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This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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2017 U.K. Election Results – Detailed

The booklet shown below contains detailed information on the results of the 2017 United Kingdom elections.

The Conservative Party lost a net 13 seats to finish with 317 seats in the House of Commons. The Labour Party had a net gain of 30 seats to finish with 262. The Scottish National Party won 35 seats, a lost of 21. The Liberal Democrats won 12, an increase of 4.

Having lost its majority, Prime Minister Theresa May’s government now survives with the support of the Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which won 10 seats, an increase of 2. [Read more…]


Brexit: Article 50 Of The Lisbon Treaty

This is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the section that governs departures from the European Union.

Following the plebiscite in the UK in which the electorate voted 51.9% to 48.1% to Leave the European Union, this is the section that will be triggered when the UK government lodges its notice of departure.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Article 50

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements. [Read more…]


Lateline At Its Best

Tonight’s Lateline program: Tony Jones interviews John Cleese and Eric Idle.



UK Labour Election Report Released

This is the text of the report into the UK Labour Party’s 2015 election defeat.

The report, titled Learning the Lessons From Defeat, was compiled by Margaret Beckett, a former minister in the Blair and Brown governments.

Beckett held the post of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs between 2006 and 2007. She was a member of the House of Commons from 1974 until 1979, and has been the Labour member for Derby South since 1983.

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Labour Party Manifesto – 2015 UK Election

This is the Labour Party manifesto for the 2015 UK General Election.

The election was held on May 7. The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, defeated the Labour Party, led by Ed Miliband.

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Conservative Party Manifesto – 2015 UK Election

This is the Conservative Party Manifesto issued for the 2015 United Kingdom General Election.

The election took place on May 7, 2015.

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Scotland Votes NO In Referendum On Independence

Scotland has voted against independence from Great Britain in a referendum that saw the YES campaign garner just 44.7% of the vote.

The NO vote swept the country with 55.3%. Of the 32 Council areas in Scotland, only 4 voted YES: Dundee (57.3%), and the neighbouring areas of Glasgow (53.5%), North Lanarkshire (51.1%) and West Dunbartonshire (54%).

Cameron

Whilst Glasgow supported the referendum, Edinburgh cast a decisive 61.1% against independence. In Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, the NO vote reached 58.6% and 60.4%. The highest NO vote was in the northernmost Orkney Islands archipelago where 67.2% of 17,806 voters rejected the proposal. [Read more…]


Better Together: In Powerful Speech, Gordon Brown Argues For A No Vote On Scottish Independence

Former UK Labor Prime Minister Gordon Brown has delivered a powerful speech arguing for a No vote in tomorrow’s vote on Scottish independence.

Brown

In what will certainly be regarded as the best speech of his life, delivered with a passion and conviction rarely seen when he was prime minister, Brown’s argument combined emotional appeal with practical politics. [Read more…]


Tony Blair Says Iraq Is In Mortal Danger And The Middle East Is Under Threat

The former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, says that the Iraqi government has to be supported in beating back the insugency that has seen the terrorist group ISIS seize control of major cities.

BlairIn an essay released by his office, Blair says “it is a bizarre reading of the cauldron that is the Middle East today, to claim that but for the removal of Saddam, we would not have a crisis”.

Blair says: “… if we want the right policy for the future, we have to learn properly the lessons not just of Iraq in 2003 but of the Arab uprisings from 2011 onwards.”

The man who joined with former US President George W. Bush in a “coalition of the willing” to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein in 2003 says the Middle East is “going through a huge, agonising and protracted transition”.

He says: “We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this. We haven’t. We can argue as to whether our policies at points have helped or not; and whether action or inaction is the best policy and there is a lot to be said on both sides. But the fundamental cause of the crisis lies within the region not outside it.”

Text of an essay released by the Office of Tony Blair.

Iraq, Syria and the Middle East – An essay by Tony Blair

The civil war in Syria with its attendant disintegration is having its predictable and malign effect. Iraq is now in mortal danger. The whole of the Middle East is under threat.

We will have to re-think our strategy towards Syria; support the Iraqi Government in beating back the insurgency; whilst making it clear that Iraq’s politics will have to change for any resolution of the current crisis to be sustained. Then we need a comprehensive plan for the Middle East that correctly learns the lessons of the past decade. In doing so, we should listen to and work closely with our allies across the region, whose understanding of these issues is crucial and who are prepared to work with us in fighting the root causes of this extremism which goes far beyond the crisis in Iraq or Syria. [Read more…]


Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting For Bill Shorten To Make A Speech Like This

The British Labour Party is holding a Special Conference to consider historic reform to the party’s structure.

MilibandIn this speech, the party’s leader, Ed Miliband, argues the case for reform of British Labour’s links with the trade unions. The Special Conference is considering a plan to end the automatic affiliation of trade union members and the introduction of “one member, one vote” in leadership elections.

Miliband’s proposal would see an end to the 3-part electoral college system in which the votes of MPs, trade unions and rank-and-file members are weighted equally to elect the party leader. Union members would be able to opt-in to join the party.

The election method adopted by the Australian Labor Party in 2013 involved an electoral college in which MPs and party members had a 50-50 say. It is likely that there will be an attempt by unions to add a union component to this structure at the next National Conference.

The Miliband proposal is a bold attempt to broaden the base of the party with an influx of new members.

Some quotes from Miliband:

  • How do we persuade the people who have left the stadium to think about coming back?
  • How do we persuade other people that Labour Party members are normal?
  • We’ll be voting for the biggest transfer of power in the history of our party to our members and supporters.
  • The depth, the diversity, the reach of a movement is the true measure of its strength and its ability to make change.

Text of UK Labour leader Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour Party’s Special Conference.

Thank you.

I want to thank all of you – local parties, trade unions, socialist societies – for being part of our discussions on party reform.

Some people worried this debate would simply cause deep division and discord. But we have shown our discipline.

And month by month we have grown more united, stronger, more ready to fight and win the general election.

Today I ask you to vote for the report of Ray Collins, overwhelmingly endorsed by Labour’s National Executive Committee.

Today I ask you to support the biggest changes to our party since 1918.

Today I ask you to seize the chance to change our party so that together we can change the country.

Friends, Britain needs us to do this. Because somebody has to mend our broken politics. [Read more…]