Friday, July 5, 2024

A Change In Leadership In the UK

*Edited, content added. 

Now, I know enough about UK politics to be dangerous, so I won't go into great detail, here, but I am fascinated (mostly in a good way) about how their politics and policies work versus ours in a general sense.  

But what I do know for certain is the UK just shifted slightly left to the Labour Party in a landslide, after 15 years of Conservative leadership, with both their Prime Minister and a majority in the House of Parliament.

However, it was apparently a very low voter turnout, reflecting a dissatisfaction with all of the current candidates in Britain in general.

Oh, but wait - the Labour Party isn't the soft-left party of yesterday  - under new leadership by Keir Starmer, it's become more centrist, but we'll delve into that more in a little bit, and any British friends can email me if I get it wrong (because my comments remain closed), because as I said, I'm no expert on British politics. 

I'm going to stay mostly positive, here, so I'm going to talk about what is different from the US and what I like about British politics.  😂

The first thing that I absolutely love, for reasons I can't fully explain, is after a new PM is elected, they move into 10 Downing Street immediately, saying the old PM, like "Thank you for playing, but that's a fail.  Now get the F out, bye!"  😂

Okay, okay, not really - that's the American way of putting it, so I guess the British way would go more like "Well done.  Our apologies, but the people have chosen a different path, so if you could be good enough to collect your things, please, we'd be very grateful, thank you."  😂

Now, sometimes this may not be a good thing, if the former PM was much beloved -  and it doesn't leave much time for moving out, if you thought you were going to win -  but it does send a very clear, strong message that the people have spoken and it takes effect immediately.

Thus, no time or opportunity for vindictive lame-duck legislature  to be pushed through by the outgoing PM or MPs, no waiting until the following year to take effect, and no time to try to sabotage anything before you go, like, oh, say you want to organize an insurrection or attempted coup because you don't like it that you lost (which is the main reason I love this.)  😂

Oftentimes, here in the U.S., there are lots of lame-duck executive orders and legislation pushed through congress as a sort of FU to the other party on the way out, but no time for that, in the UK, no time to organize an insurrection or attempted coup! 

Secondly, I love the various parties as opposed to just two, so that you have options along the political spectrum, as opposed to just a binary system where you only two you have to choose from - and yet from what I understand, they have become more difficult to distinguish/differentiate from each other?

And keep in mind, you can't necessary compare UK conservatives to American conservatives, nor UK liberals to American liberals, because there are distinct differences.  

British conservatives as a whole are more moderate than our conservatives; for example, though they are somewhat similar to our conservatives when it comes to big government and taxes, some exceptions are guns and healthcare - British conservatives often support their nationalized healthcare programs and support strict gun control, as they believe both healthcare and guns both fall under the "general welfare" of a people.

Speaking of parties in the UK, here's another critical difference - in America, the labor unions have gone Republican/conservative over the last 40 years, such that now, corporations/inherited wealth and labor unions are actually on the same political side!

I know -  it doesn't make any sense.

This has been mostly accomplished by manipulating their heart strings or fearmongering about non-economic issues such as God, abortion, gender issues, etc.  - and even more of interest to them, corporations and tech companies began blaming their plant closures on government labor laws and taxes and Dems, when the truth is, Japanese car and tech companies began to far surpass us in quality in the late 70s, and the idea to outsource overseas in the late 1990s though it began with Clinton and NAFTA, peaked when Bush so they  could save labor costs (at the expense of the American worker) was a Bush/Republican platform, not a Democratic one of American labor was their idea, not ours.

This is not the case in the UK - Labour and Corporate/Inherited wealth are two opposing parties, with Labour historically (until now) being soft-left, with the Liberal Democratic party being true center-left or even hard left. 

Lastly, I love it that the Deputy Prime Minister is appointed and has sometimes even been from the opposing party, based on the proportion of votes.  

When this happens, this is done in the spirit of collaboration, acknowledgement of a strong opposition and including their voices.

Other times, the appointment stays along party lines, as it was today, when Angela Rayner, also from the Labour Party, was appointed as deputy PM.

Regardless, no running ticket with both a PM and a Vice PM from the same party, it's an appointment after the fact. Thus, no faltering on voting because you dislike one of the two candidates, you pick one and then that guy or gal gets to choose, and it can sometimes be from another party in good will and acknowledgement of dissent. 

Now, I could write another list of things I'm not fond of in the UK, such as not having a formal written constitution and changing their constitution at whim, every time a new person is elected -  but as I said, I'm trying to keep this positive, and God knows we Americans are worse, i.e. the fact that we have a Supreme Court that has little oversight, with the power to interpret the constitution to their personal political will isn't such a positive, either, is it?

As for the new PM, Keir Starmer, I know very little other than what I've recently read.  All I know is that he's moved the party from a soft-left to a more centrist position.

What is clear to me is that he is primarily focused on how to fix their economy after Brexit fell short and COVID, foreign aid to the Ukraine and Israel, etc. 

Brexit is a whole other can of worms I won't go into here, not understanding all of the intricacies, but I know the general gist.

Now, initially, the original idea of Brexit was an economic decision - they didn't like the centralized European Union making all the rules and they wanted the right to dissent and make their own, which is understandable.

But eventually, it morphed into a borders and Britain First issue, which of course left it wide open to be hijacked by paranoid racists, hiding behind the borders issue, as paranoid racists often do, much like here in America. 

Regardless, Brexit didn't go exactly as planned and COVID didn't help, so it's time for a cleanup and nobody can agree on how best to do that.

Now, from what I've read, what I like about Starmer is that when he changes his mind about a former policy, he says so and explains why he changed his min - that's almost unheard of in American politics.

Our politicians often flip-flop so much without any explanation, it gives us whiplash, and our politicians counting on us to have the attention span and memory of gnats and not even notice (which they're often right about)  but some of us have better memories and tracking abilities than that. 

For example, Starmer initially wanted to socialize the utilities under public ownership, but the idea was wildly unpopular, and Starmer recognized that not only was that unpopular, but also not feasible and would cost the people more tax money and the need for more  government manpower; thus, he's creating a public utility company to compete with private energy companies - a bit like we did with healthcare, the ACA/Obamacare/Healthcare exchange, only with utilities instead of healthcare. 

Now, you can view that change in policy as populist or flexible with the will of the people, depending on your view of him, I guess, but at least he's been transparent about it and addressed it.

I also like that he publicly acknowledged and apologized for antisemitism within the Labour Party previously, which the prior leadership had largely ignored. 

Lightly touching on this things I did not like about Starmer, when reading about him, was his initial stances on the Israel-Hamas war, but that is in much in the same way I don't like what Biden has done  (who I voted for) - because again, for the record, I think we should condemn actions, but not take sides or provide weapons, only providing humanitarian aid to both sides and try to mediate between them.

Also, I can't really get a handle on Starmer's policies when it comes to other issues than economic, namely social issues and environmental issues?

I thought it was because I was just doing a quick search, but then I've also read his policies are sort of hard to define on social issues and are kind of all over the place.

Social issues like racial and gender inequality and women's healthcare (abortion/fertility) and climate change are a bit harder to find? 

That's about all I know thus far, and as I said, I know enough to be dangerous - but what I will say is this: "Thank GOD they at least didn't go hard right (or alt-right, like they like to deceptively call themselves) like France did!"

*In the UK, though some Conservative Party members could be considered hard right/alt-right, actually the most Trumper-like, conspiracy and cult-mentality "alt-righters" (hard righters)  have gravitated towards Nigel Farage, formerly of the UKIP (United Kingdom Independent Party), now called the Reform UK party.

Oh, and don't be fooled by the "Reform" title, it's a deceptive/misleading title, much like they like to call themselves "alt-right," instead of "hard right." 

They want to "reform" it all right, back to policies from 100 years ago or more!

They're playing with language because it sounds better, much like the KKK and the American Nazi Party have "White Appreciation Days," as deceptive because those terms sound better, what they really mean is, reform is back to the way it was, like a century ago or longer, if they can. ☹ 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.