Brecon and Radnorshire By-Election 2019

Recent events in Brecon and Radnorshire

A by-election is to be held in Brecon and Radnorshire constituency (formerly Brecon and Radnor, 1918-1997). Unusually, this by-election has been triggered by the conviction for (what amounts to) fraud relating to the Parliamentary expenses of the sitting MP. Christopher Davies, who had held the seat since 2015, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 50 hours of community service and a fine of £1,500.

The relative leniency of the sentence may reflect the fact that the £700 wrongfully claimed by way of expenses by Davies could have been claimed legitimately (whether approved or not); the way in which he went about it (creating two false invoices amounting to the sum in question) made it unlawful. On a kind interpretation, Davies was stupid or incompetent more than (very) dishonest. Still not very good for him, I would have thought.

The position of the MP and the calling of the by-election

The events around this by-election raise interesting issues.

The news reports say that the seat “has been vacated”, but I have seen nothing about the Speaker declaring it so, a problem which previously arose during the Fiona Onasanya case, when that MP, despite having been sentenced for perversion of the course of justice, and despite a recall petition having been approved by more than the requisite 10% of eligible voters, still sat and voted as MP for Peterborough (including, crucially, in a significant Brexit debate and vote), also getting paid for months.

Davies may or may not, at time of writing, still be an MP. Even the more serious newspapers and the specialized websites (eg Politics Home) have not clarified the position. The Wikipedia entry for Davies says that his removal as MP was “automatic” once the results of the petition were known, but such is not the case. Wikipedia also says that “the seat was declared vacant on 21 June 2019” (today). Perhaps.

The Conservatives must “move a writ” to start the by-election process. In Britain’s unwritten or (more accurately) uncodified Constitution, this is supposed to happen within (usually) 3 months of the seat being declared vacant. After that, the by-election usually happens within 27 days (of the writ having been moved).

In other words, while in theory this by-election could happen by the end of July 2019, it might not happen until late October or, if the Conservatives really stretched the Constitutional proprieties to the limit, even later. Parliament rises for its Summer Recess on 25 July, so if the writ is not moved by then, the very earliest date on which the writ could be moved would be 3 September, after the Commons return, making the earliest by-election date one in late September.

If Davies is still nominally the MP, then he is entitled to his salary and expenses until such time as he is declared (by the Speaker) not the MP.

Christopher Davies, remarkably (bearing in mind that he pleaded guilty to the charges), seems to be breezy about the matter, and has invited his constituents to his local office, in the small Welsh town of Builth Wells, to view and enjoy the 9 landscape photographs which were the subject-matter of the expenses claims in question! I daresay that many of his constituents might wonder why Parliamentary expenses cover such purchases anyway (surely he or the local Conservative Association should have paid?).

Even more remarkably, Davies says that he intends to stand again! The local Conservatives, meanwhile, have not pronounced on whether Davies will be allowed to stand as a Conservative Party candidate! One can see their difficulty: if Davies stands as Conservative candidate, their chance of success is weakened, contaminated by his candidature, but if Davies stands as Independent Conservative or some such, he may draw off at least a few hundred, maybe even a thousand or more otherwise “Conservative” votes. None dare call it blackmail?

Still, one would have thought that simple ethical standards might have come into play, but in the contemporary Conservative Party, it seems not.

Another strange aspect: one would have thought that the two contenders for the Conservative Party leadership would have condemned Davies for his offences, or at least mumbled something neutral, but it seems that both have been “very supportive”.

The constituency

Before 1939, the constituency, under its Brecon and Radnor name, had as MPs persons from the Labour, Liberal, Conservative, Unionist, National and National Liberal parties (the latter three effectively Conservative coalition candidates).

Labour held the seat between 1939 and 1979. From 1979 to 2019, the Conservatives won 3 times, the Liberals/Liberal Democrats 3 times.

The post-WW2 Labour vote peaked in 1964 at just under 58%; its lowest was 10% in 2010. In general, the Labour vote has declined over the years, having not exceeded 20% of votes cast since the General Election of 2001.

The LibDem vote peaked in 2010 at 44.8% (1st placed), since when it declined to about 28% in 2015 and about 29% in 2017; however in both 2015 and 2017, the LibDems were placed 2nd.

In 2017, the Conservative candidate, Davies, achieved a vote of 48.6%, a post-WW2 record for Conservatives in the seat.

The only other (slightly) significant party contending over the years has been Plaid Cymru, which however has rarely retained its deposit in recent decades. Its typical vote share in recent years has been 2%-3%, though it reached 4.4% in 2015 (3.1% in 2017).

A few other parties have stood over the years. UKIP got 8.3% in 2015 (its best in the seat), but slumped to 1.4% in 2017.

The joker in the pack is Brexit Party.

Conclusion

There are some uncertain factors here: will Christopher Davies really stand again, and if so will it be as Conservative Party candidate or as some type of Independent? Will Brexit Party put up a strong candidate? Whatever happens, the Conservatives must be toast here. If Davies stands as Independent, and with Brexit Party now standing, then the Conservative vote will (probably though not necessarily) be even lower than if Davies brazenly stands again as Conservative. Davies does seem to be quite embedded locally, as a former livestock auctioneer, Royal Welsh Show ring commentator and manager of a veterinary practice.

The LibDems are currently strong favourites. The only thing that would or might upset the applecart would be the Brexit Party, now (announced today) entering the fray. Looking at 2015/2017, the LibDem core vote in the seat is below 30%. Even so, the LibDems must be in pole position here. It’s their election to lose.

Further factors

It is plainly in the Conservative interest to delay this by-election as long as possible. Their notional working Commons majority, even with DUP support, is now only four. If Brecon and Radnorshire goes LibDem or Brexit Party, that will reduce to three. Some Conservative MPs are ready to abandon support if Brexit no-deal looks likely. Boris Johnson may be a very short-lived Prime Minister.

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brecon_and_Radnorshire_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Brecon_and_Radnorshire_by-election

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tudor_Watkins,_Baron_Watkins

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-48720176

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Davies_(Conservative_politician)

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/deadhead-mps-an-occasional-series-the-fiona-onasanya-story/

https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/political-parties/conservative-party/news/104734/convicted-tory-mp-chris-davies-booted

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/21/petition-to-recall-convicted-tory-mp-chris-davies-succeeds

https://www.parliament.uk/about/faqs/house-of-commons-faqs/business-faq-page/recess-dates/

Update, 24 June 2019

The Brecon and Radnorshire Conservatives have reselected Christopher Davies as their candidate.

Davies faces an uphill struggle. While his offence was only marginally dishonest, it was still dishonest. It also showed Davies as both lacking in judgment and as simply inept. Apart from that, there is the point that the Conservatives have rarely if ever been lower in public estimation. Also, this is a by-election and the Conservative Party is in government.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-48736879

Update, 27 June 2019

The position has now been clarified. Davies is no longer the MP and the writ is expected to be moved today, Thursday 27 June, having failed two days ago. The by-election is now or soon will be set for 1 August 2019.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-48764106

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-48777219

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-brecon-radnorshire-byelection-date-17264118

In a sense, I am surprised that the Conservatives did not play this more tactically, in view of their situation re. the numbers in the Commons, but there it is.

Now that Brexit Party is standing, the chance of the Conservatives actually winning (especially with a rather discredited candidate) has shrunk accordingly. If Brexit Party gets half of the 2017 Conservative vote, that would give them about 24%. The LibDems are unlikely to get less than the c.29% they got in 2017. Labour got over 17% in 2017.

If Labour does better than it did in 2017, and if Brexit Party does well too, and the LibDems do at least as well as they did in 2017, then all four serious contenders might well get vote shares in the 20%-35% range. If the Conservative vote were to collapse to, say, 10% or 15%, then the other three parties in serious contention might well end up getting about the same vote shares as each other.

This might turn out to be quite close among LibDems, Brexit Party, Labour, and maybe Conservatives too, with the likelihood of placings in that order.

Update, 29 June 2019

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-48798705

The Brexit Party has announced its candidate, a retired senior police detective. Ouch! (in view of the Conservative Party backing a convict!)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-48810457

Meanwhile, minor Remain-friendly parties look like not contesting the seat, in order to give the LibDems a clear run. Green Party, Renew, Change UK (probably, if they even bother to make a statement, they are already so marginal), Plaid Cymru (maybe).

Renew has never contested this seat, though it scored about 4% in Newport West recently; Change UK is already a “dead parrot” party, marginal, negligible in support (below 1%); the Greens last contested this seat in 2015, scoring 3.1%; Plaid got 3.1% in the seat in 2017.

If Plaid get on board the non-contest train, the boost to the LibDems must be worth several points, maybe as much as 7%, though more realistically about 5%. Worth having, anyway.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1146794/brexit-news-brexit-party-brecon-and-radnorshire-by-election-renew-party-remain-coalition

Update, 3 July 2019

There are so far 4 candidates standing (LibDems, Conservatives, Brexit Party, Labour), with less than 48 hours until nominations close. Plaid Cymru has “indicated” that it will not be standing, in order to give the pro-Remain LibDems their best possible chance. The other pro-Remain parties, meaning Greens and Renew, are both not standing and for the same reason. Any late entries are likely to be vanity or joke candidates and will not at all change the outcome of the by-election.

The LibDems must be in an even stronger position to take the seat now that the smaller parties are not standing. In the last few elections, minor parties accounted for between 5% and 10% of the total vote.

Update, 4 July 2019

My eye was caught by the latest YouGov national opinion poll, as reported by Britain Elects.

If this poll is in any way accurate (and Ipsos Mori put out a very different result only a week ago, which shows how volatile UK politics is becoming), then Brexit Party would actually be the largest party in the Commons after a general election:

https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/userpoll.html

Brexit Party 196 seats (130 short of Commons majority), Labour 148, Conservative 169, LibDem 66. That would mean a Brexit Party government with, almost inevitably, Conservative support; possibly a coalition government. Large numbers of both Conservative and Labour MPs would be gone, including half of those recently vying for Conservative leadership.

Thinking about how that might apply to the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, it may be that most of the 2017 Conservative votes in the seat will go to Brexit Party, but they might not. There is uncertainty. Personality often means more in rural constituencies than in urban and suburban ones. Much depends on whether voters regard the Conservative, Christopher Davies, as an “expenses cheat” and/or “fraudster” after his criminal conviction, or whether they will “forgive and forget” his sin/error because they (do they?) regard him otherwise as OK and his offence a technical one.

My view is obviously no more than an educated guess, but I should think that many locals will think that £700 is a ridiculous sum to pay out for 9 photographs anyway. Others will see the dishonesty aspect; yet others may think that the former MP should be given a second chance. Much depends on his personal vote, on his local popularity.

I find this by-election hard to call. However, it must be done. On present facts, I think that Labour has no chance, realistically. It is seen as the party of the blacks and browns now, for one thing. They are few in number in that part of the world, unless it has changed hugely since I was last there. Also, Remain voters will go LibDem here, not Labour, whereas committed Leave/Brexit voters will go Brexit Party or maybe Con.

I think that it is quite possible that at least half the 2017 Conservative vote will defect to Brexit Party. The LibDem vote will be solid now that the party is bouncing in the polls; also, in this seat, the LibDems are not seen as a wasted vote, Brecon and Radnorshire having had LibDem MPs from 1997 until 2015.

If the LibDems can build on the 29% they got in 2017, and I think that they will, then they are in with a very good chance. They might get a vote between 30% and 40%.

I doubt whether Labour will get more than 10% or so.

The Conservative vote may collapse, though I remain unconvinced that it will go much lower than 20%.

Brexit Party, if it can capture disaffected Conservative votes, might go as high as 30%. There is another point, which is whether people who prefer Conservative or Labour will vote tactically for Brexit Party. Hard to say. The LibDems must get at least 30% and may get 40%, so Brexit Party has to get around 40% to have a chance of winning.

Provisional Conclusion (with nearly 4 weeks left to run):

  1. LibDems
  2. Brexit Party
  3. Conservatives
  4. Labour

Update, 5 July 2019

With weeks left to run, the online betting market shows the LibDems as heavily odds-on (about 1/5), Labour (oddly, but the market is thin) on 2/1, Conservatives on 9/1, Brexit Party at 12/1. Political betting is a minefield. The favourites often go down. Labour on 2/1 looks like exceptionally poor value! Brexit Party, however, looks like fairly good value at 12/1. My own valuation of the odds would be nearer to: LibDems 1/2, Brexit Party 2/1, Conservatives 3/1, Labour 10/1, but we shall see.

In the meantime, msm commentary has started:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/05/pro-emain-parties-strike-brecon-and-radnorshire-byelection-pact-to-fight-conservatives

11 July 2019

The confirmed final list of candidates shows the four expected parties (Con, Lab, LibDem, Brexit Party) and two late entrants, namely UKIP and Monster Raving Loony. The UKIP entry will obviously eat into Brexit Party’s chances; to what extent we shall see, though even 500 or 1,000 votes might be enough to sink Brexit Party in the by-election. Looks more like a spoiler than a serious candidature.

https://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/17756758.brecon-radnorshire-by-election-candidates-confirmed/

The Guardian interviews locals. One part stands out:

Given that 19% of the local electorate signed the recall petition, almost double the 10% threshold, a surprising number of locals of different party allegiances express sympathy for Davies’s plight. Yet there are some who are adamant that he should have stood down. One council worker tells me that, owing to her job, she’s in electoral purdah and can only speak off the record. “I signed the petition against Chris Davies because he tried to shaft a friend of mine who works in his office, by blaming the expenses mistake on her,” she says. As far as this council worker is concerned, Davies, whom she voted for in 2017, was given a second chance for cynical reasons. “Everyone knows that they didn’t want to put any promising new candidate in,” she says, “because they know they’re going to lose the seat.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/07/brecon-byelection-battle–remain-alliance-quiet-revolution

Meanwhile…

http://www.brecon-radnor.co.uk/article.cfm?id=110936&headline=Homebase%20store%20in%20Brecon%20to%20close&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2019

Update, 19 July 2019

Had a look at Oddschecker betting array. LibDems are hugely odds-on (1/9), Conservatives second at aroung 7/1, Brexit Party about 12/1, Labour 100/1. Not noted were UKIP and Monster Raving Loony. I expect that anyone wanting to throw away a few pounds could ask for and get 500/1 against either of those.

Betting is not always a sure indicator of a election or referendum result, but the LibDems have, as previously said, a lot going for them here: a fairly recent history of providing the local MP, the fact that the Conservative candidate is damaged goods, the fact that those who would have voted for the parties that have voluntarily withdrawn (Green, Plaid Cymru, Renew) will vote LibDem in a contest where Labour is anyway a wasted vote.

Update, 29 July 2019

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/convicted-tory-chris-davies-is-a-no-show-at-brecon-and-radnorshire-by-election-hustings-zlrn0p80l

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-wales-49090993/brecon-and-radnorshire-by-election-a-history

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/29/lib-dems-quiet-bollocks-to-brexit-brecon-and-radnorshire-byelection

Update, 31 July 2019

Well, “the moment of truth”, meaning that the by-election will be held tomorrow, Thursday 1 August 2019. This blog post has so far had, in about 5-6 weeks, 600+ views, far above the norm for my blog. Brecon and Radnorshire is having its 15 minutes of fame…

The BBC Wales take on it all:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-wales-49170677/brecon-and-radnorshire-by-election-voters-highlight-issues

The LibDems are in pole position, hugely odds-on with the bookmakers (1/20 in some quarters), with the Conservatives in 2nd place (about 9/1) and (perhaps surprisingly) Brexit Party in 3rd position (as high as 50/1, which may be, at those odds, a value bet); Labour seems out of it at odds of 150-1.

A month ago, I was predicting, provisionally, LibDems to win, followed by Brexit Party, Conservatives, Labour, UKIP (a pure spoiler candidature, it seems) and the inevitable joke candidate, a Monster Raving Loony calling herself Lily the Pink (presumably after the comic song of 1968).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_the_Pink_(song)

I see no reason to think that the LibDems will not win Brecon and Radnorshire. They have all the Remain votes and so many of the votes of the highly-subsidized local farmers, though no doubt some of the latter will remain loyal to the Conservative Party and its recently-convicted candidate. I do not know what sort of campaign Brexit Party put up in the constituency, but I should imagine that BP might still come second, notwithstanding the bookmakers. If it does not, Brexit Party’s balloon deflates a little more, but many will be looking at the result of the by-election to see whether the Conservative might have won were there no Brexit Party candidate. If the Brexit Party candidature alone meant that the Conservative could not win, alarm bells will sound at CCHQ.

Update, 1 August 2019

Polling day. The betting odds, for what they are worth are (best odds) LibDems 1/18 odds-on; Conservatives 7/1, Brexit Party 100/1, Labour 150/1. The bookmakers, at least, think that Brexit Party is heading for 3rd place. Perhaps.

It may well be that tactical voting is taking place, in particular that Labour supporters, recognizing that Labour has no chance here, are going with the LibDems in order to ensure defeat for the Conservatives (and Brexit Party).

The only significant changes in the betting are the Conservatives taking closer order (yesterday 8/1 or 9/1, today 6/1 or 7/1, and Brexit Party sliding from 50/1 to 100/1.

Looks as if the LibDems have probably nailed it and that the Government’s majority, even with DUP support, is now 1 MP vote.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/01/the-view-from-brecon-and-radnorshire-voters-byelection

Update, 2 August 2019

The LibDems won fairly decisively, but with a smaller majority than the betting might have been suggesting. I have posted links here below.

For me, the most important aspect beyond the headline result is the fact that the Conservative ex-MP would have won, even handsomely, were it not for the candidature of Brexit Party, which received 3,331 votes.

The LibDem majority over the Conservatives was only 1,425. In other words, had Brexit Party not been standing, the Conservatives would almost certainly have won by nearly 2,000 votes. I shall be blogging separately later about the by-election and the implications of that Brexit Party aspect for the national political picture.

The Labour vote had suffered a general decline in the constituency over the years (all-time high was 57.69% in 1964), but this was its lowest-ever vote-share (5.3%). I attribute that partly and perhaps mainly to tactical voting: Labour supporters voting against the Conservatives (mainly) in a situation where Labour had no real chance anyway: the Labour vote here has not exceeded 20% since 2001 (21.4%).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brecon_and_Radnorshire_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-49200636

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/voters-head-to-the-polls-for-brecon-and-radnorshire-byelection-live-a4202956.html

https://news.sky.com/story/liberal-democrats-win-brecon-and-radnorshire-by-election-as-johnson-suffers-first-defeat-as-pm-11775356

The Monster Raving Loony Party got 1% (334 votes), the UKIP spoiler candidate (or was she just irredeemably stupid?) only 0.8% (242 votes).

There is not much sunshine for the Conservatives in this result. Still, ex-MP Christopher Davies can always return to auctioning cattle; and he has some lovely landscape photographs (the subject-matter of his criminal case) for his Builth Wells office. Something to think about as he endures his community service serf-labour…

“Always look on the bright side of Life”

Update, 13 May 2020

Prior to the 2019 General Election, Christopher Davies was selected to fight the Ynys Mon [Anglesey] seat [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ynys_M%C3%B4n_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s] but stood down after criticism.

Ynys Mon, a constituency which (sub nom Anglesey) goes back to 1545, was won by the Conservative Party at the 2019 General Election, only the third time a Conservative Party MP had been elected there, and only the second Conservative MP (the first having been the multikulti supporter, Keith Best [MP 1979-1987], who was convicted, while MP, on charges of having made fraudulent share applications).

As to Brecon and Radnorshire, the Conservative Party won easily, with a vote-share of over 53%, at the General Election. Brexit Party had not stood (rather, withdrawn) a candidate after Nigel Farage stabbed his own supporters in the back.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brecon_and_Radnorshire_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s

The present MP for Brecon and Radnorshire is Fay Jones, a rather obscure and youngish woman (34/35 y-o) whose father was also once a Conservative Party MP (and is a prominent freemason in Wales).

104 thoughts on “Brecon and Radnorshire By-Election 2019”

  1. Yes, I agree with your analysis that this by election is basically theirs to lose. They still have a fairly good vote share in the seat which even in the dire election of 2017 was FOUR times their national average of 7.4%, they retained second place (there are few such seats nowdays) and the MP was a Lib Dem as recently as 2015. The seat has a history of Liberal Democrat MPs although this isn’t as impressive a history as the neighbouring seat of Montgomeryshire which has had Lib Dem and Liberal Party MPs more or less continuously since the 1880’s.

    That being said these Welsh Marches seats do seem to be trending Tory. Is this a result of English ‘white flight’ from places like Birmingham and Coventry?

    I think due to that factor and others ie the fact the Tory government will move one step closer to falling if the Tory candidate loses the Tory vote will be surprisingly resilient to dropping as much as it did in Peterborough. This doesn’t bode will for Farage’s fan club as the Brexit Party is taking nearly all of its votes from the Tories rather than other parties.

    Labour’s vote will go down a lot not least because some of it will vote tactically for the Liberal Democrat’s to help the Tory candidate lose and to prevent a Brexit Party win.

    The county of Powys in which this seat is located voted to leave three years ago but as it also covers the other seat of Montgomeryshire we don’t know the exact numbers of people who voted leave or remain in either this seat or the other one.

    Tory-inclined hill farmers (this constituency has many of them) were said to have voted leave in fairly big numbers then but I have read that quite a few of them have had second thoughts about Brexit.

    As for the Brexit Party’s chances of winning, whilst I don’t discount the possibility of it happening entirely, I think it is unlikely as this seat is simply not fertile territory for them. Indeed there are few such seats and I can only think of a couple off the top of my head such as Thurrock in Essex and the seat of the Conservative Party chairman (Brandon Lewis) in Great Yarmouth. Also, there is the factor of this seat being the largest in area in England and Wales which would make it more difficult to locate possible supporters to canvass and perhaps bring them to the polling stations as well as the other parties with more of an organisation in the seat are able to do. This was said to have been a problem for the Brexit Party in Peterborough so this seats’s pretty vast geographical size combined with small and out of the way villages and hamlets would be like the situation in Peterborough only more so.

    On the Electoral Calculus site, it is currently predicting a Lib Dem win on a low share of the vote for this seat at the next general election. This site also predicted a Labour hold in Peterborough a few weeks ago at the time of the by election.

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    1. Thank you. The LibDems are heavily odds-on to win in Brecon. I know the area slightly, having trekked there when I was younger and fitter (long ago!), Pen-y-Fan, the Wye River trail etc (the Wye is not far away, but Brecon itself is on the Usk, of course).

      One factor in the now-fading Liberal/LibDem concentration in parts of Wales, as in Scotland and Cornwall, is the —now almost-disappeared— Nonconformist religious tradition in those areas.

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  2. In summary, this is likely to be Lib Dem win ( they may increase their vote share by up to 10 to 15 percent) or a narrow Tory hold by a couple of hundred votes.

    I think we can safely predict that Labour definitely won’t win the contest.

    However, we may not have a By election here if it isn’t called quickly as there have been some reports that if Coco The Clown becomes Tory leader and our new PM (god help us!) he is considering cutting and running and going for a general election in early September of this year.

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    1. As you say, a Labour win is almost impossible these days in Brecon and Radnorshire, even should the battle be basically a 4-way split (LibDem, Con, Lab, Brexit Party).

      It is *just* possible for Brexit Party to win in those conditions *if* they have (most important in such an area) a *very* good candidate.

      If one puts the LibDem likely vote at maybe 30%-40%, Lab c.20%, Con anywhere from 20%-30%+, Brexit Party anywhere from 20% to 30%+%, it is just about possible.

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      1. Yes, the Brexit Party will need to have an exceptional candidate and one that is preferably local to the constituency. The Liberal Democrat’s and their forerunners in the Liberal Party have often been able to just about hang onto seats where their MP had a bit of a personal vote and worked hard for their constituents even when they were running against the national tide of opinion for their party.

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  3. The Tory vote share in this seat is slightly higher than it was in Peterborough and that is one reason I don’t think the Brexit Party will win it because as the Brexit Party is seemingly incapable of attracting large numbers of voters from Labour and other parties and only really takes them from one political direction only ie the Tories they need the Tory vote in a seat to basically collapse virtually entirely and come straight over to them. Well, simply put, that is very unlikely to happen since love them or loathe them the Tories are a well-established REAL political party with a FULL RANGE of policies hence whilst their vote does go down substantially in by elections it won’t go down enough for the Brexit Party to win simply because of a collapsed Tory vote going over to them. The Brexit Party still needs to be able to BUILD ITS OWN SUPPORT and vote share ( you need to have at least about 30% or more in a seat to be in with any real chance of winning it). REAL politics at the end of the day is NOT just about being opposed to the other parties and being against their policies but also being FOR your own party and being FOR things too.

    In this seat, I suspect at least a proportion of the Tory vote is very ‘Right-wing’ (as I have said before perhaps it originates as English white flight from Birmingham?) why would these people vote for the very much single issue Brexit Party especially as Nigel with respect to his new outfit is at pains to say how PC he is nowdays.

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    1. I cannot argue much against your logic on this. Not sure that Brexit Party can be totally written off as the single-issue party. Around that is the mantle of being the “kick the System parties, kick the EU, kick the BBC and msm generally, kick mass immigration, kick the sliding multikulti society etc” party! That may seem silly as a reason to vote BP, but I think that is the main driving force of BP, not just the EU itself.

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    2. Further to earlier reply, there is also the point that, in the Brecon and Radnorshire seat, Labour has struggled even to get to 20% since 2001 (2005 15%, 2010 10.4%, 2015 14.7% and 2017 17.7%). A vote for Labour here is a wasted vote, so it may be that, in a 2/3/4 way split, Labour voters may vote LibDem tactically, as the best of the evils, to block Con Party and Brexit Party. Labour is not going to do better than 3rd place and may end up 4th.

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      1. I agree with that. Some of the Labour voters will stay loyal and not vote tactically for the Liberal Democrat candidate because they disapprove of the Liberal Democrat’s for forming the coalition with the Conservatives from 2010-2015 but for others the memory of that is now fading and the incentive will be to vote Lib Dem to prevent any possible Brexit Party win and to ensure the Tories lose and bring the prospect of the Tory government falling a bit closer. Yes, the Labour vote in the seat isn’t particularly impressive and as such Labour are highly unlikely to win. I believe they will get about 10 or 11 percent when the election happens.

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  4. I think if the previously unimaginable scenario of the Clown becoming PM happens any administration led by him will be a chaotic shambles (infact he could well make even Teresa Mayhem look competent!) I give it six months to a year maximum. Mini Trump (as he is already being called on the Continent) could well be the Tory PM who beats Conservative Party PM George Canning for the shortest tenure of any British PM (he lasted only 119 days!)

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    1. Again, I agree with much of that, but Boris Idiot cannot simply call a general election. Yes, he can engineer one, so maybe. That election, though, would be the horn of Heimdall for the Ragnarok of the Con Party. Brexit Party would, even if it only got a 15% vote, mean no Con majority; if 20%, it would finish the Con Party electorally, probably terminally. Many would vote for BP precisely for that reason…

      We can already see that 6+ Con MPs are openly saying that they are willing to support a no-confidence motion if Boris Idiot tries to leave the EU on WTO terms. The govt. would be almost certain to fall then. On the other hand, if Boris (basically a weak, vacillating creature) tried to delay Brexit again, the Con Party would be living on borrowed time and in any general election from 2019-2022 would surely be wiped out, at least to the extent of losing 100-200 MPs (which would, of course, include Boris himself, at Uxbridge).

      Canning died in office, of course. Boris is even less competent than, say, Gordon Brown was (behind his unmerited “great brain” reputation) or David Cameron-Levita.

      I am thinking (like you it seems) that Boris will not be in No.10 long.

      pps. Seems that Hunt is now not trailing as far behind Boris as in previous days, so just maybe Boris-Idiot will not win. He’s still ahead though, somehow. Not that I like Hunt much either, but at least he is a real person, not an inflated balloon of deception, incompetence and nonsense.

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      1. Jeremy Hunt is the only adult left standing in the contest! Boris is basically a self-serving man-child who is a loose canon and someone who you really don’t know where you stand with him since he changes his ideas so abruptly depending upon his audience. Basically, he is very untrustworthy and not suitable to be PM.

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      2. That is what makes it so funny when msm talking heads and scribblers dutifully analyze the outpourings of the Boris-Idiot as if he actually means any of what he says. Nothing Boris says means anything, either in itself or in terms of intended policy. That is both his weakness and his strength.

        Boris-Idiot can say anything, literally anything, so long as it assists him in becoming Prime Minister. Other people feel that they have to fit what they say within a matrix of their beliefs, intentions, ideals, or realities. Boris Idiot has none. Just the demonic or demented desire to *be* PM, even if it only lasts 3 months.

        His father, Stanley Johnson, is to blame. He was pushing Boris as PM over 20 years ago. I think that he (in the old sense!) groomed Boris from an even younger age to have that ambition. Trouble is, Boris has no idea at all of *how* to be a PM, nor any reason to be PM.

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      3. Seriously, who in their right mind could trust a potential PM who writes two letters one pro-EU the other anti on the EVE of a national referendum campaign on the issue.? Boris only came out as anti to gain favours with Tory MPs and to position himself well to replace David Cameron should the referendum not go in Cameron’s favour!

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      1. Good. The Tories like Boris because they think he is immensely popular with ordinary people but I do wonder if his popularity with some segments of the population would survive much beyond the first few months of a Boris Johnson Premiership (if it lasts that long!). The Conservatives need to remember that a serious party electing a buffoon like Boris can dent their popularity in the longer term if the Tories thereby gain a reputation for being a non serious, frivolous and joke party.

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      2. There is not much evidence that Boris-Idiot *is* popular outside the ranks of Con Party members and existing/former voters. Boris might just finish off the Conservatives.

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  5. I am a little surprised the Brecon and Radnorshire Conservatives have re adopted Christopher Davies as their candidate! They must be unaware of the fact that mud very often sticks in politics even if it is sometimes undeserved.

    By elections when you are in government and been there for some time are tricky to win at the best of times. Couldn’t the local association persuade Mr Davies to fall on his sword in the wider interests of the national party?

    I had thought there might have been a small chance of the Tories retaining the seat but now they have surely blown it. Brecon and Radnor only has a 19.5% Tory majority and isn’t a ‘true blue’ citadel of support like Windsor or Henley-Upon-Thames.

    The Liberal Democrat Party and Farage’s fan club must be pleased with this news.

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    1. As you say. The “dishonesty” was slight. The monies could have been claimed legitimately under the rules, it seems. So…only slightly dishonest, but rather silly, stupid, inept. That is not a lot better! I can only assume that local Conservatives like Davies, and think that the police should not have been called in. The generality of local voters, though, may think differently. Anyway, national issues also tell. Will be interesting to see how Brexit Party does there. If badly, the deflating effect of Peterborough may continue.

      I do not think that the by-election will be held for months, because every Commons MP matters now, with the numbers so tight.

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  6. Boris should be nowhere near No 10 Downing Street or even around the Cabinet table. He is best suited to being Conservative Party chairman with his court jester act to entertain and gee up the party troops before elections! Or they could bring back novelist Lord Archer who was quite effective as deputy party chairman in the eighties!

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      1. A more masterful and truely devastating critique of Boris Johnson from someone who knows him intimately would be hard to find! It has to be Hunt, Tories, if you want to retain any long-term credibility as a party!

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  7. Indeed. If their party members are foolish enough to choose Coco The Clown as their next party leader and our PM I expect any political ‘honeymoon’ period will be short-lived and they will regret his election pretty soon. Once a party’s reputation for being an serious party fit to lead the nation is shredded it will be very difficult to restore it.

    Jeremy Hunt is far from ideal as the best man to lead them would be someone with Hunt’s personable and serious nature but with solidly ‘Right-wing’ and socially conservative opinions but he is the best they have got. Sadly, such a person doesn’t exist nowdays in the Conservative Party so it could well be ‘Goodnight Vienna’ soon for the Tories. Constantly pandering to Guardian readers isn’t going to win a general election anytime soon as there is no electoral evidence for it. Really, why in all honesty, would a Guardian reader vote Tory when they can vote Labour, for the newly revived (a bit) Liberal Democrat’s or the Greens?

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    1. I again agree, though obviously I am not even small c conservative in most respects (though at same time, I could be described as “socially conservative” in general).

      The main System parties are being stripped down to their core votes: in the case of Labour, the blacks and browns, the public service blocs and lobbies etc; maybe, at highest, 30% of the whole. In the case of the Conservatives, the core is the traditional elderly suburban/country vote, and/or the most affluent 10% of the population. Maybe 20% of the whole.

      Neither Labour nor Conservative can get a majority based on on the core vote, but Labour can still have a large Commons bloc if it gets a 30% vote share nationally; Conservative Party on 20% cannot have more than about 100 or so MPs. The problem the Cons have is bigger than Labour’s, not least because the blacks, browns etc are breeding (and still being imported) and so increasing in number. The have-nots are increasing in number. Renters are increasing in number. The public services are being stretched, and their personnel not being well paid on the whole. The Con core vote is shrinking, as traditional elderly Con voters die of old age etc. The proportion of owners vis a vis renters is decreasing.

      I watched a little of Boris Johnson’s BBC interview this morning. Well, nothing will be helped by me putting a boot through the TV screen, so the TV is untouched, but what a ****ing idiot the man is! Only a completely screwed country could have such an idiot as Prime Minister.

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  8. All that you say about the core vote for the Tories is true yet they continue to import people who will NEVER in a million years vote Tory in any real appreciable numbers or with any consistency. That epithet of them being Britain’s ‘stupid party’ is so well deserved!

    Boris, by any normal assessment, is a complete cretin/moron who is also a congenital liar and self-serving narcissist to boot. To think that about 100,000 mostly elderly (some no doubt suffering from that terrible disease of senile dementia) party members may be about to impose this goon upon this nation as PM is downright frightening. The prospect fills me as a Brit with dread although foreigners will no doubt find it a great laugh and pass it off as just another example of Brits being eccentric. Boris the Buffoon could well start a nuclear war by accident!

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    1. Our archaic, crude, primitive and downright unrepresentative electoral system of First Past The Post doesn’t help the Conservative Party in some senses either eg I live in the Tory Party’s tenth safest seat of Brentwood and Ongar where they have an utterly ludicrous numerical majority of 24,002 and a percentage one of 45% over Labour. What on earth is the point of having your votes ‘locked-up’ by the electoral system like that when the seat could still be in their hands with a majority of 2 like the SNP MP for North East Fife has over his Lib Dem opponent.

      Change the system to PR then your votes wouldn’t be wasted like that and could contribute to the national total of seats for the party in the House of Commons. If we had PR then the Tories wouldn’t be forced to pander to a small number of people in crucial marginals and they could craft their policies according to their real beliefs.

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    2. Back to basics:
      Boris is weak, not strong. That is the key to his character. He is not a great man, or even a strong leader who has human flaws. He is basically degenerate and basically weak. He has never had to struggle for anything. He is a farmed salmon from a tank, which is in every way flabby. He has no resilience, no honesty, no decency, no ideas, no ideals, no plans or policies beyond the simplest and most naive schoolboy-Conservatism ideas about supporting banks, not taxing the wealthy etc etc. Truly pathetic.

      I honestly believe that Boris is the choice of most of the Conservative Party members (only about 1 in every 400 or 500 voters, after all) because the Con Party (as also many of its paper members) is in its dotage and also its second childhood. Only very silly people would think that Boris could ever be a real Prime Minister of anything beyond a banana republic.

      As I said before, if Boris’s “pledge” to leave the EU by end of October means anything, there will be a non-confidence vote, which will remove Boris and this government. The general election which follows will result in the Con Party being slaughtered as it faces 3 parties at least 2 of which will be taking many voters with them and from the Con Party. Result? Probably what I have been predicting for a couple of years— a Labour minority government.

      If, on the other hand, Boris’s latest promise is as valueless as most if not all of his previous ones, the endless non-Brexit will slaughter the Con Party anyway, just not immediately.

      Boris may think that he can joke and clown his way through a general election, but I think not. The Con Party will go down and Boris, in Uxbridge, will be one of the first seats to fall (in his case, to Labour). The Con Party will thus have had removed the idiot who wants to be King For A Day.

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      1. I agree with all of that. There is talk in the press that Corbyn will put down a motion of no confidence within a day or so of the Clown’s arrival in No.10. There is surely an increasing chance of it succeeding should he actually live up to one of his numerous promises for once by going for a Brexit no deal.

        The Conservative Party has a choice of either electing this untrustworthy buffoon and facing a possible imminent execution by way of a general election or choosing the more staid and non flashy Jeremy Hunt and hoping he can use his skills as a far better Foreign Secretary ( certainly more respected in EU capitals and elsewhere) to negotiate a more acceptable withdrawal treaty. Yes, that is maybe a forelorn hope but it must be worth a chance.

        Otherwise, execution has merely been delayed a few years.

        That Iain Dunce Smith is backing Coco The Clown surely says all you need to know about Boris as a person and as a potential Tory leader and British PM.

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      2. What a pair! Iain Dunce Duncan Smith and Boris-Idiot! Nor forgetting Priti Patel, saved by Idi Amin from spending her life behind the counter of a Kampala grocery shop!

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      3. His constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip isn’t safe nowdays at least on paper as he suffered a swing of 6.5% against him in 2017 but he might be able to hang-on against a national tide as there are a few factors in his favour and they are: 1.) he still has a majority percentage of the vote so if that holds firm no amount of anti-clown tactical voting will remove him 2.) the Labour Party have selected a muslim man to run against him so that may harm them and split the anti-Boris vote towards the 3rd placed Liberal Democrat’s and 3.) party leaders and PMs do normally get a boost in their own vote. 4.) his role as the premier court jester act of British politics may attract a bit of a personal vote. Buffoons can be entertaining to some people and they like having one as their MP.

        If he did lose he would be only the second party leader in British electoral history to lose their own seat on election night with the other one being Tory leader Arthur Balfour losing Manchester East in the 1906 Liberal Party landslide.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uxbridge_and_South_Ruislip_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

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      4. I hear what you say, and you are right in general, in that the Conservatives have won all three elections at Uxbridge (2010, 2015, 2017) but in 2017 Labour got over 40% of the vote (Con 50%). They were the only two parties in play seriously, as in the previous elections. However, the existence of Brexit Party changes everything.

        As you imply, Boris is a Marmite politician, with “celebrity” stardust (God knows why, though…). Under normal circumstances, he might get 50%+ in Uxbridge, but Brexit Party might get a vote share of 20% next time, most of which would be from 2017 Conservative voters. That might put Cons on (?) 35%. Labour on 35%. Very close, and it could mean a Labour win.There again, I doubt that Boris/Con Party will get 50% anyway, even without Brexit Party in play. Let’s say that Conservatives get ~30%, Labour ~30%, Brexit Party ~30%. It could be recount territory among all three.

        BTW, as you may have noticed, Labour did not-badly in 2017 in Uxbridge with an ethnic minority candidate, albeit Chinese rather than a Muslim of some kind. There are plenty of non-whites there (I lived for six months or so in 2001-2002 at Higher Denham, which is only 5 miles from Uxbridge).

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      5. Further to earlier reply, I happened to see this film report from The Guardian about the prospective Labour candidate for Uxbridge: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2019/jun/27/will-this-young-muslim-be-boris-johnsons-ultimate-downfall-video

        The content backs up what I said about that area and the likely result. The Labour PPC, Something Ali, makes the point that the constituency is “approaching 30% “BAME” (ie the “blacks and browns”) and that “every constituency in the country that is 30% BAME is Labour”.

        I have blogged about this. Labour is now basically the party of the blacks and browns (and other ethnic minorities, except Jews). Also, elections are now a no-win situation for social nationalism, in much of the UK, because of the high proportion of aliens.

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  9. At the end of the day. Boris is consistent in one belief only ie he believes in HIMSELF. Such a self-serving chancer shouldn’t be in No 10

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    1. I am agreeing with you too much. Other readers of the blog will start to think that you are what is called a “sockpuppet”!

      There is, btw, a great interest in this “by-election that may never happen”…even my humble blog article about it has had about 80 hits today alone, and the night is young.

      As to Boris, pro-Brexit as I am, I cannot believe the Conservative Party members who
      a.think that Boris is in any way fitted to be a head of government;
      b.think that Boris can “deliver” any Brexit beyond the WTO “no deal” Brexit that anyone at all can deliver (by just walking the UK out);
      c.seem to be hypnotized by this part-Jew public entertainer.

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    1. There probably was some asian Muslim postal voting fraud in Peterborough which just goes to show how utterly stupid and unpatriotic it was for both Labour and CON Party governments to bring these people to our homeland as this very undesirable practice was virtually unknown before their mass settlement here.

      However, saying that, the Brexit Party can’t blame that factor entirely for their failure to win since they should have had a better vote share of their own. NO party got an impressive share of the vote.

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      1. Yes, as I wrote in the blog about Peterborough, “it was the w*gs wot won it!” Both in terms of numbers and in terms of postal fraud. In fact , Labour did not need postal fraud in order to win, though there probably was some; the numbers did it for them. At Peterborough, in the constituency, there are maybe 10,000 or more “blacks and browns”, mainly Muslim. The Labour majority was less than 1,000. From the “nationalist” POV, the result of the by-election is invalid. If only white British people had voted, it would have been a Brexit Party landslide. a *majority* of about 10,000.

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  10. Yeah, Priti Patel, Iain Dumbo Duncan-Smith and Boris Johnson. What an absolute Tory shower they are!

    As for Priti Patel, you are so correct to say she would be still be in Kampala serving groceries in a shop there if it weren’t for Idi Ami AND Tory traitor Edward Heath who let these asians in in the early 1970s despite Tory promises to control immigration properly in the election of 1970.

    However, saying that, I do agree with Priti on capital punishment. She is in favour of the death penalty’s return and so am I. I don’t go along with this ‘modern Tory’ libertarian pro ‘small state’ nonsense argument we can’t have hanging back because it would mean the British state becoming too powerful. In some areas of policy, we NEED the state to be more assertive and to increase its power and law and order is one of them.

    IF we ever do manage to escape the heel of Brussels rule, we can then have hanging’s return as Brussels unreasonably bans it for EU members.

    Let us roll back all the permissive society nonsense of the post-war era apart from LGBT rights ( or, at least, those that concern the first three letters) as a rational case for some small state libertarianism/social liberalism can be made for them.

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    1. In one respect, then, we part company. I tend to be against the death penalty, though I accept that my objection is idealistic/religious/philosophical and that it is easy to answer my objection(s), as was done at dinner at Lincoln’s Inn once, in the 1980s, by (as I thought) a very cynical and harsh Lord Justice of Appeal who happened to be seated with me. This one: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8531683/Sir-Roger-Parker.html
      Perhaps I was too influenced by Dostoyevsky’s great work, Crime and Punishment.

      Not that all heads would rest safely were I ever to hold political power, but I refer specifically and solely to *judicially-approved* killings.

      If you ever saw Priti Patel argue (if her spouting nonsense can be so dignified) a few years ago about capital punishment, on BBC Question Time (I think that the clip is on youtube), you would see at once that she is simply not intelligent enough, logical enough, or decent enough to hold high office.

      In fact, Priti Patel is or was effectively a covert agent of Israel until she was found out and removed from government.

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      1. That clip of Priti Patel is still up on YouTube. She did fall a bit into smarmy Ian Hislop’s trap but still managed to get a few good points across. I see that the audience then (as ever!) were impeccably balanced in the BBC’s opinion and a true representation of the variety of political viewpoints found within the British electorate. Apparently, as that likely Labour-voting chap said towards the end, capital punishment is NOT any form of deterrent!

        Needless to say, I profoundly disagree as the true reality is that yes SOME people WOULDN’T be deterred as if that were the case no one would ever be executed but SOME people WOULD be since human nature being what it is most people (particularly younger people who tend to commit the more serious crimes that would attract the death penalty) fear dying and that is why most people don’t seek to walk upon live railway lines or purposefully go into other situations that are likely to kill them.

        Yes, it was good to see her being sacked. It should be intolerable for any minister of the Crown to be an agent of a foreign power regardless of that power being the Jewish state or any other one.

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      2. Well, I fear that we shall not agree re. death penalty for ordinary crimes. On deterrence, if a person walks on an electric rail line, he knows that he will almost certainly be killed, but a characteristic of most murderers is that they either do not reflect before committing the crime, or think that they will not be caught or punished.

        As far as Priti Patel is concerned, any future real British government will have to dispose of her and people like her.

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  11. P.S I would call a society with a low crime rate particularly one with a low VIOLENT crime rate as these are the worst crimes a TRUELY civilised society.

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    1. Also, Harriet Harman and Vince Cable were not correct to compare the murder of someone by a murderer and the state putting a murderer to death just because the end ie the death of a human being is the same. One is a criminal act and the other is the result of a criminal sanction being applied by a court after the due process of the law and hopefully a fair trial for the accused. There is a stark difference in morality between the two circumstances.

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    2. and yet you can see that the “Khmer Republic” in the late 1970s had (it is thought…no statistics) a low crime rate in most ways, yet a huge number killed by officials of what passed for a state…acting under authority, if not what we would call lawful authority. I suppose that a distinction could be made in that those officials were of the Executive and not the Judicial element, if such distinctions mean anything in such a crazy “state”.

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  12. I would think Plaid Cymru will contest the seat even though they are a Remainer party and would like the seat, as Remainers, to stay out of either Tory or Brexit Party hands. This is because they are a separatist party so they have a distinct policy aim not shared by the other Remainer parties.

    It will be interesting to see what other parties contest the seat. It looks like only four or five parties will stand which would be a limited choice for the voters as by-elections nowdays tend to have quite a few candidates standing.

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    1. This seat isn’t a strong one for Plaid. Their vote is concentrated in the four seats they already hold, a few seats in the South Wales valleys like the Rhondda (though in that Labour Party stronghold they are still miles away from winning it) and Anglesey which they don’t hold but iis a pretty good prospect for a future gain. Labour is very lucky that nationalism in Wales tends to be still a cultural one and not overtly political as in Scotland otherwise the Labour Party would be a in very dire electoral situation.

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      1. As you say, Plaid has been no more than an also-ran in the Brecon seat (3.1% last time). In the past, the effect was marginal. This time the Plaid 1% to 4% would possibly tip the balance, but only if Plaid decides not to stand. They may feel, as notional “national” Welsh party, that they have to contest every seat.

        I do not know how many voters are English incomers; quite a few, probably, judging by my own trekking around that part of the world (and that was long ago, 1980-1998).

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  13. This seat isn’t a strong one for Plaid. The party’s vote is concentrated in the four seats they already hold and in a couple of South Wales Valleys seats such as the Rhondda though they are still far away from victory in that Labour stronghold. Anglesey is a good prospect for a fifth seat. The Labour Party are fortunate that nationalism in Wales tends to be a cultural one rather than an overtly political one as in Scotland. If Wales followed Scotland the Labour Party would be in pretty dire electoral trouble.

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  14. I have a feeling quite a few of the voters there are indeed English newcomers and a not insubstantial number of them have moved there for reasons of ‘white flight’ in order to get away from the delights of ‘enriched’ (in the immortal words of Lib/Lab/CON party politicians) places like Birmingham etc with their stabbings, acid attacks, Muslim gang rapes etc. Perhaps, this is the reason the seat appears to be trending Tory overtime not that voting for the nowdays loony-left and increasingly madly globalist CON Party Is going to prevent seats like Brecon and Radnor from going the same way as the Tories haven’t done a single thing during their present time in government to control the immigration the EU DOES allow member states to control despite David Cameron’s promises in 2010.

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    1. What a wretchedly USELESS party the ‘modern’ Conservative Party is as their left-liberal globalist policies on mass Third World non-EU immigration and putting-up a CLOWN for party leader and PM demonstrates so well. They fully deserve their probable defeat in Brecon and Radnor. I don’t think it is totally unlikely they may come fourth behind Labour but at the moment I still think the the Liberal Democrat party will win followed (perhaps closely) by the Brexit Party and the Tories third..

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      1. According to Bagehot, the government can only be accepted as such if it can “command the confidence of a majority of the House of Commons” (I hope that I recall the quotation aright). If Boris-Idiot wins this absurd “election” contest of the tiny/unrepresentative Conservative Party (only 1 person in every 500 belongs…), then he has to show that he has the confidence of the Commons. Even with DUP support, the Con majority is now only 3 (I think that that figure assumes a loss at Brecon/Radnor).

        If Labour put forward a no-confidence motion in September or October, and if only 4 Conservative MPs abstain, that motion would carry, and there would have to be a general election (or if only 2 Con MPs vote *against* the Government and with Labour, the same).

        If there is a general election, Brexit Party (I know you mock it, and perhaps rightly so, but leaving that aside) will put up at least 150 candidates in England. Maybe more. That will probably, even on the 150 figure, probably result in 100+ Conservative lost seats (to LibDems, to Labour, to Brexit Party itself). The Con Party would be left with maybe 200 MPs, maybe fewer. Boris-Idiot would almost certainly cease to be an MP.

        I think that the above is entirely likely.

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    2. There is a lot of interest in this otherwise unremarkable Con/LibDem marginal at present. I only wrote my blog post about it 9 days ago, and it has had, at time of writing this reply, about 300 hits. That is well above average on my blog (for the first week or so after publication), and several times the level of interest shown in some of my recent posts.

      Were Plaid Cymru truly “national”(ist), anti-mass immigration, for Welsh and other European culture, sceptical re. the “holocaust” mythus etc, it would have been a far more successful party. True, the SNP is also faux-nationalist, but has somehow managed to brainwash the Scots (of whom I expected better) that anyone born in Scotland or even imported is “Scottish”, and that mass immigration of completely alien people is somehow beneficial. Also, that being in the EU does not restrict Scottish “independence”. Clever SNP, to be able to convince at least half the Scots that such nonsense represents reality…

      There again, while Scotland is basically economically-dependent on both England and EU for what amounts to subsidy, the issue is not as clear-cut in the Scottish public mind as in Wales, where it is quite clear that, without the subsidy from England and EU directly, Wales would be as poor as Albania. Independence (even within the EU) would be an economic disaster for a country already facing big economic challenges.
      [postscript: it is claimed that leaving the EU will leave Wales with a per capita per year subsidy deficit of about £750]

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  15. Yes, both Plaid Cymru and the SNP are essentially fake nationalist parties on account of wishing for ‘independence in the EU’ (of course being an EU member means having to abide by certain policies in common with other EU states thus meaning you DON’T have a full and unrestricted ability to legislate) and their pro mass immigration policies and viewpoints that pretty much anyone on the planet can be Scottish or Welsh.

    Interestingly the SNP was once logical on the Common Market/EEC/EC/EU and campaigned against membership in 1975. Also, Plaid and the SNP were both ‘Right-wing’ genuine nationalist parties when they were set-up and under observation from the authorities in the early 1940’s.

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    1. What interests me re. SNP is that it was established in 1934 and did not have a single MP until 1970. 36 years! Even worse than UKIP in our times! Then it reached the tipping-point only in 2015, over 80 years from foundation! Mad FPTP system: SNP had half a million votes in 2010—- 6 MPs; a million votes nearly in 2017— 35 MPs!

      However, any England-based social national party founded now cannot afford to wait 80 years! By the time, the blacks and browns will be the majority… in a dystopian and horrible multikulti society of chaos.

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      1. Yes, a sad end for a once great country brought about by the virulently anti-British fake CONServative Party and the quasi-Marxist Britain-hating loons of Labour. The Third World lawless craphole of Londonistan expanding ever outwards so much so that its acid throwing Third World murderers, muggers and robbers wont even have to go on an ‘away day’ for crime purposes into still nice at the moment Tory areas like mine in Brentwood and Ongar.

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      2. I foresee that electronic gates, gated roads etc will become ever more the defensive face of both urban and suburban Britain; indeed, of rural Britain as well. It’s already happening, in fact. As in the Dark Ages. The non-criminal population is now unarmed, in fact has been disarmed, yet the police are increasingly unreliable. Security as an industry can only continue to boom. Eventually, people will ignore the law re defensive weapons (as “yoots” already do, in respect of the carrying of knives), but the UK no longer has even a shotgun culture, unlike the USA. The future may be different.

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      3. Yes, the utterly crazy and totally illogical FPTP electoral system whereby you can have a substantial increase in your support (The CON Party’s share went up by about 5.5% in 2017 from 2015 which was one of the biggest increases a sitting government has ever had) YET LOSE SEATS at a general election!.

        The SNP getting many more MPs than their actual real support within the electorate is shows how far apart votes and seats the system can produce.

        The SNP’s over representation is dangerous for the continued survival of the United Kingdom and arguably FPTP’s grotesque distortion of real support helped to bring about the end of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1922 following on from 1918’s general election results with respect to Sinn Fein’s performance then.

        https://www.makevotesmater.org.uk

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      4. Indeed. In 2015, the SNP’s popular vote was around 50%, but resulted in about 95% of (Scottish) Westminster seats. The Conservatives, in much of England, esp. the South, were similar. I think that the strains are now coming to a head. It is getting harder to get a single-party majority in the Commons. Brexit Party, whatever its flaws, will destroy what is left of the Conservative Party, as will the leadership of Boris-Idiot, assuming his triumph (which may well be short-lived).

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  16. Yes, they are. Much of that Tory national vote share increase in 2017 happened in their already existing safe seats with mine being a case in point as here Sir Eric Pickles had a majority of 21,000 in 2015 whilst his successor, Alex Burghart, saw that increase by another 3,000 to 24,000. ALL of those votes were effectively wasted.

    It is better to hold twenty four seats by 1,000 votes than retain one super-safe stronghold by retaining it by a margin of 24,000.

    YES, if we get at the next general election four parties which can poll about 25% each across many constituencies then we will see some very strange results. The system is already a bit of a lottery now but putting four relatively strong parties into a system designed for just two will cause it to implode and show in even more stark ways that at present how absurd it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I favoured Leave and still do, but the way in which Brexit has been mishandled has been criminal. Now there will be political and probably economic chaos whatever happens. Had I a party, that would be a good opportunity. As it is, I am nothing but a spectator and (in a too-minor way) commentator.

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      1. I favour the principle of leaving the EU and restoring our national independence and this is a stance I have always been in favour of since I believe Britain isn’t a good fit for the EU. I can see why the countries on the Continent favour some kind of political union between them, especially the Low Countries since their mostly non-manufacturing economies revolve around Germany’s industrial one hence the Euro for them can work. Also, you have to consider the histories of these countries and the fact many have been dictatorships etc whereas our national history is vastly different. Furthermore, the Schengen scheme for open borders between them makes a bit of sense since driving between the countries is very easy. I visited Belgium and Holland two years ago and having to stop at checkpoints on the borders between them would have been a bit unnatural.

        However, saying this, I am beginning to regret my vote for Leave since it appears to be the case we will be getting an internationalist still wide open borders business as usual kind of Brexit which to me is kind of pointless. A worthwhile Brexit should be a Brexit for the entire British people not one for those unpatriotic spivs in the City of London and basically a chance for a fresh start for Britain.

        If there were to be another referendum, I think I would now abstain.

        Yes, the entire process has been incompletely handled by this joke of a government. I think the Tories wanted to cancel it and have tried to do it through mishandling it and by wearing our patience down but they are afraid of giving up on Brexit entirely because they can’t think of a way of avoiding getting us out that wouldn’t be too obvious.

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      2. I am old enough to remember intra-Europe guarded borders (even in Western Europe). In, I think, 1963, my family flew from Heathrow to Ostend (a route not now available) on holiday. Seems an age ago now. Cliff Richard and the Shadows were the main act at the Kursaal, and the Belgian royals still had their summer palace (a kind of giant house, really) not far from our hotel (the palace is now itself a —4 or 5-star— hotel); the royals could be seen at the little royal stand at the Hippodrome (Ostend racecourse) which was not very far away.

        One day, we decided to visit Dunkerque, probably because my grandfather had been rescued from the beach there in 1940 when he was in the British Army. The tram from Ostend terminated not far from the border, at De Panne: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Panne , and we walked from there to the guarded but deserted frontier. Had to get a lift from a gendarme to Dunkerque.

        Likewise, a family holiday by car to Spain in 1970 involved traversing hard borders in France, Spain and, on the return journey, Andorra, as well as UK. A nuisance. Of course, no-one then even dreamed that millions of blacks and browns would invade Europe from Africa and Asia.

        I would favour the EU as an economic and/or cultural loose arrangement, as it was until the 1990s, but it has become a monster, trying to lay down rules of law and life, importing millions of blacks, browns, Chinese etc, trying to enforce “holocaust” “denial” laws etc.

        The only answer now is to destroy the EU. It will be painful, though.

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  17. The EU needs to be pared back and, as you say, stop interfering in seemingly every nook and cranny of national life. The Single Market with its ridiculous requirement for the free movement of Labour should be scrapped.

    As for the Customs Union, perhaps that part of the EU does make a bit of sense.An EU army and defence union may do so as well since at least if you link the armed forces of the various states there can be no possibility of another European civil war erupting like WW1 or WW2 and the EU is supposed to be above all a peace project. If I had been born in the 1870’s and there had been a proposal to set-up something like the EU in the 1890’s I think I would have been a supporter of the EU then because it would have made the horrific slaughter of WW1 less likely and to be frank reducing the possibility of war is one of the only reasons you should ever contemplate losing national sovereignty over. It is a shame the EU wasn’t around then or in my grandmother’s day as then she may not have had to live through terrible experiences like the Blitz and war mongers like Hitler and Churchill would have remained bad nightmares instead of national leaders causing bloodshed and havoc. The EU could have helped Europe and and helped to preserve the British, French and Portuguese Empires. It could have aided the preservation of Europe’s power in the world against America etc. Sadly, all these possibilities the EU could have done for us have come too late for Europe.

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  18. I think it is sadly telling that the only real British contribution to the EU was the Single Market and to me that is the aspect of EU membership that has done the most economic damage to Britain ie NOT the customs union which Tories have a complete fetish over leaving.

    Did Mrs Thatcher whose inane idea this was really believe that, over time, there wouldn’t also be a requirement for complete free movement of Labour to go along with it and that a Single Market could be totally divorced from some political rules in order to make it work?

    If she did she was either very naive or just plain stupid. Still, Maggie, at least in economic terms, was a radical market liberal/libertarian rather than a real Tory so it is no wonder she had these pro free market fundamentalist and crazy ideas!

    Listening to EU sceptic Tories drone on and on about the evils of the customs union drives me up the wall. Yes, making free trade deals with the likes of Vietnam is really going to help Britain, isn’t it, what with the increased price competition! Britain CAN’T compete with countries like that on cost grounds alone! We need to, instead, rebuild some high tech manufacturing so we can compete with these sorts of counties on quality grounds.

    I wish these free market fundamentalists would join the Liberal Democrat Party as the proper political home for a fetish for international free trade is with the Liberal Democrat Party rather than the Tories as in the past half way decent Tory PMs like Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain have endorsed selective protectionism for Britain.

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    1. Unless there is (as there must be anyway in order to prevent utter calamity for the world, environment, people, wildlife) a truly radical population reduction globally, the only way forward economically for the UK is, as you say, to have ultra-high value products and services as the core of the economy, rather than McJobs. Unfortunately, the trend is the other way: dumbing down of education, of the mass media etc, and importation of the racially and culturally backward (who, if employable at all, can only do unskilled or semi-skilled work such as fruit picking, local taxi driving, warehouse work etc).

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      1. Indeed. There is at least one Tory backbencher who seems to get your economic argument https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hayes_(British_politician)

        So, there ARE a few true Tories in the party still then! He has a nice, plum, Tory stronghold seat too which is surprising since it seems that the more of a real Tory you are the more likely it is you will never be selected for that kind of constituency and will have to be content to make do with either a Labour heartland seat you will never win or a Labour/Tory marginal you might win but probably lose in the future.

        There was a good pro-hanging/anti-immigration Tory MP near me called Timothy Janman who won the then normally Labour seat of Thurrock in Essex in 1987 with a 600 odd votes majority but he sadly lost it in 1992. Candidates like that can only dream of being selected for safe Tory seats like Brentwood and Ongar. We only get PC leftie types like Sir Eric Pickles here despite the seat’s safety.

        It is a shame Sir John Hayes isn’t a bit younger and had more experience as he could have run for Tory leader then instead of the clown and the personable but sadly too liberal Jeremy Hunt.

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      2. You are a lot more enthusiastic about hanging people than I am! I daresay, though, that eventually a situation of civil disorder will develop here and across Europe. In that situation, harsh methods may ultimately be the only types of resort that work.

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  19. I voted to leave principally because of the free movement of Labour issue. I don’t have a problem with a few Poles etc coming to live here but when it has been in the proportions that it has been then then that is unreasonable. Is Poland now half-empty because it seems as if most of them are now in Britain. We don’t seem to get the more quality Europeans over here like Germans, Austrians, Dutch, Swedes, Italians etc or the better Eastern Europeans like Hungarians. Poles seem to be pretty arrogant on the whole and make little effort to learn English etc. I am beginning to understand why Hitler invaded Poland.

    Poland and these other Eastern European states should not have been allowed to join the EU until they had become richer as their flooding of us could have been foreseen but then the EU DID allow us to put a 7 year restriction on their movement here but, of course, PC fanatic and general extreme anti-Brit Tony Blair refused to put that into effect as others like Germany did so the EU were not too impressed when Cameron came to them with his demands. I can understand the EU’s frustration with Cameron in that regard.

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    1. I visited Poland several times in the late 1980s. In fact, many Poles are cultured, educated etc. However, the reaction from decades of occupation and then quasi-occupation by Russians (particularly post-1945, though of course in the 19thC too) resulted in a worship of, often, the more negative aspects of Western Europe and USA, such as rock “music” and its derivatives.

      There is an acquisitiveness in the Poles not so apparent in most Russians. As Stalin said, “socialism in Poland is like trying to saddle a cow”. Even Stalin never tried to collectivize Polish agriculture, for example.

      There are plenty of Italians in the UK, but they have mostly been assimilated over the past century. The most famous, I suppose, were/are the Forte family, who even, btw, have hotels in Russia now.

      https://www.roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/hotel-astoria/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=local&utm_campaign=hotel_astoria

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  20. If I were in charge of British immigration policy, I would allow a small number of highly-skilled Europeans to come here. For instance, teachers of French, German, Spanish, Italian. I learnt both French and German at school and my French teacher was a Frenchwoman. I think learning a foreign language from a native speaker adds to the experience and is better in some ways.

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    1. One can learn a foreign language using modern technology etc, without going to the country or even working with native speakers. I once used a language laboratory near Elephant and Castle in South London, which facility was pretty good (using headphones etc) and that was in the early 1980s, but there is no doubt that native-speaking teachers are better or complementary. Living in a country is better yet, a kind of immersion. It prevents one learning things which are logically-correct, but not correct in normal praxis. Well-known example: “What watch?” from the film, Casablanca, but also more or less, though not exactly, the literal way to ask the time in Russian (“kotori chas?”/ который час). Likewise, in the 1980s I once was in a lift with some people I noticed were Russian (though in Dublin), and politely, as I thought, asked them “what floor?”, my finger on the buttons, but I said it literally, rather than the Russian correct way, which translates as “on what floor?” The person I asked replied drily (and in perfect English), “you have said it correctly, but we say it [this way]”!

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  21. Sir Oswald Mosley (one of my political heroes along with the best Tory PM we never had Enoch Powell) had a quite good vision of European unity. He wouldn’t have approved of today’s overbearing EU and would have been in favour of a less intrusive and looser arrangement for Europe and in particular he would have against large scale intra-European migration across Europe’s borders such as Britain has experienced with respect to Polish migration here as it comes with a risk of cultural dislocation but he wouldn’t have been against some European migration to each other’s countries.

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    1. I agree. In fact, though I should prefer not to see it, a small amount of even non-European migration into Europe/UK (I mean dozens rather than hundreds, thousands or millions) would be de minimis and able to be disregarded. In an ideal world.

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      1. Yes, a few non whites from the more civilised and intelligent non white nations (I’m thinking principally of Japan here) would be ok and at least with Jap migration we might get a few export industries up and running within a few years to help with our horrific balance of trade deficit. So, who do our internationalist ‘leaders’ import? Not intelligent, normally unfailingly polite and law-abiding Japs (who, in my experience at least, make for our country’s best tourists) but very backward and Muslim Somalians etc.

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  22. Another political hero of mine from what was effectively the Tories in Scotland in that era:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archibald_Maule_Ramsey

    Whatever happened Tories (and Eton College)? To go from that to this globalist open borders supporting (he is on record as saying illegal migrants should be allowed to stay) numbskull:

    As his campaign slogan says,Back Boris, Tories!

    You know it makes sense at this particularly critical time for our country- NOT!

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    1. As my assessment of Boris-Idiot added by way of afterthought, words to the effect that many say that “Boris Johnson has the ability to be Prime Minister, but does he have the character?”, to which my response is “Where exactly has Boris Johnson displayed such ability? Nowhere”

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      1. Exactly. He wasn’t really a good Mayor of London what with his idea of the Garden Bridge or his backing of a cross river transport scheme that Transport for London report has found is regularly used by JUST SIX PEOPLE and has to be opened at night to serve alcohol to make some money. What about his fantastic plan for a new bridge over the Channel to compliment the existing tunnel or a new bridge to connect Scotland to Northern Ireland?

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      2. Boris Johnson’s “grands projets” are not properly thought out. They are akin to the naive ideas I myself had at the age of 12 or 14. In my case, I went even beyond Boris-Idiot, and wanted both to retake Ireland and to drain the Irish Sea, thus outdoing the Dutch in creation of new habitable land. I had the excuse of inexperienced youth. Boris has no such excuse.

        Boris-Idiot comes up with bold but silly ideas mainly to get attention from the msm.

        Almost anything *is* possible, of course, but is it desirable? Also, does the cost of “it” (whatever “it” is) mean that other, more useful and practical projects, lie dormant?

        Stand by for possibly the worst Prime MInister since…Theresa May (and possibly ever).

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  23. Though nominations haven’t closed yet it looks as if this by election will have only five candidates standing and perhaps as few as four which would be a remarkably small number for by-elections nowdays. Surely, the Monster Raving Loonies will put in an appearance? They should stand because by the end of this month the Tories will be giving them stiff competition should the man-child/Coco become that party’s leader and the electorate in any future by-election might easily become confused as to which party was the genuine loonies!😂😂😂😆😆😆

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    1. Ha. Monster Raving Loonies are a very British phenomenon, with a sort-of serious satirical edge too. There are two possibilities with Boris-Idiot. Either he gets removed pretty quickly, or he takes the line of least resistance every time, prioritizes his own survival in the job, accomplishes nothing, and so coasts along for a year or two, as the country slides faster downhill. There is a third possibility: that Boris-Idiot cannot get enough support even for the Queen to appoint him. That of course would mean a general election in, probably, October. A British October Revolution?!

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      1. Yes, there is a story in the Guardian at the moment that says Boris the Buffoon might never get to be PM as the Queen won’t appoint him if she thinks he doesn’t have sufficient backing from his own backbenchers and thus able to command the confidence of the House of Commons.

        I predict that even if he does become PM he will prioritise his own survival in the job as you say (let’s face it, his record of keeping his promises is pretty dire and he has had massive ambitions to be PM since his days at Eton College). The last time we had an Autumn general election in October 1974 resulted in a Labour government with a tiny majority of just THREE seats

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      2. I remember that second 1974 election. It was the first and last in which I voted. My candidate got 594 votes (just over 1%)!

        It makes me laugh how msm scribblers and talking heads are solemnly examining the “promises”, “pledges” and “policies” of Boris-Idiot and Hunt, when Boris especially just says whatever helps him politically at that moment. Tomorrow is another day…

        As for Hunt, the more I see of him, the less impressive he appears, though he would have to go far indeed to match the sheer unfitness (for any job or position) of Boris-Idiot.

        In the vernacular, the UK is screwed, and the Conservative Party is screwed, and soon will be more screwed once it “elects” Boris-Idiot as its leader.

        Once the Brecon by-election is held (1 August), the working majority of the Government goes down to 3 or even 2 (and that is assuming that the DUP support continues). So it would only take 3 or 4 Conservative MPs to abstain on a no-confidence vote, or for 2 to vote against the Government, to cause the Government to fall.

        Alternatively, if only 3 Con MPs die, resign or otherwise cease to be MPs, the Government will have no majority. I cannot see a Boris government lasting long. The numbers are against it.

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  24. If I were a Tory Party member and thus had a vote in this leadership contest, I would give it to Jeremy Hunt to see if he can negotiate a better deal. That has to be worth a try at least and it is a fact Jeremy is less likely than Boris is to stumble into a general election situation which at this moment in time would be a perilous one for them.

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    1. Boris-Idiot says things that make even me (who despises him) laugh. eg Muslim women wearing traditional dress as “letter boxes” (Boris-Idiot even got that wrong, obviously having meant “pillar-boxes”). He is a public entertainer, no more.

      Ideologically, Boris is a zero. His deeper political understanding is that of an Eton schoolboy. Worthless. Useless. Politically, though, he has somehow been able to fool quite a lot of perhaps rather silly Conservative and other people, who see only the fake persona of Eton, Oxford, am-dram “Winston Churchill meets PG Wodehouse” etc. It is not the persona of a politician (except in the way of such as Horatio Bottomley or Robert “Maxwell”, or perhaps of some North American city mayors— wisecracking, corrupt, incompetent, freeloading). It is the persona of a comedian or general-purpose “celebrity”.

      I cannot see how, even forgetting about the Brexit slow-motion train crash, the Government will be able to avoid a general election either in the Autumn or quite early next year. On the Commons numbers, this Government is crippled. How can it pass any but the least-contentious legislation?

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      1. Yes, Boris doesn’t have a very deep understanding of politics but he is clever enough to reprise this persona of your typical bumbling, upper-class fool of the popular imagination which, as you say, has got him a long way in politics so far and may take him still further.

        As far as actual real policies go, there isn’t much in the way of imagination or carefully considered thinking. Take his calls for further tax cuts for the rich as an example ie why doesn’t he propose that the wealthy get a tax cut through having a reduction in capital gains tax on share dividends in British-owned companies and particularly those firms which are in new export-related fields rather than a simplistic cut in income tax for them? No doubt at the moment the EU would have something thing to say about this but if we do actually leave that could be a way of giving the rich a tax cut that could help the country as a whole.

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      2. I see no reason to give the wealthy (wealthiest 5-10%) any tax cuts at all. I would favour looking at eliminating income tax altogether and moving to indirect tax, but I admit that I am not knowledgeable enough to be able to say whether this is feasible or how. I would like to cap both income and capital per head anyway, in principle, but there are problems with that.

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  25. I wouldn’t bet against more Conservative MPs defecting though I would against then expiring. It does seem to be the case that Tory MPs are healthier on the whole than Labour ones or that they retire earlier since it is now a rare circumstance in which we get a by-election in a Tory-held seat. In the 1980’s and 1990’s there were quite a few contests in those type of constituencies.

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  26. Taxes should, ideally, be kept as low as possible consistent with their providing sufficient funds for decent public services. They shouldn’t be used as a form of punishment for the wealthy as Labour governments have done in the past. I agree though that the tax burden should be lowered upon ordinary people as not only is this right in a moral sense but also because, collectively, ordinary people have more spending power within the economy than the richer elements of the population. My idea of cutting capital gains tax and directing it in certain ways could be offset a bit in revenue terms by increasing income tax on the rich. I just think this way of taxing the wealthy would be a more productive way of taxing from them than just lowering their income tax.

    One of the problems with indirect taxes like VAT is that they can fall disproportionately upon the poor.

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  27. As a very good example of Labour’s stupidity on the subject of tax and the rich, in the 1970’s they taxed them at ridiculous levels of 80% and even more unproductively and absurdly the maximum rate was 98% on investment income. Those rates to anyone who isn’t dogmatically anti-rich are basically a form of communism. Mrs Thatcher was correct to reduce the top rate to 60%. I think the absolute maximum rate should be about 50% as anymore than that starts to reduce revenue as the rich flee to places like Switzerland, Monaco, the Cayman Islands etc. One problem governments have to grapple with in respect of taxing the wealthy is that many are highly mobile and can just
    up sticks and take their wealth elsewhere.

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    1. I agree that the top rates in the mid/late 1960s (on “unearned income”) were absurdly high. Having said that, I do not think that anyone should earn more than, say, 20 times the lowest pay in the same organization, and possibly no more than 20x a designated net minimum salary or income (let us say £15,000, so no more than about £300,000 or so net of income tax). The only exceptions I would make would be for the few genuine wealth creators or inventors, such as Dyson.

      I believe that capital should be capped too, though that is not as straightforward as it seems (eg a Scottish estate worth £5M, as against liquid funds of the same amount).

      If the wealthy wish to emigrate, then go, but don’t expect to be able to visit the UK until you are held upside down so that the gold falls from your pockets.

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      1. Many countries tax the rich on the basis of how much capital they own rather than their income ie wealth taxes. France used to do this and called it a social solidarity tax although I think President Sarkozy had it abolished.

        I say use a greater variety of taxes on the rich whilst not increasing the total tax burden on them. Use taxes to incentivise good pro-British behaviour from them ie lower capital gains tax on providing investment capital for British companies particularly those in new business sectors which can earn our country increased export earnings ie new bio-tech ventures. Taxing the rich using income tax mainly is a bit blunt and isn’t necessarily the most productive and nationally useful way to do it.

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      2. One of the problems that bedevil these issues is how to define “rich”. As we know, in the early Soviet period the Party, having expelled, killed or imprisoned the royal family, the aristocracy and the non-Jew merchant class, turned on the better-off parts of the peasantry, called them “kulaki” (i.e. grasping fists) and repressed them too. A “kulak” could be someone with as little as a few cattle, or even one cow in some cases. As a result, when combined with expropriation and collectivization, the agricultural sector all but collapsed, and worst of all in the richest farming areas such as the “chernozem” regions of South Russia and Ukraine.

        Who, today, is “rich”? I suppose that most of us would consider a billionaire rich, or the Queen (though you find silly people who do not even consider the Queen to be wealthy!), but what about the devalued designation, “millionaire”? The ethos of modern Britain is the devaluation of titles and standards, and this is one such. I should imagine that anyone who owns a house in any decent part of London is a “millionaire” now.

        I was looking at a castle for sale in Wales (mere idle curiosity), which was once owned by the notorious Docker couple in the 1950s. Sir Bernard Docker bought it in 1952 for £12,500 (inc. grounds of c.30 acres). Today it is on sale for just under £3 million! 240 times the amount of 1952. Pay generally has certainly not kept pace. In 1950, the average UK pay was little more than £100 per year:
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8374130/Facts-about-Britain-at-work-in-the-Fifties.html

        If pay had inflated at the same rate as real property outside London, the (nationwide) average pay today might be about £24,000, not far from where it is (said to be, though see link below), but in London property has inflated far more. Houses that were valued in the few thousands in the 1950s are worth millions today in quite many areas. The inflation of property values in the UK compared with almost everything else has been incredible.
        http://thedesignlab.co.uk/costofliving2015/ukupdate.php?uid=56

        It is always doubtful to compare pay and prices in years far distant.

        Ultimately, as someone once said, to be in government is to choose. The line has to be drawn somewhere. The wealthier part of the population, say the top 10%, has benefited hugely over the past 20 years, under Blair, Brown, Cameron-Levita, May. There is now discontent and resistance from the 90%. Radical Labour, radical “other parties” have gained from that. That process is not at an end by any means.

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  28. In short, I think we could and we should be a bit more imaginative in the way we raise revenue in the form of taxes from them.

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  29. We should say to the rich we will lower capital gains tax for you if you use your wealth to invest in British-owned companies and particularly those in new sectors that provide potential for increased export earnings for the country but we will raise them if you invest in foreign companies.

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  30. According to the wikipedia article on the by-election, there is likely to be just five candidates standing and one of them will be an Official Monster Raving Loony so when Boris moves into No. 10 at the end of this month the Tories will be able to provide the OMRLP with some potent opposition for the loony vote!

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      1. There sure will be. Howling Laud Hope of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party stood against Boris in 2015 and gained the support of a grand total of 72 (0.2%) electors. Perhaps if an OFFICIAL loony stood against PM Boris Johnson and had a similar vote that might, in a very tight contest since Uxbridge and South Ruislip is now a Tory/Labour marginal, be all the difference between Tory (and UNOFFICIAL loony) Boris winning or losing to the Labour candidate!

        Who knows? We may have the first Tory (UNOFFICIAL)Monster Raving Loony Party/OFFICIAL Monster Raving Loony Party split vote causing a Labour Party gain!

        Plenty of mirth all round then, I think!😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

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  31. With respect to your latest update, I can’t see the Brexit Party getting 40% as the Tory vote is unlikely to collapse as much as the Brexit Party would need it to for enough Tory voters to switch over to them. We need to remember that Farage’s latest wheeze only gets votes in any substantial way from the Tory direction. This by-election could prove to be crucial for the present government’s survival beyond more than just a few more months hence some Tory voters will take note of that and vote Conservative. I see the Brexit Party being on an absolute maximum of 35% and probably nearer to 30%. Also, in Peterborough, despite the ethnic Muslim Labour vote there, they only polled 28.9% and thus didn’t match UKIP’s better vote share in the Heywood and Middleton By-election of 2014. This seat despite being whiter than the Peterborough constituency and thus more favourable to the Brexit Party in that way is less favourable in other aspects.

    As their national opinion poll ratings have improved since 2017, the Liberal Democrat Party should be able to reflect that in this seat and improve on their share of 29% in 2017. I’m expecting the Liberal Democrats to win and to get into at least the lower 30’s percentage wise and perhaps even touch about 40% as you say.

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    1. I expect that you are right.The LibDems are still set to be in pole position once real campaigning for Brecon and Radnorshire gets under way. Having said that, the Conservatives got 49% (just under) in 2017, so *if* they lost 2/3 of that, as either a pro-Brexit vote or a protest-against-MP-expenses vote, to Brexit Party, that would give Brexit Party a notional 32%. If there are Labour voters who want to damage the Conservative Party by voting tactically, then that *might* push the Brexit Party vote higher, to 35% or even 40%. I admit that it is all very speculative.

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  32. I think Labour voters if they choose to vote tactically because their own party is unlikely to win will vote for the Liberal Democrat Party. Some will be reluctant to do that because they are angry the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition with the Tories but for others this anger is fading and their priority will be to bring the Tory government one step nearer to falling in a confidence vote. The Brexit Party is viewed as too Tory for a lot of Labour voters to stomach so the Liberal Democrats are a better tactical choice especially when you consider the fact the Liberal Democrats are in a good position to win being in second place and this seat having quite strong tendencies to elect Lib Dem MPs. Many Labour supporters are Remainers and I wouldn’t be surprised if that applies here to quite a great extent.

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  33. At the moment, the electoral calculus website is predicting a Lib Dem win in this seat by six percentage points over the Brexit Party on a 33.1% vote share at the next general election using the latest national opinion polls. I see little reason as to why that prediction would be all that inaccurate apart from in this by-election the Lib Dem’s may get a further boost to their vote share because Plaid Cymru are not standing.

    Like

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