnd is no fan of the right. I didn't want to appear glib in my statement about the Scottish parliament merely that it seems unfair. I've always thought that we should have the same privelege on English matters to vote without the Scottish MPs and reserve the full Parliament only for national issues.

I just hope that with this government is able to carry out it's business successfully.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby silentscreen » May 11th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Alison,

Bruce has stated that he thinks it unfair that Scotland gets to vote in your Parliament, but you don't in theirs. He's conservative like I am, and intensely dislikes Tony Blair, but liked Margaret Thatcher.

Brenda
"Humor is nothing less than a sense of the fitness of things." Carole Lombard

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ken123
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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby ken123 » May 11th, 2010, 11:39 pm

I disliked the liar and war criminal Blair and the middle class destroyer Thatcher. Mrs. Thatcher also arranged the phoney war in The Falklands and bullied Bush41 into the first Iraqi War :cry:

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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby charliechaplinfan » May 12th, 2010, 5:23 am

silentscreen wrote:Alison,

Bruce has stated that he thinks it unfair that Scotland gets to vote in your Parliament, but you don't in theirs. He's conservative like I am, and intensely dislikes Tony Blair, but liked Margaret Thatcher.

Brenda


It's a difficult to explain why Scotland has their own government which they vote in and the Scottish MPs get to vote on English and Welsh matters. The Welsh have their own assembly which isn't quite the same as the Scottish government. I could be really cynical and say that it suits some parties to have power both in Scotland and in Westminister. I hope Stuart will give us the Scottish opinion on this.

Gordon Brown was a deeply unpopular Primeminister, I hope with his resignation that the Labour party regenerates and moves forward and becomes a creditable opposition.

I couldn't quite believe what I was watching last night but it was a great demonstration on how democratic our nation is, it made me proud. I love our ceremonies and love the fact that both men had to visit the Queen. I don't think anyone would have predicted a Liberal/Conservative coalition. I think the Conservatives have taken the longsighted option of forming a coalition with the Liberals and they have given quite a few concessions to get them on board. They could have created a minority government when it became clear that Labour could not form a coalition with the Liberals. They chose not to do that and there is a real chance now for cooperation and taking the best of both parties. The Liberals in turn had to consider offers from both parties before putting it to their own party. I'm proud and hopeful. Economically we are in very trying times and this government has been left a huge deficit which needs to be tackled immediately.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby stuart.uk » May 12th, 2010, 9:49 am

Ken

I think John Major was PM during the first Gulf war. While I think The Falklands War turned Margaret Thatcher from an unpopular PM to a popular one, Argentina still invaded the island, which was a British province in Argentine waters.

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Re: A Liberal Comeback in the UK ?

Postby stuart.uk » May 12th, 2010, 9:58 am

Alison

I felt Gordon Brown won the 3rd of the debates, but also felt his unpopularity in England plus his dour personality went against him.

You know Alison before the election I couldn't tell you who the shadaw Scottish secretary is and even now I've forgotten his name, yet I'm well aware of Annable Goldie, the leader of the Tory party in the Scottish Parliment.

On a lighter note I felt the highlight of the SNPs election was when their attractive deputy leader Nichola Sturgeon did a charity Cat Walk. Considering their the Governing body in Scotland they had a disastrous UK election, finishing not only well behind Labour, but I think the Liberals as well. They want a public vote on Scottish independance, but I'm pretty certain they'll lose, so what'll happen to their credibility then. Before she lost her job as leader of the Scottish Labour party Wendy Alexander told them to Bring It On, probably because she had a good idea of the outcome. As far as I believe it was the SNP who forced her out because of a donations scandel. I wonder if it was really because they saw her as a threat.

In the 70s PM Jim Gallaghan gave the public a chance to vote on a Scottish Parliment, but on that occassion it was voted against. That was a major blow for Labour, who also had problems with The Winter of Discontent. Labour lost the election, enter Margaret Thatcher, who though popular in middle England, was because hugely unpopular in Scotand. So when Tony Blair and New Labour got in, they promised if the Scottish people voted for it, a Scottish Parliment. For two parliments Labour and the Liberals formed a Goverment, but at the last election under Alec Salmond the SNP won and are now a minority Goverment

I wonder if it would be pratical to have an English Parliment, outwith Westminster, so you could have the best of both worlds.
Last edited by stuart.uk on May 12th, 2010, 10:42 am, edited 2 times in total.


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