Re: MD Quality and the UK General Elections

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Fri May 06 2005 - 08:36:03 BST

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    Hi Mark,

    > On 5 May 2005 at 15:20, Ant McWatt wrote:
    > P.S. don't forget now. vote for Charles Kennedy, eat organic food, read
    > Noam
    > Chomsky!!!
    > msh:
    > Well, I'm good for two outta three, but I can't vote for Kennedy.

    Hee hee. I'm the same.

    > However, I'm interested in where he fits into the political scheme of
    > things t'other side of the pond. You guys have three major parties,
    > right, Labor, Conservative, and Tory?

    3 Majors: Labour (with a 'u' :o), Conservative (= Tory), and Liberal
    Democrats. There are also regional parties in Scotland (Scottish
    Nationalists), Wales (Plaid Cymru), and Northern Ireland (four parties, none
    of the majors stand there if I remember rightly)

    > Where does Kennedy fit in, and
    > how did he do?

    Kennedy is the leader of the LibDems. Interesting and basically positive
    result for them, higher percentage of vote overall, gained some seats, but
    their strategy of concentrating tactical resources against the conservatives
    had very mixed results, whereas they gained a lot of votes against Labour in
    the strongly Labour held seats. Kennedy has to decide if he is going to
    fight Labour or conservatives the most. I would suggest the former.

    > Somehow, I get the feeling you, Ant, wouldn't vote
    > Conservative or Tory, but Blair is Labor, right? And the evidence of
    > his deception is just about overwhelming by now, right? So is
    > Kennedy more or less off the mass media radar, like Ralph Nader here
    > in the states?

    In the UK the media are legally obliged to give equal airtime to the main
    parties, so he's had as much 'radar' coverage as Blair and Howard (Tory
    leader). One of the main reasons why LibDem vote rises during the campaign.

    > More important, I'd like to know how Sam and Ian and Horse voted, if
    > they did.

    In England that's not considered a polite question ;-) Plus which, Ian is in
    Australia (unless he used a postal vote).

    > I'm always looking for that chink in the intellectual
    > armor, as one never knows when it will come in handy. Dragons
    > aplenty, and knights so few, if you know what I mean.

    But you know that I'm basically conservative, don't you? ie anti-state etc
    (which is where I have some sympathy with the Chomsky brand of

    > Sipping tea and munching crumpets, I send by regards from
    > Anglophilia, USA...

    The really interesting political questions are two-fold: how long will Blair
    remain as prime minister before handing over to Gordon Brown? And will the
    fact that the Labour majority is now about 70 or so be enough to support
    their legislative programme when there are around 40 or so left-wing MPs who
    hate everything that Blair does? I would have thought that within a year or
    so Blair will try and get some public-service reform legislation passed,
    fail, and then resign. Brown will have a bit of a honeymoon period but then
    struggle with exactly the same problems. Then, ideally, we might get a hung
    parliament at the next election, and a bit of electoral reform.


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