Last month, Emily Brothers broke news for being the first openly trans person to be selected by Labour to fight a parliamentary election, for the (relatively) safe seat of Sutton and Cheam. The coverage has been mixed to say the least, either being positive but factually dodgy, or being incredibly negative. But what may have damaged her own campaign more than anything was an interview she participated in for Russia Today, which was riddled with inaccuracies that can only really be explained by partisanship where it’s inappropriate.
Tag Archive for Labour
“We stand squarely for free speech and democracy”, said David Cameron last Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Questions, not more than an hour after the attacks on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. This is a rather strange proposition for the leader of a party who proposed to reinstate the ban on “extremists” from appearing on television and have been trying for the past few years to reintroduce the “snooper’s charter”. Indeed, the Tories have gone rather native in the Home Office, in contrast to five years ago when we were all criticising Labour for restricting our civil liberties.
Several hours later, the House of Commons then debated a somewhat–but not sufficiently–diluted Counter Terrorism and Security Bill, in which Tory and Labour frontbenchers alike praised the bill for being an important tool in the fight against paedophiles and terrorists: the two words that friends of this blog have previously highlighted as resulting in universally awful legislation.
After this brief sojourn into hypocrisy, Cameron took a flight to Paris where he stood side-by-side with the world’s autocrats and despots in the name of free speech. Whilst there, he lent his name to an agreement for more surveillance powers. One would think that Charb and his seven colleagues would not want that in their name. But Cameron went one step further, and proposed the worst idea to regulate a specialist field since Labour tried to ban coffee eighteen months ago: a ban on encryption.
There’s been a flurry of news stories in the past week, most likely to coincide with the country’s first same-sex marriages starting next Saturday, regarding how the bill came to pass. Firstly, we had television personality Paul O’Grady describe David Cameron as a “twat” and state the Lib Dems were “as much use as men’s tits”. Then, a few days later, Ben Summerskill tried (very unconvincingly) to attack the Lib Dems for being “opportunistic” on same-sex marriage. And finally, Tony Blair said that “in hindsight”, he would’ve pushed for marriage equality whilst Prime Minister. All this leads me to think one thing: both Labour and Stonewall seem to be very keen to take the credit on LGBT equality, especially with a general election round the corner. But this credit is perhaps undeserved, especially as they both seem to have done everything they could to stall it.
People who know me know that I really don’t like Tom Harris, the current MP for Glasgow South. Hell, my second blog post was basically about him being totally awful on the issue of tuition fees (a lie he continues to this day), and he relishes in being the tribal kind of Labour MP, especially on Twitter. So savvy he is on Twitter, that he became Labour’s internet adviser.
Until he posted a Downfall parody of Alex Salmond, effectively comparing the Scottish National Party leader to Adolf Hitler. Yep. After he lost the Scottish Labour leadership election, he might’ve been a bit angry. Who knows? But he did end up having to resign the post.
(Note, January 2013: This post was written when I was more naive to economic circumstances. It is best read in a perspective from before the cuts starting. It is kept in the purposes of transparency and does not accurately reflect my current thoughts on the matter.)
Belt up, this is going to be a big one.
So yeah. That march a couple of weeks ago. At a generous estimate, 400,000 marched against the government’s spending cuts. And while I sympathise with them, I also think that it was just a waste of time due to how it ended up. » Read more..
The Electoral Commission has outlined rough plans on where the reduction of MPs from 650 to 600. As expected, traditional Labour strongholds will lose seats. But is it “gerrymandering”, as Labour have alleged?
Not exactly. It’s an undeniable fact that the current system, as is, is horribly skewed towards Labour. The 2005 election, for example, gave Labour 90 more seats than the Tories in England, despite losing by 0.3%. Labour also enjoy their concentrated support in inner-city areas, which allows them to win a lot of urban seats (and the reverse for the Conservatives, in business districts and rural areas). This creates a squeeze on smaller parties with even support, such as the Liberal Democrats, but also the Greens and UKIP.
Why does the skew exist? Well, there’s several reasons for this happening: » Read more..
The recent news about control orders makes me a little wary. On the plus side, we’re rolling back one of the most egregious power grabs by the Labour government, and the executive has to relinquish powers to the judiciary on things such as control orders, but on the other hand, the replaced regime has some massive holes; most notably, the fact that the rubberstamping is gone and the powers are permanent.
Still, I think it’s a good idea. Worst still, it pushes Labour into a corner here: they can’t support the new regime as it would be reversing on party policy to do so (and as we know, only the Lib Dems ever do that) and it’d be tacit support of the coalition they despise so much. They can’t oppose it either, as it ruins their image of having “changed” in the nine months they’ve been out of power. What’s a Miliband to do in this case? » Read more..
What a day for news, eh? Even overlooking Jo Yeates’ (apparent) killer being arrested, we’ve had an onslaught of political news over the past 24 hours, including Andy Coulson quitting Number 10, Tony Blair being hauled in front of Chilcot again, an apparently legendary battle between George Galloway and Alastair Campbell on Newsnight, and, finally, Alan Johnson resigning as Shadow Chancellor and being replaced by Ed Balls.
History may record this as the worst job move in some time.
Damn you, Mark Cole, for doing the title I wanted to do first. Even so, I was up tonight waiting for the by-election result with bated breath… and we lost by 3,000 votes. It’s actually not bad, if you think about it. The Lib Dems are riding on 8–10% in the daily YouGov polls, but we still make a decent showing at the first major poll, to the point our share in the vote rises just ever so slightly. Tim Farron was right to call this a “score draw”.
Because, really, Debbie Abrahams didn’t win because she was a good candidate. She isn’t. Colne Valley, depending on the time of the week, is the next constituency over from me, and she didn’t really have a support base; indeed, I saw more support for the Lib Dem candidate (which was dwarfed by the support for the Conservative candidate and eventual winner Jason McCartney). She also fantastically crashed on polling day taking a Labour seat into third (although, admittedly, Colne Valley is a three-way marginal). » Read more..
One criticism I often come across when talking about politics, and/or the Liberal Democrats, is that Nick Clegg supposedly “betrayed his principles for a shot at power”. I’ve come across that exact line several times. But was it really a betrayal? I don’t think so. Of course, the Liberal Democrats in the Conservative-led coalition are proposing policies that they probably wouldn’t do in a Labour-led coalition, and are having to alter their policies on things like tuition fees. Even so, coalition with the Conservatives was pretty much inevitable come 10:02pm on 6th May. » Read more..