Brexit.

Tigger

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Other things that have happened.

1) The government rules that £100,000 given to Arcuri was all above board.
2) Nicky Morgan, member of Johnson's cabinet and head of the department that made that declaration, quits and stands down as an MP not intending to fight her seat in the upcoming election.

Not that I'm saying there's a connection there. After all Morgan was originally a remainer and is one of the now almost extinct "one nation" Tories. This is being reported as the last nail in the coffin of moderate tories and the last step in the full on hard right shift and Ukipping of the Tory party.


 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Ladies and gentlemen,

the unthinkable has happened! The country that fears foreign election meddlings the most on this planet, America, decided it's time to meddle openly with the upcoming election in the UK!

Election meddling victim and now boss Donald Trump called Nigel Farage during his radio show and explained why voting for Jeremy Corbyn would be bad for the UK!

How did the old romans say? Right: quod licet iovi non licet bovi.

 
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Innula Zenovka

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The piece links to a twitter thread by politics lecturer Rob Ford, who explains why Farage's Brexit Party (BXP) is a threat to the Tories in an argument that pretty much confirms my impression about the way the Labour vote is likely to go and why the BXP are much worse news for the Tory candidates than for anyone else in the forthcoming election.

 
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Kara Spengler

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Ladies and gentlemen,

the unthinkable has happened! The country that fears foreign election meddlings the most on this planet, America, decided it's time to meddle openly with the upcoming election in the UK!

Election meddling victim and now boss Donald Trump called Nigel Farage during his radio show and explained why voting for Jeremy Corbyn would be bad for the UK!

How did the old romans say? Right: quod licet iovi non licet bovi.

Oh, donnie LOVES foreign interference in elections as long as him or someone he likes is the beneficiary.
 

Arkady Arkright

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Because it's a normal piece of legislation, and not a finance bill, that provides for an exception to legislation they themselves passed?
So they get to vote on it now just because they got to vote on it before ? I still think it's inappropriate that the Lords has anything to do with Commoner's elections - it smacks of having two bites of the cherry.
 

Innula Zenovka

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So they get to vote on it now just because they got to vote on it before ? I still think it's inappropriate that the Lords has anything to do with Commoner's elections - it smacks of having two bites of the cherry.
And some people probably think it's inappropriate that any people other than life and hereditary peers have a say in anything to do with how members of the Lords are chosen, but what of it?

The way the British parliamentary system works is that that both the Commons and Lords have to debate and agree all primary legislation other than finance bills (e.g. the Budget).

The Early Parliamentary General Election Act 2019 was not a finance bill so the Lords had to agree it.

If you want to argue that should not be the case (which it has been for about 100 years, I think), then fair enough, but that's how the law stands at the moment.
 

Tigger

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I agree that's how the law stands at the moment - but I would argue that it shouldn't, for the reasons I stated originally.
And to expand... we may well have been doing things this way for 100 years but that doesn't mean its a good way to do it or that it shouldn't change. Indeed you can argue that it has changed a lot in those 100 years, from changes to hereditary peers and the way governments now stuff new peers into the lords. So far as I know there is no practical limit to how many lords a government can add to the house.

To my mind lords should not be lords for life, their numbers should be limited and membership should not be at the whim of a sitting government. Bishops should not be considered to be lords and the last of the hereditary peers with the right to vote should lose that right.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Speaking about the lords - isn't it that way that the prime minister can only make suggestions, and then a committee decides upon which ones are suitable for that position?

I mean otherwise BoJo could just add 200 loyal Tory members and have fun...
 

Myficals

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So they get to vote on it now just because they got to vote on it before ? I still think it's inappropriate that the Lords has anything to do with Commoner's elections - it smacks of having two bites of the cherry.
While I wouldn't necessarily recommend the UK's take on a House of Review to anyone considering a parliamentary democracy, I would as a whole recommend bicameralism as a smart choice.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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To my mind lords should not be lords for life, their numbers should be limited and membership should not be at the whim of a sitting government. Bishops should not be considered to be lords and the last of the hereditary peers with the right to vote should lose that right.
As usual, I'm more worried about the details, which is where the devil is normally to be found.

I want a genuinely independent second chamber, which immediately causes problems if it's to be an elected chamber, since having one would seem to involve creating a system for choosing its members that isn't dominated by the existing political parties.

Otherwise, it seems to me, you end up with a system whereby the main political parties are going to dominate the elections for the second chamber and it'll end up dominated primarily by loyal members of the main political parties, since they're the people with the resources and the organisation to promote their candidates, and they will naturally tend to select candidates who can be trusted, by and large, to remain loyal to their party.

I'm also worried that an elected second chamber will -- quite rightly -- feel it has a, by virtue of being elected, degree of democratic legitimacy that the House of Lords lacks and, therefore, be more ready to block legislation by governments it dislikes (as opposed just to specific legislative proposals it dislikes), thus setting us up for US-style legislative gridlocks when different parties command majorities in the two houses.

If the last three years have taught us anything, to my mind, it should be that competing democratic mandates don't necessarily help anyone.

Picking members of the public at random and making service in the second chamber compulsory (in return for an appropriate salary) might solve the problem, but I'm not at all sure.

Anyway, while I'm no particular fan of the existing system, I'm a great believer in not changing fundamental constitutional arrangements without first being sure the remedy won't be worse than what it seeks to cure, and I'm also acutely aware of how the apparently innocuous Fixed Term Parliaments Act has had far-reaching consequences that no one considered when it was debated because, back then, the political situation we've had for the last couple of years was unimaginable.

I also distrust the leadership of the main political parties when it comes to devising an appropriate system, and most particularly at the moment (casts a sceptical eye over Johnson, Corbyn, Rees-Mogg, Patel, Abbott, and several others).

So, with all that in mind, I'm not really sure what our second chamber should look like and operate, or how we'd go about changing the system to achieve it, and I'm not sure how urgent it is right now, all things considered.
 

Tigger

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I agree largely with everything you say there.

The deadlock you forsee is I think an inevitable result of our FPTP system which resolves down to a two party system. In a fairer electoral system, a PR based system where parties were more varied and more evenly represented it should not be an issue as it would be rare for a single party to command an overall majority in either house.

But I do like the idea of replacing the lords with a "people's assembly" drawn along similar lines to jury duty with something like an MPs standard salary (maybe even tax free). a £70,000 chunk of cash would make a lot more people willing to take part. You could exclude anyone who has had any kind of political career or been a significant donor to a political party. Such an assembly could be required to mirror the population in certain key areas (ages/educational background/gender/minorities etc.) to make it mirror as closely as possible the actual make up of people in the country. As opposed to the house of commons which is skewed in a very different direction to the population. You could structure it differently avoid political party affiliations within the assembly, structure it to make the commons present not just a bill for a vote but a justification for it and the opposition could present their reasons for opposing. Try to make it focus on what is being legislated and not on party loyalties.
 
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Tigger

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Downing Street has effectively blocked the publication of a potentially explosive parliamentary report on the security threat that Russia poses to the UK until after the general election.
...
The committee’s report is understood to examine allegations that Russian money has flowed into British politics in general and the Conservative party in particular. It also features claims that Russia launched a major influence operation in 2016 in support of Brexit.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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There is right now the third voting for the new speaker of the House of Commons underway.

In the second round Lindsay Hoyle was on 1st place with 244 votes, 2nd was Eleanor Epping with 122. So chances are high that Lindsay Hoyle gets elected as successor of John "Ordeerrrrrrrr" Bercow today.

 
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