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Is Labour wise using Tony Blair?

  bremner 15:05 07 Apr 2015

Tony Blair has pitched into the election campaign today, clearly a planned part of Labours strategy.

As Blair is seen by so many, including Labour supporters as almost toxic, was this an own goal or an inspired strategy likely to appeal to the New Labour side of the party, balancing the perceived left wing Ed Miliband.

  john bunyan 19:07 08 Apr 2015

each voter is supposed to be electing their own candidate

Not really. I met our local (Tory) candidate at the weekend at a local shopping centre hustings. I found out there had been 40 potentials, thinned down to 7, then a short list of 4. The candidate was then selected by the local party, of which I am certainly not a member. As the majority here was, I think , last time at 17000, it seems that in fact , even if I vote for another this candidate will nevertheless be elected - even though she was, in fact selected by very few.

The candidate is very suitable - young, '30's , female, ethnic, daughter of a Nurse, done a proper job as a barrister having been educated at Cambridge, the Sorbonne , and called to English and New York bar. Speaks Spanish and French. Wish I were 50 years younger .....

I think there should be, say, 3- 4 candidates for each major parties, so we, the voters, could at least select the one we want rather than a very few selecting him / her.

  Forum Editor 19:18 08 Apr 2015

".....each voter is supposed to be electing their own candidate!"

That may be, but in reality people vote for a party in General elections. They vote for the party which they think will best govern the country, and provide them with something into the bargain.

That's why the party machines spend so much time working on the floating voters - those who don't express any party preferences until they're persuaded to vote this way or that. Their votes can make a huge difference. In this election immigrant voters will potentially have a big voice as well.

  Forum Editor 23:03 08 Apr 2015


......people are supposed (the word I used) to be choosing one local candidate

Of course they are, But that isn't the case, is it? In General elections a party can only form a government if they have enough elected MPs to be able to give themselves a fighting chance in the House. Voters know that, so although they are putting their cross against a candidate's name they are really voting for (or sometimes against) a party - the one they would like/not like to see in government. You can bet your bottom dollar that constituency matters are not uppermost in their minds when they cast their votes.

  natdoor 09:12 09 Apr 2015

If you were allowed to vote to join. You should also have a vote to stay or get out.(sic)

We were not given a vote on whether or not to join the Common Market. Ted Heath made that decision without consulting the people. Given that a million people petitioned on behalf of Clarkson, I think it is clear that sensible decision on EU membership is beyond the capability of many voters.

  john bunyan 10:28 09 Apr 2015

It is difficult to find a party that fulfils my wishes. I want to stay in EU (not Eurozone); I strongly want Union; I support Trident replacement and a defence budget of 2%; I want the deficit to come down, the NHS to be properly funded but not wasteful; I want to strongly limit non EU migration;

Maybe a Tory government would not fulfil the total aim as an "out" referendum would inevitably lead to an independent Scotland. It seems a bit weird that Cameron supported a No vote on the Scottish issue, and countenances (if not overtly supporting) a Yes - out vote on Europe.

A Labour Government may be unduly influenced by th SNP (tail wagging dog).

I see difficulties ahead , unfortunately. I still think that on major policy issues, such as Defence, Pensions, NHS there should be far more political consensus but the problem arises of taxation policy.

  john bunyan 14:53 09 Apr 2015


Re Trident. Maybe a Labour minority, occasionally supported by the SNP would be best. Then , when the Trident vote comes up , the SNP and quite a few other "lefties" (not rude, just shorthand) will vote against, but the Tories will vote in favour, just as did Labour when the Trident prior planning money was voted through.

At least that would scupper the EU referendum. I have worked a long time in other EU countries, and although there are clearly some serious faults, particularly with trying to have the same fiscal rules and currency from Greece to Holland, it is a powerful bloc that we would be foolish to leave. We seem to be almost unique in wanting out - so many want to join.

  john bunyan 17:49 09 Apr 2015


What is surely even worse, however, is you and me reaching a consensus - what ever will we do with our time from now on??

I am sure we will think of something! I look forward to a good old ding dong post election, or before if you post something I disagree with!

A bit like international Rugby spectators, who, unlike Soccer ones, can have mixed crowds, be very competitive for their teams but still have a drink together. Mine is a wee dram!

  Joseph Kerr 20:21 09 Apr 2015

The thing about the Milliband brothers' wee spat is that Ed's critics want it both ways. They want to paint him as a weakling whilst criticising him for shafting his brother.

I think standing against your brother for the leadership of a major political party shows great testicular fortitude.

  john bunyan 08:58 10 Apr 2015

I thought Maggie, IDS and W Hague were all stabbed in the back by fellow Tories, so there is some hypocrisy around.

  john bunyan 09:24 10 Apr 2015


as coalition partners and has it ever been done before.

Not new; see National Government. I am old enough to have lived under such a government from 1940 - 1945 - see WW2

I suspect that the external threat is not yet great enough to re - form such an alliance, but there are so many issues that should be jointly agreed, like pensions, NHS, Defence etc that I find the squabbling on these issues annoying.

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