/ Boris is new PM part 3

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Mike Stretford 07 Aug 2019

MG said

> I honestly don't know which is worse out of lab and tories currently. Both are run by zealots, both support brexit, both are incompetent. So, I will vote libdem as the only credible remain party in England. 

80% of Labour MPs voted for a second referendum during the indicative votes. I agree that the leadership is incompetent, but there are some very competent Labour MPs.

If people don't vote smart, it's 5 years of Boris. If there's anyone who thinks a vote for Labour is 5 years of a Corbyn led majority government, they really haven't been paying attention.

7
GrahamD 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

No thank you.  I will continue to vote for the candidate that most closely represents their views and would urge others to do likewise.

Mike Stretford 07 Aug 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

> No thank you.  I will continue to vote for the candidate that most closely represents their views and would urge others to do likewise.

I think most candidates will 'closely represents their views', pretty odd otherwise, regardless of politics.

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Timmd 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Perhaps he meant the views and principles they talk about having, before power and/or money comes their way (and corrupts them)?

Edit: There's different opinions on whether it's having the maturity to change and making the most of the limitations of democracy, or whether it's selling out, but some MP's stay true to their earlier selves, and some don't seem to...

Post edited at 16:21
Mike Stretford 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Timmd: Perhaps, though I think he meant to put 'my' instead of 'their'. Maybe he'll come back and clarify.

Mike Stretford 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Timmd:

>  some MP's stay true to their earlier selves and some don't seem to...

and then go on to be PM !

Timmd 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford: You might be right. I  think I find politics to be an 'argh' subject, it's intrinsic to our everyday lives but I've had enough of it now too.

I'm off to Stanage Pole.

Post edited at 16:25
MargieB 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

I agree with MG and would be voting for Lib Dem in an election as I too think they are the only credible remain party but who could also effectively bring about a shift in the political climate in the UK. To me this is a very last ditch attempt of a unity UK political system with reform constitutionally at its heart. Labour is also grimly attached to the two party system for political self interest. Maybe every other party will turn out exactly the same, but for me Lib Dem represents a last ditch attempt in a profound crisis of the very fabric of our democracy.

2
GrahamD 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Nothing too deep ! Meant to say my views, but their views works as well.

wintertree 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> but there are some very competent Labour MPs.

Not in my constituency.  

I had a great respect for our Labour MP despite my long running contempt for their party.  They recently stepped down to be replaced by a bright young Corbyn devote and - it turns out - massive hypocrite.  Scuttlebut is that the previous MP was systematically bullied by the legion of Corbyn supporters until they stepped down.

wercat 08 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

I'm not criticising past leaders as I think they were all well intentioned and good people and I know for a fact how energetic Farron is as a constituency MP, but I think perhaps now there is more of an energetic image with the new leader (and even if it is only the image of greater energy, that is really important, to make an impression on the current state of affairs).

Post edited at 08:29
Mike Stretford 08 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> I agree with MG and would be voting for Lib Dem in an election as I too think they are the only credible remain party but who could also effectively bring about a shift in the political climate in the UK. To me this is a very last ditch attempt of a unity UK political system with reform constitutionally at its heart. Labour is also grimly attached to the two party system for political self interest. Maybe every other party will turn out exactly the same, but for me Lib Dem represents a last ditch attempt in a profound crisis of the very fabric of our democracy.

By the same token do you want Labour voters in Tory/Lib Dems seats to vote Lib Dem? I sure do and would vote Lib Dem if i were in one of those seats.

I see the the coming election as a 3 way choice... Tory majority, something similar to no, or a Lib Dem/Lab/others coalition.  When faced with 5 years of PM Boris I just think idealism is a luxury we can't afford (though some can and will vote accordingly).

1
Offwidth 08 Aug 2019
In reply to wintertree:

My MP left the Labour party but because he actively called out the attempted take-over of the contituency by new hard left members (ex SWP and similar) the ire targetted at him has been especially fierce.

In the end, I think who to vote for comes down to the seat in such troubled times. In any 'brexit' election called by Boris or because of a No Confidence vote  I'd vote 'anything but Boris' and would regard this as a national priority that trumps parties. I'd vote conservative for the first time in my life for someone like Dominic Greive in a safe tory seat; in Brighton I'd vote Green;  in much of the rural south and south-west I'd vote Liberal; in most of Scotland, SNP (Liberal in a few seats) in Labour seats I'd mostly vote Labour, even for a candidate of the Corbyn left if the alternative was a Boris supporter or Brexit.

4
MargieB 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

What seems shocking to me is that all strategies are irrelevant if there is a GE after Brexit. On several levels it is shocking- firstly to have ageneral refererendum in 2016 with no referendum on the detail is bad enough. To deny the principle of a no confidence vote {which has to be stimulated by a no confidence in Brexit as defined by Boris} by having a GE after a fait  accompli default Brexit is totally dismissive of the Parliament's intention. Also, if Boris was so confident in his ideas, why not put them to the test through s 2nd ref or GE before he implements them. 

Post edited at 19:13
3
In reply to MargieB:

Because he might lose, of course.

jcm

1
baron 08 Aug 2019
RomTheBear 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> MG said

> 80% of Labour MPs voted for a second referendum during the indicative votes. I agree that the leadership is incompetent, but there are some very competent Labour MPs.

If they were competent, they wouldn’t have voted for this fool’s errand of a second referendum, instead they’d have voted for the deal. Then they could have got into power, and do Brexit in name only.

Mike Stretford 09 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> If they were competent, they wouldn’t have voted for this fool’s errand of a second referendum, instead they’d have voted for the deal. Then they could have got into power, and do Brexit in name only.

There was an argument for that.... I was sympathetic to it! Vote through the WA, and split the Tory party, as you know the WA could have led to a soft Brexit with the right government ect. Problem was it was a please 'not very many' strategy, most remainers would be fuming, Brexiteers too, no doubt whipped up by Boris (who wouldn't have voted for it on the 3rd go if he knew Labour were). It would have avoided the cliff edge we are now facing but would most likely have led to the same type of right wing Tory government we have now. 

Mike Stretford 09 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> What seems shocking to me is that all strategies are irrelevant if there is a GE after Brexit. On several levels it is shocking- firstly to have ageneral refererendum in 2016 with no referendum on the detail is bad enough. To deny the principle of a no confidence vote {which has to be stimulated by a no confidence in Brexit as defined by Boris} by having a GE after a fait  accompli default Brexit is totally dismissive of the Parliament's intention. Also, if Boris was so confident in his ideas, why not put them to the test through s 2nd ref or GE before he implements them. 

Yep, but Boris is a self serving shit, and Cummings will play the system to further his own agenda. 

1
Mike Stretford 09 Aug 2019

Pound on the slide again, now under 1.08 Euros, lowest since 2009.

Offwidth 09 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

I refuse to despair.  Firstly, there is a very good chance Parliament will block his stunts to force a no deal brexit and even if he succeeds I think people and partys need to work together to maximise the changes of getting rid of him, as I think he will have proved he is dangerous to our parliamentary constitution and his views and his cabinet and the state of the UK will all be highly concerning (despite thinking he will probably win). On the Tez O'clock news last night the Conservative Baroness Warsi was asked to judge current ministers on a scale of evil from zero to 10 ( like say Vodemort) and gave Javid 3, Shapps 10, Williamson 11 and Patel 12. It's comedy but the point is clear. When asked if there were ministers without evil she said yes and gave Rudd as an example.

Post edited at 11:51
1
jkarran 09 Aug 2019
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Because he might lose, of course.

The question I'm struggling with is what does he gain by standing for election in the inevitably chaotic aftermath of no-deal?

Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, perhaps it's in which scenario will he loose least? The hit to living standards is going to be fast and hard though so I'm not sure being the man who delivered it, against the will of parliament and fast evolving public opinion is a safe bet, but then again if he doesn't deliver he likely ends up dancing to Farage's tune assuming he even keeps his seat.

Or perhaps being more cynical, as seems sensible, the answer lies in the detail of the timing. If we go to the polls on the 1st and assuming the true economic impact can be delayed or hidden, perhaps with an 'Independence day' bank holiday. The slowly unfolding chaos pitted against breathless election day chatter for dominance of the news cycle while the shelves remain stocked... Perhaps he gets that brief moment he needs to capitalise on 'delivering brexit' before the true horror and extent of what he's done and it's irreversibility becomes apparent. With any kind of majority he will be able to sit fast for 5 years, his MP's terrified of the career/electoral consequences of their party's actions should they risk another trip to the polls before the situation can at least be stabilised and the blame shifted emphatically back on Europe or the domestic separatist movements we've re-energised. It's a gamble I think will likely pay of for him short term, he'll get his 5 years of cowed support from backbenches re-stocked with rabid right-wingers. That in conjunction with another recession is the opportunity to brutally complete Thatcher's work but it's not going to secure his place next to Churchill in our history books. Does he care or has he sold out?

jk

Post edited at 12:54
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Yanis Nayu 09 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

I just think there are extremely powerful and rich vested interests with so much to gain from a no-deal Brexit that people like Johnson (backed by the likes of Odey let’s not forget) will try to push it through at any cost. 

2
jkarran 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I just think there are extremely powerful and rich vested interests with so much to gain from a no-deal Brexit that people like Johnson (backed by the likes of Odey let’s not forget) will try to push it through at any cost. 

The disaster capitalists' puppet idea leaves him so tarnished, a man that ambitious and vain, it doesn't quite fit but then perhaps they have just cornered him.

jk

Post edited at 12:40
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Robert Durran 09 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> That in conjunction with another recession is the opportunity to brutally complete Thatcher's work but that with brexit is not going to secure his place next to Churchill in our history books. Does he care or has he sold out?

He has unscrupulously lied his way to the top job and, in doing so, has dug himself into a hole which, whether he is buried and left for dead at the bottom of it in October (as he deserves), or lies himself through a few dismal years, is going to assure him of a place in history as one of the country's worst ever leaders.

Post edited at 12:58
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MargieB 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

I think the definition of brexit towards a softer brexit option has now passed. The recent EU elctions characterised Brexit as hard WTO rules- they could have voted for the Conservative position of compromise which was currently under discussion at the time between May and Corbyn. But they didn't . I feel one has to respect that definition of Brexit at the present and future time. 

So should it be referendum or election I believe the options are WTO rules Brexit or Remain as we are. At least that has been the evolutionary process of the last few years, I think. Unfortunately its a retrogressive evolution in my book. But there you are.

But I also have  a view, perhaps erroneously, that it is the very extremes like this that stimulate the greatest reforms.

Post edited at 13:01
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Robert Durran 09 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> So should it be referendum or election I believe the options are WTO rules Brexit or Remain as we are.

There is still the WA on the table. I think a referendum ought to offer that option alongside WTO and remain.

1
Mike Stretford 09 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB: Yes that ship has sailed, there just wasn't enough popular support for that option.

1
Mike Stretford 09 Aug 2019
In reply to GrahamD:

> No thank you.  I will continue to vote for the candidate that most closely represents my view and would urge others to do likewise.

Under PR I would, with FPTP, no chance. I ain't Dominic Cumming's patsy!

1
cumbria mammoth 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> I think the definition of brexit towards a softer brexit option has now passed. 

> Yes that ship has sailed, there just wasn't enough popular support for that option.

Why do you say that given that as far as I can make out you are supporting Labour? Soft Brexit is current Labour policy (on the basis that it represents the 52/48 split and protects jobs) and Labour have a reasonable chance of forming the next government.

1
Mike Stretford 09 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

> Why do you say that given that as far as I can make out you are supporting Labour? Soft Brexit is current Labour policy (on the basis that it represents the 52/48 split and protects jobs) and Labour have a reasonable chance of forming the next government.

I am a Labour member and think of all the options soft Brexit would be the least damaging.

However, it isn't a popular choice

https://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2019/06/14/a-country-of-purists-the-polling-which-lays-bare-the-death

It doesn't satisfy leavers and remains don't like it either. It is very unlikely Labour will form a majority government so Corbyn won't get a chance to negotiate his preferred form of Brexit. It's also a minority position within the Labour party, most are remain.

1
RomTheBear 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> I refuse to despair.  Firstly, there is a very good chance Parliament will block his stunts to force a no deal brexit and even if he succeeds I think people and partys need to work together to maximise the changes of getting rid of him, as I think he will have proved he is dangerous to our parliamentary constitution and his views and his cabinet and the state of the UK will all be highly concerning (despite thinking he will probably win). 

The very thing that makes him dangerous, is exactly what makes him likely to win. Once you get out of the liberal bubble you realise people are sick of these democratic systems that seem powerless, they want strongmen who can force things through.

1
RomTheBear 09 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> But I also have  a view, perhaps erroneously, that it is the very extremes like this that stimulate the greatest reforms.

True, except that those reforms are usually backwards.

MargieB 09 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

I hope to see more out of the situation than a new look at remaining in the EU. I hope to see an analysis of the inadequacies of representation that the last 3 years have kicked up. Any party offering more than just an EU vote is attractively placed, I would think.

Take the idea of the Union. 

That does and will not exist just because you say it. It's the quality of  representation that creates the idea and existence of a union.

Post edited at 18:27
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cumbria mammoth 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

I wouldn't rule it out. There's both leavers and remainers crying out for change and Labour are the party with the popular policies while everyone else just want to campaign on the single issue of Brexit. There'll be a swing towards Labour when the media have to cover them fairly in the GE campaign.

Offwidth 10 Aug 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

I have faith in some key rebel conservative MPs and most progresse MPs and much more faith in the voting population. I always saw the Brexit referendum result as being as much about protest from the 'left behind' in austerity, as anything else: the hard-core leavers who really wanted out of Europe were always a minority. Those left behind won't be easily fooled by Boris. In election terms he is only a strong favorite to win as the progressive vote is split on a constituency by constituency basis, if he delivers brexit. Yet, Corbyn should have been annihilated by May in the last election if you believed the anti-leftist commentators, whereas his party grew massively and he came pretty close to a shot at a coalition government (just another 10 seats). If Boris doesn't deliver brexit he is in serious trouble, as the Brexit party will split the leaver and conservative vote more evenly than the progressive vote is split. I know you don't agree but I think your 'strong man' view is really about typical Scum and Fail readers who would never vote for Corbyn's Labour or Liberal or Green. Corbyn doesn't seem to have a chance to win a majority so if the progressives win most seats his leadership is going to have to involve heavy compromise or, more likely, end.

1
Offwidth 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

An interesting tale of the impact of terrible planning for brexit on a small business (with added black humour given the involvement of his MP, the Brexit minister) in Polly's column.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/13/brexit-government-orwellian-ministry-of-truth

MargieB 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

The latest coalition idea is a government of unity, cross party formed after a no confidence vote, but I think that  is no solution- not democratically elected and therefore weak. I think there has to be a proper GE after no confidence vote. But the idea of cross party coalitions is definitely now political talk and about time, I think. Didn't really take to Caroline Lucas' women cabinet of government of unity cause it immediately sparked another aspect of disunity, ethnically. Anyway Andrea Ledsom is just as fixed on no deal as any male and there are other males more co-operatively minded so I didn't quite see the point. 

We may anyway have two women and a man in coalition politics after an election, eg Lib Lab SNP.

Post edited at 10:29
jkarran 13 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> The latest coalition idea is a government of unity, cross party formed after a no confidence vote, but I think that  is no solution- not democratically elected and therefore weak. I think there has to be a proper GE after no confidence vote.

The sole point of such a cross-bench coalition would be to buy time for a general election to take place, to prevent irreversible decisions being made outside of parliament's control during the campaign period. It's not a good idea but it is among the last few left.

jk

MargieB 13 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

Oh I see. A hold the fort temporary situation and not keep Boris in any sort of control.

But it would have to be conditional on temporaray nature or it is just another un mandated move. But Someone has to keep all other things besides Brexit going or for defence reasons. And it would have to contain a hard line Brexiteer or it is liable to be pointed at and said Foul play- Remain take-over.! Maybe Andrea Leadsom afterall.....

Post edited at 16:02
MargieB 13 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

But a temporary group would have to have a hardline Brexiteeer on it or else it could be called Foul Play, unmandated Remainer takeover!! So Andrea Leadsom again { does she get a retainer for trendy Pac-a-macs?}

Post edited at 16:27
jkarran 13 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> Oh I see. A hold the fort temporary situation and not keep Boris in any sort of control. But it would have to be conditional on temporaray nature or it is just another un mandated move.

That would be guaranteed by the cross bench coalition of support required for it to achieve a vote of confidence. Removal by a vote of no confidence when the job was done would be assured since there is little our tribal commons can agree on across the floor.

> But Someone has to keep all other things besides Brexit going or for defence reasons. And it would have to contain a hard line Brexiteer or it is liable to be pointed at and said Foul play- Remain take-over.! Maybe Andrea Leadsom afterall.....

You've lost me, the only point of a caretaker government, the one task they could possibly maybe just secure the confidence of the house to undertake would be to sequence an election before the default brexit date, perhaps by a brexit delay, perhaps by amending the fixed terms parliament act. A pause for a referendum would be better but it's a can of worms and already a very long shot, a pause for an election is slightly more believable and much quicker to deliver meaning the coalition has to hold together less time and agree little. It wouldn't need a brexiteer though there is no reason why those of a more realistic persuasion should be excluded since it is an explicitly anti no-deal move, not anti brexit (though they may be forced to revoke A50 if the EU won't extend, that is a credible threat. The EU would see an opportunity, whether they would risk taking it given the shaky foundations such a coalition would be built on I don't know). Obviously there will be cries of 'foul', that's unavoidable whatever happens in a polarised society. During the pre-election period the caretakers would hold the responsibilities of any other government.

It's all rather speculative given it's very unlikely to happen. The party system is already on shaky ground as the traditional axis of political division shifts, that's before the shock a rainbow-rebel government would deliver. If anything is to stop no-deal (unlikely) it's probably some kind of emergency legislation to make space for an election before Halloween followed by a no confidence vote and an election which a remain/referendum coalition would then have to win. Essentially votes against something, the only way the house can seem to agree.

jk

Post edited at 16:38
MargieB 13 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

A fundamental flaw in talking about Reasonable Brexiteers is that hard Brexiteers see themselves as reasonable  Presumably you and I define reasonable Brexiteers as Conservatives who themselves voted Remain and followed the mandate of a Brexit Referendum. This could be a mistake to Patronise the Hard WTO Brexiteers in such a way and perceptions are important in politics. I mean it is Remainers defining a Brexiteer. Dangerous move- bad move- invites cries of foul play..

So in the interests of public perception, that grouping could not exclude a hard WTO Brexiteer. On that one I would say you would have to hope that he or she abided by the overall concept of No confidence vote and temporary situation heavily defined and GE and all the intermediate EU moves. They would essentially have to accept co-operative action. 

Since no one in Parliament can agree on what is reasonable the point of any input by the general populace is that they and only they can finally determine what is reasonable, based on the belief in collective reasonable thought after a 3 year debate.

Post edited at 17:36
MargieB 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

But can you think of one consistently hardline WTO rules MP { voted for it from begining}who doesn't want to impose, prorogue Parliament or use any other authoritarian circumvention of parliament?53% of telegraph readers in poll said they would impose. so presumbably at percentage of WTO telegraph readers would not. Or do both ideas go hand in hand now? 

Post edited at 18:13
jkarran 13 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

By reasonable brexiteers I'm well aware I'm making a judgement, something we should perhaps have been doing more of these last few years. I mean those who recognise they have to work to deliver their project within an existing framework of responsibilities and obligations, to the electorate and our neighbors, that their actions have consequences which necessitate compromise or conflict. Any caretaker government conceived and approved to prevent a no-deal exit without parliament's consent would simply be hampered by the presence of ministers wedded to the idea of brexit now at any cost. Its also hard to imagine why such a person would be willing to serve a government solely intent on blocking them. 

Jk

MargieB 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Well, Corbyn is now making a bid for the temporary government of national unity after No confidence vote. And if GE did occur, I'm not so sure people are convinced like you are about a Labour Party changing its leader as you said ? I mean which bit of not paying attention are you referring to to suggest Corbyn will not remain leader of the Labour Party? I see no sign of change and surely if it were to happen it should have occurred by now? I've got to say I won't be voting for him- I have changed my perception of him since he took over.

Post edited at 08:01
kevin stephens 15 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

It would be interesting and entertaining, but maybe unlikely if the Lib Dems and SNP responded to Corbyn's letter saying they would support Tom Watson as a caretaker Prime Minister

summo 15 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> It would be interesting and entertaining, but maybe unlikely if the Lib Dems and SNP responded to Corbyn's letter saying they would support Tom Watson as a caretaker Prime Minister

Watson isn't a favourite with the unions , momentum or the party. He won't ever get in, as he just isn't far enough left leaning. Relative to the rest of he shadow cabinet he is often a voice of reason, a sure sign in a party of dreamers he stands little chance. 

McDonnell though is pushing his profile, knowing Corbyn's time won't last. 

2
jkarran 15 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> It would be interesting and entertaining, but maybe unlikely if the Lib Dems and SNP responded to Corbyn's letter saying they would support Tom Watson as a caretaker Prime Minister

It's hard to imagine who might actually be willing to lead such a coalition and able to pull it together.

We can rule out the party leaders, those with recent designs on leadership and those whose careers are on that trajectory (Watson included), they will either be blocked by opposing factions or not want the taint on their career. It probably needs to be a respected, longstanding backbencher, nearing retirement. We can rule out the various nationalists and sectarians, they won't command enough English support. we can rule out those at the far fringes of their parties viewed from the traditional left right-axis, they need to be' centrists'. We can rule out all but the most pragmatic brexit supporters, there can't be many left who've not thrown in their lot with Johnson to massage their careers. We can rule out those tainted by scandal or controversial policy, this will be viciously opposed from both sides of the aisle, any chink in their armour exploited. In the austerity era this makes picking one of Cameron's conservatives hard to justify (Ken Clarke). Who are we left with? Hillary Benn maybe or John Bercow who probably wouldn't cede his current position or perhaps someone from the lords? It all looks very unlikely!

jk

jkarran 15 Aug 2019
In reply to summo:

> Watson isn't a favourite with the unions... McDonnell though is pushing his profile, knowing Corbyn's time won't last. 

The point is not to pick a new Labour PM, it would be to pick someone who could pull together but couldn't continue squatting in No.10 without a very broad coalition of support.

jk

Post edited at 10:29
kevin stephens 15 Aug 2019
In reply to summo:

Another interesting question. If a motion is put forward for a second referendum ASAP when parliament resumes, who would vote for it, and who would whip for it?

MargieB 15 Aug 2019
In reply to summo:

I just can't see Corbyn accepting his unpopularity but I can see him insisting his leadership  demands respect. This puts us into another crisis because the Labour Party is in crisis. He can't command confidence either. But I don't think he can see that. Labour should have had leadership challenge a while back  and got a new broom. Now we are unlikely to form a temporary government as well -and the fact that everyman and his dog is putting themselves forward for a unity government shows how disunified it all is!

Maybe I'm hoping Boris will buckle to a 2nd referendum.

Cause that would be possible if Parliament somehow legislated on the failure of formation a temporary government of unity???

Post edited at 11:10
Mike Stretford 15 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> Well, Corbyn is now making a bid for the temporary government of national unity after No confidence vote. And if GE did occur, I'm not so sure people are convinced like you are about a Labour Party changing its leader as you said ? I mean which bit of not paying attention are you referring to to suggest Corbyn will not remain leader of the Labour Party?

I didn't say that, I said "5 years of a Corbyn led majority government", which means Labour with a majority of MPs in the HOC. That is not going to happen, the only alternative to a Tory government is a coalition of some sort.

> I see no sign of change and surely if it were to happen it should have occurred by now?

After the failed 2016 attempt to oust Corbyn, MPs will wait for the right time. I want him to go but I don't think the right time is now. 

> I've got to say I won't be voting for him- I have changed my perception of him since he took over.

Neither will I I don't live in Islington. More than ever in my lifetime this coming GE will be about voting for the make up of the HOCs, not for one of 2 parties to run the country unopposed.

fred99 15 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

Remember that first and foremost Corbyn is a Brexiteer. He hates the EU, always has done.

I'm fairly certain that the main reason - apart from being power-crazy now that he's finally got used to having power - is to derail any chance of a second Referendum or delaying/cancelling Article 50. If he's in control then we can wave goodbye to sanity prevailing.

The only logical choice would be a neutral - someone from either the LibDems or SNP that was close to retirement, and could be guaranteed to keep their word AND be called out (plus indeed voted out at a moments notice) if they didn't do precisely what was promised., This is not what can be said about Corbyn.

1
pasbury 15 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> Labour should have had leadership challenge a while back  and got a new broom.

The membership/momentum influence have put paid to that for quite some time. Personally I think the parliamentary party should elect it's leader, memberships are too ideological. That's how we got bloody Johnson!

cumbria mammoth 15 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

>  I've got to say I won't be voting for him- I have changed my perception of him since he took over.

Got to wonder why not as Labour under his leadership are the party offering all you have been asking for on this thread.

- constitutional reform
- referendum on the detail of Brexit
- GE before exit
- Softer brexit option as safety net
- Strong labour law, food safety and on green issues. 
 

Pefa 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

The EU referendum needs to go back to the people again and the only party that will do that are Labour. Voting for the small parties of SNP, Liberal and Green is a wasted vote that will put the Tories back into power and give us a hard brexit.

BTW Swinson is just a Tory, she was my MP in Bearsden years ago and has voted with the Tories on loads of issues attacking the poor. 

Post edited at 15:49
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kevin stephens 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

On the contrary, it's Corbyn's leadership which is stopping voters in the crucial swing seats voting Labour, hence he is likely to cause a hard Brexit, whereas his preference is a Labour Brexit

2
Pefa 15 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

The lib dems refuse to back a Corbyn led temporary government for a few weeks to stop brexit but had no problem supporting the Tory Party for 5 years!

And Labour will give us another chance at an EU referendum. 

Post edited at 16:52
5
Harry Jarvis 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> And Labour will give us another chance at an EU referendum. 

Well they might. Or they might not. Who knows? Angela Rayner was distinctly ambivalent on the subject when interviewed on Channel 4 the other evening. 

At least with the LibDems you know what their position on Brexit is - a very plain Bollocks to Brexit. 

kevin stephens 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

That rant is irrelevant to the problem of getting the swing voters to vote for Corbyn in a General Election!!! If Labour put Tom Watson as a caretaker PM it would be a done deal

Post edited at 17:27
1
Blunderbuss 15 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> That rant is irrelevant to the problem of getting the swing voters to vote for Corbyn in a General Election!!! If Labour put Tom Watson as a caretaker PM it would be a done deal

Yep, voted Tory at the last 3 elections but won't at the next one with that fat clown in charge....no chance of me voting for Corbyn and his Marxist sidekick though. A Labour party with someone like Starmer as leader would be nailed on to get my vote. 

MargieB 15 Aug 2019
In reply to fred99:

Maybe the only logical choice is a no cross party attempt at temporary government but a legal Parliamentary compulsion to make Boris go to EU for extension with a view to a 2nd referendum once a no confidence vote is achieved. The Lords are in the driving seat to hold the democratic constitution together and could be neutral in their position on Brexit itself by not pronouncing on that particular issue at all. 

Post edited at 18:43
MargieB 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretfo

A Referendum would logically be the first legislative compulsion by the Lords rather than a GE because the No Brexit deadline is the immediate cause of No confidence- but the PM is also un-mandated so the Lords would also be within their legislative rights to preserve the democratic constitution by also demanding a GE immediately after a referendum. Could this be the solution?

Post edited at 19:11
john arran 15 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

It sounds good. But is it any more realistically achievable than a blue or a red unicorn that won't trample our vegetable patch and shit in our living room?

oldie 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> And Labour will give us another chance at an EU referendum. <

Unfortunately that seems unlikely because Labour is unlikely to get enough Tory MPs to support a Corbyn-led temporary emergency government or to obtain a majority in a GE (should that even be possible in time).

HansStuttgart 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

What the lib dems, Labour, ChangeUK, SNP, PC and greens want is pretty irrelevant, not?

The GNU will only come into play after a succesfull vote of no confidence in BJ. And this requires a set of conservative MPs (or DUP, but that is less likely) to sacrifice their position in the conservative party. This sacrifice gives them power. So if they say "we'll support a vote of no confidence in BJ on the condition of person X being temporary PM, a second referendum, extension or whatever" are Corbyn, Swinson, etc really going to vote for BJ simply because they are not happy with the conditions? What other choice do they have?

Pefa 15 Aug 2019
In reply to oldie:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/08/15/brexit-latest-news-boris-johnson-jeremy-corbyn-no-deal/

Here we have the opposition to Labour, the time honoured mutual enemy willing to put all that aside.Conservative MPs happy to put JC in temporarily to stop brexit but the yellow Liberals will not. I think your lib dems don't care as much about fighting brexit as they make out and let's face it they are so small they can say anything they like as it doesn't matter. 

Post edited at 22:26
5
kevin stephens 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

That’s a distortion, all they have done is agreed to meet Corbyn for discussion, exactly the same as Swinson. Let’s see what happens, 

FactorXXX 15 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> That’s a distortion, all they have done is agreed to meet Corbyn for discussion, exactly the same as Swinson. Let’s see what happens, 

Not only that, it's only four.  Hardly the picture that Pefa is trying to portray...

Pefa 15 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

 Lib dem leader Swinson dismisses ( JC' s) plan as ' Nonsense'. 

Yea great start for anti-brexit unity there from Jo "what's her name trying to make a name for herself ' Swansong. 

Post edited at 22:43
4
kevin stephens 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

The problem with your post is that Corbyn is not anti-Brexit 

FactorXXX 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

All you need to know about Corbyn's approach to the next few months:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45640548

Best of luck deciphering that lot!
Yes? No? Maybe?
Which way is the wind blowing today?

Post edited at 23:00
FactorXXX 15 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> The problem with your post is that Corbyn is not anti-Brexit 

Doesn't that rather depend on what he thinks will get more votes?

Pefa 15 Aug 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

https://labour.org.uk/latest/stories/labour-demands-brexit-public-vote/

It's pretty straightforward so what do you not understand? 

3
FactorXXX 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> https://labour.org.uk/latest/stories/labour-demands-brexit-public-vote/
> It's pretty straightforward so what do you not understand? 

That's 5 weeks old and before Boris became PM.
Instead of posting links to irrelevant historical policy, why not post a response to the current one that I have posted a link to? 
 

Pefa 15 Aug 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

Because the policy is the same, the people get a new EU referendum.

BTW are u one of my 2 constant dislikers? 🙄

Post edited at 23:42
cumbria mammoth 15 Aug 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

Your link from the BBC is full of irrelevant historical policy and other distractions. Where it states current policy it agrees with Pefa's link which is direct from Labour.

kevin stephens 16 Aug 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Doesn't that rather depend on what he thinks will get more votes?

No. I believe it’s one of his most deeply held convictions and he will still try and wheedle out of supporting a vote to remain, preferring to push for a “Labour Brexit “

MargieB 16 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

So where does the un-workability of this idea lie? I'm not clear on that.

john arran 16 Aug 2019
In reply to MargieB:

> So where does the un-workability of this idea lie? I'm not clear on that.

I have no idea how the Lords would achieve such authority as to be able to call the shots over events in the Commons.

Pefa 16 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> No. I believe it’s one of his most deeply held convictions and he will still try and wheedle out of supporting a vote to remain, preferring to push for a “Labour Brexit “

If it were then he would not have changed his mind on a second referendum which he has done by listening to the Labour Party membership. It isn't on the same level to him as workers rights, the NHS, peace etc. 

Mike Stretford 16 Aug 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> The EU referendum needs to go back to the people again and the only party that will do that are Labour. Voting for the small parties of SNP, Liberal and Green is a wasted vote that will put the Tories back into power and give us a hard brexit.

That's the official party line but it just doesn't make sense under our electoral system. There are plenty of LibDem/Tory marginals were Labour don't stand a chance, I would vote LibDem there.

> BTW Swinson is just a Tory, she was my MP in Bearsden years ago and has voted with the Tories on loads of issues attacking the poor. 

I hear this a lot but it's wrong. There a spectrum of political opinion in the Tory part itself, and right now the the right wing populist have seized power. I'd rather they weren't running the country for the next 5 years, if that means Lib Dems in a coalition government so be it. 

Mike Stretford 16 Aug 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> What the lib dems, Labour, ChangeUK, SNP, PC and greens want is pretty irrelevant, not?

I'm talking about the innevitable general election. There will be one soon. Coalition governments with a majority of 1 don't last long.

> The GNU will only come into play after a succesfull vote of no confidence in BJ. And this requires a set of conservative MPs (or DUP, but that is less likely) to sacrifice their position in the conservative party. This sacrifice gives them power. So if they say "we'll support a vote of no confidence in BJ on the condition of person X being temporary PM, a second referendum, extension or whatever" are Corbyn, Swinson, etc really going to vote for BJ simply because they are not happy with the conditions? What other choice do they have?

All this is just summer talk. There will be a vote of no confidence at some point, it will be very close, and it may lead to this temporary government or straight to a GE, but there will be a GE soon.

MargieB 16 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

In January 2019 There was some mechanism the Lords employed to hold the government to account to compel the trade agreement with the EU to include workers rights and environmental protections and food safety standards. So they have power to compel a sitting governement to do something. They don't just exist to block something coming up from the commons. They sat all night. I suspect the Commons has  majority directives and the Lords compels it. Not sure if I am right or not.

Post edited at 11:39
Offwidth 16 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Jo's voting record has been misrepresented  on her front page in the vote recording site 'They Work For You'.

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/11971/jo_swinson/east_dunbartonshire

In these supposed votes on electoral reform and student fees, alledgedly different to most other Liberal MPs, she was ( if you dig into the detail) nearly always voting with most of them, and with the party whip, as part of the Coalition deal (she was an MP only for two relatively short periods compared to most of them.. hence the differences in total patterns). Hard left rags have regularly used this factual error as evidence to pitch her as a Tory who votes differently from most Liberals, which when you look at the detail is b*llocks .... however she was in the Coalition government and is, surprise surprise, not a socialist, so as a Liberal party leader was always going to be a target of such politically biased publications.

Post edited at 12:20
Pefa 16 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Who has ever said she voted differently to other lib dems when she voted with the Tories to attack the poor?

I think you have built a wee strawman there. 

2
cumbria mammoth 16 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

There's no error on that site and there's no political bias. What there is is a difference in interpretation between you and the site. 

Offwidth 20 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

As we went through all of this before you're clearly a glutten for punishment.

I'm not claiming 'They Work for You' is politically biased, they have just made lazy headline generalisations that are untrue because they ignore the different periods MPs were in Parliament.  The site has also made mistakes in some details. The political bias is the glee that some left wing rags had with supposedly separating her voting patterns from those of her party;  when in fact she pretty much always voted the same way. The claim made in those rags is plain b*llshit.

Just as a reminder. The worst example on They Work for You is this:

"Jo Swinson generally voted against a more proportional system for electing MPs, while most Liberal Democrat MPs generally voted for."

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/11971/jo_swinson/east_dunbartonshire

Yet when you click 'show votes' on that claim, the only vote shown is the following:

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions/pw-2010-10-12-68-commons/mp/11971

Where Jo votes with her party against a specific PR system. It's possible to be pro PR but favour and vote for one system over another. As far as I can tell Jo has been consistently pro PR all of her political career, like pretty much all Liberal MPs.

To be open, in case someone thinks I'm a defensive Liberal. I've never been a member of any political party but have been a Trade Union officer for decades and have always voted for progressive parties... Labour, Liberal, and Green.

Offwidth 20 Aug 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Back on topic..... a message to Tory MPs from Hammond's old advisor.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/20/tory-mps-career-conscience-credibility-no-deal

Dave Garnett 20 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

She's right to be concerned.  I really wonder how many Tories will stand up to Johnson and Cummings when Parliament reconvenes.  I was starting to quite like the original Matt Hancock but he seems to have been abducted and replaced by a replica grown in Cummings' cloning tanks.  

cumbria mammoth 20 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Some left leaning news websites have commented on this in a politically biased way but I understand that the "...generally voted against..." headline on Theyworkforyou is an automatic consequence of their scoring system. The people behind the site have gone to great lengths to eliminate bias and choose standard phrases to report in a politically neutral way.

The facts are that over the 4 votes Swinson has been involved in on varying versions of PR, Swinson has voted in the way that is less likely to lead to PR then her party has done over all 10 votes that there have been. These facts can then be commented on by anybody and you are of course correct to provide your explanation of context, which is something that Theyworkforyou helped you to do.

I did criticize Swinson in another thread but my issue here is not that I want to attack Swinson but rather that I want to defend Theyworkforyou against your accusations that it is biased with errors. I think that website is an important first step in building a better democracy where we can hold our politicians to account.

Post edited at 14:02
Offwidth 20 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

If you want a good democracy seriously misrepresenting MPs should be something that concerns you. As far as I can tell from the site, Jo voted exactly the same way on PR as her Liberal colleagues did whilst she was an MP. The statements in They Work For You says the opposite with no disclaimers about very different votes when she wasnt even an MP. If this is them trying hard to be neutral and informative, pretty much anything they say in headline statements can't be trusted. There were faults on the other fee vote information as well, that ignored a party deal in the coalition and the party position changing.

Combining 4 specific seperate votes at one time and contrasting them against a combination including 6 other different specific separate votes ( when she wasn't an MP) and coming to such a simple single conclusion does not constitute a "fact":  the real fact is that's a classic example of a gross misuse of statistics, that is pretty serious when we are dealing with a party leader. All the much wider evidence from the specific votes and her writing show clearly that her views on PR are the same as her party; the statement on They Work For You still says the opposite.

cumbria mammoth 21 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> If you want a good democracy seriously misrepresenting MPs should be something that concerns you. As far as I can tell from the site, Jo voted exactly the same way on PR as her Liberal colleagues did whilst she was an MP.

Agreed so far. The They work for you website hasn't seriously misrepresented her voting record though.

> The statements in They Work For You says the opposite with no disclaimers about very different votes when she wasnt even an MP. If this is them trying hard to be neutral and informative, pretty much anything they say in headline statements can't be trusted. There were faults on the other fee vote information as well, that ignored a party deal in the coalition and the party position changing.

> Combining 4 specific seperate votes at one time and contrasting them against a combination including 6 other different specific separate votes ( when she wasn't an MP) and coming to such a simple single conclusion does not constitute a "fact": 

For each vote in parliament the site tags it against a particular topic and judges which way an MP would vote if they were in favour of that topic and then awards each MP a score accordingly. In this example, Swinson has voted 4 times in votes that were judged to be on the topic of "a more proportional system for electing MPs" and when the weightings were applied her score comes out as 38% in favour of it. A score of 38% generates the phrase "...generally voted against...". In total there have been 10 votes on the topic of "a more proportional system for electing MPs" and the site also records which way the majority of each party voted on each vote allowing it to give a Lib Dem score on the topic of "a more proportional system for electing MPs". I can't find the data by party but for the sake of argument lets assume the Lib Dem score on the topic is 60% then that would generate the standard phrase "...most Liberal Democrat MPs generally voted for" giving us the phrase you have taken issue with "Jo Swinson generally voted against a more proportional system for electing MPs, while most Liberal Democrat MPs generally voted for."

> the real fact is that's a classic example of a gross misuse of statistics, that is pretty serious when we are dealing with a party leader. All the much wider evidence from the specific votes and her writing show clearly that her views on PR are the same as her party; the statement on They Work For You still says the opposite.

Not at all. You have your interpretation of the voting record and those left leaning websites have theirs but They work for you just presents the data and avoids interpretation. The wider evidence, such as the speeches, are available through the site but to be honest the speeches and writings of MP's are where they give us their bullshit, it's their voting record that counts. Also, if there was a party deal that led to the Lib Dems trading off their vote on fees then that just shows that they were prepared to sacrifice on that topic so the score is an accurate reflection.

The scoring system and resultant phraseology is applied equally for each MP without any editorial decision being taken. You're asking them to interpret why an MP has voted in the way that they did, but providing that explanation is where bias would come in. Instead, they are doing their best to turn the voting record into numbers and presenting them as neutrally as they can. 

Post edited at 00:06
Offwidth 21 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

My links above shows the site incorrectly attibuting its justification on PR, saying Jo voted differently to her party, by linking to only one vote where the Liberals all voted the same way.

At the raw data level Jo seems to have voted with her party whip pretty much all the time she was an MP. The site ignores this and produces methodologically flawed overview 'statistics' include all votes on PR being regarded as the roughly the same thing (they are not) and ignores the different time periods (where distributions of votes were different on different aspects of PR.... and where in general, party policies can change...albeit not in this case for the Liberals on PR) . The site choses to 'add value' by making these flawed overview statements, despite knowing they are a gross misuse of statistics, by combining dissimilar data in unfair ways. As academics we mark down students for doing such things in their work. It's worrying that you think this is OK but its understandable being sadly all too common. I'd argue public misuse of statistics might never been worse, despite the academic subject being as strong as it's ever been... even Universities shamefully play the game with their league tables (which are also methodologically flawed at a basic level).

My arguments just rely on the subject of statistics, the raw data and external corroborating evidence, nowhere are they politicised. I'm just as pissed off they make similar statements based on misuse of statistics on MPs of any parties. I think the site use this knowingly wrong methodology as it gives soundbites without which a  (pure information based) website would get less hits. I'd lay odds only a tiny number of site users would check the raw data to see if what they say about an MP was actually correct.

Post edited at 11:35
jkarran 21 Aug 2019
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> She's right to be concerned.  I really wonder how many Tories will stand up to Johnson and Cummings when Parliament reconvenes.

I'd wager we'll be able to count them on one hand, quite possibly one gnarled old trawlerman's hand missing most of its fingers. They're selected for party loyalty above all else and it's not just the career in the commons they're throwing away but the ermine and the cushy revolving door retirement ride.

> I was starting to quite like the original Matt Hancock but he seems to have been abducted and replaced by a replica grown in Cummings' cloning tanks.  

Hancock appears to have undergone some sort of radical spinectomy.

jk

Post edited at 14:02
cumbria mammoth 21 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Your issue seems to be that all the votes aren't identical so it's not a valid grouping? Surely to be useful statistics have to lump groups of similar items together to uncover a pattern.

The site uses weightings to account for some of the issues you mention and someone has to use their judgement to decide if each particular vote should be scored against a particular topic (whether the series of votes is similar enough) or not, so that judgement could potentially be questioned but I don't see what the flawed methodology is?

The statements to add value, well yes I agree that they would do better to just report the score.

Post edited at 14:33
Offwidth 21 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

When, as in Jo's case with PR, where the statement is an MP is consitently voting against party, when in fact if you look at the actual votes they are always voting the same way, you don't need to be a statistics expert to know that statement is plain wrong (even though lumping dissimilar statistics is always flawed....something many people don't realise). Since their own data shows this statement is plain wrong, their interpreting employee who wrote that headline is clearly a blinkered idiot. The reason it probably happened was the other 6 votes were on different types of PR questions at a time when Jo wasn't an MP and the headline writer was too dumb to realise this affected the methodologically flawed scorecard.

This circular argument reminds me of that famous Ronald Regan quote , where at least he had the sense to see the contradiction “A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions tell me that's true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.”

Post edited at 16:25
cumbria mammoth 21 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

That statement would be wrong but it isn't the statement found on They Work For You. I think your attachment to this particular issue and MP is making you blinkered, not the employee at They Work For You. The statement that they actually made is certainly correct if you accept their scoring system and at least defendable if you don't.

I think you'll agree that the data is better presented here anyway (and I'm gonna choose a different MP to move away from partisan concerns and bring us back on topic). https://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Boris_Johnson&mpc=Uxbridge_and_South_Ruislip&house=commons&display=alldreams 

My understanding is that there is no headline writer anyway but those statements are automatically generated based on the score, e.g. 40% = "...generally voted against..." while 60% = "...generally voted for...". They also use "almost always", and "consistently", for a stronger pattern and "a mixture of for and against" when there is no strong pattern.

These sites are trying to help people cut through the bollocks that our MP's feed us. An MP's power is in their ability to vote for or against new legislation so surely you agree that it is important in a democracy that voters can understand how their MP's are representing them? The goal is worthy and I'm not aware of a better tool trying to achieve this at the moment.

Post edited at 22:28
Wicamoi 21 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

There may not be a better tool at present, but that doesn't mean that one can't point out the failings with this one. That's how tools can be improved. Defending a faulty tool is a pleasing inverse of a well known homily, but no less foolish for that.

cumbria mammoth 21 Aug 2019
In reply to Wicamoi:

The only fault identified so far was on Offwidth's part where he thought that the site says something that it doesn't.

Some criticisms have been made that could potentially improve the site if addressed although you dig into it you will find that some of those points are already accounted for in the weighting system. They can be contacted if you have ideas to improve the tool or want to report an error.

Wicamoi 21 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

The fault is with the automated precis, which is so simplistic that it can be misleading. Offwidth has indicated at length why this is so in Swinson's particular case. Have you not understood his points? I can re-iterate if it is really necessary. 

But you are right, I should probably waste my breath contacting the site rather than discussing it with you.

Wicamoi 22 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

cumbria mammoth, I apologise, my previous post may have been a little rude.

cumbria mammoth 22 Aug 2019
In reply to Wicamoi:

So you've picked your side and ignored all my comments on that point but you want to present me as the ignorant one.

It's not misleading, it's interpretation which the site quite rightly doesn't want to do for you.

cumbria mammoth 22 Aug 2019
In reply to Wicamoi:

Sorry, I hadn't seen your post when I replied. Thanks for the apology, accepted. Sorry if my reply was a bit sharp.

The way I see it is that all nuance is lost in the automated precis which is deliberately simple but correct if you accept the methodology. It is not for the site to explain why an MP chose to vote in the way that they did as providing an explanation is where political bias would be introduced. The site does make it easy for you to look into the nuance though.

Is the methodology reasonable then? The main criticism has been that lumping dissimilar statistics is always flawed which I accept but flawed doesn't mean not valid. Flawed can still mean 99% accurate. The flaw is that you have to trust in someones judgement on whether an individual vote is worded similarly enough to other votes to qualify towards the same topic. I can't see any way around this but the project is open data and accepts error reporting so the judgement on similarity is as trustworthy as can be and the methodology is reasonable.

Offwidth 22 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

If statistical methodology is flawed it doesn't make outputs a little bit wrong (like 99%), the output is most often worthless. You don't need to trust me on it... go talk to a few specialists about how the mathematics in the subject works.

The fact is Jo always voted with the party whip (as the site says) and has always supported PR (albeit a specific form....and where other Liberal MPs voted the same). Sticking in 'generally' doesn't alter the logic of the statement which is still factually wrong. She didn't generally vote differently from her fellow Liberal MPs, she voted the same way on the same votes.

It doesn't matter to me if the headlines are traditionally written or written with help from  algorithms, the site has people who have editorial responsibility for them and should remove factually incorrect statements. The statement for Jo is factually incorrect because of the way the site has simplisticaly combined different PR options as meaning the same thing and ignored the different types of votes at different times when differnt  MPs were in Parliament.

Post edited at 09:45
cumbria mammoth 22 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Please will you re read the statement in question because I am now convinced that you are reading something in to it that it doesn't say and this is our main area of disagreement?

The logic of the statement doesn't necessarily lead to the conclusion that she has voted differently to her colleagues on the same votes. It is not factually incorrect.

Wicamoi 23 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

I very much appreciate your apology for the tone of your reply, which was in fact entirely justified, given the completely unwarranted rudeness on my part to which you were responding.

And I agree with pretty much all of the rest of your response. Nuance is lost in the precis, and while it may be honestly lost, and the methodology made clear, that does not mean that the precis is harmless. I'm sure you know as well as I do how unscrupulous - or simply naive - people can misuse a seemingly authoritative website. It's one of the ways fake news gets spread in the world.

Offwidth 23 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

Just ask a few people what they think it means. It seems to me patently obvious that it will be interpreted as she voted differently from her fellow liberals on PR. I thought that would be true until I dug down into the data. This whole argument arose because a student newspaper claimed she was really a tory in disguise, using those statements.

cumbria mammoth 23 Aug 2019
In reply to Wicamoi:

Don't worry about it.

I think that information is power and can always be used for good or bad.

It can remain hidden and unintelligible to the layman, allowing the unscrupulous to hide what they are doing and remain in power by misdirection.

Better to democratise information so that it is open, easy to find, and easy to understand, and that way when the unscrupulous or naive try to misrepresent the information they can quickly be put right and the truth is there for all too see.

The precis on TheyWorkForYou is just a description of an MP's voting record, nothing more. It's a fair description applied equally to all MP's and all partys. People can make of it what they will and if some people try to make more of it than they should then other people can use the tools of the site or other sources to put them right which is what has happened on this thread.

cumbria mammoth 24 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

All things considered I think you are correct that TheyWorkForYou should either make sure that they are comparing only the same votes or remove the comparison between the MP's record and their partys record on a topic. It's not wrong but, unless they are only the same votes, it's not a very useful comparison.

If it was only the first part of the statement in isolation from the comparison with the party then I believe the statement is fair. Someone has had to judge whether a number of votes are similar enough to each other to be considered part of the same topic and which way you would vote if you were on each side of the topic and that subjectivity is clearly a flaw in a mathematical exercise. It's not pure mathematics though, it's trying to make sense of the complexities of human language and politics. If that person is acutely aware of the pitfalls that we have been discussing and doing their best to eliminate bias and error then do you not think something useful can come out of it?

Next week it could be my favoured politician and I'd hope there was a reasonable explanation for any apparent inconsistency in their voting record but I wouldn't want to undermine a project that could be used to improve democracy.

Offwidth 27 Aug 2019
In reply to cumbria mammoth:

Trouble is MP voting is often not straightforward, especially when subject to whip.  The PR vote is a classic example..... there are many forms of PR and voting for one form and against the others means the party is pro PR but has a preference, not that they are ant-PR when voting no. Some of the simplistic overview statements on the site really need editing. Still I also think its fantastic that voting records are online and constituents can contact MPs to ask them why they voted the way they did.

cumbria mammoth 28 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

I think we're mostly in agreement then. TheyWorkForYou and ThePublicWhip are useful but imperfect tools needing improvement. Probably still some disagreement about just how useful and imperfect they are.


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