Archive for the ‘Wales’ Category

by Phil Duncan

Last week local government elections were held in many parts of Britain.

As expected Labour did very badly and the Conservatives did pretty well.  In addition, the Welsh nationalists advanced and the Scottish nationalists stalled.  And UKIP was annihilated.  The Liberal Democrats’ ‘resurgence’ failed to emerge.

The Conservatives gained 563 council seats and Labour lost 382.  Plaid Cymru gained 33.

The Conservatives made progress in some traditional Labour heartlands, including the poorest council area in the whole of Britain, which went Tory.  Labour also lost control of Glasgow for the first time in decades.

The Tories displaced Labour as the largest party in terms of council seats in (more…)

download (1)by Tony Norfield

What explains the desperation of British capitalism and Conservative Party in the lead up to the Brexit referendum on 23 June? Opinion polls have shifted in favour of a Leave vote and, while the accuracy of the polls is always in doubt, a shift towards Leave seems evident from widespread vox
pop views in the media, in the panic of the Remain camp and in the financial market setbacks for sterling’s downloadexchange rate. Equity markets have also been hit, and not just in the UK. As a sign of desperation, the Remain camp has even called upon the Labour Party’s lumbering has-been, Gordon Brown, to add his
weight to what looks like a failing balance. Her Majesty has so far been allowed to stay above the dispute, just about. One can imagine that if the polls get any worse for Remain, then Downing Street could try to prompt a Royal appeal to her loyal subjects to do the right thing. Where has this revolt of popular sentiment come from?

download (2)My previous coverage of the Brexit referendum has focused on the situation facing the British ruling class in a world where its economic and political interests are clearly bound up with Europe, but where there has been a minority view that an alternative is possible ‘outside’, especially in a context of European economic crisis. But the significant support for Leave shows that this has underestimated a key point. What might otherwise be considered simply as popular disgruntlement with political elites – ‘vote Leave to teach them a lesson’ – is better explained as a widespread view that these elites have broken their pact with (more…)

by David Dickinson*

1975: Labour government in power with very small parliamentary majority, having been elected a few months earlier with support of 28.5% of eligible voters.

2016: Tory government in power with small majority, having been elected a year earlier with support of 24.5% of eligible voters.

1975: Common Market/European Community referendum, having been called by Labour PM, Harold Wilson, to address split in his party and the country.

2016: EU referendum, having been called by Tory PM, David Cameron, to address split in his party and the country. Many on the left call it nothing more than a Tory Party civil war.

1975: Half of Labour MPs, vast majority of Trade Unions, and most of the radical left urge a ‘No’ vote.

2016: Vast majority of Labour MPs and almost all large Trade Unions urge a ‘Yes’ vote. (more…)

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by Michael Roberts

As I write on Friday morning after the 2015 general election, the incumbent Conservative party is heading for an outright majority in the new parliament.  As I keep saying ad nauseam, this is what I predicted back in 2009 before the Tories (Conservatives) won the 2010 election and formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.  The main reason for the victory , I think, was as I pointed out in a recent post (https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/economic-well-being-and-the-uk-election/), that the economic recovery since the Great Recession has reached a peak in the last year, with UK real GDP growth picking up from near zero in 2012 to 2.5%-plus in 2014 and with real income per head finally turning up.

The exit poll immediately after the close of the vote last night turned up to be very accurate.  It predicted that the Conservatives would be the largest party by some way and there would be a meltdown of the Liberal Democrat vote, while the Scottish Nationalists (SNP) would wipe the floor with Labour in Scotland.  And so it turned out.  It now seems (more…)