The general election result caught many by surprise but when it became clear that the Tories would fall short of a majority all media attention turned to the prospect of the Tory-DUP agreement to keep the government going. This went into overdrive when Lib Dem leader Tim Farron ruled out any coalition or agreement with the Conservatives. With all other MPs in parties openly hostile to the Tories, with the exception of the DUP, the Conservatives found themselves backed into a corner but there remain problems with what they wish to achieve.
Theresa May is, to quote George Osborne, “a dead woman walking” and today’s Queen’s Speech perfectly exemplified this fact. May had initially intended that the announcement of a date for the speech would be a way of gaining leverage on the DUP but this did not happen and as a result there is not yet a formal arrangement in place to prop up a Tory minority government. Because of this political uncertainty the speech was devoid of serious proposals other than vague statements about Brexit that could be interpreted in different ways depending on one’s views of the EU, and a notable absence of proposals that were in the Conservative manifesto. Continue reading →
The Labour Party is in a strong position after this election but that must not be taken for granted. The party’s support is at its highest level for a number of years and this was in spite of an incredibly hostile print media response to senior Labour figures. Hopefully the influence of The Sun, The Mail and other papers of their ilk is one the decline but in the short-term they shall still be around. Let’s face facts, Labour lost the election because they didn’t win the most seats or get the most votes. But if Labour is to build on the successes that it did have at this election then it needs to understand what happened and think quickly about the future.
A few weeks ago Theresa May announced that there would be a general election, despite previously saying that there wouldn’t be, and is now out on the campaign trail endeavouring to lie her way back to power. The Tories currently have a poll lead that, whilst shrinking, at this point still puts them on course to win a handsome majority on 8th June. If the Left is going to successfully stop the Tories, it needs to strategically work to prop up anti-Tory candidates. Given my own radical views this is hard for me to say, but unfortunately we haven’t got the luxury of time.
After Theresa May’s announcement on the steps of Downing Street yesterday, the UK is going back to the polls. The snap general election will take place on 8th June, thus giving the parties a month and a half to put their case to the country. To be honest this took me by surprise because, having come out against a general election a few months ago, I believed that it would be too politically risky for May to blatantly go against her own word. Nevertheless we are where we are, and now the press needs to step up.
Political parties need to change to meet the challenges of the modern world. This is a statement that is true specifically in our own time, given the atmosphere of populism that we find ourselves, and more generally in regards to improved information technology. I personally believe the answer is in terms of grassroots organising. I think that if the Left is ever going to win power again it will have to have an army of volunteers and activists putting roots down in communities across the country and getting involved with local issues. But another component of this is having political parties that can enthuse people and make people feel like their voice can be heard, which is what Progress are now lobbying against.
The Conservatives entered government in 2010 on a manifesto pledge to reduce government bureaucracy and restore decision-making power to the people. Indeed the word they used was ‘localism’ which was evidently a repackaged way of calling for more decentralised government. And I’m here to say that I actually agree. I think that power should be returned to the people and a good thing to do would be to massively decentralise power away from Westminster. A good place to start would be the government departments who oversee devolved administrations.