Well, I Guess That’s Over…

…And after all the speculation from betting shops, opinion polls, and even Twitter, it turns out we’re still stuck with the Tories. Disappointing? You bet. At least now I know what that ominous building dread I’ve been feeling over the past week was for.

With very few seats left to announce, it’s already certain that the next five years will see Britain under the rule of the Etonites once more – 5 more years of hacking away at public services, 5 more years of NHS privatisation, and 5 more years of David Cameron’s insufferably shiny forehead glaring down at us through the TV. But why did they win? Was it the intense campaign of negativity they’ve been hauling around the country? Their assertions that Labour would ‘destroy’ all the ‘progress’ they’ve made since 2010? Perhaps it was the fact that Rupert Murdoch, notorious Tory lapdog and owner of a 5th of all news media broadcast in the UK, has been doing little more than belittling the Labour Party since the campaigning really started, or a combination of some of these factors. Whatever the reason, the case remains that policies of austerity which are designed to crippled the disadvantaged while David Cameron, George Osborne and all their banker friends get on with hiding their money in tax-havens, and securing the hold that big business interests have over UK politics will be what we’re facing for the foreseeable future. Yay. Let’s just hope that the alleged proposal to raise tuition fees again won’t come in until after I’m at uni.

I suppose some of the blame can be attributed to Nicola Sturgeon – I expect David Cameron will be sending her flowers to thank her for killing Labour support in Scotland, without which, Ed Miliband’s party had pretty much zero chance of success. Even though I’m feeling a little bitter towards them right now (“vote SNP to keep out the Tories” wasn’t such a great strategy, was it, Nicola?) it will be interesting to see what the strong presence of the SNP will mean for the future of the UK, though – as much as Sturgeon insists that she has little intention of holding another in/out referendum, it seems there are only few who believe her. Cameron once again has a shot at being the Prime Minister to preside over the breakup of the union, something I’m sure he’s thrilled about.

Actually, I’m sure he is thrilled, regardless of the big yellow question mark over Scotland’s future in the UK. Every sign indicates that Ed Miliband, the most leftist Labour leader we’ve seen in decades, is giving up the leadership, pretty much guaranteeing that whoever his successor will be is going to resemble no-one so much as Blair. Wonderful that we’re moving the centre-ground of politics to the right again. God forbid we ever try to do something that might benefit someone other than the elite, right?

(The one good thing that’s come out of this election – Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, didn’t win his seat in South Thanet. It’s a small mercy, but I have to admit, the schadenfreude is strong with this one.)

– Lana Wrigley, A2 Politics

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Shuffling towards the end?

This week one of the big announcements within government was the cabinet reshuffle, but what is it exactly? And what did the reshuffle of Autumn 2013 change?

 

Firstly, the proper definition of a reshuffle is the informal term for a change up of who holds the role of cabinet ministers, instigated by the head of government. I personally prefer the definition of a former politics peer of mine who said she liked to think the reshuffle consited of David Cameron “putting all of the ministers in a cabinet and shaking it lots”. In short, it is an opportunity for Cameron to replace any ministers he feels haven’t performed as well as they could have done since the last reshuffle, and an opportunity to present his party as more of a microcosm of society. It is not just the party in government that is shuffled either – today saw Ed Miliband shuffle his shadow cabinet in order to make it a more appealing cabinet to voters, so what happened this time?

It started with pre-emptive departures which left gaps for Cameron to fill, namely:
John Randall stepped down as the ‘workhorse’ of the Whips’ Office and Chloe Smith stepped down from the Cabined Office. The first of Cameron’s cabinet to be booted was Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, who was replaced by Lib Dem chief whip, Alistair Carmichael.  His role will be particularly watched as people focus on the state of the union, and whether Scotland will secede.

Following this, Don Foster was appointed to fill Carmichael’s shoes as the Lib Dems’ new chief whip, and shortly after it is followed by news that one of David Cameron’s original leadership backers in 2005, Richard Benyon left DEFRA, while George Eustice became a minister in the department.

This was followed by a short break, after which Greg Hands was promoted as deputy chief whip – Hands is one cabinet member who is a key supporter of Osborne and so received backing from him. Another supporter of Osborne, Matthew Hancock was appointed Minister for Enterprise

Next to the cabinet was Nicky Morgan who became Economic Secretary – interestingly in this cabinet Cameron has introduce more female members, perhaps in an attempt to attract the female voter base that Labour so regularly dominates.

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OMG Ed Mili!

Ed Mili has finally grown a pair! I must admit, he made a bold move. After listening to him on Tuesday when he said that the Labour Party would support intervention in Syria if it “was legal”, I thought “right…we’re in.” But no! Mili shocks us all by proposing an amendment to the government’s resolution.

The debate started in the Commons yesterday at 2.30 pm and ended very late into the evening when my BBC app alerted me that the Commons had voted; no! The government motion was defeated 285 to 272, a majority of 13 votes!

Mr Miliband has certainly up-graded himself within the Labour Party. As a member of the Party I received an email explaining the amendment put forward and I honestly got really excited for British politics. Historians last night were debating whether the last time a PM was defeated on a matter of peace and war was 1782 or 1855- either way it was a very long time ago! Not only was it an embarrassing defeat, but the fact that Cameron didn’t get full support from his own party and the fact that he recalled Parliament further adds to his embarrassment. Poor guy. If only the Commons had voted logically years ago, arguably tens, if not thousands of Arabs would still be alive today.
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David MiliBAD.

Now this, as far as I’m aware, is a neutral/non-partisan blog. That means I’m going to use every ounce of self-control to stop myself from saying anything partisan. For instance, it would be wrong of me to refer to Ed Balls as “that t#*t that won’t stop complaining” or to make the observation that the leader of the opposition “looks like Wallace, from Wallace and Gromit”. So you have my word, I will try and behave.

Ed Miliband’s resemblance to Wallace was picked up by Peter Brookes

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A Budget That Wants to be Prosperous, Solvent, and Free.

 Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) George Osborne poses with his red despatch box outside his official residence 11 Downing street in  London,  20 March 2013 prior to delivering his budget to the House of Commons, Westminster later in the day.  EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

It can be easy to lose track of what’s going on in UK politics this year seeing as my college studies American politics at A2. Before researching this year’s budget I could probably tell you more about the Fiscal Cliff than about how Britain’s economy was doing. Writing this was a nice way to get back into the swing of what’s going on in the UK, and so:

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Transformation in World Politics: The challenges for global and regional order.

I was casually stalking people on facebook, (as you do when you have nothing better to do) when I came across an event advertised by the Network of Students (NOS). Turkey’s minister of foreign affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu, was coming to the London School of Economics. Before asking my parents I booked my place. I was going.

So, after arranging the trip, my friends dropped me off to the LSE building and they went off to enjoy the sites of London. I hate being alone. There was a group of three in front of me, who were clearly loyal to CHP- the main opposition party in Turkey, created by Ata Turk. I recognised them from miles away. One of the girls within the group, deliberately looking at me, started talking about how her father had graduated from LSE etc. Neither of my parents went to uni, and my dad owns a chip shop, but this isn’t anything to be ashamed of. If she was any better she’d be sitting beside the minister rather than sitting two seats beside me. The normal Aysegul would have buried her in that building, but 1) I was alone and 2) the security officers were huge.

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