British PM Theresa May wants to get in on the shambolic election mess too

Theresa May announces a General Election on 8 June 2017

As an American, I’m used to being generally criticized for not paying attention to what’s happening outside of America. Personally, I love following international politics, and I’ve been keeping abreast of what’s happening in European elections for the past few years. The French presidential election is kind of crazy these days, with the far-right fascist Marine Le Pen polling statistically even to Jean-Luc Melenchon, a candidate endorsed by the French Communist party and a candidate who is for a 100% income tax on people earning more than €400,000 a year. I thought that the French election was going to hold all of this year’s election drama, but no. British PM Theresa May called for “snap election” in June.

British lawmakers are expected Wednesday to approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal to hold an election on June 8. May called the vote in a surprise announcement outside her office, 10 Downing Street, on Tuesday, despite having repeatedly denied speculation that she would call an early election in the wake of a referendum that saw a majority of Britons vote to leave the European Union in June. The next general election was not expected until 2020. The last vote was in 2015.

May, who became prime minister after her predecessor David Cameron resigned after losing the referendum, has not faced a public vote on her leadership. Speaking Wednesday, she said an early election would strengthen her at the “most crucial point” in the negotiations to leave the EU. Margaritis Schinas, the spokesman for the EU’s executive, said the Brexit negotiations would start after the election.

“I’ve taken this decision because I genuinely believe it is in the national interest,” she told the BBC. “If you look at the timetable, had the election been in 2020 we would have been coming up to the most crucial part of the negotiations, at the end of the negotiations, in what would be starting to be the run-up to a general election.”

May, of the ruling Conservative Party, triggered the two-year process to leave the EU in late March. In calling the election, she is attempting to solidify her leadership position.

“After the country voted to leave the EU, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership. Since I became prime minister the government has delivered precisely that,” May said on Tuesday. “I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election.”

Recent polls show that the Conservative Party has a commanding lead over the opposition Labour Party. The Conservative Party won a narrow majority at the 2015 election, but support for Labour has dropped since then under the divisive leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Two thirds of MPs in the House of Commons must approve May’s plan for a June election.

[From USA Today]

As an outsider to the British political system, I can sort of see how May would want to consolidate her party’s support to “look stronger” in the Brexit negotiations. That being said, it feels like Britain is as much a shambolic mess as Bigly’s America.

And here’s the best hot-take for May’s call for an election.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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139 Responses to “British PM Theresa May wants to get in on the shambolic election mess too”

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  1. Maya says:

    So not only do we British have to worry about Trump & North Korea lunatic engaging in a nuclear war and we get stuck in the middle.

    Now we also have to worry about a new general election which creates more problems.

    Only good thing that can come out of this is that the Tori’s lose control and Lib Dems gain enough seat and can be part of the Brexit negotiations.

    Single Market access is a must and Lib Dem will make sure we get that while May frankly don’t give a damn about it as long as the immigration has been lowered.

    • original kay says:

      At least you get to have a fair (hopefully Russian free) election. I mean, look at Turkey :(

    • Slowsnow says:

      Did you see the Green’s suggestion of an electoral pact between them, Lib Dem and Labour?
      I’m down for that. It worked beautifully in Portugal (left block + socialist party + communist party).

    • Sixer says:

      Even the most rabid of Brexiteer government ministers have conceded that immigration will continue to be high.

      So any anti-immigration Brexit voters are in exactly the same position as they were before the referendum – with no-one to vote for.

      As they were repeatedly warned would be the case!

      • Slowsnow says:

        @Sixer. Yes. But don’t you agree that the big problem now within parties and in regards to an electoral pact are the still incredibly divisive leave/remain recent stances? It’s breaking all the parties apart whereas the hardcore Brexitweers at least have the actual leaving win and the representatives for that albeit not in the terms they wished for.

      • Sixer says:

        Yes, I do.

        Labour, with a great many Leave constituencies, are going for “well, we’ll go with the referendum but want a Norway type option”. The SNP and LibDems, mostly with Remain constituencies, are going with a “we’ve got to reverse this, it’s a disaster” platform.

        Hard to see how a progressive alliance could be formed out of that, Scottish independence or not, but if a miracle happened, it’s something I could get behind.

      • slowsnow says:

        @Sixer. Yes, it’s hard to imagine anyone overcoming these oppositions. But if they do, get the Sixlets lots of litterature!

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        I can’t see the SNP being in a position of power that could entice the Lib Dems, they will lose seats not just to the Tories but I can see Labour gaining a few. Sturgeon played her hand too early with IndyRef2 and it’ll bite her on the ass. She should have waited until the neg’s inevitably go wrong.

        I can def see an opposition coalition between whats left of Labour and the Lib Dems.

        And WFT is May’s problem with televised debates – its unusual not to have them.

      • slowsnow says:

        @Digital Unicorn
        Re: political debates – she doesn’t like to be contradicted right (hence the early election aiming for a majority)? Difficult to avoid that during a debate.

      • Zhao says:

        @Digital Unicorn

        Proper US style televised election debates have only been around for the past two elections, so since 2010 in the UK. Not all that long, really.

      • spidey says:

        Mind you – Blair would probably have been brilliant at live debates, and Michael Foot would have been terrible………

      • Cara says:

        Digital Unicorn

        SNP would be lucky to keep all their seats is Scotland. The Scottish Tories are now the second biggest party in Scotland and may gain a seat or two. That would be extremely embarrassing for Sturgeon. (Sturgeon who by the way wanted the tories to win in 2015 lol – she is a terrible tactician )

        Labour will lose many seats.

        Lib dems may gain seats in the SW from the tories – which the tories will pick up in the north.

        There will definitely not be a coalition of the left. SNP will not enter one unless the are granted a referendum, Labour will not do that. They will lose far too many voters in England and will gain none in Scotland. Additionally there is too much infighting in the left. The SNP and the Lib Dems want to stay in the EU, labour know they have to respect the decision to leave.

        As has already been said the Prime Minister has traditionally not participated in the debates.

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        @Cara. I agree that Sturgeon isn’t a great tactician – she can talk a good game but when it comes down to it, she executes badly. And yes they will lose many seats in Scotland due to the unpopular IndyRef 2 vote that she forced throu, the Scottish people are not happy with her constant talking of independence when she ignores the day to day problems in Scotland that her party have played a part in creating. The SNP are just as accountable as Westminster tho I tend to get jumped on for daring to hold them (the SNP) accountable, I must have missed the memo that says that they are special snowflakes that shouldn’t be criticised.

        People laff at me when i say the Tories are popular in Scotland but its true (and scary). People can see that the SNP only offers ‘independence or die’ regardless of the consequences. Brexit has proven that, they way they forced through the 2nd indy vote when its clear the majority of the people don’t want one will cost them.

      • Annetommy says:

        Getting into any discussion about the SNP here is pointless. But I see no evidence the Tories are popular in Scotland. Their leader Ruth Davidson has a modicum of popularity because of a carefully cultivated image, and her strenuous attempts to distance herself from the actions of the English party. Though she has said she supports the child benefit rape clause that has been discussed – and slammed – on other CB threads. Otherwise the Tories remain as (un) popular as they have been for decades.

  2. Daisy says:

    Theresa is like evil incarnate, isn’t she?

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        Everything. Worst PM ever.
        On top of being a rabid xenophobic fascist, I mean :D

      • Tina says:

        Worse than Eden? Worse than Douglas-Home? I think not.

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        @Tina

        Yep. Worse than Thatcher (by the time Brexit will be implemented), Cameron and even Chamberlain.

      • Tina says:

        You can’t judge her on what may happen in the future. By all means judge her after it. But to say she is the worst PM ever, based on the past 9 months, is silly.

      • Sixer says:

        It all depends on your politics, I suppose.

        But she’ll certainly go down as one of the most authoritarian. And that should worry us all, Remain or Leave, economically right or economically left. One thing she isn’t, is a liberal – classical or progressive.

      • Cara says:

        Sixer, can you please explain how she is authoritarian? An authoritarian is somebody who does not have to consider the opinion of others. Are you unfamiliar with the conservative party? If you were you would be aware that the members of the party especially the 1922 committee drive every leader nuts with their differing opinions.

      • Sixer says:

        How is May authoritarian? It’s difficult to even know where to begin! You could try with her record as Home Secretary including the Snoopers Charter, tendency to centralism, her executive power grabs since she became PM, her illiberal, authoritarian populist rhetoric since she became PM, refusal to defend judges as upholders of the rule of law, her recent characterisation of political opposition as unacceptable, her voting record on social issues such as abortion, same sex marriage, repeal of Clause 28 etc ad infinitum.

        I can give you a comprehensive list if you like, but it will be LONG.

        There is a strand of classical liberals within the Tory party and always has been. May is most certainly not part of it.

      • Cara says:

        The snoopers charter was passed by parliament? She did not dictate it into existence nor did she coerce others into voting for it?

        What executive power grabs?

        Can you quote her authoritarian rhetoric please?

        She has a different opinion to you on social issues (similar to views held by many Brits) and that makes her an authoritarian?

        Authoritarians do not consult others. She still turns up for PMQs and cabinet meetings doesn’t she?

      • Rey says:

        Snoopers charters and many other authoritarian acts have been approved and voted for by Labour in tbe parliement. I hope you are a Lib Dem voter Sixer or at least Green voter. Because if not then you are being hypocratical.
        Furthermore, claiming May is the worst PM in history is ridiculous. She has not been PM long enough to evaluate that regardless of your politics. Another thing, @Silverunicorn stop using the word ‘fascist’ in vain. You are not convincing people May is fascist, you are just devaluing the word.

      • Sixer says:

        Cara – seriously? Authoritarian to liberal is a spectrum of politics just as left to right is a spectrum of politics. May’s ideology is on the authoritarian end just as it is on the right end. I’m a left liberal, so I don’t approve but calling May that isn’t a criticism per se. It’s just a statement of fact.

        Rey -why is it hypocritical to accurately describe May’s politics? As I said to Cara, I’m a left liberal but in my voting lifetime it’s rarely been possible to vote for a left liberal candidate with any chance of electoral success. I voted once for New Labour, for example, holding my nose over their nanny state aspects. Political opinions are our own but our voting behaviour is almost always a compromise.

      • brit says:

        It was Labour who tried to bring in detention for 90 days without charge under the Terrorism Bill. And it was Labour who widely extended CCTV coverage. It was Labour who were involved in extraordinary rendition to the US. It was Labour who signed the Extradition Treaty with the US.

      • Sixer says:

        Tu quoques don’t make May any less of an authoritarian politician. They just mean she’s not the only one!

  3. Slowsnow says:

    Like you guys cannot stand Trump’s voice, May’s has the ability to grate on my nerves. She spoke this morning on the BBC radio4 and…I have a physical reaction to it.
    And also to the fact that she basically said that because the opposition doesn’t agree with her, she wants a new Parliament. Not in so many words but…
    What happened to democracy?
    Now I see why she visited Trump and Erdogan in a matter of days… seeking advice as how to destroy democracy perhaps…

    • Sixer says:

      She’s definitely channelling Erdogan with the rhetoric. I said that on yesterday’s royals post. Glad it’s finally being challenged today – although it took a Daily Fail headline to make that happen.

    • Megan says:

      Democracy seems to be under assault everywhere. These are strange and scary times.

    • dodgy says:

      @slowsnow – Same, May irks me. But I’m using all my anger to canvass. This bloody woman can’t be trusted. She’s all “I won’t have a snap election” for the past ten months and she changes her mind now. For a woman who’s not for turning, May has been whirling dervish, tbh.

    • Kiki says:

      So if she calls for an election, then will she not be Prime Minister if her party loses?

      Dear White People of Europe ( I know there are some reasonable white people..I have nothing against you) with all your imperialism and hierarchy, I think you all are really, really, really STUPID. Again there are some white people are clearly thinking straight and understand proper rhetoric that doesn’t hinders anyone and I respect that. But Rich, Spoiled, Bratty White People…. Why are you a complete mess of stupidity? WHY?

      • Brit says:

        Well that comes across as rather racist! There are probably as many reasonable white people in Europe as in the US. We tend not to be too imperialist now. And are you really suggest that we are all really, really, really STUPID? All of us? And most white people are not rich, spoiled or bratty.

        PS People don’t tend to suddenly become stupid, you know.

      • Sixer says:

        No, she won’t (although all likelihood is that her party will win most seats). We have a cabinet government, so nobody votes for the position of Prime Minister directly – she’ll be voted in (or not) in her own constituency but just as an MP.

      • Kiki says:

        @Brit. First off, Dear White People is not upset THE WHITE DEMOGRAPHIC. It is supposed to wake up and smell the coffee White People. Secondly, I said reasonable white people from everywhere, it is just most of the stupid White people of a hierarchy of imperialism that is making ridiculous decisions that think it is best for everyone. Lastly, I said REASONABLE WHITE PEOPLE WHO ARE THINKING CLEARLY. Which part did I say all white people are stupid?

      • Sixer says:

        I have to say, I’m a white Britisher and I think post colonial melancholia/nostalgia is a very big part of why we’re in such a currently dreadful state.

        No need to go all #notallwhitepeople Brit – she didn’t mean you personally.

      • Rey says:

        Huh… You think it is just white people that vote tory? Tories pretty much gyaranteed to take majority of Indian( especially Hindu and Sikh) and Jewish vote( with an extremely large margin at that) as far as minorities goes. Tories are gonna win this election, other than delusional Corbyn fans nobody would deny that. What scares me is if they actually get the minority vote. Because that kills progressive politics in England. If even women and minorities do not vote for it, why would white men?
        I study statistics so I am very interested in polls so I always check them out. The last poll put Labour 21 percent behind Tories. It is impossible to close in six weeks.

      • slowsnow says:

        @Kiki White imperialism is what molded our notions of identity, politics, social balance etc in Europe and particulalry here in the UK and in my own country, Portugal. I agree it’s a huge problem and it’s not because minorities or other ethnicities adhere to that state of things such as you say @Rey that it makes it less real. I also think that, in a strange way, colonialism is coming to bite us in the ass in many ways, notably this rejection of otherness and the presence of the ‘conquered’ peoples in ‘our’ land. This infuriating territorialism against people we came to bother in the first place – while rejecting their rights and their humanity – is sickening. Moreover, there is an very real economic inter-dependence with those we reject, which makes this hatred even more visceral. It’s the way things are and they are not about to change soon.

      • Brit says:

        @ Kiki I quote:

        DEAR WHITE PEOPLE OF EUROPE ( I know there are some reasonable white people..I have nothing against you) with all your imperialism and hierarchy, I THINK YOU ALL ARE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY STUPID.

        You did contradict yourself actually.

      • brit says:

        @ Sixer, I did not take it personally – but I do think that such sweeping generalisations are dangerous and lazy. And often a result of a closed mind.

      • Kiki says:

        @Brit “Well that comes across as rather racist! There are probably as many reasonable white people in Europe as in the US. We tend not to be too imperialist now. And are you really suggest that we are all really, really, really STUPID? All of us? And most white people are not rich, spoiled or bratty.”

        Clearly you don’t understand what I am saying.

        And secondly, this is not a generalization. It is a wake up call. All I am saying is, most of you white people are pretty reasonable but they are a lot of bad apple that spoil the bunch. I am calling out those bad apples. I am not some Black Panther radicalist, but I will call them out and I will tell them what they are and what they are doing. If your feelings hurt, then I am sorry but I feel that these rich, entitled, narcissistic people who lives with a silver spoon in their mouths (imperialism) want to tell other people who are not suited for their lavish lifestyle to stay in their place. I will call them out and tell it like it is. I am sorry but you will have to take the grunt of it too. Thank your Monarchy and American Presidents before Obama for that.

      • Megan says:

        @Kiki, you are aware that white people are native to Europe? Calling an entire indigenous population stupid doesn’t really move your message of inclusiveness forward.

      • brit says:

        @ Kiki – well it certainly came across as a generalisation

        Perhaps you could have put “All I am saying is, most of you white people are pretty reasonable but they are a lot of bad apple that spoil the bunch” in your first post.

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        @Kiki

        Majority of people in Europe are white, it’s actually the only place where they can say they are indigenous.

        Plus, as someone made you notice above, many minorities voted Tory and also for Brexit, together with many other white people.

        To be honest, I actually didn’t find anyone part of a minority who did not vote for Brexit, because they hate EU citizens’ guts (whom they identify with white, even if it is not true) .

        So whilst I understood your argument, your generalisation sounded sillier than if you had done it for the Americas.

      • Kiki says:

        @SliverUnicorn Now let me put it in a way any of you would understand. I did not generalize nothing. Someone else did. NOT ME. I appreciate you understanding with my argument but I was not generalizing anyone. I will say further towards what I have said is that MOST rich white people, think that they are so superior towards other people that would demean and hurt their pride as a human being. I did not generalize people…. I am simply calling out these rich arrogant people to be held accountable. I have nothing against White people what I have against are people who think they are better than you because they are rich. That is all.

        @Megan. You clearly misunderstood what I was saying, therefore I will let you read what I have said previously about bad apples above with what I have said to @Brit. Speaking of

        @Brit I will appreciate your answer, maybe I should be more clearer the next time.

      • LAK says:

        Kiki: you think rich, non white people are welcoming to people not in their social/ economic bracket? Lol
        Stop trolling.

        Everyone else: don’t feed the troll. They are baiting you.

      • spidey says:

        @ Rey my local councillor came round the other day canvassing for the local elections in a couple of weeks. He told me he voted Brexit – he came here from the Punjab in 1956!

      • Megan says:

        @Kiki honestly, your arguememt gets less coherent with each post. How many rich white people do you know that you can say MOST look down upon people who are not rich?

      • Kiki says:

        You people are really, really don;t understand what I am trying to say. I am saying that white rich people (with white privileged) get away with everything.. I am not holding out on the minority people with money but that is another discussion for another time. All I am saying, that the majority of a hieracrchy (rich white people) demeaned, degraded and humiliate people who are not in there perfect society…. and that’s what I dislike.

        @Megan you clearly understand what I am saying, and @ Lak if you don’t what you are writing about, so troll back and stay out of this.

      • Sixer says:

        While not insignificant numbers of UK BAME voters chose either Tory in 2015 or Brexit in 2016, we shouldn’t get carried away. The large majority chose neither.

        Ashcroft puts 67% of Asian and 73% of black voters as Remain. IPSOS Mori puts 65% of all GE1015 BAME voters at Labour and 23% at Tory. For GE2015, these majorities are significantly larger than those by age, gender or socio-economic class.

        It’s fair to say that voting behaviour in the UK is highly racialised.

  4. littlemissnaughty says:

    Now now, let’s not go too far. The U.S. is still far ahead in the shambolic mess department. But yeah, the EU is trying its hardest to catch up.

    Also, why does she need this? Her party won the election. What more does she need? This looks like a vanity excercise, frankly. Because the EU won’t give a sh*t who they negotiate with.

    • Slowsnow says:

      @littlemissnaughty It’s not a vanity exercise, it’s a try-out-for-absolute-power one. No party has time to prepare, and she’s been exposed of course, as a PM she has been going on a free campaign. The Tories have the up-hand. A bit more subtle than Erdogan but still… quite close.

      • Ayra. says:

        But it’s still a pretty dangerous move isn’t it? Especially since people haven’t been happy with Brexit, even some of the ones who actually voted for it, nor have they been happy with here as a PM. I can understand her wanting to seem strong in the face of Brexit but look at what happened to David Cameron.

      • Clare says:

        @ayra I don’t think its a dangerous move – it is a really clever move – the opposition are a joke and she is basically guaranteed a mandate. UGH

      • Brit says:

        She wants to go into Brexit negotiations, a. with a stronger majority to reduce the chance of problems in Parliament and, b. she doesn’t want to go into an election campaign in 2020 at the same time as the EU negotiations reach a head.

      • Rey says:

        @Ayra Nope. Tories have 21 percent on the opposition. It helps that Corbyn is a useless twat who is barely capable more than twiddling his thumbs.
        I cannot blame her about this. Her majority is just 17 seats. This leaves her at mercy of every backbencher. With 100 seats majority, she can just ignore their protests. It is such an enticing outcome to pass up. If only Labour was not in shambles, they could use this paper thin majority to their advantage and force May’s hands to compromise. They just gave her a free pass instead.

      • DahliaDee says:

        Not only that, but she wants a majority so she can push domestic policies. Brexit is happening, it’s domestic issues she’s had a hard time with, and most of the resistance she’s met with comes from her own party. Now she can rid herself of the naysayers, as well as she Cameron’s burdensome agenda. And, just as another poster mentioned, it also means the investigation into the 2015 election spendings is dead in the water.

    • Valois says:

      I suppose May wants an election now to make sure the next one won’t be in 2020, right after Brexit. By 2022, the Tories and right-wing media will have succeeded in blaming the disastrous outcome on anyone apart from the Tories.
      She’s also taking advantage of the fact that the Labour party is a huge mess and the Tories are going to destroy them.

      • Wilma says:

        If the Tories are expected to win, aren’t these elections a good thing in the grand scheme of things? With Brexit a fact, you wouldn’t want anybody but the Tories to take responsibility for the clusterbomb that’s going to be. Why drag other parties into this?

      • ell says:

        no, they’re not a good thing, because she’s trying to 1) get rid of any opposition 2) trying to save her lot who are being investigated for corruption. it’s also very different getting a hard brexit which will f-ck most of us, and and a soft brexit in the likes of norway.

      • slowsnow says:

        @Vilma, of course not. Now more than ever it’s important to listen to Everyone. Wasn’t it the biggest ‘reveal’ with Brexit that some people weren’t heard and that we needed, now more than ever, to be opened for discussion? Without opposition and diversity in parliament it makes it about riding the wave of Brexit to do whatever the hell they want to do without anyone to counteract.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @ ell: Norway? I don’t think that’s an option but it does sound nice. For the UK.

      • Clare says:

        she wants an election now because Labour as a fucking mess.

      • Sixer says:

        Littlemiss – hereabouts the so-called Norway option (ie access to single market in return for budget contributions and free movement) is getting talked of as BINO – Brexit In Name Only.

        Some optimistic souls are positing that May is only pursuing a hard Brexit because her tiny parliamentary majority leaves her, officially a Remainer up until referendum day, hostage to the extreme Brexit fringe of her party.

        So if she increases her majority in the GE, she can then pursue a saner approach because her own swivel-eyed fringe will have been neutered.

        I think this is unlikely. But it’s a view!

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Sixer – Got it. Although … I’m sorry but do the Brits think that they can just choose an option? Because the rest of us are pretty p*ssed and (hopefully) won’t have it. I don’t know who thinks Norway is the way to go. The way I understand it, the Leave people want EU law to take a hike – among other things like those pesky foreigners. Norway has implemented a huge chunk of EU law. Am I still not getting it?

        Is nobody living in the real world anymore?

      • Sixer says:

        I have no idea. Does the real world even exist any more?

        That said, I think the EU27 are sensible enough to do whatever would maintain stability best. We’re the delusional idiots, I’m afraid.

        Nobody here understands shit about EU law. There is some confabulation in people’s minds – led by the tabloids, as ever – that EU law means straight bananas and terrorists who can’t be deported because they have a pet cat (real examples; I didn’t make them up).

        This is what people genuinely believe, for example, to be the purpose of the ECJ. If one were to point out that the ECJ is the arbiter of disputes within the single market and that any trade deal we make with any other bloc or country will have a similar arbiter, but that arbiter quite possibly (as with TTIP) won’t be open justice like the ECJ, but secretive panels, they will just get cross and shout REMOANER! SABOTEUR! WILL OF THE PEOPLE! and suchlike.

        I am not exaggerating.

  5. Sixer says:

    Update to yesterday’s convo in which I was debating how to vote. Mr Sixer and I decided yesterday to “give” our votes to each Sixlet as they both are very upset that it seems to them that old voters in Britain consistently use their votes to mess up the young.

    This may sound dreadful and flippant – especially to American ears – but we have a First Past The Post constituency system here and I live in one of the safest seats for the Tory party. Thus any non-Tory vote in a General Election in my constituency is pretty much wasted. Electors in my area can only make a difference in local elections (and European Parliament elections but we won’t be having any more of those).

    So it seems a reasonable opportunity to get the Sixlets to actually read the various manifestos, understand what the policies mean, and make a choice accordingly.

    • ell says:

      ‘Thus any non-Tory vote in a General Election in my constituency is pretty much wasted.’

      i don’t think it’s wasted, it does make a difference. may wants to undemocratically get rid of any sort of opposition, so there’s quite a difference between barely winning vs a huge amount of votes.

    • Bex says:

      I’m in exactly the same position. I always vote but my constituency would vote for a budgie in a wig as long as it was wearing a blue rosette. The other parties barely bother campaigning. It’s frustrating knowing that my vote counts for so little.

      • here or there says:

        ”vote for a budgie in a wig as long as it was wearing a blue rosette”
        thank you for the chuckle. =)

      • Sixer says:

        Quite. So you don’t think it irresponsible to give the Sixlets some input at a time when they feel they are powerless in the country and their futures are being taken away?

        Deal is this: they read all the manifestos (including the Tory one) from cover to cover and discuss anything they don’t understand with us. If they do that, we’ll be their proxies at the voting booth. If, on the other hand, they can’t be bothered to wade through it all, we won’t vote on their behalf and we will tell them that voters who don’t fully participate are the architects of their own misfortunes.

      • Sixer says:

        BTW – some bright spark is crowdfunding to put up a fish finger – I think against Tim Farron!

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Sixer, I don’t know how old the kids are and I don’t care. It’s your vote and you are allowed to use it as you see fit. And frankly, input from (I assume) teenagers is among the most sensible things to influence one’s vote these days. I’m surrounded by adults in their 30s who couldn’t tell you ONE issue the party they’ve been voting for stands for. “Um, the economy?” Sit down. That’s not an answer.

      • Sixer says:

        Littlemiss – I think I’ve spoken to you before about the way Minor’s been particularly badly affected by the Brexit vote. So it seemed like a way to both ameliorate that and educate him a bit too.

        Also, it’s been so bloody oppressive since the referendum. Politics – mostly the nasty side of it too – is everywhere and even the poor old kids can’t get away from it. Trump, le Pen, Wilders, Brexit, school cuts, refugees, it just goes on and on and on. So might as well try and get at least a tiny tad of positivity out of it.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Sixer – Yes, you have. And I so understand him. Even with a vote you feel completely overwhelmed these days. If Trump dropped the bomb on North Korea tonight, I doubt I’d even be able to feel shock. I would lose it completely though if Germans decided to leave the EU. I would probably wish the absolute worst on my fellow citizens. If you don’t like it, leave. But don’t drag the rest of us down with you. We have a few decades ahead of us in this mess.

        Or not. Depending on how Trump’s gold game goes this weekend I guess.

    • here or there says:

      I’m in Scotland, so my husband’s vote is wasted either way….

    • swak says:

      Honestly Sixer, I think you are doing a great thing. I don’t see, if they are making an informed choice (which you are making sure they will be doing), why that would be wrong. Good for you!

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      Not getting judged here, my husband has told me he will let me decide too, because as a EU citizen I don’t get a vote for GEs so he is kindly offering his.

      Not only that but on the positive side, many other Brits have offered the same.

      Of course I won’t tell him/them how to vote but I thought it was very nice to offer 😊

  6. Ayra. says:

    The French are possibly going to be the ass of the week on Sunday, no worries Brits.
    The main game is between Le Pen (unfortunately) Mélenchon and Macron.
    Fillon fell off because of Penelope Gate. Mélenchon did pretty well in the last few weeks, in particular with the debates so his popularity has surged. And Macron became a favourite early on, but his actual campaign isn’t very strong. Le Pen is our very own Trump, but the debates were hilarious since most of the candidates, big and small, called her out.
    I tend to take the polls like a grain of salt. What I AM worried about is the abstention rate, people are still undecided and I fear that they’ll wait for the second round in May to actually vote.

    This is quite the pain in the ass for my first presidential elections that I can vote in.

    • Slowsnow says:

      @Ayra. I have heard a few well read and well informed friends in France talk about not voting. Which is crazy to me. Other friends are appealing for a vote for Mélenchon although he can be a bit sketchy. It’s a complete conundrum. But it does seem that Le Pen is loosing momentum. Hopefully.

      • Ayra. says:

        Yes, one of my close friends is only voting in the second round and I let him have it lol. There are so many who believe in that dangerous idea, that in the first round, their vote means nothing. And depending on these first results, we’ll end up like another Chirac and JM Le Pen situation like in 2002.

  7. Lulu says:

    Well, RIP Labour. Though if there’s one good thing to come of this, the oncoming electoral armageddon for them should hopefully finally shift Corbyn out of the leadership seat. If I never have to see that treacherous, anti-Semitic, Brexiter smugly squandering the strength of a party that took decades to build, it’ll be too soon. I initially thought rebuilding could only start in 2020, but we may as well begin in June. Though it’ll take a very long time for all the rot in the Labour party to be cleared (if Livingstone isn’t kicked out by the next leader, my membership card’s getting sliced). It’s just a great shame for all the poor and vulnerable whose hardships are only going to increase under the undoubtedly strengthened Tory majority that’s going to come from this. Seeing how utterly weak the opposition has been on basically anything May offers, it may be for the best. But the next few years are going to be very painful for us all.

    • ell says:

      ‘If I never have to see that treacherous, anti-Semitic, Brexiter smugly squandering the strength of a party that took decades to build, it’ll be too soon.’

      same. he’s the biggest disappointment and the reason we don’t have a serious opposition atm.

      • dodgy says:

        @lulu

        Same. Corbyn has been a stonking disappointment.The only good thing is that my local MP (Labour) is anti Brexit, Pro EU and anti Corbyn. Who is listening to the 48 percent, I cry. I have been working on older people telling them to treat this vote as a referendum do over and vote Pro EU anti Brexit for their grandchildren (who haven’t spoken to them since they voted leave). The Rape Clause has been a good thing to push as well in terms of not voting Tory.

    • CdnMagician says:

      In our 2011 elections in Canada, the Liberal party (about equal to the Labour/grits) was decimated. However, they came back to a rousing victory (nearly a super majority) in 2015. Looking back, I actually think the massive loss was necessary for the eventual liberal gain. Perhaps (BIG perhaps) something similar can happen in the UK. You need a really good Labour leader to follow Corbyn. Sadiq Khan seems like the best option to rebuild the party to me. He’s very Trudeau-esque. Dunno if it’ll happen, y’all are in for a mess for quite a while.

    • Tina says:

      “If I never have to see that treacherous, anti-Semitic, Brexiter smugly squandering the strength of a party that took decades to build, it’ll be too soon.”

      Very well said. Our country is suffering from the lack of an opposition.

    • Annetommy says:

      What’s even more depressing is that there seems to be absolutely no rising star in the Labour Party that one feels would do a good job. Such an uninspiring bunch.

  8. QueenB says:

    ” for a 100% income tax on people earning more than €400,000 a year” Wouldnt that eliminate a lot of potential income for the state? Neither the employer nor the employee would have a benefit of earning more than that, so why would they pay it then?
    They are screwing themselves out of earnings.

    • slowsnow says:

      Mélenchon is a queer one. Very hit or miss. But it goes to show that politics in France are in a shambles. There are only utterly damaging propositions such as these or worse on the other side, such as ignoring there are such things as refugees and refusing to undertstand their own muslim community.

    • swak says:

      So, guess I either don’t understand the British tax system (don’t hardly understand ours) but as I read this, if you tax 100%, isn’t that taking their entire income and giving it to the gov’t? I’m not tax savy – sorry for the dumb question. CNN is reporting that the snap vote has been approved. Another thing I’m not understanding either – how you can just move an election date for no real reason. A real reason to me is to replace a position that has been vacated for some reason. So I am grateful for all the input that I am getting from the comments. Thank you all.

      • Brit says:

        Swak it would be 100% above a certain threshold. Not on all of it from the first £!

      • slowsnow says:

        Hi @swak, the 100% tax is Mélenchon, which is in France. I haven’t read first hand about it. However, he is a communist and therefore has a certain notion of how taxes and the relation with Russia should be handled that are informed by that and can sound a bit callous and passeist.
        May proposed to the parliament to have an early vote. It can happen if there is majority for it: and there is, it was something like 509 for against 13 just now (breaking news here in the UK). So it can happen. The vote is for the legislatives, that is, the vote for the MP’s (Members of Parliament) so themotive behind it has to do with having the majority for laws pertaining to Brexit and other issues to pass more easily. She said so herself: she’s sick of the opposition undermining her. That is: sick of democracy IMO. I am really puzzled today.

      • swak says:

        Thank you both. @slowsnow, my brain is mush right now and did not comprehend as I normally do. So much in this world going on. I’m with you on puzzled about it. “Undermining” is one of those subjective terms and she is using it in the wrong way. Sounds like if she is not agreed with then they are undermining her. To me, undermining means going behind her back and I don’t believe (and I could be wrong) that that is what has happened.

      • spidey says:

        undermine –
        1.
        erode the base or foundation of (a rock formation).
        “the flow of water had undermined pillars supporting the roof”
        synonyms: erode, wear away, eat away at, chip away, undercut
        “the damp had so undermined the structure that the wall fell down”
        2.
        lessen the effectiveness, power, or ability of, especially gradually or insidiously.
        “this could undermine years of hard work”
        synonyms: subvert, sabotage, threaten, weaken, compromise, diminish, reduce, impair, mar, spoil, ruin, impede, hinder, damage, hurt, injure, cripple, disable, enfeeble, sap, shake;

  9. Joannie says:

    I like her and hope she wins with a landslide!!

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      Tories will surely win however anyone who likes her has either serious problems or is basically a UKIPPER/EDL supporter.

    • Tina says:

      @Joannie, when asked in a recent poll who would make the best prime minister, 50% said May, 14% said Corbyn, and 36% didn’t know. I think she is way out of her depth but there’s no denying that she’s popular with a lot of the UK public.

      • Rey says:

        Is she though? Do people answer Theresa May because they like her or do they pick her because she is running against Jeremy -incompetence personified- Corbyn.

      • Sixer says:

        She does get good approval ratings too, though. It’s not just polls where voters are asked to pick one over the other. Still, I suppose you can never entirely eliminate the competition (or lack of it) from people’s minds.

        I am inclined to agree with Tina that she is weaker than voters realise. I think perhaps she is good at coming across as dogged and that gets translated in people’s minds as competent?

        But then I think there is a remarkable lack of both vision and talent in the current generation of politicians, whatever their stripe or party.

      • Tina says:

        @Sixer I’m not sure if you put me on to this article or not (and I can’t find it now) but there was a quite interesting article about how people become even more entrenched in their beliefs after having made a decision, even in the face of evidence that their decision was the wrong one. Essentially, the reason that people don’t regret voting for Brexit/Trump is because they did so in the first place. I think a lot of May’s appeal comes down to the fact that 52% of voters voted to leave and she has been clear from the beginning that she is going to implement that.

      • Rey says:

        @ Sixer Firstly sorry for accusing you of hypocracy about the authoritarian stuff. One of my best friends is a huge Corbyn fan and we were just today talking about this stuff. Her dohble standards frustrated me a bit ( quelle surprise, I am nowhere near left wing as she is, I am not even sure if I am left wing) so my reply was unnecessarily harsh. I absolutely agree with your thoughts about our current politicians. They are not inspiring at all.

        As for Theresa May, well, many right wing people want a new Thatcher. I think her being a tory woman is an advantage for her in percieved competency. Many people hate her but very few would call her incompetent.

      • Sixer says:

        I can’t remember if it was me or not, but I’ve read similar. And agree.

        Also, I really don’t think it was a vote on the facts for any of us, really, was it? Leave and Remain alike. It was a vote based on identity and emotional attachment to that identity. And that’s another reason why the debate surrounding is so nasty.

      • Sixer says:

        Jey – sorry, your post wasn’t visible when I replied to Tina. Anyhow, no worries. I’ve the hide of a rhino in any case!

    • Annetommy says:

      Best for England, Joannie, and eff the other three nations of the U.K.?

  10. spidey says:

    I wonder how Corbyn would get on if Labour wins the election?

  11. seesittellsit says:

    Given the particular situation Britain is in re getting a decent deal in exiting the EU an unelected PM seems to me to be a liability. From what I have read, May is not engaging in shambolic elections, but carrying out a clever strike. She has, if the polls I’ve seen are even 75% on target, a very good chance of getting a mandate, and pushing the next election from 2020 to 2022 – when the worst of the instability of BREXIT is past, which blunts the edge the EU thought it had in the timing of negotiations. The voices crying that she was not directly elected can no longer claim that, and May has therefore a stronger hand at home and in Brussels.

    Politics is never a nice game, is it? May is doing exactly what Labour would be doing if the poll shoe were on the other foot, if I may express it so.

    We get 24/7 BBC out here and I watched some of the debate before work this morning in the House. And all I can say is, if any of our politicians had to stand up under that sort of political warfare, with the catcalling and shouts and up and down (not to mention people actually using words of more than two syllables frequently), they would crumble to dust within five minutes.

    This looks to me to be straightforward politics, not shambolic ones. The BBC also ran interviews this morning with people from Amiens, where Macron was born but Le Pen has a good amount of support. I know much less about French politics, but I was brought up short hearing French people there complain of many of the same things that American and British voters did/do: jobs going to Poland, establishment parties making promises and not keeping them, making laws and not enforcing them. One woman said she hated them ALL and refused to vote for any of them.

    I am very grateful for having the BBC out here, because I can tell you, the American news stations are simply obsessed with America and Trump, and with the possible exception of PBS, most of them barely mentioned that Britain was calling a snap general election in less than two months or how people in northern France feel. For Americans struggling to understand it, the BBC is a blessing. It’s embarrassing.

    • Sixer says:

      You’re not so green as you’re cabbage-looking, my friend.

      (This was my grandmother’s favourite compliment).

    • spidey says:

      @seesittellsit. It always makes me laugh when people say the PM wasn’t elected. We never elect the PM in our country – we elect MPs and they elect the leader of their party, except Labour who elect their leader differently – with party members voting for their leader.

      Your second paragraph is spot on – every party does what is best for their party in these situations.

      • seesittellsit says:

        @Sixer – a friend in NYC (where I used to live) recommended me to Politico.eu, as well, so I am by degrees getting a handle on how things work in Europe. Oh, and he was the same guy I lost the BREXIT bet to, and afterward he said I should have been reading UK Polling Report instead of the regular papers – he did, and that’s why he won that not insignificant bet on BREXIT. Me, I listened to Ladbrokes, which day of gave LEAVE a 14% chance of winning . . . out $25, and I lost $10 on Trump/Clinton – and that’s why I don’t want to bet on Harry/Markle.

      • Sixer says:

        Oh, that’s just made me actually LOL! Political betting. I think I love you.

        Do you know politicalcompass.org? I think you’d like it. You might also like the wonkishness of @britainelects on the Twatter.

      • seesittellsit says:

        @Sixer – no, never heard of either politicalcompass or Britain Elects, but I’ll check them out. I think BREXIT might have turned me wonky – BBC here ran the returns on TV – I watched because of the bet but I kind of got hooked and plan to watch the general election returns. And as the friend who won the bet said, NEVER base bets on the odds from places like Ladbrokes, because they base their odds on the size of “punters” bets, not real polls. I got kind of mathematically interested . . .

    • Annetommy says:

      The BBC is a blessing, and May and her party hate it and would love to abolish it.

      • seesittellsit says:

        That’s odd, because on The Guardian, the commenters keep accusing the BBC of being rightwing and supporting the “corporatist/globalists”. Left and right seem slightly different in the UK and Europe than we understand the terms here in the US. I also think the BBC I’m getting out here in the southwest isn’t quite the whole panorama of BBC/UK, so maybe they are seeing something else.

        You pay a fee to watch BBC, don’t you? Or is that a broader television access fee charged by the government?

      • Tina says:

        We pay the TV licence fee of £147 per year, which pays for the BBC. You can’t watch TV legally without it. You’re quite right that the terms left and right wing aren’t aligned here, and even differ regionally and even within parties.

        Social issues, for example, are not really part of the conversation (outside Northern Ireland). Our Conservatives brought in same-sex marriage, but Theresa May herself is more socially conservative than many others in her party (she’s not about to criminalise abortion or bring back the death penalty any time soon though). Protecting the NHS is a mantra that all parties chant, although people on the left consider that the Conservatives are effectively privatising it with all of the cuts. I could write a dissertation about this but here’s a handy (if simplistic) chart comparing the Conservatives to the Republicans: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/how-conservative-would-uk-conservatives-be-us/312573/

        On the BBC specifically, many right wing people dislike its inclusive and globalist point of view. Many left wing people dislike the fact that it supports the “corporatist” status quo, or at the very least doesn’t advocate for it to be overthrown. Much like Brexit, it doesn’t fit neatly into party lines. Conservatives like Ken Clarke support the BBC and oppose Brexit, whereas Conservatives like Theresa May dislike the BBC and support Brexit. Labourites like Jeremy Corbyn dislike the BBC and support Brexit, and Labourites like Sadiq Khan support the BBC and oppose Brexit.

      • seesittellsit says:

        @Tina – thank you so much! That makes a good many things clearer.

      • Tina says:

        You’re very welcome! The other thing to note is that the online conversation is skewed by the fact that the Guardian and Daily Mail sites have no paywall and the Times and the Financial Times do. Newspapers are still important here, and people with influence in the UK read the FT and the Times. If you want to know what is going on in the corridors of power, those papers are very helpful.

      • Sixer says:

        I think also remember that the criticisms from the right populists are general (of the entire BBC), while the criticisms from the left populists are specific (of its news output).

        The BBC is an establishment institution so it tends to reflect received wisdom. So its efforts to expand diversity get seen as oppressive political correctness by one side, while its generally careful, status quo news reporting gets seen as neoliberal consensus bias by the other side.

        (I really enjoy the conversations on this site when we are all trying to inform each other and widen understandings.)

        Tina – I honestly think the FT is the only newspaper left worth reading in this country.

  12. Scout says:

    Oh wow, people who don’t hate this witch actually exist?