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General British Politics Thread.

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For sure, this government has been making life extremely difficult for people, and the safety net has become electrified! Jobs are precarious, Austerity measures left right and centre, the sudden rise of people needing to use food banks... not to mention that education is more or less privatised, the NHS is being sold off piece by piece. No, this is no conspiracy theory, it's as clear as day what they are doing.

 

I swear every time I look at the news in the UK it gets more and more Dickensian!

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https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/07/lse-brexit-non-uk-experts-foreign-academics

The Government has declared that foreign experts - even those from the London School of Economics - will not be asked or allowed to advise on Brexit due to being foreign nationals.

This comes just days after a policy was passed requiring firms to list how many foreign workers they employ.

The pound, naturally, has resumed its downward spiral and has reached a 31-year low, as it becomes increasingly likely Britain will put up as many trade barriers as possible.

Rudd is also working on a proposal to make it more difficult for non-EU students to study in the UK.

 

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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/11/bernie-sanders-endorses-his-brother-larry-in-race-to-replace-david-cameron

Talk about political connections.

It turns out one of the candidates for the Parliament seat vacated by David Cameron's resignation is US Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' older brother. Larry Sanders is running on the Green Party ticket for the seat, and has lived in the UK since 1969.

The seat leans conservative, and Cameron won it with 60% of the vote in the last election. The Greens and Liberal Democrats are both trying to take it regardless, however. Larry is actually the Green Party's spokesman on healthcare, and one of his primary goals is to strengthen the NHS. Not surprisingly, Bernie has given his endorsement, in a rare case of a US Presidential candidate backing a British political candidate.

It's unlikely he'll win, of course, but it certainly is interesting to see that both the UK and US have a Sanders fighting for progressive issues.

I'm pondering how many anti-American ads will be made against Larry, even though he's lived in Britain most of his life.

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With the polls now closed in the 2017 General Election, we have an exit poll.

CON: 314, LAB: 266, LD: 14, UKIP: 0, SNP: 34, OTH: 22

If this turns out to be true, Theresa May made a huge mistake by calling this election.

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https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2017/jun/08/live-uk-election-results-in-full-2017

Live results are starting to come in, mostly safe constituencies.

However, exit polls indicate the Conservatives will lose their majority and Parliament will be hung.

The earliest indicator of where the wind is blowing comes at 8 PM EST/1 AM GMT, when a swing constituency that has predicted the winner since 1997 will have its results announced.

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This is basically what is likely a repeat of what happened with Malcom Turnbull here in Australia - newly-minted popular prime minister takes over a previously unpopular PM from the same party and calls a snap election to take advantage of their popularity, but voters realize they're not much better if at all. In Australia's case, Turnbull won a majority but by a razor's edge, and Turnbull threw a hissy-fit about it during his "victory" speech.

May might not be so lucky. I'm tempted to throw out comparisons to Julia Gillard as well in the even of a hung parliament, but the circumstances are considerably different (popular PM (Kevin Rudd) gets booted by his own party completely out of the blue because they don't like working with him and use his handling of a hot-button issue as an excuse, but his replacement ends up with a hung parliament in the next election and is dogged by a rabid opposition leader (Tony Abbott) and a vengeful Rudd undermining her at every turn, which eventually kills the government's election chances).

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Oh man, this is hilarious.

Tories will clearly go into coalition with DUP, but all it will take now is a handful of backbenchers to rebel and they're screwed on any controversial legislation.

May's fucked herself over, and to be honest, fucked the country over when it comes to Brexit negotiations now. I mean, I voted Remain and would rather a "soft" Brexit that is mutually beneficial, but Europe are going to absolutely screw the UK now (and why shouldn't they, they've got every right).

This really is one of the biggest political screw-ups in UK history.

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About 72% of people between ages 18 and 25 voted in this election. Apparently, it looks like the majority of that turnout demographic voted for Labour. The young vote lent a very massive impact to the election.

Also, I found this very funny tweet in response to the election:

 

 

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If there's a "How not to mistake political mistake" class taught, this election would be discussed in great detail. May did not need to call this election, but did so anyway displaying overconfidence and she paid with her majority in parliament for it. Despite this, she is going to try and form a government. Supposedly, DUP may enter a coalition with her party.

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9 hours ago, Covskin said:

Tories will clearly go into coalition with DUP

That alliance would be about as tenable as May's position as PM, given that it would deal a huge blow to moderate Tory support.

DBonxXrXgAA8y1l.jpg

A Dark Souls NPC ran for office in May's constituency, ha! PM constituencies always draw the weirdos.

 

What a great night for Britain, and a truly spectacular display of May's strategic ineptitude. I honestly did not see it going so well.

Unfortunately, the Fixed Term Parliament Act probably won't be going away any time in the near future, as there won't be enough MPs willing to endure another election so soon. So, we're faced with a shitty coalition for the next full parliamentary term, Brexit negotiations ticking down without knowing what the hell we're trying to negotiate, and the government trying to govern everything else as normal on top of that.

The Conservatives are so screwed. Corbyn could well be the next PM.

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5 hours ago, Covskin said:

May's fucked herself over, and to be honest, fucked the country over when it comes to Brexit negotiations now. I mean, I voted Remain and would rather a "soft" Brexit that is mutually beneficial, but Europe are going to absolutely screw the UK now (and why shouldn't they, they've got every right).

On the other hand, May was perfectly fine with a crushingly hard Brexit, whereas the religious zealots at DUP want the softest Brexit possible due to the Irish border question hanging over their heads. They will need to reach a compromise if they want their coalition to survive. Had May decisively won the election, she'd be perfectly fine with crashing the UK out of the EU and turning the country into a neo-feudal dystopia. Now her hands are tied.

Farage is already on TV talking about how alarmed he's that Brexit might now end up being watered down.

The Leavers are mad that the "saboteurs" won.

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6 hours ago, Patticus said:

The Conservatives are so screwed. Corbyn could well be the next PM.

Hopefully when he pushes for a no confidence vote, he's fairly positive he can pick up enough seats to force May from power.

Given how shaky any coalition is going to be, I wouldn't be surprised if the full term isn't served.

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The UK government has for many decades maintained the position of a neutral negotiator in the sectarian conflict.

The fact that May now wants to openly side with the DUP, who have proven ties to protestant terrorist organizations, is incredibly reckless.

EDIT:

 

Edited by Volphied

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https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/09/dup-conservative-pact-lacks-democratic-legitimacy

For anyone interested in the Sinn Fein position's source.

Basically: Northern Ireland's assembly has been unable to meet due to an inability of Sinn Fein and the DUP to reach a power sharing agreement, which basically allows direct rule from London.

However, with DUP now a kingmaker in London, they are in a position to rule Northern Ireland, which would run contrary to the idea that both or neither parties rule Northern Ireland.

This is going to be interesting.

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https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2018/jul/09/david-davis-resigns-as-brexit-secretary-live-updates

So basically, looks like the Govenrment's having itself a fun time with the resignation of the Brexit Secretary and the Foreign Secretary within 24 hours of each other.

https://www.politico.eu/article/theresa-may-wins-agreement-for-new-uk-brexit-offer/

The formal Brexit plan - the "White Paper" - is going to be shared on Thursday. Looks like it involves cooperation on regulatory standards governing goods in exchange for continued free trade with the EU; this would not be the case for services, so the UK's service industry would take a hit.

However, a lot of this is smoke and mirrors: there's also a proposal that would allow continued free movement. The main things that change are the service industry gets hit with trade barriers and the UK stops paying into the EU budget even as it reaps the benefits of economic union.

You know. Having your cake and eating it too. Honestly hoping May's proposal to enjoy the benefits of the EU with none of the costs gets laughed out of the room.

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https://www.businessinsider.com/theresa-may-nhs-brexit-free-trade-deal-donald-trump-2018-2?r=UK&IR=T

In a case of what should have been a freebie for approval points but was instead squandered and has sent alarm bells blaring, Theresa May refused to issue a statement that the NHS would not be sold off as part of a trade deal with the US. The House of Commons wanted reassurance that she would never privatize the NHS or sell it off to foreigners, and she would not commit to either.

You're hearing that right, folks. She simply deflected to the idea it's not known what the US will want in any trade deal, the Prime Minister refused to commit to keeping the NHS public (and in the hands of UK citizens, for that matter).

What is this world coming to...

Edit:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/liam-fox-international-trade-secretary-interview-nhs-trade-deal-brexit-trump-no-deal-2018-7?r=US&IR=T

Ah, that's an older article. The issue just resurfaced recently because the trade deal negotiations are growing closer and a lot of people still worry the Government will sell off the NHS if it has to. Since the comment, lower ministers have insisted there'd be no attempts to sell it off, but the Trade Secretary is basically just accusing anyone anxious of a selloff of being a socialist.

So, you know. More reason to keep an eye on things and make sure they don't actually try to do it. Once the namecalling of concerned people starts, it's not a good sign.

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Top class video, I urge anyone and everyone to watch it. It's quite illuminating, and Stephen Fry doth make a wonderful narrator.

On 7/30/2018 at 10:56 AM, Coyote (Ogilvie) said:

https://www.businessinsider.com/theresa-may-nhs-brexit-free-trade-deal-donald-trump-2018-2?r=UK&IR=T

In a case of what should have been a freebie for approval points but was instead squandered and has sent alarm bells blaring, Theresa May refused to issue a statement that the NHS would not be sold off as part of a trade deal with the US. The House of Commons wanted reassurance that she would never privatize the NHS or sell it off to foreigners, and she would not commit to either.

You're hearing that right, folks. She simply deflected to the idea it's not known what the US will want in any trade deal, the Prime Minister refused to commit to keeping the NHS public (and in the hands of UK citizens, for that matter).

What is this world coming to...

Edit:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/liam-fox-international-trade-secretary-interview-nhs-trade-deal-brexit-trump-no-deal-2018-7?r=US&IR=T

Ah, that's an older article. The issue just resurfaced recently because the trade deal negotiations are growing closer and a lot of people still worry the Government will sell off the NHS if it has to. Since the comment, lower ministers have insisted there'd be no attempts to sell it off, but the Trade Secretary is basically just accusing anyone anxious of a selloff of being a socialist.

So, you know. More reason to keep an eye on things and make sure they don't actually try to do it. Once the namecalling of concerned people starts, it's not a good sign.

That post reminds me of this...

Quote

The Brexit game is designed to do two things: firstly, to short sell the UK economy by creating a crisis, and then to asset strip the country after Brexit by selling off public assets like the NHS, the education system and anything that moves.

https://www.thenational.scot/comment/columnists/16336701.tory-brexit-game-is-designed-to-sell-us-short-and-asset-strip-the-country/

Rees-Mogg stands to make at least ‎£9bn from the No Deal scenario. Boris Johnson, a doubtless similar sum. May... well who fucking knows about her, am I right?

The chief Brexiteers cannot speak openly of their real intentions, because were those intentions known, the public would be so outraged that the public support that the Leave camp enjoyed would vanish instantly. So they hide behind their misleading rhetoric, their lies, their false promises and assurances of a new golden age waiting right around the corner, knowing full well the misery and disaster that truly await.

Meanwhile...

Quote

A hard or no-deal Brexit threatens to cause serious harm to Britain’s gaming industry, which contributes almost £2bn a year to the economy, a report says.

Because the industry works across borders and competes for highly skilled international talent with other high-growth areas such as AI research, it stands to suffer in the event of a harsh Brexit that leaves the nation disconnected from the European economy, the campaign group Games4EU argues.

“UK interactive entertainment will be harmed by a hard Brexit … and devastated in a no-deal Brexit,” said the report’s author, Jas Purewal, a digital entertainment lawyer. “This will make it harder to recruit talent into the UK and over the longer term may aid a brain drain of talent out of the UK and into the EU or elsewhere.”

Ian Livingstone, the founder of Games Workshop and one of the leading lights of Britain’s games industry, said in an interview that the games industry “ticks all the right boxes for the knowledge economy – high skills, high tech, high growth, IP-creating, regional, digital, 80% export in a global market worth $120bn per annum”.

He said: “By removing certainty and many of the existing benefits of EU membership, it is feared that Brexit will hinder the UK industry’s ambition to be the best in the world.”

Livingstone argued that gaming’s status as a British success story was under-appreciated, leading the sector to be left out of government thinking on industrial strategy.

“Rockstar North’s Grand Theft Auto 5 generated $1bn in revenue in less than a week. The global revenue from hit mobile game Golf Clash will exceed $100m in 2018. It was developed by Wilmslow-based Playdemic Ltd with less than 60 employees. The industry contributes over £2bn to UK GDP,” he said.

“But nobody writes about the industry’s success and what is needed to keep it best in class. The video games industry is a flagship for British creativity and a cornerstone of the creative industries. Young multinational, multicultural designers, artists and engineers thrive in British games studios.

“Hiring the best overseas talent does not displace British jobs, it helps protect them. Future growth and performance is dependent on the best talent in order to develop the best products. This in turn attracts the best projects and the most investment from all over the world. What’s not to like?”

Between them, Games4EU and a sister group, Tech For UK, gathered more that 2,300 signatures to a letter sent to Theresa May last week calling for a public vote so people can have the final say over whether to leave the EU.

The Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, who signed the Tech For UK letter, said: “A good tech sector relies on an open and outward-facing business culture. But that’s threatened by this Brexit deal, which pulls up the drawbridge and leaves us isolated.

“That’s why some of the most exciting firms in the country are against the deal. We demand a final say on Brexit to secure the future of our industry.”

In a poll of the industry taken just before article 50 was invoked in March 2017, 40% of UK games companies said they were considering relocating to the EU after Brexit, largely out of a need to address the expected skills shortage that would follow.

https://www.theguardian.com/games/2018/nov/30/no-deal-brexit-would-devastate-uk-gaming-industry-says-report

For some perspective: The British fishing industry contributes about £1bn to the British economy each year, and whenever it feels threatened, it receives practically wall-to-wall coverage in the press. As an island nation with millennia of maritime history, that's entirely understandable - it's a longstanding part of the fabric of Britain. However, the videogame industry contributes about £5bn to the British economy, making it far more valuable, yet it receives next to no coverage even when under direst threat. Sure, it's relatively new and little understood or respected by outsiders, but its loss will be felt far more keenly than the fishing industry - but to watch the news or read the papers, you wouldn't know it.

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I'd be surprised if she gets the deal past the commons next week. I don't fancy a general election, because we had one not that long ago and the EU have said its this deal, no deal or no Brexit so I don't think a change in leadership or Labour coming in would change much. Is another referendum vote on the cards, I think it is but we shall wait and see.

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I don't see how they can move forward without a second referendum, honestly - we know now that leaving the EU in any form, even with a good deal, will shrink the British economy by several percentage points, and that it is likely to generate a recession, if not complete economic crisis. We also know now that the leading Brexit champions in the government stand to benefit enormously financially from it. Men of the people my fucking arse...

If the "will of da peepul" in a non-binding advisory referendum "on teking back are sovrintee" 2+ years ago was enough to get us here, it is not sufficient to carry us further down this road. We know much more today of the consequences of leaving than in 2016, millions of people's views have changed in the years since '16, the government has proven itself entirely incompetent and the chief Brexiteers corrupt, and the Leave campaign has since been proven to have lied and broken campaign finance rules.

To carry on now regardless would be in the interests only of those who stand to make a windfall off the ensuing economic crisis - Rees-Mogg and co.

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