Monday, June 08, 2009

Monday Morning Open Thread

Please use this thread to discuss the fallout from yesterday's European election results.


dearieme said...

So if you get 16% of the votes on a turnout in the low 30s%, the conclusion is that we should all look at passers-by today and think "Of those of you on the electoral role, only about one person in twenty voted for Labour".

dearieme said...

Oops, "roll".

B G said...

Shockwaves! that sums it up for me:

Wales turns its back on Labour and embraces the Conservatives.

SNP thrash Labour in Scotland.

Not a single Labour MEP in southern England.

The record of this woeful government has led to not one but two seats to the BNP.

Carry on Gordon, you are doing a great job.

Nigel Allery said...

The Cons must have a clear policy for halting the BNP. DC must take a statesman like lead on this one. Not just for a week but continuously.

Marian said...

Here in Scotland New Labour's robots have already been programmed to chant in the media that although their fall into second place after the SNP in Scotland was "disappointing" it was nevertheless a "personal humiliation" for Alex Salmond and a "personal triumph" for Gordon Brown.

kenny murphy said...

Labour got 6% of the available vote...

Brown has 2 BNP MEP's elected on his watch.

I can't believe SKY were saying the low turn out was "..some consolation for Labour.."


Brown must go for the sake of The Labour Party and the country!!

Martin said...

Something like 66% of voters did not vote yesterday.

They say in democracy, majority rules.

So, now what?

T England said...

I'm waiting for the crying themselves to sleep lefties to start on about how the votes for the BNP are made by thick brain dead people, misguided people, people who don't relise what the BNP are really about, etc, etc, etc.
ANYTHING rarther than having to accept/admit that people knew full well what they were doing.

Ready for a taste of your own medicine?

Stepney said...

The horror at the BNP gaining seats is genuine but masks a level of expectation that should leave no-one, least of all Labour, suprised.

Recipe for extremism:

Take a large chunk of disenfranchised white working class. Put to one side and ignore for a decade. Whilst it is heating up, liberally sprinkle considerable amounts of political correctness and whip up the perception that you are spending more on "newcomers" than on an indigenous population.

Don't mention anything to do with immigration. Put your head in the sand. Don't listen to the concerns of your natural voters in case you might be seen as racist. Fob them off with Labourspeak.

Reduce the opportunity for initiative and self-improvement in working communities. Increase the amount of hand-wringing, middle-class, sandal wearing social engineers.

Increase the level of tax, both local and national, on your chunk of working class. Make it punitive.

Waste those taxes on things which don't matter and which don't affect the working class taxpayer - then make it obvious you've been spending the money on your own mortgages and freebies.

Casually write a cheque for £41,000 and look confused when people get angry.

Take a large step back and say:

"This is terrible - how did we let this happen?"

If you play with matches and petrol you have no-one to blame but yourself if you get burnt.

Jonathan Cook said...

It is clear that we now have a Government-Of-All-The-Cowards, who are in hock to Peter Mandelson.

Mandy doesn't care - he wants 12 months of unbridled power and he is willing to use Brown's political corpse as a ventriloquists dummy to play at being Prime Minister.

Labour will be wiped out in Westminster too - they need to plunge the knife into their own heart in order to save the party.

If they wait for 1 year for the electorate to deal the Westminster death blow, that may be terminal for the future of Labour.

perforatedulster said...

This may be the bleeding obvious, but I haven't seen it anywhere. Are Labour's core voters more outraged by expenses than the rest of the country? To a family on benefits or the minimum wage, an MP's salary is stratospheric, so why is he grasping for more? To someone on, say, £30,000 a year, an MP's salary is high but not out of the question.

If Labour is reduced to getting out their core vote, then, if I'm right, the expenses scandal really is what people are saying to them "on the doorstep", but if they believe their own propaganda they are reading too much into it.

Barnacle Bill said...

Stepney you echo my sentiments exactly and more eloquently than I could - well done & thank you.

why are we waiting ? said...

In the UK the Euro elections took place on Thursday. So why couldn't the votes have been counted by 9pm on Sunday ?

Fausty said...

The Conservatives will have to take a harder line on the Lisbon Treaty after UKIP's win.

Farage intends to field candidates at the GE. If Cameron doesn't offer an unconditional referendum, he'll lose votes to UKIP - especially if the treaty is ratified before the GE.

The Economic Voice said...

RIP NuLabour


Why has no one taken the LibDems to account that PR lets in screwballs like the BNP?

Stuart said...


Contrats on two great shows. You obviously didn't miss me!

Open question - I can't find the ward results anywhere. Does anybody know where they are?


Fulk Nerra said...

Who is still voting Labour? Is Labour becoming the immigrant party? I well remember the days when Labour was known on Clydeside as the Irish party.

Newmania said...

I see Bob Piper has given up which I take as telling.I think that those close to Brown will say to him he cannot hang on and he will step down.
Its the only decent thing left to do. Then it will be Milliband who after all has already let it be known he thinks Brown is useless.

no longer anonymous said...

"The Cons must have a clear policy for halting the BNP. DC must take a statesman like lead on this one. Not just for a week but continuously."

Labour's problem, not ours.

Dic Dyffryn said...

This was without doubt the strangest election I can remember since I first became interested in politics back in 1974. Strange and in many ways sad and disturbing. The Conservative Party has done very well, and as the strongest of the democratic and rational parties it must use its weight and influence to tackle the cancer of the BNP and UKIP. The BNP's successes are probably down to the failures of the Labour Party, but UKIP's rise represents a failure of the Conservatives. It's a bit like the nasty growths that mushroomed around the fringes of Labour in the 1970s and 1908s. I suspect that there was something of a conspiracy of silence by the Tories on UKIP this time for tactical reasons, but the lesson of history is that if you don't tackle this growth quickly, it will pose a mortal danger to your party sooner than you think.

Meanwhile, congratulations on your strong showing. I only wish that the wider results were evidence of the healthy state of British democracy, but I fear they are not.

judith said...

Stepney - well said!

A couple of random thoughts: I'm not a UKIPper, but can't help thinking that if all the small antiEU parties had united and given their votes to UKIP,there would be far more openly anti-EU MEPs this morning - could someone explain the point of the fragmentation?

Secondly, given the strength of the anti-EU vote, how much will this influence Cameron to allow the genuine and widespread EUscepticism in his own Party to influence policy?

skingers said...

Without Wales and Scotland... Now throw in a boundary commission and Labour will not exist electorally for... well ever... not just a generation... Brown is irrelevant, the damage is done and there is no way back... They have to limit damage and then build a new presence... Or try and move the goalposts and introduce some electoral reform that will take the sting out of 'first past the post' which will no doubt be the focus. Having enjoyed a huge majority under the 'old' system they will try to move to a 'fairer' system and limit the scope for a Conservative 'generational' drubbing of Labour. That is the ONLY game changer left for this tired and discredited regime.

Rebel Saint said...

Nigel Allery said... "The Cons must have a clear policy for halting the BNP"

Wrong. The cons must have a clear policy for stopping immigration, withdrawing from the EU superstate, and defending our national identity from the forces of multiculturalism & Islam.

The BNP 'problem' will then take care of itself.

Unsworth said...

Harman seems to believe that Labour has been punished 'more' at the polls than any other party solely because of the 'Expenses'. She also seems to be pushing the line that a General Election should not be held whilst we are in 'these difficult economic times' (whatever that may mean in English). So her position seems to be no election until there is an economic upturn.

Does she follow the logic of that - which is that the democratic process should be suspended until she and her colleagues think it's OK to have an election? What next, declaration of a State of Emergency, Parliament suspended, Government of National Unity, Martial Law?

Time to turf these monsters out - by whatever means.

HarveyR said...

"Why has no one taken the LibDems to account that PR lets in screwballs like the BNP?"

Because it's not the case.

We have had Euro elections on PR for years, but no BNP elected.

PR in Northern Ireland for Westminster and the Assembly. No BNP.

PR for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly - no BNP.

So it's simply untrue to claim that if you have PR you elect fascists, by default.

On the other hand, in first past the post local council elections, in recent years we have seen the BNP elected.

What has let in the BNP this time is the inevitable consequence of Labour deserting the working class.

Unsworth said...

@ Dic Dyffryn

"The Conservative Party has done very well, and as the strongest of the democratic and rational parties it must use its weight and influence to tackle the cancer of the BNP and UKIP."


Anonymous said...

I understand the tactical politics of not doing so, but I think the Tories really need to start talking about hard policies now.

Labour are finished anyway - the challenge is not to stop them from stealing good ideas, but to start engaging with the people drifting to UKIP and the BNP. Announce solid, sensible policies on Europe and immigration, and those voters can be won over, but you need to start now to make sure that there is enough of a snowball effect before the general election.

The worst possible result is that UKIP and the fringe parties split the Tory vote, and Labour end up with a majority and Prime Minister Harman finishing the job of ruining our once great nation.

Anonymous said...

Dan Hannan won his bet with Guido that Labour would come fifth in the south-east...

Rebel Saint said...

GORDO IN THE BROWN STUFF said... " Why has no one taken the LibDems to account that PR lets in screwballs like the BNP?"

It wasn't PR that got the BNP elected, it was people voting for them that got them elected. Pesky democracy.

Anonymous said...

The election of two BNPs horrifies me on two counts
a) history is no longer taught properly and todays generation does not realise how Hitler came to power in just such a way -hiding the thuggery until it was too late to stop it.

b) BNP talk about immigration and I agree that there should be control -but my son legally, for love, married a non european, non commonwealth girl. We had terrible trouble getting her here, costing money we could not afford (the government takes money every time one applies), she has to take English classes -free as they say? not a chance over £200 a term for the first year.

Two young people are struggling hard to make a life without any help -and they do not ask for it - do we now have to worry that after all the struggle and heartbreak she is going to face more hassle!

Thank God my parents are not alive to witness a fascist resurgence they spent six years fighting to free europe from terror.

Anonymous said...

Excellent show last night and Friday, and the perfect team backing you up.

Just one tip: please cut the callers off if they speak for more than 30 seconds!

Mirtha Tidville said...

Iain was unjustly slagged a bit for having the BNP on his show on Friday but was justified, when this morning Nick Griffin traded insults with a somewhat rattled John Humphrys.

Harvey R sorry disagree, we always have had oddball results at parish pump level. As far as Scotland, Wales and NI as concerned the BNP dont really bother about those areas and have little presence.

PR would be a disaster.

Anonymous said...

As you were discussing last night, not a very proportional electoral system.

So far (with 63 of 69 seats declared):

Con +1.2% and +1 seat, Lab -7% and -5 seats, so those are roughly
1% per seat change, but Greens +2.5% and no seat changes,
BNP +1.4% and +2 seats, UKIP +0.5% and +1 seat, Libdem -1.1% and +1 seat.

Anonymous said...

Biased BBC shows number of seats for every UK party apart from ... yes, you guessed correctly!

Stepney said...

Just to clarify: the BNP are a bunch of odious thugs but their ideology is appealing to swathes of the disenfranchised white working class precisely because it is inherently socialist.

And whilst Labour continue to piss about with middle-class issues of liberal conscience and ignore their roots it will continue to eat away at them.

The phrase "the most disadvantaged in society" underpins every Labour policy but the notion simply salves their north london sensibilities. They don't actually care - the important thing is to simply be seen to care. The problem being of course is that the white working class have a level of pride and a work ethic which Labour simply cannot connect with.

And that plays right into the racists hands.

HarveyR said...


I was not thinking of the parish pump.

BNP elected to County Council seats last Thursday requires more than a few oddball votes. The FPTP system is no barrier to the BNP once they can take erstwhile Labour votes in large numbers.

There are good arguments for and against PR. But if we simply blame PR for the election of BNP MEPs, we would be missing the bigger picture.

Means Test ACA said...

None of the main parties have increased their overall votes - the same amount of people voted Conservative or Liberal Democrat.

What did happen, though, was that those people who felt passionately for the Labour cause last time just threw their hands up and said "What's the bloody point?" Of course, most of them couldn't bring themselves to actually vote for another party, so instead they just sat at home on their arses.

Probably time to bring in the Australian system, where you're free not to vote, but you get fined if you don't at least turn up to the polling office.


Sorry HarveyR . Come the General Election I will wager that neither UKIP nor BNP will win a seat.Then work out the results with this PR system and they would both win seats.It's funny how labour are now jumping on the PR bandwagon.They can see disaster coming and may see PR as their only way back.Labour are being beaten from all sides and only have themselves and particularly GB to blame.

Fulk Nerra said...

The Labour party believes it has a right to exist. Why?
Its historic role was to represent and advance the interests of the working class. Do they do this now? They think they do but the white working class don't agree - increasingly they do not vote or they have and will move over to the BNP.
A party exists to serve - who does the Labour party serve? Its constituency now is those who draw welfare benefits (but they are unlikely to vote) plus of course the immigrant communities who look to the Labour machine as the dispensers of cash and patronage - the role of political parties in their countries of origin.

Like a failing business Labour needs to ask itself what its recovery plan may be.

Rebel Saint said...

GORDO IN THE BROWN STUFF said... "Come the General Election I will wager that neither UKIP nor BNP will win a seat.Then work out the results with this PR system and they would both win seats.

So basically your argument is, "FPTP is best coz the political parties I don't like won't get any representation that way despite getting lots of people voting for them". Well that seems reasonable ... you've convinced me that's the most democratic.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your remarks about the BBC coverage. Lots of talking heads who from time to time would look wisely at their laptop and say something cryptic about a particular result, which they didn't tell the viewers. Made worse by a Tom Cruise 'wannabe'using a virtual reality screen to put difficult to decipher graphics. What's wrong with an old fashion bar graph, easy to read and compare, instead we had sprouting pie charts

Grassyknollington said...

Can't help feeling bemused at the hoo-hah surrounding the success of the BNP. I'm actually beginning to get sick of the relentless attacks on this party who have gained seats as a result of democratic process, therefore establishing themselves as a legitimate party. I disagree with them on a number of levels, however I take more exception to the "holier than thou" brigade who much prefer being seen to be angry and offended. It may help their cause to access why the target of their ire has been so successful, and then proceed from there.

On a brighter note- decent result for the Torys, I quite enjoyed watching Harperson claim the moral high ground for the Labour voters, implying they had a more developed sense of integrity than the balance of the public. Had a faint hope the Torys would make a bit of head-way in Scotland, not terribly sure what basis I had for such optimism to be honest.

HarveyR said...


"Come the General Election I will wager that neither UKIP nor BNP will win a seat."

That's right. If you have FPTP, you can stick your fingers in your ears and sing "BNP la-la-la, I can't hear you"

Just look at the numbers at this election, though. Although 4 million people voted for the Tories, nearly a million voted BNP. You simply cannot make those people disappear by not counting their votes. You have to convince them that there are reasonable non-racist, non-fascist platforms that can represent them.

Anonymous said...

As I've said here: , the BNP's gains are not a watershed moment in British politics. It's sad that they've gained seats but there has been no large upsurge in their support, merely a drop off in support for the other parties. This result was predictable and indeed predicted before the event. Even in the most perfect conditions that could be presented to a far right party, they only gained two seats and with fewer votes in those seats than they garnered last time around.

Uncle Bob said...

The most shameful election in our dmocracy. But on the upside there's a new downfall video. I've got it posted here.

Rebel Saint said...

Uncle Bob said... "The most shameful election in our dmocracy"

What, even more shameful than voting in NuLab for a 3rd term despite an illegal war, undoing our democracy, and debasing our society just because Gordon kept giving us hand outs on the national credit card?

I say a stunning victory for democracy last night. Shame it doesn't mean a thing.

Uncle Bob said...

Yes, even worse than that. On the bright side, there's no way they'll try to put PR on the agenda for westminster now.

Anonymous said...

"The Cons must have a clear policy for halting the BNP"

Actually, the Cons must have a clear policy on everything.

Only then can they be sure of winning the GE.


The election of the BNP MEPs should be welcomed by lovers of democracy everywhere.
Hopefully, this will make the mainstream parties realise why this has happened.
It has come about from the disconnect they have from the voters.
Both Labour and the Tories have over the years become too PC, too Pro-Europe and too soft on immigration.
The main parties and Liabour especially have also become extremely undemocratic and corrupt.
To defeat the BNP, the main parties need to listen to their voters, adopt policies more in tune with their thinking and become honest and accountable.
Today's success for the BNP was democracy in action.
I said as much on my blogs this morning.


The public are in no mood to swallow shabby deals worked out in no smoking rooms.The LibDems are being coy about saying if they would do a deal in the event of a hung parliament.Luckily this won't happen.Tories are going to sweep the LibDems out of the South,Labour from the Midlands and parts of the North ,give Labour a bloody nose in Wales and the SNP should finish the job in Scotland

DespairingLiberal said...

This morning's UKIP press conference in full.

In case you missed it!

1/ We are no longer old white upper class male bigots. Here's a foreign woman (I think her name is Marta or something - bloody foreigners - why can't they use Martha??) and a nice young working class bloke from Liverpool, poor guy.

2/ We are determined to get Britain out of the EU.

3/ To this end, we will work hard for the next 5 years getting frightfully well-paid as MEPs whilst condemning it round the clock.

4/ We all want to be re-elected as MEPs to the institutions we love, er, hate.

5/ The BNP is all the fault of Labour.

6/ UKIP is absolutely choc full of charming young black and asian people.

7/ Kilroy Silk was a ghastly egomaniac.

8/ Everyone will do exactly as I, N Farage, say!

9/ The Tories promised a referendum and that's why they are rubbish.

10/ Er, that's it.

Vienna Woods said...

I firmly believe that the main parties have tried far too hard to be "all things to all men" and in that vein have adopted the nicey, softy, cuddly, say a lot - and do nothing middle-of-the-road club!

Listening to Labour politicians this morning, they are all blaming the expenses scandal, so why have the Conservatives made the gains they have?

I firmly believe that David Cameron's recent pledge to hold an EU referendum has given Conservatives a considerable boost. He now needs to do something positive about controlling immigration from within the EU as well as from elsewhere and to tackle head-on the creeping PC and Elf & Safety laws that are suffocating us all. We all know that the economy is an unmitigated disaster and that we need to get shot of these government quangos, but we need to listen to ordinary folk and stop bleating on about things that go straight over their heads.

Paddy Briggs said...

The Result:

Centre/Left (Lab, LD, Green) 38%

Centre/Right (Conservative) 27.7%

Nationalist Right (UKIP, BNP) 22.7%

Nationalist Centre (SNP, PC) 2.9%

So to win the next General Election all DC needs to do is to have a manifesto which moves some who this time voted Nationalist Right into his camp. Eurosceptic; anti-immigration; and overtly nationalist. I'm sure that Lynton Crosby will be happy to help!

DespairingLiberal said...

I can picture the press conferences Paddy - Attention for ze Leader! Herr Cameron is entering ze room! Everyone who does not salute - take their names down!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a straight switch from Labour to SNP in Scotland based on a numeric comparison of the 2004 v 2009 results. So Labour voters didn't stay at home. Instead they like the idea of independence even more. Roll on the General Election.

Ryland said...


anyone know why link from Iains site isnt working properly?

i have tired this morning from two different computers and it doesnt want to work.


Nic Conner said...

I never have felt so bad after a Tory win. Just shows how two bad eggs out of 69 seat makes recks a night.

Paddy Briggs said...

There will be two groups trying to influence David Cameron after the Tories disappointing Euro Election results. The first will point to the success of UKIP and the BNP and suggest that the Conservatives simply need to woo some of these disaffected, right-wing and nationalist leaning voters to the Conservative Party and the 2010 General Election will be in the bag – that’s perhaps the Lynton Crosby pitch. The others led I hope by Ken Clarke and other “one-nation” Tories will argue that in the interest of the country at large Cameron must broaden his appeal to moderates who will have no truck with the likes of UKIP or the BNP. I fervently hope that it is the second group which prevails. Will Cameron have the courage (and it does take courage I think) not to create a Conservative manifesto which nakedly appeals to the prejudiced right (i.e. not do what Michael Howard did in 2005)?

Incidentally one thing that we may see soon is a groundswell of support for the old chestnut “The realignment of the Left”. The underpinning ideologies of Labour, LibDems and the Greens are not all that different. Labour moved so far from its core base under Blair/Brown that it was in effect in Government not a party of the Left at all but seep down social democratic values are there in its supporter base and in its intellectual wing (the Fabian Society for example). A left realigned once and for all into a new force based (for example) on Obama’s Democrats could be the way forward in the post Blair/Brown era.

jon dee said...

Labour's response to their election defeat is disingenuous and counterproductive. Their use of the "doorstep" justification for the blame on MP's expenses as the reason for voter rejection is convenient but untrue.

Once again they are not really listening to the electorate and certainly not to their traditional voters. Ignoring a message which is loud and clear is not clever politics and further angers voters.

Poor performance accross government is causing serious harm to people's lives.

Dire management of the nations finances and massive government debt is not seen as the panacea that the PM constantly proclaims.

Add, government waste so obvious to all, dogmatic and deluded education strategies, deteriorating public services, poor police visibility, a hopeless immigration policy, poor public housing, high taxation and then theres room for MP's thievery.

Butworst of all, it is Labour's lying which is the most insulting, hence nobody now believes a word they say. Manifesto,referendum, Lisbon Treaty equals serious waffle but only one lie of many.

It is too late for Labour but the damage that Brown could still wreak should not be underestimated.

FloTom said...

I am a core Labor voter who did not vote Labour yesterday. I actually voted for the English Democrats.

My reasons were
Positively I wanted to highlight the democratic deficit that England has fallen into becuase of Devolution to the Home Nations. It is unacceptable to me that Home nation MPs can vtoe on English legislation when the reverse isnt the case.

Negatively Whilst like all reasonable people I am angry over the expenses scandal and I blame all partys this did not feture to any great extent. I do not know whether that makes me unusual lol.

I am angry that this govt has broken its promises especially on constitutional matters. These included the promis to deliver a fully elected second chamber and a referendum on the Lisbon Constitution. Yes I know it should be treaty but the lie there is any difference has got through my obviously numbskull brain.

I feel deeply ashamed that the BNP have now gotten MEPs in this country. The problem facing Labour is that whilst Nick Griffin and the other person have a democratic mandate in England, no matter how small the turnout, Gordon Brown and is it 7 Ministers in the Lords now, do not have any democratic legitimacy here.

How can this Prime Minister or any of his minsters speak with any moral authority whilst that situation continues.

Anonymous said...

Ryland said..

PB has problems try putting

Neil said...

Where can I get the most detailed breakdown of the results available? Are they broken down by constituency anywhere?

Political Dissuasion said...

Really enjoyed the show, but was suprised how many MPs came on air knowing NOTHING about the breakdown of results.

The BBC was a disgrace, and questions have to be asked after the pressure put on the Beeb during the expenses. Have the BBC been scared down by Labour? Their presentation recently on a number of things has been 'curious to say the least'.

But bravo to you guys last night.

I still insist this was a great platform for you to set out your credentials for hosting Eurovision - you'd probably be cheaper (only just) than Graham Norton, so it's in the public interest!

DespairingLiberal said...

I agree very much Paddy - I really hope the Tories take a more intelligent path now. Note that their "possible friends" in the extremist parties in Europe have all lost ground to the EPP, so there will be renewed pressure of realism on Cameron in Europe to take up a seat where he should be, in the heart of moderate Right politics in Europe.

Similarly, I agree about Obama's model for the democratic Left - I think Labour now needs to shake out the love of corporate welfare and refocus on the people's issues. It can probably best do that with a new leader, as Brown is (it is becoming clearer all the time) fatally associated with the Blair era, even though he is also permanently in conflict with Blair's pals.

Nigel Allery said...

Didn't know Flint was angry with him as well ...

Blunkett hurt by charging cow
No, really.

According to Gallery News….

“Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has a broken rib and has ‘painful bruising’ after being injured by a charging cow in Derbyshire. The Sheffield MP was out walking on his 62nd birthday with his guide dog Sadie in the Peak District on Saturday when the cow charged into them.”

Nigel Allery said...

@ Rebel Saint

Thanks for agreeing with me, you've just written a policy for halting the BNP!

Ralph Ward Jackson said...

It shouldn't be such a shock that that the BNP got a couple of MEPs; why would the UK be any different from the rest of Europe?

Only by using First-Past-The-Post were we able to restrict all the elected national politicians to three parties. It was like those days of only having BBC1, BBC2 and ITV and it had to come to an end eventually.

All across Europe there are parties like the BNP, Greens, religous parties, one-issue parties and assorted exotic politicians being electied; we'll just have to get used to swimming in the new political environment.