“Cameron thought One Nation politics meant being nice to gay people while cutting benefits. This, I’m afraid, is the cold hearted logic of contemporary metropolitan liberalism – it leaves people to their own devices, sink or swim. May, by contrast, has a provincial, WI, prayer book, round table, civic conservatism that is parochial but also instinctively compassionate.”
With every respect to Mr Stanley, one needs to understand the real meaning of Christian Democracy and this Wikipedia entry may be of help. The principles originate in the teaching of St Thomas Aquinas and are expounded in a whole series of papal encyclicals beginning with the 1891 Rerum novarum encyclical of Pope Leo XIII (which condemned the misery of workers suffering unbridled exploitation) followed by Quadragesimo anno, by Pope Pius XI in 1931, Populorum progressio by Pope Paul VI in 1967, Centesimus annus, by Pope John Paul II in 1991, and Caritas in veritate by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.
The principles expounded in those texts have been adopted by other branches of Christianity and by people of other faiths. Anglo Catholics, particularly those who, like Mrs May’s father, trained for their ministry at Mirfield College with the Community of the Resurrection, generally consider that the principles of Christian Democracy are an essential part of good government. They are about the state ensuring that all the actors in civil society act fairly, the one to the other.
There was once much in common between “One Nation Conservatism” and the concept of Christian Democracy.
The disconnect between the two began with the rise of the “greed is good” policies so beloved of Reagan in the USA and, sadly, of Baroness Thatcher in the UK which brought about the deregulation of business, the progressive dismantling of the welfare state, the privatisation of nationalised industries and the diminishing of the trade unions in order to reduce labour costs.
To the extent that Mrs May is returning her party to “One Nation Conservatism” and introducing respect for principles of “Christian Democracy” that is the very best defence against both the extreme right and the extreme left.
The next months are not going to be easy. But a return to One Nation Conservatism and to the principles of Christian Democracy make for a good start.
Age UK’s vision is for a world where everyone can love later life, but sadly this isn’t the case for many of today’s older people. Cuts to social care, pressures on the NHS, pensioner poverty, and loneliness are all difficulties that millions of older people in the UK continue to face.
Sunderland has been a shipbuilding town since 1346. It used to be known as the place “Where Ships are Born”. Between 1939 and 1945 the Wear’s yards launched 245 merchant ships totalling 1.5 million tons, a quarter of the merchant tonnage produced in the UK during WW-2. But post war competition from Japan and elsewhere caused a downturn in demand for Sunderland built ships. The postwar Conservative governments gave no help to the shipyards any more than to the mines in the surrounding towns and villages. The only good thing of any real note in Sunderland was the arrival of the Nissan Factory.
It is to be hoped that voters in Sunderland and its hinterlands, who have suffered so greatly under successive Conservative governments will bear in mind what is likely to happen if the Nissan Factory is a victim of Brexit –see the post yesterday.
“It wasn’t just the militarised police occupation of the coalfields; the 11,000 arrests, deaths, police assaults, mass jailing and sackings; the roadblocks, fit ups and false prosecutions – most infamously at the Orgreave coking plant where an orgy of police violence in June 1984 was followed by a failed attempt to prosecute 95 miners for riot on the basis of false evidence….It’s that under the prime minister’s guidance, MI5, police Special Branch, GCHQ and the NSA were mobilised not only to spy on the NUM on an industrial scale, but to employ agents provocateurs at the highest level of the union, dirty tricks, slush funds, false allegations, forgeries, phoney cash deposits and multiple secretly sponsored legal actions to break the defence of the mining communities….A generation on, it is clear that the miners’ strike was more than a defence of jobs and communities. It was a challenge to the destructive market and corporate-driven reconstruction of the economy that gave us the crash of 2008. The outcome of the dispute brought us to where we are today: the deregulated, outsourced, zero-hours world of David Cameron’s Britain.”
The Conservative & UKIP Party (once known as the Conservative & Unionist Party), has now published its Manifesto for the 2017 General Election called by Teresa May (aka The Wicked Witch of Westminster). The other main parties which campaign throughout the United Kingdom: the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have also published their manifestos. Links to these manifestos can be found on the May’s Brexit General Election page.
Needless to say, the newspapers have a lot to say on the key differences and the serious papers have fairly full coverage:-
The UK automotive industry employs over 800,000 people, it exports to over 130 countries around the world.
Foreign companies – namely Nissan, Toyota and Honda – build global models in Britain for export to the EU, as well as North America and the rest of the world.
More than half the cars we build here are destined for export to Europe.
Many of the 800,000 people employed in this industry are understandably worried about their jobs.
The UK’s automotive industry depends upon unrestricted access to the single market of Europe for survival.
More than three quarters of SMMT members (77 per cent) said that staying in Europe is best for their business when surveyed in 2016.
So if your family, your employer or your region depends on the UK motor industry or its supply chain – you should not be voting for a party which favours a hard Brexit. Do you want the jobs to move to Belgium or some other EU territory ?
Reducing immigration to the tens of thousands could have “catastrophic consequences” for the British economy
It is a target the Wicked Witch has in the Conservative Manifesto but which she never achieved as Home Secretary since it was introduced by David Cameron in 2009
A net migration target of 200,000 is required to avoid collapse – particularly in the NHS and Social Care sectors
The policy breaks up families, stops students from studying here, prevents talented people contributing to our economy and makes it harder for Britons who have married someone born abroad to settle here
The Conservatives do not even know the cost of the policy.
Self-evidently, this is the Wicked Witch’s sop to UKIP supporters as she seeks to capture their votes to adhere to her new Conservative + UKIP supporters’ club.
It behoves us all to remember that the United Kingdom has a long history of xenophobia which impacts on immigration policy.
Politicians, particularly Conservatives – and more recently UKIP, have often sought to pander to prejudice to justify immigration control. Older people will remember familiar expressions of their youth ranging from: “The Wogs begin at Calais” to the infamous leaflet used in the 1964 Smethwick election “If you want a nigger for a neighbour – Vote Liberal or Labour” – see this Wikipedia page on the Conservative Candidate – Peter Griffiths.
“What we witnessed in 2016 was actually the mainstreaming of some of the more ‘palatable’ views of the extreme far-right, with prejudicial views on Muslims, immigration and other minorities ignited by issues such as Brexit and absorbed into more mainstream political discourse.”
However, “Disagree with them or not, neither Theresa May nor Nigel Farage have called for the extermination of immigrants, asylum seekers and fellow politicians – as those within the extreme far-right have often done“. At least, not yet.
“Think about this for a moment. Real incomes are falling. Inequality is rising. The NHS is kept going on a wing and a prayer. The economy is barely rising despite more than eight years of unprecedented stimulus from the Bank of England. Personal debt is heading back towards its previous record levels. International co-operation has rarely been weaker. There is a profound disconnect between the financial markets, where asset prices regularly scale new heights, and the state of the real economy.
Now ask yourself this. If any of the above rings true, what is the real fantasy: Labour’s idea that income, wealth and power should be a bit more evenly distributed or the idea that the current state of affairs can be sustained for very much longer?”
The present full name of the party which, unfortunately, the Wicked Witch of Westminster now leads, is “The Conservative & Unionist Party“. Now, it has in reality become “The Conservative and UKIP Party” because the Wicked Witch is fighting the upcoming general election on a UKIP platform.
Macron is the Next President of France
The news of a successful Presidential campaign by Emile Macron against Marine Le Pen (National Front) first came last night courtesy of BBC News. The French equivalent of UKIP lost with 33.9% of the votes against the 66.10% for President-elected Macron. It was good this morning to see the outgoing and incoming Presidents participating together at the ceremonies commemorating the end of WW2 in Europe on 8th May 1945.
Today, the Independent has this: “In Le Pen defeat, Europe’s far right wave crashes to a halt“. The article points out that far right anti-immigration parties are crashing across Europe. It is thoroughly unlikely that France’s approach to Brexit will be any more friendly with President Macron who is Europhile rather than Eurosceptic.
One has to treat any article in the Express with a degree of scepticism, but is it worth remembering that President-elect Macron has his principal residence in Le Touquet and he votes there in French elections. Le Touquet is in the Pas-de-Calais Department and he has therefore every good reason to be very well informed about the pressures on the region around Calais from migrants seeking to enter the UK. The Anglo-French Le Touquet Agreement (which provides for juxtaposed immigration controls between France and England) may well be the reason why the Pas-de-Calais and the Nord were the two French Departments which he did not win in the Presidential race.
Therefore it may well be that France will now wish abrogate or at least to renegotiate the Le Touquet Agreement – the more so if the UK opts for a Hard Brexit.
In total, UKIP lost 145 councillors and secured one seat;
It was wiped out in Lincolnshire, losing 13 seats, while all its nine representatives in Essex were defeated;
UKIP did win one seat on Lancashire County Council in a ward previously held by the British National Party;
In Lincolnshire, where UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall is a general election candidate for Boston and Skegness, UKIP went from being the official opposition to having no seats at all with the Conservatives taking 23 seats
UKIP also lost seats in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and East Sussex
Our electoral success over recent years was a key driver in forcing the Conservatives to embrace our cause under a new prime minister who was campaigning for a Remain vote in the referendum a year ago.
Mrs May’s public dispute with the EU in recent days – which led to her speaking about standing up to Brussels in an eve-of-poll statement in Downing Street – was particularly fortuitously timed for the Conservatives
If the price of Britain leaving the EU is a Tory advance after taking up this patriotic cause then it is a price UKIP is prepared to pay
By donning Nigel Farage’s clothes, Theresa May has managed to take his votes, and with them, the key to Downing Street.
The Tories are on course for a blowout victory on 8 June. Its main plank is the almost wholesale absorption of the Ukip vote into the Conservative voteshare. Ukip were wiped off the map yesterday, and their votes – including much of the large number that originally voted Labour – went to the Tories.
Needless to say, the Conservatives are very happy with the outcome. Forget the articles in the press by highly paid hacks – the editor of the influential Conservative website, Conservative Home, and former Member of Parliament for Wycombe, Paul Goodman writes this: “May’s Great Patriotic Election is now in full swing“. He notes the outcomes and the strategy and concludes:-
“All in all, there is reason at present to think that the Tory majority will be increased significantly if not substantially – maybe even sensationally. At any rate, that’s what senior Ministers are saying in private, even if they are saying the opposite in public.”
Borrowed Clothes usually do not fit
The problem with the strategy is that it depends on selling to the country a Brexit scenario borrowed from UKIP which is not in the best interests of the United Kingdom and which has not been the policy of the Conservative Party.
If we look back at our page, The Conservative Difficulty, it will be seen that immediately prior to the Referendum, 75% of the MP’s in Parliament were in favour of remaining in the European Union and only 25% in favour of leaving. Of the 25% who wished to leave – 146 in total – 130 of the 146 were Conservative MP’s. The Cameron Referendum was a mistake and was not binding. It was right for him to resign but it was and is wrong for the Witch to borrow UKIP’s clothes and proceed to wreck our economy to give effect to a UKIP Brexit.
to take back control of immigration (no more free movement)
to withdraw from the jurisdiction of foreign courts
to withdraw from the EU single market and customs union
to trade with the EU remaining nations as before
to make some payments to the EU – but nothing like as before
Unsurprisingly, the Economist’s conclusions were stark: “Everyone will lose if there is no agreement, but nobody will lose as much as Britain.The country is in no position to bully its way to a cushy deal and EU leaders in no mood to offer one.”
But that is where the Wicked Witch is proposing to take us and that is why she has called this unnecessary election. She wishes to have an increased majority so that she can push her insane proposals through Parliament.
“One cannot blame Theresa May and her mono-lingual No 10 team. Not since its 1930s coverage of Germany has the majority of the British media, including the BBC, been so poor in covering the main challenge to Britain’s future in half a century.
If British citizens, businesses, inward investors and even MPs are not told any of the core publicly available facts about the position all 27 EU sovereign governments are taking on Brexit then the final outcome may be far worse than anyone imagines.”
If Prime Minister May thinks she is going to get that past the EU-27 Member States, or the EU Commission, or the EU Parliament, then one has to consider that she may have succumbed to some kind of delusional “folie de grandeur“, perhaps triggered by the sight of a Polski Sklep shop in her constituency.
State of the Parties
The latest YouGov/Sunday Times voting intention figures show the Conservatives on 44% and Labour on 31%, giving the Tories a 13 point lead (polling for 24-27 April) – Elsewhere the Liberal Democrats are on 11%, with UKIP on 6%. Votes for other parties stand at 8%. The Scottish figures are : Voting intention (Scotland): SNP 41%, Con 28%, Lab 18% (24-27 Apr).
In short, the polls are still indicating that Wicked Witch of Westminster is going into this election on a favourable wind and the Labour Party still looks as if it is going to be the big loser. But a big win for the Witch may very well turn out to be very bad for the country.
That is, perhaps, a sign of a sensible strategy developing.
It is worth referring again to something discussed on the 1st Brexit Election Update and that is that younger voters are more likely to vote Labour and that age rather than class is now a factor that matters. As pointed out on the May’s Brexit General Election page, Monday 22nd May 2017 is the last day for registering to vote. Labour, Liberal Democrats, the SNP and others should be working hard to get all eligible (and in particular younger) voters onto the register.