People who know me know that I really don’t like Tom Harris, the current MP for Glasgow South. Hell, my second blog post was basically about him being totally awful on the issue of tuition fees (a lie he continues to this day), and he relishes in being the tribal kind of Labour MP, especially on Twitter. So savvy he is on Twitter, that he became Labour’s internet adviser.
Until he posted a Downfall parody of Alex Salmond, effectively comparing the Scottish National Party leader to Adolf Hitler. Yep. After he lost the Scottish Labour leadership election, he might’ve been a bit angry. Who knows? But he did end up having to resign the post.
» Read more..
(Note, January 2013: This post was written when I was more naive to economic circumstances. It is best read in a perspective from before the cuts starting. It is kept in the purposes of transparency and does not accurately reflect my current thoughts on the matter.)
Belt up, this is going to be a big one.
So yeah. That march a couple of weeks ago. At a generous estimate, 400,000 marched against the government’s spending cuts. And while I sympathise with them, I also think that it was just a waste of time due to how it ended up. » Read more..
The Electoral Commission has outlined rough plans on where the reduction of MPs from 650 to 600. As expected, traditional Labour strongholds will lose seats. But is it “gerrymandering”, as Labour have alleged?
Not exactly. It’s an undeniable fact that the current system, as is, is horribly skewed towards Labour. The 2005 election, for example, gave Labour 90 more seats than the Tories in England, despite losing by 0.3%. Labour also enjoy their concentrated support in inner-city areas, which allows them to win a lot of urban seats (and the reverse for the Conservatives, in business districts and rural areas). This creates a squeeze on smaller parties with even support, such as the Liberal Democrats, but also the Greens and UKIP.
Why does the skew exist? Well, there’s several reasons for this happening: » Read more..
The recent news about control orders makes me a little wary. On the plus side, we’re rolling back one of the most egregious power grabs by the Labour government, and the executive has to relinquish powers to the judiciary on things such as control orders, but on the other hand, the replaced regime has some massive holes; most notably, the fact that the rubberstamping is gone and the powers are permanent.
Still, I think it’s a good idea. Worst still, it pushes Labour into a corner here: they can’t support the new regime as it would be reversing on party policy to do so (and as we know, only the Lib Dems ever do that) and it’d be tacit support of the coalition they despise so much. They can’t oppose it either, as it ruins their image of having “changed” in the nine months they’ve been out of power. What’s a Miliband to do in this case? » Read more..
What a day for news, eh? Even overlooking Jo Yeates’ (apparent) killer being arrested, we’ve had an onslaught of political news over the past 24 hours, including Andy Coulson quitting Number 10, Tony Blair being hauled in front of Chilcot again, an apparently legendary battle between George Galloway and Alastair Campbell on Newsnight, and, finally, Alan Johnson resigning as Shadow Chancellor and being replaced by Ed Balls.
History may record this as the worst job move in some time.
» Read more..
Damn you, Mark Cole, for doing the title I wanted to do first. Even so, I was up tonight waiting for the by-election result with bated breath… and we lost by 3,000 votes. It’s actually not bad, if you think about it. The Lib Dems are riding on 8–10% in the daily YouGov polls, but we still make a decent showing at the first major poll, to the point our share in the vote rises just ever so slightly. Tim Farron was right to call this a “score draw”.
Because, really, Debbie Abrahams didn’t win because she was a good candidate. She isn’t. Colne Valley, depending on the time of the week, is the next constituency over from me, and she didn’t really have a support base; indeed, I saw more support for the Lib Dem candidate (which was dwarfed by the support for the Conservative candidate and eventual winner Jason McCartney). She also fantastically crashed on polling day taking a Labour seat into third (although, admittedly, Colne Valley is a three-way marginal). » Read more..
One criticism I often come across when talking about politics, and/or the Liberal Democrats, is that Nick Clegg supposedly “betrayed his principles for a shot at power”. I’ve come across that exact line several times. But was it really a betrayal? I don’t think so. Of course, the Liberal Democrats in the Conservative-led coalition are proposing policies that they probably wouldn’t do in a Labour-led coalition, and are having to alter their policies on things like tuition fees. Even so, coalition with the Conservatives was pretty much inevitable come 10:02pm on 6th May. » Read more..
Today’s the day that MPs will vote on whether to raise the cap on tuition fees. And, as they have been doing since Browne was published, Labour are currently digging into the Lib Dems for not caving into them breaking the NUS pledge. Including Tom Harris, MP for Glasgow South, who as you may recall, voted for the HEA2004, to which I challenged him on Twitter: » Read more..
I’ve been tempted to blog for some time about things but haven’t quite got around to it. But Harriet Harman’s comments at PMQs last night really ired me for some reason. I’m a paid-up member of the Liberal Democrats, and a student, but I’m not going to leave the party on the issue of tuition fees. There has been a lot of misinformation about the tuition fee debate, most of it from Labourites (still) trying to besmirch Clegg for caving in to the wrong party (but that’s for another post), or from people who believe the first set of people while not verifying for themselves.
» Read more..