Brexit Momentum Dwindling? #FlorenceSpeech #Brexit #VoteLeave #TakeBackControl #ChangeBritain

“Brexit” means Britain’s Exit from the European Union, which is not due to happen until March 2019. Sorry to explain that, but my recent conversations with people show that many think “Brexit has already happened” and can’t understand why more money isn’t being spent on the NHS yet. So, just to be clear: Brexit is in process, but has not yet happened.

Exiting the EU is supposed to be a two-year process. But now Prime Minister Theresa May has set out her plans for a two-year transition deal which is, by any other name, extended temporary membership of the EU. Certainly, it would extend the lifeline for us to backpeddle into the EU. Indeed, the day after the referendum I was already saying that I doubt Brexit will ever even happen. History shows that the EU Fanatics just will not accept “non” for an answer. And that incorrigible EU-phile Lord Heseltine has today, I think rather accurately, said that he not only foresees us not leaving the EU, but actually joining the Euro, too. Indeed, now that we’ve decided to leave, should we change our minds we will have lost all of our opt-outs, including on not joining the Euro; oh yes, the French and Germans will exact a pound of flesh and be out to humble us and lock us in forevermore.

So has the Brexit momentum critically dwindled?

Corbyn has forsaken his principles and Labour have reneged on their Referendum pledge to back Brexit. The Tories are weakened since losing their majority in the General Election. The party which single-handedly got us the referendum (whether you love them or loathe them), UKIP, seems to have had its moment and looks a spent force. The momentum for Brexit, which was the culmination of years of hard, focused pressure, is rapidly fizzling out. Just look at the polling data: the margin of support for Brexit is shrinking.

So, as someone who has spent half my life fighting for Brexit, I am extremely worried by the warning signs of interim deals and such. And with oppression of the Catalans by the Spanish state, and the election of anti-democratic EU fanatic Macron, I fear the future is bleak for European liberal democracy.

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2016-10-05-1475670108-7560650-brexit1.jpg

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Jeremy Corbyn’s Views on the EU @vote_leave #TakeControl #Brexit #EUReferendum

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The following article was so good and informative, I had to reproduce it all. All rights to ukbusinessinsider.com and Jeremy Wilson. It’s a couple of months old, but it’s points are so important that we need to dwell on them.

But in short: Jeremy Corbyn is the very definition of “Eurosceptic”. The man has strongly opposed the EU all of his political life. But now he is leader of the Labour party, he has done an unconvincing U-turn. People are complaining that he isn’t selling the case for Remain. But how can the guy? He has opposed it his whole career!

Sadly, Corbyn has let us all down. He has put the Labour Party above the national interest and above his life-long held views. The man has seriously tarnished himself in my estimation. It turns out this principled maverick is just like every other politician when it comes down to it; protecting his party and his position is his primary concern.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth http://uk.businessinsider.com/jeremy-corbyn-is-making-a-big-speech-saying-we-should-remain-in-the-eu-heres-all-the-times-he-said-the-eu-was-bad-2016-4

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Jeremy Corbyn wants Britain to remain in the EU — but here are all the times he said it was bad

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, just gave his first speech urging people to vote for staying part of the European Union.

But he hasn’t always been supportive of being a member of the 28-nation bloc. In fact he even voted in favour of leaving the European Economic Community —the EU’s predecessor— in 1975.

Speaking on Thursday morning in Central London, Corbyn urged British voters to accept the EU “warts and all.”

He added, “there is a strong socialist case for staying in the European Union, just as there is also a powerful socialist case for reform and progressive change in Europe.”

Polls show that the “Remain” and “Leave” campaigns are neck-and-neck and Corbyn’s opinion could sway some votes.

A YouGov poll published in The Times on Thursday shows that when it comes to the EU, Corbyn — the leader of the opposition — is the most trusted British politician. Twenty-eight percent of people trust the statements and claims made by Corbyn on the EU, while only 21% trust the statements from Prime Minister David Cameron.

Despite Corbyn pushing for Britons to vote for staying within the EU, it looks like he has changed his stance over the bloc — big time.

Here’s a list of some of the things Corbyn has done and said in the past that would appear to show that he is very skeptical of the EU.

  • He voted in favour of leaving the European Economic Community in 1975.
  • He voted against the Maastricht Treaty that created the EU. Here’s what he had to say about it — “It takes us in the opposite direction of an unelected legislative body—the Commission—and, in the case of foreign policy, a policy Commission that will be, in effect, imposing foreign policy on nation states that have fought for their own democratic accountability.”
  • He voted against the Lisbon Treaty which is the current constitutional basis for the EU.
  • Writing about the Greek crisis last year Corbyn said — “There is no future for a Europe that turns its smaller nations into colonies of debt peonage.”
  • In an LBC interview, Corbyn implied that the EU was treating Greece “brutally.” — “If Europe becomes a totally brutal organisation that treats every one of its member states in the way that the people of Greece have been treated at the moment, then I think Europe will lose a lot of support from a lot of people.”
  • In an article on his website, Corbyn wrote that the EU was responsible for the gross abuse of human rights in  Western Sahara. However, the article was deleted.
  • In another deleted article on his website, Corbyn wrote this — “The project has always been to create a huge free-market Europe, with ever-limiting powers for national parliaments and an increasingly powerful common foreign and security policy.”
  • A spokesman for Corbyn said the articles were deleted because they are “converting it [the website] to reflect his work as leader and afterwards.”

And finally here’s a TV interview that was dug up by the pro-Brexit organisation Leave.EU. In it he says the European Union’s bureaucracy is unaccountable to anybody.

It appears Corbyn’s change of heart follows closely after his election as leader of the Labour party which is overwhelmingly pro-EU. Some 213  of Labour’s 231 MPs have signed up to Labour In For Britain — Labour’s Remain campaign group.

Corbyn preempted criticism over his change of mind, by admitting in his speech that he has a track record of being critical of the EU. He said he remains critical, but we need to work with it to change it. Here’s what he said, the added emphasis is ours.

Over the years I have continued to be critical of many decisions taken by the EU and I remain critical of its shortcomings, from its lack of democratic accountability to the institutional pressure to deregulate or privatise public services.

So Europe needs to change.

But that change can only come from working with our allies in the EU. It’s perfectly possible to be critical and still be convinced we need to remain a member.

Voting Reform

vote-toss

The results of the General Election have thrown up some intriguing uncertainties. For example, will the SNP’s unprecedented success precipitate the break up of the UK?

But one thing is certain from the results: the voting system needs to be changed in time for the next General Election.

Consider this. The UK Independence Party received almost four million votes. That’s the third highest and a total 12.6% share of the vote. Yet the party only received one seat in Parliament. Yet 12.6% of the 650 House of Commons is 82 seats!

Whatever you may think of UKIP, this is a travesty and makes a mockery of any notion of British “democracy”.

But it’s not just UKIP who were done over by our voting system.

The LibDems got two and a half million votes, a 7.9% share. Yet they received 1% of the seats.

The Greens gained 1.15 million votes, a 3.8% share. They only received a single seat.

On the other hand, the SNP got 50% of the vote in Scotland, yet a whopping 95% of all seats! Not quite as dramatic, but the Conservatives won 51% of the seats on a mere 36.9% of the vote.

And bear in mind that 33.9% of the eligible population didn’t even vote! That means the Conservatives were only supported by 24% of the voting age population, yet got more than half the seats.

Our system really is winner takes all.

A lot of people I’ve been speaking to have been really quite confused. So I’ll explain our system.

The country is divided into voting areas (constituencies). Whichever candidate gets the most votes in any area wins that seat. Everyone else gets nothing. This was UKIP’s problem: they came second in 120 seats nationwide! But first in one seat is better than second in a hundred under our system.

Perhaps in the era of two party politics, our current system worked well (for example, in the 1950 General Election, the Conservatives and Labour respectively gained 40% and 46.1% of the vote and 35.2% and 46.1% of the seats). But we no longer exist in that era, and never will again. So it’s time to change.

The only arguments in favour our system are that it’s easy to understand and produces stable government. Well, I think the idea our politics is stable is now laughable. And easy to understand? How can anyone understand a party receiving 12.6% of the vote getting a mere 0.15% of the seats?

The system needs to change. That is clear. But change to what? There are so many alternatives that the mind boggles.

Luckily for us, however, the UK has been engaged in numerous pilot schemes trialling different voting systems for a while now.

  • In the London Assembly, Welsh Assembly, and Scottish Parliament, the Additional Member System is used. It is semi-proportional; winners are chosen as in the General Election, but there are extra seats for each area which are awarded proportionally.
  • The London Mayor is selected by the Supplementary Vote system. Everyone picks their first choice and second choice. If no one candidate receives 50% of the vote, then all candidates except the top two are eliminated, and all second preference votes are redistributed. The candidate with most votes after these supplementary votes are added is the winner.
  • European Parliament elections are done according to the d’Hondt method which, more-or-less accurately, gives a proportional share of seats based on share of vote. For example, in the 2014 European Parliament Elections, the percentage of votes/seats won was: UKIP 26.6/32.88, Labour 24.43/27.40, Conservative 23.05/26.03, Green 6.91/4.11, SNP 2.37/2.74, and so on.
  • In London council elections, each ward elects up to three representatives.
  • There are many other systems in use in the UK. See here for all the details.

Clearly, no voting system is perfect (this is actually scientific fact: just see New Scientist‘s article if you don’t believe me), but we need to make votes count. Some ways include more even-sized constituencies so each vote is equally valuable, instant easy right to sack any MP / call a by-election, direct voting by the population, easily triggerable referenda, and so on. But changing the electoral system is key.

My proposal

Whilst I don’t want to break the link between MP and constituency, nor introduce two kinds of MP, I think the best solution is either a proportional system based on voting regions, e.g., the four nations or sub-regions thereof, or a London-style Additional member system with the current system supplemented by proportional elected regional MPs.

The 2015 General Election results were a travesty and a miscarriage of justice. Indeed, they were a farce. Let’s move into the twenty-first century.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

References
Full results: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2015/results

Scottish Parliament Electoral System: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/visitandlearn/Education/16285.aspx
European Parliament Electoral System: http://www.europarl.org.uk/en/your_meps/european_elections/the_voting_system.html
Other voting systems used in the UK: http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/elections-and-voting/voting-systems/
European Parliament Election Results 2014: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_election,_2014_(United_Kingdom)
New Scientist on the impossibility of fair elections: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627581.400-electoral-dysfunction-why-democracy-is-always-unfair.html#.VVYou2dFCM8

Featured image from http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/06.11/images/vote-toss.jpg

 

General Election 2015 Predictions: Aftermath

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The 2015 General Election is almost done, with less than a dozen seats left to declare. David Cameron has won, and with an outright majority.

Huw Edwards on the BBC said, “Nobody predicted this”.

Well, not quite nobody, Huw:

https://doggerelizer.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/general-election-2015-predictions/

As you can see, a nobody predicted this. If everybody wants to come to this nobody’s house and offer me a top boffin job and / or fat wodges of cash in return for my god-like insights, I will consider your offer.

But how did I get this right when top bods around the country didn’t? Was it luck? Was it insider knowledge? Was it a time machine or a cellophane-sealed batch of NZT-48?

Actually, it was simply a matter of being realistic, objective, and following the ebb and flow both on the streets (as a political activist, myself; I’m not a drug dealer) and in the media.

But my supernatural gift of foresight comes as a small crumb of relief because the party I voted for did not win. Also, I didn’t put a damn bet on!

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.link2portal.com

General Election 2015 Predictions

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I’ve been saying this for weeks, but I’ll say it here so there’s proof of how prescient and insightful I am, so all will flock hither to worship at my feet. Unless I’m wrong, of course, in which case I’ll promptly delete this post and deny ever having written it!

  • Everyone’s talking about coalition. Will it be Conservative-LibDem? Or Labour-SNP? Or Labour-LibDem? Or a “progressive” coalition of  Labour, SNP, LibDem, and Green? I personally think one party will win outright; no coalition will happen.
  • Despite the polls and the poll of polls saying for a while now that Labour will win most seats (if not an outright majority), I think that the Conservatives will win an outright, albeit narrow, majority. P.S. This is not wishful thinking: I’m not a Tory!
  • UKIP MPs Douglas Carwell and Mark Reckless will both lose their seats. UKIP will win a grand total of 1 or 0 seats.

Friday will tell whether I am a genius, or this post never happened.

featured image from http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/media/images/81891000/jpg/_81891191_f40ce8ec-ccb8-4108-892b-50ae511a42d8.jpg

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

Vote Hope, Not Fear

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Tomorrow, you will vote in a General Election.

All of the main parties are trying to scare you into voting for them.

The Conservatives tell you about the horror of a Labour-SNP coalition.

Labour tell you about the horror of a Conservative government which will cut, cut, cut.

The LibDems tell you about the horror of a hung parliament.

But I say:

VOTE HOPE, NOT FEAR.

Don’t vote to keep the other guy out.

Don’t vote for the lesser of two evils.

Vote for who you want to win. Even if it’s the Greens or UKIP and they won’t win anyway.

Be brave. Vote for your favourite candidate or party. Don’t vote for who you   wouldn’t hate the most to win: only by being brave like this, will we eventually change politics in this country.

featured image from http://www.newstatesman.com/sites/default/files/images/Salmond%20Miliband%20Call%20The%20Tune%20(3).jpg

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

General Election 2015: Ideologies

 

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The General Election is on 7th May 2015. So the question is, who should you vote for? 

There’s lots of reasons to vote for one party or another. But me, I like to know where people stand. I mean, where they really stand, not what they say. And whilst policies may change or be ill-thought-out, the fundamental underlying ideology which motivated those policies is key. Therefore, voting for the underlying ideology is a good reason to vote one way or another (even if some of the policies may be a tad dodgy).

The following represents what I believe to be a fair, one-sentence summary of the core ideology of each of most of the prominent British parties. I try to be as neutral, yet blunt, as possible — but you’ll see that I can only go so far on that point.

VOTE BNP if you believe in the rights of white, Anglo-Celtic Britons being put first.

VOTE GREEN if you believe that the environment is the single most important and pressing issue of our age and you believe that socialist-leaning policy can solve this.

VOTE PLAID CYMRU if you believe in putting Wales above everything else and that this should be done with socialist-leaning policies.

VOTE SNP if you believe in putting Scotland above everything else and this should be done with socialist-leaning policies.

VOTE UKIP if you believe that democracy is the most important issue of all and that British democracy is best served by leaving the EU and that this should be done with mixed / centrist policies.

VOTE CONSERVATIVE, LABOUR, OR LIBERAL DEMOCRAT if you like a blander style of politics with no underlying ideological commitments whatsoever.

SAY NO TO THE FALSE CHOICE OF THE “LESSER OF TWO EVILS” PHONY PARADIGM

Labour are no longer a socialist party. The LibDems are not really a liberal or a democrat party. The Conservatives are not a conservative nor a nationalist party. These three parties have no underlying ideology any more and they therefore cannot be trusted on anything they say.

futurama

The whole thing reminds me of the following skits from The Simpsons and Futurama.

The politics of failure have failed. It’s time to make them work again!
The Simpsons http://youtu.be/Tv5CT7r3Txo

[presidential candidates Jack Johnson and John Jackson having a debate]
Jack Johnson: It’s time that someone had the strength to stand up and say, ‘I’m against all those things that everybody hates!’
John Jackson: Now, I respect my opponent, I think he’s a good man, but quite frankly: I agree with everything he just said!
[…]
Jack Johnson: I say your titanium three cent tax goes too far!
John Jackson: And I say your titanium three cent tax doesn’t go too far enough!
Futurama http://youtu.be/Fs9P44voNfU, http://youtu.be/f69PnAUwv-E

People say, ‘A vote for UKIP is a vote for Ed Milliband’. People say, ‘A vote for the Greens is a vote for David Cameron’. People say, ‘Let’s vote for the lesser of two evils’. And most egregiously of all, people say, ‘A vote for anyone other than Labour or Conservative is a wasted vote’.

Well I say, a vote for something other than that which I believe in is itself a wasted vote. If I believe in Slightly Sillyism, and therefore vote for the Slightly Silly Party, then my vote is not wasted even if no one else votes Slightly Silly. Why not? Because otherwise, I’d be voting Labour or the Conservatives, neither of whom I support, and so voting for them would indeed be a wasted (and an idiotic) vote.

REJECT this phony “Vote Evil A to keep Worse Evil B out” paradigm.

REJECT this phony “A vote for a smaller party is a wasted vote” paradigm.

REJECT the LibLabCon who all share the same values and background, i.e., those of the ruling class and the old boy network, and who have no coherent ideology, i.e., no principles whatsoever.

DO NOT vote Labour, LibDem, or Conservative just because you always have. DO NOT vote Labour, LibDem, or Conservative because of what they used to stand for.

VOTE FOR an ideology. REJECT LibLabCon. Even if this means spoiling your ballot by writing a minority party in who aren’t standing in your constituency, e.g., the National Liberal Party, the English Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and so on.

Also, check out this political alignment quiz and this link to the manifestoes.

Happy voting!

featured image from https://poppyreece.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/liblabcon.jpg

John Jackson and Jack Johnson image from http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/nonciclopedia/images/2/2c/Jack_Johnson_e_John_Jackson_(futurama).jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120429093102

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

The Stunning Fall of the British National Party

BNP_logo_edit

Some stunning facts about the rise and crash of the British National Party (BNP).

  • In 2008, Richard Barnbrook was elected to the London Assembley for the BNP; the party had achieved 5.3% of the vote (130,714 votes).
  • in the 2010 General Election, the BNP fielded a record high of 338 candidates (the fifth highest after Labour, Conservatives, LibDems, and UKIP) and polled 563,743 votes: the fifth highest number of votes, and twice the amount that the Green Party (who got a candidate elected) managed.
  • In May 2010, the BNP had over 14,000 members — more than UKIP.
  • By January 2015, the party had a mere 500 members.
  • In the 2015 General Election, the BNP will field only 8 candidates — half as many as the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

The phrase “Pyrrhic Victory” springs to mind: the 2010 General Election was the BNP’s most successful, yet 267 of its candidates got less than 5% of the vote and so lost their deposit — costing the party £133,500. This more-or-less precipitated their decline.

Shit happens.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image edited from http://www.sparksunderland.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/BNP_logo-620×250.jpg

References:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-the-bnp-has-almost-vanished-from-british-politics-10176194.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Party

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election,_2010

http://www.bnp.org.uk/news/bnp-crashes-through-14000-membership-mark-%E2%80%94-party-now-larger-ukip

 

2015 General Election Manifestos & Policy Guide

 

 

General-Election-2015

The 2015 General Election is a mere 21 days away. Please read the manifestoes of each of the main parties. I’ve also included links to policy guides. Place your vote with full knowledge of the facts.

Policy Guide: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2015/manifesto-guide

Match the party to the policy: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-video-can-you-match-the-party-policy-to-the-manifesto-10178937.html

Conservative Party Manifesto: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/14/conservative-party-manifesto-2015-the-full-pdf

English Democrats Party Manifesto: http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk/policies/full-manifesto.html

Green Party Manifesto: https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/manifesto/Green_Party_2015_General_Election_Manifesto.pdf

Labour Party Manifesto: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/14/labour-manifesto-2015-the-full-pdf

Liberal Party Mini Manifesto: http://www.liberal.org.uk/elections/manifesto.pdf

Liberal Democrat Party Manifesto: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/libdems/pages/8907/attachments/original/1429028133/Liberal_Democrat_General_Election_Manifesto_2015.pdf?1429028133

Libertarian Party, A Manifesto: http://libertarianpartyuk.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Libertarian-Manifesto.pdf
Libertarian Party 2015 Manifesto: http://libertarianpartyuk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Manifesto-2015.pdf

National Liberal Party Manifesto: http://nationalliberal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/GEManifesto.pdf

Plaid Cymru Party Manifesto: https://www.partyof.wales/uploads/Plaid_Cymru_2015_Westminster_Manifesto.pdf

Scottish National Party (SNP) Manifesto: <<forthcoming>>

United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Manifesto: http://static.guim.co.uk/ni/1429097117463/theukipmanifesto2015.pdf

featured image from http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article10057263.ece/binary/original/General-Election-2015.jpg

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

General Election 2015: Find Out What To Think, Next!

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The General Election is a mere 30 days away and the politicians are desperately trying to make us choose them instead of whatever else is on the menu. But instead of setting the menu aside and just going for the same old dependable slurry that you always pick, open your mind up to change. I find think this quiz is pretty good. Take it and see who you really agree with (instead of who you think you agree with or who you want to agree with).

Enjoy!

http://uk.isidewith.com/political-quiz