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zompist bboard • View topic - A Very Brief Explanation of the British Election

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:01 pm 
Sanno
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Just read the . ucking h ll.

ETA: The US equivalent of "P45" would be "".


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:45 pm 
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Damnit, that was three footnotes in a row I'd forgotten to insert...

[on the nuance front: a P45 is a little nicer than a pink slip, I think - they don't technically tell you you're fired, they're just part of the leaving process (even if you're leaving voluntarily). But yeah, that's the general idea.]


While I'm at it, from my previous post:

*The Florence Speech: a speech Theresa May gave in Florence, about Brexit. You'll probably hear it mentioned a lot over the next two years. It's the blueprint for Brexit, finally answering all the big questions about the government's intentions. Unfortunately, a lot of the answers were a shrug. Key points include a transitional period, a third-party arbitration system to replace the ECJ's authority over the UK, and theoretical acceptance of such notions as transitional payments and citizen's rights.

**To be fair to Kipling, "The Road to Mandalay" itself isn't objectively all that objectionable. It's about a working class British soldier lamenting how much better Burma is than England, and remembering his old Burmese sweetheart. However, as it's written in the voice of the common man, there are a few lines that could be seen as insensitive (he calls a statue of the Buddha "a bloomin' idol made o' mud / wot they called the Great Gawd Budd", etc), apparently Kipling's whole conceit of juxtaposing romance with a temple setting (the statue the girl worships at, and the temple bells the soldier hears calling him back to Burma) is considered religiously offensive, and in any case a good rule of thumb is that Kipling is often disapproved of on principle in former colonies...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:08 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:25 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:33 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Could he mean this?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:27 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:53 am 
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ANYWAY. I've uncovered some exclusive footage of the behind-the-scenes strategy planning that went into the PM's speech! . As you can see, it's all going brilliantly at that point. And is what appears to be some sort of premonition of what will happen to her...

Meanwhile, the Tories have struck back in an attempt to appeal to the Youth Vote, with a big advertising buy on Instagram. The idea is to shower young voters with exciting, hip images that will really inspire and enthuse them and make them know that the Tory Party are the party of the future and of happening young people.
Particular highlights of their marketing campaign include , , , and best of all , which can't fail but inspire, I feel.

The Conservative Party. The with-it party who really get social media.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:09 am 
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You have to give the poor woman credit: she did, after all, display that British Bulldog spirit and fought through to the end in the face of Serious Obstacles.

Imagine, though, if it had been Boris up there instead of Theresa when al that was going on... obviously, except for the bit with the P45.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Update: nobody knows what's happening. Apparently former chairman Grant Shapps is leading a backbench rebellion against May, but isn't there yet. Now, some papers report that she's weathered the current crisis, for now, and that she will take revenge with a reshuffle. However, other papers have said that she's going to be kicked out in the next day or two.

------

So, what does it actually take to replace a PM in this country?

Well, in practice, this is the same as removing the leader of the largest party. That won't automatically strip them of the office of PM, but in practice it's virtually inconceivable this not happening - the only significant precedent in recent times would be between May 1940 and November 1940, when Churchill was Prime Minister, but not the leader of any political party. That was because there was a transition from one coalition government to another, during wartime, and Churchill was chosen as the Tory most likely to be able to gain the support of coalition allies; as he was deeply unpopular in his own party, he didn't become Tory leader at that point, and didn't until the Tories rallied around him for the sake of national unity after his predecessor, Chamberlain, died. So, it's possible that taking May's position as leader of the Conservative Party might not stop her being PM. But... it's virtually inconceivable. [Though it would be funny. If Labour and a faction of the Tories united their efforts, they could keep her as PM indefinitely!]

[There are also often trivial inconsistencies in the timeline. So, Brown succeeded Blair as Leader on the 24th, but only succeeded him as Prime Minister on the 27th.]

---

So, how do you replace a leader of the conservative party?

Well, the theory runs like this: there are many stages.

First, 25% of the Tory MPs must submit their names to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee. For context: Shapps is said to have 30 MPs already declared, but he needs 48 at this stage.

Second, the Chairman of the 1922 Committee calls a Vote of No Confidence among Tory MPs: do they, or do they not, want to keep the current leader? Yes or no vote, most votes wins.

Third, if the PM loses the VONC, the 1922 Committee announces a leadership election. At this point, MPs can nominate themselves (or be nominated? Not sure - but unlike Labour, they don't need nominations for more than a certain percentage of the party - one nomination is enough).

In the first part of the leadership election, MPs vote in periodic ballots; after each vote, the losing nominee drops out. This process continues until there are only two remaining nominees.

At this point, the party membership as a whole votes on the last two candidates, and the winner becomes party leader - and by extension Prime Minister.

Simple!

----

You will not be surprised to learn: this may not actually happen. It's just as likely that she resigns, or that her cabinet would force her to resign.

If she does go, it would be an exciting political landmark - it would be only the second outright defenestration of a prime minister in modern times, after Thatcher. [Churchill, Eden and Macmillan all faced serious calls for resignation, but "retired" from politics saving face, citing (genuine) serious health issues.Wilson resigned out of the blue. Blair had announced in advance that he would not fight the next general election.]

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:16 pm 
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In the interests of accuracy, might it be worth either renaming this thread, or starting a new one? It could be called "The British Politics Thread" or similar. Sal's last post was certainly about *a* British Election, but there's little more to be said about *the* British Election...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:28 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:40 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:45 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:52 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:05 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:36 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Well, things carry on not happening.

May has suggested she may have a reshuffle as soon as this weekend, but her ability to do so is questionable. On the one hand, there's obviously pressure to sack Johnson. But Johnson's allies are instead calling for her to sack Hammond - and the DUP have expressed 'deep concern' about him. He's suggested there should be a deal with the EU, making him a "traitor" and a "saboteur". (calling the EU "the enemy" hasn't been enough to get back in their good books). Hammond has the support of more MPs, but Johnson's fans are more vocal, and may be more numerous among the grassroots. It would be hard to sack either without sacking the other now, since either way the fans of the loser will feel outraged that an equally "disloyal" minister hasn't been equally punished. Besides, sacking either would be read as the PM having an opinion on Brexit, and May's entire survival policy is not having any opinion on Brexit (or, rather, persuading both sides that she secretly agrees with them but is just having to pretend to have not made up her mind yet).

So she could sack neither of them. But having hinted at a reshuffle, anything less than a major scalp will look like cowardice. Plus, apparently now a lot of younger Tory backbenchers are sick of the lot of them and want a major clearing out to let new, younger names get more senior jobs. So then the alternative option is sacking both of them, which would provoke a major rebellion.

What she should do is sack both of them (even though Hammond hasn't done anything wrong), and stamp her authority on the party - either she'd be quickly sacked herself, or the party would be cowed into obedience. What she'll probably do, though, is have a pseudo-reshuffle in which a few minor names are moved around to look like she's doing something, but nothing will really change, and the chaos and disloyalty will just get worse and worse until she ends up being sacked anyway.

Meanwhile, allies of Hammond have apparently persuaded allies of Merkel to go on record blaming Johnson for the lack of progress in Brexit, which is an interesting spin, but probably won't work.

Oh, and Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, has condemned as "unthinkable" the 'no-deal Brexit' that Davies and Rees-Mogg are advocating, and that the PM has just announced that she is preparing for.


[What often happens in the case of cabinet sackings is that people aren't "sacked", but moved "laterally" in ways that demote them. The problem is, Hammond and Johnson occupy two of the Great Offices of State - there aren't really any other jobs (other than Home Secretary) that aren't obviously a massive demotion, so there's no polite middle way here. One possibility would be moving one of them to Party Chairman - an eminent office and a great honour, but with little power. But Johnson apparently says he doesn't want the job, and the party probably wouldn't want Hammond.]

Anyway, Trump's recent problems and the Catalan situation have rather occluded the leadership issue... but it's still there!

-----

In policy news, incidentally, the Tories have been showing how much they care about the working man.

On the one hand, they've introduced an irritating tax on poverty. They're rolling out something called Universal Credit, which sounds like universal basic income, but is actually a way to consolidate various welfare payments into one, much smaller, payment, and it's confusing, and very unpopular. There's a helpline you can call if you're desparately poor and you want information and advice about the new Universal Credit, which sounds like a good idea....
...and the government are charging the poor 55p a minute to phone the helpline.
Now, the PM has U-turned and has "scrapped" the fee. But the papers today are reporting that this hasn't actually changed the fact that you have to pay to phone them, it was just a soundbite.

On the other news, since the Tories are traditionally (as the old land-owning party) opposed to the Death Tax (ie inheritance), Hammond has had the bright idea of going further and imposing a Life Tax. More specifically, the plan is for a "tax on age": poor people who fail to die early enough will have their pensions and benefits reduced, in order to give the money to young people. Now, there's some reasoning behind this - lots of young people do feel cheated by the older generation, and this is clearly part of the May-Hammond strategy of dragging the youth vote away from Corbyn. But, particularly when combined with the brouhaha around the proposed tax on dementia in the spring, such a blatantly political attack on older voters, the Tory core demographic, seems... courageous.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Any news on Brexit? My understanding is six months of the 2-year negotiating period has been eaten up with basically zero progress. Has anything been agreed to at all?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:50 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Ironically, it seems all of the goals would be better negotiated as a fellow member of the EU with the approach of being a relatively un-integrated country in the multi-speed model.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:24 pm 
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If the full two years go by without agreement, and all the UK's agreements automatically end and Britain becomes The Purge, would it be possible to reintegrate or very rapidly re-apply to the EU as if nothing happened? Surely after watching the UK strangle itself on a foot and a half of rope Brussels would feel at least a little bit of pity for Old Blighty, and once the rivers turn to blood I'm sure the government can find some legal excuse for reneging on the referendum. They could tell the people "We gave it a good try lads, and cuffed those Eurocrats about the ears. Now they know not to mess with us!" etc... Would the EU and the racist pensioners really keep on this path after it takes Britain straight off the edge of the world?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:47 pm 
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The most likely scenario is the Tories are ousted by Labour, who call a new referendum, which gets massive support for ending Brexit, and either Brexit is called off (rather unlikely) or we rejoin the EU (still not particularly likely though)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:46 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:46 am 
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Knowing the British, everybody will ignore the Brexit deadline comes, and it will join all the wars and other legal decisions from centuries ago that technically are still on-going, but in practice nobody cares about anymore.

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