Brexit Vote: 51.9% leave, 48.1% stay

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Philip Cross: The state’s increasing intrusion into our lives in the name of control and structure is stifling vitality
Feeling alive is what many people want more than the material comforts promised by government and proffered by corporations

cubicle.jpg


https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/philip-cross-the-states-increasing-intrusion-into-our-lives-in-the-name-of-control-and-structure-is-stifling-vitality?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR1mcUQD4sfC-I-fHwgPVMlCzOiMzKZGEPenmnpdMbGfxlpIoheaHj5b2po#Echobox=1553692688
 

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Londoners at work - above

Londoners at home - below

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article-2164074-13C230ED000005DC-21_964x761.jpg


Londoners on holiday - 1947

article-2164074-13C231C5000005DC-291_964x876.jpg



 

Edward Campbell

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Today, the Telegraph Spectator (my error) republished a 2014 article on the EU by Christopher Booker on the occasion of his death.

How the first world war inspired the EU
Christopher Booker

3 July 2019
2:35 PM


Christopher Booker has died at the age of 81. In 2014, he wrote in The Spectator about how the first world war inspired the EU, and why its supporters won’t tell you:

Among the millions of words which will be expended over the next four years on the first world war, very few will be devoted to explaining one of its greatest legacies of all, the effects of which continue to dominate our politics to this day. One of the best-kept secrets of the European Union is that the core idea which gave rise to it owed its genesis not to the second world war, as is generally supposed, but to the Great War a quarter of a century earlier. It was around that time that the man who can be described as ‘the Father of Europe’ was first inspired to the detailed vision which only after 1945 was he finally in a position to launch on its way.

More than a decade ago, when I was working with my colleague Dr Richard North on a history of ‘the European project’, nothing surprised us more than how completely historians had failed to uncover the real story of that project’s origins. Furthermore, this was not merely of historical interest. The missing piece of the jigsaw gives us such a crucial insight into the core idea which was to create and shape the European Union that the failure of David Cameron and our present-day politicians to take it on board makes much of what they are today all saying about Britain’s relations with ‘Europe’ just empty fluff.

The first session of the Council of the League of Nations, 15th November 1920 Photo: Getty


The story began just after the outbreak of war in 1914, when two young men were appointed to organise the shipping between North America and Europe of food and vital war materials. One was a now forgotten British civil servant called Arthur Salter; the other was the Frenchman Jean Monnet, a former salesman for his family’s brandy firm. By 1917 they were so frustrated by the difficulty of hiring ships from all the international interests involved that they had a radical idea. What was needed, they agreed, was a body armed with ‘supranational’ powers to requisition the ships, overriding the wishes of their owners or any national government.

In 1919 these two men became senior officials in the new League of Nations: Monnet was deputy secretary general, Salter in charge of German reparations. They were inspired by the way they and their colleagues were expected to forget national loyalties in working for a higher international cause. But as the 1920s progressed, they again became frustrated by what they, like so many, saw as the League’s central flaw. Every nation had a veto — an expression, as Monnet saw it, of that ‘national egoism’ which had caused the war and might yet bring about another.

By the decade’s end, when the League, without the USA, had become largely a European concern, Salter had developed their ideas in a new direction. He proposed in a book published in 1931, The United States of Europe, that the League’s four core institutions — its ruling secretariat, a council of ministers, a parliamentary assembly and a court of justice — should be turned into a ‘government of Europe’, run though its secretariat by technocrats like himself, above all national loyalties. This body must be given ‘supranational’ powers, eliminating national vetoes. And the first step towards this new government should be to set up a ‘customs union’, providing it with so much revenue from tariffs that it would reduce national governments ‘to the status of municipal assemblies’.

Scarcely had Salter outlined his grand design, intended to avert another European war, than Hitler’s rise to power made it irrelevant. But in 1939 Salter and Monnet were reunited in London. Monnet had now become a very effective behind-the-scenes political operator — it was he who, just before the fall of France in 1940, talked Churchill into that quixotic proposal for a political union between France and Britain — and he used the succession of influential positions he held through the war to push their idea to men such as Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgium’s prime minister in exile. In Algiers, in 1943, he put it to Harold Macmillan that the first step towards a ‘federal Europe’ should be a ‘supranational’ authority to run the industries key to waging war, steel and coal.

In the years after 1946, having been placed in charge of France’s economy by President de Gaulle, Monnet watched scornfully the efforts being made to set up an ‘intergovernmental’ Council of Europe, which he predicted would be rendered as impotent as the League of Nations by the same fatal flaw, the national veto. In 1950, when France was faced by the US with a deadline to come up with a plan for international control of Germany’s renascent coal and steel industries, Monnet saw his moment to strike. He put in the hands of France’s foreign minister, Robert Schumann, a proposal for a ‘European Coal and Steel Community’: a plan seemingly so visionary that within two years this body, representing six nations including France and Germany, was set up with Monnet himself at its head. He was surrounded by those four core institutions borrowed from the League of Nations: his own secretariat, a council of ministers, an assembly and a court. Opening the assembly in 1952, Monnet told the delegates, ‘You are the first government of Europe.’

Monnet then, however, overreached himself. Not only did he and Spaak propose a ‘European Defence Community’; Spaak went even further, wanting to go straight to a ‘European Political Community’, for which in 1953 a ‘Constitution for Europe’ was being actively discussed. But in 1954 all these heady plans were brought to nought by the French Assembly, prompting Monnet in 1955 to resign from his Coal and Steel post. It was this rebuff which led him to work from behind the scenes, with his now powerful friend Spaak, for a new strategy. Realising they were not going to get their ‘United States of Europe’ in one fell swoop, they would have to build it up gradually over many years — and, crucially, without ever revealing openly what was their ultimate goal. This was why they would begin with just that ‘customs union’ suggested by Salter: a ‘Common Market’.

Foreign affairs ministers at the 'Treaty of Rome' creating the European Economic community (EEC) and the Euratom, March 25, 1957 Photo: AFP/Getty

Thus it was in 1957 that those original six nations signed the Treaty of Rome. But at its heart were the same four institutions, headed by a secretariat now called the ‘European Commission’. This treaty represented the constitution for a form of government far more ambitious than anything needed to run a trading arrangement: dedicated, in its opening words, to work for an ‘ever closer union’ between its members until they reached that ultimate goal: a ‘United States of Europe’.

However carefully this was concealed, the aim, right from the start, was step by step to pass ever more powers to the centre, eliminating national vetoes — until their Commission, run by unelected officials, could come fully into the open as the supranational ‘government of Europe’. There was no principle more sacred to the ‘European construction’, as it was called in Brussels, than the acquis communautaire: the unshakeable rule that once powers were acquired by the centre they could never be given back. And thus, over the next 60 years, did the long-dreamed-of ‘United States of Europe’ gradually take shape, extending its powers, treaty by treaty, over ever more areas of government, embracing ever more of the countries of Europe, in a way which back in 1957 would have seemed unimaginable.


All this had grown directly out of that core idea envisaged by Monnet and Salter in the 1920s. Having failed in its original purpose to avert any repetition of the first world war, it had only been revived when the world had been through such a geopolitical earthquake that the new division of Europe between Nato and the Soviet empire made it irrelevant.

But no one continued to have more influence over the shaping of ‘Europe’ than Monnet, the man who as early as 1960 first suggested that there would be no more effective way of welding the peoples of Europe together than giving them a single currency. It was also he who, even as late as 1972, suggested setting up the ‘European Council’, those regular meetings between the elected heads of government which were only formalised as an ‘institution of the Union’ in the Lisbon Treaty in 2008.

But why has all this suddenly become of more urgent relevance to us all than ever before? It is because so little of it has been properly understood by British politicians, including Mr Cameron, that almost nothing they are now saying about a referendum on ‘Europe’ bears any relation to reality. When they talk about the need for the EU to be ‘reformed’ and ‘Britain winning back powers from Brussels’, they have no real idea of how this defies the EU’s most sacred rule, the acquis communautaire; which is why, when José-Manuel Barroso is asked whether Mr Cameron will be given powers back, he merely snorts. Those politicians who talk about returning the EU to little more than the trading arrangement we joined in 1973 haven’t begun to grasp that the Common Market was only ever intended as a first step towards a fully fledged ‘government of Europe’.

Most alarming of all is that, just when our own politicians are still talking about the need for a new treaty ‘to win back powers’, they seem quite oblivious that senior figures in Brussels are talking about a major new treaty of their own, one designed to take the EU yet another major step towards that ultimate goal. When the Commission’s vice-president, Viviane Reding, declares that May’s European elections will give voters the chance to support ‘a United States of Europe’, what she explicitly has in mind is that same destination Monnet and Salter were talking about 80 years ago. And the reason why our politicians still seem unable to recognise this lies in that crucial decision taken by Spaak and Monnet 60 years ago — that they could only achieve their ultimate goal by concealing for as long as possible the reality of what they were after. That is why, when Richard North and I were for the first time able to put all this story together, we called our book The Great Deception. But now that even senior officials in Brussels feel free to talk openly about wanting to build a ‘United States of Europe’, we really do need at last to wake up to the reality of what we are up against. We are facing the endgame. The time for deception — and self-deception — is over.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/07/how-the-first-world-war-inspired-the-eu/
 

FJAG

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I really question whether there is a "secret" plan of this nature.

We're talking about a massive industry of both politicians and bureaucrats who have self interest and power seeking at their core. While I don't doubt that there are forces in Europe tugging in both directions on this question and that there is a significant group of civil servants who wish to create a massive overarching European government, I doubt if the "plot" is a "secret" one.

One should note that with the exception of those conflicts arising out of the fragmenting of the former Yugoslavia and some of the old Warsaw Pact that the last eighty years have been ones of unprecedented stability within Europe vis a vis conflicts between nations (if not universal financial stability and immigration woes).

To me it seems more likely that rather than a "secret" plan by bureaucrats, there is general testing of the waters by politicians and the public in exploring how far to total union the system ought to go. Quite frankly without the immigration issues, the sh*t disturbing by the Russians and the growth of nationalistic movements over the last few years, that experiment might even be farther along than it is.

:2c:
 

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It isn't "secret", but neither is it particularly "open" or "transparent".  The proponents of ever closer union don't spend much time reiterating to voters what is sought and what the effects will be, and seeking renewed mandates at each step to pursue the ends.  Clearly the people mentioned in the article weren't beaking off every few months about what they were trying to do.

"One should note that with the exception of those conflicts arising out of the fragmenting of [unified entities that it turns out didn't want to be unified]..."

So the stage is being set for future conflicts arising from the same old cause (people who want to be in charge of themselves).  Undoubtedly there will be the usual cheerleaders praising whatever the EU does if the dissent rises to Hungarian or Czechoslovakian levels.  And the political and social climate necessary to keep the unified entities unified even while they weren't in open revolt was well short of anything acceptable.

I suppose some peoples can manage peace and free trade between nations without needing an uber-government, some can't.  European peace is due to NATO - not the EU - and NATO is an alliance of nations.  So it can be done without ever closer union.  When someone says "we can't have peace and prosperity without the EU" I hear "we're too incompetent not to fuck it up unless you give us supreme authority".
 

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These maps demonstrate why I have some sympathy with those inclined to try and impose order in Europe.

But after at least 2000 years of trying perhaps somebody could be convinced to give it up as a bad job.

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800px-Mitteleuropa_zur_Zeit_der_Staufer.svg.png


All those local identities still exist.
 

tomahawk6

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The Court ruled that suspending Parliament was illegal.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49810261
 

daftandbarmy

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FJAG said:
I really question whether there is a "secret" plan of this nature.

We're talking about a massive industry of both politicians and bureaucrats who have self interest and power seeking at their core. While I don't doubt that there are forces in Europe tugging in both directions on this question and that there is a significant group of civil servants who wish to create a massive overarching European government, I doubt if the "plot" is a "secret" one.

One should note that with the exception of those conflicts arising out of the fragmenting of the former Yugoslavia and some of the old Warsaw Pact that the last eighty years have been ones of unprecedented stability within Europe vis a vis conflicts between nations (if not universal financial stability and immigration woes).

To me it seems more likely that rather than a "secret" plan by bureaucrats, there is general testing of the waters by politicians and the public in exploring how far to total union the system ought to go. Quite frankly without the immigration issues, the **** disturbing by the Russians and the growth of nationalistic movements over the last few years, that experiment might even be farther along than it is.

:2c:

In North America, we tend to underestimate the real desire by (largely those in mainland Europe) to avoid yet another European Civil War (e.g., global slaughter-fest) through building closer interrelationships of various kinds.

For example, many North Americans can't understand why they didn't declare war on Russia for grabbing the Crimea and barging into the Ukraine. In a very authentic way, the Europeans want to reach out to Russia and draw it in to the fold because they know that the alternative, millions of dead, is unthinkable.

Building a larger economic trading block that can compete with the US and others is a key aim too, of course, and is the one we who are safely ensconced in North America tend to key on. But national survival is right up there on their priority list.

For the UK to break away from that is seen by the rest as a real threat to those goals and, as the UK is (still) safely behind the world's largest tank trap - The English Channel - it's seen as a real poke in the eye.



 

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Exit polls have Boris Johnsons Conservatives winning 368 seats to Labours 191.

A big majority,  to say the least.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Boris wiped the floor with Labour, with only the SNP looking good.

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-2019-50776671

Boris Johnson has promised to deliver Brexit and repay the trust of voters after he led the Conservatives to an "historic" general election win.

The prime minister - who has met the Queen to ask to form a new government - has a House of Commons majority of 78, with one seat still to declare.

He said he would work "flat out" and lead a "people's government".

Jeremy Corbyn said he would not fight another election as Labour leader, amid recriminations over the party's defeat.

He said he was "very sad" about the result, adding that he had received "more personal abuse" from the media during the campaign than any previous prime ministerial candidate.

Labour was swept aside by the Conservatives in its traditional heartlands in the Midlands and north-eastern England, and lost six seats in Wales.


With just one constituency - St Ives, in Cornwall - left to declare, the Conservatives have 364 MPs, Labour 203, the SNP 48, Liberal Democrats 11 and the DUP eight.

Sinn Fein has seven MPs, Plaid Cymru four and the SDLP has two. The Green Party and Alliance Party have one each.

The Brexit Party - which triumphed in the summer's European Parliament elections - failed to win any Westminster seats.
 

Kirkhill

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Best reflects my understanding of things.

(By happenstance this summer I was over in Britain with the missus and took a week long vacation in the Tees Valley area where my Devonshire Grandad met my Yorkshire Grandma in 1914.  Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Seaton Carew, Whitby, Darlington, Leeds, (We skipped Scarborough, York and Richmond).  The Labour strongholds.  Despite my obvious Scots accent, I have seldom felt myself more at home.

Curiously I have a diary from a relative in which, in 1942, he summarized the great dates in his life from his birth in 1866.  Birth, leaving school, apprenticing at a grocers, meeting his future wife, 4 months on the road in Yorkshire looking for work.  And, most curiously, given the current climate - becoming a Conservative party supporter in the 1890s.  He went on to pay his bills by working in retail and moving into selling insurance. He even tried his hand at sea one year.  A grafter.  Like most of the rest of us in my family. Their motto was most like "Where there's muck, there's money".  While they people strong in the church and strong in principle, nothing was beneath them.  They would do whatever it took to maintain their dignity and stay out of the workhouse.

They were proud Brits, proud Yorkshiremen.  Not Englishmen - locally the expression was "There was never a man born south of the Wash" - no men to be found in southern England - to which my Devon Grandad's rejoinder was "The further south you go the meaner they get - and I come from the bottom".  He meant meaner in the sense of "don't tread on me"-type nasty and vicious.  My Yorkshire Grandma agreed with him.  In Yorkshire "mean" means "tight", parsimonious or "Scotch".

The point is that Britain is, and always has been, a land of distinct kingdoms. 3 or 4 in Scotland.  7 or so in England and at least 2 in Wales.  Ireland, likewise, is tribal. Religion and politics - they aren't matters of principle - they are attributes of the tribe that change with the times.  The tribe in its kingdom is what lasts.)


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/13/cataclysmic-election-confirms-realignment-british-politics-almost/?li_source=LI&li_medium=li-recommendation-widget

The 2019 General Election is like a flash of lightning that reveals the contours of a landscape previously shrouded in darkness. Several things are now clear, when you combine this result with its predecessor from 2017. The realignment of politics in England and Wales, which began with the rise of Ukip after 2010, is now almost complete.

We are now in a new political settlement in which the main division over politics is not so much economics as national identity and cultural politics, although economic issues still play a part. (A similar but different realignment in Scotland is done and dusted).

The results show that, as voting blocs, all the parties are changing in fundamental ways. For the Conservative Party this is complete and it only remains for that change to find full expression. For the Labour Party and the centre the transformation is nearly finished but poses existential choices in the next few years. As the results show, the Conservative Party in 2019 underwent one of those periodic Dr Who-like regenerations that have kept it the most successful and long-lived party of the Right anywhere in the world.

Faced with the challenge of the Brexit Party (which was defined by its position on the central issue of the new political alignment, Brexit) the Conservatives moved decisively to a clear position on that issue. The result is an intensification of the trend that became clear in 2017 with an average 9 per cent swing to the Conservatives in Leave supporting seats, mainly in working class small towns in the North and Midlands. The result was victory in a series of seats such as Workington, Blyth Valley, and Leigh, most of which had stayed Labour even in 1983 and some of which had never previously elected a Conservative.

The Party’s voting base is now much more working class, much more Northern, and much less metropolitan. This is a rejection by those voters not so much of socialism as of a kind of rebarbative cultural politics and anti-Western leftism. With the Conservatives now far more dependent on working class voters in Wales, the Midlands and the North, it will almost certainly shift its economic orientation and philosophy.

While continuing to reject socialism it will almost certainly become much more ‘One Nation’ in its practice and rhetoric, with a much more relaxed view of state action and some state spending. Figures such as George Osborne and Alan Duncan have already urged this, partly on the grounds that this is needed to retain the voters who have moved to the Party over cultural issues. People (mainly on the Left) who expect a move to a hedge-fund driven radical free market policy are likely to be surprised and disappointed.

The Labour Party is currently on the wrong end of this realignment. In 1983 it held on to the kinds of seat it has lost this time. However, it did much less badly in Remain voting areas (a decline of 2 per cent). Its held seats are now mostly in metropolitan cities, university towns such as Leamington Spa, and some affluent suburbs.

It is now a much more middle class and, above all, graduate party. Its slight decline in Remain areas is due to distaste for radical socialism and problems with Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of antisemitism in the Labour party and Brexit.

The last shows the challenge for the party in the new alignment around nationalism versus supranationalism. Had the party supported Brexit it would have done better in working class Leave seats but disastrously in Remain ones. Conversely, had it become strongly Remain it would have done better in those places but even worse in the places where it took a pounding anyway. It literally could not win.

The party now has to make an existential choice: does it follow the example of the Danish Social Democrats and become an economically left wing but also nationalist and conventionally patriotic party or does it write off its working-class voters and become a party of the culturally left metropolitan middle classes and ethnic minorities? What it cannot do is try to do both – that way lies destruction.

Finally, this was a huge missed opportunity for the Liberal Democrats and centrist politics, given the lack of enthusiasm for both big parties and their leaders. This reveals the final feature of the landscape, the strictly limited appeal of technocratic managerialism and passionate Europhilia. People from this tradition need to identify a coherent philosophy and set of ideas as opposed to managerial wonkery. If they get it right the prize could be considerable but they need to work out where they stand on the new political divide and why.

We are now clearly in the new dispensation. How things work out over the next decade will be fascinating to observe.
 

Kirkhill

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A related good read on Boris's Red Tory "One Nation" offer

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/13/great-victory-red-toryism-boris-cant-take-new-voters-granted/

Well, it finally happened. The Tory Party – the party of the rich, the party of the south and the party of capital – has become the party of the North, the party of the poor and the party of labour.

The Conservatives have broken through Labour's Red Wall with working-class voters in the North, Wales and the Midlands
delivering them a huge majority.

There are two reasons for this: Jeremy Corbyn and Brexit. Together they combined to form a universal solvent that dissolved Labour support.

Brexit because it came to stand for what people who voted to leave wanted – an end to Labour insecurity, an end to cultural marginalisation and an end to being vilified and policed by woke cosmopolitans. Corbyn because he appeared to despise his own country, consort with its enemies (both foreign and domestic) and could find nothing in our history or past that was anything other than evil or sinful.

For the working-class this struck at their deep sense of honour. Their fathers and grandfathers fought and died to free the world from tyranny and for them to entertain as Prime Minister a man who so manifestly lacked any patriotism was simply unconscionable.

Then, of course, there was the Labour leader and his cadre’s virulent hostility to Jewish people. All this was accompanied by an unpleasant graduate 'woke' culture that threatened to draw the state into imposing middle-class minority ideas of sexuality, language and behaviour onto the manners and mores of ordinary people.


But it was Brexit that led the realignment of British politics. The 2016 referendum signalled the country's wish to be governed by legitimate authority, the desire to protect the population against both unrestricted migration and globalisation and addressing thereby the fears of both cultural and economic insecurity.

The Conservatives under Boris Johnson completely and wholly pivoted towards these post-liberal demands. By removing the whip from those MPs who effectively were voting Remain they demonstrated their fidelity to the leave cause – suppressed the Brexit Party vote and unified all of the leave voters behind them.

The Red Tory approach that I have long advocated – turning left on economic issues and right on cultural ones –  represented the Tory offer at this election and the targeting of working-class Labour voters beyond the party's usual well-off heartlands repeated and vindicated this blue collar path that Theresa May’s chief of staff Nick Timothy rightly first followed.

Note that turning right on social matters is not incompatible with reacting viscerally against anti-semitism.  Nor is it incompatible with 70 year old shopkeepers supporting a gay 44 year old from down the road running for a party of toffs.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/14/optimism-voters-want-hope-darlington-town-relishes-new-breed/

NB on the "legitimate authority" - read that as "local" - somebody you can reach by email or phone and who lives in your neck of the woods - and who understands what mean means as you mean it.  Supranational international globalism doesn't do that.

 

Navy_Pete

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That seems like a pretty biased take on it; assuming it's an editorial?  Can't read the whole thing behind the paywall.

Lots of hyperbole there, but it is true that Corbyn was massively unpopular. It was also an incredibly poorly run campaign that had ADHD messaging that was all over the place and didn't have any real theme. They had that crazy manifesto which was ambitious, but you can't campaign with a giant tome. The tories kept their message simple and stayed on point, while Labour dithered and missed all kinds of opportunities to go for a kill shot.

Seemed to parallel the recent Conservative loss here in a lot of ways, but was weird watching a group that was unelectable assume they were the most obvious choice, and just generally fall down everywhere.
 

Eaglelord17

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Navy_Pete said:
That seems like a pretty biased take on it; assuming it's an editorial?  Can't read the whole thing behind the paywall.

Lots of hyperbole there, but it is true that Corbyn was massively unpopular. It was also an incredibly poorly run campaign that had ADHD messaging that was all over the place and didn't have any real theme. They had that crazy manifesto which was ambitious, but you can't campaign with a giant tome. The tories kept their message simple and stayed on point, while Labour dithered and missed all kinds of opportunities to go for a kill shot.

Seemed to parallel the recent Conservative loss here in a lot of ways, but was weird watching a group that was unelectable assume they were the most obvious choice, and just generally fall down everywhere.

I was reading a article the other day which said that 21,500 votes was the difference between a Conservative government and the Liberal government (500 votes here to push this riding conservative, another 50 there, etc.). Our election was a lot closer than people think it was.
 

tomahawk6

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Eaglelord17 said:
I was reading a article the other day which said that 21,500 votes was the difference between a Conservative government and the Liberal government (500 votes here to push this riding conservative, another 50 there, etc.). Our election was a lot closer than people think it was.

But Canada much needs a Conservative government to better work with the UK.
 

Furniture

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tomahawk6 said:
But Canada much needs a Conservative government to better work with the UK.

Canada needs a Conservative government to prevent the mass confiscation of private property for the hope of buying a few more votes in Toronto and Montreal.

Trade with the UK will happen under any smart government. We are more UK than we are anything else...
 
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