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Right-Wing conspiracy fails to gain power in the UK


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In the 1980s and for some of the 1990s the UK experienced what is what like to be governed by a right-wing, free-market, Conservative Party. Although the British people took too long to realise it, by 1997, the population had moved to the left and Tony Blair was elected to power. To the dismay of those on the left, Blair continued many of the policies developed under Margaret Thatcher. Despite his many failings he was able to win two more elections. The reasons for this was that the British electorate had moved to the left and in our absurd first-past-the-post system, we had to put up with a right of centre New Labour Party governing the country.

The Conservative Party tried three different leaders but they were unable to come close to removing Tony Blair from power. A combination of Thatcher and Blair had created a desire for a more liberal and equal society. To be fair to Blair, his government did create a society that was more tolerant towards minorities. Attitudes towards the gay community definitely improved during this period. The more extreme kinds of racism and sexism also became more unacceptable in society.

After its third defeat in a row, David Cameron came up with a new strategy. He concluded that the electorate had indeed moved to the left and that unless it changed the Tories would never gain power. On the surface, most Conservative MPs, accepted this argument and he was allowed to develop policies that reflected the UK’s more liberal society. The chairman of the party admitted that in the past, the Tory Party had been in reality the “Nasty Party”. However, that was the past and the new Conservative Party was going to be a “liberal” party.

Of course, the wealthy elite in the UK were not interested in bankrolling this new party. After all, they were getting what they wanted by funding New Labour (PFI and government contracts, honours and places in the House of Lords, low-taxes on high-earners, tax evasion loopholes, etc.). However, all this changed when the public opinion polls showed that the New Labour government had become unpopular as a result of the mismanagement of the economy and its disastrous policy on Iraq and Afghanistan. Money now began flowing into the Conservative Party. Much of this came from multimillionaires like Lord Ashcroft who were based in tax-havens and feared that New Labour might close these loopholes. The Christian Right were also busy providing money to Cameron’s new Conservative Party. They had previously been willing to fund Tony Blair’s New Labour Party and his disastrous Academy schools programme. As John Gray has pointed out: “There can be little doubt that Christian fundamentalism has become a growing force in the (Conservative) party, and the strand of thinking that is emerging has much in common with the theo-conservatism that has divided and paralysed the Republicans in the US.”

David Cameron public views were not shared by most active members of the Conservative Party. For example, a recent poll showed that 94% of Conservative Party candidates in the General Election disagreed with his policy of not cutting overseas aid. When questioned about this he said that the policy shows that the party under his leadership had changed from its more illiberal past. However, the poll shows that this is window-dressing and that the party has not really changed at all.

Cameron had another problem. After the defeat of Alec Douglas Home (the former 14th Earl of Home) by Harold Wilson in 1964 it was argued that Britain would never again have a prime minister who had a public school education. The Conservative Party seemed to agree with this assessment and they had a succession of “grammar school” leaders until they elected the Eton educated David Cameron to the post. Would Cameron become the 19th Eton educated prime-minister in our history? As has happened in the past, Cameron immediately surrounded himself with his schoolmates as advisers and members of his shadow cabinet, including George Osborne, the shadow chancellor. This move is reflected in the fact that in yesterday’s election, 17 men educated at Eton became Conservative MPs (up from 14 in 2001). A total of 43% of the winning candidates were educated privately. Is it possible for this privileged elite to understand what it is like for the vast majority of people to have their public services or pension benefits cut? When George Osborne says “we are all in this together”, we know that is not the case.

With Britain having one of its most unpopular prime ministers in his history and undergoing its worse financial crisis since the 1930s, it was expected the Cameron’s move to the centre would pay dividends in yesterday’s election. However, he failed to gain an overall victory, winning only 36% of the vote. What yesterday’s election showed is that the UK now has a “left of centre” majority. As long as the Labour Party can elect a moderately reasonable leader, it could remain in power for the foreseeable future.

Cameron has offered Clegg a deal in order to gain power. If this deal is accepted, Clegg will split the Liberal Democrats is such a way that the party will disintegrate. Instead, he should do a deal with the Labour Party in order to establish a grand coalition that would include the Scottish Nationalists, the Welsh Nationalists and Caroline Lucas, our first Green MP. This would have to be done under the leadership of someone other than Gordon Brown. The new prime minister should then announce a referendum of parliamentary reform that would take place within 6 months. This should be combined with a promise of legislation that would enforce the decision of the referendum within 12 months. This would keep the coalition together until the next election could take place. Meanwhile, Cameron would be ousted as leader and the Conservative Party would become a party of the extreme-right, destined to be in permanent opposition.

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Sounds like you need proportional representation from which coalitions can form and as a whole remain without any conservative influence. Also I'd suggest seriously downgrading any leftovers of monarch and aristocratic weight to that of a commoner in all things.

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The media over the weekend have been pressurizing Nick Clegg and the media to do a deal with David Cameron. They have presented the case as one of being a choice between a Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition or a Conservative minority government. Yet, I cannot see how either proposal could possibly work in the interests of the Liberal Democrats. Even if Cameron promised a referendum and legislation on proportional representation, he could never deliver it as it is unacceptable to the vast majority of his MPs. It is possible that Cameron might persuade the Tory MPs to pretend to go along with the deal. Then, say in six months, before the legislation is passed, he could resign and call another election. As a result, the Liberal Democrats will lose the support of those people who voted for them in order to keep the Tories out. The Liberal Democrat vote will collapse and Cameron will get an overall majority and he could govern without the need to appease anybody.

The possibility of changing the voting system only exists in the present. It might never happen again. Clegg has to make sure he gets a deal that will really bring about a democratic revolution. The solution is fairly simple. Clegg has a meeting with the leaders of the Labour Party and suggests the following: Clegg will become the prime minister in a grand coalition that includes representatives of the Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party, the Scottish Nationalists, the Welsh Nationalists and the Green Party. A referendum on the reform of the House of Commons and the House of Lords will be held within six months, with the idea of legislation within six months. An emergency budget would be introduced that was ensure a fair tax system, high-tax rates (95%) on bonuses over £50,000, a mansion tax and other redistributive taxes. Legislation should also be introduced to prevent the corrupt funding of political parties and a clean-up of political lobbying. MPs should also be denied the right to do second jobs.

The Labour Party could then elect a new leader and Gordon Brown could be allowed to work in the charity sector (that is what he told a television presenter what he really wants to do). A election under the PR system for the House of Commons and the House of Lords should be held within a year. By that time Cameron will be ousted and the right-wing Tory Party will do badly at the polls.

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The media over the weekend have been pressurizing Nick Clegg and the media to do a deal with David Cameron. They have presented the case as one of being a choice between a Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition or a Conservative minority government. Yet, I cannot see how either proposal could possibly work in the interests of the Liberal Democrats. Even if Cameron promised a referendum and legislation on proportional representation, he could never deliver it as it is unacceptable to the vast majority of his MPs. It is possible that Cameron might persuade the Tory MPs to pretend to go along with the deal. Then, say in six months, before the legislation is passed, he could resign and call another election. As a result, the Liberal Democrats will lose the support of those people who voted for them in order to keep the Tories out. The Liberal Democrat vote will collapse and Cameron will get an overall majority and he could govern without the need to appease anybody.

The possibility of changing the voting system only exists in the present. It might never happen again. Clegg has to make sure he gets a deal that will really bring about a democratic revolution. The solution is fairly simple. Clegg has a meeting with the leaders of the Labour Party and suggests the following: Clegg will become the prime minister in a grand coalition that includes representatives of the Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party, the Scottish Nationalists, the Welsh Nationalists and the Green Party. A referendum on the reform of the House of Commons and the House of Lords will be held within six months, with the idea of legislation within six months. An emergency budget would be introduced that was ensure a fair tax system, high-tax rates (95%) on bonuses over £50,000, a mansion tax and other redistributive taxes. Legislation should also be introduced to prevent the corrupt funding of political parties and a clean-up of political lobbying. MPs should also be denied the right to do second jobs.

The Labour Party could then elect a new leader and Gordon Brown could be allowed to work in the charity sector (that is what he told a television presenter what he really wants to do). A election under the PR system for the House of Commons and the House of Lords should be held within a year. By that time Cameron will be ousted and the right-wing Tory Party will do badly at the polls.

Gordon Brown has just announced he is to resign and that the Labour Party is to open formal talks with the Liberal Democrats.

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One of the interesting things about this crisis is that it has revealed the hidden pro-Conservative bias of the BBC. The same thing happened during the 1926 General Strike. This morning, on BBC Radio 4, Nick Robinson, shouted down Paddy Ashdown. In 1986, Robinson, spent a year as national chairman of the Young Conservatives. This was a time when Margaret Thatcher was in power and the Young Conservatives were on the extreme right.

Here is Adam Boulton, who works for Sky News, revealing his pro-Conservative views yesterday.

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John, this thing about BBC bias, it's something that's always been a bit of a puzzle to me. You remember the old days when there were just a few channels. How did the BBC, presumably one of few radio stations during the strike, exhibit its bias? I know some of the rough outlines of the great strike, but not what it was like to be actually there and to experience it through all the ways that one could throughout the UK.

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