Jared Loughner and the Politics of Rhetoric

Whatever the situation with this disturbed young man and his actions in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday one thing is clear. The political rhetoric, on both sides but in particular from the dominant right wing news channel (FOX) and the dominant right wing radio hosts, as well as certain gun loving half-term governors, has to stop.

The violent rhetoric of guns may not be directly connected to the violence seen on Saturday in the USA, but what it has done is fostered the climate that allows a disturbed young man to thrive like this.

The sooner America realises that using terminology like “Don’t Retreat, Reload” and using imagery like gun sights when targeting political opponents is unacceptable, the sooner proper political discussion can happen.


Bored Little Political Creation

Clegg and Cameron

What I have learned of Britain’s politics

Well, what an interesting five days it has been in the world of British politics. Off the back of a General Election where no one won, we now have a coalition Government of Conservative and Liberal Democrats with a new Prime Minister, David Cameron. For me personally, the worst case scenario has been avoided as the Conservative’s cannot do any carte blanche decision making without at least consulting their new Liberal buddies. I don’t want to go into a deep diatribe, or overly talk about the situation, but a few bullets and comments are required about what new things I’ve learned over the last few days.

No-one actually knows what “Unelected Prime Minister” means

A term that has been banded and tossed around since 2007 by the British Press (especially those to the right of logic) seems to have no grounding in any reality. Gordon Brown was an unelected Prime Minister seemingly because he was given the keys to Number 10 unopposed. No one battled for that position with him. But, what about David Cameron. His party didn’t get a majority in Parliament and had to rely on another party to get into power. Does that not mean we have an Unelected Prime Minister again?

Of course, I realise that this term means little. We have never elected Prime Ministers, ever. I just believe what is good for the goose, is good for the gander. If we called Gordon Brown the unelected PM, then the term also applies to David Cameron.

With an election, we can make up pretty much any terms we like

You may wonder what I mean by this. Well, lets have a couple of the terms and pull them apart, shall we?

Progressive Coalition

What on Earth is a progressive coalition? I mean, I understand the theory of it… but can a party that has brought in some of the most invasive laws in the history of the country, and were planning to introduce ID cards really claim in any way, shape or form to be progressive? This would’ve also been a coalition with the Scottish National Party in it. How in anyway can you claim that a devolution of the Union and complete independence for Scotland is anything but regressive?


About as logical as it doesn’t get. You can’t be a liberal and conservative. It is not unlike suggesting you are an expert on Farmville, an Atheist-Christian, or a teacher that isn’t sheltered from the realities of work.

An alternative to the first past the post system is required

People are complaining about what has happened in the last few days in regards to uncertainty, but I think if anything the negotiation has proved that coalitions can benefit the country. We will no longer see the ID cards plan come to fruition. We won’t be forced to pay £70 – £80 for a card that the majority of the country didn’t want, nor felt they needed. We are unlikely to see the fox hunting ban repealed. The inheritance tax plans have been dropped. Those earning less than £10,000 won’t pay tax. The richest in the country will seemingly take the most of the burden of the debts the country has. Its not all good though, the Lib Dems are abstaining from the vote on recognising marriage through the tax system (and I hope that by recognising marriage they also take into account civil partnerships)

Still if this has proved anything, its proved compromise can stop some extreme policies from all parties. This cannot possibly be a bad thing.

To Sum Up…

So, we head into a new era. David Cameron is Prime Minister, and Nick Clegg is his deputy. What does this mean for the parties? Well in my opinion the Liberal Democrats are in trouble. They’ll lose any of their left leaning vote to the Labour party as it moves from the Centre-Right of the Blair-Brown “New” Labour years to a more Centre-Left party under Miliband. I say Miliband because Ed Balls really has no chance. Gordon’s main man isn’t going to become the main man with a majority of just 1,101… Add to the fact that he’s also a massive, massive prick.

Nick Clegg’s gamble for power will probably not benefit their party, even with new electoral reform. They might get more seats, but their share of the vote will shrink. I also think that the actions of the two parties between now and 2015 (which is the next time we’ll get an election unless the Tories decide to back-stab the Liberals in a few ways) will see them booted out as quickly as they were brought in. Sure, the actions they are going to have to take to reduce the deficit, and bring us back into a healthier financial position are required, but anyone who takes those actions will be punished for it by the public. Its inevitable.

The Labour Party will seek to look as central as possible, whilst trying to get rid of some of their more restrictive, authoritarian policies. The Tories will probably have a field day of tearing themselves apart. Angry that they don’t have an outright majority, Cameron will be hard pushed to stay in power from the right of his party, whilst the left of his party will struggle to keep the types of Daniel Hannan quiet. Battles over changes to the voting system, the NHS, schools and public investment from within the party will cause consternation and difficulties.

This is the most interesting point in politics we’ve had for a while, and my predictions are just my beliefs over what will happen. What will happen remains to be seen, but its the first time since 1992-1997 that we’ve had truly fascinating and exciting politics in this country.

Savour it. It’s going to be wild.

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