5 thoughts on “After the British election

  1. (Un)missed ministers

    – Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer, who wrote the Tory manifesto, loses Ipswich.

    – Housing minister Gavin Barwell, Croydon Central.

    – Health minister Nicola Blackwood, Oxford West and Abingdon.

    – Health minister David Mowat, Warrington South.

    – Financial minister Jane Ellison, Battersea.

    – City minister Simon Kirby, Brighton Kemptown.

    – Children and families minister Edward Timpson, Crewe and Nantwich.

    – Charities minister Rob Wilson, Reading East.

    – Growth minister James Wharton, Stockton South.

    Biggest losers

    – Tory MP Julian Brazier loses Canterbury, a seat held by the Conservatives for 99 years, to Labour.

    – Former Lib Dem leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg loses Sheffield Hallam to Labour.

    – SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson loses Moray to the Tories.

    – Former SNP leader Alex Salmond loses Gordon to the Tories.

    Near misses

    – Home Secretary Amber Rudd hangs onto her Hastings & Rye seat by just 346 votes.

    – Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron narrowly keeps Westmorland & Lonsdale seat by 777 votes.

    – Tory Zac Goldsmith retakes Richmond Park seat by just 45 votes.

    Best quotes

    – Following a technical glitch, BBC election coverage host David Dimbleby states with no sense of irony: “This is supposed to be 2017 not 1917.”

    – Jeremy Corbyn’s acceptance speech after being re-elected in Islington North: “Politics has changed. Politics is not going back into the box where it was before.”

    – Footballer Gary Lineker referring to Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election: “I think Theresa May has won own goal of the season.”

    – Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith on Corbyn: “I take my hat off to him.”

    World reaction

    – EU president Donald Tusk congratulated Theresa May on winning the elections, writing: “I would like to congratulate you on your reappointment as Prime Minister,” before adding that there was much urgency to start the Brexit negotiations.

    – EU budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger questions the timetable for exit negotiations to start, saying: “Without a government, there’s no negotiation.”

    – The pound fell further after election results showed a hung parliament. The currency lost as much as 3 cents against the dollar late Thursday and early yesterday, to fall as low as $1.2636.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-30b3-Election-tidbits-in-case-you-missed-it#.WTvFBNykIdU

  2. Saturday 10th June 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    Corbyn has shown the Tories that they are not so ‘strong and stable’ and that they can no longer take the public for granted, writes CHARLOTTE HUGHES

    SPEAKING to people on Thursday, I noticed a massive shift in the atmosphere.

    People that had never voted before told me that they were voting for the first time and I saw young people queuing outside polling stations.

    The optimistic sense of anticipation which lingered in the air was palpable.

    I asked people for their opinions and their answers echoed each other’s unknowingly.

    The Tory party, they said, doesn’t have a clue about working-class life and the Brexit deal they were seeking was far too hard.

    They told me how they couldn’t take any more of the Tories’ austerity measures. One man said to me: “[Theresa May] won’t starve me into submission. I’m angry.”

    The odds were massively stacked against Jeremy Corbyn at the start of the campaign.

    May was so confident of a landslide victory that she didn’t feel the need to actively campaign.

    The predictions on the eve of the election at first were that the Tory Party was going to lead by a decent majority — although that quickly changed when the first exit polls predicted a hung parliament and the mood suddenly changed.

    Soon the media began asking MPs whether they thought May should resign and a leadership battle should ensue.

    The Tory MP for Broxtowe Anna Soubry stated openly on air that the PM should now “consider her position.”

    Iain Duncan Smith stated that the Tory Party needed “stability at the moment,” a nice irony after the continuous repetition of “strong and stable” — words that will likely haunt the Tories forever more.

    Labour has achieved what many had predicted was impossible. The party gained an impressive number of seats and successfully stormed a few Tory strongholds, like Canterbury which the Tories have held since 1918.

    Labour might not have won the general election but they have exceeded all expectations.

    Corbyn understood the need for a different kind of campaigning. He reached out to those whose voices were being ignored.

    His election campaign has inspired people, given hope to the hopeless and shown his doubters that there is indeed another way.

    Corbyn remained confident and energetic throughout the campaign.

    For whatever reason, the Tories centred their campaign around May, similar to the presidential campaign that Donald Trump ran. But they underestimated the British public and the Tories’ plans backfired spectacularly.

    To put it simply, this election has been a total disaster for May and the Tory Party.

    May could have continued for three more years with her majority. Instead she chose to gamble and lost, leaving her government in a much weaker and more vulnerable position than she started. She is now in no position to endorse anything, let alone a hard Brexit.

    The realisation that the Labour Party has a real possibility of winning the next general election (whever that may be) and that Corbyn’s policies are not only possible but popular is beginning to dawn on millions.

    Labour should now stand united to fight against the Tory Party, its policies and neoliberal ideology.

    The results mean that there will be no talk of Corbyn standing down as leader of the opposition.

    He has given the Labour Party the leadership and direction that it badly needed.

    No more leaning to the centre, but a definite leaning to the left, which is what their supporters and returning supporters badly wanted to see.

    It was an amazing night for those dreaming of an end to Tory austerity and raises the hope that further austerity measures will be more vigorously opposed in Parliament from a much stronger and united opposition.

    The Tories’ targeting of the most vulnerable will now be made much harder.

    So what does this mean for the people of this country? It has now shaken the confident Tory rule.

    Their proposed policies, such as the loss of the triple lock for pensions, will now be actively opposed, delayed, halted, questioned and could now be dropped.

    A more active opposition will be given to unfair and harmful policies already in place.

    The election result has also shown the public that there is an effective opposition fighting for them.

    It has also shown young voters that their vote is important and that they too are valued.

    After all, it is their future that we vote for and they quite rightly deserve an equal say.

    The Tories and their DUP allies will be opposed at every step.

    They can no longer take the public for granted because the public have reminded them that it is they who are in charge.

    It has changed the face of British politics forever. I’m certain that before this election took place, the Tory Party thought that it really would be in power for the unseeable future.

    Corbyn has shown the Tories that they are not invincible, that Britain is not a one party state and that there is hope for us all. A hope that we can, as Jeremy says, “make this country for the many not the few.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-ede7-Labour-is-now-a-force-to-be-reckoned-with#.WTvI1NykIdU

  3. Saturday 10th June 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    BERNADETTE HORTON worried the Welsh had had it with elections. But Corbyn’s message got the young out to vote

    LIVING in the Vale of Clwyd in North Wales, it hasn’t been an easy couple of years since the 2015 general election.

    We lost 2015 to the Tories by 237 votes — not because the Tory candidate was popular, but because there was an unseen and silent Ukip vote of protest which took nearly 5,000 votes away from Labour.

    We lost the popular MP “man for all people” and Labour MP for the previous 18 years Chris Ruane, and it hurt like hell.

    I watched the shiny new blue and gold Tory MP’s office open up in my town, with no expense spared on personalised etched-plate glass windows, and every time I passed it, I felt stabbed through the heart.

    Cue the 2017 snap election. Here in Wales, we are more campaign weary than England.

    After the 2015 general election, the 2016 Welsh Assembly elections quickly followed, heralding more money for campaign expenses and street pounding.

    The EU referendum election followed a month later and we’d hardly recovered our breath when the 2017 Welsh council elections were upon us.

    After all of that, many campaigners thought we could have a year off and save some shoe wear. But then Theresa May went and called a general election.

    With seven weeks notice, we called on Labour’s Chris Ruane to wrench his seat back from our Tory MP, James Davies, who interestingly opposed the junior doctors’ strike and turned his back on his own profession back in 2016.

    From the off, you could sense this election was different.

    And the difference was Jeremy Corbyn and the youth vote, and the fact our candidate Chris Ruane is completely at ease talking to small businesses, community leaders and helping those who have nothing.

    Over in Aberconwy — a solid Tory seat — the 23-year-old Emily Owen and keen Corbyn supporter was nominated as their Labour candidate as a new young voice eager for change.

    Owen has been instrumental in mobilising the youth and female votes. On the streets, word was coming back that first-time voters were actually eager to vote, campaign and mobilise, and eager to support Corbyn.

    For once their views were being listened to by a political party.

    And it wasn’t all about university tuition fees either — although this was a great vote winner.

    I have four sons aged 18, 19, 25 and 28. They are all at different stages in their lives and I kept hearing from them and their friends that affordable housing was a key issue. They worry that even renting a home is out of their reach.

    Another major youth issue and a reason why Corbyn was getting their backing was the promise of a £10 per hour living wage and an end to the scourge of zero-hours contracts.

    Every time Jeremy appeared at a rally and when he came to Colwyn Bay, the young felt he was listening to them rather than merely talking at them.

    The fact that he is not some millionaire politician living in an ivory tower but actually takes the time to listen to young people’s worries and act upon their concerns greatly appealed to the young.

    Here in Wales, our devolved Labour government has retained the Education Maintenance Allowance for sixth formers on low parental incomes at £30 per week.

    Many of my sons’ friends were concerned that their peers in England were not entitled to it too.

    Among older people seven weeks ago, there was a distinct hostility to Jeremy, fuelled by the lies and smears of the right-wing media.

    But when the broadcast media were obliged to cover him fairly and allowed Labour to put forward its popular socialist policies, they warmed to him.

    One older lady told me: “I was going to vote for Theresa May, but I saw Jeremy speak. He speaks from the heart and is a genuinely decent man who will look after the elderly.”

    And that was the message of the whole campaign here in Wales. A combination of local Labour candidates working their socks off, knowing how their local electorate ticks and what their concerns are.

    Social media also played a huge part. May and her Tory brigands took out four-page wraparound advertisements in our local papers, spending huge amounts to effectively try to buy votes with money the local Labour candidates simply don’t have.

    But as they threw money at their election campaign and had the rightwing media barons of the appalling Sun, Daily Mail etc printing acres of downright lies, we in Labour had people power and social media.

    I managed the constituency’s Twitter and Facebook accounts and as time went on, people came out of the woodwork to register their enthusiasm to get Ruane elected and many of these were 18 to 30-year-olds. There was a real appetite to see our Labour candidate get elected and to see those Labour policies implemented.

    The high voter turnout across Britain is fuelled by the 18 to 30-year-olds and their issues must be taken on board. Their worries are considerable: university tuition fees; student finance; lack of affordable housing; concern for the environment and fracking; not being able to access mental health services easily; a privatised NHS; a living wage; stable employment… the list goes on.

    My constituency, the Vale of Clwyd, now has our Labour MP back, so has Gower in south west Wales.

    Sadly the enigmatic Emily Owen in the safe Tory seat of Aberconwy did not get elected but only lost by 635 votes — whereas in 2015 the Tories had a 3,999 majority. We haven’t heard the last from Emily Owen and her new generation of Labour candidates.

    Now please excuse me while I phone my new Labour MP. I believe there’s a vacancy in his new shiny office that needs a lick of red paint and new windows.

    Bernadette Horton is a grassroots activist and member of Unite Community.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-abc2-People-power-beat-the-Tories-money-in-Wales#.WTvJKNykIdU

  4. Saturday 10th
    posted by Morning Star in Features

    Jeremy Corbyn has confounded his critics by taking his manifesto message directly to the people, trusting them to put aside Tory and media lies and misrepresentations when given the opportunity to judge him face to face, writes ROBERT GRIFFITHS

    ALMOST 13 million people have voted for a left-wing Labour manifesto with its policies for more progressive taxation of the rich and big business, massive public investment in the NHS and other public services, public ownership of strategic industries and utilities, an expansion of employment and trade union rights and a halt to privatisation.

    Furthermore, a majority of electors have rejected austerity policies. The Tories have no mandate for five months of public spending cuts, never mind another five years.

    In raising Labour’s share of the poll by 10 percentage points to almost match the Tories, Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership have been vindicated.

    This is a remarkable achievement in the teeth of the most vicious media campaign against the leader of a major political party in Britain in more than a century, which has even included obnoxious daily attacks in the supposedly left-of-centre Guardian newspaper.

    It is an even more remarkable achievement in the wake of a two-year campaign inside the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to slander and unseat him.

    Corbyn has confounded his critics with a relentless campaign of public meetings, walkabouts, workplace visits and television appearances. He took his manifesto message directly to the people, trusting them to put aside Tory and media lies and misrepresentations when given the opportunity to judge him face to face.

    His own strength of character has shown through the most scurrilous character assassination carried out in British politics since the days of Labour’s founding father, Keir Hardie.

    Hardie’s ghost, like that of Aneurin Bevan, would be smiling today.

    Corbyn and Labour’s campaign and policies also enthused millions of students and young people to vote, many for the first time.

    Turnout among electors aged 18 to 24 jumped to 72 per cent from levels of around 40 per cent in the previous four general elections.

    Workers and trade unionists also rallied to the red flag, helping to raise the overall turnout to 68 per cent — the highest since the general election that first swept Tony Blair to office in 1997.

    Now the priority in the labour movement must be to unite around the Labour Party leadership and its policies, while reviewing the right-wing’s love affair with nuclear weapons.

    Obviously, there was some tactical voting for Labour by some Green, Lib Dem and Plaid Cymru voters.

    There were also indications that some working-class electors in Scotland are returning to class politics, without abandoning their national aspirations.

    This is all the more reason to bury all the chatter about building some kind of “centre-left” alliance in British politics.

    Electorally, the Labour Party already represents a “left of centre” alliance and one which does not need to be diluted to a pale pink.

    Certainly, there is no case for doing anything that might rehabilitate the Lib Dems. Their share of the vote has deservedly fallen and the ejection of Nick Clegg from his seat should spare us many more of those television appearances where he misrepresents almost everything about the European Union and the positive, progressive case for leaving it.

    It is now up to Lib Dem, Green, SNP and Plaid Cymru MPs to decide whether or not they want to concentrate their fire on the Tories and their policies and help ensure a fresh general election and a Labour government as soon as possible. Or they can choose to lose yet more votes next time around.

    The prospects are bright. In particular, the collapse of the Ukip vote and the return of many working-class supporters to Labour vindicates Corbyn’s insistence on June 24 last year that the referendum decision — that popular sovereignty in fact — should be respected and implemented.

    His was a principled stance that enraged the pro-EU fanatics in the PLP and triggered a second Labour Party leadership election — and a second overwhelming Corbyn victory.

    Around half of Ukip’s deserters turned to Labour and class politics this time, accounting for at least half of the increase in Labour’s share of the poll.

    This underlines the importance of Labour maintaining its principled stance in favour of leaving the EU while protecting the interests of workers and their families not only here but in Europe and internationally as well.

    The SNP’s regression means that a second independence referendum is unlikely in the near future. This will give time for Nicola Sturgeon to show some respect for the result of the first.

    Clearly, her attempt to corral all supporters of her party and, more broadly, of Scottish independence into the pro-EU camp was a spectacular misjudgement.

    Labour should now maintain its momentum in Scotland by fully embracing progressive federalism, combining the devolution of economic powers to the nations of Britain with its own radical policies for wealth redistribution.

    Finally, the Communist Party has been proved correct in its insistence that all left and progressive voters everywhere should vote Labour. In most cases, this is the approach which has enabled Labour to win seats, including in Wales where the party trounced the Tories, despite ludicrous pre-election claims that the Welsh people would be turning blue.

    Britain’s Communists have also argued consistently that mass campaigning, workplace action and class politics raise people’s class consciousness, confidence and political understanding. So it has proved in two Labour Party leadership elections and now in this general election.

    This same perspective will bring further advances for Labour in the new election that will be necessary in the very near future, once Theresa May resigns by popular demand.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-8f7f-Labour-rejuvenated#.WTvJfdykIdU

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