Tag Archives: Brexit

Election ’17: Evading the Brainwash with Gareth Rees and Tom Sykes

1 Jun

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Gareth Rees has been following politics for fifty years and has written about it for the Guardian, Contemporary Review and S&C. He chats to S&C editor and contributor to New Statesman and Private Eye, Tom Sykes, about how the Labour Party has changed, the ‘infantile’ clicktivists of Facebook and the need for scepticism towards the ‘back to the seventies’ slur and others.

Tom Sykes: What was the first election you were aware of?

Gareth Rees: Harold Wilson’s in 1964. It was exciting. There was a lot of involvement at my school – we had mock elections and it was a big deal. Posters were everywhere and there were vans with loudspeakers going round. I think today the parties know pretty much which constituencies they need to win and they focus on them. I’ve hardly seen a poster here [in Portsmouth South] because it’s not a marginal seat. It’s all decided in the marginals these days.

TS: Did you get a sense that there was a clear choice between Tory and Labour in ’64?

GR: God yeah.

TS: Was there a point in your life when you felt like there stopped being a difference between them?

GR: I suppose the Tony Blair era, wasn’t it? Everybody was aiming for the centre but that seems to have changed with the latest Labour Party manifesto. It’s clearly different this time.

TS: Many are saying that Corbyn isn’t up to the task of being Prime Minister.

GR: That’s media brainwashing. The old guard of the Labour Party have undermined him, betrayed him, so it’s made his position look weak. Having said that, I’m not sure about some of the people on his team. Emily Thornberry seems a bit flaky to me and so does Diane Abbott. They’re not masters of their briefs, which you need to be if you’re going to be in government.

TS: It’s interesting that initially he was trying to reach out to the right wing of the party and appoint them in positions in the shadow cabinet. It seems like he’s the one who’s been conciliatory.

GR: If his opponents in the party had got behind him I think things would be really really different now. What are people like that doing in the Labour Party anyway?

TS: Perhaps people called Tristram shouldn’t be let into the Labour Party in the first place. Do you feel the media coverage of Corbyn has been…

GR: Disgraceful. The tabloids are a disgrace.

Read on here.

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Democracy in Portsmouth? It’d Be a Good Idea

27 Feb

In the wake of recent protests both local and global, I question how representative our elected representatives really are – in Portsmouth and beyond.

Criticisms of democracy have been around since the birth of democracy itself. But new questions are being asked in the West about how fair, efficient and representative our systems are given the allegations of dirty tricks in the run-up to the EU referendum and the election of Donald Trump with almost 3 million fewer votes than his opponent Hillary Clinton. The unprecedented protests against Trump across the United States are, in part, a symptom of public frustration with a perverse procedure that, on four occasions in American history, has handed the presidency to the candidate who won the electoral college but lost the popular vote.

Read the rest of this article here on Star & Crescent.

Brexit Doesn’t Go Far Enough

9 Dec

We present an almost considered opinion about the EU referendum from our columnist Sir Eugene Nicks QC, KBE, Policy Advisor to the All-Portsea Conservative, Regressive and Imperial Association (established 1799).

I trust all Star & Crescent readers are as delighted as I am by the result of the Grand Patriotic Plebiscite. This was a victory for fear over love, belief over thought, orderly queues over anarchic free-for-alls and knee-jerk invective over rational debate. In short, we as a nation – and as a city – succeeded because we played to our strengths. Read more here.