general election

Socialism: What If The Labour Party Had Won?

Even though the Conservative Party won a comfortable majority in the December 2019 UK General Election, it’s still worth talking about what life would have been like under Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist Labour Party.

What would happen when the economic policies of nationalisation, massive spending and capital controls started yielding truly negative results? Would the Labour Party move towards the centre ground of politics again, or double down on more state ownership?

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Election Results 2019 – Who and what were the real winners?

It’s results day 2019!

In this episode, we discuss the UK General Election results. We look at statistics, trends, vote share and debate who, & what, were the real winners and losers this time around.

We may be relieved, but is the result actually bittersweet?

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General Election 2019 and the Current State of British Politics

It’s that time again! It’s polling day tomorrow, so we couldn’t record anything but a General Election special.

We discuss the latest YouGov MRP (whatever that stands for…), trends amongst other polls and the state of the current crop of political parties.

Just how close do we think the result will be? Will we be heading for a strong Tory majority? Or will we face another hung parliament? Are we really in a time of unprecedented political turmoil?

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Democracy, Libertarianism and the Trouble with Voting

Recorded straight after the last edition, we follow on with a discussion on the problems of our democratic system and whether we only have a choice of the “least worst” from here on in.

We talk about whether voting matters in a “safe seat”, and whether we have been unwittingly encouraging others to vote on twitter by pointing out how dangerous the Labour Party policies are.

Should Nic hold his nose and vote Tory to stop the Communists? Where do you draw the line with Socialism? Should you always vote for the least Socialist party?

We discuss all of this, and a hypothetical Libertarian Party that would have the power to dismantle all of it…if only they were voted in.

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A La Cartism, Boris and the next UK General Election

Has Boris found the magic centrist formula for winning the election with his championing of both the free market and the public sector? Or will the Conservatives desire to spend, spend, spend, cause them to look like Labour Lite?

After writing this blog post before there was a general election set, has anything changed?

We review Boris’s first campaign video and discuss whether this is all very smart politics, or if by shifting the Overton window ever statewards without making practical and moral cases for shrinking the state and getting out of our lives, it’s only a matter of time before a Communist gets into power.

Blog Post in the intro – https://soundingboard.com/boriss-a-la-cartism-is-exactly-what-the-public-will-vote-for/

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Does a General Election Mean we Finally Get Brexit?

We’re finally having a general election.  But will it really solve the parliamentary problems we are currently experiencing?
Why are we in the situation we are in? Why are we having a General Election at all?
In this edition, Andrew and Nic discuss the craziness of the last couple of weeks in UK politics and that we have finally arrived at an early General Election.
Is it good for Boris and Tories, or are we about to see Jo Swinson swept to power on a tide of remain?
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We don’t need a general election, but MPs do need to resign

In his recent Spectator piece, Stephen Daisley outlines the political conundrum of Brexit well: the voters want Brexit, the executive wants Brexit, but Parliament does not want Brexit.

Now taking face value that the executive does actually want Brexit (Theresa May certainly doesn’t), Daisley explains that with the problem being the make up of the house of commons, that we need a general election to get a new batch of MPs.

But a general election is much like a second referendum, in that it lets MPs off the hook.

Even when given a clear decision on what to do, MPs (and Ministers, and Prime Ministers) can dither, prevaricate, delay and obfuscate until there comes such a time when they say “sorry, this is too difficult, back to you”.

Of course, what this means is that they didn’t like the decision that was handed to them, and they want a new one. Is this how we should let them behave?

MPs have a problem with Leaving. They wouldn’t be calling for a second referendum or a general election had the country voted majority Remain. They like Remaining.

But it’s also more than that. It’s about the fact that these MPs who call for a second referendum are putting their politics first, before democracy.

Yes, we have witnessed a clash of two kinds of democracy – Direct in the form of the referendum, and Representative in the form of our MPs – but after voting for the referendum bill itself, and again in triggering Article 50 of the Treaties, they are choosing to dump the decision made by the people in favour of their own personal views.

There is a dilemma here for MPs – there is no doubt about that. They are elected by their constituents to make decisions, to make law, to scrutinise government, to be in government.

But they are revealing, quite clearly, where they rank the decision made by the majority of the country compared to their own views as elected representatives.

Remain first, democracy second.

Of course, what they are hoping for, by dragging out this process for so long, is to make Parliament and Government look as dysfunctional as possible. They want to be able to say “See, this is too complicated, we need you to have your say again – look how we are mucking this up”.

This may have the effect they desire, with voters becoming ever more frustrated with their politicians, but they are missing the point. Brexit was a vote against the establishment, and the status quo. By making the establishment seem incompetent (revealing that it is?) that sense of disenfranchisement only strengthens.

Populist sentiment will only increase. If Leave isn’t delivered in any kind of meaningful way (like signing a Withdrawal Agreement that is more Remain than Remain) that sentiment will rise again.

Undo the referendum result entirely and stop Brexit and things could get nasty.

If MPs don’t want to implement the decision given to them by a national referendum, then they should resign as MPs.

They should make room for someone in their constituency who is willing to represent that decision and implement it.

There is another way of changing the make up of the House of Commons, and it’s not a general election, it’s a by election. In this case, potentially hundreds of by elections.

The problem, as identified by Daisley, is indeed the logjam of parliament. But a general election just means the same candidates trying to keep their jobs and to convince you of their views, not the other way around.

These MPs say more democracy is the answer, but if they had any sense of democracy whatsoever, they would be resigning in their droves, to make way for representatives that would indeed represent the voters, and who had the guts to implement what they have already decided.

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash