GB politics discussion thread

I have previously always supported the RNLI when possible.

But in recent times they have started sending money abroad to help in, for example, teaching women to swim in Bangladesh and Tanzania. Admittedly, its just 2% of their funds, but even that is too much. If I worry about drownings in Bangladesh and Tanzania I want to send them money direct, not through a body set up to safeguard our own coasts. Imagine an accountant charged with misuse of funds said in his defence, “Well, it was only 2%”.

On top of which they prolong the migrant crisis in the Channel with their aid to illegal immigrants and people traffickers. The Channel is now the main area of operations for this once honourable organisation.

I wish the courageous crews and volunteers would leave and start an alternative organisation, as we certainly need it.

I sometimes watch “Daily Politics” on the BBC. Its not great.

Given that Plaid Cymru’s declared Number 1 objective is independence from the UK, why the f*** does their MP on the programme today get to comment on the UK’s immigration policy?

Plaid have decided they don’t want to be in the UK and if they ever succeed I’m pretty confident they would not stand for a UK MP commenting on Welsh national policies.

The opinions of Plaid and the SNP on UK matters are irrelevant.

Joe Biden’s greatest…

I have searched in vain on Amazon for a book containing renowned colossal orator Joe Biden’s greatest speeches.

Two books show him on the cover and describe the greatest achievements of US presidents. But what his presidential achievement might be cannot be discerned from the blurb and there are no customer reviews for either. Any suggestions anyone? (apart from becoming president)

spotted this site:

Joe Biden Books | List of books by author Joe Biden (

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Channel migrant crisis

I am fortunate to have received advance copy of Boris Johnson’s upcoming speech at the Warmington-on-Sea conference - you can hear the grit and determination in his words -

We shall go on shifting the blame to the end. We shall shift the blame in France, we shall shift the blame on the seas and oceans, we shall shift the blame with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall shift the blame, whatever the cost may be. We shall shift the blame on the beaches, we shall shift the blame on the landing grounds, we shall shift the blame in the fields and in the streets, we shall shift the blame in the hills; we shall never apologise.

Although I think some of the words might be borrowed, what determination…

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Being an optimist I have to wonder if the combined weight of public dismay over the absence of a UK immigration policy plus Macron’s feisty jabs at the PM will prick Boris Johnson enough to cause him to do something dramatic in the Channel.

We are at the point where breaking international law in the sake of preservation of sovereignty and the abolition of people trafficking must justify the UK’s withdrawal from the usual legal practices and treaties.

I am thinking of the parallel when the Royal navy was charged by the government in the 19th century to disrupt the African slave trade. This was partly supported by treaties but partly achieved through the threat of force. Either way, the legality of Britain’s application of this order was less than 100% on the high seas. It did not stop the government backing up the Navy.

In England we’re going to have to wear masks in shops and on public transport from this week onwards, I suppose until we know the omicron covid variant isn’t going to overwhelm the NHS. Its not a great expense or inconvenience - I have actually been wearing two masks since many other people stopped even wearing one.

But the problem isn’t mask strategy. It is the suppression of normal human, social and economic activities that results from being perpetually on the edge of a covid crisis.

I am sure the government has an exit strategy. also that they dare not disclose this in detail for fear that people will start to anticipate the exit strategy conditions before the government are satisfied these are in place.

But if they don’t soon put an end point in sight, public co-operation with covid counter-measures, even in the UK, is going to dry up.

Protest votes in by-elections

There are two by-elections coming up soon in England, following the sad deaths of MP’s James Brokenshire and David Amess. By-elections are often seen as a way to lodge a protest vote against the incumbent national administration. even if the opposition win, taking one seat won’t affect the government’s majority but sends a message that policies are unpopular.

What a waste of a vote. Governments in the UK expect to be unpopular, they don’t need telling. Almost all elected governments are unpopular by the time they’ve been in office a couple of years. So there isn’t a message to send. And if the opposition gain of one seat makes little difference to their small MP group, how can the loss of one seat from a larger group make any thing but only a little difference.

But actually it does make a difference. It encourages the opposition. It enlarges their Parliamentary MP group. It encourages their backers, their campaigners, their prospective candidates elsewhere. It entrenches their political philosophy.

If you want to encourage your opponent by all means give them your protest vote. You only need to mark your ballot paper with an X, which is about all you’re capable of.

Seems like this happens twice a year.

I think eventually one of these frequent re-shuffles will lead Starmer to get so far down the list he even asks me to become Shadow Secretary for sommat or other. I live for the day.

Even without re-shuffles, there’s a pleasantly healthy turn-over of Labour front-benchers.

Hopefully Angela Rayner goes in the reshuffle, the only worse Deputy than her would be Diane Abbott again…

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And with regards to the announcement of the changes to the booster vaccine rollout today, I think we are going to see a lot of people in the younger age brackets refusing to take it.

I think people were happy to do their bit to help out the larger population when we thought the vaccines helped to stop the spread, now we know that’s not the case, then it gets to the point where the risks start to out-way the rewards if you are younger.

I do wonder if the government will start to threaten restrictions to certain aspects of life unless you are “fully vaccinated” (3 jabs or more) in an attempt to push more people into having the booster. We shall see. I suspect that isn’t something Johnson’s government wants, they want people out spending and living life normally again, it will depend on the opposition and media pressure.

There is only one reliable route out of poverty - work.

all the media, not just the BBC, also the politicians and political commentators, have united in their correct designation of this tragic event as the worst Channel disaster since the migrant crisis (or “refugee” crisis) began. Which is true enough.


Which amongst them has pointed to the wider context? For example the loss of life in an articulated refrigerator lorry in Grays, Essex, in 2019. In that tragic incident, 39 people died, considerably more than drowned last week in the Channel.

A plausible reason is that the politicians don’t want us to link the dots and disbelieve them when they say they’re going to do something - they have done sweet FA after the Essex lorry incident.

Meanwhile the media want us to focus on this current story and read their copy and watch their reports. context undermines the market attractiveness of their stories.

Its always good to recognise hypocrites who dress themselves up as humanitarians or leaders.

You have to acknowledge that post Blair’s “Affirmative Action” - There is an awful lot of complete garbage being paid ridiculous amounts of money sitting on “labour” benches !

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A mate of mine had a hero labour MP - the guy with the red tie - I couldn’t remember his name so that’s what I googled - the red tie - and up he came.

Was close to being father of the house - now wouldn’t that be some whilbaloo :slight_smile:

I’m not familiar with that word, Peter. I tried searching for it in Google but it didn’t come up with any results!

Would you mind explaining it’s meaning? Sorry if I’m being dumb here!

Actually the correct spelling is whilabaloo - a local saying - nearest in English is hullabaloo

( a state of commotion, excitement, or violent disturbance - uproar)

I can just imagine it :slight_smile:


What actually is the job of the SNP MP’s at Westminster?

The SNP’s stated ultimate political objective is independence for Scotland. This is justified in their arguments by the governance from Westminster which is unfair to the Scots and prejudicial to Scottish interests.

If, if, if it is accepted that UK rule has been bad for Scotland, then there are three possible exit routes from the situation.

One, the UK could unilaterally grant Scotland its independence whether it wants it or not. It might do this by abolishing the UK but it could do it.

Two, the UK government structure could be reformed so as to protect Scottish rights and interests. (I thought we had actually done this.)

Three, Scotland could withdraw from the UK… This is the SNP’s choice.

It follows that the SNP’s objective is destroyed by Westminster reform. It also follows that the SNP MP’s must therefore try to ensure that new UK laws are not good for Scotland and that any existing UK laws which are not good for Scotland remain in place. This is a strange and perverse procedure for an unproven and unnecessary policy and might better be described as sabotage.

Conservatives hold Bexley

By-elections usually show a swing away from the incumbent government. This one was not different. Voter turn-out was less than half of a normal year, but the Conservatives lost vote share while Labour gained.

The Liberal Democrats will be the most disappointed as they also lost share, despite being the No.2 opposition party…
But are they really the third major political party or is it time they called it a day?

Looks like we have another by-election coming up in the new year.

So what has Barry Sheerman done?

MP’s voting records etc. are available at He seems to have been a loyal party member.

One oddity is that he voted in favour of permits to allow fracking, but then voted twice against enhanced controls on fracking.

Otherwise, although rarely rebelling against Labour policy, he has voted a little oddly. Yes, he has voted in favour of higher benefit payments, in favour of actions to prevent climate change, for UK membership of the EU and against the reduction of corporate taxation.

But some of his votes appear to support what might be regarded as core Conservative principles - against aviation passenger tax, against elected PCC’s, for mass surveillance of communications and activities, for tougher asylum rules, for stronger immigration controls, etc.

Perhaps this ambiguity simply reflects his constituency. The English public are generally liberal socially but conservative politically. Which is why the country is generally run by Conservative administrations.