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The Reform Party and the UK’s lurch towards fascism

I posted an earlier version of this a while back - inspired to do update following THAT discussion about all things ULEZ. 

The “manifesto”, in terms of transport, only mentions stopping HS2, but there’s plenty on the usual right-wing obsessions: Brexit, immigration, veterans and climate change.  I had another look because I worry about the ongoing decline of the two main political parties. 

If the Cons stay wedded to Brexit, then we will go into the next GE with all the widespread impoverishment Brexit has ushered in - not helped by Covid, Putin, etc. People generally vote according to their pockets.  I don’t get Labour’s current position on Europe either, but let’s see how that evolves, and even the Cons may also evolve, or even pivot, but time is already running out for them.

Several roads now lead to the horrors of a further lurch to the right in this country.  Let’s hope Labour get the GE landslide the polls are predicting - but we’re still at least a year out from the real campaigning beginning. 

A cycling angle? With the Reform Party and its ilk, Facebook Steve and Nextdoor Dave attain real political influence. It’s not spelt out in the manifesto, but you can see where this is probably heading and what it is likely to mean for cycling.  You can bet that this lot are very much "on the side of hard working drivers" etc. 

As you all know, Dave’s going to “sort the traffic” and no doubt show them lazy planners how it’s done: Steve thinks the Council are corrupt, the police blinkered and is, if he can fit it in to his busy schedule he’s going to “teach them Lycra’s a thing or two.” It won’t concern him that his Mondeo is 3 months out of MoT or that Mrs Steve sometimes drives the kids in it uninsured. 

As vulnerable road users, vulnerable people, we rely a great deal on the rule of law for protection. The rule of law means that we understand what the laws are, they are in general fair, and how they are applied and to whom is even-handed and consistent. 

The fascist position is broadly the opposite - it’s all off-the-cuff to support today’s particular agenda - that’s why the Iain Duncan-Smith “happy to see ULEZ infra vandalised” comment is, as an example, so very worrying.  In the Conservatives, here is a party happy to send signals to enable the mob to attack RNLI stations, beat up immigrants, shout at teachers, doctors etc. 

This right-wing stuff works by allowing/enabling significant privileged groups to to think of themselves as the downtrodden underdog and here is a way to fight back.  The pro Brexit campaign played on people’s ignorance, fears and prejudices exactly as this does. 

It’s all about freedom, innit, less regulation, less tax burden, and damn the climate.  There’s more polar bears now, so it’s fine.  Let’s have open-cast coal mining, lithium mining and fracking. The section on climate change stumbles around like a Friday night drunk, trying to explain he wasn't being racist to the barman - a denier position emerges, unsurprisingly.

In places, the mask really slips: “We must keep divisive woke ideologies such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender ideology out of the classroom.” - to be honest, I don’t even know what those two are.

The standard enemies are put up - the civil service, the BBC.  Amid all the thrust and parry, there’s nothing  about making a better, more inclusive and cohesive world to live in; arts, sports and culture don’t feature in this barstool view of the world: a dullard’s grim vision.

Don’t be a member of the wrong sort of minority would be my advice, should any of this come to pass. 
 

https://www.reformparty.uk/reformisessential

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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360 comments

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David9694 | 2 days ago
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Not sure the recent Trump shooting incident is quite the clincher it's being played as  - like what new supporters does it bring? Sure, if you're already frothing this will play into your narrative. 

Another grim prospect for the world and not least isolated Brexit Britain is Trump 2025 - 4 years of the US at best flakey and inconsistent on foreign policy (e.g. western Europe/ NATO, Ukraine/ Taiwan) and wracked by internal conflict.  

The US government's job, so far as big business is concerned, is to provide them a suitable trading environment - what he appears to stand for doesn't sound conducive to that. 

 

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Rendel Harris replied to David9694 | 2 days ago
3 likes

David9694 wrote:

Not sure the recent Trump shooting incident is quite the clincher it's being played as  - like what new supporters does it bring?

I wouldn't be so sure, I was discussing this with an American friend (well, an English friend who has lived in America nearly 30 years) and he thought that it would have a significant impact because of the respect Americans have for the office of President, regardless of the holder, something akin to the respect that (bewilderingly) the majority of Britons still have for the monarchy. An attack on a president/former president/presidential candidate is seen as an attack on the office itself and (in my friend's opinion) a lot of wavering voters could move Trumpwards not so much in support of him but in support of the office he has represented.

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brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 2 days ago
2 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

David9694 wrote:

Not sure the recent Trump shooting incident is quite the clincher it's being played as  - like what new supporters does it bring?

I wouldn't be so sure, I was discussing this with an American friend (well, an English friend who has lived in America nearly 30 years) and he thought that it would have a significant impact because of the respect Americans have for the office of President, regardless of the holder, something akin to the respect that (bewilderingly) the majority of Britons still have for the monarchy. An attack on a president/former president/presidential candidate is seen as an attack on the office itself and (in my friend's opinion) a lot of wavering voters could move Trumpwards not so much in support of him but in support of the office he has represented.

I'm not sure that "the office he has represented" is quite how Trump and the Presidency work together. 

"The office he besmirched"?  "The office he sh*t all over"?  "The office he corrupted and used for the good of himself and his friends'n'relations"?  Maybe those descriptions work better…

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David9694 replied to Rendel Harris | 2 days ago
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They do know he isn't the President, right? 

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Rendel Harris replied to David9694 | 2 days ago
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David9694 wrote:

They do know he isn't the President, right? 

I don't think it matters so much in this context, as a former president and candidate for the next presidency an attack on him is still seen as an attack on the office of president. Americans also have much more respect for their former leaders than we generally do as well, I don't think anyone would consider addressing Liz Truss or Boris Johnson as "prime minister" now but even though it's technically incorrect it's very much commonplace for anyone who has held the office of president to be addressed as "Mr. President" for the rest of their lives.

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David9694 replied to Rendel Harris | 2 days ago
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I see we have a running mate now - brilliant. It must have been like this in Europe in the 1930s, watching a country risk descending into this madness and seemingly nothing to put the brakes on.

I've lost track of what Trump stands for now, like what he wants to be different in the world if he (God spare us) wins in a few months' time.  

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Rendel Harris replied to David9694 | 2 days ago
1 like

David9694 wrote:

I see we have a running mate now - brilliant.

Who proclaimed last week that since Labour won the election the UK is now the world's premier nuclear-armed Islamist power. VP Pence wasn't exactly a model of reason but by all accounts did mitigate and moderate some of the Donald's wilder ideas, looks like Vance will be an encourager and an enabler for them.

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brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 2 days ago
3 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

David9694 wrote:

I see we have a running mate now - brilliant.

Who proclaimed last week that since Labour won the election the UK is now the world's premier nuclear-armed Islamist power. VP Pence wasn't exactly a model of reason but by all accounts did mitigate and moderate some of the Donald's wilder ideas, looks like Vance will be an encourager and an enabler for them.

I read that Vance was rabidly opposed to Trump a couple of short years ago, said he was an American Hitler, that sort of thing. 

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Rendel Harris replied to brooksby | 2 days ago
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brooksby wrote:

I read that Vance was rabidly opposed to Trump a couple of short years ago, said he was an American Hitler, that sort of thing. 

Yep, also called Trump an "idiot", "reprehensible" and described himself as a "never Trumper".

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brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 2 days ago
3 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

brooksby wrote:

I read that Vance was rabidly opposed to Trump a couple of short years ago, said he was an American Hitler, that sort of thing. 

Yep, also called Trump an "idiot", "reprehensible" and described himself as a "never Trumper".

Why, it's almost as if Vance has no principles at all and will go wherever he can sniff the possibility of power…* 

 

 

*See also "Farage"

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David9694 replied to brooksby | 2 days ago
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Because Trump is a reflective leader who values challenge from those around him? 

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David9694 replied to Rendel Harris | 2 days ago
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One commentator says it's what's passes for humour at the moment. We've got a few months to "kiss and make up with Europe, at least be allowed to sleep in the spare room, catastrophising as I am that they will win. 

About 20 years ago, I was lucky enough to go on a work trip to Stormont to meet the civil servants who work there. It's no panacea, but these are the guys that sit down with fanatical (and often deluded) people and somehow, with the patience of many saints, manage to leave all the rhetoric and positioning at the door and pin down "what is important to you, out of what is possible to do, what do you want to get done?"

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wycombewheeler replied to David9694 | 2 days ago
2 likes

David9694 wrote:

Not sure the recent Trump shooting incident is quite the clincher it's being played as  - like what new supporters does it bring? Sure, if you're already frothing this will play into your narrative. 

lets say there are 4 camps of voters

  • Trump fanatics
  • Republicans who dislike trump
  • Democrats not keen on Biden
  • Biden supporters

The attempt may push group 2 to be more likely to vote, which could swing the numbers

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chrisonabike replied to David9694 | 2 days ago
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I feel tempted to say "Welcome to the Reform Party and the UK's lurch towards fascism" but it's not my thread!

Can't decide whether Reform having a (tiny) foot in the door is fine (now in theory they can't claim to be "shut down by the powers that be" - of course this in fact won't stop them as Farage was decrying that for years while basking in more airtime than almost anyone)

... or concerning, as now they'll have more leverage to worry the socially conservative parties into even more conservative policies?  (I suspect rich_cb's prediction will prove correct - that there will be a Tory Timewarp - "It's just a lurch to the right, then a step to the left, take your head from your hands, and whip MPs in tight..."  Realising that if they moderate the "swivel-eyed loons" a bit (just the odd dog-whistle) they can be back in power once "events" get to the current government / populace grows restive again).

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David9694 replied to chrisonabike | 2 days ago
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Yeah sorry about the thread drift - how about "welcome to...the world's lurch towards fascism"? 

Farage is exactly like drivers and could have a 312 majority, but he'd still be the underdog, fighting for the common man against, er - sorry, I got nothing.  

The next thing is the tories will bring in someone like Iain Duncan-Smith as some kind of interim leader - oh sorry, what was that? 
 

Ps DAK if Farage has tweeted a recent picture of him and Trump?

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chrisonabike replied to David9694 | 2 days ago
1 like

Well ... pedantry but I suspect it's "lurch towards autocracy / demagogues / populism" (the latter two need further qualification probably)?

As people point out, the US has phases of more or less internal polarisation and strife, also inward-focus and internationalism.  The latter seeming to depend on whether they think the rest of the world needs help to live up to the example of the US, or all those others are hopeless / barbarians / just a drain on the energy of America.

And of course if your country somehow appears to be in the way an outward-looking US can cause you a similar amount of horror as e.g. Russia - with a similar lack of contrition.  (Pedants may say "but the methods and attitudes differ" - but looking at SE asia / Latin America / Iraq the results look rather similar ...)

From my tiny awareness of things it does at least seem Trump was much moderated from his early pronouncements / the chaos his distate for the system and general approach would otherwise have caused.  Or alternatively he changed his mind so often that many of the troubling things didn't actually happen...

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David9694 replied to chrisonabike | 1 day ago
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Thanks for the long view on this - I hope we can get through to the other side if there is a Trump victory. 

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Hirsute | 6 days ago
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" Reform UK Twitter is still having a bit of a meltdown about the Zia Yusuf Chair news. "

//pbs.twimg.com/media/GSRPdT2XoAEYAAj?format=jpg&name=medium)

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mdavidford replied to Hirsute | 6 days ago
4 likes

Quote:

...a pdfile warlord...

...subjugating everyone with their army of savage ebooks.

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chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 6 days ago
2 likes

mdavidford wrote:

Quote:

...a pdfile warlord...

...subjugating everyone with their army of savage ebooks.

Adobe-wallah?  Cleaning up people's laundry poorly-laid-out texts?

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perce replied to Hirsute | 6 days ago
5 likes

Most of those comments manage to be sad and funny at the same time. I particularly liked '' it's a faith that conquers and takes over land''. A bit like the christian crusades then. And I wonder how many people who say this is a christian country actually attend church?

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David9694 replied to Hirsute | 5 days ago
1 like

And here's your problem when you've founded your movement on hate and lies, it's jolly hard to know what the rules actually are, and to make it more complicated still such rules as there may be are likely to be different to last week's. 

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lonpfrb | 1 week ago
1 like

Click bait title, but that's your freedom of speech, I suppose.

The far right is the Project 2025 of US MAGA Republicans who plan to make a fascist dictatorship for #45 who will be a dictator, revoke the Constitution, remove power from the Legislature and Judiciary to concentrate power in the Executive in other words, him. He has no interest in citizens rights or freedom.

"I don't care about you, I just want your vote." Donald Trump 6/9/24

Whilst one may disagree with NF, there's no suggestion that freedom of speech is at risk in the UK like it is in USA.

"UK’s lurch towards fascism" is not accurate. Conservatives split into Lib Dems and Reform is more accurate. Lib Dems got the most seats and Reform the least, so a net move left.

Though I can't prove this, I suspect that the FSB is working hard to undermine democracy in all sovereign nations who oppose the terrorist state and its illegal war in Ukraine. Isolationist attitudes undermine the alliances that support peace and prosperity so that the terrorist state can be held accountable.

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mdavidford replied to lonpfrb | 1 week ago
2 likes

lonpfrb wrote:

Whilst one may disagree with NF, there's no suggestion that freedom of speech is at risk in the UK

Well, unless it's your freedom to discuss gender issues or history through a racial lens in schools...

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David9694 replied to lonpfrb | 1 week ago
3 likes

Welcome to The Reform Party and the UK’s lurch towards fascism. I guess the title has had the desired effect. 

Google "Overton Window" - until this week, we had normalised things that would have been distinctly right-wing not so long ago. 

The story now is of the hollowed-out (post-Johnston) remnants of the Conservative Party meeting together and sounding like a group of economic anc historical fruit-loops the equivalent of the so-called Looney Left. Feel free to drive yourselves ever further into unelectable irrelevance, guys.

Meanwhile, I'm not seeing anything from the "wet" end of the Conservatives - maybe their ground old ground has been stolen by Labour? 

 

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David9694 | 1 week ago
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Also under 'huge if true" is the growing story of fake Reform candidates standing in some constituencies.  Easily cleared-up, of course. 

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brooksby replied to David9694 | 1 week ago
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Are they like all those candidates who turned out to be standing as Conservatives without ever mentioning it on their campaign literature*?

 

 

*Except for small print saying that it was paid for by CCHQ

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mdavidford replied to David9694 | 1 week ago
3 likes

David9694 wrote:

fake Reform candidates

Were they actually bots?

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exilegareth replied to David9694 | 1 week ago
2 likes

David9694 wrote:

Also under 'huge if true" is the growing story of fake Reform candidates standing in some constituencies.  Easily cleared-up, of course. 

The one who's been highlighted on social media near where I live is easy to trace. Sometimes 'paper' candidates are shy, and sometimes parties don't promote them because they're embarassing. So the one near me can be traced, and when you look at their social media there's  not a lot of it, but some of it smells like TERF spirit -  Reform don't want anyone distracting from the cult of Nigel by geetting into debates, so the candidate is simply there to be the peg on which Nigel's persoanl vote can be hung.

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don simon fbpe | 1 week ago
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I wouldn't worry to much about Labour and EU. tories and Farage have already shown us that u-turns are par for the course and wholly acceptable. 

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