Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Hung Parliament in London

Jeremy Corbyn arrives at the vote count in his Islington North constituency.

The Guardian this morning reports:

Jeremy Corbyn has defied the pundits and the pollsters to restore the Labour party as a serious electoral force and deliver a devastating blow to Theresa May’s political authority. But how?

This remarkable election saw a surge in both Conservative and Labour votes as the first-past-the-post system amplified the return of the two-party system after an absence of nearly 20 years.

 More than anything else it was a night in which Britain’s younger generation flexed their political muscles to real effect for the first time.

Despite their calamitous campaign, the Conservatives increased their share of the vote to 42% – up five points since 2015 – which in any other election in the past three decades would have been enough to build a commanding majority.

But Labour outperformed even that achievement as a unique alliance of enthused younger voters and previous non-voters combined with older austerity-hit, anti-establishment Ukippers to deliver a 10-point rise in Labour’s vote compared with two years ago, to 40%. This is just below the 41% secured by Tony Blair in his 2001 landslide victory.
Thus in order to stay in power the Conservative Tory party must find partners to form a clear majority.  It appears they will turn to a small conservative party from Northern Ireland that includes climate change deniers, is anti-abortion, anti-gay rights and more.  Again from the Guardian:

The Democratic Unionist leader and most recent first minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, says she wants to “bring stability to our nation” by backing Theresa May and the Conservatives to continue in power.

Foster said in Belfast on Friday afternoon that she was entering discussions with May over the details of any arrangement that would prop up a minority government.

Foster said the election in Northern Ireland, which saw 10 DUP MPs, including two new ones, elected to the Commons, was a “great result” for the union.

She confirmed that May had been in contact with her on Friday morning about gaining DUP support for a Tory administration.

Corbyn's Labour Party was down 20% in the polls when the election was called and everyone agreed that his campaign lit a fire that drew the final Labour vote within 2% of the Tory total.  Thus the Tories will have at most a slim and unsteady majority in Parliament which means that Corbyn's side of the aisle will be able to slow down many of the planned austerity measures by the conservatives.

With the surging youth vote it is quite conceivable that in the next election Labour could take power.

Jeremy Corbyn has long been a leader in the UK's peace movement.


Anonymous Brother Jonah said...

I was stricken with the horrible yet delicious vision of all of Parliament being hanged. That only lasts for a second or so. One thing that a two-party congress or parliament has is that a coalition can mean a direct soft coup as to the Executive Branch. Likud isn't even the biggest party in Israel but they've consistently been kept in power through a coalition of other parties.

The possibilities for peace are enough to make me giddy, but I realize there's a lot to do and the same shifting sands can shift the other direction. The constant is that we have a promise but not a guarantee that Peace or Hell can be achieved, or prevented. We just have to keep going.

6/12/17, 9:51 AM  

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