Hattip Stephen Tall, who is snorting with laughter. Cameron as Obama?

It is an open competition for a caption competition, which LibCon have taken up with glee.

My entry would read “VOTE FOR CHANGE. End our 50 years of exile and finally return an Old Etonian Oxford Graduate to Number 10”

In a week: Er, how’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?

I wonder whether all those people who worked so hard to put Obama in the White House are just a teeny bit insulted by the comparison? Fighting your way against the tides of prejudice in the US, beating the odds at every turn, versus …. the Eton – Oxford – CCHQ – Conservative Party advisor – CIty job – safe seat –  crooked voting system way of getting into power.  I mean, please.


27 thoughts on “Who at the Sun could possibly have thought this was a good idea?

      1. Strickly speaking you both should be doing good mornings so I trust you used a mobile to post these.

      2. Just finished 2 hours of kncking up for SusanK actually. i do have lids you know, ow would’ve loved to have done good mornings

    1. Giles,
      You are a soft southerner. Try a northern finishing school. “I did 2 hours knocking up in Richmond” You need to try two hours knocking up in Danehurst, Burnley with four mounted police riders for company. Ask your other colleague Anthony, Claret Rowlands. (Am smiling as I write!)
      Also how do you and JUlian maintain that Lib dems were squeezed by Labour when UK Polling’s last average score (Wed night) was Con 35, Lab 28, LD 27? Think LDs failed to respond to the changing environment and the Cameron attack. Ended with the same messages as the at the start.

      1. I have no idea what happened. Am about to think aloud. Yes, my own efforts were pretty slim

  1. A crooked voting system?

    What a load of nonsense! Labour got 36% vs. 33% for the Tories last time and they got a massive majority. Cameron will have a minority with a much bigger lead in the national polls.

    They had to lead on Cameron’s message. Elections are about giving people reasons to vote (or not to vote) for a candidate, and the Sun’s front page achieves this…

    1. Yes, it’s even more unfair for Labour. You’re point being…..?

      Maybe you are too young to remember 1992, but on that occasion offering negativity (‘these people can’t run Britain’) was what chimed. Now they just can’t do that.

  2. What an awful comment. It is depressing how low the bar has been set for commentary during this election; i.e. somewhere just below the gutter.

    Regarding this “crooked voting system”, no-one has yet explained why a system that will ensure BNP representation in parliament, will mitigate against the possibility of independent candidates, and will only elect people on the lists of political parties (i.e. those who have been able to climb the internal greasy pole) is a better system?

    However, it is clearly a system that favours those who are not in power now (e.g. The Liberal Democratrs).

    1. If the BNP gets a certain share of the votes, should we not hear their asinine voice in Parliament? Or give them the martyr effect?

      Agree about concerns on the greasy pole (but then how does being selected as a Tory candidate work nowadays). But what about, say, multimember consituencies?

      Anything that stops 36% of the vote getting 100% of the national executive power is a good thing from a liberal point of view. And that stops the press choosing the PM

      1. No, I do not think we should introduce a system that includes the BNP within the system of government for this country. By all means include them within the public debate. Give them a fair hearing, proportionally, on the BBC. But do not permit them to become part of our legislature. This is absolutely no place for them.

        Regarding “liberal” – by that I intrerpret the principle of Freedom, Equality, Tolerance in the historical tradition of Mill, Bentham and Rawls. Putting aside party bias, for me this historically includes the Liberal Democrats and also the Conservatives. I am less inclined to advocate support for a Pseudo-Socialist Party in modern politics; albeit absolutely necessary in the earlier part of the 20th century.

        I understand the Conservative elect their candidates locally, but have recently introduced a more centralised system of “A list candidates” to support more balanced representation.

        Multi-member constituencies may be a good compromise but that is not what is being proposed by the Liberal Democrats at the moment. If we had pure “multi member”, this still mitigates against the thrid party. So we move towards a party list system (AV) which then introduces the problems I have highlighted.

        Regarding 36% of the vote, your comment certainly taps the popular mood doesn’t it (?!). However it doesn’t address the inherent problems I have raised regarding proportional representation methods. It is just another populist cry of “unfair”. Rather like the reliance upon a disjointed constituency settlement that will give Labour disproportionately more seats at the present election, thus allowing you to achieve your objectives!!!

  3. I really don’t see why under STV those independent candidates who are now in the Parliament wouldn’ still win a seat? And as it gives voters a choice from within a party I’d have thought it is less greasy poll than the current system.

    The BNP argument I’ve always found ridiculous. First, to design an electoral system to deny representation to a segment of views seems a surefire way to add to its illegitimacy. But also because there doesn’t seem a great deal of evidence that allowing BNP members elected office has added to the party’s appeal where it has happened in local and regional elections. And the news yesterday that their online head had resigned, taking their website with him and putting in a redirect to a site saying how useless the leadershp is, makes me think this would be true at national level.


    The Sun’s cover came as quite a relieft to me – I thought from your headline they had blacked him up.

    1. But you see, putting aside the emotive populism of the current arguments about “fairness” and comparative statistics of the “popular vote”, what you are advocating is a system that DOES sustain representation from the BNP. Not that it is a “bad” thing – some will think so and others not. It is just the outcome of your objectives and if we could discuss these matters in the context of a more “liberal” discussion (i.e. open), we would look at the pro’s and con’s of each system accordingly.

      For example, the authority to govern and 100% power. At the end of the day, someone is in government and someone is not. If it is your team, then you are happy, if it is not, then you want to change things so that it will be next time. Isn’t this the actual truth of this argument?

      And yes, it may be better for coalition governments to compromise policies. But then, it may not.

      1. Don’t you see how undemocratic it is to argue for a system in terms of which party would get which seats, ex post? So if the BNP did not exist, it would be OK to have proportionality …

        It is not just about which party would do better. I’ve been a Tory voter (1992) and Labour voter (1997-2005) and have always thought the fPTP system nonsense.

        Off to knock on doors, have a nice day

  4. Democracy = (greek translation): “The strength of the People” or “The rule of the People”.

    The question that arises is “which people”? Advocates of PR suggest that it is the only system where all the people have a say. But that is not true. It is only those who support the government; and with a coalition, it could be argued that the only people who have a say then are the politicians. Is that the “strength of the people”?

    My point is that your choice has consequences. And the unavoidable consequence of your choice is the inclusion of the BNP in government. As demonstrated at the European election. Whilst your point of principle may seem fine and high minded, when it becomes reality, it ends up sustaining stronger support for fascists and extremists. Not so good really…..

    Philosophers have long recognised the difference between the Principle and the Practical and the latter is often also called Politics.

  5. There is some nonsense here. A seat in parliament does not give much of a voice in government. I am not worried by the odd BNP MP. I am very worried indeed that a substantial number of people support their vile policies. That is what needs to be addressed and preventing them having seats in parliament does not help at all.

    The argument that it is only about choosing your desired outcome and then settling on a system to deliver it is also a bit rubbish. We always have coalition govts. The Labour and conservative parties are coalitions of different interests. So are the LDs. The negotiations go on generally behind closed doors except when people get really uptight. The only difference between this and PR is that we all know that the negotiations are taking place. Some of it will be open. Some, necessarily will be private.

    The real issue is that now we have a system which does not allow people to choose what to vote for. Tactical voting is a reality so the votes cast do not necessarly show what peole want. God knows how many people might want a green govt! An STV system will enable everyone to see what the people want. It will be diverse. Compromises will have to be made. This has got to be better than the current wonky system which produces arbitrary results with minimal regard to the wishes of the public. Yes, it gives a decisive result, but you might as well have a lottery for that!

    1. No-one is preventing the BNP from having seats in parliament. You are adocating a system of voting that has the consequence that they are more likely to win seats. That is a choice you are making and I think that is the “real issue”.

      Once we strip emotive wails about “fairness” from the conversation, we end up with practical choices and consequences. I agree that governments make and negotiate choices. But it is simply not true that a government from one party is a “coalition”. That is hubris. Each party stands on a programme described in a manifesto (and yes, I recognise that they may not then sustain that commitment, but we can hold them to account on that basis). A coalition is formed of more than one party which then negotiate there manifesto commitments, post-election.

      I think, if I read you correctly, “the real issue is that now we have a system that does not allow people to choose what “

      1. Fairness – an emotive wail. Thanks for that insight!

        I find James’s realistic insight into how the parties actually work perfectly reasonable

        ‘The Labour and conservative parties are coalitions of different interests. So are the LDs. The negotiations go on generally behind closed doors except when people get really uptight. The only difference between this and PR is that we all know that the negotiations are taking place.’

        Negotiations are CONSTANTLY taking place within parties. That it is possible to naively say ‘well, they all stand by the manifesto’ shows what a sham the party system can be, that it should appear so consistent on the outside while being such a seething mass of backroom politics on the inside.

    2. “We always have coalition govts. The Labour and conservative parties are coalitions of different interests. So are the LDs. The negotiations go on generally behind closed doors except when people get really uptight. The only difference between this and PR is that we all know that the negotiations are taking place.”

      Brilliant, could not have put it better

      1. The problem is we don’t know these things when we cast our vote because manifesto commitments become irrelevant in an actual coalition government. So we just vote for our tribe; and that doesn’t seem very “progressive”…

  6. “Anything that stops 36% of the vote getting 100% of the national executive power is a good thing from a liberal point of view. And that stops the press choosing the PM”

    2 irrefutable arguments.

    1. But wouldn’t 36% represent a majority (i.e. more than 1/3) in a 3 party system? I suppose it depends how you look at it….

      1. No.

        36% would not be a majority in a three party system. Because the remaining 64% could outvote it.

        I appreciate that you’re trying to be cute with this, but you’re basically arguing that it’s fine for the choice of 36% of the electorate to take precedence over the other 64% at a time when the cuts necessary to keep us afloat will inevitably lead to misery. I can’t see how anything less than a government, coalition or otherwise, with proper majority would have the moral right to impose cuts of this nature.

        Of course, if you’re claiming that this 36% are right and so should be able to impose their cuts regardless, then you’re guilty of such an illiberal attitude to your fellow citizens that you might as well join the BNP.

  7. We don’t even know if the BNP would get more seats – their vote might be sustained by the unlikelihood of it mattering.

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