Friday, May 08, 2015
Tory Tsunami; Cameron Sweeps UK Elections
British PM David Cameron and the Conservative Party rolled to a decisive victory in yesterday's UK elections.
Reminiscent of the U.S. 2014 midterms, the polls had it completely wrong while the bookies once again had it right.
According to the polls, this was supposed to be one of the closest UK elections in years. Defying those predictions, odds that had Cameron and the Tories as a ten to one favorite were easily available.
One might almost think the British media running the polls, almost all of them filled with Leftist Labour voters had a vested interest in presenting Labour as a sure thing.
The conservatives won 331 seats, 5 more than they needed for the 326 seats rquired for a majority in the House of Commons. Labour was crushed, getting only 232 seats, while the Liberal Democrats won only 8 seats and UKip ended up with just one.
To give you an idea of how bad this was, all three opposition party leaders,Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farange resigned once the results became known.
A note of caution for American readers and others unfamiliar with British politics. The Conservatives could be more accurately described centrists, with most of them leaning slightly left except when it comes to fiscal matters. The party most Americans would call real conservatives, The United Kingdom Independent Part (UKip) was soundly crushed, getting far less votes than expected. Part of the reason for that is that Cameron adopted one of their chief issues, Britain's membership in the EU which has become increasingly unpopular. Cameron has promised a nationwide referendum on whether to stay in the EU or leave.
The other big winner last night was Alex Salmond and the Scottish National Party(SNP). They may have lost last September's referendum, but they swept all but four parliamentary seats, which particularly hurt Labour. The SNP is now the third largest party in Britain with 56 seats, and they dominate Scotland.
Salmond, who won a seat in the new parliament had this to say: "There's going to be a lion roaring tonight, a Scottish lion, and it's going to roar with a voice that no government of whatever political complexion is going to be able to ignore."
Pish, Jimmy. Sheer pish.And here's why, which leads us to another huge issue in Britain:
Brit PM David Cameron had promised the Scots a number of goodies if they voted to stay in the UK, and now will come the task of delivering. It's called 'devolution of powers' in the local lingo, and what it means is more autonomy for Scotland and the right to set its own tax levels, perhaps. The details were deliberately left kind of foggy.
The Brits plan to draw up a white paper - a parliamentary agenda of sorts - by the end of November, setting out the proposed new powers Scotland's parliament will gain. And a new "Scotland Act" law would then be published if all goes according to plan by January 25, 2015 for the House of Commons to vote on.
However, since there's a new a UK general election due in May 2015, the legislation would not be passed until the new parliament takes over. Cameron is something of a weasel and as a Tory isn't going to get too many votes in Scotland anyway, so what Scotland finally gets at the end might very well be a lot less than they've been led to believe.
Another interesting paradox..since this is a 'devolved system' Scottish MPs in Britain's lower house, the House of Commons get a vote on spending and other budget matters in England while, since Scotland already has semi autonomy and its own independent parliament, English MPs have no voice in how these things are run in Scotland because the Scottish Parliament handles them.
In his victory speech, Cameron underlined his stance on devolution..note what I emphasized:
British Prime Minister David Cameron said he would press ahead with a planned referendum on the country's membership of the European Union and he promised Scotland the most devolution "anywhere in the world" after his resounding election victory.
"Yes, we will deliver that in-out referendum on our future in Europe," Cameron said as he addressed the media after visiting Queen Elizabeth to start the process of forming a new government.
Cameron said he would move ahead as fast as possible with a plan to give more powers to Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly for the pro-independence Scottish National Party.
"In Scotland, our plans are to create the strongest devolved government anywhere in the world with important powers over taxation, and no constitutional settlement will be complete if it did not offer also fairness to England," he said.
One of the reason Scotland's independence referendum lost decisively was because of the fear of losing the generous social welfare benefits Scotland gets under the present system, since the Scottish MPs in the UK parliament can leverage their votes for all sorts of gimmees the entire country pays for, while Scotland's own parliament retains the power to control much of Scotland's affairs.
Scotland in general is far more to the Left than England, which is why Labour getting wiped out there was so devastating to them. Scotland used to be known for its entrepreneurial spirit and business expertise, but these days a lot of Scots like cradle to grave socialism and a huge welfare state, especially if the cost is largely shared by others.
What Cameron is saying here it that he plans to give Scotland a lot more autonomy, with all that implies. And since the Tories get few votes in Scotland and there's a hard core of Conservative politicians who want this essentially unfair arrangement ended, he'll pay no political price at all for doing so.Passing legislation to limit the SNP's voice in affairs that don't directly concern Scotland would give Cameron and the Tories even more of a majority than they already have.
So what does all this mean?
First of all, it's a political win for Barack Obama. Contrary to his horse manure about not wanting to interfere in democratic elections, this president has stuck his nose into four or five elections besides Israel's, providing money, expertise and troops on the ground to his favored candidates. While he lost in Israel, he won in the UK, endorsing Cameron openly as his 'close partner' and providing experienced soldiers including his campaign manager Jim Messina to assist the Tories. What the president will get for that is anyone's guess, but I would expect that it means Cameron's support for Obama's fatuous Iran deal among other things. The rumor also is that Miliband didn't appeal to President Obama personally in some way.
Another interesting factor was the Jewish vote, especially since former Labour leader Ed Miliband is Jewish - at least in terms of ethnicity.So given that Jews have tended to vote to the left in the UK as they do in America, you would have expected Labour to take the majority of the Jewish vote.
They didn't. In fact, some polls indicate that Labour got, at most, just over 20% of the Jewish vote. That made a big difference in constituencies where Jews are prominently represented and the margin was razor thin, like Finchley, Golders Green, Hendon, Brent Central, Ilford North, Hornsey and Wood Green, Hampstead and Kilburn, Harrow East, Harrow West and Hove.
The Labour Party in Britain, like the SLP, is extremely anti-Israel and borderline anti-semitic. It panders openly to the UK's Muslim vote.
Ed Miliband is a totally secular Jew who was raised as a red diaper baby by his parents. As such, when he became Labour party leader he did very little to curb the anti-Israel sentiment in the Labor Party. Instead, he went out of his way to show he was out to prove his anti-Israel credentials. During the Gaza war, he issued ridiculously one-sided statements condemning Israel’s defensive actions and calling PM David Cameron’s ‘silence on the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians’ was ‘inexplicable’. He had nothing to say about Israel's civilians huddling in shelters because of Hamas's missile attacks.
During the months of increased anti-Semitic attacks and statements in the UK, Miliband was silent until things got bad enough that he had to issue a few desultory statements.
When Labour backbenchers in parliament put together a non-binding motion calling for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state Miliband put considerable effort towards whipping his MPs in support. That motion was proposed by a Labour backbencher who just a month before had compared the Israeli army to ISIS.
Britain's Jews exist in a situation were they are outnumbered over ten to one by Muslims, and while not all Muslims hate Jews, the Qu'ran and Hadiths are rife with anti-Semitism. Attacks on Jews and Jewiah institutions almost approaches the level in France.
Miliband was counting on over a third of Britain's Jews to vote for Labour out of Leftost solidarity while still getting the Muslim vote. Instead, he was reminded of how Jewish he really was as many Muslims sat home rather than voting Labour and taking a chance of having a hated Jew as prime minister. Meanwhile Jews, many of whom see Israel as a possible haven the way things are going in the UK deserted Labour in droves. A similar phenomenon is being seen in France with increased support among Jews for Marine Le Pen and the National Party and even here in America (albeit to a lesser degree) with increased Jewish openness to the GOP.